I was lolling about in bed this morning like a right lazy arse, scrolling idly through my Instagram feed and I happened to notice @acorn_and_pip were at Altrincham market today.
In one insta-inspired-moment, Sunday had gone from a lazy, laid back nothing day to ‘get up the stairs now kids and get dressed’.
I haven’t been to Altrincham market for years. In all honestly, Altrincham town centre, despite the inflated house prices and affluent suburbs, is a bit of a dump. I have heard lately though that it’s on the up. Thanks in no small part to the resurgence of the old market.
We got the tram there, just to add a little excitement into the mix. I get that, ‘come on girls, lets go look round a market’ isn’t the most exciting prospect for a five year old. As expected, they loved it. I’m perpetually confused that the simplest things make them so happy, yet the grand, overblown days out, fall flat time and again.
The metro station in Altrincham is really quite nice. Ultra modern mixed with original Victorian brickwork. I love that where possible they left original walls and features and it totally works. The girls didn’t give two hoots though so we didn’t stick around.
As we walked through the centre towards the market, I thought, who the hell said this place was on the up. It was 11am. The shopping street was pretty much deserted. I was starting to think we had made a wasted journey.
However! As we rounded the corner up to the market, the glum lacklustre façade of the half-inhabited high street crumbled away to reveal a vibrant buzzing scene ahead. And man, did it live up to my expectations. It had the usual array of market stalls; vintage clothes, prints, flowers, handmade baby clothes, pottery etc.
(A basket of child-alluring frilliness)
But the real star of the show was the food side. It was a foodie/drinky heaven.
We bought pastries for elevenses from the French boulangerie stall, the smell of freshly baked bread and buttery pastry was divine.
Attached to the main market hall is a huge food hall, selling everything from pies and coffee to delectable cakes and cocktails. I O’ so nearly treated myself to a Bloody Mary, then didn’t thinking it was a bit of a lush thing to do on my own in charge of kids. I wish I had though!
We couldn’t get a seat in here amidst all the hipster families, so did a bit more browsing and had lunch in the main hall. May chose a chorizo baguette and Noa a Margarita pizza.
(Eco-friendly, green, brown cutlery. Useless. Totally)
(Look at that face. I think it means, stop taking pictures of me and let me eat!)
We shared the food, and also a miniscule table (kids chose the only children’s table in the place, I rocked a bad look with my butt cheeks hanging over the sides of the baby chair) with a chatty two year old who was making a right meal out of a Jaffa cake inspired biscuit, that was easily the size of her head.
We had a lovely time, the kids were delightful for once and I felt pretty chuffed and proud that already at their ages they are beginning to appreciate places like Altrincham market for the eclecticism, culture and awesome food offerings.
And the last stop. The loos! The Neil Gaiman-esque original Victorian underground toilets. The kids were horrified…’eurgh they’re old’, ‘eurgh, there are cobwebs’, ‘eurgh they stink’. I forgot they never got the pleasure of the outdoor lavs in Urmston, and there I was reminiscing.