A few weeks ago now I treated my wonderful momma to an over night stay in our incredible city of Manchester.
I'm a born and bred Mancunian and my mum Salfordian, and even though we both reside in Manchester, it was still oh so special to have a girlie night's stay in a Manchester centric hotel.
I wanted to treat my mum to an evening of luxury and a day of total relaxation and for that we hit up the Lowry Hotel and Manchester House, but more on both of those a little further on in this post.
I wanted to share this post with you, in this format rather than in separate posts to hopefully inspire you to do something special for your Momma, Sister, Auntie, Nanna or Friend this winter.
Taking a day out of our busy work schedules to spend some time with the special ladies in our life is seriously so important. We work so damn hard and all the ladies in my life are no exception, especially my momma bear. I really wanted to spoil her, if just for the day, the way she has done for me for the past 24 years since I graced the earth.
And, you don't need to spend a lot of money to treat 'em either, just one of these special treats, one of which is totally free, is a sure fired way to make the lady in your life feel oh so loved and you can even do it in your own town, city or village.
Whilst also wanting to inspire you to treat the ladies in your life, especially with Christmas coming up, all of the below ideas are perfect gift ideas FYI, I also wanted to share how you don't have to go far and wide to make an overnight stay worthwhile. I live around a 10 minute walk from all of these places, and my mum a twenty minute drive away, yet we still felt like we were a million miles away from reality and had a 10/10 twenty four hours.
It's funny isn't it, but if us British ladies want to treat a special lady in our life we will automatically head for an Afternoon Tea experience. There's just something oh so luxurious, special and downright fancy about finger sandwiches, miniature cakes, pots of tea and of course SCONES!
I've had a fair few afternoon tea experiences in my time but I must say none quite like that of Manchester House.
Manchester House is a fairly new addition to Manchester's restaurant scene and I must say a fabulous addition at that.
Serving incredible tasting menu's along with an extensive A La Carte menu, Manchester House has recently added an Afternoon Tea experience to their repertoire of goodies.
The afternoon tea is served on the 12th floor, which overlooks the entire city. With absolutely breathtaking views of Manchester allowing you to take in some of Manchester's most incredible architecture (trust me, we have a lot) whilst dining over the most delicious afternoon tea.
As is the case with every afternoon tea, I am a sucker for the sandwiches.
I'm a complete and utter carb queen so the selection of sandwiches is how I tend to judge the whole thing. In true Manchester House form the sandwiches were modern takes on classics with coronation chicken wraps (a personal favourite I must say) roast beef, coleslaw and crispy onions, cucumber and dill puree, smoked salmon and creme fraiche and Lancashire cheese and pickle.
However delicious the sandwiches were, the sweets were complete and utter show stoppers from the moment you laid eyes on them.
Pastries, cakes, scones and ECCLES CAKES in the most incredible array of colours and finishes, it was like nothing I have ever seen before. And if you can make a macaron taste like a jammy dodger then you're winning at life in my eyes!
The beauty of Manchester is that a number of truly wonderful exhibitions are regularly popping up around the city. As is the same with London and I'm sure many major cities throughout the UK. These are really great and pocket friendly ways to spend the day with the lucky lady in your life and to make her feel a million dollars.
Select a museum and take a wander round; we did just this and visited Manchester's Art Gallery, a place I have shockingly NEVER visited before, but a place I'm already eager to get back to. It was a really lovely way to spend a slow morning in the city, the art was simply incredible and really blew both of us away.
It was a place we accidentally stumbled upon as we had intended to visit the Vogue 100: A Century Of Style exhibition which was showing at the gallery, which I must say was simply extraordinary!
I had wanted to catch this exhibition whilst in London a few months back but unfortunately missed it, so when I learnt it had resided in Manchester I was completely over the moon. It is an absolutely wonderful exhibition and possibly one of the best I've ever been to. I left feeling oh so inspired about fashion once again, with us both agreeing that a morning was well spent.
