This week has been such a foodie week with a few different trips out to restaurants in the week and a home-cooked meal on the Friday. I can’t believe as well that it’s my birthday next week – this year is just flying!

Here is everything I was loving last week!

Pen & Pencil

On Tuesday evening, I was invited to sample the menu at The Pen and Pencil in Manchester, so I took the chance to have a catch up with my best girl, Hannah. I’d seen her the weekend before, but we still had loads to catch up on and the food was great too.

Salon Success Dinner

I was very kindly invited to the Salon Success summer dinner on Wednesday evening at Grand Pacific, which has been a restaurant I wanted to try for the longest time. The food was incredible, and it was lovely to catch up with the team and some of my favourite blogging girls.

Alchemist 

I took my Mum to The Alchemist in Alderley Edge on Thursday evening to sample some of their dishes they are doing in association with Foodinate, who provide a meal to a local person in need. We had a really lovely evening, and the staff were incredibly accommodating.

Home Cooked Fridays

I was working from home on Friday as I wasn’t feeling great, but it meant that I could prep things for dinner so we could have a nice home-cooked meal. I ended up making a Quorn chilli with homemade flatbreads, and it was delicious – if I do say so myself.

Parklife

This weekend I spent at Parklife Festival which is held at Heaton Park in Manchester. I’ve not been for the past 3 years, but I used to go every year. I had such a great day with all my friends, day drinking and dancing and the weather was amazing for it too.

Confidence Man

I wanted to do a special mention to my favourite band that I saw at Parklife Festival which was Confidence Man. It was my second time seeing them and they are just so incredible live. They were one of the first artists to perform on the Sunday and it set the day off on a high.

Soccer Aid

I caught a bit of the Soccer Aid match for UNICEF when I got home on Sunday evening and I really enjoyed it. I used to be massively into football and even had a season ticket to Manchester United but it’s been a while since I sat and watched a match and even better when it’s for charity. It got me excited for the World Cup too.

What were you loving last week?

One of the things that I’ve found the most exciting about planning a wedding is definitely looking around the venues. We got engaged just before Christmas, which is a very popular time, meaning that a lot of venues will have open days and showcases to give you a taste of what they could offer you for your big day.

When we first started venue hunting, I had my heart set on a Christmas wedding, which was great because a lot of the places had their decorations up still so you could see what would be there on your wedding day; but after some considerations, we decided to push it back by a few months to spring. If you had a couple of years before you wanted to tie the knot, I would recommend going to the venue in the month you are considering so you can have an idea of what the lighting will be like, whether the flowers will be in bloom and generally how warm/cold it will be.

We looked around a number of different venues from country manor houses to barns to golf clubs to hotels – we even toyed with the idea of getting married abroad at one point – and each of them had their own special features. If I’m honest, I found hunting for the perfect venue to be one of the hardest decisions as it sets the tone for so much of the rest of the day from the food, to the flowers, to the colour scheme and everything else in between.

One of the great things about some of the venues that we looked at was that you had exclusive use for the whole day; that means there are no other weddings on at the same venue on the same day, which let’s face it, nobody wants.

If you’re based down south or want something a bit different from everyone else in your hometown who is also getting married at a similar time (a real problem that we had!) then I would definitely recommend going further afield. One of the venues that I’ve seen that struck my eye was the gorgeous Silchester House on the border of Hampshire and Berkshire. This country house is situated within an estate, surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens. Click here to see more about the venue.

Not only is this place easy on the eyes, it also boats an interesting history, being one of the first country homes to hold a licence for civil marriages almost 20 years ago. Since then, the stunning backdrop has been cared for by the Bijou team: It has been transformed into a beautiful wedding venue with light and airy interiors with exclusive use for couples.

Even though the venue itself is quite the spectacle, the overall feel of the place is incredibly intimate, which is just what you want for your big day. Take your keepsake photos in the library, drawing room or music room and take advantage of the original features.

I hope you have found this post interesting and it’s given you some food for thought if you want a slightly different feel to your wedding.

xx

This post was written in collaboration with Bijou Wedding Venues.

Gusto is one of my favourite chains of restaurants as I feel as though they have a little something for everyone from sharing platters to pizzas. Recently their Didsbury restaurant went under a renovation and the end result is lovely.

They have covered their outdoor seated area and redone the indoor decor very tastefully. I went to visit them a few weeks ago and I wanted to share my experience on the blog.

We decided to go for the set menu on our visit (and the three-course option, obviously…) We started with the bruschetta and calamari. The bruschetta was so lovely and fresh and the calamari were incredibly tasty as well.

For the main course, I couldn’t resist a pizza – I went for the caprino (goat’s cheese, roasted red peppers, pine kernels, caramelised onion, pesto, mozzarella and rocket). Jordan went for the classic Gusto burger with truffle fries.

I went for a little wander around the restaurant with the manager who showed me the new kitchen layout, their pizza oven and the new interior pieces that they’ve introduced.

When I got back to the table, we ordered desserts. My favourite, sticky toffee pudding was on the menu so I went for that and Jordan had the brownie with pistachio ice cream. After the three courses, I was absolutely stuffed, but it was amazing.

If you’re in the Didsbury area, I would recommend giving Gusto a go. They have a set menu, brunch menu and a la carte, which has something for everyone.

