Thursday, 20 October 2016

Restaurant | Event | Christmas Menu | Ning, Manchester

I love the fact that restaurants start planning their christmas menus many months before december. A lot of time and effort goes into their creation of the perfect Christmas celebration meal. December is a very busy time for restaurants - friendship groups have their annual reunion, offices up and down host a christmas meal and couples make the most of the deals available. So having the right christmas menu can be the difference between ringing tills and empty seats. And I think the christmas menu at Ning, Manchester will have their tills ringing like sleigh bells this upcoming festive season.
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Lola and I fell in love with Ning after our last tasting experience at the restaurant owned by renowned Malaysian chef, Norman Musa.  So we were excited to get the chance to have a sneak preview of the christmas menu that will be on offer this December. This year, Chef Norman Musa has created a three course banquet that showcases the flavours of Malaysian cuisine at its best but with a festive twist. The banquet is £28.95 per head and is based on a minimum of 4 people sharing a selection of starters and main and finishing off with their choice of dessert.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Eat.Live.Wander || #2

Another week gone!

[Fikki] Christmas arrived early at Ning restaurant in Manchester. Got the chance to sample their christmas menu which will be available to diners this December. Despite the fact that I have been to quite a few of these types of events now, after years of blogging, i still end up over eating during the first course. This leaves little to no room by the main course and leaves me feeling round by the end of the night. Before christmas actually comes, I need to re-find my way to pure gym
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Sunday, 16 October 2016

Restaurant | Event | The Lost and Found | Knutsford, Cheshire

The other week we got invited to the opening of a new restaurant and bar in Cheshire. Since Lola is now a budding Londoner, I invited my cousin along for the event. So after a day working, we made the drive down from Manchester city centre to Knutsford, Cheshire. My cousin was pleased to know that I would be driving as it meant she could drink for the two of us.
On the drive down, we both discussed how as city centre dwellers, we rarely venture to restaurants/bars in areas outside the city of Manchester. So it was nice for a change to try out a spot outside the ring road that encapsulates our city. After a 30 minute drive through some beautiful countryside (it always surprises me how close the leafy countryside is to the city), we arrived at the former town hall in Knutsford town centre, which is now home to new bar and restaurant - The Lost and Found.
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Monday, 3 October 2016

Eat.Live.Wander || #1

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There are so many parts of our lives and things that we come across that don't always easily fit into various blogposts which is where this handy little feature comes in. We want to share with you the little tid bits of things we love to eat, places to go and general life updates on our blog. Who knows you could find something you like. Enjoy!


Sunday, 2 October 2016

Event | #LoveScotch at The Drift, London | How To Make Scotch Cocktails

Whisky Whisky Whisky, the drink everyone just thinks they hate, regardless of whether they have tried it or not. The proverbial old man's tipple, best neat on a fat block of ice. The drink of choice for the guy trying to impress you and prove how much of a man he is, only to pull faces and express how this is his favourite drink ever. Being from a Scottish background, believe it nor not (God bless the Campbells!), I feel like I already have it in me to enjoy whisky. My favourite being this amazing salted caramel whisky I bought on the way back from New York last year. All drunk neat.


Saturday, 1 October 2016

Event | RUSH Hair, Manchester

As a black woman, I have become accustomed to the fact that when I need to get anything done to my hair I cannot simply "pop down" to my local hair salon down the street. I have learnt to accept that the stylist in the chain hairdressers on the high street is unlikely to know how to do crochet braids, install a weave or cut my once afro hair (RIP). I have to go to a salon owned by a fellow black woman because only she would be able to understand how to achieve the multitude of styles and processes we put our hair through. And as a result, I have grown to tolerate the hours of waiting for my turn, at the shop owned by the "insert african/Caribbean country" hairdresser, as they do not really do appointment times. Thinking of it, I do not think i have ever spent more than a few minutes in a non black hair salon.
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So you can understand my shock when I received an invite to the opening of Rush Hair in Manchester, a brand which already has over 70 salons nationwide. So my first response on receiving the invite was to ask "does the company cater for Afro Caribbean hair?" and the reply i got was "they do in fact cater to Afro hair". On that note, i had to check it out and speak to a few of the stylists.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

What We Wore | The Summer Classic Combo

As summer has drawn to end here in the UK, we reminisce about our time in Ibiza. On the day we chose to explore the old town on the White Isle, we both opted for the age old summer favourite - the denim shorts and white shirt combo. But obviously with our own twist on this classic summer outfit. Lola teamed her denim shorts with a crochet tasseled crop top whilst I went for the on trend Bardot crop top. We had a great deal of fun shooting this in Ibiza as we rarely do shoots together now that we live in separate cities.

