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Bailey Italia

Sian Claire Owen discovers one of the oddest cafes in Manchester

Published on January 24th 2008.

Bailey Italia

This is a mad place. Picture the scene. You’re on Chester Road, Old Trafford, and suddenly the full force of El Niňo hits you in the face with rain so hard it dents the pavement. You could take cover in the bus shelter, but then you see an oasis of colour in the sea of grey buildings and torrential rainwater. An oasis called Bailey Italia.

A cross between Ray Mears’ Woodlore School of Bushcraft, and Blackpool’s Professor Peabody’s Playplace. Not least because of the 15 varieties of ice cream on offer, and the fact that the coffee shop is full of tents. Yes folks. Tents. And lots of ‘em.

Bailey Italia is an ice cream parlour/coffee shop that’s a cross between Ray Mears’ Woodlore School of Bushcraft, and Blackpool’s Professor Peabody’s Playplace. Not least because of the 15 varieties of ice cream on offer, and the fact that the coffee shop is full of tents. Yes folks. Tents. And lots of ‘em.

It’s not a deliberate ploy to be ‘crazy-MAD’, it’s just the best arrangement. Bailey Italia is situated on the top floor of a warehouse, and the camping store downstairs displays their tents in the coffee shop because there is space to do so. The effect is quirky but works quite well.

The ice cream come in 15 flavours from honeycomb to vanilla iced fudge via mint ’ n’ choc chip, strawberry, vanilla iced fudge. And just in case you were wondering, the ice cream sundaes (£3.50 for three scoops) come with marshmallows, whipped cream, wafers and sauce. Exactly as it should be.

Bailey Italia is a family run business, and accordingly they sell Chorley-produced Fredericks’ ice cream, also a family company. It’s like the Brady Bunch of ice-cream parlour fun. This shows with the friendly service, and the easy atmosphere. There’s certainly no glitz, in fact the place looks a bit like an army canteen, but this adds to the charm. It’s like classic Manchester summer bar Canteena has been re-invented in a warehouse complete with camouflage netting on the ceiling. Customers come for the tasty, reasonably priced grub, comfy sofas you can sink into. Er… and possibly some camping gear.

However given that it’s mid-Winter, not everyone will opt for the double choc-chip and cinder toffee quadruple-scoop Sundae. For those in search of something a bit more seasonal, a range of cakes and pastries are available (from 80p), as well as a wide range of salads (from £2.95), paninis (£2.85) ciabattas (£2.95), wraps (£2.95), jacket potatoes (from £1.65), and of course the whopping big breakfast greasy spoon breakfast (£4.95). In particular, the coffee is great. Freshly ground, good quality coffee makes all the difference, and it really hit the spot. And at £1.45 for a regular coffee, you cannot go wrong.

Indeed nothing on the menu is above £5, so if you’re looking for good quality no-frills nosh, set against the backdrop of a camping shop, then Bailey Italia should be right up your street. Or rather a street that lies halfway between town and United. Indeed if you feel like a fry-up en route to a match this is a good place to call in at.

Baileys Italia
Nuttall Street
Old Trafford
M16 9JA
0161 886 5790
Mon- Fri 8.30am–4.30pm, Sat 9.30am–4pm, Sun 11am-4pm

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

Chris BonningtonJanuary 24th 2008.

Before negotiating the north face of the Eiger, or traversing up K2 I always love a nice lolly and a latte at Baileys.

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2008.

All the paninis and sanwiches are made to order Bailey Italia do not sell ready shrink wrapped food.

JasonJanuary 24th 2008.

Been to most cafe's around Manchester after a night out but Bailey Italia is by far the tastiest!! and most reasonably priced!! a massive breakfast with a brew for under a fiver!!! ill be calling back very soon!!!!!

sophieJanuary 24th 2008.

i go to bailey italia everyday, the food is amazing and i never get bored,as there is such a vast choice of food.The ice cream is to die for.... iv definatley gone up a dress size haha. my favourite is the warm chocolate brownie sundae..its gets me everytime... mmmmm.. :-)

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2008.

Only one complaint my waistline is growing with eating there.Food brill and the ice cream is to die for.Staff pleasant and when the sun shines the balcony ace.When is the nexy barbi the fish and chef delicious.

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2008.

Just like to thank all the staff for a great party the children and parents thought it was brill.We will be having many more parties there.Thanks very much

JenJanuary 24th 2008.

Been here loads of times and never had a problem with the food - good value for money - they sell cheshire farm ice cream which is one of my favourites!

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2008.

I found the place disappointing - the fry up was plain and all filler and no killer, the 'wide selection' of paninis and wraps was not that wide - what was available was tired, shrink-wrapped yesterday and predictable. And the ice cream looked like it'd been there since the year dot. Great tents, though...

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2008.

the food here sucks , had a cold jacket potato on one occasion had to ask to get it reheated when they reheated it they reheated it with the tuna filling so that was hot when it shouldn't have been .the potato tasted ancient and was just microwaved from the fridge . My friend got cheese on toast which was on the cheapest white bread you can get not toasted properly with cheese not melted properly . How hard is it to make cheese on toast !!!I think never trust a place with about a hunderd panini and jacket potato fillings . They are obviously all ordered in and taste like it . Apart from the food being awful , the staff are surly and rude , don't go in there with kids unless you want to keep them strapped to your side . Horrid depressing tawdry place

AnonymousNovember 7th 2011.

I am usually really happy with the food here, I always order a tuna melt and it's great. However, I don't know if they have a new chef or were just having a bad day, but today was a terrible experience. I ordered my usual, which was given to me with no cheese in it. When I returned it, the lady at the counter was very rude and just quickly took it away without even looking at it with me. Five minutes later it was returned to me without an apology, and I was told that apparently there already was cheese on but they had put some extra on it for me. However, they obviously had to melt this cheese they had thrown on, so the rest of the sandwich was now burned. Not impressed today.

AnonymousFebruary 23rd 2013.

This place serves the best italian coffee i have ever tasted and the breakfasts are to die for truly scrumptious and at an amazingly cheap price its a steal.i cannot wait to try the ice cream I've heard its very moreish and i will definitely be parking myself up on their balcony in summer and enjoying a triple scoop with all the toppings yum!.The only problem i have with this place is that they don't have leads to attach the other customers kids to,i like to enjoy my coffee and freshly made sandwich in peace on my dinner hour "parents control the kids".

AnonymousMay 5th 2013.

Best icecream i have ever tasted and the coffee like rocket fuel, i hope they start to open later in the summer i could do with a little escape after work .

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Latest Rants


The staff should wear clothes made out of corn flakes.

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Dress the staff as Tony the Tiger and the honey monster, otherwise i'm just not interested. ;)

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Actually, it seems like this pricing model is designed to encourage eating fast and getting out of…

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