Manchester – Made in bricks

Before planning my trip to Manchester, I have sought suggestions and opinions about the city. With huge surprise, most of them were negative ones: “It’s just a grimy city made of old dirty bricks”… “Industries, industries and industries. That’s all” … “There’s nothing interesting”… “Don’t waste your time and money in Manchester”. You know what? Those words made me more interested and motivated to leave.

So, I bought my Lonely Planet travel guide, booked flights, hotel and packed my luggage.

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If you like sunny and warm places, Manchester (and England in general) isn’t the right place for you. But, if you like the iconic old Brit bricks, live concerts, beer, pubs, football, history and innovation… well, be my guests!

Starting with the old town you can’t miss:

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And:

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Feeling hungry and thirsty?

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And bare in mind: do not let others’ opinions be your final choice. Never!

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Yummy south of England

Who said you can only have fish and chips in England?

Apart from my frequent trips to London, I have been recently in the south of England and had the chance to eat in many restaurants or pubs. What I appreciate most is the wide and international choice; you just need to step into the right place.

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In my culture (I’m Italian), food means tradition, health and togetherness. That’s why, in planning my trips, I never ever leave the meals issue to chance. In England, thanks to its vast multicultural population, you can taste pretty almost the entire planet.

On today’s article, I’ve selected 3 of my favourite places to share with you.

  1. The Alice House is an intimate, yet vibrant, venue located in north-west London and it can be easily reached by tube (Bakerloo line), overground or bus (line n. 6). It offers fresh seasonal dishes and drinks, but I highly recommend it also for Sunday brunch or just a couple of pints on Friday night. Being far from the tourist zone, you can join locals and immerse yourself into the real London life.
  2. The Quod Restaurant & Bar is an easy-chic restaurant located in the Oxford city centre, just in front of the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin. The quietness and elegance of the place mirrors in its dishes and drinks.
  3. The Skewer House is a Portuguese restaurant located in the Taunton city centre. The food is just WOW! You can have meat, fish or vegetables grilled and flavoured on a skewer. Do not forget to try also the delicious and spicy sides.

 

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And now… Enjoy your meal!

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Pub/Restaurant: The Alice House (London – Queen’s Park Tube station)
  • Restaurant: Quod Restaurant (Oxford)
  • Restaurant: The Skewer House (Taunton)

The hidden Crown Jewels

Among the many well known jewels of England, I have recently discovered two hidden and precious gems: Bibury and Selworthy.

Bibury is a picturesque village in Gloucestershire county which you’ll be totally mesmerised by. The typical cottages and the countryside surrounding seem the perfect setting of a fairy tail. If the sun shines you may have a walk through the village and fields; breathing fresh air, quietness and magic.

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Selworthy is, instead, a village of Somerset county, located in the Exmoor National Park area. It is known by a few people and talking to inhabitants it is pretty clear why they don’t intend to commercialise the place too much. As a matter of fact, what keeps this place unique is its secrecy. Lucky are those who bump into it by chance or driven by an acquaintance. You will definitely fall in love with the yellow cottages and their typical thatched roofs. You can also enter one and have a cup tea and a delicious piece of cake at the Periwinkle Cottage Tea Room.

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The best way to reach both destinations is by car, your own or a rent one. And do not forget to look out the window along the way… the landscape is just “WOW”.

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Tea room: Periwinkle Cottage Tea Room in Selworthy