Tag Archives: manchester

Manchester  ~  Hanging out in The Northern Quarter.

I thought I would share with you a few of the quirky shops and cafes that my friend Lisa and I visited in the vibrant Northern Quarter area of Manchester last week. This plethora of independent bars, eateries and emporiums is situated not far from the city centre and can easily be reached from both The Arndale and Piccadilly Gardens. 

Oklahoma. A must if you are after a quirky gift or something unique for the house, this colourful gift and homewares shop on High Street is a delight to mooch around. Ideal for cute stocking fillers and novelty items too. Has a super Christmas decoration section with lots of kitsch baubles and festive fun. I bought a couple of little fun presents from here. 🎄okla.co.uk 

Craft & Design Centre.  Housed in a Victorian Fishmarket building , the Manchester Craft & Design Centre is home to several talented artists and maker’s workshops over two levels plus a wonderful little cafe. After admiring some of the crafters work we had lunch here. I can recommend the tasty frittata and salad. 😁 craftanddesign.com 

Lisa and I find a Manchester Bee.

Northern Flower.  I was dazzled by the array of plants and flowers in this bijou florists on Tib Street. Describing itself as a Potting – shed boutique, Northern Flower has an impressive selection of cacti and succulents as well as beautiful pots and hangers. I couldn’t help but purchase a tiny cactus for my collection. 🌵 www.northernflower.com 

Image from Pinterest.

Chapter One Books. A great place to relax with a coffee and cake this spacious and comfy coffee shop is also a book shop. We bobbed in for a brew and a chat and made the most of the comfy sofas. Its quite alright to settle down with a book and if you buy one you get a free drink. Oh and the cakes are good too! 🍰 chapteronebooks.co.uk

Afflecks. No visit to the Northern Quarter is complete without a mooch round the institution that is Affleck’s on Church Street. Over 70 independent shops and businesses trade under one roof and any spare wall space is adorned with colourful street art. Fancy dress, vintage clothing, tattoo studios, music, art and quirky cafes can all be found here. Well worth a look. 🃏 afflecks.com 

Bonbon Chocolate. Just as we were thinking about heading home Lisa and I stumbled into … a chocolate cafe! 

Bonbon Chocolate Boutique on John Street is an artisan chocolate makers that also serves amazing Hot Chocolate. Lisa tried a chocolate orange flavour and I had the chilli hot chocolate. The cafe area is tiny with only room for 3 or 4 small tables and chairs. But if you happen upon it in a quiet moment , why not enjoy the decadence.  🍮 bonbonchocolate.co.uk 

Of course I have only touched upon the huge amount of shops and cafes in the Northern Quarter, not to mention the many bars in the neighbourhood. Hopefully I have inspired you to visit! 

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Sunday Sevens 19th November.

I’ve just realised whenever I post a Sunday Sevens ( 7 or more pictures from the past seven days) I seem to average about one per month, not one per week! But anyway I have just had a week off work…and that seems a good enough reason to join in. 😁

Last weekend it was my Birthday get together so here I am on a Night out with the girls. I’m holding an Espresso Martini , which does look more like a Guinness! 

A week off means more time spent walking with this gentleman of course. It’s been pretty muddy and squelchy in the fields. But that doesn’t stop Hugo’s enjoyment. Whilst I am busy pulling myself out of bogs , he whizzes round like a whirling dervish! Here he is in a rare still moment.

On my actual Birthday my friend Lisa took me to Manchester and we had a great time mooching round the Northern Quarter. This is a colourful area in the city full of quirky bars, cute cafes and independent shops. Just my cup of tea! I am sure I will blog about it soon. 🍰🍫🍸

My Guilty pleasure at the moment is watching Grimm, a supernatural series about a homicide detective who inherits the ability to see monsters.Those goblin, witches and werewolf types inspired by Grimm’s fairytales. And there are a lot of monsters in Portland for sure!  I have also finally finished watching Son’s of Anarchy with Wil. All 7 seasons! When he first started watching it I thought it wouldn’t be my thing, a drama about an outlaw motorcycle gang. But hey it became an addiction! What TV shows are you enjoying at the moment? 

