I hate to be the one whittering on about the party season before it’s officially in full swing, but the purpose of today’s post is to make you all aware that it’s fast approaching, and it’s actually the ideal time right now to get planning those Christmas themed get-togethers and parties! We may only just be approaching October, but I have already been attending some A/W 2015 themed events in Manchester, and the invites for November/December parties have started to flood in thick and fast already!
I’m super excited for the party season, but for those of you reading this and feeling a bit un-easy, don’t panic.Today’s post is just me sharing some advice, tips and recommendations on how to start planning your festive season get-togethers in enough time, and how to do it properly. As I’m a often out and about in Manchester, I’ve based it around this fantastic city so that it features much more of a dedicated ‘heads-up’…
Or ‘Bring Your Own Booze’ for those of you who aren’t quite familiar with this term. This was huge when I lived in Australia – all the little independent restaurants (mainly Chinese and Thai) allowed you to bring your own beers and wine to have alongside your dining. Some of them charge a corkage fee, which is usually reasonable, yet some of them don’t. The good news here is that the BYOB trend has started to arrive in Manchester, more predominant in China Town. Last weekend I attended a meal at Phetpailin, on George Street in the city centre. It’s a cosy, Thai ran restaurant with fantastic sharing plates for large groups, and allows you to bring a bottle. This is a really good option to consider when booking a works night out, or a for a group of friends.
2. Book a booth
If you work for a small company where there will only be around 10 of you, or you wish to have a small festive gathering for you and say, six of your girlfriends, why not consider a bar or restaurant in Manchester that has large cosy booths for seating. Sometimes it’s ideal to call up the bar and just reserve the booth space for the evening, so that you all have a comfy area to sit, chat, and drink. Perfect for leaving your handbags on your seat and dancing around the table!
3. Use a dedicated venue site
There’s no better time than November and December to actually indulge in a full swing party, in a large scale venue. If your the one who has got tasked with finding the venue for the office Christmas party, or any birthday parties that are popping up towards the end of this year, then it can be really daunting where to start. I find that VenueFinder is the perfect online venue finding service, which does the work for you. You just simply pop in your chosen city, dates, number of people, whether you want catering etc, and it will bring up a pre-researched list of options to suit your requirements. It’s always great at informing you about hotel room discounts and offers that you may need to consider too. Definitely a big help for those larger scale parties.
4. Consider the area
If you are opting for a festive themed meal or starter drinks in one of Manchester’s bars/restaurants/hotels, be realistic with how your night with follow. Come midnight, are the hardcore members of the party going to want to head out for a night on the town? If so, consider your location. Start your night off near the Northern Quarter if you like independent and unique little bars, or Deansgate end of town if you like the busier chain bars and the late nights that Deansgate Locks has to offer, or the more upmarket and smart dressed cocktails bars at Spinningfields.
5. Beauty and Hair
During the run up to Christmas, hair and beauty salons get ridiculously booked up, and it can be a nightmare to book in if you decide you want a last minute up-do styling, or some fluttery eyelash extensions to glam up your look. A few places I like to keep in mind in Manchester for future bookings are the ones that are open during evenings and weekends, and situated fairly central to accommodate as many bookings as possible. My recommendations are Karas Blow Dry Bar for all perfect blow drys, Brazillian Waxing Company for nails and tanning, and Destination Skin in House of Fraser for those amazing skin treatments.
Manchester’s transport has improved millions as of late. It’s now do-able to have a festive party or get-together in other cool places in Greater Manchester such as Didsbury and Chorlton, now that the tram system has fully expanded. Take a look at some of the places on Manchester’s tram and train routes if you fancy a different experience. My personal preference is West Didsbury – I used to live there and it’s absolutely fantastic for quirky bars and super cool people, in a pretty littler area with all bars/restaurants nestled close together.
I hope you find this party guide useful, and do feel free to share with me where you’ll be heading this year!
*Dress from Miss Selfridge