Top 10 things to do in Manchester

things to do in manchester salford quays
Manchester has more to offer than any other city in the UK outside of London (although, even that is debatable). From Manchester United to Coronation Street, there is much to be proud of and to attract interest from residents and visitors alike.

Social Circle members are the first in the queue when it comes to making the most out of this great city. We asked them to name their favourite venues and attractions.

Social Circle voted 10/10 for…Take a trip to the Quays

Mere minutes away from Manchester city centre and where Trafford and Salford meet, is the Quays. The Lowry (both gallery and shopping centre) is situated here, along with the Imperial War Museum, and Media City. A day of shopping and culture alongside the stunning waterfront would make an ideal day out for many and there is also the opportunity to watch The Jeremy Kyle Show or other shows being filmed at Media City.

Social Circle voted 10/10 for…The Gay Village

The gay village is making a bit of a comeback after being considered over exposed in recent years. In fact, it is now considered a major attraction to both those who live in Manchester and out-of-towners. The area is much smarter than it once was…

Social Circle voted 9/10 for…Chinatown

Manchester’s Chinatown is allegedly the largest in Europe. It’s supermarkets, bakeries, bars, and restaurants cover a large area of the city centre. A stunning Chinese gate welcomes anyone setting foot in the area. In the last few years, the Chinese New Year has become a far more celebrated event, not just in Chinatown, but in Manchester city centre as a whole. It is more than worth sampling the number of restaurants and other venues Chinatown has to offer.

Social Circle voted 9/10 for…Castlefield

It’s hard to believe that it was once a no-go area. The canalside district has now been rejuvenated into a waterside area with bars, galleries, and a number of attractions.

History is where the area thrives with the vicus foundations, and what’s left of the walls, granaries and gate that once belonged to the Roman Fort of Mamucium. The nearby Outdoor Arena is employed for various events throughout the course of the year.

The Roman Fort (reconstructed) shows how Manchester appeared when the Romans occupied Britain.

Social Circle voted 9/10 for…Football

Visit any city in in any country in the world and the first thing most people will think of when you say you’re from Manchester is ‘football’. It will be most likely the red of United that comes to mind but increasingly Manchester City is taking on more of a worldwide recognition thanks to their improved play in the globally popular Premier League. If taking in a game at Old Trafford or the Etihad Stadium is not on the cards, a visit to the National Football Museum may be just the ticket.

Social Circle voted 9/10 for…Manchester Wheel things to do in manchester wheel

The 60m high Manchester Wheel, borrowing its concept straight from the London Eye, offers spectacular views of Manchester. There is also commentary as you ride around and around, with something new to see on every spin.

Social Circle voted 9/10 for…Coronation Street Tour

Coronation Street has been among the most popular soap operas in the UK since its first airing in 1960. The 45 minute tour allows fans to see step inside the houses of the beloved characters, as well as the Rovers Return. There is an opportunity for photographs at the end when walking out on to the street

Tickets for the tour cost £16.50 per person and you book yourself on a certain time slot. It is better to book the tour in advance as it is a really popular tour and tickets sell out quite quickly and especially for tours starting at peak times of the day.

Social Circle voted 8/10 for…Spinningfields

Spinningfields is a modern Manchester development for mainly professional and financial services. However, it also has a lot to offer the general public with its numerous hotels, restaurants, bars, and designer shops. The main square features an open air cinema in the summer and an ice skating rink in the winter. The area also features The People’s History Museum, which features an interesting look at the history of Britain.

Social Circle voted 7/10 for…Chill Factore- Skiing or snowboarding

For those who are curious how skiing or snowboarding in real snow feels like, without having to leave the country, ChillFactore offers the perfect solution. The snow is as real as it can be (without being actually real, of course) and the air is certainly cold enough. The instructors are also fun, kind, and patient, which helps those trying it out for the very first time.

Social Circle voted 7/10 for…The Curry Mile

It may not be exactly a mile but there’s certainly no shortage of curry available in its Arab, Persian, Pakistani and Indian restaurants and cafes. Most of the venues are affordable and the quality is just fine. There are also a number of take-aways for those who have the urge to taste something hot at home. And Indian sweets from their delicatessens can also help add some authenticity to the evening.
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The top 10 restaurants in Manchester

top 10 manchester restaurants james martin
No matter your taste, you can rest assured it will be catered for (literally, in fact) by the numerous and diverse fine restaurants in Manchester. British, Thai, Italian…you name it, you will find its dishes served up by impressive chefs in elaborate surroundings.

