Cocktails, eXchange Food and Drink Lounge, Manchester | The LDN Gal

eXchange Food and Drink Lounge Manchester review

On a busy Saturday night in central Manchester, we headed for a bite to eat at the eXchange Food and Drink Lounge Manchester.

Leaving Chinatown nearby, we swung onto Portland Street. As we entered, we were greeted with smiles and welcomed to a large restaurant with a stunning interior and relaxed ambience.

We set ourselves down within the rustic eXchange Food and Drink Lounge, adorned with dim-lit hanging lights, well-spaced solid wood and industrial legged tables and mismatched chairs embellished with plush cushions.

The retro chic style of eXchange Food and Drink Lounge, gives way to a charming environment with a sleek cocktail bar, sports screens aplenty and a children’s play zone to its far end.

Interior, eXchange Food and Drink Lounge, Manchester | The LDN GalInterior 3, eXchange Food and Drink Lounge, Manchester | The LDN Gal Interior 2, eXchange Food and Drink Lounge, Manchester | The LDN Gal

So, how did I find the food at eXchange Food and Drink Lounge, Manchester?

Cocktails in tow – I personally recommend the Bramble – we scanned over the varied and tasty menu. There’s many a chef’s special to be seen.

To start, we delved into red velvet king prawns (the most Instagram-worthy prawn starter ever to be created) and halloumi fries with salsa, the gooey cheese with its battered crust certainly made an initial dent in our appetites.

For our mains, we welcomed the mixed grill platter for my other half and the cauliflower roulade for myself, a roasted vegetable and bean cassoulet with a flaky crust and sumptuous vegetables in a tangy sauce. It’s safe to say, Ryan devoured his platter, commenting that the meat was cooked to perfection alongside the deliciousness of what he presumed to be triple cooked chips.

Dessert was a push but we indulged ourselves further with specials including chef Chris’s chocolate brownie and Matty B’s bakewell tart. These homemade desserts were spectacular. The brownie was moist and rich, accompanied by tangy raspberry sauce and a chocolate cup filled with vanilla ice cream. The bakewell tart was just as delicious, with a crumbly base alongside a fruity and soft interior.

Mixed Grill and Cauliflower Roulade Mains, eXchange Food and Drink Lounge, Manchester | The LDN Gal Brownie and Bakewell, eXchange Food and Drink Lounge, Manchester | The LDN Gal

So, what did I think of the eXchange Food and Drink Lounge, Manchester?

Overall, I found the food, interior and staff of eXchange Food & Drink Lounge to be exceptional. I have to say, the vegetarian options were sublime, the food was delicious, well-presented and generous.

The evening was quite simply spectacular. You are welcomed to a warm and relaxing environment and the hours seemed to be lost as we chatted away.

With full and happy stomachs, we concluded the evening with a final round of cocktails and headed home for an early night – go wild for the night eh?

The eXchange Food & Drink Lounge is perfect for couples, friends and families, be it a place to stop for dinner, to catch the game or to have a few cocktails among peers. Take a peek at their food menu here and step away from the madness of the city for a few hours.

Have you eaten at the eXchange Food and Drink Lounge? Which item from the menu tempts you? 

Stephanie xox

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This dining experience was exchanged for an honest review 

Why I'm over the blogger follow/unfollow game | The LDN Gal

The follow to unfollow saga: the ugly side of blogging

If you blog often, you will know exactly what I am talking about here. The follow to unfollow game is a tedious affair to say the least. So, here is why I’m over the blogger follow to unfollow game.

So many bloggers work so hard to organically increase their following and engagement, interacting with others in their niche and producing killer content time and time again.

The follow to unfollow saga is simple. Select bloggers will follow on mass, await for you to follow them back and then remove you by unfollowing within 24 hours. Most go unnoticed and almost cheat others out of a follow.

Follow to unfollow on social media? You are part of the problem…

If you have experienced this, it leaves you feeling a bit rubbish. Blogging is as much about content as it is community. If you love someone’s content, you follow them to read, embrace and even share it from time to time. However, the follow to unfollow saga diminishes the blogging community and this mutual respect, tarnishing organic growth.

Of course, you don’t have to follow others back that don’t speak or relate to your interests, that is absolutely fine. But for those who follow just to unfollow again – it’s really not cool.

Instagram tends to be the social media platform that falls victim to the follow to unfollow game the most. Leaving many a blogger keeping an eye on their social following each week through third party tools that track unfollowers. It isn’t a numbers game but it’s never nice to see your counts dip up and down relentlessly.

If you love your community and fellow bloggers, share your fabulous content, engage with others and follow with intention. It’s really not all about the numbers and quality should always trump quantity.

#rantover

What do you think of the follow to unfollow saga? Have you fallen victim to it?

Stephanie xox

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Blue tartan check trousers Topshop | The LDN Gal

Boohoo Oversized Shirt – Topshop Trousers – Zara Heeled Boots

OOTD: Blue Tartan Check Trousers with Topshop

I have to admit, this weekend gone was fabulous minus the little bit of drizzle. Me and the better half finally got some quality time together and decided to go exploring in Oxford for the Oxford Open Doors event.

Oxford Open Doors is an annual event that allows people access to many an Oxford University treasure across the city, with free entry to its many beautiful buildings.

We decided to take a stroll through Christ Church, enjoying the cathedral, Tom Quad and great hall – with many a lovely photo opportunity. 

So, what did I think of the blue tartan check trousers?

This weekend also allowed me the perfect opportunity to embrace my Summer-meets-Autumn wardrobe with these oh so gorgeous Topshop blue tartan check trousers.

