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The Laundrette, Chorlton…

February 18, 2014

It’s really good to see that the launderette on Beech Rd, has been reinvented – as, The Laundrette. And although I couldn’t wash my smalls, we did have a very nice breakfast. Smoked salmon scrambled eggs on the most lovely toast, mushroom & ham omelette – and two coffees and two juices included in the price. Not bad for just over £14.00 – especially as the portions were very generous.

An evening trip is now in order – the menu again looks very tempting, and it’s good to see that gluten free pizza bases are also on offer.

A Lush Treat

January 31, 2014

Last Saturday saw the first Farmers’ Market & Craft Fair of 2014 at The Horse & Jockey, on Chorlton Green (fourth/last Saturday of the month 11am – 4pm). Although smaller than it has been in the past, the traders were all really good quality – all different and selling different produce. In one fell swoop, you could stock up on bread, meats, sweet treats, cereals (with gluten free varieties – thankyou Morning Glory!), homemade pies, very tasty Indian delicacies, greetings cards, art prints, jams and preserves & eggs – almost completely meaning that a weekend trip to a supermarket wasn’t really needed.

However, no trip to one of our local, independent South Manchester markets can be complete, surely, without a purchase being made from Lush Brownies… Dare you to resist😉

There are a number of independent markets which operate around South Manchester throughout the month – for dates and locations see our Market Guide over on Chorlton Life.

A Hot Weekend in Chorlton…

July 5, 2013

It’s looking like it’s going to be a bit of a scorcher this weekend, so we thought we’d do a quick round up of what’s going on in and around Chorlton – unless, of course, your plan is just to lie in the garden & soak up the rays.

First up, is the Chorlton Beer  & Cider Festival at St Clement’s Church. This is the ninth festival and this year it will be the biggest yet, with around ninety cask ales, fifty ciders & perries and a range of bottled foreign beers. There is a Tutored Cider & Perry Tasting at 1.00pm on Saturday 6th July – tickets are priced at £15.00 per person, which includes entry into the festival, when it opens to the public at 2.00pm.

Sunday 7th July sees the Beech Road Family Festival – please note that there is an emphasis on this been an event for the family, with plenty of activities taking place on Chorlton Green.

If you fancy a bit of al fresco eating, you certainly won’t be struggling to find somewhere – Beech Rd is sure to be teeming with sun-chasing diners, and if it’s a sausage that you’re after, don’t forget Sausage Pan Saturday at the Barbakan Deli. If it’s not too hot already for you, don’t forget that you can find Barbarella & The Hungry Gecko in the garden of The Beech Inn, serving up hot, spicy & utterly delicious Asian street food. Also at The Beech Inn, is the weekly ChorltonVintage Market on Saturday 6th July from midday.

A little bit further afield is the Manchester International Festival, including all of the free events in Festival Square (Albert Square). And if it’s a laugh you’re after, why not hop across on the tram to Didsbury Cricket Club on Sunday evening for Didsbury Comedy Club? (Tickets £6 on the door, opens at 7pm).

Whatever you’re doing, enjoy what seems to be the start of our Chorlton summer🙂

The Hungry Gecko Comes To A Stop…

June 16, 2013

After much travelling, The Hungry Gecko  has found a new home – and the very beautiful Barbarella is now very conveniently parked up in the Beer Garden of  The Beech Inn, just off Chorlton Green. On a sunny afternoon, there’s nothing better than a cold dry white & a packed box of Asian street food goodness. That summer cold that had been lingering was seen off in a jiffy – the Beef Rendang & Veggie Noodles were not only flavoursome and filling, but they packed a punch, too. Perfect🙂

The hatch at The Hungry Gecko opens at 5.00pm Thursdays and Fridays and 12 noon on Saturday and Sunday. With portions averaging at £5-£6 this is pub grub. With a twist. Highly recommended. (And, as an added bonus, where possible, all packaging is biodegradeable and produce sourced is local and sustainable).

