Sunday, 21 February 2016

Eating in London: Vintage Salt

I heard about Vintage Salt* when they had their pop up at Selfridges and just about everyone was raving about it. Little did I know that there was another couple of restaurant branches around London. I didn't get around to visiting the one in Selfridges so had to pop into the one on Upper Street. If you've read any of my other 'Eating in London' posts then you'll probably know that I'm a pescetarian - so any restaurant that specialises in seafood or fish is a must go hence why Vintage Salt was so high up on my list of must-visit places to eat in London... and trust me, it didn't disappoint.  

To start, we firstly went for the Scallops (pictured second). The half shell diver scallops with seaweed and hazelnut butter to be precise and they didn't disappoint. I've become a scallop fiend of late and will always go for them if I get a chance and these tasted super fresh and incredible with the seaweed and hazelnut butter. Alongside this we went for the Salt and Pepper Squid with Chilli Jam (of course) (pictured above). I don't think I can turn down squid if it's on a menu. I'm always on the hunt for a new favourite, and although my favourite is very much still the one I tried at Shikumen (forgetting about the rest of the meal...) this one most definitely comes close and it's very much the Chilli Jam that does it. This tasted blooming incredible. Can I get a jar of the stuff please? 

For our mains, we went for a special - a fish stew kind of thing (pictured first) and the Shrimp Burger with Spicy Tartar Sauce (pictured directly above). They both tasted great. The Spicy Tartar Sauce on the burger blew me away and so did the presentation of the stew (and the taste)! Do make sure you order some sides though if you want to go away full and having not missed out on some of the best bits. We opted for the Truffle fries and the Winter Greens with Garlic Chips. Both were so incredible and full of flavour. I'm eyeing up the Brussel Sprouts with Chestnut Crumble for my next visit... 

Generally I can take or leave a dessert. I'm just not that kinda gal... This time however, it blew me away and for sure was my favourite part of the meal. I was extremely full by the time we came to order our desserts but they sounded lovely (and just had to give them a go... of course). We went for the Rice Pudding and the Lemon Posset. Both were incredible but the stand out had to be the Lemon Posset. If you go and its on the menu, you just can't leave without trying this. It was the perfect mix of sweet and creamy and citrus and I just couldn't get enough. With the most delicious shortbread biscuits served on the side - this dessert is one to come back for again and again. And trust me, I'm really not just saying that. I've literally been craving it ever since... 

With branches on both Upper Street and Liverpool Street in London there really is no excuse not to come and give it a go if you're in the area. Both menus are slightly different and I'm eyeing up the Liverpool Street branch already. I'm eyeing up the Crab Toast and Grilled Tiger Prawns - yum!

Lorna x

*I was invited to review Vintage Salt, but as always my opinion is 100% honest. 

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Valentine's Day Gift Guide: For Her

Valentine's day is generally about spending time with a loved one - or your BFF for 'Galentine's day' right? Valentine's day shouldn't really be all about buying new things... but if you do want to pick something new up for a loved one then I've narrowed down a few options that I quite like. 

For someone that wants to pick something up for themselves at the same time. The Tangle Teezer His and Hers gift set* is the perfect option (they also have His and His and Her and Her options too!). It's practical, I mean I don't know any girls that don't love a Tangle Teezer once they've given it a go - and the idea is blooming cute too. Along similar lines... If you want to delve into their gift too - why not get something edible? Chocolate is always a safe bet and the Lindt Lindor Truffles* (both the original and the strawberry) are a perfect option. They taste blooming delicious and I don't think I've ever met anyone that doesn't like them. If you fancy going for something a little different from the usual however then I'd recommend the Crabtree & Evelyn All Butter Rose Biscuits. I was super sceptical about these - I mean I love a rose macaron just like the next person, but it in a biscuit? I just wasn't sure... But oh my god. These blew my mind. They taste unlike anything I've ever tried before. So so delicious - and you must try them or buy them as a treat for someone else. It's a biscuit game changer if you will... 

Onto some more beauty and I fell in love with Illamasqua's Valentine's campaign. They have created a collection of the most seductive pouts that will undoubtably lead to getting your lipstick smudged by the end of the night - and I think actually this is such incredible. It's not mushy or gushy it's just right. I got my hands on their lipstick in Maneater* and it's the most perfect matte red for doing just that. 

If you do however fancy being a little more on the gushy side, then Sabon's Hugs and Kisses Gift set* is just perfect. Filled with a beautiful lipgloss and hand cream inside a beautiful tin - it's just gorgeous. It doesn't break the bank and it's a luxury that's lovely to open. 

If you want something that also has gorgeous packaging - then I'd recommend Glossybox. Now I know I'm a little bias as I'm currently working there... but trust me - their packaging is just blooming beautiful. I'm a beauty junkie and am lucky enough to get my fair share of beauty treats and so when I get my hands on the box each month - it's the packaging that gets me the most excited. The unwrapping of the box etc. is the best part and I know that's the same for a lot of people too! But you know what? The products inside are great too. I pictured the February Beauty Soulmates box - which is now unfortunately sold out, but you could still gift someone special with a subscription so they get the excitement month on month on month... It is the gift that keeps on giving after all. 

