Rust and Stone, Hardman Square, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3AQ – Visit Now
Rust & Stone offers up fresh lunches and a laid-back atmosphere in the heart of Spinningfields. Sounds perfect, right? Not quite.
Rust & Stone Café sets out to be one of the healthier eating options in Spinningfields – but it seems to be a tad confused. Yes, it has a suitably Zen vibe, with an open fronted unit next to The Lawn Club and cushy seating beneath Moroccan lanterns and large fairy lights outside. And yes, there are big bowls of salads and a goodly list of fresh juices, smoothies and cold presses. But the take on the ‘clean’ and ‘conscious’ eating trend here is a little unconvinced: alongside the salads are hefty sandwiches, not ideal for the anyone trying to cut down carbs, and, in the evening, a whole roast chicken or baked camembert to choose from. Yup, camembert – that’s cheese, people, notorious winner of a Top Trumps calorie contest.
A welcome escape from the over-pimped, gut-busting food elsewhere?
It’s a shame that Rust & Stone hasn’t channelled more of the Ottonlenghi-vibe: though the courgette, couscous and Waldorf salads we tried were nice, they were a little uninspiring. We wanted more of a range, more unusual ingredients and inventive cooking. Get that right, and you’d surely corner the market; a welcome escape from the over-pimped, gut-busting food elsewhere. Rust & Stone does look to have a nice little niche in breakfasts, with bircher, chia seed, granola and fresh fruit pots, as well as porridge, all sitting pretty at £2.50 – as well as offering a tempting range of organic and biodynamic wines for the evening. There are also classes in partnership with Ashtanga Yoga Manchester on the Spinningfield lawns (1pm-1.45pm Tues; 7.30am-8.30am Thur). So, like most balanced diets, some good some bad; choose wisely, and don’t kid yourself about your waistline.
This is an independent review, but our writer didn’t pay for her meal. For more info on our editorial policy, read our About page.