Chorlton Arts Festival Kicks Off…

May 19, 2013

…well, not literally, but it did begin in style on Friday evening with a very initimate event at St Ninian’s Church. Yes, Friday night found us in church, sipping wine in the pews and awaiting the appearance of Mr John Bramwell…

This opening event was another in a series of  “Up Close” interviews with Dave Haslam, and proved to be a blistering start to the Chorlton Arts Festival. John Bramwell (I Am Kloot) was on top form – if you’ve never seen him before, can only recommend that you put that right ASAP. He is a genuinely funny & charismatic character, alarmingly honest – and anyone who can pop off the stage to fetch himself a bottle of rose, is definitely one of a kind. He took questions from the audience – and it was obvious from the rapport between John & the audience that he has a very devoted following. The second half of the event was something which had not been publicised – an acoustic gig, in the very atmospheric surroundings of the church. Starting with “The Same Deep Water As Me”, we were treated to a set which included “Gods & Monsters”, “From Y0ur Favourite Sky”, “The Moon Is A Blind Eye”, an *amazing* rendition of The Beatles “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road” and to end, “Blackbird”. We’re still not sure if we were privvy to an exclusive, or perhaps it was just the wine talking, but the final words were – “If I don’t do anything else with the band , well that’s that…

Saturday saw a very different event at The Arts Festival – the return of the Craft Fair, which just seems to get better and better every year. Now completely filling both floors of St Clements Church, and the grounds outside, this is a fair which attracts very high end crafters and artists. We spent a very enjoyable afternoon pottering around the various stalls and meeting some very creative people…

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To make sure you don’t miss a thing at the Chorlton Arts Festival – on until Sunday 26th May –  make sure you check out the website, and the calendar.

Chorlton Coffee Festival Preview by Richard Frost

May 17, 2013

When it comes to festivals, it’s fair to say Chorlton’s well served already, but guest blogger Richard Frost is getting excited about a new addition that could just be the icing on the cake.

At the start of each year, I set aside a bit of time to look at what festivals are coming up near where I live in Chorlton. Everything I find then gets put online in the form of the  Chorlton Festival Calendar, mainly as a reminder to myself to keep the dates free. Although the thing is, the calendar’s been getting ridiculously overcrowded recently. This year alone sees the return of Chorlton Arts Festival, the Horse and Jockey summer solstice, Chorlton Beer Festival, Chorlton Book Festival, the Chorlton Traders Festive Lights Switch On, the Horse and Jockey winter solstice…you get the idea.

What this means is that any new festival has to offer something pretty unique to stand out. And, Chorlton Coffee Festival, which takes place for the first time from 28th – 30th June 2013, sounds like it fits the bill.

I’m not involved in Chorlton Coffee. Hell, I don’t even drink that much coffee. But even so, this is one festival I really don’t want to miss.

That’s probably because there’s so much going on. As a keen cyclist, one of the events to catch my eye straight away is the Tour de Café South Manchester – a bike ride round some of the area’s top cafes. There’s also loads happening in Chorlton Central Church, the festival hub, on Saturday 29th May (adult entry £3, child entry £1). Tastings, exhibitions, late-night films, workshops on how to become a home barista, and more still to be announced. Keep an eye on the festival’s super-active social media accounts for the latest – they even gave away a coffee hamper on Twitter last week!

It’s also impressive just how many places are getting involved. More than thirty venues round Chorlton have agreed to take part, including the likes of Battery Park, Chorlton Eatery, Post Box Café and the superb On the Corner, which, for Richard’s money is the best juice bar in south Manchester.

The idea for Chorlton Coffee Festival comes from Lorelei Loveridge, a Canadian teacher who lived in the Middle East until recently. Having moved to Chorlton, she was surprised to find nobody would serve her coffee late at night so took matters into her own hands and decided to organise Manchester’s first ever festival celebrating the wonders of caffeine. This is the result.

