Manchester's Wine Jukebox at Bakerie

Many moons ago, I was graciously invited to try out Manchester's first ever Wine Jukebox situated at the sophisticated Bakerie Bar in the Northern Quarter. 

Although I'm normally more of a cocktail girl, I've become partial to a glass of wine when out for food and thought this event would be the perfect opportunity to broaden my wine knowledge and try out some new varieties. 

Upon arrival, I was greeted by the lovely Keeley & Eric and a large glass of Prosecco - what more could a girl ask for! They briefly explained the concept of the wine jukebox which sounded perfect for me. 
It allows you to buy a wide variety of wine by the glass (16 bottles to choose from) so you can sample different grapes throughout the night and don't have to commit to a whole bottle, which can be rather expensive otherwise. 
The jukebox itself is kept pumped full of nitrogen to help the wine stay fresh as well as being climate controlled and couldn't be simpler to use. You merely pay at the bar for a card which you can keep and top up as and when you need to. 
The best thing about the jukebox is that you can double your credit on Wednesday's - pay £10 onto your card and you get £20 to spend whenever you want! 

As well as getting to try out this fantastic invention, we also got to sample a few of the infamous Bakerie Boards. These come in four different options - Vegan, Cheese, Meat & Seafood. Each board has six dishes of which you get to choose three to munch on. My personal faves were the Mushrooms from the Vegan board and the Chorizo which was cooked to absolute perfection. 

The owners, Dale & Eric, were super knowledgeable and didn't mind answering our questions continually through the night. I love that they cater to all needs and it's a wonderful place I'll definitely revisit now I'm back to full health. 


Cocktails at The Milton Club

One of the few alcoholic drinks I actually enjoy is a cocktail (mainly because the ones I pick just taste of fruit juice), so when I was kindly invited to a Cocktail Masterclass at The Milton Club I was over the moon. Of course, I said yes and quickly began planning what to wear!

Not knowing much about The Milton Club other than it being a members club on Deansgate where local celebrities tend to frequent, I was a little apprehensive as to whether I'd fit in. Walking up to their grand entrance was a little daunting but once inside, I was greeted warmly and luckily my nerves subsided. I was then taken to meet the other women attending the masterclass and the bar tender, Ibrahim, who was teaching us that evening. 

Once we'd settled in and had a glass of Prosecco in our hands, we each got to choose which cocktail we'd like to learn to make. I chose a Raspberry Mojito as it's my all time favourite drink and Ibrahim quickly got to work showing us how to make all our different drinks. Ibrahim was absolutely wonderful the whole night and made sure we were never short of drinks or nibbles and kept us entertained throughout. 
After he'd talked us through how to make each drink, we all took it in turns to go behind the bar and recreate our concoctions. We all still needed a little (a lot of) help though as it's a lot harder than it looks. I now have a newfound respect for mixologists, that's for sure! 

To round off the class we all did some shots, normally I can't stand them but Ibrahim made a special one just for me and it tasted incredible, like a berry smoothie. One of the great things about The Milton Club is that all the staff have a great knowledge of drinks and will tailor each one to your personal tastes. 
We chatted for a good hour or so but eventually the other girls all had to take off and I was left with my plus one. The actual venue itself was very sophisticated and I was surprised that all the cocktails were priced at only £10-£12. In the city centre on a Friday night, that's a pretty standard price for a cocktail but here they use good quality ingredients so you actually get your money's worth. 

If you're looking for something a little different to do for an occasion then I'd definitely recommend the Cocktail Masterclass. Even though I hadn't met the girls beforehand, we all left as friends and had such a good time. I imagine if you were there for someone's birthday or hen party, it would be such a good laugh and really get you in the mood for the night out ahead. 

A massive thank you to The Milton Club & Siobhan for inviting me along to this event. This was a complimentary experience but as always, all opinions are my own. 


Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

At the grand age of 22, I've still never been in a proper relationship on Valentine's Day. The majority of the time I love being single but February 14th is always a little sucky. To cheer myself up and to give some of you guys who are in relationships inspiration, I thought I'd put together a little gift guide. 

Even if I was in a relationship, I've never really seen the point in spending ridiculous amounts of money as I'd rather save it for an anniversary or a random surprise but it's always nice to show you're appreciation with a little something. These Spooning Pillowcases are quite expensive for what they are at £25 but I think they'd look so adorable and they're actually quite a useful present too. Who doesn't need pillowcases?! 
Another couple of items that would definitely get used are both drink related. This 'Cup of Tea' Mug is very Instagramable (pretending that's a word) and is a cheaper alternative for if you're not wanting to splash the cash. 
This hilarious 'I Tolerate You' Hip Flask would be a great present for your Galentine as it's a little sassy and a lot fabulous. 

Another way to show you care without spending a fortune is to buy a Valentine's card and write a heartfelt message inside. I've very sentimental and still have cards from my first Birthday whereas generic gift sets are long gone and forgotten about. Something else that is slightly more thoughtful is buying tickets to an experience. Whether that's a gig, a spa day or just a meal at their favourite restaurant - you could even take a picture from the day and have it framed so you remember it forever.

Underwear is kind of a two in one gift as you get to treat yourself and your loved one at the same time. Asos, H&M and Topshop have some amazing sets but this Red Lace Body is the star of the show for me. It's sexy but still classy which is sometimes hard to find. 

Of course, a gift guide from me wouldn't be complete without something Pug related. Nothing says I love you like buying someone a Pug but if you can't quite manage that, why not by Pug print socks instead? Always a winner. 

Whether you're hanging out with friends, sharing a meal with a special someone or drinking vodka alone, I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day!