Manchester Adventure and Haul

We have officially been back from Manchester for a couple of days now and it was a very much needed break away and enjoyed. The weather was really good for us too, which was greatly appreciated. I can’t believe our week off is finally coming to an end and I’m really sad it couldn’t have lasted a little longer, especially as I’m not feeling 100%. I can’t tell if I have a cold that’s going around or hay fever, or maybe a bit of both! Last night I went to bed at 7pm and was on and off asleep. I’m hopeful I’m back to myself come Monday when I’m back at work. πŸ™‚

Aside from that, I wanted to do a blog post today not only sharing what we got up to during out time in Manchester, but also share with you my haul of the items I picked up during our time there too! I spent a lot of money, more than I’ve spent since probably Christmas and I feel semi guilty for it. That being said, it was also nice to have a treat and buy some things for myself! Alongside sharing what items I picked up, I also want to talk about Tokyo Ramen, Point Blank Shooting, Ohayo Tea, and The Arcade Club in Bury. Both of these places were so much fun and I can’t NOT mention them to you!

This will be a long post, so make sure to grab a drink, hot or cold and I hope you enjoy todays post! I’ll be talking in the order of places we ventured to, with my haul towards the end. πŸ™‚

The first place we really ventured to in Manchester upon arrival was Tokyo Ramen. We were starving and as I’d found this place online weeks prior to heading to Manchester, we decided to go for lunch. It was SO GOOD and I cannot recommend it enough if you have a craving for ramen, or want to try it for the first time. We went for the standard type of ramen with pork cutlet and it was so good, as you can see! We only ate ramen once in Japan, but this is the best ramen I’ve had to date. Tokyo Ramen is in the Northern Quarter, opposite Afflecks.

After this we did some shopping in the Arndale, as well as around the Northern Quarter and headed back to our hotel to check in and have a rest before heading to Point Blank Shooting! For my 30th one of my friends has gifted me a Red Letter Days voucher for a comedy night, but as the past two years have flown, I wasn’t 100% feeling that so decided to pay a little extra to go to Point Blank Shooting instead! It was so much fun and I’m so excited to share it here with you all. You book a booth to go and plays some simulation shooting ranges, with replica guns. Alongside that you will also get a pizza and two cocktails as well! The food was really good and we went for the pepperoni pizza, which was amazing! The flavouring on it was great and I really enjoyed. We also have a few cocktails between us both too including Rock Out With Your Glock Out which Dane chose (sweet, dark fruits with vodka, blackberry, vanilla, apple, lime and cream soda) and Naked Gun which I chose (rhubarb and custard with vanilla vodka, strawberry, apple lemon, rhubarb and egg white). Alongside that we also grabbed a non alcoholic cocktail Zero Your Gun (bubblegum, cranberry, lemon and lemonade), which was so good! The prices of everything was really fair for everything we got and most of all, we got there forty minutes early with the intension of having some slow drinks before our session was booked. However, as our booth was free the staff let us start earlier without charging us extra, which was really lovely of them! We’d definitely go back again in the future, but we’re hopeful a Birmingham Point Blank Shooting will open in the future, as I would love to go with more friends for an evening out!

After this we headed back to the hotel as we were shattered and needed lots of rest. We had a busy day planned the next day! The next day we were up bright and early for breakfast at the hotel and checked out ready for a busy day ahead. We’d planned to have a look around the Arndale, potentially the Northern Quarter again and especially China Town for food!

The Arndale is such a big shopping centre and we got a little lost at times, but by the morning of our second day we had pretty much got our bearings. Some of the shops we ventured to were Damaged Society – has some cool alternative styles, Homesense – we sniffed all the candles, Kenji – amazing for Japan inspired goodies and especially Japanese sweet treats, Levi’s – spent WAY too much money on jeans, Urban Outfitters – I bought a cute planter which I’ll show later, Vans, Victoria’s Secret PINK, and Waterstones.

As it was approaching lunchtime we decided to go for a walk down to Manchester’s Chinatown for some lunch from Wong Wong Bakery and bubble tea and ice cream from Ohayo Tea.

I’ve been so excited to try Ohayo Tea since I discovered it at the end of 2020 through Instagram, so when the time finally came I was beyond excited for it and I don’t think we were the only ones either as there were people queuing outside of the store for at least half an hour! We had a nose at the menu before going in and when the time came, we made out way inside. We’d planned to sit in for some ice cream and bubble tea.

