City Slicker | Guide to Manchester, England

Good morning, good morning! It’s been a long week, hasn’t it? But today it is, at last, Friday and time for another Q&A. Today’s city slicker is Sarah, curator of the lovely wanderlust-inducing blog Elettravelle. Like me, Sarah loves everything German. She works as a travel consultant and also adores Eastern Europe. And Manchester, as the following answers imply…

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Q: What brought you to your city?
Work! I’d always lived in and around Chester, but when a new job for me and a postgraduate degree for my boyfriend brought the misery of a two-hour morning commute and many cancelled trains, we decided to move to Manchester permanently. I’m so glad we did, city life is the best!

Q: What’s the best season to visit your city, and why?
I’d have to say winter! Summer might bring festivals and balmy evening drinks, but Manchester hosts some of the best Christmas markets in Europe and the following the scent of toasted almonds around Albert Square and warming up with a mug of warm cider in the Northern Quarter is the best way to spend a cold day.

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Q: Where do you like to go to be inspired?
Manchester can get really loud, so if I fancy a few minutes of peace I normally head to the Central Library for a browse or go people watching in the Northern Quarter.

Q: What’s your top culinary recommendation?
I’m going to go with Common. The burgers there are hands down the best I’ve ever tried and it’s a really cool place to go for a drink on a Saturday night. It helps that there are always some great beards in there too.

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Q: Best outdoor space?
If there’s one thing I wish Manchester had more of it’s green spaces, but if you head a couple of miles out Dunham Massey is the perfect place to escape the chaos of the city for a while. I like to spend a few hours roaming around the deer park followed by an ice cream.

Q: What’s one place a visitor shouldn’t miss?
I’ve mentioned it so many times already, but the Northern Quarter really is my favourite area of the city. Every time I visit I discover something new and leave feeling inspired and full of new ideas. This weekend a friend introduced me to Thunderegg which I’d always managed to walk past and ignore – I have a feeling it won’t be my last visit…

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Q: What does your city sound like?
Conversation, trams and drum and bass.

Q: Describe your ideal day in your city?
Weekends in the city are my favourite and I like to start with a sleepy morning in the Museum of Manchester followed milkshakes in one of the super student-y diners on Oxford Road. Throw in some graphic novel shopping at Travelling Man, a walk along the canal, and a huge roast dinner at Superstore and I think that’s pretty much the perfect day.

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Q: What makes your city unique?
Manchester is such a big city but it always strikes me how close-knit everything is and what a huge emphasis there is on supporting independent businesses and local suppliers. It’s not an attractive city and it knows it, but there’s not an ounce of pretentiousness here. It’s a place where it’s just fine to be yourself. It also has the uncanny ability to seemingly be raining constantly.

Q: Describe your city in three words.
Loud, dysfunctional, exciting.

Thank you, Sarah! I really like Manchester’s contrasts and have actually visited the Fig and Sparrow on Oldham Street pictured above – I can confirm they do a beautiful line in postcards and smoked salmon sandwiches! Have you been to Manchester? What would you recommend? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below. And if you would like to become a city slicker yourself, email [email protected] for more information. I’d love a few Londoners to take part. Thanks again for sharing your city with us, Sarah!