Or finally, you could buy individual pieces of makeup... and this is the part I well and truly fell in love with. KIKO's BFF collection* is a beautiful Valentine's inspired collection. I'm talking beautiful pinks and reds all embossed with hearts - I mean even the lipstick is shaped as a heart! This blew my mind and got me far too excited. The collection is super budget friendly and you really need to try one or two of the products out. 

A few favourites from the world of Valentine's day gifting... but don't take this as sin. Maybe buy them a cute gift - but I think spending the time with them could be a whole lot more special. 

Lorna x

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Introducing: Yes To

Yes To is a brand I've always heard about but for some reason, as with many a brand, I just never got round to trying it until now... And I'm blooming glad I did. I always thought the brand was solely Yes To Carrots - but little did I know that there were other scents and types of products in the range - and this is what got me so excited about trying the ranges out. 

I got my hands on a few bits from the Yes To Coconuts range and the Yes To Blueberries ranges - one, because I blooming love a coconut scent and two because I love blueberries, why have I never had something made with blueberries before?! 

The idea behind the Yes To brand was to create a beautiful and super-natural beauty range made with fruits and vegetables - I love the idea of this, and they blooming well have done it and done it well at that. 

The Yes To Coconuts range is targeted at dry skin and as a gal with dry skin I can vouch that it works! The product I want to mention is the Yes To Coconuts Body Lotion Spray* - not only is the packaging super nifty, what's inside is just beautiful. It works incredibly, it's super easy to rub in and I just can't get enough. 

The Yes To Blueberries range isn't really targeted at my skin type as they are recommended for those with fine lines and wrinkles - but prevention is always better than a cure right?! My favourite product from this range, surprisingly is the Yes To Blueberries Cleansing Facial Wipes*. I got out of the habit of using wipes such a long time ago in favour of a cleansing water, as I found it worked so much better with my sometimes sensitive skin. Sometimes however you just need a quick fix for on the go - and that's what I use these wipes for. I always pop them in my bag for any on-the-go beauty touch ups or pre-Psycle sessions, as no one wants to go to the gym with makeup on. 

I'm hooked and I can't wait to try out the other products in some of the other ranges. The brand has such a great authenticity behind it (and after a quick read of their 'about us' section), I read that they're all people after my own heart... Fellow wine lovers. Let's celebrate my new found love of the brand with a glass or two. I mean, it's okay if I'm using these beautifully natural products on my skin right? 

Lorna x

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Falling In Love With KIKO

If you're a regular on the blogosphere then I'm sure you'll have heard everyone and their dog rave about KIKO... but I wanted to write this post just in case you hadn't.... And, I really needed to get it out somehow. 

I love luxe, expensive and beautiful beauty products just like the next gal. They generally work incredibly, they look lovely on your dressing table and they feel so exciting to own. The worst bit? Parting with the sometimes excessive amount of cash to get your hands on them... I'm always looking for products that work wonders but don't break the bank balance and there's one brand that ALWAYS pops up and blows my mind - and you will probably have an inkling by now that that is of course KIKO. 

I remember the first time I stepped into the KIKO store on Regents Street. I was a University student, still a beauty blogger and I'd heard so much about the brand that I couldn't wait to check it out. It was one of those things where I hadn't really planned to go, but I saw the big sign staring me right in the face across the road and it just pulled me in (a lot like Claire's Accessories used to around 10 years ago...)! I stepped inside, a little overwhelmed. I mean their stores are a little manic... They're always rammed with people trying to swatch the products and grab the bargains, but I think that just shows how incredible it must be if it's always that busy. There are rows and rows of products - I remember finding it so hard to decide what I even wanted. All I knew was that I wanted something... I was not going to come away empty handed. I think that time I just picked up a dark brown shimmer eyeshadow - but the next time I stepped inside, I picked up a little more. Restraint is not something I'm always good at, student budget or no student budget. 

Honestly, there's not anything I've ever tried from KIKO that I haven't liked - I know, big big words - but then I wouldn't be writing this post if I did. Their lip liners are one of my favourites, even the uber cheap ones. You can pick up a tonne of shades and it really isn't the end of the world if it doesn't suit you - the same can be said for the lipsticks... Eye shadows... Nail polishes... Perhaps I should have just said it could be said for the rest of the products in the store too!

KIKO are always coming out with new collections. Pictured above is the KIKO Midnight Siren Collection from November last year if I remember right. It's a beautiful collection and the packaging just blew my mind. I've not seen anything like it before. And each collection is always different, so if this packaging doesn't take your fancy, then just hold off and wait for another collection to come out or check the other one's there selling. There's always something. You must check out the Rebel Romantic collection if you're a fan of Charlotte Tilbury makeup.

They sell in store and online, so if you've not got a chance to head to a store (or don't fancy the craze to get the lip liner you're after) then their online store is definitely worth a browse... In fact, that's what I might just do now. 

What are your favourite KIKO products if you've given them a go or what products are you eyeing up? 

Lorna x