Alright so you’ve got the date, check. Got the banging outfit, check. Now a place to impress? D*mn it, that’s what you need isn’t it…*cues first date horror stories from reddit*
Are you racking your head trying to pick that cute restaurant? If weather permits, maybe throw in a cheeky pint in a beer garden? Well, let’s take it up a notch shall we! What you’re about to read are the best spots that are not only #instaworthy and romantic af, but we can bet they’ll help you score that second date!
If you or your date prefer a little privacy where you can sneak a snog or two without prying eyes while sipping on some delicious cocktails in a beautiful setting, we have just the place for you. Take a step away from the hustle and bustle of the town centre and make your way into the Refuge by Volta down on Oxford Street.
This beautiful cafe sits in the well known Principal Hotel but don’t be fooled by the traditional red brick exterior because the space has a Winter Garden where you can enjoy the beautiful tropical setting indoors.
Why wait any longer than the first date to decide who is better at games? Flex those snooker and foosball skills and impress your date (even if you suck)!
Celebrate your win (or loss) over scrumptious food in their Dining Room where it features flavours from all over the world, including Lamb shawarma; Korean chicken with Sriracha and egg yolk; and Beetroot pakoras with tamarind ketchup.
- Visit during mid afternoon to avoid queuing at the bar and enjoy some quiet time.
- If you really want to impress, there’s a beautiful florist outside the hotel where you can pick up some florals for your date!
Picnic at Castlefield
There’s just something incredibly romantic about having a picnic isn’t there? Since the sun has been such a darling lately, a picnic in one of Manchester’s most beautiful locations is the only way you should spend an afternoon/evening.
Okay, picture this with me: sitting down on the grass with an ice cold can of beer in one hand and the other holding a sandwich lovingly prepared by you (or Tesco) with the light spring breeze blowing against you – ah, what a delight!
Now you’re fully convinced that you want a picnic, you’re probably just pulling your hair out thinking about what to prepare.
- DIY Mexican food: prepare some tomatoes, onions, peppers and avocados in a container and bring along some wraps and you have your personal mexican food station – Tacos for everyone! If you fancy yourself something more, you could always throw in some baked chicken chunks, prawns or even tuna! Tuna Taco!
- Fruit Salad: Nothing beats some sweet juicy fruits on a hot day, pick yourself up a selection of fruits which you can either cut up at home or buy pre-cut, toss them all in a massive bowl and there you have it! Serve it up with a glass or two of lemonade and you’re the embodiment of Summer.
- Sandwich: Meal deals, we see you.
If you’re secretly a professional bowler, this is your time to shine! Or if you’re not, don’t worry, you’re not alone, we’re 100% here with you.
Located along Whitworth Street holds one of Manchester’s best hidden gems – Dog Bowl. Rain or shine, midday or midnight! This is also your best chance to find out if your date is fun, competitive or well, psy**o lol.
You know what they say about big feet ;)…finally, a good excuse to find out your special someone’s shoe size…before they’re that special someone! And if all else fails, you’ve just done your workout for the week so who’s the real winner here!
- If you’re both students, get half price off all games after midnight!
- Book your tables and bowling lanes online to make sure you have your slots reserved.
- Don’t forget to bring socks… thank me later.
Hatch #forthecurious, literally! If your date is a foodie, beer lover or coffee connoisseur…look no further than this hidden gem on Oxford Road! Go on a food adventure with some amazing street food such as tacos, jerk chicken and even crawfish buns. Enjoy these specialities in an atmospheric beer garden surrounded by fairy lights and great music, it’s sure to set the mood and start some interesting conversation.
Make sure you check your dates (ha, no pun intended) before heading there! Hatch also hosts some great events such as art jams and gigs from some of the best artists. Plus if you’re a local talent supporter, you’d be pleased to know that there are some great indie stores too.
- Double check the opening hours on their website because it varies store to store.
- Don’t worry about having to bring cash because they accept card payments too!
- If you love people watching, head onto their second level and get the best view.
Burger and Lobster
Feeling generous and in the mood to #treatyoself? Try out this hip spot, and no it’s actually not in the Northern Quarter! Forget the boring salads, dive into some gorgeous lobster with the most delicious butter sauce you’ll ever taste, they also do some of the best burgers in town (…hence the name lol).
Just a heads up, if you’re feeling a little queasy about seeing live seafood, try to avoid sitting near the front because they have a tank of live lobster which you can order off the menu as their daily specials.
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- Make a booking so you get to skip the queues because it does get a little busy especially over the weekends!
- Ask for a slice of lemon or two to clean your hands after eating because it removes the smell of seafood on your fingers!
- Come hungry.