Tag Archives: Manchester Bee Company

Five things you could get your Dad for Father’s Day

Dad’s are easy to buy for aren’t they? A snazzy pair of socks and some beer and they’re happy. But surely we can do a bit better than that? Dad’s are brilliant and if you can’t treat them on Father’s Day, when can you? I’ve got a few nice ideas for things that aren’t socks to give your dad this Father’s Day.

If Dad is a fan of Star Wars, then he might like everyone’s favourite wingman, Chewbacca as a present. Posh Paws have recently released their Chewbacca range, featuring lots of our favourite characters from Star Wars.

Star Wars Toys: Posh Paws Chewbacca Collection

If Star Wars isn’t this thing, then Hallmark have a really huge selection of Itty Bittys to choose from. Last year the boy painted a Superman mug for his Dad and we put a Superman Itty Bitty in it. They’ve got Marvel Itty Bittys, as well as  Disney, Star Wars, DC Comics, Super Hero Girls, The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, Wizard of Oz, Peanuts and Wedding itty bittys.

Five things you could get your Dad for Father's Day

We got one of these brilliant MANCUNIAN t-shirts for my other half last year. It was by far his favourite present of the year. From The Manchester Bee Company, this t-shirt is just £15 and is about the coolest thing a Manc can wear. They also have loads of other Manchester Bee themed gifts and t-shirts for Proper Mancs.

Five things you could get your Dad for Father's Day

We love making memories, so a Merlin Annual Pass would make fora brilliant Father’s Day present. Whether you fancy the thrills and spills of Alton Towers or Chessington World of Adventures. Or if you love a bit of LEGOLAND or spending time at a SEA LIFE Centre, the Merlin Annual Pass is just the thing to help you and your family make memories.

Merlin Annual Pass launches its BIG January sale

If your Dad is more of a foodie, what about a nice hamper? A foodie treat always goes down well in our house. This hamper from hamper.com is a lovely celebration of Australian food and drink, it was a real Father’s Day treat for my better half. Plus it’s just the thing to get delivered if you’re not going to see Dad on Father’s Day.

Father's Day Gifts: A hamper fit for a barbecue king!

Lastly, don’t forget to buy your Dad a card. Hallmark have some lovely Father’s Day cards this year, something for every Dad, whatever he’s interested in. Personally the boy has plumped for the card with the badge on, because cards with badges are the best kind of cards!

Five things you could get your Dad for Father's Day

What will you be buying the Dads in your life for Father’s Day? Have you got any exciting ideas planned? 

Simple Pleasures – My ManBeeCo Busy Bee Mug

The simple pleasures in life are often underrated. Thick vellum paper and the flourish of a fountain pen, birdsong in the garden early in the morning, drinking good coffee out of a perfectly proportioned and well loved mug.

As long as I can remember I’ve had a special mug, handmade and hand painted, it’s been the only mug I’ll happily drink coffee out of at home. There’s something special about drinking out of a hand thrown pottery mug. It’s hard to describe but it definitely falls into the simple pleasures category.

busy bee mug

As a born and bred Mancunian, I’ve been a supporter of the Manchester Bee Company since they sold their first mugs three years ago. I think I was one of the first people in Manchester to have a brew in a worker bee mug. Whenever visitors come for a brew they get it in that mug, it’s an ideal opportunity for me to deliver my now famous lecture on the origins of the Manchester Bee.

The “Busy Bee” mug from The Manchester Bee Company (ManBeeCo) is handmade in Scotland by Tea With Jud. It is a natural glazed mug with a hand painted bee on one side. Each mug is individually hand crafted, so each one is slightly different and totally unique.

The Busy Bee Mug is both microwave and dishwasher safe, and holds 350mls of a proper brew. 

busy bee mug

This is my new favourite mug and I use it every day. It’s beautiful. It looks small but it’s like the tardis of mugs and it really is a simple pleasure to use it every morning. It’s been in my service now for a few weeks, been in and out of the dishwasher daily and it’s as good as new. 

