For today’s post, I’ll be sharing some of the places that we ate and drank during our time visiting Bath last month. In my opinion, one of the best things about being away from home is the fact that you have to eat out for almost every meal – which is a treat in itself – and not even having to worry about anything like washing up or making a mess.

With the wedding coming up next year, we knew that we didn’t want to go crazy on the restaurant front whilst we were in Bath, and I did a lot of research before we went to scope out the best places to go. We also decided to make food in our apartment on the first night in order to take advantage of having an actual kitchen – but more about that in the last instalment of my Bath City Guides.

This post is dedicated to all of the places that we managed to cram in for the 3 days that we were there.

EAT

Breakfast – the most important meal of the day!

Hunter & Sons

If you read my post on where to go in Bath, I mentioned a little square that we stumbled upon, Milsom Street, which was full of restaurant and bars but set away from the busy streets. We visited Hunter & Sons on the Saturday morning we were there, and although it was busy, we were seated and ordering within about 15 minutes. The food was all locally sourced and really tasty – I went for the poached eggs with smoked salmon and a side of avocado on sourdough (because obvs…) and the portion was huge!

Courtyard Cafe

On our second morning in Bath, we were torn between a couple of places to go for breakfast but settled on the Courtyard Cafe because the sun was shining and they had a little sun trap with heaters (needed in February!) outside. I went for the veggie breakfast as it came with halloumi, and I wasn’t disappointed at all!

Lunch

Wild Cafe

We were drawn towards Wild Cafe because of the colours and fairy lights on the outside, and the welcoming vibe as soon as stepped in. We found out that the whole cafe is run on renewable electricity and they try and use as much recycled produce as possible, which is pretty cool!

I went for the olive and mozzarella focaccia, and Jordan opted for the cheddar and chutney sandwich, and they both were lovely. Wild Cafe use all local ingredients too, and you can really tell because everything is so tasty.

 

Dinner

Ole Tapas

As I mentioned, the first night we were in Bath, we wanted to make the most of the apartment and decided to nip to the supermarket. The second night, however, we made the most of being on a stay-cation (how much do you hate me for using that word…) and headed out for some tapas, which is hands-down one of my favourite cuisines: I’d been googling restaurants for a couple of weeks before we went and we nailed it down to two – Tapas Revolution and Ole Tapas.

We decided to go to Ole Tapas as it seemed much more quaint and traditional, and it did not disappoint at all – it was literally one of the best meals I have ever had. The restaurant itself was up a flight of stairs, and although it only fit 25 in, we were really lucky to grab a seat at the bar which meant that we could watch everything being prepared.

We shared 6 dishes between the two of us and had a couple of jugs of sangria to share, and it was one of my favourite memories of the whole trip! One you HAVE to visit if you’re ever in Bath.

The Sweet Stuff

San Francisco Fudge Factory

Those who know me well will know that I can rarely visit a new city without picking up a bag of fudge – I don’t know what it is, but it’s always my go-to souvenir. The San Francisco fudge factory was located opposite the abbey, so if you get the chance, I’d recommend having a coffee and sitting outside watching the world go by.

We initially saw this place on our first evening, but it was just closing so we made sure we went back the next day. The staff were really friendly and let us try a few different flavours before we settled on rocky road and chocolate orange.

Society Cafe

We stopped at Society Cafe for a bit of tea and cake but ended up spending over an hour here because it was so lovely and chilled and away from the hustle and bustle of the busy streets.

There’s a couple of society cafes in Bath (and more in Oxford and Bristol) and their selection of cakes was amazing – I ended up going for a vegan salted caramel brownie which was delicious (and we may have shared a scone afterwards).

Drink

Canary Gin Bar

If there’s a gin bar in town, I’m there, and this one was no exception. We visited the bar after our meal at Ole Tapas, so we didn’t want much to drink, but still ended up having a couple each. I sampled their house gin with a strawberry tonic and mint, and also my favourite Edinburgh rhubarb and ginger gin with ginger beer – both delish!

Boston Tea Party

Although we didn’t get a chance to visit Boston Tea Party, I wanted to mention it on here as it looked lovely from what we did see. There are a couple in the city and are rated highly on Trip Advisor as a good place for a brew and the interiors are a dream!

