Friday, 12 February 2016

The Langham Wedgewood Afternoon Tea - Review

Exactly five years ago my mum, sister and myself headed off to The Langham London for afternoon tea. We had a great time, the Palm Court where afternoon tea is served, although large was cosy and the service was friendly. The pianist even came around and asked us if we had any requests. All in all it was a fabulous experience and if you want to read more you can read the original review here .





Five years later I was invited back to The Langham to try their Wedgewood Afternoon Tea. Well what can I say, from the minute you step out of your car, taxi or just walk up to the hotel you are greeted with the warmest of welcomes. The Doorman was ultra friendly with a huge smile and it was no easy feat him being stood outside for so long, we visited on the coldest day of the year!

We were at the last sitting of the day 5.30pm and there was still a buzz in the air.

The Palm Court has been updated and refreshed but not too different from what it was before. Funnily enough we were shown to our seats which happened to be the very same corner that we had occupied the last time we visited.

To start we were treated to a Lemon Posset for the Amuse Bouche. The lemon posset was smooth, silky and creamy with a light tartness that was just the perfect way to start the afternoon tea.


We chose our teas, I went for the Wedgewood Original, however be prepared there is a wonderfully wide selection to choose from and the tea sommelier is happy to advise.  

Next we were brought our sandwiches - I loved that there was a mix of traditional sandwiches and delicate rolls to devour... and tasty they were.



The menu -

Smoked salmon, avocado and wasabi eclair
Peppered beef pastrami, red leicester coleslaw
Cucumber, cream cheese and chives
Marinated artichokes, Burford brown egg
Lightly curried prawn, tomato and watercress

We were offered seconds on the sandwiches but we declined knowing just how much more food was to follow!

The traditional scone course followed and we were not disappointed. They were warm, light and fluffy and just the right size to enjoy. Some of the nicest scones we have ever had and these were served with Devonshire clotted cream and Strawberry preserve.



Mmm, mmm.

And then the moment we had really been waiting for....

The sweet selection inspired by the Wedgewood Collection 



Wedgewood Tea Cup, white chocolate mousse, tropical jelly and dark chocolate sable
White Cameo on blue, strawberry and white balsamic Victoria sponge
Daisy Teapot, cinnamon shortbread cookie 
Hathaway Rose Motif, English rose and lychee log (my fave!)
Kouglof, 64% chocolate, raspberry and lightly roasted pistachio financier 


These delicate and pretty pastries were absolutely delicious, light and dare I say it moreish...even though I struggled to finish them. They looked exquisite much to our delight and were small and intricate (everything I love about the perfect afternoon tea) Just look at the detail that has gone into their creation... works of art!

We couldn't fault our afternoon tea in anyway, It was delicious with the right mix of flavours, tastes and texture. Service was impeccable and with a smile. We never once had to lift a finger, the staff were attentive and ensured that our teacups were always filled.

Live music was provided by a pianist which I adore and never stopped the entire time we were seated. In fact after a while he was joined by another instrumentalist which just added to the already fantastic atmosphere. A round of applause rang around the room after one particular piece. I *may* have started this!

We had a fabulous and stylish afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Five years later The Langham is still one of my all time favourite hotels (a visit to their bar The Artesian is also not to be missed) and the Palm Court serves up one of the best afternoon teas in London.

For more details and to book visit the website - Palm Court

*We were guests of the Palm Court
*Menu subject to change 

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

GlossyBox Beauty Soulmates February Edition - What's Inside Mine

February's Edition of Glossybox is billed as the Beauty Soulmates edition - pairing you with beauty essentials and perfect product matches ... I have to say they have done a great job on my box!

The limited edition box design is super cute and apt for Valentine's Day/February also known as the month of love...


What's inside ?

Nicka K 24H Waterproof Eyeliner - £3.99 

I absolutely love a decent rich brown eyeliner and this one doesn't disappoint. A flattering brown shade, once set it really doesn't budge. A nice precise tip,  a blender at the other end and a built in sharpener.

MUA Power Pout Glaze Low Voltage Gloss - £3.50 

My shade is HUSH which is a gorgeous sheer peachy nude which is just the kind of shade I adore. It smells lovely with a hint of vanilla. I will definitely be wearing this once the wind dies down!



NAOBAY Protective Hair Mask Volume Conditioner - £10.64 

I do like a good hair mask and I was particularly impressed with the Maria Nila Luminous Hair Masque that appeared in a previous Glossybox so I am looking forward to trying this one. It has a nice fresh citrus scent.

Wilkinson Sword Intuition Razor - £6.99

This box was sent at the perfect time, I was just about to pop out to buy some blades for my preferred razor but I am willing to give this a go. It has built in soap to help the razor glide against your skin.

Browtician Love Skull Tweezers Ltd Edit - £7.99 

I must admit I am a Tweezerman girl through and through and have been for many years... how is this going to compare!

