Recently, I have made a pact with myself not to waste my days off. Rather than indulging in a 10 hour netflix binge and emerging in a cloud of self loathing and social media-induced jealousy, I want to spend the few golden hours a week I get to myself immersed in the kind of laissez-faire activities worthy of an amaro filter and 35 likes on Instagram. (Incidentally I have never had more than 10 likes on Instagram for anything so this is highly ambitious).
It was in this vein that I spent my Saturday a few weeks ago perusing the Antiques in Levenshulme. The cavernous Levenshulme Antiques market holds a wealth of treasures, none of which I parted with money for. Antiquing isn’t really about spending money it is more an imaginary, life sized game of the sims where one party points at an object and says something like, “if we didn’t live in a tiny, mouldy one-bedroom flat and had £200 I would definitely get that”, and the other replies “yeah, or if we had a billiard room”.
In order to make up a morning of truly sickening, rom-com montage-worthy perfection, my boyfriend and I grabbed “a bite” at nearby Trove. We chose Trove because of course it is more trendy than a soya flat white drinking vegan with a beard but also because it is directly opposite the Antiques Market and pretend can be extremely hunger inducing.
Trove is primarily a bakery and I believe it stocks a large number of Manchester’s independent cafes, if the ubiquity of their tiny overpriced croissants is to be believed. However, at the headquarters of their enterprise they have set up a tiny, bustling cafe. The atmosphere is not comfortable, it is not a ‘wile away a sunday reading the paper kind of cafe’. The space is minute, as are the tables, many of which are furnished with stools, not the epitome of dining comfort. Having said his, you do get the feeling of eating inside an engine, the steam from the coffee machine fogs the windows and the space s filled with the chatter of conversation. It is exactly the type of place one hope to stumble upon in the pissing rain.
As to the food, the menu at first sight may appear unremittingly pretentious, as if its creator were awarded points for the number of super-foods he could stuff into one dish, but this is unfair. For the most part, it is not pretension for pretension’s sake. The food tastes good, really good in fact. My salt beef bagel was just what it should be, beautifully soft, pink beef piled high on mounds of puckeringly sharp sauerkraut and pickles served in a soft chewy bagel. My boyfriend had poached eggs and bacon on toast. Unsurprisingly the bread was the star of the show, a yeasty, crusted slab of sourdough riddled with holes and crisped to perfection.
My only gripe was that the earl grey tea I ordered came not as a cafetiere of beautiful dancing tea leaved but a Twinings bag dumped in a mug. This is indicative of a wider trend of coffee triumphing over tea, however, an issue into which I should not delve here. Furthermore, I am reliably informed that their coffee is some of the best.
Cost: £9 a head for brunch and coffee (or tea).