Fans of football, music and Coronation Street have been flocking to this edgy northern city for years, but only recently has Manchester transformed into a must-visit destination for all. Let us guide you around the city’s best sights, restaurants and pubs to complement your Biba experience this year


Michael Caines Restaurant at ABode

A former Victorian cotton merchant’s warehouse, this beautiful red-brick building is now home to one of the city’s most stylish hotels, with an atmospheric dining room. The chef uses regional ingredients, so sample the venison from the Lake District, Cumbrian beef or Yorkshire partridge – slow cooking enhances the flavours. Try the tapas-style grazing menu for groups, the seven-course tasting menu or go à la carte. ABode Hotel, 107 Piccadilly, M1 2DB,

The Northern Quarter Restaurant and Bar

A charming independent restaurant with friendly staff and a chef who makes the most of seasonal, local produce. The sophisticated à la carte evening menu is heavy on meat and includes such homely fare as braised guinea fowl and foie gras terrine, followed by roast Garstang sucking pig with Bury black pudding. There’s a good choice of fish dishes, too – try the pan-fried hake with potted brown shrimp. Vegetarians won’t starve but are best off going elsewhere. 108 High Street, M4 1HQ,

Yang Sing

Since it opened in 1977, Yang Sing has been hailed as one of the best Cantonese restaurants between Princess and Portland, largely because of its dim sum. It’s popular for business lunches and the tasting menu is good for groups – make sure you try the steamed beef dumplings with ginger and spring onion and Peking-style spare ribs. The nearby Pacific Restaurant serves regional Chinese and Thai dishes in smart surroundings. 34 Princess Street, M1 4JY,; 58-60 George Street, M1 4HF,


Peveril of the Peak

If you want a proper boozer, visit the Peveril, behind the Bridgewater Hall. This grade-II listed pub run by a friendly Irish family was once a pitstop frequented by Lord Peveril on his travels from the Peak District. Now history lives on in the green-tiled Georgian exterior and a mischievous spirit said to haunt the cellar. It’s popular for its draught bitters, lagers and ale. The games room has pool, table football, darts, dominoes and a jukebox. 127 Great Bridgewater, Street, M1 5JQ

Sam’s Chophouse

Sam’s Chophouse near the Royal Exchange Theatre has been serving hearty meals since 1872, long before gastropubs were invented. But if you’re a discerning drinker, it’ll be the wine you come for. The wine list has been cherry-picked by George Bergier, chairman of the Guild of Sommeliers, and includes specialist and vintage wines from all over the world. It also has a selection of cognacs and aged malt, blended and Irish whisky. Back Pool Fold, off Cross Street, M2 1HN

The Old Wellington

Built in 1552, the Old Wellington Inn has survived a civil war, the Great Plague, the Blitz and the 1996 IRA bombing. Its low beams and timber structure are still intact, making it an atmospheric spot for an evening drink next to Manchester Cathedral. It serves eight pump ales, including the Lancaster Bomber and Jennings Cumberland from the Lake District. If it’s a sunny evening (you never know), take your pint into the beer garden the pub shares with Sinclairs Oyster Bar. 4 Cathedral Gates, M3 1SW

The sights


Plenty going on in the evenings here. See the world premiere of Ghost: The Musical at the Opera House or a piano performance by Andrew Wilde at the Bridgewater Hall. The Cornerhouse is Manchester’s world cinema showcase. Or catch open mic performances at the Comedy Store, Deansgate Locks.

The Northern Quarter

Just behind the Arndale shopping centre, you’ll find the city’s creative hub. Manchester Craft & Design Centre, a former Victorian fish market, is now home to 19 studios exhibiting abstract oil paintings, illustrations and ceramics. The Chinese Arts Centre, which turns 25 this year, is just around the corner.


Start with a museum and stadium tour of Old Trafford – you’ll get to walk through the players’ tunnel to the sound of cheers. Practise your swing at Playgolf, a 300-metre outdoor golfing range with nine holes, or try sky-diving at Airkix (change out of your suit first).