Dogs day out

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This morning my parents visited and brought the dogs over with them, so we thought we would take them out for a little stroll round the water park. I’m sorry if the dogs terrorised you or your family members! They were chasing geese, dragging around huge sticks and diving into the water, then going up to people and shaking water all over them. They are an embarrassment.

Afterwards we wanted to get some lunch, but it needed to be dog friendly. I would have suggested The Beagle, but the dogs were soaked, so we needed to sit outside. There was plenty of space outside The Horse and Jockey, and we haven’t been for years, so we gave it a go.

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I’ve only eaten there a handful of times but when I have, people on social media have given me a hard time about it; like I’ve committed some faux pas by going to one of the most popular places in Chorlton! I don’t get it! I’ve always found the food to be pretty decent. I have to say, there was a period of time a while back when I thought the menu was a little overpriced and not really to my taste, so we just didn’t go there, but today the food and the service were absolutely fantastic.

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Their menu at the moment is much more simple, good pub food, so it was easy to find 3 or 4 things I liked the sound of. We all had things from the sandwiches section of the menu, so they ranged from about £5-7 a dish, which is superb value considering they all came with fries and the generous portion sizes. The fish finger sandwich was actually three huge pieces of fish in batter, which my parents loved, and I hugely enjoyed the quesadilla.

That outdoor terrace is a prime spot for meeting and chatting to other dog owners. It took us about half an hour to leave, as we had to stop and chat to everyone we met. It was such a friendly atmosphere, we all said we would do exactly the same again in a few weeks time.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to tell you, the dogs had a few chips. They thought they were delicious.

The Beagle’s New Menu

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Teacher training has taken it’s toll. I rarely have time to talk to my family members, let alone write a blog post. So when The Beagle invited us to come down and try their new menu, I penned it in the diary “NIGHT OFF!’. They mentioned a ‘Calexican’ kinda flavour to the evening and the food on offer, and I think that just about sums it up. I got no work done that night, but I regret nothing… Even though I’ve cannot stop dreaming about the best chicken burger I’ve had in my life ever since!

They really looked after us, bringing us a couple of Margarita’s to help us relax into my big night off, and starting us off with a plate of four items from their Pick n Mix menu.

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We tried deep fried pickles, sweetcorn and jalapeno fritters, crispy crumb chicken strips and homeslice fried courgette ‘wings’. The courgette was the most surprising. Not sure it any longer counted towards my 5 a day but it was a damn sight more delicious for being coated in a light, crunchy batter. Would most definitely order these and the chicken again as a starter or little snack when I’ve had a few pints.

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We had been told that we could choose a main course from the menu, so we were expecting that next, but what showed up was even better. A taco interlude! The selection included Baja Fish, Korean Tofu, Carne Asada and a Popcorn Shrimp lettuce cup. I don’t really eat fish, so my other half tried the shrimp and Baja Fish – I think the latter was her big hit of the night. I loved the steak on the Carne Asada, but I couldn’t get on board with the tofu. The flavour was good, so I’m sure if you were a fan of tofu this would be a great option, but I’m not quite there yet with tofu.

IMG_6081My girlfriend had some nachos and thought they were delicious, yada yada yada. That’s all very nice, but what I want to tell you about is this chicken burger. I’m not normally a fan of chicken burgers, but the Inglewood sounded simple and delicious, which was just what I wanted in the moment.

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I cannot stop thinking about this burger. It was the best I’ve ever had in my whole life. The bun was as light as air (none of this brioche bullshit places are trying to fob us off with these days), and the burger was a full chicken breast coated in the most crunchy, flavoursome breadcrumbs. At one point I said “I’m gonna have a baby” because I didn’t quite know how to describe how good it tasted. I never said I was a food blogger!!

I think the new menu is just what the place needed to be honest. I wasn’t that keen on the food the last time I was there, and now I genuinely cannot wait to go back. We had a fantastic night and I was truly grateful for a welcome treat.

Jellytots and Dollymixtures Cupcakes – Chorlton

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I received a very welcome email last night from the people at Jellytots and Dollymixtures, letting me know they were opening a shop right here in Chorlton and to come along for free samples and a glass of fizz at 11am. Well, you don’t need to tell me twice!

IMG_3140If you haven’t heard of the company, let me tell you they have an excellent reputation. They already have one shop in Sale and are stocked in places like Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. This new shop is on Railway Terrace in Chorlton (past the Unicorn and towards Upper Chorlton Road).

We’ve made and sold a few cupcakes in our time, so can often be disappointed by the quality in some shops, but I’m pleased to say this measure up to our high standards. We tried a few of the mini cupcakes and both decided that our absolute favourite was sticky toffee pudding. That’s right. You heard me. Sticky toffee pudding cupcake.

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What I like most about this place is that they keep things pretty simple. They look really impressive but aren’t over the top and they have quite a few interesting flavours.They do what they do really well, and for a reasonable price. And it was that reasonable price that meant we ended up buying a box of six to share with our friends (truthfully, we shall be keeping them all to ourselves and sampling them while watching trashy tv tonight).

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I wish them every success and would definitely recommend you go and give them a try.

Family theatre in Chorlton

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Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since I posted. A house move and a change of career have taken their toll on my blogging. But when The Edge Theatre contacted me and offered me a family ticket to a show this weekend to give away to you lovely people, I had to get involved! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we are lucky to have this right here in Chorlton and I know this event will be a lot of fun.

