The weekend of 28 – 30th June sees the launch of Chorlton Coffee Festival. Brainchild of Canadian-born Lorelei Loveridge, she decided it was time to bring cafe culture to south Manchester suburb, Chorlton, when refused a cup of coffee after 9 pm. The festival will take place in cafes, bars and restaurants around Chorlton, and will also host a festival ‘hub’ in Chorlton Central Church on Saturday 29th June. The hub will feature various workshops and talks, such as ‘How to Become a Home Barista’ and ‘One Chemex, Five Coffees’.
Over thirty cafes, bars and restaurants in the Chorlton area are involved in the festival and will be participating through hosting various events over the weekend, as well as offering coffee-based drinks specials for festival attendees. Cafe events currently include a poetry workshop with Chorlton-based published author, Rosie Garland, intimate gig performance from the always fascinating Kirsty Almeida, and ‘Tour de Cafe South Manchester’, a cycle tour around the finest coffee haunts in Chorlton and beyond!
Festival producer, Lorelei, left Canada for the exotic and lived in Saudi Arabia for 11 years, travelling and sampling the teas, coffees and cafes of Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Oman and the UAE as well as India, Nepal and other parts of South and Southeast Asia. She came to Manchester and lived in the city from 2007-2010, was beckoned back to run a community service program in Qatar for two years and finally settled in Chorlton last July after relocating from the Middle East. Having lived for the most part in countries with an emphasis on cafe culture, Lorelei missed meeting up with friends in coffee houses in the evening. “When I moved to the UK, I would say ‘Let’s meet for a coffee’ and people would respond with ‘Or a drink’. Alcohol seemed to have a far greater importance than coffee here. I miss the cafe culture from Canada and Arabian peninsula: I don’t disapprove of alcohol consumption; in fact, I see a place for it to sit inside cafe culture, instead of the two being at polar ends of the spectrum.”
The festival is mostly free to attend, while entrance to the festival hub will cost £3 for adults and £1 for children. Chorlton Central Church hosts the festival ‘hub’ on Saturday 29th June from 10am – 7pm, and is located on Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, M21 8BF