housewarming weekend

Manchester Travel Blog

 › entry 27 of 129 › view all entries

This weekend, I finally held my housewarming, having moved in with Iain last month.  This makes this entry almost the opposite of a travel blog – it is a coming home blog.  My sister and brother-in-law, on the other hand, travelled north to come to the party.  She is not much of a traveller at all, so it was lovely to see her. 


They arrived in Manchester mid afternoon, just in time for a nice cup of tea and a quick catch up.  About an hour later, we both ran out of air and they went off to settle into their hotel.  The sun came out, which is something of a miracle, and two more of Iain’s friends arrived for another cup of tea.


Soon, we wandered out to find a drink somewhere nice.  As people were staying in the Travelodge in Ancoats road, the logical first stop was The Fringe, a lovely pub on the outskirts of town.  The Fringe is a narrow, crowded bar with Buffy the Vampire Slayer cut outs, south park figurines, and many fairies.  The bar staff all have pink hair or Mohicans and loads of piercings, but it isn’t really a rock bar or a biker bar, so much as a place where you can get a decent pint of something interesting without having to brave the slight pretentiousness of the Northern Quarter.  It has two different kinds of fruit beer on tap, interesting cider, and importantly, a small garden.  The garden has an ineffectual umbrella and a hedge shaped like a giant hand, clutching at you, so perhaps you might want to start your day here rather than finish it – it could be spooky if you were already drunk! 


After that, we went into town to go to Cord.

  Cord is a nice enough bar, with the advantage of indoor seats which were in rather short supply in the Fringe, although it is a little more expensive and the basement area we usually sit in always smells slightly funny.  We lounged on the chaise longue and drank for a while, and then remembered it was time for some dinner. 

Dinner was a nice Chinese set meal in the Great Wall, in China Town.  My sister was absolutely fascinated with the sheer un-bothered attitude of our waiter – I’ve got used to a certain slamming of plates and general sleepiness in the restaurants in china town, and have always put it down to working insane hours, but she thought it was about the funniest thing ever. 


Iain’s friends went home after dinner, as they were recovering from jet lag following a trip to Dubai.

  The four survivors went off to The Lass O’ Gowrie.  Iain made a brave attempt at persuading everyone they wanted to go clubbing, but the others had had a long drive North and aren’t really drinkers, so weren’t especially up for it.  Instead, we had a couple more pints in the Lass and then went home. 


On Saturday, we all went to the Koffee Pot for breakfast.  I have reviewed the koffee pot before, and it is still a fantastic place for breakfast.  Then I took the gang for a trip to the Manchester Big Wheel to see the sights, and a bit of a tour around the city.  I didn’t take many pictures, especially as my sister was quite keen to see the inside of the Arndale shopping centre and have some sushi in Selfridges (both pretty good ideas, if you ask me!) so there isn’t much to show!


The party itself was a great success, but I will refrain from going on about it too much – I’m guessing you aren’t all that interested in hearing about what a bunch of people you don’t know got up to inside an apartment, given that this is a travel blog.

hedge like a hand in The Fringe


Sunday morning, we hauled our hangovers out of bed.  My sister and brother in law were up bright and early, and went home about ten, but we still had a house full of guests to feed and send off on trains.  I tiptoed around the house making bacon sandwiches for a while, and then we went out to get a roast dinner. 


Several of my favourite roast dinner places were closed for Easter, so we ended up in a place near the station.  I can’t remember the name of it, but I will review it when I’ve had time to check.  Service was slow enough to make the people who had trains to catch a little nervous, and the dinner was nice, but obviously cooked the day before and heated through.

ceramic pigeons on a wall
  The vegetables tasted very vinegary, for example.  But it was plentiful and tasty and soaked up some of the headaches. 


I took my friend Kate and her boyfriend for one last walk around town, but it was freezing cold and everything was shut, so we went to Café Rouge and totally confused the waitress by only having pudding and coffee.  Then they went home, and I went back to my flat to see if Iain was recovering yet.  And on Monday I repotted my houseplants, which was nice, but I don’t think you really need to know about the state of my chilli pepper plant. 


All in all, it was a great weekend. 

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hedge like a hand in The Fringe
hedge like a hand in The Fringe
ceramic pigeons on a wall
ceramic pigeons on a wall
Art outside a car park - I love th…
Art outside a car park - I love t…
Manchester Nightlife & Entertainment review
The Lass O' Gowrie
The Lass O' Gowrie is in Manchester, and it is a bit of a gem. It manages to combine indie music and a bit of an obsession with computer games from t… read entire review
Manchester Nightlife & Entertainment review
Cord is a bar in the Northern Quarter in Manchester, close to the Craft centre. Cord is a great place to start an evening, although the basement … read entire review
Manchester Nightlife & Entertainment review
The Fringe
The Fringe is a fantastic little pub on the other side of the Ancoats Road from the Northern Quarter, making it pretty much the edge of the known univ… read entire review
photo by: klaaRA