Fig + Sparrow

Going out for a meal alone is virgin territory for many.

Many feel awkward at the very thought of it; petrified of being seen out on their own, like it’s something to be ashamed or embarrassed of – whereas in reality, it’s a deliciously wonderful experience.

Having travelled around Europe solo last summer, taking myself out for dinner or lunch is something I’m very familiar with and honestly? I absolutely adore it.

There’s something just so calming about choosing exactly where you want to go, listening to your own cravings and finding the perfect spot to nestle in to while away the hours without the influence of anybody else.

A book, or any kind of reading material, is a necessity I feel in order to fully enjoy this act, when you’re first beginning to enjoy this experience anyway. Without one you’ll find it hard to sit back and watch people come and go with ease, and will be more conscious of your own actions and whether people are dissecting them as much as you are.

Should find yourself without plans, or with an hour or two spare in the city of Manchester; consider yourself very lucky indeed. Pick a spot you’ve had an eye on for a while, and go.

I highly recommend Fig + Sparrow.

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The sweetest of spots; grab yourself a table and pull up a cuppa.

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Fig + Sparrow source their loaves from Trove bakery and champion a select few daily, especially for you.

It’s pretty impossible to go wrong with bread (as we previously discovered here), especially when toasted and topped with sliced avocado and chopped walnuts.


A light glug of olive oil adds an extra layer of decadence to an otherwise ordinary dish.



Light and yet rich in flavour, simple but extremely comforting.

If you’re bored of the avocado toast movement, go for a sandwich.


And we ain’t just talking any sandwich.

Pesto, mozzarella and sun-dried tomato on rye.


Pretty exceptional, especially when paired with your latest page-turner.

Punchy, loud flavours, softened by the chunky mozzarella and chewy bites of bread.

Total satisfaction.

If you do get the chance to indulge in a bit of me-time, I highly recommend you give it a go. Fig + Sparrow have a knack of offering up the calmest of ambiences, the perfect therapy if you’re feeling a little fed up or crave a side of solitude with your sandwich.

Try it, just once. I promise you’ll love it.

2 thoughts on “Fig + Sparrow

  1. writingbolt says:

    It’s not just going to a restaurant alone that can be unsettling; for a long time, I thought going to the movies required at least one companion. But, thanks to a lovely girl from Spain I met online, I was encouraged to brave going alone. And, as long as I really want to see a movie and can typically get to a matinee, I’m okay with going alone. But, even after a stint of going to countless movies alone, I have lost interest in the effort. I feel I could do just as well waiting for the movie to come online or TV. Especially when I’m not even finding enough people to talk about the things I do alone as if it was worth sharing. With so many doing their own things and existing in divided bubbles, it’s like anything I care to do is just for me; and that’s more discouraging than refreshing.

    I took a solo trip to parts of Europe, myself, once (technically a semi-guided tour). And, while I enjoyed some liberty in getting around and feeling free to move as I pleased (within reason because there were security posts and cultural expectations all around, ready to surprise me), I missed having someone with me who I could trust with my heart and not be afraid of facing anything foreign. Braving it myself, I was forced to almost always be in “survival mode” and try to capture everything myself on camera so I could relive it later (because I wasn’t sure I’d get back to see it, again, nor if it would still be as I last saw it, possibly destroyed by war or some fool playing in the Trevi fountain…you never know these days). I enjoyed less than I could have (had I had a partner or better group).

    I’ll say this, too, for giving up a little independent thought/decision-making, it’s not always bad to do what someone else suggests/wants. If it’s new to you, what’s the difference? Would you rather go to the same café every time you travel abroad or try a new place that may be just as good? Maybe you would not find it without someone else. Maybe you find sharing the experience was better than your last solo venture. Or, maybe you have to pool your resources to achieve something you couldn’t think of or manage on your own.

    And, if you think there are no influences in going solo, I’d take a look around you. The influences are the people surrounding you wherever you go, typically strangers who will feel more free to peck or confront you alone than if you had company. And, of course, there’s the rare chance one of these encounters could earn a friend or date. But, there’s probably more chance of finding someone you DO NOT want to meet or have tail you. Safety in numbers.

    Question. How does one pick a spot they’ve had their eye on for a while if they only spend an hour or two in Manchester? If it’s their first time there? I was lucky if I read any signs in the towns I visited. 😛 I generally ate where the tour went or carried what I could in my bag. I sort of wanted to do more exploring but was afraid to go too far alone in a land where I might not speak the language (or find those who spoke my language).

    I can look for this Fig and Sparrow if I happen to be on the right street in Manchester; it sounds quaint enough. [The lighting–those bare bulbs on wires–is a bit stark.] Bringing a book (a crossword puzzle book is my go-to relief from social anxiety, though it also isolates me a bit) is a good idea. But, I might not find myself on that street. In which case, I would not get to try this food you tried. If only you had gone with me. 🙂

    Not being a big starch/bread lover, I can’t say I’d be drawn to either of the plates you sampled. I’d try a few bites, maybe a slice or two, but not a full sandwich or plate of that avocado and nut stuff. Too dry for my liking. However, that red “cuppa” looks like a tasty latte or cocoa; that I’ll drink. 🙂 Do they have a pasta and salad combo? Or, maybe a BLT? And, do they have any citrus punches and/or iced coffees?


  2. SudsEats says:

    A short reply. I just have a book on my phone. I mainly eat out alone and generally feel very self-conscious. Hurray for the book. It’s also a bit lonely and I wish I had a.n.other.


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