Getting our hands dirty with GB Pizza Co

I have not posted in a very long time. Being a final year law student is busy tings.

Yesterday was a special day for myself and Thomas. Yes, It was our 5 year anniversary, but more importantly we were going to do something that we both love more than love.

Pizza.

We were fortunate enough to get a table on the opening night of Lapwing Lane’s newest, grooviest establishment GB Pizza Co.

Perks of being a pizza stan.

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There is a growing pizza scene in Didsbury, so GB Pizza Co needed to throw some big punches to stand out.

We walk in, welcomed by Grant and his team.

Neon lights, a concrete bar, exposed brick. The decor was gritty yet sophisticated, a big shift from the worn down shop that used to be there.

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If you look closely, you can see my pizza claws…

We sat down. On the menu there was a sign saying ‘no knives and forks.’

Anybody that knows me, knows that I love eating thin pizzas with cutlery. It tastes better, trust me. No cutlery was a big ask.

I decided to be brave – picked up the pizza – folded it in half and ate it.

Yum.

To my surprise the base was crispy, which made it easy to hold.

The base was also much needed shift away from the gooey Neapolitan trend that we have seen lately in Manchester. I love me some doughy pizza, but there are too many carbon copies out there.

The tomato sauce was on point. Sweet and full of flavour.

GB Pizza Co is a feel good place that prides themselves in British produce; Dunham Massey apple juice, ale from Leeds and rapeseed oil from Yorkshire.

Also, #Studenthack for all the people that are dipping, or have dived into their overdraft:

Mondays = £5 pizza

Wednesdays = Buy one, get one half price pizza

Thank me later.

 

 

PROOVE – Love at first slice.

Last Friday, I was fortunate enough to live the dream and eat unlimited pizza at the opening party for Proove Pizza on Burton Road in West Didsbury. Now that I have finally awoken from the food coma, I am ready to tell you about my experience.

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This picture says it all. Divine.

My cousin Remello and I were warmly welcomed by Maz the general manager of the new restaurant. He explained – in his soft Italian accent – that Proove stands out because the ingredients are sourced in the style of true Italian high pizza, adding that this restaurant is one of the only places he, as an Italian would choose to dine. He explains the chefs are all Italian, so they know their stuff.

The dough is sublime crispy on the edges and floppy in the middle. The sauce to cheese ratio is ideal, you get the full flavour of the tomatoes with the intermittent disruption of stringy cheese. The delicate balance of ingredients is reflected within the fresh decor of the restaurant. The copper and exposed brick walls take you to a Celestine environment where you can savour every bite.

Simple.

No gimmicks, just an authentic feel-good experience.

Who am I to talk. Give it a go yourself.

8th March.

If you aren’t there, do you even like pizza?

where to have a PIZZA Party this weekend.

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National pizza day seemed like a fitting day to crawl out from under the pile of revision notes and interval sessions that I’ve been hiding under… Despite it being the most wonderful day of the year, I still didn’t manage to find time to write a post – Awkward.

Unfortunately I have barely had any pizza this year. I think I have only had five – considering that it is only February, I suppose that is not a bad start.

You’ll be happy to hear that I am going to be writing about pizza more often, which means that I’ll be able to eat more pizza too.

Anyway.

Sheffield and pizza are two words you would not put in the same sentence.

Sheffield – the home of steel, The Arctic Monkeys, Jessica Ennis and now pizza.

Porter pizza and Proove pizza are two pizza places that deserve a shout out. Made with love, inspired by real Neapolitan pizza. If you are a true pizza lover you better get down there.

For those of you that are too cool to travel to Yorkshire, I am happy to tell you that Proove Pizza is making it to my home village of West Didsbury.

Other places to note for my Mancunian pizza lovers are Rudy’s Pizza in Ancoats, 900 Degrees in Wilmslow and Double Zero in Chorlton.

May you all treat yourself to a slice or two this weekend.

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How many Belgian waffles can you eat in 10 hours?

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Do you ever want to feel like a rockstar and go abroad for the day just to eat some waffles? I do.

When I am not coaching, doing uniwork or training – I, like most of us, dream about food and travel.

Why not combine the two?

My friend Sekee and I decided to spend 10 hours in Brussels, Belgium.

Lack of time does not mean lack of adventure.

Fresh waffles, chocolate shops, moules frites and a bar with thousands of beer varieties were amongst our finds.

When we were too full to eat, we browsed the many streets filled with artwork and lace shops, we even made it to the EU HQ before they no longer need to welcome us with open arms.

Thank you for feeding us Belgium.

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Bergen, Norway.

