Monday, 7 August 2017

August Adventures

Me and Zoe  had a free day and we really wanted to get out and do something. The weather has been so Jekyll & Hyde recently so it's difficult to choose what to do, where to go and what to wear. We checked the weather forecast today and with sun but strong wind we decided to head to the train station for an adventure!

We decided once we got the the train station our destination and opted for a train ticket to Hexham in Northumberland. The train had already arrived by the time we got to the station.... good timing us! We set off and on the train we discussed where we should hop off the train and opted for Corbridge. 

We really had no plan, and just let the day happen so we headed out of the station and headed for the town centre.... The houses are literally country side goals. Stunning country houses nestled in the Northumberland countryside with the sun breaking through the clouds. We spent alot of time swooning at the houses and the views....

We popped into some of the little shops for a mooch, and discovered a little independent bakery. The produce looked so good, that we couldn't not go in for a peak. The Lemon Curd French Meringues were calling our names, so needless to say we couldn't resist! Shortcake, quiche, beer bread.... Mmm. They are literally the size of my head and can't wait to tuck in to some with my family after lunch with whipped cream.

Tea & Tipple saved us from a little rain shower when we dove in for a coffee and a scone. This was so nice for a little sit down and to chill. The staff were lovely and the jam is delicious!

After the treats, we headed back to the train station and even though we had to wait about 30 minutes for our train, the wait in the sun (and wind) was so enjoyable. I really do think we could all do this more, living in a world where we our tied to our phones and technology - getting the chance to get out in the countryside and breathe in some country air really has been refreshing for me.

Until next time... 

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Kiehl's Bloggers Event

Situated on Blackett Street in Newcastle, I had been meaning to try Kiehl's Skincare for ages... and then as if by magic I was invited to their bloggers event. Perfect opportunity to be introduced to the brand. 

On entering the store, the staff are dressed in white coats which instantly gives you a chemist/science type vibe which makes sense as the brand was founded back in 1871 by a pharmacist in Brunswick, NYC. The company has seen a change of different owners introducing new ranges for men, oils and even introducing generous samples in the 1970's. The brand has had quite a prolific existence in the skincare world and even launched a product in collaboration with Andy Warhol in the sixties. The staff were full of information for all of the products, the brand history and all were passionate about skincare. But first things first, we got tucked in to a slice of cake. Because.... cake. 

I had a mooch around the store to see what type of products they have on offer and a reoccurring theme were very fresh ingredients like orange, cilantro, jasmine. The Cilantro and Orange extract smells divine btw. I had heard amazing things about the Midnight Recovery Concentrate so that was on my list to check out up close and ask questions.

So after speaking to the staff about the Midnight Recovery Concerntrate, and doing some reading online this comes highly recommended. A lot of the staff tagged this as their 'fave' product in the whole range. This is a midnight recovery cream that works its magic while you sleep, it has an oily consistency and comes in an iconic blue glass dropper bottle. It's key ingredients are some of the reasons this helps skin appear fresher, brighter and repaired. Primrose oi, lavender oil & squalane (from olives) are some of the natural ingredients helped to boost skin recovery whilst you get your all important sleep. 

I've noticed from browsing their website that a lot of the glass packaging is recyclable and the cardboard packaging comes from recycled sources. In the world we live in where mass production and the throw away concept seems so evident, I think this is a great concept to hear from big brands and I wish more would follow! 

As an addition to the cake and skincare, we were treat to cocktails by the lovely staff from The Alchemist, Newcastle. They served up the Bubblebath cocktail which, let me tell you... it's so delicious and a dream to watch being made! 

I thought the collaboration of The Alchemist and Keihl's was genius, these 2 brands are built on alchemy so it was a perfect match! If you're around Newcastle craving a cocktail, I totally recommend this as a sweet cocktail and instagram worthy too!

Sipping cocktails and eating cake (AND learning about skincare) I was asked if I would like a skin assessment. I was totally up for this because I'm a little bit obsessed with skincare and always wanting to understand my skin more and how to look after it. So I had a skin test with a little swatch - you can request these at your store (no need to remove make up).... and from the swatch they recommend the best products and treatments for you. 

So my skin was slightly dehydrated (I do moisturise every night and have a skincare routine) but I was advised to drink more water and to try using a combination of oils and serums to help moisture reach deeper into my skin. This is a free service they offer and would recommend it to any skin lovers out there! 

Until next time... 

Monday, 31 July 2017

Scent Seduction: Viktor & Rolf Bloom

In February I was invited along to Fenwick, for the launch of the new Viktor & Rolf fragrance, Bloom. This fragrance is a twist on the original Flowerbomb. The scent is a slightly fresher and more floral fragrance. 

The guys at Fenwick Newcastle always take such good care of us! 

Viktor & Rolf also have a range of beauty products too alongside their fragrances of which I only discovered at the launch. Bath oils, body creams and such. Just to ensure you always smell like their signature fragrance! The new fragrance is an extension on the Flowerbomb story, with the sensuous undertones and a burst of springtime flowers. This scent is stunning and the perfect transitional spring/summer scent! 

Until next time... 

Thursday, 27 April 2017

KATHLEEN Skincare: Cleansing Lotion & Tonifying Mist

After seeing blogger Carly Musleh, talk about cream cleansers on her Instagram stories. So when I was selected to review the pre launch products from Kathleen Skincare I though it was divine timing. I was sent the Lightening Cleansing Lotion & Rebalancing & Soothing Tonifying Mist which are set to launch and be available to order in May. 

