After the events of the last year, we’re all in need of a luxury weekend away, a couple of days where you can really treat yourself. Between the spas, stunning bars and sumptuous restaurants, Manchester’s a great destination for an indulgent getaway with friends or your partner because there’s plenty of choice but you don’t have to waste valuable time travelling for ages from one venue to the next.
They also know how to do glamour and have fun in this northern city, so if you’re ready to dust off your going ‘out out’ clothes, we’ll get going…
Check-in at Dakota Hotel (www.dakotahotels.co.uk/manchester) on Ducie Street, only a few minutes from Piccadilly Station. The boutique hotel only opened in 2019 but is something of a go-to hotel for stars stopping off in the city, including Hugh Jackman.
Wash the week off in the luxurious surroundings of your suite (the penthouse Grand Deluxe Suite is the largest in the city) and then head down to The Terrace, a stylish sanctuary with a retractable roof for rainy days, or the sumptuous bar indoors (you can even hire out the Champagne Room to ramp up the decadence) and toast the weekend with a cocktail.
It might need a little pre-planning, but ideally, you’d want to head to nearby Mana on Blossom Street (manarestaurant.co.uk) for dinner. Simon Martin’s restaurant received a Michelin star in 2019, the city’s first in over 40 years, and you can watch the chefs prepare the extraordinary dishes in the open kitchen.
There are plenty of bars for after-dinner drinks, including discreet drinking dens like Behind Closed Doors on Oldham Street.
It’s not an indulgent weekend if you don’t have a lie-in, so enjoy a wonderfully lazy morning, and then have a wander around the Northern Quarter en route to Home Sweet Home (homesweethomenq.com) on Edge Street. Inspired by American diners, you can gorge on brunch items like Banana Nutella Stack and Eggs Cali Benedict.
If you want to see more of the city in style, book yourselves on a bespoke chauffeur-driven tour (getchauffeured.co.uk). Or maybe learn more about your favourite tipple by taking part in a wine-tasting (manchesterwineschool.com) or gin-tasting (manchestergin.co.uk) experience.
Or perhaps just hit the shops, in which case head to Market Street and then King Street where you’ll also find El Gato Negro, a gorgeous restaurant serving up tasty tapas as well as Rio Ferdinand’s Italian restaurant Rosso (rossorestaurants.com).
If you fancy a special pamper before your night out, then pop into House of Evelyn in Spring Gardens, a unisex hair and beauty salon, or book a therapist to come to your hotel via Secret Spa (secretspa.co.uk).
In the evening, head to Spinningfields for drinks and dinner where you’re spoilt for choice, but some of options include The Ivy (theivymanchester.com), Tattu (tattu.co.uk) with its indoor cherry blossom tree and 20 Stories (20stories.co.uk) for views. Afterwards, enjoy cocktails at Menagerie (menagerierestaurant.co.uk) at One New Bailey and Blvd (blvdmanchester.com) on The Avenue that both bring the party atmosphere, or for quieter nightcap, try Speak In Code on Jackson’s Row and Arcane (cocktailbarmanchester.com) on South King Street.
After another leisurely morning, head to the Cali-inspired Foodwell (thefoodwell.co.uk) in One New Bailey, a low-key glamorous place where you can have a delicious brunch that’ll be kind on your partied-out body. Dishes include ramen bowls, katsu chicken, wagyu burger and chicken karaagee skewers. There’s also a bottomless brunch option for up to six guests for 90 minutes, with freshly pressed juices.
Then head to Rena spa at the Midland Hotel (themidlandhotel.co.uk) on Peter Street and enjoy a few hours of unadulterated bliss with thermal experiences, treatments, a Rasul mud ritual and time out in the sleep pods. Packages often include lunch or afternoon tea.
You can keep things chilled with a movie at one of the private screening rooms across the city such as King Street Townhouse (eclectichotels.co.uk) or the Everyman Cinema (everymancinema.com) on Quay Street, or up the energy with your own private booth for a game of darts (but not as you know it, they’ve used the latest technology) in the carnival-inspired Flight Club (flightclubdarts.com) on King Street.
See the weekend out with a dinner at Peter Street Kitchen (https://www.thekitchensrestaurants.co.uk/peter-street-kitchen), one of the most stylish eateries in the city which serves Japanese and Mexican small plates. Or book yourself into Tom Kerridge’s restaurant The Bull & Bear (www.bullandbearmanchester.co.uk) inside Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs’ Stock Exchange Hotel on Norfolk Street. An elegant and grand space serving comfort food with unique twists. The perfect way to see a special weekend out.