Tuesday 30 April 2019

My April Days

* This includes a collaboration with Las Iguanas

It feels like April has just passed in a flash, I'm sure we skipped a whole month - how on earth is it May tomorrow? We've had a pretty amazing few weeks with plenty of sunshine, a spot of exploring and a lot of delicious food - our bank balance and waistlines definitely tell the tale of a very happy and indulgent April. So here are just a few of the things that I haven't shared on the blog this month.

An Easter to Remember

I think Easter 2019 will be one we all remember and talk about for years to come. How incredible was the Bank Holiday? Four days of hot weather and beautiful sunshine, I just loved that everyone was smiling and it was the perfect excuse to pack our diary with plans. We usually go away to visit family over Easter weekend so it felt pretty great to have an entire four days free with no motorway journeys and a good chance to really recharge the batteries. With two more bank holidays to come in May, would it be greedy to ask for some more sunshine please?

Nelsons at the Park

It's no exaggeration when I say that we recently found ourselves driving round Northumberland desperately looking for cake. Attempting to find a tea room with available seats and a fully loaded cake counter at 3:00 pm on a Saturday is a real challenge let me tell you, so I was feeling pretty pleased with myself when I remembered that a friend had recommended Nelsons at the Park in Swarland to me and we just happened to be a short drive away. BINGO! Plenty of tables, really lovely staff and THE hugest slices of cake you've ever seen, the community cafe is such a find if you're yet to visit you really must go!


It had been a while since our last visit to The Botanist, yet somehow this month we managed to go twice. Our first trip we sat beneath the florals of the Mezzanine bar to celebrate the seven year anniversary of Simon doing a 14 hour round coach trip from Newcastle to London to take me on a first date, and our second visit was over the lovely sunny Bank Holiday weekend when we managed to bag ourselves a table on the roof terrace for cocktails in the sunshine. I'd forgotten how much I love The Botanist!

Pure Knead

I've been teasing my Whitley Bay Food Guide for some time now, and I promise you it is coming, I'm just taking my time over it. As part of our "important research" we finally made it to Pure Knead, somewhere that people have been telling me to visit for a rather long time now. The artisan bakery on Park View bakes delicious loaves (the queue of locals collecting their bread was pretty epic!), has a very impressive looking display of cakes and serves up delicious pastries that you can enjoy whilst sitting in their window people watching. I've been saying for a while now that we'd love to live in Whitley Bay - our visit to Pure Knead was so good we spent the rest of our afternoon looking at estate agent websites!

Alnwick Castle

We were too late for the full display this year but a quick visit to Alnwick Castle this month had me marvelling at the most incredible carpet of daffodils. I had no idea there were so many and that the views beyond the sea of yellow to the castle were quite so beautiful. I have a plan for next March already, I shall be making my way there as soon as the flowers are in bloom, hopefully armed with a picnic blanket and a basket full of food - what a lunch spot that would be! We had a little stroll in the sunshine, realised that we really do need to visit Alnwick Castle properly soon and now have an extra thing to tick off the North East Bucket List.

Battle of the Burgers

No Easter travels meant that this year we finally got to attend Battle of the Burgers at Wylam Brewery. A whole afternoon sitting out in the blazing hot sunshine drinking beer and pitting the region's favourite burgers against each other. Served in mini sizes for £3.00 each we managed to work our way through a few including Lola Jeans, Fowl Play and my first every try of Parm-O-Rama - it was almost impossible to decide on a favourite and just made me realise how incredibly lucky we are to have so many amazing burgers here in the North East!

Las Iguanas 

If gin is your thing you need to get yourself down to Las Iguanas who have just teamed up with local gin favourites Poetic License to create their very own Tropical Gin. Served with plenty of ice and slices of mango it's available nationwide but as it was lovingly created here in the North East I personally think it's best enjoyed at the restaurant on the Quayside, preferably out on the sunny terrace - get a plan in the diary!

As always for more adventures from New Girl in Toon make sure you follow me on Instagram. I post a new photo every day sharing the best discoveries in the North!

Las Iguanas treated us to a free G&T as part of their launch of the new gin.  All other things featured in this post were paid for by ourselves. 

