After living in London for seven years and then in Bolton for a further two, (to save for a house), I’ll admit that I was out of touch with Manchester. My university years were spent seeking out the cheapest bars in Fallowfield, followed by a midnight trip to 42nd Street.
As of 12th August, I shall be a proud Manchester resident… but I felt concerned that the city I used to love had become a stranger. So, when I had the opportunity to collaborate with Serviced Appartments Manchester and explore, scoping out cool bars, restaurants and meeting places, it felt like fate!
(To be clear, some of the spending money was gifted by Hotels.com but all views are my own).
Here’s what I found and this is where you’ll find me.
This has apparently replaced The Patron on the corner of Oldham Street. Decked out like a super cool flat that you wished was yours, the vibe is relaxed and not pretentious in the slightest.
It’s a restaurant and cocktail bar, but there is also soon to be a nightclub downstairs. Great if it’s raining outside and you’d rather have everything in one place.
The Cow Hollow Hotel
Possibly my favourite new find of the lot. Imagine a Greek/Roman-style temple. With the non-traditional seating (you can literally sit on the steps if you like) and Mediterranean decor, you feel a bit like you’re on holiday, or in another world. Tranquil, great staff and cosy.
As a vegetarian, I’ll admit that Kebabs aren’t normally on my hit list. However, I made an exception for BAB NQ. F**k me the food is good! I went for the Halloumi, truffled honey & walnut kebab. However, they also do chicken, lamb, pork, crab, as well as two vegan options. BAB is fun, reasonably priced and delicious.
The Zifferblat on Edge Street isn’t new, but I believe that it deserves a shout out. For a freelancer, hotdesking can be expensive, not to mention intimidating. I’ve rented desks in various spots, but nowhere comes close to this place. 8p a minute, or £4.80 an hour (capped at four hours) and EVERYTHING is free… Not just shitty teabags from Tesco… I’m talking fancy coffee, cakes, biscuits, toast, crumpets, a variety of juices and herbal tea. They also provide lunch every day. The cherry on top is that it’s dog-friendly, so Rigby my faithful PA can accompany me. The decor is cool but cosy and the staff are super helpful.
The Jane Eyre
One of my favourite books and now bars. Owned by two brother’s and named after their mother, this quaint bar has a lot of heart. They steer clear of traditional drinks, (basically, don’t go if you want a Woo Woo or a Sex on the Beach). They stock only local beers and the cocktails are as close to magic as you can get. Ask for the Calva & tonic if, like me, you have anxiety, (it includes chamomile gin)!
When you hit thirty the opportunities to dance become less and less, (with the exception of weddings, but still… who really wants to dance to the Grease megamix while a drunk uncle Ray steps on your foot)? Shack fills this gap in the market beautifully. A bar/restaurant upstairs and a dancing area/mini club downstairs. Basically, you don’t have to compromise a chat for a dance, which is essentially what happens in clubs.