Hey my darlings,
A few weekends ago I was invited to head out on a day trip to one of my favourite cities, Manchester thanks to an exciting collaboration*
I was given the day to explore the city, finding new hidden gems that I had yet to discover.
Rather than going to the typical city centre shopping destinations, I decided to go a little off-piste and explore Manchester’s vintage shops in the Northern Quarter.
This part of Manchester is just off from Piccadilly Gardens – take a right down Oldham Street and you’ll find yourself in a vintage shopping haven.
If you want to see where I headed in video format, I also created an Instagram highlight of my trip – take a look here.
First stop – lunch
You might remember from my trips to Dublin that I am completely and utterly obsessed with a salad bar chain called Chopped.
I know – the words “completely obsessed” and “salad bar” are not two phrases I ever thought I would use together. But bear with me.
Chopped isn’t like your average salad bar – they put tonnes of freshly made ingredients, different styles of chicken, chickpeas, goats cheese, you name it – into a salad.
They then chop all the ingredients up incredibly finely using these huge knives to make a huge, protein-filled, satisfying and above all else – easy to eat salad bowl.
Topped with your favourite dressing and voila!
I have always said since discovering it that they NEED to be in the UK. And low and behold, I stumbled across their first ever store in the UK in sunny Manchester. So I tucked into a delicious Caesar salad before starting my shopping trip.
On to the shops!
Manchester’s vintage shops are in abundance around the city centre so I started off by heading to Thrift Shop Manchester.
This vintage shop is great because, even though it’s bang in the centre of Manchester it’s not stupidly overpriced. In fact, it’s actually pretty cheap.
As with any vintage shop, it takes a bit of sifting to find the golden garms but I’ve had various lovely pieces from them in the past.
This trip was semi-successful. I found a lovely sequin rainbow jumper and a patterned vintage shirt, both of which I liked but didn’t quite like enough to buy.
I’ve got an awful lot of clothes and I’m trying to buy less new things but be more selective – and make sure they’re items that I’ll love for years to come and actually get some wear out of.
Next up, I headed down Oldham Street. The Northern Quarter is a part of Manchester that I have been to before but never really had the chance to properly explore – my visits have always been a little hasty, popping into a shop or two.
The first place I happened to stumble across was a vintage kilo sale – pretty good timing considering I was on a vintage shopping trip!
I had a mooch around but honestly, the stuff in there was pretty awful and I didn’t even spot one item I liked (for the best vintage kilo sales, go to Preloved!)
But right next door was an absolute oasis of incredible vintage and reworked pieces in the form of Blue Rinse Manchester.
Blue Rinse was amazing BUT the pricing was odd – for example, I found a reworked acid green denim jacket that was £35 (not too bad) but I picked up a vintage swimming costume that had a gorgeous print and that was £25, which I thought was way too much for an old swimming costume.
But then this gorgeous ditsy floral maxi dress was £22 which again was pretty reasonable. A few of the other bits I like also seemed expensive for what they were.
Next up I went to the big Oxfam charity shop opposite which had a few nice bits and bobs in there but nothing that really caught my eye.
After that, I headed down the road to Cow Manchester. Now, I do find Cow to be generally way too overpriced but I thought I’d have a little gander anyway.
I found a stunning vintage leather biker jacket in red which I LOVED but it was too big (£45) and a pastel rainbow t-shirt dress which was again too big (£24).
I also fell in love with some tan and black cowboy boots but silly me didn’t think to ask what size they were to try them on.
By that point, I needed a coffee break so headed to the incredibly cute and quaint coffee shop Fig & Sparrow.
This place is everything you could want from a hipster coffee shop and more. Delicious coffee, incredible brownies (try the peanut butter one!) and the food looked delicious as well. The perfect place for a mid-shopping pit-stop.
Afterwards we walked down further into the Northern Quarter and by chance, came across a sweet little street market.
In there, they had food stalls, vintage stalls, and loads of different independent makers of jewellery, crafts and art. Take a look at the videos I took on my Instagram stories.
These guys have some great stock and are more reasonably priced. I almost bought a 90s style black leather trench coat but I decided to hold out for one with a tie belt.
To finish off an incredible day, we went to Spinningfields for a few drinks to end what was a wonderful day out.
I would recommend heading to Albert’s Schloss – a great bar for cocktails and wine or beer. It has beautiful interiors and a nice, busy atmosphere even on the Sunday afternoon when we visited.
So, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and my explorations of Manchester’s vintage shops. It really is such a fantastic, thriving city with so much going for it.
Whether you want shopping, nightlife or food, Manchester really does have it all.
Let me know if you have any questions about my day out, as always I’ll be happy to help!
*The spending money for my trip was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own.