Thursday, 25 December 2014

Manchester | Curry Mile, Mockingjay & Markets | Travel

Me and Ems headed up to Manchester from London Victoria end of November to have a bit of a reunion with our friends and to surprise one of them for their birthday. Since university and work has taken over all our lives, it seems as though we rarely get the chance to all be together & even in this instance a lot of our lovely bunch weren't able to make it but nether the less it's still lovely when even a small handful of us can get together.
We weren't in Manchester for a very long period of time, and admittedly, most of it was spent having colossal catch ups in pubs rather than doing a bit of sight seeing. We did trek out however to see the Christmas markets and to pay a visit to the curry mile (what with us all being insane curry & beer lovers) and also to go and see the new Hunger Games movie, The Mockingjay, which I thought was so, so, so good! Although having read the books I didn't find it as thrilling as I thought I would, but you can definitely tell it's leading up to a massive explosion of everythinggg in the last movie (cannot wait) Anyway so I thought I'd jot down a couple of pointers from our trip up North, how to get there, what days to avoid the markets and how to get free beer down the curry mile.


First things first, megabus is so amazing. £14 for a return ticket to and from Manchester, I am such a sucker for a bargain. Catching the train could have put me out of pocket by about 40-80 pounds, which means (yay) more money for shopping and nights out. I would definitely recommend using this service, the journey is pretty comfortable and when you've got a bag of snacks and in good company it's just really the perfect place for a cosy catch up and to grab some shut eye before your destination. I get pretty badly travel sick in cars but this journey was absolutely fine for me, not at any point did I feel sick, I just caught up on plenty of gossip, sleep and listened to plenty of new music.
Once you're in Manchester, getting around is so easy, everywhere we went had pubs, cafes and shops in walking distance but if you wanted to venture further afield the buses are super easy to navigate and if you manage to get a 'magicbus' it will only cost you £1 for a single.
Family Bus Selfie


The curry mile actually amazes me- it is literally an area concentrated with shisha bars, kebab shops & (yay) Indian restaurants. The perfect spot for a cheat weekend. However, all the restaurants are halal, now I have always respected other peoples religions and beliefs but animal cruelty is something I cannot understand and have extreme difficulty accepting, which of course is a struggle, as a lover of good food and meat I constantly have battles with myself swaying from vegetarian to non-stop meat eater on the daily. Now this all made me very uncomfortable and everyone was just eager to eat whereas I was umming and ahhing about giving my money to people who promote this practice. And I know you'll all say what difference would it make, the animal is already dead- however I have always believed change starts with one person. And spreads like wildfire. Anyway all my hesitation outside the restaurant meant that one of the waiters came up to us and said if we ate there we would all get a free drink.. Sold.. Yes I know how very fickle of me, but hey at least I'm honest!
So there's a little tip for you all, because there are absolutely tons of Indian restaurants down there, they will do anything they can to make you eat at their restaurant as opposed to the identical one next door! Everyone was so lovely and friendly to us that we went back the next day and were greeted as 'family' and they gave us a free little slice of cake for Hannahs birthday. Now that's a nice bit of customer service.
How big is this Cobra bottle!!!??


If you are headed to Manchester any time soon I would 100% recommend their Christmas market, it's so beautiful and absolutely massive. Me and Ryan managed to home in on a Baileys tent (I swear I can smell that stuff from a mile away..) and it was absolutely the best find. Ever. We showed our ID to the bouncers followed a crowd of people landed at the bar with two free shots and a cheeky polaroid picture to take home- all free. Heaven! Definitely my highlight! I absolutely loved the Christmas markets, full to the brim of delicious drinks and food and amazing hand crafted unique presents, it's definitely the spot to go shopping. Especially when you can dive in and out of the high street shops too! All your Christmas shopping in one place, convenience in the busy holiday period, definitely what I like to hear. Having said that, I did absolutely no Christmas shopping as it was heaving. Even in London Oxford Street I have never seen that many people flocking around. (I'm not sure how much of this had to do with the fact it was the day after Black Friday) A couple of us had a look around the markets on Friday afternoon and it was quite pleasant and quiet. However when we all decided to go and have a look around on the Saturday evening, we were quite literally overwhelmed with how busy it was, you couldn't even see what the stalls were selling and getting from one place to another turned into a military mission, ducking and swerving, dragging everyone along making sure no one gets left behind (and me being small normally meant that I was the one that got separated- thank god for bright blonde hair!) It just all became too stressful and the queues for mulled wine were ridiculooooous! So we all admitted defeat and went off to find somewhere to grab some dinner. With no reservation- Bad idea. I had no idea Manchester was so busy but every single restaurant we went to told us we had a 2-3 hour wait (there were 6 of us) we had exhausted all the local restaurants and so decided we would head back to our favourite hotspot-  the curry mile! Definitely head over here during the week days and if you want to eat definitely book ahead!!

1 comment

  1. Hi, I really love your blog so I nominated you for the 'Liebster Award!', all the details are on my new blog post! X


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