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




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


Bøck Café Manchester Sunday Roast Fondue Review

Bøck Café Manchester Sunday Roast Fondue Review: January 2018

Bock is Belgium brilliance bang in the heart of Manchester city centre.  A European Café which offers one of the North’s largest selection of Belgian and Begian inspired biere.  This hidden little gem just located off cross street is a firm fav haunt of mine.

The eclectic décor includes unique, quirky signage, beer barrels, mirrors, clocks and subdue lighting that sets the scene, with an intimate feel and gives that European vibe.

Rustic seating includes a mixture of brown leather, wood chairs, marble tables, bunker booths for a catch up with friends and family and cosy hideaways for a chilled or romantic feel.  The place was super friendly and Max and Abbie did a fab job taking care of us all evening and had a genuine interest to engage and connect with their customers which was nice to see.

Combine Britain with Belgium and what have you got a Sunday roast fondue concept – sheer genius!  The lowlands inspired menu which includes the Sunday Roast fondue is Europe on a plate.

Every Sunday you can partake in this sensational Sunday delicious dipping delight which includes 8 hour cooked beef brisket, Yorkshire pudding waffles, classic roast vegetables served with a pot of the finest biere bourguignon lava gravy.   The Vegetarian option available was just as delicious.  All washed down with a range of Belgium biere and I loved that they also offered a high quality non-alcoholic biere.

Save the airfare and enjoy some European inspired Café culture in Manchester city centre. Make your Sunday Sessions, Dine, Dip and Dunk!

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx


Shoryu Ramen Piccadilly Gardens Manchester Review

Shoryu Ramen Piccadilly Gardens Manchester Review: January 2018

Shoryu Ramen founded in 2012, from the team behind the Japan Centre brand, offers authentic Japanese ramen and excitingly has opened their first branch outside of London right in the heart of Piccadilly gardens Manchester.  Impressively the brand has been recommended in the 2014 – 2017 Michelin guides.

Head chef Kanji Furukawa along with owner Tak Tokumine were both natives of Hakata district in Fukuoka city on the southern island of Kyushu Japan.  Their hometown Hakata tonkotsu ramen recipe is now a firm fixture on the menu at Shoryu Ramen hence the term “It’s in our bones”.

Décor was delightful with subdue lantern lighting setting the scene, along with a mix of seating for groups, couples or intimate seating for one.  The place offers a relaxed atmosphere, with an open kitchen and also a warm welcome with the bang of a drum.  You will know exactly what I mean when you visit!

The brand welcomed us warmly with open arms and lovely Lisa seated us and guided us through the menu with her extensive knowledge.  Feeling the festive pinch, we opted for healthy offerings including the gorgeous grilled halloumi Shoryu buns which are handmade daily with all-natural ingredients, sticky tofu and vegetable tempura.

Real ramen which is authentic is exactly what the Shoryu Ramen brand is all about.  The delightful Duncan advised that the flour used to make the noodles is imported directly from Japan! Also, you can choose whether you would like your noodles, very hard, hard, medium or soft.

The wonderful white natural is a vegetarian miso base ramen made with their unique tonyu soy milk with a konbu & shiitake broth, kikurage mushrooms, atsuage fried tofu, bamboo shoots, spring onion and nori seaweed.  The mouth-watering white Miso based Wafu goosnargh Chicken ramen with mushrooms, spring onion, nori seaweed and ginger was also a hit.  All washed down with the most exquisite Jasmine flowering lily tea.

 Delicious desserts included the marvellous Matcha chocolate ice cream sundae with sakura cookie.  Also, the lovely light Sakura and Azuki Chiffon cake was sheer bliss.  Both ideal to pair with the lush Virgin Yuzu Mojito mixed up with mint, fresh strawberries, homemade yuzu syrup and apple juice over crushed ice.

Shoryu means ‘to bring good fortune’ eat your way to prosperity and a healthier you for 2018.

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx


The Botanist Manchester Deansgate Review

The Botanist Manchester Deansgate Review: January 2018

No need to be a scientist to study the beauty of plants, head on down to the beautiful Botanist Deansgate, and get back to nature, for an exciting horticultural adventure in a secret garden paradise.

Décor is relaxed, natural with a cool, calming mix of cream, light green and pastel colours, stripped woods, quirky bare bulb lighting, charming cabinets full of curios, plants and posters of plant life.  A true home away from home feel about the place.

The theming continues throughout the dining experience, but is classy, subtle and useful.  Cutlery, salt & pepper pots, napkins and menus are presented in this wonderful wooden garden basket.  The fabulous floral plates also add to the charming quirkiness.

The sensational starters included the gorgeous green olives marinated in extra virgin olive oil, homemade houmous board with crudites and fougasse bread, all presented in this stunning garden trowel on a wood base.  The sensational sesame coated falafel served with the most amazingly lip-smacking delicious sweet chilli slaw and harissa mayo.

