I used to live in Manchester, which is arguably a city of culture and style. During my days as a student I would nestle in the local cafes, so you're pushed for choice when it comes to off the cuff places to dine. I would frequent the popular areas like the Northern Quarter and the city centre.
You wouldn't imagine you'd find a humble yet exciting cafe which is an active body in the community, as well as serving damn good coffee, tea and cake but that's exactly what I found at the start of the curry mile at The Anchor.
The café has a following not merely because of the food and drink, but because of the cosy features and the downstairs large, canteen-vibe like space, which screams all are welcome.
On the outside it's all clean lines and style, which jars somewhat with the less than polished Rusholme area. You'd think it would be expensive, but it isn't. It's a humble reflection of what a available. The Anchor is truly an anchor - it extends an arm: they have an outreach programme for the hungry, and offer a food bank service every Thursday, for those living below the poverty line.
Whilst The Anchor walks the line of an eco cafe, it is still a grown up hang out. It seems to attract an older crowd; students in their final year as well as young professionals who I felt at home with. It's relaxed, not crazy, not rowdy (like a lot of student cafes) but a chilled environment.
I tried the gingerbread latte, which was only £1.65 because during December they are offering 25% off . What's not festive if not saving you money? The latte was absolutely delicious and just what I needed: warmingly spicy and thankfully sugary.
Mug of goodness
The Anchor is run by a nearby church, who titled the venue after a scripture writing. I enquired about the name and the general manager told me that in the Bible Jesus is described as the anchor. I'm not the religious type, but I found that beautiful.
Amongst the hot beverages they offer an array of (underrated) bagels. For £1.50 you can enjoy any spread (peanut butter, jam, cream cheese/butter), on the New York favourite, and £3.50 for a topping.
If you want that classic Anchor taste, which is somewhat addictive, you can buy packs of their hot chocolate and Monmouth coffee at the counter.
For a cool place to kick back, give The Anchor a try, it won't weigh you down.