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Cow Hollow Hotel, Manchester: ‘Chic … but in a Mancunian way’ – review

Manchester’s Northern Quarter now brims with bars and restaurants but this hotel evokes the creative spirit that first made the area cool – as well as reflecting its industrial heritage

Manchester’s Northern Quarter is usually described, in the media, as its bohemian enclave. But in recent years the area’s creative spirit has been diluted by the opening of scores of new bars, restaurants and chain hotels.

This corner of the city centre – once a ragbag of sex shops, curry cafes and cheap ‘n’ ratty pubs and music venues – still has its rough edges and its outlier spots (Soup Kitchen, Eastern Bloc, Aatma). However, such challenging cultural hubs are now vastly outnumbered by generic venues trading on the vapour trails of the Northern Quarter’s once “edgy” appeal. On Saturday nights, it is just another raucous open-plan booze zone – more Love Island than Modern Love (a neighbourhood techno label). The underground has migrated to Manchester’s border with Salford.

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