"My Manchester" Top 5 Page for this destination Manchester by janiebaxter
Manchester Travel Guide: 1,777 reviews and 4,190 photos
Manchester is a great city to live in if you want to enjoy yourself. We have so many great restaurants, bars, clubs, festivals and cultural events, as well as fantastic shops and historical sites.
I have been out trying the many new restaurants that have opened in the last few months and have plenty of tips to add.
The downside is that Manchester is renowned for its poor weather. We Mancunians should be used to it by now but it never ceases to amaze me how long it can rain for!
If you were being pedantic you could argue that I'm not a true Manc (short for Mancunian) as I was born and raised in the village of Bramhall which is South of Stockport, and at the time of my birth Stockport was in Cheshire. In fact, to complicate things even further, half of Stockport used to be in Lancashire - the half North of the River Mersey, and the other half was in Cheshire - the half South of the Mersey. When the county boundaries were moved in the 1970's and Greater Manchester was created most of Stockport was swallowed by Manchester, apart from a few country villages on the Southern edges.
The city that adopted me and my fellow Stockportians has gone through massive change in the time I have lived here. The catalyst was really the IRA bomb in 1996 which luckily caused no deaths but ripped a major part of the city centre apart. Since then Manchester has picked itself up and recreated itself as a vibrant, thriving place with a very strong identity and a wonderful diversity of cultures.
If I could, I would spend my life travelling, but since I can't I have to admit other interests to occupy time between trips. I don't like the cold so if the weather is not fine and warm you will find me indoors with the heating on. I really should live somewhere warmer. Indoor hobies I like to indulge in are shopping, eating and drinking in the wonderful selection of restaurants and bars we have here and reading and cinema. I also go to the gym but that's because I have to burn off all the calories I consume!
Bars and Nightclubs
When I feel like a good bop I go to South nightclub. Saturday is
Clint Boon's Disco Rescue, hosted by the well known DJ and ex member of Manchester band The Charlatans.
Mojo Bar - Great music and atmosphere
Mr Thomas's - Splendid Victorian pub with a hearty old English lunch menu and a great selection of wines.
The Drawing Room - Unique, very cool but friendly small bar in West Didsbury with great original artworks.
The Metropolitan - Big busy bar in West Didsbury with lots of space and an outdoor Pizza oven.
The Railway - Friendly little pub in West Didsbury
Harvey Nichols Cocktail Bar - A nice reward for a hard day's shopping
My Favourite Restaurants - Life for the Domestically Challenged
It has been noted by somebody who read my Manchester page that I like my food. And a lot of my tips are about eating and drinking, which may give the impression that I am a food loving wino. The truth is that yes, I love to go out but the reason I go out to eat a lot is that there is nobody in my house who can or likes to cook! So the only way to get a decent meal and avoid malnutrition is to go out to eat, and of course food is no good unless accompanied by a nice bottle of red wine or 2. And now I am a VTer I like to share my experiences of my local restaurants and others I visit. Luckily Manchester and my local area of West Didsbury has lots of good restaurants. These are my favourite Manchester places to eat.
Damson in Heaton Moor near Stockport. Wonderful food, great wines and a superb atmosphere with lovely decor. The perfect restaurant. A bigger Damson is now open in Media City and the food is just as good.
Restaurant Bar and Grill in City Centre - Great food and wonderful Kir Royals in the bar, with a open air (but heated!) terrace.
Lime Tree in Disbury Village - Modern European. The first proper restaurant to open here and still the leader, serving wonderful food yet retaining its lovely unpretentious feel.
Cafe Jem&I in Didsbury Village - Modern European
Piccolinos - Perfect Italian, with cocktail bar, in West Didsbury and the City centre.
I love shopping! Manchester is really good for shopping from the designer shops on King Street - DKNY, Vivienne Westwood, Armani, Agent Provocateur, and Harvey Nichols to the quirky independant shops in The Northern Quarter and Afflecks Palace. There is also the Trafford Centre which has a Selfridges and many other chains, the advantage here being you can park free and don't get rained on. Kendals on Deansgate is a good department store and St Ann's Square and King Street have a good selection of clothes and shoe shops. I avoid Market Street wherever possible, but Urban Outfitters is good and there is a Primark there too for bargain hunters.
The new Spinningfields area has Emporio Armani, Flannels, All Saints, L.K. Bennett, Mulberry among the more top end shops.
You don't need to go far outside the city centre to find some nice green spaces for walking and fresh air. North Manchester has Heaton Park and in Didsbury there is the River Mersey which has walks from Stockport to Chorlton and beyond. Further away but within travelling distance for a day trip are the Peak District and The Pennine Way - both hilly.
A Bit of Culture
The Royal Exchange Truly a great theatre, celebrated it's 30 year anniversary last year. Never seen a play here that was less than brilliant.
The Bridgewater Hall Home of the Halle Orchestra and venue for many international musicians
The Cornerhouse Cinema specialising in the more artistic films. Shows many international films with feature events and has a bar, cafe and art gallery
The City Art Gallery Home to a one of the best Pre-Raphaelite collections in the country and with great art and culture exhibitions and a lovely cafe
Festivals There always seems to be some festival on in Manchester and October is a particularly popular month for celebrations. Here are just a few:
Irish Festival - March
International Festival - July
Jazz Festival - July
Festival in the Park - July
Manchester Gay Pride Festival - August
Caribbean Festival - August
Diwali Hindu Festival of Light - October
Literature Festival - October
In the City Music Event - October
Food and Drink Festival - October
A Few Famous Mancunians
Here is my list of a few Famous Mancunians. Of course not everybody is included here and I haven't included people from Lancashire
Joanne Whalley Kilmer
Sir Norman Foster
And as Manchester is famous for it's music (I'm not saying they are all good.....)
Badly Drawn Boy
The Stone Roses
I am Kloot
A few more things Manchester is famous for
Pie and Chips
Binge drinking (according to a few VT members - Cheers!)
"Manchester Caviar" (mushy peas)
The Curry Mile
The Gay Village
Cold Feet, Shameless, Queer as Folk and Cucumber TV shows. Oh, alright then... Coronation Street
- Pros:Lots to do - history, popular culture, nightlife, food and drink.
- Cons:The Weather!
- In a nutshell:England's Second City
Cricket is a very English game, more popular in our commonwealth countries than here in the UK. Australia, New Zealand,... more travel advice
The Drawing Room is the most original and unique bar in South Manchester. Since opening earlier this year it has become... more travel advice
- See All Shop, Eat and Drink and See a Film
- See All The Art of Parking Prevention!
- The Nightmare of City Centre Parking
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