Sunday, 8 July 2012

Akbars Manchester - Mega Naan Bread

Akbars is one of my favourite places to eat in Manchester. Particularly on a Friday night after a couple of post work drinks at Cask. I went last week with work and their massive naan breads served on vertical trees never fail to impress me!!!! I always have the vegetarian Balti Palak Aloo Dahl which is potatoes, spinach and lentils cooked to a traditional balti recipe. YUM. The atmosphere is always buzzing in Akbars no matter what day of the week you go and is popular with Corrie stars and Manchester's footballing elite. Highly recommended.

Real Ale from Hobsons Brewery

We went to the BBC Good Food Show in June and true to form we came home with absolutely no food. But we did come home with booze. Hobsons Brewery from Shropshire had a stand at the show and were offering tastings of their selection of real ales. I can't quite remember what we paid for this fabulous gift box of six bottles but it wasn't very much - maybe £12. We bought three bottles of Hobsons Town Crier and three bottles of Hobsons Twisted Spire.

Hobsons have won awards for their beers and they have a funky website which is worth a look. You can buy Hobsons beer from their online shop.

BBC Good Food Show 2012 at the NEC

My husband loves football. In fact he loves all sport. So there's a lot of Sky Sports watching going on in our house. I don't mind as long as we can do stuff I'm interested in too. So at the end of the football season I arranged a 'couple's day out' to the BBC Good Food Show and Gardeners World Live at the NEC. We got there about 10am and watched John Torode and Gregg Wallace cooking live. After that we went round some of the stands tasting goats cheese, feta cheese, olives, Magners and chilled red wine. Then we got to see Lisa Faulkner hosting Masterchef Live with the latest winner Mauritian born Shelina Permalloo cooking fish curry (pictured).

Unfortunately there was torrential rain on the day so Gardeners World Live was a washout. And because it was raining everyone was inside in the food hall meaning it was PACKED!!! It all got a bit claustrophobic so we didn't get as much out of the day as I'd hoped. Still - better than watching football!

Sunday Brunch at Willowpool

We got up early one Sunday morning recently and walked from Altrincham to Lymm along the Bridgewater Canal and ended up at Willowpool Garden Centre for brunch. I'd never been before and loved it! It is a very quirky, unique, vintage feeling, bohemian garden centre with fabulous tea rooms where you sit in Alice in Wonderland-esque booths with bunting, incense and tablecloths galore. We ordered tea for two, orange juice and smoked salmon bagels which were served with salad. We then had a good look around the farmers market, the craft stalls and watched the ducks swimming on the pond. Willowpool is a very nice destination for the weekend and Nans and Mums would love it!.

Week Night G&T (Without the G)

In January my husband and I decided to go a month without booze. Lots of Christmas parties and New Year shenanigans left us feeling pretty rotten so we decided to give up the demon drink. Of course as soon as you give something up, all you can think of is that thing, so when it came to Friday and Saturday nights we needed something nice in a glass to replace the wine or beer we would usually drink.

And so the G&T mocktail was born; lime flavoured tonic water on ice with fresh lime. It tastes so nice and has since become part of our week night ritual saying in faux posh Tarquin and Felicity voices 'Here you go dear, treat yourself to this G&T you've worked hard all day'. 'Oh thanks dear' *cheers and slurp* 'mmm that's delicious'. And so on. Most nights. Small things eh?

The World's Best Olives at Jamie's Italian

I chose 'The World's Best Olives' as my starter at Jamie's Italian in Manchester recently. They are huge! Also known as mammoth olives, they are served on crushed ice with a black olive dip and crispy music bread. The olives are amazingly tasty and so big that you end up nibbling around the stone in the middle rather than putting the whole olive in your mouth in one go.

I used to be in the olive hating camp but now can't get enough of them. I have a trip to London planned in September with a visit to Borough Market which will involve lots of olive tasting no doubt washed down with copious amounts of sparkling wine.