The Ryebeck Hotel Review

The Ryebeck Hotel Review: February 2018

Built in 1904, by prominent local builders G.H Pattinson, and formerly known as Fayrer Holme, The Ryebeck country house hotel has an enviable postcode located within five acres of gardens overlooking Lake Windermere.

Sympathetic, yet extensive renovations reflect and retain the original features and historical charm by combining contemporary and traditional to create an amazing Arts & Crafts decor with a quirky eclectic feel, which provides a unique space for guests to relax, reflect and recharge.

Delightful Duncan, the hotel manager, was the first face, that I saw, upon entry into this spectacular hotel, an opulent yet unpretentious, homely, warm and inviting place to be.

Checked in to one of the four gorgeous Grand rooms in the main building and they live up to the expectations of their Cumbrian dialectal name being “reet grand”, if anything it is an understatement.

The bedroom decorated in subtle neutral shades, with solid wood furnishings, a lovely large bed, modern amenities such as a funky retro radio, flat screen television and a well-appointed tea tray with Farrer’s of Kendal Lakeland tea, coffee and scrummy artisan handcrafted biscuits.

The wooden writing desk, vanity area with a marvellous mirror, provided a perfect space to get ready, and to simply sit and enjoy recording some exciting Lake district adventures within my journal.  The complimentary fruit bowl and bottled waters was a welcomed addition and a nice touch.

The chaise lounge day bed, allows you to sit back, admire and appreciate nature at its best with the remarkable breath-taking panoramic views over Windermere, Claife and the Coniston Fells.

The bathroom set a romantic tone with two fluffy robes hung on the door, and a viewing window over the natural splendour of the lakes.  Kitted out in modern marble, with a deep sunk bath, overhead shower, large mirror, heated towel rail and toiletries, the bathroom had all the creature comforts needed to make a stay smooth and fuss free.

Afternoon tea is located towards the rear of the property in the lovely lounge where in the summer months you can take advantage of the magnificent gardens and enjoy the outdoor patio area.

A chilly rainy day and a busy service, meant that the cosy conservatory was to be our tea location.  A grand affair with the most fabulous finger sandwiches, home baked scones with lashings of jam & cream and a range of dainty pastries and sweet offerings.

Dinner begins in the lounge, an intimate space where pre-dinner drinks can be had while reading the exciting evening menu offerings.  Duncan and his team were on hand demonstrating their mixology skills, mixing me up two marvellous mocktails.   Subdue lighting set the scene for a rather relaxed and romantically divine dinner in our own private conservatory area.

Starting with the delicious cheese from the courtyard dairy served up with crackers, chutney and grapes in the most charming wooden box, with a gingham fabric, immediately said summer, so I created our very own mini indoor picnic.

Mouth-watering mains included the corn-fed chicken served with braised leeks, wild mushrooms and garlic roasted potatoes, presentation perfectly formed and was a real winner.  The tremendously tasty twice baked cheese and chive soufflé – teamed up with the fresh side salad and thick cut chips went down a storm.

Delicious desserts included a wonderful warm chocolate fondant with banana ice cream and the Blood orange and lemon tart with crème fraiche sorbet, both a triumph and cleared of the plates in record time.

A relaxed dinner, with some sensational food and throughout service was faultless.  Rachel our server was incredible, professional, personable and will go far within the industry – I loved the lass!

Cosy and snug in our fluffy robes, a lazy leisurely breakfast in bed, with an awe-inspiring view was the order of the day.

A full Lakeland breakfast consisted if smoked bacon, Cumberland sausage, homemade black pudding, mushroom, hash brown, cherry tomato and comes with your choice of egg.  The Vegetarian included a vegetarian sausage, mushroom, hash brown, cherry tomatoes along with your choice of egg.  All served with breakfast tea and toast with fresh butter.

Nestle yourself away from the hustle and bustle in this friendly homely hub, that is synonymous with fine food, sophistication all delivered in a relaxed friendly style.

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx



Eat New York Bagel Shop Manchester Northern Quarter

Eat New York Bagel Shop Manchester Northern Quarter Review: February 2018

The Eat New York brand is based around the street food scene and with over 10 years’ experience, these guys have a lot to bring to the table.

The Bagel shop is a slice of the big apple minus the airfare and brings the New York vibe right in the heart of Manchester’s eclectic Northern Quarter.  With arty boards, tiling, neon lighting which gives the overall place an industrial identity.

