I live on the southern reaches of Deansgate in Manchester. Living in the centre of town is a joy as long as I avoid the madness of the weekend crowds of partygoers. I have what I like to think of as a circuit of happiness within walking range (time is beginning to take its toll on my dodgy knee).

For a spot of lunch or a drink, I can easily stroll to Siam Smiles, Dishoom, 10 Tib Lane, Climat, Higher Ground, Salut and, at a push, Sparrows. And so I was happy to find Three Little Words on Watson Street within the parameters of that circuit when I was invited to sample the new summer menu.

It has been a while since The Blonde and I walked out for a meal together so it was a double pleasure. It had also been some time since I had been to Three Little Words. It was certainly pre-pandemic and I have fond memories of a good lunch there with my esteemed Editor, Helen.

The current deal is three small plates for £15: any two from a selection of Crispy Chicken with a One-eyed Black Cherry (rum) and chilli sauce, Short Ribs with a honey glaze, Harissa Carrots with hummus and sumac, Roasted Broccoli and quinoa tabouleh (both vegan), and one plate from focaccia, olives or chips. All of these tasty offerings can by washed down with a list of cocktails including gin-based Dutch Flourish, Hugo Spritz, Pining For You, and a rim-infused Hops and Honey. All are reasonably priced between £6.50 and £5.25. Throw in a Manchester Craft Lager at £4 and you’re guaranteed a fine afternoon.

We started with a Dutch Flourish and a Hugo Spritz to take the edge off a grey day. The Blonde went for the vegetarian option of carrots and broccoli with olives. I opted for the chicken with chips. The bird was crispy and the rum chilli sauce was as fiery as a Greek island.

On my wandering through the culinary environs, I have noticed a disturbing tendency among some diners to drink cocktails or Prosecco with their food which, I have to say, leans toward uncouthness. I quelled the hot sauce with a glass or two of a fine Verdejo which was as chilled and wet as an Old Trafford Sunday. The Blonde wiped her plates clean in true Platt family tradition and declared the food to be of “good taste”, the highest complement you will get from her. The chicken and the chips were both good and tasty. If I have any criticism it was the lack of a fish option. As I get older I find myself eating more fish and moving away from meat, especially of the red variety. Having said that, Three Little Words is an excellent destination for an afternoon of cocktails, food and wine with friendly, attentive service from Faye and Daniel.

After lunch we were invited to a short tour of The Spirit of Manchester Distillery. Jackson from Ayr provided us with a witty and informative guide to the home of Manchester Gin. Watch out for its single malt whiskey soon to be seen on the shelves of Selfridges.

And so The Blonde and I made our thanks to one and all for a memorable visit. I will certainly add Three Little Words to my circuit of happiness.

Words and Images by Robert Hamilton

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