Super Lunch at Jamie’s Italian, Manchester

Yesterday, Topher and I were invited to review the Super Lunch menu at Jamie’s Italian in Manchester. Having never been before I jumped at the chance. Italian food isn’t always a type of food that we tend to go for when we’re out of the house as we tend to cook a decent amount of it at home but it’s nice to try something authentic!

Jamie’s Italian is based at the top of Kings Street in an old art deco building that used to be a bank back in the day. I love that they’ve kept all the original features. There’s seating on both the ground floor and a mezzanine which I definitely want to come back to sit on as the view looks great.

Jamie's Italian Manchester

Jamie's Italian Inside

Jamie's Italian ceiling

The Super Lunch menu is available between 12pm and 6pm, Monday through Friday and gives you the choice between 2 courses for £12.95 or 3 courses for £14.95. We both went for the three courses and it was great value for money.  Topher said it was filling but light and I just found it filling!

Jamie's Italian menu

Jamie's Italian Diane

Jamie's Italian Topher

We started with a couple of Florence Fizz cocktails which contain Limoncello, pomegranate juice, elderflower cordial topped with Jamie’s Prosecco. Delicious! We’re both a fan of elderflower so we ended up ordering the same thing. I definitely wouldn’t mind another one of these!

Jamie's Italian Florence Fizz

I started with the Fritto Misto which was fried fish & squid tossed in fennel-spiced flour with a garlic & lemon dip. Being a big seafood lover, this was perfect for me. It was light and delicious. I especially loved the dip.

Jamie's Italian fritto misto

Topher cautiously picked the truffle tagliatelle for his starter. He felt that a pasta starter might fill him up too much for the main but he said it was surprisingly light so it was perfect. I snuck a little taste too and it was delicious!

Jamie's Italian truffle tagliatelle

For my main, I chose the oxtail tagliatelle. It was amazing. My only problem is that it filled me up a little bit too much (but this is why I normally just go for 2 courses at restaurants). Luckily Topher was on hand to help me finish! I would definitely have this again though as I cannot fault it on the flavours. I also like that they used oxtail instead of just beef – it made a nice change.

Jamie's Italian oxtail tagliatelle

Topher had Gennaro’s Chicken Club with skinny fries as a side. He said it was also surprisingly light and it was refreshing to have a burger that didn’t immediately fall apart when you bit into it. That seems to be a regular problem he has at other establishments. One bite and half the filling is on the plate! So he really enjoyed this chicken club. He especially liked the spicy ‘nduja mayo inside and also commented on how great the fries were. Usually fries can be quite greasy but these were perfect.

Jamie's Italian Gennaro's chicken club

So time for the finale. As soon as I saw the word brownie on the menu, I was sold. Though I was still full from my main, I forced myself to have at least half of this. Topher once again, kindly finished it off for me (the reason I’m marrying him, right there!). The caramelised popcorn was the perfect accompaniment to the brownie and salted caramel ice cream. I was left in a food coma after this but I regret nothing. I definitely need to return and have another one of these!

Jamie's Italian Epic Brownie

And just like me, Topher saw one word on the dessert menu that stood out to him and he was sold. Coffee! He had the affogato, which is an Italian dessert that consists of vanilla ice cream with hot espresso poured over it. He apologises, but he has to use the word “light” again to describe this. It was a nice end to his meal.

Jamie's Italian affogato

So bellies full, we left and immediately started planning when we’ll return! Jamie’s Italian also offers an evening menu deal so that’s definitely next on the list for us to try.

Have you ever been to Jamie’s Italian?

*Our meal was complimentary but as always, all opinions are my own. 

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Healthy Strawberry Yoghurt Bark Recipe

In the last few weeks at Slimming World, I’ve been trying to come up with low syn snacks that will satisfy my sweet tooth.

A challenging task! A week or two ago I was browsing Pinterest and came across a recipe for yoghurt bark. I’d seen chocolate bark before but never yoghurt bark. The recipe seemed simple enough and I could easily adapt it to fit in with my Slimming World food optimising.

