Monday, 26 May 2014

Travel Diaries: Manchester!! (Aka my sister's shopping diary...)

That time my sister came to visit :) 

So, after weeks and weeks of my pestering my lovely sister to come and visit, she finally relented and enjoyed the first week of her Easter holidays for a shopping/touristy/revision break in sunny sunny Manchester! Needless to say, revision didn't really get done... But we did shop! A lot. 

Although this isn't really a travel diary as I have lived in Manchester for about 2 years, I figured this is probably the first time I ever really got to experience it as a tourist, although due to the weather, we didn't really leave the city centre... 

So without much ado, here is the (shopping...) tour of Manchester. 

First day: 

So as she arrived at some point in the afternoon, we spent most of the day just planning the rest of our trip and watching 'My Mad Fat Diary' (which is actually surprisingly good!!). However I was able to show her my favourite milkshake places in Manchester, Moonlight, just on the Curry Mile

They do an absolutely amazing array of different flavoured milkshakes, from your favourite chocolate bar milkshakes to fruit! That night we both went for my favourite 'Ferraro Roche milkshake', however I always recommend honeycomb too!

Day Two:

I firstly showed my sister what the AMC cinema in Deasgate had to offer, which is pretty much just an arcade (other than the cinema), but seeing as it had my favourite photobooth of all time there, 'FotoFun', I fel that it had to be included in the tour!

(She found the minions!)

On the way toward our main activity of the day, shopping, we stopped past the brilliant 'Almost Famous' restaurant, which is my favourite burger place of all time (- I mean, what even IS baconnaise??) before grabbing a quick snack at the super duper cure 'Bake Station' cafe! As Londers, we could not resist the obviou reference to our beloved London Underground after all!

As this was the first day we hit town, and by that I mean my bank account, I decided spend the day with my fashion-forward sister perusing what Picadilly Gardens had to offer us, including, of course, the huuuuuuuge Primark (which she loved) before hitting up the Arndale :)

(The Picadilly Eye)

(She discovered her new favourite rack in Primark!)

We then spend some time relaxing around the Arndale before we were to meet up with my housemates for dinner!

(We so cool!)

(Somewhat less cool....)

For dinner, we met up with the boys at the magnificent 'Tops' restaurant, Portland Street, for an all-you-can-eat (within 90 minutes) Chinese buffet! I must say, despite not usually being a fan of buffets, at the brilliant pricing and amazing quality of food, Tops is definitely an exception to that rule!

By the end, I was so stufed, I didn't even have room for desert!!!

Finally, to help walk off the on-coming food baby I was due, my sister and I dragged the boys out to revisit 'Foto-Fun' before walking home.

(Four people may have been too many for the tiny photobooth....)

Day Three:

We were originally supposed to go ice skating, but due to my our lack of waking up on time ability, we had missed the opportune time to go to Altrincham. So instead? We went shopping. Again.

But first, I had promised our parents we would do some revision so...

So back to Picadilly we headed. This time however, I was determined to take my thriftly little sister to somewhere I knew she would truly appreciate. The Northern Quarter. As vintage shops in London make a huge fortune selling second hand clothing for unreasonably high pricing, I was certain she would relish the range and quality of stuff available in Northern Quarter, without having to break her bank account! First stop? Affleck's Palace of course!

We then stopped by Primark again to buy some cute slipper-socks my sister had been craving since the day before. At only £1, they were a total steal!

We then settled ourselves at the local Starbucks to enjoy some tea (or a Chai Tea Latte for my sister) before heading out to do some actual sight seeing!

The sight seeing tour on the way back was comprised of visiting China Town, checking out the local Chinese supermarket and bakeries before looking round some of the nice churches on Oxford Road!

(Packing up for home)

Day Four:

As we didn't have much time before my sister had to get on the train back, the last day was spent in one of my favourite cafe's in Manchester, The Anchor, which is conveniently also my local cafe! Run by Christians, the atmosphere is very chillaxed, with friendly and helpful staff who happen to make the best brownies I have ever tasted. And I've tasted a lot of brownies. How this little cafe of dreams hasn't yet made it into my blog I'm not entirely sure as I seem to spend most of my life (and my money...) in there, however I am certain you'll see it many more times in the future. It truly is one of my favourite coffee shops!

(These brownies!!)

Our last act in Manchester was to play at catching the beautiful blossoms whilst we waited for that fateful Magic Bus to sweet my sister home sweet home again.

In all, the week was a huge success, and I believe my sister really enjoyed it. Although there are still a million and one things we didn't get to do, like use the metro to get over to the suburbss, visit the kooky cafe's in Northern Quarter, or see any of the millions of art galleries, theatres or music groups around, I feel that we covered a lot of the basics- and given our budged, I think I managed to help my sister get a better insight into what Manchester, this truly wonderful city, has to offer. Hopefully you will agree, and maybe even check out some of the places I recommended? 

That's all for this post so goodbye for now~


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