New Dining Dates for Autumn/ Winter 2014!

Fancy coming to our supperclub? Well now you can as we’re pleased to announce three new dates. This post gives you the heads up, they’ll actually go on sale Thursday 31st July at 7.00pm.

Saturday 4th October 2014 – 3rd Birthday, Beer and Meat!

To celebrate our third birthday we’re using two of our favourite things to help us celebrate. Your ticket price will include 3 bottles of beer paired to your canapes, starter and main course, hand selected by us from one of our new favourite breweries. The food will all have a street foodie ,meaty theme from ribs, burgers, slow cooked treats – perhaps we’ll even get our smoker back out?! Unfortunately this is probably not one for the veggies, we promise to make it up to you in the new year when we’ve got the new Ottolenghi book! Tickets will be £40pp and include 3 bottles of delicious beer plus a few extra Manor treats!

Saturday 8th November 2014 – Autumnal Afternoon Tea

We love the changing of the seasons and what better way to celebrate Autumn than an infamous Manor Afternoon tea. We can guarantee that our sweets and savouries will be crammed full of comforting, warming treats and surprises. You won’t leave hungry! Tickets will be £20pp and include a welcome cocktail on arrival.

Saturday 6th Dec 2014 – A Chilli Christmas

Our favourite time of year! To date we’ve celebrated Christmas in style with Delia, Nigella, Scandilicious and now it’s the turn of Thomasina Miers. Using her ‘Chilli Notes’ book as inspiration, we’ll be spiking festive treats with our favourite capsicum. If you fancy a bit of heat to warm up on the chilly winter nights, then why not join us?! Tickets will be £33 each and include a welcome cocktail on arrival.

Keep your eyes peeled on Thursday, these are events that are not to be missed!

August Menu – Mediterranean Afternoon Tea

In a few of weeks we’ll be hosting another afternoon tea. We really do love donning our aprons and baking delicious morsels for our guests. Given the glorious weather we’re having we’ve decided to take inspiration from sunnier climes, with all of the offerings inspired by the Mediterranean.

Bold flavours with the usual Manor twist. We’d love to know what you think! We still have a couple of spaces left for this event so if any of this takes your fancy, you can book on here.

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Bundobust!

What do you get when two of your favourite drinky / foodie establishments get together? A frikkin amazing lovechild that’s what! Yes, it’s finally here, Bundobust, the much anticipated mash up of Bradford born establishment the Sparrow and Prashad.

Craft beer? Tick. Indian street food? Tick. One of our new favourite Leeds drinking holes? Tick! We were invited to a sneaky peek of Bundobust prior to it’s official opening and it didn’t disappoint!

With a quirky, eclectic interior – reclaimed doors decorate the walls, stuffed rice bags for cushions and oh so hot right now low slung, exposed cable lighting, we wandered over to the bar to check out the very impressive ale choices. Twelve on tap no less, from brewers such as Northern Monk, Kirkstall, and Magic Rock. Plus, yes, get this, a dedicated Mikkeller tap!! The brewery I fell in love with whilst in Copenhagen can now find it’s place regularly in my belly.

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Obviously Dan and I chose the Mikkeller Green Gold to start off with and it didn’t disappoint. An American IPA, this smacks you with hops and isn’t sorry about it. My kind of beer!

We settled down in anticipation to try the tasty morsels on the menu. First up was the Spice and Rice. A beautifully spiced mung bean daal, warm and comforting served atop steamed rice. Gobbled up in seconds, we turned our attentions to the Behl Puri, a street food snack consisting of puffed rice, and tomatoes spiked with a spicy sour tamarind sauce. Delicious!

Bundobust Dinner at the Manor

Our second poison of the evening was Magic Rock’s Cannonball, one my my favourite beers and 7.4% to boot! Always a good thing. We had a quick chat with Mark, co-owner of Bundosbust, about the food, which will range from about £3 -£6 (I think!), ordering a few dishes per person tapas style. Anyone who has eaten at Prashad before will know that their offerings are delicious (Pethis!? YES PLEASE!) so I cannot wait to go and sample everything!!

