The Barbeque Coffee House and Roastery is a home-grown independent that’s a favourite for coffee aficionados and foodies alike. Set up by local roasters Passion Fruit, the baristas showcase their famous coffee from an impressive brass roaster, with the option of light bites and cakes made in-house and from local suppliers. The destination recently turned cashless and naturally, is considering Bitcoin payments in the future. Very 2018.
With its central lake and grasslands, Chorlton Water Park is an Instagrammer’s dream, especially when the snow hits or the sun makes a rare appearance. Music fans will also lap up posters of music icons which mysteriously popped up around the neighbourhood last year. In the design of black and white playing cards, the posters feature stars including David Bowie, Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis and Prince.
Recently opened Love Thy Neighbour is a one-stop shop for the health-conscious and influential, with its neon signage and tattoo-inspired artwork finishing off a relaxed, West Coast vibe. Complete with an in-house nutritionist, the offerings cater to every diet and time of day, but always with nourishment in mind; from wholesome, leafy dishes to more indulgent cocktails with a healthy twist. Needless to say that location-tagged photos on Instagram are plentiful.
Chorlton, or, to give it its full name of Chorlton-cum-Hardy, is a suburban area found just outside Manchester city centre. While Ancoats and the city’s Northern Quarter have hogged the hip headlines until now, Chorlton is bursting out from the shadows in a confetti haze of independent stores, festivals and arty shops.
While the pace of life in Chorlton may be more laid-back than other areas of Manchester, Chorlton is anything but dull. A walk down Beech Road brings you close to a plethora of bohemian activity. This includes the Creative Recycling Gallery, a gallery and studio space which creates art out of both household and general waste. There’s a range of artistic gifts available to buy inside, as well as regular arts and crafts workshops in everything from glass fusing to bookbinding.
Beech Road visitors are also spoilt for choice when it comes to alternative nightlife, with quirky bars and restaurants lining the street. The Launderette is a popular venue both day and night, serving locally-sourced carbs and cocktails in a laid-back ambience.
Steering things away from Beech Road, things are just as lively elsewhere. Inspired by Berlin’s hip kindercafe culture, Our Kid sells independent kids’ clothing, toys and gifts, while an on-site cafe gives adults the chance to sit down for some locally-sourced coffee and seasonal snacks and kids an area to play in. Meanwhile, Unicorn Grocery is just as magical as its name suggests; it’s a one-stop shop for locals looking for ecological household goods, as well as organic fruit and vegetables.
And talking of fruit and veg, generous portions of vegetarian meals are available at World Peace café (open Thursday to Sunday), found within the Kadampa Meditation Centre. Chill out while tucking into vegan cake and hearty soups and sandwiches, before heading to Chorlton Art Market for unique and affordable gifts made by local artists. The shop also contains retro threads, accessories and more in the form of Autumn’s Vintage Boutique.
Lastly, Chorlton could also well lay claim to being the UK’s hippest festival neighbourhood, hosting not one but several events throughout the year- from the Big Green Happening to the Chorlton Book Festival and Beer and Cider Festival. Chorlton Arts Festival is a 10-day event filled with music, theatre, comedy and more, which has taken place every year since 2000. It’s set to return in 2018.