My second love affair with Manchester started with its dining scene. I was never disappointed with the amount of choices available, for all kind of budgets. The first place that pleasantly surprised me was San Carlo Group, an Italian favourite for the local foodies. I chose Cicchetti, which was a sister restaurant as part of the San Carlo Group. They also have a London branch situated in Piccadilly Circus. We were welcomed into a white magical garden like restaurant with silver white branches poking out behind the plush white sofa seats. On a chilly rainy Mancunian night, this was exactly the cure I needed.
I ordered several small plates from different types of meats and fish. Unfortunately, because the lighting was quite dim, only some pictures of the dishes looked half decent.
The next morning, my last day in Manchester, I decided to try a brunch place before the two hour train journey back to London. After some online researching, I found The Alchemist. Its concept of internal decor was a mix of chemistry mad scientist and early 1900 nostalgia. My egg benedict was cooked to perfection accompanied by a smooth hollandaise sauce. The clientele was a mixture of early 20s yuppies and hipsters. I can imagine this place on a Saturday night to be the perfect place to be.
And, on my way back to the Manchester train station, I decided to do a detour to the Northern Quarter, as I had two hours to kill. I found some niche boutique shops and old bookstores along the way.