Manchester, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, may have once been known for its textile manufacturing and cotton mills. A couple of centuries later, in its place has sprung a city with diverse architecture, a bustling nightlife, creative independent shops, an incredible music scene and world-class bars and restaurants. One of my very favourites in the city is The Refuge by Volta, a restaurant and bar that’s part of the beautiful historic Principle Hotel (formerly the Palace Hotel) which has recently undergone a full refurbishment by DJs-turned-restaurateurs, Luke Cowdrey and Justin Crawford.

It was my second visit to The Refuge along with a few of other local interior bloggers for a chat and lunch and despite having a major #bloggingfail and forgetting my camera, I did manage to snap a few pictures on my phone which I wanted to share with you today. Frankly, it’s just too gorgeous a place not to. Plus, there is so much inspiration to be had in beautifully designed hotels and restaurants so at the end of the post, I’m sharing how you can get the look of The Refuge in your own home too – even if you don’t live in a building with soaring ceiling heights and loads of original features.

The 10,000 square feet space is divided into three sections – a restaurant, a bar and a ‘winter garden’, each with its own distinct personality but every one with soaring ceilings and original architecture that means you’ll spend the first ten minutes just taking it all in.

The Bar

Refuge Volta Manchester bar area

I simply didn’t take enough pictures of the bar area although if you follow me on Instagram stories, you would have seen a little video of the whole thing. I did say I had major #bloggerfail so there ya go. You can see it here, however, from Refuge’s website.

Refuge Volta bar area

The Restaurant

The grandeur here runs from floor to ceiling, each section delineated by the clever use of glazed half walls and wood accents. The lighting throughout is stunning – from glass chandeliers in the bar area to contemporary globe brass beauties in the restaurant and I found myself on a number of occasions wishing that I had higher ceilings in my own home.

Refuge Volta Manchester dining room

There are subway tiles in the dining room with parquet flooring and comfy seating throughout, gently curvaceous and softening any hard edges. I loved the mural in this space as well. ‘The Glamour of Manchester’ – well, no one can argue that whilst standing in this space.

Refuge Volta Manchester dining room glamour 

The Winter Garden

My favourite area, however, is the Winter Garden. Tucked in the middle with soaring glass ceilings, this generous spot really brings the outdoors in with trees and fairy lights and comfy seating throughout. We were told by our server that it’ll be opening soon to accommodate afternoon teas but for now, you can just chill out in there with a cocktail or a glass of fizz.

Refuge Volta Manchester Winter Garden

Green velvet and black and white tiled floors? Ummm yes, please.  I also loved the huge trees within the space and the fairy lights wrapped around them. It gave the whole space an ethereal feel – one that was light and airy and yet all the cosy seating made for a lovely comfortable space, awash in light from the soaring atrium ceiling above. It really did feel like they brought the outdoors in.

Refuge Volta Manchester Winter Garden

Refuge Volta Manchester Winter Garden

Refuge Volta Manchester Winter Garden

Get the Look!

So if you love the interiors of The Refuge by Volta in Manchester as much as I do, I figured I’d share a little mood board to help you achieve the look!

get the look manchester refuge

parquet flooring / light fixture / brass shelving unit / ‘glamour of manchester’ print / fiddle leaf fig tree / green velvet sofa / grey armchairs / black and marble coffee table / black and white rug

Parquet flooring, a plus deep green velvet sofa, some sexy curvy chairs along with a brass shelving unit and some greenery will go far. You can always wrap the fiddle leaf (or similar large tree) with fairy lights to complete the look and create some drama with bold statement lighting. Finish it all off with a graphic black and white rug and a simple contemporary coffee table for the look of Refuge at home.

What do you think of this amazing place? Is this a look you’d like for your own home? Let me know in the comments below!

Much thanks to my local blogging chums Susie from Old Fashioned Susie, Karen from Well I Guess This is Growing Up, Antonia from TidyLife and Karen Barlow for a lovely day out!

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