A really, really good food day.

Rooi Kate Spade | It's Cohen Blog
Menagerie Afternoon Tea | It's Cohen Blog
Alabama's Manchester NQ | It's Cohen Blog
Manchester fashion blog | It's Cohen Blog
Menagerie Manchester sushi | It's Cohen Blog
Kate Spade clear umbrella from Rooi | It's Cohen Blog
Kate Spade eyes umbrella | It's Cohen Blog
Menagerie Manchester Afternoon Tea | It's Cohen Blog
Manchester Fashion Blogger | It's Cohen Blog

Alabama's Brunch and Menagerie Afternoon Tea

I'm normally really organised when it comes to sorting out my social life. I like having everything in my calendar, because otherwise there's literally zero chance of me turning up (thanks to the constant chaos happening inside my head). According to aforementioned calendar, this post should be called "a really, really good food weekend" but, you guessed it, I clearly cocked up and ended up ubering from one side of Manchester to the other, but... that's another story.

I met up with Tori from @unfoldtheday for brunch at Alabama's in the Nothern Quarter early on Saturday. We'd arranged to go there as somewhere neither of us had visited before, and we managed to be one of the few people who nabbed a table immediately (hint: go pre-10am). I went for bannoffee french toast (yep) and Tori opted for eggs benedict. Even though I went for the "small" size of three slices, don't think you're getting a health meal as I was full to the brim and could quite happily have napped it away on the leather sofas. However, instead we headed to the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art and mooched for a while out of the rain.

Next I met my uni pal Georgia for lunch at El Capo. No photos. El Capo and I are a friendship based on margaritas (this trip was no different), and we were halfway through a bottle of wine when I got a text from Clare saying they'd just been seated in Menagerie, so to just call when I was there. Apparently, Sunday was actually Saturday, so I headed off in search of something bubbly.

Afternoon tea at Menagerie is an event. A very long, very good event. Laura, Clare and I started with champagne (as all good stories start), and went through the courses of sandwiches, cakes and then scones, as well as them letting us try some sushi, which is always a welcome addition. I'd seen it on everyone's instagram prior to entering so I knew exactly what to expect from the venue, but it's true that Menagerie is beautiful, and you need to go if you're a fan of opulent interiors that give Manchester a good name.

We then went to Gaslight, but probably the less said about that the better.

For this odd but beautiful mix, I wore an outfit of ol' faithfuls. These & Other Stories kick flares have definitely earned their place in my wardrobe, and thankfully the guys over at Rooi had popped a Kate Spade umbrella in the post so I wasn't too soggy by the end of the day.

If you've got any more Manchester food recommendations, I'm more than happy to do a service to all and go try it out. Challenge, accepted.

What I Wore

Kate Spade umbrella: c/o Rooi. Laura Ashley trench coat. Oasis turtleneck top. And Other Stories jeans. Zara silver boots. Urban Outfitters bag.
Photos by Tori.

What's on Insta


And so the the story begins: city dweller.

Interior design ideas for rented homes | www.itscohen.co.uk
Burgundy Roberts radio | www.itscohen.co.uk
Marks and Spencer flowers | www.itscohen.co.uk
Laura Ashley bell jar lamp | www.itscohen.co.uk
Make up storage ideas | www.itscohen.co.uk
Laura Ashley concrete candle holder | www.itscohen.co.uk
Laura Ashley blog | www.itscohen.co.uk
Interior design ideas | www.itscohen.co.uk
Laura Ashley trench coat | www.itscohen.co.uk
Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay | www.itscohen.co.uk
Laura Ashley pink velvet cushion | www.itscohen.co.uk
Oxblood and Rose Gold Roberts Radio | www.itscohen.co.uk

Making a rented house a home

What I started with:
A bed, bedside table, teeny tiny wardrobe and beautiful windows.

What I've added:
Pink velvet cushion, bell jar base lamp, pink lampshade, make up rack (which is technically a spice rack, but you just try and stop me) and stone base candle holder: all c/o Laura Ashley.
Roberts radio (which was a very kind birthday present), Homesense vase, M&S photo frame (I bought it in the January sales, so there might be 1 or 2 hanging around), and cards from lots of lovely people.

