Forget happy hour! A pampering ‘happy bar’ is popping up in Manchester this weekend


Forget happy hour. This weekend, intu Trafford Centre is launching a bar to help shoppers beat the January blues. Over two days, the iconic main dome will be turned into Live Happy, Manchester’s first wellness bar.

“Cold, wet and packed full of good intentions, January can be a challenging month for people as they grapple with new year’s resolutions and try new things so we wanted to up the ante and help people to live happy,” says intu Trafford Centre regional centre director Alison Niven.

“We know our visitors are keen to stay active, experience new beauty treatments and more importantly, escape with moments of pure fun. We’re urging our shoppers to shake off the January blues and take a seat at the Live Happy bar. We defy anyone not to smile whilst being surrounded by confetti, music and getting pampered.”

On Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 January, visitors will be able to get a complimentary drink and also work towards their new year fitness goals with exercise bikes replacing traditional bar stools, helping to release those feel-good endorphins. Shoppers can also pick up information and advice on the exercise bikes and other classes from David Lloyd, TraffordCity while they wait.

The Live Happy bar isn’t just about fitness, though. Beauty experts from brands such as Elemis, Nails Inc, NYX, The Body Shop and more will be serving a range of feel-good treats including facials, manicures and lifestyle advice – perfect for a spot of post-shopping pampering.

The feel-good weekend will see stylish marching bands playing classic pop hits across the mall, and giant confetti cannons lighting up the central atrium with confetti and fun. Retailers and restaurants from across the centre will also be putting smiles on shoppers’ faces with a wide range of happy treats and promotions running across the weekend.

At Selfridges, a mindfulness manicure including healing gem stones at the Nails Inc concession in the beauty hall will cost just £10. On Sundays, early birds can beat the crowds as Selfridges open early for an hour’s browsing, and shoppers can enjoy complimentary fizz, coffee and pastries while enjoying a manicure .

Selfridges are also offering shoppers complimentary perfume engraving in the beauty department, while visitors to the Jo Malone counter can choose from a range of treats including bespoke scent recommendations, skincare advice, or a 20-minute hand and arm massage. Kiehls meanwhile are offering skin care facials to returning customers or a 10-minute skin type diagnosis.

At Nars, Selfridges shoppers can try before they buy with Make Up Your Mind, a 15-20-minute complimentary service offering a 1:1 lesson with a makeup artist, focusing on a key area of the face, eyes, lips or skin. At the YSL and Clinique counters, shoppers can discover their perfect foundation match.

Over at Debenhams, Clarins are offering complimentary 20-minute facials to help tackle winter skin, available on a walk-up basis, while visitors to Clinique will receive a free 5-minute skin consultation with a counter expert. Make Up Forever are offering a complimentary 10-minute make-up touch-up, while shoppers can drop by vegan-friendly Kat Von D for a free complexion or eye appointment.

The Body Shop are offering complimentary makeovers or facials using their new range of super food face masks, there are new ranges to try at Hotel Chocolat and Regis, and at John Lewis shoppers will find 3 for 2 on the ultimate vitamin glow facial in store. Visit the Liz Earle counter for complimentary hand and arm massages.

For a true pampering treat, Elemis’ secret spa, hidden away in the Debenhams beauty hall, is an oasis of calm. Shoppers sick of the cold, damp Manchester weather can be transported to far-away places with aromatherapy, massage and a touch of luxury.

A number of intu Trafford Centre restaurants and bars are also offering visitors a January boost.

The Wagamama x Mindfulness menu means that 25p from every juice sold is donated to mental health charity Mind, while Oh You Pretty Thing! has several new additions to their menu including skinny prosecco, a selection of low calorie gins, and healthy shakes and smoothies.

LEON have three new vegan options on the menu to show off the best of the season’s produce, and Barburrito have introduced a new, limited edition super veg chilli dish which is healthy, light and vegan. At Boost, diners can have a go at creating their very own smoothie.

Tampopo’s new menu also promotes vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian dining, or diners can have a go at making there own Vietnamese spring rolls with 15-minute drop-in sessions at 11am or noon on Saturday.

Whether indulging in pampering treats or healthy food and drink, visitors are guaranteed to Live Happy this weekend.

The Live Happy Bar at intu Trafford Centre is open from 12pm – 8pm Saturday 27 January, and 1pm – 6pm on Sunday 28 January.

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