26 Nov 2018

Three Small Businesses to Visit in Manchester

street style photo wearing orange ymc sweatshirt with arket gilet, a days march chore jacket and skagen falster 2 smartwatch
close up detail shot of the skagen falster 2 smartwatch

This post is in partnership with SKAGEN Denmark

Anyone who grew up in a small town will tell you that it's either beautiful and quaint, or dreadfully dull with not a lot going on. My town falls in between the two - beautiful in parts, with a lot of personality, but if it's well-designed restaurants, non-chain coffee shops + small retailers you're after then you'll have to travel to a local city for it. For me that city is Manchester. 

As part of my on-going partnership with SKAGEN Denmark the brand encouraged me to explore some of my favourite places in my local area. For the past few months I've been using the Falster ll Smartwatch and sharing my progress with the individual features via Instagram. Overall I've found the watch most useful on the days I want to feel a little less reliant on my phone. I do sometimes have to remind myself that my phone plays a huge role in my job - but becoming more hands-free when I'm with friends seems to stimulate the part of my brain that loves to connect with the world around me. The Faster ll's notification system lets me filter out messages so I'm only receiving the most important updates.

As someone who sees Manchester as their second city I've become accustom to many of the friendly faces around town, so it's a pleasure of mine to share a little bit more about some of those places I like to call my favourites.
trove foods cafe and coffee shop in ancoats manchester
trove foods cafe and coffee shop in ancoats manchester
trove foods cafe and coffee shop in ancoats manchester
street style photo wearing orange ymc sweatshirt with arket gilet, a days march chore jacket and skagen falster 2 smartwatch

Trove, Ancoats

Trove is one of those places that got me like, "man, I didn't think it could get much better". From humble beginnings selling chutneys + jams down at Manchester Market, to opening their second cafe in Manchester, the husband & wife team of Marcus and Katy Saide collaborated with Leeds-based design workshop Plaey to create a unique space which raises the bar even higher for the city.

Part bakery, part cafe, Trove has all the right moves in all the right places. From the large modular panel wall system behind the counter, and HAY chairs from the IKEA collection, to the granite-based jesmonite work surfaces which have been mixed with terracotta pigments to create subtle pink tones.  If I had the opportunity to work on a space it would probably end up a lot like this. Let's not forget the food though, an ideal spot for breakfast and lunch.

Visit for: Freshly baked almond cruffins (a cross between a croissant and a muffin) or their poached eggs on molasses bread. Serving Allpress Coffee. 5 Murray St, Manchester M4 6HS

form lifestyle and homeweare design store in manchester
form lifestyle and homeweare design store in manchester
form lifestyle and homeweare design store in manchester

Form Lifestyle, Northern Quarter

You reach a point in your life where you start to become a little bit obsessed with homeware, and less full-throttle on the fashion stuff. Pinterest has a lot to answer for, but I'd say design stores built around a passion for product knowledge and curation - take Form Lifestyle as the perfect example - are excellent examples as to why the homeware market is thriving.

No visit to the city is complete without a trip to see Elly & Harry at Form Lifesftyle store. The converted Victorian terrace - with that instantly recognisable spiral staircase - carries a well-considered range of glassware, ceramics, stationery, small home goods and all-year round gifts ideas. Both the upstairs and basement doubles up as workshop and exhibition space, which is currently showcasing work by artist James Wilson.

Visit for: Really, I want one of everything, but the concrete planters by Studio Noah are beauts. We have two of them in our living room. 6 Bradley St, Manchester M1 1EH

atkinsons coffee shop at mackie mayor in manchester northern quarter
atkinsons coffee shop at mackie mayor in manchester northern quarter
street style photo wearing orange ymc sweatshirt with arket gilet, a days march chore jacket and skagen falster 2 smartwatch
street style photo wearing orange ymc sweatshirt with arket gilet, a days march chore jacket and skagen falster 2 smartwatch
Wearing / A Day's March Jacket | Arket Gilet | YMC Sweatshirt | Paul Smith Trousers | Novesta Sneakers | Topman Hat | Skagen Falster ll Smartwatch


Atkinson's at Mackie Mayor, Northern Quarter

This place has been a firm 5-star of mine ever since it first opened back in late 2017. Atkinsons' roots go back to their hometown of Lancaster, but since setting up shop in the back corner of the converted fruit + veg market of Mackie Mayor these guys have gained a whole new following. Damn, have you ever seen another interior like this one in the UK? I can almost see Jeff Goldblum busting out some of his smooth ditties in the corner. From the brass shelves with individual block lettered menu and the perfect shade of blue on the walls and counter, to the help-ya-self tea apothecary and timeless jazz oozing out of the speakers. With endless roasts on offer, if you're looking for a real coffee experience in Manchester then this is the place. 

Visit for: Their Soa Fransicso house roast as an Americano, the old New York-inspired interior + super friendly baristas (who never seem to get bored of my pointing cameras at them!). 1 Eagle Street, Manchester M4 5BU

To learn more about the Skagen Falster ll Smartwatch visit here.

This post is in partnership with Skagen Denmark. Your support of the brands + businesses we work with helps make this blog happen.

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