Last week I was invited to attend the Soave Wine event at Bakerie in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. I’d only been to the bar once before for another wine tasting (where they had a wine vending machine and it was really really cool… but I digress…) but it is known for its great wine selection and bread and meat boards – what else could you ask for?

It was only about this time last year that I started to drink wine, and I’m mostly a red girl, although I do prefer a white wine in summer because it is much more refreshing.

The Soave region is within the Venetian hillsides and produces some of the best white wine in the world. Italy is well known for its wine production, and I felt very lucky to be able to try them in such a relaxed environment.

I went with my friend Liz (who write the blog Dirty Thirty Crisis) and were met by Sarah Abbott, a Master of Wine and an ambassador for Soave wines in the UK – very cool title! She showed us to the table and talked us briefly through the 20 wines that were on offer. They started off with the cheaper ones and moved up in price and availability the higher the number.

We got to about wine number 4 before platters of food came out (probably a good a thing!) which were a dream come true – a mixture of breads, cured meat and chutneys; everything that I’m a massive fan of (although I did feel bad eating bread in front of Liz who is gluten-free…)

We made some friends over the food, and carried on with them and got to about wine number 10 (bearing in mind we were having about half glasses each time, we thought it was about time to slow down…) when Sarah did a speech thanking us all for coming and mentioning that we could all take our favourite wine home with us.

Because we didn’t want to look like alcoholics with bottles of wine walking down the street, Liz and I thought it would be a good idea to finish off our favourite wines (which evidently were the two cheapest!) at the bar. A man from the Cheshire Wine Society came over to join us and told us about all of his favourite vineyards, which was actually really interesting.

This event definitely made me want to go to more events like this and made me realise that there is so much more to wine than you first think and the £5 bottle you used to live on at university, probably is the reason you think you don’t like it. My advice – do your research and try as much wine as possible!

If anyone knows of any other events like this, please let me know in the comments xx

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Blogging awards aren’t around to make us feel in competition with each other, or to stroke the ego of some particularly ‘big’ names, but to give recognition to those who are so passionate about what they do and appreciation of how much effort that goes into running a blog.

The great thing about blogging is that it wasn’t even taken seriously a few years ago. People thought we were all just winging it with our writing, and maybe there is some truth in that – but blogging has taught the world that the every-day girl would rather read the review of someone similar to her, rather than listen to a celebrity bang on on social media about a product they clearly have never used in their life.

The difference between a blogger endorsement and a celebrity endorsement, in my eyes, is that 9 times out of 10, the blogger has gone out and purchased the product themselves in order to test it for their audience.

Yes, some bloggers are lucky enough to be gifted products – but those relationships are usually formed after an initial trial period, or until the brand catches wind (whether that be through social media, a YouTube video or coming across one of their blog posts) of what the individual is doing, and in turn wants to use the voice of that particular ‘influencer’ to spread the news of what they are selling to an audience.

The brand is then putting themselves in the public eye – which can be quite dangerous if that particular influencer doesn’t like the product – because they have no say in what they can produce on your blog.

My point is, there is a lot of authenticity in what a blogger says and this should be recognised in the industries we work within: that’s why it is so positive that blogging awards have come about because of the boom in the voice of the ‘normal’ girl.

I’ll be the first to admit that blogging isn’t easy. Yes there are some posts that come naturally and you can write them within a couple of hours; but for others… days, weeks and sometimes even months goes into creating content, taking photography, writing, proofing, editing, scheduling, tweeting, Facebooking, instagramming – it’s no walk in the park.

Blogging awards are becoming bigger and bigger every year, and not only do they celebrate the full-time bloggers out there but also the smaller influencers who are just as passionate about their corner of the internet. I’ve followed some of the largest names in the blogging world and seen them win incredible awards, but even some of the lesser known bloggers that I follow have had the recognition they deserve.

Everyone knows how much I love writing – I talk about it enough – but honestly, this blog has given me so many opportunities and introduced me to some of my closest friends and inspirational people and I am beyond thankful for every unbelievable moment that I have had, and the continued support I get from my readers.

I would love to be able to write on this blog every single day; to share content that I think is relatable to my audience, posts that I have put so much time and effort into creating and ones that I will look back on and be proud – but at the moment, life is so completely crazy that I haven’t found the time to do so yet – but it will always be my goal.

My blog is so important to me. It’s a place I can share my thoughts; a place I can use to get my head straight, and a place I know holds such great prospects for me.