Mokoko Coffee

Before we went to Bath, Mokoko Coffee was recommended by a few different people as a good place to stop and grab a drink. The one we visited was right next to the Roman baths, and although it was quite busy inside, we found a table overlooking the courtyard which was a lovely place to refuel.

And there you have my recommendations for the beautiful Bath. Writing all of them up has made me want to go back so much and sample all of the places that we didn’t get time to go to.

Have you been to Bath for food and drink? Where were your favourites? 

xx

 

Save for later

I mentioned on my social media a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to start doing a Manchester series on my blog and today I’m sharing the first of my many recommendations to you for my great city.

As an avid tea drinker and a proud Mancunian, I spend a lot of time in the city getting my caffeine fix and I thought it was about time that I round up my favourite places to visit.

Manchester has so many good places and there are new ones popping up all the time, but these are the ones I go back to again and again and I hope you enjoy if you get the chance to go.

Foundation Coffee House (Lever Street, Manchester)

I love FCH because it is big enough that you’re always guaranteed to get a seat and it’s the perfect place to people watch. They do cocktails, coffees, teas and food and is located in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. It’s the ultimate Insta goals with subway tiles, wooden tables and filament lights everywhere.

Tip – FCH is the perfect place to spend a couple of hours with your laptop and you won’t feel as though you’re being watched for a table because it’s so big.

Takk (Tariff Street, Manchester)

Takk is one of my favourite places to go when I have work to do as it has a much more slower pace than some of the other coffee shops around this area. It is inspired by the owner’s travels around Scandinavia and Iceland and there are nods to that in the decor of the cafe.

Tip – if you want a quieter place to have a relaxed coffee, Takk is definitely your place.

Chapter One (Lever Street, Manchester)

I first went to Chapter One with my good friend Hannah, and since then it has been one of my favourite places to go for a catch-up or to work for a couple of hours. It is actually an independent bookshop first and foremost and they always have really good cakes, which is the perfect reason for a visit.

Tip – Cosy up by the fires and watch the world go by out of the floor to ceiling windows.

Proper Tea (Cathedral Yard, Manchester)

Proper Tea is located next to Manchester Cathedral and has the most spectacular views across some gorgeous architecture. It isn’t the biggest cafe in the world, so be prepared to wait, but the scones and cakes are totally worth it.

Tip – if you find yourself over on the Deansgate side of Manchester, then you won’t be far from Proper Tea.

Teacup On Thomas Street (Thomas Street, Manchester)

Another one of my favourite places to spend a couple of hours is Teacup. They have such an array of teas available, and the staff are so knowledgeable to give a recommendation.

Tip – be prepared to queue for this firm favourite, but it’s totally worth it when you see the cakes on display.

North Tea Power (Tib Street, Manchester) 

North Tea Power is one you might have walked past without even realising in the Northern Quarter as it is raised off the ground and you have to walk up some stairs to get to it. It’s a lovely place to go when it’s sunny as they have a small outdoor area, and they have loads of vegan and gluten free cakes on offer.

Tip – the clue is in the name that they have an extensive list of teas to try; so go on, be adventurous!

Sugar Junction (Tib Street, Manchester)

I was really lucky that they opened another Sugar Junction in my home-town of Altrincham, but it is still a firm favourite when I venture into the city centre. The decor is shabby chic, and is a reason in itself to go in (plus the amazing food and drink on offer).

Tip – follow them on Instagram to see their amazing cakes which change daily.

Pot Kettle Black (Barton Arcade, Manchester) 

PKB is set in one of the most gorgeous buildings in Manchester, Barton Arcade. I first visited as part of a blogging event, and since then I have been back so many times because the food and drink offerings are amazing. If blueberry cheesecake French Toast isn’t enough to get you down, then I don’t know what will.

Tip – you can’t go to PKB without trying some of the brunch options, so make sure you go hungry.

And there you have my recommendations for the best places to get a brew in the city centre – let me know if you try any of them and what you think!

Where would you recommend for a tea or coffee in the centre? 

xx

I was really lucky enough to be invited to the last of Tampopo’s vegan tasting menu nights a couple of months ago, so I took my friend Charlotte (who was doing Veganuary at the time) to come and try the 5-course menu with me at their restaurant in Albert Square in Manchester.

