The Allotment Vegan Eatery – First Impressions

The Allotment Vegan Eatery, located on Lloyd Street, makes fine dinning simple and relatable (and gluten free too). As soon as you walk in it feels welcoming and cozy, even though it’s quite spacious.

We visited early on a rainy Monday to take advantage of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, which they are continuing through September. I really liked the simple and natural feel to decor and layout. There is an extensive drinks menu offering juices, bottled soft drinks, beer, teas, cocktails and wine.

Small Plates

My bloke’s tiny dish was too tiny to eat out of properly but he found the Edamame Salad, with kale, chilli, spring onions, soy and tamarind dressing was really refreshing.

I found the little boats made from Chicory leaves to be the perfect way to eat tenderstem broccoli with black olive tapenade, toasted hazelnuts and pumpkin and pomegranate seeds. A unique combination which worked really well.

Large Plates

My bloke likes a good risotto but he’d never tried a beetroot risotto with ricotta before. This dish had a lovely flavour but both the maple glazed beetroot and the ricotta were similarly sweet, so it needed another salty or sharp flavour to break them up and help define them both.

I ordered the ‘fish’ and chips. Wow, we’re those chips big and crispy! The minted peas had a subtle flavour which was just right and the homemade tarter sauce was a perfect accompaniment. The ‘fish’ was made from banana blossom which had a texture similar to shredded duck and tasted strongly of lemon. The batter had a nice crunch but the fish was crying out for some kind of salt but there was no salt and pepper on the table, a trend which is becoming more common I’ve noticed.

Dessert

There were only two desserts so we ordered one each to share. Blueberry Cheesecake and a Hazelnut Slice.

The hazelnut slice base was made of crushed hazelnuts, with a thick layer of salted caramel praline, topped with solid Belgian chocolate ganache. The portion of this delicious desert was so big I was glad I was sharing it.

The base of the blueberry cheesecake was made of crushed pea cans and almonds, topped with a vanilla and blended cashew filling, topped with blueberry and chai seed compot. Such skill must have gone into making this as it was wonderful!

The inclusion of fresh fruit and ice cream with both deserts was a nice touch and lifted their flavour, rather than just being sweet deserts.

One thing I have to mention is how uncomfortable the wooden chairs are if you don’t have any back fat. The next day a part of my spine actually felt bruised! There is a settee (which was taken) and I noticed other metal chairs when we were leaving.

Service was timely and friendly although we did arrive early and it got a lot busier later. We wouldn’t eat there again unless it was for a treat like a birthday as we found it to be too pricey for our budget but I can understand why, as it’s evident a lot of thought, skill and care goes into the food.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Monthly Roundup – August

I’ve taken screen shots from my Instagram to remind me, and show you what I’ve been up to this month.

Skincare and Haircare

I cut my curly hair using tips from Brad Mondo and tips from various natural hair vloggers to style my 2C curls.

I changed my contraception so got quite a few hormonal spots and this Body Shop Tea Tree, Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner was invaluable; as was The Ordinary, Lactic Acid which very gently and naturally exfoliates.

Now it’s the end of August and my skin has settled so I’m using Neal’s Yard Remedies Orange Flower Toner and Orange Flower Moisturiser everyday to keep my skin all glowy and nourished (along with the The Ordinary Lactic Acid twice a week).

Food, glorious food!

Me and my bloke spent our Tesco vouchers on Pizza Express (who will be going into liquidation next month apparently) and order two ‘new’ veggie pizzas and all of the salad.

To take advantage of the governments ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme we went to Ruyi Vegetarian Restaurant. Amazing!

I’ve gotten back into the fake meat brand Vivera and have been making simple stir-fries. Like these Vivera Shwarma Kebab strips with rice and pea and sweet corn and Jamaican Jerk BBQ sauce.

The hot weather made really reduced my appetite so these mezze/tapas style bowls were great to nibble on.

Style

I’ve had purchasing a Nirvana tee at the back of my mind for decades and this month I found an official pale pink one. Cute and grungy!

I got sick of buying summer shoes that were either too flat and bad for my shitty joints or too heavy or that flew off my feet going down stairs. I bit the bullet and bought Crocs. I actually think these look pretty bad-ass as they remind me of late 80’s/early 90’s street style. Here’s my full review of Crocs.

I still think the simplest thing to wear is a maxi dress. Hides a ton of sins and all you have to choose are shoes and then a jacket/cardigan for evening.

