Just outside the student-dominated Fallowfield, Withington is a great place to escape the university bubble
Away from the noisy, fresher-infested Fallowfield, the more refined student finds his home in Withington after a hedonistic first year. With its mixture of charity shops, takeaways and bars, Withington provides a happy medium between student life and young professionalism.
Food and Drink
Withington’s selection of bars and pubs caters to all tastes. For the trendy, veggie brigade Fuel is the go-to place south of the city centre, with its extensive vegetarian menu matched only by its fine selection of foreign beer. It proves perfect for nights with friends and remains the only place I have ever managed to acquire lemon drizzle cake at 11:30pm. Live music nights are regular, especially at weekends while there’s also a weekly pub quiz, traditionally seen as one of the most challenging in the area!
Across the road is Solomon Grundy, a bar with a similar feel to Fuel, but without the vegetarian element. A well-priced yet cultured menu awaits you with a chilled vibe that is welcoming to all. The bar also often doubles as a jewellery shop during the day.
For those looking to dance into the early hours, the underground bar Indigo is open most evenings and has live jazz on weekends.
For more traditional pub fare The Victoria and the Red Lion provide local ales, pool and live Premier League football. A hidden gem is The Turnpike, which despite its scruffy unwelcoming exterior is well worth a visit, serving Sam Smith’s beer of all varieties at ridiculously cheap prices.
Withington is well-stocked in good restaurants, with Coriander providing arguably the best curry south of the eponymous mile, and at a much more reasonable price. And Aladdin’s, while not looking like much from the outside, provides excellent Middle Eastern cuisine and a lively atmosphere.
For all your grocery shopping needs, there’s both a medium-sized Co-operative and a Sainsburys Local. But looking beyond these mainstream options, Withington’s local food shops help the student on a budget in particular. Withington Fruit and Veg provides vegetables of all shapes and sizes at much better prices than their larger competitors.
There’s also a wide array of pound shops which provide for bargain-hunters.
Withington is known for its charity shops, where both the fashion-conscious hipster and the standard student will find great value. Deco, Egerton Crescent, is another fine place to discover a bargain. Offering discount DVDs meticulously sorted into their respective genres, rare vinyl and a collection of old and new CDs, Deco is regularly filled with Manchester DJs looking for inspiration for their latest set.
Withington also has a library which, while perhaps not satisfying all your literary needs, is a quiet oasis for study if the journey to university seems too far, plus membership is free.
Many Fallowfield urchins will turn their nose up at Withington-dwellers, but that’s only because they’re jealous they missed a trick. Enjoy your first year in Halls but I urge you to then make the smart choice, and allow yourself to be taken in by Withington’s charms. You won’t regret it. And if you do feel nostalgia for the glory days, 256 is only a 10-minute walk away.