Leaf Manchester – Pudding Club Review 

Hello everyone! 

For those of you based in or near Manchester, or even those of you who frequent Liverpool’s Bold Street, you must know about Leaf.

Leaf is a tea room with a difference. There are no chintz fabrics in sight here (though it has its place, don’t get me wrong), and tea is not it’s only USP. 

Gin specialist, tea retailer, and events space, Leaf has something for everyone, not to mention delicious food and white marble tables a blogger could drool over. 


The team at Manchester’s Leaf, found on Portland Street in a spacious high ceilinged space with industrial and scandi vibe decor, kindly invited me to attend their inaugural Pudding club! 

What it says on the tin – pudding club is a must visit for those with a sweet tooth. Five – yes , five! – courses of pudding! Not only that, each dessert is matched to and served alongside a specially picked Leaf tea. 

Having viewed the menu, I realised one course was a no-go for me as a peanut allergy sufferer. Emma, the lovely general manager hailing from Liverpool, took great care of me and substituted my course with little fuss. 

First up came the star dish  from my point of view : matcha Tea doughnuts with a warm white chocolate sauce. The Matcha worked beautifully with the dough/batter (what do you call it?!) and the chocolate sauce was delicious!  

Matcha tea doughnuts

My husband, ever the sugar addict, favoured the pineapple soaked in rum and served with a rich caramel cream. 

Charred Pineapple with Kraken Rum

We also enjoyed courgette cake, peanut butter mousse (I had lemon & poppyseed cake instead for this course) and heavy rich chocolate truffles with pink peppercorns. At this point I threw in the towel! Those things were as big as they look. 

Peanut butter mousse, with salted popcorn

Chocolate & pink peppercorn truffles

Emma made a wonderful host, teaching us about tea and explaining the health benefits of the components. Her passion for her job was very clear and she was such a pleasure to talk to! 

Leaf pudding clubs are hosted once per month, cost an amazing £15.99 per ticket – keep an eye on their instagram or on their Manchester Listings for details of all upcoming events. They host bookclubs and music events, to name a couple. 

Show Leaf some love! 

Leaf Portland Street
Leaf Portland Street

Lemon & poppyseed cake

Bakchich & Arabic Afternoon Tea

Last weekend I was invited to attend a blogger event at the newly launched Manchester branch of Bakchich, whose flagship restaurant can be found on the coolest street in Liverpool, Bold Street.

You’ll find it tucked down Chester Street, off Oxford Road, nestled in the heart of a buzzing student area. Keep your peepers peeled for this sign.


The event was themed around Arabic afternoon tea, which was a very intriguing concept to me. I’m not overly enamored by British Afternoon tea. I prefer Cheese scones to fruit, and I’d take pie over cake if given the choice (I know I’m totally Northern, and proud).

We were greeted warmly by Gary, the General Manager, possibly (and I mean this in a highly complimentary way) the most Manc person I’ve met in a long while. Floral shirt button up the top, and rocking a haircut the Gallagher brothers would approve of (approval being some form of curt nod, following by an utterance of “Kid”).

After being seated and plied with Morroccan Tea (mint, green tea and a generous injection of brown sugar make up this delicious traditional brew, poured from a great height to generate bubbles), I took I few moments to appraise the interior.

You’ll find the staple beauty that are Morroccan tiles and prints, splashed across walls, floors and the menus in various guises and palettes; interspersed with burnished copper, filament bulbs and an urban vibe in the wall art and the tables and chairs.

What followed was a flurry of dishes being circulated between myself and my Husband and the other couple who had attended – well known and well loved Arabic, Moroccan and Lebanese favourites in miniature form – Shawarma, falafel, Lebanese Sausage, Halloumi, Manakeesh… As well as many other things I can’t recall the names of.

You can browse the full menu here.

One of the main highlights for me was actually the variety of soft drinks that were served – 3 different types of handmade Lemonades, blended with mint and limes, Rose, or pomegranate and orange blossom. They were all absolutely delicious, so fragrant and refreshing. None of the photos I took were very flattering but you will have to take my word for it that they looks beautiful, too.

