Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Manchester Part 1: Sightseeing, Coffee Spots and Afflecks

Good morning my loves!
This weekend I went up to Manchester to visit one of my oldest and bestest friends Emily who goes to university there.  It was so nice to go to somewhere I've never visited before, as I'm always forgetting that England is just as full of potential weekend away spots as the rest of the World - and a lot less expensive.  I got the train from Brighton on Thursday morning and arrived at Manchester Piccadilly mid afternoon, we then spent the rest of the day catching up, eating hot dogs and drinking £2 cocktails from a place round the corner from where Em lives. 

On Friday morning we were up bright and early as Em had uni and I had some serious sightseeing to do.  We caught the bus together and I stayed on until I was nearer to the town.  It was quite embarrassing, on the bus ride I was sitting looking out the window in my own little world, enjoying taking it all in, and didn't realize everyone else had already got off since unbeknownst to be, it was the last stop.  10 seconds and one angry Northern bus driver later, I was wandering around the city feeling a little bit like Kevin in Home Alone 2 when he ends up lost in New York.  Obviously, when in doubt, there's always Primark, and Manchester's is huge.  I'm talking three floors of fabulous bargainous shoes, jackets, jewellery, homewear... it was a great way to spend my first hour in the city, and I'll share some of the bits and pieces I picked up from there soon.

After my Primark quest, I wandered around the streets like a lemon for a couple of hours, taking photos and walking in circles.  I looked in a few other places along the way, including stumbling across the massive Arndale Shopping Centre, which is certainly not for the faint hearted.  Emily and I met up again around 1, and tummies-a-rumblin' headed to find somewhere for food and coffee.   

Luckily enough (everywhere was so busy!), we managed to find a seat in Common, a 'bar, eatery, coffee spot, bakery' type of establishment in the Northern Quarter, just in time for a heavy downpour.  It wouldn't be England without rain, right?  This meant we had time for coffee, sourdough sarnies (yes, I think I'm a Northerner now), and chocolate brownies and custard doughnuts to top it all off.  We rolled out of there a couple of hours later with jeans feeling considerably tighter, heading out into the drizzle to find the infamous Afflecks for a snoop. 

On its website, Afflecks is described as an 'emporium of eclecticism' - an alternative department store that sells, well, all sorts.  In between the multiple tattoo and piercing places (tempting), the cereal cafe (even more tempting but the waistline of my jeans wouldn't allow it), the club and fetish fashion and this ah-mazing sweet shop, there's plenty to keep you going for at least a couple of hours here.  We also found a makeup store where I got persuaded into buying one of the W7 palettes: they all have very similar colours to the Urban Decay Naked palettes, but are about a fifth of the price, and, I was informed, are 'just as good'.  To be fair, I have been impressed, as the colours are beautiful but also far more pigmented than I would expect for a £7.99 palette... I may well do a proper review in the next couple of weeks once I've tried it out a bit more. 

After galavanting around Afflecks for the rest of the afternoon, we were pretty exhausted and began to head home to begin preparing for the evening's events, which I will talk about in part 2 of this post which will be arriving soon.  On the way back, something very exciting happened - we managed to stumble upon an event called The Vintage Kilo Sale, which I'd heard about on Instagram and through other blogs I read many a time, but never actually had the pleasure of actually being able to visit, as most of the events are pretty far from me.  Basically, they bring tonnes (literally) of vintage clothes, hang them on rails in big-city venues, and sell them by weight for £15 a kilo.  Just to add a little suspense, I'm going to save my findings from the sale for a separate post... but let me tell you, they were very, very bargainous, and very, very dashing.  

On that note, have a lovely Tuesday everyone and expect to hear from me again soon!  

Ruby x