How to make a frog leap?

    The task: Provide entertainment and fun for all while showing what a great city Manchester is!

    Visitor #1 Experienced visitor

    Visitor #2 UK virgin!

    Mission 1: Friday night.

    Upon arrival, straight in the swing of things; i.e. bars around my neighbourhood.

    Weapon of choice?

    • Hula Tikki for its relaxed, themed bar. I like the aquarium and the blowfish lights. Also the flamed cocktails always entertain. Flames!
    • Centro.  It’s achilled out place with some gorgeous lampshades I really want! (Birthday ‘s in a few months guys, you might want to start saving!)
    • Socio Rehab – I just really like the place.  Always something new to try. Not cheap unfortunately but you get what you pay for: Great drinks. Good music. Always good fun.
    • Hunters for a traditional post drinks snack – Kebab of course. Opposite Bluu Bar and Dough, it consistently delivers great food – not just drunk food. The boys felt the sense of belongings and entertainment as drunk punters were flocking in. Although it was still early doors to see the real circus (1am).

    I could not resist this one too. Sorry.

    Mission 2: Saturday

    An all day-er here. Keep focus and keep delivering.

    Weapons of choice:

    • Koffee pot – Amazing Ful English brekkie. Perfect for hungry French boys eager to experience England at its finest.
    • Quick walk through the Printworks to show them the outside/in concept
    • Le clou du spectable; Old Trafford for a Man U – Bolton. Game. Both rugby fans, boy oh boy did they love it? Yep. My bro even bought the jersey top the day after! Bless!
    • Cornerhouse for bit of a coffee/cup cake break. Haven’t been there for a while for drinks and they have great coffees, decent beers and fantastic cupcakes. I didn’t try anything else but all the cakes looked good I have to say. Proud to say I introduced 2 boys to cupcakes.
    • Rusholmes for a shisha
    • Bank for a drink. Ok place. I have been 3 times I think in my 10 years in Manchester. Chainy/puby type but I was really surprised to find a decent pinot noir (which is also available in Lounge 10 but for £13 more! Ouch Lounge 10!)
    • Chinatown’s Red Chilli. Probably one of the best if not the best Chinese in town. Consistently offering great Beijing and Sichuan dishes. Never had a bad meal there. Truly great place and it was my cousin’s first Chinese meal believe it or not! What a start!
    • Corridor to end the night in style! I love Corridor but due to my Northernquarterism (acute laziness to go elsewhere for drinks) I haven’t been for a long while. Since my last visit I spotted so many new cocktails I will have to go back to investigate! We sampled a fair few between the 4 of us and all spot on.

    Mission 3: Sunday

    Same as Saturday. A full day of food and drinks!

    • Katsouris for a fantastic brunch. I really like the place and the food is just fantastic and really decently priced. Good grub. Highly recommend the hot sandwiches (all good) and the amazing mezze platter. All freshly prepared and super tasty!
    • Manchester Art Gallery. My cousin expressed is lack of interest of paintings and I had something up my sleeve! I took them to see Anish Kappor “Flashback” exhibition. Second time for me. I really love the bold colour of the pigments. The shapes. The effects. I simply find it very beautiful.
    • Shopping. We spent the rest of the day shopping in the numerous shops around the city center.
    • Sunday roast. I made my first complete roast. It was nerve wrecking with my crap oven but it came out great! I was really chuffed. Event made a giant cupcake (which I failed at sadly).

    An overview?

    Mission completed and accomplished.

    The boys looked like they had a fantastic time. I know I did!

    V. x

No Future Club presented The Correspondents

Back in the days where tweed was in, flat caps and moustache and…

Hang on! Fast forward 2010 and the “hipsters” are out and about flocking Manchester.

You can find them strolling around the boho Northern Quarter; voted the Best Neighbourhood in the UK guys but don’t take my resident’s word for it. They’ve said it back in the days:



Man Con

Creative tourist

Place North West

How do

Manchester gov

So “November 2010 news” I realise but at the time I was on blogostrike so there you are, better later than never, n’est-ce pas?

Right, “let’s go back to our sheep” as we say in French, i.e. let’s get back to our topic in regular English!

No Future Club was presenting The Correspondents at The Ruby Lounge who I saw twice at Glasters in June. They are quirky and intriguing and also extremely upbeat which is always great for a good night out.

The gig was great. Despite a bit of a delay (it was snowing like mad that night), the band got cracking after some random acts of topless escapism and comedy. All good fun.

