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A weekend in Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester

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Planning a weekend break and in need of inspiration on how to spend your time? If you’re heading to Newcastle, Leeds or Manchester this January, take a look at these ideas on how to spend your Saturday, to ensure you don’t waste your time in one of the north’s premiere cities.

Newcastle

Afternoon – Completely central in location, Newcastle’s Theatre Royal is a great way to spend the afternoon if you can’t face a full day of trawling the city centre shops. Opened in February 1837, the theatre is a Grade I listed building and remains one of the most historic, landmarks in the UK. Despite the development of the city centre, and becoming a real retail hotspot, the theatre continues to dominate the heart of Newcastle’s Grainger Town. One of the most famous theatres in the country, the Theatre Royal has a 175 year history of hosting the biggest names in dance, drama, music and comedy. If a Matinée performance grabs your interest then up until 18th January, you’ll be able to catch the back end of Jack and the Beanstalk’s two month run. If that isn’t to your liking why not wait for Barry Humphries five day run between the 21st and 25th as part of his farewell tour, with the month being rounded off by a four day showing of Christopher Hampson’s Hansel & Gretel.

Evening – Head down to Newcastle’s Quayside to keep up the high quality feel to your day after exiting the theatre. With restaurants and bars in abundance, the riverside location is a real night time hotspot. Occupying a fantastic site alongside the quays, Gusto offers a high quality Italian dining and drinking experience in a hugely stylish setting. Influenced by the glamour of 1950′s New York Italian Restaurants in a contemporary setting, Gusto focuses on freshly prepared classic & contemporary Italian dishes. The restaurant also incorporates a standalone bar with skilled bartenders serving an extensive range of wines, beers, spirits and cocktails including its signature cocktail the “Mucho Gusto”.

Leeds

Afternoon – If you fancy spending your afternoon being active then Leeds’ Ice Cube attraction  in Millennium Square is perfect for you. Perfect as a break from shopping or wandering the city, grab a pair of skates and head onto the ice for an hour of show-boating and fun. Taking over Millennium Square from the 24th January for a month, the rink is perfectly placed as a spectacle, so if you fancy giving it a go you’ll have to expect an audience in one of Leeds’ most popular locations. With bars and restaurants dotted around the square, you even have plenty of choice if you want to grab a snack and rehydrate upon leaving the ice.

Evening – After an afternoon of wandering the city and partaking in your winter-themed exercise you’ll have no doubt worked up quite the appetite. Found on the Headrow in prime city centre location you won’t have a long walk to Miller and Carter Steakhouse, which is easily locatable near the entrance to The Light complex. One of Leeds’ newest but most impressive steakhouses, the restaurant can be found in many city locations across the country, however don’t let the chain label deter you, as the food is of high end standard and rivals Leeds’ best eateries. Offering generous meat portions and a range of sides, Miller and Carter is definitely one to try for meat lovers.

Manchester

Afternoon – If it’s your first time in Manchester, then the city has plenty to offer. Take a stroll and sample what the city has to offer, from shopping in the Arndale Centre to relaxing with an afternoon drink. If you really want to see everything the city has to offer, then the Wheel of Manchester gives you a bird’s-eye view of the whole area from its Piccadilly Gardens location. Once you’ve absorbed the incredible aerial sights, head for an early dinner at Manchester House, one of the city’s premier restaurants. Drop in as the restaurant opens for the evening at 6pm and sample culinary delights from the youngest ever Michelin-starred chef Aiden Byrne who has ‘created a fresh and innovative menu boasting modern British cuisine with a twist.’

Evening – Searching for something a bit different to do with your evening? Whilst many visiting the city will be heading out for an early tipple, why not take in something a little different and visit the famed Comedy Store at Deansgate Locks. The Comedy Club delivers five world class comedians every Friday and Saturday, providing over two hours of side-splitting laughter. The ever-popular club has high demand for weekend showings, so make sure you book in advance for these sell out shows. Catch the 7pm show if you want to head out to a bar afterwards, or alternatively take in the later 9:30pm show if you don’t fancy the early rush.