And this is why I feel like it is such a big honour to be nominated for Best Lifestyle Blogger in the Northern Blog Awards. It would mean so much for me to win it, but to even be nominated is such an achievement and I am so thankful: I am up against some great bloggers, personal friends and ones I have admired for years.

Whatever the outcome on the 16th September, I will always love coming back here week after week and I hope you do too.

You can vote for my blog here xx

This last week felt like such a blur, filled with such fun events, and making memories with friends both old and new. I’m slightly looking forward to this next week being not as busy!

1. Catching Up

On Monday I met up with my old friend Anna for food and a long overdue catch up at The Deli in Didsbury. We used to work together, but she has since had a baby, Lucy, who I had only met when she was first born so I was really excited to see them both. She’s set up her own business which is doing really well, and it was interesting to hear all about that and have baby cuddles of course. A really nice way to start off the week.

2. Northern Blog Awards

On Tuesday, I found out that I have been shortlisted for Best Lifestyle Blogger in the Northern Blog Awards, which I am absolutely over the moon about. I’m up against some incredible bloggers (including my good friend Lily) but it is just nice to be recognised for my little corner of the internet. If you do want to vote for me though, you can here!

3. Soave Wine Event

On Wednesday afternoon I made my way into Manchester for the Soave Wine event which was held in the cellar bar at Bakerie in the Northern Quarter with my friend Liz. I will admit that this time last year I very rarely drank wine, especially white wine, but this event massively changed my outlook on it. I do prefer it in summer (because I associate red wine with Christmas) and we tried some amazing ones from the Veneto district of North West Italy. We were greeted by a member of the Soave team and shown to the 18 wines on the table. I won’t lie and say I was feeling slightly tipsy after glass number 3, and funnily enough, both Liz and I said that we preferred the slightly cheaper ones. We chatted with some local experts over a bread and meat platter and were all allowed to take a bottle home with us, which was such a lovely gift after a really informative and fun event.

4. Beauty Book Launch

After the wine tasting on Wednesday, we made our way over to Neighbourhood in Spinningfields for the launch of Beauty Book held by one of our favourite Manchester PR companies, Ledigo. The event was such a success with famous faces, lots of glitter, nails and tasters of some of the services they offer (I had a cheeky shoulder massage).

5. Around The World

On Thursday evening, my friend Jacinta and I went to the around the world cocktail bar for their new summer menu launch. The bar itself is located in the Printworks in Manchester, inside Bierkeller. We were greeted with a glass of prosecco and joined by some of my favourite blogging girls. They provided food for us and gave us the menu to chose as many cocktails as we wanted from the 18 new ones. My favourite was definitely the Pina Colada, but it made me want to be sitting on a beach instead!

6. Pizza Friday

After quite a hectic few days, I decided to have a chilled evening on Friday and had a couple of friends round for pizza and pick ‘n’ mix because we’re super good adults. It was definitely what I needed to chill out as my head had been all over the place all week, and we had such a lovely evening just relaxing at my house.

7. Elite Gym

On Saturday morning, instead of being good and going to my actual gym, I went to the open day of the Elite Physique gym in Stockport. The gym is really open plan and bright with lots of different stations and machines. There was a live DJ, different healthy food stalls and lots of familiar faces. I think it was my first time going to this type of event on a weekend, but it was really fun.

8. Blossoms

On Saturday afternoon, I went over to my friend’s house with a group of others to have a few pre-drinks before the Blossoms concert at Castlefield Bowl in Manchester. If you haven’t heard of Blossoms (where have you been…) they are an indie pop band from Stockport that have been around for about 4 years. This was the first time I had been to see them, and also the first time I had been to a concert at Castlefield Bowl, and it was incredible. They were so good live, and the crowd really made the show.

9. British Style Collective

I was lucky enough to be invited to the British Style Collective, presented by The Clothes Show, over the weekend, so me and Jacinta decided to go on the Sunday. It was held at different venues across Liverpool including the exhibition centre, St. George’s Hall and the Echo Arena and was such a fabulous day. We arrived about 11:30am and went straight into the fashion and beauty halls where they had familiar brands, but also some up and coming ones, then we walked over to the docks to have a look at the stalls along there, then back over to the Echo arena for the fashion show and finally to industry talks at St. George’s Hall, which was the most incredible venue ever. I’d only been to The Clothes Show once in Birmingham, but I felt like with being older and running my own blog and Instagram made me appreciate the whole experience much more.

