Food.

Cat Cafe Manchester +vlog

If you know me personally you’ll know my happiness lies within two factors; food and cats so you can only imagine how happy I was to know we were visiting the Cat Cafe in Manchester.

Upon entering the cafe we were met with the receptionist that guided us through the rules of our visit. No flash photography, no running after or picking up the cats, do not wake the cats up or feed them anything. Shoes were to be taken off or covered with liners. Pretty understandable as essentially this was the cats home that we were coming into.

The cafe was immaculately clean, I genuinely didn’t expect it to be considering it was home to at least 7 cats. I expected cat fur everywhere, scratches around the furniture and strong cat food odour but instead it was pristine.

The offer we chose allowed us an hour at the cafe with unlimited drinks and a choice of patisserie for Β£21 for two. We decided on two English breakfast teas, a lemon drizzle cake and a scone with clotted cream and jam. The food was great and I’m pretty sure the cakes were homemade. I would’ve however preferred my scone warm but instead it was stone cold.

For anyone intending on visiting the cafe it’s important that you realise cats sleep A LOT and these cats are no different. As we’re not allowed to wake up or approach the cats the hour that you pay for is majority spent on waiting for the cats to come near you. The cats are used to customers coming and going so they are completely oblivious to new visitors.

We were lucky enough to visit during feeding time which woke all the cats up. We just about managed to get around 15minutes of play time with the cats before they all disappeared off to sleep again. Before my visit I watched and read a few vlog/blogs stating they were really disappointed with their visit to the Cat Cafe. The cats slept in high places so they were away from the customers and didn’t come down throughout the hour. Cats have a mind of their own, some days they will want to be left alone and other days they won’t. Its definitely something to keep in mind when booking.

However I would definitely recommend this to all feline lovers. The cats are well behaved and well looked after, the staff are attentive and the cafe itself is immaculate. It’s definitely an experience thats worth the price even if the cats do completely ignore you!

Best wishes, Hafsah x

P.s My first time creating a vlog, let me know your thoughts 🐾

“Time spent with cats is never wasted” – Sigmund Freud

Food.

Mini review on Angelica – Leeds

Angelica – Leeds

Angelica is a plush roof top terrace bar that over looks Leeds city centre – perfect for the long summer days we’ve had recently.

On our visit back in April we enjoyed two refreshing mocktails and devoured a plate of beetroot and goats cheese salad. To accompany we got sweet potato fries. There wasn’t a single thing we didn’t like about the food and drinks in front of us. The salad was yum – the beetroot and goats cheese were slightly chilled and went along really well with the tangy purple dressing it was drizzled in. The sweet potato fries were crispy, slightly on the thin side but were still tasty. The view was great and the drinks were perfect.

Portion sizes are quite small for the price you’re paying. It’s more of a light snack or something to nibble on with your pre-drinks before you actually go for your meal. If you take into account the relaxing atmosphere, the very friendly quick service, the amazing views and the great tasting food I do think its worth it! Even if you do just go there once, it’s definitely an experience.

Best wishes Hafsah x

Food.

Mini Review of If Coffee – Leeds

If Coffee – Leeds

If Coffee is based a few minutes away from the Corn Exchange. Me and my Foodbae dropped by this week and shared a lovely light lunch.

We got the American pancakes – with a lot of toppings to choose from it took us a while to choose. We eventually chose salted caramel and bananas. The salted caramel was very salty but I actually liked it. The pancakes itself were amazing! Really thick but light, and for Β£7 we thought it was a reasonable portion size.

Looks can be deceiving as from the outside the coffee bar looks really small but it’s actually really big. They’ve also got a seating area upstairs as well as outside.

If Coffee offer a wide selection of cakes and patisseries, however unfortunately for us when we came just before 3pm there wasn’t much left. Definitely means another trip back!

Best wishes, Hafsah x

Food.

Laynes Espresso

Laynes Espresso – Leeds

Laynes Espresso is a great little cafe right by Leeds Train station. It’s a very little place however with large glass windows the place is full of natural light and oozes the smell of fresh coffee from your first step in.

Laynes Espresso only serve food from 7am – 2pm during the week and 9am – 4pm on the weekends. At first glance it looks like there isn’t much on the menu however each meal is served with a healthy sized side.

