Anthony Burgess was a Mancunian author of both poems and books (the most famous of which being The Clockwork Orange), as well as being a playwright and composer. Following his death in 1993 his wife founded the Anthony Burgess Foundation with the aim of providing a place for people to relax, be creative or study in an informal environment. I discovered this place after attending an event as part of a recent Literature Festival, and loved the laid back, slightly alternative vibe here.
Housing a collection of Burgess’s own furniture, paintings and musical instruments, it has a café, study centre, library and exhibition space which has regular events such as book launches, talks and small concerts.
Tucked discreetly behind Oxford Road in an old mill, it continues to have an industrial feel to it which suits its purpose, and is perfect for a chilled out couple of hours with coffee and cake (they do very tasty homemade cakes, and every time I’ve been there has been a different variety to try!), as well as a fine selection in bottled beers and ciders.
With the building being small enough to be cosy and friendly yet large enough to not be tripping over your fellow customers, the events I’ve attended have had a sociable, relaxed feel to them, with many people staying on for drinks after the event to chat to fellow visitors. I realise now that I’d missed a trick having been oblivious to this place for so long.