Our Daily Bread

A month stint with Marcus Bean at The New Inn, Baschurch, has really re-ignited my love for making bread again. Although my skills were a little rusty on my first few bakes, slight tweaks and I was away now my head is awash with flavours & different breads to try in once I’m back home.

No better smell than freshly baked bread to inspire the senses.



2013 – What Happened to Spring?

So here we are March already & we’ve still got the wintry weather, looks like it’s going to be another interesting/challenging year again for seasonal cooking. Longer, cold, wintery weather does lend itself to our hearty Northern diets; there’s always a touch of sadness when I see ‘salad’ on a menu, to me it’s a side dish not a main event. I know given my recent service in quite a foody vegetarian suburb  that this is a controversial statement but for me I need a big chunk of meaty protein with my meal.

So I am pretty happy for the weather to stay wintry a little while longer so I can enjoy my stew & dumplings or lancashire hotpot for a few more weeks before the lighter summer diet is introduced.

The Observer Food Awards 2012

Observer Food Monthly Awards 2012 Best Sunday Lunch: The Parlour, Chorlton

Manchester suburb’s traditional local with a modern edge wins our readers’ vote

The Observer,
The Parlour Lounge

From left, the Parlour’s Nicola Duncan, Goska Langrish, Ian Sanderson, Jamie Langrish, Jonny Booth. Photograph: Gary Calton for the Observer Food Monthly


Beech Road is the heart of Chorlton, the leafy south Manchester suburb of organic supermarkets and wheatgrass smoothies. But unlike some of its Chorlton peers, the Parlour eschews pretension, defining itself as a “traditional local with a modern edge” rather than a gastropub with restaurant aspirations. It’s run by husband and wife Jamie and Goska Langrish, and co-owned by Rupert Hill (who played Jamie Baldwin in Coronation Street for five years) and Jonny Booth, who previously updated the Castle pub in Manchester. You can’t book, so there’s usually a wait for a table, but with decent cask ales and the Sunday papers to sink into that’s hardly a trial.

Suppliers are sourced as locally as possible, with meat from WH Frost, a family butcher now more than a century old; bread from 65-year-old JB Richardsons, and organic veg from Manchester Veg People co-operative; all found within a sustainably grown avocado stone’s throw of Beech Road. The attention to detail shows on the plate, especially the slabs of perfectly pink beef, crunchy roasties that are fluffy white within, braised red cabbage from head chef Nicola Duncan’s family recipe, carrot and swede mash, all topped with a dustbin-lid sized Yorkshire pudding, and gravy that rivals Hawksmoor’s bone marrow version, all for £11.50. Such is the focus on Sundays, that Duncan starts the stock for next week’s gravy on Monday morning, which tells you all you need to know.

The Parlour, 60 Beech Road, Chorlton, M21 9EG; 0161 881 4871; theparlour.info