The New Year is a time when most of us are looking for a fresh start. And that fresh start, usually involves something health related. After the December festivities, most of us are ready for some sort of detox and Cha-ology in Manchester would be a great place to begin.

My sister first told me about Cha-ology months ago and we were all set to visit in the summer, but alas this tea house does not open on a Sunday. Or a Monday and Tuesday for that matter, worth bearing in mind if you are thinking of popping in. They also don’t take reservations, which for someone like me who lives for the moment, I can’t call up, book ahead and add a specific time to my google calendar, this can be quite unnerving – almost off-putting.

However, back in November I was determined to give it a go. It was a cold Saturday afternoon and we couldn’t think of anything better to do than sit in a cafe and drink a hot cuppa tea.

There were already a few people waiting to be seated when we arrived so we added our name to the queue list. We were advised the wait would take around 25 minutes, not too bad all in all so we agreed and stuck around.



The venue itself is pretty small. To the right is the tea counter and a very small bar area with two seats. To the left, 2 low tables of six and one window table for two. All three have been placed on a raised platform, surrounded by floor cushions for you to sit on with a basket for shoes and any other belongings. Yes, you read that right, one of the requirements is that you will be taking your shoes off (standard house rules for most of us Asians!).

You see, cha-logy isn’t your average tea house. It’s a place where you go when you need time and space to unwind. Where every process is carried out in a relaxed and calm manner. This isn’t the place to be raucous and have a gossip or pop in for a quick caffeine hit. The room screams Scandi/Japanese design, minimalistic, lots of earth tones, bare wood and soft green and grey felts. It’s the kind of place you enter and time slows down, or to some people it may actually stop altogether.

If you have had a chance to look on the facebook page, you’ll notice there are a number of reviews complaining about the time element at this place. A lot of complaints about slow service, long wait times, unexpected closures… I can totally understand where these people may be coming from. In all honesty as we watched on whilst we were waiting, we too felt some of these emotions. We watched as Mei and her helper seemed to take forever when preparing each order, not just for the cafe but also for the customers coming in wanting take away. Everything seemed to be going at a pace I had never experienced before, it was slow on another level. And when you have a hangry husband eagerly waiting to feast on some cake, I was beginning to feel quite on edge.


That all quickly changed the moment we sat down. After placing our orders at the till, sitting down on a fluffy floor cushion, I felt some of my time-related stress melt away. Maybe it was the relief that we were finally going to be able to taste some of the wondrous treats that I had heard so much about.

Mei, the owner and founder of Cha-ology came over some time later with our order and it was then that I realised I had got this place all wrong. As she perched on the end of our table, large tray fully loaded, she began to explain each tea individually… she prepared it in front of us, explained the benefits, we were able to smell the infusions she created and to finish it off we were given a brewing guide for when we decided to move on to cup two or three. Mei spoke softly so as not to disturb other guests, her hands gracefully performed each tea process with ultimate precision, it brought back memories of Japanese tales I had read which detailed the skill and expertise needed to perform the perfect tea ceremony.



The drinks themselves? Well on our table of five, we realised it wasn’t to everyones taste. At the end of the day, it’s not your average cup of tea. The menu focuses on matcha and you can be sure that everything you order will have pure goodness tied to it. I’m not normally a fan of matcha if I’m honest, but the macha latte was delicious. It must have been the way she had prepared it (using a special whisk, chasen, as every good matcha brewer should) that enabled it to taste so good. When I visit next time, and there will be a next time as I owe my sis a treat for introducing us here! Well that matcha latte definitely has my name on it.

Alongside our teas we had also pre-ordered some of the cakes and desserts on offer. Ok so these were incredible. You MUST order a cake! Or a dessert. Or a biscuit. They’re divine, all tea infused and so beautiful to look at too.



Not a single thing was out of place here. You can tell that cha-ology has been created from a vision. Mei knows exactly what she wants and I love that she doesn’t let any of the complaints from customers who don’t understand her vision sway her into changing it.

It was only when I left that I truly understood it myself. Whilst enjoying our tea it had gone dark outside and we hadn’t even noticed that we’d spent the most part of our day there. No bookings means there is no rush for you to leave. Small space and reduced seating means you’re not stuck in a packed room, unable to hear your own thoughts. Shoes off and cup of tea in hand, you can easily feel like you’re at home.

