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Neighbourhood Watch: Your guide to the suburbs… Didsbury

By Felicity Robertson

Mancunian Matters bring you a series of guides to our favourite of Greater Manchester’s suburbs, and the pick of the best bars, restaurants and shops that you can find there. This week… south Manchester’s leafy and laid-back Didsbury.

Whether you live or work in the city, there comes a time when we all get sick of the urban sprawl.

The tall buildings, lack of greenery and commuting zombies are all too familiar a scene for many people, which is why I am starting a weekly feature that will recommend surrounding areas of Manchester to visit.

We all need a change of scenery from time to time, especially those who experience the commonly complained of ‘cabin fever’ feeling from living in the city. Symptoms are often described as a lack of fresh air, too many chain stores lacking in character and no trees or grass to enjoy when the weather is good.

My first location I recommend to any ‘cabin fever’ victims or just people who want to try somewhere they haven’t been is the upmarket suburb of Didsbury.

Although not as obscure as some of the upcoming recommendations, Didsbury is a pretty suburb not too far south of Manchester centre.

 There are lots of independent eateries, bars and boutiquey shops to browse and with its quirky, unique edge it offers something a little different from your high street stores that decorate the city centre.

For those who are in to good eating and locally sourced food there is the recently opened Didsbury Village Farm Shop where all bacons and gammons are dry cured, all the eggs are free range and the meat is from their own Cheshire reared or sourced from local farmers.

Of course, not everyone is in to their savoury snacks and that is just as well because in West Didsbury there’s the kookily named And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon – a delicious cake shop and tea room. Afternoon tea is served from 1pm every weekend and there are a variety of indulgent treats to be found in the form of brownies, cakes and slices.

If you want a night out then why not try the Folk Cafe Bar? Open all day as a cafe, it transforms in the evening to a bar and restaurant. It is described as shabby chic and offers private booths as well as an outdoor area. Food is served until 10pm and things liven up at weekends with a DJ.

Not only are there plenty of places to eat, in addition there are several boutique shops that specialise in unique accessories, bridal wear, furniture and much more.

All those future brides out there will be excited by the choice of bridal boutiques and businesses that occupy Didsbury. The White Closet is situated in the heart of West Didsbury. Designers are hand picked and they promise to have something everyone will like with a range dresses inspired by a variety of eras. You can view on appointment and for more information please visit www.thewhitecloset.co.uk

If you want a vintage style wedding there are also the beautifully hand crafted bridal accessories from Silver Sixpence In Her Shoe. Bespoke pieces are available on request where you can discuss the style of your dress and exactly what you are looking for. You can have a look at what is already available on www.silver-sixpence-in-her-shoe.co.uk

If you are in to your interiors then Frog furniture is well a worth a look at. This is not your IKEA kind of stuff but real, handmade material made from quality wood including oak and pine. Pieces can be made to fit an awkward room, you just have to give them the measurements. This custom furniture is great for your own home or as a gift. Frog furniture does not just specialise in wood but also has lighting, clocks, mirrors as well as other interior decorations.

There is plenty to do in Didsbury and certainly something for everyone. It is a popular up and coming area that caters for all ages whether you are a family or a student. It is easily accessible by bus and tram from Manchester city centre so you have no excuse to not get down there to have a look about and enjoy some hearty food or have a drink.

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