Presently I am stopping in an apartment in Harrogate with Wil ( my Birthday present! ) and yesterday I got to cross something off my Bucket List. 😁 I had booked us into the Turkish Baths which are Britain’s most fully restored Victorian Turkish Baths. As you can see , I took one very sneeky pic in the Relaxation Room aka the Frigidarium. Photography is not allowed but I wanted to prove I visited this beautiful building with its gorgeous ornate tiling. Bliss..

 

We also had early morning coffees before our spa experience in a Harrogate institution Betty’s Tea Rooms. I think having breakfast there maybe before 9am , is one way of beating the queues! 

But I will post more about our stay in Harrogate very soon. 😊

Thanks to Natalie at www.threadsandbobbins.com/ for organizing. 

What are you up to this weekend? 

May Links & Likes. 

It has been a week that has been particularly hard on many. Life must go on and we must live life to the full, God knows, life is short. Here are a few blog posts I have enjoyed in May.

Mrs Bertimus and family stay in this very quirky and eclectic seaside Guest House at the Whitby Goth Festival.  I have actually spent a night here too…many moons ago. 🙂

Grenson the dog is always on holiday! This time in ‘Mostly’ dog-friendly Yorkshire…

Ever thought of  ‘Gin tasting’ or visiting the ‘Wild West’ in Edinburgh? Lucy shares her  alternative Guide to this beautiful city.

Speeking of beautiful cities, our hearts go out to everyone in Manchester at the moment. City Jackdaw has been writing about the incredible generousity of spirit in his home town.

Laura has been admiring Japanese Cherry Blossom….in Kent.

And Christine found a Secret Valley Of Bluebells.

Duck in a Dress  shares her Geocashing Adventures!

Here’s a nostalgic glimpse into one bloggers magazine reading history. Remember Bunty anyone? From Bunty to Betty on ‘Typewriter Girl’.

And this lady has nostalgia in buckets! Am happy to have discovered Forties@Heart here on WordPress, where Julie, a Mum in the Outer Hebridees ,atempts a 1940’s inspired Lifestyle.

Cumbrian Blondie has been walking the beautiful Ullswater Way. 🙂

And here’s a blog from my little corner of the world. Lovely recipes and beautiful interiors ~ My Grandma Taught Me To Cook. 

Can I show you a few snaps from beautiful Brotherswater I took only yesterday.  This is one of the smaller lakes in The Lake District and is situated in the eastern region of the Lakes.

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The Lake.

 

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A Nesting Swan.
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Bogbean, I think..
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Pied Wagtail.
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Hawthorn blossom.

 

 

There’s still time to join in with #30dayswild in June. If you fancy signing up and doing something wild every day next month, go to action.wildlifetrusts.org and join in with the challenge.  Here are a few ideas for your Random Acts Of Wildness.

Sow some Wildflower seeds.

Identify a Bird Call.

Collect some Elderflowers and make a cordial or champagne.

Tell the time with a Dandelion Clock.

Read a Nature Book outdoors.

Go Barefoot in the grass.

Play Pooh sticks in a stream.

Record the birds who visit your garden.

Visit a Nature Reserve.

Make a Bee Hotel.

Thanks for dropping by.  Let me know if you are joining in with #30dayswild.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toilets Of Manchester Tour.

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The bridge next to The Lass O Gowrie was the site of the Oldest ‘Pissotiere’

Can you think of a more unusual way to spend a few pennies ( Tee Hee )  than booking a walking tour round the old toilets of Manchester??  My friend Fi decided to do just that for her Birthday recently…..and it proved to be a very interesting way to while away a couple of hours. 🙂  Billed as the cities ‘ most convenient tour’  this guided walk explores the history of Manchester’s use of toilets, from the Industrial Revolution onwards.

We met up with our tour guide and  the rest of the group ( which included a band of  poo enthusiasts !  )  at The Lass O Gowrie  Public House on Charles street , just off Oxford Road.  This old tiled Real Ales pub is situated on the site of  the oldest ‘Pissotiere’ in Manchester. A pissotiere is a much pleasanter sounding word for public urinal. It was a public toilet ( with no privacy ) , where gents could relieve themselves into the river below. As you can imagine the river Medlock soon became a very smelly cesspit.

