Posts Tagged ‘Manchester’

Atlas Bar, 376 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4LY, England

Recently, I spent a weekend in Manchester, England with my daughters and we stopped in to the Atlas Bar for lunch. It is situated in the railway arches of Deansgate and seemed to be a smart venue with an industrial look specialising in gins. It has a heated, south-facing beer garden. atlas out

However, we were guided towards the front of the restaurant as being the area set aside for serving food at lunch time. Our table was next to the bucket that caught the drips from the leaking roof! That could probably have been better avoided.

atlas inMy older daughter and I both chose the soup and sandwich combo which was a great size for lunch. My younger daughter chose the pate. She enjoyed that too. We had soft drinks to wash our meals down, so did not try any of the array of gins on offer. Our initial waiter was helpful and prompt. Half way through our meal it would appear that the “B” team came on duty. The waiter was replaced by a less polite and more incompetent waitress. We ordered coffees and teas and were brought the bill without being atlas restasked if we wanted anything else. There was only one other table being used at that time, so it was not as if she were rushed off her feet.

Would I go back to the Atlas Bar? Although the food was good, the service and surroundings were so disappointing, I probably would not. Do I recommend the Atlas Bar? No, I cannot, in all honesty, do that. There are too many other bistros available to visit in Manchester.

Valerie Penny

Blue Rainbow Aparthotel, Manchester Central, 8 Commercial Street Manchester, England, M15 4PZ UK

blue outMy daughters now both live in London, England. They are in different parts of London, but London nevertheless. I do not. So a while ago we decided to have a girls weekend, just the 3 of us, somewhere different. The girls chose Manchester, England, UK. We wanted to have time to catch up properly, chat, gossip and relax so I suggested that, instead of booking into a hotel with separate rooms, we book accommodation in an apartment. This meant we had our own shared, private space as well as bedrooms. So I booked Blue Rainbow Aparthotel at Manchester Central. I blue room 2had used apartments before in London, England and San Francisco, California, USA. However, I had not used these particular apartments before.

There are two sites of Blue Rainbow Aparthotel in Manchester, we stayed at the one in Commercial Street. It is not far from Manchester Piccadilly, Train Station and is quite central. It would provide a terrific base to relax between an afternoon sightseeing and a night on the town. We chose a two bedroomed Saver apartment. It was spotlessly clean and well appointed. It gave us a real feeling of luxury at a great value price. We were all very impressed.

blue kitThe staff at the apartments were very helpful and courteous they go above and beyond the call of duty. We were pleased with the customer service levels and standards, which include 24 hour-staffed reception desks, resident gym facilities and laundries. The fully equipped kitchen included a washing machine, dish washer and fridge freezer.  This Blue Rainbow choice was perfect for our needs. blue internal


The accommodation gave us a small but fully equipped kitchen with good quality appliances. We also had a large, bright living dining room with 4 comfortable chairs, a comfy sofa and a large, flat-screen TV serviced by sky satellite. In addition to this we had 2 double bedrooms. One had an en-suite bathroom. There was also an additional bathroom with a lovely deep bath. The beds were comfortable, the sheets and towels were good quality and the furnishings were to a high standard. The serviced apartments are built around their own tranquil indoor Japanese Garden allowing guests to wind down in style. Set up for longer-term stays, but with no restrictions, Blue Rainbow ApartHotels accepts stays from one night to one year, or even longer if the need is there.

blue live 2We decided to spend a lot of time in our apartment as it was so pleasant and the gathering was specifically to relax and spend time together, although we were at the hub of everything in Manchester, even though the nine-floor, 79-ApartHotel building is located in a quiet corner of town, just off Deansgate. Secure underground parking for guests that pre-book was available, but we did not need that facility. We were not far from the buzzing Locks area and Manchester Central conference and music venue.

With so many of Manchester’s central tourist attractions just a short walk or tram ride away, I would highly recommend  Blue Rainbow Aparthotel. We felt we were staying somewhere extra special and would certainly stay there again.

Valerie Penny

The Blue Parrot Bar and Grille, Manchester, England

manchesterMy husband and I visited Manchester, England recently. It is not a city we know and we had no idea where to go for lunch. We ended up in The Blue Parrot Bar and Grille, is a really good restaurant.  What a find! We just stumbled upon it and considered ourselves lucky to do so. My husband and I had a late lunch here on a Tuesday.  The place was almost empty.  The glasses are stylish and the ambience is great.  So it was a shame the place was empty because the tasty food is freshly cooked to order and truly delicious.


I ordered the halloumi cheese and grilled pepper sandwich.  My husband had the battered fish with chips and fresh home made tartare sauce.  We also had a side order of onion rings.

haloumiNow here the service is not fast.  Also, as everything is cooked to order, you do not need to be in a hurry.  Although the restaurant was almost empty, we waited almost 30 minutes from ordering to receiving our meals.  Nevertheless the service was polite and our meals were both very tasty.

We both enjoyed our meals and highly recommend The Blue Parrot Bar and Grille.

Valerie Penny

Ramada Manchester, Salford, England

The Ramada, Manchester, Salford, England is classed as a 4* hotel, but, although it is nice, I am not sure it justifies that.

Certainly, the room was spotless and the staff were polite and helpful.  The bed was large and comfortable.  The hotel provides a selection of teas & coffees in the room but they, and the kettle were in the wardrobe!  This struck me as odd.   I also felt a 4* hotel could have managed more than 2 biscuits on the tea tray in a double room.

It was nice that an ironing board is provided – but there was nowhere to put it and it sat behind the door.


The view from our room was unremarkable, but it did show us that there were a variety of restaurants and pubs close by that we could visit for our evening meal. Breakfast was a self service buffet that was ample but unimaginative and not as varied as many hotels I have visited.  The dining room is a soleless rectangle, but the staff are efficient.

ImageMost disappointingly, the hotel continues to advertise that you can get the best rate by contacting them direct.  This is not true.  Indeed, when I called them to make my booking they agreed it was not true and that the wording of their adverts should be changed.  This really irritated me.

Would I use the Ramada in Salford again? I would not avoid it, but I would not seek it out.

Valerie Penny