Tag Archives: cocktails

Escape CC Cocktail Masterclass.

One of my favourite places in Clitheroe to meet for a coffee or even a cocktail , is the warm and welcoming  Escape Coffee & Cocktails in the centre of town.  This attractive bar with it’s industrial yet  cosy interior runs Cocktail Making Masterclasses for groups of 4 people or more, upstairs in a private bar space. When my friend Fi suggested a girly get together to celebrate ‘Galentine’s Day’ ( Yep thats a thing!) , I jumped at the chance to develop my somewhat non existent cocktail making skills. 🙂

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The upstairs Bar.

Upon  arrival we were treated to prosecco bellinis in the bar upstairs where our instructor Ben introduced himself and handed us our Cocktail Menus. We would each be making Five cocktails over the course of the evening, three classics and two that we had chosen  beforehand. I must admit to feeling dubious about drinking five cocktails. But I was willing to try!

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Firstly…….Mojitos!

First cocktail on our list ‘The refreshingly popular Mojito!’ as modelled by Ailyn and Fi. According to the Masterclass menu ( which someone helpfully slipped into my bag, thank you 🙂 ), Mojitos first became popular in Cuba, where rum was in abundance. Add Lime juice,Crushed Ice, Mint and Sugar syrup and hey presto…the most refreshing combo ever. Our friendly Bar man demonstrated how to make every cocktail first of course, and even gave us a brief history of each. I’m afraid to say my memory is a little hazy. I totally blame the alcohol !

My favorite Cocktails of the evening were two, designed by ‘Escape Mixologists’ themselves. The ‘Happy holidays’ is a refreshing blend of Gin, Rose Liqueur, Grenadine,cranberry juice and freshly squeezed lemon juice.  A sugared rim and lemon soaked strawberry added to it’s celebratory vibe.  The ‘Delightful Trifle’ is actually a pudding in a glass. No pictures  sorry but imagine a heady combination of strawberries, blackberries, salted caramel vodka and creme de mure , capped with fresh cream.

And a cocktail that everyone loved equally was The ‘Porn Star Martini’. Unfortunately it also gave me heartburn. 😦  But rest assured, I was swiftly created a heartburn cure. It worked and I was able to continue with the rest of my night. 🙂

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This is called Rimming. Ho Ho. 😉
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Possibly seeing stars…

At some point in the evening we were given a quick fun quiz on some of the cocktail related facts we had learnt along the way. A bottle of prosecco was our prize, which we decided to share after the Masterclass finished. That was not before we made our fifth and final creation ‘ The long Island Iced Tea’ , probably ( according to the Masterclass Menu) first concocted in NY to resemble an Iced Tea, when in fact it contains Rum, Vodka, Tequila, Cointreau ….and Coca-cola.

The Cocktail Masterclass at Escape costs £35 per person and includes five cocktails, tuition to make the five cocktails, a welcome drink and a fun quiz. It’s the perfect evening for getting together with friends. Just book the following day off! 🙂

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Sunday Sevens Sun 19th February.

Instagram #brilliantphotoaday Polkadots.

Hey I’m joining in with  Natalie’s  Sunday Sevens today and posting 7 ( or maybe more! ) photographs from my week.

Above is a photo from Instagram.I am trying to post a piccie each day as part of Kate Gabrielle’s #brilliantphotoaday challenge. Oneday the prompt was Polkadots so my whirly windmill came in very useful. 🙂


 Tuesday was of course Valentine’s Day  and Wil and I exchanged cards. I got him a humerous yet vaguely insulting card and he got me a lovely romantic card. Hurrah!  I celebrate …because for years we chose cards for each other that we would rather have got ourselves. He likes funnies so he would get me something silly. I like pretty romantic cards so that’s what I would get him. We would joke that we should ‘swap’ cards.  At last though, we have maybe got it right? Only taken us nearly 12 years! 🙂

 

  On Thursday morning we took Hugo a walk up past Standen Hall, which was a good exscuse to look at all the lovely Snowdrops. It’s a private residence but I couldn’t resist stumbling over the cattle grid and taking a few photos. There were even some turkeys and a grey squirrel too! I hope those turkeys are not being fattened up for Christmas…

