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7th May 2023

Lifestyle Loves: Chorlton

Tired of Fallowfield’s grimy vape-littered streets? Thought so. Lifestyle is here to help, giving you the run-down of our favourite place in Manchester’s prettiest south suburb: Chorlton!
Lifestyle Loves: Chorlton
Photo: Alexandra Baynes @ The Mancunion

Ask someone which areas they’ve visited in Manchester and they’ll list the classics: the city centre, Withington, and Didsbury. But, barely anyone says Chorlton. And I don’t have a clue why, especially given it’s just a 20-minute bus journey from Fallowfield.

Chorlton boasts a pretty and vibrant scene, with its three different high streets – Manchester Road, Beech Road, and Wilbraham Road. Each is jam-packed with some of the best independent eateries, coffee shops, and bars. Chorlton is also flooded with a range of charity shops, bookshops, and arty homeware shops. And, on a more superficial level, it’s a very Instagrammable suburb of Manchester.

It’s the perfect place to explore by yourself, with a group of friends, or as an escape from Fallowfield with your parents. Here’s a guide to finding your feet in Chorlton, depending on who you’re with.

By yourself

If you fancy a break from the cracked pavements and endless noise of Fallowfield, Alexandra Park is a good place to start. It’s one of the prettiest and most well-maintained parks in Manchester. It is a gorgeous place to wander or cycle around, and then inhale an ice cream from the ice cream van next to the lake in the middle of the park.

You can then make your way to the Wilbraham Road high street, for some window shopping. If you fancy a bit less of a buzz, head down to the shops on Barlow Moor Road, where you can grab a coffee from The Drop Bar Café, or a pizza from the award-winning restaurant Double Zero.

If you then turn left onto Beech Road, you’ll enter one of the sweetest residential areas where everyone is either a yummy-mummy or a Matilda Djerf girl. The houses in that area are nothing like the ones seen on Grand Designs; they’re full of character, with fairy lights in the front garden and everyone seeming to have painted their front door either pink or green.

Photo: Alexandra Baynes @ The Mancunion

If you then make your way back to Wilbraham Road, the high street is filled with charity and vintage shops (and a huge Sue Ryder) where you can normally pick up some stylish pieces given the nature of Chorlton.

With friends

Want to do something more wholesome than just drinking with friends? Pottery Corner on Beech Road would be the perfect thing to do either with friends or on a date. Get your creative juices flowing as you paint your own mug or plate in the studio – with a design copied straight from Pinterest.

Okay back to the drinking – The Laundrette is a vibrant place for cocktails with the girls. Plus, as we finally enter the warmer months of the year, The Laundrette’s seating is a gorgeous place to people-watch while getting drunk – what could be better?

There are also some lovely independent shops on the same road, such as Hurricane Gift Shop, where you can fantasise about how you would decorate your future house.

Later on in the evening, you could visit The Edge Theatre, which showcases theatrical productions ranging from comedy nights to small-scale shows.

There’s also no shortage of great food and drink places on all three of Chorlton’s high streets, with Brewski, Proof, and Rudy’s being some of the notable favourites. Barrio is a Mexican restaurant which always gets my mouth watering. Barrio does Taco Thursday, where you can get 15 tacos for £30 and a margarita or daiquiri for £6, which would be a fun way to celebrate a special occasion while not breaking the bank.

With family

Both Alexandra Park and Chorlton Water Park are a lovely change of scenery for your parents who doubtless question the beauty of Fallowfield. If you take the long route around the Water Park, then it’s worth visiting Jackson’s Boat for some edible fuel.

Photo: Alexandra Baynes @ The Mancunion

If you’re still in the walking spirit, wander around the three high streets – they’re all closely distanced from one another – and do some window shopping.

Turning towards dinner time, if you want to rinse your parents a bit while they’re here, then The Lead Station is a fancy restaurant stationed in an old police station, and Bar San Juan is a tapas restaurant with a homely, authentic feel to it. It is also such a Uni student thing to go for a Sunday Roast with the parents, and The Parlour produces one of the best in the city.

Chorlton is a suburb which will definitely be loved by your parents; it’s leafy and bohemian, bursting with young professionals and families who all appear cool and sophisticated, and most importantly, seems a far cry from Fallowfield.

Alexandra Baynes

Alexandra Baynes

Head Editor of Opinion Section. Radio Host on Fuse FM. Twitter: @lexiebayness

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