Xmas Has Arrived at The Trafford Centre in Greater Manchester..

Xmas Has Arrived at The Trafford Centre in Greater Manchester..

Trolls were a BIG thing for me when I was a child and I have to say they were definitely ‘better quality’ in the 1970’s! My sister and I played with them for hours – brushing their hair and making little outfits for them.. Oh and when the ‘miniature trolls’ appeared on the shelves our spending money didn’t stand a chance of being saved!

I can still recall the rubbery smell and when I saw that there is now a TROLLS movie, clearly it was a ‘must see’. Now I’d look pretty stupid sitting in the pictures watching TROLLS on my own so thank goodness I’ve got 2 gorgeous granddaughters who I could drag along with me… Oh and hubby too (he was delighted.. haha)….

From this picture below of one of my great nieces, it would seem that Trolls have re-established themselves within children’s imaginations, which I’m delighted about… I just wish their hair was better quality like it used to be.. (or is that just my rosy coloured memory of days long gone?)


So last Saturday, we trotted off (hubby kicking and screaming..) to The Trafford Centre (he hates this place at the best of times) .. ah well …. TOUGH!! (Oh I’m such a loving and caring wife – maybe that’s the advice I missed out of my previous post on 8 ways to help develop enduring love…    Maybe that’s what they mean when they say ‘tough love’ is good for you sometimes…hahha!)


Bare in mind that this was pre-Halloween, we were surprised to see that Xmas had already arrived at The Trafford Centre!


The girls were delighted to see the beautiful decorations and I have to say the crystal chandeliers are amazing… My 4 year old granddaughter was amazed at how they get them to hold up with just a few thin wires – bless her..

It’s amazing what little ones observe and are mesmerised by, that we just take for granted as adults….. Having my granddaughters helps me re-look at the World from the eyes of a child which is magical…

So… back to the Trolls movie – it was lovely and I can definitely recommend it to anyone with young children. It kept both my granddaughters entertained throughout the whole movie.. (sometimes the younger one who is only 4 can start to get ‘fidgety’ toward the end of a feature film but not in Trolls…). It’s a great combination of bright colours, happy songs, cute characters and obviously ‘the evil one’!

I suspect even hubby sneakily quite enjoyed the film, although clearly he’d have no ‘street cred’ if he admitted it.. He definitely enjoyed the popcorn anyway!

After the film it was off to the Orient Food Hall for something to eat. We ended up in Coast to Coast, which I believe has only opened fairly recently. The girls were fascinated by the staff who were all dressed up in Halloween costumes.. I didn’t manage to take a picture of the staff dressed in costumes but I did have a go at a ‘selfie’ … (excuse poor quality picture.. I haven’t had enough ‘selfie practice’!!)


My food was tasty, I ordered Cajun Chicken Skewers which came with chips, salad and two small wraps. I stuck to the chicken and salad in line with my ‘low carb’ healthy eating AND I didn’t have a pudding! – I impressed myself!!! (The chips and wraps didn’t go to waste.. my granddaughters enjoyed them!)


Hubby chose an ‘American Style’ Burger. The burger itself was tasty (according to hubby) but as you can see, the portion wasn’t great and he nabbed a few of my chips too!

The children’s menu was fairly limited. G chose Pepperoni pizza and to be fair, it was a pretty large pizza for a child.. she could only manage half of it. It came with plenty of Pepperoni but only had a smear of tomato sauce on the base and not much cheese so looked a bit ‘bland’.. (sorry no photo – I’ll try harder on the next ‘eat out’ review!)

E chose crispy chicken and this was really nice. It included 2 good size strips of crispy chicken and the chicken looked ‘real’ not ‘processed’. E enjoyed it and using my ‘wrap’ she made a tasty crispy chicken wrap. I think it would be a good idea for Coast to Coast to add a ‘wrap’ to this meal for children, with a few less chips…

I didn’t even look at the desert menu so as not to be tempted and hubby rarely eats deserts and besides – he’d filled up on a full box of popcorn! We asked what was on the desert menu for children… Ice Cream Only which I think is missing a trick.. However, the girls ordered 1 x chocolate ice cream and 1 x mint ice cream. They came with 2 little pots of ice cream and a crispy wafer on each plate.

For the purpose of the photo, I’ve shown 3 pots so you see both flavours however, the portion was 2 pots. The girls only managed 1 pot anyway so that was fine… I was tempted to delve in to finish them off but resisted (well I think one teaspoon full may have passed my lips.. oops!)

