I’ve already told you guys about my very first trip to the Ideal Home Show, Manchester back in 2016, so when I was invited back again this year, it was a no-brainer!
Knowing that she’s a bigger foodie and interiors enthusiast than I am, I invited my Mama to come along for the day but sadly, she was busy working so Adam became my (reluctant) shopping partner instead. I’d tried to persuade the kids to join us too and make a real family day of it but I think I’d have had more joy finding unicorn poop than succeeding with that one. Even using the promise of cake as a thinly veiled bribe didn’t help…
The Ideal Home Show and its newly formed sister event, the Eat & Drink Festival, were being hosted at Event City, Manchester. I personally detest driving anywhere near the Trafford Centre – all those lanes just cause me a headache! I managed to navigate my way through them in one piece, only to discover that the Event City car park was completely full. We eventually found parking elsewhere and walked over the venue. I’d probably recommend using public transport when possible if you plan to attend these shows in the future.
The first section of the Ideal Home Show featured lots of greenery, outdoor plants for sale and garden furniture. I loitered around the beautifully fragrant lavender bushes and roses for a while before Adam reminded me that my track record for keeping plants alive was pretty dire and gently guided me away. He had a valid point given that I once managed to kill a cactus (true story).
One of the main talking points was this years Show Home – The Rotating Home. The small and elegant home, as seen on the Channel 4 show Amazing Spaces, is four rooms in one that rotates to create a minimalistic and revolutionary home. We’d just missed the live demonstration but the audience seemed to be super impressed with what they had witnessed.
My personal favourite spot was the Ideal Roomsets. Last year, these were Roald Dahl themed to commemorate the late authors 100th birthday. This time, these sets were showcasing the work of four independent designers; No 4 Design Studio, Little Mill House, Briony Branson and Debra Caroll Interiors to style in their own unique way. Now it goes without saying that all four of them were awesome and bursting with personality, however, I found myself drawn to one in particular.
Being a big fan of vintage kitsch, the You Make Me Blush by Carol Booth at No4 Design studio room was my preferred choice (closely followed by the Rustic Tropical Dining Room by Natalie Lockwood at Little Mill House) It featured the most perfect flamingo wallpaper, soft hues of blush pinks, greys and golds and cosy textures- a
hipster blogger paradise! I now have the wallpaper, lamps, sofa – oh ok, so ALL of it – earmarked for our own future home (I gave up on our current one after my child and cats destroyed my beautiful grey sofas after about six months of me purchasing them).
Wandering into the brand new Eat & Drink Festival, the first thing we spotted was a Pimms bar, shaped as a giant polka-dot teapot. Sold! Just across the way was a Captian Morgan Rum Ship and at this point, I did wonder if I’d finally managed to dream up my very own fantasy food festival…
After the recent attack on Manchester Arena, Alana Lily Cakes had created an absolute masterpiece in order to raise money for the Manchester fund, helping those who had been affected by the awful tragedy. The Worker Bee cake was 8ft tall and weighed a whopping 150kg! Using 60kg of frosting, 25kg of jam and 80-100kg of sugar paste, I can confirm first hand that it tasted even better than it looked.
We made our way to the Foodie Lab stage and watched Rosemary Shrager work her culinary magic. I didn’t know a great deal about this hilarious lady before the event, however, was thoroughly impressed by just how knowledgeable and talented she is! I was mesmerised by her larger than life personality and even managed to collar Rosemary for a quick picture after the demonstration.
Stopping for a glass of homemade lemonade, we wandered through the Artisan Market and my long-suffering bank balance definitely took a hit. Good food is one of my true weaknesses and I couldn’t help myself once we there, spending time at each and every stall.
I purchased a few jars of homemade curry sauce from The Nowt Poncy Company (after chatting with these guys, I discovered that they’re actually local to me so I’ll be visiting them on a regular basis from now on), some quirky chocolates and cookies from Kakes and Bakes by Katie, Birthday Cake and Skittle vodka flavoured fudge, gooey brownies, Rose and Rhubarb Gin Liqueur from Rose Cottage Liqueurs and various other goodies along the way.
The atmosphere was buzzing, with live music and more visitors than the previous year. I think it’s safe to say that this section of the show was a roaring success and I’m already planning my trip to the Christmas event.
See you in November!