Tunes and mighty mix of various genres – a bit of electro swing/hip hip hip hoppey/jumble.

A really great venue, filled with great peeps having a fab time. Some lovely efforts with 50’s style hair and fashion. Fabulous!

Let’s bring back the 50’s I say!


Corridor Bar Bday’s Parteeey

Well it was so 2010 but as we say, better later than never.

Check them out!

Sneak a peak here.

Hazard in MCR


"All the demos I've ever been on II" - Alex Bradley in Peace Garden

On Saturday 17 July, Manchester was filled with random outbreak of fun, preformances, dance, and other happenings.

All spread around the city centre, we decided to venture around a few events and check it out!

Hazard is Manchester’s micro-festival of incidental intervention and sited performance, packed full of chance encounters, random occurrences and risky ventures around and about the city centre.

Here is a very small representationof what was available.

For more info, check the Hazard website although the first video is not brilliant, there’s a better one on this where you can actually get an idea of what the flash mob consisted of!


"The March of 100 Dorothys" - Eggs Collective


"Special delivery" Natalie Preece


"The break up" Out of Hand Theatre

"Crossing Marke St" Jon, gaz n Andy

We also collected smile from the Arndale to the Northern Quarter and the Piccadilly Gardens for the flash mob!

And this is something from the flash mob.

A very fun day!

Manchester Day Parade – Out of this world

A fabulous day for the first Manchester Day Parade a few Sundays ago.

  • Created by Manchester People
  • Commissioned by Manchester City Council
  • Produced by Walk the Plank

According to officials data, 75,000 spectators watched the 36 fantastic floats!

On Sunday 20 June 2010, the very first Manchester Day Parade burst onto the city streets and set the city alight with a dazzling display of colour, sound and dance.

For the downloadable Manchester Day Parade 2010 programme, please click here.

The parade, produced by Walk the Plank, weaved its way through the city centre. Spectators witnessed a display of vibrant costumes, fantastic street dance and amazing wheeled structures designed by the local community to celebrate Manchester’s Out of this world creativity.

It was such a success, it’s becoming a fixture in Manchester’s events Calendar! Hot from the MEN Twitter feed! Check this out: Sweeeet

I finally spare a few minutes to add this pictures!

I hope you like them!

1) The Spirit of Manchester

Inspired by Rolls Royce Mascot “the Spirit of Ecstasy”, represents Manchester’s original, bold character. (brochure)

1) The Woooorld

5) The Peacock & her flowering garden

7) The Phoenix

9) Remarkable Mancunian Float

12) Wheeled wonders

The man who kindly let me in front to snap away said: “I bet they wished they bought new rather than second hand”. One of those sweet and funny  “you had to be there moment”!

The weather man

13) Wythenshawe's Open Spaces

15) The Mobile Allotment

18) Heavenly Hordes

Greeks Gods and Goddesses

Mighty Dragon

Followed by a mighty tiger - Rrroar

On stilts



La Park Life

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Plattfields Park, Ear to the Ground (D Percussion) got commisioned to create a fantastic event! It was Park Life!

Just thought I’d share some pics from a very fun day in Platfields Park!

Simian Mobile Disco

The Garden

The suitcase monster

Silent disco

Chill out Garden

The whole day was great – sunshine, nice people, good acts, brilliant set up!

Got lost and ended up in the Drum&Bass tent where Ronny Size was playing his magic

There was something for everyone – pretty much.

A bit of Friendly Fires

Vitalic in the Electro tent!

Other than the usual queuing annoying bit to go in and for the toilet, it was really well organised and presented! Hope to see it happening again!

Mancunian street art anyone?

Last week was the launch of FutureEverything. Sadly I was away the whole weekend and missed most events but I managed to go to the launch of the art instalation @ the Hive and got this little photo.

The exhibition is on until the 23rd of May so get down there n check it out.


FutureEverything Art work @ the Hive


Space invaders - One of many


Banksy or no Banksy? That is the question.


MEN at work

Before - Church St Market

After the work - Manchester Church St Market

After the work - New Church St Market

Walking around Manchester and facing random street art all around.

Common has ever changing interior deco – currently An apple a day by Dr Me is on. I personally like the cheeky approach mixing medical tools to common, everyday life. It’s on until the 2nd September.

Another little exhibition to check out!

Cruising in Manchester

What can one do on a celebration weekend when the weather is not so clement?

I can think of many things to do but what we did I never had thought of it; a cruise on the river Irwell! Yep, you read me right, a cruise in Manchester!

Starting from the really lovely Mark Addy pub we were taken to Salford Quays.

