Friday 22 August 2014

Travel: Weekend in Manchester | Ant & Dec

As part of my Christmas present from my boyfriend I received tickets to go and see Ant n Dec on their Saturday Night Takeaway Tour in Manchester. Its not everyone's ideal night of entertainment, but I love them. Fast forward 8 months and that night finally arrived last weekend.

I didn't book a hotel right until the last minute, and ended up with a simple (yet refurbished) Premier Inn on Portland Street. For a budget hotel, I was very impressed, and felt like I was in a 4* hotel. The room was huge (although I did book a family room for no extra cost). It even had ultra violet lighting around the bed frame (although some may argue this is a little seedy ;-)). I'll do a review on this hotel real soon.

We arrived mid afternoon on Friday, and after having a little rest from the driving up there, we refreshed ourselves and headed to Market Street in Manchester for a 3 course meal and a bottle of wine that I had won in a competition a few months ago. After stuffing our faces and Mike drinking the majority of the wine, we were pretty tired so took a slow walk back to the hotel for an early night #oldbeforeourtime

My starters

Silly Face
Saturday came and we hit the shops and stopped off at Nando's for some lunch in the Arndale Centre. I had a steak and philly burger with spicy seasoned chips with corn on the cob (I'm obsessed with those at the minute!). We did a little more shopping before heading back to the hotel so Mike could have a cat-nap (he'd done a night shift the day we left for Manchester so only had about 4hrs sleep!). I just read my book and got myself ready for that night. We walked to the Phones4u arena (which was a lot closer than I thought!) and waited for the show to start.

The show was just like it was on TV - Paddy McGuinness was the box host, Ashley Roberts was there and performed her new single (which I haven't a clue what the title is!). Kim Marsh and Antony Cotton from Coronation Street made an appearance as well as a few others. We watched Ant n Dec in a trial, we played ball games in the crowd and watched a celebrity wind up as well as 'win the ads'. I also saw Ant n Dec perform their famous Let's Get Ready to Rhumble! We even witnessed a live proposal in the audience. It was a really good night and made a pleasant change.

Ant V Dec

Ball Games!
After leaving the stadium we were hungry, but because it was late we decided to just grab a subway. We got lost on the way home too (Mike decided to blame me for that one) and instead of walking the 15min walk, it turned into a 45 minute walk.. oops! Safe to say I was glad when I was back in the hotel, subway in hand!

Sunday came and we grabbed a drink from Costa for breakfast. I kept seeing adverts for a new coconut and chocolate frappe that I just had to try - I'm not a huge coffee fan but this was so good! Thankfully the taste of coffee was not overpowering so it turned out to be a delicious treat! We attacked Primark (after a disappointing trip  day before!) before leaving for our next port of call which was Fallowfield, which is still in Manchester, just 3 miles from the city centre. I had won another competition a while back and the prize was a hotel stay, champagne afternoon tea, 3 course meal with wine, champagne in the room as well as breakfast the next morning (phew!), so I added this onto the end of our trip for a nice (free!) extended stay. We arrived mid afternoon and after quickly seeing the room, we headed straight back to the lounge area for afternoon tea which was yummy (review on this coming soon!). After devouring this, we headed back to the room.

Part of my competition wins

Because of the location of the hotel, although there were shops and restaurants around, the weather was looking a little unpredictable, so we just relaxed in the hotel room instead, played a few games and watched TV. Before we knew it, we were heading back to the restaurant for our 3 course meal. We had deliberately booked the latest sitting as possible, and because of this, we were the only ones in the restaurant! I tried to go for something a little lighter, and opted for pasta. I really couldn't fit pudding in as well so they kindly let us take it to our rooms instead. I'm so glad I did this as opposed to just declining pudding because it was SO good! I opted for chocolate fudge cake, and mine came with a bit of fudge on top! (Mike got a segment of Terry's chocolate orange on his). It tasted really good quality too. Yum.


Never thought I'd say this but after this, I was actually sick of the sight of food! I felt like all we'd done all weekend was eat!

The next morning was breakfast (argh, more food!) - I went for the fried breakfast but only had a little bit. After this, we checked out of the hotel and headed to Ikea in Manchester. We got so much for our money! I wish we had one nearby so I could visit more regular!

After our trip to Ikea we decided to visit a Science Museum in Rotherham called Magna. I'd seen a Youtube video of a couple that visited this last year and it looked quite good. When we got there we soon realized that a large chunk of it was about the steelworks, and I really wasn't interested in it. The building was split into 4 sections; Earth, Fire, Water and Air, each section being interactive to that element. A lot of it was designed more for children. It had a huge outdoor play area for children as well which looked fun, including a wet area, which looks good for hot summer days. Unfortunately it didn't float my boat but other children looked like they were having a great time! I'm glad I went to see what it was all about.

After this we were both starving so stopped off in Sheffield and went to Frankie & Benny's before heading back home.

All in all, another lovely varied weekend away, something I'm looking forward to doing again soon! I dread to think how many pounds I've put on over this weekend!

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