Weekend Getaway Guide | Manchester

Oh Manchester! What a city!

So little time, so much to see, do, explore (and most important of all, EAT!!).

So much in fact that it can be a bit overwhelming… But fear not, I went and did all the leg work (quite litterally, see below), so you don’t have to!

Ready for the ultimate weekend getaway guide to Manchester?

 

How to get there:

From London, you can jump on a train (departing from Euston station) and you’ll be there in just under 2 hours. Easy-Peasy.

Where to stay:

Location, location, location! I can’t quite stress how truly brilliant it is to only be 5 min away from bed when you’re trying to get home with a belly full of burgers and one too many delicious cocktails. And the same obviously goes for excellent coffee / pastries / brunch the next morning. Because priorities.

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

We stayed in a great room in the Northern Quarter that we rented through Airbnb. Our hosts were lovely, the price was reasonable and the location was absolutely amazing and I highly recommend you give them a shout if you’re heading to Manchester any time soon and are looking for a place to stay!

 

Transports:

Manchester has a very efficient (and cheap! You can get a weekend tram pass for about £6!) public transport network.

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

But then again, you can very well walk to all those places (and get one more slice of cake thanks to all the money + calories you’ll be saving! #winwin)

 

What to see + do / A few highlights:

Explore the reds & blues of Manchester: As for many cities, my favourite thing to do is just to wander the tiny streets and try to get a feel of what it would be like to live there. And Manchester is perfect for meandering!

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

If you’re a bit of an architecture nerd (or as much in love with red bricks as I am), Manchester will steal your heart within seconds!

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

The whole city is an absolute architectural gem. Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Most major buildings are built in a Gothic style, but there’s also a few interesting contemporary buildings out there…

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

And then the street art situation isn’t bad either…

Bookworms:

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Manchester, home to the oldest public library in the English-speaking world, has many historic libraries and each is more beautiful than the next.

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

From Chetham’s medieval building, to John Rylands’ Victorian neo-gothic architecture, the Portico Library’s stunning 19th century design and Manchester Central Library’s recent refurbishment, a tour of the Mancunian libraries is a must for book and history aficionado alike!

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

(very Game of Thrones, don’t you think?)

 

Football fanatics: Football is somewhat of a religion in Manchester and if you’re into it, you’ll be in heaven!

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Whether you’re supporting the Red Devils or the Citizens, there’s nothing quite like watching a live game at home. And if there’s no game when you visit, the Museum of Football makes for a great alternative!

 

Where to eat + drink:

For brunch: Evelyn’s

Evelyn’s is a small but perfectly formed café in the heart of Manchester’s hipster-dreamland Northern Quarter.

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Utterly flooded with light, it’s an Instagrammer’s paradise!

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Oh, and they also happen to serve up a near-perfect brunch… AND they take bookings! #miracleshappen Read more

 

For lunch: Soup Kitchen

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Serving up freshly prepared, delicious British café food (think soup, sanwiches, jacket potatoes…), Soup Kitchen is a neighbourhood gem and a Mancurian (and now mine!) favourite come lunchtime! Read more

 

For tea: Proper Tea

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Located right opposite the Cathedral, it’s the most adorable little tea house you’ll ever find.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

They serve up fantastic tea & fabulous homemade cakes, making them the perfect spot to rest your worn-out feet (and make good use of all those calories you burnt!!) Read more

 

For a special occasion: Hawksmoor

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Mancurian outpost of London’s famous Hawksmoor group, there’s no better place to go for top-knotch steak & along with all other fancy dinner sheninigang.

Really good cocktails too. And the most indulgent of side dishes (looking at you, pulled pork mac’!! ?)

 

For burgers: Almost Famous

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Possibly the best burgers I’ve ever had anywhere in the world. And god knows I’ve had A LOT!! Read more

 

For drinks: Dusk til Pawn

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Dusk til Pawn MCR 16

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

One of Manchester’s top cocktail bars, Dusk til Pawn’s creative concoctions are the perfect start (or end!) to an epic night out! Read more

 

For a snack: Lunya

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Part deli, part tapas restaurant, Lunya is any foodie’s dream.

If you’re particularly fond of Spanish food (I like you), then you’ll love it as much as I did.

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Here you can buy anything you’d find in your local spanish tienda…

Perfect for a light snack or buying provisions for a picnic!

Anyhting I’ve missed? I’m already noting down ideas for my next trip to Manchester, so let me know!

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Weekend Getaway Guide | Manchester

Almost Famous, Manchester

The best nights out start with brilliant cocktails and finish with even better burgers.

And there’s only ONE place to go for the most EPIC burgers in Manchester: Almost Famous.

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Up a spooky staircase, along a graffiti covered coridor and across a bar area that could have been designed by Willy Wonka himself, you’ll find the ultimate grown-up playground.

 

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Complete with loads of colourful, witty artwork…

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

A table full of candy (#homegoals right there!!)…

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

And many a roll of kitchen towel!!

