Friday, 27 November 2015

Festive Afternoon Tea at The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London

The winter months are a fabulous time to indulge in Afternoon Tea - whilst it is cold outside inside you can enjoy a warming and filling tea full of festive treats.

The menu from the Mandarin Oriental (where incidentally I have experienced and can highly recommend afternoon tea) has caught my eye -

Taken in the hotel's delightfully cosy Rosebery Lounge you can enjoy the following


A Selection of Sandwiches  

Slow roasted Norfolk bronze turkey with sage and cranberry 
Smoked salmon tartar with creme fraiche and dill 
Cotswold egg and mustard cress
St.Tola goat cheese with roasted pumpkin and red onion confit 
Portland crab and crayfish fondue on lemon and thyme bread
Wiltshire cured ham and heritage tomatoes 

Freshly baked cranberry-raisins & plain scones accompanied by Devonshire clotted cream, strawberry jam, rose petal jelly and homemade lemon curd. 

A Selection of Handmade Pastries 

Gingerbread, pear and caramel cake
Figgy pudding bauble
Chestnut, chocolate and vanilla Opera gateau
Cranberry, orange and yoghurt Yule log 
Mandarin and spiced prune tartlet

Pumpkin and pecan cake 
Traditional stollen 
The tea comes with a wide selection of teas to choose from.

Children are also welcome and well catered for with their very own and special menu


A Selection of Sandwiches

Slow roasted Norfolk bronze turkey with sage and cranberry 
Smoked salmon tartar with creme fraiche and dill 
Cotswold egg and mustard cress
St.Tola goat cheese with roasted pumpkin and red onion confit 
Portland crab and crayfish fondue on lemon and thyme bread
Wiltshire cured ham and heritage tomatoes 

Freshly baked cranberry-raisins & plain scones accompanied by Devonshire clotted cream, strawberry jam, rose petal jelly and homemade lemon curd. 

A Selection of Handmade Pastries 

Winter land snowball 
Snowman tart
Chocolate teddy bear
Grubby paw layer cake 
Christmas cracker
Teddy bear cupcake 
Christmas tree cupcake 

Pumpkin and pecan cake 
Traditional stollen 

To book call +44 (0)20 7201 3828 or visit The Mandarin Oriental website

*Images courtesy of The Mandarin Oriental 

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

November Glossybox - What's Inside Mine - Lips & Lashes Edition

November's edition of Glossybox has the theme of Lipsticks to Lashes so as you would expect it contains items for both purposes...

What's inside ?

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick £7.99 

This month there is a full size lipstick from Revlon promising one of their best selling shades - As I already have the very popular red 'Fire & Ice' I was hoping for another shade to try, however I was sent the red. It is a gorgeous and full impact shade and I have worn it for Christmas Day in previous years as it is such a lovely festive red.

MUA Eyeshadow Palette £4 

This cute palette from MUA is called 'Undressed' and features 12 wearable shades of nudes and metallics. Perfect to adorn your eyes.

Eylure Natural Lashes £5 

These lashes do look luscious, voluminous and flutterworthy but personally I don't wear lashes so I shall be gifting these to my lucky sister.

Emite Diamond Heart Primer full size £25.90

I have got the 15ml travel size version of the primer. I love trying new primers so will be trying this shortly. It smells nice, has a peachy tone to it which promises to boost radiance and create a smooth finish. It also has a cream rather than silicone texture.

Royal Apothetic Body Lotion full size £14.50 

Once again this is a travel size version but it is a rather generous tube. I absolutely love the scent of this - Venetian Grove. Lactic acid will gently smooth skin and milk proteins will hydrate the skin. I am looking forward to applying this to my skin after bathing this winter... Gorgeous and light!

Final thoughts 

Although there are a couple of  items I won't be using, I think this month's box is really quite good. Makeup lovers will adore it and those who like to focus on skincare will appreciate it. I personally enjoy discovering new brands so this box gets a thumbs up from me.

What did you think?

Friday, 13 November 2015

Popchips Mature Cheddar & Onion Potato Chips - Review

I am already a huge fan of popchips as a snack of choice and this new flavour  - Mature Cheddar & Onion does not disappoint

With just 95 calories in the individual pack it is light but packed with flavour. The cheese is lovely and intense and the onion is the perfect match for it. Sometimes you taste cheese, others your mouth has a punch of onion. Oh and did I mention they are low fat?

The popchips are non messy - they do not leave a greasy residue on the fingers. Texture wise they are nice and crunchy but once in the mouth they almost melt.

Unfortunately they do contain milk so my dairy intolerant husband wasn't able to try them which happily meant more for me and the 7yr old who declared them 'absolutely yummy!'

Another winning flavour from the popchips gurus and a big thumbs up from this household.

*PR Samples

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Tick Tock Vanilla Chai Tea - Review

I have only recently got back into drinking tea after going completely off of it in early pregnancy. Pre pregnancy I loved my chai lattes but as well as going off of tea (well everything food and drink really!) I also had an aversion to spices which to an extent still hasn't abated completely...

