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New on Confidential Guides: restaurants, bars, things to do, lifestyle and shopping

6 months ago

Looking for things to do in Manchester, Liverpool and the North West of England? You’re in the right place – we’re adding interesting new places to Confidential Guides every week. We’ve over a thousand restaurants, bars, shops, hotels and visitor attractions for you to check out (so clear your diary for the next few years).

Thankfully, whittling them down to what you want is dead easy – use the filters to search by city, neighbourhood, category, keyword, price and so on. You’ll soon have a list of recommendations that tick your boxes.

Here’s just a handful of the new places (and old favourites) we’ve added to Confidential Guides over the summer. Which ones will you be heading to first?

  • Sunday lunch at Diecast. Manchester City Centre.
    Piccadilly

    Diecast

    Music Venues

    Diecast is a party venue and ‘creative neighbourhood’ five-minutes’ walk from Manchester Piccadilly station.

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  • A burger at Almost Famous Withington
    Book Now Withington

    Almost Famous Withington

    Restaurant

    Almost Famous is a legend in its own lunchtime. Manchester’s original purveyor of OTT stacked dirty burgers and in-your-face attitude has now opened a fifth outpost in Withington.

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  • Salt and pepper wraps from Salt & Pepper, Manchester
    Manchester City Centre

    Salt & Pepper

    Restaurant - Chinese

    During lunch hours there’s queues out the door with Mancs waiting to grab a dish from the ‘Main Ones’ menu. Choose your protein, how it’s cooked (sticky, or salt & pepper), and whether you want rice, chips or both to make up your box.

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  • The terrace at San Carlo Alderley Edge, Cheshire.
    Book Now Alderley Edge

    San Carlo Alderley Edge

    Bars

    The latest addition to the San Carlo family is the impressive £3 million Alderley Edge restaurant, boasting a sunlit dining terrace with a retractable roof and open flame fireplace. 

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  • Coffee from ManCoCo, Manchester
    Manchester City Centre

    ManCoCo

    Restaurant - Coffee

    ManCoCo sits in the railway arches on Hewitt Street between HOME Arts Centre and the Castlefield Gallery. It’s not the easiest place to find but it’s worth the initial effort – we think they serve one of the smoothest and most aromatic coffees around. And it’s reasonably priced considering the city centre postcode.

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  • The Cow Hollow Hotel, a boutique hotel in the Northern Quarter, Manchester
    Northern Quarter

    The Cow Hollow Hotel

    Hotel

    If you like to stay somewhere that reflects the character and history of the city you’re in, Cow Hollow Hotel could be for you.

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  • Inside Madre Manchester, a contemporary Mexican restaurant near Piccadilly Station.
    Gay Village

    Madre Manchester

    Restaurant - Mexican

    You’ll find Manchester’s Madre near KAMPUS on the Chorlton Street side of the complex. It’s the kind of place you’d visit with a groups of friends to enjoy good Mexican food, music and mezcal.

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  • Seafood at The Assheton Arms, a country pub with rooms to stay overnight, near Pendle Hill and Clitheroe in Lancashire
    Book Now Clitheroe

    Assheton Arms

    Bars

    The Assheton Arms is a classic country pub – perfect for a stop off after a walk in the Ribble Valley. Given that its wine selection is so good, perhaps you should take advantage of the accommodation – many of the bedrooms have views of Pendle Hill – and turn lunch into a weekend getaway.

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  • The Townhaus serviced apartment from Jackson Boutique in Manchester
    Book Now Ancoats

    The Jacksonheim Boutique

    Premier Club

    The Jacksonheim Boutique is the group name for a portfolio of luxury aparthotels and serviced apartments in some of the most popular locations in Manchester. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay with style, character, and all the comforts of a home-from-home, their range is your place to start.

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  • Sale Water Park in Manchester where Open Swim UK is based
    Sale

    Openswim UK

    Swimming

    If you want to go swimming at Sale Water Park, the safest way is with Openswim UK. They hold casual swimming sessions there four days a week in spring and summer, plus sessions throughout the winter. With regular water testing and lifeguards on standby, it’s a lot less risky than venturing in on your own.

