Happy St. Patrick’s Day

This is actually last week’s post but I have been saving for today since today actually is St. Patrick’s day.

I’m half English and half American but my American half is predominantly Irish American so St. Patrick’s day has always been celebrated in our house, mostly by my Mom decorating everything in green. Very pretty and spring-like Mom :).

St. Patrick’s day is also a big thing in Manchester where I live. I really have am not sure why, although the parade did show that there were more Irish people in Manchester than I had realised! But surely there are still more English people? We have a day of St. George’s celebration and not very much of that but for St. Patrick’s day there is a 2 week market with a big parade and lots of musical events. St. David and St. Andrew don’t even get a look in.

Not that I’m complaining! I love a big celebration šŸ˜€ The markets are not as good as the Christmas ones but are fun to browse none-the-less. The parade however was a great deal of fun. My father is responsible for the below pictures as he, Mom and my little sister came across for the weekend. Mom and Chloe came to shop, watch the parade and see me. Dad came to show off his new Mazda.

Mom and I also went to Teacup in the afternoon for tea (and scones but shhhh we did not tell our husband/boyfriend).

Teacup recently went through a renovation and is now… very brown. I am not sure if they just aren’t finished or if ‘brown’ was what they were going for.

The tea there is great though, they have the bestĀ jasmine. Unfortunately it is not on offer with the cream tea as it is rather pricey, but for the occasional treat the jasmine pearls are definitely worth it. It also comes in those cute double walled tea cups which I adore and cannot afford.

Since I cannot drink caffeine I had a pot of rooibos which is a caffeine-free tea from South Africa. It has a honeyed taste and is good black or with milk and sugar.

The scones we had were giant and had real strawberries on them but I feel that they could have spread the cream and jam to the edges. Over all very tasty and Mom and I had a good time. The other cakes on show also looked delicious and there was a rainbow cake that looked particularly fun.

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Chaophraya

My friend Kim and I had been intending to go out for a cream tea with cocktails one weekend soon, unfortunately my work schedule changed and suddenly I don’t have any Saturday’s off any more! Boo hoo!

So to make up for it we decided to go out for dinner instead. Having fanciedĀ ThaiĀ for a while we went to Chaophraya (do not ask me how this is pronounced, I’ve never worked it out!). The one in the city centre here is the big sister of the Chaobaby in the Trafford centre that Kim went to a couple of months ago. It was her post that made me start wanting to go for Thai again the first place and so we finally went.

The restaurant itself is modern but warm with a flare for lighting.

(The below images are all from the Chaophraya website)

Kim and I sat at the table in the corner by the wine. A good place to sit when the doctor has told you not to drink alcohol. Mind you he also told me not to eat spicy food and the food here definitely had a slight kick.

I always have a hard time deciding what to have, especially since they seem to change the menu every time I visit. However my difficulties were nothing compared to Kim’s! We had indecision down to an art.

In the end we decided to split a starter and have it as a side dish and then each get a main.

Kim went for Seafood and Papaya salad for her main, mostly to try papaya. Unfortunately either papaya is very tasteless or it was overwhelmed by the batter it was in. The salad itself was very good however and Kim enjoyed her fish; the mussels were huge! I have never encountered a spicy salad before but I did like the bit of Kim’s I tried, which is not bad for a person who does not like fish! I also tried some squid for the first time in my life and discovered that the texture if a bit like undercooked chicken, but Kim says it is supposed to be like that so there you go! The presentation of the salad was great, look at that big plateful :).

seafood salad and duck

Also in this picture is the duck we split from the starters menu. It is wrapped in Pandan leaves and served with Hoi Sin sauce. The duck was tender and delicious, a slightly sweeter taste but very peppery, yum! I enjoyed my main but I think the duck was my favourite part of the meal.

My main was Chicken with cashew nuts, which was slightly spicy but not overpoweringly so. I had it with a side of sticky rice. The chicken was well cooked and the sauce was excellent. The chicken was served with carrot, mushroom, cashews (obviously) and both spanish and spring onion.

Overall Kim and I had a very pleasant evening out, especially since we went and got Thornton’s ice cream afterwards as well!

We did feel that the service could have been better, when we arrived we had to go and find a server to seat us after waiting at the desk for a few minutes and we did have some difficulty catching someone’s eye for the bill. The food is the important thing though so overall I would recommend a visit to Chaophraya (and in fairness we have previously always had good service there).