Pages

Search This Blog

Friday, 29 September 2017

Food Safari in Victoria Gate Leeds

 *AD - GIFTED* The Victoria Gate Leeds only opened in 2016 but it has transformed the once tired end of Leeds into something really special. The development has shops, restaurants and a casino all inside the most beautiful building. Think floor to ceiling glass walls, steel structure and a stunning glass ceiling. Despite living in Leeds and being a huge shopping and food fan, I hadn't visited Victoria Gate yet. I was incredibly excited that changed this week and I was invited along to review three of the restaurants, having a course in each one. A food safari is my idea of a heavenly night out!

Victoria Gate Leeds

Victoria Gate Leeds

Le Pain Quotidien in Victoria Gate Leeds

Victoria Gate Leeds Le Pain Quotidien

The first stop on my foodie tour is Le Pain Quotidien, a Belgian restaurant where their homemade bread serves as a canvas for all of their dishes. LPQ's menu is full of seasonal produce and meals. At the heart of the restaurant is their communal dining table. Not only is it beautifully laid but I really love the idea of sitting and eating while making new friends.

Victoria Gate Leeds Le Pain Quotidien communal table

I chose from the new seasonal dishes and have the super greens and ricotta baked omelette. The presentation is just amazing! A board with the omelette, a huge salad and LPQ's homemade bread. My omelette is perfectly seasoned and cooked. The greens and ricotta are lovely and go perfectly. LPQ's bread tastes as amazing as it looks. I was really surprised the dish also comes with a huge salad. It is crisp and fresh with a really tasty vinaigrette dressing.

Victoria Gate Leeds Le Pain Quotidien Super greens and ricotta baked omelette

Cau in Victoria Gate Leeds

Victoria Gate Leeds Cau

The second stop of my Victoria Gate foodie feast is Cau. Cau is an Argentinian restaurant bringing the passion, vitality and fun from Buenos Aires. The restaurant has THE most amazing ceiling that I just can't stop looking at.

Victoria Gate Leeds Cau

I just had to choose a steak in Cau. There is a lot of choice so the waiter is more than happy to ask a few questions then make recommendations. I have the sirloin steak with peppercorn sauce and sides of dirty rice and fries. The steak is perfectly medium, just how I like it. The peppercorn sauce is thick and tastes great. Cau's dirty rice is just amazing, I could quite happily eat my rice like this forever.

Victoria Gate Leeds Cau Sirloin steak, peppercorn sauce, dirty rice, chips

Victoria Gate Leeds Cau Sirloin steak, peppercorn sauce, dirty rice, chips

East 59th in Victoria Gate Leeds

Victoria Gate Leeds East 59th

The last stop on my eating tour of Victoria Gate Leeds is East 59th. East 59th is an American restaurant on the top floor of Victoria Gate. The interior is candle lit and cosy and will be a perfect date night spot. It boasts a rooftop terrace that I can't wait to take the girls to for cocktails.

Victoria Gate Leeds East 59th

My final course is East 59th's Baked New York cheesecake with berry compote. The cheesecake has a great biscuit to cheese ratio. The base is buttery, sweet and crisp and the topping is rich and fluffy. The berry compote is tart and works perfectly with the sweet cheesecake. I really love the sugar glass decoration too.

Victoria Gate Leeds East 59th Baked New York cheesecake with berry compote

Victoria Gate Leeds final thoughts

The Victoria Gate Leeds is a beautiful building that is a real welcome addition to Leeds city centre. Le Pain Quotidien, Cau and East 59th are all amazing places to eat. I will definitely be going back again to try more of their menus. There are other eateries in there that I can't wait to try too. The Victoria Gate Casino would be a great place to go after food for cocktails too.

Have you been in the Victoria Gate Leeds yet? Which restaurant would be your favourite?

If you would like to try any of these foodie places then why not pin this to your food board and remember them.

0

Thursday, 28 September 2017

My first ever Sephora haul

 As a huge makeup and skincare fan as well as being a blogger Sephora has been on my radar for quite a long time. Living in the UK means unfortunately it just isn't very easy to shop there. Open one in England already please Sephora! Whilst in Palma we had a fab surprise finding one in the town centre. I can't even tell you how exciting it is walking in for the very first time and sharing my first ever Sephora haul.

My first ever Sephora haul - the shop front Palma, Mallorca

My first ever Sephora haul

My first ever Sephora haul isn't as big as I would hope. As we were just visiting Palma for the day and I didn't realise it has a Sephora my bank cards were all safely inside our hotel safe. We did have enough with us to pick a couple of things each though.

My first ever Sephora haul

My first ever Sephora haul - skin care

We both decided to get something each from the Sephora skin care. Face masks are a huge favourite in our house so it's not surprising we both have one.

