March 1st was officially the first day of spring but you would never have guessed it. Not a ray of sunshine nor a crocus in sight.
Instead, we’ve got the kind of snowfall which would have been perfect on Christmas Day. Unfortunately, it’s ten weeks late. And it looks like the Beast from the East has decided to stick around for a while.
In Scandinavia, they have to put up with this kind of weather – and much worse – every winter, yet they deal with it much better than we do.
Or maybe it’s because they have to put up with this kind of weather every winter that they deal with it so well.
We’ve come up with a list of cool, minimalist, and oh-so-instagrammable places in Manchester that capture that Scandinavian vibe to make you want to embrace this weather rather than escape it.
And we didn’t mention hygge once.
This Nordic bar and artisan coffee house (it means ‘thank you’) is inspired by travels throughout Scandinavia and Iceland and feels like a love letter to Reykjavik. It’s the place to go if you’re a coffee lover, serving specialties like North Projekt, their own Nordic-style espresso. You’re guaranteed to feel Scandinavian after drinking that. To go with your coffee, you can also enjoy their own vegan Muesli blend, or a Takk M.A.C. sandwich made with maple smoked streaky bacon, smashed avocado and chipotle ketchup on sourdough.
6 Tariff St, Manchester M1 2FF
Introducing Takk’s baby brother Öl (it’s pronounced ‘earl’ and it means ‘beer’). Nano brewery and keg bar Öl is a collaboration with Dave Foulger, Takk’s chief foodie and the man behind artisan Levenshulme brewery Byrne the Cake. Enjoy their own brews alongside a selection of beers from some of the world’s best breweries at Hatch, the striking new retail and leisure pop-up space under the Mancunian Way.
Unit 2, Hatch, Oxford Rd, Manchester M1 7ED
A kro is a Danish village pub, and at KRO Bar you can expect to find a similarly warm welcome with good food and beer. Run by the Ruby family, who come from Jutland on the west coast of Denmark, KRO offers all-day breakfasts as well as a range of speciality Danish open sandwiches – think smoked salmon with asparagus and mustard cress, cold water Greenland prawns, Danish breaded plaice with remoulade, or Scandinavian gravadlax. You’ll also find Danish meat and fish platters, bottled beers spanning Stalybridge to San Francisco, and flavoured Swedish vodkas.
325 Oxford Road, M13 9PG
Chic Spinningfields drinking and dining destination The Refinery has brought arctic-inspired igloos to Manchester, with electric wood burning heaters, blankets, hot water bottles and Aran jumpers to get you in the cosy atmosphere, as well as speakers and free WiFi. You can warm up with wintry cocktails including a smoky Old Fashioned with Bulleit bourbon, angostura bitters and brown sugar, or a Brandy Snap – a comforting concoction of Courvoisier, double cream, ginger, nutmeg and condensed milk.
2 Hardman Boulevard, Manchester M3 3AQ
Meaning both ‘welcome’ and ‘bon appétit’ in Danish, this unique eatery brings its Scandinavian charms to Chorlton, offering a selection of smørrebrød (rye bread open sandwiches) with a selection of tasty toppings. Although limited, the menu offers a selection of classic dishes including flaky haddock and herring or mackerel, and plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. Scandinavians are known for their sweet tooth, so why not treat yourself to fluffy waffles or some Danish layer cake too, alongside a selection of freshly-baked cakes and pastries.
495 Barlow Moor Rd, Manchester M21 8AG
North Tea Power
Although it doesn’t serve Scandinavian food, with its minimalist décor, recycled wood and school chairs, North Tea Power definitely has that Scandi vibe. If you’re a coffee enthusiast, you’ll be happy to hear that some say this Tib Street café serves the best coffee in Manchester. You can be the judge of that, when you try their espresso-based range using their own seasonal Deerhunter espresso. There’s also hot chocolate and a range of teas, with all-day breakfasts such as potato rosti with hot smoked salmon and booze options including Copenhagen’s Mikkeller beer.
36 Tib St, Manchester M4 1LA
Porter & Cole
Another artisan coffee lounge and lifestyle store designed to create a unique experience under one roof. With a contemporary, lofty design and relaxing music playing in the background, not only is this place well worthy of Instagram, it’s also pet friendly so you can bring your four-legged friends along. You’ll find locally roasted artisan coffee plus delicious foodie treats such as curries and cakes, along with a globally curated selection of stylish homewares you can buy to recreate the experience at home – though sadly not including the owners’ adorable dogs Cole and Porter, who the shop is named after. Make sure you try the Sexy Saturday pie.
124 High St, Manchester M4 5JY