Another Burton Road favourite is back in action this week – the wildly popular seventies-style food and drink hub Mary & Archie.
Having remained closed since the start of the the pandemic, the independent cafe bar has now relaunched in its original spot with a takeout and click & collect service – much to the joy of regulars.
For eight years, Mary & Archie has been attracting an eclectic crowd throughout the week for breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktails and local beers.
They’re part of the Burton Road furniture – and Didsbury hasn’t been quite the same without them.
“We just want to say a massive thank you to all our customers,” General Manager ‘Fletch’ explains.
“We set up a fundraiser at the start of the pandemic when things were looking particularly bad, and the support from the community was amazing.
“It’s thanks to them that we’re still going and we’re really glad to be back.”
Adorned in funky seventies art and decor, Mary & Archie has found its groove over the past decade as the go-to spot for almost every kind of occasion – be it a morning fry-up, afternoon coffee or an evening cocktail.
“We’ve got a calm and cosy vibe that people really like,” says Fletch.
“People visit at all times of the day. We’ve got loads of regulars – many of them have already been down to check out the new paint job we’ve added – and there’s quite a mix of customers on the whole.
“I think we’ve been popular because we’re a great place for people who want something a little bit different.
“We get all the dates coming here. Tinder has been massive for us!”
The cafe bar caters for a diverse range of palates, too – with burgers, wraps, tacos, brunches, salads and wings all on the menu.
“We’re proud of our food – it really is good,” says Fletch.
“The jerk chicken goes down really well, but the veggie and vegan options are also really popular.”
Dining options will be temporarily reduced whilst Mary & Archie gets up and running again, and staff are taking extra steps to keep customers safe during the reopening phase.
“Right now, everything is outside with 2m distancing in place, but we’re getting a bit of an action plan together for when we’re allowed to reopen fully again, whenever that may be,” Fletch tells us.
“We’re quite a small place so we’ll have to make some changes, maybe taking half the tables out.
“But for the time being it’s going to be great just to see people again.
“We’ve got such a good, friendly crowd.”
Visit Mary & Archie at 200 Burton Rd, West Didsbury, Manchester M20 2LW.
Manchester music store Forsyth is giving away free music lessons
Manchester music store Forsyth is giving away a host of free music lessons next month in a bid to inspire people to learn a new instrument, or pick up an old one.
The store is giving new and returning musicians a chance to receive a 10–15-minute free music taster session as part of its Music for All Learn to Play ’22 event.
Taking place across 8 and 9 October between 10am-5pm (8 October) and 1130am-30pm (9 October),short taster music lessons will allow all ages and abilities to have a musical experience that could turn into a lifetime of enjoyment, or even a new career.
Speaking on the free music lesson initiative, Emma from Forsyths said: “The past two years have shown how important music is to all our lives and how it can bring people together even in the most difficult of circumstances.
“We aim to help as many people as possible understand the unique joys and benefits of learning an instrument (or taking part in a choir).
“Anyone interested in learning to play an instrument or looking to pick it up again, should come and join us for this two-day celebration of music making.
“We’re delighted to be part of Music for All’s Learn to Play ’22 event, and we can’t wait to get started.”
OBE Jools Holland, Patron of Music for All, said: “Making music is very important to me. It’s my work, my pleasure, my friend, companion and therapist.
The charity Music for All believes passionately in the unique power of music to change lives and that is why it runs Learn to Play.
Music for All believes everyone should have equal access to music making.
The charity supports disadvantaged music makers by providing cash grants for tuition and instruments and by donating instruments directly.
Celebrated author Dame Hilary Mantel has died ‘suddenly yet peacefully’ aged 70
Dame Hilary Mantel has died aged 70.
The unexpected passing of the critically-acclaimed author whose celebrated career spans nearly five decades has just been announced by her agents 4th Estate Books and her publishing team at HarperCollins in two separate statements released this morning – who confirmed that she died “suddenly yet peacefully”.
The Glossop-born writer was famed for historical fiction work, and was most-known for being the author of the beloved Wolf Hall trilogy.
The statement by her agents confirming her passing reads: “We are heartbroken at the death of our beloved author, Dame Hilary Mantel, and our thoughts are with her friends and family, especially her husband, Gerald.
“This is a devastating loss and we can only be grateful she left us with such a magnificent body of work.”
Mantel’s publishers HarperCollins called her “one of the greatest English novelists of this century”.
The company’s statement reads: “It is with great sadness that AM Heath and HarperCollins announce that bestselling author Dame Hilary Mantel DBE died suddenly yet peacefully yesterday, surrounded by close family and friends, aged 70.
“Hilary Mantel was one of the greatest English novelists of this century and her beloved works are considered modern classics.
Mantel has twice been awarded the Booker Prize, the first time for the 2009 novel Wolf Hall, a fictional account of Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power in the court of Henry VIII, and secondly for the 2012 novel Bring Up the Bodies, the second instalment of the Cromwell trilogy.
She was the first woman, and fourth person, to receive the award twice.