WALKING along the quayside in Salford on a hot summer day it is hard to imagine you are just a few miles from home and not in a southern European holiday hotspot.

The atmosphere is fantastic – the Lowry Centre bars are bustling, the shops are busy and people are sunbathing and chatting. There is a real holiday mood in the air.

Me, my wife and two young children are spending the weekend in Salford Quays, home to MediaCityUK, to get a taste of what the area has to offer in terms of eating out, entertainment and family fun.

We are staying in the four-star Copthorne Hotel situated in the heart of Salford Quays and just a short walk from the Lowry Centre and Lowry Theatre.

I have never stayed in the hotel before and when we were shown to our family room we were impressed immediately. There was a huge king sized bed for us and singles for the kids. The room was open and airy and had a very modern feel. The bathroom was large and the power shower spot on.

After a quick change we decide to walk to the Lowry Centre to check out what’s on offer. Ten minutes later we are at the heart of the action and decide to check out the shopping centre. There’s pretty much something for everyone here – the big name shops like Clarks, Next and Tessuti as well as several bars and restaurants. The centre offers an amazing 70 per cent off purchases so we pick up a few bargains and head off for something to eat.

We settle on Lime – a bar/restaurant facing the Lowry Theatre on the outside of the shopping centre. First impressions are great – the restaurant is modern and open and we are shown to a nice large table inside.

There is a great atmosphere in the restaurant is busy and buzzing. The music is good and its starting to feel like a mini night out with the kids.

After ordering our drinks, we are into the food menu. We order a nice selection of olives and sun dried tomatoes.

Next it's the mains - the kids go for fish and chips and sausage and chips (great value at £6.50). I go for the cajun tuna steak and Rache goes for the cajun chicken salad.

The tuna dish, priced £21, was worth every penny. Beautifully cooked alongside a tangy tomato sauce and potatoes, it was an absolute delight. My wife said her salad was fabulous too and we agreed we would be back to dine again. We finished the meal off with another cocktail each and the children shared a sticky toffee pud with ice cream.

They devoured it in seconds without any complaints.

The next day we were back for a visit to the theatre for the Milkshakers Live event.

The show was great and featured all the stars - Milkshake Monkey, Derek, Fireman Sam, Shimmer and Shine and Noddy. The place was packed to the rafters with kids who were all having an amazing time.

And, finally, we finished the day off with a visit to the Grade II listed Ordsall Hall for its annual Garden Party. There was arts and crafts, fairground rides and delicious food and drink.

Salford Quays is celebrating 18 Years In The Making this year so be sure to visit and enjoy tyhe many activities in offer. We loved it.