The World’s Most Expensive Christmas on Channel 4 this week looked at the extravagant purchasing habits of the rich in London during the festive season. While Manchester may not be as big as London nor have the same range of luxury shops and services, we asked Jemima Forbes to come up with some ideas for a money-no-object Christmas in Manchester. This is what she found.
If you want a hassle-free Christmas away from home or just want to be pampered, Manchester has a great selection of luxury and boutique hotels with high price tags to match.
a multitude of
retailers to browse
for designer goods,
luxury food items
The Lowry Hotel with its views of the river has suites for around £850 a night while a top price room at the unique and centrally located Great John Street boutique hotel could cost you over £400. On the lower end of the deluxe scale but with fantastic panoramic views of the city, the Deansgate Hilton has executive suites for around £300 a night.
With your accommodation sorted, you’ll now need some extravagant activities to fill your day and where best to start then a relaxing morning at a spa? The Spa at the Midland Hotel offers sessions for two for £119pp which includes two treatments, use of their bespoke relaxation and treatment areas, and a delicious healthy lunch. If you’d rather skip the spa and head straight for the shops then Manchester has a multitude of retailers to browse for designer goods, luxury food items and decadent stocking fillers.
Agent Provocateur is the ideal place to stop off if you are looking to purchase a luxury lingerie gift for a wife, girlfriend or partner. Their premium designs could set you back £995 for a satin corset or £1,995 for a French Leavers lace kimono.
If you’re looking for bespoke luxury British designs for the man in your life, what about a private appointment at the Private White VC factory shop just minutes from Deansgate. From cashmere coats for £1,950 and sweaters for £200, their products are made right here in Manchester from the best quality British materials. For a £149 luxury wool scarf or £210 for a Valet Shoe Care Kit, independent shop Lissom and Muster on Tib Lane have the perfect stocking filler ideas for any respectable man.
If you’re planning a Christmas dinner party and are looking for some luxury foodie items to offer your guests, Harvey Nichols have a whole range of decadent Christmas hampers. Take a look at the Posh Party hamper (£780) which includes a selection of quality wines and champagne as well as luxury food items like Manuka honey, cranberry sauce with burgundy and pink Himalayan rock salt. The Drinks Cabinet hamper priced at £1,000 is an extravagant buy that includes over 25 bottles of alcohol and can be installed in your home by a member of the Harvey Nichols concierge team.
Harvey Nichols also have a wide range of luxury stocking fillers including a Sophie Hulme pom-pom keyring for £150 for her, and a Lanvin bow tie for £90 for him. For luxury gifts for kids, Selfridges have it covered with a Henes Broon F830 ride-on car for £1,000 and a large ride-on horse for £319.
For a light lunch or festive afternoon tea midway through your shopping, Cloud 23 at the Hilton Deansgate are currently offering a Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea; a delicious selection of festive favourites and a bespoke cocktail which will set you back £45 per person. The Lowry Hotel has a Champagne Christmas Afternoon Tea for £35 per person or you could sip on seasonal cocktails at either location watching the sun set (around 4pm at the moment).
For a sumptuously festive dinner, Manchester has a number of fine dining locations to whet your appetite. For the ultimate meat lover’s gastronomic treat, the Carnivore’s Feast at Gaucho (£150) is an indulgent celebration of succulent and delicious Argentine beef served up with ice cold craft beers, bold and powerful Malbec, sweet Argentinian port style wine and a range of classic dark spirits.
A three course meal for two including prime cuts of wagyu steak would set you back over £140 at James Martin Manchester and a bottle of their most expensive red wine an additional £400. Or for a meal away from the madding crowd, a private dining room at Manchester House can accommodate up to 8 people (POA).
After dinner, enjoy a classic Christmas pantomime at the Opera House with VIP tickets for Cinderella (including lounge entry and drinks) (£54.90). Or head over to the Palace Theatre to catch a showing of The Bodyguard with top price seats at £59.50.
And finally, after the fun and over-indulgence of Christmas Day the last thing we all want to do is wake up early for the Boxing Day sale crowds. However, if you can’t live without that discounted Mulberry handbag or Paul Smith leather iPad case, guests staying at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel and Country Club can take full advantage of the hotel’s ‘No Need to Queue, We’ll Do It For You’ package.
For a cool £1,000, you get a two night stay over Christmas in a deluxe room, breakfast in bed, a bottle of champagne, a Boxing Day afternoon tea and the use of a personal assistant to hit the Boxing Day sale queues as early as 4am while you enjoy a lie-in.
Now that’s what I call an expensive Christmas.