It has been remarked, somewhat unfairly I think, that I am quick off the mark when it comes to sampling purveyors of fine food and drink - or, to put it a less charitable way, I'm the first to push in and get my nose into the trough when anything nice comes along.
So when Airy Fairy Cupcakes announced a while back that they would be opening a Cake Boutique on School Lane in Didsbury, I think it was generally - and erroneously - assumed that I would be waiting outside the shop on Thursday 31st March, pushing hungry pensioners out the way as I queued with a shopping trolley stolen from Aldi, ready to make off with cartloads of goodies. I even got a message from Laura, chief Airy Fairy, a few days after they opened - where was I? Was everything OK? Or, as I hadn't turned up yet for cake, was I perhaps dead?
Anyway, I'm happy to confirm that I have now inspected the new shop, and can proclaim it charming in every way. Anyone who saw the place when it was occupied by the South Manchester Reporter offices will scarce believe the transformation; from small, dingy space frequented by furtive-looking middle-aged men, to gorgeous retro grotto, full of bright young things and - of course - CAKE. All goods are freshly baked on the premises every morning, and as well as a selection of the cupcakes for which the Airy Fairies are rightly famous, there are loaf cakes, brownies, lemon drizzle cakes...all beckoning enticingly from their places on the counter.
We went yesterday, and I had the strawberry cream sponge cake with a cup of tea while Mr Liz had the chocolate cake and the best banana milkshake of all time ever. He must have looked hungry and malnourished, for the piece of cake he was given was more of a slab, virtually three feet high; I'm pretty sure I spotted a recent snowfall on its upper plains. My own cake was also generously sized; they certainly believe in value-for-money portions here, and I worry that any Airy Fairies who indulge too heavily in their tempting cakey wares will find themselves in an almighty battle to get off the ground ever again.
Meanwhile, in other confectionery-based news, I see that Ben and Jerry's are giving out ice-cream in Manchester tomorrow for Free Cone Day (I thought at first it was a political gathering in protest at a wrongly incarcerated individual, but it appears I was mistaken.) This is yet another example of me MISSING OUT on everything that is good and nice, for I will be in a Greater Manchester classroom rather than in Piccadilly Gardens at 12pm pushing hungry pensioners out the way etc etc. Still, if you are one of the lucky souls already on Easter Break tomorrow then good luck to you *said through gritted teeth* - full details on their Facebook page.