A GUIDE TO MANCHESTER WITH @SOPHIA_ROSEMARYFebruary 27, 2018
From wondrous vintage stores to cute cafes and delicious eateries, Northerner Sophia Rosemary takes us on the perfect tour of her hometown Manchester.
A five-minute walk from the city centre and Piccadilly train station is the Northern Quarter, which makes for the perfect place to start a day in my charming and charismatic city. This area has a chilled vibe, amazing street art and a diverse choice of independent bars, cafes, galleries and thrift shops.
My first port of call is Ezra & Gil (@ezraandgil). Undoubtedly my favourite cafe in the Northern Quarter, I love to sit at one of the window tables and people watch. They do THE best poached or scrambled eggs, so I’m starting my day here for breakfast. Although I’ve dedicated my day off to wandering around my favourite spots in Manchester, I get my laptop out at Ezra and answer all my emails – it’s a super chilled environment to get things done!
Once I’ve finished my breakfast, I go for a lovely stroll around the NQ to check out the latest pieces at all the independent stores and thrift shops. If you’re in Manchester with friends, I would highly recommend dropping by arts and crafts store Fred Aldous (@fredaldous) for a few snaps in their retro Photo Booth! I, however, am a lone ranger today, so I head to one of my favourite vintage stores, Pop Boutique.
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Just on the corner of Oldham Street, Pop (@popboutiquemanchester) is home to vintage fashion, accessories and the best collection of retro homeware from sixties lampshades to kitsch glassware and pottery.
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Next on my thrift shop list is Cow Vintage (@cowmanchester) – I have yet to ever leave this store without buying something. They have such a great, expansive accessories collection. This is where I get pretty much most of my summer bags from!
Next door to Cow is Oxfam Originals (@oxfamoriginals), which in my opinion is the ultimate destination for true sixties and seventies vintage. I recently purchased a gold chiffon maxi dress from here – no idea when I’m going to wear it, but I just had to have it! Waiting for my Oscar invitation any day now…
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Moving on from vintage fashion, I always like to have a little mooch in Vinyl Exchange – the downstairs is an Aladdin’s cave of incredible second-hand records. I’m constantly trying to build up a more respectable vinyl collection, so I always make a point of popping to flick through the latest arrivals.
Next, I head to Market Street, which runs through the city centre, to pop into my favourite high street stores – obviously Urban Outfitters is always first on my list!
For a quick lunch, the Soup Kitchen (@soupkitchenmcr) in the Northern Quarter is a great shout – they make a mean soup and they have the best selection of rustic, wholesome sandwiches.
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Another great place to catch a break is the newly renovated Fish Market aka Mackie Mayor (@mackiemayor) on Eagle Street, which is just outside of the NQ. It’s a huge food hall with locally sourced dishes and drinks! Even if you’re not that peckish, it’s worth just dropping by for the beautiful interior.
As I’m still full from my late breakfast at Ezra, I skip lunch and just grab a coffee! I head to Albert Square as it’s my favourite place to sit and have a little “me time”. It’s even more pretty than usual at the moment with Chinese lanterns decorating the entire square for Chinese New Year! This square has awe inspiring architecture. I’d definitely recommend having a look inside the town hall if you’ve never been, it’s pretty grand and has loads of information about Manchester. Plus, it has a sweet little coffee shop too!
After I’ve spent the majority of the day wandering around my favourite shops and visiting my top Manchester locations, I meet my friends for drinks in a new NQ bar called The Patron (The Patron NQ). It’s barely two months old but I absolutely adore this place. The decor has a real ‘Mad Men’ vibe and they do a pretty great cocktail, including one called The Betty Draper (in true Mad Men style). FYI, if you’re visiting Manchester on a Sunday, I would highly recommend The Patron’s roast!
Once I’ve caught up with friends, I head to Mackie Majors to meet my boyfriend for food. We’re not really into anything too fancy, so Mackie’s is just perfect! It’s super chilled and has several food stalls to choose from, which makes it ideal for me and my boyfriend as we can never agree on what food to have! I normally opt for pizza as the pizza from Mackie’s is incredible and you don’t feel as though you’ve pigged out too much when you’re finished.
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After grabbing food, one of our favourite ‘date night’ things to do is to go to a gig – and there’s no better place for that then Night & Day Café (@nightanddaycafe). It’s a great way to end your night with a chilled drink and wonderful music!
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After a pretty fun filled day of wandering here, there and everywhere in Manchester, I’m finally ready to head home and hit the hay. I hope you’ve enjoyed the perfect day in my lovely city!
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