Good places for first dates in Manchester

Koffee kiss

Following my last few posts about dates and information for those interested…

Now I have to point out that I am still single and therefore this means all my tips obviously have not worked. There also more for fun that anything and shouldn’t be taken seriously…

I wanted it to be more like this than this (or heck this)…

  1. Bakerie (anytime)
    This place is perfect. Not only is it a great place to take a date but its also a nice place with a good choice of wine and food. Just dont order cocktails because it will be a disappointment. You can also transfer from a few drinks to a meal with or a sharing platter… Its also got an amazing atmosphere, which is dark and low lit by small lights and tea lights. Its a lively place, so its best to do the date before 8pm if possible. Fridays and Saturdays are extremely busy. Also if you get the chance check out the tasting bakerie for that extra special date. Reviewed by Manchester confidential
  2. FYG Northern Quarter (anytime but lunch time)
    FYG is a wine kind of a place and of course if you do transfer, food is great… A sharing deli platter for two could be lots of fun if it wasn’t surpassed by the Chocolate or Cheese Fondue on some Fridays. The atmosphere is usually quiet with the hummm of people talking and a bit of music in the background. The owners and staff are lovely and ever so friendly. Wine selection is up there with Bakerie but the more quiet environment is handy for inmate chats. Recently reviewed by Manchester confidential
  3. Soup Kitchen (before 10pm)
    Large bench tables like you see in Wagamamas but can be nice for meeting up for an early evening drink. They seem to have tons of different beers and some wines. The food isn’t bad but nothing compared to FYG or Bakerie. Its also not sharing food. The soup kitchen has a downstairs club which gets loud and I gather the upstairs starts to rise later in the evening too.
  4. A place called common (before 9pm)
    Another classic place like Soup Kitchen, lots of beers and some reasonable food. The music gets loud after 9pm, so you may want to move on by the late evening. The booths make for interesting inmate spaces although they are a bit big for just a couple.
  5. revoluciondecuba (weekdays)
    Out of the northern quarter now, its a new rum cocktail bar near deansgate with plenty of seats and booths. Cocktails and South American Beers. Its more mainstream that the rest but still a good place during the week but avoid on weekends its packed full of people and loud music. Food is good and can be ordered up till late.
  6. Apotheca (not on the weekend)
    Laura pointed out this venue is used for Coronation Street now and then, but this venue is full of lovely moveable sofas and has some fine cocktails. Next door is dough pizza kitchen if you want to grab some late night food. The venue is usually buzzing but not loud unless Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Careful of the quiz which sometimes happens, but you can avoid it with some foresight.
  7. Oddest Bar
    I had to include one from Cholton otherwise people would complain. I have been to the Oddest quite a few times as its just off the Cholton tram stop and tends to have a buzz which means you can have drinks till late. Its a chain with other Odd bars in Manchester, but the Cholton one is the best I have to say.
  8. Home sweet home
    Quiet little place next to Common, they do hot food and cake till late plus all types of drinks (even some cocktails). Its a great place for a intimate chat before going home, as there is no loud music to fight with. I always found its evening staff friendly and the place never full after 9pm
  9. Knott Bar (FB site, geez get a real site!)
    Another one of those pubs which serve all types of beer but has a great atmosphere. I use to go there all the time and Sunday afternoons can rather special. No loud music and plenty of space most of the time.
  10. Rain Bar
    Old classic for me, the drink selection isn’t great, same goes for the food. But there’s lots of corners and even outdoor spaces by the canal for good laughs and intimate chats. Shame food ends so early, but its a good venue for meeting and a few drinks.

A couple notables…

Dukes 92
If its sunny and your date is much earlier in the afternoon, dukes92 has everything you want (beers, wine, bbq, sharing food). However it might this year see its popularity undone by The Wharf in Castlefield. Its also not the place you go for quiet conversations really!

I use to love Simple before the camera in the toilet shocker. You could go for a quiet drink and the venue would slowly transform into a late night drinking venue complete with loud music. Shame, never been back after that shocker.

Never have in your dating profile picture

Ayares the Lost Terrorist

I said in the last post about how I spent some time looking at OKcupid with my mother on Easter Sunday. There were some interesting insights to be learned but also we came up with a list of things you shouldn’t have in or as your profile picture in OkCupid, or following a suggestion from The Hodge, generally as your profile/avatar picture (although I admit thats just my own hate of weird pictures as avatars).

