Thursday, 31 July 2014


Love food? Love drink? Love music?  Then you best get yourself down to the latest offering from B.Eat Street, Manchester. 

#UpInYourGrill has set up shop for 10 weeks at Brownsfield Mill on Tariff Street in the Northern Quarter.
Hosting a delicious selection of street food vendors and cocktail makers. This is my new favourite spot for a post-work Friday night or a Saturday date night with the husband.

Last Friday's beautiful Manchester weather (yes those three words are being used in the same sentence!) certainly helped make our decision to head over to the Northern Quarter. We arrived around 8.30pm and there was a little queue to contend with.  Thankfully the queue rapidly disappeared and we wandered down a rustic stone path into this grounds of a run down warehouse.  Extra bonus points to B.Eat Street for the very on-trend location. 

We had our priorities straight and headed directly to the first bar for a glass of thirst-quenching cider.  Next up, food.  There were rather substantial queues for Solita and Reds True BBQ but the jerk chicken of Eat and Sweet had caught my eye.  I opted for a jerk chicken split (jerk chicken on a dumpling roll) and was not disappointed.  The ridiculously tender chicken was coated in a tangy and spicy jerk marinade and the soft dumpling wasn't as heavy as I'd expected.  It went down a treat.  

After refuelling on a gin and tonic (it wouldn't be a Friday night without one) we headed to Holy Basil for some 'Bang Thai-dy fries' covered in Thai Green Curry sauce. Unfortunately the chips were a tad dry and I would have added much more sauce, given the option - it was just too yummy. The feel-good sound track was provided by HomoElectric and had most people tapping their feet or head bopping at some point.  

Fab night and very cool vibes all round.  I'd definitely recommend this if you're looking for something to do in Manchester on a Friday or Saturday evening.  #NoExcuses

Claire x

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Manchester's Roastin'

Wednesday evening found me braving the roasting-hot streets in order to wander down to the Deansgate Locks area of Manchester in search of magic beans.  Feeling much like Jack and the Beanstalk, I found some in the shape of ManCoco's coffee beans.  

A host of bloggers and coffee fanatics alike were invited to learn more about Manchester's very own micro coffee roaster.  The friendly and coffee-passionate Stuart Bromley was already in full swing when my plus one and I stumbled into his hidden coffee oasis.  (We'd got a little lost - oops.)

The little demo area was super cute and can be hired for events
ManCoco makes sure it's green beans are traceable and ethically sourced and they import from all over the world.  We were lucky enough to sample a selection of beautiful beans from Ethiopia, Peru, Colombia, Rwanda, Uganda and Indonesia.  We were encouraged to taste the coffee in it's optimum state and learnt a bit about the art of 'cupping'. Stuart was the perfect showman and slurped his coffee to perfection.

Getting my 'cup' on and Stuart demonstrating an expert slurp
I'm certainly not a coffee connoisseur and so some of the beans produced a flavour a little too refined for my English-tea-tastebuds but I did notice the difference in the beans and came to pick a favourite (Peruvian Chirinos Churupampa - if you're interested in the details).

ManCoco sell direct to both consumers and retail and Stuart shared some exciting details that he has in the pipeline for smaller coffee taster hampers, which sound perfect for gifts (Christmas in July anyone?) The event was pulled together by the friendly folk at MediaCom with the support of The Co-operative Electrical Shop and my plus one even won the very generous raffle in the shape of a new Delonghi Coffee Machine!  

Claire x

Photo of me taken by Chloe Hesketh using my camera phone

Monday, 28 July 2014


Eyes down.

Claire x

Friday, 25 July 2014


Any time today will do.

Claire x

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Infectious Colour

I've shared in the past my admiration for top UK interior blogger Will Taylor, aka Mr Bright Bazaar. And I thought it was about time I gushed some more.  

I was lucky enough to receive the Bright Bazaar book for my birthday (yes, that was in May so this post is waaay overdue, feel free to judge away).  I love it and I think you will too.  

Will's old flat adorning the front cover of his very own book
The book's tagline is 'Embracing colour for make-you-smile style' and this could not ring more true.  I pick up this book and a smile instantly lands on my face.  The interiors selected for the book are beautiful and even though I'm not a confessed 'colour addict' like Will, the images manage to set little interiors-obsessed alarm bells off in my head. 

Page 18
As you know from my recent front door post, we maintained a classic style with a monochrome look. And yet the above image with the pops of colour from the in-your-face sky blue to the clashing sunshine yellow, it really does speak to me.  How could it not?  It looks like such a darling and welcoming entrance that I'm without doubt that the rest of the house is just as colourful and inviting.  

