On Wednesday evening, I was lucky enough to be invited by my friend Georgie Glass, a very talented photographer, to attend the new menu launch at Rosso restaurant in Manchester. It had been a while since I’d been to a foodie related blogging event so I was really excited to catch up with some of my favourite girls over what I knew would be a great meal.

It had been a few years since I’d been there, and in that time they’ve gone through a multi-million pound revamp, meaning that the decor is beyond dreamy. They pulled on this girl’s Christmas-obsessed heartstrings by already having their Christmas tree up and beautiful decorations all over, including fairy lights, luminous stars and bauble wreaths, which only added to the already stunning backdrop. Even from the outside, the lights, grand entrance and architecture are your first indication that there will be a spectacle beyond the iron door – and that there is.

The first thing I noticed was how bright the restaurant was, but not overpowering in the slightest. The white interiors were really beautiful and gave an overall luxury feel to the place. There is a separate bar and dining area (with little alcoves for people to come and do work – a blogger’s absolute dream) a grand dome ceiling and stunning marble surfaces everywhere. The bar isn’t cramped at all either, which can be the problem with some of the restaurants in Manchester.

For the dinner, we were seated on a raised section of the dining area, in a stunning booth with white leather seats, enough for the group of us that there was without us feeling cramped at all. The table was laid out beautifully with gifts from Evelyn’s House of Beauty, Louboutin perfume, a ring from Brand Attic and a little treat from Hey Little Cupcake. Being the blogger cliches that we are, we immediately all got our cameras out to capture the stunning dinner setting and gushed over how good a job that Georgie had done.

I was lucky enough to be sat next to my partner in crime, Jacinta, and the beautiful Faye from The Fussy Feeder. I was also able to catch up with the founder of We Blog North, Holly Wood, and Spamella, which was lovely as I hadn’t seen either of them in a while, and Pam brought her little boy with her who was an absolute dream.

We were there to sample their new menu for winter, which is always music to my ears. The main course was tagliatelle con gamberi e pollo (egg pasta ribbons with garlic chicken, prawns, courgettes and fresh cream) and the dessert was crostata di mandorle (almond tart, pickled damson and homemade Garstang Blue cheese ice cream).

The main was such a delicious pasta course, nice and creamy and probably one of the nicest dishes I’ve had outside of Italy… and I’ve eaten A LOT of pasta in my lifetime: You can tell that Rosso is up there with their knowledge of true Italian flavours, and the dish was put together really well.

The dessert was an interesting one: Once I read blue cheese ice cream on the menu, I was immediately intrigued as to what that might entail. The tart was light and flavoursome with a puff pastry crust, and the pickled damson was a very welcome acidic accompaniment to break the overall sweetness. I couldn’t recall a time of ever trying damson before, but it really complimented the whole dish. The ice cream worked well with the overall flavour of the pudding, but I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it as much by itself.

Once dinner was finished, we had a group catch up and started talking about our Christmas plans which made me really excited for the season ahead. As much as I love putting Christmas music on as soon as it turns to November, I’ve refrained slightly this year, so it was nice to be eased into the festive spirit ever so slightly. Georgie did such a fabulous job with the whole evening, and it was nice to meet the team behind the food choices as well.

Rosso is such a stunning venue to go for a meal, and I would definitely recommend the food that we had. The ambience of the restaurant matches the sumptuous food that we experienced and I can’t wait for there to be more meet up’s coming up in the future.

Have you ever been to Rosso? What were your thoughts? 

xx

My meal at Rosso was complimentary. All views are my own. 

I won’t be that person that says how is it November, but please be aware that I most certainly am thinking it. But I love winter, so for me, this is a good time of the year.

The clocks have gone back now which means the sun starts setting before I’ve even left the office for the day, but it’s also meant that I can get my knitwear out, which is my favourite time of the year. And you know what’s just round the corner…


1. Buy Jamie Oliver’s New Book

If you’ve been anywhere on social media, chances are that you’ve seen Jamie Oliver’s ‘5 Ingredients’ book popping up all over the place. I’m not a huge lover of cooking (more of eating) but anything that requires only 5 ingredients is right up my street. I have a tendency to buy cookbooks and never use them, but this is one I can see taking a firm place in the kitchen for the winter months.

