‘You can have unlimited tea, coffee and toast 24/7’ said the smiling receptionist of the HATTERS ON HILTON STREET. Also on offer was free Wi-Fi, TV lounge and storage. The accommodation is located in the Northern Quarter of the city of Manchester which for me is a ‘must-stay’ area. This bohemian district is packed with trendy Manchester bars and clubs, pavement cafes, from which to sip a latte; whilst watching trendy young Mancunians buzz around the Northern Quarter, many wearing retro gear plucked from the sprinkling of vintage shops that help form the districts unique character.
Having released my shoulders from the purgatory of my backpack, I headed straight into Manchester’s favourite night spot ‘The Printworks’. The building dates back to 1873 and has echoed to the noise of a printing press for more than 100 years, before becoming an entertainment complex in 2000; housing an eclectic mix of restaurants, bars and clubs, a cinema and gym.
The most recent bar to open in trendy Manchester is the Bierkeller, here Bavarian themed waitresses served hearty German fare and traditional ‘Steins’ of beer whilst the live ‘Oompah’ band had their audience swaying along the many rows of benches! The evening was finished off at the ‘Hardrock Cafe;’ listening to James Walsh, the front man of ‘Star Sailor’ and Ben Montague, who were kicking-off their ‘Simply Acoustic tour’!
I was in Manchester over the weekend to attend the National Taekwondo Championships taking place within the ‘home of British Cycling’ at the National Cycling centre Velodrome.
Competing was London 2012 Bronze Medallist and European Champion ‘Lutalo Mohammed’ alongside other GB Taekwondo squad members. High kicks, fast hand techniques and plenty of close points decisions kept the audience cheering for two days. When the fighting paused, the venue itself was worth strolling around as it showcases many styles of bikes (including a penny farthing) and a gallery of photographs of cycling stars and their successes in the saddle!
It will not be long before I return, for a brand new World Taekwondo Grand Prix event featuring the world’s top Taekwondo athletes AND of course the free tea, coffee and toast. See you soon!! Heres a map showing hostels around Central England and Manchester.