An April 2005 trip
to Manchester by shaunandtrish
Quote: There are worse places to kill an evening when you are working away. Here's an overview of the Trafford Centre, collected in a couple of hours on a quiet Monday evening in April.
Here's the website, with all manner of details. Knock yourself out. My personal views are expressed elsewhere in this journal.
Oh, and make time to eat in the food hall. One recommendation is included in this journal, but other choices included Indian, Spanish tapas, Korean, and American.
Hotel | "Golden Tulip Hotel, Manchester"
So, what are the extras? Well, comparing to Premier Travel Inns (£50 a night), here's a summary of what you get above and beyond: full help-yourself cooked/continental breakfast is included, rooms that are much bigger and better equipped (ironing board, trouser press, more TV channels, and basic toiletries), room specification and decor are generally better, and there's the option of room service. The car park entry/exit has a security barrier, but the number of golf balls laying around the car park did make me slightly nervous - there's a driving range adjacent. The small bathroom contains a nice shower but no bath.
This particular hotel also has an additional outstanding feature - its just a 5-minute walk from the many delights of the Trafford Centre.
In short, I'll be staying here in future whenever I'm working with this particular customer, but next time, I'll probably take my wife with me. She'll have no problem filling in her day pottering around the shops while I'm busy, and there's no shortage of nice eateries to choose from at the end of the day, too.
I didn't eat in the hotel restaurant, except for breakfast, which was fine. In fact, I'd say you'd be mad to eat there with so many options over the road - maybe only if you're very tired. Or lazy.
The sign outside says that it’s the "Official hotel of Manchester United Football Club." God only knows what that means, probably just some marketing rhetoric best ignored.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 18, 2005
Golden Tulip Manchester
44 161 8738899
Hotel | "Deanwater Hotel, Cheshire"
Here's the website. Its been under construction for ever.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 1, 2006
Woodford, United Kingdom SK7 1RJ
+44 (1625) 522906
Restaurant | "Cathay Dim Sum"
It’s within the food hall in the Trafford Centre. As it’s in a shopping mall, it’s used by shoppers, so there's no obligation to reserve. Saying that, I'd guess it gets busy. I was there on a very quiet Monday evening, and it was always at least half full from what I could see.
Prices are reasonable - soups and basic appetizers, like crispy seaweed, start at around £3, or you could get a starter selection that includes five or six different items (like I did) for £4.50. Main courses range from about £7 to £12, depending what you get, chicken/beef/pork being cheaper options, with great choices including vegetarian options.
For my main course, I took a three-seafood quick stir-fry (or something) for £9, excluding rice (£1.50 on top). When it came, it consisted of prawn, scallops, squid, mange tout, Chinese mushroom, and carrot. It was quite simply delicious, especially the scallops.
Drinks prices weren't bad, a pint costing about £2.70 from what I can remember, with a bottle of wine from £9. Service was quick and attentive. All in all, for my starter, main course, boiled rice, and two pints of Stella Artois, I paid about £22. Maybe there are cheaper options around, but not if you want to eat like this.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 18, 2005
Cathay Dim Sum Bar Restaurant
130 The Orient
Manchester, England M17 8EH
Attraction | "Checking out the Trafford Centre"
The largest indoor shopping complex in Europe, the Gateshead Metrocentre, is near where I live, so I did wonder how the Trafford Centre would compare. As the Metro Centre is "the largest," the Trafford Centre must be smaller, but it’s still pretty big. It’s primarily on two floors, with a light, airy, open plan theme. Specification-wise, it’s classier than the Metro Centre. The floors are marble/marble effect, and the exterior is also attractive with its pillared entrances and dome.
Shopping is typically varied; up-market department stores like Debenhams are here, as are all the major high-street clothing and electrical retailers, etc., etc. Navigation may not be the easiest, but maybe that's a good thing. It’s sometime a nice little adventure just to wander around not knowing where you are, wondering what you'll stumble on.
I'm not much of a shopper, but I am an eater, so the food hall was of particular interest to me. The specialty restaurants on the upper level were particularly tempting. I ate in the Cathay Dim Sum (see its journal) on a hot tip, but there was also an extremely interesting Spanish tapas bar - next time maybe. Other options included Indian, Korean, American, British pub-style, and pizza - something for everyone. Adjacent to the food hall inside the TC is a UCI Multiplex.
Outside, parking is plentiful and free, and shops stay open till 10pm most evenings. I hope someone finds these shopping observations from a non-shopper useful. Oh, and finally, their website.
Barton Dock Road
Manchester, England M17 8AA
+44 (161) 749 1717
Durham, United Kingdom