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The weekend city guide to Manchester
Where to eat, drink, shop, and stay in this lovely city.
Sprezza Travel Guides 📣
Last month, launched city guides—
These are well-curated roundups of our favorite cities and countries around the world. We only recommend places that we’ve visited and explored ourselves.
I’m stoked to have the Matthew Spade make these guides with me.
If you know anything about Mat, you know he’s a master curator of good vibes. He has a colorful eye for design, strong personal taste, building a home, and how to travel well.
If you want to get to know Mat better, please follow him for more zinger content.
Got a city we should cover next? Drop it in the comments!
Coffee: Siop Shop
This is my first stop anytime I’m back in Manchester. Taking its name from the Welsh word for shop, aside from the play-on-words—which is constantly confusing people with how you actually say it—there's no confusing what Ewan and the team do best: excellently creative donuts, a handsome rotating selection of specialty coffees and one of the most playful interiors in the area. Take a seat and see who comes through the door - it's a sweet pursuit.
Shop: This Thing of Ours
Quality curated independent retailers across the UK—specialising in menswear—are becoming few and far between. You'd be hard-pressed to find a store that has carved out a niche-within-a-niche quite like This Thing Of Ours. A small team of clothing enthusiasts, taking pride in offering a roster of brands that you mainly won't find anywhere else in the country.
Drink: Track Brewery
Yes, I like beer.
I also enjoy good branding design and creative marketing. I'm a sucker for when a brand speaks to me with said creative marketing. If my brain was made up of small boxes, Track would be ticking the whole lot; but they back up their snazzy interior and punchy can designs with the taste of their beer, the community they have cultivated through collaborations (they have worked with breweries such as Alvarado Street Brewery in Monterey, CA) and publically-minded events. Mine's a 7% DIPA if anyone's buying.
Shop: Deadstock General Store
Every town also needs a good general store, but it seems they're rarer than a Coupe DeVille these days. Deadstock General Store combines the wholesome tradition of shopkeeping with a range of products that'll have your bank card twitching. From handmade Japanese kitchen knives and Danish tableware to skincare by Haeckles and mid-century playful clocks made as they were in the 50s.
Deadstock's personal approach is a pleasant reminder of how missed a real conversation can be. I also didn't realise I needed a new dustpan, but here we are.
Food is always on the agenda, which usually leads to some form of lunch option featuring avocado, sourdough, eggs and some greenery more suited to a model railway set-up. It gets pretty samey. A handful of cafes and restaurants stand out; offering an experience on a higher level in terms of food, presentation and environment.
Erst is just that — taking up residency in the heart of the Ancoats, Will and the team create traditional takes on traditional offerings that you won't find anywhere else. Taking inspiration from regional European cuisine.
Stay: The Alan
The best trips are ones you don’t rush. The Alan opened up in Summer 2022 and hasn't left my mind since I kipped over then too. Housed in a converted warehouse, expect to be greeted by smartly dressed and super friendly staff, inside a subtle industrial interior with splashes of muted pinks and greens. The rooms follow the theme, but are far comfier than my spikey words would suggest. Honestly, it's a proper treat.