With plenty to do this January across the north’s major cities, treat yourself to a weekend of retail, entertainment and dining, and make sure you check out our website for a luxurious end to your evening.

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Christmas shopping in the North

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It only comes once a year, but once is enough for those looking to switch Cliff Richard off the radio and actively avoid the Mistletoe. The biggest stress of all though can come from the never-ending traipsing from shop to shop in a bid to avert any last minute panic buying. To help the cause, here is our guide to Christmas shopping in some of the UK’s leading consumer havens to help you rediscover that festive feeling.

Leeds 

Trinity Leeds

When it comes to retail in Leeds this Christmas, it’s hard to look past the recently developed Trinity shopping centre in the heart of the city. After opening in spring of this year, Trinity will be hosting its first Christmas and is sure to attract shoppers, with its Christmas light switch on already being a resounding success. It is home to over 100 shops and restaurants with the majority of the country’s biggest brands housed under this bespoke glass dome. The recently launched Trinity kitchen has also proved somewhat of a phenomenon, as the concept of bringing street food vendors indoors has really caught the imagination of locals.

Victoria Quarter

For those with more expensive taste, the glamorous and elegant Victoria Quarter arcade is the hub for premium fashion and lifestyle brands. The likes of Vivienne Westwood, Louis Vuitton and Harvey Nichols all sit in this beautiful, marble adorned building which boasts all the history of an ITV period drama. Certainly not a place for those stringent with money, but regardless, it is still worth visiting just to marvel at the exquisite design.

Manchester

Afflecks

An absolutely must-visit in Manchester, Afflecks is home to the weird and the wonderful, and undoubtedly offers something a bit different on your Christmas run this year. Found in Manchester’s Northern quarter, Afflecks is made up of a range of little boutiques and indie merchants with this eccentric emporium being a real magnet for vintage and the unorthodox. Based over four floors, be prepared to lose all track of time as you immerse yourself in tattoos, retro clothing and homemade accessories.

Arndale Centre

For the more conventional amongst you, the Arndale shopping centre offers everything you need from the major high street brands to those a little less known. Perfect for Christmas shopping, if not a little predictable, the Arndale is Europe’s third biggest city centre shopping facility and annually attracts more customers than the Trafford Centre.  It is also known for its seasonal events with Santa’s grotto always proving popular. Its extensive food court and fantastic location make the Arndale centre perfect for all your Christmas shopping needs.

 

Newcastle

Fenwick Department Store

Fenwick’s in Newcastle is the UK’s largest department store and is spread over five floors of a historic and character-filled building. Originally launched in 1882, Fenwick’s has expanded and specialises in a range of luxury goods with its vast food hall and enchanting toy department particularly highly thought of. It has also become famous for its Christmas window displays which is now in its 42nd year and also has a ‘Christmas village’ on the second floor for everything festive as well as top quality food and wine. Fenwick’s is a little pricey but really is a prime retail centre in the North-East.

intu Eldon Square

After much redevelopment in recent years, intu Eldon Square is home to many of the Britain’s top chains with Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Debenhams all tenants. In all, there are 150 shops spread across two floors and it regularly competes with the Arndale in Manchester to be the country’s largest city centre shopping facility. It offers plenty of places to grab a bite to eat and the continuing refurbishments promise to add some exciting dimensions to this already popular retail destination.

So wherever you are this festive season, the North’s leading cities offer a fantastic selection of shops and retailers who and can provide everything to suit your needs this Christmas.

 

 

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New Year’s Eve Meal: Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester

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Leeds

Gaucho

Gaucho is the steak lover’s dream restaurant. With an Argentinean flare, Gaucho is one of Leeds’ very best restaurants, so will undoubtedly be buzzing with diners over the festive period. Especially for the New Year celebrations, Gaucho is welcoming diners in for that special NYE meal and evening with a selection of ‘tasting’ menus, ranging from £75 to £95 per head. If this takes your fancy, get in touch with the Leeds location to secure your booking.

