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Venue: Dog Bowl
Price: £4.50 +
About: This old-school speakeasy combines the fun of bowling with a stylish diner - serving up the best Tex Mex this side of the USA. If you fancied some refreshments while you flirt Dog Bowl's bar offers an unrivalled range of top quality beers and cocktails.
The Date: If you're looking for a low pressure date with a casual vibe; bowling is the activity for you. The two of you can enjoy a drink or share a bite to eat while engaging in a friendly competition.
Remember - the more fun you have, the better chance you'll stand of getting a second date.
Address: 57 Whitworth Street, Manchester, M1 5WW
Telephone: 0161 228 2888
Venue: Manchester Sea Life
Price: £9.95 +
About: Located inside the Trafford Centre, Manchester Sea Life is a quirky alternative to an uneventful trip to the cinema. Stroll hand in hand as you're transported into an amazing underwater world. Prepare for astonishingly close views of everything from humble starfish and seahorses to graceful rays and powerful sharks.
The Date: Aquariums aren't just for school trips; they're also great places for first dates too. Your new fishy friends will provide you with plenty to talk about and also act as a distraction in between conversations - no awkward silences here.
Brush up on your underwater knowledge and settle in for an enormously fun and thoughtful first date.
Address: Barton Square, Manchester, M17 8AS
Telephone: 0871 221 2483
Venue: Paradise Island Mini Golf
Price: £8.00 +
About: Paradise Island Mini Golf is one of the best and most exciting indoor adventure golf courses in the North West. Reminiscent of an Indiana Jones film set, expect exotic wildlife, magnificent stone carvings and two challenging courses; the Tiki Hut Trail and Temple Ruins Adventure.
The Date: If your date isn't a dab hand with a putter, helping them with their swing is a great opportunity to get up close and personal.
On the flip side, if your date's a little more at home on the green, it’s the perfect chance for some playful competition.
Address: The Trafford Centre, Manchester, M17 8DF
Telephone: 0161 202 9544
Venue: Moose Coffee
Price: £2.00 +
About: Why not suggest a casual brunch date instead of dinner? Manchester boasts an array of great places where you can enjoy a stack of pancakes or a hearty plate of eggs, but for us Moose Coffee knocks brunch out of the park with its authentic American/Canadian menu.
The Date: A lazy weekend brunch at a quirky cafe is a fantastic alternative to a stuffy dinner.
After an easygoing bite to eat, you'll still have the whole day ahead of you if you're dates going well.
Address: 20 York Street, Manchester, M2 2BB
Telephone: 0161 228 7994
Venue: Sharrow Bay
Price: £128.00 +
About: Surrounded by snow-topped mountains and fells, right on the shores of Ullswater, Sharrow Bay is a romantic retreat unlike any other.
The Date: Give your love life a boost with a luxurious romantic break. Put the champagne on ice and whisk your loved one away to Sharrow Bay for a weekend of old-fashioned splendour, decadence and complete tranquillity.
Address: Lake Ullswater, Cumbria, CA10 2LZ
Telephone: 01768 486301
Venue: Manchester Art Gallery
About: Manchester Art Gallery is home to a rich collection of 17th century European art, Pre- Raphaelite paintings, Craft & Design and Contemporary art. The Museum boasts a range of dynamic exhibitions and a diverse events programme throughout the year.
The Date: Walking through exhibitions together and learning about new and interesting things is a great bonding experience and will give you plenty to talk about.
Make sure to take a break from browsing to eat a quick lunch and pop to the gift shop to pick out souvenirs for each other.
Address: Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3JL
Telephone: 0161 235 8888
Venue: Manchester Sightseeing Bus Tours
Price: £15.00 +
About: Sit back and relax on one of Manchester Sightseeing's distinctive red open top buses, and enjoy the city from a whole new perspective. The tour stops at some of the city’s biggest attractions including Manchester Town Hall, Old Trafford and the Museum of Science and Industry.
The Date: Living and working in Manchester we can sometimes take our hometown for granted, so why not try to see the city from a tourist’s perspective?
