Hey peeps, I hope you all had a good one.
On Friday night after some dinner at home we loaded up the car to drive up to Manchester. A long drive indeed, with lots of horrible heavy rain to drive through. Luckily we had lots of film podcasts to listen to.
Our hotel ended up being in an industrial estate, so my hopes of a Saturday morning run were almost dashed. It turned out we had use of the super swanky on site gym, so I headed there instead for a 5K on the treadmill. It didn’t help that I didn’t realise there was a fan button until ten minutes in, but seriously a 5K was all I could take! I have no idea how people run for hours on treadmills. I was so horribly sweaty when I finished too, and even though I did the proper cool down (it made me walk for 5 mins) that didn’t help much. I need fresh air!!
I got very excited when I noticed that button on the hotel phone- a Starbucks button! We thought we would have to buy breakfast (there was a Starbucks joined to the hotel), but there was also a hotel restaurant and a buffet was included, so I enjoyed fruit salad and a croissant, plus a big pot of tea.
We caught the tram into Manchester town centre (how great is the system there? And also how cheap! A travel card for all the tram lines was less than £5 for an adult!) and looked around the shops for a bit, before getting some lunch. I was very excited when I saw Snow Fairy in the Lush window! Now that means Christmas is coming! The town centre seemed quite nice- lots of shops, a big shopping centre, but I wasn’t sure there was much more to do.
Then we caught the tram out to Old Trafford as Andy had a football ticket. There was a shopping centre “near”, so the plan was for me to head there and we would meet up after. I think it took me about half an hour to walk there! It was only across some water but was further than it looked.
The shopping centre had some outlet shops there, so I picked up a top from Gap, and some Yankee Candle tealights.
By about 4pm I realised I had been on my feet all day, so found a nice coffee shop and sat down with my kindle and a pot of tea. So good. Poor Andy got caught in a torrential downpour on the way back from the game- he was dripping all over the place (but also very happy as they managed a draw). We were going to head back to the centre for dinner, but the tram was busy so we went to a Cafe Rouge right by the shops. I was impressed with their selection of foods- there was a lovely sounding vegetable and tomato bake topped with breadcrumbs or seeds or something, a hummus and pepper sandwich, and a goats cheese salad (which I chose)- all vegetarian.
By the time we had finished the crowds had died down, and the rain had stopped, so we got the tram back again.
On Sunday morning we took it easy, having a leisurely breakfast before heading to a couple of National Trust places. We went to Lyme Park first- I always prefer the gardens to the houses and this was lovely. We even saw loads of deer in some woods. Plus a very creepy giant model of Colin Firth in Pride and Prejudice, as that was where the outdoor bits were filmed.
Super creepy. After a walk we went to the tearoom and shared some amazing carrot cake, although we were spoilt for choice as they had a delicious looking sticky toffee cake too.
Then we headed to Hardwick Hall, and had another walk outside and a long tour in the house (it is huge)- I found it more interesting as it had links to the Tudors (a part of history I know about!). By this time it was gone 3pm and we were both pretty hungry so we stopped for food- I had some delicious spicy carrot soup (tempted by the tea bread but decided soup would be more sensible before the long drive home). As we were leaving there were huge black clouds and enormous (and frequent) thunder rumbles. We got back to the car just in time, but most of our journey back was through heavy horrible rain. We got back just before 7pm, which was lucky as we had booked a shopping delivery, only to realise we had not bought anything for Sunday dinner. I ended up with sourdough toast, grapes and sweet potato popchips.
My poor trainers! I have realised that I have had them for well over a year, so one of my half term jobs (next week, hooray) is going to be getting some new ones.
I am glad we went up to Manchester, as it is good to get away for the weekend, but I didn’t really realise quite how far away it was. Not sure it will be added to our list of regular places!
Do you have regular weekends away? Where do you like to go? I am sure I have mentioned before but Bath and Brighton are two of my favourite places to visit.