Northern Quarter cult favourite Afflecks (known to most of us still as Affleck’s Palace) has officially become the newest place to get married in the city after its team secured a marriage license.
The world-famous shopping emporium is home to all sorts of quirky and individual shops and spaces, including an anime cafe with real maids, and will be opening up five unique areas to lovers set on getting hitched.
Super romantic, small ceremonies with up to 30 guests will be the order of the day, and all the spaces can be dressed and adapted for a perfectly unique and alternative place to declare true love.
These span the market’s pink sakura-drenched Animaid Cafe, Afflecks’s iconic poster wall, a spiritual shop filled with a multitude of incense and spell books, the stunning diner-esque Ginger’s Comfort Emporium with its checkered floor and deep red booths, and the ever-nostalgic Afflecks cafe.
Afflecks’s matrimonial license comes in time to celebrate the Manchester Pride Festival, where this year’s theme is Queerly Beloved to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of marriage equality in the UK.
Speaking on the news AJ Martyn, General Manager at Afflecks, said: “Afflecks has always been a place that embodies love in all its forms, creative freedom and equality – as well as a welcoming, safe space for all.
“The LGBTQ+ community has forever been at the heart of our emporium and we’re excited to celebrate this year’s Manchester Pride theme and 10 years of marriage equality by opening our doors to ALL couples who may be looking for an inclusive, creative, and unique space in which to say ‘I Do’.
“We’ve always believed that love is love and we can’t wait to welcome couples to our independent emporium and help them create an alternative day of their dreams at Afflecks.”
The whole Afflecks family is on hand to help couples create the perfect and completely independent day as the emporium is the perfect treasure trove to find alternative wedding essentials all under one roof.
Daria Figura, a local personal trainer, has posted a video of the view from her Northern Quarter apartment which really gives you an idea of the scale of the Chanel show.
She said: “For those that care, Chanel are doing a fashion show outside my flat. I mean… just watch.”
She then shoves her phone through a window and has captured a flood-lit Thomas Street, heated by patio heaters, with a row of models striding down the catwalk to Manc anthems.
Chanel has even taken over the walls in the Northern Quarter, painting a huge promotional poster on the building on the corner of High Street and Thomas Street.
It also looks like the usual beer garden seating is still in situ – maybe they are keeping it authentically Manc after all, and will have Kim Kardashian wedged in on a Bay Horse Tavern table that has ‘Lauren woz ‘ere 2019’ graffitied on it?!
Cosy pubs near the Manchester Christmas Markets where you can hide from the madness
The Manchester Christmas Markets are in full flow for another year, and they are BUSY.
Once again, thousands of people are pouring into the city centre every weekend and evening to browse the massive range of food, drink and gifts being sold from the village of wooden huts that have appeared in town.
And there’s no denying that the markets do bring plenty of festive cheer to town, with Nutcracker mugs in every hand and people munching on sausages as they walk.
But when the hustle and bustle and the cold all gets a bit much – and if you’re anything like us, one or two drinks at the Christmas Markets is plenty – you’ll be looking for respite.
This stunning new pub has been created by Pomona Island, the much-loved local craft brewery, and it’s handily located within staggering distance of the Market Street, Piccadilly Gardens and King Street Christmas markets hubs.
Pomona Island has taken on a chunk of the former Chaophraya restaurant, turning the grand arch-windowed red-brick building serving their own craft beers – from the easy-drinking Factotum, to the excellent Phaedra pale ale.
And boy is it cosy – North Westward Ho feels like a proper Manchester pub that has been styled with dark wooden details, ornate tiling, wall sconces, oil paintings, dark green ceramic brick times, and loads of cosy corners.
The Victoria Tap is a new beer bar that’s completely transformed a corner of the station that was previously home to a bin store, and it’s a perfect place to pause between the Cathedral Gardens Christmas Markets and your train home.
You won’t miss your train either – on the wall inside the pub is a departures board that advises how many pints you can fit in before your train leaves.
Northern breweries on the taps at Victoria Tap include Brew York, Blackjack and Runaway, plus a good selection of European beers from the likes of kostritzer, Bitburger and Schremser.
Inside there are traditional parquet floors underfoot and a dark green bar running almost the whole length of the micropub.
You wouldn’t think that the place to escape the madness of the Manchester Christmas Markets would be the Manchester Arndale, aka the biggest shopping mall in town and one that is RAMMED with shoppers in December.
But wedged into a corner of the Arndale Market is Micro Bar, a teeny tiny pub with a good selection of German and Belgian beers on keg plus hundreds of bottles and cans in the fridges.
If you’re quick and lucky, you can get a seat overlooking High Street and feel extra smug that you’re on the quiet side of the glass.
Arndale Food Market, M4 3AH
The Sadler’s Cat
Formerly known as The Pilcrow, this shed-like pub on Sadler’s Yard is now in the very trustworthy hands of Cloudwater Brewery.
The space itself was built by local people through a series of workshops, with members of the public creating everything from the tabletops to the lampshades.
There is, of course, Cloudwater beers, but also plenty of others to choose from, a menu of natural wines, and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails.
It’s also stumbling distance from Cathedral Gardens – you can practically skate here from the ice rink.
Disappear from St Ann’s Square – where you can barely move for gluhwein and tinsel – and down into the cave-like wine bar that is Corbieres.
Something of a Manchester institution, this brilliant bar has a jukebox loaded with great music, and a decent range of wines and beers.
It also does free pizza with any drink purchased, Tuesday to Friday 4.30pm to 7.30pm.
AND, as they’re advertising themselves as an escape from the markets, they’re even happy for you to bring the food you buy at the markets into the bar.
2 Half Moon St, M2 7PB
Mr Thomas’s Chop House
Any of the Chop Houses are guaranteed to be maximum cosy, with their Victorian interiors still largely in tact and menus full of massive stodgy food.
There are two that are both right near the King Street batch of Christmas Markets – Sam’s is beneath the previously mentioned North Westward Ho, while Albert’s is within that iconic tall skinny building on Cross Street.
At this time of year they’re extra festive thanks to soft white fairy lights and candles.