As we continue on our journey through the north, we’re travelling half an hour from Crewe to visit Daniel in Manchester.

Manchester, sometimes referred to as ‘Madchester’ or, as the original Latin translation goes, ‘breast shaped hill’, is a city known for its strong music seen, it’s football clubs, and its industrial past. It is the pride of the north and is a city which, with London becoming so expensive, is a place that many from the capital are seeing as a beacon of hope. This week we will be looking at the cultural and historical highlights of Manchester which will be useful for Breadies who wish to find out more about the UK.

For anyone who is new to the IQBar Road Trip, we are taking a tour of the UK visiting the towns and regions where some of our management team are from. As many of our Breadies in China are interested in finding out more about the UK, we wanted to introduce some useful facts about the country to help Buddies familiarise – and also so everyone can get to know us a bit better!

But, if you’re feeling a little left out – do not fear! The tour will be expanding to anyone from anywhere who would like to share something interesting about their hometown – be that an area in the UK we missed out, or any other part of the world which deserves to be known about.

But, continuing our whistle stop tour of Manchester, let’s first begin with its industrial past. Manchester is really the city that started the Industrial Revolution by the opening of the Bridgewater Canal. It became the hub of the textiles industry and (South African Buddies, correct me if I’m wrong!) sometimes cotton sheets in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand are called ‘Manchester’. To this day, the towering factory buildings still loom in the centre of the city and the canalside area of Castlefield is a popular area full of bars and restaurants which has recently undergone a huge urban restoration program.

Manchester nowadays has taken a step away from its industrial past and is famous for its thriving arts scene, its abundance of restaurants and its football teams, Manchester United and Manchester City. It is the home of Oasis, a band who you cannot escape… no matter where in the world you are, Take That, everyone’s mum’s favourite, and the Stone Roses.

It is the city that brought you Manchester United, a team whose t-shirts permeate the Earth, whose matches from Old Trafford stadium are watched in sports bars in every city everywhere. This team alone is valued at $4.8 billion dollars – BILLION!

Another famous export of Manchester is a breakfast favourite – Kelloggs cereal! The UK’s Kelloggs factory, making Cornflakes to Cocopops are all made here in Manchester. Although cereal may not be a favourite with our Chinese students, you could discuss with them how popular this crunchy, often sweet breakfast food is a staple in the UK and around the western world. It makes you think really, why do we eat it? Compared to breakfasts eaten in China of egg, noodles or rice, it’s not very substantial and in most cases not very healthy. Anyway! This very famous cereal producer has pride of place in Manchester and highlights some of the industry that can still be found in the city.

Another famous food which you may not know originates from Manchester is black pudding. Whilst this may taste like a tasty sweet desert, this is far from sweet and desert. Black pudding is a savoury sausage which gets its black colour from its main ingredient – blood. Black pudding is a staple of a full English breakfast, also including baked beans, toast, eggs, mushrooms and bacon. It can also be added to a roast dinner which is always very popular on a Sunday!

We asked Daniel, our Teaching Quality Manager, what his favourite thing was about living in Manchester. He said:


Ooo… My favourite thing about the city  is something that’s just outside the city – the Peak District! Love all the hills and hiking potential. In the city, the best thing is either the food (there are loads of great places to eat) or the karaoke on China town!


It’s a fun city, more than anything – not the prettiest, but it’s good for eating and drinking.

I’m sold!

As with most parts of the UK, although perhaps particularly famous in this area, is Mancunian slang. This potentially proves quite confusing for a non-native speaker! Here are a few common words you may here in Manchester and its surrounding areas which probably haven’t popped up in any everyday English lesson.

So now if you ever feel like visiting Manchester you can speak like a real Mancunian! Next time you speak to Daniel, ask him if there are any set phrases or slang words he uses which are specifically from Manchester!

There’s so much more to Manchester that we haven’t been able to cover here, from ‘curry row’, a street famous for the sheer number of South Asian restaurants on it, to the BBC recording studio there – there just isn’t time on our whirlwind trip! Have you been to Manchester or are from there? Let us know what your favourite – and least favourite! – parts of the city.

Together we can create a collective IQBar map of the world!  

Next week we’ll be continuing our journey north visiting Gerry and Ronnie in Scotland – see you then!