Angelica

Located in Trinity Shopping Centre and boasting stunning surroundings, champagne to draw in the new year and an all round classy experience, Angelica’s New Year Party provides the perfect location to draw in the New Year whilst admiring the skyline of Leeds. Entry is £20 for a standard ticket, and food options are the regular offerings from Angelica’s impressive menu. Additional food packages are available for an increased cost.

 

Newcastle

Babucho

Babucho is the dining gem of Newcastle. The perfect distance between the bustling city centre and the relaxed Quayside, the restaurant provides satisfaction through top class food, along with a trendy bar and lounge where you can relax the night away with a quiet drink. For New Years Eve, join Babucho from 8pm for their Twilight Dinner Party, which includes Babucho favourites on a set menu and a special surprise from the bartenders after midnight.

Blackfriars Restaurant

If your ideal New Years meal consists of the traditional and British goodies, then look no further than Blackfriars, located on Friars Street in Newcastle city centre. Their NYE menu consists of a classic prawn cocktail; slow-braised Northumbrian beef; suckling pig and sticky toffee pudding. New Years Eve sees all the popular spots booked up with relative speed, so make sure you move early, with Blackfriars set menus starting from £30per head.

 

Manchester

Blackhouse: The Grill On The Alley

If you’ve been to any Blackhouse before, you know that the restaurant prides itself on the use of fresh British meats and produce, and the Grill On The Alley is no different. If your ideal NYE celebration consists of a quality meal over a party theme or set menu then this is the choice for you in Manchester. Revel in the delightful tones of the in-house pianist whilst you enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail, before moving on to enjoy a delectable meal in the relaxed restaurant ambiance.

James Martin Manchester

If you’ve never treated yourself to the culinary delights offered by one of TV’s best chefs, then New Years Eve is the perfect special occasion to sample what James Martin Manchester has to offer. For the big night, the restaurant is offering a set four or six course meal, complimentary bubbly and even a piano vocalist and close up magician for entertainment. Head down for the 6pm sitting if you want the meal to start your night before moving elsewhere to bring in the New Year, or opt for the later sitting if you want the meal and drinks to be the focal point of your big night.

If  fancy New Year’s Eve in the city, make sure you check out our website for a luxurious end to your evening.

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New Year’s Eve in Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle

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New Year’s Eve can often provide more stress than joy as the pressure to see out the year with a bang becomes ever more important as you try to make the most of your fading youth. Well if you’re still yet to make plans for this year’s celebrations, look no further than our guide to what’s happening on December 31st in some of the UK’s most prominent cities.

Leeds

Angelica

One of the more stylish venues in Leeds, Angelica in Trinity Leeds is giving you the opportunity to reflect on the year whilst overlooking the city’s skyline in something reminiscent of a New Year’s Eve scene in a Hollywood blockbuster. Angelica is putting on a night of music and merriment in what is likely to be one of the more suave events on offer in the West Yorkshire capital. Entrance tickets come in at just £20 which gives you access to the bar and a complimentary glass of champagne at midnight. If you’re looking to splash the cash though, then you can invest in one of the range of NYE packages available.

The Botanist

If you’re looking for a vibrant and much more down to earth experience then The Botanist is probably your safest bet. Popular all year round and known for its eclectic array of cocktails and beers, The Botanist is a nice environment to ring in the New Year and they’ll also be offering the musical styling’s of Sebastopher.  Even better, it’s a non-ticketed affair although you might want to book a table in advance just to be sure of having some of your own personal space.

