aiming to see as much as possible on a student budget

A Birthday in Manchester – Celebrating a 20th

A Birthday in Manchester – Celebrating a 20th

Over the weekend, myself and five friends got onto the Hull to Manchester Piccadilly train (prosecco in hand) for a weekend of birthday celebrations.

As she was the first among our group to turn 20 – leaving the teenage years behind – we knew we wanted to make it special. One of our friends goes to a dance school in Manchester so with the offer of being able to stay with her and to see her for the weekend, we knew Manchester would be the perfect option!

With plastic cups and two bottles of prosecco in hand the two hour train journey went by very quickly.

Prosecco on the train

Feeling a little tipsy, complete with fuzzy eyes and head, we jumped in a black cab straight to our friends student accommodation.

Much to our friends surprise we had all decided that the flat should be decorated with huge number balloons, confetti and chocolate cake for when we arrived. So it was great to see her reaction when she walked in and it was all set up for her! It’s not often that we’re all together in one place with a few living away for school/uni so it was nice to be back as a group and be able to make our friends birthdays one of the best.


After an hour or so of catching up and opening presents, we decided to head for some food – keen to line our stomachs for what was to come. Nando’s was obviously (!!) the only option, can’t beat the classic chicken and chips – especially considering it was just up the road from the flat. The welcoming sign of a classic favourite and heeled boots that are very uncomfortable to walk in made it our food of choice.

Before our night out we knew we wanted to go for cocktails and didn’t see any point in changing straight away into dresses and heels when we would be walking for a while. And it definitely was a while. In hindsight we probably should have booked a table in a bar somewhere as Saturday nights are very busy in Manchester and after entering a few bars to find them way too overcrowded we had to leave and carry on walking.

As we walked further into the city centre, we passed the theatre and I so wished we would have had time to see the show that was playing. They were doing the ‘Nativity!’ film and there were the cutest young children dressed as little stars. I can imagine this would have been so good and I’m gutted we missed it! Alas, cocktails were calling our name and we eventually found a Slug and Lettuce which although extremely busy and cramped, we managed to swoop in just as a group sitting at a table were leaving.

Slug and lettuce cocktails

With cocktails being 2-for-1 we had a few rounds, perhaps a bit too many but we were celebrating a birthday after all. Our table soon turned into being full of empty cocktail glasses – we had everything from Cosmo’s (my fave!), Pornstar Martini’s to Gin Slings.

We were also behind the Christmas market, which although we didn’t visit, looked amazing. Fairy lights were everywhere as well as blow up Santa’s and people dressed as elves!

giant santa

After a long walk back (complete with some random photos throughout) and having sobered up slightly thanks to the wind, we arrived back at the flat around half seven to start getting ready for a night out.

Manchester bikes

At this point, however, I didn’t trust myself to re-do my eyes (winged eyeliner with slightly shaky hands is not a good match) but the others did. I decided to simply re-do my face makeup instead. There’s something about travelling – even on a train – that makes me feel gross and feel like I need to start again especially with foundation.

A few hours later, after taking thousands of pre-night out photos and questionable singing and dancing to Beyonce, we were ready to take on Manchester’s nightlife.


We headed to Birdcage first and although the music was good, the atmosphere wasn’t. Oh but before we entered we had to go through metal detectors and people got searched too, something which definitely doesn’t happen at home but made us feel so much safer – although a shame it has to be done they should definitely implement this in more places!! Anyways, as mentioned, the atmosphere just wasn’t great perhaps we were too early (there at like 11ish).

As we had a surprise for the birthday gal in Tiger Tiger we decided to head there instead, great that it was opposite. Now, being a student in Leeds I was aware that Tiger Tiger (for me anyways) isn’t very good but this one was decent. It wasn’t great but definitely better than the Leeds one, it felt a lot bigger too.

At half past midnight we had a karaoke room booked, again unbeknown to the birthday girl, which was so much fun! At the this point we were quite drunk and although our singing was probs a bit tone-deaf we had a fab time here. Again, saw it as another photo opp. Just can’t get enough, apparently.


We were able to choose from many different options, bit of ABBA to Harry Styles, it had it all. However, I don’t think we were quite prepared for the large bill at the end, I think some of us got a bit carried away with pressing the drinks buzzer and ordering more than we should have. I don’t know if the drinks were more expensive in there somehow or what but the prices were quite extensive and a service charge was added. Buuuut, we definitely didn’t let that put a damper on our mood. After dancing the night away, we eventually made it back to the flat and after eating our McDonald’s headed for bed.

Unfortunately, for some us the next day was a little bit of a write-off due to hangovers but some of us did get up and walked to ‘Spoons for some lunch. After, we headed to Selfridges to see what Missguided stuff they had and to pick up some MAC goodies. I got Velvet Teddy and Whirl lipstick.

Overall, despite feeling slightly worse for wear on the Sunday, we had a great time and I would definitely like to come back to Manchester for the weekend again. Amazing city, friendly people and so much going on! Loved it.

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