In Ideas

If a box of choccies and a cuppa in bed won’t suffice this Mother’s Day, then a day out in Manchester – with its fantastic array of things to see, eat, and do – is the perfect above-and-beyond choice to help you spoil Mum rotten. Deciding what to do? We’ve got some inspiration for you:

Image Credit: Moose Coffee

First-thing

Start as you mean to go on and line your stomach with a slap-up breakfast to ready yourself for a jam-packed day ahead! Antipodean lovely Federal boasts pride-of-packed-place on the edge of the Northern Quarter (and is soon-to-be resident of Deansgate, too!), cheerful yellow signage beckoning in customers to its cosy corner, topped-off by tastebud-tingling smells. Promising high-quality local ingredients, order off the breakfast or brunch menu (latter available until 6pm) such tasty morsels as toasted banana bread, spicy Turkish eggs, or the NQ favourite - smashed avo on toasted sourdough.

Don’t miss:

Trove, Ancoats – go for the soothing, white-walled surroundings, stay for the simple, seasonal food with an ‘Oooo, that sounds interesting!’ twist.

Moose Coffee, York St (second branch opening at Piccadilly Station soon!) – pop by for American Canadian waffles and pancakes of mighty plate-proportions.

Science and Industry Museum

Mid-morning

Make the most of the surge of food-gifted energy and get your stomp-on for a visit to some of the city’s best cultural hotspots. Want to be wowed? The John Rylands Library in Spinningfields is not only home to a world-class collection that includes the oldest known piece of the New Testament, the St John Fragment, its Victorian Gothic architecture is made for a stroll-through (plus a photo or two, hat optional), with magnificent high ceilings, and giant stained-glass windows.

Need something to entertain the whole family? The Science and Industry Museum, with exhibits across several floors, is home to the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station, the first railway warehouse, and - until September 2019 - Stephenson’s Rocket! Kiddos will love the live demonstrations and science shows, soft play and experimentation areas, and there’s a giant replica of Baby – the world’s first computer to store and run a program - plus a café, should the grown-ups need a pick-me-up!

Something different:

Dive into the city’s history and visit the home of famed author, Elizabeth Gaskell. Ring the doorbell once rung by Charles Dickens and enter the Gaskell family’s beautifully-restored abode. Visit this Mothering Sunday for a discussion on motherhood, as seen through the writings of Elizabeth Gaskell, and shared by Dr Diane Duffy in interview with Chris Foley.

Adam Reid at The French

Lunch

Who can say no to a Sunday out with all the trimmings? Head to Peter Street and its Bavarian resident, Albert’s Schloss, for their Mother’s Day Sunday Service, with specials such as pan-roasted lamb rump, and pavlova with strawberry compote, chantilly crème and fresh strawberries. ‘Push for prosecco’, bench-boogie to live music, and top things off with a pop downstairs to their photobooth – what better way to capture the memories of the day?

If Mum falls down on the side of tradition, head to the terracotta hue-d The Midland and its restaurant, Adam Reid at The French, headed up by Michelin-star chef Adam Reid. Blending the old (its Grade II listed interiors) with the new (a modern, British-food menu), push the boat out and treat Mum to a 9-course show-stopper, featuring the best of seasonal produce.

Pit-stop:

If you bit-off more than you could chew at breakfast, a pit-stop at one of the cafes around the Northern Quarter will have you caffeinated and back on your feet quicker than you can say ‘slice of cake with that?’. Sugar Junction’s (reminiscent of your Nan’s front room) wallpapered surrounds are the perfect companion for a loose-leaf tea and a quick pick-me-up, or bob into Fig + Sparrow for colourful crockery, brilliant baked goods, and a gander at their (mini) homeware section.

Afflecks

Afternoon

A bit of pampering never goes amiss, and the city boasts a myriad of options no matter Mum’s tastes, with everything from tucked-away-in-Chinatown, Balinese charmer Bali Health Lounge, with a relaxation lounge and tea house to compliment its 3 floors of facilities, to the 5* star services of The Lowry Spa, offering a peaceful and rejuvenating experience within its sleek, white-walled interiors. And in case you’re thinking time would be better spent nattering as a family, take advantage of The Lowry’s family Afternoon Tea buffet, with a fantastic range of treats, and entertainment from a magician!