Thursday 25 April 2019

How to Spend Your Birthday in Manchester

This year I decided to spend my birthday in Manchester, one of my favourite cities and the perfect destination if you want to spend 24 hours shopping, indulging in some lovely food, enjoying some stunning bars and appreciating great architecture. It has completely different vibes to Newcastle and I love to describe it as London but with a Northern Soul!

How to Spend Your Birthday in Manchester

A Birthday Bath Tub 

Of course a birthday trip has to involve a lovely hotel and we decided to check into the Instagram famous Kingstreet Townhouse - well known for its beautiful Infinity Pool and amazing views. Did I book this hotel just for its fancy bath tub views? Damn right and if you can ever get away with doing anything that ridiculous it has to be on your birthday!

There are so many beautiful hotels in Manchester, in fact my list of places in the city I want to check into is never ending but this is the one that has been top of the list for a while. With a bit of a hefty price tag it needed a special occasion to justify it.

If you want to read more about our experience at Kingstreet Townhouse I've done a full review here.

Manchester - King Street Townhouse
A Birthday Blow Dry 

I like to go all out on my birthday and if there's one city where it's great to look fabulous Manchester is the one. Girls in the city take great pride in their appearance and bouncy blow drys and a full face of makeup are pretty much the norm. I'm completely useless at making myself look glam so booked in for a blow dry at Blow Out in Debenhams - my style cost £25.00 and although I loved the look I'm not sure I'd rebook there as it wasn't the comfiest experience getting my hair done on a hard plastic chair in the middle of a department store.

I followed that appointment with a trip to Bobbi Brown in Selfridges, my favourite counter for a makeover, for the price of £30.00 you get an hour long appointment with a Bobbi makeup artist and can spend the cost of your makeover on counter. It really is the best way to get your makeup done for a special event - I got a gorgeous new look and then also treated myself to a brand new foundation.

How to Spend Your Birthday in Manchester  - Blow Dry

A Birthday Beverage

There are so so many independent coffee shops in Manchester that it was impossible to know which to pick so we decided to go for a wander and head into the first one that we found. I was secretly thrilled when that turned out to be Fig + Sparrow, as I'd heard such great things. We managed to grab a seat by the window where we enjoyed perfect cups of coffee and plenty of people watching. It made me wish that Newcastle had more independent coffee shops, if you're a coffee fan then Manchester really is a great destination.

Manchester  - Fig and Sparrow

A Birthday Blowout

I'd been saving very hard for a year to invest in a designer handbag and so decided that my birthday trip to Manchester was the perfect time for my blowout. Selfridges has a fantastic range of designer handbag boutiques on its ground floor including Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Dior - there's a much better selection than we have in Newcastle so if you're going to spend your hard earned pennies on something fancy I definitely recommend a shopping trip to Manchester.

I will admit I've always felt a little awkward going into designer stores in the past, perhaps because I've always known that I didn't have the money to spend. This time was a little different. With a nice amount of money saved we strolled between the stores having a good hold of all the handbags I had my eye on. I had been a bit worried that my husband wouldn't really join in but he was brilliant and I have to say designer shopping is something we both really enjoyed.

I finally made the purchase in Gucci and shopping mid week gave me the perfect experience - the store was so quiet we had a great chat to the shop assistants and whilst my bag was getting packed for me we were treated to a glass of bubbly in store.

Manchester  - Selfridges

And here it is! My very first designer handbag purchase, the Gucci Marmont in "Dusty Pink" - the perfect nude colour she goes with everything and I love her so much I'm now pretty much treating her like a newborn. If ever my hands are full Simon is having to carry my handbag for me and when I caught him about to throw her onto the floor of the car I was not impressed!

Manchester  - Selfridges Gucci

A Birthday Bar

Of course a birthday has to involve a few drinks and in Manchester we were completely spoilt for choice when it came to beautiful (dare I say "instagrammable") bars.  My favourite of the few we visited had to be Sunset at Australasia - an absolute girly heaven with flower walls, faux fur cushions and an abundance of pink comfy seats and neon signs. We sat in the heated outside terrace at the front of the bar and, with my Rose and Lychee Martini in my hand, for a moment I actually felt like I was on holiday!

