Now in its fifth year, Manchester’s The Warehouse Project is one of the UK’s most cherished modern musical events. Running for 15 weeks beneath the city’s Piccadilly train station, The Warehouse Project’s series of gigs and club nights will give music lovers of every hue something to get excited about. So while you choose which nights to attend (personally we’re beside ourselves at the thought of Doves, MIA and DOOM), let Shortlist take the stress out of negotiating a weekend in the UK’s foremost rock’n’roll city. Where to stay, where to eat and where to shop; everything you need for a most excellent weekend in Manchester awaits…
Great John Street (www.greatjohnstreet.co.uk)
Situated opposite Granada Studios, Great John Street (pictured) was originally a school for children of the traveling community. Fear not though, you won’t be forced into detention after a spending a night in the nearby Castlefield bars.
Former warehouse now home to Malmaison’s stylish Manchester outpost. Handily placed for Piccadilly station and The Warehouse Project itself – all the better for stumbling home after an evening’s disco dancing.
Hilton Manchester Deansgate (www.hilton.co.uk/manchesterdeansgate)
If its stunning views of Manchester you’re after, the Hilton’s breathtaking hotel is for you. Occupying the lower 23 floors of the memorable Beetham Tower, this is one chic establishment.
The Northern Quarter Restaurant (www.tnq.co.uk)
Manchester’s bohemian Northern Quarter was starved of classic eateries before the arrival of the simply titled Northern Quarter Restaurant (pictured). What it lacks in naming invention is more than made up for in the imagination of the cooking – classic British fare jam-packed with flavour.
The best pizzeria in Manchester, bar none, this restaurant, established by Pizza Express renegades, is a place to see and be seen.
Sweet Mandarin (www.sweetmandarin.com)
Voted the best local Chinese restaurant in the UK on Gordon Ramsay’s The F Word, and for once the recommendation of the Great British public is one to be heeded. Marvellous stuff.
Sam’s Chop House (www.samsmanchester.thevictorianchophousecompany.com)
Traditional Manchester boozer that serves up mighty portions of British classics: their Corned Beef Hash is legendary.
Lively bar in the Northern Quarter, that is populated by many a Manchester bright young thing. Look out for their DJ nights at the weekend.
When is a toilet not a toilet? When it’s an underground bar of course! This former lavatory now houses an established fixture on the Manchester drinking scene.
Cracking boozer popular with locals and trendies alike. The beers (brewed on the premises) are first class and the food is spectacular.
Old-fashioned pub (near to the site of the Hacienda – now flats of course) that is famous for its convivial atmosphere and selection of real ales.
Coming from the same stable that brings you the Deaf Institute venue, Trof is a nefarious hangout just around the corner from Common.
Oi Polloi (www.oipolloi.com)
Not only the best men’s clothes shop in Manchester, this is arguably the best shop for gentleman in the UK. Now moved to bigger premises, Oi Polloi (pictured) is the place to shop for all things APC, Ralph Lauren, YMC and co…
Indulge your inner Liam Gallagher at this Manchester clothing institution.
Piccadilly Records (www.piccadillyrecords.com)
They still buy records up in Manchester and no wonder with this shop on their doorstep. Everything from obscure indie to ear-splitting electronica can be found in this marvellous musical emporium.
Pop Boutique (www.pop-boutique.com)
Fancy a rumble in something kitsch and vintage, pay a visit to the original Pop Boutique on Oldham Street. Yes, that is the Northern Quarter’s main artery – as you can see, a lot of things happen around here.
The Mancunian branch of Magma is home to all manner of design oddities and style crazes – books, toys, posters, T-shirts… everything that is hip and forward-thinking is located in these four walls.
Other stuff to do
Manchester Food and Drink Festival, Oct 1-11
The 13th incarnation of this acclaimed jamboree for epicureans.
In The City, Oct 13-15
Annual showcase for new bands. The likes of Oasis, Radiohead and Coldplay got early breaks after playing this esteemed shindig.
Manchester Literature Festival, Oct 14-25
Need some quiet contemplation after a hard night’s partying, come and listen to the likes of Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, nobel prize winner Seamus Heaney and novelist Bernard Cornwell speak.
Manchester Comedy Festival, Oct 18-31
Big Edinburgh winner Russell Kane, plus Frankie Boyle, Rhod Gilbert, Tommy Tiernan, Shappi Khorsandi and a host of rising stars will be splitting sides all over Manchester.