Pelican Landing

A Travel and Lifestyle Blog between Manchester and Munich

Today I´m gonna introduce you to a true Mancunian gem, I have fallen instantly in love with. Pie & Ale in Manchester´s Northern Quarter, who have launched their new summer this week. 
Before I´m gonna chat you through some of the new items some words on my first ever visit there in Feb this year. I know super late to review now, but somehow these pictures were just hiding in my TO-BLOG folder.

We booked a table at Pie and Ale at the weekend, to all get to know each other a bit better on my uni course- and whats better for bonding than a pie and tasting some beers? The interior at Pie and Ale is absolutely lovely and very welcoming. You can chose between a quick pint at the bar, a comfy booth or just have your table outside on a little terrace-y area. If you like to watch football they also do a beer hall now with screens, which looks a million times better than what Bierkeller is doing. 

The selection of beers seems to be ever changing and is absolutely excellent. Doing an international course we took the chance to try different beers from our respective home countries and went of the recommendations of our fellow uni mates. Also the waitress seemed to be very knowledgeable about the taste of the various brews and ciders. To my delight I could introduce my friends to some of my Munich favorites and also try a pint of new independent brewery. The prices are fairly decent and Erdinger on draught is always a plus for me.

To wash our beers down we all ordered some pies, and were absolutely stunned by the presentation ( how cute are the little dough cut outs on top??) as well as the quality. If you have ever had a Holland´s pie the difference could´t be bigger- it literally tastes like fresh from your mum´s kitchen. Between us we sampled the entire menu and after having a bite of everyone´s choice I can truly say they were all delicious.
So far so good. Since that night we came back a few times for drinks but it was only until their launch offer on twitter ( 50 % off their new Gourmet Pies on the summer menu) that we decided to go back as a group for food, to celebrate the end of our term with a nice dinner.

The Gourmet Pies are supposed to be open pies, with various fillings, from kangaroo, venison and salmon to wild boar and a super food option for vegetarians. 
I went for the soy salmon with chili, wasabi mash and raw beetroot. To my surprise, my pie was made of filo-pastry, rather than short-crust. If I had known before I definitely would have changed my order, and its a shame that this isn´t indicated on the menu- I reckon I won´t be the last one to be surprised by this. My marinated soy chilli salmon, tasted of nothing but soy and I couldn´t even make out the slightest heat from any chili in there which made it taste rather bland. The salmon skin was completely soggy unfortunately and not crispy. The wasabi mash was nice but lacked salt. The beetroot seemed a bit lost in the dish and for me was unnecessary, especially as it wasn´t spiced or seen any salt. 
All our pies where fairly small portions and we all really felt like having a starter rather than a main course. Given the mark-up on price, the portion size should be reconsidered. We were´t too bothered as we only paid around 6 pound per dish, but it would´t have been worth paying the full amount for it. I get the idea of a "lighter pie" in a summer version but I just couldn´t warm up to it fully, also the dishes didn´t seem to be well balanced and could do with a bit refinement.

Still for me Pie and Ale is one of my go-to places for a nice meal in Manchester and I will definitely return for the usual pie selection and my favourite beers. 

P.S. I´d love to see you on twitter or instagram @IsabelMunich! If you enjoyed reading this feel free to follow me on bloglovin or share this with your dearest friends! Love, Isabel
What a lucky find in Camden!  Ok it wasn't my find at all- as I had a friend living in London recommending it to me, after lusting after some sushi all day. Overall we had to 2 hours to kill before our late evening train back up to Manchester, and with it only being a sone´s throw away from the station it was a perfect final stop of our day. The restaurant itself is spotlessly clean, full of members of the asian community and the menu small- for me the first things I check in asian restaurants. Bento Ramen claims to be slightly Japanese but the selection is rather on the Pan-Asian-Fusion side. 

