I recently returned from a weekend in Manchester, and although it rained a little (actually a lot…Manchester sort your shit out) I had a really good time. So much so that even though I’ve always vowed never to live anywhere other than London when I’m in the UK, I could actually see myself living up there…and I don’t say that about many places (sorry mum).
There are SO many cool bars, boutique brunch spots, instagrammable restaurants & edgy cafes and the best part is that, unlike London, you don’t have to travel an hour and ten mins by bus, tube & overground just to get to your next destination.
A Weekend In Manchester – A City Guide…
Knowing How To Get There
The boring stuff…we travelled up by train from London, which took literally two hours exact. The train station you need if you’re doing this too is Manchester Piccadilly. Otherwise, Manchester has quite a few train stations and is well-connected to most areas of England. If you’re flying, Manchester airport isn’t too far away from the city hub. Mega Bus and National Express also have a few routes from around the country, so check these out for cheaper fares.
Knowing Where To Go
Manchester has this area called the ‘Northern Quarter’ which is essentially an area filled with street art, alternative bars, exposed brick brunch spots, hip independent stores & boho cafes – I guess you could think of it as the Shoreditch of Manchester…but better. This has to be number one on your list for a wander around. For more mainstream shopping Manchester Arndale has all your high street brands.
Knowing What To Do
I spent a little time researching the coolest places to visit in Manchester, so I compiled a little list full of the unique activities, coolest bars, most instagrammable brunch spots & best boutique restaurants that you can read here.
Knowing Where To Eat
PLEASE go to Tattu one evening, it made our entire weekend. Think sophistication, dark wood, carved screens, low key house music, modern Chinese cuisine. Definitely dig your heels and lippy out. For the day time, the Winter Garden at The Refuge was divine – it is essentially a huge atrium with lots of light flooding through, indoor trees, plants coming out of your ears, tiles, palm leaf prints, tapas style dishes & cocktails. One for Instagram for sure 😉
Knowing Where To Stay
We stayed at King Street Townhouse for the weekend, and it was Ah Maz Zing. I love boutique hotels and this one is absolutely perfecto. The room was gorgeous, the bed was probs one of the comfiest I’ve ever stayed in, the pillows so soft, great channel selection on SKY (it’s important ok?), the best rainfall shower a gal could wish for, stunning views of the Manchester skyline and A ROOFTOP POOL & sauna (yeah, see what I mean about it being perfecto?).
Honestly, I can’t fault it in any way. Plus, there is absolutely no better feeling than relaxing in a roll top bubble bath in a big beautiful room, watching friends on repeat with a packet of chocolate biscuits next to ya.
As well as it’s own restaurant and rooftop terrace bar, the hotel also has a lounge mezzanine room which was a little quieter with comfy arm chairs, wifi and plug sockets everyyywhere (is it sad that this is now one of the first things I look for?). I sat here for the whole of Friday with my laptop and some delicious broccoli and stilton soup mmmm. A few families came in for afternoon tea which looked really good, <3 I basically had complete food envy all day. It’s worth mentioning as well that the service in the restaurant and bar was brilliant.
The location of King Street Townhouse is absolutely spot on too; it’s a stone’s throw from Manchester Town Hall (the big ben lookalike) & Albert Square, so if you’re planning a trip at Christmas time you will be right in the thick of things as all the Christmas markets are here. (We actually had a view of the Town Hall from our bedroom window, just sayin). Being in the heart of the city centre means it’s also right next to all the shops, cafes, bars & brunch spots; the train station is also only a ten min walk away too.
Other posts you may enjoy if you’re planning a trip to Manchester:
Our stay was provided complimentary as part of a press stay for The Wanderlust Bug. All views are my own though, as always.