Behind-the-scenes LBTM/LCYW: Manchester

London may get top billing in my books’ titles, but Manchester is just as important to Alex Sinclair. After all, Manchester is the young American’s birthplace and home to her dad Michael, step-mum Helen, and feisty motorcycle-riding grandmother, Joan.

Let’s go behind-the-scenes. Let’s head up north!

I LOVE Manchester! My first visit was in 1993 and I’ve been back many times for Manchester United football matches, concerts, plays, and to see dear friends. It’s a wonderful city with so much to do! Here’s a peek at many of the sights featured in London Belongs to Me and London, Can You Wait?—enjoy!

Northern Soul Grilled Cheese

Find it: Church Street, Northern Quarter

What to do: Order their Mac Attack grilled cheese sandwich and channel Alex! That thing is FILLED with gooey mac ‘n’ cheese. All other grilled cheese sandwiches will be a disappointment after this one, trust me! Also delish—their mac ‘n’ cheese nachos and Oreo brownies.

Afflecks

Alex, Freddie & Lucy were here

Find it: Church Street, Northern Quarter

What to do: Get a tattoo, purchase secondhand clothes, have something pierced. I bought my favourite secondhand leather jacket there in 1995.

Manchester Christmas Markets

Find it: All over central Manchester, but many consider the area overlooked by the HUGE sparkly Santa outside Manchester Town Hall in Albert Square the main shopping spot.

What to do: Drink hot chocolate, eat sausages, buy Christmas gifts—and a little something for yourself.

Pret a Manger

Find it: Portland Street
What to do: Eat triangle sandwiches! Have the chocolate mousse—you WON’T regret it.

Old Trafford

Find it: Sir Matt Busby Way, Stretford
What to do: See Manchester United play—and hopefully, win!

Annie’s

Down a little quiet pedestrianized street you’ll find Annie’s

Find it: Old Bank Street
What to do: EAT! The cheese and onion pie is YUM!

Fun fact: Annie’s is owned by Coronation Street actress Jennie McAlpine who plays Fizz on the popular soap

Royal Exchange Arcade and Royal Exchange Theatre

Find it: Cross Street
What to do: Shop in the Royal Exchange Arcade. There’s a great card shop in there mentioned in LCYW. See a play in the historic Royal Exchange Theatre.

Rosso

All sparkly for Christmas

Find it: Spring Gardens
What to do: EAT! Really yummy Italian food (pricey though!)
Fun fact: Owned by former Manchester United footballer Rio Ferdinand and located across the street from the clothing shop owned by Liam Gallagher of Oasis.

National Football Museum

Find it: Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens
What to do: Lose yourself in football artifacts. Great little cafe and gift shop, too.

Manchester rocks!

This photo blog was just a small sampling of the wonderful places Manchester has to offer. Definitely worth a visit!
How to get there: Virgin trains leave Euston Station in London at least once an hour and the journey takes about two hours. You an also fly into Manchester Airport. See you there!

All photos taken by Jacquelyn Middleton