Category Archives: Manchester

Five things to do in Manchester over February Half Term

The February half term is almost upon us (ours is 20-24 Feb 2017). I’m starting to plan some activities to keep me and the small boy busy. In Manchester there is so much to do, but here are five things to do in Manchester over February half term which have tickled my fancy.

Steam, Sweat & Spinners at MSI

Over February half term, experience the sights, smells and sounds of steam with thunderous steam engines demonstrations at the Museum of Science and Industry. Discover the steamy side of Victorian Manchester with Steam, Sweat and Spinners. Find out about the hard work and sweat which went into working in a mill and get hands on with our Goo in the Loo workshop.

Five things to do in Manchester over February Half Term

Join in with the Cotton Mill Circus story time. Work in a factory by day and circus by night and make your very own stories and tales with the magic lanterns workshop. Strike a pose in the Victorian photo booth or gather round the old Joanna for a good old-fashioned sing-along. Plus ride the 1830 Express find out how Manchester changed the world via an exploding balloon and a flying beach ball. There’s also a Victorian-style funfair in the upper yard – see the world from the top of the Big Wheel, win at Hook-a-Duck, and ride a magical carousel horse.

For more information about what’s on at MSI this half term, visit their website.

The Waterside Arts Centre

The Waterside Arts Centre in Sale (very near the tram stop) is one of my favourite places to visit with the boy. It’s easy for non-driving me to get to, it’s small but perfectly formed and they always have an interesting selection of things going on, from theatre, live music, workshops, films, comedy and much more. It’s all on their website.

Enjoy the timeless tale of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice on 17th February, brought to life with an irresistible blend of music, puppetry and storytelling. Or young ones might like Lolly Pops and Circus Props on Sunday 19th February, listen to the exciting stories of Lolly – as she runs away from the circus to embark on new adventures in the big world.

For older kids, who fancy a spot of CSIing this half term. Join experienced and professional forensic scientists in Forensic Science in Action. This is suitable for ages 7-11 and is on Monday 13th February, from 10am to 3pm. You bring the packed lunch and see if you can solve the crime!

Mini movie fans have two great films to choose from on Monday 20th February, with Shaun the Sheep Movie and Flushed Away. Not to mention Puppet Masters Return with Aardman Studios, running until April 1st. This fantastic exhibition is packed full of original props, puppets and production artwork from many of Aardman’s most famous films and characters. Entry is free.

Half term cooking kids club at intu Trafford Centre

The intu Trafford Centre is running daily cookery events for children during February Half Term. With different activities such as crepe stations, banoffee pie making, mocktail classes and gyozo-making sessions taking place at intu Trafford Centre every day, there’s lots to keep the kids occupied.

Five things to do in Manchester over February Half Term

With most of the activities taking place from 12-5pm outside Topshop, Upper Regent Crescent – it’s worth checking out the website to see what’s available and when. In addition to the food and craft activities, there are limited places on these free restaurant based cooking classes. Book a place and learn to cook WagamamaTampopo or Coast to Coast

All of the activities are free for all the family and are open to all ages. Visit www.intu.co.uk/TraffordCentre to find details of what’s on and opening hours.

Stockport Hat Museum

One place I’ve been meaning to visit for ages is the Stockport Hat Museum. It’s very much on the agenda this half term. The Hat Museum is an award winning museum with two floors of interactive exhibits, taking you on a journey through the history of Stockport’s once thriving hatting industry.

The museum is home to a recreated hat factory with 20 fully restored working Victorian-style machines. Not to mention a fantastic collection of over 400 hats from around the world. Over February Half Term try your hand at a different craft each day, including felt making, decoupage and easy lino print. Suitable for ages 7+. Booking essential. 

For more information about the Stockport Hat Museum, visit their website.

Media City & Salford quays

On a fine day the boy and I love a visit to Media City. It’s easy to get to on the tram and there’s so much to do there. From shopping in the Lowry Outlet, popping over the bridge to the Imperial War Museum North, exploring the Blue Peter Garden, watching a show at The Lowry or going for lunch somewhere. 

This February Half Term we will be heading over to Media City for the day, having some lunch, doing a spot of shopping and then going to The Lowry to watch The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show which will be on from Wednesday 22nd to Saturday 25 February.

