This weekend I also popped along to Birmingham, however, and spent some real time in the city, so here's the first post of my response to the question:
Which is the UK's real second city?
I arrived in Birmingham, briefly, on a Thursday, as it was cheaper to break my train journey here for a couple of hours rather than continue on to my final destination (yes, cheaper if you don't take into account shopping).And what a difference a few years makes, since I used to regularly pass through Birmingham New Street....the former, dank, station has had a bit of a shopping face lift (Manchester City Council take note)
Clear signs guide passengers to the Bullring and Selfridges, if they so wish to visit, and out into daylight if they prefer to walk in the sunshine....I'm a bit of a disaster at leaving stations (airports, buses or trains) so a covered walkway literally taking me to the shops? (Manchester City Council, take note).
Quick shopping sojourn over I carried on my journey, which saw me in Manchester on Friday night for a New Kids on the Block concert (in between a bit of shopping and Hilton hoteling).
I know the layout of Manchester's shops Very Well, which meant I could discover new products, like Revlon's Parfumerie nail polish - technology has improved the stink of nail polish! This really does smell like Pineapple for a day or so. The Espresso and Chocolate options are on my wish list.
I read about this polish in a magazine a few months ago, but when my local Boots eventually stocked this, choices of colours and pleasant fragrances were limited (Plymouth retailers take note).
I also rediscovered New Balance and am lusting after a pair of their hot pink and green trainers (Birthday present?).
Now, I have 10 minutes to tidy up this Birmingham hotel room before chucking out time, so will share the rest of my weekend's double-city shopping expedition shortly.