Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Manchester Christmas Markets

There is nothing that screams Christmas to me more than visiting a Christmas Market (that and watching the Grinch).  And that's exactly where me, Baba, my mum and sister went on Sunday for a girlie Christmas shopping trip to Manchester.  We stayed overnight and enjoyed lots of shopping, (some more than others...erm, that will be me then), food, chatter and champagne. As is life, Baba started to become unwell towards the end of the trip with a nasty cough and cold and we had to cut the trip short.  I apologise to the lovely van man who I completely blocked in on a small side street as I dashed from the drivers seat to console a very upset daughter in the middle of the road.  But before that chaos, we got up to alot before we left. So come with us on our Christmas market adventure!  

We arrived on the Sunday morning (is it me...or is it like a military operation trying to leave a house on time with a two and half year old?). We first dropped our bags off at the gorgeous 5 star hotel, The Lowry. Overlooking the River Irwell it is right in the heart of Manchester, and if its luxury you are after, this is the hotel for you. We immediately wandered into town to start our shopping expedition. 

"Hello Manchester"

After hitting a few shops and a few sneaky purchases, we stopped for lunch at The Botanist which is this gorgeous eatery on Deansgate. The restaurant is a little like walking into Alice in Wonderland. The ceiling is covered in twinkly lights and it was almost like walking through an enchanted forest to sit at our table at the back. The staff were lovely and very accommodating of Baba.  (She was very impressed with her colouring pack).  The food was delicious, and we all shared a sharing (!) platter.  Unfortunately, my blogging skills failed me.  I haven't taken a single picture of the restaurant...I was way too busy eating and entertaining Baba.  But, you can check out The Botanist website here and please trust me when I say you need to visit!


We spent the afternoon in the centre shopping and made our way back to the hotel where we got ready for a meal in the restaurant. 

"Cheese! Now lets go eat!!"

Again, such yummy food.  They have a set menu for £24.95 for three courses with a glass of prosecco or wine.  The setting was so picturesque overlooking the river and Baba was very happy to watch all of the twinkly lights reflecting on the water.  The staff again were so accommodating of our extra little guest, and Baba wolfed down her special two course meal. Whilst I took Baba to bed, my mum and sister stayed in the bar for a quick drink.  They spotted a few famous clientèle (this is such a celebrity spot hotel!), before returning to the room and telling me all about it! 

Refreshed and raring to go, we woke up early.  No, sorry, that is a lie. Baba woke up early, and so we dragged ourselves out of bed, dressed and headed to Moose Coffee for breakfast.  This is such a fabulous little find by my sister.  Me and Baba shared blueberry pancakes with maple syrup which were AMAZING! And Baba enjoyed trying to spot as many Moose's as she could! You can check out Moose Coffee's website here.

"OOTD at The Lowry. I so wish I had a walk in closet"

On Monday morning we went to visit the Manchester Christmas markets.  There are over 300 stalls dotted around Manchester and you can easily walk between them all.  Each has its own theme and attractions. There is fresh produce, gifts, food and drinks from all over the world including Germany, Spain, France and Hungary to name but a few. 

"Market Time"

For the little ones (and adults too), there are lots of little surprises including a singing tree (we spent waaaaay to long listening to this guy!).  

There is also the unmissable giant Santa.

Obviously a singing and talking moose, 

and more twinkling lights than you can shake a stick at.  Even if you have done all of your Christmas shopping (really?!) or if you like to leave it all until Christmas eve (sis, that's you), definitely visit to really get into the Christmas spirit and soak up the atmosphere.   

And if it gets too cold, just hop into any of the wonderful craft exhibitions dotted along the route.  We went into the Manchester Town Hall where they had lots of stalls selling unusual gifts and treats. And how gorgeous is the town hall inside? 

"Cheese. Now lets go and get coffee :-) "

The Manchester Christmas Markets quite rightly draw people from all over the UK and further afield.   If you can get up / or down (depending where you are) for a day or weekend, I highly recommend it.  And for some more Manchester food inspiration, you can check out my other Manchester blog here.

I loved it so much, I'm taking the husband and Baba again next month. Shopping, Santa, and mulled wine.  What's not to love? 

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  2. Looks like such a fun day, I love your outfit and that mirror is amazing, I want a walk in closet too!


  3. Thanks for this nice article. Keep it up. :)

    1. You're welcome. Thanks for stopping by!