Showing posts with label Manchester. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Manchester. Show all posts

21 March 2021

Time For a Staycation

Last year my mum was due to have a milestone birthday (80 but don't tell her I told you!).

As she is a lover of all things theatre related, I decided to find accommodation through for a room in Manchester together with tickets to see Sister Act at the Palace Theatre.  Sadly, due to the pandemic, the show was cancelled and as such, our plans.

In current climes, it is important that when you make any plans, you bear in mind current Government guidelines so that you can prepare and organise accordingly.  This was especially important when starting to arrange her birthday this year.

Looking at the Government road map going forward, restaurants are due to open with the ability to eat indoors from the 12th May, with hotels opening from the 3rd July 2021.  We are due to be out of lockdown by the 21st June and with any luck, everyone able will be vaccinated by the 31st July 2020.

Bearing in mind the above, I decided to book a staycation for my mum and I for September; with as much luxury as I can think of, whilst being mindful of the rules and what is safe to do for ourselves, and all.  

Rather than taking public transport to Manchester for our staycation, I have organised a car to transport us to and from our location.  This both adds a little luxury touch, whilst reducing our contact with others where possible.

With restaurants eager for diners to return to their establishments, we already know that proper distancing between tables will be in place and enhanced hygiene practices will be well established.  I plan to choose a few different restaurants for both lunch and dinner options for our two day trip.

With the theatre option not being available, I am looking at visiting the Manchester Museum to see the fantastic T-Rex, as well as a not to be missed visit to Chinatown.  We may decide to also utilise one of the free walking tours around Manchester which allows you to see many of the old and new architecture around the city.  Although at 81 by then, I suspect that the walk will be more of a stroll!  Again, don't tell her I said that!

For our accommodation, I have chosen to book an aparthotel which offers us both privacy and an added safety aspect rather than mingling with other guests; whilst maintaining a high quality of accommodation and a high level of cleanliness.

All of our bookings and planned trips will of course be subject to Government guidelines as well as any travel restrictions in place.  By then, both my mum and I should have had the vaccine so will also be in line with any Covid checks that are in place for any of activities and bookings.

Now is time the time to start planning your next staycation; where will you be going to for yours?

Images from Unsplash

In collaboration with, but all views are my own

26 November 2018

Seeing the Sights in Manchester

This weekend I did two things that I have always wanted to do in Manchester.

Usually when I am staying in hotels in Manchester it is for  special occasion, a night out or a shopping trip; I tend to stick to the same areas, bars and restaurants.  But there is so much more to Manchester that you can go and see.

So this weekend I decided to visit the Christmas markets (my first ever visit) and also to check out the Manchester Cathedral.  Although I am not religious or even a believer in any way, it does not mean that I cannot appreciate the architecture and the beauty of the place. 

How beautiful, right?  The height of the columns, the intricate detailing of the stained glass windows and have you seen that doorway??

I would also recommend seeing the John Rylands Library, the Bridgewater Hall Concert Hall and Calatrava Trinity Bridge.

After the Cathedral it was on to the Christmas markets.  Just a tad busy as you can see!

We decided to do the tradition thing and get a mulled wine to start our shopping out on a warm and fuzzy note.  £8 got us two delightful mug fulls of delicious and warming mulled wine and really got our shopping trip on to a lovely start.

After our mulled wine it was time to hit the food stalls located around the Town Hall and check out the welcoming Santa Claus!

Full of food, and one more mulled wine, it was time to start Christmas decoration shopping.  We were looking for some feature pieces to dot around the house rather than Christmas tree ornaments which we have in abundance.

The stalls had so much to offer!  What we quickly noted that it is worth shopping around to find what you are looking for as the prices differ, sometimes quite vastly, from stall to stall so it is worth checking everything out before making your purchases.

Although there are some gift based stalls, the Christmas markets are primarily for food and drink stalls as well as the usual Christmas decoration stalls so this is something that you need to bear in mind if you are looking for Christmas presents.  This beautiful Santa Claus is what we ended up bringing home, for the amazing price of ten pounds!

The spending money was gifted by, but all views are my own.

1 August 2017

City Lights

When I was a little girl, I always said that I wanted to live in New York when I grew up.  I talked about it all the time.  City living, art, culture, shopping; the Big Apple lured me like a moth to a flame.

These days my dream has changed.  I am far too close to my friends and family to move thousands of miles away from them and the current political climes mean that living in America is nothing something that I would choose.  But city living is still something that I would like to do.

When typing my current address into address verification software, I often look at all the other places that I could be living.  What it is about always wanting what you do not have?  Country dwellers lust after the city lights, city dwellers long for the quiet of the country.  For me at a mid point between the two, the city still pulls me in.

Manchester is not too far away from where I live and it holds me in its heart.  The people are warm, friendly, open hearted and diverse.  The city itself has everything that I want.  Fabulous architecture, great places to eat, art, history and museums.

I love to visit Manchester for the weekend and soak in some culture.  Manchester Cathedral is an absolute must, whatever your religion or lack thereof.  I visited recently on a weekend away and the cathedral which was built in 1847 in a perpendicular Gothic style is a sight to behold.

If you are looking for a night out in the city, Manchester has it all.  I have been there many a time with friends and as part of a couple.  There is all something new to do or a new place to try.

Go have a cocktail at The Botanist, take in a show at the Opera House, have a wander in China Town or go and see some live music.  There are so many restaurants to suit different tastes and I love trying out new tastes and experiences. There are places that cater to you no matter what your budget and there is always a friendly welcome which is typical of the Mancunians. 

