Nothing is better than a girly weekend to get away from the stress of December. This year, we organised to stay with my friend J who lives in the heart of Manchester. We only stayed for 24 hours (too many commitments back home for much else) but I think we really made the most of it. Starting at the train station where a bottle of Prosecco was purchased for the train.......
We spent the afternoon catching up and drinking more Prosecco at my friend's apartment - why spend money on going out when you can lounge on a sofa with your feet up and drink for free right? We then changed for the evening and walked along the road to Indian Tiffin Room.
Indian Tiffin Room specialises in authentic Indian Street Food from across various regions in India. The menu is healthy, all cooked to order and less influenced by spices than food you may traditionally find in Indian restaurants yet still packs in lots of authentic Indian flavour. If I had to pick one word to describe the food here it would most definitely be 'fresh'.
I loved the atmosphere in this restaurant and the staff were super friendly and able to make good recommendations when asked. We shared a couple of starters between us - Bhel, Dahi and Sev Puri are something I've never tried before but were one of those dishes you'd travel all the way to Manchester to try again. Eaten whole, they really burst with fresh flavours inside your mouth and were simply delicious.
|Puri Grazing Platter|
Then finally we shared a plate of spiced lamb chops which again, were nicely spiced and left you wanting more.
We split a few curry dishes between us as a main. I tried the Chicken Vishaka which is a hot and spicy dish and the Jumbo Prawn Masala - both were packed full of flavour and really hit the spot. Served with soft naans, rice and salad, we were full to the brim and decided that we'd rather head back to J's house, get into our PJs and open another bottle of wine rather than head out to a bar. This is what happens to you in your mid-30s! Our food worked out at £20 per head excluding drinks which considering this included Lamb Chops and Jumbo Prawns, we thought it offered very good value.
The following morning we enjoyed a lazy brunch and all changed into our Christmas jumpers. I kind of insisted on this dress code just for the purposes of this photo! I love it though.
We walked around the Christmas Markets at Albert Square but oh my word they were busy. I bought some over-priced marshmallows for the kids and we kind of sacked off the idea - the markets weren't the best place to have a catch up with your best friends. You can take a little peek at how busy they were in my video below:
For lunch, we headed to Mackie Mayor on Eagle Street which kind of reminded me of a fancier version of Newcastle's own Boiler Shop. With communal seating and an array of independent food outlets to try, we were really spoilt for choice. J recommended I try the Pulled Chicken Sandwich with Homemade Tarragon Mayo and Pickled Red Onions from N7 Rotisserie which is a French Style Rotisserie serving free range meat. I couldn't resist the upsell and went for a side of roast potatoes too. It is pricey here - around £13 for my sandwich and roasties and £3.75 for a glass of cherry lemonade but if you're looking for good quality food, you'll definitely find it here and that comes at a price.
All too quickly our weekend in Manchester was over and our 2:30pm train home was calling our name. We left saying we couldn't wait to do it all again soon and we'd try not to leave it 14 years before our next get together!