It’s almost Valentine’s Day Manchester, fear not, you’ve come to the right place! It’s ironic that Valentine’s Day might be the most unloved event in the UK’s calendar. In any given year, a good solid chunk of the population heartily (ha) resents it – whether they be coupled and under romantic pressure, single and feeling left out or simply averse to all the schmaltzy commercialism.
But if it’s going to remain a cultural fixture, wouldn’t it be better to actually do something good with it? We’ve listed some options below, but if you’re still stuck for inspiration, don’t forget our guides to cinema, theatre, music, exhibitions and food and drink in Manchester and the North.
Here are our picks
Wood Manchester, Jack Rosenthal Street, Manchester, M15 4RA - Visit now
If you’re looking to impress, Wood is up there with Manchester’s best fine dining restaurants. It’s striking that a place so new already feels like part of the city’s furniture, with a lack of fustiness and a steely-eyed focus on dishing out exciting plates that look and taste exquisite. For more culinary picks, check our regularly updated guide to the best Food and Drink in Manchester.
Here in Manchester, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to local, independent shopping gems – here’s a list of our favourite to help you find the perfect Valentine’s gift.
Northern Flower, 58 Tib Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1LG - Visit now
Outside Northern Flower, overturned wooden crates display cacti, potted trees and ivy in pots, while, inside, the friendly florists will ask for a budget and make up a cut flower bouquet accordingly. No excuses for hitting the petrol station at the last minute!
There are so many must-see exhibitions happening right now, we’ve rounded up the best the North has to offer. Have a read and impress your date without our editor’s wise words.
Set in the glamour of 50’s post-war London, renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Day-Lewis in his final performance) and his sister Cyril (Manville) are at the centre of British fashion in Phantom Thread, the latest film from Paul Thomas Anderson. HOME have sourced a 35mm print for the first two weeks of Phantom Thread’s run. All Cinema 1 screenings will be from this print.
Dog Bowl, Arch 57, Whitworth St West, Manchester, M1 5WW - Visit now
Situated beneath the railway tracks on Whitworth St West, Dog Bowl is a far cry from your average bowling alley. Open till late, this neon-lit venue marries suave cocktails with tenpin pleasure across five full length lanes. Food-wise, think Tex-Mex, with burgers, fajitas, wings and slow cooked meat. Alternatively, there’s the All Star Lanes at the Great Northern Warehouse.
– Evangeline Katz
What could be more romantic than a wander through the winter wonderland of Manchester? Okay, there’s a good chance that the weather might be miserable, but with the right person, you don’t have to be. Here’s some of our favorite parks and gardens to explore together in Manchester.
TwentyTwentyTwo (2022NQ), 20-22 Dale Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 1EZ - Visit now
Late night ping-pong and inspiring art work make Twenty Twenty Two the Shangri-la for those seeking something different to the usual date formula. This underground bar is a chilled out alternative to the bustling Northern Quarter bars above and, if you’re shy, it’s the perfect venue for breaking the ice with a little friendly competition.
– Evangeline Katz
Junkyard Golf Club Manchester, Unit 1, First Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 4FN - Visit now
Let’s face it, Valentine’s can be awkward. Sometimes you need an activity to take the pressure off and keep the conversation flowing. Happily, Junkyard Golf Club is on hand to help with tasty cocktails, danceable tunes and their signature courses.