However, I was sent a box of Tick Tock's Rooibos Vanilla Chai and I am finally able to bring my review of this naturally caffeine free hot drink.

Tick Tock say

Bursting with exotic chai spices including cinnamon, ginger and cardamom, as well as smooth Madagascan vanilla, every cup of Rooibos Vanilla Chai promises pure pleasure.

An irresistible treat! Alive with inviting spice notes and a smooth natural sweetness, every cup of Rooibos Vanilla Chai promises pure pleasure.

Inspired by India’s vibrant tea culture, our Chai (spiced tea) balances traditional spices like cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and clove with natural Madagascan vanilla and delicious Rooibos Tea.

Because Tick Tock Rooibos is gentle, low in tannin and naturally caffeine free, this deliciously indulgent blend can be enjoyed by the whole family, with or without milk, throughout the day and at bedtime.

My thoughts 

As mentioned above I was a little apprehensive about trying a spiced drink but as the weather has got colder I yearned for something warming. I needn't have worried... this Vanilla Chai is delicious. I like it best enjoyed with milk for a milky treat. It is spiced but not heavily so and is sweetened beautifully with the addition of vanilla. I don't brew it for too long and find it just perfect. I also love its beautiful golden shade that with milk added just looks like my normal cuppa!

I am delighted that this great tasting drink is caffeine free as being pregnant I am conscious of the amount of caffeine I am consuming daily and with this I don't have to worry.

Big thumbs up from this mum to be.

Tick Tock Rooibos Vanilla Chai costs £1.99 for 40 bags

*PR Sample

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

The Body Shop Oils Of Life Collection - Review

A short while ago I was given the opportunity to review The Body Shop Oils Of Life skincare collection. It took me a little while to start the regime,  regular readers will know that I am pregnant and have been very poorly with hyperemesis gravidarum, but now I have been able to give it a good month of trying out the products and am ready to give my views.

The Body Shop say 

Give new life to your skin with our new collection infused with black cumin seed oil, rosehip seed oil and camellia seed oil, known for their supreme revitalising and repairing properties on skin. This daily routine has been created to intensely revitalise skin, revive radiance and leave your skin feeling nourished.

My thoughts 

I was really looking forward to trying these products as HG had really taken a toll on my skin and I was in dire need of something that was going to boost and support my skin so that my vitality returned.

Intensely Revitalising Essence Lotion £15 (150ml)

The Body Shop say 

This unique bi-phase oil [oil + water] formula is your essential first step after cleansing to prepare and activate your skin for the next steps of the routine.

My thoughts 

I use this lotion after cleansing and in place of my usual toner. I give the bottle a little shake to mix the oil and water and then apply to the skin. This product has quite a strong spicy scent but I am a fan of those so this doesn't bother me at all. I find the lotion really refreshing and it leaves my skin feeling soft and ready for the next step and not at all oily or tacky. 

Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil £28 (30ml)

The Body Shop say 

By infusing 3 precious seed oils from around the world, known for their revitalising and repairing properties on skin – Black Cumin seed oil from Egypt, Camellia seed oil from China and Rosehip seed oil from Chile – with a powerful blend of essential oils, we created a lightweight daily facial oil to intensely revitalise skin, instantly replenish moisture and revive radiance. Signs of ageing appear visibly reduced. Made from 99% oils of natural origin, this lightweight, quickly-absorbed formula effortlessly melts onto skin leaving a non-sticky, velvety-soft finish.
  • Potent daily facial oil infused with 3 precious seed oils from around the world to give new life to your skin
  • Cold-pressed seed oils to preserve potent properties and ensure the utmost affinity to skin.
  • Made from 99% oils of natural origin
  • Lightweight and quickly-absorbed, non-sticky finish
  • Signs of ageing appear reduced - skin looks revitalised and feels more elastic and firmer*
My thoughts

The facial oil has the same spicy scent as the lotion but this scent doesn't linger on the face from either of the products. One drop does my whole face and I work it in using the massager. Skin is left feeling super soft and radiant. I use this oil twice a day and have noticed a definite change and improvement in the 'glow' of my skin. A few people have mentioned this too and this pleases me a lot :)

Once again as promised this oil does not leave an oily or sticky finish. 

*I was given both moisturisers but I chose to use the Gel Cream version - The cream version is as you would expect a heavier textured cream. 

Intensely Revitalising Gel Cream £25 (50ml )

The Body Shop say

By infusing 3 precious seed oils from around the world, known for their revitalising and repairing properties on skin – Black Cumin seed oil from Egypt, Camellia seed oil from China and Rosehip seed oil from Chile – into a dewy-fresh gel cream with illuminating micro-pearls, we created a lighter alternative to the cream that intensely revitalises skin. Skin feels instantly freshly hydrated and suppler. From the moment it touches the skin, this Intensely Revitalising Gel Cream delicately melts onto the face, leaving a fresh light finish without a greasy feel.

My thoughts 

I find the gel cream to have a lighter scent than the lotion and facial oil, it is cool and jelly like to the touch. When applied to the skin it melts like water and absorbs fast leaving no tacky residue. I really like this gel cream as part of my routine and apply it twice a day. 