The main delight of the event for me was meeting Amine (Pronounced Eh-min I believe, and apologies to him if I’ve spelled it wrong!). Founder of the restaurant, he served us many of the dishes and explained to us what they were, if they were vegetarian and what they were made of. He came to sit with is while we were enjoying our pastries and Arabic Coffee and we chatted happily to him about his passion for serving fresh handmade food. Amine was delightful, sharing our enthusiasm for Liverpool, where my husband and I used to live, and also sharing our joy that so many Indie restaurants are finding a home in Manchester.

His main vision, he said, was to make sure his food was tasty enough and also very importantly, affordable enough to have families dine with him as often as they chose. His menu is very reasonably priced; his food, right down to even the dips was clearly hand made with love and care, and his staff were friendly and welcoming.

Thank you to Amine for hosting us, we had a wonderful time – my husband was the happiest I have seen him in a while when that dish of pastries was placed before him!

2015-11-21 15.01.21coffee

You can be sure we will come back, and I will tell everyone I know that Bakchich is delicious, and affordable.

Feeling the Lebanese vibe

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Lunya deli manchester

It’s arrived – Lunya Deli opens in Manchester

Although I embrace my current Manc situation and the Manc way of life, I spent 4 years of my life in Liverpool where I studied at University. Liverpool is so much smaller than Manchester, yet in spite of that has a lot going on within it’s condensed city centre.

Bold street is the Northern Quarter of Liverpool. It has one of the oldest China Towns in the UK; Students form a  sizeable portion of the population of the city, and cultures live happily side by side in the  form of restaurants and eating establishments as you might expect in any multicultural city.

Nestled behind BBC Merseyside HQ just off Hanover street was a Catalan Deli & Restaurant called Lunya. Me and Matt (boyfriend back then, Husband now) used to visit there as often as budget allowed, and we absolutely loved the food. The vibe was simple, unpretentious. They let the food do all of the talking.

Can you imagine our delight when we heart it was making the journey along the M62 to Manchester?

Lunya deli manchester

We were invited to attend their launch evening last weekend, and we rubbed our hands together with excitement, keen to revisit old favourite dishes and perhaps try new ones- after all, they were offering 50% off the bill!

Barton Arcade Manchester
Barton Arcade – a jewel often overlooked on Manchester’s Deansgate

The new digs in the Stunning Barton Arcade on Deansgate are perfect. Walking in, I immediately felt at home with the simplistic interior of warm dark red walls and dark wooden furniture. We were seated at the bar and placed a drink ordered before being taken to our seats in the dining area upstairs.

Lunya deli bar

We ordered a number of dishes ; Croquettes (a personal addiction), Ox Cheeks (by far the most beautiful thing in existence), Cuttlefish with black rice, Goats Cheese, and a deli platter featuring delicious cuts of Spanish meats and hard cheeses.

All food comes at different times, and no single dish disappointed us in terms of presentation or flavour. You can browse their menu here but I note that some of the Manc specials are absent.

As well as their expansive tapas menu, Lunya offers a variety of world-wide gins, beautiful Spanish wines and has a fantastic cocktail menu – here’s my passion fruit Mojito!

20151024_183920 20151024_183910

Lunya comes along on the tide of a much welcomed culinary explosion in Manchester’s city centre in recent months, with the unveiling of eateries in the newly refurbished Corn Exchange alongside news of the expansion of well-loved Northern quarter restaurants into the Great Northern Building.

Not that Manchester could ever be accused of offering a lack of choice, it’s just that often one has to travel outside of the city to find the gems, when if you simply want to fall into the nearest place and be guaranteed a good meal, then the new openings will be sure to deliver just that.

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Lunya Deli

Solita Prestwich Menu

SoLita Manchester – Prestwich Launch

This weekend my husband and I visited our newly opened and local SoLita restaurant- Manchester’s finest burger restaurant in my opinion. There appears to be a bit of an abundance of the super-junk-food joints springing up across the city, but to me, SoLita has managed to remain honest and unpretentious (Almost Famous goes just a bit too far for me to enjoy eating there).

What we like about it, is if you don’t quite fancy a burger there’s still a great selection of delicious dishes in the form of Chicken, Steak, Fish or otherwise that you don’t miss out!

For the first 2 weeks of service there is 50% off the food bill, so its a great time to try it out if you’ve never been, or even if you have! We ended up paying a mere £40 and I had two cocktails. The same price as  TGI Friday’s and at least two times as good.

The Prestwich restaurant is sleek and cool, while managing to blend into it’s surroundings – apart from the trademark neon logo in the window and the lego brickwork that is!