I got the Sweetcorn fritters; it was served with halloumi, kasundi, pouched egg, avocado and pickled chilli. I expected maybe one or two small fritters, one egg and one slice of haloumi with a little decoration of avocado, kasundi and chilli. However I couldn’t have been more wrong. On my plate was three very well sized sweetcorn fritters, three thick cuts of halloumi cheese sitting on a bed of kasundi with a perfectly poached runny egg and a decently sized avocado.

The sweetcorn fritters were delicious, slightly on the heavy side but we’re still very delicious. The haloumi was grilled to perfection and didn’t carry that rubbery texture that it sometimes can. I’ve never had kasundi before but a quick google search right before I ordered told me that it was a spicy type of Indian ketchup. I wouldn’t say it was spicy but it definitely had a powerful kick to it. All of it put together created a mini heaven.

Β£7.00

Along with my food I also ordered a cup of English tea. The tea was nice and strong however my only complaint was the mug was slightly dirty – little coffee finger prints probably from the waiter. They also don’t serve white sugar, isn’t really an issue but is just something to keep in mind.

Β£1.60

Overall I had a great lunch at Laynes Espresso. Price, service and food were perfect. I actually can’t wait to visit again!

Lots of love Hafsah x

Food.

Bucket List

Taking it back to September 2016.

I’ve just graduated. Got myself my first full time job. Passed my driving and finally on the roads with my little car. Beaming with excitement I began noting down a list of all the places I wanted to try out.

Trip Advisor became my daily go-to; from cute little cafes to award winning restaurants, rooftop terrace bars to dessert parlours, Indian street food to British afternoon tea. I wanted to try it all!

Nearly two years later and my list is nowhere near complete. Every time I tick one place off I end up adding another few on.

Whilst I’m trying to post reviews as regularly as possible there’s no way I’m going to be able to catch up on the places from my pre-blogging days. I’m always getting asked where I’d recommend so I thought it’d be easier to post my list.