Ellie went for the Sephora charcoal nose strip which is purifying and scrubbing. It is really easy to use and works exactly as you expect. After lots of suncream it is a great way to unclog the pores.

My first ever Sephora haul - Sephora charcoal nose strip

I have the Tony Moly Avocado sheet mask which is nourishing and repairing. Again it is exactly as you expect a sheet mask to be. It has a lot of moisturiser on it and after a week in the sun feels an amazing treat.

My first ever Sephora haul - Avocado sheet mask

My first ever Sephora haul - make up

Both me and Ellie have chosen Sephoras own make up. A lot of the other brands there we can get in the UK so we both want something completely new to us.

I have one of the Sephora Collection Colorful Eyeshadows in the shade Fashion Blogger. This is a single eyeshadow in a gorgeous taupe shimmer. It looks amazing on its own all over the eye, just on the lid in smokey looks and works great brightening the inner corner too. The eyeshadow is super creamy so blends really easily too.

My first ever Sephora haul Sephora Collection Colorful Eyeshadow fashion blogger

My first ever Sephora haul Sephora Collection Colorful Eyeshadow fashion blogger

Ellie has the Sephora Collection bronzer in Bali. The bronzer is matte and a perfect match for Ellie skin tone. It is a bit too warm to use as a contour but still perfect for what she wants it for.

My first ever Sephora haul Sephora Collection bronzer - 02 Bali

My first ever Sephora haul Sephora Collection bronzer - 02 Bali

My first ever Sephora haul - final thoughts

Both me and Ellie are so happy with everything in our first ever Sephora haul. Sephoras own brand of make up really is amazing quality and a really reasonable prices. I'm only disappointed that I didn't realise there was a Sephora and that I couldn't have bought more.

From now on whenever we are going on holiday I'm always going to check if there is one near us and be ready for a huge spree.

We're going to Gran Canaria next month and I do know there is Sephora there so I am ready to spend!

Have you ever been to a Sephora? What do you think of the products in my first ever Sephora haul?

0

Monday, 25 September 2017

Exploring Bamburgh, Northumberland

 We recently had a holiday to Northumberland, UK. On our first day we were up early and had a day out exploring Bamburgh before we arrived at our Airbnb cottage. I love visiting castles and abbeys but Bamburgh isn't somewhere I know or have seen anything about but it's not too far from the cottage so it seems a great starting point.

Exploring Bamburgh - Bamburgh Castle

Bamburgh Castle is in the North East and sits high above the Northumberland coast line. It covers 9 acres of land and is the largest uninhabited castle in the UK. Its history dates back thousands of years. It is open daily and admission is £10.85 for adults and £5 for children. There is a car park and parking is £2.

Exploring Bamburgh, Bamburgh Castle

Exploring Bamburgh, Bamburgh Castle

If you don't want to pay to go inside or if you want something to do afterwards you can walk around the outside. It is quite a hilly walk but the view of the castle on top of the cliff is well worth the effort.

Exploring Bamburgh, Bamburgh Castle

Exploring Bamburgh, Bamburgh Castle

Exploring Bamburgh, Bamburgh Castle

Exploring Bamburgh - The Green

If you do venture down the hill away from the castle there is a gorgeous green to walk around.

Exploring Bamburgh, The green

There are lots of benches which makes it a perfect picnic spot too. We loved sitting out in the sunshine eating our sandwiches with such a stunning view.

Exploring Bamburgh, The green

There are some really interesting finds along the walk around the green. The war memorial inside of a cave is really moving to see.

Exploring Bamburgh, The green

Exploring Bamburgh, The green

Exploring Bamburgh - The sand dunes

Bamburgh Castle sits at the top of a cliff right on the coast. To get to the sea you need to walk down the hill and over the sand dunes. The walk is SO beautiful. The sandy hills are quite steep in places and the sliding sand along with my hip problems means I did struggle in some parts. It isn't an unmanageable walk though and I would do it again if we went again.

Exploring Bamburgh beach sand dunes

Exploring Bamburgh beach sand dunes

Exploring Bamburgh beach sand dunes

Exploring Bamburgh - The beach

The beach at Bamburgh is just stunning. Despite being a sunny August day it is really quiet with only a few walkers dotted about. The grassy dunes, remoteness and castle in the background make it one of the most scenic beaches I've ever been to. I really love that you can see the Farne Islands and their famous lighthouse from the beach. You can also just make out Lindisfarne / Holy Island further down the coast.

Exploring Bamburgh beach

Exploring Bamburgh beach

On the day we visited there were quite a lot of jellyfish that had washed up. It wasn't a problem for us but if you have small children or dogs it is something to be aware of.

Exploring Bamburgh beach

I really love the ridges in the sand and little salt water pools, they are really unusual to look at.