Although praised for its Ramen, we decided to order various cold dishes after a super hot day out. Between us we order fried baby squid, the chef´s dumpling selection, baby calamari, sashimi salad, hot summer rolls, prawn skewers and rice as a side. All dishes arrived after just a short wait, all freshly prepared and more or less at the same time- perfect for sharing. The fried items, had different batters and were fried in fresh oils. No greasy stinky crust. The summer rolls ( salmon roll, topped with scallops and caviar) were excellent and we actually just ordered them after seeing the lovely picture of a fellow yelper. 

The service on the night was very attentive and friendly, which often is an issue at asian restaurants, and also the reason I´m not setting in RED CHILLI any time soon. All dishes were cleared straight away, with a smile and double checks if we liked everything. Yes I liked everything here and would definitely return. 
Overall we paid just about 55 pound including drinks ( beer/ water/ coke), wich I find really good value for money given the freshness of the dishes and the location

P.S. I´d love to see you on twitter or instagram @IsabelMunich! If you enjoyed reading this feel free to follow me on bloglovin or share this with your dearest friends! Love, Isabel
I know some of you follow me on twitter and have already seen my endless tweets about #mypugliaexperience and the amazing opportunity Puglia´s Tourism board is putting out there for a bunch of european youths: A one week tour through Puglia ( for those of you who are not that familiar with Italian geography- its right down at the imaginary heel of italy-), with 8 people from each country embarking on different tours to discover food, music, tradition, landscape and all the sights in between.

As an avid traveller I just had to sign up for it - and before you give me your vote I quickly wanted to share the reasons I NEED TO GO!

1. I´ve always loved Italy and have the best memories of my childhood spending summers in our little apartment at the Lido di Jesolo or autumns hiking in South Tyrol or skiing in winter. But for some odd reason I have never managed to travel further south than Verona, which is an utter shame seeing all the pictures on WeAreInPuglia´s Facebook account. So make me expand my Italy map all the way down south!

2. My love for food and locally sourced produce has grown over the years and we all know how good the italian cuisine is for your health and look, so I´m pretty sure I can find lots of inspiration for new dishes besides the usual "Penne Arrabiata" and "Spaghetti Bolognese". I´ve just read that fishermen actually kill squid on their boats, eating it raw- which for me is fascinating as I´m currently living in a country where I find out that the Morrisons chicken which I had for lunch  is actually from Thailand, yummy right? This approach to freshness and tradition and not being infested by food multinationals makes it so appealing for me to go!

3. Nature, nature nature. Seriously have you seen the pictures? I´m probably spoiled, having spent so much Florida and I consider myself rather difficult to impress but I have truly never seen a coast line so rough and beautiful at the same time. It looks so peaceful and tranquil that I can actually see myself getting up really early to catch a sunrise and have a swim before breakfast. Oh and I definitely would´t say no to a little horseback ride ending in a picknick around a campfire.

4. I´ve just finished university- yay the first time I´m actually mentioning this on here but I´ve finished my masters and can´t wait to write a new chapter of my life. But before actually heading into the business world I reckon it´s the perfect moment to take a little time out and step back from everything. Just me, new travel companions and my camera so I can make sure you can follow every aspect of this journey!

Convinced? Click RANKINGS / GERMANY and VOTE IsabelMunich

P.S. I´d love to see you on twitter or instagram @IsabelMunich! If you enjoyed reading this feel free to follow me on bloglovin or share this with your dearest friends! Love, Isabel

Pictures courtesy of
As a quick note: The Alnatura mix is only available in Germany, as far as I know, but for my UK readers you might give it a shot at ebay or ask some friends to bring some over! I have actually flown my over from Germany, as I don´t really eat a lot of meat and could´t find a british equivalent. If you have any ideas on where to get a mix just leave me a comment!

The mix was super easy to prepare, basically just add some hot water and stir well. Simples. The package told me to let it sit for 15 minutes and then backe in the oven for 30 min or frying it in a pan. I opted for the oven, as I like the texture to be a bit crunchy and didn´t want to drown it in oil!
For extra goodness I added a slice of smoked cheddar for the last 3 minutes to melt on top.
As a bun I used some ciabatta rolls, I quickly toasted before my assembling my burger with some onion, lettuce and tomato.

