Plus: Milk (not beer) cartons, Czech pastries and a new kids' menu at The French

Twas the week before hospitality Christmas and all through the town, folks braved bars and restaurants as it bucketed it down. 

Our burgeoning poetry careers aside, Andy Burnham was straight back to work and Greater Manchester's food and drink peddlers geared up for another, levelled up "Super Monday". Our content forecast predicted strong northerly pastries, a drizzling of pretty plates, patches of illustration, and a warm front of sepia-tinged retail memories.

Scroll on for our weekly round-up of filthy, funny, and full-fat social media content from Manchester's food and drink scene. 

What the brook?

If you’ve never been for a weekend jaunt to Greenfield up in Saddleworth and popped into The Old Cobblers for a mooch around, it’s something to put on your to-do list. You can get all sorts there: natural wines, mini cans of Negroni, pottery, quality woollen socks, local cheese, cookbooks, and this enticing brownie cookie hybrid from Saddleworth Brownies.

Let the post-lockdown dating begin

Top memeing from the Temple Bar team here as they await the influx of Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge enthusiasts making up for lost time. Spare a thought for the bartenders quietly biting their tongue in the background and if someone’s telling you that you’re the first, always take it with a pinch of salt.

Wort every penny

This week’s prettiest plate comes courtesy of Masterchef winner and self-accredited inventor of fine dining delivery, Simon Wood. Look at that cod, for starters. Just look at it, all marbled like a precious stone with a shoal of pickled tempura cockles for company. Simon’s even been kind enough to add some pennywort in there because he knows we like a pun. Bravo chef.

Manchester pudding prints

We love it when the worlds of food and art collide, especially when it’s for a good cause. So feast your eyes on these Manchester Dessert prints courtesy of illustrator Aimee Hamby. Available in packs of four, featuring the likes of colourful pud maestros Idle Hands and Siop Shop, profits will go to mental health charity Manchester Mind.

Duck'in Donuts

Think you know doughnuts? If you've not tried Tast Catala's dinky pair of foie gras ones - dipped in white chocolate with a dusting of raspberry powder, you doughnut know shit. The controversial snacks are back so now's your chance to duck in. Yes, they do bear a striking resemblance to a more famous but equally artery thickening version. 

Napoli via Prestwich

Fancy a trip to Naples but nowhere near a vaccine passport? Save yourself the airfare and go to Prestwich instead. Lupo Caffè Italiano has got the goods to transport you to a host of Italian destinations via just a few mouthfuls of pastry. Close your eyes, bite into a Crostatine with pastiera Napoletana and swig on an espresso free from the stress of Ryanair’s luggage allowance.

The Retail OG

Some quality shade for the haters last week courtesy of General Stores head, Mital Morar. With a nostalgic nod to his family convenience store roots (cute dungarees, Mital), he’s come a long way from his youth whilst keeping it in the family. You come at the King, you best not miss.

The French announce new lego-inspired kids menu

Well not quite. Got your attention though, didn’t we? Adam Reid made a cake last week for what we assume was a small child and the results were strong. An ode to Lego Ninjago - there was colour, emotion and even what looked like smarties. Henry is a lucky boy and we're secretly hoping it'll be a new addition to The French's menu for 2021.

Czech out these pastries

New micro-bakery Batard is popping up all over the show at the moment. At the weekend, it was moonlighting in Ancoats with these incredible looking blueberry and poppy seed Kolace. These Czech pastries have a cheesecake-like filling and are topped with blueberry sauce. Ancoats pop-up market is becoming a must for your Saturday stroll.

Elvis pastry

We’re not saying we googled peanut facts in order to support a brief paragraph on peanut butter jelly pastries but according to official online peanut resources, the average peanut farm is 200 acres and two peanut farmers who have been elected US president are Jimmy Carter and Thomas Jefferson. Peanuts aside, we’re also here for almost tessellating pastries.

Trot to Totty for coffee

Canter get started in the morning without a coffee kick? Neigh problem. Spice & Grind has converted a horsebox into a coffee truck and parked up in Tottington to perk up the park walkers. We don't want to nag you but we know what a mare you can be when you've not had your morning brew. Stay stable and filly your cup here on Saturdays and Sundays.

It saison ere that it's just milk

Nothing to see here, Didsbury’s Saison Bar tells us. Just normal milk. Fair enough we think, normal milk, makes sense. All of the signs suggest it’s legit. Missing person on the side, multiple mentions of the word "milk", and some allergen advice. But wait a minute. This isn’t prohibition. Why would they be serving milk in cartons? It’s got to be a ruse. We see you Saison, we see you.

Eddie helps us Shep out of our confit zone

Tofu sometimes gets a bad rap. It shouldn’t, but life can be cruel. There are people out there who’re doing right by tofu though, small acts of tofu justice. One of those people is plant-based chef Eddie Shepherd. Last week he shared this perfectly lit bowl of tofu confit with kombu & thyme, complete with a sweet and sour dandelion infusion. Keep fighting the curd fight, Eddie.

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