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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Manchester Eats Festival 2018 – Heaton Park, July 7th & 8th *

Long time readers of this blog will know I am a massive foodie. I am also a huge fan of food festivals. Topher and I are lovers of Disney World’s Food & Wine Festival at Epcot but can no longer go as it’s during term time and he works in a school. Sad face.

Much closer to home I was also hoping the Ideal Home Show would be back to Manchester this year and bring it’s Eat and Drink festival along with it but my dreams were shot. Another sad face.

Enter Manchester Eats Festival

That’s right, Manchester has a food festival coming up! My food loving heart is overjoyed. Manchester Eats Festival is in Heaton Park next weekend (7th– 8thJuly), tickets start from just £7.50 and kids under 14 go free. I will be there with bells on. And trousers that have a stretchy waistband! Plus the weather looks like it’s going to be just as hot as it’s been in the last week or two. So don’t forget the sun cream!

Highlights of the festival include demos with top chefs such as Marco Pierre-White, Ed Bainesand more, free workshops, street food, a prosecco tent, food marketplace, gin garden and vintage fairground rides. Plus one of their exhibitors is Reds True Barbecue. I’m sold.

It’s perfect for going with your friends or you can even bring the whole family along. There’s something for everyone – whether you’re into your alcohol or you can’t stop talking about healthy living. I’ll be telling my friends with little ones about the free cookery class for kids – maybe they’ll end up with a master chef? There’s even something for the vegans so don’t let dietary restrictions stop you from giving it a whirl.

I can’t bloody wait. I’ll be attending with my fellow foodie Claire and hopefully we  If you end up going and see me around – come and say hi. I’ll probably have a mouth full of food but something tells me I won’t be the only one! Those who can’t make it check out my post about it in a couple of weeks.

Tickets for Manchester Eats Festival are available here.

Are you a fan of a food festival?

*Post in collaboration with Manchester Eats Festival.  All photos provided by Manchester Eats Festival.

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Tampopo Trafford Centre – Thai Taste Tour

I’ve never been to Thailand but it’s definitely on my bucket list. 

Having only just started getting myself acquainted with the food of the country in the last year, it’s safe to say that I have a lot to learn. So when I was invited to Tampopo Trafford Centre to try out their Thai Taste Tour Supper Club, I couldn’t say no.

Tampopo has 4 branches and a kiosk in Manchester. The Trafford Centre is their largest. The chain is inspired by East Asian cuisines from Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

Tampopo Trafford Centre - decor

Topher and I arrived just after 8 in the evening and it’s quite obvious that one of us was pretty tired!

Tampopo Trafford Centre - diane

Tampopo Trafford Centre - Topher

However he soon perked up when we were served some prawn crackers to munch on while we decided what to drink. Tasty!

Tampopo Trafford Centre - prawn crackers

Thai Taste Tour Supper Club

We both went with mocktails – Pink Lemonade for me and a Virgin Mojito for Topher. We tasted both and recommend them if you’re looking for something refreshing to go with your meal!

Tampopo Trafford Centre - mocktails

Our server began by taking us through the main ingredients that you tend to find in a lot of Thai dishes. Her knowledge was incredible and she seemed super passionate about what she was sharing with us.

Tampopo Trafford Centre - ingredients

Our first course was the Corn fritters and Thai salad. I really like corn fritters so was pleased with the dish. Both were delicious and came with a kick!

Tampopo Trafford Centre - corn fritters & thai salad

Next was the Tom Yam Soup. We both had mixed feelings on this. I loved the taste but it was a bit too spicy for me, while Topher loved the spice but wasn’t a fan of the taste. So I guess it just depends on personal preference.

Tampopo Trafford Centre - tom yam soup

The Pad Thai was next. This was by far my favourite dish of the night. I could have eaten an entire bowl of this stuff. Really craving it right now actually! It was mild and full of flavour and just incredibly moreish. Both of us hoovered these down!

Tampopo Trafford Centre - pad thai

The final savoury dish was Hot and Sour Stir Fry & Red Curry Veg served with rice. Both of us loved the taste of this but due to my wimpy taste buds, it completely blew my head off. Topher was perfectly happy though. If you’re a fan of spicy dishes, I definitely recommend this.

Tampopo Trafford Centre - hot and sour stri fry & red curry veg

The final dish was a mango sorbet which was a welcome end to the meal. My tongue needed cooling down! It was perfect.

Tampopo Trafford Centre - mango sorbet

Overall I’m so glad we tried this Taste Tour, it was a great insight into Thai food and I’m so happy to have discovered Pad Thai.

In between courses, Topher and I perused the menu and we will definitely be back to one of the Tampopo restaurants. I lost count of the amount of amazing dishes I want to try. Plus, the atmosphere was so nice and the staff were incredibly friendly and knowledgable.

Tampopo Trafford Centre - mural

Thanks for having us Tampopo! We’ll be back!

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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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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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