I love having weekends away.
I find it a perfect amount of time just a long weekend, explore a new city and be spontaneous.
I want to try and do more and more city breaks away and tick off new places, even purely in the UK there are so many spots I haven’t visited. I even went to Edinburgh recently as well keeping myself rather busy.
Now this post as you can probably tell from the title is all about my weekend away to Manchester, one of my closest friends has moved there and its a city I’ve only been to a couple of times. There always seems to be so much going on and whenever I have been I seem to come across amazing new places.
They even decorated for Halloween look how cute this is:
There’s a rare amount of places that I can think of where I would move to in my life but I reckon Manchester could easily be one.
Now being a working lady any excuse I can get to switch my mind off and get away from home is marvellous.
Last year I went to the Heels of Hell tour in Manchester as a little Halloween celebration and it was so much fun with my best friend (Alex) and his boyfriend (Andy).
For my birthday this year my gorgeous friend got me tickets to The Heels of Hell for this year and as it was so far in advance I kind of forgot about it. Then I was kindly reminded by my friend as he moved back to Manchester with his boyfriend and this meant I could stay with them.
We decided to make a full weekend of it and I mean what could make a weekend full of drag queens even better?
I arrived around lunchtime on the Saturday and after our lovely catch up together we of course had to go shopping and there’s only one place to start…
Arndale shopping centre, is right in the heart of the city and every time I have been in I seem to come across more and more shops, it never ends.
We had an amazing Halloween and ‘Dia de Los Muertos’ themed greeting as we entered.
It got us right into the Halloween spirit as we went shopping. We wandered around and I stumbled across a shop called Monki, now I recognised the brand from ASOS but walking into the store itself was very dangerous indeed. Let’s just say I left with a fully autumnal wardrobe…
You will find pretty much everywhere with it having over 200 stores and they even have a Fanta Frozen stall, which if it wasn’t absolutely freezing I would have totally gone for that.
It would be the perfect place to go and explore for Christmas shopping its open Monday to Friday until 9pm, Saturday until 8pm and Sunday until 5:30pm, you could even time it perfectly for the Christmas Markets which are amazing in Manchester. We were there as they were setting them up and it gave me flashbacks from a couple of years ago wandering around getting in the festive spirit and warming up with some mulled wine.
We decided to spend the evening, having lovely comfort food and as my friends don’t actually drink alcohol we had non-alcoholic wine from Marks and Spencers, which was amazing. It definitely made me think about if you’re in good company you don’t have to get trollied every single time you see each other.
We had a tagine with chickpeas, humous and pitta bread which was delicious courtesy of Andy.
We also had to prepare our minds and bodies for the drag night so we watched the funniest RuPauls Drag Race videos and starting watching Dragula to get keep in touch with the spooky time of year.
If you’re staying away for the weekend especially with friends I think around Autumn/Winter time it’s actually really nice to sit in and have food by the TV together, you don’t have to spend a fortune and go out and freeze your bits off in the cold.
Now Sundays can normally be spent being as lazy as possible and having a slight tinge of sadness because Monday is lurking just around the corner.
Well as I was away and wanted to make the most of my weekend we certainly filled our day.
Starting with Brunch of course…
Home Sweet Home
The great thing about visiting one of your best friends, is they know you so well and Alex did not fail in picking somewhere perfect for food.
Home Sweet Home is located in the Great Northern Warehouse, it’s a really quirky area which is right up my street (sadly not literally). You’ve got All Star Lanes, a super kitsch bowling alley, Virtual Hideout which is a virtual reality gaming center, the Odeon and even a gym. You could definitely make a day out to just that area alone.
The restaurant itself has an American diner theme and the menu literally blew my mind and it’s definitely a struggle to choose. They have your typical diner menu items with OTT milkshakes and cakes that are bigger than me but we stuck for a classic brunch.
After eating a hefty amount of Halloumi, Pancakes and having about 5 coffees in a row it’s safe to say we had a lot of energy to burn.
We decided to go to the Junkyard Golf for a bit of Halloween fun.
Junkyard Golf is about a 10-minute walk from the Great Northern Warehouse. There are currently only 4 locations of Junkyard Golf including Oxford, London, Leeds and then Manchester.
They serve all sorts of cocktails so you can actually make it a start to a night out and I think it would be really fun but we used as a perfect way to mix up our Sunday. There are 3 courses to choose from with 9 holes each.
- Gary – this course gives you the true ‘Junkyard’ feeling as you make your way through a scrapyard of UV cars.
- Pablo – this course is all tropical madness with glitter covered temples and UFC bears.
- Bozo – this course fulfills your Halloween needs with creepy clowns and fairground rides.
From Sundays to Thursdays it would cost you £8.00 and Wednesday – Saturdays it would be £9.50, you can just turn up however it may be easier to book a slot as space is limited to avoid disappointment.
Now for students living in Manchester or just visiting you do actually save 50% off from Sundays to Thursdays just prebook online using the code ‘STUDENTDIZZY’ that gives you the perfect excuse to try all three courses.
We chose the Bozo course because of course it’s all Halloween themed which was perfect, it was a lot of fun…frustrating but very fun.
One bit of advice I would give to you going there, would be to take your time don’t rush through it because it is only 9 holes long so your experience can go quite quickly as we found we soon were at the end of it. When you finish you have to take a souvenier GIF in the photo booth, it’s a great memory of our little trip.
After our round of golf we wandered back to the flat and slowly got ready for our exciting night ahead…
Heels of Hell
I could not have been more excited for this event. There’s something intruguing about going to a drag event, you have people from all walks of life just going somewhere to be entertained. Plus there’s nothing more fun than being surrounded by a load of Rupaul’s drag race fans getting way too excited about the acts and screaming ‘YAAAAAAAAS’ at the top of our lungs.
Rupaul’s drag race has definitely got more, and more popular recently and the acts lined up for this years was so exciting with Sharon Needles, Jinkx Monsoon, Alaska, Ivvyyyyyyyyyy Winters (if you know…you know), Aja, Willam and Latrice Royale (my actual queen).
The support act who introduced the show were absolutely amazing and got us all energised up.
The main acts themselves were all individually absolutely incredible, such amazing live performers and have never failed to impress me. They all have their own unique ways of performing and each one blew me away. They also each have their own messages to empower everyone all about equal rights and the transgender community.
It definitely always opens my eyes more into the community and the struggles they still face in this day an age but you could just sense in the room the feeling of empowerment and that was well worth the ticket.
I would highly recommend not only going to the Heels of Hell tour but any drag event is such a fun night out, surrounded by people just living their best life, voguing and death dropping all over the place.
Manchester has an absolutely thriving drag scene in this post Ru-paul era so if you enjoy the series, there’s plenty of events to keep you between seasons.
I adored my weekend in Manchester and I always do.
I’d love to know if there’s anything that I missed because I know just spending the weekend somewhere you can’t cover everything, but I like to think we did as much as possible.
I hope you enjoyed this post and it’s inspired you to fill your days with as much as you can. There’s so much going on in Manchester that if you haven’t been before, you need to go you will not struggle for things to do.
Plus the Christmas Markets have officially started from the 9th November until the 22nd December, you will not be disappointed.
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Thank you so much for reading,