The Mountains

There is only one way to start a story about Bergen – on a mountain. Bergen has been romanticised as the city surrounded by seven mountains, it is arguable as to which mountains are counted as the seven. There are actually more than seven mountains. Fløyen, Ulriken and Sandviksfjellet are three of the most central.

  • Fløyen, is visited by most tourists that go to Bergen. There are two ways of reaching the top via the funicular ‘fløybanen’, or with your own two feet. Once at the top, you can see the whole city, or even continue to walk over to other mountains.
  • Ulriken, much like Fløyen, has an easy way to the top – cablecar. One is red and one is yellow, they are very cute and their names are ‘Perle’ and ‘Bruse’. Ulriken is taller than Fløyen so Bergen looks even smaller from the top.  Both mountains have a little cafe at the top, which can be a very nice break from the cold conditions outside.
  • Sandviksfjellet, there is only one way to get to the top of this mountain if you want to do it properly. That is to run up the ‘Stolzekleiven’ path. The path consists of a stone steps laid down by Nepalese Sherpas. The path is not for the faint hearted. The lactic acid will hit you. It will hit you hard. You don’t have to run to the top though, it is also a very beautiful walk. Once at the top you feel like a million dollars. For the descent it is generally recommended to take a smoother route down, as the Stolzekleiven is very narrow.

 

The Food

After walking up mountains in sun, snow, wind and rain, treats are well-earned. For this reason, it is no surprise that Norway know how to make sweet treats. Bakeries are found throughout the city; cinnamon, coconut and saffron common ingredients.

There is one thing that really makes Norway stand out. For some reason it is only those that have been to Norway that know about this fine art. Characterised by yellow packaging, a stork on each block and the phrase “Et lite style Norge” (A small piece of Norway). Freia creates milk chocolate that leaves the Swiss and the Belgians looking like amateurs. If nothing else about Norway appeals to you, the chocolate is a reason in itself.

There’s the sweet, then there’s the weird and wonderful. Whale sausage, lamb head and caviar to name a few… Try it before you knock it.

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The Heritage

The colourful, old, slanted, wooden area of Bryggen brings distant memories of the old Hanseatic city it Bergen once was.

The city was occupied by the Germans during WWII.

Statsraad Lehmkuhl a traditional ship that looks like it came straight of Pirates of the Carribean is often docked in the city.

Ole Bull and Edvard Grieg brought music the the city.

I can’t reveal too much though, you need to plan your own journey and discover your own Bergen.

God tur.

Merry Christmas.

Being a born a girl of many cultures, I have been fortunate enough to experience different Christmas cultures.
Other than the food, one of the biggest contrasts I have witnessed is the act of giving gifts.
In England, what I am used seeing is an unusually early start to the day. Being so excited that you dribble a little bit, followed by a frantic sprint down the stairs to the tree. The presents are then ripped open – BAM five minutes later all gifts are opened.
In Norway, what I have experienced is a slow morning, with a potential gift given to little kids to shut them up. Then nothing happens. FINALLY once dinner has been eaten, the plates packed away, presents can be opened. Hold on though. We open presents one at a time. This means a good two hours of the false admiration of objects that other people put on a pedestal.

 

I don’t know what I prefer. What I do know is that as time passes gifts are forgotten, misplaced or broken. This is why the laughter, the tears, the food coma, the embarrassing moments and heated discussions are my fondest Christmas memories.

 

Hope you have had a Christmas that you will remember

Imani x


Yesterday was the first Sunday of advent.

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Christmas is coming earlier and earlier, at least it feels that way.

Feeling a sense of Christmas spirit, Thomas and I thought it fitting to visit the Christmas markets.

We went home with a sense of disappointment. Not because they weren’t spectacular, just because I’ve seen it all before. The annual mug. The John Lewis advert. The ice-skating rinks. Maybe it’s all too commercialised. Maybe our expectations were too great. Maybe we are getting old. Maybe we are starting to question the existence of a certain Mr Claus.

The 20minute drive home from the market left me wondering whether Christmas 2016 was ruined.

Deciding to take a walk down the road to clear my head, hope was restored.

In the distance I saw the a light. Candy canes, Parma Violets, baubles and glitter in the window of local furniture shop, David Gavin rekindled my faith in humanity. This wasn’t another carbon copy Christmas sales pitch. This was just a window of happiness.

Hopefully you’ll find something that puts a smile on your face this Christmas too.

Sunday Walkies – Tatton Park

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Fresh air and green spaces are fundamental to my sanity. Living in a city that is constantly adding more and more to pavements and roads, it is so important to leave the never-ending rush hour behind. Every Sunday I try to take my dog for a long walk. I thought it would be nice to share some of the places we’ve been, just in case you want to go for a walk too.