The store itself isn’t huge which I really liked! The only bad thing about Ohayo Tea is the lack of toilets, so if you wanted to stay here to do any work, or meet a friend for a long period of time you’d need to move on if you wanted the toilet. This didn’t affect us really as we must have spent a good hour there!

I’ve looked at the menu LOADS since discovering Ohayo Tea late 2020 so knew vaguely what I wanted drink wise, but ended up changing my mind last minute!

Dane went for their dirty Biscoff drink from the brown sugar series, which contains brown sugar tapioca milk with Biscoff and I went for the matcha tapioca milk from the fresh milk series. I’m a sucker for matcha bubble tea, so knew I had to go with that. I originally was going to have the same as Dane otherwise.

The only thing that the Ohayo Tea menu is missing is more fruit based drinks. I love green apple and cherry bubble teas so it was a shame they had neither of those on offer. They do have fresh fruit teas, just not ones I wanted/fancied.

We both went for one of the sundaes, with us going for the earl grey milk tea Shiba sundae, which was SO GOOD! As you can see from the picture you get the earl grey milk tea ice cream, brown sugar tapioca, wafer sticks and especially a Shiba waffle! You get to pick which flavouring of Shiba waffle you want, we both went for Nutella but you can also pick brown sugar tapioca, red bean or Hong Kong style peanut butter. This was so yummy and it took me an age to finish it, for various reasons. I was too busy enjoying it to scoff it really quickly. I hope next time I get the chance to visit that they have a matcha sundae on offer!

Overall, Ohayo Tea was amazing and it was well the almost two year wait to go! I wish we had one in Birmingham, I think I’d venture there often to enjoy their amazing drinks! We have do have Mee Cha though, that I have loved for ten years now! I did buy myself a couple of goodies in Ohayo Tea, which I’ll show at the end of the post!

Finally after we were done in Manchester we decided to drive over to Bury to finish out little trip. We’d booked to go to The Arcade Club to go an play some arcade games! My amazing Instagram friend Daysei has been telling me all about The Arcade Club for the longest time and I finally twisted Dane’s arm for us to go! He was against it for a while due to the location, but once we looked at the games on offer he got into the idea and we booked it.

You pay a fee per person and with that you can play as many games as you want, for as long as you want. We got there for 4pm and didn’t leave until 9.30pm, almost an hour before it was due to close! You definitely get your monies worth at The Arcade Club!

The Bury store has three floors FILLED with all sorts of games, from all over the world, including Japan, which is what appealed to us the most. The games I’ll be mentioning here are the ones we loved and enjoyed the most, there are all sorts of games to chose from and play, with a full list being on The Arcade Club’s website.

Tank! Tank! Tank! – A Japanese game we’d never heard of where you’re driving a tank and need to kill aliens, or each other if you do battle. The chair actually moves back whenever you shoot to be like an actual tank, which was so much fun! I think this was the first game we played and it was one of the last games we played too. It was so good and we spent a good half an hour playing all the types of games on offer.

Monster Hunter Pungee Race – This was a bizarre game to say the least and one I’m glad we tried for shits and giggles. You have a pig that you need to move around to the sides and up and down to race. It looks like you’re humping the pig, not going to lie! It was a fun game but only needed one play for sure. It reminded me of an arcade game I used to love playing as a kid at the local bowling alley, Final Furlong by Namco. I’d love to see those games at The Arcade Club in the future!

Dark Escape 4D – This was one of our favourite games and we actually played it twice because of that fact! This is a 4D horror shooting game where you not only play the game, but feel it too! You get air blown at you, can chose to play in 3D if you’d like to (otherwise it’s 2D), and the seats rumble and vibrate as well. On top of all that, the guns you hold have heart sensors on as well, which tracks your heart rate and determines your death and more. This game overall was just so much fun purely for the jump scares, whether it be in game or the air and vibrating around the game. We LOVED this and it’s such a shame there isn’t a version of this that could have been brought out on consoles or PC.

South Park pinball game and more – When I was younger I LOVED pinball games and would spend hours on them at a time if there was one available, especially in Fuerteventura. There were loads of pinball games at The Arcade Club and this South Park one really caught my eye. It was fun to play but the Flintstones one was my favourite, as I seemed to do the best on that one! Dane really enjoyed the Mario one.

