Where better to spend a weekend?
A couple of weeks ago, we were offered the chance to go to a recording of Rufinatscha’s 6th Symphony at the BBC’s Oxford Road studios and immediately looked forward to spending a weekend in a city which neither of us knew at all. We booked our hotel – the excellent City Inn – and off we went.
The recording was terrific – it will be on Radio 3 sometime soon and on a CD as well and having listened to the existing recording whilst driving north on Friday afternoon, we both felt the new interpretation to be far more dynamic. Good stuff!
As for the bonus of exploring the city, well, we had a great time. Friends had recommended a restaurant for Friday evening, which looked promising and having been whisked up to the 6th floor to join the smart set in the bar, I enjoyed one of the best mojitos outside NYC. We admired the view of the city (with Salford screened behind frosted glass!) with the occasional firework lighting up the sky.
Sadly, however, the food didn’t live up to expectation – neither ours nor that of our somewhat embarrassed young waiter, who dealt with the whole situation in a most professional manner. He offered immediate redress in the form of complimentary desserts and coffee, in addition to the offer already made for the main course blunder…
The weather was fantastic all weekend, which made pottering about a real pleasure. We met friends for lunch on Saturday and sat until well into the afternoon, catching up and sharing news.
We had tickets for the theatre last night, to see Ibsen’s “The Lady from the Sea” at the Corn Exchange. We are not theatre goers generally, so this was quite an adventure and we remembered the Corn Exchange to be rather special from a previous visit. Whilst not exactly a bundle of laughs, we both enjoyed the play and it continues to pique our curiosity in that we have both googled to learn more about the work.
Best of all was the city itself, though. Less than two hours drive away, it’s hard to understand why we haven’t spent longer here before. For sure, we’ve passed through, we’ve made short visits whilst staying nearby but for some reason the motivation to make a specific visit just never happened. But I have a sneaky suspicion we’ll be back before long.
I took photographs of things which amused me: the sign outside the jeweller which has a small disclaimer underneath to say that it no longer applies, the ironwork of the Barton Arcade, the big wheel with poppies attached to each cabin, the bad tempered expression on the first Duke of Lancaster and the rather more curious face of James Joule, both in the foyer of the Town Hall.