Manchester Ideal Home Show and Eat & Drink Festival 2017

It’s that time of year again! Topher and I had a great time at the Ideal Home Show last year so when I was offered a free ticket to go again this year I said yes straight away. Since Topher works during the week at a school now, I brought along Emma.

Eat & Drink Festival - chair

There was an eat and drink section of the show last year but now they’ve gone all out and given it an official festival right alongside the home show. Being a foodie, this was definitely the bit I was looking forward to the most!

Eat & Drink Festival - entrance

There were so many amazing stalls and we had such a good time trying samples and storing away cards for a later date. I may have also purchased some flavoured tequila! It was too much to resist. Otherwise I was very well behaved with my purse. I do have a honeymoon to save for after all.

Eat & Drink Festival - decor

It wasn’t too hard to find the rum…

Eat & Drink Festival - rum ship

Eat & Drink Festival - macaron

How cool is this little drinks van? I wish we could have had something like this for our wedding!

Eat & Drink Festival - prosecco van

Eat & Drink Festival - fudge

How awesome is this fudge? So pretty!

Eat & Drink Festival - fudge closeup

And this Pimm’s teapot was amazing. I wish I had one of these in my garden.

eat & drink festival - pimms teapot

There was loads going on from workshops, to live demonstrations and we walked away with so many ideas.

Eat & Drink Festival - stage

Eat & Drink Festival - stalls

Then it was over to the Ideal Home Show section.

Eat & Drink Festival - ideal home show

My favourite bit definitely had to be the little room set ups they had. I don’t even have kids but I want this room below. The wallpaper is gorgeous.

Eat & Drink Festival - kids room

This room really makes me happy but I now want to go on holiday!

Eat & Drink Festival - dining room

I really like the wallpaper in both the room above and below though I don’t think I’d use it in such a large room. I have an idea to use it in our downstairs bathroom to give it a bit of personality. At the moment it just looks like more of a store cupboard than a guest bath.

Eat & Drink Festival - living room

Eat & Drink Festival - giant table and chairs

We had a great day and will definitely be back next year – especially for the Eat & Drink festival. 

Thanks to the Ideal Home Show for my ticket!

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My Week #55 – For the many, not the few

*Wedding times *Mezze!

*National Freelancer’s Day *Women who vote

What a week!

First things first, I can’t go without mentioning the election. For the first time in a while I’m actually full of hope. I voted Labour and I have zero regrets. It’s so great to see that so many young people came out and voted – my soon to be sister in law Emma included. She’s 26 and it was her first time voting. So proud! Whoever you voted for, I’m just happy people are coming out to vote. Here’s to the future and let’s hope it’s for the many, not the few.

So, in other news.

I’m off to Blogtacular this weekend!

So excited. Getting the train in a few hours and I need to pack asap. What will I wear? I’ve been wanting to go to Blogtacular for years and I finally bit the bullet and got myself a ticket. I’m looking forward to meeting like minded women, learning loads and getting super inspired. Plus, due to a silly mistake on my behalf, I have all of Sunday to spend in London. I’m going to do a marathon day like I did in 2013 and see loads of stuff.

So there will be more on that next week.

I’m in full on panic mode for wedding DIYs

Completely on it with the flower making now. It’s 35 days to go. Managed to make a whole vase of paper flowers in a week so let’s hope I can keep up the pace. I’m enlisting help and I’m considering taking some tissue paper with me this weekend. Let’s do this!

I went to the Ideal Home Show yesterday with Emma

After voting and popping to Slimming World (half a pound on #dealwithit) Emma and I went to the Ideal Home Show and the Eat & Drink festival. So fun! The Eat & Drink festival especially. I may have come home with 2 bottles of flavoured tequila (honey and coffee in case you were wondering). I smell hen party cocktails! I’ll be doing a full post on the show soon.

Otherwise, it’s just been plate spinning

I’ve been doing a lot of work, a lot of wedding stuff and just trying to stay afloat. So here’s to staying afloat!

How was your week?

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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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My Week #53 – My beloved Manchester

*Falafel Pizza (yes you read right) *Lucardo

*Black Milk *After my hair and makeup trial (I pulled 40 bobby pins out of my head!)

 

The radio silence is over.

What a sucky week. Am I right or am I right? Plenty of people have done more eloquently written dedications that put into words how we all feel right now so I don’t really feel like adding anything into the mix.

All I will say is rest in peace to the 22 people who lost their lives at the MEN on Monday night. I may not have been born in Manchester but it’s my home, I love it from the bottom of my heart and I hope we all continue to stick together like we have done this week.

So what did I get up to this week?

The weekend was lovely. I’ll be doing a full post on it next week but in a nutshell, I went to Lucardo with Topher, Claire and Steve and we ate at Dough and Black Milk. A great way to spend a Sunday.

I did not get much work done at all this week but hopefully I’ll be back on it next week.

Monday, I went for my second dress fitting. It’s getting real! Then Topher and I had an appointment at the registrars. I feel so much better now – all my questions were answered and we actually know the name of who’s marrying us now.

I had my hair and makeup trial on Wednesday. It went well. Though boy oh boy do I have a lot of hair! It’s so thick. I’m having my hair up and it needed 40 bobby pins. I need to get a hairdresser to take the weight out of it. Can’t wait to chop it all off after the wedding!

This week has been pretty good for wedding stuff actually. I’ve been DIYing like a boss and also discovering that some things shouldn’t be DIYed. I’ve still got so many flowers to make but I feel like I’ve got a handle on it now. Less than 50 days to go!

I put on a pound at Slimming World

Last week I mentioned that I maintained after a really good week and got really upset about it. So I seriously sabotaged myself this week. It was horrific the amount of bad things I ate. So much so that I was full on craving fruit when I went to the supermarket yesterday.

But by another miracle, I only put on a pound. Not good but I was expecting at least 3 so I was overjoyed. I impulse bought so much fruit and I didn’t buy any chocolate (le gasp). Not even Kit Kats. I think it’s best to keep temptation away from me – I can’t seem to only have a little bit. So lets see how this week works out.

How was your week?

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