So, the performance…

Lolly, Pops and Circus Props

Suitable for ages 3 – 7 and their parents and carers

Saturday 18 October 10.30am & 12.30pm.

LOLLY has dreams … She dreams of ADVENTURE and TRAVEL! 

But when she runs away from the circus to see the world, she encounters a few unexpected obstacles along the way. She soon realises that the circus isn’t so bad after all and wishes she was back home with Pops. But how will she get back?  Maybe her circus skills and props will come in handy after all…!

Artful Playground’s interactive musical stories are aimed at children aged 3-7 and for children with special educational needs. Stories are brought to life as the children are invited in to take part and become the characters, sing songs and play games with the story leader. Musicians represent the characters on different  instruments and the story is accompanied by a live musical soundtrack.  The outcome is a wonderful mix of fun and learning, as Artful Playground and the children join forces and go on an imaginative journey together!

I have a family ticket for 4 people to give away for the show this weekend (either 10.30am or 12.30pm). To enter, simply retweet my tweets about this on So Chorltons twitter account, send me an email or leave a comment below. 

Competiton closes Thurs 16th October, 5pm. The winner will be drawn at random and notified that day.

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First Steps into Acting

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Hi eveyone.

Just wanted to let you know about this course my good friend is running. I know lots of you guys are creative types, and if your kids are following in your footsteps this could be a great start for them. It’s a 14 week course for 7-10 year olds, right here in Chorlton at The Edge theatre.

Artful Playground Workshops

These will be so much fun for anyone involved and will really help to develop confidence, while also gaining an Arts Award. I wouldn’t tell you guys about it unless I genuinely thought it was going to be fantastic. 

You can find out more and book from Artful Playground.

Zaytoon – Lebanese Cuisine

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You might remember when we tried to visit Zaytoon back in August…
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We were disappointed as my other half had brought her parents, who had been dying to try Lebanese food. But it with such a sweet sign in place on the door it would have been impossible to be angry at them!

Last week I noticed that Zaytoon was in the number one spot for restaurants in Chorlton on trip advisor,  so when the in-laws offered to take us out for dinner on Monday we suggested giving it another go.

We had a very warm welcome from someone I think must have been George and the waitress there. Straight away they made us feel like nothing was too much trouble, and listed off some interesting sounding specials. We love having a lot of starters to share, so we ordered the first 5 on the menu and the halloumi from the started specials. George came out of the kitchen to tell us the portions were quite generous and that we got some of the things we had ordered along with our main course anyway, so perhaps we should consider losing one of them. I thought that was really kind. So many times I’ve been to restaurants like this and ordered separate hummus, only to find lots on my main course. I often wish people would be honest about that kind of thing.

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Halloumi starter

Everyone enjoyed the starters immensely. My only slight criticism is that I didn’t enjoy the pitta bread very much. It wasn’t home made, which is fair enough, but I’m one of those weird people who would be just as happy to eat pitta and hummus all night as anything else. So I tend to go back time and time again to places where the bread is really tasty!

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Falafel

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kafta kebab

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Lamb liver

 

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Chicken Kebab

 

We all really enjoyed our starters – I found the chicken kebabs juicy and delicious, but hardly had any room to eat much of the salad. My other half said it was her favourite part and finished my salad too because it was so good. Apologies for the photo quality on the lambs liver, but I just wanted you to see the portion size. (Enormous – if you can’t tell).  Some was taken home to have for lunch the next day.

The bill came to £78 for 4 of us, and we had all had alcohol, so I can hardly fault it. The decor is simple and the focus is clearly on good food, which we really enjoyed, but the best thing about the place is the people.

You can read a proper foodie review from Licking The Plate Again here.

 

 

May – Round Up – feat. Jasmine restaurant.

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Just got a couple of things to share with you about what we have been up to and what’s going on in Chorlton over the coming weeks.

We recently tried Jasmine on Barlow Moor Road. Some of our friends tried it and compared it to Aladdin in Withington, so we were sold! Describing itself as an Arabic restaurant, take away and cafe they have a huge menu of Arabic, Lebanese and Middle Eastern Cuisine.

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I’ll leave it to the proper food bloggers to give you more info, but I will say we thoroughly enjoyed it. The service was attentive, we liked everything we tried and the BYOB made it excellent value. The portion sizes were quite large, so we ordered a bit too much, and there is a lot of delicious bread with everything, so you are going to be very full (and happy) if you eat here. The decor is a bit beige, but the atmosphere was quite lively. Perhaps that was because they had a hen party in!

I’m sure you have lots of things pencilled in to your diary over the Chorlton Arts Festival, but if  you are free on Sunday check out The Afternoon Sessions at Proof, featuring the fabulous Ordsall Singers. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this a capella group many times, as they can often be found performing in the foyer at The Lowry or at Victoria Baths. They sing what I can only describe as really fun songs, that will have you wanting to join in and humming them for the rest of the day. It’s free and I guarantee will put a smile on your face!

We have come to expect great things from The Edge theatre, and their half term offering looks to bring more quality performances direct to Chorlton. They also have a really good offer, with a 3 family shows for just £16.50, or £10.50 for concessions. Who can resist shows as cute as The Tap Dancing Mermaid?! Find out more about the offer and the performances.

Have a very merry bank holiday!