Social Circle members have ventured into a number of these restaurants over these years and were only too happy to come forward when asked to give us their opinion on what they feel are the very best.

Social Circle voted 10/10 for…James Martin

James Martin’s restaurant, located in the brick and cast iron Victorian railway that also houses Manchester 235 Casino, boasts a superior design with an industrial practicality typical of the world’s first industrial city. Some may debate the location but what are widely agreed on are the chef’s signature offerings.

Social Circle voted 10/10 for…Michael Caines at Abode

The chef has been seen on TV on numerous occasions and anyone who has ever sampled his signature dishes at any of his UK-wide restaurants will know why. The restaurant at the Abode hotel features three menus: the a la carte, prestige tasting, and nine-course. Each of the menus sources from local produce to show off Caine’s unique style with an innovative take on modern European cooking.

Social Circle voted 9/10 for…The Northern Quarter Restaurant and Bar

While many of its neighbours may have grabbed more press over the years, this quiet Northern Quarter mainstay has been offering first-rate food in a friendly and serene environment for year after year. Taking its name from the area in which it resides, the restaurant and bar demonstrates many of the qualities possessed by the Northern Quarter itself. Much like the crowd that the venue attracts, it’s young, creative and with a minimalist, funky, and stylish feel.

Social Circle voted 9/10 for…The Grill on the Alley

Another venue aking its name from its location (an alley behind Deansgate), the close relative to Grill on New York Street is a stylish bar and restaurant that offers a menu as stunning as it is simple.

The contemporary décor, with its stunning interior and wooden tables, is pleasing to the eye. The venue also caters for those who are not in the mood to dine but wish to enjoy a fine selection of beers, fine wines, or fun cocktails.

Each night of the week features a live pianist to create a lively atmosphere. If atmosphere is what you crave, without sacrificing service or quality, you’ve found the right place.

Social Circle voted 9/10 for…Albert’s Shed

Not merely an interesting name with an equally fascinating origin story but among the city’s nicest places to eat. Serving up alfresco dining at its stunning Castlefield location, it also features an equally aesthetically stunning contemporary interior. If you like your standards high but formality low, this is the perfect venue.

The cuisine is a perfect blend of Italian and British with a menu not so large that quality suffers. There are no shortage of options available, however, with steak, salad, pizzas, fish, and pasta all available.

Social Circle voted 8/10 for…Australasia   top 10 manchester restaurants australasia

Australasia is one of Manchester’s few restaurants that serve Japanese, Indonesian, and South East Asian inspired dishes. Situated where Deansgate and Spinningfields meet, the posh entrance hints at a different world ‘down under’. It may be underground but its atmosphere is anything but dark.

Social Circle voted 8/10 for…San Carlo Cicchetti

Situated on the ground floor of one of the oldest department stores in Manchester (Kendals turned House of Fraser), the Italian restaurant rarely has a table spare. The atmosphere is electric with the Italian waiters rushing around table to table in a bid to please each and every customer, whether it be to present the specials of the day or to offer wine advice. The dishes may be small but they are packed with flavour.

Social Circle voted 8/10 for…Croma

The chilled out pizza restaurant maybe a favourite among families but it is also popular with younger crowds. The pizza toppings are imaginative, such as the Inglese, which is essentially a full English breakfast on pizza. They are also the right size and at the right price. The Croma martini is a favourite among those who prefer to add a little something extra to their meal.

Social Circle voted 8/10 for…Chaophraya

Chaophraya is one of the finest fine dining experiences Manchester has to offer. Its extensive selection of dishes include no shortage of vegetarian meals and specialities such as Chicken Pad Thai, along with fine wines, all served with a taste of fresh exotic flavours.

Thai cuisine has never tasted so good. And all within the confines of an electric atmosphere with staff catering to the customer’s every need.

