Picture this: You’re walking down Dale Street, going about your day, before stumbling upon a set of unsuspecting, sage green doors – strangely inviting, and surrounded by the kind of pretty greenery that you just can’t say no to. Sounds a bit like an urban retelling of The Secret Garden, right? Except, these doors are much easier to get through. Phew.
Leading to what can only be described as the Northern Quarter’s very own Wonderland, Mala MCR is the city’s newest alfresco haven, providing an escape from the city, within the city, for Mancs to retreat to.
Upon walking through the mystifying doors, guests are greeted with a twinkling setting that’s amplified with fairy lights, which meander their way through the trees and greenery that take centre stage within the garden. There, guests will find picnic benches galore, as well as private sheds and pretty-in-pink cable carts where guests can grab a bit of peace and quiet from the world, and cosy tables and stools for laidback catch-ups with friends. It’s a world where only eating, drinking and unwinding are important, and an ethos we can well and truly get behind.
Sheltered from the Manchester storms, the inner city oasis houses a number of local independents within its hideout, with the likes of Crumbled, House of Habesha, Ply Squared and Salt & Pepper MCR calling the hidden corner of the city home. In addition to great, locally-made food, guests can also enjoy a selection of cocktails and beers, as well as refreshing Aperol Spritz, with a little something for everyone to enjoy behind the bar.
Open all day long from 12 noon til 9pm, by daylight, visitors can expect a tranquil, botanical paradise where city dwellers can kick back with a book and a bite to eat on their lunch break… But by nightfall, Mala truly comes alive, transforming into a sparkling sanctuary full of friends nattering, laughing, drinking and sharing some of the best independently-made food Manchester has to offer.
Tucked away by Chapter One books on the corner of Dale Street and Lever Street, Mancs can stumble upon Mala MCR at 19 Lever St, M1 1BY. The secret garden is open daily, and dogs are welcome too.