For those of you who may have missed my last post about the Kathleen Caviar Enriched eye cream, you can catch up here. Kathleen offer are luxurious beauty products which are made in the UK, natural, organic and no added chemicals. They really know their stuff, and I sometimes find organic skincare a little diluted and doesn't pack as much punch against other brands but I really feel a difference with their range. 

The cleansing lotion & toning mist come in complimentary boxes and the packaging is lovely quality. They are both available in 2 sizes, 150ml for your nightstand and the smaller size, 50ml is perfect for those weekend stays when you need skincare on-the-go. 

I've been having a crazy time with my skin recently due to a hectic schedule so I really felt this was a great time to put these to the test. After a long (and stressful) day, I removed the majority of my make up with a make up wipe and then used the cleanser followed by the mist. The cleansing lotion is to be applied to dry skin and massaged deeply using your fingertips. I followed the instructions and massaged it all into my face. I then ran a skin of just-hot water and submerged the muslin cloth which I used to exfoliate my face and remove any make up still lying on my skin. 

I cleaned my face, using different sections of the muslin for each section. This lotion boasts to "help to lift dirt, oil, make up and impurities, without drying the skin" for which I can vouch for. This left my skin feeling fresh, clean and free from the greasy oils left on your face from a long day of wearing make up! The cleansing lotion is made up from rose water, lavender water, lemon, tamansu and  avocado oil among other nourishing ingredients. We all know the benefits of oils and such so to get it penetrating your skin in your routine is super beneficial. The muslin cloth helps to exfoliate and rid your skin of dead skin cells to reveal fresh, bright skin underneath. 

I then let my face breathe for a few minutes before moving on to the tonifying mist. The mist can be applied in one of two ways. You can either spritz over your face in a "just stepped off a desert island and need hydrating" kinda way, or you can spray onto a cotton pad and apply to face and neck. Obviously I opted for the first option. 

I let the mist sink into my skin and this glistened on the surface and then slowly dissepearing to work its organic magic on my skin. Aloe vera, chamomile water and lemon are some of the ingredients in this spray. I have quite a good skin tone overall and not many red patches or uneven colour but I could really feel a difference after using this combined with the cleanser. My skin felt lighter, fresher, clean and soft with the Kathleen products and would recommend if you have sensitive skin or are looking for organic luxe beauty products. 

If you're looking for organic products with a punch, then Kathleen has got you! The cleansing lotion is priced at £ 29.50 for the 150ml or £13.00 for the 50ml (only bigger size includes 2 muslin cloths.) The tonifying mist is £23.00 for the 150ml or £13 for the 50ml size and these are set to last you quite a while. However, I have a special discount code for you to all receive 15% off, just enter redhead15 at the checkout to redeem. 

If you're looking for that fresh, glow you get right after leaving the spa then give Kathleen products a try. These launch in May however, their other products are available to order now. 

Until next time... 

Monday, 27 March 2017

The County Hotel: Mother's Day Afternoon Tea with a Twist!

What can be more quintessentially British than Afternoon tea?! I'll tell you what! Downton Abbey inspired Afternoon Tea, that's what! It has became tradition to do Afternoon Tea for Mother's Day so when I seen The County Hotel advertising their Downton Abbey twist, I had to see if it really was an amazing as it sounded.
On entering the hotel we were directed to the 1st floor in the suite. We entered the room and were instantly transported to a distant time gone by. All female staff were dress in traditional maids outfits, tables were dressed with antique candelabras, draped in pearls whilst the butler tended to people. Once out booking had been confirmed we were shown to a table and my Mam was handed a lovely potted flowering plant, which was a gift from The County Hotel to all Mother's attending. I didn't see any mention of this little touch through social media etc so this was really unexpected and heart warming!

Once we were seated we had a chance to take in the atmosphere. There was a projector at the front of the room with a showreel of old clips of Newcastle through the years. Fenwick in the early days, trams and even street parades whilst the Downton theme tuned tinkled in the background. Not long after we were greeted with a lovely pot of tea for us to share (the Hendricks tea sets were gorgeous and totally necessary!)  

After sipping tea for a short while, the lovely butler informed us that food would be arriving very soon and right on queue, it did. The typical cake stand filled with treats graced our table. We started with sandwiches, of course daaahlings. Curried egg (very apt), salmon and cucumber - my personal fave, and ham with mustard seeds. 

Then moving on to the scones, topped with jam & clotted cream then mini Victoria sponges. Totally crucial key players in every afternoon tea. But we all know the top layer is what everyone lives for... That's where the culinary gems are. We started we the praline whipped chocolate mouse topped with cinder toffee, very rich but just enough.


Next up was the lemon drizzle cheesecake. Perfectly formed lemon topped cheesecake laid on a crunch base sprinkled with chocolate shavings. Both me and my mam loved this! Tangy and smooth and we wished there was more.

Then 2 macaroons, perfectly melt in the mouth texture, and also fruits of the forest mini tarts topped with blueberries, strawberry & kiwi chunks. 
Whilst we got lost in the food whirlwind we were well looked after and our pot of tea was topped up numerous times. Because afternoon tea aint' afternoon tea if the ta is cold. The staff were amazing in making sure we both had an amazing experience and I seriously enjoyed this... oh and my mam loved it too. I kept forgetting this wasn't for me but I loved every second. My mam loved the experience and couldn't stop talking about all the little details once we got home. And as a fan of Downton Abbey I found myself imagining what it would have been like to be served on like a Lady.  For anyone looking to dine at The County Hotel I would highly recommend this, and truly feel that the staff went all out to make us welcomed and well served!

Oh and for what we couldn't manage, we had boxed up for us to take home to enjoy later. Perfect. Go check out the newly refurbished County Hotel and check out their other services too!

Until next time...