How I spent 2 days in Manchester

by - 17:51

Firstly, I love Manchester. It's definitely one of the best cities in the U.K. with some incredible independent places to eat and exciting things to do. My rule whenever I visit a new city, town or go abroad is to avoid chains at full stop. You can eat an Nando's anytime, so why not visit somewhere the locals love and adore? Also, it helps support local businesses, so definitely make that your new rule too.

I originally visited to do some filming the next day, but why not extend my trip a little longer for some exploring? I started by having a little wander around Arndale because the Primark (pree-mark FYI) is a lot bigger than the one in Cheltenham, so it gave me chance to begin my holiday shopping. I left with a swimsuit, 3 new tops and some sunglasses that I shoved into my weekend bag that already felt as if it weighed 10 stone. My friend had a lecture that day, so my next port of call was to meet her at her university. I got on the bus that gave me chance to view more of Manchester in a smaller amount of time. I got to UoM and waited for my little buddy to come out of her lecture theatre so we could go and grab some food. As per, I was hungry. No shock there. We went home, sorted out face out and headed to a place in Fallowfield called 256 that did pints of cider for £2 and fish and chips for a fiver. Average food but for £2 pints how could you possibly go wrong. The sun was shining so their beer garden seemed ideal until the sun went in and we were shivering like leaves. We spent the night here playing pool and drinking more cider until about midnight when we went to one of the many kebab shops for some chips and curry sauce.

The next day, my only full day in Manchester, began with some more shopping. We had a stroll around the park because the weather was hitting 20 degrees, which is way above U.K. average and then jumped on the bus back into the town centre. Obviously I headed to New Look and Zara but didn't buy anything. I had some filming to be done later that day so I had to be at Blackmilk cafe at 2pm. Blackmilk cafe is pretty awesome, it's a cafe that serves cereal. You heard right, THEY SERVE CEREAL. I opted for a unicorn Dream which was Lucky Charms, Flying Saucers, strawberry sauce and strawberry milkshake. That's definitely my new life hack, use flavoured milk for cereal instead of the standard green top. Anyway, it was delicious. My friend and her 2 housemates who I dragged along decided to get a milkshake and also a Peanut cereal. It included Reese's Peanut Butter cups, peanuts, banana milk and chocolate sauce. I managed to get my filming done for my digital short that I'm excited to share with you and also got to eat, so 2 birds with 1 stone if you ask me.

From here we went to the Cat Cafe, which is pretty cool even if you're like me and you're more of a dog person. You pay £1 for every 5 minutes, and before you ask how they check, they give you a lanyard upon entry that you have to return at the end. Whilst I was there, most of the cats were asleep, nobody wanted to chill with me. On the plus side, there are unlimited drinks whilst you're there, hot and cold. Here are some pretty cute cat photos that I took. Oh, also don't touch the cats while they sleep, you will get screamed at and discussed aggressively by older women. Take it from me, this really does happen.

Like I have previously mentioned, when I visit a new place I'm very anti-chain, so refused to visit anywhere that I could visit in my home town. We opted for a chicken restaurant also in the Northern Quarter called Yard and Coop. My chicken wrap was pretty insane and so were my Mac'N'Cheese balls. If you're a vegan or a veggie, they do cool options for you too. My meal was very filling and not badly priced considering we ordered what could have basically been a jug of cocktail each (it was very big!) too. After dinner, we had a little bus trip back to the house to decide what fun activity we would do to finish the night off. We opted for bowling - oh, and I won.

This pretty much ended my full day in Manchester. We bought a pizza and some wedges and ended up watching The Inbetweeners. I struggle to complete 2-nights in a row of drinking, plus I couldn't risk not eating my brunch the next day before my coach back to Cheltenham. Saying that, my brunch the next day was absolutely incredible. We went to a small cafe called Rustik, remember that I don't do chains. There was so much choice on the menu - from bagels to waffles and then there was the Rustik Eggs that really stood out for me. I ordered a pot of tea whilst I made my mind up, then decided that this was the breakfast of champions. The brunch consisted of 2 large pieces of sourdough (which I learnt is one of the healthier options of bread, who knew?) with poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, mushrooms, spinach, halloumi (who doesn't love halloumi) and I added a side of avocado for £1. As you can see below, it was definitely the breakfast of dreams, and writing this part of my blog post has made me that hella' lot more hungry.

I had a few hours to kill after brunch, so decided to take in some Manchester culture at the museum! I love museums, even if you have no interest in art, there is always something that you will be 'wowed' by. My wow-factor was the lion that honestly looked like it was going to jump out of it's window and eat us. The museum is quite small, but I am quite thankful for that considering I was dragging my weekend bag around. After here, we headed to the coach station which was pretty central and headed to get a milkshake from one of the non-chain bars. It was a nice day and Piccadilly Park was rammed!

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