Dancing Stage EuroMix – An old classic from back in the day! I rarely played the arcade game growing up, but more so my cousins dance mat at home that we connected to her PlayStation! This game throws back so many memories and it was fun to have a go on a couple of songs. I wish I’d played more to be honest but they seemed to constantly have someone playing them already.

Taiko No Tatsujin – This is a game me and Dane love and played a little of whilst we were in Japan! I do have the actual drum for the Switch but we hardly play it… Maybe that should change haha! This is the game we played the most at The Arcade Club, and at one point we waited almost half an hour to jump back onto it as it was pretty busy. It reminded me of our Japan trip all over again and was so much fun. If you’ve never played this before, you really must, it’s such a fun game, whether you play alone or with a friend.

Bishi Bashi Channel – A game Dane had heard of before and was eager to play and as it was pretty much behind Taiko No Tatsujin we jumped onto it not long after our first go on the popular drumming game! This is a fun game where you’re playing lots of little puzzle games, it reminded me of the WarioWare games to be honest with you! Some of the games were challenging, with some being a little more simple. Such a good game, was a shame we didn’t spend more time on it in all honesty!

Time Crisis 2 – An old classic for me and Dane and one I’d always play whenever I spotted it at an arcade! I always used to die before I’d get to the second stage, or just after so never finished it. Thankfully due to all the games being free to play (aka if you die in the game you can always come back!) we both FINALLY got to finish the game and as you can see, we came sixth place! It was so much fun to play and really did give me some nostalgic reels. Apparently The Arcade Club has Time Crisis 3 there too, but we didn’t spot it.

Monkey Mole Panic – I stumbled upon this game as we looked through the old school arcade games. I decided to give it a go as I’m a sucker for a whack a mole game and it was SO GOOD! I played it a couple of times and got to the top of the leader board! I’m gutted I didn’t take a picture.

Puzzle Bobble – An old classic for me as I had it on my Game Boy/Game Boy Color and would spend HOURS playing it, clearly all those hours came to something when I got to play for ages on this arcade machine! It’s made me want to play it all over again on either my GBC or on a Switch version if it exists!

Name unknown – This was a random choice is game to play but I actually really loved it and regretted not playing more! It’s a rhythm based game where you need to time your button pressing right in order to win the level/game. I played a couple of levels and it was just so much fun to do and once you got into the swing of things, you really did start to get a kick from playing it!

Luigi’s Mansion Arcade – We own the third instalment of this game on the Switch and really enjoyed playing it together, so we kind of had to give the arcade version a go! I always wanted to as a kid, but never had anyone to play with, which sounds incredibly sad… This was a lot of fun to play, but the controllers really ached our hands. It was good though and we really enjoyed giving it a go!

The House of the Dead: Scarlett Dawn – This was the last game we played before we headed home and it was so cheesy, but we enjoyed it! As you can see it’s a House of the Dead game, but this one you play as a woman and a man who appear to have been at a party? The game play was like the other House of the Dead games, so pretty straight forward, shoot and kill the undead who are headed your way! We played it for a while before we had enough and decided to call it a day!

Cho Chabudai Gaeshi 2 – Sadly this is a game we weren’t able to play as it seemed to be broken, but what made me sad about it is this was the game that twisted Dane’s arm in us going to The Arcade Club in the first place! He’d always heard about the famous Japanese arcade game about flipping a table, but we weren’t able to go on it. Maybe next time we go to The Arcade Club… Or Japan. πŸ˜›

We were so tired when we got home from our Japan adventures, we couldn’t wait to sleep! For the rest of the week so far we’ve not done a lot… Well technically we did all the washing from our trip, and some general chores/errands we’ve had to to do out and about.

So, I know some of you were excited for the haul, so I’ll get to that now before I end this weeks post! Disclaimer, I apologise for how crap the pictures are, I was shattered/sick yesterday so I quickly took photos on my office chair.

Frank Iero T-Shirt.

First of all this t-shirt wasn’t purchased in Manchester, but I did pick it up before going and it arrived the day we came home from Manchester, so I felt like it was worthy showing off! I’ve wanted this t-shirt for years now but just never picked it up, until May pay day! I snagged it off of Amazon as it was a good price and it felt the right time. I cannot wait to wear this now with anything and everything!

