Review of Waterstone’s Deansgate Mancehester
Many writers have a love / hate relationship with Waterstone’s. This giant chain store may have squeezed out some of our beloved indie bookshops. It’s not easy getting them to sell your books. At times it seems like an exclusive club to which it is difficult to get membership. Yet, it is a bookshop full of fabulous books. The people who work there are, it seems, lovers of books and its café is also peopled with those who love the written word.
I’ve had two encounters recently with the café in this branch of Waterstone’s. I met a writer whom I’m mentoring. She was held up by problems with trains and this allowed me plenty of time to see what was going on there. I drank a huge cup of coffee and got on with some writing. I wasn’t the only one working this way: there were plenty of people bent over tablets and lap-tops. It was also clear that many people were holding meetings and I know of other colleagues who have used this space for that purpose. And some people just sit and read.
A few days later we held our SCBWI network group there and I belong to the Young Adult critique group. We couldn’t all fit in the events room. We took over two tables in the café. The staff didn’t mind: we were buying lunch and lots of drinks. One or two other visitors looked at us curiously. They were interested, though, rather than irritated. This also seemed the right sort of activity for the café.
The café’s been there quite a while now and is beginning to fade a little. No matter. It is still a comfortable space for the creative practitioner. It offers a decent if not spectacular range of food and drink at reasonable prices.
Nice place to be.