Sunday in The City – Ancoats and The Northern Quarter

Today I thought I’d finally get around to writing my first Sunday in The City post – a lil collection of lovely places to visit/things to do on a relaxed Sunday morning in some of my favourite parts of Manchester. I’m starting with Ancoats and The Northern Quarter, though there’s too many great spots to recommend so it’ll most likely get a second post at a later date.

All the best Sundays start with brunch and this area offers up endless options, from Ezra & Gil to Nibble NQ. A new favourite though (after meaning to try it for ages) is Pollen Bakery, who serve up a wonderful brunch menu as well as pastries and cakes. I haven’t bought any of their loaves of bread yet, but what I had with my breakfast was probably the nicest bread I’ve ever had so I’m pretty sure they’re nailing that too. The food is delicious and the menu a bit different. They also do incredible lemon cake, which is apparently a key thing for a decent cafe in my eyes at the moment. One of the things that makes it so perfect for a relaxed Sunday morning though is it’s location, by the water at Islington Marina. You get a lovely view and when the sun is shining there’s plenty of seating outside too (for optimum dog spotting – you’re never far from a French Bulldog in Ancoats…).

After brunch, head out for a Sunday stroll along the Marina and by the canal. In summer there’s space for BBQs by the water and in winter nothing helps me feel cosier than watching smoke rise up from the chimneys of long boats or stumbling across a little cottage that seems out of place right in the city centre. If you follow the path round you can wind up right back at Piccadilly Station through a much quieter, scenic route.

If you’re looking for a few bits and pieces to pick up whilst you’re out and about, head to Tib Street in the Northern Quarter for Northern Flower. This lovely lil shop has all the house plants you can dream of, along with beautiful bouquets and bundles of dried lavender. It’s super cosy inside and the staff are always really friendly and helpful too.

Armed with a pretty bouquet and ready for more wandering, if you’ve come on the right weekend (the second Sunday of every month) you’ll find the Makers Market just around the corner in Stevenson Square – the best place to do any gift shopping whilst supporting small, local businesses and creatives.A few of my favourite vendors that have been there in the past include Old Man and Magpie Candles, LucyLooDoodles and Arctic Fox & Co. With everything from tea to art and candles on offer there’s always something I end up either treating myself to or dreaming of buying for ages afterwards and it’s the perfect way to finish up a Sunday in The City – wandering home or for the bus with something cosy and dreams of being able to eat your earlier brunch again every day for the rest of the week…