Last week I was beyond excited to hear that a Bill's restaurant would be opening up in my adopted hometown of Manchester. Having visited their Soho restaurant on Boxing Day last year, I was itching to go back for some delicious, no nonsense, comforting Bill's food.
It's situated next to Byron, just off Deansgate, and is decorated in true Bill's style. Their restaurants have this instantly recognisable identity, with the most subtle of differences. As you can see, they have kept it true to Manchester with small touches such as the huge Manchester stamped fire alarm bell. Definitely something that's good to see with a chain restaurant!
Anyway, the food! We went in on a Saturday lunchtime and started off the weekend in style with some alcoholic drinks (sorry not sorry). They have some nice craft beers such as Camden Pale Ale, which Mat opted for, and a lovely pink fizz, which I went for.
Diving straight into mains, I had Bill's fish pie, which is made up of queen scallops, tiger prawns, salmon, cod, peas, baby onions and a creamy mash to top it off. I had high hopes for this dish, being a huge fish pie fan, but although delicious, it was unfortunately lacking in the quantity of some of the seafood. I counted one scallop and one tiger prawn, which was pretty disappointing, especially considering the amount of salmon and onions filling it up. The mash was on point though, creamy with a kick of English mustard.
Mat enjoyed the chipotle, coriander & lemon marinated half chicken, which came with chilli buttered corn and sweet potato fries. He found the chicken to be nice and juicy, marinated to perfection with plenty of flavour. As for the corn, we both loved this, as the chilli butter gave it an extra kick.
We finished off with a dessert of mini cinnamon doughnuts, with strawberries and chocolate dip on the side. Fluffy, fresh and filling, we demolished them in record time! Overall, a great experience at Bill's and we can't wait to return for some weekend brunch. The service is also top notch and our waitress was particularly helpful and chatty, which is always lovely to see.
At the weekend, as some of you might already know, I ran the Race For Life in Heaton Park, Manchester to raise some pretty pennies for Cancer Research UK. The cause is one that is close to my heart and many others, including my team mate Caroline from The Afternoon Tea Club, as we have known people who have won and lost their battles with cancer.
When Scottish Power, who sponsor the event, approached me to run the race, with a ridiculously generous donation of £250 to my charity, I jumped at the chance to take part in my first ever 5k run. Yep, first ever! Running isn't really my thing, or Caroline's either, but we thought it was about time we gave it a go in the name of a great cause.
The atmosphere was electric down at Heaton Park, where hundreds of women and children had gathered to take part. Simply walking around and reading the 'I race for life for...' signs on the backs of so many was inspiring. Whoever they were running, jogging or walking for must have been really proud to see such positivity in the air for a united cause.
The weather slowly turned from overcast to bright & sunny, making it the perfect day for a 5k race. We walked, jogged and ran to the finish, not quite catching up to the fastest time of 12 minutes (!!) but giving it our best. Mat was waiting at the finish line, camera in hand, ready to catch my goofy running race!
After the race, we were happy to see we'd smashed our team fundraising target and collectively raised a hefty £446 for Cancer Research UK!! So proud and incredibly thankful to all of our supporters. You can still donate at my Just Giving page here, even if you can only spare a very small amount, we'd really appreciate it.
Also, if you're taking part in a Race For Life event, make sure to look out for the Scottish Power tent. You can bag yourself a pink glove, take part in their High5 Challenge and be added to their huge High5 wave. Find out more about it over on their Facebook page.
Disclaimer: My entry to the race and a £250 donation were provided by Scottish Power.
A couple of weeks ago, the lovely folk down at ITV Sport and Join In UK invited my company to provide a mixed team to take part in their agency beach soccer tournament. They had set up camp at the Old Granada Studios in Manchester, with the most amazing beach soccer stadium for the World Cup. Showing all of the games that weren't played at stupid o'clock, serving up delicious Bem Brasil food and providing visitors with Brazilian-themed entertainment, it was a hive of activity for football fans.
As a girl who used to regularly drag myself along to the muddy football pitch in my hometown to play in goal/defence for a girls football team, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to have a bit of football fun. Especially when it was a beautifully sunny day and we were playing barefoot on sand!
Unfortunately we didn't win (I really wanted that trophy and ITV hoodie, dammit) but we had such a fun Friday morning! It made me realise how much I love getting involved in sports. At the moment I'm feeling a bit of a void, since it's not snowboarding season and I don't have time to get myself over to Chill Factore. I need a second sport desperately!
I've been trying to get back into the gym again and even attempting small runs on the treadmill, which I never thought I could/would do. So when Scottish Power offered to sponsor me to run the Race For Life in Heaton Park this weekend, I thought 'why not!'
I would absolutely love it if you could help out my cause, Cancer Research UK, and sponsor me to run the 5k race on Sunday. I know way too many people whose lives have been affected by cancer and I thought it was about time I helped make a difference, however small.
If you would like to sponsor me, please visit my Just Giving page and remember to add GiftAid if you are a UK taxpayer. You can also sponsor me by texting 'SRUN71 £5' (or whatever amount you wish) to 70070.