Friday night was a great fun night out with the girls…..but I have got to say, I am still recovering!  Friend Fi arranged for 6 of us to try out a Cocktail Mixing Masterclass at  Escape Coffee & Cocktails
 
In Clitheroe. The class was upstairs in our own little private bar area and after a demo from Ben our Mixologist, we each got to make five very different cocktails….and drink them of course. After experiencing a welcome Belini, a Mojito, a Happy Holidays, a Porn Star Martini, a Delightful Trifle, a Long Island Iced Tea and a glass of prosecco, I may just not be able to remember enough to write a full post about it. ;). All I can say is at £35 per head it was great value for money, and a good time was had by all! 

Yesrerday I did manage to emerge from the house and meet up with a pal for tea and cake at Callooh Callay in town. This Alice In Wonderland inspired tea room has had new owners of late, so we were a little worried it may have changed beyond recognition.  Happily it is still devoted to all things ‘Alice’ ,though the new proprietor isn’t English, he presented us with some dates to try before our tea came. I guess that only adds to the quirkyness! 🙂 

Thanks for dropping by.♡♡
 
 

  

 

   

 

The Girls go to Manchester.

A friend’s Birthday is always a jolly good excuse to catch the train to ‘The Big City’ don’t you think? Our nearest ‘Big City’ is Manchester, and with it’s eclectic array of restaurants,shopping and bars, its officially ( according to Sunshine and Celandines 😉 ) ,the perfect place to go for a day out with the Girls.

Instead of immediately hitting the shops, the first thing we did was go for a cuppa. I know, we sure are Party Animals. 🙂 Proper Tea at Manchester Cathedral has a contemporary feel even though it’s in a traditional setting. Despite being feted  for its impressive selection of teas , I decided to try a Macchiato ( my first!) which is a serving of espresso with a small quantity of frothed milk.This set me up for the day!  I also enjoyed a delicious homemade gingersnap .Don’t worry there are also a mouthwatering array of cakes displayed on the counter. 🙂

After a spot of City Centre shopping it was time to head to our lunch venue. The restaurant of choice was Australasia which the Birthday Girl had booked a few days previously. This subterranean eatery on the Avenue in Spinningfields is accessed via an attractive glass pyramid. Stairs take you ‘down under’ for an enjoyable dining experience influenced by Australian,Japanese and Indonesian cuisine.

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Possibly the most comfiest restaurant seating ever. 🙂

Our very friendly waiter recommended the Tapas and the menu has a wide and varied selection. I’m not going to describe everything individually. I will just spam you with lots of photos instead. 😉 Everything without exception was delicious.

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We were told to choose our preferred cocktails from the extensive Cocktail Menu which could be viewed on an Ipad.This is a pretty good idea as you can see what your choice will look like, though it does take away the element of surprise.And The Birthday Girl received a complimentary Birthday dessert, which she was nice enough to share. 🙂

After our lovely lunch and cocktails we headed back out into the outside world. We had noticed a little craft market that had been set up just outside the John Rylands Library nearby. The Makers Market appears in Spinningfields and in The Northern Quarter, Manchester throughout the year.. We loved the stalls and all of us treated ourselves to bits and pieces.

There was a wonderful mixture of merchandise including Vintage clothing,jewellery,baked goodies for dogs, stuffed animals,prints, antiques and collectables….and Manchester Tarts!

Most of our afternoon was devoted to shopping though there was a pit stop in one of my favorite Manchester bars, The Gas Lamp on Bridge Street. This is another subterranean pub which started out life as a children’s mission. Although it is essentially a real ales type of joint, they serve up lovely cocktails too. These Turkish Delight Martinis were to die for.:)

Hope you enjoyed sharing our day out in Manchester. I have another one planned next month, so join me here again soon. 🙂

Laundry and Liquor.

On Saturday a merry band of five of us hopped on the train to Manchester , with the intention of braving the Christmas markets and going for a few cheeky drinks. Well it rained.And it rained a lot!  So the markets sort of took a back seat ( apart from a quick mug of warming gluhwein and a hog roast buttie) and the cheeky drinks commenced! Happily we had booked a slot at a secretishhhh Cocktail Bar in the Northern Quarter. Its called The Wash House. And its entrance is disguised as a Laundrette…

 

 

The mock laundrette comes complete with washing machines, a tumble dryer full of smalls and an old fashioned rotary dial phone. The phone is there to let the staff know you have arrived ( or want to pick up your service wash 🙂 ), and you are then buzzed through a washing machine door…… into a different world entirely.