Five things to do in Manchester over February Half Term

Media City and Salford Quays is a great place to visit. It’s largely traffic free so there’s plenty of space for the kids to run about and burn off some energy. There are more places to eat than I can count, and there are lots of interesting places to visit and things to do. My two favourites are The Lowry and IWM North, check them out, you won’t regret it.

What are you plans for this February Half Term?

Breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

One of the best parts of a night or two away in a hotel is the breakfast. At home I rarely eat breakfast and if I do it’s usually just toast or cereal. A hotel breakfast is a real treat, and like most people I like a big breakfast to set me up for a day of shopping, sightseeing or adventure. This week we were invited to the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club to try out their award-winning breakfast.

In November 2016 the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club was voted as having the best breakfast in the North West by Trivago. We were invited down to put their breakfast to the test. It was a great excuse for a proper family breakfast to see us right for a wintery walk later that day.

Breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

Breakfast is served at the Grill in the Park from 6:30am -11am on weekdays, or 7am – 11am on weekends. Hotel residents can add for £10 upon check in for breakfast. For those not staying overnight, breakfast is available at £16 for the buffet and £12 for continental.

Breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

Breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club includes a selection of continental meats, cheeses and smoked salmon; fresh fruit and yogurts; muffins and pastries; cereals, toast and hot cooked breakfasts with a choice of freshly cooked eggs, local sausages, bacon and all the trimmings. They also have a chef on hand to whip up a fresh omelette for you and freshly made waffles, more of which later.

The Grill in the Park is a comfortable but stylish setting for breakfast, and on Saturday morning it was busy with families and couples having breakfast with plans to visit the nearly Trafford Centre, or Legoland, or like us got for a long walk in the country. 

Breakfast is self service, though a friendly waitress offered us tea and coffee and the small boy had a hot chocolate. The service was efficient, with waitresses clearing plates away and generally being very helpful. I chatted to the chef whilst he cooked my omelette and he and the waiting staff were great to chat to if you needed some advice about things to do locally.

Breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

Breakfast began with a selection of juices and fruit. Hubs went for a very lovely looking porridge with jam and bananas.

Breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

The small boy loves fruit, so he had a big bowl of his favorites with some yoghurt. They also had a good selection of cheeses, meats and smoked salmon; as well as bread, muffins and pastries for those wanting a continental breakfast.

Breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

I’d heard that the omelettes were excellent. They’re one of my favourite things, so I had to give them a try. There were about 8 different fillings to choose from, but I opted for cheese and tomato – all freshly cooked in front of me. When I got back to the table there was such omelette envy, we had to go back and get another for the boy.

Breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

My husband opted for the more traditional fry up. He particularly enjoyed the sausages and the poached egg. I had a slice of fried bread with baked beans – a rare treat. It was so delicious I was sad to finish it. The small boy, true to form opted for a side of sausages to go with his omelette. He said they were the best sausages ever!

Breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

A special mention must go to the freshly cooked waffles. I love waffles but I rarely eat them. I’m so glad I insisted we share a waffle and maple syrup (for breakfast dessert). It was the lightest, airiest waffle I’ve ever eaten. It was a joy. If you go to the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club for breakfast, you must try the omelettes and the waffles.

Breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

We’d eaten and eaten well. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we all felt that the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club had nailed it. It was very, very good, with lots of choice and everything was well made and well cooked. 

I can see why the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club won best breakfast in the North West. If I was staying in the hotel I wouldn’t hesitate to book myself in for breakfast, but it is the kind of place we’d pop in to fuel up for the day if we were passing on our way to another adventure. Delicious.

For more information about breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club, visit their website.

Breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

We were invited guests of the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club and our breakfast was complimentary. All images and opinions are our own.

What’s On: Christmas at Museum of Science and Industry

In the run up to Christmas our whole family is rushed off their feet with preparations, parties and visiting Father Christmas. Once the last of the leftovers have been eaten, we all want to go on long walks and do nice things in the fallow period in between Christmas and New Year, and before the boy goes back to school in January. At this time of year we like to visit the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester and see what’s on that’s both fun and educational. 

Families visiting the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester will be tripping the light fantastic this Christmas holiday with a special programme of fun, free events.

Events at the Museum of Science and Industry take place every day from 22 December to 8 January. The Museum is closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, but it’s a great place to spend a family day out over the festive period. There are some special events and demonstrations available over the Christmas break, so there’s no better time to visit.