Cha-ology is a place of tranquillity. I would definitely recommend a visit but it’s vital that you go when you have no time constraints, no other plans and you just fancy some time to find your zen.

Because if you’re going to find it anywhere in Manchester, it’s highly likely to be in this Northern Quarter tea house.


Have you been to Cha-ology? Can you recommend anywhere else that performs tea experiences?


*** FYI a couple of these pics were taken by my lovely cousin-in-law, I chose to leave the big cam at home that day ***


home sweet home review manchester


There are no shortage of places to eat out in the Northern Quarter. All with their own unique style, branding and that little bit of Northern-Quarter-Quirkiness.

When we decided to celebrate my sisters pre-birthday meal out at a place of her choice she knew exactly where to go and was happy that she could finally force us all into a place she had been craving for weeks.

Don’t ask me why, but whenever I visit an eatery where there’s a counter of fresh, fun-looking cakes, I always assume that this is the one thing they must be good at. So, it was safe to say I have always assumed this of Home Sweet Home and thought of them purely as somewhere to go for a sweet snack and afternoon brew.



Was I excited for the food? not particularly. when I had asked friends about it they had mentioned the word ‘Mexican.’ I could only see the word ‘American’ on skimming their website so my brain instantly branded the menu ‘confused’ when I was faced with this contradiction.

We propped up a booth and studied the food choices, settling once again on a range of fish and vegetarian options, my sister assuring me the whole time that I would not be disappointed – a phrase I am not keen on as it more often than not, leads to just that.

But alas, her taste buds are from the same gene-pool as mine, so she was of course right on the money. I devoured my fish burger in no time at all, the whole time thinking how could they make something that sounds pretty boring turn out to taste so good. It was nice to not have the usual elite option of ‘beer battered’ fish and instead this one is buttermilk fried, even the pickle was made to match (nice touch).



We also had the fish tacos (I know we really need to find something that doesn’t come from the ocean next time we’re out), which were served up beautifully. Most places these days like to offer tacos as a DIY meal so it was nice to have them all prepped and ready to eat for once.

Oh and the nachos! I mean I’m usually pretty happy with a bag of Doritos and some supermarket dip but this platter of chips and sauce (love the chipotle sour cream) means I’ll probably never enjoy a cinema snack again.

One thing that was missing, the one dish my sister had chosen the restaurant for and was craving, no longer graced the menu. Apparently the vegetarian chilli here was to die for (one to consider bringing back perhaps??)

Needless to say, I was feeling pretty sheepish about my doubts. Looking over the menu there was a pretty good balance of meals for all to enjoy, they even have a great link online for an allergen advice manual. Their website outlines how they work on making ‘comfort food’ and yes I was definitely eating my words, as the Mexican elements were the likes of tacos and nachos, which are technically classed as American cuisine. You see, I do admit to being wrong occasionally… not always. Just occasionally.

This was the perfect pre-escape room fuelling session, and if we hadn’t had to leave for our booking, we could’ve quite easily stayed on for milkshakes and desserts.

Home Sweet Home is a staple in the NQ food scene and after today, I can totally see why. No nonsense, good quality, freshly made food to be enjoyed in a laidback, comfortable ambience.

Just like home! Scratch that: ‘home’ is usually a mass of chaos and hit-and-miss cooking attempts with a crazy cat driving us up the wall.

What I meant to say was… just like the home I dream of.

Home Sweet Home Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


There’s no better feeling than waking up early on a Saturday morning and attempting to hit a personal best during the Platt Fields 5km Park Run.

Ok that’s a lie.

The best feeling is hitting a pb during the Platt Fields 5km Park run and then celebrating with a big, bad-ass breakfast.

This week, we opted to try the famous pancakes at Ezra & Gil in the Northern Quarter. View Post


I came here with a purpose. A plan to finish off the many, many blog posts I have collected in my drafts folder. But at this precise moment I feel I need to talk about where I am right at this minute.

I have a window seat in the corner of a room, to my left I can see the rain, the dark clouds, it all looks very grey, very British.

To my right, is a whole different story. View Post