You're here for a few meetings and you know nothing about Manchester.
Fear not my friend – here is the ultimate guide to 24 hours in the city when on business…
You’ve just arrived off the train and you’re going to need a little pick-me-up before you head off to your meetings. Well luckily for you Manchester has a wealth of world-class coffee shops just a short walk from Piccadilly train station…
About as independent as a coffee shop can get, the extremely minimal yet vibrant Foundation is great all times of the day, but the extensive coffee selection will keep you coming back morning after morning. Red eye? Black eye? Dead eye? The treats in here will sort you out in no time.
Foundation Coffee House, Sevendale House, Lever St, Manchester M1 1JB
Taking a leaf out of the Aussie’s book, Federal offers up the perfect Antipodean experience, with strong coffee, fresh cakes and one of the best brunches in the city. The space is tiny but it’s a great place to sit and watch the world go by.
Federal Cafe Bar, 9 Nicholas Croft, Manchester M4 1EY
Ezra & Gil
Another Northern Quarter coffee staple, Ezra & Gill is a proper smart neighbourhood hangout with a simple but excellent food menu and a long list of coffee, tea and smoothies on hand to perk you up in the mornings.
Ezra & Gil, 20 Hilton St, Manchester M1 1FR
The Counter House
Located in Cutting Room Square in Ancoats, The Counter House has become a very popular morning destination, a popularity that’s built on strong coffee, great breakfast dishes and some brilliant Smoothie Shots that will put a massive spring in your step. Try the ginger shot and you’ll be buzzing for hours.
The Counter House, 35 Blossom St, Manchester M4 6AJ
Yes, it’s lovely heading to a new city but you’re here for one thing – work. Don’t leave your emails untouched for too long either – you’ll only regret it later…
This is a little bit out of the city in Ardwick but it’s a truly spectacular space that is sure to impress any of your clients, as well as providing a serene, quiet place in which to crack on with your emails. They’ve spent some serious till in here and it shows, with a huge botanical wall featuring over 600 plants, stylish meeting spaces and even a world food café and artisanal baker.
Use.Space, 31 Ardwick Green, Thirsk Street, Manchester M12 6PN
A relative newcomer to the co-working scene, Whitworth Locke opened up towards the back end of last year and has become one of the city’s coolest spots for an overnight stay, a few drinks or a bit of coffee in Foundation. The FREE working space towards the back is a great place to crack on with your work and there’s even a big meeting table just in case you need to do some group-based activities.
Whitworth Locke, 74 Princess St, Manchester M1 6JD
The newest kid on the block, Cultureplex took over a massive Victorian warehouse on Ducie Street (just next to Piccadilly train station) around 4 weeks ago and is already proving to be a big hit. There’s something for everyone here with a cinema, gym, restaurant and apartments – as well as a fantastic co-working space. A one-stop shop for any visitor to the city – especially if they’ve got work to do.
CULTUREPLEX, Ground Floor, Warehouse, Ducie St, Manchester M1 2TP
There are a few Colony co-working spaces dotted around the city centre so no matter where you’re hanging out, you’re never too far away from some fast wi-fi and a quiet place to do some work. Within the sleek, chic interior you’ll find private working booths, kitchen areas, meeting rooms, unlimited refreshments, and even showers. Perfect for the weary traveller.
Colony Coworking, 5 Piccadilly Place, Aytoun St, Manchester M1 3BR
You’re only here for one night and so it has to be special. Work are paying for it anyway so why not push the boat out?
This brand-new hotel in the city aims itself towards the traveller on business, being located within a 3-minute walk of Piccadilly train station and offering a dazzling array of services that’ll ensure that you don’t want to leave. Cocktail bar, restaurant, Cigar Garden (more on that later) and of course – the rooms, are all sleek, sexy and sophisticated. A class act all round.
Dakota, 29 Ducie St, Manchester M1 2JL
The Lowry Hotel
A true Manchester (well, Salford) institution, The Lowry Hotel is both city’s premium 5 star hotel, complete with all of the trimmings you’d expect from a true high-end destination. Sitting on the banks of the River Irwell, the hotel boasts brilliant, contemporary interiors, an unparalleled level of service and the amazing newly refurbished River Restaurant with a menu that is to die for.
The Lowry Hotel, 50 Dearmans Pl, Salford M3 5LH
A huge building on Oxford Road, The Principal incorporates not just a hotel but also The Refuge, a bar and restaurant which is seriously impressive visually and indeed with the quality of the food and drinks on offer. The hotel is truly stunning, and there’s so much going on within the building that you can get a true Mancunian experience without even stepping foot outside the door.
The Principal, Oxford St, Manchester M60 7HA
It’s always a good idea to look as impressive as possible when you’re meeting up with someone, especially when on business. In case of any wardrobe emergencies – head to one of these places…
Harvey Nics is the quintessential department store with an extensive luxury offering that will suit your needs no matter what you’re after. It’s well worth the hike up to the Menswear on top floor where you’ll find all manner of smart offerings and accessories.
Harvey Nichols, 21 New Cathedral Street, Manchester M1 1AD
Private White VC
A little bit out of the centre in Salford is Private White VC. Boasting some of the most beautiful pieces of outerwear in Menswear and all made in England on our doorstep in their Cottenham Lane factory. Private White use the finest luxury fabrics to create their amazing Menswear collection.
