The Abel Heywood in Manchester is one of the oldest pubs in Manchester. Situated just off Church Street, right in the heart of the Northern Quarter, the pub named after the Victorian mayor of Manchester has undergone a refurbishment to bring a boutique hotel, restaurant and pub to a thriving corner of the city centre. After being down in the dumps, my good friend Keeley took me for a hearty breakfast to try the new brunch menu on a gorgeous Saturday morning over the Bank Holiday weekend. Our table was booked for 11am, and already the pub was filling up with people starting their weekend, whilst guests were calling in for breakfast after their stay in the newly done hotel. Sat in a cosy booth at the rear of the restaurant, we indulged in some delicious food whilst putting the world to rights over a breakfast cocktail.
The interior of the Abel Heywood is that of a traditional pub, a vintage boozer that has an element of modernity with its leather booths and dark wood furniture. It’s almost a mish mash of old and new, but warm and comforting. Think old mans working club but fresh and clean. The breakfast menu is packed full of hearty food, and although I wasn’t feeling particularly hungry, I was ravenous once I’d seen the menu. Starting the brunch with a black coffee, I ordered the ‘Manc’ Madame which was basically a full English on a sandwich. What I wasn’t expecting was the size of the portion and I actually cried out loud that I’d never be able to eat all that when it was delivered to the table. Famous last words, as I love my food. The service was attentive and the the delivery of the food to the table was of decent length. Food needs to be ordered at the bar, like at any traditional pub restaurant, and the servers were very clued up on the menu and alternatives if you have any dietary requirements. Although being lactose intolerant, I do like the occasional piece of cheese, although my stomach doesn’t, but I didn’t seek to see if there were any alternatives for dairy free cheese for the sandwich.
The ‘Manc’ Madame was probably one of the nicest and filling breakfasts I’ve had in ages. Two thick slices of buttered toast, filled with smoked bacon, Bury black pudding, tomatoes and sausage, topped with melted Lancashire cheese and a fried egg. The egg was cooked to perfection and when broken, the yolk was runny enough to dip the remaining bread in. I had to eat it bit by bit rather than as a sandwich, and I couldn’t finish the top layer of cheesy bread as I couldn’t hack anymore cheese although I really wanted to. Anything that contains Bury black pudding is an absolute winner with me.
The Breakfast Cocktail, also known as a classic Bloody Mary was spicy, with enough vodka to pack a punch. I always found Bloody Mary’s to be quite filling, hence them being a breakfast cocktail, so I made sure I had room after my sandwich. Whilst eating, staff came over to ask how our meal was, clear away our finished plates and offered water for the table. There was also no rushing for us to leave the table even after we had been finished for a substantial time. It’s the little things like that that I remember for future visits. I’d be really intrigued to try the evening menu, to see if it reaches the same standard as the breakfast.
If you are in Manchester this weekend and are out early enough for breakfast, I wholeheartedly recommend the Abel Heywood.