I’ve never been a fan of birthdays, particularly my own. I consider myself to be an otherwise rational and reasonable person who suffers from a form of temporary insanity on one particular day of the year…my birthday. Over the years, my saintly partner has developed a number of coping strategies – more commonly employed with nursery-aged children – to distract me from my birthday-inspired morbidity.  Chiefly among these strategies is food.

Home Sweet Home: Gourmet Bakehouse and Coffee Bar

Home Sweet HomeThis year, the tried-and-tested tactic of misdirection started early. I was whisked off for breakfast at Home Sweet Home in the Northern Quarter.  I’d wanted to go there for a while, as I’d heard lots of good things about it, but it was always quite busy whenever we walked past. Unusually, on that particular morning, their dining room was almost empty.

We were shown to a table, by our friendly waitress, and ordered two of the breakfasts to share. I use the term ‘share’ in its loosest sense, given that I monstered (if that’s a proper word) the majority of our joint order. Home Sweet Home is a characterful establishment – with it’s stylishly distressed furniture and seemingly random arrangement of paperbacks (Jeffrey Archer novels sit next to books about long dead programming languages). An interesting place to while away a morning with one of their great coffees.

The full breakfast was generously proportioned and was one of the best English-style breakfasts I’d had in a while. The bacon was crispy and and all of the ingredients were of high quality: not the usual watery, tasteless mushrooms you get in most cafés. The Texan Skillet was excellent and the experience of jack cheese with spicy fried potatoes is one I hope to repeat in the future.

I enjoyed my first visit to Home Sweet Home and look forward to trying their non-breakfast menu in the future.

Home Sweet Home on Urbanspoon


Teacup on Thomas Street

Teacup-windowEvery birthday needs a cake, so our next stop was Teacup on Thomas Street. We’d been to Teacup before. It is a popular eatery with a relaxed atmosphere and more importantly, for my purposes, amazing cakes. We took a seat at their bar, next to a tempting display of confectionery.

The Super-zing-a-lemo-licious – a vanilla sponge with lemon curd and and icing – was fantastic. A worthy birthday cake.  The sponge was moist and the icing was delicious.

My partner grudgingly allowed me to try her Flourless Chocolate cake. Birthdays do have their privileges I suppose… It was excellent. A rich and creamy chocolate taste and incredibly moreish.

Teacup is a great place to just sit and have a chat with friends. Its friendly staff and the unpretentious approach to food make it a must-visit for anyone planning a trip to the Northern Quarter. I intend to try their food on my next visit and if it’s anywhere near as good as their cakes, I’ll let you know.

Teacup on Urbanspoon

My partner had chosen well. Two excellent establishment and a great birthday morning. Only the evening to contend with, but that’s the subject of another post…