Sometimes it’s just good to get out of the city, and fortunately, Manchester is one of the better-connected cities in the north-west. I’ve added a tab under Manchester for all the places I’ve written about that are day-trip-distance, and I plan to add to it over the summer.
Altrincham is dead easy to get to from the city, with the Metrolink getting you there in about half an hour. There are two big things people go to Altrincham for: the ice skating and the market. I haven’t been to the rink in years but definitely need to some time soon as I used to love ice skating despite my general ineptitude, but I can confirm the market is excellent.
Markets and food halls are huge in Manchester, with Altrincham’s Market Hall an early example of the phenomenon that has spawned Mackie Mayor and GRUB, both of which I definitely need to write about soon. Altrincham Market is split into three main areas: Market House, New Market Square and the covered market.
Market House consists of several restaurants in a small space, all churning out brilliant food at affordable prices. The market model allows several businesses to share the rental fees and collaborate to make running a small restaurant economically viable. It allows brilliant traders who aren’t massive chains or conglomerates to compete in today’s restaurant market, and Manchester definitely embraces independent restaurants.
New Market Square consists of a few smaller food retailers, usually more of the snack or picnic type rather than restaurants as well as outdoor seating, while the covered market’s content varies each day of the week. There are frequently up-and-coming musicians playing live on the stage made of hay, and you can sit anywhere and listen to the music and eat from any of the independent food vendors. On different days the covered market features vintage clothing, crafts, homeware, antiques, books, stamps, ceramics and jewellery. They stock all sorts on different days so it’s worth checking what’s on if you’re planning to visit but the food is a failsafe every day except Monday when the whole market is closed.
I spent the morning there a few weeks ago, wandering around it with my boyfriend and eating a really great chicken and leek pie and resisting the temptation to buy all of the handmade crockery. It’s a lovely little area and well-deserving of its local fame, whether you’re going for the covered market or the food. I particularly recommend Honest Crust’s incredible pizzas, the Great North Pie Co. and La Cucina’s simple Mediterranean food.
I’d definitely take a trip out to Altrincham if you’re in Manchester for a couple of days, whether you’re after some upcycled badminton racket mirrors or a great lunch, there’s something for everyone. For more information on the website check out Altrincham Market’s website!
See you on Friday for something different!