The Hop-on/Hop-off tickets allow you to get off and explore, so make sure that your date is up for an adventure.
Address: Chorlton Street, Manchester, M1 3LD
Telephone: 0800 288 8746
Grab A Drink
Venue: The Oast House
Price: £7.00 +
About: A lively boozer like The Oast House is a great first date venue - the last thing you want is to choose a silent bar, where you're forced to fill every break in conversation yourself!
The Date: 'Grabbing a drink together' is one of the most simple yet effective date ideas around. And, for good reason. It’s low key, fun and the drinks help to calm everybody’s nerves.
Plus, if you don't think that you've found 'the one', it’s easy enough to call it a night.
Address: Crown Square, Manchester, M3 3AY
Telephone: 0161 829 3830
Venue: Grand Pacific
Price: £30.00 +
About: Escape down-under at Manchester's Grand Pacific. This stylish Australian inspired bar and restaurant is the perfect place to wine and dine your date. The Modern Australian menu combines flavours from Europe, Indonesia and Southeast Asia to create totally unique dishes.
The Date: Location, style and ambience are everything so make sure that you pick the perfect venue. Choosing the right shirt and minding your Ps and Qs will go a long way too!
Sampling exciting exotic dishes and sharing new experiences on your date is a great way to build a connection with someone.
Address: 1 Spinningfield Way, Manchester, M3 3AP
Telephone: 0161 831 0288
Venue: The Alchemist
Price: £25.00 +
About: Whatever your favourite tipples are, The Alchemist can teach you and your date just how to make the perfect cocktails.
During your session you'll learn the art of cocktail making and find out how to mix, mash and muddle some of your favourite drinks, sampling as you go!
The Date: Both like a drink or two? Well instead of heading down to your local, why not try out a cocktail making masterclass instead? This type of date is great fun and will allow you to find out how creative your date really is.
Address: 1 New York Street, Manchester, M1 4HD
Telephone: 0161 228 3856
Venue: Heaton Park
About: An historic estate with an abundance of activities, Heaton Park is one of the North West's most popular days out. With a range of facilities including an 18-hole golf course, bowling green, boating lake, and woodland, Heaton is also a versatile date venue.
The Date: Although it's not for everyone, getting some fresh air and exploring the great outdoors is a terrific first date idea. Not only is a walking date the perfect conversation opportunity but it costs nothing, avoiding any awkward bill-splitting debates.
Just remember to check the weather forecast first!
Address: Heaton Park, Manchester, M25 2SW
Telephone: 0161 773 1085
Impress your date with these brilliant wine pairings
Choosing a good wine for your date can be a little daunting, so we've teamed up with the experts at Novel Wines to pick some crowd-pleasers that impress.
The safe bet for white wines is usually a Sauvignon Blanc and the Marlborough region in New Zealand offers consistently good quality. However, if you want to offer something a little more interesting, why not try the Casa Valduga Raizes Sauvignon from Brazil? It's fruitier and zippier than its New Zealand friends but still guaranteed to put a smile on a Sauvignon fan's face. If you want something a little more versatile than Sauvignon, for example if you don't know what's for dinner or what their tastes are, go eccentric with the Kayra Narince from Turkey. This juicy, floral white wine is a great food partner and good value too.
The red wines can also be challenging. Merlot can be hit and miss and a lot of supermarket Bordeaux is usually unimpressive. Spanish Rioja is usually an easy option, or you are generally safe going for the juicy Nero d'Avola reds from Sicily. In fact, this Colomba Bianca 'Vitese' Nero d'Avola is both organic and vegan friendly, as well as superb value. If you're going for pizza or pasta, try a medium bodied Uruguayan Tannat like the Bodega Stagnari Del Pedregal, full of plum and blackberry notes.
If you don't know whether to go with red or white and your date says "just bring the wine", then we've got you covered. Chateau Ksara Sunset Rose from Lebanon is spicy, fruity and creamy. It's bound to please!