Category Archives: cafe

Afternoon tea at And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon

And the dish ran away with the spoon didsbury

Winning an afternoon tea at West Didsbury teashop And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon was a delightfully lovely surprise. I’d forgotten that I entered a competition on Didsbury Life, so was most pleased after a very hectic week to receive a phone call to tell me I’d won.

Having been open for a year-and-a-half, the little tearoom is set on Burton Road, in the heart of West Didsbury. With gorgeous retro chairs and tables, vintage cake stands and vivid turquoise blue walls, Dishes and Spoons is a relaxing, bright and airy space.

It’s not just cupcakes here, there’s everything from carrot cake, red velvet cake, scones, biscuits and even retro hardboiled sweets. This is a Great British celebration of traditional baking at its best.

The slabs of sponge are washed down with a choice of loose teas from the Brew Tea Company in Liverpool or fair trade Union roasted coffee.

Cakes at Dishes and Spoons

The afternoon tea is available on Saturday and Sundays from 1pm, and at £10.95 per person is amazing value. With a tier of sandwiches, freshly-baked scones and three cakes EACH, this is a belt-loosening treat. It has been recommended to me before, but I’d never had a chance for a tasting session.

Sandwiches are either egg mayonnaise or ham and mustard and are really just a polite nod to savoury before the cakey-sconey fun begins. The scones were beautifully light with that home-baked freshness and are served with a choice of jams and cream.

Chocolate-dipped strawberries are an attractive juicy palate-cleanser before the final tier of cakes. We were given cupcakes, chocolate brownies, red velvet cake and carrot cake. See what I mean about the amazing value for money? We didn’t manage all the cakes in one sitting, and got them packaged up to eat over three days.

The chocolate brownies were the moistest, fudgiest, most delicious brownie I’ve ever tasted. It still tasted good a few days later, and surprisingly hadn’t dried out at all. With a thick cream cheese topping, the carrot cake was a chunky hunk of goodness, and the cupcakes were delicate and pretty. The red velvet cake was just as tasty, with the deep red coloured sponge seeming quite dramatic against the white cream filling and topping.

Dishes and Spoons is run by Anna and James, who came back from a trip to Australia with a yearning to create the amazing treats they found (although I didn’t realise that Oz was famed for its cakes). Burton Road is the perfect places for this venture. I can see why it’s so popular, appealing to students, young professionals and families.

They also do a roaring trade in take-out, giving a fantastic bustle to the place. But be warned, they do sell out so don’t be late!

This teashop exemplifies everything Manchester does best. An independent place, full of personality doing what they do very well and doing it with passion.

230 Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2LW (opposite the co-op)
T: 0161 637 5517
T: @dishesandspoons


Home Sweet Home, Edge Street

Now I spend most of my life at my own little home sweet home looking after Little Mr Manchester Is Ace, how strange that my first blog post back would be about a new cafe called Home Sweet Home.

I’d been told about a new dessert bar on Edge Street but when I went for a stroll down the hipster street in the Northern Quarter, I could see no such thing. read more »

Bread and Butter (or how piadinas changed my life)

Bread&butter northern quarter
Two weeks ago I didn’t even know what a piadina was. Now I’d eat them for breakfast, lunch and tea if I could (yes really). After months of wanting to go and check out Bread and Butter in the Northern Quarter I finally got there. One lunchtime visit was thwarted because it was just too busy, but now I have finally cracked it. Get there before 12.30pm and you can lounge on the sofas while they make your lunch, and you get the pick of the cakes.

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Secret Garden in Northern Quarter’s Nexus

Nexus art cafe gardening

Nexus cafe is creating a secret garden in the small courtyard at the back of its basement cafe – and it needs your help. I’m actually sitting in Nexus as I type looking out the back at the ladders and trellises, and can’t wait to see it finished. Over the past few weeks it’s been designed by volunteers and will have decking, gravel and lots of planters for flowers. By the looks of it it will be a real sun trap and if we ever see any sun this year, will be very pleasant.

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An Outlet

As far as names go, it’s as far removed from its predecessor as it could be. An Outlet is stark and utilitarian, whereas Love Saves The Day was flimsy and romantic.

Love Saves The Day, owned by ex-Simply Red drummer Chris Joyce and his wife Beckie, had a chequered past with the original branches in the Northern Quarter and Deansgate going bust after a problem in 2005. The second coming with branches on Thomas Street, Deansgate and Piccadilly Basin all sadly went into administration in October 2008.

An Outlet food

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Take a trip to Oklahoma in the Northern Quarter

Oklahoma Northern Quarter Manchester

by Carolyn Hughes

Oklahoma is a quirky little place that makes the Northern Quarter exactly what it is. Hiding behind big wooden doors on High Street, this is a colourful treasure trove of kitsch gifts, notebooks, light shades, greetings cards, retro sweets, as well as a cafe.

The cafe intermingles with the shop section with tables overflowing, and there is even a DVD section on the far wall. An art gallery promises to be downstairs but I’ve never been down because you have to ask someone to unlock it for you, which is a bit of a turn off.

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