Manchester Eats Festival – The Experience

Man oh man was it hot on Saturday when Claire and I trekked out to Heaton Park for the Manchester Eats Festival. But was it worth it? Hell yes.

Manchester Eats Festival - entrance

It was around lunchtime when we strolled through the entrance and we were hungry! Luckily for us the festival was big but not overwhelming so we had plenty of choice.

Manchester Eats Festival - festival

We started by having a stroll around on the hunt for lunch. We mainly spent our time taking photos of things we wanted to come back for on the way out to take home. A strategy that worked out perfectly. The festival was busy but not too crowded – mainly down to the football being on (Yay England!). But something that I wasn’t expecting was that they had set up TVs dotted around with lots of seating so you could actually watch the game. Claire and I stopped at them every so often to keep an eye on the score but we were on a mission.

Manchester Eats Festival - candyfloss

Our first stop was for a drink at Calyx. Their watermelon, apple and hibiscus flower mocktails were to DIE FOR! It was the perfect thing for the hot weather. So refreshing.

Manchester Eats Festival - pineapple

As for lunch itself, Claire spotted Cottonopolis’s Japanese offerings so how could we say no? Claire had a Chicken Kaarage Bao bun with kimchi, I had a Katsu Chicken Burger and we split some okonomiyaki fries.

Manchester Eats Festival - katsu chicken burger

Completely stuffed, we wandered some more in search of something a bit more alcoholic. For once I hadn’t driven so I could have whatever I wanted.

Manchester Eats Festival - football

Claire being a big gin fan was instantly drawn into the gin garden where she had a cocktail from Tappers. She said it was delicious. I will take her word for it as I don’t like gin!

Manchester Eats Festival - spirits

Manchester Eats Festival - gin

I do however like Pimms…

Manchester Eats Festival - pimms

Manchester Eats Festival - signpost

It was getting hotter by the minute so we sat in front of one of the TVs to drink our drinks. Perfect timing for one of our goals! Come on England!

Manchester Eats Festival -chilli

Manchester Eats Festival - fried chicken

Then it was time for dessert. Claire was fascinated by the concept of ice cream rolls so we visited The Ice Alchemists. They whipped up Manchester tart flavoured ice cream rolls and it was definitely true to taste. I might have had a little nibble.

Manchester Eats Festival - ice cream rolls

Earlier on we had spotted something new in the dessert world so I had to make it my dessert choice. Milky Stax are a new company who specialise in hot pressed ice cream buns. Delicious brioche buns filled with ice cream. Kind of like a doughnut or ice cream sandwich. I definitely enjoyed mine (vanilla ice cream with chocolate chip cookie crumble on top) – the portion was just right and I loved the contrast between hot and cold. I hope to see them around again!

Manchester Eats Festival - ice cream sandwich

By this point we were pretty tired and hot so it was time to put our foldable shopping bags to good use and go round buying everything we wanted to bring home with us. Did I mention how much I like being employed full time again? It was mainly sweet treats and booze I bought and I regret nothing. Since Topher couldn’t come I had to get him this chocolate I spotted at In Truffle We Trust. He loved it and I also loved the pecan pie chocolate I got for myself. Delicious.

Manchester Eats Festival - chocolate

Overall both Claire and I had a great day. Food, drink, sunshine and England getting through to the semi finals! Thanks to Manchester Eats Festival for providing our tickets. I hope you’ll be back soon!

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Colour Walk Manchester

I’ve always been a fan of colour. A small pleasure I had as a teen was wearing as many colours at once as possible to upset my parents who prefer things to “match”. So earlier this year when I found out about a Facebook group called In Colourful Company, I had to join it.

It’s a group of colour hunters who share their love of anything bright and lovely. One of the best bits of the community is their organised meets around the country to go on “colour walks” which is essentially pretty street art hunting. It’s right up my street so when they came to Manchester I had to go!

It wasn’t hard for everyone to meet at Piccadilly station – we just had to look for the rainbow balloons and the hoards of people dressed brightly.

Colour Walk Manchester - piccadilly

Once everyone arrived, we were off!

Colour Walk Manchester - stage and radio

Colour Walk Manchester - ethnic

Colour Walk Manchester - fox

Colour Walk Manchester - old couple

Did anyone else used to watch Danger Mouse as kids? I bloody loved it!

Colour Walk Manchester - danger mouse

We went past a communal garden project so I had to get a couple of snaps of these beauties!

