This weekend my parents came up from the shire to visit, so Darren and I were on the hunt for somewhere cosy and relaxed to go for dinner to catch up with them. We were recommended The Art of Tea in Didsbury, so on Saturday night, we hopped in the car to pop on over, settle in and have a good old natter.
The Art of Tea is an independent cafe bar specialising in all sorts of loose leaf teas as well as yummy meals cooked with fresh, locally-sourced produce. We sat on these gorgeous old church pews which I thought were a lovely touch, and definitely caused a bit of amusement when a random (and rather large) man sat down on the other end and made Mum and I bounce up, feeling like we were on a sea saw! The walls were covered with artwork from local artists and I quite fancied taking some of the beautiful butterfly drawings home with me.All of the food and drink was served with a mish mash of vintage crockery, from the kitsch to the quaint.Time for the tea…we were spoilt for choice with options but went for the English Breakfast and the Moroccan Mint Tea. Although it was a little rainy, it was still a very warm evening so the Moroccan was wonderfully refreshing.The menu had lots of lovely home-made food, focusing on platters, hot pots and freshly-prepared pizzas. Mum went for the Mackerel Salad, filled with generous chunks of Mackerel fillet, watercress, and a mixed leaf salad with a lime, chili and garlic dressing.
Surprise, surprise, I went for the Goat’s Cheese Salad. I have a little bit of an obsession with goat’s cheese right now. This was full of copious amounts of cheese, walnuts, honey, mixed leaf salad and lots of vinaigrette. It was actually really really filling and I only managed about half of it, so Darren eagerly munched up the rest of it.For his main meal, Darren plumped for a pizza topped with pork sausages sourced from the local Axon’s Butchers, Stilton and red onion marmalade. The pizza base was light and fresh whilst the sausage was, in Darren’s own words, ‘excellent’. Despite it being the middle of summer, Dad decided to go for probably the most wintery dinner on the menu – The Art of Tea One Pot, a hot pot full of Axons’ beef, slow cooked with ale, potatoes, root vegetables and herbs, served with two chunky slices of bread. Finally, despite feeling very full, we all wanted to have a pudding. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a second stomach specially reserved for puddings, so even if I’m super full after my main course, I can always squeeze in something sweet for dessert!Dad went for the Bakewell tart. Darren and I went for the citrus sorbet. And I had to try a bit of Mum’s Salted Caramel and Peanut Butter ice cream which was absolutely incredible!Feeling super stuffed, we called it a day, but not before having a quick look out the back. Adjacent to the bar is a cute little reading corner, which I will definitely be coming back to when I fancy a quiet weekend afternoon. It’s just the kind of cosy hideaway you want on a cold, rainy afternoon when you want to get immersed in a good book whilst sipping on a warming drink.And in case you’re in need of a new read, the Didsbury Village Bookshop has an adjoining door, so you can peruse a whole host of wonderful second-hand books where you will be bound to find something new that you can lose yourself in. It was a great choice for a relaxing night and scrumptious food, but would be equally as good for a relaxing drink during the day. Who needs Starbucks when you can find a cafe as cosy as The Art of Tea?