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Rob Martin

Rob Martin

Correspondent, Time Out Manchester

Rob is Time Out’s community correspondent for Manchester and north-west England. Follow him on Twitter at @Bobby_Martin.

Articles (189)

The 9 best Italian restaurants in Liverpool to book right now

The 9 best Italian restaurants in Liverpool to book right now

We sure love a bit of Italian food here in Britain. And if you’re looking for pizza and pasta done right? You could do much worse than head up to Liverpool: from the centre to the outskirts, this city brims with brilliant trattorie and osterie that you won’t forget in a hurry. Into your classics? You’ll find plenty of spots here that will serve up a big, hearty bowl of spaghetti carbonara or lasagna al forno. After something a little more exciting? You’ll also find your fair share of modern bars and restaurants serving creative dishes like pizza with ’nduja and honey or risotto with pumpkin and gorgonzola. Delizioso. Worked up an appetite after a day exploring the city’s finest attractions, museums and other amazing things to do? You’re in the right place. These are the best Italian restaurants in Liverpool: all practically guaranteed to fill you up the next time you’re in town. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Liverpool

The 11 best nightlife spots in Liverpool

The 11 best nightlife spots in Liverpool

Liverpool has a reputation for its nightlife, and rightly so. The locals are friendly. The music scene is varied. And the drinks are cheap (by the UK’s standards). You really are guaranteed to have a good time, and leave wanting more. But where should you go, exactly? Well, you’ll be wanting some pre-drinks, so we’ve rounded up the city’s best pubs and bars already. And when it comes to a little later on? You’ve got all sorts of choice when it comes to da club. Students and indie fans will want to head towards the Hardman Street area, while the LGBTQ+ quarter can be found around Stanley Street. Places like Concert Square and Albert Dock provide one-stop nightlife shops, where you can party the night away without the need to flag a cab to get to your next venue. And over in the Baltic area, meanwhile, you’ll find many of the trendier going-out options, including some of the best alternative nights out around. Ready to get out and explore? Here’s our pick of the best nightlife spots in Liverpool. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Liverpool

The 10 best clubs in Liverpool

The 10 best clubs in Liverpool

Put the Fab Four to one side for a moment, and what would you say Liverpool is best known for? We’d say good vibes. Specifically, the good vibes that make a night out in this city totally, totally unforgettable. Wherever you spend the evening, whether it’s a bar, restaurant or pub, you’re all but guaranteed to make a new friend while you’re here. And that’s above all true if you head to one of the city’s many brilliant nightclubs.All over Liverpool, there’s a wealth of incredible buildings, from old Georgian mansions to massive warehouse spaces, that have been transformed into stunning club venues. And the city’s independent spirit continues to breed new ideas that make this one of the world’s best places to go out. Ready to get out there? From mainstream nightlife destinations to LGBTQ+-friendly underground spaces, our pick of the best clubs in Liverpool should make any (wannabe) Scouser proud. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Liverpool

The 11 best places to go shopping in Liverpool

The 11 best places to go shopping in Liverpool

Sure, Liverpool’s home to essential Beatles history spots, countless top museums and plenty of the UK’s best restaurants, pubs, spas and clubs – but did you also know that it’s also a fab place to go shpoping? Well, it most certainly is. From boutique knick-knacks and designer clothing to fine art and rare books, whatever you’re looking to buy, you can almost certainly get it in Liverpool. The city’s shopping prowess comes from a combination of big, global thinking (this is a port city, after all) and small-scale, independent pride. You’ll find huge brands alongside local artisans, high-end stuff alongside bargain second-hand stores. Whether you’re a visitor or full-on Scouser, the breadth of shopping options here is plain to see. Here are the best places to go shopping in Liverpool the next time you’re in town. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Liverpool

The 21 best things to do in Liverpool right now

The 21 best things to do in Liverpool right now

Sure, quite a lot of famous things to see and do in Liverpool have something to do with The Beatles. It would be pretty remiss if that weren’t so. But there’s a shit ton of other great stuff worth checking out in this diverse, fun-loving city that have precisely nothing to do with the Fab Four. To start with, there’s the rich architectural heritage, from the city’s two magnificent cathedrals to the historically significant Albert Dock and the Tate art gallery. Add to this the fact that Liverpool has the second-highest number of museums and galleries in the country, beaten only by London. Throw in amazing theatres, excellent nightlife and stunning restaurants, and remembering that you’re just a Mersey Ferry ride away from The Wirral – including Port Sunlight’s Lady Lever Art Gallery – the only real question about a visit to this city is how long you can stay for (as long as you possibly can, is the answer). Here are the best things to do in Liverpool right now. RECOMMENDED: The best hotels in LiverpoolRECOMMENDED: The best Airbnbs in the Lake District

