The perfect staycation in central Manchester
For the past couple of years, I’ve been travelling up and down to Manchester delivering or visiting my daughter at the university. Discovering this vibrant Northern city has been a real pleasure and I have come to love the amalgamation of old and new architecture, with clear evidence of its industrial past coexisting alongside the city’s ever-growing skyline.
I usually prefer to travel by train from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly which only takes a remarkable 2 hours 35 minutes. However, with term starting and a car full to the brim of student stuff I had to make the drive. Therefore, an overnight stay was necessary, giving me another opportunity to explore more of the city.
On this visit I discovered the 4 Star Hotel Indigo, which is ideally located in the heart of the city at the entrance to Manchester’s bohemian Northern Quarter, just one minute’s walk from Victoria train station, it’s right opposite the enormous glass structure of the National Football Museum and a stone’s throw from the Corn Exchange and the city’s bustling shopping centre. I was conveniently able to park in a nearby NCP car park at a reduced rate.
The Indigo (part of the IHG group) has done a good job of adapting its services in order to adhere to government guidelines in the wake of COVID-19 and keep its customers and staff safe. Everything was spotlessly clean, socially distancing was in place and masks were requested to be worn in public spaces.
I was booked in for the Indigo Inclusive Package which included a city view room, a gourmet two-course dinner with wine at the hotel’s very own 2 AA Rosette restaurant, Mamucium Restaurant & Bar, full inclusive breakfast, and late checkout until 12:00 pm. The entrance of the Indigo is in the original Victorian building where many of the features have been retained and blend beautifully with the hotel’s contemporary design.
There are 187 bedrooms and my room was on the 11th floor of the hotel’s circular modern extension. When I arrived, the sun was setting over the city and the view from my window was quite spectacular. The room boasted simple modern styling and a super comfortable king-size bed, it was decorated in subtle hues of grey and beige, with a splash of colour on the upholstered chair.
My room at the Hotel Indigo Manchester was equipped with everything I needed, including a small fridge, a large TV, Wi-Fi, a desk with a funky retro telephone, tea and coffee making facilities, white towelling robes and slippers and a walk-in shower providing the perfect wake up in the morning.
My daughter joined me for dinner in the Mamucium restaurant and bar, which is on the ground floor of the hotel’s extension. An atmospheric setting with low industrial-style ceilings, funky metal lighting, and an open plan kitchen. The floors were a combination of wood and tiles, flanked by swanky green and turquoise banquets, and upholstered seats, most which provided window views of the bustling city.
After the long drive, a large gin and tonic was a welcome start to the evening.
The Mamuicum’s Classic Menu offered a good selection of tempting signature dishes crafted by their Head Chef, using locally sourced ingredients. Lots of classic family favourites recreated with a Mancunian twist. We kicked off dinner with starters ….I had an exceptionally creamy and delicious Italian burrata with a crunchy Nduja sourdough crumble, served with slithers of asparagus and drizzled with balsamic. My daughter’s ‘Yorkshire’ salad was a lovely combination of fresh asparagus, artichoke and sundried tomatoes with a tangy Chardonnay dressing. Other options included Lancashire Onion Soup, Cumbrian Cured Ham and Manchester Smokehouse Salmon.
For mains, I was really impressed with my breaded fillet of Goosnargh chicken which in my experience often can be a bit dry and tasteless, but this was tender, juicy and full of flavour and the crumb was crisp and light, it was served with a salad of rocket and sweet nuggets of pomegranate and a fine sprinkling of Parmesan. My daughter had the hand-pressed Cheshire burger which was equally good. Other dishes were pizza, fish and chips, beef and ale pie, or a veggie version with Lancashire cheese and onion. This was simple, fresh food done well, with a touch of North thrown in for good measure.
We accompanied our meal with a bottle of Mannara Pinot Grigio Rose, a dry, light delicate wine with notes of red berries.
We didn’t have pudding, but if you fancied it, there was plenty to indulge in with tasty treats included sticky toffee pudding, wild berry cheesecake, apple tart and a selection of cheeses and ice creams.
Next morning before setting out to check out my surroundings, I breakfasted well. There was a choice of continental and cooked breakfasts, cereals, pastries, coffees, teas and juices. I had scrambled eggs and toast cooked to order and plenty of fresh black coffee to set me on my way.
The Hotel Indigo is perfectly situated to explore the city and there’s plenty to see and do, including a wealth of museums, a happening restaurants scene, iconic football teams, and I love the Northern Quarter which is home to the creative industries, there’s lots of great street art and it is known for fashion and design which is reflected by the historic role it played in the textile industry. Then, of course, it has a thriving music culture which it became particularly famous for in the 1990s. It looks to me like Manchester is giving London a run for its money.
I can recommend staying at Hotel Indigo Manchester, it’s ideally located and has a certain Mancunian charm of its own, the rooms are stylish and comfortable and the food is excellent. What more do you need for a perfect staycation right in the heart of Manchester?
Hotel Indigo Manchester
6 Todd St,
Manchester M3 1WU
Phone: 0161 359 7499
Here at London-Unattached we are big fans of Hotel Indigo and have visited their boutique hotels in Chester, in Stratford upon Avon, and in Kensington. Check the reviews to find more about the boutique little sister of the Intercontinental Hotel Group.