A Day in Warehouse City

Greater Manchester  — Warehouse City.

Manchester England Skyline
Manchester Skyline

The only UK city to feature in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2023 list and the only UK city in National Geographic’s influential ‘Best of the World’ list of the 25 must-see places to visit around the globe.

I only spent one day in town, but that one day was enough to tell me a return trip and more exploration is needed.


A flight into Manchester Airport was chosen due to the limited time I had in the city. My €90 Lufthansa flight was smooth and there were no issues. 

Traveler’s Note: Yes, there are cheaper flights on budget airlines, but I’ve had too many problems with those airlines, so I’m willing to pay a little more for peace-of-mind.

Upon arrival, the Manchester Airport to Manchester Oxford Road train took about 20 minutes, then a six-minute walk to the Novotel Manchester Centre, my lodging for the night. 


Overall, my one-night stay at the Novotel Manchester Centre was nice.

Novotel Manchester Centre

The hotel’s location made it easy for me to explore the city. Both the Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Oxford Road train stations are within a five minute walk, and one can travel to just about anywhere in the UK from Manchester Piccadilly. 

Customer service was amazing. I arrived early and my room wasn’t ready, although ​​I’d used the hotel’s early check-in application to check in online the day prior, including listing my exact time of arrival.

The staff apologized for the room not being ready and refunded my early check-in payment of €40. There was also a small issue regarding the pre-authorization, but Nicole (I think that was her name) handled it expertly and swiftly. 

I’m not a travel prima donna, so I wasn’t upset, but was a little disappointed. Nevertheless, my money was refunded, breakfast was included as an apology, and my luggage was stored in a secure room for free.

Breakfast at Novotel Manchester Centre

Glitches happen in the hospitality industry, but outstanding customer service is really what brings guests back to a specific hotel.  

The room was a nice size, and my request for a bathtub was honored. There were a few maintenance issues – the USB ports by the bed didn’t work, and there was some mold on the bathroom wall that needed taking care ASAP. 

I was surprised there wasn’t a desk in the room, but the two comfy arm chairs and small table worked well. Nice to have the complementary water in the mini-fridge.

Lunchtime had come and I was seriously craving food. According to Google Maps, there were plenty of restaurants within a five-minute walk. 

I chose Sushi Mami because it was literally across the street from the hotel. My stomach was roaring and I needed food quickly. 


Nice meal and I’d eat here again. The Lunch Buffet was reasonably priced and the sushi was edible.  The ordering system took a minute or two to figure out. But once I got the hang of it, ordering the next round was simple and efficient.

Sushi Mami Ordering iPad

The food arrived within 5 to 8 minutes of ordering. This was great because it allowed the stomach to settle a bit before the next order arrived. 

Salmon Cream Cheese Maki
Salmon Cream Cheese Maki

The fruit options were nice and fresh. The dessert options weren’t my taste, but it was still awesome to have it included in the overall price.

Drinks weren’t included, but again prices were standard rates. I stuck with sparkling water.


Stumbled upon the Manchester Art Gallery during my ‘City Life’ photo safari. 

Manchester Art Gallery

I thought “not a bad way to spend an hour or two. Plus it’s free entry.” 

The highlight was the Trading Station: How Hot Drinks Shape Our Lives exhibition

As a tea drinker, I enjoy learning more about how tea, and hot drinks influence daily life. 

Think about it — how many times have you said “I need some coffee.” 

This exhibit takes you through the eras, revealing how hot drinks impact on global histories. I rather enjoyed strolling through and educating myself on hot drinks.

  • Me at Tea Exhibit Manchester
  • Tea is the world's favorite drink
  • Chocolate Teapot

In fact, I went to the nearest Waterstone’s Bookstore and bought A Social History of Tea: Tea’s Influence on Commerce, Culture & Community. 

The Out of the Crate exhibition was head-scratching. Basically, it’s Manchester’s publicly-owned sculpture collection arranged as if they just received the crates. It was a bit weird at first because I thought it was a specific artist’s exhibit.

Once I learned what it was also about, I thought it was a nice addition to the gallery exhibits.


A ‘City Life’ Photo Safari concluded my exploration for the day. I learn a lot simply wandering around a city, and Manchester is no different.


Manchester was worth the one-day layover. I enjoyed the day tremendously and discovered there is more to explore. I’m making plans to visit again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s