Monday, 13 April 2015

Relaxing in London: Jurlique Nutri-define Facial at Agua Spa

I'm not usually much of a spa girl. I'm not saying I don't love it, because I blooming well do. I just mean that I don't seem to go often. In fact I've been once before (remember this post about the Ajala Spa and their Hammaman treatment?) and of course this time and that's about it. I suppose it's one of those things for the most of us where it does come around every now and again and it should feel super special and like a treat. It probably wouldn't be as good or feel as exciting if this wasn't the case! That being said, I headed down to the Agua Spa to try out a facial from one of my favourite skincare brands of the moment, Jurlique. I'm a massive fan of the brand anyway (and you can see an introduction of Jurlique here) and so you can imagine how excited I was to try it out under a different more luxurious and relaxing setting. 

I went for the Jurlique Nutri-Define Touch of Luxe Sculpting & Defining Facial Treatment*, an exclusive treatment to Agua Spa that lasts for 50 minutes. This facial is an anti-aging treatment (though saying that, don't let this stop you from getting it as I definitely don't need any anti-ageing yet) that uses the Jurlique Nutri-Define range and incorporates the Jurlique facial contouring technique. Honestly, this was the most luxurious thing I have ever experienced. The spa is just heavenly. With all of the white furniture and floating material it feels bright and relaxing, the serene sounds of the spa just add to that and with the bonus of an amazing treatment all I'll say is I had to stop myself from falling asleep - yep, it was that relaxing. This facial is so much more than I thought it would be. I'd never had one before so I didn't really know what to expect but I basically thought it would be a prolonged version of what I'd do at home when giving myself a little skincare treat but in a more luxurious and relaxing setting, and of course, having someone else do it for me but I was so wrong. Not only do you receive all of the products being applied beautifully you too receive a warm oil back massage alongside a facial massage using precious rose quartz and jade stones. This is to make your skin feel and look more luminous and re-energised and honestly, it did. Using a mixture of the Nutri-Define products alongside other products from the Jurlique range specifically targeted to my dry and dehydrated skin type, my skin was left feeling like it never had before. I thought I'd have to apply makeup afterwards but my skin felt so great that I didn't want to! I felt so relaxed and I can't even get it down into words how amazing this experience was. Left with product recommendations on how to improve your skin from then on and the next treatment that they would recommend for you and of course amazingly rejuvenated skin and the most relaxed feeling well, ever. I couldn't recommend this experience more! 

Perfect if your skin is needing a little TLC or just if you fancy giving yourself a little treat. If I want to head for another treatment I won't even think twice before heading here again, it's a no brainer as it really was that good. 

Have you ever been to Agua Spa before? What are your favourite London Spas? 

Lorna x

Friday, 10 April 2015

Eating in London: Champor Champor

I'm back again with another post in my Eating in London series showing you where's good to eat for all of us vegetarians and pescetarians in the city! This time I'm talking an AMAZING Thai/Malay fusion restaurant and I'm going to start with a bit of a spoiler and announce that this is my new favourite restaurant. I never say this, in fact I can only think of one other place I ever say this about (and thats The Diner which will always have a place in my heart) so all I can say is that I don't say this lightly as I'm a total foodie and love trying out new places and so I feel like that says it all about how much I do actually like it. 

Champor Champor is based in London Bridge so really easy to get to. It's not cheap, but trust me it's so worth it and as a student I'd never say that. A kind of treat-yourself restaurant for a special occasion dinner (though saying that, their lunch menu is a lot more affordable)! Upon arrival you're greeted with a gorgeous and quaint restaurant, perfect for a date night! The decor is gorgeous and I fell in love. Very different from the usual chain restaurants and I think that's why I loved it so much. I am a massive fan of Thai food and anything with a Thai flavoruing usually has me hook line and sinker (remember back to the Thai soup in my Ping Pong Dim Sum review?) so of course I was drawn to the  more thai infused options on the menu. Firstly we tried out the drinks they had on offer, both going for the Pineapple Mint Tea (pictured above last). This was so refreshing and though I wasn't sure what to expect, a cold mint tea with pineapple in, it really was heavenly and the flavours worked so well together. A great addition, we were brought over some appetisers of Banana Bread with Soy dipping sauce and a Crab Paste Spring Roll (pictured third). These were greatly welcomed and tasted amazing. Again I really wasn't sure what to expect, banana bread and soy sauce?! Sounds terrible but tasted really great. I think the salty-ness of the sauce balanced out the sweetness of the bread making it a great appetiser alongside the beautifully flavoured spring rolls. Delicious! 