Manchester  - Sunset

A Birthday Bumble

If ever there was a city to just bumble around in Manchester has to be the one. For years I only visited the main shopping street and it's only been in recent times that I've discovered all of the fantastic things Manchester has to offer. The architecture is beautiful, the foodie scene is vibrant and there's street art galore. I'm kicking myself that it took me so long to realise how great Manchester is.

The Barton Arcade is a Victorian shopping arcade and home to some of Manchester's best kept secrets. The beautiful details of the building are stunning and once you're finished marvelling at the gorgeous black and gold features you'll find plenty of independent bars, cafes and businesses to explore.

Manchester  - Barton Arcade

Next up was a little potter round the Royal Exchange Theatre, the most beautiful theatre decked out in pink and gold with strings of lights and, as I soon discovered, holds interesting memories for my husband. Turns out this theatre is where Simon auditioned to be the Milky Bar Kid back in the 1980s (if you know my husband you'll probably find this as amusing as me - he definitely looks nothing like the Milky Bar Kid!)

Manchester  - Royal Exchange Theatre

Of course you can't go to Manchester without having a little wander around the Northern Quarter, famed for its amazing coffee bars and eateries as well as the beautiful street art and independent shops like Northern Flower. Every time I visit Manchester I vow to spend more time wandering the streets of the Northern Quarter, I feel like I still have so much to discover.

Manchester  - Northern Flower

A Birthday Brunch

I was so happy that our hotel didn't include breakfast because it meant I finally got to try the amazing Albert Schloss having spent many hours admiring their amazing pastries on Instagram. I hear that at night this place is quite the party spot but if you venture through the doors first thing you'll be greeted by the most amazing breakfast menu including these amazing cronuts and cruffins baked freshly on site each morning.

I'm not ashamed to say that I ordered these for myself and ate both! I mean if you can't treat yourself on your birthday when can you? If you're planning a visit to Manchester you really must try them, they are incredible.

Manchester  - Albert Schloss

Manchester  - Breakfast at Albert Schloss

I loved my birthday in Manchester so much and have already planned a return visit to the city in August, but this time I'll be taking one of my best friends with me. It's the perfect city break and I can't wait to show her some of my favourite discoveries.

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Visiting the Cherry Blossom Trees at Alnwick Garden

Sometimes if you're wanting to tick something off the good ol' North East Bucket List some careful organisation and forward planning is required. There's a very simple reason we had never been to see the cherry blossom trees at Alnwick Garden - we had failed to actively keep an eye on the blossoms and make a plan to go and if you don't do that you really have no chance.

Visiting the Cherry Blossom Trees at Alnwick Garden

Alnwick Garden boasts the largest collection of "Tai-hauku" cherry blossom outside Japan and there are over 300 trees in the Orchard. They only bloom for around two weeks a year, usually the end of April/beginning of May but as it's all very dependent on the weather and conditions it's hard to predict. Last year the blossoms didn't appear until May and then the strong winds meant the flowers only lasted a week.

This year the blossoms arrived much earlier in mid April and now they are in their second week I'd say you'd best stop reading this and get yourself down there right now if you want to catch them this year - the petals have already started to fall and they must have only days left.

Cherry Blossom Trees at Alnwick Garden

If you've not managed to see the beautiful blossoms this year then get yourself organised for next Spring by setting a reminder in your phone to keep your eyes open from next April.  In past years it has slipped my mind so this year I was sure to check the Alnwick Garden website regularly - they have a very helpful "Blossom Watch Live" stream so you can see as soon as the first blossoms appear.

Cherry Blossom Orchard at Alnwick Garden

Deciding to visit on Good Friday we got ourselves to Alnwick Garden for 10:00 am opening time to beat the crowds. With beautiful blue skies and sunshine overhead we knew it was going to be a busy day and as we pulled into the carpark there was already a small queue forming to get in. Once we'd paid our admission we headed straight to the Cherry Blossom Orchard and I'd say if you really want to enjoy the trees at their best get to the gardens for opening time and head straight there because it does get busy.

