Just Mee Dee

Manchester based fashion and lifestyle blog

25 August 2016

LIFE: Manchester Three Rivers Gin Distillery

Last week saw the launch of Manchester Three Rivers Distillery; and I was lucky enough to be invited down to it.  Anyone who reads this blog, or follows me on IG or Twitter knows that I’m partial to a good Gin and Tonic, so I jumped at the change when I was invited down by Dave and the team.

Three Rivers Gin is an amazing craft gin created by Master Distiller Dave Rigby, a proud Mancunian, which is something which can be seen in his choices for the taste and also the actual distillery.  Dave wanted to create something to put Manchester on the map (not that we need it!), but Three Rivers tells a story of Manchester and its people.  It’s the first to be created in the city centre, is created in house in the distillery which is located on Red Bank; an area known for industry, innovation and creation in the past, and close to the banks of the 3 rivers of the city, hence the name!  Anyone who follows me will know I love the city I live in, I think its one of the best places in the world with the most amazing people, so to see a brand and its ambassadors being as passionate about the city I love, made my heart soar!

Now onto the most important bit…...... the gin itself!!  The gin is distilled in a 450 litre copper pot, in house, and is a blend of 11 botanicals, based around the mid palette with sweetness derived from vanilla, cinnamon, almond and oats.  Now, I’m a bit of a gin snob, after going to numerous gin festivals with my Gin Twin Kate (she blogs about gin so check her out here), so I know what I like (usually something bourbon infused or peppery), so the cardamom notes in this were great for me, and I loved it.  Served with cherries (which I’ve NEVER seen before, and I’ve drank a lot of gin!), it was one of the smoothest gins I’ve ever tasted.  I liked it that much I bought a bottle on the night, and in all honesty, its nearly all gone!  You can buy the gin at Hanging Ditch in Manchester and Grape and Grain in Prestwich, and as of yesterday in Majestic Wines.  If you live in Manchester, I know that Allotment Bar and Manchester House are serving it, so get yourself down there and try it, I promise it’ll be worth it!

The unique thing about Manchester Three Rivers, is that its not just a gin brand; Dave and the team have created a whole interactive experience at the distillery, where you can get a tour of the premises, see how the gin is made, and most exciting, go to Gin School and create your own craft gin!  Tickets are £95, which I know sounds expensive, but when you think you walk away with a 100% unique to you 700ml bottle of craft gin (you’d easily pay £40 for a good gin in a store), and 4 G&T’s or gin cocktails (at Manchester prices, that easily another £40!), the price doesn’t sound that bad.  And you never know, your gin might be that good that you can start your own brand…………. Dave says he got his flavour right first time, so you might be the next Master Distiller of Manchester!

To find out more, visit the website here or check them out on Twitter


9 March 2016

EATS:Bill's Trafford Centre

After my Indulgence Hour at the Intu Trafford Centre which you can read about here, my friend Kate (go read here blog here)decided to go to the newly opened Bill's Restaurant.  I've been to Bill's in Oxford before and loved it so was keen to try this place out, as I love the decor and the menu.

We went with good intentions of being healthy and managed it with our starters and mains, but totally ruined it with fat bitch deserts!!  For starters I had roast beet and goats cheese salad (divine) and Kate had halloumi sticks.  For main course I had a the most amazing chicken squwers served with salad and flatbread whilst Kate stayed healthy with a superfood salad.  Now this is not like Kate and I, we love going out to eat and often demolish anything and everything in sight, not caring about the calories!

Which is why when we were offered deserts we forgot about our promise to be healthy and Kate ordered warm mini cinnamon doughnuts with  strawberries and a chocolate dipping sauce and I went for blackberry and caramel apple eton mess.  I can honestly say it was the best eton mess I've ever had, and believe me its my pudding of choice so I've had a fair few!!  The only downside was the sugar coma I was in for the next hour!!

I've since paid a cheeky visit to Bill's for breakfast and that too was awesome!  Smoked salmon and eggs is always my breakfast choice and this was mega!!

Thanks Bill's for having us, we'll be back again!!

This posted is sponsored by Bill's and the Intu Trafford Centre.


6 March 2016

LIFE: The Indulgance Hour at Intu Trafford Centre

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to br invited by the Intu Trafford Centre to take part in their Indulgence Hour.  Basically, this is a unique concept where you can have some pampering in a short amout of time, designed for busy people who don't have hours to spend in the salon, in a nut shell, people like me!  I'd love to be one of those girls who has regular facials and massages but I'm normally too busy/lazy to do it, so this was a real treat and was only an hour of my time, perfect!