We ordered Ribs, Wings Rings and Things for starter to share (What it says on the tin – the things being corn on the cob), which was delicious, totally gluttonous and finger lickin’ good.

Solita's Ribs, Wings, Rings and Things
Ribs, Wings, Rings and Things

We each ordered a burger, my husband opting for their famous “Big Manc” burger, and me for the Jack Daddy, with Sweet potato crinkles – so delicious!

Big Manc Solita
Holy mother of burgers
Jack Daddy - Beef patty, sticky Jack Daniels sauce with onion rings and monterey Jack cheese.
Jack Daddy – Beef patty, sticky Jack Daniels sauce with onion rings and monterey Jack cheese.

And because evidently that food wasn’t enough (!!!!!) we shared the SoLita Vanilla Icecream Donut Sandwich! Warm chocolate sauce with dark chocolate chunks… delicious!

vanilla icecream donut sandwich
vanilla icecream donut sandwich

These Prestwich digs make their restaurant number up to 3, with the Northern Quarter and Didsbury restaurants,too. All I can say is, long may it reign. The food is delicious, the service was great, and it helps that I live so close by so I can waddle home after eating so much food!

Thank you, Solita! Take a look at their menu – what do you fancy?

neon sign "Pho"

What the Pho?

Hello! This one is a bit of a foodie post for you today!

I recently attended a launch event for the Manchester branch of Pho (apparently the dish is pronounced “Fuh”),a Vietnamese street food restaurant which has restaurants in London and Leeds. It was actually my first foray into Vietnamese food, so I was glad to have a seasoned foodie at my side in Roisin of Dromomania blog!

The Restaurant has opened within the iconic Manchester Corn Exchange which nestles between the Manchester Cathedral and listed Tudor pub Sinclairs Oyster Bar. I’m so pleased that this incredible listed Edwardian building, previously used as a trading hub within the powerhouse of the North that it Manchester, is being revived and will be filled with people once more. There’s loads of placed opening where you can go for somewhere to eat, outside of the crazy hubub of the Northern Quarter.

Anyway, back to Pho.

The decor was industrial, with touches of street-style. Filament bulbs, neon signs and simple wooden topped tables and benches,with the odd graffiti art on the walls and exposed pipework- an idea setting for a street food restaurant! We were seated on a long bench and the menu was explained to us by a lovely waitress. Every table is set with a variety of chillli sauces (proceed with caution), Hoisin Sauce and soy.

neon sign "Pho"

Table setting

I ordered;


Cánh gà – Seasoned, crispy chicken wings served with srirachia &a portion of Prawn Crackers to share.

Verdict : Delicious! I love crispy chicken, and this didn’t disappoint. however it was served with the same sauce that is on the table – a little more inventiveness wouldn’t have gone amiss.

crispy chicken wings at Pho


Phở đặc biệt – Tiger prawns, tofu & flash fried steak with garlic in beef stock (or some variant of this, as the menus vary from sites!)

my husband's dish - I can't remember what he had!!!
my husband’s dish – I can’t remember what he had!!!

Phở đặc biệt - Tiger prawns, tofu & flash fried steak with garlic in beef stock

Verdict : This was served with a plate of herbs and spices and chilis that I could add at my leisure. I chucked in some mint and chilli, and some of the other herbs. This was a nice touch, as the broth of this dish can be a bit flat. You slurp this with a large wooden laden and chopsticks. I didn’t find this difficult at all, and actually quite fun! There could have been more beef for my taste, and the sauce really lacked seasoning (even with my added herbs!) Fun to eat, though, and tasty nonetheless.

We also ordered a good few sides to sample;

The morning glory went down really well, and was absolutely delicious! I love spinach anyway, and the dressing was divine.

Coffee & Tea

We ordered vietnamese coffee (Cà phê) out of curiosity, as it was served with delicious condensed milk! Actually quite a delicious Pick Me Up!

I also had a lemongrass and Ginger infused tea – a perfect digestif!


Couldn’t really fault it. We were served in a timely manner, and when I asked for extra care to be taken with regards to my peanut allergy, the staff were accommodating and conscientious. I ate happy and safely! We were offered drink refills regularly (fantastic Vietnamese beer by the way!) and the staff were happy to talk through the menu and dishes when asked.

