Abel Heywood, Manchester: hotel review

This new hotel in Manchester’s Northern Quarter is a crowd-pleaser despite a curious mishmash of stylings. And don’t expect its location to make it a beacon of the counterculture

The Abel Heywood is not an independent, but a new venue from the Manchester brewery and pub operator Hydes. This reveals a lot about the contemporary Northern Quarter. Famously, this dense concentration of off-beat indie businesses around Oldham Street is Manchester at its most interesting. For example, drinking in Common, dancing at the Soup Kitchen, browsing in Piccadilly Records and Eastern Bloc or clothes shopping at Wood and Oi Polloi, it still feels like an alternative enclave. However, in recent years that vibe has been diluted by, not least, a massive influx of new bars. Property prices are forcing creative types out and now, on a Saturday night when the hordes descend, it is difficult to credit the area with any real counter-cultural edge.

Related: A literary tour of Manchester

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