I started off with a facial at The Face Doctor.  The Face Doctor offers rejuvenation treatments such as anti-wrinkle injections and fillers as well as non invasive treatments in their gorgeous spa situated near John Lewis.   I was given a skin analysis by Carolyn, a fully trained medical practicioner, and was asked what I wanted to achieve.  My skin's been looking really dull due to the cold weather here in Manchester, so I wanted something highly moisturising but would also wake up my skin. She started with a skin boosting mask which contained acai and goji berries, which smelt soooooo good, followed by a rejuvenating eye gel and a retinol moisturiser to plump up your skin.  After the 15 minute treatment my skin felt amazing, and I will definitely be returning.

Once my treatment had finished I was lucky enough to be given samples of all of the creams used (which all smell AMAZING BTW!)plus one of the in house created body butters to try, in English Apple and Summer Plum with regenerating hyaluronan.  I can honestly say this is one of the best moisturisers I've ever used, and have been singing its praises to anyone who will listen, so its definitely worth a try.

Next stop was L'Ocitane for a hand massage.  I love L'Ocitaine creams and suffer from really dry skin on my hands so I was really looking forward to this and it didn't disappoint.  The 15 minute treatment included a scrub, and oil soak and then a massage with intensely moisturising hand cream. My hands felt super soft after.  Obvs no pictures, my hands were too busy being pampered!

Then it was onto Body Shop for a make over.  Now baring in mind this was a Wednesday night, I was conscious about looking overly done up in the Trafford Centre, so I wanted something quite natural, but  also something different from the greys and browns I normally wear on my eyes.  My only stipulation was that I needed to have eye liner, I just cannot cope without it!  The make up artist used a mixture of rusts and a red on my eyes which looked scary in the palette but I actually really liked the effect of, so its defintely a look I'll be trying to recreate at home.

If you're short on time but want a post shopping pamper, I'd definitely recommend the Intu Trafford Centre's Indulgence Hour, I came away feeling like a new woman!!

This post is sponsored by Intu Trafford Centre


14 February 2016

LIFE: Anti Valentine

I hate Valentine's Day ....... there, I've said it.

And that's not the thoughts of some bitter singleton, more of a hopeless romantic! Out of all my friends, I'm the one who has the most romanticised dreams, I believe in soul mates, and that there's one person who is the other piece of your jigsaw...... you can be lucky and meet them and spend your life with them, or you can meet them at 80 and spend a short time being deliriously happy.  I'm not one for outpourings of love and PDA's, to me love is about the little things you do for someone. Sending a message so it's the 1st thing you see in the morning, sending you songs cos it reminds them of you, running you a bath after a hard day, or buying you a bar of chocolate on their way home. I'm always the one who pushes my friends to keep trying at relationships, as if there's any chance to not thrown love away you shouldn't.

And that's why I hate Valentine's Day.  If someone only tells you they love you and spoils you for one day, you've got a problem in my opinion.  I'd rather not have a card, roses or chocolates on 14th February and have someone send me a love heart eyes emoji in the middle of the day as a surprise any day!

So, from a hopeless romantic who hates Valentine's Day, I hope you have a great day............... just don't make it only about 1 day.


8 February 2016

STYLE: Red hair, don't care

Anyone who knows me, knows that for years I've been wanging on about doing my hair bright red, but its always just been talk.  Well that was until the other week, and I decided to go for it.  My friend Nicola is a hairdresser, and she had recently done hers and when I saw her, I knew I wanted mine done.  So from a conversation on Friday, to booking the appointment on Thursday to having it done on Saturday, it was all a bit of a whirlwind, but if I didn't do it that way, I would have backed out!! Some huge persuasion from one of my friends also helped, I think he wanted to see me as a redhead more than I did!

My hairs been every colour under the sun over the years, and has been varying shades of ombre for the last 4 or 5, mainly because I'm too lazy to keep going to the hairdressers, and ombre is a lazy girls best friend.  I wrote in this post, that I wanted to do something different back in September, and that I normally change my hair based on how I'm feeling, and I suppose changing my hair so dramatically signifies the start of some changes I'm making in my life both from a professional and personal perspective. 

Niks salon Great Lengths is in my local town (see her Facebook page here), so a very nervous me went along feeling sick to the stomach on Saturday afternoon to start the transformation.  Now doing this could easily have been the end of good friendship if I didn't like it, but I put 100% trust in Nik and I was not disappointed...... plus I know she wouldn't have done anything which wouldn't have suited me.............. although it didn't stop me have sweaty palms for 3 hours until the final reveal!

To ensure that the colour would take properly and evenly, the top part of my hair which was dark was lightened to blend more with my already blonde ends to ensure the best coverage.  The time I felt most sick was when I had blondy/ginger tinged roots, so the next stage of the pre pig was done VERY quickly...... I was past the point of no return by then anyway!  I'd taken in a picture of what I wanted but Nik thankfully talked me down from the brightest red and I chose this colour.