Bia Saigon at Pho

Overall, I had a great time at Pho, and would go again to try different dishes and stick with some favourites! Thank you for having me, Pho!

Disaronno Terrace at The Oast House w/ All We Are


Hello everyone!

Yesterday evening I was invited to attend a special summer event held at The Oast House,  a beautiful rustic countryfarm-esque food and drink venue nestled in the heart of Spinningfields, Manchester’s financial district.

I was really excited for this,  as All We Are were playing a live set –  this trio, describing themselves as “Bee-gees on Diazipam” are really making waves in the music scene and I sense big things will come of them. I was lucky enough to get to see them perform at a small intimate gig at Manchester’s Deaf Institute in March of this year, and I jumped at the chance to see them perform here.

The Oast House is a really unique venue in Manchester, boasting a spacious open area with wooden tables scattered beneath a high-peaked canopy. This canopy came in rather useful,  as typically for a Manchester summer it began to pour it down! Guests were provided with big squashy outdoor cushions to furnish the steps around the periphery of the venue, lending it a cosy atmosphere all round.




I could have drank so many Disaronno sours, too – So delicious!

At this event I also met with a fellow Manchester blogger,  DromomaniaMCR! Roisin was so lovely,  and while were waiting for the band we shared thoughts on all things to do with blogging in Manchester,  the North’s power house!

In spite of the terrible weather, All We Are rocked out a 45 minute set including ‘Ebb/Flow’, ‘Feel Safe’ and concluding with my favourite ‘Keep me Alive’. Norwegian Guro Gikling’s voice was absolutely on point all the way through, smashing out high warbling notes that seriously compromise spinal integrity. The handsome Irishman Richard O’Flynn took to the drums with zeal and energy, with Brazilian Luis Santos focused and zen-like as he created trippy echoing guitar loops and switched it up with the tambourine from time to time.

I was not disappointed with these guys, and would gladly watch them perform again and again.

All We Are on Set


All We Are on Set
Final song for the set, “Keep Me Alive”.


Posted by Thriftybloggeruk!
Want to ask a question? Leave a comment or Email me over at Thriftybloggeruk@outlook.com x

Holly's Lollies

Holly’s Lollies – Gourmet Candy Lollipops!

Holly's Lollies

Holly's LolliesHello there!

Bringing a culinary delight to you today that I am very excited about! Please meet Holly’s Lollies, the fantastic gourmet lollipop company! Holly started to make lollipops during a summer break from University, and they were so good she began to be unable to keep up with demand! Now with her degree under her belt, Holly is ready to focus all her attention on her Business (she also has a food blog, Mess Makes Food – Gosh, isn’t she a busy lady!)

I got my mitts on some of these lollipops to taste and review for you all – aren’t I the lucky one?! They’re beautifully wrapped with colour coordinated string, and have the beautiful logo on brown paper labels.

Pina Colada

My main passion when it comes to Cocktails (and also perfume!) A beautiful warm yellow opaque lolly with a coating of desiccated coconut. It tastes EXACTLY like a Pina Colada – Rum, Coconut, Pineapple- it’s all there!

Caramel Latte

My husband claimed this one instantly, though I managed to steal it for a moment to get a taste. The caramel has a distinct cinder toffee vibe to it- it would make a perfect treat for Halloween or Bonfire Night!

The other flavours are as yet to be sampled (I didn’t want a sugar overload!) but I’m so excited to try them, if they’re as good as the other two!

One thing my husband and I both liked was that the stick was plastic – paper can be cuter but when you’ve got a long lasting lollipop like this it can turn to mush – yuck!

  • Raspberry & White Chocolate
  • Elderflower & Vanilla
  • Magical Mango

THE ONLY WAY to get these ahead of the launch date of 1st September is to support Holly in her Kickstarter Campaign. From as little as £3 you can support her small business AND get your hands on a lollipop flavour of your choice! Whopee! I’ll definitely be supporting Holly – will you?

Visit her on HollysLollies.co.uk – you can subscribe to a mailing list to keep up to date with the company! Find her on twitter too.

Remember to keep up to date with my posts by following here in wordpress (click the follow button on the right) or on Bloglovin‘!

Holly's Lollies

Support Small

A Beautiful Day out In Cheshire

My husband and I had taken off the same day from work to spend together, and after much deliberation following meteorological consultation, we opted to go to Tatton Park in Cheshire at my suggestion.

