For as long as I can remember, Chorlton and Didsbury have had the monopoly on Manchester’s ‘places to be’ outside of the city centre. However, over the last ten years a great pretender has been stirring, acquiring the amenities necessary for an all encompassing rival to the North West’s big players.

Centred around, and for the most part playing out on one main ‘strip’, Monton puffs its chest out and stands tall amongst the mundane Eccles, Winton and Swinton. Served by several bus routes, the metrolink at Eccles and a train station on the border, living in Monton is now more accessible than ever, and given its now densely populated main strip, that trip to Monton leaves you never really needing to venture elsewhere.

Monton really does have it all now, and these are my arguments to back up that claim. Get yourself acquainted with Manchester’s dirty little secret.

Food

Short of a legit, fine dining establishment Monton has your food needs covered. With no less than twelve, straight up food places within its few hundred yards of main road, you really are spoilt for choice here.

montaj

Zous Bar & Grill opened about a year ago and is riding the wave of all things burger revolution in this country. Slick decor, friendly staff and plenty of seating welcome you through the door, their MonTaj burger with its tandoori chicken centre and homemade onion bhaji on top is a thing of beauty, and true originality. Finish off your stay with one of their sugar coma inducing milkshakes, and have a strong friend at hand to roll your fat ass home.

La Turka offers an all round mediterranean dining experience, catch them on the right night for live music and belly dancers to accompany your meat platter. Six Cut Pizza and Leos will satiate any Italian needs; Six Cut’s home made sour dough Pizzas are to die for, Leos has that classic Italian feel and classic Italian dishes at a very reasonable price.

Get all things Brunch at Playfoots Cafe and Vintage Ambience, both now staying open well into the night and becoming cocktail hotspots. (i mean, what more do you want?!).

Art

We are fiercely proud Mancunians round here, and the walls shout it loud and proud. Where once people were portrayed ‘grasses’ or where bulbous, spunking penises ruled, now giant Bee murals to this great city dominate. Definitely a step up, I think we can all agree.

 

 

Not content with painting just the streets, a new arrival in Crystal Visions Tattoo Parlour wants to paint your skin too. No skulls, neon and black or Harley Davidson signs here, this elegant and inconspicuous shop offers a great array of artwork to brighten up your bones.

Nature

image1(2)

Where most boroughs of Manchester offer a depressing ‘park’ as their nature quota, breaking up grey junctions with some rusted, old railings and a dishevelled, sometimes post apocalyptic playground. Monton offers itself up as the gateway to some of the best outdoors in all the City’s border towns. Head west to Worsley Woods for an idyllic sunday morning stroll, its pathways a buzz with runners, dog walkers and families on a weekend.

boat

Hit the canal trails to Worsley and afar, if you get lucky (or just google when it’s there) you might just happen upon the ‘sweet boat’, it does exactly what it says on the tin.

Health

So you’ve been a boozin’ have you? Got a bit too friendly with them Cajun fries at Zous, eh? Well don’t sweat it, in fact, absolutely do sweat it. On its edges, Monton boasts not one but two highly acclaimed Yoga hotspots, The Yoga Loft just over the canal and the Instagram powerhouse Tamara Yoga just the other side of Worsley Woods are there tighten up that core and flood your mind with wellness.

yoga
@tammyrara

Plyo offers a new style health and protein eatery on the main strip and couples itself with a local gym and personal training centre in Intensifit for all your summer body needs.

Nightlife

“It’s how much in a cab to the City Centre now?”.  That round trip fare will get you through several nights drinking in the newly renovated but still ‘old Manchester’ charm of The Park Hotel. If that’s not your bag, just cross the road, Malt Dog has that cool ale house vibe, with Jazz nights, open mike nights and plenty of dogs always somewhere to say hello to. A hundred yards down the road you can get cocktails in your tightest white shirt at Bodega or The Blind Pig, drink with the pseudo-elite at Enoteca or tuck yourself into one of the cosy corners of the giant Blue Bell pub.

Anyhow, don’t listen to me, just come see for yourself.

Peace.