Posted on 03/07/2019
The Rochdale Canal first opened in 1804, built to carry coal- and cotton-loaded narrowboats across the rugged heights of the Pennines. You can easily walk beside the waterway over a long weekend, all the way from the market town of Sowerby Bridge to Manchester, or from any other canalside Pennine towns and villages that take your fancy.
In the heart of Manchester, the canal is flanked by beautiful red-brick Victorian architecture – once warehouses and factories, now swanky bars, cafés and offices. Short detours from the canal will take you to Manchester Art Gallery, the Palace Theatre and Bridgewater Hall, so you can plan a full-blown cultural day out before dinner.
But where to have dinner in a city that boasts so many great places to eat? For something just that extra bit special, it’s got to be The French, surely the city’s most opulent restaurant within walking distance of the canal. You’ll find it in The Midland Hotel – a Manchester icon with rooms straight out of a Wes Anderson movie.
The French is headed by Manchester-born chef Adam Reid, who won the BBC Great British Menu in 2016 with his signature dish Golden Empire – an exquisite take on an apple crumble. You can try this dish at The French, among barbecued native lobster, almond-poached cod and sea buckthorn sorbet. There’s also a chef’s counter serving up hot broth, dips and crackers as appetisers. Hungry, anyone?