A night away on your doorstep might seem a bit of a waste of time, an indulgence even, but for me it makes total sense; nothing acts like a quick stress relief fix than flopping down on a hotel bed and breathing deeply. And the bed in question this time is at the Macdonald Manchester Hotel and Spa.
The Macdonald Manchester Hotel is a moments walk away from Piccadilly train station and if you’re coming into Manchester on a mainline this is where you’re likely to arrive.
Looks can be deceiving, and from the outside (I usual see it from platform 14 waiting for a train) this hotel certainly looks like an architectural brute. But the rooms will soon make you forget that.
The panoramic room has a unique view of the city- with windows wrapping around both external walls. It frames the history of the city from London Road fire station and Picadilly in the foreground to various newer, shinier, taller buildings showing just how our city has kept on growing.
Back in the room and the rich red furnishings, dark wood and low light give a seriously luxurious feel. Locally produced chocolates on the pillows and crystal glassware on the tray only add to this. I dozed on the chez lounge with the sound system on as Andrew read-up on bars he’d not yet visited, I felt the stress disappear and I could have been a million miles from home rather than 40 minutes up the road.
The urge to close the blackout curtains (wish I had these at home) and lie in bed watching TV all night was very strong, but we had a reservation downstairs for tea.
What to do during your stay
If you’re coming to Manchester from a bit further away than me, then there is more than enough to fill a short break, or even a week.
- Visit the John Rylands Library – my favourite building in the city centre with a cute cafe, changing exhibitions and stunning interiors.
- Mooch around the shops and bars of the Northern Quarter.
- Explore Manchester Art Gallery
- Head over to Salford Quays on the Metrolink and catch a show at The Lowry
There’s so much more, so head to Visit Manchester and get inspired before you come
A quick drink in the bar (beautiful heather tones for the furniture, just a shame it’s next to reception and not a separate area) and we’re hungry so head up to the Scottish Steakhouse.
A hotel restaurant isn’t usually the first choice for a meal in a city where new openings happen daily, but guests with big appetites are in for a treat.
There’s been an effort made with the interior. The Chesterfield detailing, a cosy lounge area when you enter, modern light fixtures and a variety of different seating mean that it’s anything but bland and corporate.
To start Andrew had a lovely seafood platter with hot and cold smoked salmon, mackerel pate and fresh bread. I had the black pudding scotch egg. The yolk was still soft (huzzah!) and the mustard sauce was delicious. I was surprised by the pickled veg, they really did cut the richness of the egg. However, even though I gave about a third of it to Andrew, it was a really substantial starter and was to lead to my downfall…
We both chose our favourite ribeye for the main course: me with Bernaise sauce and him with red wine jus. The Josper grill is in the open kitchen area, so I was happy to sit and watch the chefs cooking the steaks to order as the smell wafted over keeping us hungry.
Cooked rare as ordered (so many overcooked steaks have crossed my path over the years) the Scottish steaks certainly were tasty and the chips perfectly seasoned. But that damn egg meant that I just couldn’t finish it. I have never knowingly left steak on a plate before. Even worse- no room for dessert 😣 I wanted that sticky toffee pudding so much but I was defeated. But I slept so well with a full belly, massive bed and black out curtains that I can’t complain.
The next morning I was still a bit stuffed but back in the restaurant for breakfast I managed a couple plump sausages on toast and a granola and yoghurt pot with some fruit compote.
Chilled out and relaxed, we stepped outside after checkout and the rain reminded me that I was in fact still in Manchester. A little ‘me time’ can make really make the world of difference, no mater how close to home.
This stay was provided by Macdonald Hotels.
Macdonald Manchester Hotel and Spa. London Road, Manchester. M1 2PG