By Jo Cooksey
A new season means a new breakfast/brunch menu at the Abel Heywood in Manchester’s Northern quarter. So with my chief brekkie taster in tow we ambled along very early one morning to give it a try. Well it’d be rude not too.
Manchester brewers, Hydes, own this characterful pub slash boutique hotel. It focuses its menu on hearty, well-cooked British food that as far as possible is locally sourced and seasonal. The new breakfast menu is no exception, utilising local sausage and bacon, Bury Black Puddings and Lancashire cheese amongst others.
There are sweet choices like Cinnamon French Toast or Breakfast Bowls such as Power Porridge with Goji berries and honey but we were here for the hot and savoury section. As usual, it was a difficult choice when faced with dishes like the Abel’s Fry Up, the NQ Veggie Breakfast, Eggs Benedict and Posh Scrambled Eggs. Oh the decisions. Pity us.
In the end though I chose the Million-Dollar Bacon and Eggs. Treacle cured bacon with chilli, soy and five spice, hen’s egg cooked any style, (I had mine scrambled) and sriracha mayo, served on a toasted muffin for £6.95. I can’t tell you how good the treacle-cured bacon was but I’m still craving it. The creamy scrambled egg and the chilli kick certainly made this a great wake-up breakfast dish. I need to know where I can get hold of that bacon. The portion size was generous and I didn’t need anything else to eat until much later in the afternoon.
My brekkie buddy chose the Manc Madame at £7.50, which I have to say I’d had my eye on. Based on the popular French Croque Monsieur but with a Northern twist it marries smoked bacon with local sausage, Bury Black Pudding and Lancashire cheese served between two rounds of thickly buttered toast and topped with a fried hen’s egg. This buttie was huge and my pal didn’t know whether to eat it or climb it. She gave it her best effort though and through sighs of pleasure indicated that it was really tasty. She made a valiant effort but couldn’t quite finish it. I’m definitely having that next time, probably with a side order of Million-Dollar bacon.
We had a couple of pots of tea each to wash it down and could quite happily have had a post-breakfast nap but we had to get back to the office.
We are big fans of the Abel Heywood. The interior looks like a Victorian film set and I always expect a few of the Peaky Blinders to swagger in. The bar is kept really well and they offer a large variety of gins and cocktails, as well as cask and craft ales. They also run very popular quiz nights. So popular in fact that they have to ticket the teams entering to ensure they can fit everyone in.
As for the food, we have often waxed lyrical about it but the best advice I can give is to go and try it for yourselves. Breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, you won’t be disappointed.