48 hours in Chester | Your girls' weekend in Chester, sorted
Are you planning a weekend in Chester? The historical city is quaint and characterful, and there’s something for everyone. Chester is the perfect destination to escape it all, especially for a girly weekend surrounded by luxury and picture-perfect opportunities. Delectable food, cocktails, fine wines, shopping and experiences will be right at your fingertips, down narrow streets, or on the Chester Rows in this capital of Cheshire.
This itinerary will be all the information you need to easily plan and sort your weekend in Chester with the girls – and I’ll give you a few options in case the weather suddenly turns for the worse. We don’t want a weekend full of frizzy hair and running mascara on the cards.
Friday afternoon in Chester
Arrive in Chester and drop your bags at the hotel – it’s time to explore. To quickly get a feel for the city, you could walk the Chester Rows to browse the bars, restaurants, shopping and coffee shops. It’s good to get a feel for the place, and the city isn’t so big so you’ll pick up on some of the locations I’ll recommend for your weekend in Chester.
I know the first thing I want to do when arriving at a girls’ city break is delicious food and a prosecco to celebrate. First stop, how about a rooftop lunch with mimosas? Opera Grill is a favourite especially if the sun is shining. If it’s not, they still have a foldaway roof; if it’s torrential, inside the Grade II listed building is still just as stunning. It’ll be that taste of glamour in Cheshire you’ve been craving, where you can sit back, relax and enjoy the peace with friends.
Now will be a good time to head back to your hotel, settle in and get ready for the night ahead. Ensure you check out the hotel recommendations at the end of this blog.
Friday evening in Chester
Chester is full of Instagram-worthy restaurants and bars for your Friday evening. Dress up and start at Oddfellows Secret Garden Restaurant or even Olive Tree Brasserie. Both modern dining, luscious menus and plenty of spaces for wow-moment photographs. Ensure not to get too full as you’ll need your energy for Friday’s main event – wine tasting or gin tasting.
Vin Santo, located in Chester’s historic 13th-century crypted cellars is a must-do. You could book a private tasting experience, join a tasting event or even just have a few drinks here. The cellars are snug, lit with candlelight and perfect for your after-meal drinks. Nibbles are also served here, which complement the wine so well. If cosy isn’t your vibe, Providence Gin, again on Watergate Street, is a gin-tasting experience to try. They even provide bottomless gin brunches if you’re starting early.
If you’re ready to party on, head to The Church Bar, Popcorn or Red Door to dance the night away, before heading back to your hotel for a good night’s rest, ready for day two of your weekend in Chester.
Saturday morning in Chester
We’ll take the morning easy as heads could be sore after last night. A Saturday morning stroll along the famous Chester walls would be relaxing. You’ll come across a quaint coffee shop, Huxleys, perfect for a spot of people-watching with a view of Watergate Street. If you walk a bit further, you’ll arrive at the new Chester Market. With over 25 food traders and stalls, you’ll be spoilt for choice on culinary delights. Brunch or a late breakfast would be a highlight here, sitting at the student-style seating at this modern, contemporary market hall.
Saturday lunchtime in Chester
I would hope that you’ve booked your weekend in Chester to coincide with one of the Chester Races meeting dates. It truly is an experience you will never forget and the whole city has an exciting buzz feel throughout. I recommend booking the County Concourse tickets if so to get access to the champagne bars in the middle of the racecourse. If this is the case, you may be getting your hair or make-up done during lunchtime, ready to head to the course. Please note the dress codes when booking – they are strict on entry.
If you’re not here for horse racing, a spot of shopping is a must. The Chester Rows, Watergate Street and the Grosvenor Shopping Centre are world-famous. They are full of everything you need for retail therapy. If you fancied a drive, Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet is a fine place to eat, drink and shop too. To make your shopping trip even more special, why not book a Jo Malone appointment and be guided through your senses to decide on the scent to remind you of your girly weekend in Chester – I have always loved this experience. Finish your shopping with a bite to eat and a coffee at The Flower Cup or a hanging kebab on The Botanist’s warm, outdoor terrace before walking to your next stop for the afternoon.
Saturday afternoon in Chester
Head down to the River Dee for your afternoon – I would suggest hiring a row boat as this is always such a laugh and it’s very inexpensive. Approximately £10 for 30 minutes for a rowboat, £20 for 30 minutes for a pedal boat or £30 for 30 minutes for a motorboat. Think about the picture opportunities here, especially if it’s a lovely day.
Afterwards, you can order your first margarita of the day whilst sitting outside Hickory’s Smokehouse – an American diner with some remarkable cocktails, or even The Moorings pub – both with River views. If the weather is unhappy that day, you can always head inside here. Just further up the riverside, into Grosvenor Park, The Lodge Coffee House and Kitchen is a cosy stop for a coffee or two, before you head back to the hotel to prepare for your Saturday evening on your weekend in Chester.
Saturday evening in Chester
For dinner this evening, I recommend Upstairs at the Grill – a sophisticated steakhouse and cool cocktail bar. The restaurant has a heated garden terrace looking out over the city, and a trendy style throughout. If you’ve been at the races, 1539 at Chester Racecourse is a must. You’ll be able to enjoy the views of the racecourse whilst relishing the fine-dining experience.
Do you still have a thirst for more drinks? After your dinner, you could head to Bar Lounge or The Architect and either sit out on their sun terraces or cosy up inside.
Sunday morning in Chester
Completing your girls’ weekend in Chester with a spa day is a must-do, and you’ll be spoilt for choice here. You want to grab those last few hours relaxing before you head back to your busy lives. There are central spas such as the Chester Grosvenor, however, I recommend travelling 10 – 15 minutes down the road to one of the country spas on your way out of the city.
A favourite of mine is Spa by Kasia at the Chester Grosvenor Pulford Hotel. The hotel is famous for its restaurant – Palm Court, it’s AA rosette-awarded, so get up early(ish) and book yourself a breakfast or brunch here before you start your spa day. The spa is situated at the back of the hotel and has all the swimming facilities plus a calming Asian sensory garden to wander through before and after your treatments. The spa provides seasonal spa day offers, so do your research and book ahead. The lunch facilities are also remarkable here including an afternoon tea option, so you’ll be well-fed and pampered, ready for your journey home. Other recommended Chester spas include Carden Park or the DoubleTree Hilton Chester.
You are now fully prepared with your girls’ weekend in Chester itinerary, so what are you waiting for? Start with booking your hotel and here are my recommendations.