Takk – A little piece of Reykjavik in Manchester
This hidden gem off Dale Street, has everything you could want if you’re looking for something different. A vinyl hideout full of mismatched chairs, excellent coffee and a Godzilla guarding the sugar bowl.
I have a little green book, sometimes it’s kept in my pocket but most of the time it’s found after rummaging around in my bottomless bag. This book I see as my saviour in more ways than one. It has saved me from the dreary Manchester weather on more occasions that I should admit but it mostly acts as my Coffee Bible. Me and coffee have a love-hate relationship, nonetheless this little green book is filled with places that I want to visit, whether it be scribbled notes when wandering through Manchester or neatly written destinations noted after reading magazines or watching programmes. This little book is never far from reach.
Takk is what I consider as a hidden gem and coins itself as an ‘Icelandic inspired coffee house and creative space’. When I think back to my trip to Reykjavík almost four years ago, all I could tell you is that Iceland is full of a mass of supposedly gnome-inhibited mountains and locals that eat a lot of cream of mushroom soup. Apart from that everyone knows that Iceland in fact is not full of ice and that Greenland has more ice then Iceland.
Walking into an Icelandic inspired coffee house, I wasn’t sure what I was too expect. The atmosphere of dulled chatter paired with the hissing of the coffee machine makes this place seem like a haven. The décor is eclectic, something that is not dissimilar to most coffee houses in this area. If exposed brick, hanging low lighting, black radiators, dark wooden flooring, chalk boards, mismatched furniture, and quirky wall art are your thing, then Tariff Street should be added to your list.
The brick walls and low hanging lighting reminded me of a quirky New York townhouse, and adds to the cosy yet urban feel of the place. The Northern Quarter allows you to escape the screeching buses, masses of hurried shoppers and extremely low flying pigeons, into a place that feels intimate and always inviting.
A wave of anticipation washed over me as I picked up the coffee menu, but I fell back into my familiar trap of ordering a Cappuccino and a White Chocolate Flapjack. Almost instantly regretting not ordering a Flat White.
Now, as my relationship with coffee only began last December I have certainly made up for lost time and consider myself to know my way around a coffee menu. However, I waited excitedly at a table, which resembled those I used to sit at in school. The heavily graphitised desks I thought was a great touch and added to the cosy vibe of the place. I quite enjoyed the reminiscing moment of sitting upright on a slightly squeaky and far too upright for a Saturday chair as I knew I wasn’t sat in waiting for a Maths lesson, I was waiting for my coffee.
The place was almost full, for a Saturday I found this surprising for the usually wallowing Northern Quarter goers. But with friendly staff and the relaxed undertone of the place it isn’t really surprising.
From the map on the wall, it was most certainly Icelandic inspired. But the Godzilla lamp I have to say threw me. How this was related to Iceland? Maybe a defender of the mountain trolls, I’m undecided. I would quite like to find a Godzilla lamp of my own. ‘So how did Iceland inspire this place?’ I asked the barista, as it turns out not a whole lot. ‘The owner visited Reykjavik and just loved the vibe, its cosy and a place to lose a few hours’ I was told.
Back to the coffee, the waiting passed seemingly as slow as the rich drips from the coffee machine, but finally I got my coffee and flapjack. The barista really did know how to impress a lady with delicately frothed and poured milk; I think many Cappuccinos are neglected when it comes to the adornment of a milky badge. This one did not disappoint me. This was an extremely good coffee (£2.60), as I was half way through I began regretting not ordering a larger one, it had everything I had come to love about Cappuccinos, the velvety milk, gold Cremer and the punchy hits of perfectly brewed coffee. The flapjack too did not disappoint, the white chocolate sweetened it more than I thought I would like, but with the cake like texture it proved a perfect accompaniment to my coffee, and seemed appropriate preparation to battle the city centre madness.