When planning a first date, most guys settle for some variation of seeing a film and going for a meal. There’s nothing particularly wrong with this strategy. It’s been tested. It’s easy.
But what makes a date marvellous? A good first date allows for conversation but at the same time takes some of the focus off you so that you’re not under pressure to talk incessantly.
Here’s a good ten educated ideas. And who knows, if your date is a sure thing, you might get to do them all. Probably not in one day.
1. Dusk til Pawn
Don’t let the pawn shop sign put you off – this is a super cool cocktail bar set in a Grade II-listed building. There is a spectacular bourbon selection, and decent beers too.
2. Cornerhouse Cinema
A splendid arthouse cinema with comfy chairs and specialist screenings. Hurry though, it’s closing down soon and moving to HOME.
3. El Capo
This little slice of marvellous Mexicana in the Northern Quarter has just launched its basement restaurant. Hot burritos might be a brave move on a date, but there’s lots of talking points. Slam a few tequilas upstairs and you might end up dancing on the table!
4. Home Sweet Home
This sweet cafe is open until 11pm, making it a nice late-night option for non-drinkers. And coffee fans.
The cakes will put a smile on any girls face.
5. Sunday lunch at The Blue Pig
Settle into the afternoon with a quirky Sunday roast.
6. John Ryland’s Library
Explore the nooks and crannies of this atmospheric museum.
7. Cloud 23
This cocktail bar is slightly pricy, but it’s worth it for the view. And the signature cocktails are out of this world. The Mr Mercer’s Cotton Peculiar, for instance, comes with magical candy-floss.
A solid pub with a great pub quiz on Tuesdays.
9. The top floor of Shudehill Interchange Car Park
Bear with us, here – the view is really worth it. Gaze out across the city, and then take your date for a nice meal (try 47 King Street West Restaurant for a la carte, or sushi at Grand Pacific) to make up for bringing them to a car park.
10. Manchester Art Gallery
Visit on Thursday, when the gallery stays open until 9pm.
11. Piccadilly Records
Rifle through the racks, then head on to a gig at Night & Day across the road.
12. Museum of Science and Industry
Wonderfully interactive, and railway fans can see plenty of trains. Afterwards, drop into Samsi for a bite to eat.
13. Castlefield Canal Basin
Walk along the canal, popping into Duke’s 92 for a drink and/or The Wharf for food.
14. Afternoon tea at Richmond Tearooms
15. B.eat Street
A series of “weekend block parties” held in varius locations this summer. Expect street food, drinks, and good music. ‘Friday Food Fight’ and ‘Up In Your Grill’ have come to an end now. Keep up with them on Twitter here.
Credit: Ailbhe Malone