The 28 best restaurants in Liverpool you need to try

The 28 best restaurants in Liverpool you need to try

Since being named the European Capital of Culture 15 years ago, Liverpool has been totally transformed, with numerous regeneration projects taking place and local creatives pioneering exciting new launches. This is great news for foodies, as the city’s restaurant scene has completely exploded. Liverpool is a maritime city and local chefs have certainly drawn inspiration from that, whether it’s in the form of Indian street food or Middle Eastern small plates. Old favourites remain popular too – and if you’re wandering down Bold Street on a summer’s day, you’ll notice that most of the new kids on the block are seating customers back-to-back with people dining at restaurants that have been there since the ’70s, both with equal success. Feeling hungry? Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion with afternoon tea, looking for some culinary sustenance after a day of exploring or fancy hopping from small-plates bar to small-plates bar, here’s our ultimate guide to the best restaurants in Liverpool right now. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in Liverpool

The best Airbnbs in Manchester

The best Airbnbs in Manchester

Manchester is the cultural hub of the north. Amazing cuisines, crazy nightlife, killer shopping, and the friendliest people. So why not take a weekend break to explore the bustling city? And the only way to experience it fully like a local is to book an Airbnb for the night. Whether you’re in a residential district or the city centre, Airbnbs get you acquainted with a neighbourhood, giving you the lowdown on all its restaurants, bars and nightlife. And that’s especially the case in a city as buzzing as Manchester. Join us as we take a look inside Manchester's most interesting and enviable Airbnbs.  RECOMMENDED: the best Airbnbs in the Peak District This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

Manchester's best independent shops

Manchester's best independent shops

There's nothing you can't buy in Manchester, pretty much. Whether you favour splashing out at mega shopping emporiums like Trafford Centre and Manchester Arndale, or you like to have a gentle stroll through one of the city's wonderful markets, or peruse a specific area like the Northern Quarter, our city's shops make sure that there's something for everyone out there.In this list, we're concentrating on the independent, the one-off, the quirky, the kind of place you wish you'd known about years ago because they solve all of your birthday, Christmas and whatever occasion gift buying needs you have. These are Manchester's best independent shops.

The 22 best things to do in Manchester

The 22 best things to do in Manchester

Ask a Mancunian which is the second city and you know how we'll answer? London, of course.We've got some of the best dining in the country, so try traditional or contemporary cuisine at one of Manchester's finest restaurants, get acquainted with the most cutting-edge art exhibitions or see some of the best live theatre in the country, Manchester is the place to be. And that’s all before we even get a chance to mention the iconic clubs that have made the city famous across the globe. Manchester’s history looms large in its mythology. The Stone Roses, The Smiths and the Hacienda all cemented our place in musical legend, while our rich industrial and architectural history make it a fascinating place just to take a stroll around. But while its past is unarguably interesting, its present and future are perhaps more so. Those famous red-brick mills are now independent art hubs and the Victorian markets have a new lease of life as Instagram-friendly food halls. We also never say no to a quick pint in one of the historic pubs, especially when there’s a gig on. To make choosing how to pass your time here a little easier, we’ve pulled together our ultimate list of ‘must do’ Manchester activities.  Recommended: Manchester's best shops for online flower deliveryRecommended: the best Manchester hotelsRecommended: the best Airbnbs in ManchesterRecommended: the best Airbnbs in the Peak District

Things to do in Manchester this weekend

Things to do in Manchester this weekend

We've rounded up some of the best things to do in Manchester this weekend, so there's no excuse to let your downtime go to waste. Whether theatre is your bag, you're mad for music or you'd rather stroll around an art exhibition, you'll find it all in our list, plus much, much more.If you're looking for things to do in Manchester beyond this weekend, take a look at The Best Things To Do In Manchester.  

