Happy Monday, everyone! Let's start off the week with a little tour around Manchester's Northern Quarter, which is still my favourite area in Manchester City Centre. A few years back, it was a little-known post-industrial area, with scaffolding hiding most of the beautiful buildings, and tiny hidden bars (I remember the days when my husband and I could be the only people enjoying a cocktail in Socio Rehab on a Friday evening!) - but now bar after bar, boutique after boutique, and restaurant after restaurant have sprung up, and the area is rammed every weekend with people spilling beer on each other. Ah, Manchester. How I love you.

This photo shows the top end of the High Street which includes, in a row - Sweet Mandarin restaurant (Chinese), followed by my favourite restaurant in Manchester (The Northern Quarter Restaurant), Socio Rehab (once awesome cocktail-bar, famous for its Roasted Pepper Margaritas and Gingerbread Martinis, now past its best), and what used to be my favourite bar in Manchester, the teeny tiny 'oh-it's-like-being-in-your-trendy-friend's-living-room-drinking-margaritas' Rodeo, which sadly became a tiki bar (apparently the bar staff were tired of making one margarita after another) and lost its charm somewhat:

You see the white building on the left? That's the Design House, an apartment building. You see the window on bottom right hand of the Design House, on the ground floor? Andre and I used to live in that flat - we moved in before anyone had really heard of the Northern Quarter, and moved out again once everyone else heard of it, and we got tired of being woken up at 4am on a Tuesday by people vomiting outside the front door. Yes, classy:

Here's my favourite building in the Northern Quarter - the Pink House. Gotta love a bright pink building:

Here's the legendary Manchester Craft Centre - I have a little tour of the Craft Centre coming up soon, so watch this space :-)

Classic Manchester - brand new contemporary glass building (actually a car park), Victorian brick building in the background, a tattoo parlour, and for your convenience, should a surfeit of Gingerbread Martinis in Socio have compelled you to acquire some ink announcing your love for a mysterious gentleman called Bob, a tattoo removal parlour. Oh, and the street is called Salmon Street, which is not as funny as Whipmawhopmagate in York, but still makes me giggle when I see it (can you imagine a Seabass Street? or a Prawn street?):

Here's the wonderful Urbis (which is sadly closing shortly), alongside the old Corn Exchange, which has been transformed into the Triangle, a nice little shopping centre:

And here's Exchange Square, which houses Selfridges, Harvey Nicks, the Manchester Wheel, Urbis, the Triangle, some attractive metal sculptural thingies, a legendary oyster bar, the biggest Next in Europe (yeah, I was gutted when I realised that's what they were building), and plenty of birch and eucalyptus trees:

And that's the end of the tour - I hope you enjoyed it :-)

Back tomorrow with some more splendid Nestage! Stay tuned...

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Local: A Sunday morning tour of my neighbourhood (West Didsbury)

Shopping: Lovely finds from the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair

Art & Interiors: Room design based on Van Gogh's 'Room At Arles'