Social Circle voted 8/10 for…Neighbourhood

Neighbourhood takes its influence from Manhattan’s unique neighbourhoods, both in terms of food and drink, and the chic, industrial décor. Also popular with morning and afternoon diners, the venue however, really comes into its own when serving evening dinner with some fine New York inspired cocktails.

With the diner style booths and images of New York adorning the walls, you will feel like you’ve just stepped into The Big Apple itself.
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The top 10 bars in Manchester

Imanchesters best barst isn’t easy restricting Manchester’s best bars to 10. However, Social Circle members have been socialising and meeting new people in Manchester on our legendary nights out for years, so you could say they’re experts by now.

With possibly the liveliest and ‘buzziest’ nightlife in the country (and yes London, I’m including you), Manchester offers an eclectic and alluring charm, whether it be through a local serving such as a classic ale or cider to a stylish cocktail. Depending on your mood, you can be taken to the content or even further with a taste of New York City, Australia and even the Caribbean, all available in the wet city.

Social Circle were asked to name their favourite bars and came back with the following:

Social Circle voted 10/10 for…The Alchemist

This trendy Spinningfields cocktail bar with its contemporary design offers the perfect choice for either a Friday or Saturday night for for a few drinks after work. The atmosphere is busy and at weekends, even electric. It is far from being Manchester’s least expensive bar but it certainly adds the right ingredient to those who prefer their weekends stylish.

Social Circle voted 10/10 forThe Liar’s Club

A tiki bar hidden away between Deansgate and Spinningfields, its Caribbean theme is complete with perhaps the finest selection of rum in the city. It also serves some of the more unique cocktails with real pineapples and even comes with fire in pirate chests. Oh, and of course, no Caribbean theme would be complete without pine trees.

Social Circle voted 9/10 for…Lammars

Out of the way of the rest of the bars in the Northern Quarter, it has a unique look in that it carries over the features of textile factory it once was. Don’t let that fool you, however, it is as quirky as any of its NQ neighbours with its unique decorations in the form of its pop art and Eastern-influenced sculptures. Whether perching up for lunch or enjoying the 70’s and 80’s hits on a Friday or Saturday night, it’s hard not to have a great time here.

Social Circle voted for 9/10…The Milton Club

Not content with being among Manchester’s finest nightspots, it also ranks as one of the more exclusive. The private members club holds private parties at the weekends and serves up some of the finest cocktails around. So if you feel like getting dressed up at the weekend and enjoying classy and exotic tipples, treat yourself to a trip to The Milton Club.

Social Circle voted 9/10 for…Noho

Noho is a hidden gem that caters for all tastes. Its low lights and chesterfield couches, cityscape art, and graffiti makes it a perfect Northern Quarter venue. Of course, no amount of decoration can make up for poor drinks but that’s of no concern here; if you’re looking for amazing drinks, and cocktails especially, you won’t be disappointed.. The resident DJs serves up some fine house, soul, and funk to complete the stylish atmosphere. Whether you’re Indie or more on the Urban side, the venue’s eclectic style will ensure that your musical tastes are catered for.

Social Circle voted 8/10 for…Dukes 92

Situated on a canal, Dukes 92 offers one of the finest views of any bar in Manchester. Its terrace ranks among the most popular spots in the Summer. But no matter how relaxing it can be in the day, it can be equally as lively at night. It’s drinks include local ciders that quench the thirst built up when enjoying the Summer sun.

Social Circle voted 8/10 for…Cloud 23 manchester bars cloud 23

If you are looking for a classy and stylish experience coupled with some of the best views of the city, The Hilton Hotel’s Cloud 23 is the place to be. Your night begins with the lift clerk transporting you to the clouds (or better known as the 23rd floor- the name of the bar may have tipped you off) as you are given your first glimpse of the stunning views from this popular skybar. The cocktail list is every bit as impressive as the décor, with international beers to boot. There are few venues offering a social experience so pleasing to the senses.

Social Circle voted 8/10 for…Rain Bar

Located next to the canal and between Deansgate Locks and Oxford Road, it is often one of the first bars on a night out. The name comes from the umbrella factory that once occupied the very same spot and it showcases stylish photographs that support Manchester’s wet reputation. There is no shortage of seating available right by the canal but in the summer, it can fill up quickly, such as the ironic popularity here in the summer months.