Exploring Bamburgh beach

Exploring Bamburgh - final thoughts

We loved our day in Bamburgh for just the £2 parking charge we saw so much. It is a place you could spend a quick hour or two or several hours. The castle, beach and grass sand dunes are stunning and make for a gorgeous walk. Despite it being the summer holidays and a sunny day it wasn't busy there at all. If you are ever in Northumberland I really recommend going and exploring for yourself.

Have you ever been to Bamburgh? What do you think of the views there?

If it is somewhere you would like to visit make sure you pin this to your wanderlust wishlist board.

0

Monday, 18 September 2017

Bingley Music Live Festival 2017

The Bingley Music Live Festival is fast becoming one of my favourite festivals of the year. The tickets are cheap, the line up is good and it is local to me which means I can easily get home at the end of each day. It is also a really good festival for families so Ellie loves to come along too. It takes place the first weekend in September so always seems a good way to officially end the summer.

Bingley Music Live Festival 2017

Bingley Music Live Festival 2017 - The line up

Bingley Music Live Festival 2017 line up

I'll be honest and say this year the line up wasn't my favourite. There are a few bands I know and like and a few I've never heard of before. But we go most years so this year was no exception. Even if I didn't like any of the bands spending the weekend with my friends is worth it for me.

Bingley Music Live Festival 2017 - The venue

The Bingley Music Live Festival is set in Myrtle Park in Bingley. The park is huge and the festival is split in to two parts, the Main Stage and the Discovery Stage. There are stalls along the walkway between them, a bar by each stage and food vendors spread all over the park. There is also a gin bar, cocktail bar and coffee stall. The Discovery Stage does tend to be where people with smaller children stay as it is very enclosed and much quieter. There isn't a camping site at the festival however there is camping available in the area if you do want to stay over.

Bingley Music Live Festival 2017 The Main Stage
The Main Stage

Bingley Music Live Festival 2017 The Discovery Stage
The Discovery Stage

Bingley Music Live Festival 2017 - The Food

At Bingley Music Live Festival you are able to bring in your own food, but not drinks. We always bring a picnic lunch and treat ourselves to something from the food vendors on a night. This year BML really upped the quality and variety of the vendors. As well as the standard burger stall there was turkish street food, chicken, pizza, fish and chips, burritos, Indian, Chinese, paella, hot dogs, pulled pork and pie stalls. My absolute favourite has to be the halloumi fries which I may or may not have had every day.

Bingley Music Live Festival 2017 halloumi fries

Bingley Music Live Festival 2017 - The weekend highlights

My first highlight has to be spending a full weekend with Ellie and my friends. The Bingley Music Live Festival always has a great, friendly atmosphere and it feels like a real community sitting around in camp chairs.

Bingley Music Live Festival 2017

My favourite bands from the weekend are Twin Atlantic, Kaiser Chiefs, Feeder and Sundara Karma.

Bingley Music Live Festival 2017 Twin Atlantic
Twin Atlantic

Bingley Music Live Festival 2017 Kaiser Cheifs
Kaiser Chiefs

Bingley Music Live Festival 2017 Feeder
Feeder

One of the most exciting parts of festivals for me has to be getting ready for them. I have "festival" clothes I love getting out and I love being able to wear festival make up and hair. Ellie chose lots of highlighter and glitter this year and I went with a super highlight and space buns.

Bingley Music Live Festival 2017 festival glitter look

Bingley Music Live Festival 2017 festival look space buns

Bingley Music Live Festival 2017 - The downsides

This year at the Bingley Music Live Festival the weather was not kind to us. Although I prepare well and we have lots of waterproof layers, sitting and standing around in the rain is just miserable.

Bingley Music Live Festival 2017

The weekend of Bingley Music Live Festival unfortunately clashed with the Northern Rail train strike. Trying to arrange transport from Bingley for our whole group was stress before the festival you don't need.

Bingley Music Live Festival 2017 - Final thoughts

All in all Bingley Music Live Festival was an amazing weekend. Despite the rain we had a great time with our friends. Even though I didn't know all the bands I enjoyed seeing every single one of them. I have found some great new artists to listen to and follow and saw a lot of old favourites. Mine and Ellies tickets were £61 and £48 each for the weekend which I think is a real bargain.

We will definitely be going again next year and hopefully having just as much fun as this year.

Bingley Music Live Festival is a great festival for both groups of friends and families and if you are local to Myrtle Park I really recommend going.

Have you ever been to Bingley Music Live Festival? Which band would you have liked to see from the line up?

