Moving in and The Blogger's Guide to Manchester

And... I'm back online! Phew it's been a tough two weeks with no internet. Saying that it's been a tough two weeks in general! Yes we are fully moved in now and just about settled in. It's not been an easy two weeks, with endless boxes of stuff and limited storage space, realising that our Ikea sofabed came without screws, feet or instructions, discovering that we couldn't get Sky TV when it was one of the few things we didn't think we had to worry about, spending two weeks wondering why we couldn't get in the post room before realising we were trying to get into the wrong room... but it's not all been bad. Living with Phil is the actual best thing ever and I get excited to come home to him every single night. Plus my commute from my from door to my desk takes exactly 6 minutes. 
I know, I really am living the dream.
I know lots of you have been asking for a flat tour, and I absolutely promise I will do one, but at the moment while we're finally getting there with flatpack furniture and cupboard space, it doesn't really look "ours" yet. We haven't got our posters on the walls or any framed photos and we still need a few bits here and there to personalise it, so I want to wait until we're fully finished before I show it to you. There are a few photos of our flat on my instagram, but already I feel a lot of it looks totally different (and by that I mean the kitchen is nowhere near that bare!).

But it's not all been packing up boxes and trips to Ikea, it has actually been really nice to live in the city centre, and not just for my commute. I can't explain how much I love Manchester and living in the city centre is such a dream. Every day when I walk to work I'm so appreciative that I live and work in such a beautiful city, with so much going on. So many great restaurants, bars, museums, galleries, shops... Manchester really does have everything. I've been trying to discover all the little nooks and crannies recently that I've always been meaning to go to - my friend Natalie and I went to Chinatown last week to explore the Chinese supermarkets, and then a few days later took a trip to 8th Day Cafe, which is basically my spiritual mecca - full of health foods and big bags of lentils and all kinds of nut butters and treats. I also have been visiting a few old favourites too, in particular in the Northern Quarter.

The week we moved in was incredibly stressful. The flat was a mess - the floor covered in boxes and books and DVDs. Nothing seemed to fit in the cupboards but there seemed to be an endless amount of stuff we needed to buy. Everything from cooking dinner to going to the supermarket was weird and foreign and confusing. I was desperate for some normality.
Luckily, a few weeks previous I was asked to be a part of Millenium and Copthorne's Blogger's Guide to Manchester and was asked to choose one of my favourite places in Manchester and to write a review. I choose Common, the bar in the Northern Quarter where Phil and I had our first date, and I arranged to visit on the Friday after we moved in. When I received a call from the Ikea delivery guy an hour before we were supposed to leave I was starting to regret my decision to go out for a nice meal in the middle of the day, but it turned out to be exactly what I needed.
Props to Phil, Common is a great place for a first date. I remember the night before our first date looking it up online and thinking the food looked great but it looked a little bit too cool for me. I kind of still feel like that. If you've ever been to Manchester's Northern Quarter, I think Common is pretty much the epitome of that. It's definitely a bar that serves food rather than a restaurant that serves drinks - the bar is stuffed with pumps of local ales and the menu above the bar covers dozens of cocktails. The walls are covered in unusual art and entire walls are dedicated to beer mats from around the world.
Phil and I started a little tradition last year of coming here on the anniversary of our first date, but this was the first time I'd been on a day other than the 4th October! I remember last time I came eyeing up the veggie chilli in a taco bowl(!) but we had nachos to start and I thought I could be down for Mexican food overload (impossible). This time, however, I knew exactly what I wanted to order! 
Veggie chilli is one of my faves - it's up there with fishcakes and veggie burgers for the thing on the menu I will always, always order, and this one did not disappoint! I also love that it comes with guacamole, salsa and sour cream. Yum. Phil went for the Maple Bacon burger, which I have to admit, looked amazing:
(I got to eat his gherkin - how are their people who don't like gherkins?!)
Common is definitely one of the places I would recommend in Manchester - it's cool, fun and the food is great. It's also very reasonable and they always have deals on. However it does get very busy at weekends so get there early!
I'm really excited to see the finished article of the Blogger's Guide to Manchester - I'll let you know when it's available!
Unfortunately, my little blogging return was short-lived as I'm back off again now for a couple of days. I'm in London tomorrow for a work event, back in Manchester in the evening and then back down again to London for the weekend as Phil and I are going to see Les Miserables and then it's Phil's birthday on Sunday! I'm hoping to be properly back next week with plenty of blog posts - Phil's sister Suzie spotted a white wall in our living room I can use for outfit photos. Fingers crossed I'll be back in a blogging routine soon!

Have a great week!

Charlotte x


  1. so glad you're happy with your move, even if there were a few hitches! I'm so excited to read about/see all the places you visit in Mancester - I'm going to try and do the same for Brighton on my blog. Also, am totally with you on the commute. Mine's gone from an hour and a half to 10 mins! x

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