The weekend before Christmas, I was invited along to Manchester by the lovely people at Talented Talkers and Mercure to take part in their #ExperienceMercure Campaign. Of course, I said yes and invited Hayley along for the ride. A little warning that this post is pretty festive for mid-January!
First stop after arriving at Manchester Piccadilly was obviously for food. We had a few recommendations about checking out The Northern Quarter and decided on one of my favourite places; Almost Famous (my Leeds AF review). I knew Hayley would love it here, especially with the crazy maple candy and bacon waffle fries.
The Mercure Picadilly is as central as it gets, smack bang in the middle of Manchester’s Picadilly Gardens. It’s also a stone throw away from Primark which is the biggest one outside of London. It’s amazing. Mercure also has a couple of other hotels in Manchester which you can check out here. We headed over to the hotel to check in and was greeted with a bottle of prosecco and cake in our room. Such a lovely touch. The room was really lovely with fab views over the city.
There was a few other bloggers also staying at the Mercure so we got to have a little mingle over a few drinks before going on a quick tour of the hotel and my goodness, it’s actually huge. There was even a massive banqueting hall which could house 800 people for events and conferences!
We joined Rhianna & Joe and ventured over to Event City by the Trafford Centre to check out Winter Wonderland which is the largest indoor event of its kind. To be honest, it wasn’t our cup of tea and was certainly aimed at children.
In the evening, we headed to the hotel’s bar & restaurant where we had a lovely meal overlooking Picadilly Gardens. I went for Butternut Squash Soup, Fish and Chips and Sticky Toffee Pudding which was all incredibly yummy and I was absolutely stuffed by the end of the evening. Hayley went for some type of Savoury Pancakes, Steak and Chips and a Cheese Board. The steak looked incredibly delicious. We did originally plan to go out on the tiles in Manchester but we decided to stay in the bar, enjoy the view and grab some more drinks. We tried out some signature cocktails tailor-made for us before heading up to our room.
After a full-English breakfast buffet in the hotel’s restaurant, we headed to a few shops. I needed my Selfridges-fix. I think one of my favourite things was bumping into Santa Claus in the Jo Malone concession. He must have been picking up some of my Christmas presents!
We were both super excited about visiting the Christmas Market by the Townhall and see the famous Zippy Santa. I was also desperate to get a mug of Mulled Wine and pick up some sweet treats. Given that it was the week before Christmas, it was pretty busy but the atmosphere was so festive and they had some amazing food stalls. I’ve visited a couple of Christmas Markets in 2016 but the Manchester one is definitely worth a visit!
It was then time to head home, I actually went via York on the train and ended up hopping off the train and visiting the Christmas Market there too! I honestly had the best time on this trip. I learnt that I need to visit Manchester more, there is so much to be explored in the city. The Northern Quarter is filled with so many cute restaurants and little stores, I need to visit them all. The trip was a week before Christmas and whilst the shopping area was crazy busy, it was nice to take a relaxing trip and enjoy the festivities without feeling the pre-Christmas stress.
Many thanks to Talented Talkers and Mercure for hosting us, like I said it was such a brilliant weekend. If you want to find out more information, Mercure has some great offers on at the moment here.