The 25 best restaurants in Manchester you need to try

The 25 best restaurants in Manchester you need to try

If you're local, you already know that eating out in Manchester has never been better. It's time that visitors knew it too.On top of Mana’s 2019 Michelin star – the first in the city for more than 40 years – the food scene has flourished. There are trailblazing indie restaurants opening across the city, under-the-radar local favourites that have been celebrated by national restaurant critics and world-famous chefs are setting up flashy new ventures. That star may have put this city on the culinary global map, but it just confirmed something we already knew: Manchester’s restaurants are as great and varied as anywhere else, and it’s only going to get bigger and better. From late-night kebabs to vegan delights, hidden curry cafĂ©s to mindblowing tasting menus, here’s our round-up of the best restaurants in Manchester.

The 13 best hotels in the Lake District

The 13 best hotels in the Lake District

As the UK's most visited national park, the captivating, enigmatic Lake District is just about as English as landscapes come. Forged from glaciers, (remember those old geography classes anyone?) this UNESCO site is one of the UK's most popular tourist hotspots for visitors domestic and international.And whilst people flock to the Lake District because of the history, the walking, the breathtaking scenery, picturesque villages and the, well, lakes, after all of that you really do need a place of comfort, of great food, log fires, and luxurious spas to rest your weary bones. Long gone are the days of cobwebby damp B&Bs – style and quality are on the up in the region so it's worth checking out these incredible Lake District hotels right now, as this is just about the perfect time to explore this fascinating, beautiful part of the world. From remote bivouacs and remote stays to lakeside luxury and world-famous hotels that draw people from all over the world, here’s our pick of the best hotels in the Lake District to start booking now.  Recommended: the best Airbnbs in the Lake DistrictRecommended: the best things to do in the Lake District This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

Listings and reviews (20)

The Refuge

The Refuge

4 out of 5 stars

If you want to go to the sort of place that'll make family and friends visiting you let out an audible ‘wow’ then here's the place. This bar and restaurant may belong to the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel it sits within but has fast become a destination all its own. One step inside and itís easy to see why. Taking its name from the building's original owners, The Refuge Assurance Company, Manchester DJ duo Luke Cowdrey and Justin Crawford, aka Unabomber, have brought an inspired menu from their travels around the world into this collection of spectacularly beautiful settings.There's a large, luxurious bar area, a cosy den, the stunning glass atrium of the Winter Garden and the restaurant proper. All well and good but if the food doesn't illicit a second ‘wow’ then what's the point? Fortunately, it delivers a chorus of them from small plates designed for sharing as well as roasts on Sundays, vegan included. The cleverness of the menu is in the combination of flavours, which bring new delights to the palette without ever feeling forced or simply on trend. They change regularly but if you like the sound of smoked feta with beetroot, tamarind-glazed chicken wings or spiced lamb flatbread with pomegranate and mint, then you're not going to be disappointed. With a fine selection of wines and cocktails, plus staff who are so nice youíll want to follow them on Instagram, The Refuge is a food lover's sanctuary.

Escape to Freight Island

Escape to Freight Island

A stunning indoor and outdoor food, drink and pleasure playground carved out of an old freight depot, Escape to Freight Island is just as much fun as its name suggests.Island? Well, yes, it really does feel like you've escaped to some exotic place where you can explore, get lost, eat well, enjoy a cocktail and see some lively entertainment. And it's open 7 days a week, too.And with 9 different places to eat, including the vegan Plant Grill, Voodoo Ray's Pizza and Vietnamese Mi and Pho, plus almost as many different bars, you're spoilt for choice as far as the food and drink go. As for entertainment, there are daily DJ sets, live music, a kids social, cabaret and much more.It's part of the ever-expanding world of Depot Mayfield, adding a much-needed injection of fun and frivolity to the area.

The Quays

The Quays

The Quays is the area where Salford and Trafford meet, a beautiful waterside development grown from the once derelict landscape of what used to be a thriving dockland.It started with The Lowry. This stunner of a building houses three theatre spaces, galleries showing the work of LS Lowry and contemporary artists plus a restaurant, shop and bars. This amazing venue was soon followed by Imperial War Museum North, the Lowry Outlet Mall, and MediaCityUK is to be found there too, amongst many other attractions, hotels and places to eat and drink.Over the years since The Lowry opened in 2000 it has become a model of how to make regeneration work.

