Barton Arcade

My weekends are pretty precious.

I mean, I’ve no doubt everyone’s are really, but for me they’re mostly about spending time at home. My favourite Friday night would be TV, a mug of tea and my knitting. I spend so much time earlier in the week out and about, time in my pyjamas has become something I look forward to all week.

It takes something a little bit special to make me spend a whole day in the city. 

A day featuring a little beauty, a little food, and cocktails to finish, all in one place. 

Barton Arcade.

 

 

From St Ann’s Square, it’s easy to miss, hidden as it is behind a row of shops (it’s much more prominent from Deansgate), but it’s worth a visit. Filigree metal work, Victorian tiling, elegant windows and a domed room which streams sunlight down between floors. 

 

 

Admittedly, in some places, much like the old lady it is, it’s showing a little wear and tear. But given this building is getting on for 150 years old, it houses some of the most modern Manchester has to offer. 

Though our day was with some of the brands on site, it’s only fair to nod towards some of the others most notably PKB for it’s distinctive red mugs full of coffee to fuel your day, and Barber Barber for well all things gentlemanly.

Bu we began in Too Funky Hair. Whilst some of the bloggers headed upstairs for a little blowdry workshop, I settle in with Sharna for a little nail fix. A friends wedding beckoned, and I thought a little tidy was in order. What I wasn’t expecting was this:

 

Sharna took the opportunity to infill my nails, before working some ombre magic, and dusting them with glitter, before working some nail art magic. 

Even though my hair was sitting in a fresh from the gym shower side plait, I’m pretty sure I made the right decision in opting for a little nail work, rather than a blow dry. 

Suitably pampered, it was time for lunch.

 

 

Nails are thirsty work, and lunch found us in Lunya

This is the second site for Lunya, whose first in Liverpool proved popular as both a deli and a bar/restaurant. Anywhere that serves a sherry flight is alright by me.

Admittedly, this wasn’t my first visit to Lunya – it’s the perfect place to pop in for a glass of wine, or G&T and a nibble before heading to an event, or even for a full indulgent tapas lunch, much like this was. 

 

 

Padron peppers are always a must for me, and finding a few spicy ones in this plateful was a nice surprise. The seabass was just done, and gently spiced with paprika, but it was the Secreto Iberico that proved the perfect recommendation. This tender piece of pork is full of Iberico flavour, enhanced by the shallot and beer puree, and onion jam.

I definitely need that again. 

Replete and quietly contemplating a nap somewhere, we instead wandered the building and, in a rare treat, were able to make our way to the roof. 

 

From the Town Hall to Beetham, the view is stunning, if still somehow enclosed. The space was once used for yoga sessions and events, but currently sits a little unloved. 

 

 

I can’t help but think it could be a great space for a gin bar. If only the Manchester weather would, well, not be the Manchester weather.

Finally, we headed back downstairs to Be At One. 

 

 

Be At One is a little hidden, but well worth a visit. With over 100 cocktails to sample from, and a happy hour every day, it’s easy to get lost in gins, vodkas, and whisky on a Saturday afternoon. 

As well as classics, there’s a competition entry or two in there too. Take the Pan Am – soft, fruity, balanced by a gentle acidity, it’s a Bacardi Legacy cocktail competition entry. And a delicious one at that.

And if you can’t choose, there’s a flavour wheel to help.

 

They’ve thought of everything. 

Sadly, everything must end here, as there was a round of happy hour Negronis, that may have led to a later night than planned.

Ooops?

 

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With thanks to Six & Flow for organising the event, and bloggers Mother Freckle, Spamella B, Lily Kitten

and Amy for their company. 

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