It’s summer – and for once (at the time of writing), it’s actually sunny. So, with that in mind, we’ve been thinking about where we’ve spent sinking a couple of jars and catching a couple of rays – and these three have consistently been our favourites:

Summer Cider Garden
The range of drinks might not be spectacular – this is, after all, an event run by the lovely but limited Rekorderlig cider – but this pop-up more than makes up for it with the breadth of its diversity elsewhere. Though techincally a separate entity, next door is Almost Famous – running their Summer Beach Club – and Penelope’s Ice Cream, meaning that a pint can be complemented with a juicy slab of meat and followed up by an ice-cream. Oh, and the ‘garden’ itself is lovely too – the usually empty amphitheater at Great Northern seems to have finally found its calling.
Great Northern Square, Peter Street, M2 5GP

Rain Bar (pictured)
Sat alongside the canal, if you go at the right time of day it feels as though you’re the only person in the city centre aware of this hidden gem. At other times – usually in the evenings, when people pop in for an after-work ale – it can be a little crowded, but being able to sit on a little bit of grass and watch the narrowboats pass by a perfect way to spend any sunny day. Decent selection of beers, too.
80 Great Bridgewater Street, M1 5JG

Sinclairs Oyster Bar
Given the fact that this is one of the cheapest pubs in Manchester and that it’s also incredibly central, getting a table here might be a bit tricky – and it’s usually pretty densely populated with smokers, too. Still, you’re not going to find anywhere else that does pints for under £3 and lets you people-watch at Exchange Square. It’s best timing it so you end up here at the end of a long, lazy evening session – midday on a Saturday can be a bit difficult even in the depths of winter. Get ready to battle for the bar, though, regardless of the weather.
2 Cathedral Approach, Exchange Square, M3 1SW

Matthew Britton
Published on:
Fri 12 Jul 2013