Rudy's Neapolitan Pizza

Rudy's Neapolitan Pizza

Kate Wilson and Jim Morgan (previously of Honest Crust) know a thing or two about pizza.They've been involved in pop-ups and events previously but now they've set up their own permanent site in an area of the city known at one time as Little Italy, Ancoats. And it's about time.Their pizzas, made with traditional ingrediants and methods, at last provides a culinary reason to visit the area where decent restaurants and places to eat aren't easy to come by.And to drink, with a good wine selection and a decent pick of craft beers. What's more, you can get a 14'' pizza for a fiver... See you there.

The Marble Arch

The Marble Arch

5 out of 5 stars

If you were putting together a dream pub in your booze-fuelled mind you’d be hard pushed to come up with a more perfect construction than the Marble Arch. Enjoy beautiful tiled walls and floors dating back to the heyday of pub architecture whilst you explore one of the city’s leading selections of ales, lagers and liquors, and food that goes far beyond regular pub grub. A brewery in the back provides the majority of the pumps on the bar, as well as some of the finer ale establishments in the city. Seating arrangements suit any number in your gang, there's a fine jukebox from which to choose your soundtrack, and the beer garden catches a good deal of the sun when it decides to show up. The floor even slopes a little to help you along to the toilets when nature calls. For the uninitiated it’s a glorious reveal when stepping through the tiny door on Rochdale Road, far enough away from the Northern Quarter to weed out the poseurs, Marble Arch is the epitomy of proper pub. Highly rated by critics and customers alike the mosaic floor and grand design of the building is offset by the to-the-point menu and Marble Brewery’s pump clips that state simply what they are and the ABV. Those from out of town might go straight for a pint of Manchester, but those with more of a sense of adventure may go for a half of Ginger Ale or the award-laden Lagonda IPA. The food is also a point of pride, and for a pub with such a small kitchen it has a lot of big ideas, much like the brewery itself. The

Manchester Craft & Design Centre

Manchester Craft & Design Centre

Back in 2013 this was awarded 'Best Independent Retailer' at the Manchester Tourism Awards and, boasting over 30 artists, designers and craft makers under one roof, Manchester Craft & Design Centre is still leading the way for the indies. MCDC lies in the heart of the Northern Quarter, offering an impressive array of quality goods that you won't find on the high street – handmade, bespoke and personal. Jewellery, bags, ceramics and furniture make it the go-to place for gifts with that individual quality, and it's nice to be able to buy something you really love from the actual person who made it. Prices obviously vary but items are often nowhere near as expensive as you might think. Its very own Oak Street CafĂ© offers a menu with good stews, salads and cakes, as well as a decent coffee. The building dates back to 1873 when it was a fish market, a beautiful piece of design itself, making it ideal for purpose to this day.

Dishoom

Dishoom

4 out of 5 stars

Dishoom offers a taste of the old Irani cafĂ©s of Bombay, with a stylised decor to match. The London-based group already has a strong following up north; the launch saw people queuing down the street, and when we visited the crowds still hadn't thinned. Behind the modest frontage it's a multi-sensory hit: thick incense smoke wafts through corridors, ’60s Indian psych tracks drift over the speakers. The huge 150-seater dining room takes over the Grade II-listed Manchester Hall – a former freemasons' lodge – turning it into a dimly-lit treasure chest of marble, leather and dark wood panelling. The one thing that outshines the decor is the food. And what food. Pau bhaji – a popular Indian street food – is comfort food at its best: a gently spiced mix of mashed tomato, beans, potato and veg which was scooped up greedily with hot home-made rolls fried in butter.What's more the company is active in charitable work too, so you can dine knowing that some of your money is going towards causes we should all be behind. Manchester was bound to love this place – spicy, hearty and no-nonsense are some of our favourite things, and Dishoom nails all three.

Bundobust

Bundobust

5 out of 5 stars

When you can't get a table somewhere that you've never heard of because the people who've managed to get in keep going back again and again, it's time to up your eating out game.This is what happened when Bundobust arrived in Manchester and it hasn't let up.No wonder. This is the best Indian street food in the city and the menu, combined with some very drinkable craft ales, makes for a very popular whilst having to be in-the-know kind of feel.The menu is entirely vegetarian or vegan and the combo platters are tremendous.

