Although we love Manchester, city centre living can get a bit grey. You can go weeks without escaping and often the only garden you get to see is the concrete jungle that is Piccadilly G.
Stepping into Allotment in the Northern Quarter was like a breath of fresh air. It’s open and spacious with greenery and colourful florals adorning every wall. They’ve gone for a gardening theme but, with all the fairy lights shimmering above you, it was a far cry from your grandad’s shed. It felt like being on the set of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
So this wasn’t our first time in Allotment. We knew it as a pretty decent Gin bar. And by decent, we mean “has a gin journal with over 40 types of gin”-decent.
So we started the afternoon off with something fruity…
What we didn’t know was that Allotment did such great food. We had some of the lighter bites- a chicken and apple sandwich and a fish finger butty (done posh, obviously). Although they don’t actually grow anything on site, everything is locally sourced and made fresh, and you can tell. The portions weren’t too shabby and the flavours were amazing. For most places, a side salad is just an afterthought to give the food-phobic who don’t order chips. In this place, I got a lovely garnish of mixed spiralized vegetables which were definitely worth the embarrassment of trying to get them into my mouth with a shred of elegance (it wasn’t pretty).
I probably don’t think I could say anything that would add to those photos- they say it all. What’s amazing about Allotment is they make classic comfort food feel light and fresh, and their desserts demonstrate this perfectly.
The carrot cake- which is characteristically dense- had loads of nutty texture and was balanced out perfectly with the creamy ice cream layers. Eating mud cake can sometimes feel like wading through a bog, but this one had a zingy vimto ice lolly accompaniment to revitalize the palate after every gooey bite.
Research says it’s good for you to be surrounded by nature, so what better excuse do you need to grab a gin in the lovely surroundings of Allotment? The only problem is i’m not going to be able to leave without having a cake next time…