Monday, July 27, 2015

Out and about in England - Manchester

As some of you may have gathered from Facebook, Mr Bite and I have just returned from a weekend in Manchester. We took advantage of Virgin's train sale to get £10 tickets (per person each way) from London to Manchester. To make an event of it, we took today off work as well. There's nothing quite like a 3-day weekend!


Manchester town hall

I had never been to Manchester before and Mr Bite had forgotten his childhood visits. It is an impressive city. Living in London, I find it a bit hard to slot smaller cities into a category (or alternatively phrased, to not just compare them to London) but Manchester does many things well. The mix of old and new architecture was particularly pleasing.


Manchester central library

We took the train up on Friday night, so had the full weekend plus a few hours on Monday morning. I think that was just the right length of time to explore the city. We took in the People's History Museum (focusing on the history of working class people and political developments from the 1800s onwards), the Museum of Science and Industry, Salford Quays development including Media City and the Lowry art collection, and the gorgeously gothic John Rylands Library (part of the University of Manchester). We also fit in an hour or so at the Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester scenes

The museums / galleries were all excellent and all free with invited donations. Other than the Salford Quays area, they were also all easily reached on foot from the city center. Salford Quays (and other further afield destinations) are accessible by tram making Manchester simple to navigate for tourists.

John Rylands library
Manchester has the full range of chain UK eateries as well as a number of well-reviewed independent options. I was keen to try V Revolution, which specialises in 'vegan junk food' including veganised hot dogs / burgers and plenty of desserts. I took away a rose and raspberry cake which looked beautiful but sadly didn't taste quite as good as I'd hoped. The rose flavours were lacking and the icing excessively sweet, although it was still enjoyable as a vegan treat.


I was pleased to pick up some mini vegan peanut butter cups from V Revolution and if I'd been on my own, I suspect I could have purchased quite a few more items! It's lucky for our bank account that Mr Bite was there as a restraining influence.


Mr Bite also acted as a restraining influence for any shopping whims, but if you are after shopping, the Manchester shopping district is particularly well done. It was rebuilt after IRA bombing in 1996 and now houses some beautiful buildings with a mix of high street and upmarket shops.

All in all, as a weekend break from London, Manchester works very well indeed.

What did you get up to on the weekend?

12 comments:

  1. Manchester is a place I never managed to visit in my UK days. I do love the sound of it and of course it is such a place where lots happened in the pop music biz. I think E is a restraining influence too when we are out and about and I want to buy everything in the shop! Those peanot butter cups look intriguing - did I read rightly on the package that they are nut free - what do they use instead of nuts? seeds?

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    1. They are nut free! They used sunflower butter. I think I'd have preferred peanut butter but of course still liked them :)

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  2. You certainly got a bargain with those tickets. The cake looks so beautiful and pretty with the roses. What a shame it didn't taste so good and I do hate a frosting that's too sweet. Never mind - it looks like you had a really enjoyable weekend and were able to snack on the peanut butter cups all the way home xx

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  3. I definitely impulse buy when it comes to food. Too bad the rose cake wasn't as good as you hoped! But I suspect the peanut butter cups will be delicious.

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  4. I am so glad that you had a good time in my city :) We have lots of great vegan options, which makes eating out really easy.

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    1. I thought of you while we were there!

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  5. I really like Manchester - I go there a lot but I've never been to V Revolution and I've tried to find a few times! The cake may not have been up to much, but the peanut butter cups would definitely have been on my shopping list.

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    1. You'll have to make it to V Revolution next time to pick some up!

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  6. I have never made it to Manchester but always wanted to. Thanks for a great summary of what it has to offer. Shame about the rose and raspberry cake - it is pretty!

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    1. It was visually gorgeous that is for sure :-)

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