A Perfect Day in ...Manchester

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Yadid Levy / Alamy

The Urbis building embodies Mancunian creativity

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