Pages 76 and 77
Will's book is full of practical hints and tips. As you know we've been working on our master bedroom for quite some time and the above page helped me to pull together a scheme which I am really proud of.  (More on this soon, I promise!) 

Page 76
The book is perfectly pulled together, with gorgeous imagery and an approachable writing style. Mr Bazaar can do no wrong. 

Gushing over.  

Claire x

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

2 / One Pic Wednesday

Festoon lights are the way forward. Ever since Rebecca, over at Florence Finds posted about them about a year ago, I've been coveting these twinkly outdoor magic makers.  They seem to have the ability to make any garden scene Pinterest-worthy.  Well, that's what I'm hoping.  I want them and I want them bad.  I can just picture myself sipping a G&T, chatting the night away with friends under the above picture's twinkly sky.  Have you used string lights to bring a bit more atmosphere to your garden? Or do you think they look borderline Christmassy?

Claire x

Monday, 21 July 2014

Scratch That Etch

We upgraded our front and back doors a couple of years ago.  This was following a burglary at our neighbour's address where their wooden door had taken a thorough bashing.  Cue us bolting it to our local composite door retailer.  

I'm pleased with our new doors. Especially our classic black front door and even though we switched from wood to plastic, I think that they're not too bad on the old eye.   

Similar style to our black composite door
However, I'd really like to do something with the clear glass panel above the door.  I've been losing fairly significant amounts of time on Pinterest (see my dedicated board here) whilst on the hunt for some inspiration.  In an ideal world we'd have the glass panel etched with our house number but having the glass replaced could be pretty expensive. My research has highlighted websites where you can design a sticker to specifically fit your window. I've been having a play here.  It looks as though it would cost around £20 which seems reasonable but I'd love to see a design first hand before making a decision.  
The etched glass look I'd like to achieve
What do you think?  Would a sticker look just as good?  Or should I wait and save to have the glass etched?  

Claire x

Source 1 / 2 

Thursday, 17 July 2014


My writing was recently featured over on The Social Butterfly blog.  Head over to read all about Blackbird Vintage - Leeds newest vintage-inspired homewares and interiors store (lucky Yorkshire folk).  It's already been added to my must-visit list!

Do let me know if you make the trip. As I'd love to hear what you think.

Claire x

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

One Pic Wednesday

There's something about the English Summertime that transports me back to my childhood.  The infinitely long school holidays, complaining of boredom to our Mum on the rainy days but most of all being outside as much as possible.  As an adult I have restrictions that prevent me from living my outdoors-everyday dream, especially considering I work in an office block, but I want to enjoy our garden and outside space as much as possible whilst the sun keeps his hat on.  We're hoping to give it a little spruce up as extra encouragement. The above picture seems like a perfect spot to sit and reminisce.  We've got quite a few trees at the back of our little garden plot, perhaps we could add a swing?  

Thanks for stopping by!

Claire x

Monday, 7 July 2014

Interiors Update 6

I'm delighted to report that our master bedroom is slowly but surely coming together.  It's certainly been a while since I shared an update so I thought I'd clue you up.  

The giant gaping hole in the wall/ceiling has been filled and re-plastered.  It took a little while to get it looking good but I'm glad that my husband we persevered. 

Gaping hole no more

We decided on Nutmeg White by Dulux (below left photo - bottom row, 2nd from right) for three of the walls and Dove Tale by Farrow and Ball (below right photo - left colour) as a feature wall.  

This colour selection has been a long time coming. The left selection of testers has been on our wall for close to a year! 
Dove Tale is a grey with purple undertones which is exactly what I'd been looking for as I want to pull purple/pink accent colours into the room with accessories.  Nutmeg White is a warm white with grey undertones which compliments the accent colour beautifully (even if I do say so myself).

Farrow & Ball - Dove Tale

I've never used Farrow and Ball paint before but I will definitely use it again.  I found that there was quite a significant difference in coverage between F&B and other cheaper brands.  It glides onto the wall with ease and even just one coat leaves a really good level of coverage. However, that being said it was harder to clean the paint off the brushes and rollers.  I don't mind the extra cleaning effort required if you're dealing with a quality product.

In progress paint shots

Here is a shot of our fireplace. I love it when I can sneak a glimpse into the past style of a room.  Someone clearly had good taste in wallpaper.  We'll be refitting our cast iron fireplace, once the carpet has been fitted.

A little window to the past

The carpet should be down soon and we've placed our order for new wardrobes, drawers and bedside tables.  I still need to decide on bed linen, a ceiling light and accessories.  Hopefully not too long to go!

Claire x
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