Because the British summertime always lets us down and because we can’t let it get us down, we tend to venture out to my home town of Manchester whatever the weather. We’re used to it raining up here. If it’s not violent sudden downpours, then it’s persistent miserable drizzle. I don’t mind so much, I find the rain homely and comforting and I love nothing more than getting all wrapped up ready to face some weather. On a Saturday not so long ago we did just that, and headed into town to enjoy some coffee and some bookshops and some reading.
First off we headed to my favourite new bookshop in Manchester, Chapter One Books. It’s nestled in the Northern Quarter just behind Picadilly Gardens, and though it looks nothing special from the outside of the concrete prefab it’s in, it’s like a literary wonderland when you get inside. Not only do they do a beautifully curated selection of books, but they do breakfast too – always a winner for us. We tucked into a hearty bowl of chocolate and coconut porridge with a pot of loose leaf tea, before browsing the books on offer. The decor is so different to any other bookshops around Manchester, with a moodily lit corner for horror and a really cute mezzanine adorned in fairy lights.
After fuelling up at Chapter One, we moved onto some of the record shops in the Northern Quarter. Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Revival and the large Oxfam on Oldham Street are all great for picking up something different to listen to. After a good wander around in the rain, we decided to dry off at one of my favourite little cafes in the area. Blue Daisy Cafe is about halfway up Oldham Street, next door to Pop Boutique, and is really easy to miss. There are more seats outside than in, but we managed to bag ourselves a cosy window seat inside the tiny cafe’s shopfront. Piled high with cushions, it’s a cute little place that still serves tea in a big mug and whips up a mean beans on toast. Everything is homemade, and the soups and deli salads are delicious. Loads of veggie options, too! It’s a perfect place to people, watch, with a great view of the streets. Especially in the rain, when people are scurrying about with brollies and jumping over puddles. We managed to while away at least an hour here, before getting a proper soaking on the way back to our car…..