The greatest cocktails in Manchester - expensive but only quality served. Service is fantastic, a great place with friends, on a pricey 'lash' or with a date. Dark, intimate, and, as I've moved 4000 miles away, occasionally missed, esp the cute bar maid ;)
100 High St
Great healthy cafe in the Northern Quarter - lovely decor and good quality wholesome vegetarian wholefood served by friendly gentle people. Good value - two people can eat for under £15. I think it's closed Mondays.
Manchester Buddhist Centre
16-20 Turner Street
Manchester M4 1DZ
t 0161 834 9232
f 0870 134 7356
Reconstructed using original plans and materials from a pub that was destroyed by the IRA (the pub was originally called 'The Shambles' which is funny because that's pretty much what was left after the IRA were done). This place has nice ale and German lagers (not much for the ladies here though) at very cheap prices. The inside has a very comforting authentic 'ye olde English' atmosphere and the outside (equipped with those head-toaster heaters) is very popular in the summer. The menu also features oysters quite prominently, hence the pub's name.
Exchange Square, in front of selfridges and to the left a bit.
A fine pub. Very good selection of drinks(increasingly featuring real ales, on rotation) at reasonable prices, 2 pool tables and a very friendly landlord who cooks up a lovely pizza. The pub also has a big poem on the side of the building... if you're into that sort of thing.
Wilmslow road, right at the south end of the curry mile, Rusholme.
Tel: 0161 248 1941
Matt & Phredds is an excellent jazz bar on Tib Street with live jazz every day (except maybe Monday). It has a wide range of European beers and international wines as well as really nice food - Middle Eastern style - pittas, olives etc as well as pizzas and various other snacks.
To get there head north along church street and go right at the intersection with Tib street, it's a black door on the right.
Takeaway - highly recommend chicken kebabs, made with everything fresh including the naan, incredibly delicious! Have various other excellent meat & veggie dishes too. Whenever I visit Manchester (I live in the USA now) I always return to Abduls; it is the absolute best. You will not be disappointed!
Three of them are on Oxford Road, one near the old Poly, one opposite the Royal Infirmary (133-5) and one in Rusholme.
Bell’s Diner is friendly little restaurant in a converted 1950s grocery shop in the heart of Bristol’s most bohemian neighbourhood, Montpelier.
Chef/Owner Chris Wicks serves innovative contemporary food which features wild, organic produce that he sources locally. The menu includes dishes such as red onion and goats cheese tart, with frisèe and walnut dressing; grilled best end of lamb with harissa, roast aubergine and cous-cous; pot roast guinea fowl with orange, sage, anna potato and green beans; char-grilled squid with black bean sauce; licorice parfait with saffron pears and almond.
Only the freshest produce is used on the daily-changing menu.
There's a fantastic wine list and a knowledgable sommelier for those who want recommendations.
1-3 York Road, Montpelier, Bristol BS6 5QB;
tel: 0117 924 0357; fax: 0117 924 4280;
It's a wonderful, superb restaurant in the lanes. Its colonial in look but the most impressive thing is the food. The 5 of us all chose different starters, mains & puds and they were all divine. Especially mine: squid with ink risotto - yum! Expensive but wonderful as a treat. Oh and the staff were brilliant too.
32 Duke Street
Tel: 01273 773388
9am-11pm 7 days
Fish dishes are a speciality and highly recommended. One of the best South Asian restaurants in the region. Located in Clent Hills which is ideal for a long walk before or after lunch.
Jaipur Cottage, St Leonards Square, 92 Church Avenue, Hagley, West Midlands, DY9 9PN. About 8 miles from Birmingham.
01562 882 456
An authentic Punjabi restaurant that's very popular with Asian Londoners. Noisy, bright lighting but fantastic food, just like being at your Auntie's house. The place is so popular that they've had to extend it. BYO.
Lahore Kebab House
2-4 Umberston St, London, E1 1PY
Tel: 020 7481 9737
Floating hip hop and drum and bass. Set near the refurbished Bristol waterfront, this unique club/boat has everything....drink and dance your pants off downstairs and then chill out upstairs to jazz or chillout and have a cheese toastie. My idea of a fab night out....
