If, dare I say it, you were to leave M20 at some point, heading straight down Mauldeth Road, past the train station, through Burnage, across the park and to the left, you’d end up – well probably back where you started, my sense of direction is notoriously bad. But if you use a map or something, you might just be able to find your way to M20 once removed – or Levenshulme, M19.
In some ways, M19 is like M20’s friendly older brother: it’s bigger, a bit hard to get to/in touch with and always seems to have an upgraded version of your stuff. This last is definitely true if we compare our beloved but undeniably Greggs-y Withington bakery, Martin’s, to the homey, good smells n’ happy vibes factory that is M19’s Trove Cafe and Bakery, suppliers of all things baked and wheaty to many of Manchester’s gastronomic greats – inc. Chorlton’s Unicorn Co-Op and Electrik Bar, West Didsbury’s brand newest eaterie Volta, and the lovely Fig + Sparrow on Oldham St.
You could walk right past it if you weren’t actually looking for it. Amidst the myriad bric-a-brac shops, newsagents and supermarkets dotted around along Stockport Road, the tiny Trove Cafe, with its Scandinavian interior, all thick wood and minimalist decor peeking out from behind impossibly shiny glass under a simply illustrated sign, has the kind of unassumingly cool yet invitingly cosy atmosphere that any given venue Hoxton-wide would sell all kinds of limbs to achieve.
But Trove’s philosophy couldn’t be further from the pretension of the big city: the tables are arranged around a large central table designed intentionally to foster a sense of community and openness, where:
the people of Levenshulme can come and socialise and communicate. We love the idea that our neighbours can come to meet, talk and eat and new friendships might be made over a decent cup of coffee (or tea).
With frequent events like ‘FOLK + PIZZA’ night, or next week’s ‘BUMPS + BABIES COFFEE MORNING’ (where babymamas and mama’s babies get 1/2 price brews), Trove facilitates people meeting through food and fun. Ain’t that nice?
And most importantly – so is the food! The menu offers delicious twists on classic breakies – like spiced spinach + coconut with fried egg – and everything is lovingly homemade. Just try and resist the rows of cakes and breads as you head up to order…! I left with a fresh loaf of fennel seed rye, a half price ciabatta and some sage advice on how best to enjoy them both (the rye bread keeps improving from the day after it’s first been sliced; ciabatta makes a bangin bruschetta or simple garlic bread – just grill with some olive oil and mushed up garlic). And, needless to say, a big smile on my face. Actually, from their old blue delivery van affectionately named Cyril down to the hand printed brown paper bags you get with your purchases, everything about Trove makes me, and my tastebuds, smile.
See you at the next pizza night!
***All images taken from Trove’s site, and snapped by Giulia at www.onlovendphotography.com***