Manchester has come a long way from the Roman fort it once was. Leading the way during the Industrial Revolution, in more recent years the city has produced some of Britain's most iconic bands. Today, Mancs are seriously switched on and tuned in to what's happening in the arts world.
Naturally, festivals are the best way to get an overview of Manchester's cultural output – and they're an experience made for sharing. Pair up and take your pick of these five fabulous Manchester events.
Along with lambs and daffodils, making an appearance in the springtime sunshine is street festival Eurocultured. The programme of events celebrates the diverse heritage of Manchester's residents. From live painting in the streets to music performances from upcoming bands, Eurocultured is the perfect excuse to get together and experience different cultures from across the channel.
A bonanza of new works from across the arts spectrum, Manchester International Festival is a key event on the city's cultural calendar. Ideal for couples with diverse interests, there are plenty of events to choose from and enjoy. Need a fellow culture vulture to sit next to at the many music performances and inspiring talks? Find someone that shares your interests at eHarmony.co.uk.
Enigmatic indie rockers aren't the only musicians in North West England. Since turning up in 1995, the Manchester Jazz Festival has hosted the very best saxophonists, pianists and singers of the genre – and the music isn't about to die down yet.
Jazz is best enjoyed with a glass of red wine near your lips and a foot tapping on the floor. With nine days of live music around the clock to listen to, make date night a smooth affair with two tickets to this ultra-cool festival.
Unfurl the rainbow flags and leave you inhibitions at the door – Manchester Pride is a colourful celebration of its LGBT community. Raising funds for organisations and communities in Greater Manchester, Pride has grown to encompass a range of cultural sectors including comedy, literature, art and sport.
The parade is always a big hit with festival-goers. Donned in bright neon colours (or very little at all), participants demonstrate their party spirit with an outlandish march through the city streets. If you and your partner are part of the LGBT community, this is the only place to be on August bank holiday. Even if you aren't, the laid-back atmosphere and community spirit makes Manchester Pride an important date in your diary.
Manchester Food & Drink Festival – October
It's said the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. If you're in Manchester dating and looking for love, swap candlelit dinners for nearly three weeks of culinary delights. During the Manchester Food & Drink Festival, drink and dine in venues across the city – whether that's a pub roast or three-course meal on the tramline.
While your heart is aflutter, set your taste buds on fire by challenging your new beau to a chilli-eating contest. While flavour is just as important as spice, this is not a contest to be taken lightly. For more traditional festival fodder, grab a bite to eat while international bands serenade you.