0

Friday, 15 September 2017

My first Airbnb experience at Simonside Cottage

 Last month we decided to finally cross visiting Holy Island off our wishlist. I knew there were a few other places I wanted to visit whilst we were up there so decided to make a little holiday out of it. As is always the case in the school summer holidays, prices in the hotels and BnB's are super expensive. So remembering a post I had read on Beccas blog I got a discount code from her and began looking on Airbnb. Simonside Cottage in Rothbury, Northumberland instantly jumped out at me and before I knew it, it was booked. So today I am sharing my first Airbnb experience at Simonside Cottage in Rothbury.

My first Air BnB Experience at Simonside Cottage in Rothbury

My first Air BnB Experience at Simonside Cottage in Rothbury - booking experience

This is my first time using Airbnb but it is so easy to use. Simply search the area you want to be in, the dates and how many people are going and search. You can narrow it down to price, amenities and whether you would like a full house or private room. Clicking in to each property gives you details about the owner and property along with house rules and amenities. There are some places you can instantly book and others you need to contact  the owner first.

I was able to instantly book Simonside Cottage, but I did send the owner a quick message to let him know and introduce myself. It just seems the polite thing to do and I'm terribly British like that.

Payment is taken straight away and each property has its own cancellation terms.

As I joined Airbnb through a referral code I got £30 off my first stay, you can too if you sign up here.

My first Air BnB Experience at Simonside Cottage in Rothbury

I had spoken to the owner before our stay and a meeting time was agreed. As this was my first Airbnb experience arriving at the cottage I was a little nervous. It is really quite strange meeting someone to get keys for their house. The owner is lovely though and after a quick chat and run through of things I needed to know he was on his way.

Simonside Cottage is a quaint and cozy 2 bedroom cottage. Whilst it isn't high end it is incredibly clean and has all the modern fittings and the rustic decor keeps the features of the property.

The front porch leads in to a large living room / dining room. I love the crochet blankets, we had these at my mums house when we were younger. They are so cozy to wrap up in on a night. I'm also a big fan of the bookcase which has all genres of books, travel guides and maps.

My first Air BnB Experience at Simonside Cottage in Rothbury

My first Air BnB Experience at Simonside Cottage in Rothbury

My first Air BnB Experience at Simonside Cottage in Rothbury

The living room also has THE most amazing fireplace. I didn't try lighting the fire as to be honest I wouldn't know where to start with it, but it looks amazing even unlit.

My first Air BnB Experience at Simonside Cottage in Rothbury fireplace

Through the living room is a galley kitchen. It has everything you will need whilst you are staying plus some extra touches like tea, coffee, milk and even olive oil.

My first Air BnB Experience at Simonside Cottage in Rothbury kitchen

There is an open staircase in the kitchen that leads upstairs. The listing does say the property isn't suitable for young children and I think the staircase is why. Both me and Ellie loved it though.

My first Air BnB Experience at Simonside Cottage in Rothbury staircase

Upstairs there is a double and single bedroom. Both have comfy, clean beds with thick duvets, wardrobes and drawers and each has a pile of clean towels. My only complaint is there is only one small mirror in the little bedroom. Which for two girls just isn't enough!

My first Air BnB Experience at Simonside Cottage in Rothbury bedroom

My first Air BnB Experience at Simonside Cottage in Rothbury bedroom

And finally the bathroom. It is really modern and again it has everything you might need and is full of toiletries.

My first Air BnB Experience at Simonside Cottage in Rothbury - The views

Simonside Cottage is pretty much in the middle of nowhere and the location means the views are amazing.

My first Air BnB Experience at Simonside Cottage in Rothbury views

My first Air BnB Experience at Simonside Cottage in Rothbury views

We also found llamas in the field behind the cottage! They aren't very friendly though and do run away if you get too close.

My first Air BnB Experience at Simonside Cottage in Rothbury views

My first Air BnB Experience at Simonside Cottage in Rothbury - Final thoughts

Simonside Cottage was the perfect place for us and made my first Airbnb experience brilliant. It is a great base for exploring Northumberland as it is close to Alnwick, Lindesfarne, Seahouses, Farne Islands and Bamburgh. Whilst the cottage isn't the most modern, it is clean, has everything you need and is definitely a home away from home. The views from the cottage are stunning and for us being in the middle of nowhere was just what we needed.

If we were to visit Northumberland again we would definitely stay here again.

If you would like to visit Simonside Cottage or any other Airbnb make sure you sign up through my referral code for £30 off your first stay.

Have you stayed in an Airbnb before? I'd love to know what your experience was like if you have.

0

Blog Archive

Categories

Featured Post

Of His Bones by Tracey Scott-Townsend book review

*AD - GIFTED* Of His Bones by Tracey Scott-Townsend book review Today is my stop on the Of His Bones by Tracey Scott-Townsend book tour.  Of...

Search

Social

Total Pageviews