Exploring Barton Arcade

I’ve been wanting to branch out on my blog for a while now so when I was invited to a bloggers day out at the fab, but often forgotten, Barton Arcade in Manchester I jumped at the chance.

The Barton Arcade sits in the heart of Manchester city centre just off Deansgate and behind St Ann’s Square. I used to work nearby and often mindlessly walked through on my way into the city centre without considering any of the stores inside, so it was great to get a closer look at the Arcade & the stores inside.

The day started with a quick catch up with some of the lovely We Blog Mcr girls, who had also been invited along at the six & flow offices (the days organisers). After a quick chat on all things fashion, food & Manchester we headed off into the arcade armed with our agendas; phones & cameras, ready to capture the days events.

Our first stop off was at the awesome cafe, Pot Kettle Black. Now I knew their coffee was good, as I’d already been several times, and I’m happy to report that their food didn’t disappoint either. We were greeted by the lovely manager, James, who surprised us with a selection of their best selling dishes. Unfortunately, I could only eat one of the three plates as the others all contained meat, but judging by the way this plate went down, I’d say it was by far the best!! So if you head down to PKB at all for brunch (or any time of day for that matter) then you’ll want to order the Blueberry Cheesecake French Toast; just look at the pics below and tell me that doesn’t make you want to head over there and place an order RIGHT NOW.

pot kettle black blueberry cheesecake french toast

blueberry cheesecake french toast

Oh, and not forgetting the other dishes I’ll insert some pics below. The girls assured my they were delicious!

PKB - brunch

pot kettle black - pretzel bun

After filling our boots at PKB we were invited to explore the other independent Boutiques in the Arcade. I’m a huge fan of independent stores and love to pic up something a little different whilst supporting local businesses. If you’re a fan too then make sure you check out the venue; maybe you’ll pick up some luxury boots at Jeffery West or a bargain, like the lovely Holly Goes Lightly, at Jill Black. Or if you’re in the market for a one of a kind holiday then head over to STA Travel.

After a spot of shopping we headed out onto the roof of Barton Arcade to snap some cheeky blogger pics and take in the city centre skyline. They often hold events on the roof of the Arcade including some Yoga classes in the summer; I was super disappointed that we didn’t get chance to take part in a class on the day but I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for the next one.

Back down from the roof we were ready to take on our next plate of food at the impressive Lunya. It’s been a while since I’ve had Tapas food after an early love affair with Dimitri’s in the city centre, so I was excited to try somewhere new. We were treated so well at Lunya, sampling several plates of Tapas as well as a cheeky glass of wine. I chose the hake bites with béchamel sauce (I can’t tell you how tasty these were), the chickpea & apricot tagine and the Sepia Fideuà. I was so impressed with the food that I’ve even added it to my list of places to return with friends!

From here we were whisked away to the pampering section of the day for a blow dry at Too Funky Hair. I’ve passed this hairdressers so many times and often thought about making a booking but haven’t quite got their yet (I’m v.fussy with my hair, as I’m sure most women are). We were greeted with a glass of fizz and a huge smile from the lovely guy who did my hair. He chatted to me about what I wanted and we discussed a sleek, natural blow dry, as it can be difficult to get my hair straight. It was really nice to go into the hairdressers and just relax without the fear of a pair of scissors being taken to my barnet. I was talked through every step of the blow dry & we chatted about all things Manchester, Netflix and blogging. I was super happy with the end result which felt silky all day long!

Finally, feeling like a million dollars, we headed to a super cool cocktail bar in the basement of the arcade called Be At One. Despite walking passed hundreds of times, I’ve never seen (or heard) of the bar before so was excited to try it out. It was so effortlessly cool inside and reminded me of a speakeasy, although highly modernised. Once seated I had the hard task of choosing which cocktail I fancied and after much deliberation went for a passionfruit margarita. The cocktail was well made, if a little strong, and the perfect end to the perfect day. 

We chatted some more until we all had to part ways and head off to our own evening activities with full bellies, bouncy hair and huge smiles on our faces!

Have you been to any of the venues above before? I’d love to find out what you thought in the comments below.

I’d also love to find out what you think of this different style of post. If you love hearing more about Manchester and day trips then let me know. I’m open to broadening my blogging remit and would love to hear your suggestions for my next post.

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