The results 

Within a week I had noticed a difference to my skin after using the Oils of Life Collection. After continued use my skin is softer, smoother and more radiant. I also have noticed how much better my foundations glide onto the skin and also that I am needing to use less foundation than I was before. Overall I am really enjoying this routine and can highly recommend it. 

*PR Samples

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Blanx Intensive Stain Removal Whitening Toothpaste Review

As I do suffer from teeth staining I was keen to give Blanx Intensive Stain Removal, I liked the idea that it claimed to whiten teeth whilst removing stains.

Blanx say 

BlanX Intensive Stain Removal with extract of Arctic Lichen.
Combines whitening with anti-staining action.
Its unique formula removes stains and pigmentation due to smoking, food, beverages and plaque deposits.

Contains non abrasive silica for deep and gentle cleaning without damaging enamel.

The Blanx range of products are the only daily cosmetic whitening toothpastes that use lichen, grown naturally in the Artic. Lichen contains active ingredients which attach harmful bacteria involved in the formation of plaque and tooth decay - not the beneficial bacteria found naturally in the mouth.

My thoughts 

The toothpaste comes in a handy pump action tube and taste wise it is nice and minty but not so strong that it almost burns your mouth, I am sure you know the mints that I mean!

The toothpaste is smooth in texture and pure white, most of the whitening toothpastes I have tried have bits or feel gritty.

Now I must admit I was judging the stain removal on a two week timescale and had a particular stain I was aiming to see disappear. I was disappointed to find it was still there after two weeks but I carried on using this toothpaste (the tube is now almost finished) and actually I have been pleasantly surprised.

Whilst using this toothpaste I became pregnant and found it hard to brush my teeth, extreme early pregnancy sickness made me physically unable to contemplate brushing my teeth without gagging or being sick (grim I know!). However I was attending my sister's wedding and I HAD to have beautifully white teeth. I tried my hardest to use it when I could... more recently I have used it religiously twice a day.

The results 

At some point the stains have gone, especially the one that was my control one! My teeth are lovely and white. So I would say that you will achieve stain free, whiter teeth but it will take continued use and a little patience.

I really like this toothpaste and can see the results, especially in photos.

Blanx Intensive Stain Removal Whitening Toothpaste 75ml is currently on special offer in Boots for £4.20

*PR Sample

Weleda Arnica Sports Shower Gel and Sea Buckthorn Creamy Body Wash

I call these 'his and hers' shower gels but obviously they are entirely gender neutral offerings from Weleda and gorgeous to boot.

From the bright and sunny orange packaging,  which instantly zings up the morning shower experience and starts the day in the most perfect way possible,  to the wonderful scents you cannot fail to love these washes.

Arnica Sports Shower Gel £7.95 200ml 

Weleda say 

Weleda Arnica Sports Shower Gel is a perfect exercise partner – the kind that complements your efforts and treats you with satisfaction. Refreshing and energizing essentials oils of rosemary and lavender are perfectly balanced to calm your mind and energize your body. 100% of our surfactants are bio-degradable.

My thoughts 

This is one of the latest product additions to the Weleda family.

Ideal for that morning shower or to add to your sports bag for your post workout shower the Arnica Sports Shower Gel is an ideal companion. The blend of rosemary and lavender is not at all feminine which is why my husband nabbed this as his and soon as he spotted it in the bathroom (lesson learned). Of course those of you who are regular readers of will know when it comes to shower gels he is a lather fiend. Therefore I was surprised when he declared his adoration for this one for it has a noticeable absence of SLS, this made me happy thought as I am always telling him how it is drying out his skin. 

The Arnica Sports Shower Gel doesn't just feel like it is doing good to your skin, it IS, wakes you up with its energising scent and leaves skin feeling soft and moisturised.  Big thumbs up from this household. 

Sea Buckthorn Creamy Body Wash £7.95 200ml

Weleda say 

Weleda Sea Buckthorn Body Wash is a revitalising shower cream which is a delicate composition of antioxidant-rich biodynamic Sea Buckthorn Oil, blended with the fresh aroma of sun-blessed oranges, mandarins and grapefruit from pure essential oils. A revitalising fruity fragrance for shower or bath.

My thoughts 

I am a big fan of SLS free body washes as unlike my husband I don't believe more bubbles mean extra clean skin! 

I have to be completely honest, during my early pregnancy days I really struggled with scents and fragrances in practically everything. Luckily the only thing that I found bearable was citrus scents and happily I was able to use the Sea Buckthorn Creamy Body Wash. It features a wonderful citrus orange scent that is really most pleasant. The creamy wash feels so gentle on the skin and leaves it super soft. Of course the major bonus is all its wonderful natural ingredients. 

* In the Summer I was fortunate to visit the Weleda Gardens. I saw where they grow all the wonderful plants used in the Weleda products and I witnessed just how passionate the staff really are about this fantastic natural brand.

Have you discovered Weleda yet? 

*PR Samples 


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