Flic Everett, 38, journalist, author and boutique owner
I'd start with morning coffee and a homemade cake at Bread & Butter, tel: (44) 7944 607405, a tiny vintage-style café in the Northern Quarter. Then I'd jump in a cab down to Manchester Museum, tel: (44-161) 275 2634. It has a mammal gallery, an Egyptian collection and dinosaur bones, all housed in Gothic Victorian splendor. Afterward, I'd head to the Lowry Hotel, tel: (44-161) 827 4000, just across the river in Salford for afternoon tea on the River Bar terrace. They serve pastel-colored macaroons and the best sandwiches in Manchester. In the evening, I'd have a drink at the Northern, tel: (44-161) 835 2548, a great pub, then round the day off with a meal at the Modern, tel: (44-161) 605 8282, at the top of the Urbis building. It specializes in local produce and has a fantastic view of the city.
Alex Poots, 42, director, Manchester International Festival
My perfect day would start at Oklahoma, tel: (44-161) 834 1136, one of the Northern Quarter's many bohemian cafés. For a moment's peace and quiet I'd head to St. Mary's, the "Hidden Gem" church, tel: (44-161) 834 3547, a beloved Manchester institution since 1794, before going over to the Manchester Velodrome to watch some of Britain's Olympic gold-medal cyclists train at the National Cycling Centre, tel: (44-161) 223 2244. Evening would find me at Bridgewater Hall, tel: (44-161) 907 9000, which has some of the U.K.'s best acoustics, watching a performance by the Hallé Orchestra, followed by a Sichuan feast at Red Chilli, tel: (44-161) 236 2888. For a nightcap, I'd head to Socio Rehab, tel: (44-161) 832 4529.
John Amaechi, 38, retired NBA player, broadcaster
I'd start my day at the Art of Tea, tel: (44-161) 448 9323, a little café cum bookshop with comfy furniture and a great travel section, before heading to Shlurp!, tel: (44-161) 839 5199, for a lovely fresh salad or soup on the hop they make everything in-house. Then I'd head to the Manchester Art Gallery, tel: (44-161) 235 8888, as there's always something exciting going on. For dinner, it would have to be Michael Caines the Michelin-starred chef, not the actor at the ABode Hotel, tel: (44-161) 200 5678. I'd round off the day at the Radisson Edwardian's Opus One bar, tel: (44-161) 835 8904, and if I'm too tipsy to go home after that, I'd check into the Shirley Bassey Suite as the beds there are big enough even for me.
reported by Tina Walsh