One day when I’m feeling extra OCD I’ll put them in some kind of order…

βœ“ Marco & carl Leicester

βœ“ Las iguanas Leeds

β—¦ Salt & pepper Manchester

βœ“ Scene Manchester

βœ“ Vermillion Manchester

β—¦ Iceberg Preston

βœ“ Manjaros Leeds

βœ“ Angelicas Leeds

βœ“ Tattu Manchester/Leeds

βœ“ Frangos Halifax

βœ“ Tipu sultan Birmingham

β—¦ Al feena Leicester

βœ“ Pizza in a Cone Bradford

β—¦ Heavenly desserts Birmingham/Leicester

βœ“ Gourmet Oldham

βœ“ Sizzling Palette Bolton

β—¦ Dessert republic Manchester

β—¦ Vapiano Manchester

β—¦ Managerie Manchester

β—¦ Neighbourhood Leeds

β—¦ Ziya Manchester

βœ“ Bison Leeds

βœ“ Cona Bradford

βœ“ Dejavooo Liverpool

β—¦ Kaspas Manchester/Liverpool/Leeds

β—¦ Rebus domes Leicester

βœ“ Mughals on the rocks Keighley

βœ“ 50s diner Keighley

βœ“ Chaiiwala Bolton/Leicester/Birmingham

βœ“ East z East Liverpool st Manchester

β—¦ Sa-ha Steak Rotherham

β—¦ Al cazar lounge London

β—¦ Terrace lounge London

β—¦ Tiger Bay Lounge London

βœ“ Yayas Steakhouse Manchester

β—¦ Evelyn’s cafe Manchester

βœ“ Molasses Manchester

βœ“ Rakkaposhi Bradford

β—¦ Sher akbar Manchester

βœ“ Zouk Manchester

βœ“ Sky lounge Leeds

βœ“ Cloud 23 Manchester

β—¦ Syon lounge London

βœ“ Cardamom Black Harrogate

βœ“ East z East Riverside Manchester

β—¦ Sky Gardens London

β—¦ STK London

β—¦ Hakkasan London

βœ“ Sweet Diner Manchester

βœ“ Akaash Cleckheaton

βœ“ Dhanak Deira Bolton

β—¦ Shajan Blackburn

βœ“ Argeela lounge Birmingham

β—¦ Manchester house Manchester

βœ“ Emperors lounge Birmingham

βœ“ Creams Leeds

β—¦ Kobe sizzlers Leicester

β—¦ Nivikov London

βœ“ The next desserts Birmingham

βœ“ The Alchemist

βœ“ Godfathers Batley

β—¦ Sky lounge Manchester

βœ“ Bibis italiannisimo Leeds

β—¦ Zoya Leeds

βœ“ The Indian Tiffin room Manchester/Leeds

β—¦ Fazenda Manchester

β—¦ Rosso Manchester

βœ“ Grand daddy’s Manchester

βœ“ Sweet diner Manchester

βœ“ Estabulo Leeds

β—¦ Huqqa lounge London

βœ“ Moose Coffee cafe Manchester

β—¦ Restaurant ours London

β—¦ Dessert republic Manchester

β—¦ Zaraks grill Oldham

βœ“ Azeems Keighley

βœ“ Handmade Burger Leeds

β—¦ Ibrahim’s steak house Birmingham

β—¦ Tru burger Birmingham

β—¦ Basrah lounge London

βœ“ Carluccios Leeds/Manchester/Liverpool

β—¦ Grillz steak house Birmingham

β—¦ Amigos Mexican Kitchen Sheffield

βœ“ Akbars Sheffield

β—¦ New Yorker American Manchester

β—¦ Mughli charcoal pit Manchester

β—¦ Brew and brownie York

βœ“ Temples Coffee Leeds

β—¦ Slattery Manchester

β—¦ Gingers comfort Manchester

βœ“ Dakota Deluxe Leeds

β—¦ Mowgli Birmingham

βœ“ Kabanas Huddersfield

βœ“ Eat Meat Manchester

βœ“ Bills Restaurant Leeds

βœ“ Pearls tearoom Bradford

β—¦ Patisserie Lidere Manchester

β—¦ Brunch and Grill Bolton

β—¦ LaGlacier Blackburn

β—¦ Ambience Blackburn

β—¦ Junction 51 Blackburn

β—¦ The Clove Blackburn

β—¦ Black Milk Manchester

β—¦ Fig and Olive Blackburn

β—¦ Grindsmith Coffee Manchester

βœ“ Frankies Batley

βœ“ Just vintage! Grand Tearoom Leeds

βœ“ Tawa House Dewsbury

β—¦ Fargos food factory Birmingham

β—¦ Gelato Amorino Leeds

β—¦ IfCoffee Bar Leeds

βœ“ Hepworths Deli Kitchen Leeds

β—¦ House of Koko Leeds

βœ“Laynes Espresso Leeds

βœ“ Chaophraya Leeds

βœ“ Tipu Sultan Birmingham

βœ“ Tinseltown Birmingham

β—¦ Sukhothai Leeds

β—¦ Santorini Bar and Grill Leeds

β—¦ Out of the Woods UK Leeds

β—¦ Heaney and Mill Leeds

β—¦ La Chalet French Tea Room Leeds

β—¦ East 59th Rooftop Bar & Grill Leeds

β—¦ Le Bab London

βœ“ Ezra and Gil Manchester

β—¦ Sweet and Salted Dewsbury

β—¦ Jamie Oliver’s kitchen Leeds

β—¦ Gusto Leeds

β—¦ Gino Di Campo Leeds

β—¦ Alberts Shed Manchester/Castlefield

βœ“ The Refinery Manchester

β—¦ Salvis Manchester

β—¦ Dukes 92 Manchester

β—¦ Chino Latino Leeds

β—¦ Victors Hale Manchester

β—¦ Thaikun Manchester

β—¦ Stories in Leeds

β—¦ Soft Serve Society Desserts London

β—¦ Bukhara Manchester

β—¦ La Vina Manchester

β—¦ The Locals Cafe London

β—¦ Mrs Athas Leeds

β—¦ XO – Sakana Manchester

β—¦ Maitre Choux London

β—¦ Fargos Food Factory Birmingham

β—¦ Fress Restaurant Manchester

βœ“ East Z East Liverpool

βœ“ The Refinery Spinningfields Manchester

β—¦ Sugar Junction Manchester

β—¦ Indique Fine Dining Manchester

β—¦ Kings Full Veg Birmingham

β—¦ Luna Rossa London

