A WAG's guide to Manchester

Manchester may not spring to mind as the obvious choice for a short break but it can provide respite from the daily grind of quality points, GANFYD (get a note from your doctor) syndrome being displayed by many patients, and unsolvable social problems.

Old Trafford
Old Trafford

Theme it to football, and there are plenty of distractions - for aspiring premiership footballers and WAGs.

Stay at... Malmaison. By the station for easy access from train and airport arrivals, just 10 minutes' walk from Harvey Nichols and Selfridges. Malmaison is proud of its daringly different hotels.

Opt for a splash of luxury by booking into a suite aptly entitled 'The Theatre of Dreams' after Manchester United's stadium.

With a raised bath and mini staircase to help you get in, this is how successful footballers live. And it makes a definite break from clinical surgery walls. Suites are available from £255, and rooms from £89, without breakfast (www.malmaison.com ).

Splash out... on a hospitality package at a game. Take your pick from Manchester United or Manchester City from around £90-£99 depending on the game and facilities. If you don't want to spend that much, you could sign up for a backstage tour of the grounds for around £10 (www.manutd.com ; www.mcfc.co.uk ).

Shop for... designer wear, which can be found at Armani, Vivienne Westwood and the 'chains' (Selfridges, Harvey Nicks) or get something a bit different, retro, fetish or vintage at Affleck's Palace (www.afflecks-palace.co.uk ) in Church Street. Or try one of the many other independent shops in the Northern Quarter.

Eat at... Le Mont at Urbis - the first Bollinger bar outside London - has a great Franglais menu. With floor-to-ceiling glass, it is not for vertigo inclined visitors. Check it out at http://360spin.co.uk/le-mont-urbis .

Night life... To finish off the evening in true footballer style, you can't beat Panacea, a chic bar and restaurant - and there are booths to fend off prying eyes. An excellent place for a special celebration (www.panaceamanchester.co.uk) .

Dr Nerys Williams is a GP clinical assistant in Solihull

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