9 Jun 2014

The Ideal Home Show, Manchester 2014

The Ideal Home Show came to Manchester and I was delighted to be there on opening day. So there I was with a friend, our tots ensconced in their respective pushchairs. I had checked beforehand and had been assured that the venue was pushchair and wheelchair friendly. Excellent, as I would not have managed half the things I did if I had J running circles all over the place. 

The Ideal Home Show, Manchester 2014

We had been issued press passes by the lovely PR company in charge of proceedings, so I felt like a proper journo as we made our way to the press entrance. A life-long dream taking fruition, albeit just for a day. Most journos do not carry their tots to events they cover, but mums do. So while we were busy feeding the little ones and plying them with orange juice, all the other proper journalists were being ushered towards the entrance for the grand opening.

By the time we got there, the ribbon had been cut and the Ideal Home Show had been declared open.  So much for being a journalist! I just about caught a glimpse of Martin Lewis as he walked back in and headed towards the press enclosure. But I did manage to hear the lovely brass band as they belted out some great numbers to welcome the throngs of guests making their way in to the 28,000 sq m large venue that is Event City.

A brass band welcome
After listening to the band play for a while, we started our journey of exploration of all that the Ideal Home Show had to offer. There really was something for everyone. From home improvements to gardening to homewares and food, they had big and small retailers covering it all. Some of the garden displays were just so pretty, I had half a mind to make an impulse buy. 

A couple of things really caught my eye. The first was the exhibit by Linear Art Studios from Cheshire. The fused glass art on display was so beautiful, it took my breath away. I found the shapes and colours quite stunning and visually very appealing.

The other was a display of Woodcraft Construction Kits. They looked great and were very competitively priced. J was very vocal about getting a choo-choo train, and I would most certainly would have bought him one, if only I had not run out of cash by then.
A spot of window shopping
The one other thing I wish I could have bought was this gorgeous cobalt blue Lexus. Lexus were the official automotive sponsors for the Ideal Home Show and had these stunning beauties dotted all over the place. If only!
So fancy this new set of wheels
Between gawking at plush cars and being blown away by pretty things, my friend and I managed to find some time for a spot of pampering. What is the point of a girls day out (tots in tow), if we cannot self-indulge just that little bit? So we splurged out on some pretty magic-clips. Yes, that is indeed a shot of my hair done up in a floral and beaded clip. And we had a very soothing hand massage with some Dead Sea salts and ended up buying a few pots to try and recreate the magic at home.

And a bit of pampering
Now it wasn't all just about us grown-ups. Our kids had their share of fun too. They had a go bouncing on a huge trampoline and jumping all over the Smooth FM Radio sofas (sorry Smooth FM, but you really should not have plied them with those scrumptious pineapple and coconut smoothies).

That was not all. We all trooped into a little VW caravan set up by Home Sense and had a go at dressing up in a range of goofy props. The photo says it all.
A bit of fun for everyone
It wasn't all fun and games at the Ideal Home Show. Things got all grown-up and serious when Money-Saving Expert Martin Lewis took to the stage to share some of his fantastic money-saving tips. He talked about PPI amongst other things and took questions from the audience as well. I honestly admire this man, his enthusiasm and his passion to get people noticing their finances is unrivalled. 
Martin Lewis - the Money Saving Expert
Our day out visiting the Ideal Home Show would not have been complete without a taste of some of the delicious food on offer. Although the Gregg Wallace restaurant looked very, very inviting, a Masterchef restaurant is no place for a couple of 3-year olds. So we settled for sausages, chicken curry and ice-cream instead.  All very good.

Food for every palate
We all had a wonderful time on opening day at the Ideal Home Show. There was so much to see and do, and yet so little time to do it all in. I wish I could have gone back to visit over the next couple of days as well, but it was not to be. 

I do so hope the show comes back to Manchester in the future, and I get a chance to visit it again.  

Disclaimer: I was given a pair of tickets to the Ideal Home Show, Manchester 2014 in return for this review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.                 

23 comments:

  1. I love that it was in the NE and I hope I can go next time

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  2. this always seem to be a big hit , i always get invited but never go x

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  3. What a brilliant day! I'd absolutely love to go to the ideal Home Show, though I think I'd probably bribe someone (anyone!) to take my kids off the hand for the day if I could go, sadly they are too big to keep in a buggy now!

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  4. This looks great, I wish I could have gone. Those water features look fab x

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  5. I'm gutted that I had a poorly child and couldn't go. It looks like it was a lot of fun.

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  6. i used to work on one of those and its so much fun and you can always buy something with a discount, especially on the last day

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  7. I do love these sorts of shows! We haven't been to the Ideal Home Show for a few years now though - looks like a fab day! x

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  8. Sounds like a brilliant day, I would have loved to have gone. So many pretty things to look at!

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  9. It all looks very lovely. I would love to have gone

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  10. I love going to the one in London, so much to see and do.

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  11. I love the Ideal Home Show. So many ideas and things to buy.. It's an expensive day out for me though, too many bargains to be had

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  12. Looks fab, I have been to the London one which is amazing.

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  13. I love Dead Sea salts. They're my current obsession. Looks like you had a great time!

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  14. Sounds like a great event. I might keep an eye out for next year's x

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  15. Oh wow those glass art displays look fabulous!

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  16. Sounds like you all had a fab time! I think I would love a visit here next time round

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  17. I'm determined to make it here next year! It looks amazing x

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  18. That hair clip is gorgeous. Sounds like you had a great time. Maybe I'll go next year if I can persuade hubby to take me!

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  19. Sound like you had a wonderful time. Love the car gorgeous colour :) We went years ago, really enjoyed it x

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  20. This is one of my fave shows. If I could I would spend a fortune there... but looking and getting some ideas is nice too

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  21. Glad you liked my car - I didn't want to have to walk far...
    Seriously though, it looks like a good day out. I love it when there are tons of freebies on offer but does anyone else feel a pang of guilt knowing they won't buy the product?

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  22. Oh wow what a fab looking day I've always wondered what the ideal home show is like and if it would be worth going - now I know it is! x

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