For start we got the Thai Style Lemongrass soup (pictured second) and the Crispy Soft Shell Crab, Five Spice and Salt and Pepper (pictured first), and oh boy was it heavenly. We were torn between these and the Green Papaya, Crispy Tofu, Pomegranate Somtam with Roasted Cashew Nuts and the River Prawn Gratin with Gruyere, Lime Sauce and Wasabi Potato Salad but the soup and the crab won. Honestly though, I fell in love with the soup. I almost feel like love is putting it lightly. It was amazing. Perfectly spiced with the just the right amount of heat, prawns and other vegetables in this gorgeous soup. I need it again, now please? The crab was also amazing with the chilli and onion giving it a gorgeous flavour. 

For mains we went for the Pan Fried Red Snapper, Malaysian Sambal Sauce with Squid Ink Linguine and the King Prawn Green Curry, Asparagus and Butternut Squash with a side of Coconut Rice. Again we were torn, making our descision between those and the Roasted Monkfish, Spinach and Ricotta Ravioloni with a Mango Puree Red Curry or the King River Prawn Yellow Tumeric Curry with Egg Cream and Celery but again the snapper and green curry won and we made sure to try out a more Malaysian Dish and a Thai one also. They both were amazing and honestly I'm not just saying that. The portion sizes were deceivingly large and we both struggled. The Red Snapper went perfectly with the Sambal Sauce and the Squid Ink Linguine was amazing. It's actually unlike anything I've ever tried before and I always go by the 'would I have it again test' and yes, yes I would. Onto the King Prawn Green Curry and oh my god, the prawns. I've only ever seen them this size before once and they tasted so good. Two prawns might not sound like a generous portion but when they are this size trust me it was the biggest struggle and I can't even tell you how guilty I felt leaving some as I was so full. The sauce and the vegetables were amazing. I fell in love all over again. We were unfortunately too full to try out the deserts, but maybe next time right? And if the rest of the meal was anything to go by then I can only imagine how delicious they would be. 

I know I say this often, I guess it's kind of becoming a bit of thing, but I would do anything to be sat here eating it all over again. The flavours were unlike anything I'd had before and I honestly don't have a bad word to say about the place. The service, the location, the decor and the food were all amazing. If you do happen to be visiting before the 13th of April, be sure to share a picture using #ChamporChampor as you could win a meal for two at their Thai New Year Celebrations on the 13th! I can only imagine how fun that would be as they will be having a live performance of Earn Thai Dancing with Thai blessings. So traditional and I think it would make the dinner that bit more exciting. I need to go back again asap. to try out those other dishes that caught my eye (and perhaps re-order a few favourites). Again I'll say it, this is my new favourite restaurant and it's definitely one I'd love to go to on a special occasion again or just to sort out my cravings for that amazing Thai soup! 

Have you visited Champor Champor before? 

Lorna x

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Sponsored Video: Nivea 3 in 1 Micellar Cleansing Water

I am probably one of the biggest fans and advocates of the micellar water. I used to swear by some ASDA own brand face wipes until the micellar water came into my life and everything changed from then on. Gone was the constant scrubbing of my sensitive eyes and face to get most of the makeup off and through the entrance of the micellar water it became so much easier and a whole lot better for my eyes and skin. Though I don't always have super sensitive skin, it can get that way so I always like to use products for sensitive skin where I can and a micellar water is great for those times as it literally feels as though you are using water to take your makeup off, some sort of magical water at that. 

The Nivea 3 in 1 Micellar Cleansing Water is just that also but is specifically targeted for sensitive skin, something I've not actually tried before so I can only imagine how gentle it is against the skin. Just like the other micellar cleansing water's I've tried, it removes the makeup quickly and for lazy girls like me this is just perfect. I find I ALWAYS take my makeup off using micellar water, no matter how tired I am or how much I've had to drink (oops!). The Nivea Micellar Water is free of all perfume, parabens and colourants that would usually irritate the skin so that they make sure that it doesn't but they have used special technology to make sure that it still does its job and cleanses the skin. To test this they gave the product to some of my favourite YouTubers including Kate from Gh0stparties and Alix from I Covet Thee (pictured above), alongside Lily Melrose, Patricia Bright and more, to see if the product actually does what it says it does as we know we can trust these beauties! The evidence is in the video above and I feel like it just proves to us what a trustworthy brand Nivea is, I mean I know I want to get my hands on the Cleansing Water now. Excuse me while I pop out to Boots to pick one up! 

