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  • The Whitworth Manchester
    Romantic Manchester
    Manchester isn't one of those cities which springs to mind when thinking about a romantic getaway, but if you're visi...

Romantic Manchester

Joanna Hall

Manchester isn't one of those cities which springs to mind when thinking about a romantic getaway, but if you're visiting this famous English city to sightsee, or as a jumping off point for touring the North of England, or to attend the Rugby World Cup in 2015, there are plenty of places, and ways, in which to enjoy a little romance along the way. Here's our top suggestions.

Wander The Whitworth 

This iconic gallery on Oxford Road closed in 2013 after a high profile ‘Whitworth Weekending’ event, and has been undergoing a major renovation since to extend and double the public space of the gallery into leafy Whitworth Park. Appropriately, the Whitworth ( is set to re-open on  Valentine's Day 2015, kicking off with a blockbuster exhibition from the acclaimed British sculptor and installation artist, Cornelia Parker. For a truly romantic start to any day, enjoy breakfast at The Modern Caterer at the Whitworth, a new highlight of the gallery located in an elegant glass and stainless steel extension with floor to ceiling windows overlooking Whitworth Park, and the newly designed art garden. Afterwards, explore the stunning Whitworth building and its art collections, and take time out to enjoy a stroll in the park. 

Enjoy High Tea 

High tea is a culinary event which has become huge in Sydney recently, and in the UK it's a similar story, so if you're looking for an authentic venue to enjoy some delectable treats while gazing into each others' eyes, look no further than Proper Tea at Manchester Cathedral ( This charming spot is a contemporary take on the traditional British tearoom, offering an impressive menu of fine and exotic loose leaf teas, served alongside fresh hand crafted treats including cakes, scones and pastries, as well as homemade sandwiches and light meals. Proper Tea is the brainchild of the broadcaster and tea fanatic, Yvette Fielding, and the team behind award-winning Northern Quarter eatery. And don't fear if you're not a tea lover; you can also order coffees of all types, hot chocolate, and wine including chilled Prosecco. 

Champagne And Cocktails 

Always a part of any romantic getaway, cocktails always taste better with the right setting, and Manchester has plenty of options. Top of the list is Cloud 23 (, which has some of the best cocktails to be enjoyed in the city, and being tucked away on the twenty-third floor of the Hilton hotel, the highest point in the city, it also has some jaw-dropping views to match. Another top pick is the Épernay Champagne Bar in the Great Northern Tower ( which is often described as “Manchester’s best kept secret”. With low lighting, jazz music, an outdoor balcony, and an impressive menu of Champagnes, you'll feel like you're a world away from the big city, while being right in the heart of it. 

Dinner For Two 

Manchester has a number of romantic spots for lovers to enjoy over dinner, but one of the loveliest is Mr Cooper's House & Garden by Simon Rogan in the Midland Hotel ( The entire restaurant is themed on a grand house and garden, combining modern touches with the history and heritage of Mr Cooper himself, whose house and famous gardens sat on the site of the restaurant back in 1819 before the hotel was built. For the ultimate in romance, ask for a table in the garden area adjacent to the real tree. As for the cuisine, if you can take your eyes off your significant other you'll enjoy a Rogan's playful and experimental style, his menu fusing avant-garde techniques with local ingredients. It's a lengthy read which is ultimately nonconformist, where Mexican gazpacho, wasabi and avocado rubs shoulders with roasted teriyaki tofu steak. 

Stay Somewhere So Hot, It's Cool 

There are old favourites in the city, such as the five-star Rocco Forte Lowry Hotel, however, 2015 is a big year for Manchester when it comes to hotel openings. When it opens in April 2015, the new five-star Hotel Gotham ( is set to lead the way as the new, hot place to stay. Features include 60 bedrooms with four "inner sanctum suites" a restaurant, a prohibition-style bar and a rooftop members-only club. According to the hype it will be a "fun, witty destination" as well as a little bit naughty, with the aim of becoming the sexiest hotel in Europe. Also on the new opening list this year is the nearby the King Street Townhouse, which occupies a Grade II listed former bank, and the UK’s first Innside by Melia hotel, which will welcome guests to coincide with the opening of the adjacent HOME. 

What Else? 

Speaking of HOME (, this vast new entertainment complex has it all, from cinema and theatre to the arts and special events. It was formed by the merger of two of Manchester’s best-loved arts organisations, Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company, and is the place to enjoy some culture. Other options for loving couples' time include enjoying a spa treatment together, with Manchester having a number of pampering zones including the Bali Health Lounge in the city centre, and the Lowry Health Spa. And if you're in the market for a special gift, whisk your lover away to the intu Trafford Centre (, which is eight kilometres outside of town, with 200 stores including the first Selfridges outside of London. Back in the city, also check out the prestigious department stores including House of Fraser, Harvey Nichols and John Lewis.

Hong Kong based Cathay Pacific Airways is the 2014 Skytrax Airline of the Year and offers flights to over 190 destinations in 42 countries and territories. From Australia the airline has over 70 flights a week to Hong Kong from six major Australian cities – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Cairns and Perth - with a choice of flying in economy, premium economy or business class.

There are four flights daily from Sydney, three flights a day from Melbourne, daily flights from Brisbane, four flights a week from Cairns and Adelaide, and ten flights from Perth. All flights provide connections over the Hong Kong hub to the airline’s worldwide network, including eight European destinations (from March 2015 Zurich will be added, taking the number to nine). From Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific offers 5 daily flights to London, offering a choice of flying in economy, premium economy, business class or first class, and from December 8 there are four direct flights a week to Manchester from Hong Kong.

Cathay Pacific flies Airbus 330-300 aircraft on most flights to and from Australia. It will replace one Airbus 330-300 with a Boeing 777-300ER on CX138/CX139 between Sydney and Hong Kong three times a week from December and daily from February 2015. From December, the 777-300ER will operate CX138/139 on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with the A330 operating on the other days until the aircraft takes over daily service in February 2015. Cathay Pacific operates four times daily between Sydney and Hong Kong and will continue to utilise A330-300 flights on the other three daily flights.

For more information about Cathay Pacific, visit

For more information about Manchester, visit

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