Colour Walk Manchester - dahlia

Colour Walk Manchester - flower

Colour Walk Manchester - miserable bastards

Colour Walk Manchester - mary berry

Colour Walk Manchester - skulls

Colour Walk Manchester - twitter twat

Colour Walk Manchester - bee

Colour Walk Manchester - hope

I loved that there was a nice mix of sprayed art and stencilled posters dotted about. Lots that made me chuckle!

Colour Walk Manchester - shutters

Colour Walk Manchester - yellow

Does anyone else get annoyed when people tag on top of pretty street art? Tagging just ruins it.

Colour Walk Manchester - bear hat

Colour Walk Manchester - colour hunters

I’ve already instagrammed this one below as I thought my freelancer and artist friends would find it amusing!

Colour Walk Manchester - artist wanted

Colour Walk Manchester - girls

I hadn’t been able to get a close look at these murals since they were done in Stevenson Square so it was great to finally get the opportunity – and some photos!

Colour Walk Manchester - stevenson sq

Colour Walk Manchester - peace

Thanks to Nicola for taking this pic of me! I rarely get to take photos of myself these days since I’m always the one behind the camera. How awesome is my red coat btw? It was only £35 at New Look and is proper coat material. It comes in different colours too.

Colour Walk Manchester - i heart mcr

Colour Walk Manchester - stevenson square

It wouldn’t be a Manchester walk without a visit to the Vimto statue!

Colour Walk Manchester - vimto

Colour Walk Manchester - magnet

Colour Walk Manchester - mural

Colour Walk Manchester - afflecks

After all that walking, loads of us were starving so we finally headed to our final stop, Font just off of Oxford Road.

Colour Walk Manchester - outside font

Font

It’s been years since I went to Font which is funny as I practically lived there as a student. Who could say no to £2 cocktails? And I can’t believe it but you still can get £2 cocktails! Nice to see that inflation hasn’t reached everything.

I had a unicorn juice which was very instagrammable though maybe not the tastiest thing on the menu. The stuff at the bottom was delicious though.

Colour Walk Manchester - unicorn juice

And for food I had short rib poutine fries. Delicious and just what I needed after all the walking

Colour Walk Manchester - font poutine

Overall it was an amazing day and I can’t wait to do another one. Highly recommended!

If you want to see more street art, check out my Manchester Street Art Post and my Nottingham one.

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Foodie Adventures: Bakchich, Dough and Black Milk

Food glorious food! Topher and I have been super lucky recently and have had the opportunity to visit Bakchich, Dough and Black Milk in Manchester. All delicious and all highly recommended. Here’s what we ate.

Bakchich

Bakchich bar

I may be biased being Arab but Middle Eastern food is in my top 5 favourite food regions. So when I heard there was a new Lebanese restaurant in town I knew I had to visit. Especially since they have Diane’s holy grail. Labaneh. I always find explaining labaneh to British people difficult as it’s kinda hard to make strained goats yoghurt sound good but believe me it is. It’s not out of this world but it’s definitely a dip I can’t live without and until now had to get my yearly quota in my 2 week trips to Jordan every year. Not anymore!

So firstly the decor is awesome. I love the bright colours and the Arabic food packaging everywhere. They were even playing Arabic pop music. Love it.

Bakchich interior

Bakchich wall

Bakchich tables

The main feature was definitely the tiles! An Instagrammer’s dream.

Bakchich tiles

So onto the food. We opted for Limon Nana drinks (Lemonade with lime and mint) and a bit of mezze followed by shawarma wraps (chicken for him, lamb for me). The mezze consisted of labaneh (of course!), falafel, halloumi and salad with plenty of arabic bread. First of all the labaneh tasted EXACTLY the same as it does in Jordan. So happy! The falafel was green on the inside as it should be and the halloumi was to die for.

Bakchich mezze

I have to remember though how much I get filled up with mezze so when it came to the shawarma wrap I was so full I had to take it to go. When I did eventually eat it later that day it was delicious. We’ve already been back since and it won’t be the last time.

Bakchich shawarma

Dough

Dough

I’ve only been to Dough once and it was over five years ago so that had to be rectified. I still dream about the lamb and mango pizza I had. Topher and I walk past there all the time and keep saying we should go sometime. So the other weekend we finally went with Claire and Steve before heading to Lucardo.

I love unusual pizza toppings so when I saw they had a falafel pizza, I was intrigued. It definitely lived up to my dreams.  All of the noms.

Dough Falafel Pizza

Topher had the chicken and pesto pizza which I had a taste of and it was very nice. Not as nice as my falafel pizza but still very nice. Topher enjoyed it and it was gone quickly!

