10 MAY 2019, BY MY PASSPORT TO SHANGRILA
Manchester is my home city and although I’m an immigrant to it some 22 years ago this city is the place I call home. I am going to big it up here. I class Manchester as one of the top 10 cities in the world to visit and compare the city’s vibe to that of Melbourne, Australia and San Francisco, USA, and, is often overlooked by visitors who are succumbed to the bright lights and power of London.
The city is probably best known for its music legacy, having gifted the world the likes of the Stone Roses, The Smiths, Oasis and Take That. Manchester is evolving at a staggering pace, with a list of things to see, eat, drink and do that is growing quicker than you can tick them off. Renowned for being a good night out, no matter what you’re into. The Northern Quarter is favoured by a more left-field crowd, the city’s students tend to hang out in the Oxford Road corridor and anyone seeking a luxurious evening heads to Spinningfields.
Head to Albert’s Schloss for a relaxed breakfast. Choose from croissants, muffins and donuts from the in-house bakery. For a healthier start to the day there’s a super grain bowl of poached eggs, mixed grains, avocado, pickled carrot, Crayfish Benedict – a twist on the classic egg dish with fresh crayfish, spinach and tarragon hollandaise on a toasted muffin; or roast peaches with Quark yoghurt, sour cherry, pistachio granola, honey and lime.
Breakfast cocktails including mimosas and bloody mary’s are available from 8am along with the usual coffee, tea’s and smoothies. Prices range from £3 for pastries to £8-10 for a full breakfast.
- 27 Peter Street, Manchester.
TIGER TIGER BAR and RESTAURANT
Tiger Tiger Bar and Restaurant is a great place to meet friends for a cheeky cocktail and food before heading for a night out or perhaps after an afternoon’s shopping. The venue is split into two areas. There is the main bar serving snacks and drinks and the restaurant were on weekends must be booked in advance to eat.
One massive offer that Tiger Tiger promotes that the vast majority of people are totally unaware of is its 50% off ALL the food menu and 2-4-1 on ALL drinks (excluding Champagne) from 5pm until midnight on a Friday! Saturday evenings tend to be very busy but surprisingly Friday evenings, despite this offer, tend to be quieter. Myself and my better half had 2 rump steak dinners with all the trimmings, 2 desserts and 6 cocktails that came to less than £50!
- The Printworks, 27 Withy Grove, Manchester.
THE NORTHERN QUARTER
Located between Piccadilly and the Ancoats, the Northern Quarter (The NQ) retains a unique character and charm. The Northern Quarter is Manchester’s creative, urban heart home to countless independent fashion stores, record shops, cafes, bars and restaurants and the world famous Afflecks Palace, providing affordable outlets for independent designers and traders across four floors. The NQ also boasts some of the city’s best artistic talents on display covering many of the buildings walls and street signs.
Try Trof for a relaxed yet quirky atmosphere and one of my favourites Lost In Tokyo for Japanese style cocktails.
There’s so much incredible food on offer here like tender cow’s steak benedict and Wolfhouse Kitchen’s incredible cakes. You can eat anything from here from brunches, lunches and well into dinner. The seating arrangement is not for the shy. Its communal style eating. There is a mezzanine level were seating is a little more private.
Food dishes cost from around £8 upwards. I had a bacon and sausage sandwich that cost £6. Coffee is served by the in-house coffee provider Atkinsons. The are additional bars that serve craft beers, wines and cocktails.
Chinatown in Manchester is Europe’s largest, with its collection of restaurants, bakeries, businesses and supermarkets concentrated within a number of blocks in the city centre. There is a beautiful three tiered pagoda welcomes you into the area. China Town is a great place to visit at any time, but the last few years have seen Chinese New Year celebrations become a much bigger part of the city’s cultural calendar. I frequently visit China Town for some of the best Chinese food in the area and to purchase traditional supplies to cook my own Chinese cuisine at home. I find that Manchester’s China Town promotes the best experience in Far Eastern culture anywhere outside of SE Asia.
- 46 Faulkner Street, Manchester.
If you like Natural History then the Manchester Museum is for you. In the extensive collection of the museum lies everything from a fossilised Tyrannosaurus Rex to an exhibition of over 16,000 ancient Egyptian artefacts, including human mummies originating from Egypt.
But this museum becomes even better after hours. Once the last of the visitors have left the museum is transformed with bewitching ‘Night at the Museum’ style after hours events. There are talks and performances throughout the evening. Search the website for listings.
- Oxford Rd, Manchester, M13 9PL.
MANCHESTER TOWN HALL
Like many all major cities, Manchester has been used as a film and TV location for decades. From ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘Queer as Folk’ in the ’90s and ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’. The city has served as the set for numerous productions and much fun can be had spotting some of the famous locations. Surrounding the Town Hall are various eating establishments. From the end of November until Christmas Week a lively Christmas market is erected offering handy crafts, trinkets, food and drink.
NOTE: Unfortunately, the Town Hall is closed for major renovation works and access inside is prohibited to the general public.
- Albert Square, Manchester.
Located at Shudehill (Nearest tram stop is Shudehill). The Washhouse is a pokey launderette with a mystery. From the entrance it looks like any launderette with coin operated washing machines, faded flooring and despondent people (Actors).
However, Behind one of the washing machines is a secret door that gains you access to a secret cocktail bar! Of course, you cannot just simply walk in. Heck No! You can only frequent this bar with a phone reservation in advance that can only be found on its website. On the website there will be lists of different washes that can be purchased – these actually are NOT on offer. The only true piece of information needed by you is the phone number,
Once inside the Washroom pay no attention to the people inside or the machines. Head for the 1970’s looking telephone and tell the operator “I have some dirty clothes to wash”. With that said, you will be free to head through the secret door that opens.
Time restrictions are two hours.
- 19 Shudehill, Manchester.
For more information on Manchester visit my Blog page HERE