Comfort food included the vegetable Malaysain curry with rice which was yummy.  Also, the most delightful wooden planter box arrived with the Fish and chips main, with the mushy peas served in a miniature plant pot and the tartare sauce served in a mini watering can.

     I like a good pudding, so there was no need for seed planting, as I was raring and ready to order the sticky toffee pudding served with vanilla ice cream and the s’mores warm chocolate brownie, peanut butter, chocolate ganache toasted dessert topped with roasted marshmallows and vanilla ice cream – both sensational!

The botanical inspired mocktails including the Berry Good Times, Raspberry, Grape & Elderflower Cooler and the homemade lemonade were all lovely and had that forest feel about them.

I must say thank you to Hannah our server who looked after us throughout along with the rest of the Botanist team.

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx


Dog Bowl Manchester Bowling Review

Dog Bowl Manchester Bowling Review: January 2018

Located under the arches just near Manchester’s Oxford street is Dog Bowl which has a fun and fabulous five full length ten pin bowling lane.  Spare some time and Strike up the right mood on your evening out and bowl your friends away at this fab fun filled venue.

Quirky, cool and eclectic interiors include a mega model Ten Pin, rainbow retro lighting and Manchester landscape art.  Ooo also look out for the giant disco ball, you will know what I mean when you pop by for a visit!

Saturday Sessions, bowling on Lane 5 was so much fun! A big High Five to all the Dog Bowl team for looking after us all evening.  Not one to show off, but overall, I was victorious in winning, so was super buzzed.

Enjoying the sweet taste of victory was made even more fruitful with some fab mocktails including the Strawberry Bam Bam mixed with pineapple juice, strawberry, lemonade and topped off with fresh strawberries.  Also, the Coco Barmy shaken up with coconut water, coconut cream, pineapple juice, guava juice and a chunky wedge of pineapple.

It can be a Gutter is you lose, but make it a Clean Game, don’t Foul and just see this as a perfect excuse to get your game on again, smash it and bowl your way to some super Strike’s.

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx


Leon Restaurants Manchester Piccadilly Review

Leon Restaurants Manchester Piccadilly Review: January 2018

The three musketeers, Henry Dimbleby, John Vincent and chef Allegra McEvedy, aka the founders of Leon Restaurants, have combined their wealth of knowledge and skills to take the world by storm with their fab fresh fast food philosophy and started their own foodie revolution.

In 2008 Allegra was awarded with an MBE for services to the hospitality industry.  He was described as “a caterer with a conscience” by the Independent, has over 20 years’ experience and has worked as a broadcaster appearing on Channel 4, The Good Food Channel, BBC and has published 6 cook books.

Henry’s expansive background includes being a commis chef with Michelin-starred chef Bruno Loubet, a gossip columnist for The Daily Telegraph, appears as a regular panellist on BBC R4’s Kitchen Cabinet, has written for the Telegraph, the Guardian, the Times and the Sun and worked at Bain & Company where he met John.

John did business trouble-shooting at Bain & Company, has created dance events with innocent drinks founder Richard Reed and has led the turnaround of various brands.  If it can be improved John is your man.  Leon was named after John’s Dad, inspired by his mum’s positivity and the “Sunshine that radiates from every LEON team member”

In 2013 Henry and John produced the School Food Plan, where school menus were given their biggest healthy overhaul in generations and due to their combined successes both Henry and John were awarded an MBE in 2015 for services to school food.

Henry, John and Allegra shared the same ethos “why can’t fast food be good food”.  Inspired by this 2004 saw the opening of their very first Leon restaurant in London’s Carnaby Street and has continued to see steady growth ever since with over 45 stores nationwide and plans to open more worldwide.  With cosy and comfy interiors, subdue lighting, family pictures Leon really is a home away from home, so kick back and enjoy their Mediterranean natural, flavoursome, fresh, fuss -free and fabulous cooking which can be seen throughout Leon’s food Menu.

Brilliant breakfast items included the lovely Ruby Red Porridge, which teamed up well with wholemeal toast and a fresh cup of mint tea.  The gorgeous Greek yogurt topped with blueberries, pomegranate and lashings of honey work well with the blueberry & elderflower kefir and a cheeky bar of Leon’s lovely choccy.

The brilliant breakfast box is with a sizzling sausage, bacon slice, 2 eggs, mushrooms, beans and avocado, add on some toast and wash it down with a fresh ginger tea.

The vegan box was bursting with colour and included their sensational sweet potato falafel, yummy pomegranate-studded hummus, a mix of peppers, cauliflower, salad and olives.  Packed in a sesame seed topped bun is the chargrilled butterflied chicken burger is served up with fresh tomato, rocket, pickles, and some of their scrummy olive oil herb mayonnaise. Served in a sesame seed topped bun.

All the staff on both my visits were brilliant, friendly and really cared about the customer experience!

Eat fresh, feel fab with Leon.

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx