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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Dive Into the Craft Beer Scene in Manchester, England

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5. Oddball Day

There's plenty worth looking at both on and above the walls at Manchester Art Gallery, a longtime public museum.  

For a reprieve from day drinking, explore the thriving art and design scene of the redeveloped city. Begin your morning with toasted teacakes ($3) at the Oak St. Cafe Bar, inside the Manchester Craft and Design Centre, a collection of artisan handicraft boutiques housed in a repurposed Victorian fish and poultry market. Walk two blocks down Copperas St., make a right on High St., and find the Richard Goodall Gallery, which focuses on digital art, painting, photography, and sculpture. Their nearby sister venue, Richard Goodall Gallery: Thomas Street, is dedicated to more populist art forms, such as movie and music posters (from $8) and designer vinyl toys (from $6). Walk south on High St. and and turn onto Thomas St. to see what’s on at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (free), making sure to stop into the gift shop for screen-printed T-shirts (from $23), engraved wooden brooches ($13), and leather key rings ($10). Get back onto High Street and continue south for ten minutes, turn left on Nicholas St., and visit the Manchester Art Gallery (free), a public museum opened in 1833, best known for its collection of nineteenth-century British paintings, including works by Manchester-based French impressionist Adolphe Valette and the pre-Raphaelites. For lunch, order the locally sourced daily special, such as kedgeree, an Anglo-Indian fish and rice dish ($12) or sausages with mash and onion gravy ($13) at the on-site Gallery Cafe. Follow Mosley St. south past St. Peter’s Square and, in about ten minutes, make a right on Hewitt St. Explore the cutting-edge art at the Castlefield Gallery, known in the Manchester art world for developing young talent; many artists exhibited here have gone on to Turner Prize nominations. Retrace Hewitt St., make a left on Albion St., and then take a quick right on Whitworth St. In less than ten minutes, you’ll reach Cornerhouse, an indie cinema, bookstore, and contemporary-art center. Catch a screening ($13) and end the night with a lamb burger ($20) or tea-smoked duck pizza ($18) at the on-site cafe and bar.

Published on May 1, 2014 as a web exclusive.

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