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Thursday, 15 September 2016

Travel | Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain

At the start of September, Fikki and I along with 8 of our friends took a week long trip to Ibiza. We are quite a close knit group and this was our first proper group holiday. With a year and a half planning due to work schedules, we were very excited for the trip and probably planned it down to the very last minute detail. Ibiza has been high on our list of places we wanted to visit for a while now and unlike other 'party' destinations, the crowd is varied and there is no age barrier.

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Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Event | Treasured by Seema - The new collection by Forever Unique at Menagerie, Manchester

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to view Treasured, the SS17 collection from Forever Unique. The event was held at Menagerie, a stunning new restaurant and bar based on the outskirts of Spinningfields, on New Bailey Street.

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On arrival, we were treated to glasses of fizz and a selection of delicious canapés whilst we waited for the runway show to begin. The whole night was filmed by ITV for an episode of The Real Housewives of Cheshire because current Housewife, Seema Malhotra, is the design director of Forever Unique. The glitz and glamour of the venue was the perfect setting for the clothes which exuded opulence and high-end glamour.


Tuesday, 2 August 2016

What We Wore | Closed for Business | Red Zara Dress

Officially finished my first 2 years of doctoring and off to start the next stage. These will be in the same hospitals but the difference will be the new job title. The higher up the ranks you get the more people expect from you which is beyond nerve wracking. Wish me luck!

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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

What We Wore | Greener Pastures | Floral Dress | Zara

The next few weeks are going to be the end of another chapter in my life.  I will be finishing my time as a foundation trainee and moving onto my next step towards my goal of becoming a dermatologist. It will also mark a time when even more of my friends leave the city that we have all called home for nearly 8 years. Whilst I stay behind, they will be moving on to new adventures and new cities. Change is good!

Sadly it's often as things are about to change that you notice a talent that you hadn't before. One of my friends who is moving back to his family home in just a few days is one of the most creative doctors I know. That is saying something as medical school and working as a doctor can sometimes unfortunately stifle some of your creativity. However, unlike many this one friend has held on to this part of who he is. Over the last few weekends, he took a series of amazing photos of my outfits which i get to share with you.


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Saturday, 9 July 2016

Event | Restaurant | Chiquila by Chiquito | Manchester

 Announcement: It is official, tequila is not just for shots and may have overtaken gin as the on-trend spirit to drink. It has become the liquor of choice in many new cocktails and bars up and down the country are joining the trend. I'm honestly not complaining as i love tequila. 

So I was excited to be invited to Chiquila - an evening hosted by Tex-Mex restaurant chain Chiquito which celebrates the history and flavours of Tequila whilst enjoying authentic mouth watering dishes. Chiquito have been travelling around the country, hosting this event in a different city each month and this time it was the turn of the great northern city that is Manchester.  


Friday, 24 June 2016

Travel | Best areas to Hang out in Manchester, England

As you know, Fikki and I have lived in Manchester since 2008. We arrived here in September of that year for university and have not left the city since then (With the exception of my current trip to Lagos). Our adopted city has undergone a huge transformation from a a standard northern city to one which can compete with London on a global scale. The Manchester we know in 2015 as it is was definitely not the Manchester we came to as young students. The explosion of several areas in the city with booming restaurants, thriving bars and a very young population has seen the city become an English paradise.

What drew us to the city was its vibrance even at a time when it was still in the early stages of boom. The city was growing and it was a honour to experience and be part of that growth. Being here for nearly 8 years, we both have experienced all. We know our favourite parts of the city, the best bars and restaurants, the cheapest dives, best places to shop and all the back streets when Market Street becomes a no go area. So, we thought it would be nice to put together a list of four areas that are essential to any visit to central Manchester.


Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Spa Day with Spa Seekers | Mottram Hall, Cheshire

My first week off work in months began with an utterly relaxing experience. It was such a pleasure to receive an invite to spend the day at Mottram Hall after a week of working hard in general practice and a thankfully brief stint in the emergency department. The day was going to be a chance to visit the beautiful grounds of Mottram Hall, use its award-winning spa facilities, and learn a thing or two about fashion and makeup from some experts. Sounded like a great way to spend a Saturday.
So on Saturday morning, I packed my swimsuit and gym kit and headed south of Manchester to Cheshire. Mottram Hall, is a golf and leisure resort situated in the quaint and affluent village of Mottram St Andrews in the middle of the scenic Cheshire countryside. Classically running a bit late (I need to set all my clocks to an hour early), I made my way up the tree lined drive to the stunning Grade II listed former country home which is now a luxury hotel run by Qhotels. The building is surrounded by beautiful woodland and a championship standard golf course.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Event | The Other Side Of Midnight | Manchester

If you are looking for something interesting to do this weekend in Manchester. I think you should definitely check this out. A few days ago, we were invited to a preview viewing of The Other Side of Midnight, an exhibition of photographs spanning six decades that showcase our love of music and the evolution of the club culture. 

Friday, 3 June 2016

Restaurant | HOME, First Street, Manchester

Last year, the Cornerhouse on Oxford Road, Manchester finally closed their doors and moved down the road to First Street, to their new place, HOME. The move was a welcomed and well needed upgrade as the new venue finally holds two theatre spaces, five cinema screens, a gallery, bar and restaurant. For a huge project, the space has been utilised well and I made sure to check out the food at the restaurant.


Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Event | Patron + Botanist | Cocktails in the City | Manchester

After having the pleasure of attending the press preview event for Cocktails in the City in Manchester, I was invited to attend the real event on its opening night by Patrón.

I doubt that there is anyone out there who drinks alcohol and is not familiar with Patrón. And for those who don't drink alcohol, they would have heard a shout out to the brand in several Hip Hop and R&B songs!

Patrón is the holy grail of tequila! The premium tequila brand is partly responsible for taking tequila from a drink you shot at house party's and bars to get slithered to a spirit that can hold its place next to rum and vodka in cocktails that grace the menus of high end bars and restaurants.

I discovered my love for tequila on a holiday to Cancun with my girls during my 2nd year of university but I have fallen head over heels for Patrón since the release of the Patrón XO Cafe Liqueur. That stuff is delicious and someone I know *cough* Lola *cough* has been known to drink it out of the bottle with a straw. Please don't recreate at home. Drink Responsibly!

So back to the Event...

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Event | Cocktails in the City, Manchester

I attended the press preview for Cocktails in the City at Elixir Tonics and Treats, a few weeks ago. The premise of the event was a show down between the hip bars of Northern Quarter and the swanky bars of Spinningfields. If you live in Manchester or regularly visit you would know how very different these two areas are. The drinks we got to sample at the event from the bars lived up to the expectation of each area. Glitz, glamour and lots of dry ice from the Spinningfields set vs quirk, alt and even a plastic bag from NQ.


Saturday, 12 March 2016

Restaurant | A culinary tour of "Italian" Manchester with Bella Italia

2016 marks a landmark for Bella Italia in Manchester. The popular italian chain restaurant have been serving diners in the city for 15 years and invited a few bloggers and journos to their restaurants to try some of the food on their menu whilst learning a thing or two about the italian history of Manchester.

We started our journey at the Arndale restaurant. The team at Bella Italia have revamped their menu in recent years using ingredients sourced directly from Italy for many of the dishes served at their restaurants. The sharing platters we were served perfectly highlights this. The cured meats on their calabrese antipasto board includes cured meats from the San Vincenzo family from Calabria (famous for their Nduja spicy salami) which was absolutely delicious paired with sundried tomatoes and Buffalo bocconcini mozzarella balls.

A selection of starters

How about a “Penny Lick”? 

