A Treat of a Day in Manchester
I'm officially in my last few weeks of being pregnant (SCARY) and my maternity leave is now in full swing. I've had a couple of really busy weeks of sorting the house, my life and all the baby things out, and now it's time to relax before our lives change forever!
Last Friday was the first completely indulgent treat day I've had so far and it was SO lovely. I was lucky enough to be invited to try out a few services at blow LTD in Debenhams and the exotic afternoon tea at the brand new Sunset terrace in Australasia, they both happened to fall on the same day so I made a full day of it and thought I'd take you along with me.
Australasia is one of my favourite restaurants in Manchester, the sushi is so good and the cocktails potentially even better. Though it's something I haven't been able to indulge in much this year for obvious (baby) reasons.
At the start of this month a brand new terrace bar opened in Australasia, Sunset is now open for business. I was invited down to try out the new exotic afternoon tea and I was so happy to see that I could eat pretty much everything included in it, pregnant or not! Kate came with me for a proper catch up and to sample the cocktails I am still a few weeks off being able to have.
The interior is absolutely beautiful at Sunset, it feels like it was built for Instagram (think if The Florist if it was in Ibiza) with pastel pink, faux flowers, fairy lights, pink velvet, tropical touches and gold accessories. Kate and I must have taken hundreds of photos between us and every single one looked perfect, that does not happen often! It is an amazing place to take photos if that's the kind of thing you look for on an afternoon or night out.
It's also perfect for the changeable Manchester weather, there is a retractable roof so if it's sunny, it's the perfect sun trap but if it's raining, you're completely protected. They also have heaters so whatever the weather, it feels like you're on holiday in the terrace.
Sunset has a few different menus depending on what you fancy, they have an all day dining menu, an afternoon tea menu and a drinks menu which is mostly cocktails. Ideal for a quick lunch, date night or catching up with friends over a couple of drinks.
We were there to put the afternoon tea to the test. Now this is not your standard afternoon tea, there isn't a cucumber sandwich or cup of tea in sight! You are presented with a sharing bento box of fun size treats from the main Australasia menu including salmon sashimi, beef broth, yum yum squares, edamame beans and more. Every single thing was as good as the full size version in the main restaurant, we had such a good time sampling our way through the bento box! I think my favourite part had to be the duck Californian rolls, they are just so summery, fresh and delicious, especially dipped in soy sauce.
You can also choose from a frozen sunset porn star cocktail (a frozen take on a pornstar martini) or a glass of rose. Kate opted for the cocktail (of course) and I had the tiniest splash of rose with soda water so I could pretend to join in a little!
Even though we were completely stuffed after the savoury section, we powered through and of course had room for the sweet course. This was beautifully presented in a wooden bento box with an elevated section for more of a traditional afternoon tea feel, even scones made an appearance firing up the pronunciation debate. It was an incredibly indulgent dessert with butterscotch popcorn cheesecake, strawberry tart, melon macaron, coconut macaroon and sesame seed snaps.
The afternoon tea with alcohol is £27.50 and without is £22.50, you can find more details about the afternoon tea here. To find out more about Sunset in general and to book in, visit their website here.
I knew I was going to be out and about on my feet all day so I wanted to wear something comfortable but also suitable for the ever changing weather. Bodycon is never something I would choose to wear but suddenly, at 8 and a half months pregnant, I am embracing it!
I picked up this green dress from & Other Stories (for £17 in the sale, dream) and knew it was going to be a winner. It's not a maternity dress, it just happens to have strategically placed stretchy bits which work perfectly with a bump. & Other Stories also have an extra 20% off sale running at the moment, use code EXTRA20 until midnight on the 13th of August to redeem.
Thankfully the lovely people at blow LTD had made me feel amazing with a manicure, pedicure and blow dry before I headed to Sunset for afternoon tea. I spent a couple of hours with them in their base in Debenhams on Market Street being completely pampered, I cannot tell you how much of a treat it is to have someone paint your toenails when you're heavily pregnant!
I was so happy with how my hair turned out, I usually am never happy when someone else styles my hair as I'm very particular with products, but Paulette at blow did an amazing job. She was also so lovely and chatted to me about her two daughters and gave me plenty of good advice for the baby!
The blow LTD concession in Debenhams is great and it's so central in town, it's open really long hours too so you can pop in for a blow dry before work at 7am or with your friends at 7pm before a night out to get your hair and make up done (with a glass of prosecco if you fancy).
A blow dry is £35 and takes around 40 minutes, it also includes having your hair washed and conditioning products which is a huge bonus in my book. Their classic OPI manicure and pedicure is £55 and takes just over an hour, or if you prefer gels it's £65 and takes 90 minutes. You can find a full list of treatments, prices, times and how to book on their website here.
I had such a good day waddling around Manchester being treated at blow LTD and Sunset, it was the perfect way to start the relaxing section of my maternity leave. I'm also starting to plan for first night out post baby and Sunset is definitely on the list, I can't wait to have a proper glass of rose again!A huge thank you to blow LTD and Sunset for having me, you made a very pregnant woman happy.
Keep an eye out for next Sunday's post as I'll hopefully be sharing a few snaps from my baby shower, as long as I don't go into labour between now and then of course...
*The services I had at blow LTD and the afternoon tea at Sunset was provided free of charge in return for an honest review, but as always, all opinions are my own.