I’ve spent a lot of time discussing the merits of our wonderful city of Manchester on this blog, so I thought it was only fair that I went and enjoyed a weekend there. I had the best time and visited some wonderful places. Here’s a little rundown of the weekend and some of the best places to visit in the city.
Where to Stay
Native Manchester – Warehouse, Ducie St, Manchester M1 2TP
As we all know, travel hasn’t been that easy this year – so this weekend away to Manchester was the closest I’ll get to a holiday in 2021. When booking everything, my best friend and I – my travel companion – knew we wanted to book somewhere a bit nicer than your standard Travelodge. We ended up staying at Native, an apartment hotel found in a warehouse on Ducie Street, with its very own restaurant, bar and DJ booth.
It was such a lovely place to stay, the room was gorgeous and comfortable with industrial beams and open brickwork keeping with the warehouse-style of the building.
Not the cheapest of places to stay, we paid just over £375 each for the room (it was both bank holiday weekend and Pride, so we expected a bit of a price increase) But we were happy to pay a bit extra for somewhere nice, which is exactly what we got from this room.
The rooms are cheaper if you book in advance on a ‘regular’ weekend – so I would definitely recommend them for a nice place to stay.
Takk – 6 Tariff St, Manchester M1 2FF
A cosy little coffee shop tucked down Tariff Street, we had a lovely time sitting at one of their window seats watching the world go by and drinking their coffee. Plus they do very yummy food and a wonderful brunch.
Pollen Bakery – Cotton Field Wharf, 8 New Union St, Manchester M4 6FQ
We went to the Pollen Bakery specifically to try their ‘Cruffins’, it was worth the trip!
Not only were the Cruffins (a hybrid of Croissant and Muffin) divine, but their other pastries were also delicious. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it…
Plus the bakery is found in Cotton Field Wharf, so you can grab your pastries to go and sit by the water – heavenly.
Feel Good Club – 26-28 Hilton St, Manchester M1 2EH
This was a coffee shop that we walked past and decided to pop into, which turned out to be an excellent decision!
A gorgeous venue decorated with bright colours and plants EVERYWHERE. Plus I could get crumpets for breakfast – incredible.
They’ve also launched their own clothing brand, which I might have to make a purchase from soon – support small businesses and all that!
Where to Eat
Canto – Cutting Room Square, Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 5DH
We had dinner here before we went to the theatre on Saturday evening, it was the perfect venue for a fancy evening out.
With a Mediterranean Tapas menu that has something for everyone, we had a lovely evening in this vibey restaurant. Plus they have truffles on the dessert menu which are so tasty.
Turtle Bay – 46-50, Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LE
So I know that Turtle Bay isn’t exactly a Manchester speciality – but we really wanted to go for a Bottomless meal, and they had exactly what we were looking for.
The food is so scrummy at Turtle Bay, plus our servers were very good with making sure we always had a cocktail. I think we tried five cocktails on the menu, so we definitely got our money’s worth.
Slim Chickens – The Great Hall Intu Trafford Centre, Manchester M17 8AA
On our last day we went to the Trafford Shopping Centre – which is huge!
Being a bank holiday weekend it was very busy – but for lunch, we found Slim Chickens, an American-born chicken eatery. We don’t have any local to us so it was a wonderful discovery.
Things to do
The thing that led us to book our trip to Manchester was the opening of Rent at The Hope Mill Theatre. A fantastic show that we already watched via stream in lockdown, and had to go see in person.
The Hope Mill is a gorgeous little theatre that I hope I can visit again soon – you can read my review of the show here.
You’ve got to do a bit of shopping while on holiday right? Over the weekend we visited both the Arndale Centre and the Trafford Centre – they pretty much have every shop you could ever need.
Reason number two for being in Manchester – it was Pride weekend! Unfortunately, most Pride events had to be cancelled this year due to restrictions, but Manchester holds their events at the end of August, meaning they could ride out the wave and go ahead as planned.
We had the best time heading down to the Gay Village and celebrating all things LGBTQIA+. We had a boogie, got glitter face paint, made lots of friends – it was refreshing to be out and about for the first time in what felt like years!
Three days only gave us time for a whistle-stop tour of Manchester, but I can’t wait to go back and discover more of what the city has to offer.
We of course have our wonderful ICTheatre Manchester campus – so if you fancy studying and living in this incredible city, come along to one of our upcoming open days to discover more.
Author: Charley Morgan, ICTheatre Graduate 2020