Bedside table essentials:
Evermore London candle, M&S candle holder, Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream, Caudalie vinosource eye cream, Kiehl's moisturiser, Morris & Co hand cream, good books and a couple of issues of Stylist magazine.

After weeks and weeks of staying in airbnbs, who would've thought I'd actually end up here? Everyone's had their moments of homelessness (or is that just my friends and I?), but I moved into my new place in Ancoats with Laura almost two months ago and it's finally starting to feel like a lil corner of Essex in Manchester. As I moved up with my faithful suitcase in tow, I didn't cart up all my belongings in one go, which meant I had to do one thing: go shopping. Obvious things aside (me carting a duvet and pillows back from the Arndale centre was a sight, I'm sure, it bloody felt it), there were just a few things on my list to make things feel a little bit more like home. As anyone who knows me is well aware, I'm a big ol' fan of the guys at Laura Ashley. I often pop into their shop in Chelmsford to get away from Missoula's DJs the hustle and bustle, and love making mental lists of Things I Need, and pinning them for later. Turns out, they look just as perfect in Manchester as they did in Essex, and I was lucky enough to be sent a few pieces as a little housewarming (flatwarming?) present.

I won't chat for too long, but if you want to hear my tips on how to decorate a rented place then hop on over to the Laura Ashley blog.

Coffee and antique books.

UK fashion blogs | www.itscohen.co.uk
Warehouse faux leather skirt | www.itscohen.co.uk
Adidas Superstars women | www.itscohen.co.uk
John Rylands Library, Manchester | www.itscohen.co.uk
Manchester John Rylands Library | www.itscohen.co.uk
Laura Ashley trench coat | www.itscohen.co.uk
Manchester fashion bloggers | www.itscohen.co.uk
Pot Kettle Black coffee, Manchester | www.itscohen.co.uk
New Look white t-shirt | www.itscohen.co.uk

An afternoon in Manchester.

When my mum visited, she came armed with a Time Out guide to the city. Me being me, had refused point blank to invest in one, instead relying on word of mouth recommendations and mcr confidential. But I'll give the guide book its dues: it does have some pretty good shouts on its books. On this day, we started off in Federal (my suggestion, get that smirking emoji out), before heading off on the recommendations of some London ponce.

We started off at the John Rylands library, which is slap bang in the middle of town, Spinningfields way. I've gone past it countless times and always thought "I should probably check that out". Of course, me being human, saying something and doing it are quite different things, and I'd never quite managed to make it inside. But, word of advice, make the effort. It is absolutely beautiful in there, and has been perfectly restored and cared for. It houses fragments of the bible which I believe is a people pleaser, but if you want a true insider tip you've gotta check out the toilets in the basement. Now I know why their slang term is throne.

We then had that awkward "it's not quite dinner time, but we sorta can't be bothered to go shopping" period of time, so we headed to another one of Time Out's recommendations: Pot Kettle Black. Now, being a sucker for a good name, I was on side from the off. Add in a good playlist and free chocolates, and I'm pretty sure I've found a new favourite. (And it's owned by two rugby players who are in there loads, if you're that way inclined.)

I don't have any photos, but after we headed to Sam's Chop House, replete with bronze statue of Lowry propping up the bar. The portions here are massive, so definitely don't expect just a tiny bite to eat, but it definitely had some old school charm to it.

I'm slowly starting to get to know Manchester (via my stomach), and I can see why so many people cite it as their favourite city. You've still got a way to go to beat Liverpool, but you're getting there. Do let me know if you've got any must-go places I need to try!

What I'm wearing:

The bombed out church.

laura ashley trench coat
oasis fringed jumper
liverpool fashion blogs
oasis denim a-line button down skirt
liverpool cathedral gif
adidas spezial black white
liverpool fashion bloggers
oasis artisan fringed jumper
liverpool fashion blog
Oasis artisan fringed jumper: £27, with staff discount, now has 30% off! Oasis denim skirt: £5, sample sale. Laura Ashley trench coat (old). Adidas Spezial: £27.

