Unlike my colleague who normally writes these things, I haven't been to that many obscure places in Manchester - so I thought I would play it safe and write about the glittering cosmopolitan metropolis that is Spinningfields.
The only thing about Spinningfields is that it isn’t that well connected. It basically sits half way along Deansgate and runs backwards towards the river. You can get the Metrolink to Deansgate Castlefield and walk up (it will take about 5-10 minutes), or from Exchange Square in about the same. Let’s kick things off on Left Bank which runs alongside the River Irwell and brushes shoulders with Salford…
You can’t start a lovely day out on an empty stomach, and when it comes to Brunch, look no further than Beastro. As the name suggests, these guys are into meat- we’re talking bangers and bacon and all things good. The menu is extensive, so there is something for everyone (even the sprogs if you’ve been tricked into bringing them along too!) There are eggs all the ways you could possibly imagine, sarnies, English muffins, sweet treats and of course Full Beast Breakfasts. Look out for the Brunch Kroll too– a New York Style roll made of croissant dough filled with bacon, sausage, egg, hash browns and topped off with cheese. Enough said.
People’s History Museum
With a full tummy and a full day ahead, a wander around a museum and a bit of a leg stretch is just what you need. The People’s History Museum on Left Bank is a bit of hidden gem here in Manchester who’s focus is all about national and local working-class life which is a perfect choice for any socialists out there. It is pretty politically minded with displays on subjects such as the Suffragette movement, women in music, and the fabric of protest – all of which are on right now so check it out and get yourself a dose of culture.
People’s History Museum, New Ct St, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3ER
Head up the stairs to The Range and get yourself booked in to use one of their state of the art golf simulators. These simulators will allow you to play on one of a hundred of the world’s finest golf clubs without leaving the city centre. They take full memberships, but if you are just dropping by for a game, it isn’t a problem. If you feel the pang of thirst or hunger, you can pop next door to Albatross & Arnold for a drink and some modern British cuisine cooked by Master Chef Semi Finalist Jonathan Green. Their cocktail menu is exquisite too, so make sure you have one of those before you leave at the very least.
When your stomach starts to rumble, keep on the Left Bank and head on over to Scene Indian Street Kitchen. Weather permitting, get out on their terrace and a drink or two with a bit of Shisha, or sit down for a meal. The food is fantastically authentic, and a trip to Scene without sampling their Samosa Chaat is a trip wasted. We went down a few months back to see how they put it together which you can watch here– just in case you needed any more convincing to try it.
Now you are going to walk up from Left Bank back towards Deansgate and swing a left at the Pret A Manger and park yourself in Crown Square…
The Oast House
If you ask anyone about the central hub of Spinningfields, I will put money on the fact that everyone will say the Oast House. It a bit of a weird one though, it is smack bang in the middle of the tall glass buildings of the banking district but it just looks like somewhere Snow White and her seven little mates would have lived. Oh, but don’t let it fool you, The Oast House is relatively new too. The Oast House was set up as a pop-up just over four years ago, but it was such a roaring success that it has become a permeant feature. Not only that, but it has just had a lovely new extension which makes their stunning outdoor area all the better for drinking a few pints in the sunshine.
The Oast House, Spinningfields, Crown Square, Manchester M3 3AY
While you’re at the Oast House, you can nip over the road and press your face against the glass at Flannels and long to touch the clothes as Charlie Bucket longs for the last Wonka Bar. If you haven’t heard of it, Flannels is a very high-end fashion store full of designer brands like Gucci, Feni, KENZO, Viviene Westwood and all the other brands you, like the rest of us mere mortals, cannot afford. If you have the cash to splash, it is the place to be though, or if you want some revenge threads using ex-boyfriends/girlfriends credit card…
Flannels, Crown Square, Manchester M3 3FL
From Flannels, you are going to take a left out of the store and then the first left on to another boulevard lined with shops and bars. Walk all the way up to the top past the Armani store and look to your left where you will see the historic John Rylands Libary juxtaposed with the tall glass skyscrapers…
John Rylands Library
This Neo-Gothic Library is one of the Jewels in Manchester’s Crown, and it is not to be missed. It is quite reminiscent of Hogwarts if leaping around in a cloak shouting out spells is how you like to spend your weekends. You are free to walk through it and take all the details of the stunning interior in at your own pace, but they also have some gorgeous exhibitions on throughout the year. Right now, they have a display called ‘The Alchemy of Colour’ which uses many original illuminated manuscripts from the Library collection to demonstrate the methods and practices of making colour back in the day. Well worth a visit.
John Rylands Library,150 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3EH
Come out of The John Rylands and take a left back on to Deansgate as if you were heading back to the Tram stop. Walk up there, and you will find Hawksmoor on your right just before you get to Atkinson Street…
Who’s hungry again then? Thought so- and it’s time for dinner. Spinningfields is jam-packed with fantastic restaurants, and you will be spoilt for choice. It was a tough decision, but I have decided to point you in the direction of Hawksmoor for your dinner- because it is utterly fantastic. They are complete meat mavericks who will cook you up one of the best steaks you have ever had the pleasure of snuffling down your throat. They also do a posh version of a Mac Donald Big Mac served with beef dripping fries and quite frankly it is just as epic as it sounds. There is plenty of delicious fish, veggie (and even vegan!) options too. If you do your day out on a Sunday, do not miss their Sunday Roast whatever you do- they are the eighth wonder of the world.
After dinner, it is time for some serious drinking and the bar scene in Spinningfields is buzzing. You are going to be moving around a bit over the next couple of hours, so do keep up. Head back towards Crown Square. Walk adjacent to Flannels, hop over Wood Street and into the little tunnel of buildings. Head to the end and go through to the reception of the building opposite the Costa Coffee. Go straight for the elevators and press floor 12…
If you ever have a hot date that you really want to impress, particularly if they aren’t from these parts, you simply have to take them to Manchester House’s Lounge on 12. The view is fantastic, especially at night, and I can guarantee you will leave thinking that you never thought rainy old Manchester could look that pretty. The drinks menu is fantastic too, and it doesn’t matter if you want a simple gin & tonic or bottle of bubbly or a £120 dram of whisky- they have it all. The restaurant below is phenomenal too, but save your cash for a special occasion and just stick to a drink or two.
Dyslexia strikes again, and I can’t quite get my head around how to give you directions between Manchester House and the next venue so get Google Maps out or ask for some good old-fashioned directions…
This is probably one of two of THE places to be in Spinningfields once the sun goes down. Tattu delivers a contemporary approach to Chinese cuisine which is married with western flavours and techniques. Tattu wants to take you on a journey from East to West when you dine with them by showcasing a range of excellent dishes which are stylish, delicious and beautifully presented. The drinks are just as sophisticated and aesthetically pleasing with a signature Asian slant which is served against a stunning interior and chilled House music vibes in the background.
Come out of Tattu, turn left and then left again, so you are on Quay Street. Head to No. 1 Spinningfields reception and join the queue…
The other place to be in Spinningfields which is pretty hot right now is 20 Stories. Once you head up to the top, you will find a view and an outdoor terrace that will take your breath away. 20 Stories features panoramic views of the city and two distinct dining areas- the relaxed Grill with a fine dining experience which can be found at the Restaurant. It’s all about some drinks late into the evening on that terrace though and the cocktail bar will not let you down. There is no better way to round off a busy day than with one of their Bed Time Cocktails and a gawp at one of the best views in the city.
20 Stories, No. 1 Spinningfields1 Hardman Square, Manchester M3 3EB