What's On: Christmas at Museum of Science and Industry

Children making and playing with shadow puppets at the Light Fantastic exhibition

Manchester Mills 22 December 2016 – 8 January 2017

Go back in time to the working mills of 150 years ago.  Experience the deafening sounds of the mill machines. Find out what life was like for thousands of mill workers and discover how the industry changed the world.

Engine Demonstration  22 December 2016 – 8 January 2017

Behold the power of our engines! Find out how our machines powered a city and discover their role in the Industrial Revolution.

Light 22 December 2016 – 8 January 2017

Visit the museum and explore the power of light and how it can create illusions to trick our eyes and minds. Discover how magicians use light to create illusions, build your own kaleidoscope at a fabulous interactive family workshop, try your hand at making your own 3D glasses and play in a shadow theatre.

Experiment! Open daily

In the Experiment! area you can play with 25 hands-on exhibits and see science in action. Lift a MINI and find out how the power of gears can you super strength. Be mesmerised by bubbles passing through giant columns of coloured liquids to demonstrate viscosity, see how many of the city’s homes can be lit by using household waste as power, and measure your reactions against the speed of light.

There’s always so much to see at do at the Museum of Science and Industry. It’s an excellent place to visit over the Christmas break.

For more information about what’s on at the Museum of Science and Industry on their website.

Review: Christmas at SEA LIFE Manchester

Over the weekend we popped to the Trafford Centre to run a few pre-Christmas family errands. I sent my husband in to do battle with the hordes of shoppers and I took the small boy for a look around SEA LIFE Manchester, a calm oasis in a sea of Christmas chaos.

We arrived very early and we were the first people through the door. We had our Merlin passes scanned and we headed off to explore. We are regulars at SEA LIFE Manchester, and we always enjoy our visits. The boy loved being first in and it seemed like we had the place to ourselves (we didn’t, other people were a couple of minutes behind us).

Review: Christmas at SEA LIFE Manchester

We quickly sought out some of our favourite sea creatures. I love the jellyfish and we spent some time changing the coloured lights in their tank and seeing how different they looked in the different lights. I also love the stingrays, they glide so gracefully through the water, they’re really calming to watch. 

Review: Christmas at SEA LIFE Manchester

The boy is a big fan of the turtles, so we watched them swim in their tanks and learning more about them. He’s also very keen on seahorses and “Nemo fish”. Although he’s not keen on touching, we did spend quite a lot of time in the rockpool area. The staff were very helpful and told us all about the sea creatures which live in the tank. Some of which we might find in a rockpool in the UK.

Review: Christmas at SEA LIFE Manchester

We had a lovely explore of SEA LIFE Manchester, it felt so peaceful and it’s the perfect antidote to the busyness of Christmas. We’d spent an hour or so peacefully chatting about all of the creatures. We learned a little more about them and wondered what they’d be having for their Christmas dinner.

Review: Christmas at SEA LIFE Manchester

I can absolutely recommend SEA LIFE Manchester if you want to do something with your family this Christmas that isn’t full of flashing lights and fake snow. It was an absolutely delightful way to spend the morning.

What’s on at SEA LIFE Manchester this Christmas?

This Christmas at SEA LIFE Manchester, guests can take part in a festive fish hunt. Come face to fin with a Snow Flake Eel, Humbug Fish, Angel Fish, Star Fish and even a Turkey Fish! 

Excitingly, during the evenings of 17th, 18th, 22nd and 23rd December, visitors can see beautiful diving mermaids in the tropical ocean tank. The Mermaids will grace the water in a spectacular dive with the sharks and Ernie, the giant green sea turtle. 

Find out more about what’s on this Christmas on the SEA LIFE Manchester website.

I am a Merlin Annual Pass Blogger Ambassador. I was given a Merlin Annual Pass to do this review with my family.  I was not paid to write this post.

Giving back this Christmas – Our Reverse Advent Box

This December we have been taking part in Reverse Advent and it’s been a wonderfully heartwarming family task. If you’ve not heard of Reverse Advent before, it’s where you take a box and each day you add something to it with the intention of giving the box away to someone in need.

I chose to donate our box to our local foodbank – Chorlton and Didsbury Foodbank. The foodbank opened in 2014 and last year gave over 1000 people and families three-day emergency food supplies. 

