Last month, as a belated birthday present for the hubby, we treated ourselves to a night-away from home, from parenting and from the stresses of real-life. We had a staycation here in the city, at Malmaison Manchester.

It was a Sunday afternoon to Monday morning stay, so rates were great and it meant we got a relaxing day and the hubby could go slightly late into work on Monday morning…ideal…

Date Night at Malmaison Manchester

We hadn’t stayed at Malmaison Manchester, but knew the group of hotels well and that it’d be a great standard. In honesty, we just wanted somewhere clean, comfortable and with no toddlers running around our feet! A good restaurant on site would be a bonus too, and Malmaison Manchester supplied all of these things!

The Experience

From the moment we walked-in, the staff were friendly and helpful and we felt relaxed. The location of the hotel is very close to Piccadilly Station and the centre of town, but stepping through the doors did feel like we’d escaped the hubbub. We checked-in at 2pm to make the most of the afternoon before our dinner reservation at 7.30pm. The aim of the game was to just chill! And chill we did.

We were impressed with our room, which was a Superior Double and although not huge, it was very well appointed and had plenty of room for a relaxing one-night stay. Most importantly, it had a comfy bed, which we’d be able to enjoy without little feet digging in our ribs all night!

An afternoon of magazine and TV for me, an afternoon nap for him! Bliss.

Malmaison Manchester has a brasserie on site, which we’d heard good things about and the hotel kindly made a reservation for us for dinner. It was so nice to enjoy a relaxing bath in the daytime, get ready at our leisure, before heading down to dinner. We didn’t even have to leave the building!

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The Food

Now we don’t often get out for dinner without the toddler, so the fact that we could enjoy 3-courses at our leisure, was just too much to resist. We were going to do this properly!

We’d been to the restaurant before years ago, in its former guise of Smoak and the interior is largely the same, but we were told a new chef and menu had just brought it up to date. We happily perused the menu before ordering a veritable feast of:

Tempura prawns for me, Scallops for him

Crab risotto for me, Steak for him

Sticky Toffee pud for me, Creme brulee for him

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(I clearly enjoyed my sticky toffee pud too much as devoured it before taking a photo! oops my bad!)

Being pregnant, I enjoyed a non-alcoholic ginger mojito (exceptional!) and left the hubby to enjoy his bottle of Cab Sav (only mildly jealous!).

The food was largely outstanding, freshly cooked, simple and good in flavour. My only slight disappointment was the risotto, which wasn’t really a risotto – it lacked the creaminess and pleasant gloopiness of a risotto, but the crab really did come through which was nice and followed on from my delicious prawns perfectly. After picking our waitresses brains for her opinion on dessert, I’m so glad I went for the sticky toffee pudding as that sauce really does stick to your ribs…in a good way!

We ordered truffled fries and tenderstem broccoli (which was surprisingly outstanding!) to share, which was the perfect addition to the hubby’s steak. Looking around at our fellow diners, we noticed the burger looked fabulous too…we’ll try that next time!

So with our bellies totally full and having enjoyed a rare night just the two of us, we made our way off for a relaxing sleep before breakfast and my morning massage…

The Breakfast

Breakfast wasn’t included in our room rate, so we had the choice of a continental or hot/cooked and of course we went for the latter. I had my favourite of American waffles with bacon and maple syrup and he had Eggs Royale and both were really scrummy. Of course I helped myself to a couple of croissants and a bowl of fruit with yoghurt and fresh honey…needless to say I didn’t need to eat for the rest of the day!

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The Spa – Pregnancy Massage

We didn’t have to check-out til 11am, but hubby made is way off to work, well rested and set-up for a productive working week. I, on the other hand, was letting go that easily. This was some extremely rare and precious “me-time” and I wasn’t about to waste it! Instead, I’d been booked into the Malmaison Manchester spa, in their basement, for a relaxing full-body pregnancy massage.

All I had to do was put myself in the lift and make my way down to the hidden sanctuary of their spa. When I got down there, I was instantly relaxed by the dimmed-lighting, calming music and warm surroundings. I was greeted by the lady that would be giving me my massage and invited to change into their spa robe and slippers and asked to have a seat in their relaxation area, with a glass of lemon water, whilst I waited to be called in. This area was relaxing enough for me, in fact, I’d wished I’d known and come down half an hour earlier to make the most of it. They have insanely comfy massage chairs (which I was advised of the settings to use that were pregnancy-safe).

Then onto the massage…oh the massage! Now at this point, I’d just turned 12 weeks, so safely past my first trimester and therefore deemed safe for a treatment like this. I was invited to get comfy on the massage bench and assured I’d be helped into the best position to enjoy the massage. But without a bump to manoeuvre around, I found I was comfy just lying on the bench anyway.

The pregnancy massage is largely the same as a regular full-body massage with a couple of adjustments – the pressure is lighter, certain areas of the body are avoided (ones that are linked to the uterus etc) and for the back part of the massage, I laid on my side instead of my front. It lasted just over an hour and was genuinely the most relaxed I’d been in months! I didn’t want it to end. The lady that gave me the massage was so friendly and clearly well skilled and I’ll 100% be going back throughout my pregnancy as realised the importance of that time for not just my body, but also for my mind.

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Will we go back?

Our relaxing 20 hours flew by, but our stay in Malmaison Manchester was everything we wanted and needed it to be! Being a staycation meant we didn’t have to waste precious time travelling and we had the assurance of only being 15 minutes away from home should we need to get back to the toddler. The food was delicious, the room comfortable (though I’d like to try one of their larger rooms next time) and the spa was a total revelation.

If like us, you’re in need of some couple time, for whatever reason, then you can have the nicest break here in the city! You don’t always have to go far for a relaxing break.

Why not check out my post about flying with a 3 year old and a baby?