I was super pleased with the result! It actually satisfied my craving for "real" burgers, which was mainly due to the great flavors and the extra cheese. When eating veggie I don´t like the thought of replacing certain ingredients but like to choose dishes that are veggie "by nature" as I strangely feel deprived otherwise. With this burger I just felt like eating a great veggie dish, without someone trying to imitate the taste of meat in a soggy tofu patty- so I reckon even non- vegetarian are going to enjoy this one! 

P.S. I´d love to see you on twitter or instagram @IsabelMunich! If you enjoyed reading this feel free to follow me on bloglovin or share this with your dearest friends! Love, Isabel
I was absolutely delighted to attend one of the Beauty Project talks in the Selfridges Manchester store at exchange square on the exciting topic of aging beauty as depicted in current media and the growing voice of women building influence in social media.

The panel consisted of Caryn Franklin, Helen Walmsey-Johnson, columnist at The Guardian and London casting director Jodie Furlong, who gave great insight on the practical side of business and market demands in contrast to wishful thinking.

Coming from a family with amazingly strong, independent women with incredible style I was really curious on what the fashion industry had to say to "no wrinkles", "botox" policies and "photoshopping" 50 year old bodies into 25 year old ones. A great contra point in recent years for me has been blogs like Advanced Style, managing to work the way up from niche topic to film project and book launch, proving that also mass media is ready to see how incredibly strong and beautiful elderly women are.

It would be too much to take down all the great statements made on the night, that were thought provoking, simple, inspirational and witty, so it´s easier for me here to add a point I was actually keen on raising on the night, but due to time limits on the Q&A sessions I wasn´t able to.

As raised by Helen, the main development in growing older for her was to feel more comfortable with herself, comfortable with her body and her general attitude towards life and men. Men in this discussion were in my perception blamed for a huge proportion of the stigmatization of variety and aging and I feel we are misjudging them

The fashion industry is like no other represented by women in decision making positions, who can well stand up to any male panels, especially in departments such as marketing, PR and digital advertising. 

The main unease women, and especially young women feel is the comparison amongst women and not the pressure to look immaculate imposed on them by elderly CEOs looking for trophy wives. In my experience men are far more open to diverse looks of women and less pedantic on perfect shape, size 6, blonde hair than we are amongst each other on a daily basis.

I argue that with growing experience in life, aging eases the discomfort of the never ending comparison between other women, which gives us the power to express beauty and fashion in the way we always wanted but never dared to, fearing the comparison by other women, either in our social circle or when consuming media. We are less competitive growing old, or simply compete on the basis of brains rather than beauty. 

We can´t expect men to change decision making for us whilst until the age of about 40 we don´t manage to stick together and empower the women around us, regardless of their perception of beauty and trends. The acceptance of beauty and diversity at any age, doesn´t start with the board room of Unilever or Procter & Gamble but with the way we deal with members of our own gender on a daily basis. 

P.S. I´d love to see you on twitter or instagram @IsabelMunich! If you enjoyed reading this feel free to follow me on bloglovin or share this with your dearest friends! Love, Isabel
After only being introduced to Yelp last week, this was my first elite indian cooking course event  at Dilli and wow this was fun! For those of you who don´t know Yelp, Yelp offers a great platform for foodie lovers to rate their favourite restaurants, see reviews of likeminded people before heading out or sharing your travel pictures of the best foodie pics you have taken. Almost all places in town are listed so if you fancy reviewing the customer service of a new boutique - this is your platform! ( you may have also noticed the new Yelp widget in the sidebar!)

The elite group is basically an ever changing community of the most active reviewers, social butterflies and in some lucky cases... Bloggers! Yesterday we have been invited to an Indian Odyssey event at Dilli Altrincham to refine our cooking skills and try their yummy food.
To be honest, I was a bit nervous at first meeting about 30 experienced yelpers on one night but the common love of good food and drinks makes it so easy connect!