Manchester

New Year’s Eve Musicals Gala

If you’re feeling sophisticated then attending the New Year’s Eve Musical Gala at The Bridgewater Hall could be just what you need. The celebrations promise an evening of favourite songs from the musicals of Andrew Lloyd Webber, George Gershwin and Rodgers & Hammerstein with some of the country’s leading west end star on show. There are also other performers present with stilt walking, magicians and the North Brass quintet all promising to delete the audience. Tickets start at £32 with champagne, mulled wine and mince pies all adding to the evening’s festivities.

Cloud 23

Cloud 23 is a unique and stunning destination to spend your New Year’s Eve and at £50 per head, offers decent value for money. Its elegant setting which looks over Manchester through floor to ceiling windows, is sure to add that extra sparkle in your end of year celebrations. Style and class is really of the essence here with a lavish drinks menu at its disposal and complementary champagne for all who attend.

Newcastle

Winter Carnival

Though it may not take you to midnight, the Winter Carnival will certainly be a lively and enchanting start to your evening. Floats, music and performers of all disciplines will be on display as Newcastle tries to bring a taste of the Nordic to the New Year festivities. There’s plenty of dress up and tightly rehearsed dance routines on show with a burning Viking long ship being particularly impressive. The evening culminates with fireworks at 6pm leaving you ready to tackle the rest of the night.

If that doesn’t take your fancy but you’re still in the mood for some fireworks, you can always watch the Quayside firework display which happens annually at midnight and is surrounded by bars and clubs so you can enjoy the pyrotechnics while sipping on a cocktail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Christmas events in Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle

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Now that the doors of the advent calendar have been impatiently unhinged, the season to be jolly has officially begun and nowhere is this more evident than in some of the UK’s most prominent cities. With a stream of seasonal events for all ages, there really is no excuse to not get into the festive spirit this Christmas.

Leeds

Briggate Christmas Spectacular

Running from the 6th of December, Briggate is offering a two week festive market whereby a giant marquee will become a hub for merriment and good will. Arts, crafts, demonstrations and of course food and drink will all be available from the 20 stalls that are taking part in the celebrations. As well as retail therapy, the Christmas Spectacular will feature appearances from Leeds City Varieties, Opera North and the cities major sports teams. The market runs to the 22nd of the month and even offers late night shopping on Thursdays.

Stockeld Park Christmas Adventure

If magic and wonder is evading you this winter then visit Stockeld Park’s Christmas Adventure. With breathtaking illuminations, a snowflake maze and an outdoor Ice Rink, Stockeld Park really does have it all this Christmas with a packed special events calendar ensuring that the sparkle remains for the whole festive season. Stockeld Park is also home to the largest Christmas shop in the north, and you could find that you get lost for hours in its beguiling gift emporium.

Manchester

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland at Event City is the UK’s largest Christmas indoor theme park and is coming to Manchester for the first time this December. Not only are there 30 fun-packed rides, but there’s also plenty of food and drink on offer. To top it all off, the Christmas Circus is in town and its array of breathtaking and entertaining performers promises to leave you in awe and put you into the festive spirit.

Spinningfields Ice Rink

Reminiscent of a scene from a Christmas card, Spinningfields Ice Rink offers you the chance to skate under the stars with friends and family and is popular amongst locals and tourists alike. The Ice Rink is open seven days a week and also offers a whole host of activities including a pop up festive village and Helter Skelter rides, making Manchester City Centre a must visit if you’re looking to soak up that Christmas atmosphere.

Newcastle

Countdown to Christmas at Belsay

Belsay Hall, just outside of the city, is putting on a plethora of festive events to take you back to Christmas past. Running every weekend up until the 14th of December, Belsay Hall creates nostalgia with a host of events including festive carols and songs and even Christmas ghost stories for adults. Enjoy the festive season in the historic surroundings of this 19th century mansion and don’t forget to sample a wintry walk around the stunning gardens.

