stacey joanne marie

A British lifestyle blog

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I did a full round-up of all the places I recommend in Manchester a while back which you can find here but in the interest of those needing a narrow down, here are my 'if I had to choose' and make a bloody decision places. The ones that shape my home, hold a lot of memories and are damn good at what they do.
Untitled Untitled If I could move The Botanist closer to where I live, I would. Every time I go, I get reminded why I should go more often, and that can only be a good thing. Quickly growing (there's 13 at the moment across the UK), you could be worried of a chain like effect on the empire, but with its attention to detail branding and homely interior, it's a venue that's got charm around every corner, and cocktails.



Over the past five years I've come to really enjoy alcohol rather than my late teens when its only purpose served was to 'get smashed', or as politely as you can put it. My current poison being a pornstar martini which tastes as good as it sounds, and if you've never had one, I recommend you try one next time you're out on the town.

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We nipped down to check out their latest updates to the cocktail menu - yep, I know, life's tough. Their Manchester branch is on the Deansgate stretch and is the perfect spot on a warm day to watch the city go by sipping a tipple, or three. First up we gave the Poppy and Pomegranate Martini a go. I'm a sucker for presentation with a pretty purple flower floating, it's a light and fruity option to start your night off. Next up was the Velvet Green Martini. I'll be honest, hearing any drink with egg whites in does sometimes send alarm bells ringing and with a rich green colour, it's not one I'd ever look at and think 'yep, that's the one for me' but appearances, like most instances in life, can be deceiving. It was deliciously refreshing and once the egg picture was out of my head, it made for a thoroughly enjoyable drink for a hot summer's day.

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The final one, after some nibbles of course, was served in a 'so on brand it hurts' terracotta plant pot. I said The Botanist did branding well, didn't I? And is named the Raspberry Disaronno Sour. I'm a big amaretto fan so it's no surprise that this one was my favourite, even if it was the strongest of all three for me. And yes it has that cool cold ice effect when it's poured, so you get that perfect Boomerang every time.



If cocktails are your thing then check these guys out - all I've got to do is convince them to open one in Ancoats...



Untitled Unwinding - seems simple but in a world full of juggling your job, partner, friends, family and ‘me time’, it can be harder than it sounds. Add that to living our lives on social media and switching off can be almost impossible. So in honour of my first day off everything this year, I’m doing just that, so here are my top tips and tricks to switching on that off button.



Write

Ok, ok, so not everyone’s down with the written word or putting themselves out there, but jotting down ideas, thoughts or simply what’s on your mind can unleash a whole lotta stress. And writing when something’s on your mind is the best kind, it comes from a genuine place and I know I do my best writing when something’s bothering me. One of my favourite blog posts came to me on a train back from London and I wrote it up in ten minutes on my phone.


Head to the country

Maybe I’m biased because I grew up surrounded by hills but heading somewhere green where the only noise is the odd bird can work wonders for your mind and soul. And you’re never too far away from those spots.


Go solo

Sometimes you just gotta cut ties with everyone and go somewhere solo. I prefer flying alone if I’m honest and just recharging your own batteries will clear your mind. That might mean a 10k run somewhere scenic, going for breakfast or heck, travelling abroad. Being around people is great but being okay alone is important too.


Read

If you’re stressed where you are, escape to some place new in a book. But not just any book, browse those shelves for hours finding the one that you won’t wanna put down.


Make those calls

If I’m ever feeling down or stressed, hearing the voice of someone I love turns my day the right way. Even if nothing’s new between you and them, a random and what seems like pointless call can be just what you’re craving.


Treat yourself to a massage

Research where you go beforehand and tailor your massage to your needs. Like most people, I carry tension in my upper body so having an hour of literally releasing those knots sends me to a good place and even to sleep sometimes…


Find your jam

Downtime music is always a good option. Make a playlist and blast it out when you most need it. I’m loving Tom Walker’s voice at the moment and Kodaline always get me.


Lie in

Sleep wins in most situations so if you can, don’t set an alarm, get some blackout blinds and a ‘never wanna leave’ duvet.


Switch it off

Technology is both a blessing and a curse but when it comes to unwinding, switch it off or at least on ‘do not disturb’ until you’re ready to face the world again. Same goes for your TV, avoid having one in your bedroom and use that space for resting and well, other things.


And just breathe

Sounds straightforward but focusing on your breathing can be the cheapest and easiest way to chill out.


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