Go to any mainland European city or town and you will find a food hall and market. Full of life, people eating and enjoying coffee.
Sadly they are few and far between in the UK and usually pop up as, well, pop-ups for special events.
Stockport has its Foodie Friday events, but they are only once a month, and Levenshulme, Chorlton and Heaton Moor regular food markets.
But Altrincham wins with its Market House, which even on a Wednesday morning is busy with people enjoying a coffee or some lunch.
There has been a market on the site since 1290 and, more recently, Market House Altrincham was named Best Market in the Observer Food Monthly Awards 2015.
There is plenty to choose from – streak, burgers, pizza, pie and mash, antipasti. There is also a beer and wine stall with a dozen craft ales on tap.
Food is ordered from the open hatches around the perimeter of the hall and then served at a series of long tables. Cuban music only adds to the atmosphere, which is buzzing with activity and laid-back at the same time.
Tender Cow serves ‘grass fed, rare breed, heritage beef’ – you must try the steak sandwiches with béarnaise sauce – and Honest Crust cook their pizzas in a wood-fired oven.
Market House Altrincham serves food and drink into the evening – so a return trip is on the cards.
- Market House Altrincham is on Greenwood Street, Altrincham – full details on their website.