Brunch with Neighbourhood Spinningfields, Manchester

If there’s one place I’m absolutely loving this year, it’s Neighbourhood Manchester in Spinningfields.  Ever since their relaunch in the summer, I’ve been super obsessed with the neon signs, bubblegum pink booths and kooky wall graffiti.  It’s got a really cool vibe about it and I always have a fab time there, both in the day and at night.

I was really happy, therefore, to be invited by Neighbourhood via Georgie Glass to have a cosy little bloggers’ brunch with a couple of my fave gal pals last Saturday morning.  Food, drink and girly chat in one of Manchester’s hottest hangouts?  You don’t have to ask me twice –  I was there with BELLS on.

If you know me at all, you’ll know I’m always on the last minute and, more often than not, running late but for once in my life I was actually the first to arrive so I sipped on some Prosecco – at 10 am! – while I waited for the others.  In stark contrast from Neighbourhood at night where the bar is full to the brim and every booth is taken with diners and revellers, Neighbourhood by day is a much calmer affair.  First thing in the morning, it’s the perfect place to sit and relax after a late one the night before (it had been Friday night after all) and I couldn’t wait to get some food down me.

Ten minutes later and my party had arrived – I was joined by Georgie (obvs), my lovely new pal Danielle King and the fab Sam Bella of The Travel Crush.  It was the perfect mix of Manchester-based ladies to have a cute breakfast date with and we sipped and chatted as we chose from the delicious new menu of brunch choices available.

Usually, I’m 100% an avo-on-toast kinda gal – this time last year I don’t think I’d ever even tried it and now I’m totally avo-obsessed – but this time I was completely swayed by the French toast option.  It looked amazing on paper and I plumped for cream, banana and mixed berries for toppings whilst Georgie went for the salmon, Danielle for the eggs and Sam made up for my disloyalty by choosing the avo.  To be honest, everything on the menu looked incredible and I could quite happily have had any of the (vegetarian) options and probably have been more than satisfied with what I got.

Whilst we waited for our food (which, FYI, wasn’t very long at all) we caught up with what had been going on in each other’s lives and got excited about future projects in the pipeline.  Sam’s settling back into Manchester life after the most insane time living abroad, Georgie’s planning something huge – get the 1st January in your diaries and get following her on insta girls! – and I literally can’t wait for Danielle’s KIHT brand to launch.

The food arrived and oh my, Neighbourhood DID NOT disappoint.  Like everything they do, from evening meals to cocktails, the brunch was presented beautifully on the plate (and the plates themselves are pretty Instagrammable coupled with the marble tables and powder pink salt and pepper shakers).  Everyone’s meal looked absolutely lovely and tasted even better.  I can’t speak for the others’ dishes – although the chorus of  ‘mmm’ and silence as they devoured their food was a pretty good indication – but the French toast was absolutely delicious.  Sometimes I find that French toast can be quite ‘stodgy’ and lie heavy on your stomach but this was actually quite light and, although I felt more than satisfied when I’d finished it, I didn’t feel like I’d overindulged which is always a bonus when you’ve chosen the ‘naughty’ option off the menu.  The cream, as expected was lovely, and the berries had a really lovely taste, which can be hard at this time of year.  I don’t know what exactly they had done to the banana but whatever it was it was great – it almost tasted like there was some sort of glaze on it – and I particularly liked the side of lime as it gave the whole dish a really nice flavour and a bit of a kick too.  Everyone praised their choice and, all in all, there were four very happy girls.

I think the thing about Neighbourhood is whatever they do, they do it well.  Yes, it’s got the glitz and glam with its edgy decor and guest list full of famous faces but it’s got real substance behind it too with great food, amazing entertainment and fabulous cocktails.  They played the perfect hosts for a catch up with the girls (and, by the way, the service really is fantastic) and I cannot wait to go back there for another brunch.

This brunch was complimentary however, as usual, my thoughts and review are a genuine and honest reflection of my experience.

An Evening With Rosso – The Bloggers’ Dining Club

We all know about my love for Instagrammable places and the newly refurbished Rosso restaurant has to be one of the prettiest eateries in Manchester.  I was super super lucky to be invited by the fabulous Georgie Glass (food photographer extraordinaire and founder of the fantastic new Bloggers’ Dining Club) to spend a beautiful rose-gold themed evening there sampling their new autumn a la carte menu and, in all honesty, wild horses wouldn’t have kept me away.