Cherry Blossoms Orchard Alnwick Garden

The first time I saw the blossom trees my jaw hit the floor, they were absolutely beautiful and having admired so many photographs of them over the years I was so overwhelmed by the fact that photos really don't do them justice. You could stand out there all day capturing the most beautiful images but I promise you nothing beats going and seeing them for yourself on a sunny morning, it was one of the most incredible sights I have ever seen.

Cherry Blossom Orchard Alnwick Garden

With beautiful white blossoms as far as the eye can see the trees are positioned perfectly, a sea of cotton candy underneath the blue sky.

Blossom Orchard Alnwick Garden

The real joy of the blossoms if you're a nature lover is that there are plenty of double seated swings positioned around the orchard giving you a unique opportunity to swing underneath the shade of the trees and appreciate them from the perfect view point.

It has been many, many years since I spent that long on a swing but admiring the beautiful blossoms on that swing and feeing the sun on my face was the loveliest moment of peace and quiet. Simon joined me and we must have sat there for a good hour, enjoying the silence whilst swinging beneath the trees.

Blossom Orchard Swings Alnwick Garden

Even at peak times you will always find yourself a swing, there are so many in the orchard with a few that are a little hidden in corners if you really want to escape the world. The positioning of the trees means it's pretty easy to take photos without too many people in the background even when the orchard is busy and strolling around the paths underneath the trees we noticed people of all ages snapping away at the blossom trees - I don't actually think it would be possible to visit and not return with a huge amount of photographs.

If you want to see the blossoms for yourself this year you really do only have another day or so left to see them before they are gone for another year. What are you waiting for?

Blossom Orchard Swing Alnwick Garden

What you need to know:
  • Alnwick Garden is open daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm during peak season
  • Adults cost £13.20, Concession £11.55, Children over 5 £4.95 and Families £33.00 (these are all gate prices including gift aid - slightly cheaper tickets can be bought in advance online here
Find Alnwick Garden:

Denwick Lane
NE66 1YU

Wednesday 17 April 2019

St Mary's Inn Morpeth - Rustic Afternoon Tea Review

*This is a collaboration with St Mary's Inn

When St Mary's Inn near Morpeth closed its doors not long after we'd celebrated our wedding there we were absolutely gutted. We'd chosen it as our wedding hotel because we'd fallen in love with its charm, amazing food and cosy country vibes - we used to love popping in for a drink after walking in Northumberland and it was a great place to impress the parents when they came for a visit.

Thankfully St Mary's Inn have reopened their doors and are welcoming old regulars and new visitors with the promise of great food, ales by the fire and the perfect resting spot after a long ramble in the countryside. Having already visited for a quick G&T and Sunday Lunch we were keen to arrange a visit to try their brand new rustic afternoon tea which has launched this month.

St Mary's Inn Morpeth- Rustic Afternoon Tea Review

For those who used to visit St Mary's pre-closure you may remember that their original afternoon tea was very similar to the offering at their sister hotel, Jesmond Dene House and although really lovely perhaps didn't quite fit the country inn interiors of St Mary's. The brand new rural afternoon tea is completely different and very fitting for St Mary's Inn and the warm hospitality and cosy corners you'll discover as soon as you enter.

Simon and I popped in to the Inn a few weeks ago to try out the Rustic Afternoon Tea and settled ourselves down in front of the fire for an afternoon of sweet treats, homemade classics and the chance to utter those words "yeah, I don't think we'll be needing any tea tonight".

St Mary's Inn Morpeth - Rustic Afternoon Tea - Review

Rustic Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn costs £15.00 per person and gives you the rare opportunity to "create you own" with lots of things to pick between to make your perfect tea. Each element of the afternoon tea stand is decided by you so none of that usual begging your husband to swap your cheese sandwich for the ham nonsense.  It's ideal for cutting out the bits you don't like and just enjoying a lot of what you love!

If you're a big foodie like me I recommend taking a few friends and ordering a few different bits so you can turn your tea into a big sharing feast. I love to sample everything off the menu but unfortunately dining with my husband involves a lot of me making Bambi eyes across the table to try and get some of his food (it doesn't always work!).

