Chapter One Books, Manchester
Nothing gets me out of the door faster than the promise (whether gifted by ‘ohhhh, go on then’ others, or treated to by my ‘well, you sort of…or at least a bit…deserve it’ self) of a slice of cake, especially when I know my forever-fusspot tastebuds are going to be treated to something I’m sure to appreciate…
This is where Chapter One Books comes in, cutting a quietly unassuming, people-lined-windows figure on the ground floor of Chatsworth House (not to be confused with the rather grandiose, and slightly older, Derbyshire stately home), their handwritten ‘push’ and ‘pull’s in doorway suggesting there’s something home grown about the space, weaving a sense of familiarity through finishing touches like Alice-alike glass bottles, full of loose-leaf’d finery, necks strung with handwritten labels bearing ‘drink me’ options like Mandarin Rose Petal (English Breakfast an option for those – like myself – whose tastes don’t run quite so colourful), and cushion strewn corners and couches (all partnered comfortably alongside the fountain-ous extravanganza that trickles water in a way most enchanting!).
A spot that whispers words of home comforts rather than shouting super-polished (the likes of which is megaphoned most magnificently by neighbouring haunts), with an abundance of colours and textures (think little ol’ lady crockery, fluffy pom-pom-adorned walls, sink-into arm chairs that wouldn’t look out of place in front of the aforementioned stately home’s fireplace, and strung-about, escape-into-your-imagination…be a child once more…fairy lights), it’s exactly the space worth frequenting no matter your reason, be it coffee and a chat, a laptop tippy-tap, or, like, a major ‘we need to do this’ meeting, there’s plenty of space to navigate, nooks to sink into, and table tops to lay your bag’s entire contents out across (and, trust me, I’ve tried it – think laptop, charger, phone, charger, and camera plus bag accompanied by tea cup, teapot, and a slice of cake heaven…I made it work!). And that’s even before you take to perusing the book shelves and snapping as many pics as you can to show off your table top delights to their most-est!
I’m an almost-always-get-it-every-time-I-visit fan of their classic Red Velvet, but can also highly (in fact…I’m almost salivating at the thought of doing so) recommend the sticky-as-you-like caramel number I cake-forked during my last visit, washed down with a short and squat (don’t be afraid to ask for extra hot water, those who work in the space are lovely beyond words, and it never feels like any ask is too much of a one for them) pot of tea or two (if you’ve a penchant for the leafy stuff!).
Open 7 days a week from 10am ‘til midnight, I can’t think of a better way (nay…I’m pretty sure there isn’t a better way, you guys – cake at 11pm?! Sign me up!) to satiate one’s late night, sweet-treat cravings!