Freelance writer living in Manchester. Likes clothes and stuff. www.twitter.com/DavidPMcCourt
Published April 23rd 2013
A guide to the perfect Piccadilly day trip
Whether you've arrived in the city by car, train, tram of bus, you'll more than likely want to head over to Piccadilly Gardens to start your day.
9:00am - KRO Piccadilly Those familiar with Manchester will know of the family run local chain that is KRO. The Danish descendants have set up quite an empire in the city, with bars in Oxford Road, Heaton Moore, and the biggest and boldest of them all, Piccadilly.
One of the first places to show life of a morning in the Piccadilly area, KRO opens its doors early as locals and workers grab coffee and breakfast. A coffee and bacon sandwich will set you back £2.95, and is the perfect way to start your morning whilst watching the foot traffic build up outside the venues enormous glass windows.
10:00am Manchester Art Gallery A quick walk across the gardens and down Mosley Street and you will find a rather striking building housing Manchester Art Gallery.
Whilst most famous for it's Pre-Raphaelite works, the varied collection is made up of fine and decorative art. The collection holds more than 25,000 objects of art, craft and design, however only a fraction can be displayed at any one time.
Current collections include; In Translation: Women, Migration and Britishness a collection of posters produced by the Empire Marketing Board, a promotional body set up by the British government in 1926 and Dreams Without Frontiers a bold exhibition of work by international contemporary artists Cyprien Gaillard and Kelley Walker, curated in partnership with author and DJ Dave Haslam.
12:30pm The Shakespeare Pub Head North of Mosley Street and you will find one of the most famous pubs in Manchester. The Shakespeare is far from your average chained gastro pub, and is an ideal place to settle in for a traditional pub lunch and an afternoon pint of real cask ale.
However, you must be warned, The Shakespeare is one of the most haunted pubs in Britain. The ghostly presence of a girl who died more than 100 years ago has been reported many times over the years.
2:00pm Real Food Market Head back to Piccadilly Gardens to browse the fortnightly Real Food Market. This fantastic array of stalls is the place to pick up high quality, seasonal and local produce. The market runs from 10am 6pm so you've got plenty of time to pick up some homegrown produce from a local farmer for dinner.
3:00pm Chinatown The Piccadilly area of Manchester is home to the second largest Chinatown in Britain, and the third largest in Europe.
Manchester's first Chinese restaurant, Ping Hong, opened on Mosley Street in 1948 and the area has since blossomed into an area of, not only Chinese, but Thai, Malaysian, Singaporean and other Pan-Asian restaurants, shops, bakeries and supermarkets.
The Chinese Pagoda on the corner of Faulkner Street and Nicholas Street is well worth a look and provides sheltered seating after taking in the sights of Chinatown.
4:30pm The O.K Café Time for a quick no-nonsense brew before heading home. Don't be put off by the just-ok-ness of this little café at 77 Piccadilly. The coffee is fantastic, and whilst it may be lacking in a few mod cons, for a quick cuppa' on your travels, there are few places better in the city centre.
This is just a suggestion of things to do in Piccadilly area. It's very much the tip of the iceberg in terms of what's on offer, but follow this guide and you're sure to see some of the most interesting things the cities central hub has to offer.