Do you know how much is takes to not hum the first line of that Wombats song every time I pull into Liverpool station? A lot, I promise. I don't head up North as much as I'd like as it can be really bloody expensive, but a chilled train journey and knowing that I had the next week off set this trip up for success. The plan for this trip was to meet my university friends in Manchester, but I thought I'd pop up a day early in order to catch up with some scousers (one hardcore, one honorary) and have an overdue wander round the Mersey capital.

Within minutes of dropping my stuff off at an airbnb, I was being educated in pizza fries. I kid you not, I knew Jade knew her local delicacies, but these were on a whole other level. We spent our Friday evening catching up over a whole lot of good stuff at Portland Street 358 (as featured on Jade's instagram enough times to make me say "we've got to go" when she suggested anywhere else) before an Adele-fuelled trip back into town.

After a loooong sleep (surprising, considering I was right next to a bar who were hosting a terrible live band. Who needs earplugs when you've been working flat out, tho?), it was brunch and catch up time with the beaut Sade, who was also kind enough to take these photos for me outside the bombed out church. We, of course, went to the old faithful Leaf before heading our separate ways.

Have any of you guys visited Liverpool recently? Or, even better, live there? I'd love to get your tips for the best places to go (and I don't just mean Someplace, because I think I only need to try those absinthe cocktails once...)

PS, if anyone can help me work out how to make the tables in this post mobile responsive, hit a sista up.

You think we look pretty good together.

essex fashion blogger
bridge of sighs oxford
hardys oxford sweet shop
bridge of sighs oxford blogger
oriel college oxford august
bridge of sighs oxford fashion bloggers
grand cafe oxford afternoon teamagdalen college oxford university
aquazurra lace up dupes warehouse blogger
vintage bally bag
oxford university museum of natural history
grand cafe oxford bar
suede button up skirt blogger outfit
oxford england
laura ashley trench coat
view from carfax tower oxford university
bridge of sighs oxford university
Laura Ashley trench coat (old). Topshop print top: £24 (old). Vintage suede skirt: £8, charity shop. Bally bag: £9, vintage shop. Warehouse lace up flats: £29. Esie Belle necklace: £9.

There's just something about Oxford, isn't there? The city of dreaming spires is one that I don't visit all that frequently, but every trip leaves me feeling a little more relaxed and in love with this country. It may have its own tube (hoho), but this city is all about retaining its heritage and tradition, which comes as a nice break from fast-paced London's silicon roundabout, coremetrics, edialog and UAT. Of course, it did manage to tip it down for roughly 90% of our trip meaning that country air had a hint of raindrop to it (say hello to Yankee candle's new copywriter??), but in a ten minute break we managed to take advantage of smaller than usual crowds beneath the bridge of sighs. Oxford may be a far cry from Venice, but the eponymous (chicken? egg? Wiki'll tell you who came first, I'm sure) architecture is still pretty bloody beautiful, and it's almost enough to make me wish I'd tried a liiittle bit harder whilst revising for my A Levels and make it here to study full time.

As a hardcore His Dark Materials fan, we also headed up Carfax tower to experience Oxford from the rooftops. It might not have been a day for clambering across from building to building, but we definitely made the most of our trip among the spires. Spiral staircase aside (I'm writing this after a big bowl of pasta* - let's not think about all that twirling, unless it's spaghetti round a spoon of course), it's the best place to see the city from, and even better when the sun breaks through the seemingly impenetrable greys of a month's worth of rain in two days. We didn't head inside any of the colleges this time (remember when we bunked into Magdalen?), but from the little we could see from peeking in through the grand wooden doors there's plenty more to see inside. I mean, just look at the museum - and this is the new stuff!

*I'm currently oop norf and this post is scheduled, never quite managed to have pasta for breakfast. Yet.
Hello, I'm Rebecca: social media exec, new-ish coffee drinker and loafer-wearer.
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