The Laundrette, 32 Beech Road, Chorlton. Even the address sounds trendy.
I experienced an afternoon at The Laundrette by accident, as the cafe that I was looking for was closed. I say experience, because it was so all encompassing; the beautiful last days of summer, the friendly staff, the delicious food, and the quintessential cool atmosphere of Chorlton.
The location is perfect, on the corner opposite the park, and around 3pm, all of the school children wander (or run) past, inquisitive as always, a cute reminder of what we all once were; children, wanting what the grown ups have. I'm sure nostalgia wasn't a part of The Launderette's marketing memorandum, and yet there is something about that place.
It's vintage cool vibe was definitely enhanced by the weather, so it will be interesting to see how it fares in winter. Hopefully it will adapt and become cosy and inviting, instead of airy and fresh. As I sat outside enjoying the moment on the comfy big sofas, I was aware of a small smile coming across my face, then the beautiful waitress with sparkly eyes asked me for my order and I noticed that my cheeks were hurting from the grin.
I ordered the pizza with mozzarella and the delicious spicy cured ham that I don't remember the name of and it didn't disappoint. Now usually I don't order pizza, but when in doubt, I'd say order what you're comfortable with. It was thin but filling and you could tell it was handmade fresh there and then, authentic. I could've ordered and devoured it again.
The little rocket and parmesan cheese salad that I ordered with it lifted the very slight greasiness that you get with good pizza from my palate. The only fly in my soup, as it were, was literally that. I ordered a fresh pressed apple juice to come with my main and-because of the hot weather there was a little fly in my drink! I wasn't grossed out at all, I found it quite amusing, but they were quick to replace it with a smile and an apology to boot.
The decor, with the stripped back brickwork and the chalkboard with the specials add to the charm of the place. I can't wait to go with friends next time so we can all order from the menu and try each others food. This place is more than just another Italian bistro meets bar, it feels familiar and keeps you interested.
A laundrette concept is cool, not in a domestic kitsch way, but the clean design and execution of the service stays true to the relaxed, playful yet grown up style. The shirts, ironing boards and washing machine settings on the menu adhere to the lighthearted theme of the bistro.
Unfortuately I did not get to sample the well stocked bar or interestingly named cocktails on the menu (Porn Star Martini), some of which are served in a mini bathtub or a small bag for goldfish (with the said fish design on the side of the bag). Quirky touches like this keep this place interesting and comfortable - you want more. I definitely cannot wait to return and enjoy an evening of wittily named cocktails, which are always a conversation starter.
The whole experience was a delight, as I spent a few hours catching up on some work that needed my attention. Other customers seemed cool, relaxed and I love people watching. This is definitely the place to go and chill out, or have a catch up with your friends, and it's close enough to the high street so you could walk to other bars if you want something different.
Discovering independant bistro/bars/restaurants with that je ne sais quoi essence is rare and wonderful. Such places need praise and I will subtly shout from the rooftops for The Laundrette.
I've been and it's fantastic you should try the Long Island iced tea, deliciously good. Their pizzas are incredible and they are happy to alter any pizza to your liking. They're child friendly too, kids get to put their own pizza toppings on and the staff take it to be baked. Definitely worth a visit