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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Cottonopolis Manchester Northern Quarter #Review

Cottonopolis Manchester Northern Quarter Review: January 2018

The Japanese inspired Cottonopolis restaurant is located in a gorgeous grade II listed building in the heart of Manchester’s Northern quarter.  Boasting Manchester’s iconic symbolic Bee, as their logo, which is proudly etched on the buildings windows.

The name Cottonopolis, that means a metropolis focused on cotton trading that serviced the cotton mills, has been inspired by Manchester’s historical past, as the international centre of the cotton trade during the 19th century.  This too is reflected in the choice of bespoke décor which combines traditional with the contemporary while remaining sympathetic to the buildings original features.

Exposed brick work, industrial chain features, cast iron columns, plush tan leather seating & booths, original floorboards, cool copper light fittings which add warmth along with the natural light.  A cool, chic and classy grown up hub to hang out in and the open kitchen created a calm yet buzzing hive of activity.  Owner and architect Nick Muir really has done an outstanding job.

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Keep the Festive Fabulousness Flowing with Housing Units Boxing Day & January Sales #Review

Keep the Festive Fabulousness Flowing with Housing Units Boxing Day & January Sales: December 2017

Housing Units is one of Manchester’s biggest home department stores, founded in 1947 and has been delivering a range of quality home wares for over 70 years. Pop along to their store or indulge in some online shopping with the added convenience of goods being delivered to your front door.

There is Christmas Eve excitement in the air, but have you finished all your festive shopping?  Fear not as the festivities continue past Christmas, as Santa and his elf’s have been busy stocking the shelf’s and you still have time to bag yourself a bargain in the boxing day and January sales.

Watch the clock, as the countdown has started, it is nearly time to grab yourself a bargain or two or three…in the fabulous Housing Units sales.  This Cath Kidston Trailing Pink wonderful watch in a stunning rose gold case allows you to keep a stylish eye on the time.  Easy to dress up, dress down, a watch occasions.

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Hamper.com Fruit Detox Hamper #Review

Hamper.com Fruit Detox Hamper Review: December 2017

Established in Oxfordshire in 1979, the privately-owned Clearwater Hampers gift company, has seen continued growth, with the e-commerce branch of the brand, Hamper.com going live in 1996.  Impressively they have been sending hampers and gifts worldwide for over 35 years! Customer focus is at the heart of the brand, their modern office and warehouse, with state of the art refrigeration units, secure racking and with each hamper being carefully hand packed ensures that the customer receives a perfect presentation and at blogging HQ I received just that with the lovely fruit detox hamper.

Christmas is about food and drink indulgence, but you can still strike a healthy balance.  Gifting a fruit detox hamper is a wonderful way to give the balance, but with a boost of brilliance and an abundance of vitamins.  This luxury hamper comes with a fabulous fresh fruity selection including, mango, avocado, passion fruit, citrus fruits and a lovely lush refreshing raspberry lemonade.  All perfectly presented in this wonderful wooden gorgeous gift basket that makes a lovely addition to any home.

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The Artisan Olive Oil Company Christmas Indulgence #Review

The Artisan Olive Oil Company Christmas Indulgence Review: December 2017

The team over at the amazing Artisan olive oil company gave me the Christmas jingles by sending some fab indulgent treats to blogging HQ.  Premium quality artisan ingredients, an exquisite range of first class award-winning products, and their partnership with some of the most experienced producers worldwide gives them the distinct edge.  Elevate your Christmas Festive Feasting with these moreish mouth-watering munchies.

Try some Christmas Morning Indulgence with these fabulous festive sweet stars.  The Fab Chocolate gift box, made in the South of France by Aix & Terra founded by Richard and Marina Alibert, includes three gorgeous gourmet sweet treats including chocolate and chestnut cream, chocolate spread with speculaas and the wonderful white chocolate and Provence almond spread.

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