Visit the Trafford centre...
Visit the Trafford centre (well if you like shopping, cinema and eating & drinking!) It is the perfect place to spend a rainy afternoon or evening. Their is a massive selection of shops from the exclusive Selfridges to my favourite shops like Zara, Mango and H&M. The Orient is in the Dome area in the middle which is full of fab eateries and trendy bars. Tampopo is my favourite restaurant (see restaurant section) but 'Bitz a'Pizza' is highly recommended if you are going to the cinema becuase they do 20% off with cinema tickets and their pizzas are lovely traditionsl Italian style pizzas. The cinema is great and has 20 screens so they have everything that is out! If you are going for a meal first or shopping get your tickets in before becuase the que for cinema tickets at the weekend after 7:30pm gets nasty!
Museums involving Industrial Past Themes
I love these places. Always spot on for honesty, creative, and I have never met a museum guide who wasn't willing to generously talk my ear off. Recommend any and all of them.
I will make a list of favorites another time.
John Shaw - Plaque indicating his tomb
On the wall of the clock tower of St Ann's Church is this plaque which states;
This tablet commemorates John Shaw Master of The Punch House in The Shambles of this city
Died 26th January 1796
His Body lies 5 yards
to the North & Five feet to the
West of the NW corner
of this tower
Erected by the members of John Shaws Club
John Shaw's Punch House was located in what is now Shambles Square, and was on the site of Sinclairs Oyster Bar (pic 2). The adjacent Old Wellington which was built in 1552, was extended in the 18th Century to house this place where strong alcoholic punch was licensed for sale.
Men would gather to drink the alcohol laden punch, smoke, read newspapers, and discuss matters. The tradition was to gather here at six o' clock and order “sixpennyworth of punch”
John Shaw ran this establishment for around 58 years. Having seen service abroad in the army, he had learned how to perfect the production of punch. A widower and having experienced the death of four of his five children, he dealt with his grief by ruling this popular establishment, where he had a reputation for being a strict disciplinarian.
Closing time was 8 0'clock, Which was set by law. Once the clock struck this hour, John would announce in a loud firm voice “Eight o’clock gentlemen, eight o’clock!” Any who hesitated to leave would witness him requesting his servant Molly to fetch his horse whip, which would be cracked near the stragglers. If this failed, Molly would fetch a pail of water, which was deposited onto the floor, flooding the area.
John Shaw didn't waiver from the 8 'o' clock rule-even for VIP's - One Colonel Stanley, and his friends celebrating his successful re-election thought he would receive 'special priviledges' and asked that they be allowed to continue drinking. Shaws reply was
'Colonel Stanley, you are a law-maker, and should not be a law-breaker; and if you and your friends do not leave the room in five minutes, you will find your shoes full of water.'
The regulars soon formed an organised club-The John Shaw Club. It wasn't intended to be a political club, but the members shared the same political views as John - 'Old School Tories'
After Shaw’s death the punch house became "Sinclair's", until oysters were introduced to the menu in 1845 and it became known as "Sinclair's Oyster Bar"--the name it retains to this day.
The John Shaw Club moved to new premises in 1852, The Spread Eagle Hotel on Corporation Street
Punch was usually served in small bowls of two sizes and prices; a shilling bowl being termed 'a P of punch,'and a sixpenny bowl was 'a Q of punch' It is possible that this had some origin for the saying Minding your P's and Q's
This article includes an interesting piece about John Shaw and the Punch House
Lyme Hall and Park
Lyme Hall and Park is not in Manchester, it's on the outskirts, just past Stockport in Cheshire. It's an old manor house on the edge of a huge medeival deer park, all part of an original estate granted to the family in the 1400s. The house dates back that far but mainly the current house dates from the 16th and 17th centuries. The house is open to the public (for a fee of course) and you also pay to park in the parking lot. The gardens are really nice too and that also costs. We just got a ticket for both house and gardens to cover it all. The family were Jacobite supporters and the house has exquisite tapestries, furniture and art. I really enjoyed it. No photos allowed. Most of the rooms had people standing in them that you could talk to for information and we had a nice chat with several of them.
The gardens near the house were very nice. There's a reflecting pool out on the south front with a little island in the middle which is all flowers. Very pretty! This house was used for the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, the series with Colin Firth that made many a heart flutter with his swim through the pond behind the house. Lyme Hall was used for that series but the lake wasn't the little pool by the house, it was a bit further afield out in the park. The gardens had a greenhouse/orangerie with lots of flowers and plants and a few fountains and we had a peek in there as well.
There is a nice cafe which is in the cellars, low arched ceilings! They had a small menu with a couple of specials, drinks and desserts. One choice on the menu the day we were there was venison which was done in a sort of stew with potato topping all baked until crispy. Was quite tasty and very mild. I suppose it was farm-raised venison rather than wild like i've had in the past.
There's a nice gift shop as well for cards and books. The park is extensive, with deer and sheep and a great place for a walk or hike. The house itself can be accessed by wheelchair if you let them know you need assistance.
It is a National Trust property so if you have a membership, you can get in free. They do guided tours of the house for small numbers of people (no large groups) between March and November. The house is open, 11 - 5, March through November but closed on Wednesday and Thursday. In winter it's only open on weekends. The park is open every day all year between 8 and 6, a bit later in summer. The gardens are open every day between March and November, weekends only in winter. The timber yard coffee shop in the park is open all year round.
Gift Aid Admission (Standard Admission prices in brackets) House & garden: £8 (£7.20), child £4 (£3.60), family £20 (£18). House only: £5.80 (£5.20), child £2.90 (£2.60). Garden only: £5.50 (£4.95), child £2.75 (£2.45)
To Market To Market
There are quite a few markets in the area, some only set up for special occasions, such as the Christmas Market in St. Anne's Square. Some are permanent retail markets and there is a large market and Sunday car boot sale east of Manchester at Smithfield Wholesale Market. Some of the special ones include ones for Christmas, Dutch, French, Fashion, Flower, Food and Drink, German and Irish. The Fairly Traded market is held first Saturday of the month in Piccadilly Gardens Regular markets:
The Fairly Traded and Organic markets: held first Saturday of the month in Piccadilly Gardens
Farmers Market: Twice Monthly, second and fourth weekend, fountain side of Piccadilly Gardens
Fashion: Every Saturday on Tib Street by Debenham's in the city centre.
Flower: Thurs-Sat, Piccadilly Gardens
Special markets (all dates 2006):
Christmas: St. Ann's Square, Mid November to just before Christmas
Irish: Albert Square in front of the town hall, Mid march
German: Albert Square, first 3 weeks in June
French: St. Ann's Square, early September
Food and Drink: St. Ann's Square, 2006 dates undetermined yet
Fine Foods: New this year, St. Ann's Square, April, Early July, First two weeks of October
Dutch: St. Ann's Square, last two weeks of May
Retail Market in the Arndale Market Hall every day except Sunday.
New Smithfield Wholesale Market Monday - Saturday early mornings. Sunday has the car boot sale. Ashton Old Road in Openshaw.