Unfortunately Vogue 100 has now left Manchester but do keep an eye out for it in other major cities as I'm sure it is too good to be put to bed just yet.
Getting lost in exhibitions is fast becoming one of my favourite things to do and quite often they're free too. Select a museum or choose an exhibition that relates to the both of you and get lost in all thing art, music, fashion or otherwise, it's good for the heart, mind and the soul.
I also thought I'd add some of my favourite ways to keep track on whats on in Manchester, should you be from or near the city centre of Manchester or should this inspire you to come on down and check us out.
Visit Manchester is a great website for finding all the goings on in the city centre, similarly to that of Manchester Confidential and of course more commonly known is Time Out.
Upcoming exhibitions i'm pencilling into the diary have got to be the Oasis Exhibition which has excitingly just opened at Manchester Library and having missed the Chasing The Sun exhibition I am beyond keen to visit this one that's for sure. I'm also rather excited to visit the Andy Warhol at The Whitworth and Fashion On The Ration at the incredible Imperial War Museum.
I'm not sure I'd rather end a girly day out in any way other way than with a trip to the spa.
After our morning of soaking up some art we headed to our hotel for the night, The Lowry Manchester situated extremely central to all the Manchester going's on.
Once checked in we aimed straight for the QMS spa where we slipped into our fluffy white robes and slippers and straight into the relaxation room for some afternoon dozing, reading and unwinding.
Both my mum and I opted for the QMS Deep Pore Cleanse which consisted of a beautifully intense cleansing and refining facial that provides a complete detox for the skin.
With a combination of a deep pore cleanse using highly effective fruit acid and the most incredible enzyme peel mask I have ever experienced we both left with the most incredibly glowing skin. Don't believe me? Check out that image of us above with our afternoon tea, neither of us had foundation on... I mean HOW GOOD!
I've never had a QMS spa experience before but I can highly recommend it now.
They kindly shipped us off with some samples to try out and I'm completely in love with them especially their 24hour cream which you can find here, with the huge list of spa treatments on offer here.
For our evening's stay, as I've already mentioned we hit up the Lowry Manchester Hotel, a hotel my mum was absolutely buzzing to stay at having heard oh-so much about it and of course about the regular celebrities, footballers and actors who choose the Lowry Hotel as their go-to on trips to Manchester.
We were lucky enough to stay in the Superior Deluxe River View Room which was truly wonderful indeed. The decor was oh-so seventies retro, however with a beautiful modern touch.
It was extremely contemporary in many ways, however with some retro touches to it such as the bright orange colour scheme, the chevrons and of course the bow lamp overlooking the chaise lounge, which was right up my street to say the least. We made the most of the room by having a cosy night in, watching television, drinking the complimentary teas and snuggling up in the huge bed in our oh-so cosy dressing gowns, it was the perfect mother, daughter evening and something I completely cherished having not had a night like that in years.
After a great nights sleep we awoke to room service at our door and the breakfast we had selected the night before wheeled into our rooms. There is something about breakfast in bed at a hotel that really is such a special treat, it was the perfect way to end a girlie stay at The Lowry Hotel and of course a great start to the day ahead.
What I really loved about our stay at The Lowry Hotel was how proud and passionate the entire hotel was of Manchester and it's history. Whether that be it's sporting history or of course it's musical history there were photographs, art work and quotes on each floor that championed what Manchester is all about and for that, you know I could relate.
So there we have my little guide for a girlie overnight's stay in Manchester, I really hope you enjoyed it, I know we did indeed. Of course the same activities and places can be used for a weekend away with your other half but I thought it was the perfect couple of days away for us girlies and I know that my mum really, truly appreciated it whilst I absolutely loved being able to spend some one-on-one time with my momma, no men allowed.
I truly hope this has inspired you to take the special lady in your life out for a day or two, to show them just how wonderful they are and just how much you appreciate them and everything they do. Afternoon tea, a spa trip or a hotel stay are all absolutely incredible gifts for Christmas so perhaps that's your Christmas shopping done 😉
Lots of Love