Although we’ve never been at the point where we’ve needed to get a referral to a foodbank, there have been times when the cupboards have been bare and I’ve not had the money to buy food. There have been times where I’ve skipped meals to make sure the boys get food in their belly and I’ve wondered how I’ll feed them their next meal. As frugal as I am, sometimes the money just doesn’t always stretch as far as I’d like. 

In late November the Co-op sent me a big blue box and some ideas for my Reverse Advent. Every time I popped to the shops I’d put a few extra tins, jars, or packets of dried food in my basket and when I got home I put them in my box.

Giving back this Christmas - Our Reverse Advent box

I knew my local foodbank would appreciate the box of food supplies before Christmas, so I did cheat a little and over the weekend I filled my box, packed it up and it’s ready to be delivered to the foodbank.

As a blogger we get sent a lot of things over the year, some of which we use, some of which we give away to friends and family. I’d saved a big bag of children’s books and lots of craft kits (the kind where everything you need is included, so you don’t need extra glue or paint, or things people may not have). So I’ve donated those to the foodbank too. They’ll be given to the children attending their Christmas party and I can’t think of a better home for them.

Putting the Reverse Advent box has been really easy. Buying a couple of items each time I popped to the shops was a doddle and didn’t make a huge dent in our budget. When you first get your box it can be hard to think of what you could fill it with. So I’ve put together a suggested shopping list (below) if you need some ideas to get you started…

Giving back this Christmas - Our Reverse Advent box

The Reverse Advent box is definitely something our family will be embracing as a family tradition. We know how fortunate we are to have food in the cupboards and a warm house to live in. It’s only right that we give a bit of what we can, when we can.

For more information about the Reverse Advent campaign with The Co-op read their blog. To find your nearest foodbank and to find out more about their work, or how to access their services, visit the Trussell Trust website.

Merry Christmas xx

Christmas: The Polar Expedition at intu Trafford Centre

Over the weekend we headed off to the intu Trafford Centre for a visit to the Christmas grotto. This year the grotto in Barton Square has a Polar Expedition theme.

We arrived early in Barton Square and grabbed hot chocolates from the little Christmas market they’ve got there. At the appointed hour we joined the queue and had our names checked off the list by a friendly elf.

Our group were shown into a room decorated like a log cabin. The children sat at the front (adults on benches at the back) and an elf chatted to the children about the reindeer and about Christmas magic. We all repeated a rhyme, the door swung open and we magically arrived in the North Pole. 

Christmas: The Polar Expedition at intu Trafford Centre

We then waited in a room with animatronic polar bears and a lovely snowy enchanted arctic wonderland. The elves chatted to the children while we waited and the kids really enjoyed watching the polar bears.

After ten minutes or so of queuing, we moved onto my favourite part of our visit – the augmented reality experience. This was very well done and we spent a decent amount of time perched on an piece of arctic ice interacting penguins, seals, killer whales and polar bears. It was fab.

We then moved on to queue up to see Father Christmas, the queue was fairly fast moving and the room we were queuing in was as festive as it gets and very pretty. Very soon we were ushered through to meet Father Christmas who had a quick chat with the boy and gave him the gift of a little Playmobil set. We also had our photo taken which we picked up at the end.

Tickets to the Polar Expedition experience are £7.50 per child and £5 per adult. We were on the tour for around an hour and the boy really enjoyed his visit and chatting to the elves. I think it’s good value for money and the augmented reality part in particular was a real winner for us. 

The Christmas grotto is open until Saturday 24 December and it’s probably best if you book ahead if you can. You can find out more about the Polar Expedition and buy tickets on their website

We were invited guests of the intu Trafford Centre. 

Where can you learn to play Ice Hockey in Manchester?

I’ve been an ice hockey fan since the mid 90’s and I’ve loved going to watch my local team, Manchester Storm play ever since. Last Christmas we took the small boy along to watch Manchester Storm play their arch rivals, The Sheffield Steelers. Now he is six, we’re starting to think about cultivating a bit of on ice confidence in him. Starting off with learning to skate, and maybe eventually picking up a stick and wanting to learn to play Ice Hockey for himself.

The overprotective mother in me does have a slight moment of panic at the thought of him wanting to learn to play Ice Hockey. Its a rough tough sport and not for the faint-hearted. But I’ve been around ice hockey long enough to know that the players are really well protected and serious accidents are thankfully very rare.

