My top dog-friendly picks in South Manchester for 2018.
There’s a lot to be said for dog-friendly locations in Manchester and its surrounding suburbs in 2018. I’d go as far as to say Greater Manchester is more dog friendly these days, than it isn’t.
I see people curling their lips at screaming babies, and over awkward conversations of neighbouring tables, but I rarely see anyone but coo over tiny hounds under coffee tables, or giant Great Danes in your local tap.
It suits Lolli and I; Being able to swan from brunch with friends, to a gander round the shops, to an afternoon Sunday-lunch is one of the most pleasurable things really. Modern society makes it so easy to just cruise around Manchester with a pampered pooch in tow.
But what about the surrounding areas of Manchester? The idyllic Cheshire countryside and the slightly grungier Mancunian suburbs – are they just as welcoming to our four legged friends? Or is it still a nightmare to find a hotspot for you and your suburban-mutt.
It’s been 3 years (can you believe it?!) since I published my first book Pub Dogs of Manchester, and boy, has the landscape of dog-friendly Manchester changed since then. At the time of publishing, there were already newer and shinier establishments popping up all around from Chorlton, to Bury even to Lymm. So I feel like there’s a lot of ground to cover in the 3 years I’ve been absent from the dog-friendly scene.
I’m here to tell you that life does exist for you and your hound outside of the city-centre. At the time of publishing, I was living in a quaint flat in the Northern Quarter, I thought I was trendy AF, living above (one of my faves) Fig + Sparrow. But if Lolli and I can move out from our digs, into the South Manchester village of Northenden, I promise you can too.
Below follows my top picks for dog-friendly South Manchester for 2018.
Brunch – Another Heart to Feed, West Didsbury
I’d go as far as to say moving from Salford to Burton Road, was probably the best thing Another Heart to Feed ever did. Moving to an area where the clientele loves brunch, boozy cocktails and anything with avocado on proved to be a success for this joint venture between AHTF and bar West Village.
Making the place dog-friendly was just the icing on the cake. Lolli, the family and myself frequent this brunch-time favourite often, and the owners even know Lolli by name now. It’s quite small, so if you’re planning on heading down with your Newfoundland, perhaps take a coat and sit outside in winter months, as the place is very popular and tends to get over crowded.
I’d recommend something simple like the free range eggs on sourdough, or if you’re after something more adventurous perhaps opt for the house made beans, or the smashed avo with feta and beetroot hummus. Whatever you choose, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Afternoon Tea – Barristers, at The Courthouse, Knutsford
Lolli, my Mum and myself visited Barristers restaurant at the Courthouse Knutsford back in June for a treat for my Mum’s birthday. When you step inside it’s a spectacle to behold – somewhat of an illusion from the front; you’d expect something grand and perhaps even a little stuffy, but I promise you that is not the case at all.
The staff are warm and inviting and so welcoming of dogs. We sat on the dog-friendly lower level, where in the olden’-days people would have waited in the docks, and then tried before been locked up – very cool.
Our waitress gave Lolli a good old fuss and immediately brought her over a water bowl without us even asking, and fed her a treat. Lolli, as you can imagine, was in her element. The afternoon tea in-itself was delicious. An eco-nominal £23 for ‘Rose Bubbles Afternoon Tea’, or the same amount for a ‘Yorkshire G&Tea’, loves me a pun. You can understand how and why The Courthouse has become a hit with the dog-friendly locals of Cheshire.
Dinner – Tre Ciccio, Bramhall
I can’t really go on without mentioning Tre Ciccio in my round-up for 2018, can I? Such a huge part of my year, Tre Ciccio are one of my main clients. So you can imagine my glee when they announced that the terrace at the Bramhall site would be not only be heated, but dog-friendly as well. I think Lolli and I rushed down quicker than you can say ‘have you got the poo bags?’
