The UK’s wellness offering tends to get a reputation for being London-centric. True though it is that London’s boutique studios and trendy healthy eateries often set a precedent for the rest of the country, it is by no means exclusive. Case in point: Manchester.
Manchester is a northern metropolis associated with everything from Britain’s most renowned music artists to its two top tier football clubs. Venture through its streets and you’ll soon discover its bountiful plant-based food establishments and fitness studios that HIIT as hard just as hard as London’s.
Here are the places not to be left off any wellness-infused Mancunian itinerary.
Blok‘s premium group class concept may have started out in East London’s Clapton back in 2015, but its recent third outpost in Manchester is arguably its best yet. Set inside the Ducie Street Warehouse, the space combines multidisciplinary fitness, fashion, art and design under one roof. You’ll also find a menu of delicious Form protein shakes to enjoy post-workout.
Manchester Buddhist Centre
You don’t have to be a practising Buddhist to make the most of Manchester’s home of zen. Here you can enjoy yoga for both beginner and advanced levels at its Bodywise studio, not forgetting meditation, homoeopathy, reflexology and shiatsu. Whatever you choose, be sure to reward your session with a gooey vegan brownie at the ground floor Earth Cafe before you leave.
Nike+ Run Club MCR
Whether you’re enrolled in the Manchester Marathon or are simply looking to pound pavement in company, Nike+ run club MCR varies its routes and distances around the city and always throws in a surprise or two (so come prepared for hill sprints). Join them on Thursdays from 6.15 pm or Sundays at 9.45 am at the Market Street flagship.
The many ‘Restaurant of the Year’ accolades bestowed to The Allotment is proof that vegan and vegetarian innovation isn’t exclusive to the capital. The menu here is seasonal and unapologetically mouthwatering. The cauliflower hot wings and shiitake bacon are what vegan dreams are made of.
The Deaf Institute
As much as 80% of The Deaf Institute’s so-called “scran” (That’s Northern speak for food, to the uninitiated) is vegan, from seitan burgers to dairy-free ice cream. The 1877 building was formerly an institute for the deaf and now serves as a gig venue of (largely) extremely hipster indie acts.
Everything you’ll find at Unicorn Grocery is organic, fair-trade, local, and, best of all, immensely affordable. The workers co-operative has been operating since 1996, aiming to cultivate a stronger connection between food, producers and the people who eat it. Stop by to stock up on essentials or simply enjoy a healthy lunch from its on-site deli.
Form Lifestyle Store
In no way affiliated with our own brand, the Form Lifestyle Store sits in Manchester’s iconic Northern Quarter and highlights some of the area’s best independent designers. The shop is carefully curated, focussing on slow-living and thoughtful buying. The emphasis is placed on buying fewer well-considered products to be cherished for years.
Whitworth Art Gallery
The Whitworth is a contemporary art gallery on the grounds of the University of Manchester. Not only does it serve as one of the city’s premier spots for art and culture, but the Natural Cultural Health Service also offers a programme of activities on its grounds, including tai-chi, yoga and horticulture.
Catch a Match
Old Trafford and the Etihad Stadium are the homes of Manchester United and Manchester City respectively, and in few cities will you feel quite such a buzz on matchday. Though we can’t promise much by way of healthy eating at their kiosks, joining the crowds in the stands is a rite of passage in these parts.