Lifestyle

In the crazy hot weather I’ve been wearing these sandals from Newlook, drinking Rockstar blueberry energy drink, using this light and fruity perfume from Eden and ( even with my limited concentration span) flew through My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

The households charity shop donations for the second quarter of the year: A crazy wide pair of linen trousers, a face scrub you have to mix from powder (I managed to spill the first pot everywhere), vest I’m now too big for, too small jeans, a teeny-tiny dress from Japan, shoes which I’ve had over a decade and worn out.

Tips on How Not To Be Constantly Late and a fun checklist to see How Basic Are You?

Listened to

80’s pop and bluesy rock.

Watched

Snowfall about the start of the crack epidemic in early 80’s LA, like a mixture of Breaking Bad, The Getdown and The Wire.

Canada’s Drag Race, love Priyanka!

Galdem (on BBC iPlayer) about women making it in the UK grime scene.

Read

My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

Don’t forget to like, comment or subscribe! Xxx

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

First Impressions of Ruyi Vegetarian Restaurant

Finally visited Ruyi Vegetarian House (Withington) who do delicious vegetarian and vegan food, specialising in mock-meats.

They are doing the #eatouttohelpoutscheme during the week.

The general standard of cooking was fantastic and the staff (even though they were so busy) were so attentive. Really relaxed, friendly atmosphere too.

I ordered: Peking Ribs (lovely), Salt and Pepper Tofu (quality), Mixed Veg (subtle seaweed flavour).

My Bloke ordered: Peking Ribs, Satay Chicken (amazing) and Stir Fried Mushroom (lovely).

They’re moving to Chorlton very soon, which is a very trendy and unique place to be. I do think it will be such a shame for this part of Withington that another veggie/vegan place has gone, along with the closure of Boho Utopia cafe recently.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

How Basic Are You? Just for fun :o)

    • You own a Hydroflask or Waterbottle #
    • You buy pretty stationary #
    • You never use it #
    • You wear scrunchies #
    • You have an avatar of yourself and change it’s outfits regularly #
    • You have had a yoga/fitness instructor/physio “change your life” #
    • You buy so many scented candles #
    • But rarely light them #
    • You have a favourite nut milk #
    • You LOVE Riverdale #
    • You plan events by making Pinterest/mood boards
    • You have lots of retro and vintage ‘inspired’ things but they are all new #
    • You have an astrology/arrow/love heart/infinity tattoo
    • You ‘do’ brunch #
    • You take group photos and put retro filters on them #
    • You love Taylor Swift
    • You own a Nutri Bulit/blender/juicer #
    • You’ve said “I seriously need to detox!” #
    • You’ve gone to Glasto/Coachella
    • You explain that you’re “weird and so ditzy”
    • You watch Love Actually/Bridget Jones/The Holiday every Christmas
    • You love oversized jumpers with tiny shorts/leggings #
    • Your favourite season is Autumn/fall
    • You put Christmas/Halloween decorations up asap #
    • You’ve posted throw back photos of holidays saying “Take me back…” #
    • You’ve bought a book because a celeb recommended it #
    • You watch Love Island
    • You use the words ‘literally’ and ‘basically’ way too much #
    • You love iced lattes or mochas #
    • You live in Ugg’s, Tivas, Crocs or ‘Berkies’ #
    • You’ve been a ‘sexy’ version of something for Halloween #
    • You’ve watched Keeping Up With The Kardashians deliberately #
    • You’ve made your own denim shorts/halter top #
    • You love the (younger) royal family #
    • You love “a cheeky Nando’s”/Visit to Chipotle
    • You’ve made a TikTok/Insta story in baggy joggers but full makeup
    • You feel so much better when you’ve had your nails ‘done’
    • Your ‘reasonable’ amount of plushies/teddies is taking over your space #
    • You call everyone hon/chick/babes/sweetie whether they like it or not #
    • You do quizes like this #

    This is inspired by a quiz from Buzzfeed. I’ve changed it to incorporate a more UK based audience and added and removed a few things. Here are Freddie and Kelsey, two US influencers, taking it themselves for As/Is channel.

    What did you score? I got 29/40, which doesn’t really surprise me!

