Manchester might be known as the home of Oasis, The Stone Roses and erm… Shameless, but there’s much more to this post-industrial city than rough charm and sweary rock gods.
Scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find a treasure trove of bars, restaurants, shops and hotels that are less grim, more great up north. London might clinch the title of Britain’s shopping capital, but there’s a lot more to discover outside the M25.
Where To Shop
For those native to Manchester, menswear mecca Oi Polloi isn’t just a big name, it’s got bona fide cult status. Best described as quintessential Manchester style (zip-up tracksuits and technical parka jackets) gone design-savvy, the independent retailer is teeming with all a would-be Gallagher brother could hope for.
From pub-safe favourites like Stone Island to Japanese denim maestros Edwin, this landmark is a must for men who like their style both modern and unmistakably Manchester.
63 Thomas St, Manchester, M4 1LQ; oipolloi.com
If your wallet’s weighing you down, Manchester’s Hervia is a great place to get to grips with high-end, design-led menswear. Known to some as Manchester’s answer to Dover Street Market, it’s a meeting point for the city’s uncompromisingly hip.
Alongside established luxury designers like Thom Browne and Comme des Garçons, the store is home to some of the freshest talent bubbling up from the capital – perfect for scoping out wares from up-and-coming London designers like Astrid Andersen and Sibling.
40 Spring Gardens, Manchester, M2 1EN; hervia.com
If you’re looking for a menswear retailer with unrivalled variety, head to Intro. Though you’ll find a whole Aladdin’s cave of menswear brands under its roof, the store’s speciality is urban-inspired sportswear that’s a world away from your local Sports Direct.
Stocking brands from the UK and further afield, Intro gathers the best of men’s luxury casualwear to a rainy corner of Northern England where you can discover the latest from a roster of labels including Blood Brother, Tom Ford and Versus Versace.
51 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 2AY; intro-clothing.com
For the man who’s less rock and more rolling in it, independent designer department store Flannels is a fine choice for a sartorial spree.
With a line-up of designers which reads like a who’s who of menswear brands that matter, you’ll find a curated edit of industry-leading names (like Kenzo, Gucci and Valentino) housed in a stark, minimal space.
Beloved of footballers and fashion fanatics alike, if it’s not in this swanky boutique, it’s probably not worth having.
Crown Square, Manchester, M3 3FL; flannels.com
Housed in Manchester’s Northern Quarter (home to all the best restaurants and bars) Wood is already off to good start. Add a smattering of hard-to-find European and Scandinavian brands and you’ve got one of the city’s menswear must-visits.
The store itself is fairly unassuming, but a rummage around its snug space will reveal an array of quality pieces that have practicality at their heart. Think cult streetwear, workwear and a handful of old-school favourites like Schott all under one roof.
55 Oldham St, Manchester, M1 1JR; ashopcalledwood.com
Where To Sleep
Great John Street Hotel
Don’t be fooled by this former Victorian schoolhouse’s facade: inside Great John Street you’ll find all the trappings of a contemporary luxury townhouse hotel.
Once classrooms and assembly halls, the 4-star hotel’s suites and lounges are individually designed, each with their own eclectic aesthetic.
Head to the roof terrace for a drink with the city’s most stylish.
Great John St, Manchester, M3 4FD; eclectichotels.co.uk
Where To Eat
Located in Spinningfields – Manchester’s answer to Canary Wharf – Manchester House is the brainchild of Michelin-starred chef Aiden Byrne.
A traditionalist at heart, Byrne serves up a menu of classic British fare with a contemporary twist – including a 14-course tasting menu that’s sure to sate your post-shopping hunger.
18-22 Bridge St, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3BZ; manchesterhouse.uk.com
Where To Drink
True to its name, this sleek cocktail bar offers all manner of magical libations. With a 50+ strong cocktail menu, its expertly mixed concoctions come perfectly presented.
Plus, it’s open from morning ’til late – making it the perfect anytime pit stop.
3 Hardman St, Manchester, M3 3HF; thealchemist.uk.com
Where To Caffeinate
Aussies know coffee, and this Northern Quarter fixture is testament to the fact. Expect quality brews poured up by staff that take pride in their stuff. Not to mention a menu that makes this unassuming café a solid contender for weekend brunch.
9 Nicholas Croft, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M4 1EY; federalcafe.co.uk