Kielder Winter Wonderland

If you’re seeking a bit adventure and wonder, Kielder Winter Wonderland could be just what you’re looking for. Follow the Winter Wonderland star to the middle of an enchanted forest to be welcomed by a fantastic range of festive activities which will awe and amaze. Not only is there ice skating and snow tubing, but there’s also a visit to the elves workshop and of course Father Christmas himself to look forward too. Also, make sure you don’t miss the Water Birds of Prey Centre where you can get up close and personal with one of the largest collections of birds of prey in the UK.

If you’ve seen anything you fancy or you’re just visiting one of these fantastic cities, make sure you check out our website for a luxurious end to your evening.

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December: A month in music

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Winter is well and truly here, and although that means many of us will confine ourselves to warmth, to others it means the arena concert scene is well in full swing. If you’re planning a musical themed weekend away, take a look at the music events coming up around three of the UK’s major northern cities. From mass popularity bands to something a little more refined, we’ve got your evenings sorted.

 

Leeds

If you’re looking for music in Leeds, look no further than the array of talent on show at the First Direct Arena this month. To kick off, on the very first day of the month, Xmas Party Live showcases a grand evening of pop music with  the likes of Example, The Saturdays, Eliza Doolittle, Conor Maynard, McFly and Rudimental all being pegged for the line up. If modern pop doesn’t take your fancy, Irish quartet Boyzone head to Leeds on the 9th, and you can grab your tickets for £35 if you want an evening of 90′s pop.

US smash hit show, New Jersey Nights comes to Leeds as part of the UK leg of their world tour, which is a spectacular celebration of the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and takes the audience on a nostalgic musical journey through the career of one of the biggest selling groups of all times. Head to the First Direct Arena on the 4th of the month if the glitz and glamour of the States is more to your liking this December.

Newcastle

If a bit of old fashioned rock music is more to your liking, then this month’s highlight at the Metro Radio Arena is Status Quo & 10cc, who combine to put on a show on the 19th on December. Joining the Quo this month, Scottish pop rockers Wet Wet Wet head to the Toon on the 17th, along with special guests for the night, Blue.

Arguably the biggest name hitting the arena this month, JLS will say goodbye to Newcastle in style with their performance as part of the group’s farewell tour. If you’re a fan of the XFactor originated group, be sure to snap up a ticket soon for as little as £25.

Manchester

At Manchester’s Phones4U Arena this month, an array of musical performances are on offer, with something to suit every taste. If you aren’t a fan of the modern radio-played pop hits, and prefer your heavy metal to any other genre, then Bullet for my Valentine’s performance on the 1st December may take your fancy. Similarly, if you’re a fan of old school heavy rock, December 18th sees the legendary original line-up of Black Sabbath perform a string of classic hits along with new tracks from recently released album, 13. Other pop performances are on show throughout the rest of December, with Will.i.am hitting the stage on the 3rd, DJ’s Tiesto & Calvin Harris light up the stage on the 21st and the Key 103 Jingle Ball takes centre stage on the 12th, as big name artists such as Robbie Williams, Pixie Lott, and Jason Derulo contribute to the ensemble cast concert.

If you’re planning a night of music this month, make sure you check out our website for a luxurious end to your evening.

Image used under creative commons courtesy of Christian Holmér.

One night in Newcastle

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Dinner

Fat Buddha

With an incredible menu and possessing a clear sense of modern style, Fat Buddha is one of Newcastle’s most popular restaurants. Occupying two floors under the Metro FM studios, Fat Buddha offers a dominant and eye catching presence as you approach down either Mosley or Pilgrim Street. Upon entering, you are greeted with a modern bar and two floors of restaurant seating. The Oriental restaurant doesn’t follow the rules of a typical eatery, offering foods from across Asia, rather than focusing on one cuisine. Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean and Malaysian and even dishes from Hong Kong feature prominently in the menu, so don’t be scared to expand your horizons and try something new. A brilliant dining experience, make sure you check out this little taste of the Orient, but keep your eye out for the extra hot chilli dishes!


