With Christmas meaning I have some time to myself, and time to catch up with my blogging to tell you about my adventure after my little weekend jaunt to London and Brighton. I thought what better way to carry on the festivities than with a trip to Manchester with two of my best friends Lynnie and Jane to celebrate Jane’s Birthday. Feeling refreshed after a long sleep back in my own bed, we met at the sociable time of 10AM all dressed for the cold weather forecast and armed with some essential travel supplies – prosecco and coffee. After the weekend of travelling I feel like the train is becoming a second home!
A trip to Manchester is one of our annual events that we always try to squeeze in around our different work schedules, home lives and even house building (in the case of Lynnie!). I mean don’t get me wrong, we squeeze a LOT into a year, but Manchester is our favourite little festive escapes (and a chance to celebrate Jane’s birthday with shopping, cocktails and delicious food). We only have two rules in Manchester 1) we don’t spend ages in shops that we can visit in York (unless of course you are looking for that coat that is sold out in ALL Zara’) and 2) there no rules (meaning wear what you like and eat and drink what you want!).
We arrived shortly after coffee time and in our prosecco haze we headed from Victoria station to Manchester’s shopping heaven – SELFRIDGES! I love nothing better than browsing the new fragrances, perusing the clothes and trying on incredibly or outlandish shoes! Plus as an added bonus, they have San Carlo Bottega in store – perfect for a cheeky cocktail pit stop. Pit stop it was as less said about San Carlo the better! Unfortunately, it wasn’t its usual best due to an abrupt waiter and average cocktails so we didn’t stay long and instead decided to head off for lunch.
We like to try a new restaurant every time we visit with last years choice being Australasia (which I highly recommend). This year we made a reservation at the Bavarian-style beer cellar Albert Schloss – stay with me, it is a lot more glamourous than it sounds!
Styled with influences of a ski lodge and with the girls both being snowboarders, and on a countdown to their trip to Mayrhofen, this was a perfect choice. As you walk in you are greeted by a large tiled and oak island surrounded by bar stools with an open fire in the middle of the island, roaring away, and a welcome relief from the cold outside. Beyond these was a huge rectangular bar spanning nearly the whole width of the room, and, to keep consistent with the island, had a white tiled front and wooden counter. The bar was lit by numerous perfectly space filament bulbs sprouting from the glossy copper pipes that circle the bar and carrying the beer from large casks of ale situated around the restaurant.
The use of wood is carried through the design of the restaurant with the cladding representing the interior of a cosy ski lodge. The cladding worked seamlessly against the polished concrete and tiled area of wall to add warmth to the large restaurant. We were shown to our table which was a large marble topped round table close to the window and in a perfect position to examine the restaurants expanse. With none of us being big ale drinkers (and in my case not at all!) we inspected the cocktail menu, opting for a ‘Rumpelstiltskin’s Sour’ made with rum, cinnamon, lemon and apple schnapps which tasted like Christmas in a glass. The girls both went for a mojito with a twist – the ‘Alpine Rose Mojito’ which is made with Lanique rose petal liqueur and having tasted it, was equally as delicious as my choice!
At Albert Schloss they bake their cakes, puddings and bread fresh everyday which makes them both mouth-watering and limited in numbers. So my tip would be to select your cakes before you order your mains to avoid disappointment later on. With the cakes safely with Jessica (who was our lovely waitress) we set about selecting our mains.
Jane & Lynnie chose the ‘Kaiserwurst’ (pork and cheddar) as a weiner dog in a brioche sourdough bun with mustard, pickle and fries which I decided on the shaved turkey sandwich packed with avocado, treacle cured bacon, smoked cheddar and lashings or Russian dressing and a side of fries – truly scrumptious.
After our mains had settled (and another cocktail drank!) and we had numerous attempts in the photo booth, which, I will warn you, has a delay so you need to hold your pose or you get a lovely up the nose shot! Photography fun over, we had found some space for more food and so were ready to bring on the cakes and a nice hot cup of tea. I went for a peanut butter and jam cruffin – perfect with a cuppa (although I must admit I did get a little food envy over the girls black forest Schokolade Gateau which looked and tasted AMAZING). I should probably point out that they don’t usually eat and drink the exact same meal haha.
Feeling very festive (and too full to even consider helping Jane to eat her Birthday plate desert) we decided to stay and relax for a while longer in the tranquil atmosphere with a drink before re-joining the hustle and bustle outside.
To sum up – Alberts Schloss is definitely a hidden jewel in Manchester that I simply can’t believe none of us had stumbled across before! It’s safe to say now that we have discovered it, sampled the mouth-watering goodies and received faultless service during our visit we will definitely be going back! If you happen to be in Manchester sometime then I would recommend that you pay them a visit – even if it’s only for a take away cake.