Today I had lunch in Iceland. Well, almost. As close as you can get in Manchester, UK. I visited Takk, an Iceland inspired ‘cafe and creative space’ in Tariff Street in the Northern Quarter of the city.
Takk opened in January of this year, and is the brainchild of Philip Hannaway. Philip is an Iceland obsessive too, and his passion for the country shows through, not just in the enthusiastic way he speaks of his visits to Iceland (or Sigur Rós, for that matter) but in the care and dedication he has put into making Takk.
Take, for example, the bright and cheery map of Iceland, inscribed with cultural references on one wall, or the modern pictorial interpretations of Iceland’s sagas on the other. If this isn’t enough, consider his attention to detail in providing the best coffee (something very Icelandic) or his devotion to making an authentic Icelandic kaka.
The food is good too. The choice of sandwiches is sparse, but well chosen. Mine (Jarlsberg and turkey salad, if you are really that interested) arrives and is almost bigger than the plate. The huge selection of cakes and slices almost makes it too difficult too choose, and all around me people are laughing and talking or taping away on their laptops.
In the corner, there are books about Iceland and newspapers (including Reykjavik Grapevine and Iceland Review) to read. I’m sat at what appears to be a school desk with the inscription ‘His sense of humour suggests exciting sex’. Yeah, maybe, but I’m too busy wrangling with a sandwich for the moment.
This might just be a little slice of Iceland in Manchester.