Hello there, my name’s Pamela aka @SpamellaB, a Manchester-based blogger and freelancer working with health food brands doing recipe development, content and social. What an HONOUR it is to be writing this guest post for Zanna’s incredible blog… I mean, this girl is smashing it right now isn’t she?!
Following on from her insightful ˜How to Spend a Healthy Day in London‘ and a call-out on Twitter to cover other cities, it was amazing to be recommended to compile a guide around my current location: MANCHESTER. It might not be as big or buzzing as London but over the past few years of living here, the health, food and fitness scene has boomed.
So let me take over from Zanna here and share with you of my favourite things to eat, see and work up a sweat if you happen to spend some time in this awesome city up North!
Explore The Outdoors
There can be a misconception that Manchester is just shops, restaurants, pubs and clubs; which is certainly true, but there are also areas of beauty to discover on foot. Follow the route around the canals to discover other parts of the city, especially over at one of my favourite picturesque spots, Castlefield (just off Deansgate Metrolink stop). When I post photos on social media around this part, people are surprised to learn it is very close by the centre, rather than miles away from the hustle and bustle!
If you fancy a longer hike or run with loads of ground to cover, then drive 10 minutes out the city or hop on a tram and head to Heaton Park, a fantastic place to explore when the weather’s nice. Offering amazing views, plenty of uphill paths, a mini farm and even a garden centre, you could easily spend a good half-day out in the fresh air here.
Work Up A Sweat
Although Manchester has many gyms, why not try something different and take part in a drop-in hot yoga class at The Life Centre (http://www.thelifecentrenorth.com/), just opposite the infamous Hilton Hotel / Beetham Tower. Whether you’re a bendy pro or a total amateur, there are a variety of classes for all levels at my regular yoga studio so if you fancy getting super hot and sweaty or want to take some time out for yourself, I’d highly recommend popping by!
Now you’ve burnt off some energy, it’s time to refuel with a healthy but filling lunch. Although we’re lucky to have so many awesome food places on the city’s doorstep, here are some I’d strongly suggest trying out:
- Try Evelyn’s (http://www.evelynscafebar.com/) in the trendy Northern Quarter for delicious dishes suitable for all tastes and requirements, from gluten-free Sweet Corn Fritters and Salsa to Peanut Chicken Skewers with Soba Noodles.
- A smaller, more intimate spot also in the the Northern Quarter is Oak Street Cafe (http://www.craftanddesign.com/oak-st-cafe-bar/), offering tasty homemade dishes with many gluten/dairy-free and vegan options.
- For the hardcore gym-goers, don’t miss out on devouring Kettlebell Kitchen‘s (http://www.kettlebellkitchen.co.uk/) protein boxes, healthy burgers or pizzas with allllll the sides – including, which I know Zanna will LOVE – Peanut Butter Protein Fries. YUP.
- Vegan food and juice pop-up wagon, Cowherds (http://www.cowherds.org.uk/) is worth going to if juices, hearty meals and salads made from scratch are up your street.
As if that wasn’t enough to make your tummy grumble, if you’ve got a sweet tooth like me but conscious of what you eat, an absolute MUST is checking out recently opened Simone’s Healthy Bakery in the Arndale Shopping Centre. Raw Vegan Snickers Bar, Matcha Protein Brownie, Raspberry & White Chocolate Cake…Most of these are free from dairy, gluten, sugar and added fats so it’s totally acceptable to try more than one!
While Manchester is known for it’s high street shops, if you’re looking for health food then fear not. GNC in the Arndale is bursting with health and sports-related supplements, nut butters, snacks, drinks and all that jazz. Pick up a bargain and discover random things in HomeSense and TK Maxx, while McCall’s Organic market stall across the road is reasonable for store cupboard ingredients and treats like Ombar chocolate and other sweet treats. If you’re feeling really naughty, then it would be a crime to miss the Lindt store in the Arndale for alllll the chocolate!
It would be wrong to go home empty handed, wouldn’t it? Tucked away in St Anne’s Avenue is Lululemon, a haven for technical athletic clothes suitable for running, yoga, the gym – anything that gets you sweaty. Gorgeous designs and reasonably priced, it’s worth having a browse even if you’re not looking for anything in particular. I guarantee you’ll walk out with one piece of kit or fitness accessory!
Enjoy A Cheeky Glass of Bubbles
Imagine sipping on a glass of Prosecco that only had 67 calories per glass and 7g of sugar per litre, plus it was organic and suitable for vegans. Well, that’s now come true thanks to the arrival of Skinny Prosecco, available at Selfridges in Exchange Square or the exclusive, swanky Club Brass Bar in Hotel Gotham. Even if you’re just out for a few in the evening, it’s worth getting dressed up and trying it out!
So there you go, a guide to all the healthy things on offer in Manchester. I hope you have found it useful check out some of these spots if you come to visit this wonderful city! Thanks for having me, Zanna x