Following the launch of our Manchester Beta series, we're really pleased to feature Emily Pitts, founder of Manchester-based Womenclimb, a social enterprise, which provides information, skills and opportunities to allow women to define and achieve their own goals in climbing.
Here are Emily's Top Tips...
MOTHER, CAREER ADVISOR, ARTIST,
FOUNDER & EDITOR @WOMENCLIMB
Soup Kitchen is great for relatively cheap, independent food in the city centre. Fresh soups and the most amazing jerk chicken in the world. They have loads of veggie options. And cake.
Ning - if you want to spend a bit more, this is a gorgeous thai restaurant, but book well in advance.
Mr Thomas' Chop House - a bit more on the pricey side, but you'll get really good English traditional food that is high quality and made to order - think fish pie with home-made mushy peas and beans.
Arndale Market - my new favourite go-to place. If you want cheap and easy, during the day, then the Arndale Market is the best place to go - local people hang out here and it's a cornucopia of delights - everyone can find something here - an infant Borough Market on a tiny scale. There's a new cake shop with gluten, dairy and sugar free cakes that taste really good!! Don't mistake the Arndale Centre Food Hall for the Arndale Market. The food hall is a capitalist monster full of fast food chains in one massive amphitheatre of hell!
A POST WCS DRINK:
To be honest, I don't drink at all, so bars aren't really my forte, but these ones are definitely interesting and have the buzz of Manchester about them.
Soup Kitchen - has music downstairs (Northern Quarter)
Canal Street - area, if women are your thing, or even if they aren't!
The Old Monkey is an interesting place
Odd bar (Northern Quarter)
The Deaf Institute
Sand Bar (these last two are opposite each other, but about 20 mins walk out of town in the student area).
I don't drink, but I like a dirty underground party with some techno, house or D&B, maybe even a smattering of poppy disco funtime. These are the three that I'd recommend:
Well... we've written about our favourite crags on the womenclimb website (shameless plug!)...
IN CASE OF WET WEATHER:
Manchester Climbing Centre is my favourite - it has top rope routes that are clean and regularly reset, great lead routes that are varied and a good set of bouldering - a good all round venue that can keep you happy for hours.
Place to get a brew:
Manchester's best kept secret - I partially don't want to give it away, but I know that sharing the love is what it's all about: Ginger's Comfort Emporium on the first floor of Affleck's Palace. It's the most wonderful place to get ice cream in the world. Officially. Hand-made ice cream from Manchester in unusual and delicious flavours (think plum, gin & juniper, or salted caramel and peanut butter, or Chocolate and rosemary or vanilla and lavender, or just plain vanilla).
Also well worth a visit:
John Rylands library and Central library - gorgeous architecture
Manchester Art Gallery - just fabulous
Affleck's Palace - if 'alternative' is your thing, then this should not be missed. It's a garden of delights, especially good for presents if you've got a birthday coming up... or Christmas.
If you missed them, check out our other Manchester Beta guides in the series, and don't forget to book your ticket and be in Manchester on 8 October!