Why would anyone want to grab breakfast to go, simply to window shop at Tiffanys?
Surely the best way to start a weekend, is to book a table and indulge in a fine dining breakfast experience at Manchesters award winning chocolate house.
Over the years people have gushed about this great sweet haven hidden away in North Manchester, but as I’m more of a savoury lover, it’s never really drawn me in.
To celebrate my mum’s birthday, my lovely sister decided to book us all in for afternoon tea. Two weeks before we were set to go, she called to make a reservation – afternoon tea was already fully booked. We decided to take one of the earlier available breakfast slots instead. So there’s your first tip right there: be sure to plan ahead and always make a reservation.
Unlike most places we tend to frequent, Slattery’s, a family business, is based just outside of the city on Bury Old Road, Whitefield. Not far from town if you’re driving and there is a parking area on site.
So used to being in quirky, industrial, Northern-quarter-esque type buildings, it was nice to enter this three-storey Victorian building and… well gasp.
I don’t really like chocolate (please don’t screw your face in disgust, some of us are more drawn to carbs) but if I did, this would be heaven on earth. It was everywhere!
Counters lined with all sorts of interesting shaped bitesize pieces, tools to make your own, gift boxes, bags, sweets I really could go on and on. And if all that wasn’t enough, the space in front of the tall period window frames was lined with the most extravagant looking wedding cakes. I saw some great pieces at the Cake and Bake event some time ago, but these were up there with some of the best I’ve ever seen (no wonder celebrities commission these guys).
If you were doubting whether everything was made onsite, then worry not. Amongst the shop floor, there are ‘viewing windows’ where you can actually watch the masters at work. Quite hypnotic.
Moving swiftly on to the first floor Masons dining room (we all know its never good to do food/chocolate shopping on an empty stomach), again I was so surprised at how grand it was. So grand in fact, there was even a grand piano! This is not some sideline cafe to compliment the shop, this was a well thought out, comfortable eating space. And it was already pretty busy.
We had a lovely corner booth, friendly waiter and an extensive breakfast and all-day dining menu to keep us occupied.
I’m not even going to talk you through everything we had, because you know what, all of it was faultless. Even my dear mother, who usually has eyes bigger than her stomach, polished off her meal.
Now if you are having a meal at Slattery’s, there is one thing you cannot forget to do and that is leave space for some kind of dessert. I stupidly did not, but I wasn’t about to leave without ordering one of their famous hot chocolates. It’s a bloody good thing I did too, because even as a non-chocolate eater, this final course was melt-in-your-mouth amazing. It comes in a glass, coated in chocolate, filled with liquid chocolate (thats not sickly sweet) and then topped off with a perfectly fitting Slattery chocolate disc. Boy does this place have style. Not even some of the five star restaurants we’ve been to have been able to pull off something so simple and good looking.
We must’ve spent around an hour in the shop before we finally left to carry on with our day. Everything had the same wow factor that I found when we looked at chocolate shops in Brussels.
Slattery’s also provides courses for those who want to learn the art of chocolate making, cake decorating, sugar crafting etc. They’re not cheap, but from what I saw on the course material, it looks like you’d be learning some advanced skills. I checked out the website after our visit and read that the whole third floor is exclusively for the ‘Slattery School of Excellence,’ I love that they’ve managed to keep all the different elements of the business under one roof.
All in all considering Slattery’s started in 1967, I can’t believe it’s taken me until now to finally visit! If I were to describe it in a sentence, I would say it is the Tiffany’s version of Willy Wonkas chocolate factory. Sleek, sophisticated, with everything inside beautifully hand-crafted, topped off with a huge chunk of fun and out-there originality.
The only downside, I’ll never be able to enjoy a normal hot chocolate ever again.