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

The menu is any child’s dream come true (and any calorie-counter’s worst nightmare).

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Now, I’m a bit of a burger connoisseur (a.k.a. I eat burgers far too often for my own good) and I happen to live just across the street from one of London’s best burgers, so I had my doubts…

…but they quickly fadded away!

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Johnny Mac.

Double beef patty, Applewood & cheddar cheese, streaky bacon, trailer trash onions, Cool Doritos, Million Island sauce & Winning ketchup.

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

A true beast with a lil’ mac & cheese ball on top! (def. get your greedy hands on some more of those if you can!!)

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Down & Out (in Beverly Hills)

American & cheddar cheese, Wonderdust hotdog melt, trailer trash onions, French’s mustard, Winning ketchup Million Island sauce.

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Hot dog melt! It’s a thing, people!! (and a delicious, delicious one at that!!)

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Phoenix fries. A.k.a. fries on steroids (and with more cheese on top).

So bad but soooooooo gooooood!

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

And a tiny lil’ bit of coleslaw for the vitamin intake (LOL!)

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

And with the whole thing just coming up to £25, going back to reality was quite harsh if perfectly signaled!

My only regret? That I didn’t get to try more things.

Don’t do the same mistake. Grab all your favourite people (or at least the ones that’ll let you try their food!), go early and order it all!

 

And make sure you tag me (@sndguerin) in all your drool-worthy pics! Or if you’re looking for an extra person and you don’t mind me gobble-ing down all the mac & cheese balls, I’ll be more than happy to help out!

Almost Famous100-102 High St, Manchester M4 1HP  

Almost Famous, Manchester

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester

Manchester is a great city by day, but it only comes truly alive at night.

Famous across the country for its buzzy nightlife and eclectic music scene, Mancurian bars & clubs are second to none and a visit to one of the city’s top cocktail bars  is an absolute weekend must-do.

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Manchester’s hip Northern Quarter is full of great places to spend the night, but top of my list is Dusk til Pawn.

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Find the big ‘Pawn Shop’ sign in the window and make a beeline for one of Manchester’s coolest speakeasy bars.

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Popular with locals and visitors alike, Dusk til Pawn is famous for both its creative cocktail menu & its great atmosphere.

Dusk til Pawn MCR 14

… not to mention its impressive liquor collection (and that’s not even all of it!)!

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Grab a seat at the bar, pick your poison and watch in awe as the bartenders work their magic, stirring, mixing and shaking glass after glass of delicious creations for you to taste.

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Favourites included The Sinnerman (Bourbon, cinnamon, cherry juice)

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

The Bail Bond (House celery gin, elderflower, rosemary, tonic)

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

The Brass Ball (Whisky, marmelade, ginger, bitters)

Make sure you also order ‘A Million Dollars’.

You might not end up quite as rich as you’d expect, but you certainly are in for a treat…

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

… And a bit of a show!

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Let the oak smoke infuse into the barrel-aged fig old fashioned for as long as you can bare it.

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Then delight in the strong smokey notes, balancing perfectly against the sweetness of the fig.

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Another highlight was the Diamond Glove (Gin, rhubarb, rosemary, grapefruit).

And even if you’re late to make it for your restaurant reservation (#truestory), you must have a Hustle (oh, the irony!)

Dusk til Pawn MCR 20

Combining house plum gin, bail, lime and pomegranate, it’s one of the most surprising cocktails I’ve ever tasted.

Quite worth the risk of ending up without a table to be honest…

So whether you live there all year round or are just visiting for a couple of days, make sure you include Dusk til Pawn into your Manchester weekend plans.

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

 

And in case you were wondering, yes, we did make it in time for our dinner booking in the end.

But that my friends is a (burger full) story for another day (tomorrow)…

 

Dusk til Pawn, Stevenson Square, Northern Quarter, Manchester M1 1FB  

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester

Proper Tea, Manchester

We had been walking around Manchester all day when we stumbled upon the signs below.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

It was like it had been put on our way on purpose.

I mean, helloooo, cake and tea, have you met me ever? #CakeDiva

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

We followed the signs to the cutest little tea house there ever was.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Nestled behind the cathedral, Proper Tea is the coziest place you could imagine.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Perfect for resting your worn-out feet with a nice cuppa and a slice of homemade cake from the counter.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Once you’ve made your choice, put your feet up, all that’s left to do is pour yourself a nice, hot cup of tea.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Soon, the lovely staff will bring plate after plate of incredible goodies to have with your tea.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

The best thing to do is covering the whole table with plates of homemade cakes and scones.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Including gigantic fluffy heart-shaped scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

And slices of whatever cake the charming staff recommends.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

For us, it was this incredible pistachio & rose cake.

Absolutely scrumptious.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Slather the scones with just a bit too much cream & jam and enjoy the time being.

