Only two hours from London, Manchester is giving the capital a run for its money when it comes to its vibrant nightlife and celebrity hotspots. The northern city has experienced a gentrification in recent years, with stars including David Beckham and Michelle Keegan calling Manchester 'home' for a period of time.
It was the city where Becks carved his name as a football sporting legend, and where former Coronation Street star Michelle shot to fame as one of the soap world's most talented rising stars.
Manchester-born Matthew Williamson and Nick Grimshaw are often seen leading the fash pack on nights out, while earlier this year Cameron Diaz and Nicole Richie were pictured supporting their rocker husbands on tour.
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David Beckham returned to Manchester for his UNICEF charity match last year
Firmly backing itself on the culinary map, Manchester is also being recognised nationally and internationally thanks to the Michelin-starred Manchester House, and the ever-so-cool Australasia.
The latter served as the venue for David Beckham's afterparty, when he took part in the seven continents in seven days charity football matches for UNICEF. The retired footballer naturally returned to Old Trafford stadium to play, but it was at Australasia that he kicked off his boots and partied in style.
The sporting hero held his afterparty at Australasia
David was joined by his wife Victoria and the couple's close friends including Liv Tyler, Dave Gardner, Emma Bunton, Jack Whitehall and Paloma Faith, to name a few. Wayne and Colleen Rooney have also dined there, while Michelle Keegan called it one of her top ten "favourite restaurants" of all time in her HELLO! Online blog.
The well-heeled arrive in droves to the modern Australian restaurant, which combines Pacific and South East Asian flavours with European influences. Start off with a drink at the alfresco, colonial-style bar – which is heated in the winter – and sip on classic cocktails with a twist.
Australasia is one of Michelle Keegan's favourite restaurants of all time
For the main event, head down to the chic underground restaurant, where dishes including roasted duck breast with duck croquettes and pot-roasted lobster with kaffir lime, chilli and Thai basil tempt the taste buds.
Sushi, sashimi, tempura and maki rolls all reflect the Japanese side of the menu. Or make like Michelle and Mark Wright and order the blackened cod – an Australasia speciality.
With a three am licence on Fridays and Saturdays, the late-night bar is the best place to round off the night with... yet again more cocktails! The electrifying DJs keep the party going.
Binky Felstead shot her fashion campaign at Artisan
If you're more Made in Chelsea, Artisan, also located in the buzzing Spinningfields area, is another dining option in the heart of Manchester. Binky Felstead has shot her fashion campaigns in the rustic, industrial venue that doubles up as a restaurant and art gallery.
Embracing the heart and soul of the city's manufacturing traditions, the focal point of the restaurant is a pair of wood-fired ovens that make authentic, artisanal pizzas. But the menu is varied; East meets West in the form of their Bang Bang chicken salad and their baked banana with rum and raisin ice cream.
The Corn Exchange is now an eclectic food outlet
Spinningfields isn't the only area that has been given a facelift. The Corn Exchange, a Grade II listed building, is no longer a shopping centre but an eclectic food outlet offering the favourite high street chains such as Cabana and Wahaca, as well as Gino D'Acampo's My Restaurant.
For more off-the-beaten-track options, the Northern Quarter could rival London's Shoreditch in trendiness and edginess. The area charms with its rough-around-the-edges vibe and secret hidden gems, such as Sugar Junction, the tea-house-cum-deli that serves doorstopper sandwiches and tiered cakes.
King Street Townhouse boasts its own rooftop infinity pool
Where to stay
Having opened six months ago, King Street Townhouse is already making waves in Manchester's hotel industry. Out of all the luxury accommodation located in the city centre, the hotel has a definitive unique selling point – its pièce de résistance is the rooftop infinity pool.
With panoramic views across the city and the iconic clock tower and Town Hall, the pool sits on the seventh floor of the Grade II listed hotel. The Helos steam room and adjacent relaxation room, which boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, will help you unwind while beauticians, hairdressers and therapists are also on hand to make you feel like a million dollars.
Each suite is fitted with a freestanding bath
There are five different room types but the common thread is luxury. Each bedroom is fitted with an in-room Sky box, a TV over the bath, a fully stocked minibar, a Nespresso machine and handmade South African linen. Bathing in the middle of your room will become second nature.
The hotel's main restaurant King Street Tavern is open to all guests, but for a little more privacy the mezzanine holds a table for 14. Coffee and snacks can be taken in the afternoon tea lounge, or for even more decadence head to the south terrace lounge – an alfresco, charismatic space that has sprawling views of the city.