Final thoughts 

February's Glossybox features 5 full size products which for just £10 + p&p makes it outstanding value. 

*PR Sample

Friday, 15 January 2016

Chloe Love Story EDP - Perfume Review

A perfume with a Love Story behind it and pleasingly it is a beautiful perfume to fall in love with...


Chloe's Love Story is inspired by Parisian romance and the love padlocks on the bridge of the Pont des Arts the bottle design makes this reference, although since the perfume was launched the authorities have had to remove the love padlocks from the bridge due to safety issues.

Love Story is a floral scent that features notes of Orange Blossom, Neroli and Jasmine from Madagascar. 

Now I am not a huge fan of overly floral fragrances so I wasn't sure if this was going to be my thing but I was pleasantly surprised. The result of the blend of notes is a fresh floral scent that is incredibly wearable for day. Not cloying, not overly strong but romantic,  pretty and noticeable. I mean why wear a fragrance that no one notices?

Chloe Love Story EDP costs £47 for 30ml

Monday, 4 January 2016

Pregnancy - What Is The Second Trimester Like?

I had a phenomenal response to my post on Pregnancy - The First Trimester  that I thought I would continue the series with updates on the second and third trimesters.



What follows below is my experience.

The Second Trimester - Weeks 12 - 27

Weeks - 12 -15 - Still being sick, still no energy.

Week 13 - I am sure I can feel baby movements.....like whooshes across my stomach.

Weeks 16 and ongoing - feeling sick but not being sick! - hurrah!! - Heartburn.... gaviscon is my friend.... very good friend.

Week 17 - I had a midwife appt and got to hear the baby's heartbeat :)

Had a funny turn - flashing coloured zigzags in my eyes, tingling down my left side of my face and arm/hands. then a really bad headache ....

got checked out at the dr's who recommended a hospital visit for an ECG and following that an MRI brain scan to rule out anything more sinister.

I also got to see my hospital notes and I DID have HG in my first pregnancy too - I already felt I knew but it was interesting to see it confirmed and actually written down in black and white.

Week 18 - The odd headache, difficulty sleeping & restless legs

Week 19 - Finally the nausea has gone and no sickness. Feeling proper big kicks now! Love this feeling.

Week 20 - The Anomaly Scan - Baby was being very naughty and lying in the wrong position for the sonographer to take all the measurements that were needed. It took us 2 hours, sugary food, lots of walking and 4 attempts inside the scan room but we got there in the end!

Weeks 21- 27 - Symptoms - 

Tiredness (particularly as I can't seem to sleep much at night)

Restless legs

Pain in my lower regions (I have a feeling this is SPD ) although it is not so severe yet and comes and goes.

Backache

Pain when the baby wedges itself in particular positions, particularly near the hips..

Baby loves to kick my bladder!

I have started to gag when brushing my teeth again...

Heartburn which is worse in the evenings..my god the burning drives me to distraction

Lower leg cramps

On the plus side - 

Lots of lovely kicks and shoves from within by the baby that my husband and seven year old son have felt.

A baby bump!

Buying baby bits which makes it all too real :)

Part three to follow.....

Bettina x


Monday, 21 December 2015

A Christmas Story - The Robin Redbreast


The Robin Redbreast

Jane had met Christian in her local coffee shop a couple of months ago, a rather friendly chap with a warm smile and a smooth and soothing rich tone to his voice that had made her turn around and notice him. They had struck up a friendship over a period of a month or so of regularly meeting for coffee, although they both liked to pretend that on each occasion it was by accident rather than by design. They had laughed and chatted the time away whilst sipping on their drinks and their rapport had not gone unnoticed by the owner of the shop who often witnessed budding romances struck up on the cosy premises.

One day as they said goodbye Christian had handed her a piece of paper on which he had written his mobile number and the accompanying words -

'I think you are a beautiful woman and I would like to get to know you better. A date away from the Coffee Shop? Call me! x'

Jane read the note and fell silent. Although she had delighted in their little meetings and looked forward to bumping into Christian it was quite something else to take this further. Since Michael had died she had not so much as considered being with someone else. Michael was forever at the forefront of her mind and now she felt guilty that she appeared to be having fun and enjoying the attention of another man.

She put the note in her coat pocket and contemplated what to do next. There was lots to consider, not least the feelings of Alfie, her son. As she left the coffee shop to collect him from school she didn't notice the piece of paper fall out of her pocket and into the gutter.

Later that evening she went to retrieve the note from her coat, frantically checking both pockets she was disappointed to find that she had lost it. Never mind, come Monday she would see Christian and explain to him why she hadn't called. She had thought long and hard and decided that the time was right to throw caution to the wind and finally start dating again.

