As I’ve been spending more and more time in Cheshire lately with work, I’ve started to realise a lot of fantastic things about Manchester as a city. So today’s post is inspired by what I love deeply about this city – with a few recommendations of my own.
Manchester is fantastic in so many ways, from the quirky shops and bars of the Northern Quarter, the media growth of Media City, and it’s access to some lovely countryside areas, such as Saddleworth and Cheshire. For me, as a big foodie and general lifestyle blogger, a good salon and a brilliant Indian restaurant are things I look for in a city, so this post today rounds up some favourites.
Hair cuts, Thai’s, Indian’s and walking routes… here you go!
The Best Haircut: Regis, House of Fraser
The reason I placed those photos above are because this was my hair recently, before seeking out a new hairdressers to visit for a good old chop. I heard about Regis inside Manchester’s House of Fraser and decided to give it a go, purely because it’s more than ideal for those who work long hours and are constantly in the city, as it works alongside House of Frasers opening hours.
The salon is situated fairly tucked away in the department store, so you feel like you’re in a private salon, not being watched my nosey shoppers. My stylist, Nathan, was more than welcoming, and discussed with me the type of cut I wanted and the look I wanted achieving. As I have fine hair, I wanted to go for a real blunt, choppy cut, with minimal layers. I always find a good two inches off in a solid straight line improves the appearance of my flimsy blonde hair.
He took time and precision to deliver a beautiful, smart cut I was more than happy with. If you’re a busy city girl and want to indulge in a plush city center salon with great service, I can’t recommend this place enough!
The Best Walking Routes: Peak District
Living and working in Manchester and the surrounding areas means that greenery and scenic views are often missed. But it’s often forgotten how close the Peak District really is. I recently went on a mission through Glossop and into the Peak District to do the long, tiresome walk that is known as Kinder Scout. I don’t use those words negatively, but it is a very long and strenuous walk, so bear time in mind before you conquer!
I went with my boyfriend who is a pretty keen walker, and we lapped the entire walking route, giving us a real pleasant day. If you like walking, being outdoors, keeping fit and exploring new places, you really would love this place. The views are incredible and although the route has an incline, and one particular large ‘hill’, it’s not the hardcore mountain treks I thought it could be…
The Best Thai Food: Chaophraya
Where do I even begin with Chaophraya. My ultimate favourite for Thai food, always has been and always will be. I recently turned up here a few weeks ago to experience the new menu on a cheeky little week night, and as I expected, I wasn’t disappointed.
In my eyes, Chaophraya is the original Manchester Thai restaurant that all the rest can only follow. Many years it’s been serving authentic Thai cuisine in it’s theme, luxury dining interior, giving Mancunians a real taste of Thailand. I sipped on a unique cocktail which I let the waiter surprise me when upon arrival, so I can’t tell you what it was, but it was real yummy.
Excuse the dark photos, I only had my iPhone on me and it was dimly lit inside!
Myself and my friend indulged in the sharing platter for starters, which I found a great option due to it’s ‘little bit of everything’ feel. When I go to a Thai, I like to be adventurous with main meals sometimes, but you can’t beat starting with a couple of Thai classics which never fail. Chicken Satay Skewers, Prawn and Pork Dumplings, Chicken Spring Rolls and Sweetcorn Fritters, with a sweet and spicy dip, all went down lovely for our starter. I had to say the Sweetcorn Fritters were the real treat for me as they had that traditional Thai kick which went well with the other starters, but had a real unique taste.
This platter is also the best choice for those not too sure about Thai/ Thai virgins!
So I’m not a vegetarian, but one of the veggie dishes did jump out at me and I literally had to order it. So for my main course, I chose the Red Vegetable Curry which came packed with pineapple (a new one for me in my curries, I love pineapple!), courgettes, aubergine and vegetarian duck, which was an extremely interesting choice. I couldn’t quite imagine what vegetarian duck would taste like, but it was actually really tasty. Not quite as chewy as ‘duck’ duck, much more softer, but very flavoursome and strong tasting.
The dish was unique and unusual but with that Thai kick I know and love – a fantastic option for vegetarians.
The Best Indian Food: Scene
I’ve visited Scene on two different occasions now (you can check out my first thoughts here), and I honestly love the Indian Street Food cuisine they serve up here. Firstly, the ambiance and decor is spot on. The walls and interior is decorated like a real authentic Indian eaterie, and every time I have visited it’s always busy.
The menu is huge with so much choice, whether you are a big time spicy food eater, or a real amateur when it comes to spice. The last time I visited was to check out a Mind, Body and Soul section of the new menu, which is something you don’t regularly see around the Indian food ‘scene’ in Manchester.
So I met with all the other press and foodies of Manchester, and tucked into a range of delicious foods, all of different tastes and flavours…
How fantastic – a soup at an Indian! Something I would never expect to pop up, but something I’d reap with glee to see as it’s a much healthier options. However, this soup was no ordinary Carrot and Coriander delight. This was a spicy, creamier, tangier version which really surprised me. In a good way of course. After all, if you chose to dine at an Indian restaurant, you want that element of spice and flavour. By far one of the tastiest soups I’ve experienced.
Moving on from the soup, we were treated to sample a range of starters, with the Paneer Pakora and Potato and Mint Chaat topping my favourites list. I’ve raved about the ‘chaat’ starters at Scene before, and you honestly have to try them to know what I mean. I’m a little stuck for words how to explain how incredible the mixture of spiced potatoes, chutneys, yoghurts… and I can’t even explain what everything else is but the textures are amazing.
The range of starters at Scene have so much more to offer than any other starters I’ve seen elsewhere. They literally spoil you silly, but I’d suggest checking out the menu over at their site as there are far too many to recommend!
For the main course, I tucked into a range of different style curries, each one unique in it’s own way. I’m honestly not a vegetarian as I love the taste of meat, but my favourite again seemed to be the veggie meal! The Daal Punjabi was thick, creamy but spicy, and tasted incredible when mixed a little with the Biryani rice.
Scene is situated towards the back of Spinningfields, close to some of the nicer bars Manchester has to offer. I don’t usually get over excited about Indian food because although I love it, I’m genuinely happy with a lot of India themed places I dine at, but this one wins over them all. It really does and I just had to share it with you.
So there you have it, four key favourites of mine in and around Manchester. Do please bear them in mind or drop me an email for more recommendations…