What Micellar Water do you use?

Lorna x

*Post sponsored by Nivea but as usual all thoughts are my own!

Monday, 6 April 2015

Hair Care Routine

As requested, I've finally uploaded my hair care routine! I'm talking everything I do to my hair to get it the way it is. We're looking at the shampoo and conditioner that I use, followed by the amazing hair brush and all of the extra bits and pieces I use to turn my hair from flat to voluminous! 

What do you use in your hair care routine? 

Lorna x

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Eating In London: Shake Shack

Just because I don't eat meat, doesn't mean I can't have a burger obsession, right? Shake Shack started that and I just needed to try every burger I could get my hands on. I've had many including Honest Burgers but places like Patty & Bun are still on my list. As a vegetarian, there's usually only one burger to pick from and as long as it doesn't have aubergine in I'm happy. I'm a massive fan of Shake Shack already so when they invited me down I of course snapped of their hands and was there within the second to add to my Eating in London series.  

I got my hands on my absolute favourite vegetarian burger (and no, I'm not just saying that, it's the actual best I've tried so far in my quest for the perfect veggie burger), the 'Shroom Burger. We're talking a perfectly cooked portobello mushroom filled with the meltiest and gooiest cheese, encased in a crisp outer shell of breadcrumbs in the softest bun with lettuce, tomato and Shack Sauce. I don't know how they make this taste so good, it's honestly amazing and I'm salivating at the thought. I don't often get massive cravings for certain restaurants but I ALWAYS get it for this burger. The cheese against the mushroom in the bun is just heaven, and I don't know what that Shack Sauce is, but it's blooming good. But it's not all about the burger though (nearly though, I'll take 5 please), the cheese fries are a necessity also. If you're a cheese lover like me, make sure you get the cheese fries. Seriously! It's a cheese sauce but it just tastes so good with the fries and the burger. For drinks I'd recommend their Original Shack-made lemonade (or the flavoured one they do) and of course a milkshake. The peanut butter one is INSANE. For dessert, I finally got to try a concrete, their frozen custard and we picked the Concrete Jungle which had a mixture of vanilla custard, marshmallow sauce, fresh banana and peanut butter sauce, this one's not right up my street as I'm not a fan of banana but aside from that it was great. I chose a design your own and opted for vanilla custard, peanut butter sauce, chocolate hazelnut brownie and brown sugar biscuit and oh boy was it good. Putting all of the things on the menu that sounded like heaven into one and trust me, it was heaven. 

Okay another rave review but I am probably a little bias as I have been such a fan of this place and so of course I'm forever posting snaps on my Instagram and it surely got a mention in my Fun Things To Do in London post. Honestly though, if you're a mushroom lover you honestly need to try this burger. Or perhaps if you're a meat and mushroom lover, I spied the Shack Stack burger on the menu, you get both the 'Shroom burger and a cheese burger in one, so I can imagine how heavenly that is for all you meat eater folk. 

Have you been to Shake Shack before? What's your favourite veggie burger? 

Lorna x

*Shake Shack kindly covered the costs of our meal

Friday, 3 April 2015

Relax This Easter with Lush

Usually Easter is all about chocolate (just like my previous post ALL about the Easter offerings from Lindt here) but ever since I've gotten back into LUSH I get quite excited about all of the new releases each Christmas, Mother's Day and Easter etc. and like I always say with visiting home (subsequently at each of these times of year) I get to have as many baths as I want so really, they couldn't come at a better time. I am a massive bath fan. If I had a bath I would never have a shower again. There's just something so relaxing about it. And what better than add a bath bomb or bath oil into the bath to make it that bit more special? Which is just where my newly regenerated love for LUSH comes in. 

