The Oast House, Spinningfields Manchester

The Oast House, Spinningfields Manchester

Just when you thought that you'd found most of the hidden treasures that Manchester has to offer, up pops one which has gone undetected on your radar. Nestled among an array of modern buildings in Spinningfields, with contemporary foods of the world every way you turn, is a rustic style building surrounded by tee-pee's and finished off with a dusting of beautiful fairy lights. This building is home to The Oast House. A unique location to sample fine ales and finer foods. 

I was lucky enough to be invited along to review the food and the unique setting last weekend. Luckily enough, this was also during their Oktoberfest celebrations, which bring a taste of Germany straight to the North West. Even without the celebrations in full swing, the Oast House is still a venue you need to experience when visiting the area.... And not only for the amazing ales. 

The Oast House, Spinningfields Manchester

Not only does the Oast House boast a traditional style pub as the main center of the action, but it also has several tee-pee's outside. Each tee-pee transports you to a enigmatic area, full to the brim with atmosphere. If you know me, you will know that I usually loathe anywhere which is full to the brim with people, drinking and generally being loud; but there was something about the atmosphere of these tee-pee areas that I really enjoyed and wanted to be a part of. When we first saw that our table was  in the center of all the hustle and bustle I felt slightly uptight about the situation, but after one fine German beer and enthralling myself with my surroundings for the evening, I soon became extremely laid back and started to fully enjoy the whole experience.

After supping our drinks, we soon got to the main event - which of course, was the food.

We decided to opt for one special from the limited edition Oktoberfest menu, alongside one of the infamous Hanging Kebabs from the regular Oast House menu. As you can see, the kebab was exactly what is said on the tin - a skewer of meat hanging over your side dish, which in my case was the 'properly seasoned chips'. The meat of my choice was salt and pepper pork, which  was deliciously crispy with a succulent inside, grilled to perfection. I'm not usually a fan of pork as I sometimes find it a little fatty, so chose this purely for the salt and pepper kick. It's safe to say that this has now changed my opinions when choosing pork on a menu and might give it more of a go in future if it's all as good as this!

The dish of choice from the Oktoberfest menu was the fondue, which can only be described as a massive cheesy bonanza. With a generous pot of gooey cheese in the center of the dish, you had an array of dipping goodness to enjoy. From the simple, yet delicious, bread to the mini chorizo sausages adding a boost of delicious flavour. It definitely ticked all the boxes for satisfaction. If we went again we would be tempted to choose this as a starter between two (as we're dead greedy), and then go for some smaller mains. Mainly because it was a bit too 'picky, dippy' for a main meal (if that makes sense to anyone else out there?). Either way, both meals left us completely stuffed.

But hey, there's always room for dessert....

 As soon as we ordered the cookie dough with salted caramel ice cream alongside the white chocolate and peanut butter mousse, the waiters face seemed the light up with the memory of when he'd tasted these options. It was clear to see why as soon as we tasted the first spoon full. By this point we were on our second German beer, which somehow had already gone to my head. I must say, being a person who never usually drinks or enjoys beer, these seemingly tastier selections at the Oast House were actually a perfect pairing with the foods we enjoyed! 

Anyway, the desserts right?

The cookie dough was gooey. to. perfection. Honestly. It was divine. Served in a hot skillet pan, with a cool contrast of the ice cream, it was the perfect way to finish off the meal. However, the serving size was quite generous, so half way through we swapped over and I also got to enjoy the peanut butter and white chocolate mousse. This was a little bit of a lighter option, and for me was slightly sickly after a few bites, so if you do choose dessert be prepared to share or swap and made sure you get something you and your dining pals will all like!

Overall, The Oast House was a brilliant venue and we will definitely be going back! Away from the hustle and bustle of the high street, it had a really nice festival feel to the entire place, which totally took me back to the summer festival season. However, on this occasion I was more than happy to enjoy the festival vibes, get a little tipsy and wake up in a real bed and not a campsite!

Stila Perfect Me, Perfect Hue Eye and Cheek Palette

Stila Perfect Me, Perfect Hue Eye and Cheek Palette

I've been a massive fan of Stila Make Up for as long as I can remember. I'm obsessed with their convertible lip and cheek colours and have around 5 of them, alongside a million lip products and their liquid highlighter! However, since getting this bad boy in my life, non of these have even had a look in for my daily make up routine. 

Since getting this all in one lip and cheek palette, I think I've used it pretty much every day. Despite being 'Medium/Tan' on the back, the rose gold shades and autumnal eye colours are pretty much perfect in every way. I use each product in rotation, with the rose gold and champagne shades of eyeshadow being a daily staple. For nights out I blend in some of the lovely plum shade to create a more dramatic eye look from my current every day wear.

Not only are the eyeshadows all completely wearable, blendable and beautiful, but that highlighting peachy blush is the perfect shade against my red hair. Even when my skin is really fair compared to the skin tone this palette is targeted towards.

The only product which is slightly too dark for me in the entire set, is the coral blush, which is so pigmented even the slightest dusting is too powerful for my cheeks! Which I suppose is a good thing if you did have a darker or more olive skin tone to compliment it. Out of all the palettes available (which range from Fair Light to Tan Deep), I thin this is the one I would have chosen anyway. It's so versatile and saves a lot of space when you're packing for an evening away too.

