Since getting engaged, we’ve found ourselves spending our free moments driving up and down the motorway scouting venues, meeting vendors and everything in between. So when we rocked up in Manchester to meet with our florist last week, I thought this would be the perfect excuse to stay over, and check out what ‘the new London’ has to offer.
Where to stay
I was told that the go-to place in Manchester city centre is SpinningFields, so I made sure I booked somewhere within walking distance. After checking out a variety of places to stay, I opted for The Lowry Hotel.
The rooms are incredibly spacious, modern and most importantly – squeaky clean! Upon arrival we were asked if we wanted to upgrade to a river view room, which would cover the cost of the £25 parking fee, so of course – we did. Flooded with light and contemporary furnishing, our room was more than satisfactory, and we would definitely come back again.
Where to eat
Lame as it sounds, but my favourite way to search restaurants nowadays has to be on the wonderful world of Insta. So when I stumbled across blush interiors, flowers walls and boujee cocktails, I knew I had found somewhere worth a visit.
Probably the most instagrammable spot ever, Sunset by Australasia did not disappoint with its a wow factor. The stylistic interior boasts pink velvet booths, marble tables and a whimsical bar area. The plush decor continues on to the outside terrace, which is encased in an ivy-clad trellis, dripping with florals and fairy lights.
Okay enough of the decor – now on to the food. Afternoon tea has to be one of my favourite pleasures in life, – tea, scones and cake, what’s not to love?! Now, I confess, despite admitting to be a diligent planner, I failed to note that this was a sushi afternoon tea, and fish is most certainly not one of my life pleasures. Okay, to be frank – I HATE FISH.
So when a bento box of sushi landed in front of us, it’s fair to say my cheery smile quickly turned to a look of horror. And let’s just say Elliott found this incredibly amusing…
So, with this in mind, it would be unfair for me to properly critique this, but according to Elliott everything was amazing. His particular favourites were the tuna rice squares and salmon rolls.
After a rocky start, my eyes nearly popped out of my head when the waiter brought out the dessert tower. The scones were moist, the ginger cheesecake was to die, and the coconut friandes were on another level. *It’s safe to say I was in sugar heaven* Accompanying these culinary delights was a glass of rosé, and a frozen porn-star martini, both of which are served with the afternoon tea package.
Where to drink
After a walk around the shops, and a quick freshen up at the hotel, we ventured out for some (more) drinks. A stones throw from The Lowry is the insta-famous Menagerie Restaurant and Bar. Renowned for its immersive dining experience and dramatic interiors, it was a place that came highly recommended.
Everything is based on interactivity, so I thoroughly enjoyed posing by the bath tub and strutting my stuff down the neon-lit catwalk. There’s also performances on Fridays and Saturdays, including dancers, aerial acrobats, singers, and fire-breathers.
Cocktails average at around £11, and my favourite was the gin-based 99% Unicorn. If you’re looking to try somewhere with a twist, I would definitely recommend paying Menagerie a visit!