To be perfectly honest, Rosso has always been one of those places that has absolutely been on my list to try but I’d never actually got around to going to.  I’d been lucky enough visit the restaurant not long after their refurb at the LOTD launch party (click here to read my post on my embroidered jacket) and had been so impressed by the space that I’d been dying to make a reservation.

In case I hadn’t already mentioned enough already in that rambling intro, Rosso is looking absolutely beautiful right now.  Before you even set foot into the restaurant you’re greeted with the prettiest array of fairy lights, bows and Christmas decorations on the outside which makes it shine like a beacon from afar at the top of King Street West.  Upon entering, you really are blown away by how incredible it looks.  The fairy lights from outside now litter every pane inside, there’s a beautiful Christmas tree by the entrance and gorgeous festive boughs are situated on almost every surface.  Coupled with the bright and airy decor, it really is a sight to behold.

I said hello and joined the rest of the girls at the bar and the evening kicked off with a lovely compleimentary cocktail.  I’m currently trying to be really good and health-conscious at the moment and am really trying to avoid consuming alcohol so I asked the waiter if I could have a non-alcoholic cocktail, which he very kindly whisked up for me and tasted JUST AS GOOD as its naughty alter-ego.  Joining me for this beautiful evening was a lovely mix of bloggers – some old friends, some new – and I was super excited to be sharing a table with some of my faves: Ellie, Faye, Laura, Holly, Kat, Pamela, Vicki, Charlie, Natalie and Fiona.

Soon after our welcome drinks, we were escorted to our beautiful booth in the slightly elevated area of Rosso.  I’ve got to admit, I was absolutely blown away by the table settings – TOTAL props to Georgie and the Rosso team, it was beyond beautiful and just set the tone so wonderfully for the night ahead.  A massive thank you has to be given to House of Evelyn, Just Bee, Brand Attic, Hey Little Cupcake, Bottega and Louboutin for the lovely goody bag and gifts.

I’ve heard really great things about the food at Rosso but, being a vegetarian and just a little bit fussy, I’m never really sure how well anything will go down until I try it.  I must admit, I was really looking forward to the meal as I’d seen the menu beforehand so I was hoping and praying it was as good as it sounded.

On paper, the main course – ravioli con funghi e tartufo nero – ticked all the boxes. The menu boasted that it was ‘pasta parcels filled with mushroom, truffle and ricotta mouse in a wild mushroom cream’.  Pasta – tick.  Mushroom – tick.  Cheese and cream – DOUBLE TICK (even though, as you will have seen from social media, I’m trying to make a failed move to veganism).  It sounded like a literal dream and that’s exactly what is was.  The pasta was cooked to perfection and the sauce was just the perfect level of creaminess.  Sometimes, when I go out for food, I’m a little wary of anything with mushroom in as, although I love them, I feel like the flavour can be a little overpowering.  In all honesty, this wasn’t the case with this dish and I absolutely would choose this option time and time again.

Despite the delicious main, the dessert was the thing I was most excited about.  The exotically named ‘crostata di madorle’ was an almond tart, pickled damson and homemade Garstang Blue cheese ice cream.  Yes, you read that right – CHEESE ICE CREAM.  I had so questions about this.  Would you even be able to taste the cheese?  Would it be overly creamy?  Would the blue cheese be too strong?  Not being a seasoned food blogger, I really can’t do the description of what this tasted like justice with just words but what I will tell you is that it’s definitely an experience you need to try.  It was totally enjoyable but I do think it’s the sort of thing you’ll either love or hate.  You could definitely taste the blue cheese but if you’re worried about it being overpowering, it wasn’t.  It was really subtly done, beautifully creamy and I enjoyed having a different flavour present with the traditional vanilla.

After our food, we spent the rest of the evening catching up and talking all things blogging.  I honestly can’t believe how many new friends and amazing girls I’ve met this year through blogging and it’s always so nice to sit and have a good long chat with them.  It’s great to be able to spend time with people who are into the same things as you and truly understand the blogging world.  Rosso provided the perfect backdrop for this and it was great to feel like you could truly relax after your meal and not feel like you were being rushed.

I honestly can’t stress what a gorgeous night we all had at Rosso: the food was delicious, the service was incredible and the restaurant is simply stunning.  I absolutely can’t wait to go back there – with my new rose gold Rosso card! – and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone.  Thank you so much to all the fabulous team at Rosso who made our dinner so enjoyable and a big thank you to Georgie for the invite.

Have you been to Rosso yet? What was your favourite dish? I’d love to know – tweet me @jacintadawn