Back in May I visited Manchester with a friend to go and see the Deftones (review here.) I had purchased the tickets for my friend as a Birthday present back in October.
I’ve stalled on this post for a while, mainly because I wanted to touch on a few of Manchester City Centres issues, that you just don’t seem to get in Birmingham. Then the Terror attack happened towards the end of May, and I never bothered finishing this post as I didn’t want to come across as being insensitive during what was clearly a tough time for the city. Also as two months have progressed a number of things may have changed, especially after such an incident and that general security and policing in all major cities has since increased. So instead I’m going to gloss over those issues, not bother with the negatives, and just mention the positives.
Firstly, accommodation. We debated this over many times, and were very close to booking Hotels, in the end, as we had used AirBNB previously for a few days in Bath, we opted for another AirBNB. This time however it was a little different, as we would not have the whole property to ourselves, but would instead be sharing it with the actual occupants. Once we arrived Scott came down to meet us, and told us where to park up, the apartment had it’s own off street parking, and was behind a secure gate, so this was already a bonus. We were shown around the apartment, our room (which is a double bed), kitchen, bathroom, lounge and basically given a few very simple house rules. As they were not going out that night, they did advise they would probably have friends round, which was true, when we got back from the gig, we joined in, had a few drinks and stayed up chatting until about 2am. For simply somewhere to put your head down for one night after something like a gig, this was perfect and nowhere near the prices of Manchester hotels. The location was a short drive into Manchester City Centre, costing about £5 in an Uber, which is likely going to be cheaper than taking the car into the City anyway as car parking is quite expensive. If I was going back to Manchester I would straight away look to see if Robbie & Scott’s place was available again. Here’s their AirBNB page.
Other than going to the gig, the rest of the 24 hours spent in Manchester (other than sleeping and being in Robbie & Scott’s) was spent in the City Centre. Manchester like all City Centres these days is gorgeous, mixing in old Victorian style buildings and town houses, with modern indoor shopping centres. Now personally I’m not one for walking endlessly around shops. Of course the only drawback to other UK cities when you already live in one yourself, is that chains, and commercialism have took over. You’ll find all the same shops you can expect to find in any other City. Boring. So obviously you need to find the beaten tracks and find the more independent areas of the City, and this would be in the Northern Quarter apparently.
I follow quite a few foodies on my twitter, so had put a shout out beforehand to ask for places to eat. One such place in the Northern Quarter, was Home Sweet Home. We visited here on the Sunday after the gig, around 11AMish. It was pretty busy, but they were able to squeeze us in as a table for 2 had just become available. Most people were eating big breakfasts, probably to counteract the hangover from the night before, but we were only interested in cake.
I had a slice of Banana cake. As you can see from above, the slices are certainly huge. I couldn’t finish mine, but it was certainly enough to keep me going for the majority of the day. I’m not a massive coffee man so can’t give you an idea of what their coffee is like. I had an earl grey pot of tea, which was all good.
Another find in the Northern Quarter, but on the evening was Almost Famous. Almost Famous now has 4 burger restaurants based in the North. Two in Manchester and one in both Leeds and Liverpool. The Northern Quarter restaurant was pretty busy on the Saturday evening in question, we were quickly seated, but then had two equally long waits to make a drink order, and then a food order. We were ready to order food at the same time as we made our drink order but the waiter hurried off, and when the waitress came over with the drinks, said she couldn’t take our food order so we had to wait again.
However thankfully, the wait was worth it.
We ordered the River Phoenix and the Double Wonder Burger, and had it accompanied with one batch of winning fries and one batch of Bacon Bacon Fries. Almost Famous also does cocktails but they seemed very expensive, so we stuck to soft drinks to wash our messy burgers down with.
All in all it was a great weekend, and hope to explore Manchester again soon.