A brilliant place for a spot of proper tea (!!) with some of your favourite people.

Manchester Cathedral | Cake + Whisky

And the perfect break before continuing your exploration of Manchester’s most beautiful sights, including the nearby cathedral.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Manchester Cathedral | Cake + Whisky

A true gothic gem with glorious late-medieval wooden furnishing.

Cake, tea and architecture; an afternoon well spent indeed!

Find Proper Tea on Cathedral Yard, Manchester M3 1SQ  

Proper Tea, Manchester

Evelyn’s Cafe Bar, Manchester

Soooo… I might not be the most organised of travel bloggers (for that, you might want to check Silverspoon London!).

To be completely honest, a large part of my travel plans is always dedicated to ‘wandering around’ and ‘exploring the tiny streets’.

But one thing I always, always make extensive research on is restaurants.

And after a looooot of time on Pinterest, I stumbled upon Evelyn’s and I knew we had to go.

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Evelyn’s is a small but perfectly formed café in the heart of Manchester’s hipster-dreamland Northern Quarter.

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Utterly flooded with light, it’s an Instagrammer’s paradise!

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Complete with a plant hanging wall…

Evelyn's Café Bar Manchester 8

… copper (or should I say rose gold?) salt & pepper shakers…

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

… and enough white bricks to compete with Pinterest’s finest examples of hipster interiors!

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

There’s obviously an extensive menu of smoothies and other green juices available!

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

But we started things off with some ‘fancy’ water (much needed after a few too many cocktails at Dusk til Pawn…)

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Orange juice for him, grapefruit for me.

Just what the doctor ordered!

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

And a couple of croissants while waiting for the rest of the food to be ready.

Not sure how the proverbial doctor would feel about that…

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

But then again, the croissants were so light, fluffy and buttery all at once that I don’t really care!

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Shakshuka.

Aheavenly Middle Eastern classic of eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce with harissa and fresh herbs.

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

And plenty of toasted sourdough bread to mop it all up!

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Fried Korean chicken roll.

A.k.a. the best egg sandwich I have ever experienced.

But then topping something good with some spicy fried chicken is a sure-fire way to make it even better, isn’t it?

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

^The Money Shot^

Unfortunately, they were not serving their dessert menu as the time we visited, so no Chocolate tart with cherries, Yuzu posset or Matcha crème brulée this time around.

I think that truly justifies the need for me to visit again some time soon.

The only question is, will you beat me to it?

 

Book a table (!! #godblessEvelyns) and drool over the menu on Evelyn’s website

(make sure you tag me @sndguerin in all your Insta pics when you go!!)

Evelyn’s Cafe BarG18 Tib Street, Manchester M4 

Evelyn’s Cafe Bar, Manchester

Soup Kitchen, Manchester

The first thing people asked me about after my weekend getaway in Manchester was how the food was.

To which I answered that some of it (Wetherspoon’s chips) was truly aweful and some was absolutely brilliant.

And the Soup Kitchen is definitely on the truly great side of things!

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Serving up freshly prepared, delicious British café food (think soup, sanwiches, jacket potatoes…), it’s a neighbourhood gem and Mancurian favourite come lunchtime!

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Come early and set camp on one of the long wooden communal tables with some coffee while the kitchen get the last of the lunch prep ready.

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Within minutes, the room fills up with regulars coming in for a taste of the Soup Kitchen’s delicious food (and Pinterest-worthy decor).

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Old crockery, a collection of cookbooks, honey-coloured wood everywhere and enough knick-knacks to keep your eyes busy for days, Soup Kitchen feels just like home (a much better organised and instagramable home, that is!)

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Plus, no need to slave away in the kitchen to get something nice and healthy on the table, Soup Kitchen’s lovely staff got it covered!

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

There are fresh, vibrant salads.

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Perfectly cooked, steaming hot jacket potatoes.

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Juicy & spicy jerk chicken waiting to be piled high onto plates.

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

And a few other Jamaican-inspired delicacies in case you’re feeling a bit peckish!

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

But the main event? The Soup, obviously!

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Thick, creamy, flavourful concoctions generously ladled into enamel bowls and the Soup Kitchen’s best seller.

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Get a bit of everything onto a tray, hurry back to your table and get tucked in without any delay!

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Velvety Tomato & paprika soup.

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

An absolute dream on a cold day!

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Jerk chicken ‘dumpling’ with coleslaw.

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Crunchy, spicy, wholesome and comforting all at once!

Soup Kitchen 33

And a gigantic Saltcod & veggie fritter.

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Surely one of the best dippers that was ever invented!

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Now, if only the Soup Kitchen could set store near my office so I could keep going back for delicious goodness in a bowl (and a side of fluffy bread roll smothered in salted butter)…

In the meantime, I’ll definitely go back next time I go up North (and so should you!)

Find them here

Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear St, Manchester M1 1DF 

Soup Kitchen, Manchester