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Popular Japanese-inspired restaurant Wagamama and artisanal bar, restaurant and horticultural themed venue The Botanist are the latest to join MediaCityUK’s unique new dining and arts experience Box on The Docks.

Having launched on Friday 31 July, Box on The Docks aims to support both local hospitality businesses and self-employed creatives by delivering a unique, socially distanced dining experience which doubles as a piece of impactful public art.

In accordance with the recent changes to government guidelines, singular households and support bubbles of up to six people are able to dine in style within self-contained private pods, served by one of MediaCityUK’s restaurants, including Grindsmith, The Dockyard, The Alchemist and Vertigo. The addition of Wagamama and The Botanist will see a further 11 boxes and greenhouses offering a safe and responsible way to enjoy a meal out.

Visitors to The Botanist will be able to sip an artisanal gin and tonic or try a hanging kebab in seven uniquely designed sheds and greenhouses. Designs include ‘Californian Dream’  a brightly vinyled reimagining of David Hockney’s painting ‘Garden’ (2015) by artist Katie Tomlinson – the box will be covered in custom-made shapes that have been inspired by Hockney’s distinct brushstrokes and use of pattern and colour – and ‘A Summer’s Night in 2020’ a glittering canopy of blues and golds by textile artist Mariel Osborne. Bookings begin on Friday and can be reserved at

Wagamama will be serving diners on a walk-in basis from Monday 10 August in boxes designed by artists including recent University of Salford graduates Kirsty Taylor and Imogen Taylor-Tate, and Alena Donely. Kirsty and Imogen have combined their differing artistic practices to create ‘Colour Me Crazy’, a design that pushes the boundaries of playfulness, colour and reality with child-like humour. Using a comic book and pop art style theme, they have created a blank canvas to encourage those who visit to ‘paint’ with all the colours in their mind. Islington Mill-based Alena Donely practices a specific form or rugmaking called Tufting, she has created ‘Technicolour Social’ – a design that reflects her experiences of isolation whilst in lockdown, using a vibrant palette of technicolour and florescent yellow to remind us that brighter days are ahead.

Martyn Hobbs, General Manager of The Botanist at MediaCityUK, said: “We’re really pleased to be taking part in the next phase of Box On The Docks. The experience is a brilliant way to support the local hospitality industry and we’re looking forward to offering our diners a quirky and safe environment to enjoy eating out again.”

Lubna Ali, Manchester-based artist with studios at Salford’s Hot Bed Press, said: “I’m delighted to be involved in Box On The Docks, it is such a great opportunity for local artists like myself to showcase our work and I can’t wait to see people enjoying our boxes!”

Box On The Docks is taking part in the Government’s new Eat Out to Help Out campaign, giving diners the chance to enjoy up to 50% off their bill throughout August. A full list of participating restaurants can be found here:

MediaCityUK are also offering free parking at Quayside multi-storey car park for all visitors. For those arriving before 5pm, simply visit the information desk to validate your ticket by completing a quick survey and/or by showing a receipt from one of our participating restaurants. If you’re arriving after 5pm, please request an exit ticket from your restaurant to use upon leaving the car park.

Further family-focused activity and opportunities for socially-distanced dining will be announced in the coming weeks.

Box on the Docks are available to book now for two to six people.

For more information follow @boxonthedocks on social and sign up to the mailing list on the website:

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