St Mary's Inn Morpeth - Rustic Afternoon Tea

Tea decisions first of course and North East favourite Ringtons is on the menu with plenty of options including good ol' faithful English Breakfast as well as Earl Grey, Peppermint and some fruity choices.

The beauty of Rustic Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn is that they have a bar just a few steps away so if you actually quite fancy a pint of beer or a cheeky G&T on the side there is always that option too and if you want to go for the "official" upgrade you can get a glass of Prosecco with your tea for an extra £5.00 per person.

St Mary's Inn Northumberland - Rustic Afternoon Tea
We always both order English Breakfast Tea and I was delighted when our pot showed up in a locally knitted tea cosy. How lovely!  Ours was decorated with brightly coloured flowers and fluffy clouds against a blue sky, it instantly reminded me of our adventures out in the Northumbrian countryside and so was very fitting alongside our Rustic Afternoon Tea.  It really added to the country charm and wow was I glaring at Simon when he took the pot's cute coat off to give the tea a stir!

St Mary's Inn Northumberland - Rustic Afternoon Tea Cosy

Our food showed up a few moments after ordering and was a real feast for the eyes - perfectly served on a wooden stand I could immediately see this was a "rustic" afternoon tea.  Everything looked so good and cut into generous slabs, with a great amounts of fillings.

If the "Famous Five" were sitting down to an afternoon tea, I'm pretty sure it would look like this.

St Mary's Inn Northumberland - Afternoon Tea
Sandwiches were up first and being an Honorary Geordie I was buzzing that we had the choice of Brown Bloomer or Northumbrian Stottie - no prizes for guessing what we went for. I love Stotties and would happily have them with every meal if I could (you've not lived until you've mopped up your dinner with a huge chunk of Stottie!). I just honestly don't think there's a better type of bread than a stottie and if it ever appears on a menu I have to order it without hesitation.

I almost ordered Ham and Pease Pudding but then remembered that I'd finally accepted that this North Eastern lass actually really doesn't like Pease Pudding and so instead went for the Cheese Savoury & Gem Lettuce.

St Mary's Inn Northumberland - Afternoon Tea - Stottie

Simon had opted for Smoked Salmon with Pickled Cucumber, Rocket & Cream Cheese and his stottie was the absolute winner. It took a few bites to work out why this sandwich was so amazing and we finally realised that it was the pickled cucumber that really made it perfect. I usually struggle to get Simon to provide me with any meaningful comments on what he's had when I'm doing a review but half way through he actually said to me "in your review, you have to say how amazing this sandwich is". He was going on about it so much that I somehow managed to convince him to cut me off a corner, and he was right. If you're going for the St Mary's Rustic Afternoon Tea this is the stottie you need to pick.

St Mary's Inn Northumberland - Afternoon Tea - Stotties

For those that love savoury you'll be wanting to book yourself this afternoon tea immediately because once you're done with the sandwiches you get another savoury treat! There's a choice between Beef & Onion Pie and Warm Cheese and Onion Quiche, both perfectly prepared, served warm with a delicious thick pastry crust.

St Mary's Inn Northumberland - Afternoon Tea - Quiche and Pie

It's the little things that please me most and one of my favourite things about the Rustic Afternoon Tea was the tableware. Slightly strange I know, but fellow afternoon tea lovers will know how frustrating it is when you have to tackle your tea stand armed with only a knife, fork and one teeny plate. At St Mary's Inn you get two plates and two sets of cutlery which is just amazing. I had a plate for my savoury, a separate plate for my sweets and two knives and forks to work with. Believe me, it was a game changer and everywhere that serves afternoon tea should take note.

I was pretty torn when it came to picking out which scone to get. I was very tempted by the Warm Cheese Scone & Butter but knowing how jealous I'd be of Simon's scone I thought we'd best order the same and we both opted for a Warm Fruit Scone with Clotted Cream and Strawberry Jam.

St Mary's Inn Northumberland - Afternoon Tea - Scones
They were huge, served warm out of the oven and when we cut into them I was so happy to discover they were the perfect amount of squish and crumble inside. I think every afternoon tea review I do I comment on how hard it is to get scones right and these ticked all the boxes.

