A friend’s Birthday is always a jolly good excuse to catch the train to ‘The Big City’ don’t you think? Our nearest ‘Big City’ is Manchester, and with it’s eclectic array of restaurants,shopping and bars, its officially ( according to Sunshine and Celandines 😉 ) ,the perfect place to go for a day out with the Girls.
Instead of immediately hitting the shops, the first thing we did was go for a cuppa. I know, we sure are Party Animals. 🙂 Proper Tea at Manchester Cathedral has a contemporary feel even though it’s in a traditional setting. Despite being feted for its impressive selection of teas , I decided to try a Macchiato ( my first!) which is a serving of espresso with a small quantity of frothed milk.This set me up for the day! I also enjoyed a delicious homemade gingersnap .Don’t worry there are also a mouthwatering array of cakes displayed on the counter. 🙂
After a spot of City Centre shopping it was time to head to our lunch venue. The restaurant of choice was Australasia which the Birthday Girl had booked a few days previously. This subterranean eatery on the Avenue in Spinningfields is accessed via an attractive glass pyramid. Stairs take you ‘down under’ for an enjoyable dining experience influenced by Australian,Japanese and Indonesian cuisine.
Our very friendly waiter recommended the Tapas and the menu has a wide and varied selection. I’m not going to describe everything individually. I will just spam you with lots of photos instead. 😉 Everything without exception was delicious.
We were told to choose our preferred cocktails from the extensive Cocktail Menu which could be viewed on an Ipad.This is a pretty good idea as you can see what your choice will look like, though it does take away the element of surprise.And The Birthday Girl received a complimentary Birthday dessert, which she was nice enough to share. 🙂
After our lovely lunch and cocktails we headed back out into the outside world. We had noticed a little craft market that had been set up just outside the John Rylands Library nearby. The Makers Market appears in Spinningfields and in The Northern Quarter, Manchester throughout the year.. We loved the stalls and all of us treated ourselves to bits and pieces.
There was a wonderful mixture of merchandise including Vintage clothing,jewellery,baked goodies for dogs, stuffed animals,prints, antiques and collectables….and Manchester Tarts!
Most of our afternoon was devoted to shopping though there was a pit stop in one of my favorite Manchester bars, The Gas Lamp on Bridge Street. This is another subterranean pub which started out life as a children’s mission. Although it is essentially a real ales type of joint, they serve up lovely cocktails too. These Turkish Delight Martinis were to die for.:)
Hope you enjoyed sharing our day out in Manchester. I have another one planned next month, so join me here again soon. 🙂