If you’d like to get involved, Lorelei and her team are recruiting volunteers as we speak. Alternatively, there’s still time to register a venue, set up an event or sponsor the festival but you’d best be quick. Or like me you could just show up on the day and see what happens.

It’s hard not to feel excited about such a big festival launching right on our doorstep. Then again, maybe that’s just the coffee talking.

With thanks to Richard Frost. To find out more about Richard, visit his blog here.

Chorlton’s (Very) Big Breakfast

February 24, 2013

If there’s one thing we’re not short of in Chorlton, it’s places to have breakfast. We’re awash with fabulous independent eateries, most of whom offer a wide varieties of breakfasts. So, when Electrik Bar announced the arrival of the Big Breakfast, and we saw the comments on Twitter from people who flocked there last weekend, we thought we needed to go give it a go.

The Brooklyn Breakfast @electrikbar was stunning

@Electrikbar wow, check out my lovely breakfast, the Brooklyn, I can’t wait!

New in! Breakfast @Electrikbar MCR Absolutely spot on. Get yourselves down here!

@Electrikbar has gone breakfast crazy! The place is heaving, with long waiting times. Thankfully there’s Anchor Stout to ease the wait!

Just got home from a lovely little Saturday breakfast with my housemates at Electrik Bar! I suggest going for the Brooklyn Breakfast. Perfect way to start a sunny day in Chorlton

Electrik Big Breakfast Menu

Electrik Big Breakfast Menu

The choice on the Big Breakfast menu is really extensive – and there’s more than a nod to breakfasts from around the globe. Obviously, the Full English, takes pride of place, but there’s also the New York influenced Brooklyn & the very interesting Scandinavian. If you fancy a veggie option, more thought than the usual veggie sausage has gone into this one, with a cheese & spinach frittata (plus trimmings) being one of the choices. Smaller options are also available if you want something a bit lighter – salmon & scrambled eggs, kippers, eggs done your way, pancakes stacks and granola. So, what did we go for?

Having seen the menu previously, the Brooklyn & the Full English were the easy choices, although I was intrigued by the Scandinavian, and think that will be the choice for the next visit. First thing that a breakfast MUST consist of in my book, is a BIG cup of coffee – and Electrik didn’t disappoint. They even get brownie points for the cutesy mini bottle of milk –

A big cup of coffee...

A big cup of coffee…

The breakfasts themselves didn’t disappoint. The portions are BIG – there’s absolutely no scrimping here, and with a full rack of large sliced toast to accompany the breakfast, you won’t be needing to eat for some time! The table behind us were equally as impressed with the size of the portions, so it wasn’t just us having small appetites.

The Full English is described on the menu as consisting of Slack’s Cumbrian farmed whole pork sausage, streaky Ayrshire bacon, vine tomatoes, hash browns, mushroom, Bury black pudding, beans and eggs any style – every single item was cooked perfectly. The Brooklyn is a breakfast I would definitely recommend – probably slightly lighter than the Full English, but an absolute winner. A plate full of State side Buttermilk pancakes, sweet cure Ayrshire bacon, Slack’s Cumbrian farmed whole pork sausage patty, eggs any style and home fries. Not being a lover of baked beans, this was my kind of breakfast!

The Big Breakfast

The Big Breakfast

Other plus points. Fantastic service – attentive staff, but not in-your-face. Obviously excellent music. Very good coffee. And, for me, the absolute test was passed – clean ketchup bottles. I cannot bear clogged up, sticky ketchup sauce/bottletops – surely it takes very little to give them a wipe down, so very delighted that this is exactly what Electrik does!

Overall verdict? GO & enjoy! The Electrik Big Breakfast is bloomin’ beautiful – and available every Saturday from 10.00am. Lighter options served until midday and The Full English, The Brooklyn, The Scandinavian & The Vegetarian served until 2.00pm.

The full menu can be found on the Electrik website.