Once the colour had gone on I had serious butterflies..... what if I don't like it? what if it doesn't suit me? am I going to have to totally change by clothes and make up?....... millions of thoughts flashed through my mind.  I think I made Nik nervous by being so stressed, but in the end its hair, I could always change it back if I didn't like it.  Nik reassured me I'd love it all the way through, and I know she'd never have done it if she thought I couldn't carry it off.  Anyway, after 3 hours, it was ready, and I loved it immediately!

The result was really multi tonal, a great mix of the colours she used, and the many colours already in my hair, which made it look more natural, well if hair this colour could ever be thought of as natural!  Plus, my hair has never felt in better condition or looked so shiny.  I was worried about damage of such a strong colour after a lifetime of dying it, but there's non.  I've been using intense conditioners to help, but my hairs never been so soft, or looked so healthy.

It's strange how something as simple as your hair colour can change the way you think, feel and act.  I immediately felt like a superhero, and was forced to be more confident.  You can't have hair this colour and be a wall flower!  Its a huge difference, but I now can't see me going back to another colour anytime soon.

So, I'm a redhead now, lets go see if redheads have more fun!!  Thanks Nik for doing it, putting up with my stressing and never doubting thast I'd love it!


6 February 2016

LIFE: A New JustMeeDee

So, JustMeeDee's had a bit of a make over and so have I, but more about my makeover in a few days!  I've been wanting to get my blog redesigned for a long time, but it was one of those things which I never got round to doing, but at the start of the year I decided that I wanted to get back into blogging more so contacted the wonderful people at Pipdig and hey presto I got this great new layout!  I also bought myself a domain, which has given me a bit of a kick start to get back into writing.

The wonderful people at Pipdig set everything up for my layout and domain through Blogger, and all I had to do was get my blogging mojo back and produce some content.  I can't recommend Pipdig enough, they're super helpful, always on hand to answer a query about anything and their online guides are super useful, and easy to follow if you're rubbish at coding or anything technical like me! I'm mega pleased with the results, and looking forward to posting some great content as I've had a very exciting January and have some great things planned for the next few months.


15 December 2015

EATS: Cabana Brazilan Barbeque, Manchester

Warning - do not read this post if you're hungry, I'm now starving after writing it!!

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be invited along to the newly opened Cabana Brazilian Barbeque in Manchester’s Corn Exchange.  The Corn Exchange has undergone a radical revamp in the last year, changing from the shopping centre called the Triangle, to now being full of restaurants and bars.

Cabana opened a few months ago, and its ethos is “to share a bit of Brazil” with the Brazilian out look on life of “tudo bem” meaning everything’s good.  The huge space is a real onslaught to the senses, with bright colours, upcycled furniture (I definitely want a denim sofa in my house now!), neon lights, oil drums and even Subbuteo tables.  Having never been to Brazil, if this is what Rio looks like, I think I want to go!

We arrived at 4 after a day of shopping and in all honestly I was just glad to sit down.  There’s 2-4-1 cocktails on offer at all times, but I started with a Red Tail Parrot, a mix of Cachaça, strawberry & passionfruit purées and lime juice topped with Prosecco, as in all honesty, it takes a lot for me to turn down Prosecco, and I wasn’t disappointed.  

With that I ordered some Guaca-Molho, Cabanas take of guacamole if you couldn’t guess.  As someone who loves their guac spicy, this was just what I needed to fix my shopping weary body!

I was torn of what to order for main, but at the waiter’s recommendation, went for the steak in a chilli and cumin sauce, which came on a sword type skewer, which they serve at the table.  

I’ve got to say, it was gorgeous, really tender and flavoursome, and I fell in love with the Malagueta sauce which is on each table.  If you like spicy sauces, you need to try this!  The fries and beans that came with it made it a pretty perfect meal post shopping meal.

  However, I had total food envy at The Redeemer burger, a huge burger with Malagueta mayo, chimichurri, tomato and blackbeans in a brioche bun.  I’ll definitely be ordering that next time!  

Desert was the Cabana cheesecake, which I couldn’t eat cos of my nut allergy, but I’m told it was amazing.  I just had a wine as desert instead!

I’ll definitely be back at Cabana soon, in fact I want to work my way through the menu!  It’s a great place for a meal and cocktails with the girls, and its really chilled, but is definitely the kind of place you can get a bit raucous and they won’t mind!

Thanks to Mark and the team at Cabana for looking after us.  I’ll definitely be back, there’s 2-4-1 cocktails with my name on to drink!
© Just Mee Dee

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