Anyone who has ever read this blog will know that my life is a never-ending quest for knowledge, my eager open inquiring mind ever on a tireless mission of self-improvement, reaching for the stars at every given opportunity. Well, that's the idea anyway; in practice, my good intentions are all too often derailed by the discovery of a double-bill of America's Next Top Model, or a copy of Vogue with a particularly shiny cover.
So last night was a win-win situation: eat food and drink wine with friends whilst listening to poetry between courses - absorbing culture by osmosis, as it were. The venue was the always charming Love2Eat Deli on Burton Road in West Didsbury, its tiny room packed to the rafters, everyone there to hear Didsbury poet Mike Garry read a selection of new and favourite poems from his impressive repertoire.
The evening was called "A Taste of Honey", taking its inspiration from the play written by a teenaged Shelagh Delaney in the 1950s. If you haven't read it, do. You should also read Mike Garry's poetry, particularly if you are from Manchester, as he writes with great humour and honesty about the highs and lows of living in a city that can be both beautiful and devastating within the space of a couple of streets. Some of the newer poems debuted last night suggest a growing interest in the country as well as the city; I may perhaps have had something in my eye during the poem about the dog on the farm, ahem *wipes tear*
The evening was excellent value at £20 a head for three courses and as much poetry as you could eat, and as we'd already paid a £10 deposit each it seemed even better value. You could even take your own wine - which we did, obv - although beware going out for a drink first. I swear the staff in Silver Apples will have raised a weary eye-brow at the well-dressed but seemingly alcoholic couple with their massively clanking carrier bag.
Food-wise, we both chose the same - roasted vegetable and feta tart for starter, and honey roast chicken with pistachios and lemon couscous for mains. Reading this back, I am struck that this sounds pretty healthy, although the cake pops served for dessert definitely weren't. The food was excellent, and service remarkably cheerful and efficient considering the numbers; a particular highlight was the lemon couscous, something I was pretty sure I'd never pick as a star of ANY meal, but that's how good it was. And as for the cake pops...well, I had been looking forward to my third within a week when chief Airy Fairy Laura tweeted earlier in the day that she had just dropped a massive box off at Love2eat *applauds own remarkable detective skills*
Mike is running the evening again on the last Saturdays in February and March - full details are on the Didsbury Life website, although you'll have to be quick if you want to get a place. And me? Well, my brain is full of poetic beauty, so surely one or two episodes of America's Next Top Model couldn't hurt....
- Love2Eat Deli is at 190a Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester M20 1LH, tel 0161 434 7077.