Strawberry Yoghurt Bark 1

I decided to give it a go and it worked out perfectly! Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

10 fresh Strawberries

250g Natural Yoghurt

1 tbs sweetner

Method

  1. Mix the sweetner into the natural yoghurt.
  2. Chop the strawberries. I sliced them horizontally but it doesn’t really matter how you do it.
  3. Line a tray (that’s ok to go in the freezer) with baking paper.
  4. Pour the natural yoghurt onto the baking paper. Don’t spread it too thin – you want your bark to be at least a centimetre thick.
  5. Then push your strawberries into the yoghurt, as many as you can fit.
  6. Put in the freezer for at least 4 hours. I put mine in overnight but remember that the longer it’s in the freezer, the harder it is to break afterwards.
  7. When it’s frozen, take it out and break it into pieces. Since I left mine overnight it was rock solid and I had to use a (clean) hammer to break it!
  8. Store in the freezer and take out a piece whenever you feel like it. Enjoy!

Unfortunately I didn’t think to take a photo of the whole sheet of finished bark until after we had scarfed down most of it. So here’s the last two pieces. Bad blogger.

Strawberry Yoghurt Bark finished

For any Slimming World members out there, it’s half a syn for the entire sheet.

It’s so versatile – you can have it as a snack, dessert or even part of your breakfast. You can switch out the strawberries for any type of fruit so there’s plenty of experimenting to be done. And those who aren’t on Slimming World, you can switch out the natural yoghurt for any type of yoghurt you want like in the original recipe.

Strawberry Yoghurt Bark piece

I can’t wait to try this out for summer – it’s a great healthy frozen treat!

What’s your go to healthy snack?

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4 Manchester Restaurants I Want to Visit

Is it just me or as the Manchester Food Scene exploded?

There’s new restaurants and cafes everywhere! It just makes me realise how behind I am with how many new (and not new) places I’ve tried. So in order to get my thoughts together, here’s my list of 5 Manchester restaurants I haven’t visited yet that I really want to.

Bakchich

Manchester Restaurants -Bakchich
I don’t know whether it’s my excitement that I get to go to Jordan this year when I didn’t think I would be or I just haven’t found an outlet to get my Arab food fix yet but this Lebanese place is top of my list. After discovering them on Instagram, I can’t stop drooling at all the photos. Give me all the shawarma!

Plus they have labneh! It’s hard to describe labneh to people but it’s a dip that I love more than hummus and that is a huge statement. It’s a running joke in my family that I’m a labneh monster every trip to Jordan just because I can’t seem to find a decent version in the UK. Will this be the end of my hunt? Fingers crossed.

Bundobust

Manchester Restaurants - - Bundobust
I love Indian street food. So I have no idea why I haven’t visited but this needs to be rectified soon. I keep seeing other bloggers visit and their photos look amazing. Looking at the menu online I don’t see anything I wouldn’t want to try and how great is is that everything is vegetarian?!

They’re based in Piccadilly which is super accessible so I really don’t have an excuse now! Get me to Bundobust.

Rudys

Manchester Restaurants -Rudy's
After hearing nothing but good things about Rudy’s, my interest has definitely been caught. I don’t tend to gravitate towards pizza when I’m out but this place looks pretty special. The menu is simple but something tells me that’s a really good thing. Eventually I’m going to be paying a visit one way or another.

El Capo

Manchester Restaurants -El Capo
Mexican food is just amazing generally. I may be slightly biased right now since it’s just before lunchtime and I’m craving a burrito but I don’t care. El Capo’s tacos look awesome and I officially want just about everything on the menu (apart from the pork of course). Plus they have mac and cheese as a side so they’ve stolen my heart. So damn hungry right now!

And with that – please excuse me while I go eat my lunch and plan which of these places I’m going to visit first!