Cottenham House, 1 Cottenham Lane, Manchester, M3 7LJ
Lanigan and Hulme
Started in late 2017 by owners with a combination of over 40 years in industry, this is a gem of a store. Stocking some quality British brands, this is the place to go for some quintessential British clobber – think smart jackets, trousers and brogues. Kind of like Kingsman but a little less formal. They also have two of the coolest dogs around as well as a fully stocked beer fridge towards the back of the store.
Lanigan and Hulme, 9 Royal Exchange Arcade, Manchester M2 7EA
There is of course LOADS of places in the city to get your haircut or beard trimmed but you’d struggle to find anywhere better than RPB. They have two locations in the Northern Quarter and they’re both the perfect place for a bit of a spruce up – perfect if you’re stuck with bed head or need to get rid of that Mungo Jerry beard before a meeting. They’re a proper friendly lot in here too – just don’t go spending all day chatting and miss your appointments.
Perhaps you’re looking to impress a client or just having a nice meal with some friends after work, these places are perfect.
Set in the tremendously popular Ancoats area of the city, ERST is a true foodie haven and a great place to enjoy fantastic dishes alongside some of the world’s greatest natural wines. The menu is always changing in here, to fit in with what’s in season but you are always assured something mega. It’s great for when you’re on your own too – just sit at the bar, have a few plates, a few jars and relax.
Erst, 9 Murray St, Manchester M4 6HS
One of the most visually impressive restaurants in Manchester, Tattu looks absolutely spectacular inside – and the food is bloody nice as well! They offer an impressive menu of modern Chinese dishes, and nothing beats having a big slap-up meal in here, sat under the Cherry Blossom tree with some cocktails.
Tattu, 3 Hardman Square, Gartside St, Manchester M3 3EB
Randall & Aubin
The epitome of extravagance, Randall & Aubin specialise in super-fresh seafood, champagne, caviar and oysters. A den of elegance and sophistication, there’s a little streak of naughtiness to this place – they don’t take themselves too seriously meaning that it’s a great place to just sit and have a few drinks too. Again, if you’re on your own this place is perfect.
Randall & Aubin, 64 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BN
You can’t have some food without drinks and luckily for you Manchester is home to some of the best cocktail bars in the whole UK…
Wolf At The Door
Recent winner at the Imbibe Drinks Awards, the cocktail menu at Wolf At The Door is a thing of beauty, featuring a dazzling array of drinks that will probably blow your socks off. These bad boys are complex, nuanced and incredibly creative – you probably won’t know what half the things are that are in them but it doesn’t matter when they taste this good.
Wolf at the Door, 30-32, Thomas St, Manchester M4 1ER
Another multi award-winning venue, Cottonopolis approach their cocktails in a very creative way – taking the concept of Japanese aesthetics of beauty and translating them into drinks. It sounds weird, and to be fair it is, but the drinks speak for themselves really – they’re mega. Cottonopolis itself is great too – there’s always a great atmosphere in here and you’ll be hard pushed not to have a good time.
Cottonopolis, 16 Newton St, Manchester M1 2AE
Co-working by day, cocktails by night – The Daisy is unlike any other place in the city – somewhere where you can close your laptop at 6pm and get started straight on the Martini cocktails and Absinthe. Yep, that’s right – Absinthe. They serve up a series of cocktails with the devil spirit in or you can drink it just how they did in the 19th Century – dripped straight through a sugar cube.
The Daisy, 44 Tib St, Manchester M4 1LA
This is probably a massive stereotype but when I think of a business bloke I always envision some bloke in a double-breasted suit, watching Bloomberg with a massive cigar in his gob. If you manage to do a good bit of business-ing – head here for some Cubans…
Already mentioned above, Dakota hotel not only provides a place to sleep and some great food and drinks, they also serve up a decent range of Cuban cigars, perfect for smoking in their dedicated heated Cigar Garden out back. Grab a scotch, a massive Cohiba and chat away to your heart’s content.
Aston’s of Manchester
One of those tobacconists that you don’t really see any more, Aston’s is the one-stop shop for cigars and cigar related paraphernalia. You’ll find a huge range of cigars in here, mostly from Cuba but they also stock a few Nicaraguan cigars – which in my opinion are much better (and cheaper).
So, you’ve done a bit of business, and it means that you’re going to have to set up shop in Manchester. Brilliant, but where do you even start? Well, somewhere to live and an office will help…
X1 Tower, MediaCity
Set outside the city centre in MediaCity, the X1 Towers offer a more bang for your buck, alongside a quieter, more residential area. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t much to do though – quite the opposite in fact. Right on the doorstep is a range of bars and restaurants, the Lowry Outlet Mall, the Imperial War Museum and the impressive Lowry Theatre that always has a cracking bit of culture going on.
A brand-new workplace in the city that looks to bridge the gap between co-working and a more traditional office space. There are 6 floors of office space, a business lounge, wellbeing facilities (including a gym) and best of all – a stunning roof garden where you can sit in the sun (?) and do some graft.
MODA Angel Gardens
One of the most exciting apartment developments popping up in the city, Angel Gardens features a long list of services and benefits for residents including access to their very own rooftop BBQ terrace, sports pitch, library, residents lounge, private dining room, gym and cinema room. There’s even a packed events programme – with rooftop yoga, BBQ’s and cinema screenings. The apartments are pretty swanky too.