One of the things I love about blogging is the amazing people you meet along the way. I’ve gained some of my closest friends, been introduced to lots of incredible girl bosses and been inspired to follow my dreams in terms of my little space on the internet.
I’ve mentioned before that I am part of the We Blog MCR group, which is full of encouraging women from the Manchester area. They work closely with Six & Flow an inbound marketing agency based in Manchester, who emailed me a few weeks ago to see if I would be up for a day of discovering the Barton Arcade, which I said yes to.
The Barton Arcade is a glass arcade that links St. Anne’s Square to Deansgate in the centre of Manchester. One of the main reasons I know of it is that my mum used to take me when I was younger to a clothes shop, which has now turned into STA travel, but if I’m honest, I haven’t been through it in a good few years.
It’s one of those places that is absolutely beautiful and does not get the recognition it deserves because there are no major brands there; instead, it is full of independent shops, restaurants, hairdressers, and cafes, which is a great reason in itself to visit. The aim of the day was to give the Barton Arcade a bit of a boost on our social channels and to run a competition throughout the day.
We met in the Six & Flow offices at 10.45am where I saw some familiar faces and met some lovely new ones. Just after 11, the whole group went down to Pot Kettle Black, directly below the offices. I’d seen the inside of the cafe a few times, as there was a photography workshop in there not too long ago, and it is perfect for getting those insta snaps.
We were welcomed by James, who showed us to a bit table directly in the middle. The inside of the place is lovely, with lots of windows and natural light coming in, big wooden tables, and white tiles. He took our drink order (a tea for me, obviously…) and came back about 5 minutes later with plates of different items off the menu. I follow Pot Kettle Black on Instagram, so I was already well aware of the amazing food they did, but in real life, it was so much better.
We started being massive cliches and taking photos of everything before anyone had a bite: we had blueberry cheesecake french toast (which is actually making me salivate just thinking about) with a bacon and egg breakfast sandwich on a pretzel role, and N’duja baked eggs with smoked mozzarella and pecorino. The food was all amazing quality, really tasty and made for some very good Instagrams. We even got to share an espresso martini (I say share, but it was mainly me who drank most of it…)
After breakfast, we had a wander around the independent shops. The first one was Jeffrey West, a men’s shoe brand, which had some beautiful pieces, but as we were all 20-something girls, none of us bought anything. Afterwards, we went into Jill Black, which had an eclectic mix of women’s clothing, ranging from sequinned ball gowns to floaty, festival-wear. Although I am a sucker for buying new clothes, I restrained, and instead one of the other girls bought a lovely navy jumper.
We headed back up to the Six & Flow offices to drop off our bags and grab our cameras, before heading onto the roof. I’m a big fan of a roof terrace, and this one was really cool for photos, and the sun just happened to come out, which we took full advantage of. We did a few posed and candid snaps, before heading back down to Lunya.
I’m a big fan of tapas, and was really surprised that I hadn’t been to Lunya before. Not only is the decor absolutely gorgeous and very authentic, but there is a deli as well which sells meats, cheeses and loads of other things. We were showed to our table upstairs and treated to a glass of wine. We got to chose three tapas off the menu – I went for pita and hummus, patatas bravas and the special, which was deep fried cod with bechamel sauce, all of which was delicious and one of the best Spanish meals I have ever had.
We were so full that we packed away some of what was left, and headed down to our hair appointment at Too Funky Hair. I’d never been to this salon before (mainly before I haven’t had anything done to my hair for quite a long time…) but I had heard of them on social media. We were treated to a glass of prosecco as soon as we arrived, and were taken to our different stations and all the girls were so lovely. I had my hair blow dried and curled, and they did such a good job with this old mop!
With our fresh new do’s, we headed to Be At One, which I’d never been to before, but had seen the last time I was in London. The bar was down a spiral staircase and looked ultra fancy when you walked in. Because it was happy hour, we were treated to two cocktails – I went for the Candy Pants; Kurant vodka, Chambord, lemon juice, strawberry puree and cranberry juice.
The day started to wind down here, with people bobbing off to their Saturday night plans. I went shopping with a couple of girls, but quickly found out that being tipsy in Boots was never going to end well…
If you’re ever in Manchester, make sure you head down to the Barton Arcade to have a little visit of the shops there. There are some great eateries, individual sellers and a couple of brand names too.
Thank you to the Barton Arcade and Six & Flow for inviting me down – I had such a wonderful day!