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Sunday, 20 June 2010

Hungry Man Inches Away from Achieving Pastry Hat Trick at Love2Eat Deli

Busy day yesterday. Part one saw a vigorous workout in the form of a trip around Bury Market; anyone who thinks this might not be good exercise is invited to roll up their sleeves and do battle with the army of old ladies with sharp elbows and tartan shopping trollies who patrol all the best stalls, forming an instant scrum around anything that looks like it might be about to be reduced in price.

For all its tat - there are some SERIOUSLY undesirable items on display here - Bury Market is an amazing place, unbeatable for reasonably priced meat, fish, fruit and veg. This is what I bought:
- goat's cheese (£1)
- chilli cheese (£1)
- onion and chive cheddar (£1)
- four football pitch-sized slabs of chocolate chip shortbread (£1)
- a huge tray of fresh anchovies in garlic marinade (£2.80)
- four sausages with bits of black pudding in (I know! I know!) and four chilli sausages (£3.13)
- one black pudding (90p)
- one frankly divine M & S sundress (£15)

A veritable treasure trove - half the fun is getting home and unpacking the random items you have purchased. And if you overlook the fact that I didn't actually need ANY of these items, I think you'll agree they are complete bargains.

After such an exciting afternoon, I clearly couldn't be expected to sit quietly in front of the television (football, erm, schmootball), so we walked up to West Didsbury (I was wearing my FitFlops, so am expecting bottom to be visibly smaller by this afternoon) and enjoyed the early evening sunshine sitting outside Folk bar. Rumour has it that the so-laid-back-it's-horizontal Folk plans to create a Burton Road beach next weekend, but for now we had to make do with pavement; will dig out swimming costume ready for when the sea and sand appears.

Dinner was at Love2Eat Deli, a tiny weeny place that really couldn't have been more charming. Half a dozen tables inside, a huge deli counter packed with lovely things, and a wall of blackboards listing the offerings for the day - no menus here, just whatever is freshest, nicest and bestest. The spur for our visit was the "Love Saturdays" offer: three courses with unlimited wine for £20 a head. And not nasty horrid wine either - we can vouch for the red being dangerously quaffable, AND with a cute label (cat sitting on an egg - Chat-en Oeuf - *sniggers*), AND generously poured whenever your glass dips dangerously below the halfway mark.

The food was also good. For starters, I had Katie's Proper Pate Plate, and Mr Liz had the leek and salmon tartlet, the first of an exciting pastry double. Both were delicious, although a small criticism - the "crusty bread" that was advertised along with the pate was actually a bit chewy and bland, although there was plenty of it. For mains I had the veggie lasagne (with more of the boring bread - I left it this time), and my husband had the steak, mushroom and red wine pie. For pud, he was obviously hoping to achieve some kind of unprecedented pie-product triple, but fell at the final hurdle by fancying Eton Mess. Meanwhile, I was excited to try my first Whoopie-pie, two chocolate biscuit/cake things (technical term) sandwiched together with buttery creamy goodness; not as nice as a cup-cake though.

All in all, a great night with excellent service and atmosphere. We will definitely be back on a Monday night to try another of their offers - main, cake and a glass of wine for a measly seven pounds. Just one thing though - they kept turning lovely hungry people away all night, saying they were fully booked, so if you were the party that didn't turn up and left a lovely table unoccupied then SHAME ON YOU.

- Love2Eat is at 190a Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester M20 1LH; tel. 0161 434 7077; for more details.

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