Marco Polo

Independent, locally owned Italian restaurant Marco Polo provides a truly enjoyable dining experience if you’re spending the night in Newcastle.  Endeavouring to use only the highest quality ingredients imported from Italy, Marco Polo combines these with locally sourced meat and fish. Situated in the busy hub that is Dean Street, make sure you book well in advance, as the restaurant’s location makes it a prime option for city centre drop in bookings. With a diverse Italian menu, food options range from standard pasta dishes to creamy risotto, pizza and meat based dishes.

 

Drinks

BrewDog

Another Dean Street location, BrewDog is a bar with a difference. Operating on the mission of educating the British population with regards to craft brews rather than mainstream mass produced global beers, BrewDog offers a range of ales and IPA’s that have the population of Newcastle flocking in for a taste. It might not be ideal if you love the dance scene, but this bar is a perfect location to relax with friends and enjoy the best of British punk over from the past four decades.


Pleased To Meet You

Occupying one of Newcastle’s most historic buildings, with a Grade II listing, Pleased to Meet You offers ambiance in abundance to go alongside an impressive selection of the world’s finest gins, and some of Newcastle’s most flavoursome draft beers. Not your standard drinking haunt, Pleased to Meet You is a must visit for the gin lovers amongst us, offering over 50 contemporary options for your palate. Head to High Bridge Street if a tipple on the gin takes your fancy.


Entertainment

Livello

Strictly speaking, Livello could slot into the drinks section of this guide, rather than entertainment; however since a £1 million revamp in 2012, Livello has been a destination that provides a truly entertaining experience rather than simply your standard weekend drink. Upmarket, trendy and stylish, this cocktail bar and club boasts a list of expertly crafted, exclusive cocktails, whilst also providing guests with more classic options and an impressive vintage wine list. Open until 3am on weekends Livello provides an eclectic backdrop of music created by resident DJs. Don’t be surprised to see a Ferrari or two parked up outside the entrance, this is the go to nightlife spot when searching for entertainment in Newcastle.


Metro Arena

If you fancy taking a different approach to your evening in Newcastle, and love a high profile concert, then check out listings plenty in advance for Newcastle’s Metro Arena. Hosting arena tours from the world’s biggest acts, performers over the arena’s 16 year existence have included the likes of Tom Jones, Elton John, Coldplay, Oasis, AC/DC and Kiss. Check listings for the latest concerts to see if anything takes your fancy in the world of live music this month.

If you’re planning a night in Newcastle, make sure you check out our website for a more luxurious end to your evening.

Image used under creative commons courtesy of Peter PZ.

One Night in Manchester

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Dinner

Sapporo Teppanyaki

If you’re looking to be pushed out of your comfort zone, this Japanese offers a unique dining experience if you’re new to the cuisine. In Sapporo Teppanyaki guests are led to their own or shared Teppanyaki table where the dishes are cooked in front of your very eyes by the restaurants array of skilled chefs. All the food is fresh and the seafood in particular is a delight; however there are ranging chicken and meat dishes to cater to those still cautious when it comes to experimenting. We recommend you push the boat out and also try a Japanese whiskey from behind the bar, as a perfect wind down over some conversation over your meal.

Choices

Tucked away in Castlefield, Choices was voted one of the top ten riverside restaurants by the Sunday Times. If you like honest British food cooked to perfection then this is the place to head, thanks to a frequently changing menu which utilises good seasonal produce. The cottage pie is particularly popular amongst diners with daily fish specials also proving well-liked. The décor is clean, stylish and the walk in wine fridge adds an interesting dimension to an establishment already brimming with character.

