If you’ve wandered down John Dalton Street recently you may have noticed a neon pink sign winking at you from New Church House.
Gone are the dark book filled dusty windows of the Christian book shop. In their stead you’ll find the choreography of a hair salon – the hum of hairdryers, the snip of scissors and the chatter of client to stylist. I stepped in on a Friday – always an interesting day to visit as the weekend beckons and tresses are styled to perfection.
But I wasn’t here for my mop – I was her to visit the manicure bar upstairs.
And when I say bar, I mean bar.
Barn//it is the idea of Andrew Trott-Barn – who may be familiar to you from his numerous TV appearances – but for me will forever be synonymous with The Mirror Ball – his annual event which raises money for Forever Manchester, and his Halloween Spooktacular that coincides with The Halloween Lockdown – something which I took part in a couple of years ago.
New Church House is now a house of beauty, from the salon on the ground floor, treatment rooms for facials waxing and brows, to the nail bar upstairs, perfectly combining cocktails and manicures.
Nina settled me in, and a Lady Grace cocktail made it’s way over to me for me to sip during my manicure.
My nails were, to put it bluntly, a bit of a mess. Lifting weights can take it’s toll, and I have so many more callouses than I did before, as well as nails that have snapped when I’ve caught them against a big weight. When it’s a 25kg plate versus a fingernail, there’s only going to be one winner. And no, I don’t wear gloves.
Nina swiftly tidied them, while I sipped and we chatted about everything from colour choices, to powerlifting, to how good the restaurant across the street is (very good, and very generous by all accounts). It was then time for a gel polish – something which can stand up to a bit of a battering.
Colours were chosen with one thought in mind. My competition next month. All will be revealed eventually, but let’s just say it involves socks – and that there’s a bit of a theme. And I thought the names pretty apt too.
My grotty nails were manicured into submission and my hands moisturised to a point where I could forget their calloused state for a little while at least.
Cocktails and manicures?
Now I really could get used to this.