'I took my kids to my old Manchester nightclub for a great value Sunday roast'

At £24 for two courses, it's great value for the city centre
At £24 for two courses, it's great value for the city centre -Credit:Manchester Family/MEN

I'm not sure anyone should revisit their old drinking haunts. Some places should remain in our memories - at least the bits we can remember.

My recollection of the old Brannigans in Peter Street was a sticky floor, cheesy music and the occasional fight. It was the place we headed to after Bar 38 when we couldn't be bothered venturing further afield.

So it felt a little bizarre that, 25 years later, I was stepping inside what is now Albert's Schloss, with my teenage kids at the weekend.

I'd been told that as well as offering a fun night out, the food here has become legendary and more and more families are bringing their kids along for a Sunday roast in particular, with bands and DJs keeping diners entertained.

Albert's Schloss in Peter Street was formerly the Brannigans nightclub
Albert's Schloss in Peter Street is on the site of the former Brannigans nightclub -Credit:Manchester Family/MEN

We arrived a little early so had to wait at the bar for our table. Finding myself shouting my drinks order and still being misheard, I was having flashbacks to the days of Bacardi Breezers and Smirnoff Ice and wondering why we'd not just stuck to a quiet pub where you can actually 'hear yourself think'. And yes, I did say that out loud. Cue teenage eye roll.

But we weren't alone. There were indeed lots of families present, some with babies and younger kids and all seemed to be revelling in the relaxed and friendly atmosphere. There were lots of people, full stop. Couples, groups, you name it. Some of them just there for a drink, others there to dine, or do both.

Once seated it was a little quieter and eyeing up our neighbouring tables, it looked like we were in for a treat.

The place was packed out on Sunday afternoon
The place was packed out on Sunday afternoon -Credit:Manchester Family/MEN

You don't have to have a roast, but two of us did - opting for the half roast chicken which comes with roast potatoes, root vegetable mash, seasonal greens and gravy, not forgetting an enormous Yorkshire pudding and a perfect circle of truffle pain di mie and pork stuffing. We shared a rather large side of pigs in blankets too, a tasty if somewhat unnecessary addition given the portion sizes.

The other half of the table went for the cheeseburger option, which they enjoyed, but there was a little envy as they looked over at the incredible roasts they could have won.

Cheeseburger and fries
Cheeseburger and fries -Credit:Manchester Family/MEN

I have to say the price is pretty incredible too. With such a high standard of food in a prime city centre location, you'd expect to pay more than £24 for two courses, or £29 for three.

My other half was the only one hungry enough for all three - starting out with chicken liver pate on toasted sourdough. They create their own artisan baked goods on site here, so everything is really fresh.

We all managed a dessert, most of us choosing the salted caramel brulee with shortbread and my son opting for the apple strudel - with layers of flaky pastry to soak up the creamy vanilla sauce.

At times we had a DJ playing the tunes from up high, then it was the turn of the seated stage singers - looking like a diverse version of Westlife - who belted out everything from TLC and Mark Morrison's Return of the Mack, to Lionel Richie's All Night Long.

Salted caramel brulee with shortbread
Salted caramel brulee with shortbread -Credit:Manchester Family/MEN

It almost felt like we were at a wedding - but one with no obligation to mingle or (God forbid) dance. Everyone's just here for good food and a good time. And that's exactly what we got.

You can sing at your table if you like. I'm pretty sure there's lots of dancing on the benches at the other end of the restaurant among the later crowds. The guy next to us was having a little boogie, but I think he was just overexcited about the doggy bag box he was filling with leftovers to take home. I told you it's good value.

At £7.20 for a pint of lager and £5.90 for a bottle of cider, it probably explains where this place makes its money. But the fact it was packed out from start to finish suggests it's doing something right.

Perhaps there's something to be said for returning to those old haunts after all.