Manchester on Film | Neighbourhood Festival and places we visited

Last weekend I and Jay went to Manchester for our first time together. 
We went down mainly for The Neighbourhood festival, which is a day festival set in venues around the city. As we didn’t do any ‘camping’ festivals this year going to Neighbourhood seemed like a perfect way to get our fix of some live music whilst also getting to explore Manchester in the process. 

Manchester has always been a city I’ve craved to visit. Everyone I’ve ever spoken to about it has always said- Manchester is definitely a bit of you, you’d love it there. So honestly, I had high hopes about visiting. But do you know what? It actually exceeded my expectations in every way.

Manchester has well and truly captured my heart. 

The Neighbourhood Festival was on Saturday which felt like somewhat of a whirlwind from Friday night with us having been out to see a favourite band of mine in Birmingham called Stereo Honey, who you might have caught on my Instagram. Somehow that evening we- or shall I say I ended up getting quite tipsy and departed the night clutching a 99p cheeseburger. 

I never said this was a classy blog- bloody great night though. 

Come next morning we set off quite early with our coach leaving at 8.30am. As you can imagine I wasn’t feeling quite alive until we arrived at our hotel and had some time to freshen up, grab a change of clothes and then head to the festival.

We stayed in an Ibis hotel in a perfect location within Manchester that also happened to have a fab lobby area with a really old-school, seventies vibe mixed with a modern take on their decor. 

After a naughty not so small subway we got cracking on the first band on the line up called Wild Front. Neither me or Jay had heard of them much before the festival line-up was announced but having listened to them a few times prior to the festival me and Jay both decided we’d quite like to catch their set.

Their gig was set in a place in Manchester called Night People which had a very dark, underground indie sort of feel to it. 
Wild Front coincidentally clashed with Sundara Karma which was a shame but having seen Sundara a few times before we wanted to experience some smaller more intimate bands which 100% paid off.
Wild Front honestly took my breath away. Their set was both sincere and alluring, they drew me in from the get-go. The lead singer, in particular, had a beautiful voice and watching the different ways he played his guitar during each song was something else. 

Next on in the same venue was Kawala a band who I already adored beforehand for their summery and upbeat sound. Their set was so fun and engaging and their presence live was just an extension of their sound with their humour and general loveliness on stage being incredibly infectious.

From there we went to the Albert Hall to see The Night Cafe who both I and Jay have listened to from time to time.
With this being the first time I've been to Manchester this was also the first time I saw inside the Albert Hall which is, by the way, an absolutely stunning venue.

The Night Cafe wasn't hugely our cup of tea which could either be down to this being the point where both getting up early and being plunged into a warm room really hit me and I found myself struggling to stay awake or just that we weren't really feeling it but either way they did put on a good set a band that we could at least tick off our list.

After a quick freshen up we headed to Blaenavon's set which was probably the biggest highlight of the weekend, they absolutely blew us away.
I’ll be honest in admitting I’ve not always been that into Blaenavon but they’ve definitely grown on me through seeing them live and from Jay's love of them too. We had a lot of fun during this set, jumping around and dancing and my, my can those boys play the guitar! 

So for the final band of the night, we faced a dilemma, between catching Temples set or Everything Everything but having seen EE recently and a number of times before we decided it was best to catch Temples who we’d never seen live before. In the lead up to see them, I'd also been listening to them a lot and fell in love their songs so it seemed only the right decision.
It was definitely something seeing them play despite the crowd being somewhat sparse and their set a little flat in places. Sadly they happened to clash with an arguably bigger band which seemed much to their annoyance. But despite all that I really enjoyed having a little dance to their set with each of the songs sounding exactly as I imagined they would be live.

With the festival ending around 10pm, we decided we could either head back and grab an early night or discover a bit of the nightlife in Manchester. With this being the first time here it had to be the latter. We decided to venture out to Jimmy's bar, a place I have been longing to go to for SO long and my god it was even better than I expected it to be. Everyone was so friendly and chatty and the music, atmosphere and decor in the place was SO up our street. 
Also very excitingly so Temples also popped in for a DJ set which was a nice surprise.