The weather wasn’t meant to be great,  and indeed most of the morning and early afternoon was overcast with only a gentle amount of rain!

Tatton Park is a stately home with sprawling national trust grounds in Knutsford, Cheshire. It boasts a number of attractions aside from the natural charms of the parkland itself, which cost £6 single entry,  or £11 for entry to 3 of the main attractions (Manor, Farm, Gardens), therefore worth doing at least 2 of these!

We did all 3 as it happens.  I highly recommend the beautiful onsite tea room ‘the Gardener’s Courtyard’, tucked away behind brick wall just off the main courtyard.

Tatton Park : Gardener’s Cottage

We were seated tucked amongst the rockery and flower beds, and were joined for our cherry scone and tea by a friendly Robin!

gardeners cottage menu and table tatton park hall chesire

gardeners cottage table scone and tea tatton park hall gardens
Cafetiere for one, breakfast tea and a cherry scone!


Tatton Park : The Gardens

The gardens are sprawling; whether you want to seek out rare exotic specimens (redwoods, spruces, etc) or view the kitchen garden (rhubarb envy!),  or stroll through manicured gardens with secret hidden pools, then there’s something for you.






Top Tip: get a map.

Tatton Park : The Manor House

The house,  whilst not being the most beautiful to my taste,  is fairly interesting to view. It’s the usual hotchpotch of added wings by succeeding family members of the Edgerton estate, with a fabulous Hall bedecked with taxidermy specimens from all the continents added by one Lord of the manor; a large collection of art and beautiful pieces of commissioned furniture.

Worth a browse for an hour. I’d suggest paying an extra £3 pp for the guided tour,  I’m sure there’s much more to learn about it.

I have to say that some of the room were spoiled by the presence of a modern art exhibition. The pieces were not to my taste nor dare I say to the taste of the demographic of the visitors. One lady and I expressed mutual distate for the display in the dining room. Modern art has a place,  and it is not alongside priceless pieces of furniture from the 1700s.





Tatton Park – The Farm

We paid a short visit to the farm,  where we spent a goodwhile laughing at the pigs. It’s really unbelievable how large they get! Each pig had a bio and a short ‘character description’. All I’d say is,  none of the m seemed particularly energetic! They have lots of great things for kids to do there,  though it was amusing enough for us,  with the rowdy chickens and Cockerells strutting about the place!



Knutsford Town Centre : King Street


We drove across the grounds South, passed the Mere and the supposedly haunted tutor manor to have our lunch in Knutsford. The main high street runs parallel with King Street, the smaller, narrower and older part, which is home to loads of boutiques, charity shops and places to eat.

We ate at Jack Rabbit’s on the terrace outside –  really impressed with the food here, American Smokehouse style food.


The South Carolina Burger : Adouble burger with applewood cheese and puled smoked pork. I upgraded to sweet potato- cause why wouldn’t you?! Their homemade sauces are also DELICIOUS!

Really great price too! Thank you for looking after us!

We has a great browse in a 3 floor antique shop as well that was just across the road from here. I was in heaven!

Thinking of going out for the day in Chester? Have any cool ideas to share? Let me know!

Love!  Xx

Posted by Jess
Want to ask a question? Email me over at Thriftybloggeruk@outlook.com x

Chocolate with YOUR name on it!

Hello everyone!

Hope you have been getting all organised, decluttered and prioritised as per my earlier post!

I just wanted to share with you my awesome custom chocolate!!! It’s got my blog name on it!! (Sorry I had to take a bite out of it right away… oops!) These were kindly sent to me by the lovely Melissa at Tailored Chocolates and Gifts, who had my blog name and tag line printed on it!

She also threw in a laundry bag with ‘Faye’ on it, so if you’re name is Faye drop me a message – You’ve won a cute linen laundry bag with your name on it… LITERALLY!

custom chocolate names personalised tailored chocolate and gifts company

I must admit, the chocolate was really yummy too, though I had to be careful not to eat the whole bar before Dinner!

You can get something special made for a friend, a teacher or a family member, or even get chocolates made as wedding favours to bestow on the guests of your special day!

Whatever you want them for, or if you need something different, take a peek at their website! Find them on Twitter and Instagram too!


customised chocolate gift tailored
Thanks for stopping by!!!