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The Lass O Gowrie and nearby The Sailisbury are situated in a part of Manchester known as Little Ireland, a former slum area in the city. Anne ( our guide )  told us  that Irish immigrants moved here in the 1820s to work in the factories and mills.  Conditions were dyre with inhabitants living in crowded squaller in back to back terraces with  

whole streets sharing  just one toilet.  And that toilet was little more than a  big  bucket that was emptied once a week.  😦  With the smog and pollution and insanitary filth , it must have been one hell of a miserable life here. 😦

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Temple  Of Convenience !

On a more cheery note our next stop on The Toilets of Manchester Tour, was  a former public toilet which is now a subterranean bar !  The Temple Of Convenience  on Bridgewater Street was one of the Victorian-era lavatories  originally built for businessmen and gentlemen visitors to the city. I don’t think ladies went to the toilet in those days, not public ones anyway!  It would have been fun to bob inside the Temple for a quick half, but alas a drink in a former loo was not part of the  tour. ; (

 Anne regaled us with more tales and information about Manchester’s toilet history as we walked round the city in the wind and rain. It was therefore a nice surprise when she led us into an impressive  Neo Gothic building that looked like a church, but is actually John Rylands Library. 

John Rylands Library was completed in 1900 and was founded by Enriquita Rylands in tribute to  her late husband, a Manchester textile mill owner and millionaire. Enriquita wanted the best of everything in the library , including the latest in modern flushing lavatories. 🙂

 

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Inside the magnificent  John Rylands  Library.

 The original  Victorian  toilets ( the oldest working loos in Manchester! ) can be found in the library basement.  Fortunately by 1900 Ladies could use public conveniences too, so Fi , Jo and I trundled off to spend a penny. 🙂

 

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The imposing ‘ King Of King Street’.

Our last stop on the tour was  ‘ The jamie Oliver’ Restaurant !   It resides in an imposing  1930’s  Art Decor building , formerly the Midland Bank at 100 King Street , known as The King Of King Street.  

 Whilst the top floors house  a swish boutique hotel called  Hotel Gotham , the former bank vault ( which can be hired out for parties)  is adjacent to the rest rooms, which contain reproduction Thomas Crapper lavatories .  

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Flushed Away!

Thomas Crapper was a renowned Victorian plumber and inventor whose flush toilets had the Royal Seal of Approval!  His name lives on in potty mouths everywhere. 🙂

We found this walking tour at manchesterguidedtours.com

£8 per person.

Can you recommend any unusual walking tours? 

Cat Cafe Manchester.

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‘ Time Spent with Cats Is Never Wasted’ , this Sigmund Freud quote is replicated on the time card my friend Lisa and I were given on arrival at Manchester’s only Cat Cafe.  Cat Cafe  in the city’s independent and creative Northern Quarter can be found on the corner of High Street. With its large floor to ceiling glass windows, it is easy for curious passers by to nosy in at the ten furry friends who call this bright and airy space home.  Before Lisa and I entered the cafe area we were given disposable shoe covers and told to use antibacterial hand gel. Then it was our time to enjoy the company of its feline residents….. £12 each for the hour.

Cat Cafe is devoted to comfort. The humans can get cosy on the many snug sofas whilst drinking an unlimited supply of hot and cold beverages  ( included in the entry fee) and the moggies have the run of the place. Some of them were busy snoozing and others were only to happy to play. There are plenty of cat toys for the kittys…..and their visitors to keep entertained.

 

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Play Time. 🙂

Lisa and I soon made ourselves cosy with a lovely hot chocolate ( complete with paw-print) and a slab of the most delicious Orange & Chocolate cake. The cafe serves a mixture of drinks, cookies and cakes. All food is paid for at the end of your allotted time slot.

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Cats and Cake. 

Cat Cafe  has a short list of rules that visitors must abide by. No waking  any sleeping cats, no feeding the cats ( except for the treats supplied  by staff) and no flash photography. Many of the kitty’s were chilling on cushions and in basket beds. They have the choice to stay in the cafe area or if they are not feeling sociable, they  have their own room to escape to. I think we managed to see most  of the Cat Cafes Cat family on our visit. 🙂

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On Watch.
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Aslan enjoys a cat nap. 

I really like how  Cat Cafe is set out and the cats really do seem to be content in their surroundings. The hour soon sped by  and all too soon it was time to leave these mischievous moggies behind.