So for the Sunday, our plan was to find someplace good for brunch and grab a coffee or two whilst exploring around the city. We didn’t really have any specific idea of places to go or anywhere in particular in mind, only that we’d quite like to visit the Northern Quarter. 

Our first stop was a place called Afflecks, which was suggested to me on Instagram. Unfortunately, the third floor was shut off so meant we could only explore the two floors but for what we did see it was a really cool place to explore and get lost around with lots of independent sellers and shops.

From there we really just had a wander around to discover some street art and have a chance shoot on my film camera before heading to get some brunch.

Granted not all the pictures in this post are shot on film the majority are. It was both mine and Jays first time in giving it a go. I've been wanting to get into film photography for a while and thought this weekend would be the perfect opportunity to get a nice set of photos shot on film. There's just something so charming and full of character about film. For our first time I don't think we did too badly.

We did have a bit of a mare finding somewhere to eat as like I said we didn't really have anywhere in mind so we spent a good while on Google Maps to find somewhere that took our my fancy- I'm harder to please when it comes to food. 
So after a few false starts, one of the restaurants being closed for refurbishment, another closed as it was a Sunday and the others just not really hitting the mark. Hangry me was closed to giving up and finding the nearest Mcdonalds until we stumbled upon Ezra and Gil, which somehow ended up being absolutely nailed on the head for what we fancied. I remembered hearing about this from Megan Ellaby's blog so obviously knew it was worth the hype. 
Jay had a full English with me opting for the vegetarian version as I'm very partial to some smashed avocado and it was so delicious. Definitely worth a visit, I already saw things I'd order if I was to return again. 

From there we again wandered through the streets finding a few nice independent shops and vintage places like Cow Manchester, Pop Boutique, Oi Polloi and a couple of vinyl shops. 

After we then headed to find somewhere that did coffee, now one thing in Manchester that won't go amiss is the selection of coffee shops or cafes but one thing I love is how the majority are independent with they own little quirky twist on beverages. We did plan to go to one except it was quite a small place and very busy so we opted for one we'd passed a few times that day called Night and Day cafe which I absolutely loved. I've always been fond of the places you can choose to drink either hot drinks amongst having the selection of alcoholic drinks as well. Jay did admit he felt a little strange ordering tea at a bar though. 

In the evening we decided to head back to the hotel and get ready to go out for a meal. Earlier in the day, we'd spotted a row of eateries each taking our fancy so we said we would return in the evening to see which one we'd like to eat at. We opted for Yard and Coop that I've heard is a firm favourite in Manchester. The restaurant was playfully decorated with a farmyard feel, wooden style chicken coop booths, a huge fox mural on the wall, wooden tables and details like having your check handed to you in an egg box. I and Jay loved this place. 
On the menu, there's a selection from burgers to salads but an option to select the type of chicken you'd like, along with a sauce and fries which was the option that took our fancy.

I went for the Chicken Drumsticks (the chicken is insanely good) and upgraded my fries to sweet potato with a side of slaw and Jay opted for chicken breast, Tomato & Basil sauce and Dirty Fries. Funnily enough, I wasn't massively hungry before we ate so I opted for something I thought would be small but once it arrived it was like a mountain, actually bigger than Jays. However, I ate it all despite a few fries, I still think Jay is in shock I finished it all now. 

For our last evening in Manchester we decided to explore a few bars before returning to our hotel but with it being a Sunday most places were fairly quiet. We opted to grab a drink in a place called The Patron which had a really lovely inviting atmosphere with few people having quiet drinks inside.
Come midnight we decided best to call it a night and head back to our hotel before returning home the following morning.
I have to say it was quite sad to leave manchester. A place I know we will definitely be returning to in the near future.

What's your opinion?

  1. I LOVE Manchester and Neighbourhood festival sounds like the best kind of festival! I really want to get into shooting on film too, your shots look amazing for a first try xx

  2. Your red leopard trousers are fab, I want a pair too!!!



@paige rhianne_