     

    20 Tips for Living a Greener, More Sustainable Lifestyle

    TIPS ON LIVING A GREEN LIFESTYLE

    1. Recycle/Upcycle
    2. Reuse/Repair
    3. Buy organic
    4. Reduce plastic consumption (use wooden/fabric/glass/metal alternatives)
    5. Avoid single use plastic
    6. Support independent companies
    7. Buy local produce
    8. Campaign/fund raise for wildlife and nature
    9. Drive an electric car or cycle or use public transport
    10. Use cruelty free and natural skincare, selfcare and household products
    11. Buy from and donate to charity shops
    12. Sell quality items on Depop and donate the money to smaller charities
    13. Use fabric tote bags for shopping
    14. Grow your own veg (growing a little tomato or chilli plant or regrowing veg ends like lettuce on your windowsill counts)
    15. Avoid fast fashion as much as possible
    16. Get clothes altered and learn how to hem and use darts to alter size/shape (fairly easy but makes a huge difference).
    17. Buy your electricity and gas from Good Energy/Ecotricity
    18. Use the phone provider Eco Talk
    19. Turn off the light when you leave the room
    20. Wear another layer, rather than turning up the heating

    Just do your best and don’t stress!

    💚✨Chrissie✨💚

    Daily Gratitude Challenge – Home Sweet Home

    This is meant to be a daily gratitude challenge, created by Suzie Speaks but being the sporadic wench that I am, I’ll be dipping in and out of this so I’m not numbering the themes. I’ve also added categories so it wasn’t one big long waffle as I’m sure you know how much I like to wa….

    Home Sweet Home

    What style I’m rocking at home

    No matter how much lovely ‘loungewear’ I own (including oversize cardigans) 80% of the time I wear a long dressing gown draped around my shoulders, cloak style. So I’m grateful I can do this at home.

    The neighbourhood

    It’s a mix of races and nationalities and has a much lower crime rate these days. There are independent takeaways, hairdressers and ‘bit of everything’ shops, with one small suburban shopping centre of chain stores and charity shops. Ooh, I like that as the tittle for an indie song ‘Chain stores and charity shops’.

    Where is my home?

    I live with my Dad but also spend time at the blokes and my Dad spends time at his Missus and then we both spend time at home together. There’s two floors so we still have our own space and he does top-up shops for me. I hate washing up, he doesn’t mind. He hates vacing up, I love it! We watch Dragons Den, The Apprentice, The Voice, Great British Bake-off and shout enthusiastically at the telly. I’m greatful that when their paths do cross, my bloke and my Dad get along well.

    Yard or Garden

    There’s a tiny but lovely back yard which is full of flowers, which I am so grateful to sit out in on a nice day or just to look at from the settee.

    I moved to Cheadle Heath

    Just as the 2008 (?) recession hit and many companies went into liquidation. Working as a temp came in handy…until it didn’t and I had to move back home. I still had a few good friends and I met the bloke a week later so it didn’t feel like I was stuck at home. I usually get a cab or bus into town (only 15 mins) from my blokes to go to gigs or for nice meals out.

    The neighbours

    The top of the street is like a little community where the neighbourhood kids play out together, which really reminds me of the street in the 80’s. At the bottom (my bit) there are more private people. A few usually give me a big smile and a wave and I’m getting better at recognising them out of context (a common Aspergers thing), like when we are at the local shops etc.

    As usual, whoever wants to join in with this idea, please do!

    How does this differ from your home and neighbourhood?

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    Life Lately – June

    June has flown by, which is weird considering I’ve been out of the house a whole…one time! I’ve been very grateful for the, frankly shite, weather Manchester has had this month, as it’s been a well needed break from the crazy heatwave of May.

    Pride Month

    My love and respect goes out to the LGBTQ community as always, whatever your sexuality and however you identify. I’ve always been proud that I live in a city with year-round acceptance (in a general sense) and awareness. I think this is thanks to the The Gay Village, plus a great Pride Parade and festival.

    Food

    Been switching all month between having cups of tea with sausage and mash to having a cold beers and mezze.

    Independent Artist or Business

    GDBEE Art is by Geneva who makes the most gorgeous graphic art of women of colour. She’s also created the webtoon Hovergirls, about two alien fighting cousins who work in a coffee shop by day. The entire Hovergirls series is available to read on phone/device or PC.

    Lifestyle

    I’ve changed my bedroom from being the place where stuff gets dumped, into a place where I actually want to spend time. a) I’ve had a big clean and tidy b) I’ve brought in more storage c) Updated a dark toned LOTR poster to a lighter toned and very neat dragon canvas d) I’ve reduced the amount of Funko Pops and books/papers piled everywhere.

    Reading

    The Getaway Girls by Dee McDonald is roadtrip comedy about three rather different friends, all past middle age, who decide they are unhappy with their lot and want to start a new adventure through France and Italy. I’ll review it once I’ve finished reading. I’m a third of the way in and enjoying it!

