I shared with you last week some information about the Ideal Home Show at Christmas and after waiting rather (im)patiently all week, on Thursday we finally made the trip to Manchester to start off our Christmas adventures!
I had originally booked a train for the unworthy hour of 7am, I was going to take J with me, and hubby was going to stay at home with N. But when we got to the station…the train had been cancelled! (So glad I got insurance on that ticket). Cue me getting upset because I had promised J a journey on the train and a Christmas day out. There was a bus operating between two locations on the way to Manchester but my anxiety had risen and I was panicking about how we were going to get the rest of the way, so in the end we decided that hubby would drive and we would all go – a much needed family day out!
Then when we got near Manchester, there were delays because of roadworks so we were stuck for an extra half an hour, and of course J needed a wee so that set us back even more. We finally managed to arrive at 11.30am, a whole hour and a half after the show started so we missed the opening of it which I was looking forward to. When we had managed to get parked, we then made our way to the main entrance and actually walked further than we needed to as we had to go back to the press entrance; well, we got there eventually anyway!
I was a bit overwhelmed when we went into the show as there was so much going on! I knew there were going to be six sections, but I wasn’t expecting quite so many stalls so that was a bonus as we could have a good look around. I did notice that there was a need for more seating in the food court as there were people sat on the floor eating, around the perimeter of the stalls. Saying that, the food area smelled absolutely amazing and there was a great selection which I was happy about as it was the part I was looking forward to most! I just managed to catch Gino D’Acampo’s demo but I was a little disappointed that he had planned to do a starter, main and dessert but he only had time for the starter as there were other demos taking place. He did answer a lot of questions from the audience though.
Near the interiors section and at the main entrance there was an amazing display of Christmas trees; I could have spent all day there, it was so beautiful. There was also a bandstand in this area with a selection of acts performing throughout the show, which was a lovely touch. I didn’t manage to catch the demo by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen but J & I did manage a photo opportunity with him! (A funny anecdote from that – I was so star struck, the first words that came out of my mouth were, “Ooh, you smell nice!”. He was lovely though!). I was a little disappointed that there weren’t really any areas with different decor idea displays as I was looking to take a lot of inspiration away from that, and rather it was just the demo area.
Many of the stalls had great offers on especially for the show and I managed to buy a few bits – I couldn’t leave without buying anything from the large choice! Hubby’s favourite part was the technology section, and I must admit that there were actually some great gadget gifts, if not a bit out of our price range! We did spot Santa at one point too so J was happy about that.
There was such a lot to take in, with something for everyone really and there were also various cafe and restaurant areas around the perimeter so you didn’t necessarily have to eat in the food court. I would have liked to have spent longer having another look around the stalls but J was getting grumpy after a long day so we decided to make a move and head home. Overall though, it was a great Christmas day out and I will probably make a visit next year too!
Our rating – 4/5
I was provided with complimentary tickets to attend the show. All thoughts and opinions are honest & my own.