The French at the Midland

The French at the Midland

5 out of 5 stars

Manchester’s food lovers can relax now that the city can boast of a Michelin star. Even so, many were surprised that it wasn't The French that brought that accolade home.Now in the safe hands of local lad Adam Reid, who won the BBC’s prestigious ‘Great British Menu’ competition with his signature dish, Golden Empire, The French is a must for anyone happy to splash the cash on quality in a luxurious setting.Somewhat incongruously, The French is about seasonal variations on British food, with menus offering you 4, 6 or 9 courses.  The restaurant oozes a sense of destination made more so in light of the massive refurbishment of The Midland itself. A huge, multi-globed chandelier makes every meal bling, as does the price tag. Yet perfectly pitched portion sizes and an expert wine list with choices for both new world and classic palates means you won’t regret going for broke.

Sinclair’s Oyster Bar

Sinclair’s Oyster Bar

4 out of 5 stars

Despite its emphasis on the cheap and the cheerful, Sinclair’s is housed in a beautiful Tudor building right in the centre of town, and is home to the biggest beer garden in the city. As soon as the sun appears, that beer garden is rammed due in no small measure to beer that's  almost half the price of that you might find just a few streets away in the Northern Quarter. It’s a Sam Smith’s pub, so while there are no branded drinks behind the bar, their own line of ales, stouts and lagers are all very reasonably priced. Not bad for a pub that's been going since 1720, and we don't mean nearly half past five. It's awash with history having survived World War II and the IRA bombing of 1996 which destroyed many modern buildings surrounding it. It was later moved, brick by brick, 300 metres away to allow for the regeneration of Manchester city centre. The bar itself is somewhat cramped, with several nooks and crannies within which to shelter making it a cosy option on a cold night. As well as cheap drinks, Sinclair’s does some great pub grub. Oysters feature in the glorious carpetbagger steak, and the angels and devils on horseback. The kitchen is undoubtedly under-used, but then there’s nothing Manchester loves quite like a cheap beer in the sun.

The Creameries

The Creameries

4 out of 5 stars

Established by some of the team behind the Real Junk Food Project, which uses food that would go to waste, this is the latest project from Manchester super chef Mary- Ellen McTague and baker Sophie Yeoman. The ethical sourcing of the mainly local produce at The Creameries is central to its ethos, with the key elements of bread, cheese, wine and beer serving as the starting point to an exquisite treat for the palette. Throughout the week it's a bakery during the day, selling delicious breads, cakes, breakfasts and lunches. Then it becomes a night-time eatery where intimate dining in a in a relaxed setting – it's not a big space – encourages the sort of evening where you want to sit around with your friends and enjoy something special. And special it is. Without a hint of snobbery, the team really know their stuff and are happy to share that knowledge with you. They can talk you through the chalked-up menu, and can wax on about cheeses and wines until the farmers come home. Their love of the produce is tangible without being overbearing and when the food does arrive, such pride is more than justified. Itís a small menu but so much attention has gone into every item, with flavours like anchovy mayonnaise, roast celeriac focaccia, homemade pickle and chutneys accompanying a range of pies, seafood dishes, soups, meats and cheeses.

Chill Factore

Chill Factore

Chill Factore is pretty cool. From the motorway, as you see it to the side of the overly decorated cake that is the Trafford Centre, it looks like a giant truck about to offload an enormous mound of something, its tilted angle threatening to induce vertigo just by looking at it.  Inside, ski and snowboard lessons for all ages and abilities are on offer, as are various other snow activities. Adults and children can enjoy the Snow Park which includes the Luge Slip ‘N’ Slide, Downhill Donuts and Sledge ‘O’ Mania and under 4’s can try the Mini Moose’s Arctic Adventure playground. There's also a climbing wall is you need time out of the snow.What's more unexpected then is the wealth of bars, cafes and restaurants and some of the UK’s leading outdoor clothing shops offering big brand names, all along the Alpine Street.

News (317)

You can drink craft ale in the shower at this Manchester beer hotel

You can drink craft ale in the shower at this Manchester beer hotel

Most of us know what it’s like to be in the doghouse after one too many on a night out. But there’s no shame to be had in going properly large at this new hotel in Manchester. The DogHouse – yep, that’s its actual name – is the latest opening from independent beer makers BrewDog and it’s got all the trappings of a Very Fun Time. Founded in 2007, BrewDog has gone from small local brewery to global brand, and they’ve now started opening craft beer-themed hotels in cities from Edinburgh to Columbus, Ohio. But the new one in Manchester could be their most impressive yet.Best of all, for some reason, the shower in every room comes complete with a craft beer fridge, should you find yourself thirsty as you spruce up. Guests can dine on the rooftop bar, where there’s a taco hut and ten beer taps, or order hot dogs 24 hours a day. On the hotel’s exterior, meanwhile, a living wall of 26,000 plants supports BrewDog’s efforts to become the world’s ‘most sustainable drinks brand’. And if you’re worried those fine craft ales might get you a new beer belly? Worry not, as complimentary gym passes and free bike hire come included in the price. Tempted? Find out more about the hotel here. More cool places to stay: This Italian monastery has been transformed into a super-stylish spa hotel A 1960s UFO house just landed in a country park in the UK Stay in this gorgeous tiny house on a French volcano field for just €1

