It’s not often that you find a street you could while away a whole day on: from beautifully made coffee in the morning, through to shopping, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and dancing, Tib Street in the Northern Quarter has it all. Close your eyes to the crusty bits around Sachas Hotel and the car park behind, and use Lemn Sissay’s poem Flags (pressed into the pavement, now sadly missing bits) as a leading light down all the way along the street. Further down, you’ll walk past the Tib Street Horn, a giant, dragon-like musical instrument perched on the remains of an old hat factory, as well as the illuminated, 12 metre-tall Big Boys Toy installation on the top of the NCP car park.
Tib Street is dotted with shops, including the gaudy emporium of vintage, piercing parlours, cabaret clothing and more that is Afflecks. There’s also the Northern Flower florist, the self-explanatory Butcher’s Quarter, specialist beer shop Beermoth and record shop Beatin’ Rhythm Records – not to mention Kiku Boutique, which sells beautiful handmade corsets, as well as underwear, nightwear, masks and vintage outfits.
You’ll not go short for food, either. Manchester institution North Tea Power takes all things caffeinated beyond seriously, as well as serving up light lunches and cake-y things. For a proper sugar hit, though, head for ice cream nirvana Ginger’s Comfort Emporium on the second floor of Afflecks or to Sugar Junction, retro purveyors of afternoon teas. Evelyn’s is a must for a more formal meal, and you can combine wine with jazz and dancing at the fabulous Matt & Phreds bar.