For £28 you may initially think that they boarder on the pricey side - however, if you consider that a blush and eyeshadow kit could set you back a lot more separately from brands which wouldn't be the same quality; it's actually a great investment for people who stay away from home a lot or need to save room in their make up kit.

Check them all out on the Stila website > here <

I try my best not to use heat tools on my hair, despite always loving the results when I do make an effort to curl it. Whilst curling my hair with straighteners  is pretty quick and easy, I've managed to come up with an even quicker way to make my hair wavy on a daily basis. And bonus - it requires no heat!

Using the headband I got in a My Little Box back in May (blog post here), I simply split my hair in two 4 parts and wrap it around the band. It's comfortable to sleep in and also helps to prevent damage to my extensions at night. 

You can be pretty slap dash with the process - wrapping your hair tighter for a tighter curl and looser for a wavy look. Just make sure you do the front two sections from your fringe loser and in the direction you'd like it to 'sit' the following day, as you don't want a big straight section at the tops with waves on your lengths. This works best just after you've blow dried your hair and it's still a little warm too. Then, as it cools you'll really find the curl holds.

The only other tip is to put the headband over your hair, rather than under in the traditional way you'd wear a wrap around headband like this. That way it's easier to wrap and you avoid awkward bumps in your hair.

et voilá 

You know a Beauty Box is good when not even your kitten can keep his paws off it. 

There's nothing more depressing than getting in from work and it being already dark and you forgot to put your heating on the timer. Fast forward two hours later when you finally have warm water, and you can finally enjoy a lovely Wednesday night pamper - which is where Look Fantastic's October box comes in....

The #LFPamper Beauty Box from Look Fantastic is just the ticket as these darker nights are drawing in. With everything you need to take your from the stresses of the working week, through to the weekend, there's a bit of everything to give you a pampering treat from start to finish.

Draw a bath to warm your cockles using the Mio Liquid Yoga and pop on the Oskia Face Mask whilst you let the Caviar Pre-Shampoo Treatment work it's magic. Cook yourself in the tub for a bit and follow with the Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel and the Polaar Lip Balm (which is apparently the 'genuine Lapland' balm as well), then you're prepped and ready for the weekend with a slick of the poppin' red Laura Geller Lip Pencil.

Is it just me that thinks it's a bit weird that American based beauty brand Colourpop is spelled with the UK version of Colour, and not the American 'Color'? You'd think if they're going to take our spelling they could have at least let us off the custom charges for shipping from the US, huh? But despite knowing we'd incur a charge or two, we fell for the free International Shipping and my work pal Amy and I got ourselves a little Colourpop haul. 

But is Colourpop worth the hype? Especially when customs charges can reach around the £20 mark? 

I played it a little safe with the eyeshadow colours I chose. I'm always drawn to bronze, brown or golds and Colourpop Get Lucky  and Millionaire Super Shock Shadows ticked all the boxes between them. Partnered with the Candyman Pearlised Highlighting Blush, makes for the ultimate glowy goldy look.

Both the colours and the textures of each product varied quite a bit from what I expected. I always assumed that these pots of coveted make up joy would be a powder formula. However, they're a really dense, spongy cream-like consistency. Unlike any product I've really used before! I've found that the eye shadows apply much better by just using my finger, rather than a make up brush, whereas the Candyman can be applied better with a flat, stippling brush. Despite the creamy consistency, they don't create an annoying crease at any point through the day and the colour remains vivid until you decide to take it off. They really are magical formulas!

My only issue with the products is that Candyman seems a lot different to the colour on the website, but taking that in mind, you can never really gain a 100% accurate view when buying any make up online.

I just can't wait until the day that Colourpop is available in the UK. With eyeshadows costing $5 and the coveted lip creams coming in at $6, even with Brexit ruining the GBP, you're still getting a good price for some excellent quality cosmetics. I did buy two lip products which I will feature at a later date, but I just couldn't wait to share these bad boys first....

There's something about eating healthy that always sounds really boring, isn't there? Now I'm on my second season of 'clothes that fit me last year, but don't think year', I'm making a bit more of an effort to cut down on my carb intake. This can be quite hard when crisps are your best friend and you live for chippy Fridays. 

To try and jazz up my lunch break and keep away from shit cafĂ© food, I've been playing around with different salad combinations and ways to make a lunch box more exciting. My least favourite thing about salads is the leafy base. Like, seriously, does anyone have time for lettuce? I know I certainly don't. With leafy substances usually the base of a salad and also usually the worst bit, I've been using a variety of things as a base instead.

I went through a phase of using Bulgar Wheat, but by day 4 it was turning my stomach. I don't know if it the was the texture or smell, but something just meant I couldn't handle it anymore, despite really liking the taste... Another alternative I've found, and have settled on, is Quinoa. Picking up a good size bag from Home Bargains for around 79p, also makes it the cheaper option for lunch too.

Quinoa is a lot easier to prepare than you think too. A lot of people will do it on the hob and risk burning it to the bottom of the pan, or standing over it for ages. My method simply involves boiling the kettle. Pour your serving in to a mug and add double the amount of boiling water, then cover. Leave it over night and you should have something edible. 

Now to make this bad boy base in to a salad.

Cherry tomatoes, cucumber, pickled red cabbage, avocado and pomegranate seeds = the perfect combination. You have the healthy fats of the avo, the zing of the cabbage and the healthy goodness of your other veg involved. The pomegranate also adds a delicious tang. I also found that with this combination I didn't even need a dressing. 

...And that's how you make a simple salad, when you hate salad.