Breakfast at Banyan
Now ask me about where to go for breakfast in Manchester and I can reel you off a list quicker than you can say pronto. However, Monday morning threw a few extra criteria into the mix with some hungry children (including a 1yr old), wet weather, rush hour and 5 ravenous adults not all sharing my affection for smashed avocados. This meant that my usual Northern Quarter haunts weren’t quite appropriate, were too small or too busy and I had to think fast. Then I thought of Banyan Bar & Kitchen, which has just opened at The Corn Exchange. Although it’s already a busy venue for dinner and drinks, but on a Monday morning for breakfast there was plenty of space for us to pile in and relax. We were well looked after and the little ones were made to feel at home. Breakfast options included a full English, super berry granola, porridge, American style pancakes, smashed avocados on toast (naturally), various types of eggs and The Energiser. Despite some initial protests about avocado for breakfast 4 out of 5 of us opted for the Energiser – oat and mixed seed sweet potato hash browns with soft poached eggs, spinach, crispy bacon, with avocado and tomato salsa. Another opted for the full English and the kids had porridge and some really good looking dippy eggs and toasted ciabatta. Gluten free bread is available on request, the coffee was really good and they had a great selection of juices and smoothies to choose from. The interior is contemporary and opulent with lots of polished wood and copper and two great private dining areas located downstairs which would be perfect for a party. I can’t wait to go back to try out their dinner and cocktail menus.
Afternoon tea at the Lowry
As we don’t all get together very often we thought we would have afternoon tea as a treat. The Lowry was the perfect choice as the hotel is only a few minutes walk away from our apartment and they also offer a child friendly afternoon tea which was just perfect for my 8 year old niece. We were offered a choice of teas and the Autumnal menu which included: sandwiches (ham and mustard, cucumber and cream cheese, cheese and pickle and smoked salmon and dill crème fraiche), mini blackberry macaroons, lemon and lavender tarts, chocolate and orange eclairs, hazelnut and vanilla financiers and warm scones with clotted cream and jam. It was all delicious. The not so ‘mini’ afternoon tea included a hot chocolate with whipped cream, sandwiches, a scone, chocolate cake, cookie and jelly and ice-cream and even though my niece couldn’t finish it all it went down a treat
Dinner at Gusto
Gusto has fast become a favourite spot for dinner. It feels special each time we go there without being over the top and the food is always spot on.
This time I opted for the salt baked sea bass (which I have to choose every time I see it on a menu) with sautéed cabbage and pancetta and it kept me silent until it was demolished. I think the hit of the night had to be the build your own pizza from the childrens menu which my niece chose. Complete with a little chefs hat she got to choose her toppings and was presented with a pizza base and the ingredients to construct her own while the big people ate their starters. It was then taken off to be finished in the oven and looked pretty impressive and tasty when it came back. Such a great idea for the kids!