We were starting the night off with a refreshing mango lassi before heading upstairs and getting a very enthusiastic introduction to indian cuisine! For me learning about the history of dishes and their embeddedness in local culture really is key in a cooking class and I´m keen on reading into it now. 

I loved Raavi´s approach to food and attention to detail, whilst still being relaxed about recipes and he encouraged us to just experiment with spices and ingredients. He also shared his thoughts on the whole review community, having had some bad experiences at the start for not serving the usual " Tikka Masala" or "Korma", dishes that actually don´t exist in the indian cuisine at all. I bet it was a fairly stressful experience to be teaching a group of foodies and finding the confidence now to embrace the Yelp community and trust in his traditional recipes! 

After preparing our own meal to take home (to the delight of my boyfriend), it was time for us to indulge in an indian banquet prepared for us. The quality of dishes was excellent, with such balanced flavours. I´m not an expert in Indian cooking, as it is still widely unpopular in Germany, but it was much nicer than any indian food I had before.

I´ll be heading to the curry mile soon to buy all the spices to get my tikka on- or just check back in again at Dilli!

P.S. I´d love to see you on twitter or instagram @IsabelMunich! If you enjoyed reading this feel free to follow me on bloglovin or share this with your dearest friends! Love, Isabel
Once upon a time I was invited to a magical land where it´s always friday to meat the love of my life. As you could previously read on BlondeHappiness I´ve been on the burger speed dating market for quite while to find my perfect match to find the best burger in Manchester. And I can tell you this is not easy! 
The last time I set foot in TGIF was in Miami- lovely memories of warmer days, so when I arrived all soaked from the Mancunian rain it was nice that the decor made me feel instantly at home. The welcome was definitely more on the American side- which I like! I love servers introducing themselves and going the little extra mile for your needs. 

Sat down at the bar we were asked about our favorite cocktails, as there were no menus to choose from. Usually I´m a bit anxious about letting other people chose my drinks or food, I´m just a bit fussy! I don´t like overly sweet drinks, no orange or cherry juice and am more a Gin and Tonic than a Pina Colada Girl. Out lovely bar tender got it spot on: I had a French 75, a mix of Gin Champagne, Cointreau and lemon. So fresh and light with a delicate sparkle- my new favourite and I will definitely try making this for my next summer garden party.

Time to get serious: The burgers, were introduced to us on a special menu only revealing the most prominent character traits to us, but with a little help of our match making waiter it was an easy choice! The boyfriend was tempted by the sound of pulled pork and BBQ sauce and I was seduced by a real monster.

My burger patties were neatly shaped and very well done, a pretty safe sign to say they were cooked from frozen. Also the waiter confirmed the beef is sourced in Uruguay
Overall I was happy with the burger, the bun wasn´t too soggy and the streaky bacon on top super crispy. If you follow my instagram you will get a glimpse of my burger face, TGIFridays were gladly snapping while I was having my first bite. 

The promised layer of pulled pork on the boyfriends burger was basically non- existent and we could barely make out some threads of it. Looking at other blogger reviews from the same event, the same burger looked a lot better in Glasgow, which is something that should´t happen in any restaurant chain. I hope they are taking this as a chance to improve their appearance a bit. Everyone should dress up on a first date to make a good first impression, right?

As with all dates, you will have to find what suits you best. For me and my burger blind date it wasn´t love at first sight but we should stay close friends. Friends to hang out with for a delicious cocktail and true american diner atmosphere and you can return to no matter how long you haven´t seen each other. 

Thank you Keeley, for letting my hijack your blog for today and giving your spot to me! And a massive thanks to TGI Fridays for organising this lovely event.

P.S. I´d love to see you on twitter or instagram @IsabelMunich! If you enjoyed reading this feel free to follow me on bloglovin or share this with your dearest friends! Love, Isabel