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:

BBC

MEN

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!

Cheerio!


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.


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!


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!

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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…). 

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

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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!

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Yummy mushroom dosa

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Mixed grill

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

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The Corner for Mini Micron launch

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Some shots at Baa Bar

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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!

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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


Balearic Mancunia, munch and Francunianniversary…

Last week’s pre weekend weather foresaw the return of the mighty sun, a last glimpse of summer, the (early) Indian summer! I like any bonus time of sun/warm weather! Being a sun junky, an anti Vampire , I expose myself (always protected though) to any ray of light available!

The sun was the perfect excuse to mount my faithful Francunian vehicle and explore Manchester morning happenings before heading off to student central Fallowfield.

So I started off with a walk through Chinatown,  soaking up the lively atmosphere and the smells of freshly baked buns. I then headed off to Manchester Art Gallery to satisfy my curiosity about the Goya exhibition – Fantasies, Follies and Disasters: The Prints of Francisco de Goya. It was much smaller than I anticipated (in gallery 11) and left me hungry for more… I did enjoy the dark humor of the etchings – only emphasised by the darkness of the prints themselves. Worth a look.

My path lead me then to Piccadilly Gardens and the Real Food Market. A delightful ballad for the senses! Everything is stimulating: the colours, the smells, the products and the sounds of the market sellers. I felt like Proust in the Madeleine episode;  involuntarily reminiscing about my childhood when my summer job consisted of selling peaches and melons on markets with my dad in the South of France! That was life! Hummmmm, but to go back to Manchester,  I cannot recommend enough the Real Food Market! The lovely, moist and colourful cup cakes from I love cake, fresh fish, meat, pasties, burgers, fruits, veg… What you’d expect from a food market really!

 

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After a spot of shopping, I departed from the city center to Fallowfield on the claimed busiest bus route in Europe… I cycled up and down this route while living in Fallowfield (7 years) and I can tell you, it is a frightening experience. It feels like an extreme sport – extreme biking! However, the journey was accident proof and the sun made it an enjoyable ride!

My final destination was Trof for a dance and bbq afternoon! The dancey bit was a success but the bbq didn’t happen due to health and safety reason. To be honest it was great the way it was and there was more room for the dancing queens and kings! The music, courtesy of some of Manchester’s popular and emerging nights like ZutekhNaive Melody (I love the website), Disco Outcast, and a few others made the day a success. It was Balearic Manchester from Trof’s roof terrace! Pure enjoyement!

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Next few dates:

  • Zutekh                     1st bday 08/10/09 @ Saki Bar  
  • Naive melody       25/9/09 @ Charlies
  • Disco Outcast        26/9/09 @ The Purple Pussycat Lounge

The Saturday evening was spent elegantly (rmmmrmmm…) in Grill on the Alleyfor a 30th birthday celebration. I imagined the food being rushed due to the size of our party but I have to say, I was luckily proved wrong! We all had great pieces of meat (for most of us anyway) including Kobe beef and ostrich steak (for me)!  I really enjoyed and got to try a few of my friends’ dishes too! The only disappointment were the size of the sides… A fist sized dish with literally 4 pieces of brocolli or 3 spoons of mash - cost £ 2.99… A bit of a  joke really… Oh well, when in Rome! I would really go back just to try the Kobe beef – the day I can justify a £50 main – soon, soon!

As for Sunday, well I forgot my own anniversary! The excitement of spending Sunday nurturing a mini hangover in the sun got the best of my memory…

The Francunianniversary! Yes, 13/9/2009 is my 8th year anniversary in Manchester! I cannot believe it really. So much has happened that I wouldn’t know where to start so I won’t! :-) I just enjoy being here even more now I can share my non sense! Vive Manchester!

To celebrate French randomness, I found those on the net and thought they were worth a look!

I’d like to start with something I find astonishing! Serge Brunier and Frédéric Tapissier have created a 360-degree panorama of the Milky Way by patching together 1200 photos they took of the night sky in Chile. Beautiful!

Something practical and FREE: A printable  Iphone/Ipod paper dock! Thick paper required though!

Then, something wacky. This French jeweler  creates piece based on photos of buildings… You could literally send him your home and you would get something like this! Not sure I would wear it myself but interesting concept… in a weird way!


16th Birthday, Mancunian characters and Barbados…

August = Summer?

Well not always if you live in Manchester…

The summer of all summer they said… Sun, heat wave, coconut trees and a beach they added!

From what I’ve seen so far of this is: rain, umbrellas, bit of sand in ‘The Beach Club’ and more rain. Not that it matters much really when so much fun can be had indoors. Time to rediscover Manchester bars, restaurant and clubs! 