St Mary's Inn Northumberland - Rustic Afternoon Tea - Scones

Simon, being Simon got to the jam first, slathered his scone in a thick covering and left me with nowt! Muttering to myself I headed off to go and find more jam and came back with the biggest smug face when I revealed that I'd been given my own mini pots of jam in a variety of flavours.

I definitely had the last laugh and taking full advantage I covered one half in Raspberry Jam (my new favourite jam flavour in case you were wondering) and the other half in a, some might way, controversial choice - Blackberry. An absolute treat smothered in cream and enjoyed with endless cups of steaming hot tea I think the scones were my favourite part of the Afternoon Tea.

St Mary's Inn Northumberland - Rustic Afternoon Tea - Scone

You won't find an over crowded tier of cakes on the Rustic Afternoon Tea, instead you get to choose between Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing or Warm Chocolate Brownie and believe me one cake is all you need because the cakes are huge.

We both went for the Chocolate Brownie and it was beautiful. Absolutely huge it was a real struggle to finish it off having already consumed all that food, I'm still not sure how we managed it. It was very rich and really chocolatey.  If you're not a professional in afternoon tea eating I'd highly recommend asking for a box to take this beauty home because it is a bit much after all that food and would be rather lovely to enjoy from the comfort of your sofa in the evening.

St Mary's Inn Northumberland - Rustic Afternoon Tea Brownies

We really enjoyed the Rustic Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn, it was so lovely to experience something a little different and the food and service we received was faultless. I'm really hoping that word continues to spread about how great this place is, it really is Northumberland's hidden gem and if you're yet to visit them you must make a plan!

St Mary's Inn Northumberland - Rustic Afternoon Tea Review
What you need to know:
  • Rustic Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn is served Monday to Saturday from 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Afternoon Tea costs £15.00 per person
  • Bookings must be made in advance online or by telephone
  • Want to read more about St Mary's Inn? Read all about my wedding morning at St Mary's Inn here
Find St Mary's Inn

St Mary's Lane
St Mary's Park
NE61 6BL


01670 293 293

We were treated to a complimentary afternoon tea for two in exchange for this honest review. 

Thursday 11 April 2019

Luxury Suite at King Street Townhouse, Manchester - Hotel Review

When I was planning a special birthday trip to Manchester there was only one hotel that I wanted to stay in - The King Street Townhouse! After seeing so many beautiful photographs of the hotel popping up all over Instagram I was determined that one day I'd stay there.  The Marketing Man's dream, I'd been heavily influenced by some of my favourites on Instagram and knew I wouldn't be happy until I'd seen "that" infinity pool for myself.

Luxury Suite at King Street Townhouse, Manchester - Hotel Review

After carefully (my husband might say obsessively!) studying the website I realised that the room I wanted to stay in (the one that all the beautiful pictures were taken in) was, in fact, the most expensive room in the hotel - one of the two Suites.  Costing an eye watering £648.00 a night at peak times of the year, the Suite seemed pretty unattainable and involved me checking the website twice a day waiting for the price to eventually drop. Just wanting one night on a Tuesday in March I knew that the price was likely to come down and after an agonising wait we finally managed to bag the room for £324.00 for the night.

Luxury Suite at King Street Townhouse, Manchester - Review
Feeling very smug that I'd somehow managed to convince my husband to let me book the room I spent the next few weeks sharing Instagram photographs of the hotel with anyone who was silly enough to chat to me about the subject for more than 2 minutes. I don't think I've ever been so excited about staying anywhere in my whole life.

The day eventually arrived and along with it the dramas of attempting to find the hotel's recommended public car park which involved a pretty hairy journey round Manchester's ever changing one way system, some very inconvenient road works and a man with a huge skip. We drove laps of the city centre just to secure our 30% discount and by the time we arrived we were feeling a little harassed!

Luxury Suite at King Street Townhouse, Manchester

Finally making our way through the doors of King Street Townhouse, I was having a real "pinch me" moment - I was finally here, I'd jumped into an Instagram picture Mary Poppins style and my dreams were about to become a reality. After a lovely welcome from the receptionist we made our way up to the Fifth Floor, home to the two beautiful suites.

