The final stop on our tour of the North with TransPennine Express was to magical Manchester!
Before the tour kicked off, I asked my followers on social media for their recommendations of what to do and where to eat in York, Glasgow, Newcastle and Manchester and we visited the places suggested. Thanks guys!
A vibrant, busy and of course, super famous city, home to many a star and the world-famous Man U of course, my respect for this city runs deep.
A cultural melting pot, every cuisine imaginable can be consumed here- with the city offering visitors the perfect mix of culture, history and food in one vibrant place…Just don’t forget your umbrella as it always seems to rain there!
Here’s the lowdown of what we got up to in this buzzing city:
What to do:
The National Football Museum is fascinating whether you’re a fan of football or not. I personally love the beautiful game myself and relished every minute of the nostalgic trip through the history of football at the museum.
I also loved having the opportunity to lift the Premier League trophy (won by Chelsea) despite the fact that I support Arsenal (holding a tangible piece of football history is pretty special whomever you back), and the visual memoir of Pelés life in the exhibition: Pele, Art, Life, Football, dazzled us all.
The kids had a ball too (get it-ball #soz), playing both outside in the play area outside the museum, and within on the retro football amusement games we all quickly became addicted to.
It’s definitely a place we’ll be sure to visit again, soon.
After all that sporting excitement, we popped for a bite to eat in The Corn Exchange, a grade II listed building which housed popular restaurants under one roof.
Next up was Manchester Cathedral, a second’s walk away. A stunning cathedral in the city centre, we wandered around it, said a prayer, lit a candle and felt completely peace in this haven nestled within the busy city centre.
Manchester Art Gallery
Next stop was Manchester Art Gallery with an interactive, engaging area for kids where they can draw, play abstract musical instruments and play in relaxed surroundings (as well as look around the exhibitions of course), this place is the perfect introduction to art, for little ones and as art-lovers we could have spent all day there.
Where to Eat:
For a sit-down meal head to Home Sweet Home, a vintage food haven with two venues in Manchester. Bursting with classic American food and famous Cake Shakes which are basically a meal in themselves- milk plus cake makes a cakeshake, we fell head over heels in love with this place.
The relaxed retro aesthetic (we visited the Great Northern branch which is the biggest) is THE place to go for lazy brunch or lunch so you can scoff serious comfort food and over-the-top indulgent treats to your heart’s content.
That’s my kind of home!
Fish and chips for Oliver, veggie and beef burgers for the rest of us!
Another favourite was North Tea Power: a cool, industrial style coffee shop and restaurant in the Northern Quarter with an extensive, tea, coffee and brunch and snack menu using delicious, local ingredients. Insta-cool and oh-so welcoming pop by with the Sunday papers and enjoy some herbal tea with a hallumi avo salad.
Sausage sandwiches a-go!
Peppermint tea for me!
Espresso for Peter.
For dinner and something a little bit special, celebrity-favourite San Carlo is what you need. With an extensive menu bursting with authentic Italian food, eat, drink and enjoy star-gazing the glitterati of Manchester in this hot spot that has expanded to other cities too.
Perfect for families in the daytime or for an early evening meal as well as a romantic date night venue or bite and cocktails with the girls.
The beef carpaccio with caramelised onions and capers was divine.
Bolognese for the bambini was devoured!
Salmon in a peppercorn sauce with my favourite fried zucchino!
Grilled avo was surprisingly flavoursome and a culinary first for me.
The boys were so hungry from all the walking round Manchester, they ordered extra pasta too! Impressive!
So, there you have it, the final city in our glorious month touring the UK with TransPennine Express.
What a trip! There’s so many wonderful cities on the line. We had so much fun, we’re going to do it all again this summer!
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