A mini guide to: Manchester

Jenessa Williams

With a thriving media community, great eateries and countless attractions and entertainments, Manchester is proving that you don’t have to be London-based to be right in the thick of things. A city that is proud of its culture and bonds together in times of adversity, the Northern hospitality is palpable from the moment you step off the train.

 

Stay At: The Lowry Hotel


Image via The Lowry

When it comes to hotels, you can’t get much better than the five-star Lowry. Perched on the banks of the River Irwell at the meeting point between Manchester & Salford, you can relax in one of their plush candy-coloured suites or enjoy the spa facilities.

If you’re looking for an extra-special treat, why not visit at Christmas? Dance the night away at their Speakeasy-themed party nights or keep things exclusive in the private dining room for an intimate family celebration.

Other recommendations include:

  • The Palace Hotel
  • The Ainscow Hotel
  • The Macdonald Manchester Hotel

Read more: Mini guide to Leeds

 

Coffee Stop At: Evelyn’s


Image via The Fashion Rubiks

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to a caffeine hit in Manchester, but one of our personal favourites has to be Evelyn’s.

Right in the heart of the Northern Quarter, the plant-filled interiors and friendly hosting staff set a calming atmosphere right from the off.

Enjoy a photo-worthy latte, superfood smoothie bowl or go all out with buttermilk pancakes, honeycomb butter and blueberries—enough to set you up for a day of adventures.

Other recommendations include:

  • Fig & Sparrow
  • Foundation Coffee

 

Shop In: The Northern Quarter


Image via: The Culture Trip

It’s not just amazing coffee shops that you can find in Manchester’s Northern Quarter—in fact, this is the hub for all independent shopping.

Soak up the rich musical heritage of the city by going record shopping—Eastern Bloc, Piccadilly Records and Vinyl Revival all offer an enviable collection of reasonably-priced vinyl across a variety of genres.


Inside Afflecks. Image via Mancky

If quirky clothing is more your thing, a trip to Afflecks will take you right back to yesteryear, from vintage boutiques to alternative-culture designers and tarot readers, it’s exactly the sort of place you’d have wished you could have hung out as a teenager.

Other recommendations include:

  • The Arndale Centre
  • The Trafford Centre
  • Manchester Craft & Design Centre

 

Take A Tour at: Media City

Home to over 200 businesses, Media City is an undisputed cultural hub of Manchester. With the BBC and ITV filming several of their flagship TV shows here, various tours are available or you can apply to be in the audience of the likes of Countdown, Question of Sport of Mastermind.

Media City also plays host to various eateries and shops as well as a cinema and fitness centre, making it easy to spend an entire day "on campus".

If you find yourself liking it, why not stay—serviced apartments are available for both rent and buy to let.

Other recommendations include:

  • National Football Museum
  • Manchester Art Gallery
  • The Coronation Street Tour

 

Dine at: Bundobust


Image via Bundobust

Winner of Restaurant Of The Year at the Manchester Food & Drink Awards 2017, a trip to Bundobust is a must for fans of Indian flavours.

Served in street-food portions and teamed with a great selection of craft ales, it’s perfect for a light lunch or full dinner alike.


Image via Leeds List

First-time visitors must try their signature Okra Fries (coated in chickpea batter, salt and mango powder) and the quintessential Mumbai dish of Vada Pav, a fried mash-potato ball-turned-burger served with fresh chutney.

If you fancy commemorating your visit, there is even a great selection of merchandise to take home.

Other recommendations include:

  • Australasia
  • Tattu
  • Manchester House

 

Read more from Jenessa Williams

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