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Who needs a telly !

 

Cool for cats.
Ygritte looks down on her surroundings.

But not before we witnessed new recruit ‘Stan’ the siamese kitten enjoying ‘treat time’, which tends to happen on the hour every hour. Aw bless. 🙂

Time for a treat. 🙂

Maybe I will return oneday  for one of  Cat Cafe’s  special cat themed events.  Fancy a Yoga class or a film night in the company of some furry felines ??  Sounds very relaxing…..

Have you ever visited a cat cafe?

 

Sunday Sevens 19th March.

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Two Good Books. 🙂

Hi its Sunday yet again so time for a quick round up of the last 7 days via  a  Sunday Sevens post.  This last week I’ve read two really good books !  I sound surprised because I’ve read a few meh ones recently , so it’s great to find a couple of cracking reads. Firstly The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware is a modern day Agatha Christie set on a boutique cruise with plenty of twists and turns. ‘Lo Blacklock’ is a journalist who thinks she’s witnessed a murder , a woman thrown overboard in the dead of night. But nobody seems to have heard of the victim. Paranoia and suspicion engulf Lo and make this’ Who Done It’ an absorbing and scary thriller.  Secondly, a just as absorbing  but true life tale is  The Yorkshire Shepherdess  by Amanda Owen.  This is Amanda’s own story about how as a youngster she read the James Herriot country vet books and dreamed of working on a hill farm with her own flock of sheep. And amazingly through a lot of hard work and determination she has ended up doing just that. As well as a flock of sheep she has a husband, 8 children and lives and works on a remote farm in the Yorkshire Dales. An inspirational and often funny read, I loved it. 🙂

As well as having my nose in a book this week, I have been using up some holidays and  had a couple of days off work. On Thursday my friend Lisa and I had a fun afternoon hanging out in the Northern Quarter in Manchester. She showed me some great independent shops in this creative area of the city and we also had a really tasty lunch at Oak Street Cafe Bar in the Craft & Design Centre. And I got to cross something off my 25 Before 45 Bucket List !  I had booked us a slot in Manchester’s only Cat Cafe, very originally called  Cat Cafe  which is situated on High Street in the Northern Quarter. Imagine coffee, cake and cats all in one spacious area , adorned with comfy sofas, cushions and cat toys. I will blog about it sooooon. 🙂

On Friday Wil, Hugo and I went to visit family in The Lake District. My family live not far from Ullswater so for some reason Wil , my brother and I thought it would be a good idea to go and check out Aira Force , a waterfall not far from the lake.  The problem was, it was an incredibly rainy and windy day , which always annoys me as I can’t take any photos with the rain blowing in my face. We had to agree though that the force looked amazing in the weather and we will definitely have to go back on a much drier day.

Last Sunday it was raining  too but not as badly ( Hurrah ! ) so we were tourists in our own town and took   The Ribble Valley Sculpture Trail around Brungerley Park. Just in case you missed my post , you can check it out here 🙂

All in all a pretty good week. What did you get up to ?

 

 

Photo an Hour Sat 27th August.

I joined in with Janey and  Louisa’s Photo An Hour challenge on Saturday. Prepare for mostly random pictures of shopping and drinking! I went to Manchester with the girls.:)

8am ~ Sharing toast in bed.

9am ~ If I’m going to Manchester I had better put some nail polish on !

10am ~ On the train.

11am  ~  A typical House of Fraser customer maybe. 😉

Noon ~ Trying on an Oasis dress…..which I did end up buying.:)

1pm ~ Eyeing up Converse.

2pm ~ In The Botanist waiting for cocktails.

 3pm ~ The most amazing dessert!

4pm ~ Cider in the Gas Lamp before our train home.

5pm ~ Not really much you can photograph on a busy train.

6pm ~  Back in Clitheroe so obligatory ciders in The Inn At The Station before heading home. I forgot to take a photo at 7pm.

8pm ~ Other Half has gone to the pub so I’m sorting out dresses to put in our new wardrobe in the spare room. I need the most space.Obviously!

9pm ~ Chillin with Hugo and pondering on whether I should start my new book.Anyone read it? 

By 10pm I was already tucked up in bed.Very Rock n Roll on a Saturday night. 

Have a great Bank Holiday.x