How to be Queen for a day in Manchester
Got post-jubilee blues? This will cheer you right up.
Following the Jubilee weekend, Itchy understands that you might be feeling a little down. Well, why not have a go at being the Queen herself? We've created an itinerary with a difference: A day in the life of the Queen.
Mancunians are not widely known for croquet being one of their past-times – admittedly it sits incongruously alongside extreme kebab eating and watching Coronation Street - but it is available in Manchester nonetheless. Start your Queen For A Day with a game at Bury Croquet Club where the lovely people there welcome beginners and offer introductory sessions for those unsure of what to hit and where to hit it.
Try to restrain yourself from yelling Tally-Ho!, or, if you already have an ASBO then throw back your head and scream it with royal gusto. Queenie Bee likes to wear a fetching headscarf when she goes riding and one of those gilets that looks like a jacket for a miniature dog. You can just wear a hoodie and trackie bottoms if you like, though. There are plenty of spots you can amble around on horseback in Greater Manchester, but Itchy recommends Ashton Hall Equestrian Centre in Sale. Horsey types can pay for lessons or even organise birthday parties. Ladies, watch out for the perils of unflattering jodhpurs. This is horse-riding, not camel-toe sporting.
Vintage is so in right now and tea-rooms are no longer just populated by wrinklies who are having a pit-stop on the way to bingo. Manchester is enjoying a fashionable revival in proper English style tea-rooms with enough pomp and ceremony to please the dusty old monarch herself. Itchy found it hard to choose a favourite so why not opt for luxury and do both. Richmond Tea Rooms is situated in the Gay Village area of town, is themed like Alice in Wonderland and includes an indoor Greenhouse seating area, high-backed regal chairs and chandeliers. The menu includes cucumber sandwiches, scones with clotted cream, a selection of cakes and pastries and an extensive array of different teas. If you find yourself gasping for another cuppa stop by Cloud23 bar in the Hilton where High Tea is served between 12pm and 4pm. Cloud23 has less sumptuous décor and ambience than Richmond but the floor-to-ceiling windows provide knockout views of the city from the tallest building in Manchester. Not advisable for the vertiginous.
You may also want to use this time to indulge in some serious reflection and nostalgia about the highlights of the Queen's reign. You know, like the time she knighted Fred Goodwin of RBS and economic crisis fame and than had to un-knight him. Or that time when Helen Mirren pretended to be her, but was way better looking than her, in a film.
So, there you have it - the most royal things to do in Manchester. We are amused.