Just down the road from us, at the Silver Blades Ice Rink in Altrincham, they offer skating lessons as well as a whole range of skating sessions. We think this would be a good place to start him off, especially as he’s familiar with the rink from when we go and watch Manchester Storm games. It’s a friendly rink with a great family friendly atmosphere and lots of community spirit.

Sport: Where to learn to play Ice Hockey in Manchester

I’ve been doing a bit of reading and in order to learn how to play ice hockey, you need to be able to skate at level 5 or above. The course at the Silver Blades Ice Rink in Altrincham is approved by the English Ice Hockey Association. There is a lot of equipment and kit involved in ice hockey, but hey will be able to provide you with some equipment such as a helmet / neck guard and a stick to start off with, but you should have your own skates at least.

In the UK there are some specialist companies like Proline Skates who stock specialist ice hockey skates, protective wear and equipment, as well as lots of other general and specialist skates and skating equipment.

Their ice hockey lessons at the Silver Blades Ice Rink in Altrincham are currently £10 per session, and they will teach you more advanced skating skills, balance control, puck control and shooting. 

Ice hockey is a growing sport in the UK. There is a lot of love for the game and the grassroots support for ice hockey is huge. It’s a little bit niche, but I think that’s probably why it’s so well loved. I would love it if my boy would like to get involved too.

– This is a collaborative post –

The Team Santa vs Team Elf MCFC Stadium and Club Tour

I spent most of last weekend sat in a jacuzzi with some good friends, drinking fizz and generally having a good time. I’d left the boys at home for the weekend with a list of chores and no expectation they’d do any of them. I was right, they did this instead…

Mrs. HodgePodgeDays decided to go away for the weekend, so that left two boys at home wondering how to pass the time. It was fortunate that amongst other things, we had been invited to try out the brand new Team Santa vs Team Elf MCFC Stadium and Club Tour at the home of Manchester City FC, the Etihad Stadium.

MCFC Stadium and Club Tour

The new festive themed MCFC Stadium and Club Tour launches on Saturday 10th December. Families are invited to enjoy a City Santa vs City Elf themed tour with a sprinkling of Christmas spirit. We went along to get a sneak preview of what Santa and his footballing elves had in store this December.

The MCFC Stadium and Club Tour includes exclusive access to fascinating behind the scenes areas of the stadium, including the team dressing room and the official press conference room where you can sit in Pep Guardiola’s seat, exactly as seen on TV. From here, visitors emerge pitch side through the players’ tunnel before taking their seats in the dugout and dreaming of the moment they’re called upon to wear the famous sky blue jersey. The Christmas tour is all that and more.

MCFC Stadium and Club Tour

We arrived at the City Store with a few minutes to spare and were greeted by our very knowledgeable and cheery guide Dominic. His job was to show us around the stadium and also to sprinkle some festive sparkle on it.

We started in the Tours Exhibition Area which is above the City Store and is home to historic memorabilia, interactive games and videos, and also features the story of the club right back to 1894. It was here that our tour group was split in two teams, Santas and Elves. We were all handed one of Manchester City’s Christmas themed jumpers to have our pictures taken in and then it was time for festive game No. 1, decorating the tree. In our teams, one by one, we had to decorate our trees and the fastest team would be the winners, this ended in a draw.

MCFC Stadium and Club Tour

We began the stadium tour and went first to the directors’ seating area and into one of the award winning hospitality suites. We sat outside for a few minutes in the directors’ seats and surveyed the pitch in front of us, then went to check out the media centre and sat in the room where the after match press interviews take place.

The tour continued with a visit to the away dressing room for festive game No.2. Each team took turns to throw mini footballs at little snowmen sat on the benches and again, this ended in a draw of the seemingly equally matched teams. Moving on, we went to the home dressing room to enjoy the comfy seats and to tackle festive game No. 3, flipping the water bottles, which ended up being won 10-4 by the Elves.

MCFC Stadium and Club Tour

Back to the tour and the tunnel leading to the pitch and then pitch side and a rest in Pep Guardiola’s seat in the dugout for a different view of the pitch than we’d normally have. We then went back inside onto the concourse for the final festive game of chipping a football up into a container. Absolutely no-one on either team managed to do this, so overall Team Elf won the competition because of their superior skills in flipping the water bottles.

Once the festive themed games had finished it was back to the City Store for both teams to collect their prizes (all children under the age of 12 on the tours will receive a Christmas gift from the Club and be entered into a prize draw giving them a chance to be a player escort at the Manchester City v Liverpool match, scheduled to take place on Saturday 18th March  2017).

