A freezing cold Friday afternoon in December, where do you want to be? Somewhere cosy, with good food and helping to get into the festive spirit. A trip to Housing Units the other week ticked all of those boxes as Chyaz, Tom and I drove over (only 10 minutes down the road from where I live in Ancoats – how had I never been?!) to check out the restaurant and have a browse.
Eating at the Wickentree
Our first stop was the newly refurbished Wickentree Restaurant, one of two in-store dining venues within the grounds of the Failsworth-based furniture unit, which already had queues of families waiting to be served. Luckily we had booked over the phone earlier so we were led straight to a table in the cosy, Christmas themed surroundings. The place was buzzing and filled with the excited chatter of families, couples and friends having an afternoon catch-up – a great place for all ages.
Scanning the menu developed by the chefs using the finest ingredients to the highest standards, there wasn’t much that seemed to be gluten-free friendly, however there were a few options that I knew I’d be able to have and just leave the wheat elements off, plus the menu stated that other options were available. Chyaz opted for a veggie Halloumi Burger which arrived with Portobello mushrooms and roasted peppers in a toasted brioche bun with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, onion rings and a basket of skinny fries. A generous serving and good value for money, the burger had just the right ratio of bread + filling which many places seem to get wrong, over-doing one and skimping on the other. It was so filling that Chy didn’t finish her fries!
I went for the Halloumi & Roasted Pepper Mediterranean Skewers served alongside a blend of wild and white rice, pitta strips (which I left), a small pot of houmous and some sweet chilli sauce. Decent chunks of juicy halloumi and lightly spiced peppers worked nicely with the rice, while the dips were welcomed to offer some kind of sauce to dunk the skewers into. Sometime in-store restaurants can be fairly mediocre but Chyaz and I were pleased with our susbtantial, enjoyable and reasonably priced lunch. The three of us fuelled up, time to shop!
Home decor goals
In case you didn’t know (I didn’t!), Housing Units opened in 1947 and is Manchester’s biggest and best furniture and home furnishing store. With over 200,000 square feet to explore and 30,000 products to peruse, the family-run business has everything you need for your whole home – living room, dining room, bedroom and nursery along with a wide range of electric fires, gas fires and beautiful fire surrounds, stylish bathroom displays and even a stunning picture and mirror gallery.
Both in awe of the beautiful displays, every corner we turned we’d say, “Oh I’d love that if I had a house!” Serious goals, especially from an aesthetically pleasing blogger point of view (rose gold everywhere!), with something for all tastes.
What made our visit even more enjoyable was the dominating presence of Christmas things – gifts, decorations, table settings – everything you could think of. I wasn’t feeling particularly festive but BAM, I was now well and truly immersed in a magical winter wonderland.
I had to tear myself away from the kitchen section, which had every gadget and piece of crockery you could imagine, displayed amongst gorgeous layouts and visualisations of how your home kitchen could look. Although only small, I also had to stop myself from buying things from the Coo Chi Coo baby store, where once again the set-ups of the nurseries were just stunning. I didn’t need anything for Tom at this point but it’s good to know there’s a whole range of clothes, footwear, toys and bedroom furniture for under 10’s here.
Chyaz and I were so impressed with what Housing Units have to offer, we’ll both definitely going back again with our other halves for serious house stuff! It’s a great place to spend an afternoon – even the day – for wonderful home inspiration in a friendly environment. Big thanks to Housing Units for inviting me down to review the food – I’m looking forward to working with these guys on other projects in the near future so stay tuned 🙂