31 March 2019

How to spend a day in Manchester

Last week we decided to take a trip to one of our favourite cities and spent the day sticking to our rule of only exploring places that we'd never been to before. We didn't stay over as we had plans the following day but as you will have seen in my earlier blog posts, there are lots of great hotels in Manchester if you want to stay for the weekend.

It was almost lunch time when we arrived so our first stop was Rudy's where we shared a sourdough pizza. We've always said that PLY is the best place for pizza in Manchester but Rudy's is a serious contender - the tomato sauce was so good and we will definitely be visiting again!

Rudy's pizza - How to spend a day in Manchester

After hearing that Manchester Library was an interesting place to visit we decided to go and explore as it was only a short walk away from Rudy's. We were really surprised by the interior which is huge and modern as you go in but once you get to the main floor it looks a bit like something from Harry Potter!

Manchester Library - How to spend a day in Manchester

We've been wanting to go bowling for a while so I pre-booked a lane at Dog Bowl which was £18 for a game for two. I liked that there were only five lanes so it wasn't really busy and it has a unique interior with lots of great food options too. I'd love to go back with a bigger group of friends, maybe to start a night out, and it was nice to try somewhere new for bowling rather than the usual chains that are usually full of teenagers!

I've been following Home Sweet Home on Instagram for years after seeing all their amazing cakes so we finally paid a visit later in the afternoon. I got a hot chocolate which was topped with cream and melted marshmallows and we shared a huge slice of salted caramel cake which was some of the nicest cake i've ever tried! I'm already thinking of going back in September to try their afternoon tea for my birthday with the girls.

Home Sweet Home - How to spend a day in ManchesterHome Sweet Home - How to spend a day in Manchester

Next we visited Manchester Craft & Design Centre, which is in the Northern Quarter. It's ideal if you're creative and want some inspiration - there's lots to look at including some really unique homeware pieces with bold prints. There were also lots of handmade cards, jewellery and artwork and even though it was a busy Saturday afternoon it had a calm and peaceful atmosphere which was a nice escape from the busy city centre.

Craft and Design Centre - How to spend a day in Manchester

Finally to finish our day we did a bit more eating at Luck Lust Liquor & Burn which is a Mexican restaurant in the Northern Quarter. We were still a bit full from the cake so shared nachos, tacos and cauliflower bites. I enjoyed the food but wished i'd been hungrier as there was lots more on the menu i'd liked to have tried!

Mexican Food - How to spend a day in Manchester

If you're looking for more Manchester inspiration you might like:

The spending money for this post was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own.
14 March 2019

Our Liverpool city break

At the end of last month we decided that we wanted to explore a new city but saving for a house meant that going abroad wasn't really an affordable option. We had a look for somewhere a little closer and opted for a Liverpool city break as it wasn't too far to drive.

We chose to stay at the Staybridge Suites as they're one of the hotels near Albert Dock and only couple of minutes walk away from the city centre. Our room was spacious with a view of the M&S Bank Arena and Wheel of Liverpool and we were really lucky to have sunny weather the whole time we were there. Although I liked the hotel, I probably wouldn't stay there again as there were small things like no soap in the room that could have made our stay that little bit better for how much we paid.

Royal Albert Dock - Liverpool city break

The Albert Dock has lots of little independent shops to explore alongside bigger chain restaurants - we had coffee at Peaberry Coffee House and wished we could have stayed for food as it looked amazing! The smell of freshly made fudge and pastries as we wandered around definitely made me hungry too. After exploring all the shops we decided to make the most of the sunny weather and go on the Wheel of Liverpool - you can actually see our hotel room just behind! It cost £10 each which was quite expensive but it was still a great experience to see Liverpool from a different angle!

Wheel of Liverpool - Liverpool city break

When I was googling where we should go on our city break, Bold Street came up as a great place for independent shops, restaurants and cafes in Liverpool. We had a look in Utility which is the dream if you're into scandi style homeware! Maray, Leaf and Bakchich were all places we'd love to have eaten if we'd had time but instead we opted to try Crust because I can't visit a new city without trying their pizza offering.

Bold Street - Liverpool city break

On the second day we walked along the river and explored the buildings along the waterfront where we found the famous Beatles statue nearby. If you can visit Liverpool when the weather is good it's a great place to walk around as it's not too big and there is plenty to see. If we'd had time we'd definitely have visited some of the museums to find out more about the city.

Beatles Statue - Liverpool city breakWe decided we hadn't visited many touristy places so we had a look around The Tate Gallery as it was really quiet. It's conveniently located at the Albert Dock and spans several floors so there's something for everyone. I also really enjoyed all the arty things in the gift shop and there were also lots of tasteful Liverpool related gifts rather than the tacky ones you often find!

Tate Gallery - Liverpool city break

We really enjoyed our city break to Liverpool and i'm sure we'll visit again as there were lots of things we couldn't fit in! I'll be featuring the best places to eat in Liverpool in my next post so look out for my recommendations.
28 February 2019

Five good things in February

February favourites - The New Fashion Rules, Valentines Day and Liverpool City Break

Hello 2019! It might be the end of February but i've finally found a bit of time to give my blog some love - I have lots of ideas for new content this year but for now here is a Five Good Things post...

1. We went to Liverpool for a city break earlier this week and it was so nice to forget about the stresses of work for a few days. We are saving up to buy a house so booked this for a late Valentine's Day trip as it will probably be our only break this year. Going early in the week made it a lot cheaper than going abroad and we got a good deal on staying close to the centre too. I've got a full post coming soon with everywhere we explored and ate at but i'd definitely recommend Liverpool if you're looking for a couple of days away in the city - we were really lucky with the weather!

2. I bought a little backpack from Accessorize and it's been a game changer (I can't link it as it's no longer available but there are more here or cheaper options in Primark)! They've definitely become much more fashionable recently and while we were in Liverpool it was so good to have my hands free to take photos and be able to carry more around - it's definitely one of those things I wish i'd bought earlier and I can't recommend it enough.

3. I had a catch up with my friends from uni and saw them for the first time in four years on a little trip to Preston! You know you've got friends for life when you can do that and nothing has changed. I haven't laughed so much in such a long time and we've promised to make it a more regular thing. It did make me realise the bond you create from living with people for a few years and I know i'm really lucky to have so many memories from uni that I shared with them.

4. In January I set myself the challenge of reading 15 books in 2019 as i'm trying to get back into it and use reading as a way to relax every night to help me sleep better. February's book was The New Fashion Rules by Victoria McGrath (Inthefrow) which was a really interesting read. I've been blogging as long as Victoria has so it was quite nice to see how she's captured the ever changing blogging industry, while also learning more about fashion in a beautifully presented and well written book.