Food & Drink: Bites use your loaf: a digest of bread-friendly restaurants - Arts and Entertainment - The Independent

Food & Drink: Bites use your loaf: a digest of bread-friendly restaurants

Atlas, 376 Deansgate, Castlefield, Manchester (0161-834 2124) Mon-Sat noon-8pm, Sun 11am-3pm for food. Underneath a railway arch, this cool glass-fronted cafe/bar is the place to chill, or take the chill off with one of two daily soups (typically, smoked salmon and leek, and creamy yellow pepper and courgette). They come with a choice of fantastic breads: tomato, cheese and onion, walnut, olive, German rye, wholemeal, apple and pumpkin for pounds 3.95. Pick a couple of chunks to dunk in soup, or order a ciabatta sandwich for a farinacious fix. The newer Atlas deli over the road at 345 Deansgate (0161-834 2266) sells loaves of the same bread, plus cheese, charcuterie and imported Italian goodies.

De Gustibus, 53 Blandford Street, London W1 (0171-486 6608) Mon-Fri 6am-4.30pm, Sat 9am-3pm. The shop selling all the breads from De Gustibus bakery also has a cafe component with three fancy sandwich specials each day (roast mushroms, cheese and salsa; goat's cheese with mixed herbs and dressing) and a range of other fillings from pounds 1.85-pounds 3.25. These can be had on the many and various breads such as sun-dried ciabatta, walnut, six-day sourdough, old Milwaukee rye, granary, Tuscany, and even, on certain days of the week, daily breads such as wild rice and lentil on Wednesdays.

Harvey Nichols' Espresso Bar, 107-111 Briggate, Leeds (0113 204 8000) Mon-Wed 10am-6pm, Thur-Sat 10am-7pm. Do Harvey Nichols customers dare to dunk? If so, they have the means to do it here. The street-level cafe underneath the store has most seats outside in the Victorian arcade (with roof and heaters) for the footsore to have coffee and superior sandwiches on one of three breads: pumpkin seed, crusty white or focaccia filled with, say, salt beef and beetroot pickle or oak-roast salmon with lime and dill dressing for pounds 4.75. Bowls of soup come with chunks of the pumpkin seed bread.

Livebait, 41-45 The Cut, London SE1 (0171-928 7211) Mon-Sat lunch and dinner. Innovative fish restaurant where the attention to detail and dedication to sometimes unorthodox flavours and colours extends to extraordinary and good bread, sliced from huge, many hued loaves baked on the premises - brightest stars of the basket have been pink beetroot and tumeric yellow breads. Set-price lunch is pounds 12.50 for two courses, and you can order crustacea individually, shellfish platters, or starters and mains, bringing the price of dinner to around pounds 30 without drink. A basket of bread costs an extra pounds 2 for up to five types which might include pumpkin, mixed pepper, fruit and nut or sesame-seed brown.

The Village Bakery, Melmerby, Penrith, Cumbria (01768 881515) Mon-Sat 8.30am-5pm, Sun 9.30am-5pm. For more than 20 years, the Village Bakery has been a standard bearer of organic artisan baking and supplies nationally from its Cumbrian base. Bread is baked in wood-fired ovens, bread-making courses pass on flour-arranging knowledge to enthusiasts, and a cafe dispenses a delicious introduction to the Village Bakery's range. Breads include yeast-free campagne, wholemeal, sunflower, wild mushroom and garlic, salt-free toscana. For lunch, smoked trout comes on Borodinsky Russian rye bread; pear and walnuts with grilled Loch Arthur cheese on pain de campagne. The Baker's lunch for pounds 6.25 consists of a selection of breads and cheeses and salad.

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