An intimate new venue in the heart of Manchester opened in October, offering customers a mix of tea, cakes and music. Leaf on Portland Street is set over two floors in a magnificent grade II listed building.
Leaf is a tea house, versatile café bar and arts space all rolled into one with over 60 varieties of loose leaf tea, from classic Earl Grey to the exotic Jasmine Huang Shan Ya. An award-winning all day menu includes vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.
Located below the creative community of Bruntwood’s West Village, the independent venue LEAF now inhabits was formerly the CUBE Gallery. With an abundance of character and charm, it features a 300 capacity area for gigs, creative and corporate events.
As with previous LEAF ventures, the space was created in partnership with leading North West design studio R2 Architecture. The design the firm settled on includes pops of colour, hidden corners and beautiful imperfections. A series of subtly stage-managed zones provide the right mood for any situation.
R2 Architecture Director and Founder Richard Eastwood commented:
“Our brief was to oversee the complete renovation of the old Cube Gallery building, remaining sympathetic to its incredible character and restoring many of its beautiful features, such as the much-loved existing cantilevered staircase.
“Fans of the original Bold Street LEAF will recognise the unmistakeable flourishes – dusky florals, industrial features and homely finishing touches. But we’ve worked hard to create a decidedly grown up space that feels independent, and distinctive in its own right.
“We wanted to create a space that felt unpretentious, the kind of place that reflected the diverse neighbourhood around Portland Street, where anyone could feel at home. People want a space they can call their own. We’re really proud that LEAF Portland Street embodies this idea perfectly.”
Regular events at LEAF Portland Street include free listen Thursday, when the brands favourite new album is played from start to finish, and a monthly book club.
Natalie Haywood, Managing Director of LEAF on Portland Street, said:
“I’ve been looking for years for a big versatile space in Manchester and when the RIBA CUBE Gallery became available it seemed like the perfect venue. The location felt right, and it’s in a diverse neighbourhood, which fits our desire to create a welcoming venue for everyone to enjoy tea, music and good times. We cannot wait to open the doors!”
LEAF has long been a staple in Liverpool since first opening in 2007 and is focused on creating a relaxing and imaginative space born out of a love of tea and music. Recently LEAF has won recognition for its tea and food from The Guardian, The Times and The Independent as well as two Great Taste Awards in 2015 and 2016.