2. A Seamless Come Dine With Me

On Saturday evening, I have my friends coming round for ‘Alphabet Come Dine With Me’. My letter is Q, and as there is only one country starting with that letter, I’ve had to get my thinking cap on. I won’t write what I’m going to make in case any of them read it on here. It’ll also be the first time that most of them have been to the house since we bought it, and I’m excited to play host.


3. Heading To The Christmas Markets

November is officially the start of Christmas in my eyes, and also when the markets around the country start. We’re lucky that Manchester really does Christmas markets well as they are on the doorstep, but I’d quite like to visit another city this year.


4. Getting Tipsy At The Gin Festival

This month is also when Jordan and I will be heading to the gin festival at Victoria Baths in Manchester after I bought us tickets back in August. He isn’t the biggest gin fan but has enjoyed all of the flavoured ones that he’s tried so far. Victoria Baths is such a cool venue for events as well so I’m looking forward to going back.


5. Finally Getting My Blog Redesigned

In October, I finally took the plunge and paid for my blog to be migrated over to WordPress. It’ll be happening at some point in the next couple of weeks, and it also means that I’m going to have a new template soon too – make sure you come back to see what’s changed.

6. Attending Lots Of Fun Blogging Events

I’ve really kindly been invited to a few blogging events this month, which I am really looking forward to. Some are with brands I’ve worked with in the past, but some are completely new ones, which is always exciting.


7. Catching Up At My Friend’s Birthday

This month it’s one my oldest friend’s birthdays, and she’s celebrating it in one of my favourite UK cities, Chester. She lived there for years and I’ve visited so many times so it will be nice to go back and celebrate with her in some familiar places.


8. Learning Lots Of New Tips At Stylist Live

In a couple of weeks, my mum and I will be heading to Stylist Live. If you haven’t heard of the event before, it is run by Stylist Magazine and is a mixture of experts, comedy, food, interviews, fashion, beauty and loads more. It’s at the London Olympia, which I’ve been to before, and it’s a great venue for what I’m sure will be a really cool event.

9. Returning To London

The week after, I will be heading back to London to see my friend Louise who has recently moved into her new house. I’m not sure what we’ll get up to when I’m there, but I’m really excited to see her and her new place, and finally meet her cat, Finchley.


10. Head To A We Blog MCR Event

It’s been ages since I’ve seen my fellow bloggers at a We Blog MCR event, and I only have to wait a couple more weeks until I’m reunited with them. We haven’t been told loads about the event, just that there’s going to be a guest speaker, which I’m sure will be incredibly useful.

And that’s it for November.

What are you planning on getting up to this month? 

xx

Last weekend, I met my friend Charlotte, who I used to work with, for brunch at the newly opened Mackie Mayor in Manchester. If you haven’t heard of the quirky-named establishment, it is Manchester’s latest addition to the foodie scene – think rustic-style venue, complete with resident vendors, low hanging lights, exposed brick and paint-splattered walls, and you’ve got it.

Mackie Mayor is the sister project of the popular Altrincham Market, which has been on my doorstep for the last three years, so I was excited to see what it had to offer: I’m a big fan of open-plan markets as well, having a bit of choice when you’re eating out and the whole community feel of these kinds of places so I was up for giving it a go.

Conveniently located at the top of the Northern Quarter (on Swan Street, a couple of doors down from Band On The Wall, to be exact) you could easily walk past this place (unless you’d seen the hoardings up for the past 12-months) but the grade two listed building is somewhat of an industrial-esque spectacle inside.

If I’m honest, I knew what to expect as I’d followed them on Instagram, and had seen a few people’s pictures popping up over the last week, but nevertheless, I was impressed. I walked in from the street entrance, and the first thing I noticed was that there wasn’t a ‘Mackie Mayor’ sign to say I was in the right place – luckily I saw ‘The Snug’ from the inside, and people were arriving at the same time as me.

