Saturday, 23 March 2013
In an attempt to combat the grey, freezing days that we've been having recently, I've been on a mission to bring some spring to my life. Blood oranges (SO GOOD), some pieces from the new Celia Birtwell x UNIQLO collection, double florals and colourful, healthy food have all helped to brighten up this week. I can even almost ignore the snow that is falling outside my window as I type this.
Just as a bit of housekeeping, as I'm sure you've read on virtually every single blog recently, on 1st July Google Reader will cease to be. When I first heard the news I was actually a little bit sad. Google Reader has been a part of my life for a fair few years now and it does feel slightly like the end of an era.
However, clearly I'm very fickle as I've already switched over to Feedly and, whilst I do feel slightly like I'm cheating on Google Reader, I have to say that I think I actually prefer it. Shhh, don't tell Google Reader, I don't want to hurt its feelings.
If Feedly isn't your bag, then you can carry on following Clear Your Heart over on Bloglovin' or by clicking on either of the Feedburner links in the right hand sidebar and subscribing.
Oh, and just in case you'd like to see more incessant pictures of what I've been eating, wearing or doing (all filler, no killer) then you can follow me on Instagram too.
Friday, 22 March 2013
A few weeks ago now, my resident co-diner and I headed out to Neighbourhood in Spinningfields to gorge ourselves on "New York inspired" food, cocktails and delicious wine. I'd actually already eaten at Neighbourhood on New Year's Eve but with a few niggles over service on the night, I was keen to try the restaurant under more "normal" circumstances.
We started with a couple of cocktails and they were a pair of corkers. That's a Basil Grand (fresh strawberry with Grand Marnier, Chambord and basil leaf) in the background and a Modern Old Fashioned (bourbon with blazed and flambéed fruits) just in front. Just gorgeous.
We were absolutely spoilt for choice with the starters (starters are generally my favourite part of any meal, fact fans) but opted for the artisan board and the lobster tacos. Oh. My. Word. The artisan board was great but it really didn't stand a chance against the lobster tacos. Gorgeous little morsels of beer battered lobster, red cabbage slaw, sweet pepper ketchup and guacamole all wrapped up in little tiny flour tortillas. I could have eaten about 15 on my own. They're normally served in portions of three but we requested an extra one so that we didn't have to resort to a fist fight over the table. Noone needs a fist fight over seafood on a Thursday evening.
For main course I (obviously) chose the Neighbourhood burger (toasted brioche bun, cheese, mac sauce & bacon) and Beth went for the baked lobster mac & cheese (double lobster is just how that girl rolls). Both were great and it was around about halfway through that we started to feel REALLY full. I mean, look at that burger! Huge doesn't even cover it. Apologies for the horrendous smudge in that last picture as I fear my burgery fingers may have smeared the lens. I am so glamorous. I felt the picture needed to be seen though, just for the pinkness of that meat. Glorious.
The lovely gentleman who looked after us (note to self: get names in future) along with our waitress recommended the wine after asking us what we liked and what we were in the mood for. I'm a massive fan of a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and this one was fabulous. Fruity, crisp and very very easy to drink. Not necessarily a good thing when Beth and I are around.
For dessert, despite being horrendously full and rapidly developing stomach pains (my greed knows no bounds), we chose to share the ice cream cones and the box of doughnuts. The ice creams were beautiful (we went for hazelnut and latte flavours) and were actually quite soothing after the gluttony that had gone before. The doughnuts were the only let down of the night. They were a little bit too dry and almost stale tasting. They were redeemed somewhat by the huge marshmallows and chocolate sauce that they came with though. I do love me a huge marshmallow.
All in all it was an incredible meal. The service was great, the atmosphere was buzzy and the decor was lovely. A special mention must also go to the absolute TUNES that were being played all night. We unashamedly danced in our seats on more than one occasion.
Neighbourhood may not be cheap, but for a special meal out it's definitely worth the price tag. I'm looking forward to going for brunch next and maybe (definitely) another cocktail or five.
Disclosure: Beth and I were guests of Neighbourhood, as organised by Manchester Confidential
Thursday, 21 March 2013
I've been absent again for a little while. Whilst I have been ridiculously busy, as per usual, I've also been searching for the right words.
You see, my very lovely friend Lisa passed away last week and right now it's hard to make sense of a world where she is gone. Because, quite simply, it's just so ridiculously unfair.
It's hard to put into words just how wonderful she was. Funny, beautiful and completely and utterly badass. She inspired me more than she knew and I'm so thankful that I was able to call her a friend.
The last time I saw Lisa in person was at Glastonbury in 2011. We drank gin-in-a-can, ate Pieminister pies and danced to Tinie Tempah in the sunshine. Pretty flippin' special.
So, this year at Glastonbury I'll be raising a drink or five to Lisa Lynch, my friend, who shone so brightly that she dazzled.
Miss you, bird.
Posted by Helen at 8:57 pm
Saturday, 2 March 2013
Oh dear dear dear. That was an entirely unintentional hiatus! I won't apologise, as there's really nothing worse than a blogger who constantly says sorry for not posting regularly. However, I will just say that I have absolutely no idea how it's March already. Fastest. Year. Ever.
So, without further ado, here are a few pictures from the past few weeks...
Pictures 1-3 are from the first weekend in February, when The Soldier and I attended the wedding of the lovely K&B in Edinburgh. It was a perfect day (I cried, obviously) and an amazing weekend. So amazing that I barely remembered to take any photos in fact. Soldier boy met me at the train station with the tulips, the little keeper. We stayed at Hotel Missoni and it was absolutely wonderful. Not least because of the complimentary San Pellegrino Limonta and Aranciata. Oh, and the fact that the letter 'H' was plastered everywhere. Made for me, clearly.
The rest of the photos are from a little weekend in Wales that we treated ourselves to just after Valentine's Day. We stayed in Ruthin but went for days out to Llandudno and Llangollen. The weather was perfect, the food and wine were (too plentiful) and it was lovely to be out in the countryside for a couple of days. We also had Sunday lunch at Tyddyn Llan on the way down and that too was amazing. Anywhere that serves me fresh scotch eggs and Glamorgan sausages as canapes gets my vote.
Basically, life's been pretty blissful. No complaints here.