Now that I’m settled up in Manchester, I’m often asked by friends and family to recommend a great place for them to stay in the city when they visit.
But given that I live here and don’t have need to stay in a hotel myself, I’ve never been able to give a tried-and-tested answer.. until now! I was recently invited along by Hotel Indigo to spend the night in their new Victoria Station outpost, and experience a slap-up three-course dinner at their attached restaurant/bar, Mamucium.
Officially opening later this week (31 Jan), the hotel is a stone’s throw from Victoria Station, right next to the Arena, and stumbling distance from both the shops, and the Northern Quarter’s numerous bars and restaurants. In short, an ideal location for a weekend break in the city!
Let’s take a look around, shall we..
Many of the features from the original Victorian building have been incorporated into the redevelopment of the site, with the beautifully restored Grade II listed exterior of the hotel juxtaposed with an eye-catching contemporary tower, that provides fantastic views of the city’s skyline. Inside the decor retains this mix of the past blended with the contemporary, with stylish nods to Manchester’s Victorian and Industrial past that just about manage to avoid straying into the territory of kitsch to offer a dynamic, charismatic and comfortable setting that embraces the core characteristics of the city’s heritage.
Raw materials feature throughout the hotel, with exposed red brick walls in the reception area framing a dynamic lighting display of bespoke weaved baskets suspended by iron pulleys and rope, as a nod to the building’s former warehouse past.
The guestrooms pay further homage to Manchester’s cotton mill heritage, with each door number signposted by a large cotton spool, and the rich, raw cotton linens used on the beds. Manchester’s literary and printing press past is also signposted throughout, with vintage typewriters littering the communal areas and stylised metal lettering on the walls.
I checked into my room late in the afternoon and was met with a giant hulk of a bed (always appreciated!) and a window overlooking the entrance to Victoria Station. Being just a few floors up I was a little concerned about the noise from cheery Christmas party-goers heading home after hours, and morning commuters starting their daily slog early, but happily that wasn’t the case at all – whatever they’ve used to help reduce noise through those large windows, it’s worked!
Down in the restaurant we settled down at the ‘best seat in the house’ – the large chef’s table directly in front of the kitchen – and took our time perusing the vast menu, which puts on Northern twist on popular British dishes. The cocktail list also takes inspiration from its locality, including Pankhurst’s Revolution, which marries cherry bakewell liqueur from Manchester distillery Zymurgorium with Vimto and Prosecco, and Agricola’s Fort, named after the founder of Roman Manchester, which uses Zymurgorium quince and ginger liqueur, The Lakes vodka and rhubarb. Both far more delicious than they sound, it has to be said!
Under the guidance of head chef Andrew Green, the restaurant uses local suppliers as much as they can, showcasing the quality and flavours of the region in all their glory. We started with a delicious sampler of Mamucium’s signature Lancashire onion soup, which paired lamb braised onions with a hearty lamb broth, topped with a crisp Lancashire cheese croûte. As a main, it was hard to pass up the Himalayan salt aged Lancashire rib-eye steak, served with vine plum tomato, roasted garlic and wild mushrooms, although the lobster macaroni cheese also did look – and smell – utterly divine.
The following morning I awoke late to a brilliant clear and sunny day, and a tray laden with room service breakfast at the door. It might just be my absolute favourite thing; waking up in a nice hotel to a hot, sweet, breakfast and a freshly brewed pot of coffee – it really is pure indulgence!
Once I’d checked out of my room I took the opportunity to pop next door into the newly opened Mamucium cafe and scout out it’s potential as another work-away-from-home spot in the city: fresh coffee & pastries × fast wifi × close to the train & tram stops = WINNER!
It’s definitely a place I’ll be heading back to soon!
→Hotel Indigo Manchester @ Victoria Station, 6 Todd Street, Manchester M3
My stay at Hotel Indigo and dinner at Mamucium were provided free of charge in exchange for social media coverage, but the thoughts and views expressed in this blog post are, as always, my own.
All photography © Kate Baxter.