Hello readers! I was recently asked by Travelodge to take part in their current #bloggerlodge campaign. We had a choice of hotels across the country but we chose to stay in our home town of Manchester.
This might seem an odd choice, but for us it was an easy one, especially as it was just to be the two of us- Mr OFS and I. And when you’ve two little ones, a couple of nights away is a real treat. We both love Manchester. We have shared history with our city, as well as individual history here- before we met.
We lived right in the heart of the Northern Quarter for a while, on Stevenson Square before having children. So spending the whole weekend with just each other for company felt very indulgent and we had time to investigate lots of places that have sprung up since we lived there.
We stayed at the Manchester Central branch of Travelodge on Blackfriars Street.
A literal stones throw from the main thoroughfare of Deansgate. It’s clean, modern and minimalist. Check in was a breeze, and the staff seemed genuinely friendly and helpful.
Our room was on the top floor in one of the corners or the building and it was massive. You could probably swing a horse in there, never mind a cat. Some Travelodge hotels have been refurbished recently and now have King Sized beds- including this one. This really made the difference to us, as we are both tall and have a King sized bed at home, so it would’ve been strange to go to a smaller bed on a weekend away.
Can I just mention the WiFi in the hotel?
It was fantastic. Seriously, I know we were on a romantic weekend but just to be able to connect on social media and share our Manchester staycation with people was great. The WiFi experience at the Travelodge was probably the best experience with regards to WiFi I’ve had in any hotel. Totally painless and totally free.
Another stand out experience we had at the Travelodge was breakfast. There wasnt anything that was too much trouble for the staff. The lady was happy to show us where things were and how things worked, and made us feel really welcome and relaxed. Hotel breakfasts can be a nerve-wracking affair in my experience but this was just so smoothly done. And tasty- very tasty!
So what did we do on our staycation?
We popped over to the new Cosy Club which has just opened in the redeveloping Corn Exchange. I’ve sung the Cosy Clubs praises before on my visit to Bath. Its fair to say this branch is very welcome in Manchester and doesn’t disappoint. Delicious cocktails, stunning surroundings and a menu that I’m desperate to get back to and try (they do vegan stuff too- including cake!).
Yo Sushi was on our hit list too. We love Yo Sushi and try and do whenever we get chance. We had great service in the Arndale branch and its just so bloody tasty. Tip- try their new 100% watermelon juice, the taste of summer.
One of our favorite places in Manchester city centre is John Rylands Library– a stunning Gothic building right in the centre of the City. Manchester has grown all around it and uber modern buildings sit next door… But go inside- its totally free, has a brilliant gift shop and you feel like you’re in Harry Potter. We visited for the Darkness & Light exhibition which explores the meaning of “Gothic” through history.
Just opposite John Rylands is my favourite place for cocktails in Manchester, Elixir- Tonics & Treats. With one of the best bar interiors in Manchester too and probably the most intriguing menu. Luckily the service is very personal and the staff very knowledgeable so they can guide you through it. Highly recommended if you like things perfectly mixed with a touch of theatre- current fave off the menu is “Elixir of Love”.
We also popped into Pot Kettle Black in the beautiful Barton Arcade (anther historic gem in Manchester). Goood coffee and a great cafe (and I spotted a vegan cake- but was too full from breakfast to indulge).
Staying at the other side of the city to where we used to live forced us out of our comfort zone. Yes the Northern Quarter is great and we love all the independent spots but it was great to spend time in places that we’d perhaps miss if we just went on our usual stomping ground.
Manchester, I love you.
Huge thanks to Travelodge for the hotel room and breakfasts- we loved our weekend.