I’ve coveted this mug for ages so I’m delighted it’s now in my cupboard next to it’s original worker bee cousin. For any Mancunian or bee lover, the Busy Bee Mug is the perfect gift. I know it’s just a mug, but like a fountain pen on vellum paper it’s a simple pleasure which makes life just a little bit lovelier. 

busy bee mug

You can find the lovely ManBeeCo products in the Royal Exchange craft shop, the People’s History Museum shop, the Manchester Museum shop, Visit MCR and the Tourist Information Centre in Piccadilly Gardens. The People’s History Museum have a limited stock of the hand made mugs, but they can be ordered online here

My Sunday Photo 12.6.16

This week I had a bit of time to play with my camera. A couple of years ago I inexplicably bought myself a “Photo Studio Kit” for £25. The studio is a box made of white material and has a couple of lights and a little tripod to put your camera on if you want.

I’ve no real idea why I bought it when I did but I’m glad I did. I’ve been practicing some of the things I learned on my photography course last month and I’m pretty pleased with some of my snaps. I know I’ll look back in a year and see that they’re actually rubbish, but I wasn’t in auto and that’s a great big start for me.

Here’s a picture of a picture of my new favourite mug from the Manchester Bee Company


Still lots and lot more practicing to do, but getting it all out of the box and having a play is not a bad first step.

Happy Sunday!

Christmas Shopping from home

With Christmas just around the corner, shops are thronging with people looking for lovely gifts for their loved ones. I hate crowds and busy shops, so I try and avoid going into shops during the run up to Christmas. Wherever I can I like to do shop online, but at the same time support local and small independent businesses. I have picked out some of my favourite places to buy from this Christmas…

Drop Dead Chocolates – I’ve extolled the virtues of Drop Dead Chocolates several times before. Their salted caramel chocolates are the best chocolates I’ve ever eaten and the peanut praline macarons aren’t that far behind (this is a hint to anyone wishing to buy me chocolates by the way, a massive hint). Prices start from just £2.50 for a little box and delivery is currently free when you spend over £14.

Christmas shopping

Branded Brandy – A bottle of something alcoholic always goes down well, but a bottle with a personalised label makes for a thoughtful gift. Choose from all of your favourite tipples, personalised bottles start from just £14.99 including free UK delivery.

The Manchester Bee Company – As a proud Mancunian I love our bee symbol – you can find the Manchester Bee all over the city. The Manchester Bee Company have been trading for a couple of years now, selling a lovely urban range of Manchester Bee themed products, including mugs, prints, cards, jewellery, key rings, Christmas decorations and more.

Theatre Tickets – Most of the adults in my family have everything they could ever possibly want or need (not me obviously, I need a new fridge freezer), it’s something of a thing in my family to buy each other tickets for things, bands, concerts, the theatre. This year I’m taking my boys to see Mr Popper’s Penguins at The Lowry in Salford Quays. And I have plans to buy tickets for various other shows for my other relatives. Tickets to things are a great present and always appreciated.

Christmas shopping

Wallace & Gromit’s Charity Shop – The ‘Gromit Unleashed’ and ‘Shaun in the City’ sculpture trails in London and Bristol featured the much-loved Aardman characters, Gromit and Shaun the Sheep, and were visited by hundreds of thousands of people from all over the UK. Wallace & Gromit’s Charity Shop are selling a range of merchandise in aid of The Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity. Do your Christmas shopping and donate to a good cause at the same time – what’s not to like?

If like me you hate shops but quite like online Christmas shopping, then My Voucher Codes have created a Christmas Toy Price Monitor where you can see the best prices for this year’s top toys from major retailers including Amazon and Toys R Us, which is great if you’re looking for the best deal. The Christmas Toy Price Monitor shows prices from the major retailers in several different categories, which makes finding the best deal really quite easy.

If you prefer online shopping, where are the places you like to buy from? Where do you recommend?