Saturday, 25 February 2012

A Weekend in Manchester

I spent last weekend in the English city of Manchester visiting some friends I'd met on holiday almost two years ago. The main purpose of the visit was simply to catch up but we managed to fit in some sightseeing, good meals and two excellent nights out.

Manchester itself is a sprawling city with so many shops, bars, restaurants, clubs and plenty to see, not to mention the two big football clubs which call this city home. Whilst we were in Manchester we stayed in a great apartment in the Deansgate area which I booked through Roomorama, you can read my review of this here.

On our first evening in Manchester we headed straight for Chinatown, the second largest Chinatown in the UK after London, and attempted to pick a spot for dinner from the numerous different options. We decided on Peking Court which was doing a buffet and had something which suited all six of us. The food was delicious, if you are ever there I highly recommend the salt and pepper chicken which was to die for. It was also very reasonably priced, costing us £13 each including a tip. Not bad for a delicious all you can eat buffet!

Arch at the Entrance to Chinatown

After dinner we headed to an area called The Printworks which, as the name suggests, was a print house until it's refurbishment in 2000 after lying dormant for around 10 years. It dates back to 1873 and is now home to a cinema, numerous restaurants, bars and 4 clubs. We spent our night in Tiger Tiger sampling some of the different floors within this massive club and had a great time! Coming from Glasgow, the home of the £1 drink, we found drinks to be quite expensive in comparison but not outrageous.


Inside the Printworks

Retro print posters give the interior of the Printworks a quirky feel

The Big Wheel of Manchester was also something I wanted to experience whilst I was there as I love heights. At only £5.50 for a student ticket (£7.50 for adults) we all took the opportunity to see Manchester from 60 metres in the air.

The Big Wheel of Manchester

The height of the big wheel affords some great views of Manchester Cathedral and the many modern buildings mingling with the older, more traditional architecture of the city. The Big Wheel of Manchester is being dismantled in April in order for the city to host some Olympic events this summer so get there quick before it goes.

Our second night out in Manchester saw us exploring the bars and clubs of Deansgate Locks, just a few minutes walk from our apartment. Here, quirky bars and clubs are found within converted railway arches and outside there is a huge wooden walkway over the bridge which apparently has outdoor seating in the summer months.

We made our way first to Baabars, a ridiculously busy bar which specialised in £1 shooters. I had a 'Purple Wand' (purple is my favourite colour!) which was gorgeous but we didn't stay long as it was far too busy and there was barely any room to move.

We then headed to Missoula, which serves food during the day and at night turns into a vibrant club with great DJ's in the downstairs area. Upstairs there is exposed brickwork which is in keeping with Missoula's former status as a simple railway arch. This is mingled with modern furnishing and decor, giving Missoula a truly unique feel.

I really enjoyed my trip to Manchester and would like to go back and explore more of the sights such as the interior of Manchester Cathedral. I'd also love to have a meal in the famous Curry Mile, maybe next time!

Have you been to Manchester? What did you think of it compared to other English cities?

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