In a feature entitled ‘Is this England’s Coolest City?’ travel writer Rachel Edros says, ‘Ask a Manchester native how he feels living in England’s second city and he’ll reply, “I don’t know, ask a Londoner.”
She continues: ‘The once industrial powerhouse has swagger in spades, from its electrifying music scene to its supercharged soccer teams. And thanks to a spate of revamps and re-openings, the arts scene is seriously coming into its own. Add to the mix Scandi-style cafes, swanky bars and hip new hotels, and it’s easy to see why Manchester is on our list of must-see destinations for 2016.’
She goes on to recommend places to stay and visit on a trip to Manchester.
For accommodation she recommends King Street Townhouse (‘cozy urban vibe’), Radisson Blu Edwardian with its ‘sultry cocktail bar’, Innside Manchester (‘brings a touch of Madrid to Manchester’) and Hotel Gotham (a ‘swanky retreat’).
Her recommendations for places to eat are Trof (‘brunch like a champ’), Rudy’s (‘for a laid-back lunch’), Mr Thomas’s Chop House for ‘ old school British dishes’, Albert’s Schloss (‘More apres-work than apres-ski’), El Gato Negro ( a ‘handsome hangout on King Street’), and Tattu (‘dim sum as dreamy as the decor’).
Recommended cafes are Takk (‘a warm welcome and bags of Scandi-style coffee’), Teacup (‘for a proper English cuppa’), Ziferblat (a ‘hipster hangout’), and Fig & Sparrow (‘shop and slurp’).
For bars she recommends Cottonopolis (a ‘dapper drinking den’), The Temple (a ‘dream dive bar come true’), Port Street Beer House (‘for serious beer drinkers’), and Cafe Beermoth (for ‘all manner of small-batch beers’).
Recommended shopping destinations are the Craft & Design Centre (where ‘Manchester’s creative community gathers’), Oi Polloi (a ‘Manchester menswear institution’), Richard Goodall Gallery (‘as entertaining to browse as it is to buy from’), and the whole of King Street (‘Manchester’s answer to London’s Bond Street’).
For music, Rachel recommends taking a Manchester music tour (‘Manchester has produced more rock stars per head than any other British city’), The Ritz (‘one of the best places to see live music in the city’), The Deaf Institute (‘head here for a strong line up of hipster indie bands’), and The Bridgewater Hall (‘the building’s architecture and acoustics are stunning’).
Recommended cultural destinations are HOME (‘the UK’s largest arts complex outside London’), The Whitworth Gallery (‘a jaw-dropping glass, steel and brick extension’), Manchester Art Gallery (‘an impressive collection of marquee artists’), The Chinese Centre for Contemporary Arts (‘celebrates Manchester’s Chinese community through revolving contemporary exhibitions’), and the John Rylands Library (‘neo-Gothic building with soaring pillars and sky-high stained-glass windows.’)
As travel guides go, we think she’s got it pretty much spot on. Which places would you omit from her list and which places would you recommend instead?
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