10. Sunday Evening Walk 

When I got back from Liverpool on Sunday, I felt as though me and Jordan hadn’t spent any quality time together for a few days so we went for a walk in the sunshine to Chorlton Water Park. It was nice to get some headspace after a few hectic days and the lake is such a relaxing place to be. Definitely a good way to wind down.

xx

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On Thursday evening, I went to the summer cocktail launch of the Around The World bar inside Bierkeller in the Printworks in Manchester. I was invited by Lee, who works for the PR agency, and being cheeky, I asked for a plus 1, and brought my friend Jacinta along.

We met in Manchester on a lovely sunny evening, and walked over from the met station. The Printworks isn’t somewhere I tend to go anymore because it reminds me of being in my teen years, rinsing my bank account in Tiger Tiger and way too many slut drops, but I am always up for a midweek cocktail tasting session.

The bar itself is inside Bierkeller, which, if you’ve ever heard of, is pretty much as close as you will get to an authentic Bavarian beer hall outside of Germany. I’ve never actually been before, but I’ve always been intrigued after been to a real-life Bierkeller in Berlin.

We were greeted with a glass of Prosecco and took a seat near to where they were doing the cocktail demonstrations to get a front row view!

We were told by the waitresses that there were 18 cocktails on the new menu and told to call in sick to work tomorrow. We started with a strawberry daiquiri and a porn star martini, followed swiftly by an amaretto sours, one of my favourite cocktails.

After that, we had a passion fruit Margherita and English Country Garden which was one of my favourite from the night, being a gin and elderflower fan. At this point (and only a little bit of food) we were all feeling a little bit tipsy and didn’t think we could make it all the way to the magic 18.

Seeing our despair, the waitress told us we could just order what we wanted when we felt ready. We all went for a pina colada, which was our best cocktail of the night. After a few boomerang cheers, selfies and group shots, the night was starting to wind dine, so we decided to call it a day.

We jumped on the met home and obviously, I got Jordan to drive me to Tesco to buy some midnight snacks – definitely got some boyfriend points!

Overall the bar was really cool, and the cocktail menu had some classics that you would expect, but also some new ones that I would definitely go back and try!

xx

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Tattu in Manchester’s Spinningfields, is just one of those places that oozes cool and trendy dining, that you can only really warrant going to if you’re incredibly swish, or have something to celebrate. So when my friend Sophie suggest going there for her birthday, it was the perfect excuse for a treat.

Tattu is primarily a Cantonese restaurant, with two units in Manchester and Leeds, but it’s not like any others I’ve ever been to before. I usually tend to steer away from eating Chinese as it’s been known to induce a migraine, but I knew at somewhere this snazzy that there would be no chance of that.

As a self-confessed foodie, I had already had a read of the menu before we got to the restaurant, and had an idea of what I wanted. Me and my friend Laura got there first and had a celebratory glass of prosecco before the others arrived at the bar downstairs. As soon as we walked in, the overall vibe of the restaurant is almost quite nautical, with high ceilings so you can see the upstairs restaurant, ropes hanging from the walls with roses intertwined.

When we’d all arrived we made our way upstairs to our table, which was a booth near to the kitchen. Tattu is well-known on the Manchester dining scene as having a beautiful pink cherry blossom in the middle of the restaurant, but it is so much prettier in real life. The restaurant was quite dark, but it only added to the overall ambiance.

We sat down and our waitress came over straight away to greet us. She talked us through the menu and said that most people get a few different dishes to share and maybe a main between two, which is exactly what we all did. She took a drinks order from us and left us to peruse the menu. I was driving this night so I stuck to the water, but the cocktails looked lovely, and the little taste I had of Sophie’s was delicious and tasted like parma violets.

For the starter, two of us shared the duck spring rolls and the spicy pork wontons, both of which was so tasty and completely different to the dim sum you would get from a takeaway: the quality of the ingredients definitely came across. For a main, we had the Chinese bbq chicken with some beansprout noodles. At first, I didn’t think the main would be big enough for two, which can sometimes be the problem in a more fancy restaurant, but I was impressed with the portion size, and I would definitely recommend doing it this way.

I managed to try a few of the other plates that were on the table, including a duck and watermelon salad, the steamed hoisin buns and the crispy squid, all of which again was incredible.

The entire experience was just lovely and although the restaurant was full, we didn’t feel rushed once, and the staff were so lovely and knowledgeable.

All in all I would definitely recommend Tattu if you were looking for somewhere a bit more upmarket to go for a celebration, or just want to feel ultra-fancy.

xx

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