Manchester Singles, Behold: The Manchester Dating Guide!
Classic Manchester Date Night
This glittering subterranean venue will wow your taste buds with a medley of dishes incorporating elements of traditional Australian cuisine with sprinklings of Indonesian and Japanese culture to boot. Australasia is the perfect place to dine on your romantic jaunt around Manchester, not least for its delicious sushi options. The black cod and teriyaki beef are especially divine, and the drinks menu boasts myriad international beers and wines for you to merrily quaff.
Hope Mill Theatre
Situated inside a gorgeous old cotton mill, the expansive Hope Mill Theatre is five storeys of creativity, imagination and intrigue. Events at the theatre range from comedy and pantomime to opera and drama, making this a brilliant stop-off on your whirlwind romantic tour of the city. The venue gives specific onus on showcasing new talent, so popping in for a cup of tea and a chat may well prove an inspiring experience. Check their website for upcoming events.
Richmond Tea Rooms
From the name alone you can probably guess the kind of experience you’re in for when you pay a visit to Richmond Tea Rooms. TripAdvisor ranks the Tea Rooms as the best place in the city for dessert, and it’s not hard to see why. The place oozes sickly-sweet charm, from the fabulous, extravagant décor to the delicious array of cakes, scones, pastries and more; Lewis Carroll would have felt right at home here. We’d recommend the Hatter’s Afternoon Tea for a tasty midday treat.
Roof Garden Playground/Great John Street Hotel
There’s something about a rooftop bar that adds an effortless touch of magic to the experience of sharing a romantic drink. The Roof Garden Playground atop the Great John Street Hotel is an elegant lounge bar serving food, cocktails, a Jacuzzi (should you be so inclined) and, of course, magnificent views of the city. The décor manages to strike a balance between ultra-stylish and cosy, and the service is excellent. For the most romantic views, visit after dark.
Manchester Art Gallery
Taking your date to the cinema is a rubbish idea – nobody wants to sit side by side in silent darkness for 90 minutes when attempting to stoke the embers of love. Art galleries, on the other hand, are infinitely more interesting; packed with potential conversation starters and, depending on your inclination, offer either food for stimulating debate, or delightful silliness. Crammed full of fascinating exhibits and situated in a gorgeous building, you’ll struggle not to enjoy yourselves at the Manchester Art Gallery.
John Ryland’s Library
Now wait there just a second – yes, it is a library. No, we are not suggesting you snuggle up with a book and flip the pages for one another, in a display reminiscent of the pottery scene from Ghost (actually, that sounds kind of great). The library itself is an architectural marvel and exudes magic from every stunning row of dusty old tomes. A wonderful place to stroll through with your date, discussing your favourite authors as you crane your necks to ogle at the vaulted ceilings.
If you like a little mystery and a dusting of 1920’s art-deco with your cocktails, The Fitzgerald is the bar for you and your date. Named after the iconic author of The Great Gatsby, The Fitzgerald will charm you and your date with the vintage décor, the secret backstreet entrance, the delicious cocktail menu, and the relaxing, elegant atmosphere. Make like Hemingway and Gertrude Stein and wile away the hours sipping exquisite cocktails in this unique venue.
Alternative Manchester Date Night
If you’re the kind of couple that prefer to shun the more well-trod avenues of romance, don’t worry, we’ve catered for you too. Our Alternative Manchester Date Night map takes in some of the city’s most unique, quirky and underground sights…
Wait, wait, okay? No, we’ve not gone mad. We’re not suggesting you and your date head down to the launderette on the corner to spend some quality time together washing your socks. Appearances can be deceiving: though it may look like any old launderette from the outside, The Washroom is a top-secret speakeasy with a gorgeous selection of spirits, wines, cocktails and champagne – the perfect stop-off to get a little romance brewing.
After you’ve wowed them with a visit to the launderette, it’s time to whisk your date away to be dazzled by the local public toilets. Look, just bear with us, alright? Once again, the venue’s exterior spins a yarn that is vastly different once you step indoors. The Temple is an old Victorian public toilet below ground, now completely gutted and overhauled into an oh-so-chic little bar serving an impressive range of delicious foreign beers.
If you’re looking to impress your date, look no further. At Aatma you can find just about anything: poetry, club nights, art and more, all in a venue that oozes laid back, minimalist charm. Some of the UK’s most exciting underground acts have graced the stage of the small capacity event space. Check out the listings online to find out about upcoming events!
Night & Day Café
For the musically inclined (so basically everyone), Night & Day Café is an institution. For over 25 years, the café/bar/gig venue is has seen its stage graced by the likes of Alex Turner, Guy Garvey, Johnny Marr and more. If you and your date are the kind of people who enjoy a friendly atmosphere, quirky décor and a mean eggs benedict (again, pretty much everyone), you’ll love it here.
Fun fact to impress your friends: 3MT stands for Three Minute Theatre, which is a ‘purpose-built vintage recycled indie theatre’ in the centre of the city. If you’re looking for culture and a rich tapestry of alternative date ideas, you’re in safe hands with 3MT. Working in collaboration with Manchester Shakespeare Co, 3MT wows punters with a veritable smorgasbord of music, comedy, poetry, theatre and film. A great spot for stimulating conversation.
Ginger’s Comfort Emporium
Describing themselves as ‘ice cream for grown ups’, Ginger’s is exactly what you’d expect. The Ginger's van can be found roving the streets of Manchester on an evening, however if you’d prefer to spend your time chowing down on raspberry ripples instead of hunting for an elusive Neopolitan-peddling wagon, you can visit the shop at Afflecks Palace. Expect a delicious range of guffaw-inducingly titled ice creams for you to peruse.
Twenty Twenty Two
A wise man once said (probably): if there were more ping pong tables in the world, there’d be fewer wars. Twenty Twenty Two is a bar and events space in the Northern Quarter boasting weekly events and – 10 points if you guessed it – ping pong tables. A little light-hearted competition is kindling for new romance, and ping pong is the perfect opportunity for a spot of flirtatious ball-thwacking.
A citadel of burgeoning beats from Manchester and beyond for decades, Piccadilly Records is a wonderful spot to drop in at with your date to explore one another’s music tastes. Here you’ll find a breathtaking range of alternative indie and dance records new and old; perfect for revealing your inner hipster and waxing lyrical about your favourite unsigned krautrock groups from 1970’s Berlin. Maybe don’t mention that your first ever record was Sir Mix-a-Lot.
El Gato Negro
Pop quiz: what’s the best food for a date? If you said anything at all except ‘tapas’, hang your head in shame. Burgers are messy, pizzas are stringy, and kebabs are, well, kebabs. No; the way forward is tasty-yet-refined tapas. Boasting that hallowed combination of good food and a cracking atmosphere, El Gato Negro is perfect for your date night. The lamb skewers are a particular delight.