24 hours (ish) in Manchester.

Manchester, my old friend I have missed you. It's been several years I've visited Manchester despite living less than an hour away. It's been more of an anxious thing why I've stayed away for so long, cities seem to have become a thing of the past, however now I am going to make them a part of my future. Hence the 24 hours in Manchester post you are about to read, although it wasn't exactly 24 hours more like 27, it just doesn't have the same ring to it, does it? So Wills present to me this year was an overnight stay in Manchester along with some shopping (present goals right there!) So we spent a little while searching the web for 'quirky' hotels in Manchester near the centre and we came across Ibis Styles which was smack bang in the middle of the centre, perfect. Ibis Styles caught my attention straight away with the weather theme, in lounge sits a large deckchair and a huge pair of sunglasses oh and also multiple umbrellas on the ceiling. We were sold. So we booked our tickets and 6 days later, we were on our way. 

Our check-in wasn't until 2 pm and we arrived just after 12 so we decided to go seek out some lunch, me being me I was certain I knew the way to where I wanted to go, but ended up in the wrong direction, oops. After about an hour of walking, we settled down to eat some lush pizzas in a place called Insolito, which were huge and a margarita was only £7.50, so with some drinks lunch came to under £20, and we were stuffed for hours. The manager was so lovely and it was super quick service, and I can imagine on an evening the atmosphere would be buzzing. After our pizzas, we popped into a few little stores on the way to check in, including a couple of vintage stores one with a sale of 1kg of clothes for £15, bargain! I also ended up in one of my favourite shops Cyberdog, their shops are always an experience, although photos are not allowed in their stores, else this post would be full of their photos. After this, it was finally 2 pm and ready to check in. I was excited to see what the hotel had in store for us. 

We were greeted by a lovely friendly receptionist, who asked us which floor we'd want to stay on which was pretty cool, I decided to go for one of the middle ones, so we would still have a view. We popped in the rain themed lift and made it to our room, the room is spacious, has a super large shower and the bed was so comfy. The cute pieces of decor around the room really topped it off. The cloud-shaped table was my favourite! We dropped off our bags and went out to explore more. At around 6pm we met my friend Greg who made the move to Manchester for university and never left (don't blame him!) and he became our tour guide for the rest of the night. We went to a Mexican tapas place called Wahaca which had some lovely decor and great service, although some of the food blew my head off *I am awful with spicy food*, it was a great atmosphere and you can pay your bill via an app which made it super easy to leave after we'd finished. 

A few people recommended visiting a secret bar called The Washhouse, which from the outside looks like an old styled launderette, you arrived and used the phone advising of your reservation (as you have to book in advance) but behind a large washing machine door, there was a completely different story. A candlelit room, with around 10 tables and a huge bar, we were greeted by one of the owners who sat us down, and ran through the menu with us and left us to ponder our choices. All of the cocktails are unique to The Washhouse which made it feel that bit more exclusive. Greg and Will picked their choices, however I was a little more clueless, I was asked my preferences on alcohol to try to determine my ideal cocktail, in the end I went for 'life's a beach' and we were told little stories on each of the cocktails, they were all created from personal parts of their lives which added to the experience. The cocktails came out and described to us in detail about what each part of the cocktail was, mine included 'sand' made out of gingerbread which was amazing and Greg got his marshmallows toasted in front of him. I'd totally recommend visiting this place as it's quirky, fun and they have some pretty damn good drinks. 

 The final stop of the night was to a bar, which was recommended to us by Greg, called Hold Fast located in the Northern Quarter. The bar was fairly busy for a Thursday night, they have a huge range of cocktails as well as plenty of other choices. I went for a raspberry vodka and Pepsi which is one of my faves and we headed to a table. Our table was situated next to a large variety of board games, which I thought was pretty cool. We ended up playing 5 rounds of Guess Who and Greg beat me on all of them, I guess I am easy to read? Then we played some Jenga, the bar also has a DJ and games consoles. We had a super fun time at Hold Fast and it's a great way to spend an evening. Overall I had a fabulous time in Manchester and definitely want to go back soon and explore. 

What are your favourite things to do in Manchester?  

Olivia Jade


  1. The Washhouse sounds amazing! Loving the photos here too! I totally need to visit Manchester more, it's such a cool city :)

    Anika | anikamay.co.uk

  2. I haven’t been to Manchester in years, I am definitely adding it to my local adventures list as it looks lovely and Ibis seems like a lovely hotel and perfect location

  3. I haven't actually been to Manchester, but this just looks wonderful. I love the hotel, very funky. But the best point has got to be the board games in the pub, how fab!

  4. Your photos are super quirky and super great, really draws you in with the weird and wonderful looking and sounding places. I’ve never been to Manchester but really want to now.

  5. As a citizen of Manchester I often get stuck in a going out rut and tend to go to the same handful of places. It's great to get some different recommendations, Insolito in particular looks like it deserves a visit soon! Don't leave it so long till your next visit!

  6. I have never been to Manchester before but I tell you what when I go the first thing I will do is go to Washhouse. I love secret bars and the fact that all the cocktails have their very own story is very sweet!

  7. I've never been to Manchester but I'd love to visit one day. The launderette bar sounds amazing! I saw your cocktail with the windmill in on Instagram, it looks awesome!

  8. I haven't been to Manchester for years but i love it! Washouse sounds fun, the cocktails look lovley

  9. Looks like you had an amazing night, I love Manchester but I have never experienced a day like this I think I need to up my game! Usually my friend and I stay at the Premier Inn and we go to Afflecks Palace and hang around the Arndale centre and go to food places we are familiar with. I also love the sound of Ibis Styles!

    Jess xx

  10. Ahhh Manchester - my city! There are a few hidden bars around the NQ now - I've only been to the one (BCDNQ) but The Washroom sounds EVEN better!

  11. That bar looks freaking amazing!

  12. I go into MCR often and didn’t know about these amazing bars, totally gonna check them out now. The ibis styles is awesome, is also live the weather theme.

    So glad you had an awesome time lovely. Mcr really is one of my fav city’s, I think it’s great!

    Gem | gemsupnorth.co.uk