Hotels.com have gifted me spending money, but all views are our own.
Manchester – damn you are marvellous! As dwellers of this fine city, we are huge ambassadors of its hidden gems. And in order to really, truly experience a city, it is always wise to seek local advice – insider information if you will! For those that live and breath the town, they usually experience all the secret delights that can be hidden from the average tourist. Stepping off the train at Piccadilly station and checking into one of the many fabulous hotels in Manchester, it is easy to stumble into the trap of “chain smoking” – the habit of jumping from one brand named restaurant to another brand name bar on repeat till the end of your trip. Sure – there is comfort in the familiar, but heck, great things come out of stepping out of your comfort zone! So click this way and discover the hidden gems of Manchester, as us two locals take you along to our favourite places…
Ancoats has seen recent redevelopment, transforming the area into an achingly hip part of town with an “off the beaten track” feel. Surprisingly, it’s a 10 minute walk from hustle and bustle of Manchester Piccadilly train station, and boasts some of the countries newest and best restaurants. We previously lived in the area and so decided to revisit our old stomping ground to see what’s new and we were delighted to discover two brand new haunts – The Counter House and The Jane Eyre.
THE COUNTER HOUSE
With utterly instagrammable decor and has food that delivers on its looks – this is the perfect place for breakfast, brunch and dinner. We enjoyed their epic Chicken Club Sandwich which throws out the rule book transforming this old classic and every bruncher’s favourite, Eggs Royale with crushed avocado, washed down with a cold beer and a ever-so devilish Raspberry Aperol Collins.
THE JANE EYRE
A hop, skip and a full tummied stagger across Cotton Square lies The Jane Eyre, a neighbourhood bar which is the perfect place to sit, relax and drink in the atmosphere of Ancoats, as well as drink a fabulous drink. We highly recommend the Terra Nova – a heady mix of Tequila, Amaro Montenegro, Beetroot, Bitters and Lemon Tonic.
Often used by film and TV as the stand in for New York City, you never know who or what might lie around the corner waiting to be discovered. On this particular wander around the area we discovered part had been turned into a World War 2 set! Filled with street art, the occasional street market and numerous independent businesses, you may well think you are wandering the pavements of Shoreditch. It is easy to lose a few hours taking in the sights and delights of this uber cool part of the city. Be sure to take your camera though as it makes the perfect location for a photo shoot!
NQ64 ARCADE BAR
Recently opened next to the famous Affecks Palace is a retro arcade bar filled with arcade cabinets, pinball machines and a themed cocktail list with recognisable named drinks (think Princess Peach prosecco and a white chocolate concoction named “The Luigi”). Whether you fancy a game of Pacman or reliving the 90’s with the Ninja Turtles, this place has you covered. Paying £5 will get you 15 tokens with most games only costing 1 token, you can spend plenty of time in there without breaking the bank. They also have Nintendo 64’s, SNES and Mega Drive consoles allowing you to take revenge on Goldeneye but remember, no Oddjob!
If you like your pizzas with a twist, Crazy Pedros is the place for you. There are two branches in Manchester of this pizza parlour (with one being right next to NQ64 for our post gaming refuel break) serving cocktails, beer pong and most importantly pizza flavour combinations you’ve likely never seen or tried. And yes, you can have pineapple! We had a half and half pizza – one half “Summer B” with wild mushrooms, garlic ricotta, spinach and truffle oil and the other half? Big Mac! Yup, you read that right – the pizza topping was Big Mac. You can also buy pizza by the slice and there are special happy hour deals on worth checking out.
So whether you are planning your first trip to marvellous Manchester or wanting to discover some new classics in your old favourite like we did – it’s time to dig out those hidden gems in the city!
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Until next time fillies,
Leigh and Mike at Fashion Du Jour LDN HQ x
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