Fashion celeb Hannah Louise Farrington’s guide to Manchester

In case you don’t know your way around yet

exclusive fashion Manchester Manchester university student

She’s the Law student famed for her collaborations with ASOS, Motel and Missguided.

Hannah Louise Farrington, shortlisted for “Best Personal Style Blog” in Company Magazine’s 2014, has been juggling her degree with being a fashion big shot since 2011.

Now, the “Hannah Louise Fashion” blogger gives The Tab her rundown of Manchester.

Photography by Kirsty Fletcher

You’ve just done Fresher’s Week, you’re probably feeling a little worse for wear, and hopefully you haven’t blown all your student loan just yet, so what better time to get to know your city? Whether you’ve just moved to Manchester, or have lived here for two years but rarely venture out of Fallowfield (I am consistently shocked and amazed by the number of my classmates who still don’t have a clue where anything in the city centre is!), I have compiled this guide to Manchester to get you started with clothes shopping, eating, and finding your way around the city.  


Manchester’s main shopping hub is the Arndale centre and its surrounding areas. Head to Market Street for Primark (the UK’s biggest, shop during the week in the evening just before closing time, or in the morning to early afternoon to avoid the sometimes unbearable crowds), Urban OutfittersH&MAmerican Apparel, and more; find TopshopRiver IslandWarehouse, etc. inside the Arndale. Just off the bottom end of Market Street there is M&SSelfridgesHarvey Nichols, and other higher end stores like Burberry (if you fancy a spot of window shopping), as well as Zara and French Connection down nearer Deansgate.

If high street isn’t your thing, go to the Northern Quarter for a plethora of independent boutiques and vintage shops. Afflecks Palace is just behind Debenhams and, whilst it was my go-to for (mostly hideous) ‘alternative’ clothes and accessories as a young teen, is actually home to many a lovely little boutique – from handmade goodies to handpicked vintage. You’ll also find some of my vintage favourites like CowPop BoutiqueOxfam Originals and Ryan Vintage in the Northern Quarter. Boys, I haven’t forgotten about you: many of the best menswear shops are located in the NQ. They’re often a little pricier than the high street, but full of plenty of quality men’s and unisex branded items. Check out Oi PolloiBionic 7CarharttNote, and Wood. If you’d like to venture out of town you can hop on a 20 minute bus to the Trafford Centre (great for late night shopping), or even explore Manchester suburbs for charity shops – there’s a particularly good Barnardo’s in Fallowfield where pretty much everything is £1.


My favourite hobby! Manchester is not short of places to eat out, which is perhaps why I do it so frequently. Meat-eaters should absolutely visit Red’s True BBQ by the town hall for the best American style barbecue (and please try the donut burger), and Southern 11 in Spinningfields. Other hotspots include Almost Famous (in the NQ and at Great Northern off Deansgate) and Luck Lust Liquor and Burn (NQ) – best to visit at off-peak times to avoid queuing all day, and Kosmonaut does a lovely Sunday roast (including a vegetarian and vegan option). 

Home Sweet Home deserves a special mention as probably my most frequently visited (and most frequently Instagammed) eatery – the varied menu has something for whatever mood you’re in, and the cake is just insane. Its next-door neighbor Common is great too. Other favourite coffee and cake spots include North Tea PowerSugar JunctionTeacupand a particular favourite is its subsidiary Proper Tea for tea and cake or a light bite with a view of Manchester cathedral.


I’m also a fan of Moose Coffee for breakfast food at any time of the day (their delicious apple and salted caramel pancakes are pictured above), Koffee Pot and its proper greasy spoon vibe for a fry-up, and Font for a good range of student-budget-friendly food and drink.   What can I do for free? Shopping and eating is all very well and good, but even if you’ve scouted out the best bargains, you’re still spending! So what can you do for free in Manchester? The Manchester Art GalleryManchester Museum (Oxford Road, even nice to pop into if you have a couple of hours free while you’re on campus – I’m a fan of the cute little frogs and reptiles in The Vivarium), People’s History MuseumMuseum of Science and Industry, and the relatively new National Football Museum are all free to visit and make for a nice day out, especially if it’s raining. If you’re into architecture or just like being in pretty places, visit the Town HallCentral LibraryJohn Ryland Library, or Manchester Cathedral, or if it’s a nice day take a stroll down to one of Manchester’s most pleasant areas to just sit in, Castlefield.


Almost everything I’ve mentioned is in the city centre and within walking distance of each other, so get your Google Maps ready and go and explore Manchester!  

You can find Hannah online at