Drinks

Epernay Champagne and Cocktail bar

Epernay is a glamorous and elegant bar for those looking to avoid some of Manchester’s more student orientated drinking scenes. Epernay presents an impressive range of drinks, boasting more than 100 champagnes which offers one of the most extensive selections in the country. Don’t fret if you’re more of a mixer or have a different tipple, the bartenders supply an excellent range of cocktails and spirits which can be enjoyed in a really laid back and friendly atmosphere. Prices aren’t cheap, however Espernay is a must visit if you prefer a classy establishment to enjoy sociably with friends.

The Alchemist

The Alchemist is widely known as one of the best bars in Manchester by locals and it’s not hard to see why. Always popular, and often crawling with patrons due to its city centre location, the bar mixed a great ambiance with a stylish food and drinks menu. Each cocktail is carefully hand crafted by the highly knowledgeable ‘alchemists’ who use the highest quality ingredients available to create some completely unusual concoctions. The drinks are as much about theatre as they are sustenance with nostalgia inspired bottles, lavender foam, dry ice and Bunsen burners all used to create truly unique drinks. Don’t fret if a fashionable cocktail doesn’t take your fancy, The Alchemist also offers lager on tap.

Entertainment

The Comedy Store

If you’re staying in Manchester, a must see is the world famous Comedy Store. With tickets from as little as £10 and fantastic acts every night of the week, the Comedy Store is a true mecca for comedy enthusiasts. Some of the biggest names in world stand-up have graced the Comedy Store stages of London and Manchester including, Eddie Izzard, Mike Myers and Lee Evans and many familiar faces do unexpectedly ‘drop in’ to try out material.

Mint Lounge

Mint Lounge is a popular attraction for locals, least of all because it is home to Manchester’s longest running club night in Funkademia. Every Saturday night, Funkademia plays what it describe as ‘a chronological history of soul’ to a regularly full house. It plays the best soul, funk and smooth R&B music in the city but also holds other music events throughout the week if your taste is better suited to dubstep or house. You may need to book tickets in advance for some of the more popular events.

If you’re planning a night in Manchester, make sure you check out our website for a luxurious end to your evening.

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Christmas Markets 2013 in Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle

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With Christmas just around the corner, we take a look at the annual Christmas and German markets that land in Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle. Offering stalls with quirky gift ideas, Christmas decorations, assorted foods from across Europe and plenty of warming winter drinks, Christmas markets have something to suit every taste and get you in that festive mood.

Leeds

Always a favourite when the festive period comes around, the Leeds Christkindelmarkt sees the residents of Leeds and surrounding areas flock to Millennium Square for a real taste of an authentic German Christmas. Opening on Friday 8th November, it’s no surprise that this market is one of the best attended in the country, with traditional wooden stalls, festive greenery, Christmas carousel rides and twinkling lights all creating a unique festive atmosphere in the heart of Leeds city centre.

Undeniably the most popular attraction at Leeds’ market is the German pub which occupies the very centre of Millennium Square. It provides refuge from the cold weather and offers German-themed food and drinks throughout the daytime and evening. Be sure to pick your visiting time carefully though, as the large venue often fills up quickly at peak times. Enjoy a ‘stein’ of beer, bratwurst hot dog and evening of Oom-pah band entertainment.

Manchester

Offering a wider range of shopping options than the other markets in this list, the Manchester Christmas Market provides more than 300 stalls to choose from and is dotted around numerous locations in the city centre. This year sees an even bigger selection of stalls than ever before, and you won’t be disappointed when taking a browse. The vast range of stalls means you can easily find gifts, crafts, jewellery, clothes, toys and a vast selection of food and drink on offer. Head to this market and you’ll also discover mouth-watering delicacies from all over Europe, so why not treat yourself to Dutch mini pancakes, Hungarian goulash, Spanish paella or French profiteroles. The market heads to Manchester later this month, from 15th November right through until 22nd December.

Newcastle

Newcastle’s Christmas Market might not be the largest of Christmas markets in the UK, but when you mix in what else Newcastle has to offer, it’s well worth making the trip and spending your weekend in the ‘Toon’. While it’s only in the city for five days, running from 4th December until Sunday 8th, the set up at Grey’s Monument in the centre of town gives a great, if quick feel of Christmas right in the centre of Newcastle.