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Tatton Park will always hold a special place in my heart.

number of deer that roam free here never ceases to amaze me, especially because it is something that you’d never imagine to stumble upon so close to Manchester. There are brown, stoic deer and cute little ‘Bambi’-like deer. I am probably known amongst the deer as ‘the creepy girl that is obsessed with us’. I just stand and stare at them.

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The park is HUGE, you have to pay a parking fee and entry fees for certain areas, but it is worth it. There is an old victorian carousel, two lakes, grass for days, dragonflies, trees, sheep, deer, a stately home, gardens, a little farm and special events. What more could you ask for?

My week with Nadine

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Earlier this year I wrote about how bored I was.

I then got a message from fashion designer, Nadine Merabi asking if I’d like to come and see a bit of her world.

Nadine has created some of the most beautiful dresses I have seen in real life. Sultry, classy and empowering all in one dress. I would be crazy not to say yes to this opportunity.

Then came the doubt:

I study law, law is so black and white… I know nothing about fashion… Oh my gawhhhhd, this is too cool… I know nothing about design… I can knit though… I once fixed a hole in a sock… I’m not that outgoing… I can’t draw… We both come from sporting backgrounds… I do wear clothes and like to feel pretty, so i suppose it could work? 

After deciding I had nothing to lose, I said yes.

Unfortunately it was during exam time, so I didn’t get to spend as much time as I would’ve liked with her and her ambitious team.

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Whilst there I was fortunate enough to go the behind the scenes of two awesome Manchester based brands Nadine Merabi and Bodaskins. Both have been successful in creating more than just items of clothing. When you wear those dresses or leather jackets, you become part of a certain lifestyle, you develop a certain persona.

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I am no doctor, but I quickly figured out that Nadine is probably clinically insane! She brings her tortoise ‘Frank(ie)’ everywhere with her, initially she thought it was a boy, but then found out that it was a girl. She talks to Frankie like she’s a little person. I somehow managed to manoeuvre my way around the organised chaos which was Nadine Merabi. As I spoke to her more, I realised that she was brilliant, true to herself and full of life. You could tell that behind all of the personality and sparkle was a determined young woman that would work her butt off to transform her visions into a reality.

For all the young girls searching for a role model, I think I just found one for you.

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Train in Spain

I was fortunate enough to have grown up on training camps around the world. It is safe to say that by the age of 6 I had been abroad more than the average 26 year old.

Someone recently requested I write more about the athletics tracks that I have visited. Unfortunately I don’t remember a lot about being on training camp as a toddler, so this latest piece will be focusing on my more recent camps.

With a Spanish father it is no surprise that most of our camps have ended up in Spain. Here are three places you may want to consider for your next warm weather training camp.

 

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Tenerife 

Extraterrestrial views, hiking trails, heat all year round and an alternative altitude training venue are what make Tenerife special.

Having spent almost a month in Vilafor, a sleepy little village just below the crater of Mount Teide, I fell in love with the place.

We were on an altitude camp, solely training in the crater.

The mountain roads are also frequently used by cyclists. Team Sky were constantly whizzing past us during our stay – So if you’re into that sort of thing get on yer bike!

There are also running tracks at sea level. Whilst there, we visited the track on Playa de la America. It is incredibly popular during peak times, as the Canaries are one of the few locations with heat in Europe all year round. For this reason, I found the track slightly claustrophobic as there were so many people there. Despite this, it was nice to have a little bit of atmosphere after three weeks in solitude on the mountain.

 

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Valencia 

In Valencia, everything was easy.

The main park in the city, locally known as El Rio, used to be a river. Now it is a massive park with a running track in it. The park is big enough to do off-road steady runs without getting bored of seeing the same thing all the time.

The hustle and bustle of city life made Valencia quite a fun place to stay. There were plenty of shops and restaurants to go ‘people watching’ in between sessions, bike rental was cheap which meant we were able to ride to the beach or go on an adventure around the city.

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Benidorm

Just a stone throw away from Valencia, you’ll find the notorious holiday destination of Benidorm.

All jokes aside, Benidorm is underrated and actually a decent place for a warm weather camp. There are very few people on the running tracks, probably because most people are in the bars and it is very cheap.

There are two local tracks, one within jogging distance from the main beaches and one 15minutes away, with more facilities, in the mainland town of Alfas del Pi. If you have a car, there are also a number of trails to run on. The path up to the Light house in Albir is a nice route to run on with beautiful sea views.