All in all, this is a great bar. A brilliant selection of beers and beautiful, tasty food. Tasty vegetarian food, which in this zeitgeist of the burger is a wonderful breath of fresh air. Upon publishing this post, Bundobust will have been open now for about a week. If you haven’t already made it down there already, then you really should, You won’t forget it. Now pass me another Mikkeller!!

Leeds Loves Latin!

We brought some Latin sun and flavour to the Manor this weekend. South American food is big business at the moment and we found lots to inspire us from the likes of Thomasina Miers’ hit Wahaca books, Martin Morales’ Ceviche and the huge Latin American food compendium that is Gran Cocina Latina by American Maricel Presilla. So many recipes to choose from that we just decided to cook them all!

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Guests were welcomed with a glass of ‘Latin KIss’ a fragrant concoction of aged tequila, homemade elderflower cordial and sparkling water – a light, floral take on a classic Margarita. Nibbles came in the form of crunchy corn kernels flavoured with chilli and lemon, a crunchy delight!

We did away with our classic canapes and starters and instead offered up a series of small plates to give guests a wide range of flavours and taste experiences. First up was a shot of spicy red bean soup inspired by Presilla’s Puerto Rican recipe. I have to say I found her book ever so slightly overwhelming (and no pictures!) but doing the supperclub made me properly trawl through and test things out, which I am glad of. The spicy thick soup was freshened up with a sofrito which is basically a sauce you add at the last minute. Full of freshness from lime, peppers, chillis, coriander and red onion it gives the soup a real fresh bite.

Next up were my favourites- little potato cakes filled with cheese and spring onion and fried in bright orange achiote oil. They were served up with a sweet and spicy peanut mole and fresh salad. Comforting and very moreish!

Potato Cake

It wouldn’t be a latin American event without a classic empanada. I experimented with two fillings. The first, a veggie option, was sweet potato, black bean and chipotle all bound up in a butter based pastry. The second was beef shin slowly braised in beer, coriander, Amarillo chilli and lime – which you may remember from our Peruvian event earlier this year. This came in a lard based pastry for the meat eaters! Both pastries were lovely to work with – very soft, flexible and compliant! However I felt the butter based pastry gave the best result. The beef filling, for me, was by far the winner – complex flavours of sour heat combined with comforting soft beef, yum!

Empanada

For my next starter I looked to Peru, land of quinoa, for a super healthy but tasty salad. Quinoa was dressed in a uchucuta sauce made from cheese, herbs, corn and Amarillo chilli. I added some sunflower seeds for texture, orange segments for sweetness and dressed the plates with watercress, asparagus and yet more uchucuta sauce. Lots of lovely green in what was quite a brown meal overall!

Quinoa

Finally, to freshen up everybody’s palates I put together an intriguing ceviche. Essentially this is raw fish ‘cooked’ in citrus juice that is not everyone’s cup of tea! For the fish phobics I presented a brightly coloured and fresh tasting mango and chilli ceviche. For the more adventurous it was mackerel and gooseberry – two ingredients at their seasonal peak at present. I’ve only made this twice and first time I couldn’t get mackerel, the second time I struggled to get the gooseberries! Anyway oily, flaky fresh mackerel was ‘cooked’ in a tigers milk of lime, Amarillo chilli, orange juice and gooseberry puree. The result is a fresh, fruity, sour, invigorating flavour. It is a most bizarre mouthful which really confuses the brain when you get fruity freshness combined with almost smoky fishiness!

ceviche

Following a small gap Susie laid on the main event – BEEF! Freshly sourced from Keelham Hall Farm Shop, this was very good beef indeed and got everybody talking. Skirt was the cut of the day, which was flash fried, rested and then thinly sliced. It was dressed in a gorgeously tangy, earthy and firey chimmichurri. Argentinian inspired, this is a marinade that goes onto food after cooking. I really like it as a steak accompaniment as it lets the meat really sing and come to life. The smells coming from the dining room at this point were amazing, and the room went totally silent which is always a good sign. We kept the sides fresh and light given the food enslaught there had been! One of these was a Cuban avocado salad – a bit of a deconstructed guacamole. Secondly was a classic Mexican red rice, spiked with tomatos, garlic and chilli.

beef and chimmichurri

And so now on to the weather… a beautiful, hot summers day, which would have been a delight had we not been sweltering and melting away in an extremely hot kitchen! The dining room was equally balmy and so we offered up some icy mango sorbet to refresh plates and cool people down. Seconds later and the heavens opened with a torrential downpour that lasted until the small hours – not ideal for guests who had come in shorts and sandals!