Just as the first point of this blog, I would like to acknowledge the fact that I’m not vegan but I do love to try vegan menus as I find it really interesting all the ingredients you can use to make food taste delicious without using any animal products. I know a lot of people might shy away from trying vegan products, but variety is the spice of life in my opinion and I enjoy trying new things and concepts.

I’ve worked with Tampopo a couple of times so I knew we were in for a treat when we got there. We were seated by a lovely waitress who let us know how the evening would pan out and that the dishes were being prepared by Masterchef finalist, Jackie Kearney, who was really into her Asian inspired cooking and is a vegan herself. We both ordered Tiger beers as our drink (when in Rome hey?) and had a lovely catch up before the food arrived.

Couse 1 – Sticky Tofu

I know tofu isn’t to everyone’s taste (even some veggies I know personally) but I’ve never had a bad experience with it and actually quite enjoy it even if it is quite spongy. The tofu was done with a teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds, with a pickled cucumber salad and spring onion.

Course 2 – Malaysian Spicy Rebus Tofu

The next course was served in a little bowl and comprised of tofu with a sticky peanut-y sauce, pak choi and noodles. This dish was a lot spicier than the first one but just as enjoyable and the noodles meant that it was a bit more filling.

Course 3 – Lotus Salad and Jackfruit Rendang

When we were reading the menu once we arrived, this was the course that I was most intrigued by, mainly because I’ve never heard of a jackfruit, but I am a fan of fruit in curry dishes, especially if they’re on the spicy side. The curry was my favourite dish of the whole night as it had so much flavour and came with a dairy-free flatbread to dip which was also delicious. The salad came with some fried tofu too which was equally as delicious.

Course 4 – Hot & Sour Stirfry Tofu and Sweet Potato Katsu Curry

A katsu curry is something I would usually order if I went to an Asian restaurant, so I was really looking forward to this dish as the sauce is one of my favourites. The sweet potato was cooked really well and was breadcrumbed which I’ve never had before and the stirfry tofu was also very tasty and done with sticky rice.

Course 5 – Banana Fritter and Mango Sorbet

I’m a real sweet tooth, and I was septical that a vegan dessert would be as nice as what I would usually get in a different restaurant, but this one really complimented the rest of the dishes perfectly. My only experience of a fritter was the ones you get in Chinses buffets, so I was a bit worried, but this one was really light and very enjoyable: The sorbet went really well as the accompaniment too.

After the food, Jackie came out to talk to us about how inspirations for the menu and get some feedback from us and it was really lovely to meet her and see how passionate she was about this menu.

If you’re vegan, or even if you’re not and just want to try something new, these dishes are now available on the Tampopo menu, and I would really recommend giving them a go.

Have you ever tried any vegan dishes at Tampopo? What did you think? 

xx

Since getting engaged, and the whirlwind affair that was Christmas, there hasn’t really been the chance for Jordan and me to have as many date nights as we would like to spend some quality time together. Instead, we’ve been spending a lot of time making home-cooked meals and spending the wintry nights on the sofa, but recently I’ve really been missing going out for dinner, as it’s one of my favourite things to do.

I was lucky enough to be contacted by the team from The Botanist, who invited us to try some of their new winter favourites on the menu and sample some of their famous cocktails (and although I claimed to be doing Dry January, I gave it up for good reason this night)

We visited the Alderley Edge restaurant on a Friday night, which is one of my local haunts when we go for a drink at work, so I was well versed with it. We were seated upstairs in a booth, in The Rose Room, which is one of the most beautiful bars I’ve ever been in – think rose blossoms hanging from the ceiling, intertwined with fairy lights.

We had a read of the drinks menu, and our server recommended some cocktails – that’s one of the things I love about The Botanist is that all the staff are so knowledgeable. I started with the blackberry and rosemary fizz, which was made with gin, sugar syrup, fresh blackberries and soda (whilst Jordan had a beer) and it went down a treat.

