In news that should surprise absolutely no one, Manchester has been named one of the friendliest cities in the UK: the second most friendly, to be exact, but we already know we should be first anywayso we’re not going to split hairs.
The figure itself is a percentage representing the “overall average levels of satisfaction” for people who come to the city. I mean, who are we to question their metrics? All we’re saying is that for anyone dubious, at least now you have an excuse as to why weren’t number one this year.
Recognising the jewel of the North as “the world’s first industrial city and home to the UK’s first ever working canal”, they reinforced how Manchester has “come a long way since the 19th century, though it still retains its historical charm and nods to its heritage can be spotted around the city.” Hard agree.
As the entry goes on to state, they describe Manchester as “in and among the modern shopping destinations, an exciting arts and culture scene and [boasting] a foodie scene that is continually reinventing itself”, adding simply, “We defy you to be immune to this Northern city’s charm.
They even gave a recommendation of the best spot to stay if you’re staying over: Whitworth Locke — a favourite of ours as well, to be honest. All the apartments are situated inside a historic cotton mill, painted in pastels and, as CN Traveler put it, “ready to take over as your own”.
There’s even a Foundation Coffee House site located on the ground floor and a cool little co-working space tucked away in the back as well.
So, whether you’re just staying over or looking for somewhere to settle down where the people smile, you know where to look. And that’s just the city centre, don’t forget — wait until they hear about what the rest of Greater Manchester boroughs have to offer.
Now, if you were wondering not only what city we tied with but also somehow beat us, we will reluctantly be the bearer of sceptical news.
According to these lot, Liverpool and Belfast join us in second place; two great cities in their own right, no doubt (we’ll cheers to Irish hospitality, especially), but we’re still not having that they’re better than 0161.
As for the city that took the gold medal, that coveted accolade goes to the Welsh capital of Cardiff. Again, a wonderful place, fair enough, but if this list were reduced simply to the friendliest cities in England you might as well have just crowned Manchester as champion.
We look forward to next year when these guys see the error of their ways and rightly hand us the top spot — then we can sit back and relax. Fortunately, we’ve got plenty of places to do so around here.
Sir David Jason set for TV return in Only Fools and Horses documentary Christmas special
In a surprise bit of festive news, the only and only Sir David Jason is returning for an Only Fools and Horses Christmas special this December. Lovely jubbly!
The best-loved and most-watched British comedy of all time will be back on our screens in documentary form this festive season, with Del Boy himself David Jason revisiting the iconic comedy character after 20 years he last played him on screen.
While the legendary sitcom was broadcast on BBC back in the day, the highly-anticipated Only Fools doc will be airing on Channel 5 right before Christmas as a special one-off programme.
Looking back on the show’s incredible run on UK screens over seven series and the several ‘Christmas Cracker’ specials, specifically, the latest Only Fools and Horses documentary will see Jason and a number of other guests appearing to chat about the legendary show.
While it’s still unclear how many of the original cast will be appearing, Jason’s on-screen wife Tessa Peake-Jones (Raquel) is confirmed to be appearing along with other special guests including newscaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Bendiorm‘s Sherrie Hewson.
Sadly, a full theatrical reunion just isn’t on the cards following the deaths of Roger Lloyd Pack (Trigger), Kenneth MacDonald (Mike the Landlord) and Buster Merryfield (Uncle Albert) in the 30 years since the show ended its run.
Only Fools writer John Sullivan also sadly passed away aged 64 in 2011 and fellow co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst, a.k.a. Rodney Trotter, told Metro: “We can’t. John is no longer with us. John was the driving force of the show and we have also lost quite a few cast members now.
“I don’t think I could do it without them and I certainly couldn’t do it without John. At the risk of depressing everyone, I think the last two times I’ve seen David has been at funerals.”
Simply entitled, ‘The Story Of Only Fools And Horses At Christmas’, the 90-minute special is yet to have its broadcast date fully confirmed but you best keep your eyes peeled on the TV guide — we’ll let you know as soon we do.
Jason, 81, has only just recovered from hip surgery earlier this year, so it’ll be nice to see his familiar grin back on our screens.
Right, we’re off to binge a whole series on UK Gold.
Habas restaurant in Manchester announces shock closure – with huge closing-down discount
Habas, the Middle Eastern restaurant launched by the team behind El Gato Negro, has announced its shock closure.
The subterranean restaurant will be going out with a bang though, promising one last knees-up with a big discount.
Habas will be doing 25% off its entire food and drink menu this New Year’s Eve so that fans of the eatery can raise a glass to the Manchester restaurant.
They’re also hoping that Mancs will raise a glass to new beginnings, teasing a brand new concept.
Habas is located at Brown Street in Manchester city centre and has been serving up its Middle Eastern menu since 2021.
It comes from Mills Hill Developments Limited, the company also responsible for El Gato Negro and Canto, fronted by celebrated chef Simon Shaw.
Habas has stressed that its closure ‘is not forever’ as it announces details of its New Year’s Eve closing down party.
You can ring in the new year with a selection of mezze dishes, sharing platters and small plates, feasting on chicken tagine and traditional tzatziki, all 25% off on Sunday 31 December.
Drinks, too, like the cranberry elderflower martini, blackberry ginger smash and clementine daquiri will be with 25% off.
Simon Shaw, Chef Parton at Mills Hill Developments Limited, said: “As of January 2024, we have made the decision to close the doors of Habas Bar & Restaurant, however we are thrilled to announce that our Brown Street venue has an exciting new concept on the way.
“Throughout December, Habas, will continue serving up the city’s best middle-eastern cuisine, so make sure you pop in and see us. AND on New Year’s Eve, Habas, will be hosting an unforgettable celebration with 25% off food and drinks. We want to rejoice with all of our customers, with one final hurrah!
“We would like to thank all of our guests and reassure Habas fans that this is not the end of Habas Bar & Restaurant forever, simply a farewell from Brown Street for now.
“We look forward to welcoming you to our new exciting concept in Q1 of 2024.”