Valentine’s day is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate it, than a romantic city break in Manchester. Chris and I did just that this week. We are busy Valentines weekend so decided to make the time to spend a bit of time away together as a pre valentines treat.
We booked our break with Superbreak and opted for a theatre and hotel stay, we decided to go midweek, we usually go away at the weekend, but why? Cities are always so much busier then, midweek in Manchester City Centre was wonderful still enough people to create a buzz, but not manic.
Where to stay In Manchester
The choice of hotels in Manchester is huge, hotels to suit every budget we stayed in the Townhouse Hotel on Portland Street, it is a fantastic contemporary boutique hotel within walking distance on the Palace Theatre, shops, bars and museums. I must say the hotel was spotlessly clean, modern, a great location and very friendly.
What To Do In Manchester
Top of my list is most definitely to see a show
We have been to many shows at the palace theatre and most national tours of West End shows stop here. This week we were lucky enough to see Mary Poppins, as my all time favourite Disney Movie, I will be honest I was nervous. What if the show didn’t meet my expectations?
I needn’t have worried; the show was for me the perfect translation on one of my favourite stories of all time. The colours, the staging, the cast, it was perfect. I would 100% recommend Mary Poppins, it is just wonderful.
There are so many exciting shows coming up at the Palace, Mama Mia, Dirty Dancing, Sister Act, The Commitments, Footloose and Joseph to name a few.
Visit Chetham’s Library
The library was founded in 1653 and is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world. It is like walking into a different era, the Library is free to visit but donations are welcomed. I was lucky enough to get a tour and hear a bit about the history of Chetham’s it not only is incredibly beautiful, but very interesting.
I actually felt like I was in Hogwarts, and apparently lots of people ask if Harry Potter was filmed in the corridors.
Marvel at the Cathedral
The Cathedral is just behind Chetham’s, we hadn’t actually intended on visiting, but I stopped to take some photos of the magnificent building and decided why not, and wow what a stunning building it is, we were given a tour and who knew stained glass windows had such a story behind them.
The Chaplain that gave the tour made the history of the cathedral so real and vibrant he was a joy to listen to. And did you know a previous church warden many years ago was actually rumoured to be a spy and used the code 007. But you will have to visit the Cathedral to find out more.
Check out all the football greats at the Football Museum
I am not a fan of football at all, but this museum is impressive, again a free attraction that just asks for a donation. It tracks football throughout history, but yet meets the needs of all who visit.
For me I loved the historical aspect of the Museum, where I just know when I take the boys they will love all the modern history of the games, and display celebration great footballers the time. This is a must visit attraction for families.
Visit the Manchester Art Gallery
I did not visit at the best time as a lot of exhibitions had finished, the Museum was full of activity and preparation for forthcoming events, one I am particularly excited about is the Fashion and Freedom Exhibition that starts in May.
However as a first time visitor I was still blown away by the structure and mix of modern and traditional features of the Gallery, and the Modern Japanese Design exhibition was worth visiting for.
You cannot visit Manchester City Centre and not shop, Manchester has everything you need, and suits every budget. Shopping in Manchester is actually a day in itself. Filled with all the best show and luxury stores for me Manchester is shopping heaven.
Look out for special events
There is always something going on in Manchester, Christmas Markets, Summer Events, and this week was no exception with Manchester preparing for Chinese New Year, there are events planned all over the city, from martial arts displays, street food, and a giant dragon. Manchester promises to be exciting over the New Year celebrations.
And Lastly Where to Eat
Manchester has so many incredible restaurants, cafe’s and street food options I wanted to share where we visited.
Turtle Bay is the most wonderful Jamaican Jerk Restaurant, and wow the atmosphere is just electric, the styling is colourful and has the Jamaican vibe just perfect. The food was fab, reasonably priced great tasting food, and excellent friendly service.
On the other side of the scale is Albert Square Chop House, such a cool but very traditional environment, yet modern. The only way I can describe it is I felt like I was sat in Winston Churchill’s lounge, surrounded by bowler hats and typewriters.
The Albert Square Chop House is somewhere you could pass hours chilled in one of the huge sofas, and the team are the friendliest loveliest people.
So there you have it, 48 hours in Manchester. Such a wonderful city with so much to see and do, Manchester is a place you can visit again and again and have a different experience every time. I can’t wait until our next visit.