So our trip to Coast to Coast gets a ‘mixed’ review. The food was good but not great…. It was great to see the staff all dressed up however, I didn’t see a single ‘staff smile’… they all looked pretty grumpy.

It was busy so maybe they were a bit stressed but hey ho… It was Saturday night, their costumes were brilliant and it would have been great to see them having some fun and interacting with their customers, which would have really added something to the atmosphere!

I tried smiling at a couple of the waiters/waitresses but got a ‘grumpy face’ in return… It’s hard not to smile when someone smiles at you but they certainly achieved it!

Putting my many years of experience managing customer service teams and my CIPD Training head on, I think they need me to go in and give them some training on how to achieve Excellence in the Customer Service Department! What do you think?

All in all though we had a lovely evening out and all enjoyed something from our  night out at The Trafford Centre (even if it was only the popcorn!….).

Yikes – it’s a bit scary though to think that Xmas is only round the corner (or in the case of The Trafford Centre, Manchester it’s already here!).

For me though now Halloween is over…..

I’m looking forward to Bonfire Night before I can start really thinking about Xmas!!!


(I love this photo taken last year, by my very talented niece Rachel as seen being made up into a cat by her also very creative daughter..)







  1. December 3, 2016 / 7:50 pm

    I am so jealous – I wish I lived in Manchester, I’m on the South Coast. I have the fondest memories of the Trafford Centre from going there with my best friend from Uni. Does it still have that lovely champagne bar?

    • December 3, 2016 / 7:53 pm

      It certainly does Rebecca! It’s funny though how the grass is always greener.. I take lots of the great things about Manchester for granted and I love the South Coast and have lots of happy family memories from holidays spent there! xx

      • December 3, 2016 / 7:57 pm

        SO very true! Wendy – I love your blog, you’ve got a new fan girl! ha ha x

        • December 3, 2016 / 8:00 pm

          Ahhh – How Lovely – thanks Rebecca I really appreciate that fab comment! It’s made my night.. xx

    • November 11, 2016 / 1:46 am

      The lights are being put up in people’s gardens too I noticed tonight.. yikes! x

      • November 11, 2016 / 5:47 am

        People already started Xmas shopping😊

        • November 11, 2016 / 9:53 pm

          Yep they have – my friend has nearly finished hers and I’m always ‘last minute’! x

  2. November 3, 2016 / 1:00 am

    Awww Wendy what great photos! So much love and blessings to you and your family (and the trolls πŸ™‚ ). Have a wonderful rest of your week/weekend — Debbie

    • November 3, 2016 / 8:29 am

      Thanks Debbie… haha – yep those trolls… took me right back 50 years (how scary is that!)

    • November 3, 2016 / 8:32 am

      ps – Hope you have a wonderful week too Debbie! xx

      • November 3, 2016 / 9:46 am

        Thank you Wendy! And nice to connect via Instagram 😊

  3. November 2, 2016 / 7:12 pm

    Cozy, not Cosby grrrrr

    • November 2, 2016 / 10:08 pm

      laughing…. x

    • November 2, 2016 / 10:20 pm

      Not wishing to rub it in Mr PPP but I will…. I’ve just had an invite as a result of this blog post to take my granddaughters for a complimentary trip to Santa’s Grotto back at the Trafford Centre next week! Watch this space for that post… magical! x

      • November 2, 2016 / 10:22 pm

        Hahaha. Good one Wendy!

        • November 2, 2016 / 10:23 pm

          Yep – really chuffed at that – this is a first! x

          • November 2, 2016 / 10:23 pm

            Lucky you!

          • November 2, 2016 / 10:24 pm

            Yep – I had a couple of squeals of delight from the girls when I told them earlier this evening! x

  4. November 2, 2016 / 7:12 pm

    I’m jealous. We had lunch there one time. At an oriental place called Tamponpo. It’s a big place. Loads of shops tho. Bought my plates at John Lewis there. Cosby when it’s not too busy.

    • November 2, 2016 / 10:08 pm

      Fancy that – we could’ve been there at the same time and never known it! You’re right – Cosby it is! haha.. My hubby works for John Lewis so I’m a regular visitor to that store to spend his staff discount! x

      • November 2, 2016 / 10:21 pm

        Haha. You would take advantage of him 😝😝😝

        • November 2, 2016 / 10:22 pm

          Me….take advantage…..Never (well maybe not never… ) !! hahaha xx

  5. November 2, 2016 / 2:29 pm

    I shall clearly have to steal a child or two to go to the Trolls movie – I was addicted too as a youngster. The acid test for the quality of hair is surely plaiting it? I remember it was impossible to get Troll braids to lie flat because the hair was so thick. A problem shared by my best friend Wenda (not WendY WendA). Sorry dinner was not served with a smile – send em over here for training … I think its illegal to be grumpy as a server (but then they are entirely reliant on tips because wages are so low which I thoroughly disapprove of so I suppose it is inevitable that they make a huge effort). I miss bonfire night. Since I moved abroad there is none, of course and believe it or not fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts …. Puritan habits die hard! xx

