A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to my friend Medina’s launch of her collaboration with Iconic Lights. Grillo Designs is a DIY blog where Medina shares so many amazing budget-busting creations, it actually makes my head spin how she manages to find time to do it all whilst also holding down a demanding job as well as being a mother to a sweet little boy. However, this babe is NAILING it when it comes to blogging and I was so proud of her when she announced she was bringing out a line of products with her name on it so I just had to travel back to my old stomping grounds to raise a cocktail (or four) in her honour.

Menagerie Restaurant Neon Sign

The event was held at a Manchester restaurant that I’d not been to previously even though it was fully on my radar. Menagerie is a fairly new restaurant opened 2 years ago by Karina Jadhav alongside Stacey Forsey and Seema Malhotra, stars of The Real Housewives of Cheshire. Yeah, really.

Menagerie Manchester bar

Now, I’m not a regular viewer of the show (or any of the iterations that are so popular) but I tried not to let that put me off! I admit, the place is wildly OTT but it’s what you might expect, I imagine, considering the reality-show genre of its owners. It’s fun, it’s glam, it’s entertaining and I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that it was designed to get as many Instagram ‘likes’ as possible. All that said, I actually thought it made the perfect venue for the evening and we did have great fun, ate some wonderful canapes and drank a few amazing cocktails. All in, a wildly successful night!

Menagerie Manchester seating 2

Now, I’m often asked where I get inspiration from for my home and one of my favourite sources of inspiration is bars, hotels and restaurants. I think with larger budgets and the ability to push the boundaries when it comes to more public spaces, the places often provide a wealth of ideas that are not as difficult as you might think to bring home. So I thought it might be fun to re-interpret that fun, OTT look of Menagerie for you today.

Menagerie Manchester neon booth

A couple of things I rather liked about the decor was the use of ‘living walls’ and while I don’t think they were real (I didn’t actually touch them), I did think they made a pretty fun backdrop for all the neon lighting everywhere. There were also a lot of curves used which offset and softened all the harder edges around the bar rather nicely.

Menagerie Manchester bar 2

The building itself is pretty non-descript from the outside so I think they did well to create areas of interest outside of the architecture – from a myriad of floating ‘birds’ overhead to an enormous angel statute to a huge birdcage seating area and plenty of interesting lighting, you are made to feel like you are entering a club atmosphere rather than an eatery which I’m pretty sure is exactly what they were going for.

Menagerie Manchester round table

Here’s my interpretation…

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Get the Look Menagerie Manchester

Get the Look Menagerie Restaurant Manchester

Marble Wallpaper / Gold Angel Wings Wall Hanging / Pink Scalloped Chairs / Blue Tufted Sofa / Marble & Gold Coffee Table / Ornate Gold Full-Length Mirror / Droplet Cluster Pendant Light / Artificial Living Wall / Let’s Dance Neon Light / Bird Ceramic Wall Decorations / Marble & Glass Drinks Stand

Looking at a place like this, you might never think you’d find inspiration for somewhere you’d actually, ya know, LIVE but there are plenty of little pockets of inspiration – from the use of marble and gold to plenty of velvet and great lighting. Lots of trends ticked off but also pretty fun to use as the basis for a living room design. I imagine the woman who would live in this home is also the type of person who would adore Menagerie – a bit of a party girl and someone who enjoys a bit of fun and that irreverence carries over into her home too.

So now I’d love to know – first, what do you think of Menagerie? Does it look like a place you’d enjoy? And secondly, what do you make of my interpretation?

Huge thanks to Medina and massive congrats on your collaboration! Thanks as well to Iconic Lights and the sponsors of the event which made it such a fun evening for all!

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