This Manchester exhibition digs deep into the roots of Factory Records

This Manchester exhibition digs deep into the roots of Factory Records

Tony Wilson, king of the Manc music scene, famously said of his city: ‘This is Manchester – we do things differently here.’ Listen to any of the music his record label, Factory, put out in the later decades of the twentieth century, and you’d struggle to disagree. But while we all got a little bit obsessed with ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ in the first year of uni – and all know the basic outline of the Joy Division story – the evolution of Factory Records itself is told less often. That’s where a new exhibition at Manchester’s excellent Museum of Science and Industry comes in. ‘Use Hearing Protection: The Early Years of Factory Records’ aims to document the imprint’s lesser-known early period from 1978 to 1982 – through artefacts, photographs and interactive exhibits. The Factory team catalogued everything they did, in whatever form, sequentially – which is why the Hacienda club was FAC 51. This exhibition displays rarely seen items one to 50, including early designs by the legendary Peter Saville, along with assorted Joy Division, New Order and Durutti Column paraphernalia. Bring along your own Bluetooth headphones, and you’ll be able to listen iconic tracks from across the label’s back catalogue. And there’ll also be an on-site recreation of The Factory club night at the Russell Club. Sounds like the ideal way to let loose after a year of lockdowns.  ‘Use Hearing Protection: The Early Years of Factory Records’ at the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester. Saturday June 1

Unmissable deal alert: Manchester is offering free hotel nights to visitors this summer

Unmissable deal alert: Manchester is offering free hotel nights to visitors this summer

Finally, hotels across the UK have flung open their doors to visitors again. And Manchester – home many of the country’s ritziest places to stay – is no exception. Now, in an effort to boost tourism over the coming months, the city has launched a campaign to pump life back into its neglected hotels by offering free nights to visitors.  The ‘Have a Night on Us’ scheme will grant visitors a free third night when they book a two-night stay at 12 of the city’s top hotels. At the more luxurious end, for example, you could try out Kimpton Clocktower and the Lowry Hotel, or if you’d prefer to go cheap, the likes of Holiday Inn and Roomzzz are also getting involved. Because let’s be honest: there’s plenty else to spend your money on in Manchester this summer. Manchester International Festival makes a splashy return in July, and then you’ve also got Sounds of the City, the brand-new RHS Garden Bridgewater, Manchester Jazz Festival, Pride, and the well-received ‘Grayson’s Art Club’ exhibition at Manchester Gallery as well. Several other hotels are planning to join the campaign, and with Manchester’s restaurants, bars and attractions all now gearing up for return to something like normality this summer, there’s no better to time discover this properly marvellous city. Now you’ll have an extra day to take it all in, too. Sound good? You can find out more about the ‘Have a Night on Us’ scheme here. And if you need any more inspiration, here’s our guide to the 20 best hotels in Manchester,

A Manchester Christmas markets guide

A Manchester Christmas markets guide

As fantastic as the Manchester Christmas Markets are, it can be a bit tricky to know what to try food and drink wise when they are rammed with shoppers.So the good people at stagandhenmanchester.co.uk have created an infographic which takes you through the available mulled wines, confectionary, meats, European foods and more with photographs and taste descriptions - very handy for any food fanatic or visitors to the city.    See what else you can at Christmas in Manchester with Time Out.    