    • November 2, 2016 / 10:15 pm

      I nearly added in about the plaiting and then I couldn’t remember how to spell it so left it out – haha! You’re absolutely right though – the plaiting was key to a great troll and my favourite one had a black body and white hair… I loved that troll! The trolls that my granddaughters have are cute but simply don’t have that hair – it’s more ‘fluffy’ and definitely not as satisfying.. Yep – we’re gearing up to the ‘bonfire’ party this weekend – it never loses it’s appeal although I tend to prefer the organised bonfires these days…. I’ll light a sparkler for you Osyth! xx

      • November 2, 2016 / 10:34 pm

        I remember my friend ZaZa had that Troll and I was acutely covertous of it. Early Obsessive tendencies showing!! Thank you in advance for the sparkler and I’m glad I mentioned the all important plaits (note the spelling – you never know when you may need it again especially with those very gorgeous grandies of yours!) xx

        • November 2, 2016 / 10:53 pm

          Fabulous Osyth… Fancy that – clearly a case of great minds think alike!! It’s a good job I’ve got you to help me out with my spelling Osyth …but you’ll have to stay ‘covertous’ of my gorgeous granddaughters … We’re off to Santa’s grotto very soon! … xx

  6. November 2, 2016 / 2:25 pm

    I used to love my red troll with the white hair!

    • November 2, 2016 / 10:17 pm

      Funny how these strange little dolls appeal so much and for me have never lost their appeal.. and are still going strong 3 generations later! My favourite had a black body and white hair… I really loved that troll…

  7. November 2, 2016 / 2:11 pm

    A little bit early I think. In my hometown they put up the lamps the 1-th Sunday in advent.

    • November 2, 2016 / 10:18 pm

      You’re absolutely right, it does feel very early.. x

  8. November 2, 2016 / 12:12 pm

    Ooh, bonfire night sounds like fun. Actually it all sounds like a lot of fun Wendy, except for the sour customer service. Now, if I could just borrow your Grand daughters to go see Trolls I’d be set! 😊 My two are over it I think. xo

    • November 2, 2016 / 12:31 pm

      Haha – I know Miriam – how lucky am I that I can always find a little one in my family to drag along so I don’t look stupid? Yep – bonfire night is a long standing UK historic tradition following a plot a couple of hundred years ago to blow up our Houses of Parliament.. by someone called Guy Fawkes… We burn an effigy of ‘guy fawkes’ on the bonfire on November 5th every year, with lots of fireworks and toffee apples etc. Good fun for the kids (oh and me of course!) xx

      • November 2, 2016 / 12:36 pm

        Oh, I wish I was there with you Wendy, sounds awesome. 😊

        • November 2, 2016 / 12:45 pm

          Yep – forget the little camp fires… some of these bonfires are Enourmous!! I wish you could see it too! x

          • November 2, 2016 / 12:48 pm

            Make sure you take some photos!

          • November 2, 2016 / 12:53 pm

            Will do Miriam – I’m not sure mine will compare to my nieces or your photo’s though… I’m still waiting to go on a photography course…! xx

          • November 2, 2016 / 8:57 pm

            You and me both Wendy. I’m actually looking into a course at the moment. xo

          • November 2, 2016 / 10:05 pm

            Me too Miriam – what a shame we are on opposite sides of the World… we could’ve gone together!! I definitely need the ‘starter’ course whereas I’m suspecting from your fab photo’s that you’re on the advanced! xx

          • November 2, 2016 / 10:35 pm

            What a nice compliment but no, not really. But oh yes, if only we lived closer… 😊. xo

          • November 2, 2016 / 10:50 pm

            I meant it too Miriam – you’re photo’s are fabulous! x

          • November 2, 2016 / 11:56 pm

            I know you did Wendy and you’re so sweet but honestly, most of my photos are just point and shoot! xo

          • November 3, 2016 / 8:31 am

            Wow – well that makes me feel better then… there’s hope for me yet as I’m baffled by the shutter speeds and settings and the ‘instructions’ definitely aren’t helping… haha! x

          • November 3, 2016 / 10:07 am

            We’ll get there!

          • November 3, 2016 / 10:31 am

            We will! x

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