I was so excited by this delivery from LUSH, they know me too well for my love of baths and so these were greatly welcomed and of course, I just HAD to tell you about them. Easter is a time for relaxing, spending time with your family and eating a whole lot of chocolate and of course everything should be bunnies. All of the bunnies please. Which is totally why I fell in love with the LUSH Hoppity Poppity Bath Bomb*, it's so clear which one this is. The cutest one of all, the bunny, of course it's the bunny. The cutest bath bomb of all. It's perfect for relaxing as it has hints of lavender but its fresh at the same time with violet and lime oil. It smells divine and I've heard there's popping candy inside and that sounds so fun! The bright pink egg with the blue flower in is the LUSH Fluffy Egg Bath Bomb* and Snow Fairy lovers, this ones for you. I'm not usually an uber sweet scented lover but there's just something about the sweetness of Easter that makes me actually love it. The best has been saved for last though and that's the LUSH Immaculate Eggception Pink Bath Bomb* and it's a whole lot more special than a usual bath bomb that we're used to. I'm talking three baths in one. Split the egg in half and use the shell for two baths and inside is a chick bath bomb, I haven't split it yet but I cannot tell you how excited I am to see it. I thought I'd save the element of surprise as that's what I love about LUSH bath bombs, seeing the end result of the bath. It's exciting and I think that's what makes me love it oh so much and of course, I didn't want to spoil it for you either. 

Have you tried any of the LUSH Easter range? 

Lorna x

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Easter Treats From Lindt

It's Easter! And of course, that means only one thing. We can eat as much chocolate as we like and we don't have to feel guilty about it! Duh, it's the only time of year we can do this so we might as well make the most of it right? I'm quite picky when it comes to chocolate as I'm really not a fan of Cadbury's so when it comes to Easter I'm a Lindt, Galaxy or Malteser kinda gal and if not then I probably won't bother. I don't eat it in huge amounts still though, I'm more of a savoury kind of gal but there's just something I really fancy about this time of year and I make my easter eggs last. 

I got probably the most exciting delivery I've ever received. Lindt sent me a big box of Easter goodies to tell you all about and I can tell you I'm blooming excited to write this post! There's just something about Lindt that feels a whole lot more luxurious from the other chocolate brands that you can pick up at the supermarket. If I'm looking to impress without spending A LOT (I'm talking a Hotel Chocolat kind of budget) then I will always go for Lindt. I guess it's one of those brands that everyone likes, right? 

Lindt Lindor is one of the most recognisable ranges from Lindt and I'm forever spying it all year round. The strawberries and cream ones are divine and I've got my eyes on the coconut ones, I just need to try them! If these beautiful chocolates are included with an easter egg then I am totally game for that. I got my hands on the Milk Chocolate Original Lindt Lindor Easter Egg* and the Strawberries and Cream White Chocolate Lindt Lindor Easter Egg. Both in gorgeous packaging that I know just about anyone would be happy to receive.

The next egg I'm talking about is one I just have to keep for myself. Any mixture of chocolate and nuts and well, I'm in heaven. The Lindt Master Chocolatier Collection Heavenly Hazelnut Easter Egg* looks delicious. I've been saving it to take these pictures and I cannot wait to delve in now this post is written. I've been toying with eating it all to myself or taking it home for the weekend with me to share. I think I'll go for the latter and look after my waist line a little but you know, I still get to eat some of it right? 

The bunnies, oh the bunnies! Standing right next to the Lindor, the Lindt Gold Bunnies are right up there on the Lindt recognisable scale. Alert, there is a massive bunny, alert! I could not believe my eyes when I saw the Limited Edition Lindt Gold Fashion Bunny in Milk Chocolate* it is insane. I love having the little ones too (I got my hands on the Lindt Gold Bunny in Milk Chocolate*, White Chocolate*, Dark Chocolate* and Hazelnut* - I did not realise they had so many different kinds!), they look just like the babies and the Fashion Bunny the Mum or Dad! Crazy. But so so amazing. 

Something else great for Easter is a great box of chocolates. I remember when I was younger I used to always ask for a box of chocolates over an Easter Egg as it made me feel all special and more mature. Silly really but I loved it and this one from Lindt looks just as good. 

I know this post was totally rave-y but why wouldn't I be this excited about Chocolate. I don't even need to taste it before writing this, I just know it will taste amazing and I've tried a lot of Lindt in the past (my valentines post here!) and it tasted amazing so I just know this will too. 

What's your favourite chocolate? 

Lorna x