For the first time in my life I attended the Ideal Home Show in Manchester, and I honestly had no idea what to expect.
OK so of course I’ve heard of the show-because who hasn’t? But I suppose it’s one of those events where you’ll never truly know what it’s like until you experience it for yourself. So this year, that’s exactly what I did.
As I arrived, I was greeted by a forest of snow topped Christmas trees, classic Christmas songs, and to add to the Christmas effect, there was a sharp winter breeze slicing the top of my ears. Strangely, it was at this very moment my Christmas 2017 begun.
What’s The Ideal Home Show Christmas?
The Ideal Home Show is an annual Christmas event which visits London & Manchester every November. It’s a world of festive shopping, sweet treats, and this year, the first ever Eat & Drink Festival came to town.
As well as shopping, the show features cooking, home, and fashion demonstrations with celebrity guests such as Gino Decampo and Lawrence Llwelyn Bowen.
The stalls sold everything you could possibly imagine to make a house a home. From children’s toys, ethnic indoor furnishings, garden-ware, arts and crafts, and even home saunas. A real mix of things you won’t find on the high street.
Is the Eat & Drink Festival Worth a Visit?
My boyfriend and I were fully immersed in the Eat & Drink Festival, and if i’m entirely honest, it’s this that prompted us to visit.
We spent the majority of the day browsing around the various stalls which were great inspiration for coming up with new home cooked meal ideas. We came across some new ingredients and flavours too, which was of particular interest to us.
We couldn’t resist lunch at the Eat & Drink Festival so, after thoroughly browsing what was on offer, we made our decisions. My boyfriend was sold on a duck bap from a company called Duck Wraps and I was all over the hog roast from The Mill House Roast Company.
What’s the Cake & Bake Show Like?
My interest in cake goes as far as eating them, so the Cake & Bake show wasn’t at the top of my “must see” list. For this reason, we headed on over to this part of the event towards the end of the day, and you know what? To our surprise, we were like a pair of kids in a candy shop.
As well as plenty of bakery stalls, and baking product stalls, the Cake & Bake show had regular baking lessons for visitors to partake in, as well as a cake bake competition, where visitors entered their weird and wonderful cake creations into one of two competitions- the Cake & Bake cup cake competition, and the cake competition.
The cake entries were unbelievable. It’s clear a lot of time, creativity and raw talent went into making those cakes, and the final outcomes were impressive.
Parking is available at the venue, though you’ll have to arrive early to guarantee yourself a space. That doesn’t mean you’re stuck if you plan on heading over a little later, as overflow parking is clearly sign posted over in the Trafford Centre.
Cash machines were located at the entry points of the venue, though they did charge a withdrawal fee. My advice is to come prepared with cash, or alternatively, stop off and use the cash machines in Manchester Trafford Centre located yards away from Event City.
Seating areas were available, though actually grabbing a seat was an “every man for himself” type scenario. The event would certainly have benefited from more seating in areas, as there were a lot of people sitting around on the floor at lunch, and throughout the day.
When’s the Next Ideal Home Show?
The next and final stop for this years Ideal Home Show will be in London Olympia, from 22nd-26th of November.
If you’re hoping to head to the Manchester event, look out for next years festive celebrations on the show’s official Twitter page here.