Why do you need to visit Manchester

Travel tips: The connoisseur of the city: Joe Hartley from Manchester

Because of just football! There is a lot more to discover in Manchester. Designer Joe Hartley only came for one visit in 2004 and stayed forever. Why? You can read that in our interview

GEO.de: Why should I come to Manchester in 2016?

Joe Hartley: I arrived in 2004 and have not left this city since. I love it here. Manchester is just perfect. The Lake District, where I grew up, and the Pennines low mountain range are close by. It is also only two hours from London. The city is also full of creativity. Once famous for the cloth industry, it is now famous for art, design, music and its good food. And if you're planning a trip in the next nine months, you have to visit me at the Pilcrow Pub at NOMA. This is a project I'm doing. Here "Mancunian" build their own pub. From the community for the community.

What should you definitely see in Manchester?

Manchester is currently a place of exciting contrasts. Everyone immediately has the word regeneration on the tip of their tongue. Manchester keeps reinventing itself. It feels like this city is a catalyst for new paths and for pioneering thinkers. Altrincham Market is an excellent example of how what was once a barren market that used to sell cheap junk is now a fresh and exciting food and craft market. I often have a booth there myself. It's an amazing place that's humming. Also inevitable are the Northern Quarter and Ancoats. When someone asks me what to explore in Manchester, these parts of the city are always there. There are good reasons for this that anyone who has visited will immediately understand.

Which big cultural events shouldn't be missed?

The Manchester International Festival is a must for me. Every two years it brings theater, dance and music from around the world to Manchester. For example, it attracts big names like Björk, Damon Albarn and FKA twigs. It starts again in 2017. Until then, The Independent Manchester Beer Convention, also known as "Indy Man Beer Con", is on my agenda. The whole thing is organized by good friends who run a bar together and move it to the beautiful Victoria Baths for a few days. There they invite breweries from all over the area. It's the perfect excuse to drum up a group of friends and sip locally brewed beers amid the impressive architecture of the Victoria Baths. But I think the already mentioned Pilcrow Pub will also be a major cultural event in 2016. I'm so excited about it!

Where do you regularly fall into the buying frenzy? Trouble at Mill on Beech Road in Chorlton is definitely worth a visit. At first glance, it looks like a clothes shop for women. But in the back of the shop you can find a selection of vinyl, books, jewelry and beautiful household items. One of the best stores in the country is also Oi Polloi - the UK's first proper menswear shop. Only small series of clothes from independent, small manufacturers such as "Sunspel" are sold.

Where is the best place to party all night? My favorite bar in Manchester is called Common. It has become an institution in recent years. In addition to serving fantastic food and baked goods, all homemade, this bar also has some excellent art exhibits that change every six months.

Which museum is your favorite museum. And why? I am particularly excited about the Museum of Science and Industry. As a designer, I'm interested in how objects are made and how processes influence design.

Where do you meet friends for dinner Burton Road in Didsbury is usually a good choice and the Volta is my favorite address there. Perfect small plates with delicious food and a large cocktail menu are the highlights.

And where can you get the best fish & chips? At Foster's Fish and Chip Shop in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, outside of Manchester. I like to go there and pick up the fish and chips and eat them with a view of the surrounding forest. But you've just opened a branch at 812 Wilmslow Road in Didsbury. It's a little closer to home.

Which Manchester specialty do you recommend? Secure a place on the tour of the Cloudwater Brew on a Saturday and try the excellent "brew taps". I have seldom experienced so much attention to detail and so much dedication in the production of beer. But it is also worth taking a short trip to Levenshulme in the fantastic Trove. This bakery and café conjures up an unbelievable selection of colorful and fresh ingredients on your plate.

When friends sign up to visit, which hotel do you send them to? I enjoy being a host! I love to cook for my guests. But if I had to recommend a hotel, I would say: Check out! And rent in an Airbnb so that they can live authentically - with a real "Mancunian".

What's your favorite weekend in Manchester? Spontaneously I would recommend cycling tours around Manchester. I always choose the bike to get around as Manchester has so many "villages" that are barely accessible by public transport. Exploring them properly is fun and you cycle along the canals.

When was the last time Manchester surprised you? I think in the past I always longed to be in London. The exciting and progressive projects always seemed to take place down there. But more recently, I've found what's happening in Manchester to be more exciting, including the pub project that I'm actually involved in now.

Joe Hartley The 32-year-old designer from Manchester creates beautiful things from simple materials. Hartley only uses wood, clay or fabric. His repertoire ranges from soup ladles to anoraks to convertible wooden clothes hangers.


Manchester on the net Everything you need to know, hotel tips, cultural events and an initial overview of the city's attractions can be found on the website: www.visitmanchester.com

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