Have you been to Gusto before?

Our meal at Gusto was complimentary in exchange for a review. All views are my own.

Happy June everyone! I can’t quite believe that it’s June already, but I’m really looking forward to this month as I’ve got loads of exciting plans, and hopefully, I’ll be making some more.

Here is everything I’m wishing for this month.

1. Have A Very Happy Birthday

This month I’ll be turning 28! I can’t quite believe how fast that’s come round, but my 27th birthday seems like it was so long ago. I’m actually going to London for a work trip that way, so I’m not sure I’ll be doing anything on the day, but Jordan and I are going to the Lake District at the weekend.

2. Relax In The Lakes

On that note, I’m really looking forward to having a few nights away. We are staying in Keswick in a gorgeous little lodge, and I think it will be a really lovely weekend of eating, drinking, hot-tubbing and generally having some downtime. We’ve been to Keswick once before so it won’t be totally unfamiliar to us.

3. Explore More Of Dubai

Towards the end of the month, I’ll be heading to Dubai to visit one of my friends who lives out there and I cannot wait. I’ve been once before, but it was about 5 years ago, so I can’t wait to see how it’s changed over the years.

4. Have Lots Of Delicious Meals Out

This month, I’ve very kindly been invited to try a few different summer menus at various restaurants in Manchester. I’ve decided to take friends and family to a couple of them and I already can’t wait to try some new places, the first being Pen & Pencil this evening, with my lovely friend Hannah.

5. Meet New Brands

This month I really want to start pitching to brands again. I had such a busy May that I really put that on the backburner, but I’ve got some free time coming up so I might start pulling together a bit of a brief to send off!

6. Enjoy Liam Gallagher

At the end of June, my friend Phil and I will be travelling to Finsbury Park in London to watch Liam Gallagher. I’ve been to a concert there a few years ago to watch Arctic Monkeys, and it’s a brilliant venue.

7. London Trip

As I mentioned, I’ll be spending my birthday in London with my work colleagues, but I’m actually quite excited to head down to the capital. The firm that we are seeing as well have already mentioned that they want to take us to Sushi Samba, which I can 100% get on board with!

8. Organise life

I feel as though I really need to get my office and generally my life in order this month, but as it’s halfway through the year, I think it’s a good time to do so to make the most of the final 6 months of 2018. I also have a few prints that I’d like to find homes for.

9. Upload More YouTube Videos

I uploaded my first vlog last week about my recent trip to Amsterdam and I really loved editing it, which I didn’t think I would do. Now I’ve got the YouTube bug and I want to upload much more. You can subscribe to my channel here if you would like to and watch my Amsterdam vlog here.

10. Book A Trip For Later In The Year 

I’ve massively got the holiday bug and all I want to do in my spare time is look at flights. At the moment, Jordan and I are looking to have a few days away in September but I really can’t decide where I would like to go. If you have any recommendations then please send them my way.

11. Get Rid Of Old Clothes

I’ve noticed that I have some really old pieces in my wardrobe that I want to get rid of, not even to buy more stuff, but just so they can go to a better home and I can have more space, which I seem to be really lacking at the moment.

And there you have everything I’m hoping for this month.

What are you wishing for this month?

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend (and every lovelier 4-day week) I’m not sure I’m actually ready to go back to work for 5 whole days, but hopefully, this week will fly by!

Here is everything I was loving last week.

Starting The Week In Amsterdam

As the first day of this week was a bank holiday, Jordan and I were still on our little trip to Amsterdam. It was a gorgeous sunny day and we did a boat trip and made the most of our last day in the city. I already want to go back!

Travel Vlog

I have big news… I MADE MY FIRST YOUTUBE VIDEO! I’ve been umming and ahhing for a while whether to do it, but I filmed some clips whilst we were in Amsterdam and I thought I have to just go for it. The video is here if you want to watch it, and I’d love it if you subscribed to my channel as I really want to start making more videos.

Sushi Takeaway

When we got back from the airport on Monday evening, the last thing we wanted to do was to cook dinner, so we treated ourselves to a sushi takeaway. Our favourite place do the best sushi and it’s down the road, which is great, but also dangerous at times!

Catch-Ups

On Wednesday evening, I had my friend Jacinta round catch-up. I’ve been having a bit of a rubbish time recently with my anxiety, and Jacinta always makes me feel really positive and that I can take on the world again, so I love spending time with her.

Iberica

Jordan and I were very kindly invited to sample some of the new spring dishes at Iberica in Spinningfields on Friday evening. It’s been a meal I was looking forward to for ages as I’ve only heard amazing things – and they were all right. I’ll be doing a full review in the next couple of weeks, but it’s safe to say it was one of the best Spanish meals I’ve ever had.

Makeup

One of my friends from work has recently left and started her own business doing makeup and on Saturday, she very kindly came round to do mine and my other two friends to practise different looks. Her Instagram page is here if you want to check out her work, but I can honestly she say she was amazing. I’ve had my makeup done a few times and this is the only time I’ve genuinely loved it.

Chilled Sunday

On Sunday, I was struggling a bit with my anxiety and wanted to have a relaxing day and get back on track. Jordan and I spent the day wandering around one of our favourite villages and then the rest of the afternoon in the garden because of the gorgeous weather. It was exactly what I needed.

What have you been loving?