If you’re in the mood to wind-up than down, take yourselves off for a pound along the pavement and some shop-ing ‘til you drop-ing! New Cathedral Street, with its row of designer stores, leading to Selfridges, is a window shopper’s (and treat yo’self appreciators’!) dream, with plenty to keep one’s eyes as big as saucers! Champions of independent shopping can snake the streets of the Northern Quarter, and visit gems such as arts and crafts extraordinaire Fred Aldous, laid-back, red-brick Form Lifestyle Store, stocked with handmade goodies perfect for treating loved ones, and Manchester institution Afflecks, with its floor after floor of nooks-and-crannies-filled stands, and stores (and even a spot for icecream)!

Round-out the afternoon together with some (boozy, if you fancy!) golf at neon-lit Junkyard Golf, with three mashed-up, 9-hole courses, shaped (much as the name suggests) by pre-loved and reclaimed materials. Or, if young ‘uns are along for the ride, head to The Printworks for a family-friendly epic mini golf, rainforest-themed Treetop Adventure, and perfect your putt on its 18-hole courses. Mums’ luck denotes she’ll get a hole-in-one!

Culture vulture?

Immerse yourself in the arts with the city’s collection of museums, galleries, and theatres. From the punchy-pink pillars of the Royal Exchange (home to the largest theatre-in-the-round in the country), and the full-to-the-brim schedules of Palace Theatre and Opera House, to the waterside Castlefield Galley (Manchester’s first public contemporary visual art gallery), Mum will no doubt come away feeling inspired!

Tattu

Evening

As the day unfolds through dusk, Manchester’s heartbeat strums to make-you-dance life, with plenty to see you through ‘til dawn, from cocktail-making classics, to delicious dining, and enough live music venues to keep you going past the midnight hour.

Kick things off with the glitz and glamour of The Refuge, with its floor-to-ceiling (totally ‘grammable) tiles, DJs on decks, mirror-backed bar area, and tipples to get your toes tappin’ (or, if you’d rather, wedge a lunchtime visit in, and dine on their Sunday Roast platter for two, while Mum sips a glass of complimentary prosecco)!

King Street’s Catalan cuina, Tast’s special menu awaits, with a welcome cocktail for Mum, before 7 spectacular courses, including Tartar de Wagyu i Encurtits (Wagyu beef tartar, pickles, potato), and Mousse de Torró (Torron mousse), served in relaxed surroundings.

Dishoom’s stunning stained-glass interiors, set-off by mustard-yellow booths and herringbone flooring, welcomes diners with a waft of incense. With a menu packed-full of popular dishes, and our very own Manchester special, impress Mum with a visit to this new city favourite.Not for you? Take to Spinningfields where you’ll find an impressive collection of varied-cuisine restaurants, including: The Ivyv, with both a brasserie serving a modern British menu, and ‘Asia and Bar’, host to a late night bar, Asian-inspired cocktails and sharing dishes; Fazenda Rodizio Bar & Grill, offering Brazilian-style serving in authentic surroundings, with a gourmet salad bar to start, before guests can tuck in to freshly-grilled and carved meats; and the blossom-tree decorated Tattu, with a menu that embraces traditional Asian flavours, delivering contemporary Chinese cuisine in surroundings inspired by the history of body art.

If Mum's not ready for the day to end, something special this way comes in The Washhouse's speakeasy charm (bookings - aka, spins! - required), hidden behind the false frontage of...wait for it...a launderette. Step inside and nestle yourselves into cosy booths before ordering from the extensive, and intriguing, cocktail menu. Drink in a terrarium, anyone?

If that's not enough to keep you entertained, follow the road up Thomas Street, and end things on the cobbles of the Northern Quarter, and its huge variety of venues, from sherry-fueled Flok, to Matt and Phreds (dance 'til your feet hurt) jazz-sound-tracked vibes.

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