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Exploring Manchester: Adobe’s Creative Capital of the UK

In a recent accolade bestowed upon the city, Manchester has been crowned Adobe’s ‘Creative Capital’ of the UK. This solidifies its status as a vibrant hub for creativity and innovation. It’s something I’m particularly pleased about, being based in the North West myself! In fact, Adobe found that there are approximately 111 notable creatives per 100,000 people in the city, including musicians, artists and writers.

Manchester has always been a place I’ve loved to visit. With its array of independent businesses, thriving cultural scene, and eclectic artistry, it’s a place that I go to for inspiration, great shopping, and delicious food. It has an energy and a gravitational pull that can’t quite be explained.

From the bustling Northern Quarter known for its colourful street art and unique independent shops, to the historic landmarks such as Victoria Baths and Manchester Cathedral, Manchester has an unmistakable allure that captivates its visitors (regardless of how much rain is falling!).

At the core of Manchester’s creative spirit is a diverse community of artists, artisans, and entrepreneurs. Whether it’s the vibrant music scene that echoes through iconic venues like the legendary Hacienda, to the O2 Apollo and Manchester Academy, or the galleries that showcase boundary-pushing contemporary art, Manchester fosters an environment where creativity flourishes.

One of the standout features of Manchester’s creative ethos is its support for small businesses. From quaint coffee shops serving artisanal brews to eclectic vintage boutiques brimming with style, the city’s entrepreneurial spirit is thriving.

When it comes to food & drink, some of my favourites include The Koffee Pot (Oldham Street) for the ultimate breakfast, and Foundation (Lever Street) and Evelyn’s (Tib Street), who both serve delicious brunch and great coffee. The popular Gooey (High Street) has a huge following thanks to their much-loved egg sarnies, French toast, and Instagram-worthy treats.

Then there’s the viral TikTok sensation Fat Pat’s (Portland Street), serving up immense sandwiches through their hole-in-the-wall deli that are truly worth the hype. Try Thai (Faulkner Street) is a must for authentic Thai cuisine, and The Refuge (Oxford Street) for great cocktails in a beautiful setting.

As well as indie bars and restaurants, there’s a whole host of small businesses, both long-standing mainstays and emerging start-ups. Some of my favourite haunts include Piccadilly Records and Vinyl Exchange (both on Oldham Street) where I could waste hours browsing their collections, and Fred Aldous (Lever Street), the iconic family-run craft store that dates back over 130 years.

Fred Aldous is also known for its collaborations with local artists, selling prints, cards and gifts adorned with their work. If you’re a regular visitor to the Northern Quarter you’ll be familiar with their street art on Stevenson Square.

The art changes with each new collaboration. Right now, you can’t miss Nick Hamilton’s (aka The Hammo) colourful illustrations brightening up the space.

Some other favourites of mine are COW (Church Street) and Pop Boutique (Oldham Street) for great vintage fashion. Form (Bradley Street) is a beautiful boutique selling a curated mix of wares from independent makers. I’ve also just discovered Nice Things (Oldham Street), a stunning plant shop filled floor to ceiling with greenery.

As Adobe’s Creative Capital of the UK, Manchester’s accolade serves as a testament to the city’s legacy as the home of creativity. From its storied past as the birthplace of the industrial revolution to its vibrant present as a thriving cultural epicentre, Manchester continues to inspire and innovate.

It’s a place where dreams take flight, ideas take shape, and creativity knows no limits, and somewhere I will truly never bore of spending time!

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