Splento’s UK City Guide: Manchester

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Manchester, in some ways, is the rebel capital of the UK, because it gave birth to the Suffragettes and to the British Labour party. A few years on from its impressive history, Manchester is still a thriving, vibrant city with much to offer. So much so that we’ve shortlisted our favourite places to go and assembled a handy list, just for you. And for those naysayers who have never been further North of the Thames than Barnet and don’t believe us… get a grip, get a train ticket to Manny and visit some of these awesome places.


FOOD


This & That Café
This place is the home of curry lovers in Manchester. And it really does feel like a home because it is and always has been a family-run business, since the cafe was established in 1984. The story behind the name of this place dates back to the beginning when the patron didn’t know how to pronounce his first order and just said “well, this and that” by pointing at the menu.

Yuzu
You wouldn’t really expect to find authentic Japanese food in the middle of Manc, right? But Yuzu’s food has seen them being placed in the Michelin Guide UK and the Waitrose Good Food Guide. With chefs at the top of their game and only fresh ingredients, you can go and eat sashimi without fearing the consequences!

North Tea Power
As soon as you take a sip of your coconut milk macchiato with homemade vanilla syrup, you’ll realise that North Tea Power is the place you want to be. With freshly ground coffee and a huge selection of tea and cakes, you’ll be in coffee-shop heaven. So if you’re into coffee art, artisan pastries and homemade sourdough, this is the hipster hangout for you.


DRINKS


Cottonopolis
Manchester is full of amazing bars and pubs so it would be a crime against humanity to not visit one of them while you’re there. There are plenty of popular, mainstream places you can go, but we only mention awesome places in this guide and this place surely deserves to be mentioned. Walk through the industrial-style entrance with bare red brick walls and chrome design features to the bar where a large selection of unique cocktails, spirits, beers, ciders and wines awaits. And for those who are into for the long run, there are bottomless Bellinis, Prosecco or Bloody Marys and food and bar snacks on offer.

Cane & Grain
Want a taste of Kentucky in the centre of Manny? Then visit Cane and Grain, which specialises in bourbon, ribs, beer and rum. Go for something old and great like a Jim Beam Signature Craft on the rocks or try something new and hip like their Kanu Kick Flip cocktail. With three distinctly themed rooms; Science + Industry, The Rib Joint and Tap Room and The Liars Lounge, plus world-class bartenders, this is definitely the place to spend the evening after a busy day exploring the city.

Épernay Champagne & Cocktail Bar
Head to this bar on Watson Street to add a more sophisticated element to your trip. There’s plenty of options for the well-seasoned champagne drinker, with 15 champagnes by the glass, vintages, Prestige, Cuvées & Magnums. And for those who prefer something else, their extensive worldwide wine menu is sure to tickle your fancy. They also offer a spectacular French-style brunch menu – perfect for people who brunch.


CULTURE

Manchester Art Gallery
This museum boasts over 21,000 items of clothing and accessories, covering all aspects of the history of dress from 1600 to the present day. Delve into the museum’s many collections; from fine art to craft and design. Exhibitions that are currently running include ‘Being Human’, a display of historical paintings and portraits and an exploration into what it means to be human, and ‘Strange and Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers’, curated by iconic photographer, Martin Parr.

Paper & PS Mirabel
If you visit Manchester on a Saturday you are very lucky because it means that you can visit this unique art venue, only open on Saturdays. Mirabel Studios hosts two art spaces: PAPER, a commercial gallery focussing on works on paper and PS Mirabel, the studio’s project space. An extraordinary art venue, with extraordinary works on display.

National Football Museum
If you consider yourself as a die-hard fan of the beautiful game and you know the middle names of every Manchester City player and the members of their families and their pets, you will totally enjoy your visit to the world’s biggest football museum. Even if you’re not a huge fan of football, there’s plenty to do here, like testing your speed, accuracy and reactions by playing the interactive games on offer here – you can even try and set a museum record.