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Food & Drink

Manchester baker is making incredible floral bouquets entirely from cake

Joanne’s launched her cake business during the 2020 lockdowns

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@jo_goodwin_cupcakes / Instagram

A baker has caught the eye of sweet-toothed romantics far and wide with her floral bouquets made entirely from cake.

Joanne Goodwin, a mum-of-one from Alderly Edge, started baking around ten years ago when she challenged herself to bake her own wedding cake.

And, during the 2020 lockdowns, Joanne took the plunge by quitting her day job to launch her very own baking company Jo Goodwin Cupcakes, which she runs from home.

Joanne’s business has since gone from strength-to-strength, mostly as a result of her speciality hyper-realistic floral bakes.

@jo_goodwin_cupcakes / Instagram

@jo_goodwin_cupcakes / Instagram

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News about the inspiration behind the unique floral bouquets, Joanne explained that she never really enjoyed making large cakes as she finds them to be ‘too stressful’.

She said: “Around July 2020, I came across cupcake bouquets… I’d never seen anything like them before so decided to give them ago. I purchased a few online tutorials and went from there.

Read More: Black Milk is opening up a new cafe inside a former cinema

“After hours of practising, and giving them as gifts to everyone, my husband suggested that I register as a business and start to sell them.”

Joanne spends hours researching and creating new flowers to keep the bouquets constantly updated and, depending on the size and intricacy level of the bouquet, can spend up to five hours piping and creating each individual order.

@jo_goodwin_cupcakes / Instagram

@jo_goodwin_cupcakes / Instagram

Joanne also admitted that it can be quite emotional to see her customers’ reactions to the bouquets, which she strives to make look as ‘realistic as possible’.

She said: “I sometimes feel quite overwhelmed with the reaction of some people when they first see their bouquet.

“Seeing my customers happy faces really does make the hard work and long hours’ worth it. I absolutely love it when I get sent pictures of the recipient of the bouquet when given to them as a gift.”

The bouquets range from £32.50 for a small seven-cupcake bouquet to £80 for an extra large twenty-four-cupcake bouquet – and, as you can imagine, demand is high this time of the year.

For more information and to see Joanne’s price list in full, visit the Jo Goodwin Cupcakes Facebook page

Food & Drink

Restaurant famed for ‘cheese wheel pasta’ and ‘towering lasagnas’ looking to come to Manchester

A taste of la dolce vita could be coming to Manchester

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Big Mamma Group & @bigmamma.uk / Instagram

The ‘OTT’ group famous for its pasta served in a wheel of cheese and 10-level lasagnas is reportedly looking to open a new Italian restaurant in Manchester city centre.

French-based Big Mamma Group, which owns over-the-top Italian restaurants in London – Gloria, Carlotta, Jacuzzi, Ave Mario and Circolo Popolare – will open a new venue in Gary Neville’s under-construction St Michael’s development off Deansgate.

Its restaurants are known for their flamboyant, retro interiors, resembling vintage maximalism Italian eateries, as well as US-style red sauce joints.

Big Mamma Group

The regularly changing menus feature a variety of Italian classics, including fettuccine alfredo al tartufo, spaghetti with meatballs, a famous ’10 level’ lasagne and carbonara served in a huge cheese wheel.

The Manchester restaurant will be the first UK venue to be located outside of London and will – sit alongside the also announced Japanese-Peruvian restaurant Chotto Matte, also to be built at St Michael’s.

The move follows a host of other operators in the capital choosing to open new sites in Manchester.

Big Mamma Group

Soon to arrive in the city will be the likes of Caravan, Flat Iron, Soho House and Blacklock.

Big Mamma – which was founded in 2013 by French entrepreneurs Victor Lugger and Tigrane Seydoux – has more than 20 restaurants across Europe including Paris, Monaco, Milan, Madrid and Berlin.

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Food & Drink

High-end Japanese restaurant MUSU offering 30% off in March

Take advantage of vibrant Japanese dining experience

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MUSU

High-end Japanese restaurant MUSU is offering 30% off in March for customers who sign up to its new free rewards programme.

The contemporary Japanese eatery, nestled in the heart of the city centre on Bridge Street, is launching its own membership rewards programme.

The scheme is free to join and will give members 30% off their food bill throughout March upon signing up.

MUSU

Rewards customers can enjoy discounted prices on menus including the Omakase – the theatrical, educational sushi experience which is served individually to diners at the restaurant’s six–seat omakase counter. 

This also includes the full Land of the Rising Sun tasting menus, which take in a range of cooking styles from all over Japan, devised by chef-patron Mike Shaw.

Then from April, members of the programme will be able to take advantage of a series of other rewards, including 30% off any food bill when dining at lunch time, 10% off when dining at dinner on any menu, and a 10% discount on private hire and private dining.

MUSU

The restaurant has a closed-off area for its private dining experience for guests to enjoy, which is regularly used by celebrities and food critics alike.

On top of this, members celebrating their birthdays at MUSU will receive a complimentary drink, and every reward programme member will be entered into a monthly prize draw to win a 12-course Land of the Rising Sun experience, complete with wine pairings.

You can get early access to the restaurant’s special events, like its live tuna cutting experience, where a whole bluefin tuna is carved in front of diners, while its expert sushi chefs talk you through the provenance of the fish and the skills displayed in this ancient craft.

You can sign up to MUSU’s free rewards scheme, HERE.

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Food & Drink

A Manchester Tiki bar is giving away free cocktails for life

Free Zombies for life!!!

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Gerald England / Geograph & @hulatikimcr / Instagram

One lucky winner can win free cocktails for life at a Manchester Tiki bar to celebrate 15 years of being open.

This April will mark 15 years of Hula – the Northern Quarter’s basement 1950s-style beach bar lounge – and to celebrate, the venue wants to offer one lucky winner a life-long prize to say ‘thank you’ for supporting them over the years.

Many Mancunians will have memories of being in this vibrant late night party hideout at some point, even if they are a little sketchy through a cloudy cocktail ridden haze.

Gerald England / Geograph

April 12th and 13th will be the bar’s official birthday weekend and they have some exciting plans for their guests.

As a special treat, Hulu is running a competition online where one lucky winner will be treated to free zombies for life.

All you have to do is visit @hulatikimcr on Instagram, like the post, follow the page and share to your stories for an extra entry.

In a post on Instagram, Hula wrote: “So… April will mark 15 years of Hula. I know crazy! Every one of us has memories of being in Hula at some point (some we’d probably like to forget)

“It may have gone through some changes throughout the years but Hula remains standing.

“April 12th & 13th will be our official birthday weekend and we have some exciting plans in place… more on that later. So as a special treat to celebrate, we thought why not give back to those who have kept us here all these years.

“We are giving one lucky winner free zombies for LIFE! Like FOREVER!”

Stay tuned for further details of Hula’s 15th birthday celebrations across April 12th and 13th. You can find Hula hidden below Quarter House and The Fitzgerald at 11 Stevenson Square in the Northern Quarter.

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