Community urged to get involved in massive Hulme 'Sweet' Hulme project

Community urged to get involved in massive Hulme 'Sweet' Hulme project

Hulme’s rich heritage will be in the spotlight with a major film documentary, touring photography exhibition and commemorative poem, as part of a partnership project between placemaking organisation One Manchester and community media company REELmcr. One Manchester has been awarded grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund to work with Hulme residents in a unique project documenting Hulme life throughout the area’s various transformations from slums to the Crescents and beyond. The Hulme `Sweet’ Hulme film documentary will be made with the community and residents of Hulme, past or present, particularly families who moved into the original Hulme houses in the 1970s and 1980s, are being urged to get involved to tell their stories and share old photos of one of Manchester’s most vibrant and socially important areas. The project will provide opportunities to go on heritage visits and walks, train to be part of the documentary film crew, or take part in photography and poetry workshops. Filmmaker Paul Sapin, who has won a string of international awards for his TV work capturing social issues everywhere from Mexico to South Africa, will join the award-winning REELmcr to lead the documentary production. Poetry workshops will be led by popular Manchester wordsmith Tony Walsh, aka Longfella. The launch of Hulme `Sweet’ Hulme will take place at Z-arts on Friday 18 December from 6pm-8pm with speakers and archive footage. Everyone is welcome to attend to learn more about the project and

Life's a Drag! A new arts project looks at the history of Manchester drag

Life's a Drag! A new arts project looks at the history of Manchester drag

From the team who brought us 'Polari Mission Live!', artist Jez Dolan with writer Chris Hoyle present a new theatre piece as part of Queer Contact in 2016, loaded with sequins, feathers, lipstick and lights. 'Life’s a Drag' is part of a year-long project exploring the history of Drag in Manchester through performance, exhibition, oral history and getting your drag on, going right back to the infamous Hulme Drag Ball of 1880, right through to the current redefining of drag with the likes of Cha Cha Boudoir.  Drag Ball Hulme circa 1880, taken from the Illustrated Police News, courtesy of Manchester Libraries Information and Archives   But in the run up to the performance, there's an oral history training day for anyone wanting to get involved. Volunteers are needed to collect oral histories which will form part of the project and will involve interviewing drag performers, audiences and fans. Thee interviews will be held permanently at Archives + in Manchester where they will be available for historians.If you're interested in taking part, the training session will last for a day, is free and includes lunch.Find out more on the Life's a Drag website.Life's a Drag oral histories training day, MMU New Business School, Saturday January 9, 9.30amLife's a Drag performance, Contact, Thursday 4 - Saturday 6 FebruarySee 25 photos from Dragchester.

On International Day of People with Disability we look at the incredible work of one man

On International Day of People with Disability we look at the incredible work of one man

Yao Ming Chien is profoundly deaf and uses British Sign Language (BSL) as his first language. He was born and brought up in Taiwan but left as a young adult as there was little support for deaf people. He first moved to America and then to the UK looking for the support that he needs. Ming is now settled in Manchester. Like many deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people, Ming has found it difficult to find employment, despite having attended many courses and having a range of skills.And one of those skills is tapestry.Working in a small room from his home in Swinton, Ming creates the most extraordinary, intricate, detailed tapestries, some of which take weeks or even months to embroider.     Ming recently attended workshops run by the Manchester based company Result CIC. The aim of the project was to maximise the potential for members of Manchester Deaf Centre’s job club to give them the skills to be successful in looking for work by increasing their self-confidence. During the sessions, Ming identified his love of embroidery and astonished the group by showing some of his creations off.Now he's ready to share his work and his skills.     He's looking to exhibit his amazing artwork and also to share his skills by teaching his techniques to others, or to accept commissions.So, if you've a venue which could show Ming's work, or you are an organisation interested in creating a class where Ming could teach, or if you'd like to commission a tapestry, get in touch by contacting h

Are you 'Out of it?'

Are you 'Out of it?'

A new film has been produced in Manchester which aims to highlight the experience of deaf people in 21st century Britain.'Out of it?' has taken interviews with six deaf people, all carried out at Manchester Deaf Centre, to reveal some shocking stories, ranging from a man who slept though a hotel fire because the staff forgot that they had a deaf couple staying with them, to a woman in labour who was denied an interpreter due to costs as her birth started to become dangerously complicated. She didn't know what was happening.The film's creator, Jane Cordell, became deaf following an illness and is now one of the UK's most influential disabled people, according to the Power 100 list. She says of the film,'We take basic rights in the UK for granted: our safety, health and being able to work and learn. But how would you feel if you faced barriers to these rights? Deaf people often do, but their experience is rarely known. We made this film to present examples of this experience to the Equality and Human Rights Commission. It is important to build on this work.'You can follow 'Out of it?' on Facebook.MORE FROM THE BLOG

Ready for a Santa stroll this weekend?

Ready for a Santa stroll this weekend?