Friday, 11 March 2016

Moving to a New Country/City - How To Survive and Enjoy It All

Last October, I moved to Lagos, Nigeria and plan to be here for a minimum of a year. My mum moved back for a while so it has been nice to live with her and enjoy the city. Moving to a different country can be quite daunting and it can be very difficult to deal with the changes. I lived in Lagos till I was 13 and moved away. This is my first time living in the country for quite a while. I would return for holidays at Christmas for two weeks but holidays are not the same as staying in the country semi permanently. So, although the place seemed familiar to be, it still seemed quite alien and a place that was not quite mine. So far, it has been a really interesting journey full of self discovery and fun. In the short time I have been here, I have learnt a few things. How am I getting through it all without wanting to quit and run back to comfort?


Tuesday, 16 February 2016

What We Wore | Mustard Tent

 photo IMG_2774_zpschfkwb5h.jpeg  photo IMG_2777_zpswbbdre7t.jpg  photo IMG_2778_zpsyjfvqyfw.jpg  photo IMG_2784_zpsimuojc91.jpg I hope I dont look cold in these photos. Mustard tent dress worn with black tights and a harness necklace. Worn to chill on a rare weekend off with the boy. Not much else to say!


Saturday, 13 February 2016

Restaurant | Bakchich, Chester Street, Manchester

As a Brit, I am a sucker for afternoon tea! Savoury bites, sweet treats and tea to warm you up from the inside out, whats not to love. So when I was invited to afternoon tea with a middle eastern twist...I was intrigued. 

Backchich hosted a Lebanese afternoon tea at their Manchester restaurant on Chester street giving us a taste of Lebanon, without having to fly thousands of mile across the world. 

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Saturday, 6 February 2016

Restaurant | Evelyn's Cafe and Bar, Northern Quarter, Manchester

 Manchester has seen quite the explosion in the last five years in terms of worthwhile restaurants and bars. One could even say that Manchester has nearly caught up with London and has become the city that any young 20 something would love to work and live in. In particular, the Northern Quarter area of Manchester has seen such a transformation which independent shops springing up every other day. Evelyn's which has reopened with a new owner and menu caught my friend, Hydar's eye having and he decided that we would visit for dinner.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Lifestyle | Mindfulness - easy ways to start reliving stress

What is mindfulness?
This is a concept that was fairly new to me last year when I started to use meditation techniques to help relieve stress. I won't lie, moving to Lagos has been quite stressful, from trying to settle down to finding the right job and navigating a city so familiar to me yet so alien. I have found that in times were I feel completely drained, practicing mindfulness has been very helpful.

Psychology Today describes it as a "state of active, open attention on the present. When you are mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from distance, without judging them good or bad". 

To those of us who ever get into a stressful state, but do not know how to escape from it, focusing your thoughts and feelings can be a great way to achieve calm. Personally, I know I can be a stress head. Even my friends know that once I get worked up about an issue, I find it hard to snap out of it. Sometimes, all we need to do is reset ourselves and mindfulness is something that can possibly help. We may all have that one trick that helps - for me its listening to 'Moonlight Serenade' by Frank Sinatra or for longer spells, 'An American in Paris', the nearly 17 minutes symphonic composition by George Gershwin. But when that does not work, using certain techniques help to really clear my head. Below, I have tried what I think are two basic ways to begin to to achieve focus, attention and most importantly, calm.


Friday, 15 January 2016

Happy New Year (albeit a little late)

It has been a while since my last post! Moving to a new country and sorting out my life here has taken over so much. Also, I had friends visit Nigeria for christmas so spent all my time with them. Everything has calmed down now so back to regular posting!

Driving through the remote areas of Oyo State, Nigeria. 

 As an aside, I have started a new blog to document my life in Lagos. I See You Lagos is me finding my way around this new and interesting city - half travel blog, half photography. I have had friends who visited Lagos asking me what there is to do apart from drinking and eating and I remain clueless. My aim is to show that Lagos can be somewhat of a holiday for tourists. It also gives me the chance to see as much as possible whilst I am living here.

Have a look and let me know what you think. Thanks!

© Pastime Bliss - Manchester Blogger | Fashion, Travel and Lifestyle Blog | Manchester | UK

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