β—¦ Bubblewrap Waffle London

β—¦ Baker st Cakes Leicester

β—¦ Konak Leicester

β—¦ Bundobust Street food Leeds/Manchester

β—¦ Royal Piri Piri Oldham

β—¦ Dum Biryani London

β—¦ German Donner Kebab London

β—¦ Australasia Manchester

β—¦ Tamarind of Mayfair London

β—¦ Fillmore and Union Leeds/Harrogate

β—¦ Dhosa Xpress Manchester

β—¦ Chappati Cafe Manchester

β—¦ Nurooz Grill House Sheffield

β—¦ Sirkars Buffet Middlesbrough

β—¦ La Creme Desserts Sheffield

β—¦ Syhiba Halifax

β—¦ 3 Five 1 Coventry

β—¦ Bun and Steak Birmingham

β—¦ Heritage Deli and Kitchen Huddersfield

β—¦ The Wild Plum Breakfast Harrogate

β—¦ The York’s Birmingham

β—¦ Med One Lebanese Huddersfield

β—¦ Fargos Food Factory Birmingham

β—¦ Upshot Esresso Sheffield

β—¦ The Botanist Leeds/Manchester

β—¦ Try Thai Manchester

β—¦ Alabama’s All American Manchester

β—¦ The Sipping Room London

β—¦ The Edgbaston Boutique Birmingham

β—¦ Lemon Pepper steak hut Leicester

β—¦ Steak Out Leicester

β—¦ Wolf of Green Park Leeds

β—¦ The Cats Pjs Leeds

β—¦ Limeyard Leeds

β—¦ Four Seasons Tea Room Blackburn

β—¦ 20 Stories Manchester

β—¦ Lokkum bar and grill London

β—¦ Embassy Lounge Leicester

β—¦ The Food Box Manchester

β—¦ Haute Dolci Cheshire Oaks Outlet

β—¦ Tampopo Manchester

β—¦ Saints of Mokha Leicester

β—¦ L’eto Cafe London

β—¦ Bun and Steak Birmingham

βœ“ Snowcold Batley

βœ“ Comptoir Lebanai Leeds

β—¦ Malmaison Afternoon Tea Birmingham

β—¦ Taste Buds Leicester

β—¦ Barnis Desserts Huddersfield

Please note some of these places are sheesha lounges and do not do food but they’ve managed to find their way on to my list.

Comment below or message me on any of my social media platforms if there’s anywhere that you recommend I add to my list.

Kind regards, Hafsah x

Food.

Brunch at The Alchemist

The Alchemist – Trinity Leeds

The Alchemist is more than just a bar. With outdoor seating on rooftop terraces to full length windows and little heated lamps it’s not just the drinks that are a visionary dream to the eye. From bubbles to smoke to colour changing drinks; the Alchemist is one of the only few bars that still carry a magical selection for non alcohol drinkers. Plus all of their branches have a consistent beautiful aesthetic.

I’ve been to The Alchemist on so many occasions; birthdays, catch ups with old friends or sometimes just a quick drink to recuperate after a long shopping spree however I had never tried anything off their food menu. In January The Alchemist promoted a 50% discount on all food! I like trying new things, but I love trying new things with a discount.

We perused the menu online and immediately booked our brunch for the next available morning. Obviously with the promotion they were quite booked up but we managed to get a booking on the following Monday.

The first thing that caught my eye was the Mac n Cheese Bites. My fav! Not many restaurants do them and I don’t understand why. I absolutely love them and thankfully The Alchemist did not disappoint. In fact I can honestly say these were the best Mac n Cheese bites I’ve ever had.

They were bigger than I expected them to be. Crispy on the outside cheesy on the inside. The batter was lightly seasoned carrying a slight zing. It’s not something I would usually order for a brunch as it’s fried. However they were so tasty so no matter the time or day if I’m at The Alchemist I will definitely be ordering them again. Without a doubt. They were a good size with a tasty chipotle mayo dip, they were ultimately beyond perfect!

Β£5.00

Along with the delicious Mac n Cheese Bites we also ordered Popquorn. I’m not the biggest fan of Quorn. I’m a die hard meat eater and just can’t find it in me to substitute. I can’t fault The Alchemist, Quorn just isn’t to my palette. Even with a crispy batter and a creamy sriracha mayo sauce it still lacks flavour. It also carries a slight rubbery overly chewy texture which I hate.

Β£5.00

As the Popquorn and the Mac n cheese bites were on the nibbles and sharing section of the menu we really didn’t expect the portion size to be as big as it was. We had also ordered two mains off the breakfast and brunch section of the menu. I got the Eggs Benedict without the ham, and my foodbae got the Smashed Avocado & Pouched Eggs.

