29 May 2013

Manchester Sea Life Centre & HomeSense

After being cooped up in the house the last few weeks, I was thrilled to be invited on a fab day out with Blogs Up North. After successfully navigating a train and a bus (and indulging in a plate of Starbucks luxury fruit bread) I joined Sim, Lisa, Pippa & Laura at HomeSense. 
Tomorrow they are opening a brand new store in the Manchester Arndale Centre, so they invited us along to  check it out. Do you ever watch those home renovation programs and wonder where they find their unusual statement pieces? HomeSense is full of unique decorative items that will add a personal touch to any room.
Aaron from HomeSense kindly gave us a £20 voucher and set us loose in the shop! As usual I couldn't help but be drawn to the kitchenware department.
I was tempted by a couple of Emma Bridgewater mugs I spotted, but in the end I decided to pick up a Kuhn Rikon Colori knife and a bamboo chopping board. Kuhn Rikon knives are brilliant for self-catered holidays - as  it never fails, where ever we go the knives are always blunt. But Kuhn Rikon Colori knives come with thier own protective sheath, so you can safely pack it in your luggage.
If you'd like to try it yourself, HomeSense is offering a free £10 gift voucher to the first 200 visitors at their Manchester Arndale grand-opening  tomorrow! (30th May, 2013) I hear even Antony Cotton from Coronation Street will be in attendance.

After being treated to lunch at Gourmet Burger Kitchen (courtesy of HomeSense - Thank-you!) We returned to Barton Square to explore the new Manchester Sea Life Centre. Opening on the 6th of June, the Sea Life Centre is a great day out for little ones.
There's plenty to see, but it's still a short enough tour for little legs and short attention spans.
The experience starts with a short educational show at 'Turtle Beach'. Through clever lighting and video they tell the story of the sea turtles as they lay their eggs, hatch and dash to the sea.
Most of the Aquarium was too dark for proper photos, but that means you get a brilliant view of the fish.
After speaking to some of the staff, it seems the Manchester Sea Life Centre specialises in the smaller and brighter exotic fish - rather than the big sharks and fish. We spotted clown fish, puffer fish, sting rays & sea horses, just to name a few.
One of my favourite tanks is pictured below. It's a lovely big window where you can watch the sharks, turtles and brightly coloured fish swimming past the dramatic scenery.
Perfect for little kids, there are plenty of hidey holes, tiny tunnels and low level viewing portals. I only wish my baby belly would have let me down far enough for a good look at the sea horses!
So if you fancy meeting critters like this fellow up close, pop over to the Manchester Sea Life Centre at Barton Square, Trafford Centre.