Dessert was a homage to chocolate, caramel and passion fruit – surely the three best things in the world?! This dainty trio came in the form of a white chocolate and passion fruit mousse topped with dark chocolate mousse. This clever little pud creates its own sauce when the passionfruit syrup collects in the bottom as the mousse sets. This came with a crumbly cinnamon shortbread biscuit sandwiched together with a rich chocolate ganache. Finally it wouldn’t be a Manor celebration without some of our now famous salted caramel ice cream, so full of sugar and salt that it barely sets, particularly on a hot day! Still tastes fit though.

For petit fours I made some marshmallows, which I have been obsessed with making for ages but have always been too scared to do. Want to know the gossip?… They’re dead easy! Yes, admittedly they do involve sugar thermometers, hot syrup and a lot of whisking. But if you can see past that then do give them a go. Mine were mocha flavoured – subtly rippled with coffee and chocolate and dusted with cocoa. They seemed an apt nod to the Aztecs and were perfectly light to finish off such a huge meal!

Marshmallows

Because we really wanted to finish our guests off, Susie made some delicious take home cupcakes, of the chocolate orange variety. Hope our guests had them for breakfast this morning!

Our guests were mainly newbies which was lovely! We loved talking to Jan from Ambleside who is thinking of setting of her own supperclub venture and we look forward to the invite when it’s launched in the next few months! It was a shame that, for various reasons, there were NO taxis available come home time. It was a lesson to us, and so we’ll ask guests to prebook taxis in future to facilitate an easy night. You’d think that in a city the size of Leeds that transport wouldn’t be an issue, but anyway!

So, all in all it was lovely getting the Manor back together again after a three month break. Renovations are still ongoing so we will be doing some adhoc dinners and teas to fit around this for the rest of the year. Dates will be going up over the coming weeks so keep an eye out. In the meantime if you fancy some delicious cakes, bakes and savouries courtesy of me and Sticky Pinny then why not book onto our Mediterranean Afternoon Tea on August 16th. We still have a couple of spaces left so be quick and grab them!

A Mediterranean Afternoon Tea

We’re pleased to announce that August’s Dinner at the Manor event will be a Mediterranean afternoon tea! It’s been a while since Dan and I have got our bake on and we can’t think of anything better than sharing our sweet and savoury delights with our wonderful guests.

Think fresh summertime flavours in a chic and vintage environment, coupled with some delectable bakes to tickle your tastebuds.

The event takes place on Saturday 16th August 2014 2pm to 4pm. Tickets cost £20 each and get you a welcome drink on arrival, a selection of savouries, sandwiches, cakes and treats.

Click below to book on, 12 spaces are available.

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For our booking terms and conditions click here.

Gastronomic Glasgow

The lovely Scottish Highlands

The lovely Scottish Highlands

I’ve been off gallivanting round the beautiful Scottish highlands this past week, the North coast to be precise. Full of bleak, dramatic and breath-taking scenery all in one! It’s a fair old schlep up there from Leeds so we broke our journey home in the bustling metropolis of Glasgow for some on trend eating and drinking. I have to admit that I did expect Glasgow to be a bit more shiny and gleaming than it was, especially given that the Commonwealth Games take place in less than a month – the Olympic effect it has not had, which is a shame. Having said that we still stumbled on a few gems that it’s worth sharing with you.