I love these trousers for three main reasons – any many more, let’s be honest. One, they are vibrant as, the blue stands out beautifully against the contrasting red and yellow. Two, they are high waisted and thus super cosy and a flattering fit. Three, tartan – it’s Autumn, so tartan! 

Teamed with a Boohoo oversized shirt and Zara heeled boots, this OOTD defines bright and bold meets smart-casusal. It is perfect dressed down in the day or up at night. These blue tartan check trousers are an all-day transitional dream.

What do you think of these blue tartan check trousers from Topshop? What’s in your autumn wardrobe? 

Stephanie xox

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Spellbound exhibition witch, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford - The LDN Gal

Spellbound exhibition, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

The Spellbound exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, features a quirky and eccentric collection of oddities, thwart in superstition. The exhibition illustrates over eight centuries of magic, ritual and witchcraft.

As a country, we have always been wary of magic. Spellbound illustrates this fear, showcasing many a mystical and fascinating object and artwork. It aims to entice discussion and reflection.

It looks at our ongoing and emotional relationship with magic, superstition and ritual. Have you ever avoided stepping under a ladder or putting new shoes on the table?

Within Spellbound, discover a collection of “spellbinding stories, fascinating objects… from crystal balls and magic mirrors to witch bottles and curse poppets.”

Spellbound: Magic, Ritual and Witchcraft exhibition

Exhibition highlights include a witch in a bottle, a heart in lead and silver casing and a copy of The Discovery of Witches by Matthew Hopkins, 1647.

You will explore the history of magic, ritual and witchcraft over 800 years. The objects and artwork on display highlight people’s superstition, witches practice and the tools used to eventually condemn them.

Magic and the unknown has always historically caused people to be fearful, and when married with religious views, it was linked closely to devil worship and ultimate despair.

Once inside, you will discover Medieval texts, binding jewellery and crystal balls, as well as magical objects aplenty alongside contemporary art installations. If you are a fan of magic, the supernatural, the cosmos and the occult, this enchanting exhibition is for you.

To book tickets for the magical Spellbound exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum, please take a look here. The exhibition runs until January 6, 2019.

Are you fascinated by magic? Which exhibition highlight would you be most intrigued by?

Stephanie xox

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ZOE QYKSonic facial cleansing device review

Zoe QYKSonic facial cleansing device review

I have to admit, this is the first time I have tried a facial cleansing device. So, I wasn’t overly sure what to expect with the Zoe QYK Sonic facial cleansing device.

The Zoe is as vibrant in colour as it is beautiful – but does it actually work?

Its unique petal-shaped design may be pretty, but we’re here to find out if it packs a punch. Available in five gorgeous colours, the Zoe’s silicone bristles work at over 6000 pulsations per minute, to target every nook and cranny.

The gentle massaging bristles ensure no irritation to your skin and work in motion to clean and minimise pores, eliminate blemishes and target wrinkles. This super swift circulation movement works to gently cleanse your face, exfoliating any make up, dirt, or oil that may clog up your pores and cause imperfections.

The Zoe offers 300 uses in a single charge, alongside 15 alternating massage settings when in use. It is perfect for all skin-types due to its medical grade and hygienic antimicrobial silicone exterior.

So, what did I think of the Zoe QYKSonic facial cleansing device

Using a sonic facial cleansing device ensures that no nasties are touching your face. It can be used easily alongside your favourite skin care cleansers, serums, masks and moisturisers. Using it with my favourite cleanser, it certainly made a difference – shifting away my daily make up and grime.

Not only is Zoe effective, but she is packaged beautifully. Sealed within a magnetic box, the facial cleansing device is presented alongside a matching drawstring bag and USB charger.

Its compact size also means it’s great for on the go – so you never have to miss out on your nightly skin care routine! 

So, if you are looking for a product that offers deep and effective cleaning, look no further than the Zoe QYKSonic facial cleansing device.

Have you used a cleansing device before? What is your skin care regime like?  

Stephanie xox

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This post is in collaboration with QYKSonic

The Diamond Store 9 Carot Gold Emerald Earrings UK | The LDN Gal

Why every girl needs emerald earrings

What girl doesn’t love gemstones and a bit of sparkle?

Let’s face it, anything that glimmers is a girl’s best friend and I was lucky enough to get my hands on a pair of emerald earrings from The Diamond Store.

Of late, colourful gemstones have been increasing in popularity, gracing red carpets, parties and publications globally. So, here is every reason why every girl needs a pair of emerald earrings.

The Diamond Store 9 Carot Gold Emerald Earrings | The LDN Gal

The history of emeralds

Emeralds are celebrated for their vivid colour and contextual meanings, having been worn since ancient times, emeralds were introduced to Europe in the 1500s.

As expected, green connotes nature and the emerald is believed to encourage a myriad of enhancing properties including balance, fertility, growth, healing and peace. The precious gemstone therefore looks after your mental, physical and spiritual well being.

Not only is their meaning so special – and the emerald so unique – but these bold and bright gemstones add a touch of class and sophistication to any outfit, alongside a splash of calming colour.

The Diamond Store 9 Carot Gold Emerald Earrings Close Up | The LDN Gal

When worn, emerald earrings are simply enchanting. These traditional gold earrings featured offer set emeralds that are subtle in their size but nevertheless stunning.

Whatever you may be looking for, The Diamond Store have you covered for all your glitz and glamour needs, whether you are seeking out colourful gemstones, the perfect diamond or ornate costume pieces.

Let’s face it, diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but emeralds are her partner-in-crime.

You can get your hands on these affordable emerald earrings here.

What is your favourite piece of jewellery? Do you prefer emeralds to diamonds or vice-versa?

Stephanie xox

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This post is in collaboration with The Diamond Store