Social Circle voted 8/10 for…Tribeca

Tribeca is situated in the Gay Village, close to Canal Street, and takes its name from a famous Manhattan bar. It takes on the appearance of the loft-style lounge bars found right in the heart of New York City. It’s music reflects the time of day with jazz giving off a chilled vibe in the day and more up-tempo tunes to create a livelier atmosphere at night. Downstairs, you will find the B.E.D. (Beverage, Entertainment and Dining) bar with real beds on the perimeter of the dance floor. Friday nights are especially popular with its half-price cocktail night.

Social Circle voted 8/10 for…Dry Bar

One of the few bars in the Northern Quarter that has remained popular since the early 90’s (in fact, it opened in 1989). It not only remains one of the most popular NQ venues, it also boasts a great reputation for live music at Dry Live, located in the basement. It has served up local heroes such as Liam Gallagher and Shaun Ryder and plays genres such as Soul, funk, 60s, 70s, and 80s electronica.
manchesters best bars

Add some Manchester style to your life

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It’s quite easy to get stuck in the same old routine. You get up, go to work, and come home to a menu of a meal for one and a feast of your favourite soaps. It becomes your lifestyle. But how about adding some colour to your life so it’s more social, more fun, and more active?

There’s so much more to life than what most of us see and we need a kick up the you-know-what to really start living life. The fact is that life is about meeting like-minded people, making the most of where you live, and enjoying new activities.

If your ideal of a fun lifestyle, is going out at the weekends, whether enjoying Manchester’s fine bar and restaurants on a Friday and Saturday night, or going away for the weekend at one of the nearby getaways such as the Lakes or the Peak District, you can achieve that at Social Circle. Or maybe, a positive lifestyle for you is getting involved in fitness activities, such as salsa and zumba. Guess what? We have those too.

What we strive for is giving you the choice; the choice to design your own lifestyle around our ready-made monthly calendar. Each month, we offer a number of regular events which you have told us time and again that you enjoy. We also add in some of what is going on in Manchester that month. So, you see, there is no excuse not to give your lifestyle a makeover with the no.1 Manchester social group.

Put your knowledge to the test at a Manchester pub quiz

manchester socialising pub quiz
Get your thinking caps on and join us on our monthly visit to the Oddest pub quiz in Chorlton. You will get the chance to meet some new Manchester friends whilst showing off your knowledge of sports, music, of whatever your specialty may be. And if you don’t have one, come along anyway :)

Quiz nights are often a relief from the typical night out drinking in your local bar, pub, or club. Whether it’s teaming up with your existing friends or meeting some new ones, as is the case with Social Circle, it’s a great way to get together and meet up for a laugh. All in all, it’s a great night out and you never know, you may even find yourself winning a prize

You will get to brainstorm on a great team name and then you’re all ready to get started. The best thing about these nights is that they’re fun, free (or close to), and interactive. Of course, as you’ll be in a bar, you’ll probably want to enjoy a snack and a drink or two.

So come along for a night of guaranteed fun meeting some new Manchester friends, as well as maybe a prize at the end of it, with a bunch of like-minded people all wanting to have fun. Oddest will bun through a series of questions in two hours or so. The bar menu will be available throughout the quiz including local beers on draft, a selection of wines, and a range of cocktails.

We have a wide range of Manchester fitness classes at Social Circle

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There’s no shortage of options in this day and age when it comes to fitness classes. From salsa and pilates to zumba and kettlercise to more extravagant classes such as burlesque and Brazilian zouk, we like to think we offer quite the variety at Social Circle.

But why would you bother getting involved in these classes and why would you take them at Social Circle as opposed to Social Circle? Well, let me answer the second question first as that’s the easiest one to tackle. Social Circle features over 100 free events per month, including many fitness classes such as those mentioned above. However, we also offer many, many more events such as walking, cinema, bowling, and nights out at some of Manchester’s finest bars and restaurants.

With regards to why you should bother getting involved in fitness classes at all, there are an abundance of reasons. Maybe you feel that you need to lose weight, which certainly be a valid reason but even if you don’t, you will find that you have increased energy and circulation and just generally feel better about yourself. So you see, there’s really no reason not to start exercising right now.

