Tag: manchester

A Crafty Chai in Manchester

Malmaison Bar

So this weekend saw myself & my OH heading up north to Manchester. I had to go for a work thing on Saturday morning, so we jumped on a train Friday morning to make the most of it. We’ve been to Manchester before, so we couldn’t resist staying at Malmaison again. (I booked early & got a deal!) I love the Malmaison chain. They’re so luxurious! Once we’d checked in, we headed out for a bit of lunch – straight to the Northern Quarter. If we lived inOklahomas Manchester, this is where we’d live. It’s quirky, full of indie shops & cafes. Just my style. My OH is legendary for finding great, funky cafes so we went straight to Oklahoma’s. It didn’t disappoint. Not only do they sell great food & chai here, they also sell great gifts and cards.

I had a chai (obviously!) with a goats cheese sandwich. Both lush. It’s the kind of place you could sit in for ages & no one would bother you.

After lunch, we went for a wander. We popped into a few independent book shops & record stores. Before long, our tummies were crying out for something to eat & our feet were wanting to be rested. There were a few options to go to but we decided on trying somewhere new. So we went to the Nexus Art Cafe. We weren’t disappointed! It’s got a real shabby chic feel to it, & again felt like a fab place to curl up with a good book. I’ve been a real healthy eating kick recently so when I saw the huge slices of brownie, I knew I’d earned it. It was delicious & rich. I couldn’t finish it. My OH went for an almond slice & massive hot chocolate. We were happy travellers!


Friday night saw us eating at the vegetarian restaurant Bistro 1847. (See my separate review here). The biggest problem came with breakfast the next morning. We didn’t want to eat at the hotel, as they cost £13 each! But not many places were open early & my course started at 9.30am! Starbucks got our business. I’m not against Starbucks – it’s where my love of chai started; but their coffee isn’t the best & the chai can be different at every store. However, I’ve never had breakfast there before so we gave it a try. I had the porridge with a fruit compote & it was pretty good. I wouldn’t make a beeline for it again, but if there was no other option I woulnd’t mind it.


After my course, we had time for lunch before our train in the afternoon. Again, my OH came up tops with this little find: Cornerhouse. It had such a great vibe & the service and food were outstanding. The food I would usually go for weren’t on the menu, which is good as it meant I had to try something new. I went for the selection of dips, with crusty bread & shared the sweet potato wedges. Wow! If you’re ever in Manchester, visit this place. It is awesome! You could spend the whole day here.

Malmaison Bar

All in all it was very lovely trip, with great food, wine & company! While we didn’t shop or sight-see much, we did plenty of walking. Enough to burn off all the wine that we consumed…and there was plenty of that! x

Bistro 1847

Thick chips

My OH & I went to Manchester last weekend so we’d spent ages looking for a restaurant that would suit us both. Lots of people on Twitter recommended Bistro 1847 so we decided to give it a go. The on-line menu looked pretty good & a little different to other veggie places so off we went.

When we arrived we were seated promptly near the door. I was worried we get chilly from the draught, but this wasn’t an issue, as very quickly, the restaurant become boiling! Even the windows were fogging up. I was very warm, but my OH was uncomfortably hot. There Deep Fried Tofuwere ceiling fans, but these weren’t used. Maybe everyone else was used to it – we weren’t! It was such a shame, as it was the only criticism of our evening there.

For starters, we ordered the fried tofu with wasabi, soy sauce & satay, along with some edammame beans to share. They were all delicious. I prefer my edammame beans quite plain, but the lemon oil did add a nice kick to the meal. The dishes were served in these quirky bowls & looked fab. All washed down well with a fabulous merlot. There was a steady stream of people, not too many and not too few. The waitresses were attentive without being annoying. The decor was great too. If anyone thinks veggie food is just about boring old lentils, then they should head here.

For our mains, I had the deep fried tofu again. Mainly because it came with chips but also because I like tofu when it’s done really well & I don’t cook with it very often so to have it is a real treat. And it was a real treat. The chips were lovely and the sauce that came with itThick chips added real flavour. I didn’t really like the mushy peas, mainly because I don’t really like mushy peas! But my OH assured me that they were delicious. He had virtually the same meal as me, but his tofu was swapped for deep fried halloumi.

I wasn’t expecting to feel quite so full, but I was stuffed. The batter on the tofu & the halloumi was more like tempura batter. It was pretty light & delicious, not thick & greasy. We finished our wine & headed out. It was a very reasonable meal. We didn’t have desert for two reasons: One was that we were full and the other is because none of the deserts really grabbed us. If creme brulee had been on the menu, then I would have sacrificed a starter, but not for a poached pear. (I don’t class fruit as a pudding, unless its in a crumble or a pie!)

If you’re looking for somewhere to eat, where veggies & meaties will be happy, then this is the place for you. I’d definitely go back!