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.

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