18/11/12 - The year was 1847...

So this Saturday just gone, despite the mounds of work I have to do and all the deadlines I have creeping up on me, I spent a wonderful day in Manchester seeing my parents and my brother.  It's been far too long since I've seen them other than on a Skype screen so I was super excited to have some quality family time.  Also, my brother and I had booked theatre tickets way back in January, so we'd been waiting for this weekend for rather a long time.

I hopped off the train at Manchester Piccadilly, a station I feel like I've spent an awful lot of time in over the past year or so, to be whisked straight away to my favourite place in the city to eat - 1847.

This little vegetarian bistro (so named as it was the year in which the Vegetarian Society was established in the UK) is located on Mosley Street, a stone's throw away from the train station and the main shopping centre.  The best word I can use for this place is...select.  It has a fairly small dining area, so I would recommend booking if you intend on visiting at a weekend or in an evening - it's always best to know you're guaranteed a table!  

The menu isn't massive, but it changes seasonally and all the ingredients are locally sourced. The food is always beautifully presented, full of flavour and a lot of the time, really interesting combinations of ingredients.  If I could have the chef from this bistro come and cook at my house every day, I would be a very happy (and very fat!) girl.  Although the portions don't look huge - as is to be expected from a sixteen-year-old boy, my younger brother polished them off very quickly, practically licking the plate - the three courses I ate filled me right up.  And being full of good food is so much more pleasant than being full of rubbish junk food.

Sorry for the awful quality of my iPod camera!
To start, I had roasted balsamic sprouts with honey and toasted almond flakes which was served on a bed of some form of pea puree with a honey vinaigrette dressing (I'm afraid I can't remember the exact description)  and rocket salad.  I'm not a massive fan of sprouts - for years, I've had an agreement with my parents that I will eat one a year on Christmas Day and that is all I can manage - so I don't really know what enticed me to this starter, but I really enjoyed it.  Maybe I'm maturing.

Next, I ordered battered tofu with hand-cut chips and fresh peas.  Last time I visited 1847, I had the same thing but with halloumi and I have to say, there wasn't much to choose - both dishes were very tasty.  The tofu was moist, the batter light and crispy and the chips...oh, the chips.  I can be very easily sold on a place if they do good chips and 1847 didn't disappoint.

As a big fan of trying lots of different kinds of food, a trait I share with the rest of my family, meals with us can turn everything into a taster menu, with fork- and spoonfuls of various dishes being passed backwards and forwards.  By not duplicating orders, we managed to cover most of the menu.  I will say that after tasting four different meals, I would recommend the wild mushroom and spinach strudel that my dad had - absolutely delicious.  And even Josh, who admitted that mushrooms and spinach are "two of his three least favourite vegetables", enjoyed it.

Time for dessert.  I had chestnut and chocolate torte with a reduced mulled wine sauce and it was divine.  The chocolate was rich, but offset by the chestnuts, it wasn't too sickly or overwhelming, and the mulled wine sauce was to die for.  Indulgent, decadent and festive, what more could anyone want?

For food like this, you would expect a very hefty price-tag.  Now, it can work out a little pricey and I definitely couldn't afford it on a student budget, much as I would like to.  However, as a treat, it's 100% worth it, and they do all kind of deals (£10 for a main course and a glass of wine, and the £15 taster menu in an evening which I would seriously recommend) and their Christmas bookings seem very reasonably priced.  You can find their website here and I would highly recommend trying it if you get chance, whether you're vegetarian or not.

Have you been to 1847?  If so, what did you think?  Feel free to leave any other restaurant recommendations in the comments, regardless of where you are in the country!

Square Meal


  1. It looks like we sat in almost exactly the same place! I was torn between the halloumi and tofu....I definitely prefer hammoumi but after I'd eaten it (and REALLY enjoyed it), the thought of that much cheese in my stomach was a bit worrying!

    The dessert looks so good - if it was anything like the chocolate tort I had, I know it would have tasted good too :-)


    1. I've had both and largely preferred the halloumi as it has a little more flavour, but I think for the sake of my waistline I would have the tofu again!

      The dessert was definitely the highlight, particularly nice for the festive time of year :)