The skyline of Manchester is one that changes rapidly, and constantly, with new skyscrapers creeping ever-higher every year.
Cast your mind back a few short years and it was Beetham Tower that dominated the skyline.
Now, that familiar skyscraper has been dwarfed and joined by others, all towering several hundred feet above the city centre‘s streets.
And there are more on the way, if current plans go ahead, including the city’s tallest skyscraper yet at 71 storeys.
We’ve taken a little tour down memory lane to remind you just how different Manchester looked a decade ago, and see how some of the city’s modern landmarks sprung up from nothing.
One Angel Square
Easily one of Manchester’s most attractive examples of modern architecture, the cruise-ship-like structure of One Angel Square is home to the Co-op and is one of the most sustainable buildings in Europe.
Its construction was only just underway a decade ago – and back then, the inner ring road followed a totally different route.
It’s now being joined by several other new glassy buildings as this part of town is developed at a rapid pace.
St Peter’s Square
St Peter’s Square is one of Manchester’s most attractive areas, but it’s almost unrecognisable from 10 years ago – and a little less green.
You used to be able to drive through St Peter’s Square – then the tram stop got shifted over, the cenotaph relocated, and the roads replaced with a pedestrianised square.
Modern office blocks have also popped up, replacing the legendary Dutch Pancake House (RIP).
10 years ago, Manchester Metropolitan University has its Aytoun campus slap bang in the middle of the city centre… but it was looking a little tired.
Along came Capital & Centric with their ambitious plans to create Kampus, a cluster of five residential towers.
The development now centres around a gorgeous garden, with food and drink operators gradually moving into the units that surround it – like Pollen, Nell’s, and General Stores.
It’s the big ones. Literally.
The Deansgate Square towers have quickly become one of the most photographed landmarks in Manchester.
Six short years ago, this was a regular old car park, where you could stay all day for £2.50 on the very edges of the city centre.
Now? It’s some of Manchester’s most luxurious accommodation, with state-of-the-art facilities and some bright new food and drink operators moving in too.
A few short years ago, this patch of land off the inner ring road was a carpark.
Now one of the city’s most prominent skyscrapers stands on the patch of gravel.
Circle Square is still in the making, but its structure has now taken shape enough to give a pretty clear idea that there are big changes afoot.
The plot of land just off Oxford Road used to be home to the BBC – now it’s a brand new neighbourhood with restaurants, retailers and a boutique gym.
It’s all centred around Symphony Park (hoorah, green space!).
This cluster of residential skyscrapers seem to have sprung up from nowhere.
The Meadowside residential towers now stick up on the edges of Angel Meadows park, with the tallest standing at 22 storeys tall.
They’ll be joined by a gigantic 41-storey tower at the northern edge of the park.
Featured image: Google Maps
Yara, the family-run Syrian and Lebanese restaurant serving Manchester for fifteen years
Take a trip down to the Stockport village of Cheadle and you’ll find a surprising glut of great Middle Eastern eateries nestled on the Cheshire border.
Amongst them sits Yara, a family-run Syrian and Lebanese restaurant that’s been serving Manchester for fifteen years.
First opened in Altrincham in 2008, today it has five sites across Greater Manchester – all serving up traditional Middle Eastern favourites like succulent kebabs, crispy donut-shaped falafels, and fluffy pittas with flavourful homemade dips.
With further restaurants in Whitefield, Chorlton, Cheadle and Alderley Edge, it’s clear that people just can’t get enough – so we made the trip down to see what all the fuss is about.
Suffice it to say, after tasting their sharp and citrussy babaganoush, stuffed vine leaves, and tabbouleh – a super fresh herb and bulgur salad dominated by parsley – we fell head over heels just like the rest.
Yara is a haven for those on the hunt for some finger-licking Middle Eastern goodness, with vegetarian starters like charcoal-grilled halloumi and creamy pots of homemade hummus pooled with rich olive oil sitting alongside crunchy pastry treats.