OkCupid has their own more scientific views on what you should do with your profile picture but here’s mine, my mother and a few twitter followers…

Here’s the list of what to never have in your profile…

  • Dog & Cat
    Its ok to have a picture with your pet in the background but as your primary picture and without you even in the picture? wtf! Seriously… wish I could take a screenshot and post it!
  • Unusual pets
    Mum hates creepy crawlies and to be honest when I saw a woman with a hamster, I just thought… yawn, who cares.
  • Car or some other thing
    It wasn’t just some lady in front of a car, it was a head in a Audi TT driving at high speed. I honestly don’t even think it was her car because the number plate looked highly customised and expensive. You might be proud of your car or your hire car but ffs, not on your dating profile. Imagine if I was posing with my tablet!
  • Your House
    Is it a good idea to take a picture outside the front of your house. One where you can almost read the house number and recognise the street. Not smart and not clever.
  • Parents
    Ok its nice having a picture with the parents but as my mum said, who really wants to see your whole family before seeing you? Its about you and not your parents. One lady had 5 pictures and they were all of her parents and her. Not a single one of just her alone or a close up of her face as my mum noticed.
  • Twin
    It can’t be too clever to have your twin in the one and only picture you have in your profile. Luckily they weren’t identical but it was tricky to see the difference from the low quality picture.
  • Ex-girl/boyfriend
    Its not great to have your ex in the photo and the scissors cuts are a little rough but heck, pick the right photo to do it to. We seen a couple where the woman is literally dancing or staring into the other persons eyes which have been cut out. It would be like me using this photo (of course I’ve not, because I’m not stupid – not that woman who have done such things are necessarily stupid)
  • Your weapons
    From Eastmad this one… I haven’t seen anyone with a weapon but I can imagine on some sites, it happening.
  • Instagram photos
    Please no hipster filters…!
  • Certain holiday pics
    From Louise, the kind with bad dress sense, sunburns and too many pint glasses… Yes whats a lovely image to conjure up. I would also add snow pictures of you wearing a big massive snow coat, wolly hat and skis against a white backdrop on your ass is not a good idea.
  • Your children
    From Louise again, but with additional thoughts from my mum and myself… They have no place on a dating site as they can’t consent, among other things. Louise is right and frankly its extremely off putting. Yes your child(s) might be the centre of your world, I get that! No problem. But showing off your children on a dating site seems very wrong. I mean, whos going to say oh wow what beautiful children, shame about the mum? Ah screw it worth it for the kids… The consent issue is massive which follows in the next one…
  • Someone elses children
    This has to be a no way! If having your kids in the photo was bad then having someone elses kids has to be a total no go. How do you even explain to their parents what your going to do!
  • 10 year old picture of yourself
    Thanks Dom, also hate those pictures of people when there 10years old. You look nothing like that now and whats the point in putting a picture from the 70’s or 80’s on a dating site. Ok not seen this as of yet, but when I do there will be trouble!
  • No Sausages, pasties or other foods
    This goes without saying (Of course I’m not talking about food here)… Thank goodness Okcupid’s filters does a good job removing this type thing…!

The view of Okcupid from my mother


Spent some lovely time with my parents and godchildren over the Easter holidays. On the Sunday night me and my mum was sitting down after our lovely cream tea for supper. I was showing mum some stuff and somehow got on to the subject of online dating. As you can imagine to my parents the whole thing is a little removed from reality but anyway, I decided to show her the kind of people who use it, mainly to point out there not all fruitcakes.

In Okcupid there’s a mode which is best described as hot or not. Instead you choose a rating from 0 to 5 stars. It was a quick way to show a flavour of woman without getting too bogged down in the details. As flicked through I asked my mother what she thought of the woman’s photos.

It was fascinating hearing my mothers view on the woman’s photos and glimpse of personality in what they wrote.

Generally my mum would look at the photos, if she liked what she saw, she would start reading the profile. Nothing new there I hear you say. But it was the woman who she choose to read more about which interested me. If I could generalise, I would say it was somewhere right in the middle. She liked to see the whole face in one photo and the whole person in the next one. She was not impressed by woman drinking beer and low light photos full stop. She was also not a fan of photos showing lots of cleavage or flirty photos. For example a picture of a woman on the floor with her legs open facing away from the camera in stockings received absolute scorn. Of course it was playful and didn’t show anything but it didn’t matter… Scorn and burn!

She didn’t seem to like single photos either, specially if they were trying to act cute. She also didn’t like the look of the boyish looking woman, think my mum likes woman to look like woman. She also needed more that one photo to make a good decision, which makes sense. With the profiles she read, she glossed over interests like films, etc. But liked it when the woman talked about cooking or food. Even a few who talked about baking cakes.

Looking back through the marks I trying to tally them against my own personality, its very much a napkin/tomboy notes calculation… Here’s what I’d say my mum looks for me…

  • Someone more introverted
  • Someone easy going
  • Someone more independent
  • Someone more conventionally moral (religious maybe?)
  • Someone less progressive
  • Someone less kinky
  • Someone less adventurous
  • Someone less romantic?

Thats done by looking at all the woman my mum ticked high and averaging the scores. Its far from scientific with only 8 woman my mum rated as very suitable for myself. I would say the woman were generally younger looking and in age. Bear in mind I only showed woman within my filter of 26-38 and less than 50miles away. Anyway… Once I get them the Chromebook, I’ll have to seek more matching advice from my mum as it was fun and interesting at the same time.

More interesting is what we decided on with some twitter help…