As we entered our suite I was pleased to discover it was just as beautiful as I'd seen on Instagram. Completely mesmerised by the beautiful bath tub that I'd be admiring on photographs for months it took me a few moments to really take a proper look at the suite and realise that it was actually pretty tiny.

Luxury Suite King Street Townhouse, Manchester

Simon and I have stayed in a few suites over the last couple of years (we've definitely reached that age where we like to treat ourselves to fancy rooms every now and again!) and have enjoyed some pretty amazing rooms at a much cheaper cost than King Street Townhouse. Although beautifully decorated the suite at King Street Townhouse wasn't much bigger than a standard hotel room and although it did have a separate lounge area we were disappointed at the size and the lack of extras that you usually find in a suite. No fully loaded tea tray, no fancy mini bar and not a lot to show for our £324.00!

Suite King Street Townhouse, Manchester

To really emphasise how ridiculous my reasons for wanting to book the room were - it was all for the bathtub offering the most beautiful views of Manchester Town Hall.

Absolutely stunning, although on looking through all the photographs on Instagram you definitely don't appreciate that there's an office block directly opposite the bath tub which makes you wonder how on earth those Instagrammers got their shots!

Suite King Street Townhouse, Manchester - Bath
I decided to get mine by setting a 6:00 am alarm to make sure I was in and out of that bath tub before anyone appeared in the windows opposite. There was no way I was going to embarrass myself in front of a load of bored office workers.  If ever there was proof that Instagram has made me slightly crazy, this has to be it!

I filled the tub and slid in whilst Simon nervously pulled back the curtains, hoping he wasn't about to expose his wife to the world outside. Luckily we got away with it and I did have a really enjoyable bath - appreciating the beautiful views whilst covering myself in lovely hot bubbles - absolute bliss and I will always appreciate a tub with a view. Funnily enough I couldn't convince Simon to step into the tub and instead he enjoyed the waterfall shower.

King Street Townhouse, Manchester - Hotel Review

Simon's biggest gripe with paying so much for our suite was that it didn't include breakfast! We didn't try any food at all at King Street Townhouse as there were too many incredible restaurants on the doorstep to stay in. We did, however, venture to the bar at our hotel where we ordered a Gin & Tonic and an Old Fashioned which came to £28.00. I was immediately transported to my London days, how can two drinks up north cost that much money?

Perhaps the most iconic part of the King Street Townhouse is the Seventh Floor Spa which, although small, is home to the most beautiful pool I have ever seen. The Infinity Pool overlooks Manchester Town Hall and is an idyllic spot for a soak (and is a fun way to spend some time with your Instagram Husband whilst you cross everything that he isn't about to drop your phone into the water!)

Suite King Street Townhouse, Manchester - Infinity Pool

Those gorgeous Manchester views continue with the stunning roof bar on the Sixth Floor which,although closed during most of our stay for a private function, we managed to visit just before check out just so I could take a look at what I had missed. A gorgeous sunny spot this has to be one of the loveliest places to enjoy a drink on a sunny day.

Suite King Street Townhouse, Manchester View

My one night stay at the King Street Townhouse was over before I knew it and although I was happy to tick somewhere off my Instagram Bucket List it definitely didn't quite live up to its hype. Simon perfectly described it when I caught him muttering "Instagram Tax" to himself! The hotel definitely has a lot of Instagram popularity which makes it a beautiful place to stay but not worthy of its expensive price tags. We've stayed in far superior hotels at a much lower price with beautiful rooms and no Instagram hype.

I don't regret our stay, although we did feel a little ripped off it was lovely to see it all with my own eyes. It may perhaps make me think twice about buying into Instagram hype in the future, but please don't hold me to that .... I'm sure in no time at all I'll be chasing yet another Instagram dream!

Have you ever visited somewhere that doesn't quite live up to Instagram?

Suite King Street Townhouse, Manchester Roof Bar

Find Kingstreet House at:

10 Booth Street
Upper King Street

0161 667 0707

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