The Whitworth Gallery

I love a good art gallery, I find art very relaxing.

But what I like more than the art inside a gallery, is a well designed gallery. I recently went to The Whitworth with my folks and it is an extremely well designed gallery. There was something ‘right’ about the space in there, and the cafe has some lovely views of the park too.

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I love it when a space that houses anything creative is made to feel atmospheric. It makes the space far more experiential. If something is experiential, I’m more likely to be impacted by it and remember it.

Richmond Tea Rooms

Richmond Tea Rooms is a brilliant place to visit if your imagination is in need of a bit of TLC.

I came here last week after my Cat Cafe trip with Lima. I’ve heard a lot about it – it’s an Alice in Wonderland themed restaurant and bar, that also puts on drag shows. Amazing right?

I am all about nurturing your imagination. I think that if anything can be made immersive, it should be. It’s something I think the UK often falls short on – and that cities like Melbourne (talking about Melbourne again Fran? Not like you!) get 100% right. Our experiences directly affect how we behave and we approach our day to day lives. That’s why I believe that nurturing your imagination and giving it time to play, is key to maintaining an open mind and to generally being a decent and happy human being.

Anyway, all that aside, they also do GREAT finger sandwiches here! I had the Hatter’s Tea which costs about a tenner, and I definitely think you get your money’s worth for that. Here’s what it looks like inside:

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I enjoyed this place, really want to come back for a drag show! Another one to add to the ever-growing list!

Cat Cafe Manchester

I love cats!

Those of you who have been following me on social since the Melbourne days will know that just after I left Melbourne, a cat cafe opened there. This was almost more heartbreaking than leaving such a great city and a French boyfriend behind was.

Whilst I’ve found no Frenchies here in Manchester, there is now a Cat Cafe. Get. In.

I arrived early (standard) and lingered in front the entrance, not letting myself walk around the corner where I would have seen the cats. Delayed gratification.

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The Northern Quarter reminds me a little of Fitzroy

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When Lima arrived we marched right in. There are about ten cats at the cafe and they all looked very well looked after to me. For £11.95 per person you get a hot drink and an hour of cat heaven.
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The reason I love cats so much is because I think they’re absolutely hilarious. They love people who hate cats, and hate people who love cats. They literally don’t give a sh*t what others around them are doing.

I found out recently that there are cat yoga classes here every week too – normal yoga, but amongst cats. What a GREAT idea!
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It was an hour well spent, and we dragged ourselves away very reluctantly at the end. There were a lot of facial expressions like this one:

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I think the cat cafe is a great place to come if you want to be somewhere relaxing – cats are relaxing animals to be around most of the time I think. It’s also a great place to come if, like me, you bloody love cats.

The Elk of Chorlton

Another great brunch spot in Manchester for you today, The Elk of Chorlton.

I took my brother here this morning before he left to head back to Yorkshire. I had smashed avocado and he had roast tomatoes with spinach and an egg. I like it because it feels cosy and also because it’s relatively small – meaning it never gets too overcrowded or hectic as some of the brunch spots I’ve been to in Didsbury can do. For the sort of food they serve and where in Chorlton it is I’d also say The Elk is pretty cheap!
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My brother paid a flying visit last night to see my flat and get a taste of life in Manc land. We went to HOME to see a play called Ghosts, it was not what I expected but very good!

It’s actually been a very hectic weekend. On Friday I had a CrossFit taster class followed by a few cocktails at Albert’s Schloss (a place I will blog about soon, promise!), and yesterday I went to the Imperial War Museum for a look around. It was fantastic – I’m hoping some of the photos on my phone are blog-worthy because I’d really like to write about it.

I’m going to another CrossFit class this afternoon (don’t ask me why I’ve squeezed two into one weekend because honestly, I don’t know).

Ziferblat, Edge Street

I’m writing this whilst actually in Ziferblat on Edge Street. A place I’ve been meaning to come to to for a while.

Here, you pay for your time rather than for your tea or coffee. It’s a great balance between cafe and coworker space, with the shared kitchen space creating lots of opportunities to get to know the people using the cafe with you.

I can see myself spending many a late evening here when my office eventually moves to the Northern Quarter. There’s something about being surrounded by background noise and people that makes it easier to focus!

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There are lots of cakes and biscuits on offer, as well as fruit and bread – you can even make yourself some toast. The idea is everyone clears up after themselves and pitches in to keep the place clear and pleasant. There are board games to play and lots of comfy, old chairs to sit in. I get the impression there’s a few Ziferblat regulars that come here – this is what makes it feel more coworker space than cafe.
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The perfect place for laptop club with friends!