East Mud Dock, Bristol
0117 929 3301
It's an easygoing exploration of the architectural sights of Manchester city centre. Will also take you past some very nice bars, restaurants and shops.
Be spontaneous if you can and pick a sunny day, start at about 11am. Manchester doesn't get much more rain than most of the Southern English cities (and certainly less than Wales, Scotland and South West England) so there should be plenty of opportunities!
Start at Sackville Street and explore that area first. There are some magnificent buildings and if you are new to the city you will find yourself confused - it often reminds me of continental European cities (particularly northern Europe) with its mix of rich Victorian and gothic styles. Walk through Canal Street (Gay Village) as well, not far from Sackville Street and make your way towards Oxford Road.
Take a look at the magnificent Palace Hotel and have a drink at the Cornerhouse bar (on the first floor) which also gives a good view of the surrounding hustle and bustle. Then head towards the Central Library (the round pantheon-like building next to the Town Hall) and have a good look at the surroundings. You will be stunned by the variety of styles and ages of the architecture. Explore the various side streets around there and the Town Hall.
Then head to Cross Street and walk down towards Victoria Station from the top of Cross Street (where it crosses Princess Street/John Dalton Street). You will go past the various shops and bars. But when you first get to Cross Street, have a coffee at Caffe Nero near the start: to me it feels like Milan in Manchester!
Once you get to the end of Cross Street you are at the heart of the city centre main shops: Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, all that is in that area. Have a look at Urbis and Victoria Station, which you can spot from the area behind Selfridges (it has a big screen across a shopping centre called the Triangle). If you are hungry by then, try a late lunch at Wagamama (outside the Printworks, across the road from Urbis). From there walk past Harvey Nichols which is by the Manchester Cathedral and head towards St Anne's Square to take in the continuing varied architecture. You have a medieval looking church (St Anne's I think) in the middle of a Victorian architecture shopping centre.
Just before the church is the Royal Exchange Theatre in the middle of the square to the left. Go in and have a look. When you are inside the main building and look up at the very tall ceiling, you will be stunned! I won't spoil the surprise though. Anyway, go up to King Street past the Church, explore the boutiques and then take a right and head to Deansgate (a few yards’ walk) and then turn left and head towards the new Beetham Tower skyscraper.
Once you get there, there is a nice restaurant called Dimitri's that does Spanish and Greek Food. If it's summer sit outside at the back. It's lovely. And then finally finish your architectural walking tour by transporting yourself thousands of years back to Roman times at the Roman ruins and remains of the old wall just off Liverpool Road (which is where the Museum of Science and Industry is). From Deansgate, if you are tired of walking, you can get the number 2 free bus that takes you back to just outside the Cornerhouse - not far from where you started at 11 am!
By far the best kebabs outside Istanbul are to be found in Green Lanes at Diyarbakir and Antepliler. Definitely the most authentic Turkish food in London. For some of the finest baklava - head to Antepliler's baklava salon just next door to the kebab shop.
69 Grand Parade, Green Lanes
Tel: 020 8809 2777
46 Grand Parade, Green Lanes
Despite its location in Newcastle, Mangos is truly a world class restaurant, world class in the authentic Chinese sense. You could as easily be in New York or San Francisco or Hong Kong... until you walk out the door that is. Fantastic dim sum, particularly after midnight!
43 Stowell Street, Newcastle;
tel: 0191 232 6525
It is a Bangladeshi/Nepalese run restaurant offering a stunning selection of Indian dishes, full of flavour, perfectly-cooked and by far the best in the county of Buckinghamshire.
High Street, Beaconsfield (New Town), Bucks. Near Beaconsfield station, Chiltern Line from Marylebone.
Brilliant and inexpensive Mexican food in Brixton. Freshly made tortilla chips and salsas, grilled burritos and an assortment of interesting mains. Also have special brunch menu and a Sunday Latin roast. Good choices for vegetarians too.
The Dogstar, 389 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London - very near Brixton station;
tel: 0207 924 9888;
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