Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Northern Quarter

It's been a bit Manchester-centric recently. Last night we went to see Kings of Leon (and consequently have been yawning a lot today), and Jay booked last Friday off work and we had a trip to the Northern Quarter. Luckily the rain held off so we got to wander around my favourite part of the city without umbrellas and soggy feet.

Apparently, the remake of the Michael Caine film 'Alfie' was partly shot here due to the similarities to New York. I'm not too sure about that, but it does have plenty of rusty fire escapes and grimy old brick buildings. And although there are lots of trendy cafes, bars and boutiques, these days they sit alongside the more established and traditional businesses like clothing manufacturers and shopfitters.

We always have a look in the Richard Goodall Gallery and gaze longingly at the film and music posters. Some of them are originals dating back to the 1960s and 70s. I really loved the Woody Allen ones, but would happily have taken any of the others home.

The Craft and Design Centre is in a converted Victorian market. It has lots of little shops run by craftspeople: photographers, ceramicists, textile artists, jewellers... so many covetable things to look at and admire.

Naturally, we had to visit the cafe. 

I had some very spicy falafels, Jay had a toastie and we both partook in the blackcurrant and ginger cheesecake (Joe mauled ate some baby biscuits and mushy stuff, and stared at a fellow customer in an unnerving fashion).

The upstairs area is galleried so you can people-watch. And the ceiling is glass so it's always nice and bright - even on a grey Manchester day.

Our final stop was Fred Aldous. It's an art and craft supply shop and a Manchester institution. There were lots of lovely things you usually only see online (my notebook fetish kicked in immediately), and downstairs they had everything you could possibly need to draw, paint, print, knit, sew, crochet... whatever your Thing happens to be.

I bought some supplies and would have liked to peruse the books and magazines, but Joe had other ideas. It was time for his afternoon nap so we lifted him in his buggy up lots of stairs. He looked like a little emperor, sitting there while we huffed and puffed.

Still, with a short drive home we got back in good time to put him to bed for a while. Which is always nice.


  1. Sounds like a lovely day! Browsing, shopping and visiting cafes. All my favourite things!

  2. Me too. It's always worth moving further out from the chain shops and crowds and finding the quirky parts of a city or town :)


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