This weekend was Tangled‘s 16th birthday in Sankeys – ‘The Longest running night in Manchester’ and I can tell you, it runs and the usual friendly faces where all present to the roll call! Unusual music selection, far from the old Twaance tunes and driving old classics but a more eclectic musical night with some up and coming Mancunian dj – Bodidily warming up the venue! headlining were Paolo Modjo and Lee Burridge, the residents were also there: Terry Pointon, Mr Steve Thorpe (who runs successful Carry On) and Rascal  – only mister Morse couldn’t make it! 

Last week, I revisited the excellent Northern Quarter Restaurant for a great lunch menu – highly recommended – and followed on with some afternoon drinks in the once trendy Dry Bar. Not so trendy any more, a tad bleak and void of charm in any shape or form but a  good location for people watching and meeting highly entertaining characters ! 

Staying local and on a random note, I’ve experienced Ancoats locals in all its splendor while paying a visit to my local Urban Village Medical center only this afternoon! Leaving the centre I was asked by a homeless looking lady if I knew where I was… She asked me: ‘ Hyer luve… Where do you think you are? In Barbados?’ - referring to my ‘semi floral’ dress… I wished I was to be honest in Barbados and I nurtured the idea all afternoon while looking at the sky getting darker by the minute…

I am thinking of sea, sun and white sandy beaches! Destination by default The Beach Club…

What a dream…

A bon entendeur, salut


FestiVal fever 2009

Here I am me and my first post!

Since it’s summer (according to the calendar anyway) and it’s also festiVal time I will give a little update on what I’ve been going to and/or wish I had(n’t) locally in the last few weeks!

July, being my bday month I thought to myself, let’s get cracking and make the most of my last few days in my 20’s! I think I did pretty well!

Coming back from a trip from L’Ile de Beauté Corsica – where I was a crooner, a rally driver, a scuba diver, a camper, a swimmer, and a lover, and I was then warmed up, ready for my upcoming Mancunian activities!

Manchester International Festival 2009 (finished on the 19/7 )! I took part in some of the production/events as a volunteer and as an educated visitor (??). It was an incredible experience. I managed to be a driver for Anthony and the Johnsons, personal driver round Manchester! I then took part in the 4h long live art experiment for the original Marina Abramovic . It all started pretty well, I was a sound engineer for the first hour while Marina was preparing us to enjoy 3h of live weird performance, and then I turned gallery assistant for the remaining 3h.

  • H+1 with a naked Chinese artist who kept staying round me – Yingmei Duan – I was supposed to interact with her but wasn’t really sure to what extent since she was naked and walking around me! Weird.
  • H+2 with Alastair MacLennan who walking like a little crab around a massive table covered in soil, pigs heads and trout, surrounded by shoes of all sorts– one of the ‘you had to be there’ type of experience….
  • H+ 3 was spent with a tiny French lady Marie Cool playing with installations made out of paper, strings and elastic bands.

My breaks were spent wondering the other 8 rooms enjoying the experiments – a naked lady falling down the stairs in slow motion (…), a Chinese lady playing with radio and jello, a girl falling on a bed/mountain top less, another girl under a pile of animal skins to name but a few! A strange evening to say the least…

Then there was the much more classic experience of the visionary work of Zaha Hadid Architect’s acting as an beautiful écrin for the music of Bach! Let’s not forget Flailing trees, and the really original b Rufus WrainwrightPrima Donna! Also had a dance to the sound of Micron‘s dj in the great tepee standing on Albert Sq. and a little picnic on the sun loungers. Great times! I can’t wait for 2011!

I also tried some fun activities: Kayaking one eve at Salford Quays water Sport Center ! Really great fun.

Then I moved on to volunteering for 24:7 Theatre festival that took place from the 20/7 to 26/7. 21 original 1h long plays! I managed to see and work on only 6 of them sadly!5:30 (2 unlikely people sharing emotional stories about themselves), The Last Chair (absurd comedy about chairs… and their extinctions), Remember Me (love story and death story to the sound of 90’s house music), Maine Road (Chavy family tribulations with some City references), Lub You (3 years old boy and a baby verbalising their thoughts! Original and moving somehow!), Dancing to the sound of crunching snails (Loved the game plays and the idea of family drama/comedy – I did laugh quite a lot, gaining unlimited entry by the writer!!).

In the mean time, my fourth decade arrived and to celebrate (I don’t commiserate!) the tribe and I ended up having a gargantuesque tablée in the lovely Ning! Malay- Thai restaurant nicely set up on Oldham St in the Northern Quarter of Manchester. Lots of nice food, hats, cards and cakes! Frogs even actually … El Roberto!

To finish my bday month of celebration, the Manchester Jazz Festival that took place all of last week, kind have passed me by totally sadly and only saw a few gigs on St Ann sq while on my lunch break or after work… Not a great deal to say other than it was wet and jazzy! I think by then, my excitement, and involvement in the Mancunian cultural scene was just like the weather – wet! Too much of a good thing…

So what’s next Manchester?

Coming up in my little box of suggestions and ideas are a few things I will sort out over the next few days!