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#Datenight at The Printworks, Manchester

With Valentines Day coming up, there’s the usual wondering of what to do, where to go and who you’re going to spend it with. Luckily for me, I was offered a package called #datenight at The Printworks which involved dinner, drinks and a film at Manchester’s The Printworks.

#datenight at the Printworks - Printworks

Ever since I came to Manchester over 10 years ago, The Printworks has been an easy option of dinner and a film with friends, other halves and family when they’ve come to stay with me. It’s been awhile since I ventured into The Printworks what with there being so much choice for food now in Manchester and also getting Cineworld passes.

I think my main reason for forgetting about it though was thinking that I’d already tried every restaurant inside. How very wrong I was! Over the years there have been many restaurants that have come and gone and there always seems to be an option that you won’t find everywhere. Which is why Topher and I chose Busaba.

Busaba

#datenight at the Printworks - Busaba exterior

With only having branches in Manchester, London and Liverpool, it’s safe to say that a lot of people will not have tried this Thai restaurant before. Topher and I love our food as you know but we’ve only ever been to one Thai restaurant. That had to change!

#datenight at the Printworks - Busaba interior 1

#datenight at the Printworks

First of all, I love the layout of Busaba in The Printworks. Set over a few floors, there are lots of levels and nooks to sit in which makes it feel very private. Definitely different from a lot of restaurants where you’re practically sharing a table with strangers. I would absolutely recommend the atmosphere for a Valentines meal. It’s a large restaurant and there were a mix of people inside including small children and yet it felt cozy.

#datenight at the Printworks - Busaba menu

#datenight at the Printworks - Busaba table

So lets get onto the important bit – the food! I can tell I’m going to like a place when I’m struggling between what to decide. If everything looks amazing, I’ll be back as I have to try everything!

#datenight at the Printworks - Topher at Busaba

#datenight at the Printworks - Diane at Busaba

We started with drinks, a whiskey plum sour for me and an asian mojito for Topher. Both delicious but we agreed mine was the best! We also had some spicy wok tossed cashews to nibble on.

#datenight at the Printworks - Whiskey Sour

#datenight at the Printworks - Asian Mojito

For the main meals, Topher had one of the specials; Wild Black pepper venison. He said it was delicious and so nice to see venison that wasn’t in a pie!

#datenight at the Printworks - Wild Black pepper venison

My main was the Mussaman Duck which was duck on the bone with potato, peanut, star anise, cinnamon and onion, served with jasmine rice on the side. All my favourite things! Without a doubt it was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten.

#datenight at the Printworks - Mussaman Duck

We decided not to have dessert this time as we were pretty full but I’ll be back to try the sticky black rice pudding as that sounded amazing.

Overall we loved our visit. The atmosphere was perfect, the staff were lovely and the service was great. The prices were really reasonable and we will certainly be coming back with friends in tow!

#datenight at the Printworks - Busaba

So with full bellies we headed over to see our film.

Odeon

#datenight at the Printworks - Odeon

It’s been years since I came to this Odeon. It really brought back memories of my student days. We decided to see La La Land so we could see what the fuss was all about. I’ll be blogging this week about what I actually thought of the film so stay tuned for that.

Regarding the Odeon as a cinema, there’s not a single thing to complain about here. The venue is modern and clean, the range of snacks is great and the staff are helpful and friendly. The only reason we chose Cineworld over Odeon for unlimited tickets was down to the location in respect to our home.

I would definitely recommend a trip to the Odeon next time you’re in town. We had a great time.

Overall, #Datenight at The Printworks was a great way to spend an evening.

There’s nothing better than a classic dinner, drinks and a film for a Valentines, anniversary or just plain old Thursday evening. Topher and I had an amazing time and look forward to our next date night!

How are you planning on spending Valentine’s Day this year?

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Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

It’s been awhile since I had breakfast at a hotel. When I was a kid and used to travel all the time with my family I used to LOVE them and I mean love. So when I was invited to a complimentary breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club I eagerly accepted. It is the most important meal of the day after all!

