City Guide: 24 Hours In Manchester

Earlier this week I boarded a train from London to Manchester for a super exciting meeting (I’ll be revealing in the next couple of months and can’t wait to share with you guys!), it was my first time in Manchester and after hearing so many great things about the city I was honestly so visit and share my trip with you all. It was a bit of a whirlwind trip which including lots of shopping, wandering around, my meeting and an amazing meal and within 24 hours I was back on London soil.
I took plenty of snaps and made notes of anywhere amazing I visited or stumbled across to share with you guys in case you’re looking to visit, I have you covered from hotels, to bars, shops and restaurants. I also jotted down lots of tips from locals who gave me the low down on where to head for night life (I went on my own on a Monday night so it was hardly party central but I’m back off to Manchester next month to suss out the nightlife so I’ll be reporting back to you guys!).

I spent the night at the Abode Manchester which was about a 2 minutes walk from Manchester Piccadilly station and a 5 minute walk to the Arndale centre/town, the location of this hotel was so incredibly convenient! When I checked in and headed to my room I instantly fell in love – the room had a vibe of exactly what I expected Manchester to ‘feel’ like – almost a Shoreditch meets Amsterdam vibe!

My rom was so spacious yet cosy at the same time, I loved the table space in the window – I instantly pitched up and finished some blogging before heading out to explore the city centre! That night I had a hot bubble bath whilst reading Vogue and listening to Beyonce (ALL THE SASS!) – my room also had a massive rain shower too which was a dream in the morning!

The staff at the hotel were so incredibly friendly, giving me maps and their personal tips on where I should check out as a Manchester newbie! In the morning I headed down to the Michael Cain cafe bar and grill for a delicious cooked breakfast and some green tea so start my day of exploring the right way! If you’re looking for a chic, quirky hotel located in the heart of the city then the Abode Manchester is definitely the hotel for you!

After my first day in the city I was all explored-out so I headed back to my room for a bath and change before heading down to the Michael Cains Restaurant situated in my hotel and oh, boy was I in for a treat! From the second I walked in I knew the meal was going to be just incredible, the restaurant had a real atmospheric, sophisticated feel – all business meetings and couples dining, I took my seat and pitched up with my current read; #GIRLBOSS for a chilled out evening!
The restaurant staff were some of the most genuine, friendliest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting – all coming over individually to check on my food, top up my wine and dish out their top tips on the city! My initial waiter explained the menu in depth to me along with the wine list (his wine knowledge was a force to be reckoned with!) – in the end I opted for Scallops to start, duck breast for main and dark chocolate & orange for dessert. 
I chose a beautiful bottle of Carrick Pinot Noir red wine from New Zealand – then the lovely staff bought me a glass of champagne so it turned into a boozy night (Mondays, eh?!). I have to say everything about my meal was exquisite from taste to presentation and the service was second to none, the duck was incredible and the scallops were one of Michaels signature dishes so I was so glad I got to try those! This restaurant is a must if you’re looking for a fine dining restaurant in the city!
Other recommendations: Trof and Luck Lust Liquor & Burn were both recommended to me as great places to eat located in the super cool Northern Quarter – I didn’t make it to either restaurant but next time I’m heading back to both for sure, watch this space!

 Where to eat – lunch: Bagel NashBluuNorthern Soul Grilled Cheese and Teacup Kitchen

When I first arrived at Manchester I only had about half hour before my first scheduled meeting so whilst I was inside the Arndale Centre I decided to grab a quick lunch and Bagel Nash caught my eye as I’d not had a bagel for agesssss! I went for the smoked salmon, rocket and avocado bagel on a seeded bagel and it was delicious and great for a quick lunch!

On my second day my lunch appointment was at Bluu a cool bar and restaurant based in the Northern Quarter, all three of us ordered the grilled haloumi and cous cous salad and it was so good! If you’re looking for some yummy lunch at an affordable price I couldn’t recommend this place enough!

Whilst browsing the city I came across Northern Soul Grilled Cheese and Teacup Kitchen which both looked super busy with great menus and were great value for money too so I’d definitely recommend checking them both out if you’re passing!

Where to shop – centres: Manchester Arndale

If you’re looking for a good ol’ shop during your stay then the Manchester Arndale is the place for you! With all your favourite shops under one roof including; Topshop (with the same stock as the Oxford Street store no less!), Next, River Island, Kurt Geiger, Hollister, Warehouse, Lush and so, so many more! With free wifi, a food court and located bang in the city centre – it’s an absolute must visit!

In terms of shopping centres in Manchester the Trafford centre is another one that’s been recommended to me by so many people! As it’s situated about 20/30 minutes from the city centre I didn’t get a chance to visit this time around but it’s on my hit list for my next visit in November!
Where to shop – streets: 
If you’re on the hunt for designer goods then New Cathedral Street is the place for you, with giants Selfridges and Harvey Nichols starting the street off stylishly, followed by an array of favourite stores such as Michael Kors, Burberry, Louis Vuitton as well as high street stores; Zara, Ted Baker and 7 For All Mankind. I absolutely loved wandering along this street as it was so picturesque and packed full of goodness that would make any girl squeal aloud!

Best of the restaurants & bars: 63 Degress, TuskAlchemistGrill on New York Street

 63 Degress – a touch of Paris in Manchester!
Tusk – a slice of Africa in the Norther Quarter!
 Alchemist – bar and restaurant
Grill on New York Street – solid, honest and simple proper food (apparently!).

 Best of the rest – snapped whilst exploring the city…

All in all it’s safe to say that I loved Manchester – it was the first time I’ve visited but it certainly won’t be the last! I really felt like the city was a cross between east London and the cooler parts of Amsterdam such as the Jordaan district! I particularly loved the Northern Quarter and can’t wait to explore the nightlife when I head back there next month.

If you’re from Manchester then I hope my pictures did your city justice – if you’ve been or have any recommendations please leave a comment below or tweet me as I’d love to discover some more great places during my next visit!

Have you ever been to Manchester? Where is your favourite place to visit?

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  1. Abigail Alice 16th October 2015 / 5:17 am

    I have the exact same photo of the Flowchart billboard outside of the bar called Terrace! I recently moved to LA from manchester so seeing all of your pictures of my home city made me so nostalgic! I hope you enjoyed your time there, I think it's a great chilled out city. But I'm probably a bit biased!

  2. India Cash 19th October 2015 / 9:57 am

    It's so good to see you enjoyed my home city Hayley! Definitely check out the Trafford Centre if you have the chance next time your visiting, it's my favourite place to shop when I head back home for a weekend 🙂 xx

  3. Kay H 20th October 2015 / 11:29 am

    Love this post! I live in Manchester city centre, and it's so nice to see the city potrayed in such a beautiful and edgy way. You've only just skimmed the surface, there's still lots of sights to explore. Definitely head to Castlefield – our version of Little Venice. x

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