#Mouthwatering mains included the vegetarian lovely Little Italy Bagel Breaded mozzarella, with Cal’s tomato sauce, red onion, fresh tomato, rocket, fresh pesto, garlic butter and lashings of gorgonzola mayo.

Grab yourself a slice of sandwich heaven and Rock up the Reuben, a hot stacked pastrami with swiss cheese, sauerkraut loaded with Russian dressing.  The American brisket is used as the cattle are fed, so to retain its flavour and signature meat marbling.  Then the meat is cured for two weeks, spiced up and smocked for 15 hours in good Old Buddy.

Sensational sides included, skin on French fries, angel fries with tasty truffle oil, parmesan and parsley, the house salad with cucumber, mixed green leaf, red onion, Sun blushed tomato, croutons, sesame seeds, olives, balsamic dressing and fresh oregano.

Crank up the notch and bring on the sweet treats including the Cherry hot pie sundae and the fried tempura apple pie.  All washed down with non-alcoholic Root Beer vanilla and cola with sarsaparilla cordial with a float and a perfect peachy ice tea made fresh daily onsite.

Danny had bags of personality and his passion really shone through and made our visit extra fab.  Grab yourself a slice of Manchester’s New York and start spreading the news…

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx



Happy Valentine’s day with Nut Free Chocolate People

Happy Valentine’s day with Nut Free Chocolate People

It is Fabulous February and love is in the air with the lovely nut free chocolate people and their marvellous mouth-watering delicious goodies.

No nuts? Well, there is no need to miss out on chocolatey treats this Valentines day, if you have an allergy, as the Nut Free chocolate people brand are spreading the love with their nice nut free chocolate range**

Show your loved ones some heart and gift them your heart with this brilliant box of individually foil wrapped heart chocolates presented in this fabulously pretty red velvet effect box**  

OR why not try these perfectly presented tasty tablet chocolates embossed with cute heart detailing.  Ideal to gift or why not use to jazz up your chocolate desserts.

Happy Valentines day and Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx


**Please Note: The boxes are manufactured in a nut free environment but the supplier is unable to provide written nut free assurances.  They have provided verbal assurances*


The Principal Manchester Hotel Review

The Principal Manchester Hotel Review: February 2018

A landmark location within Manchester city centre, The Principal Hotel presents Victorian decadence and grandeur.  This terracotta grade II listed building shapes Manchester’s skyline with its unmissable iconic clock tower.

First opened in 1890, as The Refuge Assurance Company Headquarters, the Principal Hotel has a rich historic past.  The extravagant entrance with high steel gates, trio lit lighting, topiary planters, gold engraved Principal signage and flags flying proudly, prepares guests to step into a breathtakingly opulent lobby.

The stunning sculptured horse stands proud in reception and provides a talking point for sure.  The breathtakingly beautiful sky dome dominates divinely with style and grace.

Sympathetic, yet extensive renovations reflect and retain the original features and historical charm by combining contemporary and traditional to create an eclectic, quirky and unique space for guests to embrace and enjoy.

Quirky additions are not just lost spaces but are useful, such as relaxed seating area’s to perhaps read a book, people watch or catch up online with their free, superfast Wi-Fi.  The royal mail box is not just there to look pretty, but saves you heading out to post your mail on those days you simply want to stay and play in the hotel without going out in the city hustle and bustle.  The glass cabinet is a shop where for a reasonable price you can stock up on essentials and treats for your Tuck box – yes you heard right, Tuck Box, but more about that later.

Warmly welcomed we headed on up to room 326 our home away from home.  Again, the room was synonymous with the communal hotel areas with “useful” and “stylish” being the theme.  Kitted out in tan leathers, wood details, Manchester city prints, steel light features, mixed with simple linens along with a flat screen television on an extendable bracket for optimum viewing and a bedside area that had a handy plug socket to charge all those much-needed tech gadgets.

Simply stylised decor, along with quality furnishings such as a traditional solid wood wardrobe and the tan seating chair all complimented each other well.  A well-appointed tea tray is provided, with cool branded Principal mugs and a tasty tuck box, that includes an assortment of snacks, which guests are free to Tuck into free of charge!  Fancy a refill, well remember the lobby store, just head down and fill up your stock, with prices from as little as 30p per item which for a hotel of this standard is incredible value.

The bathroom is well presented in clean tiling with a shower over bath feature, a heated towel rail, the mirror cleverly pulls out to enable an easy beautify process and the excellent Elemis toiletries are much welcomed.

