Well, Didsbury, to be exact.
While I’m away I’m basing myself in Manchester, with the odd dash to other parts of the UK and Europe. My friends whose spare bedroom I’ve taken over are in Didsbury and I discovered quickly enough that I have a nice yarn shop a few minutes’ walk away: Sew-In of Marple and Didsbury
The yarn choice is conservative, but nice, with some excellent specials. For Australians, I guess the most attractive thing about it is that Rowan seems such a bargain. Oh, and exciting news: Summer Tweed is now being marketed in balls, not hanks. I don’t know how long it’ll be before that development makes an impact in Australia. There was also some Sirdar that I hadn’t seen before. It hadn’t occurred to me but of course Noro is an import yarn and therefore no cheaper in the UK than in Australia. The selection of pattern books and needles is far less interesting, unfortunately. I really needed to buy some needles, but had to wait until I got to K1 in Edinburgh to do so.
As Sarah-Lou commented on my blog post yesterday, it is funny to see how superior Northern Englanders think their diet is compared with the Scots. For a start the breakfast is pretty much identical (at the risk of offending all parties) and green vegetables are an endangered species no less in Manchester than in Edinburgh.
Still, I’ve found some nice places to eat in Didsbury. The Art of Tea is a place to hang out and operates as a bar at night. Food not great from my couple of times there, but that is only comparing it with the standard I’d expect of such a place in Melbourne. Even here, even with this name, tea is in a teabag. I’d swear that’s how the tea comes out of cows here, all neatly banged up in a little square paper sachet. One of the best things about this place is out the back is a really nice, reasonably priced secondhand bookshop.
Now, No. 4 I’m practically addicted to. I’ve been there half a dozen times. Their house-baked bread, soup, risotto, fish and chips with mushy peas…I haven’t had a bad thing there. The cheese plate is not bad either. For Australians at the moment, the good exchange rate makes this excellent value. I’d be happy to go there every day for lunch and work my way through the menu or start again at the beginning.
Also in the Didsbury shopping strip is The Cheese Hamlet. As a consequence I’ve been trying all sorts of English cheeses I’ve never experienced before. Lancashire in various permutations, older and more mature, younger, softer and more bland. Their own prize-winning Gruyere is worth trying and….lots and lots. Nice bread, all sorts of other things that go with cheese. Irresistible.