'Secret Shopping' with Propellernet & Megan Ellaby

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When the invitation to the ‘secret shopping’ event hosted by Propellernet landed in my inbox, I got just a tad excited; a day of shopping with a bunch of lovely Manchester bloggers, teamed with an arrival dinner hosted by Front Row Society for the night before, how could I possibly so no?!

The event was in partnership with Premier Inn, so we also had the pleasure of staying at their Manchester Picacdilly Hotel the night before our day of shopping. I checked in at the hotel with the help of the lovely staff and headed to my room, where I (very) quickly got ready for our arrival dinner. In true fashion, as I’m always running late, I didn’t even have time to snap an outfit photo before leaving! Fashion blogger fail numero uno. Anyway… Once ready, we were taken to the snazzy  Fumo restaurant – part of the San Carlo group – picked by the Front Row Society, and which was hosted by Megan, from pages by Megan. The choice of restaurant definitely lived up to the expectations, just look at the food! 

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Okay, so I didn’t take that many pictures as I was too busy scoffing my face, but you get the idea… 

The dinner was a great opportunity to meet other bloggers from around Manchester and discuss our blogging experiences, as well as share our thoughts and ideas on various topics which had been handed out on cue cards made by the lovely PR girls. As we chatted away, the wine was shared around and waiters brought us sharing plates, so that we got to sample pretty much the entire menu; after rounds of spaghetti vongole, calamari, duck salad, rib-eye steak, pork belly and of course, pizza, we were well and truly stuffed! (we definitely all still found room for a taste of the ice cream sundae though) The food was incredible, and the whole event was hands down the best event I have been to so far. 

Since the night was still young, after dinner, we decided to hit up the Northern Quarter for a good old dance. The PR girls, Hannah and Megan, Katie and myself ended up being the last bunch remaining by the end of the night, dancing away in Hula until 3am when it was time to crawl into bed and get a good night’s sleep before our day of shopping. 

On Saturday I woke early – fairly fresh – but honestly, I could have spent the entire morning lazing in my comfy bed at the Premier Inn! But breakfast was calling my name, so I rolled out of bed and trudged down for breakfast. After a good old fry up, cup o’ coffee and fresh orange, I was all ready to go shopping with my blogger buddies Emma and Katie

As part of the ‘secret shopping’ event, we were kindly gifted a voucher to spend at Manchester’s Arndale shopping centre. So with our voucher in one hand, and a map featuring some of Megan’s favourite shops in the other, off we went. FYI: Megan has a great post on her blog featuring the best of shopping in Manchester which you can check out for yourself here

The hotel was in the best location; after a couple minutes walk we were at the independent and vintage shops Megan had recommended in the Northern Quarter. The idea behind the event was great, especially for me since I’m guilty of sticking to high street stores and rarely venturing into smaller boutique shops. Megan’s post has definitely made me consider alternative shops which I have heard great things about but don’t necessarily shop in. I am definitely going to be stopping by Oxfam Originals to see if I can snap up any bargains! 

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So, I ended up buying a faux fur gilet from Topshop, which I absolutely love and will be styling up on the blog very soon!

Where do you like to go shopping in Manchester?