It’s a rarity these days that I get to spend a Saturday mooching around the city of Manchester but just this last weekend the sun shone and it was a beautifully fresh day for strolling the streets and appreciating the city in all its glory. Manchester has so much to offer, not to mention the amazing architectural surroundings, so when it came to stopping for coffee I literally was spoilt for choice. New coffee shops and eateries are constantly popping up around the city with many joining the growing cafe culture of the Norther Quarter. Away from the hustle and bustle of the main shopping area the NQ is a laid back retreat by day. By night its another story but right now we’re talking coffee not cocktails!
With coffee comes brunch so Mr Tea Room and I decided to check out the New Zealand and Australian inspired Federal Cafe and Bar on the corner of High Street and Back Turner Street. We were lucky to get a table since the cafe was already in full swing and filling up with hungry ‘brunchers’.
The brunch offerings here are delicious and dare I say it verging on healthy (unless you opt for the french toast with whipped vanilla mascarpone and salted caramel which I am going back for, try and stop me). This time however I went for the avocado smash with perfectly poached eggs on sourdough toast with crispy (hoorah!) streaky bacon.
Mr Tea Room wolfed down an eggs benedict with bacon without coming up for breath so that was clearly a hit. Coffee was good and strong and the staff were friendly and helpful in particular the one and only waitress who was doing a sterling solo performance of tending to the crowd.
Having eye-spied the amazing chocolate brownies before I’d even sat down to eat, I couldn’t leave without joining the queue for a (huge) portion to take away. It was topped with Malteser’s and was a chunk of gooey, chocolatey, sweet heaven. Federal Cafe you had me at hello.
Because one coffee simply isn’t enough we decided to try out one of the many other independent coffee haunts offering up their best grind. Options included new kid on the block, The Pen and Pencil, perhaps more a bar, but this Mad Men inspired eatery has American themed brunch, coffee and a place to sit and while away the day. Or how about Ezra and Gils urban coffee provisions? Meaning ‘Helper’ and ‘Happiness’. They aim to please with a promise of great food and relaxing surroundings. On Tariff street is the Icelandic inspired coffee house Takk. A creative space serving artisan coffee and guest espresso’s.
By no means last on the list is the Foundation Coffee House on Lever Street. Claiming to be the biggest coffee house in Manchester it is an enjoyably vast space with a gallery feel, serving up a flat white thats yet to be upstaged.
If you’re not wired already then there are yet still more caffeine fixes to be had at North Tea Power on Tib Street and Idle Hands on the approach to Piccadilly station, amongst many, many, many others. Buzzing yet? You will be.