Band and Bean with Matter of Sound

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Last night I went to Band and Bean, a new live music night by Matter of Sound. The idea (loosely) is live music in a cafe, and it kicked off at Grindsmith Media City.

Music aside, it was really fun to work with the folk behind Matter of Sound for an evening. They were so friendly and welcoming, this really added to the good vibes the evening carried with it.

We had the pleasure of three excellent acts: Violet Youth, Dantevilles and Natalie McCool. Getting gigs right is difficult I think, they must take so much organising and planning and management on the day. What I enjoyed most about Band and Bean is how smoothly everything ran despite the occasional last minute change. It had a laid back but professional vibe – and you’ll be able to see this professional touch when they publish the video on their YouTube channel.

For now, here’s some photos:

Side note: how amazing are Natalie McCool’s sparkly boots?!

I’m already looking forward to the next Band and Bean, if you want to find out when it is you can follow Matter of Sound on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Rudy’s Pizza

rudys ancoats manchester

A Mancunian legend, one I’ve heard a lot about since I moved here: Rudy’s Pizza.

Tonight, I finally experienced Italy right here in Manc-land. It’s in an area of Manchester called Ancoats, which is just next to the Northern Quarter and a little bit more grown up. There’s been a lot of regeneration in Ancoats and it’s been done to a high standard – whenever I visit I start imagining myself living there in my own little flat.

You can’t book tables at Rudy’s and it is renowned for getting very busy very quickly, so we planned ahead by getting there half an hour before it opened. I recommend doing this because it paid off – we were seated and served drinks immediately, and got seen to first when the clock hit pizza time at 5pm.

The venue is very simple and makeshift – in a good way. If it hadn’t been freezing outside, I would definitely have felt like I was actually in Italy.

We ordered some drinks and crisps to keep us going, then went straight in with a pizza each and a side to share. Our side was green, meat, cheese, bread and oil – the classic Mediterranean combo. This kind of food makes me think of sitting by the sea somewhere warm.

The pizzas were equally authentic and SO delicious. The best thing about mine was the basil – so many times I order pizza in a restaurant and can’t really taste the basil, but here it tasted fresh and strong! Definitely how the taste experience should be in my opinion.

We rounded up with two scoops of cinnamon-ey ice cream each and then sat there for a good fifteen minutes feeling blummin’ stuffed!

I want to take my friends and family to Rudy’s because it’s got a great atmosphere and definitely the best pizza I’ve had in a while. What made it even better, was the bill. Between two of us, we had two alcoholic drinks each, a bowl of crisps, a pizza each, a side to share and a dessert each, and the bill came to just under fifty quid. Much cheap. Plenty value.

As much as I do love some of the similar pizza places in South Manchester, you would literally pay double that amount for the same meal.

Zouk Tea Bar & Grill

On Sunday I caught up with my friends Daisy and Sophie. We realised we hadn’t seen each other in a long time, before I moved to Manchester!

We were well overdue a catch up – it doesn’t seem that long because we message each other every single day on our Slack thread. We decided on a day in Manchester and kicked off with lunch at Zouk Tea Bar & Grill, an Indian restaurant just off Oxford Road.

There are SO many places to eat here and I still feel like I’m only scratching the surface – I still haven’t even been to Chinatown! But now Zouk is ticked off the list. Zouk is affordable but swanky – it’s a good place for a networking or business lunch, and I also think it’s the perfect venue for a large group of people too.

We were treated to three courses and a bottle of wine, which I thought was extremely generous. I went for the haddock to start, lamb biryani for main and ice cream for dessert. Each course arrived quickly and there were no delays, and as always it all tasted delicious. In fact, in all my years of blogging I don’t think I’ve ever had what I’d consider a bad meal (except of course, for my meal at Mrs Parmas in Melbourne).

The staff were very welcoming. They made sure Daisy knew which menu options were vegan friendly and answered any questions we had about the menu.

We spent a good two hours at Zouk eating, drinking and chatting. I really think it’s so important to have a close support network who ‘get’ what you do, whether that’s in relation to your career or your hobby. Without Daisy and Sophie to constantly bounce ideas off, there are probably lots of blog things I would never have done. We really spur each other on and to me that’s so valuable.

Bundobust Manchester

Bundobust is an Indian street food restaurant that has opened in Manchester.

I’ve been to the one in Leeds many a time, and I love the food, so I’m very pleased there’s now one here too! I had to let Lima know about this place to get her verdict on the food too, but unfortunately neither of us could make the press night for the opening. Fortunately, they offered for us to try the food on a night that suited us instead.

Before photos of the food, here are my top three reasons you should come to Bundobust:

  • It’s the perfect place to bring your partner, friends, parents, colleagues or kids at any time of day. It ticks all social boxes!
  • It’s very affordable – you can mix and match the dishes and they also have a few different platter options for bigger groups.
  • The food is spot on
  • Okay, four reasons! They also serve Mongozo beer, which is my most favourite beer of all time.

Bundobust is a fun place to eat – good layout, decor, music and of course food. And now, ze photos!

You can find Bundobust just by Piccadilly Gardens and Piccadilly Station, at number 61 Piccadilly.

Etsy Made Local, Manchester

Last weekend Kay came to visit me. It’s been flippin’ ages since we last saw each other, so I did my best to organise a good Manc weekend for her.

We did all sorts. We ate Caribbean food, munched on samosas at the Makers Market, listened to the music of Sarah de Warren at a gig in town and had brunch at The Elk. Before all that however, we went to the Etsy Made Local Christmas market. These markets are always a great place to pick up Christmas present and discover some new independent businesses.

I took a lot of photos, and I’m going to *try* and link you to the relevant seller for each one!

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First off we have Nicola Briggs Ceramics above!
Detailed trinkets by J.R Hayes.
A funny story about this stall, I stopped for a look and quickly realised I knew the brand – it was Rock On Ruby. This was set up by a blogger known as Rock On Holly, who I’ve followed on Twitter for almost three years. Thinking aloud, I said ‘Oh this is by Rock On Holly!’, to which the woman at the stall went ‘Yes! I’m her mum!’

We had a lovely chat about how much blogging has changed and how weird it is that bloggers I first discovered years ago are now weaving their way into my real life and vice versa.

I noticed at this market that stall holders cottoned on to me being a blogger very quickly, whereas years back they might not have even known what a blog was. It was nice and heartwarming to see this change!

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If you haven’t already noticed, I am incredibly detail-orientated, so I love stuff like this! These two prints below were by Charlotte Hicks Illustration.
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These beautiful items were by Fox and Lilly, I particularly liked the ‘Keep Going’ print! It’s a good sentiment that I’d like to be reminded of every day.

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This stall was the only one I photographed and forgot to pick up a card for – I regret it, because these plant and candle pots are so cute.


And finally these lovely prints are by Rianna Phillips! I really liked her stuff – you can make personalised orders on some of the items too.


I love going to these kinds of markets. I’m always inspired by people who have built their own brands from the ground up and made a sustainable business that suits their lifestyle. It’s these kinds of people that first hooked me into the world of blogging and social media – a big one who I still follow to this day is Junkaholique.