The view from the river offer a fantastic new perspective over Manchester: street art, riverside buildings, Man U news updates and the rest.

The captain was lovely and gave us a full live commentary about the various sites: bridges, buildings, history and little anecdotes of past, current and future Manchester.

The whole experience (organised by Manchester Confidential) lasted around one hour and was a really pleasant and relaxing one.

The pub is a good place for food and drinks on the Salford side of the river opposite the People’s History Museum and is perfect for sunny days as it boasts a really good size terrace.

That day, as well as getting treated to the cruise we were entertained by some funny looking actors in a St George’s day farce. There even was a dragon involved!

Despite the rain and the general greyness, the mood was jolly.

As for cruising in Manchester? I would definitely consider exploring different water ways in the area again.

Ahoyyyyy Matelot!

A very long way

Ah the joy of doing a charity sporting event on a Saturday night!

What a beauty starting the 26 miles walk by having to face hundreds of party goers in the city centre of Manchester and all the way up to Didsbury.

Some were shouting words of encouragements, some others were exhibiting very unfriendly hand gestures including a few fingers)…
Well, this did not take too much away from the enjoyment of doing something really worthwhile – the Shine Marathon raising money for Cancer Research UK.


Shine 1

Manchester Central before the walk

Shine 2

Just before the beginning of the walk

I was particularly proud to find out that the 7.500 walkers raised a total of £1 million by 10.15pm Saturday! What an achievement!

By the way, you can still donate by clicking here, it goes straight to my fundraising home page!

The walk was passing some of the Mancunian landmarks such as the Town Hall, the Bethan Tower, the party atmosphere along Oxford Rd, Manchester University, numerous bars, pubs and restaurants, Withworth Art Gallery, Fallowfield old train station, Old Trafford, Trafford Centre, Salford Quay and finishing at the grand Manchester Central.

Here are a few shots of Mancunia!

Town hall

Town Hall - Albert Sq


Mighty Betham Tower

Oxford Rd

Fun filled Oxford Road - and a view of the Palace Theatre

Salford Quays

Salford Quays from the Imperial War Museum North overlooking the Lowry Theatre

Manchester Overview

Mancunian Cityscape view from Salford

Yep, the finishing line was bang in the middle of the conference centre, once a station!

Great place to end a very, very long walk!

The 26 miles were doted with Shine pit stops, cheering stewards and cycling race marshals, there to keep us all going through the night.
Indeed the walk took place over night – me n Rob finished at 4.20am in just over 6h (very much ouch due to strong power walking speed) but as we only had 5 miles left we could see the other numerous walkers on the opposite side of the road. It looked like a great parade full of shiny peeps!

It wasn’t easy, and we almost went the wrong way 3 times along the way (yes, not very alert), but it was a great experience!

Well done to all the participants who took part!

What an achievement!

Comment nourrir et abreuver des Bitterois? Mancunian Food & Drinks

It all started 8 years ago when I moved here and invited my friend to come over. Well he did! It took him 8 years but he did!

So the plan was to give a snap shot of Mancunian fun and a glimpse of the Francunian life here, after 8 years in the city!

How does one achieve it? Easy, Manchester is packed with fun, fun, fun and more fun.

Arrival Piccadilly station – luckily, it’s the newest and the one that says best “Hey you visitor! Welcome to Manchester!”

We headed to my pad and decided to go straight out for some Mancunian ale! 

1/2 Day 1

First obvious stop? The Marble Arch! I just love the feel of this place, the tiles on the walls, the sloping floor towards the bar, the food, the home brewed ales. En bref, I like it there and my French visitors love it too!

marble arch 1

The cheese board! 12 cheeses to choose from mainly French and English! Perfect intro for Frenchies!

The cheese board! 12 cheeses to choose from mainly French and English! Perfect intro for Frenchies!

Where to go after a Manchester Bitter and cheese aperitif?

Direction a meaty place – Grill on the Alley for some steaks. I like the ostrich steak myself (light and healthy option but they only had one for 4 so had to have a steak… hmmmff – 8.30pm on a Wednesday…). 


I surprised my friend with a birthday steak! He was really surprised as his bday is in July! 


Birthday steak!

We then headed for some orientation drinks round the Northern Quarter to guide them to some nice little locals round Stevensons Square, Noho

Day 2

Starting the day with a full English breakfast (well lunch as it was past 12) in Koffee Pot off Stevenson Sq they were on their way to last for a while to visit all the wonderful site of Old Trafford  and Salford Quays.

