Now for a true hidden gem, which is not something we can say often in a world of online resources and GPS. Travellers visiting Manchester, if you find the secretive but stunning Christie’s Bistro, you’ve probably ventured where many Mancunians haven’t.
This is one of the most visually spectacular cafes you could hope to see and if you’re a fan of literature, history, academia, Harry Potter books or just plain daydreaming in romantic surroundings, this is the place to come for a well-made coffee or lunch.
If you manage to navigate the old stairwells and wooden halls of the university to find Christie’s Bistro, you’ll be greeted by a wooden-clad room lined floor-to-ceiling with journal, catalogue and book-filled shelves. The coffee (around £2.20-£2.60) or breakfast and lunch options, such as soup (from £4.25) and sandwiches (£7.95) will ensure your appetite is as stimulated as your imagination as you sit gazing out over the campus among marble busts and lively academic chat.
I’d been living in Manchester for almost ten years before I knew this café, just 15 minutes’ walk from my home, existed. As a rare well-kept secret among university workers and students, Christie’s is not an easy place to find. But the true travellers among you will rise to the challenge. Good luck!