We met at 11:30am, which was just as breakfast was finishing, and half an hour before brunch was starting at 12pm: That gave us enough time to drop our bags and coats off and have a wander. As I mentioned, I’ve lived near Altrincham Market, since it opened back in 2014, so I kind of knew what to expect food-wise. There were a couple new additions, but it was nice to see some familiar faces.

We got a coffee, which was delivered promptly to our table (I went for the Castlefield brew tea) before deciding on where we were going to eat. I was in two minds about whether to get a pizza dot on 12pm, from Honest Crust, but I refrained as the fish bar, Fin, had caught my eye (no pun intended…)

As we’d been there for about 30 minutes before placing our order, that had given us enough time to have a nosey at what was on people’s plates. As a self-confessed millennial girl, I knew my only option was to get poached eggs, and their option came with sourdough toast (again eluding to my basic-ness) and rainbow trout, which I am a huge fan of, but have never had on a breakfast dish.

We waited about 15 minutes for the food, which I thought was reasonable for how busy it was getting, and it was brought straight to our table. One of the things I love about Alty Market and Mackie Mayor is the fact they keep up topped up with tap water, which, if its the weekend before payday like this one was, is enough to keep you happy and hydrated.

The food itself was delicious – the trout was a welcome accompaniment, and a nice alternative to smoked salmon, which I usually would have gone for. The whole dish came with a side salad, and the portion size looked quite big when it was put in front of me, but it was actually just the right amount.

As we were leaving, we had a quick look upstairs where there was more seating available and took some pictures before wandering into Manchester.

Compared to Altrincham Market, I like the fact that it is bigger and there is more seating, and also that you don’t have to leave the building to go to the toilet. Although there are most of the same food stalls, there were a lot fewer families here, and it was more for the twenty and thirty-something market. There were also people starting to drink wine and beer from the two bars that occupy a stall there, and I can only imagine it is a lovely place to go for a drink after work or on the weekend.

Overall, I would highly recommend coming here because the atmosphere was great, and the food was delicious – definitely, go to Fin if you’re looking for something a little bit different. Although Altrincham Market is a lot closer to home, I would 100% make the effort to come into the city centre to go here again.

Have you been to Mackie Mayor? What did you think? 


xx

Manchester is, by far, one of the best foodie destinations in the UK. From Japanese fusion to roast dinner fondue to burgers buns made from a doughnut to artisan markets, there’s something for everyone.

Today I am going to be discussing my 13 favourite food places in the city I call my home.


1. Best for pizzaDouble Zero

I’m lucky enough to only live 10 minutes from this Chorlton eatery, and I can firmly say that it is without a doubt, one of the best pizzas I have ever had. I’ve eaten in the restaurant, had takeaways and very kindly been treated to a complimentary meal, and every time it has been delicious. Definitely one to try if you enjoy antipasti boards and woodfired pizzas.


2. Best for Mexican Lust, Luck, Liquor and Burn

Nestled in the Northern Quarter, this place is probably not one that you would associate with being a Mexican restaurant, but amazing all the same. I’ve been to here more times than I can count, and every time I’ve loved it. Yes you might have to wait a while for a table because it isn’t the biggest, but with the bar downstairs doing great cocktails, you’ll soon forget all about it.

3. Best for burgers Solita

I have to admit, a burger isn’t my first choice when it comes to eating out, but I’ve visited a fair few places in my time to say that Solita is definitely up there with being the best. I’m not a huge fan of gimmicky burgers, but Solita has a good mix of the quirky and classics. It’s been a while since I’ve been, but even so, I have memories of it being the best.

4. Best for experienceSapporo Teppanyaki

Definitely not the cheapest Japanese meal you will find in the city, but the experience itself is worth the money. If you’ve never been to a full-on teppanyaki restaurant, this one is definitely a good choice as they cook the food in front of you. I went here for my 18th and have been back many times since. It’s a great place to get a group together or just go for a different kind of date night.

5. Best for GreekSokrates Taverna

A little bit out of the city (5.7 miles to be exact) lies Sokrates Taverna in Sale town centre. Although I went here a couple of times when I was younger, it’s only recently that I rediscovered how great the food actually is. The choice is extensive, and the platters are amazing value for money – definitely worth the trip south.

