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



Hungry Mancunian

From gorgeous wine to syphon coffee via live music.

48h in sunny Manchester!


Beautiful post work drink from Hanging Ditch wine shop

Arndale market is fantastic for food. Enjoyed some delicious traditional food from Braziiiiiil!

Probably buzzing with Samba and fantastic carnival like atmosphere during the world cup! Watch this space! I will!

Try the beautiful Kibe (if I got the spelling right)

A spot of culture at the wonderful Manchester Art Gallery, winner of Tourism Experience of the Year 2010 for Angels of Anarchy: Women Artists and Surrealism at Manchester Tourism Awards!

The current exhibition is off fantastic photographer Dorothy Bohm. A beautiful and accessible collection of 60 years of travel and experiences.


This way!

After this, a visit to Manchester Hungry Pigeon Festival’s free gig outside Piccadilly Garden.


From M&S - Perfect festival sweets


"The City of First" some might say!


Jesus in the Northern Quarter?


Coffee from Grindsmith!

A wonderful weekend in Manchester.

Another one should I even add!

Green on the edge of the city

Looking for a little breath of fresh air and something easily accessible?

Styal village is a great place to start.

Through the International Society (now with a brand new website) I ended up joining a lovely group of international students, a doctor from the nearby hospital and his wife, on a lovely post work walk around Styal Village, Quarry Bank Mill; a National Trust property.

Beautiful and so peaceful.

You wouldn’t believe it knowing the forest is backing onto Manchester International Airport!

Here are some shots.

Cityco Open City

Week before last I took part in a Cityco event:  Manchester Open Photography Day.

A few groups lead by local professional photographers were dotted around Manchester.

My group, lead by Aidan O’Rourke was concentrated on Oxford Road, around Whitworth St West,  Rochdale Canal, Cambridge St and Great Marlborough tunnel.

It was a glorious, sunny day in Manchester.

Here are a few shots from that day!

The Palace Hotel - Oxford Rd

Corner House Extension - Whitworth St W

Corner House - Oxford Rd

Great Malborough St

Aidan O'Rourke (middle) - Our pro for the day

Cambridge St

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!

Chocolate appeal.

I have taken up a little challenge for 2010 – doing more outdoory and sporty stuff and as a way to make it meaningful  I have joined the Shine crowd for a walking marathon in Manchester. Only 3 weeks to go.

You can sponsor me on my fundraising page! I am doing it for Cancer Research UK, a great cause.

Today was spent training – walking half a marathon that took us to Ramsbottom. Yes, 21k from the front door to Ramsbottom town centre. Luckily the sun was out shining!

The idea came about when I heard that Ramsbottom was holding the annual chocolate festival. As a chocolate lover, I ought to go and investigate. Moreover, why not join rambling to treating? 


The set up is simple; stalls spread around the lovely centre, each exhibiting their dark and creamy delicacies, music, a few events and a general good mood around. Everybody seems to be getting involved; bars, restaurants, cafes and shops.

We saddly missed the Ferrero Rocher eating competition due a silly mistake of my part forgetting the clock going forward… Ooops.

Luckily we walked fast enough to walk around the stalls and best of all get to have the privilège to be the last ones served for lunch in Ramsons! Gentleman Chris, fantastic reception!

Walking into this lovely, small but perfectly formed restaurant, we had the honour of being treated to the weekly apperitivo: a deliciously flute of bubbly Lambrusco. Fine bubbles tickling our avide palates with a lovely sweet and delicate flavour. Yummy.

We opted for the 3 courses Sunday lunch and my oh my what a treat.

Starting with fantastics amuse-bouche of smoked haddock & salmon roulade with avocado mousseline, lobster and caper & herb cream could not have been more rewarding after our long walk.

Our starters were equally as delicious and flavoursome – Seared shetland scallops with anchovy and chocolate risotto for my hungry partner in food and a beautifully executed fresh Corned veal ravioli with tomato coulis and deep fried sage.

All this washed down with a deliciously, with subtle savoury finish Italian wine – the wine list is made of lips lickingly appealing Italian wines – exclusively. I only wished I could have sampled more.

As mains, we went for meaty and hearty choices although the fish courses seemed just as delicious. 

A melting selection of Cheshire beef steaks served with the best Yorkshire pudding ever tasted and crispy roast potatoes and vegetables. So good I pulled a face of sadness when I ate my last mouthful acording to my food sharing partner who himself had a perfectly cooked roast leg of St Asaph lamb served with potatoe dauphinoise, pumpin puree and redcurrant and mint sauce. Waow!

Those meaty treasures were followed by a pre-dessert. Yes, a mouth watering chocolate tear drop. I.e. a case in the shape of a tear filled with a rich yet airy chocolate mousse. Perfectly presented as the rest of the courses.

Our dessert arrived on beautiful plates – a creamy and rich panna cotta with fragolina grape puree and a steamed jam roly poly with hot and light custard and vanilla ice cream on gibraltar biscuit. All this washed down with a delicate sparkling red desert wine.

I can safely say that this was THE BEST Sunday lunch EVER. 

Anima sana in corpore sano! Food for thoughts.

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

Blast from the past (few weeks)

Manchester saw the Second Edition of the Illuminated Car Parade!

Here are some shots for your viewing pleasure of this and that!



The cool Hula Tiki Lounge bar, hidden somewhere on Stevenson’s Sq. Not that obvious but not too hidden me think.

Lovely Place, not too crowded (I went on a Friday night round 11.30pm) so it was a very pleasant surprise compare to all the over bars around!




Lovely North Pole bar, this year overlooking the Ice rink at Spinningfield! 

Fake open fire, Christmas trees, hot winter warmer cocktails! A perfect way to warm up after a hard day shopping in the Mancunian unfriendly weather!


Once upon a time in the Moors

Location: Derbyshire – Glossop –  Top of the Snake Pass

 Time: 13.35

Beginning of the adventure imminent.

Dropped off at the top of the hill, we then started the descent!


The path was pleasant, not too difficult yet wet and windy but we were all pretty well prepared – including nice spiced Naval Rum!




The first sign (no pun intended) of civilisation!

The first sign (no pun intended) of civilisation!

Howard Town Brewery  was a really lovely treat after 2h downhill in the wet and windy Glossopdale Moors! A local micro brewery at the end of our walk . Only small but perfectly balanced!  The owners explained all about brewing but I was miles away and didn’t quiet took as much in a I should have! I can still check the process on the net! Fear not!

There was 4 beers on the taps althought the websites give 5 seemingly different ones (websites last update seems to be 2007).

From memory, there was the light Longendale, the citrussy award winnning Wren’s Nets, the slightly heavier Snake Peak and a dark one I cannot remember the name off.

All highly enjoyable, even for a non beer drinker like me! Indeed, Ale in Peak condition!

 The visit was then followed by a well deserved pub dinner in the lovely Wheatsheaf! Nothing really spectacular about it. Pretty basic place but lovely, genuine and simple food which is what we all needed! Meat from Mettricks – Famous butcher based in Glossop, Pies with beers from the Howard Brewery, … Nice local products! And I love locally sourced products!

The party celebrated and ended going back to Manchester merrily,  celebrating the festive season!!

<< Older posts