Being part Italian I'm certainly partial to a bit of good old fashioned, home cooked style Italian grub and my night at Jamie's Italian Manchester with B certainly didn't disappoint!
We headed for Manchester, and took the opportunity to do a little bit of exploring while hunting down Jamie's.
I took a cheeky photo opportunity moment to rest on the steps outside Manchester Cathedral and soak up the last of the evening sun...
Dress c/o French Connection // Necklace c/o oNecklace // Shoes: New Look // Blazer: New Look // Bracelet: Local Market // Bag: George*
The dress I'm wearing is a beautiful French Connection number - it's super soft, almost silky, and really comfortable too. I love the way it swishes when I walk, I feel really ladylike wearing it. The dusty pink and grey colours are perfect for the gorgeous weather we've been having this month! It's already become a fast favourite of mine and has been pulled out of my wardrobe more than once already!
(p.s. if you'd like a cheeky 10% one of the gorgeous monogrammed necklaces from oNecklace (this is my second one!), they've kindly provided a code just for you! Simply head to their Etsy store and use JustRach at the checkout!)
It just so happened that the super fab Laundry Boutique, on the way to Jamie's, was having a press event. There was just enough time to pop in and do a spot of browsing shopping! I may have made a few sneaky purchases, though I saw so many lovely things in there I had to exercise some serious restraint!
They had delicious nibbles and champagne too, which I couldn't resist! It was the perfect pit-stop on the way to the restaurant.
Upon arrival we were greeted by the absolutely lovely front of house staff and after a little bit of background about the restaurants history as an old bank, we were swiftly ushered over to the incredibly impressive bar.
It was almost too difficult to choose from the extensive cocktail menu, but a little tipple did catch my eye! I recently went to a blogging event at the Millenium Copthorne Hotel (post to follow) where I learned to make a deliciously fruity number called a Bramble. I'm totally hooked on them now, so as soon as I saw them on the Jamie's bar menu I immediately ordered two (one for B, of course)!
After receiving our cocktails we were taken upstairs to be seated at a balcony table with a really fantastic view across the whole restaurant. You can even have a nosey over the bar and into the kitchen at the back. Jamie's is fantastic if you're into people watching (like me!) and the view is really quite something. The high vaulted ceilings are really beautiful, it's an idyllic setting to sit and have a relaxing meal.
After settling into our seats, admiring the view and sipping on our scrumptious cocktails, and having a lovely waitress explain all of the specials to us, we both dived in to the menu.
I can't resist a good bruschetta and I was delighted to see a few choices on the very reasonably priced list. In the end I opted for the Crab and Avocado offering. It was a good choice too, absolutely delicious! B went for the Grilled Asparagus option.
I made light work of the delightfully fresh crab & avocado, and crispy, crunchy bruschetta! It wasn't long at all before I had an empty plate in front of me and I was eagerly awaiting my main meal. I chose the Soft Shell Crab (I know, more crab!) for my main, as it's something I've often heard good things about but never tried for myself. I wasn't disappointed at all. B chose a very Italian pasta and meatballs ensemble, which I had a cheeky nibble of and can confirm was delicious too!
Yes, yes before you ask my mother did indeed teach me not to play with my food - but you can't blame me for not being able to resist in this case! I loved the presentation of the two whole crabs. I didn't know what to expect when tucking in, but biting into the crab is so delightful. I expected a crunch but there wasn't one at all, it was really lovely and soft with a very delicate crab taste. I will certainly be having this dish again! After greedily gobbling up our second course we sipped on yet more cocktails while we had a look over the dessert menu. I chose a fruit pavlova and B went for a traditional tiramisu with an orange twist.
10 points for presentation. Don't you just want to reach into your screen and take a bite?! I know I do!
I couldn't help but have one last drink before leaving, and I chose to go for the espresso martini, rather than the traditional after dinner coffee that most Italians are so accustomed to.
When we first arrived, the lovely front of house staff tipped us off about a little secret hiding under the restaurant. Jamie's used to be a big old bank, and as you can probably tell from the photos, they did a fantastic job of preserving as much of the bank as possible. This was also true of the bank vaults. Down the stairs under the restaurant are the toilets, which are fabulously converted vaults. The main attraction though, is the massive metal vault door, with all it's elaborate mechanisms on show, and the secret dining room that hides behind it. B and I peeked in through the door and were immediately in awe of the room. Wall to wall, floor to ceiling, super old style safe deposit boxes. It was beautiful! Not to mention the stunning table running right through the middle. We were instantly trying to think of an occasion to have a party and hire out the amazing room. We did a little bit of nosing around and took a few cheeky snaps - have a look for yourself, it's incredible!
We had an absolutely fantastic evening at Jamie's Italian and enjoyed some really delicious food, cocktails and surrounding. Huge thanks to the team for inviting us along. It's safe to say we will be back in no time at all, we're still looking for an excuse to make use of the beautiful vault!
Have you eaten at a Jamie's Italian? Do you love Italian food too?
I'd love your comments and thoughts below, or: @justrachblog // firstname.lastname@example.org