Frugal City Guide: Manchester

Coat: Whistles (old). Jumper: £22, TU clothing. Jeans: £180.61, Paige Denim at ShopbopBoots: £99, Sorel. Bag: £64.50, Aurora. Photographs: Christopher O’Donnell
Manchester: can you even believe we’d never been? Well, I’d been once on my way home from a family trip to Blackpool but we spent the day at Granada Studios on the Coronation Street set and now I can’t help but feel it was slightly wasted…because Manchester is fab.


We only stayed one night, but boy did we cram a lot in…and have already planned to go back.


We stayed at Great St John Street Hotel, recommended to us via some twitter readers (thank you!). The rooms were quirky yet comfortbale – our room had a mezzanine floor – and super spacious. There are a few weddings on at weekends which makes it a bit crowded but I’d definitely recommend.



Coat: Whistles (old). Jumper: £22, TU clothing. Jeans: £180.61, Paige Denim at ShopbopBoots: £99, Sorel. Bag: £64.50, Aurora.


Evelyn’s – we loved this spot on Tib Street for brunch – expect the usuals: avocado on toast, burgers, as well as ramen and seafood – all amazingly presented.




The Refuge – uber chic restaurant in the newly opened Principal Hotel, this cool (vast) space serves small, tapas style dishes – we loved the pork belly and cod croquettes.




Foundation Coffee – an interior design fan’s dream. And the coffee’s good, too.


Rudy’s Pizza relaxed, cheap and delicious. The perfect lunch in Manchester.






Walk round The Northern Quarter, I suppose it’s kind of the heart and soul of the city – full of cool cafes, bars, record stores and vintage shops. It felt very much like Brooklyn to us with lots of warehouse-y buildings and great coffee shops.


We spent too long in Magma and browsing record stores (despite not having anything to play records on!).




Manchester Art Gallery – there’s nothing I like more than spending an afternoon in a beautifully curated gallery…and when the rain set in, this is exactly what we did. Along with a new fashion exhibition, I also loved some of the permanent pieces: J W Waterhouse, Millais and some beautiful Henry Moore works. And it’s free.




Winter has really set in by November in Manchester. Failing to take gloves, a hat or an umbrella was an epic fail. Luckily I remembered my parkA for the really rainy day, and then took Sorel boots for, basically, everything else (yes, I wore them to dinner – is that wrong?). I’m never really one to have ‘sensible’ shoes – I often think a pair of wellies is enough for wet terrain. But cushioned, warm boots with a decent tread? These are what my wardrobe have been missing, and thankfully these don’t fail in the style stakes, either. And Christmas is around the corner….just saying.
Watch: £165, Skagen.
Coat: Whistles (old). Jumper: £22, TU clothing. Jeans: £180.61, Paige Denim at ShopbopBoots: £99, Sorel. Bag: £64.50, Aurora.

This Frugal City Guide was in partnership with Sorel – hands down the best outdoor footwear.


  1. My town! You definitely managed to cram a lot in for a 1 night stay! I guess I’m the same with London, if i were to come I’d definitely work around all the places I’d want to eat!

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