Blossoming into the streets of the little big smoke, Allotment Bar offers a bright and breezy alternative to its stripped back, urban-chic siblings of the NQ. As you brush through the industrial back streets, eying up potential watering holes, turn onto Dale Street and you will be met by the fresh white paint and timelessly classic appearance of the British restaurant and bar that is Allotment. We were lucky enough to secure an invite to their first day on the job; here's what we thought of this botanical babe.
In a complete reversal of expectations, we step inside and are met with a bed of grass on the floor. A living wall of potted plants, fruits and veggies breathes a delicious scent of the country into the air. The corrugated iron bar is a sight to behold; centred slap bang in the middle of the room, excited guests sneak around it to discover hidden quirks like garden gnomes and a hidden tool shed. We pick up a crisp and floral glass of prosecco, plonk ourselves down on a chunky, solid wood bench and scour the drinks menu.
The Food and Drinks
Allotment are paving (or digging) the way for London's insatiable love of gin to put down roots up North. Keeping with their homage to all things British, the menu compromises of inventive and downright delicious gin cocktails as well the good old classics with a botanical twist. I opted for a sweet and refreshing Rum 'n Ting; served in a teacup with lashings of ice, this cool and fruity tipple was smooth and easy to gobble down. My partner in crime chose a pint of their very own Dirty Hoe lager, another crisp and refreshing addition to the ever expanding menu. For seconds, we both chose The Legless Worm cocktail. True to form, we started to feel the effects of this gin and bubble gum syrup concoction; like bees to nectar, we got through these very quickly. Best of all, we got to garnish our drinks with blackberries picked from the walls of Allotment itself!
Little nibbles and canapes were on hand to soak up our gin induced giggles. Miniature fish and chips got a resounding thumbs up from tipsy party goers; we tucked into thick, fluffy chips and perfectly cooked cod pieces with a zingy splodge of salad cream. Morsels of club sandwiches also went around the bar and were snapped up very quickly. Allotment plan to offer top-notch in-season food in order to offer a fairly priced and high quality array of British classics, with as many home grown ingredients as possible.
Atmosphere and Clientele
Allotment offers a homely and back to basics concept, attracting groups of people who appreciate the time and effort devoted to a personal passion. Gin lovers will feel right at home working their way through a wide and exciting collection, whilst pub foodies can agonise over choosing between a main dish or a sharing platter. In the evening, crowds of laid back professionals, friends and locals gather to knock back tasty tipples and take in the interactive and attractive botanical background. Open 'til 2am at weekends, we expect to find crowds looking to escape the urban fixtures and fittings of the Northern Quarter and the hot and heavy bars that leave little room to breathe.
We can't wait to see this venue ripen and flourish into a new Northern Quarter favourite. With the Fashion Quarter already declaring Allotment as their own triumph, it's easy to see why lovers of something honest and original will be forming an orderly queue to sample the green fingered goodies at this delightful new venture.