Mid Reno Roast:The Whitworth Gallery, Manchester

It’s rare to have both brain and belly fed at the same time but I’m delighted to say that very thing happened to me this weekend. It was a dismal rainy Sunday, perfect for visiting the all new Whitworth Art Gallery after it’s recent renovation. Even on an afternoon off I can’t stay away from refurbs!!

I spent a few hours immersed in some fantastic exhibitions. My favourites were the Sarah Lucas Tits in Space papered room (how I wish I had a snap of dad’s face when I told him this installation’s name), Susie MacMurray’s peacock feather spheres and Mary Kelly’s MultiStory House, pictured below. All of them gave me ideas for our Moregeous Mansions redesign but all that food for thought…. made me hungry!

Whitworth Art Gallery

The cafe had originally been quite cramped in a small room off the entrance foyer but how things have changed. You’d be hard pressed to find a more spectacular Manchester location in which to enjoy your Sunday Roast than the Modern Caterer cafe. Elevated and elongated amongst the trees of Whitworth Park and over looking what will be a new art garden, it’s wonderfully positioned to enjoy the changing seasons.The Whitworth Art Gallery cafe area

The queue was enormous, with lots of mutterings from polite Brits. Apparently not all the chairs and tables had been checked by Elf n Safety yet, so these teething issues are soon to be ironed out with more seating space. Next time I’m determined to sit right out amongst the trees, but although we were up near the door the space is still super impressive and doesn’t feel there’s a ‘best’ seat. And my roast was very good! There isn’t a massive choice, it’s chicken or nothing but this isn’t a pub catering soley for hungry Sunday lunch eaters, rather a cafe which also gives an option for greedy guzzlers. Most people were simply having tea and a cake. My meal was beautifully presented with a mini pot of jus and tower of roast staples. The chicken breast on the bone was succulent and tasty, there was plenty of veg & and an extra side of béarnaise potatoes and broccoli. I ate every last bit and was deliciously stuffed.Whitworth gallery roast chicken dinner

I had a couple of teeny gripes in that the veg was a bit overcooked, though still edible and probably how most people like them, I like a bit more bite, and the roast potatoes were more like those ones you get in hotels at posh dinners, gently golden but not a lot of crunch. Tasty carrots and parsnips though, nothing bland about the flavours.

Even with those mini moans, I’d go back and enjoy it again. It was a lovely meal, with attentive friendly staff and a unique visual dining experience. At £12, it’s averagely priced for Manchester, but more than your basic pub. Award winning chef Peter Booth says

We are committed to delivering delicious food and great service, recognise our responsibility to the environment and are devoted to the ethical sourcing of local and sustainable, seasonal produce.

…..which ticks a lot of boxes for the discerning diner, me included.  Unfortunately, I was much too full to try the home baked cakes and brownies but will be back for another soul & tummy filling experience very soon.

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