Category Archives: The streets of Manchester


A Splash Of Life On A Grey Pavement.



Whim Wham, M1 5WQ.

The Whim Wham Cafe is a delightful little gin saloon tucked away in plain sight. Their food is a couple of steps above bar food while not being at all fussy, but the main attraction is the gin cocktail list (which my work companion and I managed to tick off a considerable number of). The staff were wonderfully attentive and have a cracking knowledge of their cocktails – ideal for people like me who don’t know their Bombay Sapphire from their Hendricks!

The food fitted the bill perfectly – tasty and inviting while not be a distraction from our cocktail goodness. It was great to see a simple, yet creative, selection of local grub while browsing the menu and both of us were more than happy with the pies we selected. And with regard to nibbles…I would most certainly opt for the deep fried Cheshire cheese and beetroot chutney again- yum, yum, yum!

This place has a great atmosphere and I’d recommended it to anyone looking for a few quiet drinks in a relaxed environment. I’ll certainly be returning, but this time I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for a night where I can also be entertained by some of the great live artists that frequent this establishment!

Deep Fried Cheshire Cheese & Beetroot Chutney

Fish pie. Goats Cheese Beetroot & Orange Pie w. Potato Salad.

We All Scream For Ice Cream!

I have an unquestionable passion for ice cream, from the heat of the summer to the coldest depths of winter, if there’s ice cream to be had I’ll be having it!

I ran into Ginger’s Comfort Emporium for the first time at a summer event in Manchester and have since seen them on the festival scene. They do such a wonderful array of inspired flavours – there is never hesitation over the purchase of two scoops…although choosing the combination has been known to take a good few minutes of careful consideration!

I recently revisited their website and the sample menu got me super excited, not only at the prospect of bumping into their retro ice cream van this summer and having to make a hard (but welcome) decision on my flavour combination, but also as I was gifted an ice cream maker for Christmas and can’t wait to concoct some flavours of my own. Watch this space!

One Filthy Burger, M4 1HP.

Saturday gone was a corker of a day, bets placed on the Grand National followed by one juicy burger. Fortunately, the burger was significantly better than my betting technique, with my horses coming in 10th and falling at the 22nd fence!

In line with the growing trend of pop-up restaurants a cracking burger joint has recently appeared in Manchester Northern Quarter behind an un-marked wooden door at the top of three flights of stairs. In fact, if it wasn’t for the queue of people and the door man it would be quite discrete… I begrudgingly enjoyed every bite of my food, although you can’t escape the pretentiousness of the place – paying £2.20 for a jar of Dr Pepper does not float my boat. However, the thought of mixing cocktails in large jars, lidding them, shaking them, unscrewing and then serving as is has to be commended – highly resourceful – saves on washing up, cheap and easy. I’ve made a mental note of that one.

Animal burger with trailer trash fries.

Four quid down.

On My Turf, Spring 2012.

Roasted Pineapple

This is one of the best desserts to give you a hug from the inside (especially when served with lashings of hot custard). It’s even better when you find a juicy pineapple reduced to 35pence…

Although, it’s not that pretty.

I have, therefore, included an alternative picture of the gold pineapple which sits on top of my TV. It’s become a bit of a talking point given that it has no purpose – it just sits – some would argue it doesn’t even look pretty… The truth is someone bought me a photo frame a while back and I’m not all that sentimental, so it got exchanged. I’m not heartless (I assure you), I just don’t plaster my walls with memories I keep them in my head and, when a rainy day comes along I think back on them. No harm in that, is there?

1. Chop and cover in cinnamon and sugar to taste. Bake at 200°C until soft and desirable.

Pineapple [chopped]
Sugar [brown and/or caster]

Cherry Cobbler & Custard From A Carton

Having stumbling across this blackberry cobbler recipe I was over-come with inspiration (and the desire for baked goodness), I therefore came up with the following creation. Agreed, it wasn’t very adventurous, but it was so easy to throw together and definitely hit the spot!

 1. Cream together the butter and sugar.

2. Combine with the egg, soured cream and vanilla extract.

 3. Sift in the self-raising flour and beat well creating a smooth batter.

 4a. Lay your fruit of choice (in my instance, cherries) across the bottom of a medium-sized dish and sprinkle with sugar.
4b. Carefully cover the fruit in batter, dust with sugar and a sprinkling of flaked almonds.

 5. Bake at 200°C [30mins] until a knife is removed clean. Warm through your custard, serve up and indulge.

 N.B. With the addition of a chopped banana, I managed to justify the left overs for brunch the following day (yes, straight from the dish)…not all that classy, but very satisfying!

115g Butter
1cup Sugar [plus some for sprinkling]
1cup Soured Cream
1 Egg
1cup Self-raising flour
1tsp Vanilla extract
1handful Almonds [flaked]