My Eggs Benedict were delicious! The Eggs were yolky and runny just the way I like them. The thick muffins were very lightly toasted, still keeping them soft and doughy with just a slight crunch along the surface. They were traditionally drizzled in a tangy hollandaise sauce, the zing to the sauce really complimented the soft flavours!

Β£7.75

My foodbae is the ultimate foodie – always teaching me new cuisines. With her avocado and pouched egg she also asked for a side of halloumi cheese. She loved her brunch just as much as I did! I would never have tried avocado or even halloumi cheese with a pouched egg but it all went so well together!

Β£8.25

As you can imagine after our two very hearty courses we were beyond stuffed! We decided to move over to the roof top terrace to enjoy the crisp cold midday air of Leeds over some mocktails. As I’ve already tried most of the mocktails on the menu I asked the bartender if he could just mix me up something different. I’ve done this before and have never been disappointed! I simply explain what kind of flavours I like and let them create the magic. As usual I wasn’t disappointed!

With or without a 50% discount I would definitely visit The Alchemist again for a hearty brunch. I can’t think of one plausible fault and if I did the Mac n Cheese bites simply overrides it all!

Lots of love

Hafsah x

Food.

Creams British Luxury

Creams British Luxury Tearoom

After my disappointing visit to Just Grand! Vintage Tea Room I decided to make another trip to Leeds for afternoon tea. Creams British Luxury is a franchise set up by two brothers Tayeb and Unzar Aleem from Huddersfield. Their goal was to create luxury tearooms that catered to everyone.

Creams isn’t just luxury by name! Every single detail exudes a luxurious feel! From the large chandeliers to the grand piano it was clear no expense was spared in creating an opulent atmosphere.

Instead of the traditional tearoom menu Creams go above and beyond – they have a diverse offering of afternoon teas such as Arabian, Italian and British. From pizzas to paninis, salmon salads to egg benedict, sundaes to freak shakes their menu offers so much more than your usual basic tearoom.

Even though I was spoilt for choice I was still determined to get a good afternoon tea experience and ordered the Creams British Afternoon Tea for one. The afternoon tea consists of brioche bun sandwiches comprising of chicken mayonnaise, cheese with spring onion and egg mayo. Accompanied by a sultana scone with strawberry preserve and clotted cream and a selection of cakes & patisserie. All served with a pot of the finest English breakfast tea.

Β£11.95 per person

The luxury element was instilled within the presentation of the food too. Unlike Just Grand! Our afternoon tea looked just as amazing as it tasted. Just by the presentation alone I knew I would definitely enjoy this afternoon tea a lot more.

The scone was perfect and by far the best I’ve had in ages! Baked to a beautiful golden brown, the scone was exactly how a scone should be. It didn’t crumble when cutting into it, the flavour wasn’t overpowering and had just the right amount of sultanas.

The sandwiches were equally as delicious. The sweet brioche bun went well with the traditional fillings as well as the chicken mayo. They were quite filling and I only managed one full sandwich and a few bites of the other two.

On to the patisseries – The macaroon even though it was tasty I would’ve preferred a different flavour. They gave us a coffee flavour macaroon which wasn’t to my taste at all. I found the flavour far too rich. I didn’t eat the lemon drizzle cupcake, but my friend that did said it was too strong. She said the actual cupcake was tasty but far too sweet. The orange cheesecake however was really nice. The cream, custard and jelly were of the right balance.

As well as sharing the afternoon tea we also got a panini melt. I had my doubts – I’ve always thought when at a tea room you should stick to what they know best; sandwiches, cakes etc. We chose the lemon pepper chicken melt and didn’t regret it. The panini was delicious! The toasted baguette bread was soft and tender and the chicken was bursting with flavour. I’ve never had lemon chicken before as I’ve always thought the acidity from the lemon would overpower the chicken. However this was the complete opposite; the chicken and lemon went really well together, the chicken had a really nice tangy taste to it. It was served with a large portion of steak cut chips, equally as delicious.

Β£6.95 with chips

As previously mentioned in my last post the afternoon tea at Just Vintage was priced the same as Creams however the quality couldn’t have been more different. At Just Vintage we ordered the afternoon tea for two, but yet we got so much more in Creams even though we only ordered for one.

Creams definitely carries a luxurious and extravagant concept without the high price tag. I actually can’t wait to revisit!

Let me know your thoughts below in the comments section!

Take care, lots of love

Hafsah x