Stalls offer foods like chocolate, jams and cakes; whilst also giving you the chance to shop for some great gifts, with handmade clothing and jewellery stalls. It’s only there for one weekend, so make sure you plan your Christmas shopping for the beginning of December if you want to catch the short stay of Newcastle’s Christmas Market. If you simply can’t wait until December, why not check out the Continental market at the same location, which arrives on Friday 15 November and stays until Saturday 30th November. Similar to Manchester and Leeds, this European themed market provides Christmas style gifts and delicious foods, so make a weekend of it, enjoy Newcastle and sample some European Christmas treats.

If you’re heading to Leeds, Manchester or Newcastle this Christmas, then make sure you plan early and make a weekend of it. Head to our website, where you can plan a luxurious weekend stay to truly enjoy the city Christmas experience.

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One Night in Leeds

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Dinner

Blackhouse Bar and Grill

Blackhouse truly is one of Leeds’ best restaurants. Located in the city centre, Blackhouse’s Grill on the Square offers both heated outdoor and spacious indoor seating, allowing you to enjoy a meal and drinks in a relaxing environment with a great ambiance.  With a vast range of wines to accompany your meal, even the connoisseurs amongst us will be spoilt for choice. Food choices range from traditionally cooked steaks to fajitas and moules frites. To kick off your meal, why not opt for either calamari or Thai fishcakes as a starter, they come highly recommended.

Fazenda
Fazenda Brazilian steakhouse has fast become one of Leeds’ most talked about restaurants. Offering an ‘all you can eat meat’ experience, diners are treated to vast selections of cuts and sides for a set price. It might not be cheap, with the cost coming in at £25.95 per person through the week, and rising to £27.90 on weekends, but with surroundings far classier than your standard buffet, and a great location in Granary Wharf, the restaurant is fast becoming a favourite for the residents of Leeds. Grab as much steak as you want, whilst not even having to leave your seat, as Fazenda’s waiters tend to your every need.

Drinks

Skylounge
Sitting on the top floor of Hilton’s Double Tree Hotel in Granary Wharf, Skylounge provides arguably the best view of the city. With unbelievable views over the Leeds night sky, enjoy your sociable drink whilst taking in the sights of the city. If the weather is kind enough, you can even take a seat in the balcony seating area, and absorb some of the night-time sounds of Leeds.

Curvee
A trendy wine bar targeting a higher end clientele, Curvee offers a selection of premium wines. Specialising in red, there is plenty of choice for the wine lover, with a tipple to suit any palette. Whether a pre-meal beverage, or winding down after eating, head to Curvee on Granary Wharf for a classy drinking experience.

Dancing

The Wardrobe

Built in a semi-derelict building used for storing the West Yorkshire Playhouse’s props and costume department – hence the name, The Wardrobe is a club that offers a music scene to rival any in the country, priding itself on being an intimate club for musicians to perform at. With a style showcasing everything from folk, to funk and soul, reggae, hip hop and everything in between, The Wardrobe has played host to some amazing and historic shows. With a resume to contend with the best of Leeds night venues, past gigs have included the likes of Amy Winehouse, Corinne Bailey-Rae and Beverley Knight. There’s nowhere in Leeds like it.

HiFi
With an emphasis on quality music, The HiFi is a nightclub well worth visiting when in Leeds. Having won awards for being a music venue, the bar and club provides an enjoyable location for your post-dinner entertainment.  Not the typical rowdy club that makes socialising impossible, HiFi is the kind of place that allows you to grab a few mates together with a genuine appreciation of good music and dance the night away.

If you’re preparing for an evening of food and entertainment in Leeds, make sure you check out Roomzzz Aparthotel for a luxurious end to your evening.

Photo Credit: tricky (rick harrison) via Compfight cc