A quick drive across country (well 3.5 hours) to Manchester. We discovered that on our route was the Kettering Little Chef. So what you may say. Well the chef Heston Blumenthal has re-designed the decor and menu for this old chain of 175 roadside cafes. So far only a few have been changed over and Kettering is one of them. As vegetarians it was great to see 2 or 3 items on the menu and I must admit the food was pretty good (but not great). So if your near one of them and fancy some lunch, they're defintely worth stopping for but I wouldn't go as far as making a big detour to get to one
We decided before we left that we would try to stay in the re-developed dock area of Salford Quays and easily found the Holiday Inn Express (GBP 68) with the aid of our newly-purchased, bells and whistles Tom Tom "satnav"
Eat your heart out, ManU supporters as this was the view from our room:
That night we drove to Manchester's Curry Mile along a stretch of the Wilmslow Road in Rusholme. It's claimed there are over 70 Asian takeaways and restaurants in Rusholme in less than a mile stretch. There's a massive choice of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Perisan restaurants. And yes, we had a great meal
The following day we took the tram from the Quays into the city (please note Australia - electric trams running every 12 minutes) and strolled around the Manchester Art Gallery and the Town Hall. In the afternoon we drove to the Whitworth Gallery (very disappointing) and then to the Imperial War Museum North (an amazing new structure just across from The Lowry)
Wednesday evening was Manchester City vs Manchester United and as I couldn't get hold of a ticket (of course) the next best bet was a bar close to Old Trafford. There was a great atmosphere in the pub but what dreary game; Jeni resorted to reading from her Kindle. Get rid of Mancini
By the way, just outside the hotel as we walked to the bar, these people were playing Kayak Polo by floodlight; the air temperature was about 4 Celsius and very few of them had gloves on!
First thing Thursday we walked the mile or so to The Lowry, an arts and theatre venue that contains one of the largest collections of LS Lowry paintings. And we had lunch there