The location of Worsley Park Marriott is great if you’re driving. Situated just off the M60 it’s so easy to find and within minutes you’re surrounded by greenery. Perfect if you want to travel to Manchester but don’t want all the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel - Grill in the park

Breakfast at the Marriott is served at their Grill in the Park restaurant between 6.30am and 11am on weekdays and 7am – 11am on the weekends. If you’re staying at the hotel, it’s only £10 for breakfast and if you’re not it’s £16 for the buffet and £12 for continental.

Walking through the hotel to get to the restaurant, I could definitely tell I was in a Marriott. I’ve been to Marriott’s before but never this particular one so I definitely felt that it fit in with the chain’s ‘vibe’.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel grill in the park worsley

Part of the restaurant looks out onto this courtyard. Though it was freezing being January and all, I can tell it would be amazing sitting out there during the summer. Is it summer yet?

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel grill in the park courtyard

I showed up early so I got to have a wander around the buffet first without there being too many people around.  Buffet strategy is a must with me. I like to case the joint. With my courses decided, I began my feast.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel grill in the park restaurant

Apologies for the dark photos below, in hindsight I should have sat next to the window with natural light being a bloggers best friend and all but I wanted to be close to the food. Priorities right? But even though the lighting was terrible for photos, most normal people aren’t looking to take photos so it was ideal for that first thing in the morning, I haven’t had my coffee yet crowd.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel juice

So first up is juice of course. Big thumbs up to the Marriott for having more than just orange juice. I’m not a fan of OJ so I tried some cranberry. A lot of hotels have been catching on to offering multiple juices but every once in awhile I stumble across one where I have to get tap water.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel cereal

As well as the cereal that was on offer, I also noticed that they have toppings like hazelnuts, seeds and dried fruit. I’ve never seen that before though I’m not usually a cereal person but it was a nice touch. Instead, I headed to the toast.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel toppings

I can’t speak for the strawberry or blackcurrent jam but the apricot was delicious! As for the mandarin, I wasn’t a fan but it’s nice to see so much choice.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel jam

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel - toast

As standard with any hotel breakfast, you can order coffee or tea right to your table. Sweet sweet caffeine!

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel coffee

Speaking of choice earlier, I had a difficult one to make when it came to the fruit. In the end I decided on the berries and greek yoghurt which was really good.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel fruit

I’ve seen cold meat at a breakfast buffet before but never smoked salmon. And I am obsessed with smoked salmon so it was a welcome surprise. I decided to save that for part of my main course. Also it was definitely a first for me to see a cheese board which I think is awesome. Maybe other places do offer them but I’ve never spotted any.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel smoked salmon and cheese

Course one and two demolished.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel - breakfast at grill in the park worsley

As for hot food, you can get the full english here which is a must for a UK breakfast buffet. I should also mention that there is also a menu where you can order items like pancakes a la carte.

Now when it comes to me personally, I usually stumble at the hot section at most breakfast buffets due to not eating pork. That and I’m not really a fan of beans or cooked tomatoes either… so I’m usually left with eggs on toast and a hash brown.

That wasn’t a problem at all here. Worsley Park Marriott are well known for their omelette station where you can get just about anything you want thrown in and cooked right in front of you.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel omelettes

However, as tempting as the omelettes looked, I had already spotted the smoked salmon earlier. So I popped some on toast and helped myself to a couple of poached eggs from the buffet. Perfect!

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel poached eggs

Finally for dessert, I had perused the pastry and muffin section and found my winners. Though there was no pain au chocolat which is usually a must for me, this chocolate pastry I picked up instead was amazing! and the muffin was also very tasty. The perfect end to the meal with my coffee.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel - pastries

Well and truly stuffed I headed home a happy lady. I definitely recommend paying a visit to the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel next time you’re in Manchester or just fancy a staycation. They’re well known for their golf course and you can even get married there.

Thanks Worsley Park for breakfast!

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel - Worsley Park Marriott

*Breakfast was complimentary but as always, all opinions are my own. 

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