6. Best for Spanish Evuna

There are a couple of these restaurants throughout the city – one at Great Northern and one in the Northern Quarter – and they are always heaving, which to me, is always a good sign. I love tapas as I like to be able to try lots of different food at once, and although the menu isn’t what you would class as the cheapest, the food is amazing and so worth the money.

7. Best for cakeHome Sweet Home

Another place with locations at Great Northern and the Northern Quarter is Home Sweet Home. If you ever need a sweet treat when you are in the city, you’ll find that and so much more at Home Sweet Home. The four-tier cakes are amazing and a thing of beauty as are the milkshakes, and the flavours change all of the time, which is always a great excuse to go back.

8. Best for ItalianVapiano

I’m really lucky to have worked with Vapiano on a couple of different campaigns, but even if I hadn’t, I would highly recommend them for their food. You are given a card and go to the ‘kitchen’ to order your food, which is made to order right in front of you using the freshest and tastiest ingredients. I’m a big fan of this way of eating!

9. Best for chickenYard & Coop

I’ve only been to Yard & Coop twice, but both time I really enjoyed my meal; if you’re thinking it is something like KFC, think again! I would never describe myself as someone who loves fried chicken, but their recipe is seriously delicious. They do build your own meals with your choice of sauces, and the price is really reasonable for the amount of food you get.

10. Best for LebaneseYara

Another one that is slightly out of the city centre, but totally worth the trip. Yara specialises in Lebanese and Syrian cuisine and is well known throughout south Manchester as ‘the’ place for that type of cuisine. It gets really busy over the weekend (so much so that they had to purchase the building next door to make a bigger restaurant) so my advice is book ahead of time!

11. Best for JapaneseShoryu Ramen

Shoryu specialises in Hakata tonkotsu ramen, which is a rich pork broth, cooked slowly over 12 hours and I can honestly say, has been one of the best meals I have ever had. The restaurant itself has been recommended in the Michelin guide for 4 years in a row; if that’s not enough to sway you, read my full review here.

12. Best for Indian Mughli

You’ll find this restaurant amongst about 100 more on the curry mile in Manchester, which is exactly what it says on the tin. I went to Mughli for the first time about 8 years ago, and it became my favourite Indian restaurant quickly. The food is amazing, the cocktails are so tasty and the staff are always so lovely. There is also a restaurant in Knutsford if you’re based further out of the city.

13. Best for brunchFederal

If you don’t already, you need to follow Federal on Instagram for the ultimate brunch goals every day of the week: Be prepared to wait a while for a table though as the queues are usually out the door. I’ve been to Federal a couple of times for brunch and both were, hands down, two of my best ever breakfasts – anywhere that serves dishes with a side of halloumi will instantly win me over. With a menu that changes each month, you’re sure to find something to tickle your fancy.

I always love to discover new places in Manchester, so please give me your recommendations if you have any!

xx

 

It’s been a couple of weeks since our stay in Brighton, so I thought I would round up all my recommendations into one post for you all. Brighton has been on my ‘to visit’ list for as long as I can remember, so when I had a few days off in October, I thought it would be the perfect place for an autumn getaway.

The one thing I found with booking so close to when we were planning on visiting is that the hotel prices were sky high, which meant we settled on an Air BnB just outside of the city.

We were there for four days and three nights and visited quite a few different places during our time, but I would have loved to have had more time to explore as there was so much to do and see. Brighton is often referred to as ‘London by the sea’ and it was easy to see why after only spending a handful of days there because of the bustle of the place.

Stay

Kemp Town

As I mentioned, we settled on an Air BnB I found about 20 minutes walk from the centre of Brighton, which suited us perfectly. Kemp Town reminded me of the Northern Quarter in Manchester, and had a lot of trendy bars and restaurants; I think it also had the biggest student population in the city, meaning there was always something going on.

The apartment was easy to find and had on-street parking, which was a dream in a city full of permit-only roads. It was nestled in a residential part of the city, two roads back from the sea. It was in a gorgeous converted townhouse on the 5th floor so the views were pretty good. We both commented on how spacious it was, and the host even left us tea, coffee, bread, milk and eggs, which was lovely.