These include chicken or cheese and spinach bourak (often referred to as Assyrian or Middle Eastern egg rolls), lahembajeen – filo pastry topped with minced lamb, pomegranate sauce, pine kernels and onions – and mossahab, a chicken-stuffed puff pastry with added onion and herbs.
As for the main attraction: the meaty charcoal grill. This, more than anything else, is what we really came down for. At Yara, tender cuts of lamb and chicken come rich with Mediterranean spices and herbs, whilst lamb kebabs come in the shish, shawarma and kafta varieties.
Oh, and to save on your next Deliveroo order from Yara make sure to use our code 5OFFATYARA when you check out.
Feature image – The Manc Eats
Where to find a great pint of Guinness in Manchester city centre
When it comes to finding good pints of Guinness, it’s fair to say that not all Manchester boozers are created equal.
Some pints are thin and watery, some have a very bitter taste, and some are missing that all-important signature creamy head. All things you want to avoid. In fact, if you go into a pub and see any of this our advice is to run.
Any bartender worth their salt will tell you that there’s a certifiable art to pouring out a proper pint of the black stuff, starting with a two-part pour – a practice considered sacrosanct for literally hundreds of years.
Your pint should be properly poured with 3/4 of it filled with old stout, rested, then topped up with new, and when the glass is emptied a white, creamy residue should remain.
These, as we know them, are the basics but serious Guinness drinkers can likely reel off a whole list of other criteria that we haven’t even touched on. For now, though, that’ll do.
Keep reading to find the best places to drink Guinness in Manchester.
Mulligans of Deansgate
Widely renowned for having the best pint of Guinness in Manchester hands down, if it’s authenticity you’re looking for then Mulligan’s is a must.
An authentic Irish bar with live music and plenty of cosy snugs to tuck yourself away in, it’s typically packed to the rafters and bartenders pride themselves on never, ever leaving a bubble in your pint.
The Bay Horse Tavern
This Northern Quarter boozer on Thomas Street is another favourite for those looking for a great pint of Guinness.
This St Patrick’s Day, lovers of the black stuff can get a pint for just £4 between 4-7pm. as well as £5 double Jameson and gnger and £2.50 Jameson all day long.
The Peveril of the Peak
A historic city centre boozer, The Peveril of the Peak is not just one of Manchester’s most beautiful but also one of its most unique public houses.
Run by one of Britain’s oldest and longest-serving landlords, come for its bold green tile-clad exterior and stained glass windows and stay for a creamy pint of Guinness.
Another great Northern Quarter boozer, this time on Oldham Street, The Castle Hotel is another spot you can completely rely on for quality Guinness. Its pours have even been accredited.
The real ale pub boasts several cosy snugs, a small beer garden out back and a gig room where you can watch local bands whilst sipping on proper pints.
The Crown & Kettle
This gorgeous Grade II-listed freehouse sits the border of Ancoats and Northern Quarter and dates all the way back to 1774.
Reopened in 2005 in cooperation with English Heritage, it has an incredibly fine and unusual ceiling and one of the best pints of Guinness in the neighbourhood.
Whilst we’re talking about Ancoats, Edinburgh Castle also deserves an honourable mention for its Guinness pour.
This lovingly refurbished Victorian boozer not only boasts Manchester’s most elite chip butty and a stunning upstairs restaurant, but is also widely considered one of the best places for a pint of Guinness in town.
O’Shea’s Irish Bar
Obviously, we have to talk about O’Shea’s. This Irish bar is widely considered a go-to fo a good pint of Guinness, with some even reporting they prefer their pints to Mulligans.
During Covid, the bar made a splash in Manchester by opening a giant outdoor Guinness garden. This year on St Patrick’s Day, it is opening from 10am for breakfast pints.
Another historic boozer reborn after two years of sitting boarded up on the busy Manchester stretch from which it takes its name.
The Deansgate is now under the ownership of Greene King and serves a cracking pint of Guinness from its ground-floor and first-floor bars alongside a menu of hearty pub grub.