    New Fringe

    I was sick of my giant wavy fringe which needed cutting constantly and was way too hot and wide. I watched Birds of Prey (which I loved, but thought the bad guy was just plain annoying) and cut myself a new punky, shorter fringe. Freshly cut it looks a little too perfect but it does naturally have a lot of movement and looks spikey if I apply styling putty.

    Here is me as a kid in the 80’s with a very different kind of fringe lol

    I hope you’ve all been finding things to make you happy, in these turbulent times!

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    Your Fave LIFESTYLE Photo’s from the Last 6 Months

    I post a selection of photo’s from this blog onto my Instagram and share a few general images everyday. Come follow me if you don’t already @vamp_it_up_mcr

    I’ve gone through which photos got the most likes (on Insta) and divided them up into four categories, Lifestyle, Style, Food and er, Me!

    Lifestyle

    (Clockwise)

    Gap Between Buildings When you walk down Whitworth Street heading to Oxford Road, you cross over a tiny bridge without realising and that’s the view of the canal and swanky apartments to your left.

    Baby Jay I’ve only ever seen a Jay twice before so this little’un sitting right outside the window was lovely surprise.

    Sorting my makeup and storage I chucked out anything old or crap and arranged everything here into one bag and base coverage and tools/brushes into a wicker basic. I indulged my left over OCD traits and lined up everything colourful for this photo; so satisfying!

    Pins I have so many pins I have to rotate them on bags and coats. I need to make space on my pin board to display them all properly.

    Skincare Routine After setting myself he challenge to get healthier skin in one month, I narrowed down my products to these and found a consistent routine and it worked!

    Street Art This is a very old photo of the side of a block at the start of The Northern Quarter. The beautiful art (subject now replaces by Mcr bees) is by Faunagraphic who’s responsible for all of the nature inspired, pastel or brushstroke effect street-art in town. Check out that pretty fire-escape too.

    Narwhals Narwhals Swimming In The Ocean (the pre-curser to the baby shark song) My Bloke got me these slippers last Xmas.

    Bench In Our Tiny Backyard All my Dads work. I offer to help with our yard but he always refuses as he loves doing it so much. He’s like me, if he gets an idea in his mind, he knows exactly how he wants it. I’m not arguing as it comes out looking lovely every time ^_^

    (Centre)

    Sustainable (what used to be referred to as Eco) Purchases I got everything here from an online shop called Ecologue. Metal flask, really light but efficient; Bamboo toothbrush, the most comfortable one I’ve ever used and biodegradable; Cleansing pads, also made from bamboo and machine washable!

    As always I’d love to hear your thoughts…

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    Simple Selfcare List for Brain, Body and Soul

    Everyone needs a bit of motivation and simple reminders sometimes, especially when you’re in the house most of the time and loose track of time easily. That’s just me normally btw!

      Get the feck up (Maybe use needing the loo as an excuse to stay up)
      Brush teeth
      Wash (preferably with something that smells uplifting)
      Apply deodorant
      Skincare/bodycare routine (or at least some of it)
      Get dressed (oversized cardigans/hoodies totally count)
      Comb hair
      Coffee or protein smoothie
      Catch up with friends on social media or message them
      Do something a little creative
      Have something to eat
      Order or buy some fresh fruit or veg
      Wash clothes/Vac up?
      Read a book/Watch telly/Gaming/Exercise
      Make a nice meal, maybe enough to freeze a portion as a ready-meal
      Bath/Shower?
      Hug or FaceTime your family/pet/loved one
      Cleanse face
      Brush teeth
      Take a cup of water to bed
  • 🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    Positive Quarantine Effects

    6 bonus things that have happened during quarantine:

    1. I’ve not washed my hair for two weeks (there’s only a bath where I am) and it feels and looks so naturally healthy, in shiny defined waves.
    2. I’ve not impulse bought food with wheat or dairy in so my nose, chin and tummy aren’t puffy/bloated. I have more energy and feel more upbeat and I love my features now!
    3. My skin is so healthy because I’ve been sticking to my skincare regimen.
    4. Me and the bloke have not killed each other.
    5. Meal planning doesn’t suck. It takes the stress of decision making away (a supermarket full of food yet you still come home with random shit that doesn’t make any recognisable dishes, sound familiar?) and isn’t boring or restrictive. As long as you plan enough meals to give you a choice and don’t have specific days where you have to eat them, it’s just like choosing from a menu.
    6. If you make a curry too hot and don’t have any yoghurt or cream (or dairy free versions) to swirl in it, you can add mayonnaise, so creamy!

    What have been your positive quarantine effects?

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