A Guide to Manchester with @sophia_rosemary
A five-minute walk from the city centre and the 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 of my e-mails – 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 (@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.
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.
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…
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 in to flick through the latest arrivals.
Afterwards, 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! If you’re searching for a quick post-shopping lunch, the Soup Kitchen (@soupkitchenmcr) in the Northern Quarter is a great shout – they have the best selection of rustic, wholesome sandwiches.
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 some 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!
Once I’ve caught up with friends, I head to Mackie Mayors 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 normally 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.
Once we’ve grabbed some food, one of our favourite ‘date night’ things to do is to go to a gig – and there’s no better place for that than Night & Day Cafe (@nightanddaycafe). It’s a great way to end your night with a chilled drink and wonderful music!
Phew! Well, after a pretty fun 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!