Since I moved to Nottingham I have gotten it into my head that I’ve moved so far north that I might as well be in Yorkshire. This belief is what led me to booking a spontaneous train ticket to Manchester on Saturday. I’ve spent a lot of time in the South (well, London and Brighton) but I seem to neglect the north, so it’s no bad thing that I’m convinced it’s a little closer than it actually is.
Having said that, Manchester is only an hour and a half away by train (it’s a direct route too so no changes. Woo) so it’s practically on my doorstep!
I only had around four hours to explore so, after I got off the train I headed straight to the Arndale and Harvey Nichols for some Fenty make-up. I’m not usually one to obsess over beauty products but ever since Rihanna’s new range came out I knew I had to get myself down to a Harvey Nicks and bag some for myself!
I’m not a beauty blogger, and this isn’t a beauty post, but I want to tell you about it (briefly) because I am in love. After a colour match I got a tube of foundation which makes my skin look absolutely flawless. The girl doing my colour match wanted me to have a shade lighter than I got but I’m glad I got the shade up as the other would have been way too light and wouldn’t have covered all of my blemishes. I like my foundation to look natural but I don’t like it to look like I don’t have any on at all, so I went for shade 160 instead of 150.
I also picked up the new Stunna lipstick which is uh-mazing! It’s designed to be applied like a lip gloss but it’s definitely a lipstick. The colour is a gorgeous, vivid red which makes me feel like I can take on the world when I’m wearing it. It does stay on for hours, and doesn’t come off when eating and drinking (although, Sleek also do a bright red lipstick which stays on for longer). My only issue with Stunna is it smudges easily and comes off on everything (despite looking like it has never left your lips). If you’re on the hunt for some fabulous new make-up then I can definitely recommend Fenty. Oh, and it’s cruelty free too!
I’ve been to Manchester once before for a university open day so it wasn’t completely new to me. Last time I visited it was the height of summer and this time it was the end of November and the world famous Christmas market was in full swing. I battled my way through the (horrendous) crowds and found the Cathedral where the main section of the market was set-up.
I’m not sure why Manchester decided that the giant Santa should sit on the Cathedral but I like it!
I didn’t do a lot with my day other than wander around and soak up the festive atmosphere, but I was content with that. I strolled around the main market and down past the stalls on the side streets to see what little goodies I could find (fudge, mainly. I can’t help myself at Christmas markets!). I saw a stall selling lovely candles with decorative patterns carved into the side but had no cash on me at the time. By the time I had finished wandering around I couldn’t remember where I’d seen the stall and I had to start making my way back to the train station. I really regret not buying one (or six) as they were lovely and would look great in my new flat!
The thing I loved the most about the Manchester Christmas market is that the stalls weren’t full of tat or things that looked like they’d been hastily thrown together so that there was something to sell. Nearly every stall I saw I liked and would have bought something from if money was no object. The other thing I very much enjoyed was the fact that every few stalls was a pop-up bar selling some sort of mulled drink alongside regular alcohol. One of these bars sold festive hot chocolates in cute snowmen mugs that you could take away.
Once it got dark, and I had seen enough of the many lights around the town, I headed for home, stopping briefly in a cafe to dodge the rain.
Manchester, whilst wasn’t as lovely this time around as I remembered (which probably has something to do with the unbearable crowds), has always been one of those places that I’ve loved for as long as I can remember, despite never having spent a significant amount of time there. I’m glad that my festivities started here this year and I’m happy to know that this pretty little city is just a short train ride away.
What are your thoughts on Manchester? Have you been to the Christmas market there yet? Let me know in the comments!
Want to see more? You can follow me on social media: