Well, my plan to post on here more regularly kind of went to shit, didn't it?! I've taken some time off (again) to totally revamp my blog and to revamp the kind of content I'm creating. I am by no means stopping blogging about tea, that is still going to be a huge part of what i blog about, but I want to post more about the other things that I love, travelling, music, and just some general life chit chat. I'm feeling super excited about this new direction. I feel like this is something that I really needed to do, and I didn't know how much I needed to do it until I did it, I truly loved everything about how my blog looked and the things I was making, but I don't feel like it fits me anymore, I feel like I'm needing to do so much more than just posting the odd tea review every couple months.
While I've been away I've spent most of my time either at work or staring at my laptop screen attempting to get my blog where I want it to be, but I've also been on a couple little adventures. One of the most exciting trips that I took was up to Manchester for a few days to visit my lifelong best pal Jodie and to volunteer at Parklife festival.I have only been to Manchester once before to visit Jodie, go to a gig and get tattooed, so I didn't really have much time to actually see the city so I was really looking forward to being able to spend a bit more time up there so I can have a good ol' wander. Manchester is an AMAZING city, I never ever expected to fall so in love with it but I really did, as soon as I got home I wanted to plan another trip up there. I loved it SO much that I thought I would share with you a few of the highlights of my little trip.
Fred Aldous (aka heaven on earth)
I don't think I've really mentioned my love for house plants on here before, but I have a full blown obsession with house plants. Geo Fleur, a plant shop which I follow on Instagram that I am OBSESSED with (@geo_fleur if you're as into house plants as I am, you need to follow them), mentioned that they were running a pop up shop in Fred Aldous in Manchester and that'd still be there when I visited, so naturally I just had to go. Little did I know that the shop itself would be my idea of heaven, 3 floors of arts and craft equipment, stationary and snazzy home wear and knick-knacks, I could have spend hours and thousands in this shop, but I was very restricted and I ended up leaving with a few sketchbooks, a couple of brush pens, some glitter, a bulk bag of gems and I cactus called Marius, just the essentials ya know? They also have some super cool vintage photobooths which we had some really unattractive photos taken in.
We were wandering around the Northern Quarter trying to find something to eat (honestly this is what me and Jodie spend half our time together doing) and we came across this cute little cafe - I was drawn in by all the plants in the windows. The shop sells amazing homemade vegan and glut an free cakes, an ace breakfast menu and loads of drinks to choose from, I went for a raspberry and amaretto brownie and a coconut milk matcha latte and Jodie had a sausage and bacon bagel and a caramel iced latte, everything was delicious, the cafe was super cute and the lady running it was so lovely, I'll definitely be popping back when I go back to Manchester.
Yard & Coop
Fried chicken is one of my favourite things in the whole world and oh my god this is some of the best fried chicken that I have ever tried in my life. I went for the thigh with Korean and Bourbon BBQ sauce with a side of poutine and mac and cheese, I was beyond stuffed by the end of the meal. The chicken was juice with an insanely crunchy coating, the poutine was so so good and the mac and cheese was the cheesiest thing I've ever eaten.
Bird & Blend (obvs)
It goes without saying that if I'm near a Bird and Blend shop that I'm going to go there and spend at least half a day, that is exactly what I did in their beaut new shop in the Northern Quarter. I had one of their Eton Mess specials which was SOMETHING ELSE and Jodie had a matcha lemonade - its my aim in life to convert everyone I know into matcha lemonade lovers. The shop is beautiful, they have huge bean bags by the windows, I could have spent hours sat there people watching while sipping on all the amazing teas.
Parklife Day 1
The main reason for my trip to Manchester was to volunteer at Parklife festival, I worked on wrist-banding and thankfully I only had to work one shift which was on Sunday morning, so I had the entire Saturday to enjoy the music and soak up the festy vibes. Jodie managed to get a last minuet ticket as well so we both went along together. She really wanted to see Bicep, a techno house duo who I'd never heard of them before but really enjoyed their set, the crowd was a bit dead but they were really impressive. After that I went to see Sampha who nearly made me sob while playing Like The Piano, that mans voice is insane and I think that song is one of the most beautiful songs to come out in the last few years, I really would love to see him again. Lorde was on after Sampha, I bloody love Lorde and I think her live sets are always so much fun and this was no exception, she is such a talented and inspirational woman, she is a proper bad ass. Took a little walk down memory lane after that with N.E.R.D who I used to listen to when I was younger (nice one Dad, definitely child appropriate music) - they were good but Pharrell kept calling the festival Park Land which is kind of awkward. The headliner was The XX who are one of my favourite bands in the whole wide world, they were absolutely amazing, they're without a doubt one of the best live bands that I've ever seen and I'm sure their live shows get better and better every time I see them.
Parklife Day 2
Today was the day of my super fun 6 hour shift checking tickets and giving people wristbands, and I actually really enjoyed it! The people I were working with were absolutely lovely and really professional, everything ran smoothly which made the shift feel like it went by so quickly. After I finished my shift I ran to get some food (literally ran) then went to see Justice who were ace, I only planned to watch them for a bit but I ended up watching the whole set and not standing still for the whole thing. The plan after that was to go and watch Four Tet then Jamie XX but the tent they were playing in was packed and it was pissing it down so I just went home and we ordered Italian food.
JUST.LOOK.AT.THAT.FRENCH.TOAST?!?!?!?! Jodie recommended this place to me so I popped by there for brunch before I went home, I'm so glad I did! I have the french toast and an iced matcha latte and they were both on another level of delicious, they also sell a range of local produce which is so awesome, I love a shop that supports their fellow business'.
I really really enjoyed my trip to Manchester, I'm going again in November and I'm so excited! Thanks so much for reading and I'm sorry again to have done a little vanishing act from my blog, I promise (haha) that I'm back now! X