I'm a freelance writer living in Shoreditch, frequently commenting on life in London; from coffee, to pubs, food, science and anything new and interesting.
Published March 26th 2015
Interesting First Date Ideas In Manchester
Ahhh the first date. Where to go? What to wear? Do I smell unusual? All the typical questions we ask ourselves before going on a date. Often one of the most challenging choices we make is where to go.
Select a pub and the nervous temptation to quell any anxiety with too much of the good stuff could turn things weird. Your slurring, mutterings and sudden fascination with ripping up beer mats could prove too much for your date to handle.
Similarly if you choose somewhere without an easy escape route and things take a turn for the worse, you could find yourself trapped in a conversation about Scientology (I'm speaking from personal experience) without a successful evasion tactic. The choice of location could be the difference between sweet nothings and sweet… something else.
So for some handy hints, tips and ideas, here's a selection of places in Manchester you may not have considered before.
The Culture Vulture If your date is of an artistic persuasion, then museums and art galleries could be the perfect choice. If you're not a regular attendee, trying something new is always more exciting than doing the same thing you've done a thousand times before.
The Royal Northern College of Music is a step further, with some of the world's best classical musicians regularly performing, the soft, sweet, relaxing sounds of music could make you seem cultured and worldly. If you sit down munching a packet of pork scratchings you may ruin the illusion.
Two-time Grammy nominee Gretchen Peters is appearing on April 2nd, or if the Saxophone is your thing, David Sanborn's sell-out show from London is on the 13th.
The Big Wheel If you've ever seen The Notebook you'll be aware of the scene with the big wheel. Determined to impress a young woman, Ryan Gosling dogmatically follows the young lady (sounds a bit like stalking) onto a big wheel where he proceeds to jump out of his seat and dangles from one the of the long iron bar things in the middle. With weary arms he refuses to get back in his seat until she goes on a date with him. It works, they get married, the end… sort of. Big wheels can very romantic.
While you may not want to plan your entire day/evening around something that's over in 20 minutes, a stroll along Portland Street and a seemingly impulsive stop on Manchester's Big Wheel could be the perfect way to end of a date. Just don't climb out of your seat. In real life it's just terrifying and weird.
Coffee While there are literally hundreds of places to get a coffee, a new café in Manchester has just opened up that's ideal for those of us experiencing a temporary cash flow problem.
Ziferblat is a Russian concept and the idea is that it's a tree house for adults; just without the tree. You pay for the time you're there and everything else is free including coffee, tea, drinks, games, chairs and Wi-Fi. You pay 5p per minute (£3 over the hour) and can comfortably lounge around, chatting to friends or your newfound beau.
The Shoreditch branch first opened in 2013 and it's simply a cool and funky social space to hang out in. Make sure you take an interest in the type of coffee your date drinks though. Manchester Coffee Supplier Joe Black Coffee has found some rather interesting correlations between the type of coffee you order, and your personality type. You can figure out if you should stay or head for the hills from their coffee dating guide.
Night and Day
For the cool, funky and possibly tipsy type of date you can't go wrong with one of the best gig spots in Manchester. Night and Day has had many famous faces prowl across its stage including Elbow, Artic Monkeys, Kasabian and The Doves.
You can impress your date with your music knowledge (obviously Wikipedia every cool band prior to your date) and enjoy an evening of revelry without the need for small talk.
Be sure to wear something bedraggled and adopt crazy hair, maybe even shades, and gum.
Godlee Observatory Astronomy is losing it's historically stuffy image and Godlee Observatory will allow you to lay back and enjoy the stars in the relative comfort of a chair and central heating.
Godlee Observatory is located at Manchester University and offers a free introduction to the wonders from above.
Northern Quarter Tasting Tour
For the Foodie dates, John Ryan offers a unique walking tour that aims to sample small signature dishes every 15 minutes from all the venues. You'll leave with an idea of all the complex and cultural diversity on offer and the types of food available.
The tour also combines history about the area and the food and typically lasts for about 3 hours. With so my reinvention through the Northern Quarter you can stay up to date and enjoy a relaxing afternoon eating and drinking with date. Perfect.