The newly developing area of Finnieston is where it’s at in Glasgow these days. About 2 miles out of the city centre, this was once an industrial wasteland in rapid decline since the end of ship building heyday. However a bit of organic regeneration has seen it start to emerge like a phoenix from the recession ashes. Cheap rents and proximity to the city have attracted young folk and with young folk come trendy bars and eateries, winner! The Finnieston end of the very long Argyle Street is where to head – sympathetically renovated buildings now play home to delicious restaurants, pop ups and speakeasys. If I had to compare it to anywhere I’d say Leeds’ Call Lane when it was first burgeoning (although that doesn’t do it justice at all tbh).  A better comparison is Uberkampf in Paris which has recently transformed from a pretty rough area into a hip and happening oasis of fun and frivolity.

The Gannet - Finnieston, Glasgow

The Gannet – Finnieston, Glasgow

We ate the at the hotly tipped Gannet - a homage to good Scottish produce, served up in a once derelict building. They cure their own meats and smoke their own fish, so I’m wasn’t going to argue. The venue is all bare brick, exposed wires and natural wood. Staff were friendly, genuinely interested in you and helpful in explaining the menus. They do a good early bird, even on a Saturday, but we still opted for the ala carte because it sounded so nice.Gannet Menu

For starters I had to go for the home smoked salmon with crab and fennel salad. The salmon was soft and light, with the smoking very gentle indeed, which is a skill in itself. My fennel salad was lovely and crisp but it’s only writing this now that I’ve realised there was no sign of the crab which is so disappointing! I feel bereft! My dining partner had the oddly paired scallops and confit chicken wing. He however reported that they were in a fact a decent pairing, the fatty, salty chicken a good counter balance to the sweet scallop and all married together nicely by the smooth pea puree.

Gannet Scallops

Gannet Salmon

For mains we both went for the borders lamb, which was a pleasingly hearty portion. The plating meant that as a diner I kept finding new little treats and tit bits on the plate that I wasn’t expecting, which meant for exciting eating! The lamb rump was soft, pink and melt in the mouth. Cubes of crispy belly gave a salty umami edge to the dish with fresh crispness delivered by the braised baby gem and broad beans. A slightly sweet cumin sauce kept the dish beautifully moist and colourful. It was very good eating indeed!

Gannet Lamb

For dessert we shared a caramel fondant and tonka bean ice cream. I still don’t understand how the fondant was produced – sponge filled with caramel… I’m guessing a sponge case injected with caramel before baking? The caramel for me was very sweet and lacking in the burnt sugar/ salty tastes I had anticipated. The ice cream had more of a coconut flavour, not that I’m entirely sure what tonka bean tastes of anyway?! It was a nice accompaniment to the warm cake, elevated by the crumbs of honeycomb on top. Overall a very pleasant meal, made special by the attention to detail in the ingredients and the attitude and attentiveness of the lovely staff.

Gannet Fondant

With full bellies we luckily had room for a few cocktails and so my other tips for Finnieston include – the Kelvingrove Café for grown up cocktails. It’s right next door to the Gannet and is decorated in the style of a vintage Parisian café upstairs and an illegal 1920s speakeasy downstairs. We sat downstairs and enjoyed watching the bar man expertly and speedily produce our cocktails in cut glass. All are gin and vermouth based, so my kind of place! A few doors down is the Finneston, which is a nautical themed pub – think lots of wood and portholes! Again gin is big business here with over sixty on offer. There’s an extensive menu to tempt you. I went for the Scottish gin and tonic which comes with fresh red apple. This was extremely refreshing but too gluggabale! I swiftly moved on to their signature martini which comes wet as standard and includes grapefruit oils. There’s a huge ritual to making the drinks which is lovely to watch. The martinis are served up in tiny glasses but then the remainder of the mix is given to you in a mini jug so that you can top up to your heart’s content. I liked the idea of adding aromatic oils to the drink but felt it wasn’t as pronounced as I would have expected it to be. I’ll be trying the dirty martini next time which comes with the brine from kalamata olives, yum!

Cocktail

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So, if like me you’re more of an Edinburgh kind of person then do give Glasgow’s Finneston suburb a look in next time you’re in Scotland. It’s edgier, more creative and more innovative then the foodie scene in Edinburgh and whilst it doesn’t have the same romantic, historic charm of Edinburgh, it’s worth a look in to keep up with the latest trends and fads.

Read more about Finnieston here – http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2014/feb/09/a-day-in-finnieston-glasgow-city-guide