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

15 Marvellous Manchester Date Locations I Love Manchester

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

15 Marvellous Manchester Date Locations I Love Manchester

A splendid arthouse cinema with comfy chairs and specialist screenings. Hurry though, it’s closing down soon and moving to HOME.

3. El Capo

15 Marvellous Manchester Date Locations I Love Manchester

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

15 Marvellous Manchester Date Locations I Love Manchester

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

15 Marvellous Manchester Date Locations I Love Manchester

Settle into the afternoon with a quirky Sunday roast.

6. John Ryland’s Library

15 Marvellous Manchester Date Locations I Love Manchester

Explore the nooks and crannies of this atmospheric museum.

7. Cloud 23

15 Marvellous Manchester Date Locations I Love Manchester

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.

8. Trof

15 Marvellous Manchester Date Locations I Love Manchester

A solid pub with a great pub quiz on Tuesdays.

9. The top floor of Shudehill Interchange Car Park

15 Marvellous Manchester Date Locations I Love Manchester

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

15 Marvellous Manchester Date Locations I Love Manchester

Visit on Thursday, when the gallery stays open until 9pm.

11. Piccadilly Records

15 Marvellous Manchester Date Locations I Love Manchester

Rifle through the racks, then head on to a gig at Night & Day across the road.

12. Museum of Science and Industry

15 Marvellous Manchester Date Locations I Love Manchester

Wonderfully interactive, and railway fans can see plenty of trains. Afterwards, drop into Samsi for a bite to eat.

13. Castlefield Canal Basin

15 Marvellous Manchester Date Locations I Love Manchester

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 Marvellous Manchester Date Locations I Love Manchester

Simply charming.

15. B.eat Street

15 Marvellous Manchester Date Locations I Love Manchester

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

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