Today I thought I’d write a lil post about my top three coffee shops in Manchester – spaces that feel like a bit of a refuge for me in the city and that I always like to escape to when I’m having a rough day. They’re spaces that are filled with memories, whether that’s catching up with friends, fuelling myself entirely on mochas whilst tackling an essay or just taking some time to slow down and escape with a book and some cake.
The Art of Tea – Didsbury.
I first stumbled upon The Art of Tea, just off of the high street in Didsbury village, in my second year of University and quickly fell in love. Not only do they do the best hot chocolates, this place is particularly wonderful because if you wander to the back you’ll find Didsbury Village Bookshop. Books are stacked in their hundreds everywhere you turn and you can get some beautiful editions for no where near as much as you’d usually pay – definitely something to keep in mind if you’re looking for gifts for bookish friends too! One of my favourite ways to spend an afternoon is to pick out a book from the shop and then get cosy (tip – the sofas near the counter are the comfiest ever) with a hot chocolate and read. It can be busy on the weekends, but if you go when it’s quiet this place is the loveliest. (a lil shameless product promo of my poetry collection thrown in for good measure)
Takk – Tariff Street, Northern Quarter.
Takk is a relatively recent haunt for me after trying their new store at University Green on the University of Manchester campus. They have three spaces in the city centre – one in Hatch, one at the University and one in the Northern Quarter. I love all three, but the Northern Quarter space is definitely my favourite. Whilst the other two are more clean, minimal spaces their Tariff Street location feels how I think all coffee shops should be – cosy, with slightly steamed up windows and lots of different types of seats and tables. Their mochas are amazing but my favourite thing is their salted caramel brownies, which are one of the best desserts I’ve tried. When I’m having a bad day this is one of my favourite places to retreat to for some quiet.
Chapter One Books – Northern Quarter.
Chapter One feels like an obvious choice when it comes to Manchester coffee shops – a dreamy lil space that’s open until midnight every day. It’s been my location of choice for countless evenings panic writing essays and they do the best cakes – their vegan ones in particular are so good. I’ve lots of fond memories writing or reading or just hiding from the world in Chapter One and I love having a quiet, calming space to go to late in the evening when I’m in need of a pick me up. Finding a seat during the day can be a bit of a struggle but later on it’s usually quiet enough. It’s also beautiful in there, with pretty fairy lights, a fountain and lots of cosy seating – some is perfect for watching people and buses passing by outside, some is completely tucked away up a set of stairs with cosy cushions. Out of everywhere, it’s definitely my favourite coffee shop – the world feels like a much softer place when you’re tucked away from the cold with a slice of lemon cake, a chamomile tea and a good book.