For the last leg of our England trip we called Sale home. Sale is a little canal-side town in Greater Manchester. Since we were stationed at P-mans comfortable abode, most mornings we ate in at P-mans house. We munched on Marks & Spencers crumpets, yogurts, scones (with clotted cream and jam of course) and a big cup of tea. After breakfast, we would head to the center of Manchester to do shopping, sight seeing, and more eating. The metro from Sale to Manchester is only about 15 minutes long, and its extremely easy to navigate.
Manchester is one of the biggest metropolitan cities in England, nicknamed "Cottonopolis" for its involvement in the cotton trade in the 19th century. Now Manchester is a city filled with tons of shops, restaurants, bars, and a plethora of cultural institutions. Over our week stay we discovered a lot about this city such as its unabashed obsession with tapas bars and so much more!!
This post will dive into all of Manchester, and Greater Manchester's secret gems. We are excited to share them with you!
xxx Ivy & Eve
Sugar Junction-$$ This place has a charming atmosphere and a yummy cream tea! We stumbled upon this place and Ivy couldn't resist stopping when she saw "Cream Tea" listed on the menu outside. They had a great selection of lunch items and tasty cocktails we sipped on happily. They have a cocktail and cake deal which is to die for!
Moose Coffee- $ This place reminded us of an American-style diner with a hipster feel. Their coffees are to die for and you can buy beans to brew up at home! Ivy had great fresh mint tea, and ordered a tasty cheesy hash brown with eggs on top. Eve had their tasty Moose Macchiato, milky coffee with an extra double-shot of espresso, caramel syrup, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream. For Eve's meal, Eve ordered the double Dutch, a giant platter of pancakes with bacon and hotdogs inside (actually pretty tasty) topped with fried eggs and loaded with butter and maple syrup!
Lunya Catalonia Deli- Restaurant & Bar inside the Barton Arcade- $$ This is one of the many tapas bars in Manchester. We think it is one of the best! Upstairs is the main restaurant space, while downstairs has a more casual bar and a deli/market where you can buy tons of Spanish delicacies to enjoy at home! We ordered a delicious cheese and meat plate with a side of olives and three different olive oils to dip our bread in. We sipped on some crisp rosé from Catalonia, which was lovely!
Pot Kettle Black- $ Also inside the Barton Arcade, this coffee shop is the perfect place to grab a quick bite and recharge before heading out on the town once more.
Bakchich- $ This is a Lebanese street food restaurant. It was in the University district, and the portions were huge- to satisfy the starving & poor students. We liked it for casual dining as it had lots of flavor and a lively interior decor which helped lift our spirits on the cold and rainy day.
Zizzi- $ We love this place so much! It's another budget friendly restaurant we visited, mainly because it is a chain restaurant. Eve and P-man used to go to Zizzi's all the time in grad school and it became a comforting favorite. We always order a Zizzi Anitpasti, Primavera Rustica Pizza, and wash it down with a bottle of the Montepulciano Abruzzo wine. Perfecto!
Cottonopolis- $$$ This is an über hip restaurant bar in the trendy North Quarter of Manchester. They serve up Asian Fusion food, tapas style and a creative cocktail menu that will make you want to order one of each!
Amphora Cafe in Sale- $ This little cafe has the most delicious breakfast for next to nothing! We all had coffee or tea, and a breakfast entree for under 15 pounds! The star of the meal was the Amphora breakfast which consists of eggs baked in tomato sauce, béchamel, and parmesan baked in a little lidded pot. They served it with yummy fresh baked seeded bread. It was to die for!
Wash House- $$$ MUST GO! If there is one place you cannot miss its Wash House. This place is super cool and has out of this world cocktails. Ivy is super picky with mixed drinks...if she tastes basically any hard alcohol she spits it out. But the bartender & owner helped her pick two drinks; the Glazed and Confused with strawberry liquor and balsamic glaze complete with a lolly pop included & the Bevis' Cherry Pop Daiquiri with spiced rum, sour cherry syrup and pop rocks! Ivy ended up loving both of these drinks. P-man ordered a Top Shelf Sour and Melville's Corpse, two very strong, grow-hair-on-your-chest, yet tasty drinks. Eve's first drink was Fear & Loathing which was a frozen blended mango drink with a touch of coriander and jalapeño for a bit of heat. Her second choice was Let Them Eat Cake, a creamy gin based cocktail served with a mini battenburg cake slice! The atmosphere and decor is perfect and moody, with a DJ turning out hip beats that you were able to enjoy as well as hear your own conversations. We wont tell you too much because it is a 'Secret Bar'. We will say its definitely worth wandering around a few minutes to locate. Remember though, its reservation only! You can either call ahead or direct message them on Instagram which is what we did.
Cork of The North in Sale- $$ Cork of The North was one of our favorite places. We ended up going three times while we were in Sale! The friendly staff, the amazing and large wine selection, along with the fun and casual atmosphere kept us coming back for more. They also had a great cheese plate. Its a perfect place to buy a bottle with friends and relax.
The Kings Ransom in Sale- $ This is a classic pub but has a great view of the canal beside it and a patio to sit at when there is a break in the rain.
Trof- $ This bourbon bar serves up a mean happy hour every day from 4-8pm. You can get 2 cocktails for 10 pounds and lets just say, we had several...
Walkden Gardens in Sale- FREE This garden is beautiful and has all kinds of flora. As you walk from garden to garden you feel as though you are entering new worlds. Our favorite garden was the traditional Japanese garden.
Brewery tour at Robinsons Brewery in Stockport- $$ We have been to quite a few brewery tours in the states and we definitely think this one is worth a visit. The facility has recently upgraded most of their machinery but left the original equipment on site so you can compare the old next to the fancy new ones. The tour was about an hour long and ended in the brewery pub, where you can sample their beers. They also have two Shire horses on site which Eve became friends with.
The Spa at the Midland- $$$ Book during the week for spa deals. They have amazing hanging pods in their relaxation room. Escape the busy city above and spend a morning here instead!
Manchester Museum- FREE This is a wonderful natural history museum. It has exhibits of local flora and fauna all the way to exhibits on the ice age. The museum is very diverse so there is an exhibit for everyone to enjoy. We loved wandering the galleries on a cold and rainy afternoon.
Manchester Cathedral- FREE This church has some of the most intricate wood carvings we have ever seen. The church itself is pretty small for a cathedral but it is a beautiful place to reflect in tranquility among the bustle of downtown Manchester.
John Rylands Library- FREE This library feels like you have stepped into the library at Hogwarts! Built in 1900, this library holds the University of Manchester's special collections. They have wonderful temporary exhibitions and the carved sandstone gargoyles throughout the building are amazing. Each of them are completely unique! The entry has a little cafe and a great gift shop with bookish gifts for everyone.
Overall, Manchester is a wonderful city with something for everyone. There is so much more we couldn't fit into this post so we suggest you go and explore for yourself!