Time for another day out and this time we are hitting the trendy southern suburb of West Didsbury. Be prepared for poached eggs, Prosecco and pugs...
Yeah yeah, I’m obviously a mental case. These Finest Day’s Out are supposed to be a treasure map of where to get pissed in and around Manchester, but hear me out. Not many people know this riverside walk exists and it is just lovely. Go to the end of Burton Road, cross the main road and turn off down Stanton Avenue all the way to the bottom and you will come to a river. Walk along the bank for as long as you want and turn around and come back. If you set off to the right and keep going, you can get to Chorlton Water Park. Honestly, if it is a lovely day, you will forget you are in the city, and there is nothing but nature as far as the eye can see.
Dish & Spoon
So, you’ve finished your morning walk, and it’s time for a coffee and a sugar kick. If you are after cake, then look no further than Dish & Spoon. The coffee is delicious, and they have so many cakes to choose from-I always go for a Portuguese custard tart (pastal de nata) because I swear they are laced with crack, and I just can’t get enough. Also, they are pretty small so you if you don’t think about how much butter is in puff pastry then you don’t feel too guilty. And, anyway, you will need a little extra energy for a spot of shopping…
Dish & Spoon, 230 Burton Rd, Manchester M20 2LW
0161 637 5517
David Gavin Design
You need to poke your head in this shop because it only has the most beautiful stuff. Sure, I can pretty much guarantee that you won’t be able to afford a single thing other than a cute cactus trinket dish, but I love having a squinty in here and you will too. It’s a gorgeous designer interiors shop- if anything you should pop in and make a mental itinerary of all the things you are going to have in the eight-bedroom townhouse you will never be able to afford.
David Gavin Design, 216 Burton Rd, Manchester M20 2LW
0161 445 1116
It’s a shame that Manchester isn’t swimming in decent beer shops, but this little store really makes up for it. Craft beers, ales and ciders from every corner of the world is the name of the game here, and if you, like me, know you enjoy beer as a concept and have no idea what kind you actually like, the staff will be happy to give you a hand. I always love going in before I have people for dinner, not everyone likes wine but a sad bottle of Becks just won’t do and I want something a little more sophisticated. While you are on Burton Road, I urge you to stock up here.
The Epicurean, 226 Burton Rd, Manchester M20 2LW
0161 434 2549
Taste of Honey
It has always been a bit of a fantasy of mine to own a deli, and if I did it would probably be this one. Sure, it’s tiny but it is all it needs to be. Fab coffee and lovely sandwiches and salads to take away, but the best part of this shop is the produce. Stock up on some of their fantastic local cheeses, chutneys and freshly baked Barbakan bread- you won’t regret it when you are hanging out of your arse on Sunday. After all, everyone loves a middle-class hangover snack, don’t they?
A Taste of Honey, 138 Burton Rd, Manchester M20 1JQ
0161 434 5217
Everyone’s been to the Met, right? It is a South Manchester institution and probably the biggest pub for miles concerning size. I’m from the arse-end-of-nowhere in Cheshire, and the Met reminds me of the pubs at home, stylish, a little old-fashioned with a country feel and unapologetically a bit posh. I don’t love the food there but it does the job. The roasts are good and they have a pizza oven outside which always tempts me when I’m three or four beers down. They have loads of drinks available too, especially their Gin selection which is pretty impressive. If you are looking for a place to take your Nanna or a place to kick off an all-dayer than it would have to be the Met hands down.
The Metropolitan, 2 Lapwing Ln, Manchester M20 2WS
0161 438 2332
Please don’t turn your noses up at this one just because it’s vegetarian- the food here is awesome. It is the brainchild of celebrity chef and Sunday Brunch presenter Simon Rimmer and has been going since 1990’s. The food is 100% vegetarian with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options too. Now, I am an avid meat eater but I must say one of the best sausages and mash I have ever had was from Greens. How? Well, you’re going to have to go in and try the Lancashire cheese, sage and onion sausages, mustard mash, roasted beets, beer gravy and onion marmalade for yourselves.
Greens, 41-43 Lapwing Ln, Manchester M20 2NT
0161 434 4259
If craft beer is your jam, then you probably want to spend a significant portion of your evening on Burton Road at Saison. Their drinks menu is massive and caters to your every need- including over 66 different kinds of beer and cider on a list that changes seasonally. The vibe in there is laidback, friendly and casual. It is a sort of ‘come as you are’ type place with cracking music and lovely people- I have never once been to Saison without making a couple of friends along the way. They also have a fantastic, and very non-cliché brunch menu which will tempt you back there again and again- I also hear you can make it bottomless too.
Saison, 236 Burton Rd, Manchester M20 2LW
0161 434 9521
If you live in town and have been to The Refuge, then you will fall in love with its little sister Volta. It has a similar vibe, but on a much smaller, cosier scale which can be expressed no other way other than intimate. The food is banging. It’s all about small plates and sharers with dishes which have taken inspiration from all over the world. On Sundays, you can order a roast dinner platter, and my weekend isn’t complete without one of their spicy as f**k Bloody Marys. I’ll probably get lynched for saying this, but I always group Volta and her next-door neighbour Folk as the same. They are so close and sort of spill into one another. If Volta is full, we will automatically spill over to Folk and vice versa.
Volta, 167 Burton Rd, Manchester M20 2LN
0161 448 8887
West Village/ Another Heart to Feed
This is one of my favourite bars in West Didsbury. It is probably the spot down Burton Road that is the most ‘no-frills’ regarding it’s aesthetic- put it this way, I don’t feel uncomfortable or not cool enough to even be there. Drinks are just what you want them to be, and in my opinion, one of the best G&T’s I have ever had. Why? I don’t remember, but all I know is that I’ve been thinking about it ever since. In the daytime, starting this very weekend, this joint plays host to kitchen pop up and brunch Mecca Another Heart to Feed. They used to live in Chapel Street in Salford but I feel like the people of West Didsbury will welcome it and it’s smashed avo poached eggs with open arms.
I suggest you drink late into the night at West Village, sleep on the bench outside Co-op on the opposite side of the road and then get up bright and early for brunch in the morning- you’ll probably jump the queue too.
West Village, 220 Burton Rd, Manchester