Dinner can be had in Refuge by Volta, a restaurant located on the lower level of the hotel, which also features a gorgeous garden for pre/post dinner drinks and a sociable area to enjoy some tasteful DJ beats.   “Come as you are” is the Refuge Mantra, so dress down or glam up, you decide.

Beautiful brilliance awaits you with open bulb lighting, high ceilings, cosy upholstered booths, industrial exposed features, tastefully tiled backdrop wall with signage reading ‘The glamour of Manchester’ which strikes the perfect balance and brings together Manchester industrial past with Manchester’s glamorous present.

DJs Luke Cowdrey and Justin Crawford, owners of Volta have took residence, I knew that there would definitely be style, but on first glance of the menu, I was perhaps guilty for thinking that there may be a lacking in substance, when it came to the food offerings, but my thoughts were unfounded and I was in for an evening of mouth-watering foodie delights which have been inspired by their global travels.

Sensational small plates including the Cheese Board with British cheeses with a selection of biscuits and chutney, olives, Heritage tomato and red onion salad, Daal Makhani, Chargrilled cauliflower, caraway and pomegranate, the brilliant Beetroot pakora with tamarind ketchup, Kale with Parmesan and Fries, made the most perfect little palate pleasers.

Things got even sweeter with the non-alcoholic ‘brambly’ apple and Designated mule mocktails.  Along with a sheer dipping delight dessert, an old-fashioned chocolate fondue with fresh fruit and sweets – a fun experience and nice to share between two.

Our lovely server, even let us take some of the Glamour home, as she presented us with a lovely card with a very touching personal message inside regarding something, that I mentioned about the beetroot pakoras, which shows engagement and a genuine interest to connect with the customer and provide a personalised service.

Bedtime was bliss, a relaxing sleep was had, waking up refreshed and ready for the day ahead.  A call down to reception the previous night arranged breakfast in bed.  Providing an ideal opportunity to see room service standards and an excuse to enjoy a lazy leisurely breakfast in the privacy of our beautiful room.

Both the hot English and Vegetarian breakfast along with toast, tea and orange juice tasted yummy.  Continental was a delight and the muffin was lush –we should have ordered two!

Want glitz and glamour without a pretentious attitude? ‘Come as you are’ and the Principal team will host you with some Manchester charm and style.

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx


Indulge in some Self Love This Valentine’s Day with the Sienna Spa at Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester

Indulge in some Self Love This Valentine’s Day with the Sienna Spa at Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester

Love is in the air this February and now it is time to slow down and show yourself some much-deserved self-love with a sensational spa day followed by an amazing Afternoon Tea.

The Sienna Spa located in the 5-star iconic Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester has all the facilities, that you need to get your mind and body relaxed, revitalised and reinvigorated, including an air-conditioned gym, 12-metre deck level swimming pool, whirlpool bath, Nordic sauna, steam room and the peaceful poolside relaxation area.  The welcome was warm, as always, but this time there was new fluffy robes.  Also, brilliant branded Edwardian Hotel flipflops which you do get to take home.

Tranquillity awaits your arrival at the Sienna Spa Relaxation room where you can sit back on leather upholstered recliner beds, as you enjoy sipping complimentary herbal teas and iced water, as you catch up with friends or simply reflect and refocus your mind while you wait for your therapist.

Ashley my therapist was personable, friendly and provided a relaxed tone for the treatment day.  The back massage worked on my knots and helped relive tension and strain.  My personalised ESPA facial was tailored by my therapist to suit my skin type and included a cleanse, exfoliation, personalised facial mask and finishes to boost the skin.

As the day turned into late afternoon the exquisite Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester richly glows as a beacon that is synonymous with the hospitality and five-star service that they provide inside.

The opulent Opus lounge is a legendary landmark located in the home of Manchester’s historic Free Trade Hall and the original home to the Hallé Orchestra, which is steeped in history and old school decadence and charm.

The building was sympathetically refurbished in 2004, retaining original features which mix both contemporary and traditional to create a unique and relaxed space to enjoy a social Afternoon Tea.  High ceilings, bespoke furniture, fabulous fireplaces and subdue lighting set’s the scene.

Warmly welcomed by Glenn and his team, we started with some light refreshments, the lovely latte gave a boost and the lush Raspberry & Lychee Sling mocktail mixed up with, mint, raspberries, lemon and soda water was delightful.

Fabulous finger sandwiches, sensational scones with yummy clotted cream, along with jam when down a treat.  As if that was not enough, the range of pastries was delicious.  All washed down with peppermint and earl grey tea.