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My photos are going to be a wee bit dark but The Wash House  has that rather illicit speekeasy vibe.  We were ushered to our booth by a friendly waitress and presented with menus packed full of cocktail choices. There were so many to choose from, it was hard to decide. But we did ok!

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Top Shelf Sour ~ Mancunian does Marrakech.
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Flump it Up. Rum based with chocolate liquor and marshmallow foam.
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The girls enjoyed their Let Them Eat Cakes complete with mini battenbergs.:)
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Plum Satay.
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Fifty Shades comes complete with a rose and cheeky handcuffs. 😉
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Matsuri Old Fashioned.

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As well as cocktails you can also order bottles of wine,champagne,spirits ,beers and soft drinks. In our allotted hour and a half we managed two cocktails each and the boys enjoyed a beer too. It was great to have table service though this was reflected in the bill! But hey we were out in the Big Smoke. And to us that’s a Special Occasion. 🙂

Remember its advisable to book. I can whisper you the telephone number, if you can’t find it….

 

Manchester ~ Lunch at Hotel Gotham.

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My latest Manchester Adventure with the girls started with a naughty prosecco in the park and ended with half a cider in a bar that used to be a public toilet ! Somewhere in between we managed lunch too…….in the impressive looking Hotel Gotham.

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HOtel Gotham rises majestically over the various designer boutiques on King Street. Formerly a bank, this Art Deco building was designed by Edwin Lutyens and it is said that forgotten recording material by Manchester bands Joy Division and New Order were discovered in its vaults during the renovations. Now a bespoke hotel with original features such as half moon shaped windows and terrazzo floors, it also has a quirky side inspired by 1930s gangsters,prohibition , oh and Batman of course!

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The hotel’s restaurant ‘Honey’ is on the sixth floor and commands grand views of the city. We started our lunch with delicious cocktails and a cheesy fondue style starter with artisan breads.

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For our mains Jo and Fi decided on the Club sandwiches and I chose the charcuterie board which was both weird  and wonderful. There’s a savoury donut in there somewhere.

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Its a shame the weather was the typical summer time drizzle we come to expect in the North West. Not the best sneaky peek at the view! Ooooh Fi and I did manage a sneaky peek in the private members/residents club ‘Brass’ by the way. That Fi is very bolshy. 😉  It’s all swanky leather sofas and wall to wall alcohol up there. And I can tell you the ladies toilets are like stepping into the brains of a Peacock……

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Time for desserts. Fi and Jo both chose the chocolate soup with tracklements. Now being the country bumpkins that we are, none of us actually knew anything about tracklements. Do you? Well ,they turned out to be little accompaniments on the side. I think the chocolate soup might have been a bit sparse without them!  And I went for the peanut and raspberry parfait which was rather good.

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We all enjoyed the food ( and the cocktails! ) but I think our experience would have benefited from some explanations from the waiting on staff. Although lovely ( and donning bowler hats) the staff seemed a little clueless about how the food should be consumed. For example one of our cocktails came with a shot of prosecco on the side. Was this meant to be downed in one beforehand or mixed in with said cocktail? Nobody seemed to know. And as for those tracklements……..

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I loved the attention to detail in the restaurant and hotel interior. Vintage typewriters on the wall, retro luggage,gold bars and old fashioned drinks trolleys. What I wouldn’t give for a nosy in one of Gotham’s sixty luxurious bedrooms and suites!

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For a special treat ‘Honey’ in Hotel Gotham is somewhere I would love to dine again. Where in Manchester do you recommend going for lunch?

Escape for Coffee…..and cocktails……..and cake!

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Today I had a rare week day off. The other half was away biking and Hugo was snoozing after a walk down the river. It was time for some Me time!  I met up with a friend who had the afternoon off too and we escaped for an hour to a new ‘Coffee and Cocktail ‘ bar in Clitheroe.