Manchester City are offering all those that have been on the MCFC Stadium and Club Tour in December a 20% discount off all purchases in the City Store that month. It’s a great place to pick up a present for the Manchester City supporter in your family!

The MCFC Stadium and Club Tour is a really fun way to spend an afternoon, especially in the run up to Christmas. The small boy had a fantastic time and returned home with the biggest smile, he couldn’t wait to tell all his friends at school about it the next day! 

Tickets for the MCFC Stadium and Club Tour cost £17 per adult, £11 per child aged 5-16 and £12 for concessions and will run on select days throughout December. For more information, visit the MCFC website.

MCFC Stadium and Club Tour

We were invited guests of Manchester City, all images and opinions are our own.

Skincare: Experiencing Fractional Mesotherapy

If you’ve never heard of Fractional Mesotherapy before, don’t worry, neither had I. That was until a few weeks ago when I was invited along to the Rejuvenate Skin Clinic in Manchester to try one of their treatments.

I could have played it safe and had a nice pampering facial, but as I’d turned 40 a couple of months ago, I was happy to step out of my comfort zone and try something which could make a real difference to my appearance. 

Fractional Mesotherapy is where a tailored cocktail of active ingredients including vitamins, peptides, hyaluronic acid and collagen are microinjected into the skin to plump out and smooth areas of concern.

If you cut through the big words, basically they take a dermapen with several sterile fine needles inside and then stamp and circle your skin with it. This makes fine channels in the skin so they can push the vitamins directly into the dermal layer. Yes, it does sound a bit odd, but I was prepared to give it a go.

Fractional Mesotherapy

I arrived at the Rejuvenate Skin Clinic on Swan Street, just on the outer fringes of Manchester’s Northern Quarter and was greeted by Leena, the Clinic Manager. She gave me a tour of the clinic and then we settled in the Fractional Mesotherapy treatment room where she talked me through what the treatment would involve.

I’d seen lots of before and after photos in the clinic (and there a lots on the internet too, looking at them has become a bit of an addiction). I was excited to see how I would look after the treatment. Leena explained that the treatment had “minimal downtime” which means that my face should look a bit pink for a few hours afterwards but look normal within a day or so.

Fractional Mesotherapy

My treatment began with Leena having a really good look at my skin to see where my problem areas were. I told her where I was most concerned about and she focused her attention on the parts of my face which needed it. 

She then cleansed my skin and began the stamping process on my forehead. It wasn’t that bad and not painful. It was a little uncomfortable in parts, more so across my forehead, but I guess there’s not much fat and muscle underneath my skin there. Leena would stamp or circle an area with the needles and then gently massage in a vitamin serum she’d mixed up for me based on my needs. The idea is that this helps to stimulate the natural production of collagen, making the skin look and feel fresher and tighter.

Just before and just after my Fractional Mesotherapy treatment.

Just before and just after my Fractional Mesotherapy treatment.

The micro-needling lasted around 45 minutes and whilst I was glad it was over, I would be happy to have it done again, so it really wasn’t too bad. It was never painful, just a bit strange feeling. To calm my skin after the treatment I relaxed for ten minutes with a cooling saline mask which did feel very soothing. 

For the rest of the day my skin was quite pink. The next day it was a lot better, and it was only pink in the areas where Leena had focused her attentions on. You’re not really allowed to use soap, make up, moisturisers or other products on your skin for a day or two afterwards. I was given some of the serum to take home and rub in, which again was very soothing. At no point was my skin sore or bothering me in any way. It just looked a little bit pink in places for a few hours.

Fractional Mesotherapy is good for dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles as well as scars and stretchmarks. It is very much a non-surgical treatment which you can use to give your skin a boost a few days before an occasion. They recommend a course of several treatments for you to be able to see real results in the long term.

Fractional Mesotherapy

Two days after my Fractional Mesotherapy treatment

I had one treatment, but I was delighted with the results. After 48 hours my skin looked tighter, it glowed and my fine lines were less noticeable. My skin wasn’t dry, but it was perhaps a little thirstier than usual. I followed the aftercare instructions to the letter and I’m very, very happy with the results.

Would I have Fractional Mesotherapy again? Yes I would. It’s not a pampering treatment, and not something I’d choose if I wanted a relaxing treat; but it is a real alternative to botox, fillers and other surgical options. Several of my friends have commented on how good my skin looks since my visit to the clinic too.

