A great city is not to be confounded with a populous one – Aristotle.
Sometimes all you need is a mini break away from your everyday life. It can come in the form of a mere forty minute train journey in the opposite direction of your home city or town. This particular weekend was nearly last month, and boy does it feel like a lifetime?! I feel like so much has happened since then. So, Manchester. I’d not visited this northern city before last Christmas, and it has fast become one of my favourites in the UK. Plus, Mum loves it too which is why I chose it as the place to spend her birthday this year.
FOOD AT SAN CARLO
San Carlo is one of those swanky places that I’ve always thought I cannot eat in there; I’m not classy or sophisticated enough – can I even afford it?! I’ve been for a glass, or two, of wine in the afternoon before, but not a full two-course meal (dessert was an option, but we opted for coffee instead because there was so much food!). It is where the likes of Rihanna and Victoria Beckham go in a visit to town. At least, their photos are in there on the celebrity wall. New aim in life: get on that photo wall. The food at San Carlo was delicious. Utterly delicious. You know when all you want is good Italian garlic bread and pasta, aka all the carbs, but in a swanky restaurant? San Carlo is where you are going to get all of that. Mum and I ordered the most basic thing: bruschetta (a trio of the chef’s selection), cheese and tomato garlic bread and lasagne. It was exactly what we both needed.
PINK GIN IS THE DRINK OF THE MOMENT
To compliment our Italian food, you would have thought a specific wine would touch the palette. Nope. Pink gin is what we wanted. With lemonade. It is so much better than tonic water. In fact, I’m getting a thirst for it as I write this now. Mum and I have certainly jumped on this British craze for pink gin. I wonder if it’s going to turn into the bandwagon that is prosecco: us Brits being the ones who consume the most in the world, apparently. I love the goblets (glasses) that they come in, with the slices of strawberry on the side, and the colour. We thoroughly enjoyed our pink gins throughout the night: at Slug and Lettuce, and then Turtle Bay who made their own version of pink gin with some kind of cranberry liqueur!
HOME BEFORE MIDNIGHT
Cinderella eat your heart out.
TRYING TO FIND THE PERFECT SUNDAY BRUNCH
Mum and I walked for so long on the morning of her birthday. Prior to this, we had a morning in bed with coffee talking about things that mothers and daughters talk about, and giving mum her cards and presents too! Then, the marathon began. It was a slight rookie mistake on my part. I really should have planned ahead and really thought about the time that it was (prime brunch time) on a Sunday in the middle of Manchester. We headed to the Northern Quarter, where all the cool people hang out in Manchester, so that had to be the right direction. Unfortunately, our first choice – Federal Café Bar – had a forty minute wait. It is similar in size and popularity to Moose Coffee in Liverpool. We headed to their sister site around the corner – Evelyn’s Café Bar – again, no such luck. It was creeping closer to the midday point and we had walked for ages, so we took our chances at the closest place that was still serving brunch style food which was The Bay Horse Tavern. Oh My Lord. Incredible place. Incredible service. Incredible food. This place should be on Google’s top ten places for brunch in Manchester because it was amazing. I had the avocado (do I get anything else when I go for brunch?) with poached eggs and they added balsamic vinegar which just made it that little bit extra, and little bit special. Highly, highly, recommend.
A ROUTINE VISIT TO SELFRIDGES
Would it be a trip to Manchester without wandering around all the posh counters and pretending I have an extra grand in my bank account to splurge on designer handbags, because I really wish I could afford one! I love Selfridges. I had never given it more time in London because I was a very poor student who would probably faint at the sheer thought of stepping foot into a place with that much money under one roof… maybe. I just love the bag and jewellery selection in there. I’m not one for the designer clothes, if I’m being honest. They are all a little too OTT for my taste. And, just because I can afford it, we headed to Topshop where I bought a t-shirt… and got a customary Selfridges bag to go with it.
A girls weekend was definitely needed, and I’m so glad I got to spend it with my mum. City breaks in the UK are just as good (and a lot cheaper) as booking a mini adventure abroad. As long as you’re out of your home town for one night, it is still classed as a break away from reality.
What UK breaks have you been on recently?
Love, Faye xo