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  • The outdoor terrace at The Wharf in Castlefield
    Castlefield

    The Wharf

    Bars

    The Wharf has one of the largest outdoor areas in Manchester and is it’s in Castlefield, the canalside views aren’t bad either.

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  • Hathersage

    Hathersage Swimming Pool

    Activities

    Catch the Hope Valley line train from Piccadilly to this picturesque Peak District village for a dip in Hathersage Swimming Pool, a heated lido built in the 1930s.

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  • Ramen at Suki Suki on Deansgate, Manchester
    Deansgate

    Suki Suki

    Bars

    Suki Suki is a Pan-Asian street food bar located on Deansgate under the arches of the Great Northern Warehouse.

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  • Pea and ricotta spring roll from Restaurant Orme in Urmston, Greater Manchester
    Urmston

    Restaurant Orme

    Restaurant - Modern British

    Restaurant Örme is a quaint fine dining restaurant that seats 24 guests, situated on an inconspicuous street in Urmston. But, despite its small and humble stature, this is a restaurant that means business.

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  • Nail art at House of Vanity in Manchester
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    House of Vanity

    Cosmetics

    House of Vanity specialises in big, bouncy blowdries and drop-dead gorgeous beauty makeovers. Situated on John Dalton Street, this salon is the place to go for enhancing your natural beauty, or even completely transforming your look.

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  • One of the dishes served at Oxa, a modern British restaurant on the Wirral, Merseyside.
    Book Now Oxton

    Oxa

    Restaurant - Modern British

    Oxa is the casual sister restaurant to the ground-breaking Restaurant 8 in Liverpool but it is by no means the poor relation.

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  • Coffee at Burnt Milk Hotel, a natural wine bar and cafe in Liverpool.
    Albert Dock

    Burnt Milk Hotel

    Bars

    Burnt Milk Hotel is the new face of wine drinking. Relaxed, unpretentious and with a great selection of natural wines as well as stellar coffee.

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  • A dish from the festive menu at Nord in Liverpool
    Liverpool City Centre

    Nord

    Restaurant - Modern British

    Nord is a real asset to Liverpool’s dining scene. Housed in a bit of an unlovely 1960s office block – the former HQ of Littlewoods – the building has had some serious TLC. Now the subtle décor has shades of Mad Men rather than The Fall And Rise of Reginald Perrin with pendant lights, earthy tones and a statement orange bar.

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  • Chinatown (Manchester)

    Fat Pat’s

    Restaurant

    Said to be ‘changing the sarnie game one sando at a time’, Fat Pat’s is a popular lunchtime spot that Mancunians come far and wide for. 

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  • Dishes served at Aamchi Mumbai, an Indian restaurant in Cheadle, Stockport.
    Cheadle

    Aamchi Mumbai

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    Idli and dosas are as ubiquitous as chicken korma nowadays but Cheadle’s Indian street food restaurant Aamchi Mumbai still stands out from the crowd. 

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  • Coconut, passion fruit & banana from Restaurant 8 in Liverpool
    Book Now Cavern Quarter

    Restaurant 8

    Restaurant - Modern British

    Chef and co-owner Andrew Sheridan (who you might recognise from Great British Menu) has uprooted Restaurant 8 from Birmingham and returned to the city of his birth. It’s a tough blow for the Brummies; the restaurant had built up a mighty reputation in the city, being awarded three AA Rosettes. But it’s excellent news for Liverpool.

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  • Bright pink hair by Riot Hearts salon in Manchester city centre
    Manchester City Centre

    Riot Hearts

    Salons

    Riot Hearts isn’t your typical ‘run of the mill’ salon;  it’s an alternative, LGBTQIA+ inclusive hair studio located in the heart of Manchester city centre on Portland Street.

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  • Northern Quarter

    Idle Hands

    Restaurant - Global

    Idle Hands have a super-tight following – who helped by setting up a crowd-funding campaign in their honour when the chips were down – and, as a result, there’s a strong community focus at this coffee shop and kitchen, which started life on Piccadilly Station Approach in early 2015.

