Manchester – rific!

I’m back after a two-week posting hiatus…

It was mine and Joel’s three-year anniversary in November so, we decided to book a weekend away to Manchester – I cannot believe I’d never been before!

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We timed it just right as the Manchester Christmas Market had just opened. The streets were brimming with people, German beer and foot-long sausages (not a euphemism!). I’ve waited 11 months for a Bailey’s hot chocolate; it didn’t disappoint!
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We decided to book our accommodation through Air Bnb for the first time and we couldn’t have been more pleased – half the price of a hotel and it was clean, stylish and right in the city centre!
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After a long drive, well for Joel (apparently my driving will only “cause arguments”), we were ready to fuel the day with a big breakfast. I’d seen Emma Connolly and Proudlock (my favourite celeb couple) brunching at Federal Café and Bar; if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us. Very cosy and natural vibe with all its greenery and amazing breakfast dishes – the corn fritters were a definite winner! Wish I had enough room for one of their baked cakes on display…
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Corn Fritters with Salmon and Mushrooms

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Hot Chocolate

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If you’re a shopping addict, this is the place for you – shopping everywhere and the stores are HUGE. I dread to think how much of the day I spent in Zara… Do I regret it? Absolutely not. Does Joel regret going in with me? Absolutely.
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Wandering the streets, we stumbled across Roxy Ball Room and ventured in. It’s very dark and ambiguous until you get upstairs; then you’re hit with a bar, ping-pong tables and pool tables. What more could you want?! I’d like to say that I played ping pong as well as Forrest Gump does, but after a few bevs mid-game, I was lucky to get the ball to land on the table. I even remember hitting a man, on the table next to us, on the back of the head with the ball… oops.
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Knowing how busy cities can be at weekends, we booked our evening meal before the trip at Albert’s Shed. This place had wicked reviews and I was dead excited to go. The food was so delicious, and we found a love for their “Pink Manc” cocktail. I forget how many we actually had…
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Monk Fish wrapped in Pancetta with Puy Lentils

My only downfall with the restaurant: (I’ll set the scene… I’m a panicker). I’d just devoured through my scallop starter and was feeling very content with myself. The waiter came over to collect our plates and said “You didn’t eat the garnish, did you? How much of it did you eat?! You’re not supposed to eat it!” and then ran off in a frenzy to the chef. By this point, I’ve diagnosed myself with only hours left to live and am sipping my cocktail like it could be my last… I can laugh about it now, but WHO puts food on a plate that you’re not supposed to eat?! Or if they must do it, TELL customers NOT to eat it.

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Scallops Special

Afterwards, we rocked up to 20 Stories MCR to soak up the skyline views – £28 for two gins definitely constituted to my “living life on the edge” theme of the evening, before finishing off at The Living Room, which also dupes as a club at night! They even sell Pornstar-Martini trees – y u m!
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After an alcohol-fuelled Saturday, we were in an “eat everything” mood on Sunday. We trammed our way to the Northern Quarter to indulge in some retro art and gothic graffiti, thrift shops and quirky cafés, such as, Fress Restaurant and Evelyn’s Café Bar.
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Almond Milk Cappuccino

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Chorizo and Butterbeans on Toast

I absolutely loved this area of the city and it’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle!
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We rounded the trip off at Mackie Mayor to stuff ourselves ready for the drive home. It’s a buzzing atmosphere and feels so social with all walks of life meeting up to eat and drink. The décor is so pretty, and the food stalls are so good that it’s hard to choose between them! FYI, the sourdough pizza was one of the best pizzas I’ve ever eaten.
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Mushroom Pizza with Garlic Oil

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I promise we didn’t just eat and drink for the whole time we were in Manchester, but it’s approaching Christmas; isn’t that what you’re supposed to do every day without needing a valid excuse?! We’ll definitely be returning to Manchester soon!

“This is Manchester, we do things differently here.” – Tony Wilson

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Links:

Federal Café and Bar
http://federalcafe.co.uk

Roxy Ball Room
https://www.roxyballroom.co.uk

Albert’s Shed
http://albertsshed.com

20 Stories MCR
https://20stories.co.uk

The Living Room
https://www.thelivingroom.co.uk/manchester

Fress Restaurant
http://fressrestaurant.com

Evelyn’s Café Bar
https://www.evelynscafebar.com

Fig & Sparrow
https://www.figandsparrow.co.uk

Mackie Mayor
http://www.mackiemayor.co.uk

Blue Rinse Vintage Store
https://www.bluerinsevintage.co.uk

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