Shippon self-watering dog planter.

I can’t remember what store I picked this up from but I remember back in 2019 when we visited Manchester last/for the first time I picked this same dog planter up in that same shop to buy and left it… I decided I needed it this time and cannot wait to get it started! I’m not 100% sure where I want to keep it at the moment as I’m worried I’ll knock it over. I think the kitchen or living room might be a nice place for it for sure. This cost less than Β£12.

Smoko Tayto potato planter.

As many regular readers will know, I LOVE Smoko and their products and I honestly cannot get enough of them. It feels like every Christmas Dane will buy me something from them, and even last Christmas he bought me a back pillow and some of the Tayto lights as well! I saw that Urban Outfitters were having a sale and had this cutie on offer, so I decided to order to collect from Urban Outfitters in Manchester. I’ll be blunt, it was a fucking nightmare. The staff were either too busy talking to do any work, or it was arse about face getting the click and collect orders in the first place. It’s put me off doing a click and collect again, I’d rather pay the Β£3.99 shipping. That being said this planter is very well made and adorable as fuck! I can’t wait to put something in him now, as he’s living on my window shelf. I’m probably going to opt for a fake plant. πŸ˜›

Kenji Japanese snacks.

We don’t have a Kenji in Birmingham so when I saw/heard there was one in Manchester I KNEW we had to go! We went in both days we were in Manchester, but on day two we decided to pick up some snacks, including grape and ramune gummy sweets, chocolate wafer taiyaki fish, pocky, collon, ramune drinks and some ice cream wafers. I have to be honest when I say that whilst Kenji is a nice store, I found it a little tacky… It shouted fake Japan to me and whilst I get it, it is technically fake it just felt wrong. There were some cute items in there, but not enough to prompt me to buy.

Levi’s 551z authentic straight jeans.

This was a HUGE purchase for me and I feel so guilty for it. I knew I wanted to pop into Levi’s to try some of the 90’s inspired jeans, but whilst trying them on I discovered they didn’t have the size I wanted, nor did the leg length go as long as I wanted either, which was such a shame. The staff were really helpful though and recommended me the pair I ended up buying. These are men’s jeans, but there’s nothing wrong with that, my first pair of Levi’s were men’s and they did me just fine. These are pretty much what I was looking for. A baggy boyfriend fit with a long leg. These were cheap as I said so I won’t be buying anymore anytime soon, but I’m a sucker for Levi’s. I used to own a pair as a teenager and lived in them, and then my mom bought me a pair in my early twenties and I lived in those too. I plan to do the same with these, especially for how much they cost. Next time I’m after a new pair of jeans I’ll definitely look at Levi’s again, but maybe next time I’ll look at the sale first. πŸ˜›

No photo description available.

Umbrella image taken from Ohayo Tea Facebook

Ohayo Tea – t-shirt and umbrella.

Finally after we finished out ice creams in Ohayo Tea, I decided to buy some of the merchandise on offer. I decided to go for the t-shirt with their Ohayo tea Manchester design, as well as an umbrella… Because you can never go wrong with the latter. They only had a men’s medium in the t-shirt, and I usually go for large. It fits me fine, but it’s kind of see through, so I think I’ll just opt to wear this one around the house and whilst I’m working from home. The design on the back is gorgeous but the pocket at the front reminds me of a work t-shirt. πŸ˜›

The umbrella is strange and I’ve never owned one quite like it before. The handle is a loop shape so not only can you hang it off of tables, but you can loop your shopping onto it as you walk around. I know I’m not wording it very well by the way! I could have taken a picture of it but it’s in the car and I’m in the house. πŸ˜› As well as that the umbrella opens up in a strange way, which again I can’t describe! I used it a little as we walked from Chinatown to the Arndale and it was really good! I’ll be using it more I reckon with some of the crappy weather we’ve had lately.

So, there we have it, my Manchester trip and haul! I told you it was going to be a long post. πŸ˜›

Have you ever been to Manchester? If so where did you go, what did you do, eat, see, etc. Tell me all about it! I know for a fact there’s loads of places we have yet to go and explore and I’m looking forward to the next time we venture up there!

Until next time guys, have an amazing rest of your weekend and see you next week!

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