Spread the love, love others, but love yourself too.

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx


Sienna Spa & Health Club, Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester, Peter Street, Manchester M2 5GP

Tel: 0161 835 8964

OpusOne Bar and Restaurant, Free Trade Hall, Peter Street, Manchester M2 5GP.


Tel: 0161 835 8904

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide 2018 by Forkward Thinking Foodinista

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide 2018 by Forkward thinking Foodinista

Love is in the air this February, so spread the love this valentine’s day with some gorgeous gifts for the girl or guy in your life., Chocolate and Love, Find Me A Gift, Gingersnap, Carluccios and The Artisan Olive Oil Company are great brands to pick up your loved one a much-deserved gift of love.

Say it with flowers, what better way to show someone you love them than with a bouquet of flowers, but with a twist.  Roses are red, violets are blue sugar is sweet and so are you.  Make your sweet heart feel loved this Valentine’s Day with these sensational sweet chocolatey red roses from Carluccios.

Gift your heart to the one you love this Valentine’s day with this lovely silver-plated heart shaped locket and chain, presented in a gift box, from the fabulous Find me a Gift.  The locket opens to reveal two spaces where you could already place pictures of you and your loved one.  Also, why not personalise with engraving, already included in the price, of your loved one’s name, a message of love such as “I love you” or perhaps a special date that you both hold dear to your hearts such as when you first met.  Say thanks a bunch to your loved one with this pop up flower card – a cost effective way to give flowers to the one you love. founded by Anita, offer a bespoke and unique service, a thoughtful and fun way to gift real money.  Presented in a gorgeous luxury giftbox, their exquisite designs where money has been folded with the origami style method, with satin ribbon bow detail along with a personalised message makes for a lovely little gift, but the question is will you Treasure it or Spend it?

Light up your lover’s life and heart with this neon lit heart lumo lamp from the team over at Gingersnap.  Turn down the lights and set the mood for a Valentine’s evening dinner at home and give your loved one a piece of your heart with this red iconic symbol of love.

They say that they way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, well the amazing Artisan Olive Oil Company have just the answer with their exceptional fab foodie finds.  Using their Jared olives, artichokes, sun dried tomato spread, lovely lemon Finca la Torre oil and Vegetarian Caviar, I rustled up this super simple salad starter – easy, but yummy.  The Julien Allano Crème de Parmesan made a beautiful light, but indulgent pasta sauce, again simple to make, but melt in the mouth yumminess.  Quality ingredients mean less time in the kitchen, so you can spend more time with your loved one this Valentines day.

Want to end Valentine’s Day on a sweet note, well Birgitte Hovmand and Richard O’Connor, loved up couple and founders Chocolate & Love have exactly what you need.  Two tins of chocolatey heaven for two love birds, so one for each partner or why not try their new and exciting chocolate pomegranate bars.

Happy Valentine’s Day and Thank you for reading 😊


Melanie xx



Breakout Manchester High Street Most Wanted

Breakout Manchester High Street Most Wanted: January 2018

Located in the cool, quirky, eclectic northern quarter hub is the brilliant Breakout Manchester.  Prepare to motivate your mind to find clues and solve a serious of puzzles, to unlock padlocks.  Do you accept the challenge, can you Breakout, can you escape?

Howdy partners, us cowboys rode up to the wild west aka Manchester Breakout for a show down like no other.  We entered the Saloon bar, not to wet our whistle or hoe down to the sound of the piano keys, but in search of the loot – Yee-ha!  However, we got to get a skedaddle on, things just got wild, as there is a new sheriff in town who recognised my partner and I from our wanted posters.

A shoot out signalled that the 60-minute countdown had begun in this duel room game with twists and turns around every corner.  Milly our third partner in crime and our brilliant Breakout game master guided us bounty hunters through the wild west to try and aid our escape, so she too could take her cut of the riches.

Take a gamble and collect as many poker chips, as possible for a chance to gain a place on the coveted “Most Wanted” leader board, but be warned this is a secondary task, so don’t let this distract you from getting that darn loot and escaping.

Our horses were watered and waiting, ready to giddy up and ride off into the sunset, but alas the jig was up and our game had been sussed, so ya’ll better go before the Sheriff throws you in this cell with us, as Breakout Manchester’s Most Wanted!

Ride on up to play Breakout Manchester’s Most Wanted game to see if you can conquer the Wild West, take home the loot and gain a prized place on the coveted “Most Wanted” leader board.

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx