When Dr HH and I first moved in together in Manchester, we were living in a place that was…a mixed bag. It was cheap, spacious, equidistant between our work places and easily reached on public transport. Alas, it also had dark brown carpets, neighbours who rowed constantly both downstairs and next door, the most incompetent letting agent ever and no front door. Yes, you read that correctly. We had to enter and exit through a garage door. It was weird, but, as Dr HH comforted me, it was only our first place: it could only get better from here. If the flat hadn’t been within walking distance of Healthy Spirit, a little shop with a vegetarian cafe in the back, I probably wouldn’t have lasted so long there.
They have a vegan cake every day, and I used to go regularly on the off chance that it would be this chocolate peanut butter cake. It’s unbelievably good. Under the chocolate topping is a layer of sweet, delicious peanut butter goo. It is not only the best thing about the cake, but quite possibly the best thing about life, ever. Altogether it’s like eating a Snickers bar in cake form, and the dark chocolate sponge prevents it from being too sweet.
Not that the other cakes are anything to sniff at, though. This date and ginger cake was beautiful – a good sticky sponge with icing that isn’t too gritty.
And the chocolate courgette cake was also tasty, as was the hot chocolate – there’s nothing wrong with a double serving of chocolate at the weekend, is there?
Their own blend teas were also good – I loved the ayurvedic rainy day brew most of all, though the chai is very good with a splash of coconut milk.
And occasionally I had something from a non-cake food group. The daily specials are always written on the chalkboards and marked if they’re vegan. There’s almost always a vegan soup, which is hearty and wholesome…
…and also a stew. Look at all that goodness!
I’ve also had a lasagne before, with numerous salads and a good bit of bread. All the meals are like this: substantial, inviting and healthy.
And I’ve talked about their breakfast plate before too.
I think Healthy Spirit is one of the most underrated meat-free eateries in Manchester. The people who work there are lovely, and it’s a great relaxed atmosphere – you never feel like there’s a hurry to get rid of you.
Fortunately, our new home in Prague is much nicer and comes with the traditional door. And it’s once again just a ten minute walk from the best cake in the city! It’s like I have a radar for it…