Culture across borders - Manchester steals a French heart

My name is Caroline, I am from the South of France and I recently moved to Manchester. 9 out of 10 people will ask in surprise "So...what on earth are you doing in Manchester ??"

By Manchester's Finest | 5 April 2017

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My name is Caroline, I am from the South of France and I recently moved to Manchester. 9 out of 10 people will ask in surprise “So…what on earth are you doing in Manchester ??”

In 1538, John Leland described Manchester as ‘the fairest, best buildied, quikkest and most populus Tounne of al Lancastreshire’, and I agree 100%. Here’s an example of how I spend my days off in the city…

Day 1 – Let’s grab a coffee and some breakfast to start the day.

Far away from the french croissant & espresso, you will find many places to feed your soul with proper grub to start the day right. I mean real English Breakfast or fancy Avo on Sourdough with Beetroot Lattes.

Head to the Northern Quarter. If the sun is out (yes, it happens, I have photos to prove it), find a spot outside Home Sweet Home and enjoy life.

Every second Sunday of the month, the Makers Market is on in Stevenson Square, ideal for enjoying the sunshine and appreciate the inspiring and eclectic mix of Manchester based artists, designers, creatives, producers and bakers.

Carrying on my little stroll to the Manchester Art & Craft Design Centre, I find here many beautiful people hand-making gorgeous jewellery and other fabulous things. And because I can never get too much, I grab another coffee at Oak Cafe.

Manchester Craft & Design Center
17 Oak Street Northern Quarter, Manchester M4 5JD

Time for some culture. Walk a few minutes away from NQ to the Manchester Art Gallery. Until May 29th, you can enjoy for free “Strange and Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers” which celebrates the work of leading photographers, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Rineke Dijkstra, and Garry Winogrand. With over 250 compelling photographs and previously unseen bodies of work, this exhibition presents a vibrant portrait of modern Britain.

 Manchester Art Gallery:  Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3JL

I skip lunch today because I will be getting some sweet little treats at Cloud 23.

That’s right, we are going up the 23rd floor of the Beetham Tower, Manchester’s tallest building to enjoy Afternoon Tea – it doesn’t get more British than that! Part of the Hilton hotel, Cloud 23 offers a stunning view over the city. I always try to visit a rooftop bar in cities. I love cocktails and I love views. It always seems like time slows down from higher up, or maybe it’s just my brain. Not quite sure!

Cloud 23 – 353 Deansgate Manchester

Day 2 – Get up & open the curtains.

Blue sky? Go for a run by the canal in Castlefield and head for coffee.
Grey Sky? Go for a soft & gentle yoga class and head for coffee.

At Another Heart to Feed, not only will I get great coffee and Avocados on toasts, I can also practice my flexibility.

Every Saturday morning, go for a Vinyasa Yoga class followed by an Acai breakie bowl and OJ for £15 – Exactly how I like to spend a Saturday morning: in yoga pants, messy hair & totally relaxed!

Go to Magna Pass to book Yoga classes around Manchester:

Another Heart to Feed – 77-79 Chapel Street, Manchester, M3 5BZ

I would suggest spending the rest of the day walking around the NQ. There are so many beautiful buildings to see, lose yourself walking around the streets. Stop by Afflecks Palace: you can easily spend hours hunting for some quirky little souvenirs to bring back!

Now, even if coffee is my favourite drink, it doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy a cocktail or 6 sometimes, especially in this part of town which comes alive when the sun is down.

I am very much attracted to spaces / ambiance that feel calming, which is why one of my favourite places is the Allotment Bar. Its interior is decorated with plants all over. It also offers a huuuuugeeee variety of Gins and i love it.

Allotment Bar, 24 Dale Street, Manchester M1 1FY

The french “me” also get attracted to Bakerie – Bread & Wine Bar. The name is pretty clear: over 70 different wines by the bottle and lovely bits of food to share…

Bakery Bread & Wine Bar, 45 Lever Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M1 1FN

You can spend your entire night in the coolest places Manchester has to offer, I have yet to try them all…. but I sure will!

To sum up, the diversity in the city is what makes it so dear to my heart. The Curry Mile, Chinatown, the Caribbean Festival, the Gay Village etc it is full of life and here you are free to be yourself. Thank you for being so great Manchester, I am proud to be here and to talk about you!