Excellent things: Exploring lovely Levenshulme

As I promised (warned, that is) you last week, I went on a little trip to Levenshulme. As a loyal reader* of the South Manchester Reporter, I was aware of the existence of this area of Manchester, but could never really pin down what exactly constituted Levenshulme. Or what was happening there. Or who lived there. In order to battle my ignorance, the fab Helen from Love Levenshulme volunteered to put up with me for an afternoon and give me an introduction to the wonderful world of Levenshulme.

On a very lovely and very sunny Sunday, I climbed the stairs to the top deck of the 192, leaving behind Piccadilly and slowly moving down Stockport Road, past teenagers in sleeping bags camping outside the Apollo, through Ardwick and Longsight, finally getting off at Levenshulme rail station to meet my guide for the day. Our first stop was the absolutely brilliant POD deli which had its name from its location – a former post office! (Yeah that kind of stuff does get me quite excited.)

We spent almost two hours at POD, stuffing our little faces with delicious food and chatting away with Helen and her “almost next door neighbours”. “There are lots of families in Levenshulme!” they said, pointing at the children and prams squeezed into the tiny café. “Oh really?”, I replied. “I just thought it was well dodgy!”. I learned that, while certainly having its slightly more grubby areas, Levenshulme was full of families, a large student population, parks, and a lovely little creative scene, which was proved by the handmade cards and brooches displayed at POD.

We only just managed to drag ourselves off the chairs at POD and move further down the road, past a phone box that looked like it had been the location of a very long and potentially very interesting phone call, containingsix emtpy cans of Skol Super – a 9% lager. Welcome to Levenshulme.

We arrived at the mysterious “Antiques Village”, which, as it turned out, wasn’t an actual village, but an old council building that had been turned into an antiques shopping mall. We explored the little museum-like shops that had bits and bobs crammed in up to the ceiling, including a creepy self-inflating Michelin man, discovered the amazing Agaphantus Antiques shop (ooh! Shiny!) that Helen had only just mentioned on Love Levenshulme, and had a cup of tea from the little café in the village. And that’s where my trip to Levenshulme ended – distracted by lovely food, lovely chats, and shiny things, I didn’t actually manage to explore the dingy backstreets I had been hoping for. I suppose there is only one way to solve this (terrible, teeeerrrible) problem: I have to come back to Levy as soon as possible!

Special notice: Love Levenshulme are running a photo competition titled “Levenshulme Loves”. The deadline is on Wednesday 3rd November, so I recommend you pay a visit to Levy, snap some awesome pictures (i.e. better than what you see below…) and send them in as soon as you can. Fame awaits you!

* When we first moved down here, we used to put the South Manchester Reporter in the bathroom as toilet reading material. Now it just goes straight into the recycling.