Dough pesto pizza

Claire had the red pepper and pesto linguine which she said was tasty but kinda wished there was more of it. Steve had a pepperoni pizza. I’ll leave it up to your imagination what that looked like.

Dough pasta

Dessert was difficult to choose (too many noms!) but Topher and I settled on sharing a cookies and ice cream type dessert, Steve had the same and Claire had a sundae of some kind. I can’t remember the names and the dessert menu is not on the website so sorry about that.

Dough dessert

Dough Sundae

Black Milk

Black Milk interior

After finishing Lucardo and stumbling across Black Milk on Oldham street, we decided to drop in and have what turned out to be a super sweet snack. I’ve seen Black Milk in Affleck’s but didn’t know they had a branch on Oldham Street.

Black Milk bottle

The boys went all out and got freakshakes while Claire and I chose the more sensible option of just a shake for me and a frozen latte for her. I know my limits. For me personally, freakshakes are for photos only – they’re too much for me to finish.

Topher’s was called the Marshmallow Rodeo:

Black Milk rocky road freakshake

And Steve had the Triple Oreo Cheesecake:

Black Milk oreo freakshake

This was my Biscoff & Salted Caramel shake. It was delicious! I couldn’t finish the whole thing but I would definitely be back for another attempt.

Black Milk lotus shake

And now I’m hungry. How about you?

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Lucardo, Manchester – Contamination Room

I’ve only ever done a couple of Escape rooms, but Lucardo in Manchester is by far my favourite so far.

Lucardo - outside

The other week I received an invitation to come and try out one of their rooms with some of my friends. For those who haven’t done an escape room before, it’s basically a themed room where there is an objective that you have to achieve in 60 minutes with the help of puzzles and clues. Since I decided to bring Topher and our friends Steve and Claire, I picked out a room that I thought they would enjoy.

Lucardo Manchester

The Contamination room is notorious for being one of the most difficult escape rooms in Europe. So no pressure then! It has a science theme to it and the story is that you have to save Manchester from the threat of a virus breakout by finding a sample of the virus in the room. There are puzzles, clues and riddles along the way so you have to use your logic.

Lucardo - door

That’s all I will say about the room itself as I don’t want to spoil anything but we had an awesome time. And we had some very idiotic moments! By some miracle we managed to get the virus and escape the room with 3 minutes and 45 seconds to go. I think if it were just Topher and I in there we wouldn’t have gotten out at all! We worked very well as a team.

Lucardo - our escape time

It was a great way to spend an hour and I’ve already got everyone asking me when we’re all free to go back! We want to try out the other rooms on offer. There was a serial killer room, a WWII room, a diamond heist and also a lottery dream room to choose from. It’s perfect for friends, families and I even saw a couple by themselves who did it. Rooms will fit between 2 and 6 people so choose your team wisely.

Lucardo - the team

Thank you Lucardo for a great afternoon!

*Our tickets for the contamination room were free of charge but my opinions are my own and I will definitely be going back as a paying customer.

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Win Tickets to Manchester’s Ideal Home Show and Eat & Drink Festival

UPDATE: THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

It’s competition time!

Last year I went to Manchester’s Ideal Home show with Topher and we both loved it! So I was really excited when the organisers contacted me and asked if I wanted to attend and run a giveaway for this years event. Of course!

Tickets cost £12.50 in advance (£16 on the door) and children under 16 go free.

But this is a competition for 2 free tickets.

So what is the Ideal Home Show?

It’s all the inspiration you could ever want for your home and garden under one roof.

“Fresh ideas, trends and products for your home: from decor, fixtures and fittings, scrumptious food and this year’s latest garden tips.”

Walk through vendors and displays and let your imagination run wild.

Even Topher had a good time!

What is the Eat & Drink festival?

A brand new addition to the Ideal Home Show this year, the Eat & Drink festival is:

“A pioneering live experience celebrating the most innovative and delicious food & drink Manchester has to offer from its huge range of local artisan vendors. It’s set to be a feast for all the senses…Pop in to see the newest trends in modern cuisine, mixology, extraordinary tipples and street food.”

I think this is the bit I’m looking forward to the most!

When is it?

8th – 11th June

Where is it?

EventCity, Manchester

What’s the prize?

2 free tickets to Ideal Home Show, Manchester 2017 (these tickets also get you into the Eat & Drink festival) that can be used for one day only between 8th – 11th June.

How do I enter?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Terms and Conditions

  • Tickets are valid for one day only between 8th – 11th June
  • Tickets are for the Manchester event only
  • Winner will be contacted by myself and tickets will be posted out by the organiser
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