Manchester is my favourite city in England, it holds a very special place in my heart.


Jake and I caught a late train to Manchester and arrived at Piccadilly Station around 9pm. We picked up some food and got a taxi to our hotel, the Ibis Hotel in Salford Quays. We checked into our cosy little room which was complete with a double bed with memory foam mattress, television, toilet and shower (one of the nicest showers I’ve had to be honest!).    After unpacking we had a chilled out evening admiring the Quays view from our hotel room with Burger King, 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown and an obligatory Disaronno and Coke (our latest poison of choice).


On Friday morning we got up, got showered and got ready and headed across the road to Frankie and Benny’s where Jake treated me to brunch. There wasn’t many people in so the service was pretty fast and the waiters we’re having a laugh with us. Jake and I both ordered the BBQ Cheeseburger with fries (but because I’m incredibly fussy and unhealthy when it comes to food, mine was ordered with no salad and no sauce). Genuinely could have eaten 7 of them if it hadn’t completely comatose me.


We got a taxi into Piccadilly around 2pm to do a bit of shopping, visiting Scotts Menswear where Jake picked up a gorgeous Fred Perry shirt, Urban Outfitters to check out the quirky stock (Jake picked up the new Blink 182 album on vinyl) and a couple of record stores where we did a bit of bargain hunting, I got the Noel Gallagher’s HFB – Ballad Of The Mighty I on 7” and Jake got an Oasis Live Unplugged 12” which had a quality set on it.


Night and Day Café for a pot of tea was a must whilst we decided what the plan was for the rest of the day. Jake’s band, Arcadia, played a gig at the café last month and it’s a music lovers dream inside with stunning, unique posters of musicians on the walls! My personal favourite was an animated poster of David Bowie as Aladdin Sane; I wanted to take it home with me. It’s got a beautiful, homely atmosphere and has a real indie kind of vibe with the musical theme and mismatched furniture.


Walking back to our hotel took us about 30-40 minutes with the life-saver that is Google Maps, to get our stuff ready for the evening. I decided to wear my floral dress, tights and heeled boots so that I’d be warm, but still look gig-ready. We got a taxi to The Jury Inn Hotel where Lewis and Chloe were staying for some pre-gig-drinks before walking to Castlefield Bowl ready for Catfish and The Bottlemen! I’ll be writing a full review of the gig shortly, but for now, I’ll give you a couple snaps! Big thank you to Jake for letting my sit on his shoulders for the duration of Tyrants, I don’t know how he managed that! They played an extended version that lasted about 7 minutes. It was such an amazing gig; words won’t do it justice, but I’ll try my best when I do the big write up!

After Catfish we went back to Lewis and Chloe’s hotel for another drink before we hit up MOJO’s bar (again, only found with the help of Google Maps). The second we entered Catfish and The Bottlemen – Pacifier was playing and we were all still hyped up from the gig. The music in the bar was absolutely quality and a sign above the drinks read ‘Music For The People’, and it couldn’t have been more right – I was even more impressed that ‘Music For The People’ is the title of The Enemy’s album.

To finish the night we ordered pizza from the takeaway next to our hotel and got in bed before the post-gig blues had chance to set in and before the reality that our weekend away was almost over could slap us in the face.


A 10 O’clock get up gave us 2 hours to pack our suitcase and tidy up before checking out at 12. We got breakfast from the Greggs next door and then missed the bus into town… When we managed to find ourselves on the right side of the road and at the right bus stop, we made it to Piccadilly in time for a Starbucks (2 cups of tea in 3 days is not enough to fuel my addiction). We missed the train home; of course, because that’s just our luck (I reckon Manchester was just telling us to stay there). We arrived back in Stoke Saturday afternoon safe and sound! I can’t wait to go and get my disposable camera developed tomorrow! A post will be up almost instantly, I can assure you!

Massive thank you to Jake for whisking me away for one of the best weekends of my life, I’m sure it won’t be long before we’re tempted to have another little break!


Beff xx


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