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Jonathan Schofield enjoys a wallow at Trof

Written by . Published on April 5th 2007.


I’ve often wanted to go to Prague, which used to lie in the kingdom of Bohemia, and find the right sort of bar. This would have lots of wacky artists and designers and I’d say in a loud voice “wow, this is really Bohemian.” One day.

Trof, on Thomas Street, is Bohemian but in a very British way. It could only be in this country. You have to love the place. As far as dress sense goes forget Prada this is Flic Everett and Simon Buckley’s perfect little boutique Rags to Bitches on Tib Street. Here vintage crashes into retro and hangs out with Primark. It provides great people watching - apart from weekend nights when it resembles a Tube Station at rush hour and a walk across the small ground floor area takes an hour.

Trof is also a very good looking place, a nineteenth century textile unit, cleaned up and then quirked out with exposed brick and a happy jumble sale of furniture, fittings and artworks. Spread over three levels it has a cutsy lounge on the top floor and a broad balcony with an extensive view stretching..er..three metres to the crumbling backwall of an old machine shop waiting to be gentrified. That adds to the appeal of sitting outside and gives the place a Lower Eastside feel.

The drinks are excellent, particularly if you like world and British beers. Bottled winners (from a choice of 46) on our visit included the rich Anchor Porter from San Francisco (£3.20) and the smooth Coniston Bluebird (£3.50). American indie breweries are a speciality. The Sierra Nevada pale ale on tap is good thirst quencher but hideously expensive at £4 a pint - and frankly not a patch on the Joey Holts bitter round the corner in the Hare and Hounds for less than half the price.

It’s not just beers though, there’s a decent range of wines such as a fierce but fine Rioja from Bodegas Eguren (£15). There’s also Prosecco (£19.95) - which the menu suggests you try for breakfast. The milk shakes are spectacular, the chocolate version (£3) rammed so full with cocoa that Cleopatra would have swapped her bath of asses’ milk for a dip in this.

Food is good, chunky, unsophisticated bar fodder, to fill and line rather than tickle the tastebuds with subtlety. Thus we shared a platter (£13.95) of pastrami, salami, chorizo, baby tomatoes, olives, mozzarella and a smokey cheese I couldn’t identify, plus oven heated breads and so on. It was a great nibbling dish, and looked lovely as well. The sticky toffee pudding (£3.45) is advertised modestly as ‘the world’s best’. Not sure about that but if you want a festival of sweetness then give it a whirl.

This is the second Trof after the original in Fallowfield. It’s moved things along nicely and become an instant hit in the Northern Quarter, joining those other indie winners such as Odd, Common, Cord and so on. All we need now is for some artistic tourists from the Czech Republic to wander in, look around and say “wow, this is really Bohemian”.

Trof (8 Thomas Street, Northern Quarter, City. 0161 833 3197)Mon-Sat 9am-2am, Sun 9am-midnight

Bar Rating: 15.5/20(Atmosphere 4/5, Décor 4.5/5, Food 3/5, Drinks 4/5)

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7 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnouskaApril 5th 2007.

I love the new Trof, I think it's the best bar in the world. The staff are well friendly too

leanneApril 5th 2007.

Big up the trof- always been my fave place to eat, drink, dance and be merry! lovin it!!!

Scott GApril 5th 2007.

I pumped so much of my student loan into the original that they actually put my name on the founding brick of this new gaff. well they should of.God bless ya Trof.

JamesApril 5th 2007.

Love it, only been there drinking so far but it's a quality place. Got a vibe like you're round at a mates for a house party. Just hope they've brought the door stop sandwiches and all day breakfasts big enough to feed four people.

DavidApril 5th 2007.

Was looking forward to this place opening but sadly it appears a bit pretentious and not as welcoming as its Fallowfield sibling. Avoid the Monday quiz - with Britain's most annoying compére in residence.

AnonymousApril 5th 2007.

I already wrote a review on my bad experience at Trof. Don't get me wrong, I spent most of my days at the bar in Fallowfield, but cold potatoes come to mind when I consider this new one. I like to think the bohemians cook their food.......I wouldn't eat here again..

PhilipApril 5th 2007.

I love this place, it's exactly what the northern quarter needs more of...

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