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Escape Coffee & Cocktails is situated at number ten Market Place in the centre of town. As you can see from the pictures it is done out in quite a rustic style, bricked walls and original beams. It has a different look from other bars in Clitheroe. We sat in the back room and ordered tea, coffee, cocktails and cake. 🙂

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For now the only food available is cake….which was fine by us. We sampled generous portions of Victoria Sponge and Red Velvet cake. Jo had a fruit tea and a glass of wine. I had an americano coffee and a cloudy apple gin cocktail. This came served in a teapot which was a quirky touch. Deliciously refreshing :).And seemingly never ending….so good value for money!

There is a very varied cocktail menu ( so i need to return soon! ) with cocktails costing from £7 each.  A two for One Happy Hour Mon-Wed , 5-7pm  sounds the ideal time. Coffees roasted by a company on the Yorkshire moors, tea from China, soft drinks, bottled beers and ciders and a good wine menu completes the selection of drinks on offer.

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Did I mention ‘Escape’ is a dog friendly bar. We met this very cute Border Terrier called Stan who was a very well behaved old gentleman. 🙂

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For a relaxing coffee or drink in the afternoon , we found it to be the perfect venue to while away a couple of hours. I can imagine it gets very busy at weekends ,so should have a pretty buzzing vibe in the evenings. And ladies there are the all important hair dryer and ghds in the powder room. Just in case!

A great addition to Clitheroe. 🙂

Afternoon tea and Underground cocktails ~Manchester.

My friend Fi decided to mark her approaching ‘Big 40’, with a fabulous day out in Manchester. In true celebratory style, we headed into the city for a day of  shopping, cocktails and afternoon tea. 🙂

Fi had booked us a table at the marvellously plush Opus One on Peter Street ( just off Deansgate) for afternoon tea. Giant chess pieces and bold red and black decor give the restaurant a theatrical feel.

Opus One.
Opus One.

Four of us opted for the Gentlemen’s Afternoon Tea because it sounded pretty darn delicious. And it was! This menu leans toward the savoury with gentleman size rustic sandwiches on the bottom tier. The top tier includes fish and chips, pork pies and mini beef yorkshire puddings. There is of course still a sweet treat if you can manage it,the obligatory home baked scone with jam and clotted cream. 🙂 All these goodies come with a pot of tea or any hot drink of your choice and as many free refills as you desire. The price is £18.95 per person.

Gentleman's Afternoon Tea.
Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea.
And its not just for Gentlemen. ;)
And its not just for Gentlemen. 😉

The Birthday Girl chose the Traditional Afternoon Tea which is the same price and includes an indulgent selection of finger sandwiches and dainty cakes and home made scone with clotted cream and preserve. We all ordered a glass of celebratory champagne too with our afternoon teas. 🙂

Traditional Afternoon Tea. Photo by Louise Atkinson.
Traditional Afternoon Tea. Photo by Louise Atkinson.
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A Birthday cake surprise 🙂

Opus One proved to the perfect venue to kick off a Birthday celebration. After our food we went on the hunt for a lovely cocktail bar. Of course Manchester has plenty….but they were sooo busy! We did however stumble across a quirky basement bar on Bridge Street ( near Spinningfields) which can knock up a luscious lemon sherbert sour or two. 🙂

The Gas Lamp.
The Gas Lamp.
Lemon Sherbert sours. :)
Lemon Sherbert sours. 🙂
Mirror Mirror on the Wall.
Mirror Mirror on the Wall.
Turkish delight Martinis.
Turkish delight Martinis.

Now if its glamour youre after The Gas Lamp will not be your kind of place. This quirky ‘subterranean drinking den’ is certainly more victorian convenience than classy cocktail bar. It was in fact once a childrens mission/soup kitchen and the original white tiling gives it a utilitarian look. Yet it still manages to feel cozy and friendly. I loved my Lemon Sherbert sour and the Turkish delight martinis went down well too. The Gas Lamp also specializes in real ales and has a good wine list. Quite a find!

So the highlights of Fi’s celebrations ( so far! ) included a Gentlemen’s Afternoon tea and cocktails underground.

Where do you like to go in Manchester?