The walk into town was either via the main high street in Kemp Town, which was full of bars, cafes and independent shops, or walking along the coastline, which was lovely and peaceful.

Brighton was a mix of old cobbled streets (known as the lanes), sandwiched between modern buildings, white-washed townhouses and a seaside. I loved the fact you could wander down any street and discover something new and end the day watching the sunset on the pebbled beach.

Visit

Lewes

This was a place that was on my list to visit after one of my favourite bloggers, The Anna Edit, went there with her husband for a roast dinner. We decided to go on Saturday morning after we had had breakfast, and it took us about 15-minutes from where we were staying.

Although we found it quite hard to park with it being a Saturday morning, I’m definitely glad we persevered because the town was lovely and worth a visit: It was full of independent shops, cute coffee shops and there was also a castle which we had a wander up to.

Hove

Although Brighton is technically called Brighton and Hove, the two are separate towns, albeit next door to each other. Hove was slightly further away from us than Brighton, so we decided to get the bus there from Kemp Town, which took about 40 minutes because of the amount of traffic.

Of the two, Hove was my favourite because it was less busy, but had the same amount of shops, restaurants and bars and the beach was just as lovely. Also, if you’re looking for the famous pastel-coloured beach huts, head that way!

Eat

Curry Leaf Cafe

I’d heard of this restaurant before as I follow quite a few bloggers who live in Brighton, but it was actually someone I used to go to school with who now lives there, who recommended it on Instagram. There was one about five minutes from us in Kemp Town, but it was actually the one in the lanes in the city centre that we visited.

I was worried that we wouldn’t get a table because we hadn’t booked and it was a Friday night, but luckily we were there quite early and they seated us within 10 minutes. The cuisine is Indian street food with a modern twist and is delicious. We shared the poppadum starter, chicken malai tikka and the chicken kori gassi curry with rice and a naan and we were stuffed.

The food was definitely some of the best Indian food I have ever had, and the staff were amazing; I would highly recommend visiting if you’re in the area, and I would go back in a heartbeat if I was to visit Brighton again.

Wood Box Pizza

We stumbled on this place when we were walking home one afternoon to get changed only about 10 minutes from our apartment: It was also recommended to us by our Air BnB host, and it looked so amazing that I convinced Jordan to go back two hours later.

I’m a big fan of wood-fired pizzas and the fact that you can see your food being made in front of you. Although Wood Box wasn’t huge, the restaurant was really cosy and smelt amazing because of their good quality ingredients. We shared the Nduja and the Black Forest Ham.

Shogun Ramen

This was another restaurant that we stumbled upon by chance, but after a quick google search, we found out that it was voted one of the best Japanese restaurants in Brighton, and I can hands down see why.

I love Japanese food; I’d even go as far as saying it’s one of my favourite cuisines, and our meal at Shogun was definitely up there with one of the best I’ve had. We shared Gyoza, Char Siu BBQ Pork Ramen and a Chicken Katsu Curry and had a Japanese beer.

Drink

The Cocktail Shack At Artist Residence

This is a place I wanted to go to as soon as I found out we were going to Brighton as I’ve seen a few bloggers doing photo shoots and filming at the hotel. The bar is next door and is done out with neon lights with a tiki vibe with a view of the sea.

When we went in, we were lucky to get a table by the window because it was really busy in there. All of the cocktails were plays on celebrity’s names: I went for the Rhubarbara Streisand and Peaches Goldof.

There was also a secret bar downstairs behind a bookcase, but there was a private event on so we couldn’t go in, but it looked cool from the outside.

The Gin Tub

This was easily my favourite place we visited on our trip because it was one of the coolest bar experiences ever. The bar itself is actually in Hove about a 10-minute walk from the train station or a 15-minute walk from Brighton.

We were seated by one of the waiters on a booth that had a vintage telephone on it. He told us that to order a drink, you had to dial zero, and it would be brought to us. I had an Edinburgh rhubarb gin with ginger beer and a raspberry flavoured one with mint and elderflower – both were amazing.

Twisted Lemon

Another one of my favourites that we visited was Twisted Lemon, based in The Lanes. It was very easy to miss as you walk through a side gate and the bar is at the back.