Bold statement time – I think Tre Ciccio do the best pizza in Manchester, end of argument. And no, this is not because they’re one of my clients. Jon and I have become somewhat pizza-connoisseurs over the last 19 months of being together, and we’ve sampled some of what pizza Manchester has to offer.
100% worth travelling out of the city-centre with your hound for – only 20 minutes on the train from Piccadilly, don’t you know… – Tre Ciccio do some of the best antipasti, roasted chicken and pizza I have ever tried. And please don’t get me started on the Tiramisu *give me strength*.
The heated terrace sits on Bramhall lane, and is beautifully enclosed by the shrubbery at the front, so isn’t too noisy for your fur-babies. They’ve also recently fitted CozyTables, so you and your furry friends can keep toasty and warm in those colder-months.
Clothes – Steranko, West Didsbury
Always one to support an independent over the classic main stream shops, Steranko is a Glass family favourite. Housing clothing and footwear for both men and women, it’s located just further up Burton Road from Another Heart to Feed, and your well-behaved mutts are welcome, as long as they’re kept on lead.
Burton road is more dog-friendly than not, to be honest! So even though we were thrilled to find out Steranko allowed Lolli in, we weren’t surprised. Carrying brands like Birkenstock, Fred Perry, Nümph and Vans, Steranko has a unique style, suited to the likes of its very Mancunian following. If you like petit dresses coupled with grungy belts and trainers, then this place is for you my friend.
Again, perhaps not one for the larger breeds, I’ve only ever been in with my tiny schnauzer, but every time I’ve been in they’re always so accommodating and friendly. The shop is quite small, so just make sure you’re all on your best behaviour.
Drinks – Coffee Fix, Gatley
‘Our local’, if you will. Coffee Fix has inhabited Gatley now for over 8 years, and is a firm fixture in it’s local’s hearts. Advertising itself since the end of the summer as ‘all day barista, late night brew bar’, Coffee Fix has morphed from what was an eatery by day, to now a bar with bites in the evening as well.
Exactly what Gatley needed, somewhere independent and hip that you could go for a late night tipple, of course with your pooch. The owners, being dog lovers themselves, are extremely passionate about all the hounds that come through their front door. So it was only right to carry their dog-friendly attitude into their late night evenings Thursdays through to Sundays.
I’d recommend anything off their cocktail list to be fair, however their Pumpkin Spiced Ice Tea (pictured) was my most recent try, I just wait to make my way through the rest of their cocktail menu.
Something a bit different – La Belle Assiette
Last, but most definitely not least, if you fancy something a little bit different, and can’t bare the thought of heading out into the cold this winter and leaving your fur-baby at home, then a La Belle Assiette dinner is most definitely for you.
Designed in France, brought to all corners of the Globe, LBA champion bringing gourmet, chef-cooked food to you, in the comfort of your own home for you to throw a stylish dinner party for your friends and family.
La Belle Assiette came to visit me in October, and boy, did Chef Kimberley prepare and serve some delectable creations. The concept it super simple, I’ll run you through it – Chef Kimberley bought the food, prepared it from my kitchen, ahead of my guests arriving. Then as everyone arrived, I hosted in the living room whilst Kimberley put all the finishing touches together in the kitchen. She then served and introduced each dish to us, and then she even cleaned up before leaving! What an absolute treat, we all felt very spoiled when she left.
They have three price points from ‘Temptation’ (£39 per guest) to ‘Signature’ (a pricier £89 per guest), which means there’s something for everyone. It’s perfect to create special memories with the ones you love. As as long as you keep your pup out of the kitchen, and out from under your chef’s feet, they’re welcome to stay by your side and enjoy the evening, and your scraps, with you!
Pictured was my favourite dish, dessert (of course) – Banoffee Pie.
Where was your favourite dog-friendly establishment of 2018?
I hope you’ve enjoyed my musings on the matter. I want to start introducing more pooch-related content throughout 2019, Lolli keeps badgering me that she’s a star, and doesn’t feature here on my Blog enough.