Little cute bean bun

Little cute bean bun

After a full day of visit, time for a hot drink and a snack from Wong Wong Bakery on Princess St and then some vino from Tribeca in the Village! Tribeca is in terms of interior my fave bar in Manchester! I wanna buy it and turn it into a flat! If only I could! 

After a couple of glasses (happy hour vino £6 a bottle!), it was time for some serious exotic food – We decided on Malaysian cuisine and headed to Ning after booking a table (busy busy there, ring to book to avoid disappointment!).

As usual, the food was very good! 

Spicy crispy pancakes!

Spicy crispy Murtabak!

Masak Merah

Masak Merah - very tasty

We also had the Rendang and the Nyonya Lime Curry. All very yummy! 

To quench our first after those tasty dishes, we headed to the Northern for a boogie to John the Jean’s tunes and to the Northern Quarter latest snazy addition Black Dog Ballroom for a last bedtime drink and a game of pool!

Day 3

We start our food and drink adventure in the Yang Sing – Cantonese restaurant for a meal deal at lunch time.

We took the special offer “Beat the credit crunch” 9.95 offer

  • 4 dim sums (all the dinners must have the same 4…)
  • A soup
  • A middle dish. we choose King Prawn with Salted Shrimps, Curry Leaf & Lemon Grass in a Curry Sauce and Salt and Pepper soft shell crab
yang sing dim sum 1

It started off very nicely with some really lovely dim sums...

yang sing soup

Then the sweet corn soup was ok... As good as a Chinese gelatiney sweetcorn soup can get...

…and the middle dish was just a joke. An extra £3 for literally A prawn and a really awful crab dish – no effort in the presentation what-so-ever. The crab was something so bitter and really unpleasant. The soup and the dim sums would have been enough and wouldn’t have left us on a negative note… oh well.

Anyway, we left and walked along the Canal to Castlefield and back up towards Deansgate to get a nice warm coffee from the great view of Cloud 23 of the Bethan Tower! This time, it was a really nice experience because it was round 4pm, nice and quiet and not prime ‘orange bimbo time’ on Saturday evening for an almost catastrophic visit with my dear parents…

I pointed at all the attractions visible from our tower – The Granada studios, Central Library, The Town Hall…  Great little break!

We carried on our visit and ended up at Millenium Square where we settled in The Old Wellington for some pints of ale and G&T! Ah ale is much appreciated by the visitors and G&T by myself! Amen! The Old Wellington, as well as Sinclair’s Oyster Bar are totally unique as they were moved from A to Their current location piece by piece, stone by stone after the IRA bomb in 1996! Fantastic me think! 

Once our aperitive finished, we headed to Mr Thomas Chop House for some fish and chips and classic dish – Corned beef ash (10 days in the making!).  My visitors were very keen on trying the F&C so I picked my brains and all my local friends for good places and the most convenient, nice and typical choice ended us there.

What a fantastic evening! They saved 5 portions of F&C just for us, which they had to collect from Mr Sam’s Chop house as they had run out! Very nice indeed!

thom chop house fish n chip

Fish and Chips!

thom chop house corned beef hash

A delicious, delicious dish

 Perfect end of the day with a great and very friendly service !

Day 4

After a home cooked bfast, direction Urbis for the last ever exhibition… Snif, snif It is a great exhibition revisiting 6years of pop exhibitions there! I didn’t realise how many I actually visited! Gladly so too!

I remembered the one with visit around the Northern Quarter about 6 years ago with Micheal Trainor ‘s fantastics specs, real beginning of my interest for the Northern Quarter!

A complete visit of the city center ended for after a few hours  in the cafe in Affleck Palace! I had indeed to take them to our own alternative Gallery Lafayette for some fun and randomness!  

Quick pit stop for the boys in Bagel Nash for a mid afternoon snack.

For dinner, the Asian pleasures of Rusholmes for a lovely Punjabi Curry House!


Yummy mushroom dosa


Mixed grill

 And to finish off, a mini bar crawl around some of Fallowfield fine establishments.


The Corner for Mini Micron launch


Some shots at Baa Bar


A great selection of cocktails at The Gin Club I tried the Gin Club Swizzle!


After a brilliant evening, we retraced our step towards Manchester on the Bus 42 out of Fallowfield!



Crazy toilet paper at The Deaf Institute!

Well, zis iz ze fin of a very very busy few hours in Manchester, eating, drinking (responsibly and in moderation) and enjoying what Manchester has to offer – a FANTASTIC  TIME!

V. x

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