It was really quirky, bright and yellow inside, and although it was busy with it being a Saturday evening, we were served straight away.

Brunch

Marmalade

We didn’t visit Marmalade until our last morning in Brighton, which was a shame because it was my favourite brunch spot. It was less than five minutes form where we were staying, and had a rustic vibe to it with tiles and bare walls, and the menu handwritten on a piece of wallpaper.

It was a really cool place to go for brunch, and the cakes, sandwiches and pasties that were on display looked incredible. I went for a sausage and egg sandwich with a wake me up smoothie, which had banana, granola, yoghurt, milk and honey in.

The Breakfast Club

I’d been to the London branch of this a few years ago, but the Brighton one was definitely my favourite. We had to queue for about 20 minutes to get a table, but it was worth it for the overall feel of the restaurant.

If you’ve never visited, most of the locations are in London. It is done out like an American diner. with bright leather sofas, green ceilings and yellow brick outside. We both went for pancakes, which had banana, vanilla cream, salted caramel and chocolate sauce. It’s safe to say that I was in a sugar coma for most of the day.

Six

We went to Six for more of a lunch than a breakfast, but we both ended up getting avocado on sourdough toast, because lol, basic. I went for the avocado royale which came with halloumi and cherry tomatoes – any breakfast with cheese gets a thumbs up from me.

They also did a selection of smoothies, which I wasn’t going to order until I saw the table next to us get one. I went for the ‘temptation’ one, which was banana, raw cacao, cacao nibs, walnuts, dates and almond milk. They also did an option for bottomless drinks, which I’d be doing next time for sure.

The restaurant is right in the middle of Brighton and Hove, so can be walked to from either of the towns. The day we visited was really sunny and warm and we ended up sitting on a table outside.

Coffee & Cake

Flour Pot Bakery

This place was an Instagrammers dream – whitewashed walls, pretty tiles and wooden tables amidst perfect pastries and coffees. I loved this place because it was so cute and cosy inside, but didn’t feel squished at all.

We stopped here on our walk around Hove, but they also have locations in The Lanes, Seven Dials and a couple more dotted about the Brighton area, all of which look just as adorable. They also sold fresh bread and pastries that were baked on site to takeaway which meant it smelt amazing too.

Red Roaster

This place was one that we walked past on our first walk into Brighton and I commented on how cool it looked inside. The door into it was a full-length glass door (which I struggled to open…) and inside it was done out in black and white tiles with pops of green everywhere from plants.

We only stopped here to get our caffeine kick on the way into town, but the cakes looked amazing too. It was slightly more expensive than the other places we visited, but worth a visit if you’re in the Kemp Town area.

Trading Post

Trading Post was on a road that was no entry, meaning that all of the tables that were outside were full of people enjoying the autumn sunshine, including us. We went to Trading Post after a morning shopping, and needing a little pick me up.

I went for a tea and slice of lemon drizzle cake, and Jordan went for a beer, which did make me extremely jealous when he came back with it. This is a good choice if you’re around The Lanes or the shopping centre area.

Sugar Dough

I thought I would mention this one, although we didn’t get a chance to visit it, because it was such a cute little cafe in the middle of The Lanes. From the outside it was painted pastel green and white and looked like the inside of a lollipop.

The cakes looked unreal – tiers of sponge and buttercream with crazy toppings – perfect for any sweettooths out there, like me! They also have a bakery in Hove if you’re over that way.

La Mucca Nera

Technically not coffee and cake, but worth a mention. If you were following me on Instagram (here if you’re interested) you’ll know that the first thing we did once we arrived in Brighton was to go for an ice cream.

We found a gelateria on the walk into town, and couldn’t resist: I went for cherry and Nutella and it was so smooth and creamy – some of the best gelato I have had outside of Italy.

And there you have it, all of my recommendations for a short stay in Brighton. I would 100% go back for another visit and hopefully for longer next time, preferably when its warm enough to go in the sea – it was so peaceful and calm being by the beach, and I enjoyed walking through different villages every day, seeing how different they all were from each other.

Have you been to Brighton? Where would you recommend? 

xx