Monday 31 March 2014

High Tea @ The Grand Pacific, Australasia

If you're looking for afternoon tea with a difference, you need to try Australasia's take on this great British custom. Caroline from Afternoon Tea Club recommended it to me - mum was coming up for the weekend and I wanted to take her somewhere impressive..

We arrived at 2pm and were taken through the restaurant to the Grand Pacific and seated at our table. The detail throughout is what I really like - the lighting, the ridiculous wicker chair that dwarfed my mum, the wall hangings, the fit waiter...

We started with champers and waited to be talked through our high tea. Sushi and Asian inspired dishes to start, sweets and cakes to follow. Ideal.

Pork belly and stir fried vegetables // crispy spring roll with pigeon (both incredible)

Chilli lime and coconut chicken. Really light and fruity, perfect after the pork and fried peppers.

Salmon, prawn and tuna nigiri. Massively generous portion size and really fresh.

Sushi rolls with salmon and tuna...

More pork belly

More chicken..

With our champagne long gone and sushi fully demolished it was time for a food break. And a glass of sauvignon blanc.

Fit waiter brought our tea over. I went for green tea, mum had hibiscus.

Time for round two: CAKE.

Sweet pastry filled with soft cream.

Chocolate and mint double layer cake.

Blueberry cupcake

Raspberry meringue.

Panna cotta : the best I've ever had.

Deliciously moist and dense carrot cake.

Panna cotta half demolished.

It was hands down one of the best lunches I've had in Manchester. Perfect presentation, really tasty and an interesting spin on such a classic meal.

Even better that it was my Mother's Day treat so got to spend it with someone really special, thanks for coming up, mum!

You can find more information and book on the Australasia website

Sunday 23 March 2014

Really easy raspberry smoothie

This smoothie is WELL tasty. Plus you only need five ingredients so it's really simple too.

  • 2 handfuls of frozen raspberries
  • 1 handful fresh blackberries
  • 1 1/2 bananas, chopped
  • 1/2 mango
  • Gurgle of  soya milk

Throw it all in to a food processor along with a splash of water (depending on how thick you want it) and whiz it up. 

Ta dah!

This particular combination gives a zingy, almost sour punch so the banana and soy milk balance it out perfectly.

I find that smoothies are a great way to use up over-ripe fruit and of course, you get about four portions of your five a day in one serving..

Today I swapped soya milk for some Greek yoghurt and some honey for a creamier, thicker and sweeter taste.

Friday 21 March 2014

Boots 3 for 2 Cosmetics

I've never written a beauty post before. I don't see myself as someone who really knows their stuff when it comes to cosmetics. Which is ironic considering how much money I've spent in Boots over the past few weeks.

I've come across some absolute gems whilst the 3 for 2 offer has been on, and stocked up on some favourites...

naughty Boots, so  tempting!
First up, lipstick.

I love No. 7 make up and their lipsticks are my go-to product when I'm looking for a new shade. I picked up this gorgeous spring time coral stick a few weeks ago and I'll definitely need to buy a new one before summer's out - it's really wearable and not too in your face.

The shade is Cuckoo Coral and it's from the Sheer Temptation range.

Next, the Naked 785 Sheen shade from Sleek MakeUp. I've recently been converted to this brand after a friend introduced me to their Face Form palette, and love them! This is my first nude lipstick and it's ideal - creamy with a sheen finish, it works really well with dark eyeshadow. 

Keeping with Sleek, I also bought their Face Contour Kit in medium and it has become a staple in my going-out make up routine. 

The contour powder & highlighter work great together and the little mirror is ideal for applying on the go.

I picked this volumising hair mask from Umberto Giannini to try and give my hair a little lift. My hair is notoriously dry and I make sure I use a Moroccan oil to moisturise the ends after washing, so figured this mask might help it look glossier too.

I use it once a week, just scoop a load on after I've conditioned and leave for 5 minutes before rinsing out.
Rather than a creamy texture you can find with hair masks and conditioners, this is very silky and gel-like. It smells really nice and fruity too and gives my hair a light glossy look.

The next product is one of my swear by, thank-god-it-was-invented, essential hair must haves.
Toni and Guy dry shampoo, ladies and gentlemen.

It stands in firm place as my favourite T&G hair product out there. I love the entire range but the dry shampoo has saved my snooze-obsessed, duvet loving arse TOO many times.

As my hair is dark it can be tricky to find a dry shampoo that doesn't make your roots grey. This little baby is an exception. No grey dust. At all. It lasts ages, you don't need half as much compared to brands like Batiste or Boots own and it smells fresh and fruity. At £7.99 it's little on the pricey side, so I suggest you stock up whilst this 3 for 2 offer is still on!

Let me know if there's anything else I need to get whilst this offer is still on.. we've only got until next weekend!
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