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  • Book Now Chester

    Opera Grill

    Restaurant - Global

    Housed in a Grade II Listed building with a neo-classical facade, Chester’s Opera Grill is a grand, 400-seater restaurant from Individual Restaurants (the team behind Piccolino and the Restaurant Bar and Grill).

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  • Gothic nail art by Doll Parts nail studio in Manchester
    Northern Quarter

    Doll Parts

    Salons

    Having worked with huge brands like Beauty Bay and celebrity icons like Ru Paul’s Drag Race superstar Tayce, Doll Parts are experts in the nail art world. 

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  • Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar in Liverpool
    Liverpool City Centre

    Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar

    Cosmetics

    Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar offers the full beauty experience over three floors.

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  • One of the walkways at Walkden Gardens in Sale.
    Sale

    Walkden Gardens

    Parks & Gardens

    Walkden Gardens is a very grown up sort of park. Like a mini RHS Bridgewater ran in partnership with the council and a band of loyal and dedicated volunteers.

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  • Manchester City Centre

    Fab Cafe Bar

    Bars

    Is it really a drunken night out in Manchester if you don’t (at least consider) heading to Fab Cafe? Or Fab Cafe Bar to use it’s never normally used full name.

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  • Christmas special at The Yan in Cumbria
    Cumbria

    The Yan

    Restaurant

    The Lake District is almost as well-known for its fancy Michelin-star establishments as it is for its fells. The Yan is not quite like that. It’s a down-to-earth, hearty bistro. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth a visit, though. In fact, Grace Dent is a fan of its big flavours and so are we.

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  • Outside Holmes Mill in Clitheroe
    Book Now Lancashire

    Holmes Mill

    Bars

    Located in the heart of Clitheroe, Holmes Mill is a bountiful food, drink and entertainment venue as well as a lovely place to stay in Lancashire. Featuring its own beer hall, bar & grill, hotel, food hall, bowling alley, cinema and much more, this former textiles mill is the gift that keeps on giving.

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  • Inside Vanilla, a lesbian bar and club in the Gay Village, Manchester.
    Gay Village

    Vanilla

    Bars

    If you’re looking for a lesbian bar and club in Manchester, chances are you’ll find yourself at Vanilla. It’s been a fixture of the Gay Village since 1998 and has won various ‘best lesbian bar’ awards over the years.

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  • A cocktail at Hummingbird - one of Liverpool's coolest cocktail bars
    Liverpool City Centre

    Hummingbird

    Bars

    Art Deco-style cocktail bar Hummingbird is one of Liverpool’s hippest spots for a chilled night out. 

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  • A dish from Home Chinese, Manchester.
    Gay Village

    Home Chinese

    Restaurant - Chinese

    Home Chinese sits on the edge of the Gay Village on Chorlton Street and prides itself on serving authentic Chinese cuisine including dim sum, Szechuan and Cantonese dishes.

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  • Hot chocolate by Slattery at Grandpa Greene's near Oldham.
    Diggle

    Grandpa Greene’s Luxury Ice Cream

    Restaurant

    Perched by the canal in the picturesque village of Diggle, near Oldham, Grandpa Greene’s is best known for its award-winning homemade ice cream. It’s also a warm and inviting licensed cafe with glass fronted terraces and indoor dining. 

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  • Bread from MOST Bakery in Altrincham
    Altrincham

    MOST Bakery

    Bakeries

    Selling beautiful artisanal breads, sandwiches, pastries and other sweet treats, family bakery MOST has become a popular spot since it opened on Cross Street in Altrincham 2022.

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  • Pasta dish from Ortica Plant Based Italian in Urmston, Greater Manchester
    Urmston

    Ortica Italian Plant Based

    Restaurant - Italian

    Ortica brings the south of Italy to the south of Manchester, minus the meat and dairy. Their 100% vegan menu is served from breakfast through to evening, and includes bar snacks and aperitivo for those who want something light with drinks. House spritzes and negronis are served all day, as is Ortica’s selection of Italian wines.

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  • Manchester City Centre

    INTRO Clothing

    Clothing

    This Manchester-born independent has been selling designer menswear in the city since 1990. It’s seen a lot of trends come and go in that time, and has always been there at the forefront of them. If you’re looking for young, confident clothing from high-end labels, this is your go-to.

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