Always wanting to escape from the hustle and bustle of London, my friend and I decided to visit another iconic UK city for the Easter Bank holiday weekend. We had originally planned on going Amsterdam but the flights and hotel were way too pricey (and we left it until late to decide). I would recommend booking European city breaks well in advance if you plan on going on a Bank Holiday weekend or around any other national holidays. We booked a Megabus amounting to around £30 return each, a mere fraction of the price in comparison to the train. At least with taking a coach, I had to catch up on some reading and of course some much-needed SLEEP.
We stayed at The Manchester Hilton Deansgate, a gorgeous skyscraper, dominating the Manchester skyline. Having arrived there after a 7-hour Megabus journey from hell (I could have gone to New York instead), we were easily checked in and made our way to our room to relax before getting ready for dinner.
We booked a twin room and on first thoughts, it was absolutely stunning. I tend to find most hotel rooms quite boxy and small but this one was bigger than I had imagined. Not only was the room lovely, the bathroom was too and the shower was what I would describe as euphoria. Our room was on the 14th floor and we were rewarded with a floor to ceiling window with views across Manchester. If you are not too fond of heights, this might not be the hotel for you.
Having done some TripAdvisor research of places to go and things to see in Manchester, we definitely thought we’d hit some of the ‘hotspots’. First on our list was Rosso, an Italian restaurant owned by premier league footballer Rio Ferdinand. Upon arrival, we could tell this place was quite posh, from the decor to the way everyone was dressed. One thing I love about Manchester is that they really make an effort on their nights out. I’m not saying us Londoners don’t, I just think London is a little rough round the edges and more focused on personal style over fashion. Anyway, back to Rosso, having sat glaring at the menu, I wasn’t sure what to order, so I decided upon the scallops and calamari (to share!) and the lobster for my main. It was absolutely to die for, pricey but to die for. The service was impeccable too and our waiters were very attentive. We accompanied our seafood dinner with plenty of cocktails – one of the ones I had was vodka, sambuca and I think tequila, so right at the time but so wrong later on…
Having paid our bill, we decided to hit a bar in Manchester’s equivalent to Mayfair or Soho, their one being called Spinningfields. We walked around for a bit and were admittedly lost so we took a cab back to our hotel to check out the only rooftop bar in Manchester, Cloud 23. If you know me well, I am sucker for views like this:
Cloud 23 operates on a reservation policy, so don’t be disappointed if you have to queue. We managed to get in as we were guests in the hotel but we were very much prepared to go bed if we didn’t get in. A day on a coach and eating a big dinner can really take it out of you…
The 360 degree views from Cloud 23 are absolutely divine, I can understand why there is always a queue to get in. It reminded me of some of the rooftop bars in Dubai, elegant, unique and a somewhere to just sit back and admire the view.
You are probably wondering what my thoughts of the shopping is like in Manchester. Well, I was too hungover even to go out during the day on Saturday… I cannot believe how sick I was, next time I try to drink vodka before I go to bed, please stop me. This has now inspired my current alcohol detox until I can stomach it again! 😷
On the Saturday evening, we visited one of our favourite dining chains, Gaucho. The Manchester branch is a converted church, which makes an impressive setting for a date, or meal with family or friends. My only problem with my visit this time is that the service was a little slow, I had to ask three or four different staff for a glass of water (I WAS SO HUNGOVER). It didn’t bother me too much as it was a busy bank holiday weekend, so it was expected if anything.
Overall, I really enjoyed Manchester until I had the devil’s worst hangover! When I do visit again I’ll be sure to check out the Arndale Centre and more of what Manchester has to offer.
Please note – Images in this post have been taken by me on my trusty iPhone 6.