 

We ordered our starters, and I went for the smoked haddock fondue with a herb crumb, poached egg and bread (because it sounded hella interesting) and Jordan went for the calamari – which I obviously had some of because it’s my fave – and both were delicious and really good portion sizes as I couldn’t wait for my main.

For the main, what else could we have gone for but the famous hanging kebab – so famous its actually trademarked. I ordered the jerk salmon (but opted for the sweet potato fries over the rice and peas, obvs) and Jordan had the salt and pepper pork with skin-on fries. My only piece of advice here would be, if you’re ordering the salmon, it is very spicy – but perfect for this girl who likes hot food.

Once the kebabs are served, the waitress poured over the garlic butter, and it was ultimate food porn. The butter makes the kebabs so nice and moist and goes into the fries – I’m actually salivating just thinking about it. If you take one thing away from this blog it would be to ORDER THE HANGING KEBAB – and it’s in caps so you gotta!

After the mains, the waitress twisted our arm to have another cocktail (but it didn’t take much twisting, let’s be honest) and we moved into the next room to have these ones and take some photos. I went for the strawberry and cucumber breeze, made with gin and strawberry liqueur with apple, cranberry and lemon juice, and Jordan went for a very manly passionfruit and basil crush made with Disaronno and Drambuie – both of them went down a treat (and probably far too easily by this point).

After having a read of the dessert menu, there was no way that we could say no to them – the choice was incredible, with the likes of sticky toffee pudding, baked chocolate chip cookie dough and apple crumble – but the one that caught our eye was the smores pudding, made with warm chocolate brownie, peanut butter, chocolate ganache, toasted marshmallows and vanilla ice cream – talk about a way to end the meal!

Overall the food completely exceeded my expectations and the staff were incredible, so attentive and full of knowledge of the dishes and drinks.

And the best news? If you use this code you will get 20% off your booking at The Botanist on Deansgate in Manchester!

xx

 

 

You might remember my post a few months ago, about going to the beautiful Rosso Restaurant in Manchester, for the first instalment of the Blogger Dining Club, curated by Georgie Glass. I was lucky enough to be invited back again in December, this time to try Don Giovanni for their Christmas Showcase. It had been about a decade (wow…) since I’d last been to the restaurant, and in that time it’s been renovated and re-branded as one of Manchester’s best and the oldest independently owned Italians in the city.

I arrived at the restaurant and made my way through the very grand floor-to-ceiling glass doors and was greeted by the beautiful Holly and her adorable growing bump. After taking off my many December layers, I took in how festive and dazzling the restaurant looked in preparation for Christmas. A few more bloggers turned up, some familiar faces, some new, before we were seated at a gorgeous table towards the back of the restaurant.

The table was set out beautifully, with treats from Kiehls, Just Bee Water, Warner Edwards and Portobello Road Gin, with flower centres from The Flower Lounge in Didsbury.

We took some photos, had some lovely chats and catch ups and sipped on Prosecco before the first course came out. I always love pre-ordering my food because by the time the meal comes, I’ve forgotten what I asked for and it’s always a bit of a surprise without having to scour the menu again.

For the starter, I went for the Carpaccio Di Salmone, which was thin slices of smoked salmon, lemon oil, capers and dill. The amount of smoked salmon we were given was amazing, seen as in some places they can be a bit stingy with the portion – I’m looking at you, Northern Quarter brunch haunts. The capers and lemon and dill really brought the flavour of the dish out, and it was delicious. I’ve always been a big fan of fish, especially smoked salmon as it always feels like a bit of a treat as we never really buy it at home.

For the second course, I had the Ravioli Aragosta (lobster ravioli) which was incredible. It wasn’t overly fishy and had a hint of chilli, which was lovely and tasty. I’ve only had lobster only a handful of times, and this was by far the best and made me feel super swish and fancy when it came.

After the main course, we all chatted for a bit longer and took some photos of the beautiful surroundings before having a festive champagne cocktail which tasted of mince pies – very fitting indeed.

If you’re looking for an authentic Italian meal in the heart of the city centre, I couldn’t recommend this place more. The staff are incredibly attentive, the menu has original classics, as well as a few modern dishes for those who want to try something new and the setting is beautiful.

xx

My meal at Don Giovanni was complimentary. All views are my own.