Before I regale you with tales of Switzerland (/to give me time to edit videos – it seems to take an inordinately long time), I thought I’d pass on a recommendation in case January is leaving you feeling frazzled and in need of a getaway but your budget is a little tight. Here it is: The Midland in Manchester.
I stayed last year right at the end of November when I was feeling worn out and in need of girly time with my friend Emma. Our criteria was pretty simple: we just wanted to go somewhere to have a spa treatment and a good catch up over some food and wine that wasn’t absurdly far from London. A little search turned this place up – at around 4 hours door to door and with a spa offering Espa treatments (always reliable in my opinion), a couple of restaurants and bar, it fit the bill perfectly.
After a three hour train ride from Euston and five minute cab journey from the station, we stepped into the enormous reception hall. If you like a sense of grandeur, this is right on the money – not only does it elicit the awed response common to vast Edwardian buildings, but reminders of the heritage of the hotel are everywhere from the plaque outside to commemorate The Hon Charles Stewart Rolls and Frederick Henry Royce first meeting in the hotel in 1904 to the corridors lined with notes sent to and from the hotel along with photos of erstwhile visitors.
We found the positives to be: the room (comfortable, plush, lots of well-hidden techie bits that are expected nowadays, came with a bottle of prosecco as a welcome), and the spa (a salt room, a steam room, jolly good treatments, a decent-sized pool, plenty of relaxation and social areas to enjoy a deux). Less impressive was the food in the restaurant, which was, in all fairness, an interim measure as both Mr Cooper’s House and The French were closed when we visited. Nonetheless, the lack of vegetarian options seemed a little odd and pudding was clearly shop-bought and not fully heated.
Based on our stay, my advice would be to book one of the stupendously thrifty deals to this place (currently there’s an overnighter including a spa treatment going on Expedia for £99 here) and to dine out, which would also mean you succeed where we failed in seeing Manchester. We’ll get round to that next time…
SOME OF THE OLD LETTERS/PICTURES /
THE ROOM /
THE SPA /