Fractional Mesotherapy

I thought that the staff at Rejuvenate Skin Clinic in Manchester were friendly and professional. They were knowledgeable about the treatments and they prepared me well for something that was a little out of my usual comfort zone. The clinic was scrupulously clean, everything was sterile and Leena made sure to wear gloves throughout my treatment.

Rejuvenate Skin Clinic in Manchester offers a range of treatments and therapies for a range of skin conditions for both men and women. It’s a comfortable, discrete clinic, 5 minutes walk from Market Street. It’s somewhere I would very happily go again for further treatments.  

For more information about Fractional Mesotherapy or the Rejuvenate Skin Clinic in Manchester, visit their website.

Rejuvenate Skin Clinic, 11 Swan Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M4 5JJ Tel: 0161 819 5555

I was an invited guest of the Rejuvenate Skin Clinic in Manchester. I received this treatment in exchange for this blog post. All images and opinions are my own.

Spa Days: The Spa at The Midland, Manchester

Over the weekend my husband took me to The Midland Hotel in Manchester for a romantic weekend to celebrate my birthday. My gift from him was a night in a suite, a nine course meal in The French and some time in The Spa at The Midland. It was not the worst present I’ve ever been given. The boy did very well.

The Spa at The Midland

I am VERY fond of a spa day. Sometimes I will go to a spa for a treatment or two and then chill out in the thermal rooms, sometimes I will just go for a swim, a sauna and a steam. I find thermal rooms are very good for my back (I have chronic pain), the warmth of a sauna or a steam room really eases my old bones, so a spa day isn’t just a nice treat, it’s like therapy. 

As a guest at The Midland if you just want to use the spa, all you do is phone the Spa Reception and they’ll book you in for a time. This is so the spa doesn’t get too busy and noisy. If you’re not staying in the hotel, then you’ll need to book a spa day, there are a range of options on their website.

The Spa at The Midland has won a whole host of awards including Best City Spa Break Manchester, Best City Spa Day Manchester and Best Hotel Spa Manchester. The Spa at The Midland has also been named as ‘Best City Spa’ in The Candis 2016 Spa Awards. It is very good.

Take the lift to the lower ground floor and open the door to the spa, the smell of soothing essential oils permeates up the corridor to the spa reception. We were greeted by one of the staff, given a fluffy towel, a robe and slippers and directed to the changing rooms.

The Spa at The Midland

The communal changing rooms are a little on the small side, but if they only have small numbers in at a time it shouldn’t be an issue. The changing area has showers as well as an area where you can dry and straighten your hair.

I headed straight for the pool area, taking a shower before diving in. The shower has three different settings, and is a bit of an experience in itself. The cool misty shower is great after the sauna. 

The pool isn’t large, but it’s big enough to do a few gentle laps before sitting in the jacuzzi. The jacuzzi is very warm, it was too warm for my husband, but the bubbles pummelled my back in all the right places so I did spend quite a lot of time in there.

There is a small sauna and a steam room tucked away near the tropical shower area. Both rooms are probably big enough for 4 or 5 people but no more. I really enjoyed both rooms and I would very much like to go back and spend some more time in them. There is something very cleansing about having a sauna and a steam, I’d recommend it, especially if you suffer with aches and pains.

I didn’t venture into the relaxation room, but hubs spent quite a lot of time in there, he made himself a herbal tea, found a restful corner and promptly fell asleep. I do enjoy a relaxation room after I’ve had a treatment, they’re good places to chill out in whilst you come round after a massage or facial. Or if you’re my husband, a great place to have a nap.

The Spa at The Midland

We spent a couple of hours enjoying the pool and thermal suites before heading back to our room to get ready for dinner. We are talking about coming back for an afternoon of post-Christmas relaxation in the New Year. We didn’t have the time to try out any of the treatments on offer at The Spa at The Midland, but that is something we will look at for our next visit.

The Spa at The Midland also has a gym, a number of treatment rooms and a cafe to enjoy when you visit. I’ve been to a lot of spas and this felt very luxurious, it was clean, the lighting was soft and relaxing and the staff were attentive without been obtrusive. I enjoyed my couple of hours in the spa very much and I’m looking forward to our return.

For more information and more detailed photographs (I didn’t take any photos inside the spa for obvious reasons), visit The Spa at The Midland website.