Connoisseur's Guide


Five Offbeat Eateries. Recommended by Gatis Mūrnieks.

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Connoisseur's Guide · Europe · united kingdom · Manchester · Five Offbeat Eateries. Recommended by Gatis Mūrnieks.

Corner House

Author: Gatis Mūrnieks0 COMMENTS

Corner House

Through a Latvian's eyes, Manchester is to Great Britain what Liepāja is to Latvia - at least the „city of wind" I have discovered for myself: simple, post-industrial, perhaps even slightly depressive. At the same time, both cities are equally impregnated with ideas by creative, individually powerful and confident (not self-assured) people. There seems to be a bit of a we're-doing-our-own-thing-here-in-Manchester, never-mind-London feel in the air.
To see Mancunians chill out at a place which, to them, has been the embodiment of a certain set of values for over a quarter of a century, head for Corner House. The 1985-opened centre for contemporary art and cinema originally served as a picture theatre; today it also houses a bookstore, three art galleries and a cafe, regularly hosting talks on contemporary cinema and art, meetings and independent film festivals. The ¡Viva! Spanish Film Festival alone brought practically the whole of Manchester to Corner House in March 2009 - there definitely was no room to swing a cat. Corner House is an incredibly creative and rich multi-medial environment in which even the smallest details are matching in style. It is one complete living organism, working in various directions, yet always as a whole: from the Adbusters magazine, the epitome of contempt for the consumerist culture, at the downstairs bookstore - you would probably have a hard time searching for an issue even elsewhere in London - to the alternative-looking crowd at the cafe. The latter features countless tables and admits just enough people for everyone to be forced to sit next to each other; people who have met literally a minute ago are busy communicating, discussing cinema and art. The white noise that fills the room makes it impossible to discern distinct words: as you sit there, sipping your coffee and browsing a magazine, the whole hubbub doesn't even bother you. These are all things that belong here, including the funny teabags. At first glance, there is nothing special about them: British-made tea packed in a small pyramid-shaped bag - except that, taken out of your teacup, it appears exactly like a piglet, swollen and over-stuffed, about to burst any minute. You can't help feeling surprised that a busy place as popular among great masses of people can maintain a service of this level of quality, friendliness and, amazingly, quirkiness.

70 Oxford Street, Manchester M1 5NH

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