This year, I aim to explore as many sights, sounds, tastes and smells of Manchester as possible. I want to walk around with fresh eyes, like a tourist in my own city; and on Tuesday night I did just that with a little help from Peroni's Vivi in Stile app.
Being a Blackberry user (for my sins) I downloaded the app on Chris's Android phone. As soon as you open the app a dialogue to change the date will pop up: I didn't read it properly and just clicked "continue". Turns out you're supposed to put your birthdate in here as the app is just for users 18+.. you do get a second chance but I was somewhat panicked that my haste had locked me out of the app for good!
Chris and I had been wanting to try out Don Giovanni's for the longest time and when it popped up on the Esplorare part of the app this seemed like the perfect excuse. It's a modern restaurant smack bang in the middle of the city on Oxford Road. This isn't somewhere I'd normally go out as nothing else around there is my cup of tea (put it this way, the main bar is a Wetherspoons) but I do feel I'd go back, as the food was delicious. Perhaps not at the weekend though, when the area may be a little more, erm.. shall we say spirited?
Although the app showcases some of the best Italian design in the city, I was pleased to see a couple of my own favourite bars featured on there too. After dinner we walked up to Matt & Phred's, a Northern Quarter jazz bar, for a few cocktails and to watch that night's act, Michael Cretu. It was a quiet night at M&P's so the band were really enjoying improvising, with Cretu playing some bad-ass double bass (and also looking a bit like Javier Bardem to my two-cocktails-in eyes) and the drummer going totally bananas on his solos - cue sideways looks from the other band members to rein him in.
Whilst the app didn't reveal anything I didn't already know about Manchester, I think it will prove its worth as a real tourist visiting other cities - I'm in London next week and as although I've been a few times I still don't know all of its nooks and crannies like I do Manchester. This makes me panic about where to eat and drink, and I end up at a Starbucks or, worse, McDonalds (I don't even eat meat!). The app enables you to find somewhere a little quirkier and off the beaten track, recommended by contributors who really know the local area, giving you a taste of the city you're visiting rather than resorting to chains.
The app can be downloaded for free on both Apple and Android and will help you find Italian Stile in seven cities around the UK.
Marks & Spencer dress
Topshop heart bag (similar)