When I was asked by Travelodge to come up with my guide to Manchester, I spent a long time thinking about what kind of things to include and I decided instead to list places to go that I deem worthwhile; in other words, my favourite cafes and restaurants.
If you're looking for food...
Everyone who has lived in Manchester knows about Home Sweet Home. Famed for it's american style grub and uh-mazing milkshakes, it's a calorific haunt that is worth every penny. Not only is the food to die for but the cakes are on a whole other level so whether it's sweet or savoury, it's perfect for both. They do brilliant burgers and yet again I'll mention how wonderful their milkshakes are.
Then we have a cafe in South Manchester; The Art of Tea is a lovely cosy establishment which is perfect for sitting with your laptop and does great food. Didsbury is full of brilliant cafes and the Art of Tea is almost always heaving. Great for light lunches and of course tea and cake.
And finally, my favourite place for brunch if I'm looking for a lighter option: Federal Cafe. An Australian cafe, it does amazing avocado based breakfasts with salmon and massive portions without breaking the bank. One word, yum.
For tea and cake...
For my mum's birthday, I took her to Opus One which is part of the Radission Blu Edwardian and does the most incredible afternoon tea. Pricey but for a special occasion, worth the money. It includes a wonderful variety of cakes, sandwiches and of course scones and cream.
If you're a chocoholic like myself, the Bonbon Chocolate Boutique is the ultimate destination. It's a tiny cafe in the Northern Quarter in Manchester but it does amazing hot chocolates (essentially just melted chocolate) and brownies and well, everything. Full to the brim with chocolate and if you're looking for a special present, you can buy chocolate truffles to go as well.
Sugar Junction is another lovely vintage themed cafe in the Northern Quarter. Reminiscent of a National Trust cafe, it's a lovely spot for tea and cake. Somewhere that your mum will love as much as you do.