While city living is not something that I can accomplish at the moment, Manchester is the place that I would live and its heart and its people are the reason that I keep returning to it.

* Collaborative pieces.  Images are my own and from Pixabay

25 May 2017

You Will Not Defeat Us

On Monday night I was playing around on Twitter and then suddenly, my heart dropped.  A potential explosion at the Manchester Arena.

I followed the story for about an hour.  At that point, there was no real information coming out. Trying to piece together conspiracy theories, people saying that it was just a speaker that exploded, others saying that nothing had happened at all.

By 11.30pm all I knew was that something had definately happened, but not what.  I woke at 7.30am to hear the worst news imaginable.  A terrorist had detonated a nail bomb, killing, maiming and injuring dozens of people.  Children. 

I cried as I watched Olivia Campbell's mother on the television pleading for news of her daughter.  I sobbed when I heard of her death.  Every story I read makes me cry.  I think of the wounded in hospital, with terrifyingly bad injuries and wonder how their families are getting through it.

But why am I telling you this?  You know what happened.  You have felt and are feeling exactly the same feelings. We have all been glued to the news, to Twitter and people's stories about what happened for the past two days.  I won't talk further about what that man did.  It was monstrous. How you can specifically target children and their parents and subject them to what happened is something I can and will never fathom.

What I want to talk about today is how this country comes together in the worst of times.  We become the best of ourselves in times of adversity and conflict.

Police and ambulance crews dashing to scene, without regard for their own lives or whether any more explosions could happen.  Every level of staff member from receptionists to surgeons upon hearing the news running to their hospitals to help.  To save people.  Taxi drivers turning their meters off to ferry anyone home who needed it.  Droves of people offering their homes, food, and blood.  Anything that they could do to help.

When we are divided we are weaker.  Be it politics, referendums or people trying to drive us apart.  When we are strong is when it matters.  The Olympics.  The clean up campaign arranged on Twitter after the London riots.  Now.  

CharleyHasted on Twitter sums us up pretty well.

British Stages of response to a terrorist attack:
-Mocking terrorists

I found in delight the #BritishThreatLevels hashtag on Twitter today.  When I saw it initially, my heart again sank.  I knew that the threat level had been changed to critical.  My heart rose when I saw hundreds of people, and gaining by the hour, saying that they were not afraid of terrorists.

We are afraid of tea running out, of people on the bus actually talking to us; someone who doesn't fancy "a cheeky Nandos"; 1 centimeter of snow; the incorrect use of their, there, and they're.  We are not afraid of you.

So terrorists, listen to us.  You will NEVER defeat us.  You will NEVER knock us down because we will ALWAYS get back up.  Even when the EDL turned up in Manchester today, they were thwarted by Mancunians who would not dealt with their hatred.  Not today.  Not ever.  

You will NEVER turn us against each other because at its heart, this country is one.  Name one other country who has, two days after an attack, fought against terror with talk of tea and sarcasm.  

We are STRONG. You are COWARDS. We stand together with every country that you have attacked, whether the media bother to mention them or not.

I sometimes wonder why we are called Great Britain.  Today I remembered.

25 August 2015

Manchester Eating Hotspots

I was recently asked by Millenium Hotels to participate in a new infograph they were creating, relating to Manchester's Hidden Gems.

If you are new to Manchester or even if you just want to try somewhere new, having someone local to the area recommend an eatery or bar for you will always guarantee a better experience.

As can be seen from the infograph below. there are quite a few recommended places; offering everything from pizza to fine dining.

My particular recommendation was Albert's Shed, Castle Street in Manchester which runs a great two courses for £11.95 offer but also offers some amazing dishes on the A La Carte Menu.  I recommend the Malayan Chicken which is delicious.

Happy eating!


12 July 2015

Manchester Central Travelodge Review

A couple of weeks ago I decided to take a two day trip to Manchester.  The plan was to do a little sightseeing, some shopping, catch up with a friend and have a few spa treatments.

I booked myself in the Manchester Central Travelodge on Blackfriars Street, Salford as it is in a prime location for everything you could want in a city break hotel.  There is parking available which is cheaper than the usual NCP parking but is also close to bus routes.

Only 5 minutes walk away from all the major shops, including everything from Primark to Michael Kors (all hail those amazing handbags) with lots of eatery places scattered around; the hotel is the perfect location for shopoholics.

Just around the corner from the hotel are the fantastic bars and restaurants in Deansgate and Spinningfields with an easy 5-10 minute stroll back to the hotel after some lovely food and a cocktail or two.   I would recommend The Botanist for cocktails and Gusto for gorgeous Italian fayre or GBK for the best burger in town.

For those looking for some culture too, the hotel is less than a 5 minute walk to Manchester Cathedral, 10 minutes to the Phones 4U Manchester Arena to see the latest musical performer and a 10-15 minutes stroll to the Opera House.

I was booked into one of the business floors at the Travelodge which offer a quiet and relaxing stay, especially with the fantastic new king size beds.  My room was compact but comfortable and had all the usual amenities.

Breakfast at the Travelodge has all the things that you could want including cereals, croissants, yogurts  and of course the hot breakfast together with an array of fruit juices, tea and coffee.  Diane, who was the lady on duty to assist customers was really lovely and helpful; being the perfect combination of chatty, without being intruding.  A plus when you are a sole traveller who wants to feel at ease, but also enjoy a peaceful breakfast.

I thought that I would share with you a few photographs that I snapped during my visit to Manchester Cathedral.  The architecture is simply breathtaking and is definately worth a visit.

I also visited a spa which I will be telling you about in a future blog post as well as as a cocktail bar or two!

*My hotel stay was gifted to me however all opinions are my own