Manchester City fans are getting ready to pull on their blue Santa suits in aid of charity, for the sixth year running! City in the Community, which aims to help empower lives through football, is encouraging supporters to head to the Etihad campus for its annual Santa Stroll event. The sky blue 5km course kicks-off at 11:30am on Sunday 6 December from City Square. Activity will start from 9:30am, including the Barclays Activity Area with Rodeo Reindeer and Santa’s Grotto, Live music and warm food, as well as Christmas competitions and special guests. All applicants will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win Manchester City hospitality tickets at an upcoming fixture this season. Mike Green, Head of City in the Community, said: 'Santa Stroll is a firm favourite with everyone involved and we are looking forward to welcoming supporters back to the Etihad for the sixth time! City in the Community works to enhance the lives of thousands of people across Greater Manchester and the money raised from Santa Stroll will help to continue this great work. Our course is fully accessible for push chairs, wheelchairs and sleighs, so we are calling on all City fans to get involved to help make a difference in their local area!”'The entry price for Santa Stroll is £25 for a family (two adults and two children), £10 for adults and £5 for children. Admission includes your own sky blue Santa suit, a race number and all young people will be rewarded with a goodie-bag upon crossing the

On World AIDS Day we look at a free service in Manchester for HIV+ men

On World AIDS Day we look at a free service in Manchester for HIV+ men

An award-winning Manchester based company has partnered with George House Trust to offer a new service to HIV positive gay and bisexual men.Result CIC, winners of a major prize at the National Diversity Awards in September this year, are offering life coaching free of charge as part of a scheme called 'Being+'. Unlike counselling or guidance, the purpose of coaching is to get people to arrive at their own decisions, with the coach supporting the development of plans to make the person being coached better able to cope with their future. It can happen face to face, via Skype or on the phone and those taking part will benefit from six to twelve sessions on a one to one basis. And there's no cost.Result CIC will be be focussing on HIV+ men who need support to change their career, get back in to work, become more assertive or who need to set themselves some life goals. One of their directors, Andy Hilton, is also the chair of the National Long Term Survivors Group supporting people who have lived with HIV or AIDS for five years or more.As a community interest company (hence the CIC), Result CIC have worked with a wide range of people and groups including recent immigrants, disabled people, young people facing challenges in their lives and anyone who they describe as 'marginalised' and this collaboration furthers their commitment to 'creating opportunities for people to grow.' One of their directors is Jane Cordell, named as one of the Power 100 most influential disabled people in

The Magic Numbers pick their top five things to do in Manchester

The Magic Numbers pick their top five things to do in Manchester

The Magic Numbers, who play Gorilla next week, are celebrating ten years since their debut, Mercury Prize nominated album came out. Inadavcne of their gig, and hot on the heels of supporting McAlmont and Butler at The Ritz last month, we asked the band members Romeo, Michele, Angela and Sean to tell us what they like to do when they're in Manchester, and here's their top five.1. Moose This is a tradition in the Numbers camp, it's the perfect hangover cure, we always make sure the van picks us up after breakfast. 2. Fab Café Our friends at FAB look after us really well there, (many an aftershow party), making sure we're well hydrated whilst dancing the night away to Fleetwood Mac. 3. Alchemist This is a recent find for us. Spent most of our day off on our latest tour with McAlmont & Butler here having what felt like all the cocktails on the menu. Mmmmmm.... Whiskey Old Fashions. 4. Beatin Rhythm record shopBought many a soul 45 from this killer vinyl record shop. Always try to visit here before soundcheck 5. Albert HallWe played here with the Super Furry Animals recently and it has now become our favourite venue, stunning view from the stage and beautiful atmosphere. Can't wait to do our own show here when we're back with a new record.Magic Numbers play Gorilla on Wednesday December 9 Tickets are still available.See more gigs coming up in Manchester from Time Out.

Adele plays Manchester Arena early next year

Adele plays Manchester Arena early next year

Tickets for Adele at Manchester Arena go on sale on Friday 4 December at 9am.The record breaking artist, who has hit the jackpot again with her new album '25', which sold millions of copies upon its release this week, is set to sell out on a tour which takes in Manchester, Belfast, Dublin, Glasgow, Birmingham and London.Her single 'Hello' is the only one to sell over a million digital copies in its first week.Tickets range from £35 to £95.Adele performs at Manchester Arena on the 7 and 8 March 2016.See more music and nightlife in Manchester from Time Out.

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