Take a look at the wide range of manchester fitness classes we have available on our calendar and commit to attending at least one to begin with. When you begin seeing some of the benefits above, you’ll be glad you made the decision to improve your health and fitness.

Bluff you way through an evening of Manchester social poker

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Poker may conjure up the image of a casino full of hard gamblers, awake until the early hours trying to win their next fortune. Or you may even be transported to a far away Las Vegas with all the glitz and glamour of the world’s gambling capital.

Instead, imagine a cold night in Manchester with a few friends, some you may have met before, some maybe not. The game is Texas Hold’Em and if you really want to help create a theme, feel free to bring some beer and nachos. And even your shades if you really want to look the part.

Yes, you will be expected to bluff and you will no doubt learn a thing or two about your opponents as the game goes on, which makes it one of the more interesting ways to meet people; as well as one of the most fun.

So if you’ve always wanted to know what it feels like to have an Ace or two or up your sleeve or bluff your way through a hand of poker, now is your chance. Come and enjoy a game or two of poker with our Manchester social group. You never know, if you play your cards right, you may just be the one not to go away empty-handed :)

One-Two-Three, One-Two-Three, salsa mains the perfect ‘Manchester’ social dance

manchester social group
There are few more social activities than social. If you’re not afraid to make a fool of yourself, you will get to meet lots of people as the instructor moves everybody around one-by-one. So be prepared to say your name a lot and meet a lot of people, all looking to have a great time.

Salsa has a number of benefits, in fact. It’s a great form of exercise and the beauty of it is that you will be having so much fun, you won’t even notice that you’re exercising.

It’s pretty casual too. Anyone can just turn up, with friends or on their own, and whether you’re wearing your finest evening clothes or just casual slacks. And whilst you may not be practicing for the world championships just yet, you do get the benefit of an experienced instructor.

It’s even better with Social Circle as you have one of the best social activities combined with the best social network in Manchester. So you can’t fail to feel the social benefits, at least :)

We have classes each month on Mondays and Sundays (check the calendar for specific dates).

So polish your dancing shoes (or trainers, whichever your preference), be ready to meet some new Manchester friends, and put on your smiling face.

 

Sometimes you just need to meet new people

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We often surround ourselves with people who are not good for us. Or there is always that one person in the crowd who enjoys putting down everyone and everything around them- although they enjoy telling you that they have their best interests at heart. But how do we escape this? I mean, if we suddenly decided to be bold and told these people where to go, our social life begins to far less…well, social.

The only way we can break this viscous circle is to get out there and meet new like-minded people who can share good times with without fear that you’re saying or doing something wrong.

Once you meet the right people, you immediatley begin to feel more confident about yourself and letting the real you leap to the surface. No more Friday and Saturday evenings listening to problem after problem from ‘friends’ who have nothing else better to do than to moan about their working week. No more sat watching Strictly Come Dancing simply because you have no other option. Instead, you can get out there and let your hair down and have fun with some fab new people in Manchester. You can also try new activities and get involved in fitness classes, such as zumba and burlesque. Whatever social and activity events that you enjoy, you will find some new friends to enjoy them right along with you. So come on and take the plunge…meet some new people in Manchester today.

Alcohol testers needed for Chorton pub crawl

manchester-social-events-19If you haven’t yet been on a Social Circle Manchester pub crawl, the time is now. We not only sample some of the finest bars in some of Manchester’s finest drinking towns but we also have a great time meeting friends, old and new.

Chorlton is a vibrant and creative area and is known for its bohemian nature and its independent pubs and bars. Along with the more modern and unique bars, there are also the more traditional pubs to satisfy that old adage, ‘there’s something for everyone’.

Just some of the bars we will be visiting:

Dulcimer: In the heart of Chorlton, Dulcimer provides an extensively chosen selection of beers, wines & spirits as well as an exciting vibrant atmosphere set to a soundtrack of fine folk music.

Proof: The result of a gamble by two twenty-something Manchester bartenders, Jon and Andy, proof° has been born and is one of Manchester’s most exciting and innovative bars. Until recently, Manchester has been all about city-centre drinking… now they think the suburbs are where it’s at; so here they are in Chorlton.

So come and join us on our Manchester pub crawl in Chorlton and ask yourself where we’ve been all your life ;)