Monday came and Christian wasn't there, sat in his usual spot. She asked the owner of the coffee shop if he had been in and she shook her head, no she hadn't seen him. Day after day she visited the coffee shop wishing and hoping he would turn up but each day that he wasn't there she left crestfallen and annoyed with herself that she had lost his number and now he was gone.

He was probably embarrassed she told herself, he had taken a risk in asking for more and now he felt rejected. She didn't blame him but wished she had just been given a chance to explain. After a couple of weeks she stopped going to the coffee shop and had given up any hope of bumping into Christian again. Perhaps it was a sign that she wasn't ready for a new relationship after all ... Putting thoughts of Christian to the back of her mind she concentrated on giving Alfie the best Christmas ever.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alfie looked out into the garden as the first snowflakes began to fall 'Mum, mum, it's snowing!'

Jane looked out of the kitchen window and saw the flakes were settling as they fell. 'So it is Alfie, dinner's ready can you come down and sit at the table please?' Just then she noticed a Robin Redbreast perched on the windowsill looking in, feeling comforted she knew this was Michael wishing her and Alfie a great Christmas. He had come every year on this day without fail.She smiled to herself. Her beloved Michael often visited throughout the year when she was busy in the garden but Christmas Eve was their special day.

Alfie was beside himself with joy, a snowy Christmas was all he had ever dreamed of. Santa coming with his presents, thick snow on the ground. It was going to a be a great Christmas. He bound down the stairs at full speed, almost bumping into Jane.

'Careful Alfie!'

'Sorry mum! Oh look AND a Robin Redbreast at the window. This Christmas is going to be so magical I just know it' he spoke excitedly.

Jane beamed at Alfie, it was indeed. She had saved up hard and managed to buy everything he had asked for, it would be worth it just to see the look on his face on Christmas morning. She had bought lots of his festive favourites too and she had planned that they would sit and watch films all day whilst indulging on the food and snuggling up together.

It was the fourth Christmas when it would just be the two of them without Michael to carve the Turkey like he had always liked to do. Their traditional Christmas Eve meal was macaroni cheese, Alfie loved it and was guaranteed to polish it off. They watched The Snowman which was Alfie's all time best film he declared.

The snow was falling thick and fast now and she was relieved they had no need to venture out.

That night she put Alfie to bed, they read 'The Night Before Christmas' and he soon drifted off to sleep. She kissed his cheek and stroked his hair. He looked so angelic lying there and wonderfully peaceful.

Pouring herself a glass of red wine, she demolished a mince pie and marvelled at how everything had come together this year, next year would be even better she could just sense it.

Christmas morning soon arrived and she was awoken to the sound of wrapping paper being ripped open in the bedroom next to hers, Alfie squealed in delight.

'Mummy! Look what Santa brought me!!' He was almost breathless with happiness. Seeing him so happy brought tears to her eyes and a warm feeling in the pit of her stomach. This was what Christmas was all about.

Pulling back the curtains he checked to see if the snow was still there. It was! He ran down the stairs still in his pyjamas and dressing gown, burst through the patio doors into the garden and rolled around in the pretty, soft white snow. Standing up he tossed it in the air and shouted at the top of voice 'I LOVE CHRISTMAS!'

Jane was a little alarmed, she didn't want him to catch a cold but at the same time didn't want to dampen his spirit.

Just then the Robin Redbreast landed on the kitchen windowsill, its usual spot, something was protruding from his beak. Aware of this fluttering Jane looked over in the direction of the noise and noticed a piece of paper beside the bird which it had now dropped. She carefully approached the Robin, but the Robin seemed unperturbed. Gently she picked the note up to see what it was, her heart missed a beat and then started to pound. It was Christian's note, the one she had lost month's ago. How could this possibly be?

She looked at the Robin Redbreast... whispering 'Michael, it is you isn't it?'  She could have sworn he winked back at her.

Merry Christmas!

Bettina x

Loved this story? Then please check out my debut novel - A Tempting Trio - Available now by clicking this link - http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B011ZEUQZI

*An original work of fiction, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Top Five Foodie Gifts From Carluccio's This Christmas

Way back in July I had the pleasure of attending the Carluccio's Christmas Press Day where I got to try all the tasty treats that were to be the Christmas Gifts..today I share my top five foodie gifts.. whether for friends, family or yourself!


Clemente in Camicia £16.95 - Delicious candied Clementine pieces covered in dark chocolate.


Fichi Ricoperti £9.95 - Dark chocolate coated figs stuffed with walnut and candied orange peel. I couldn't get enough of these!


Stelle di Cioccolato £11.95 - Exquisite chocolate stars that will delight children and adults alike.


Prosecco e Gianduiotti £26.95 - A sumptuous boxed gift of Prosecco paired with smooth hazelnut chocolate.



Vin Santo e Cantucci £25 - Dessert is sorted with this pairing of a sweet dessert wine and honey and almond biscuits. A Tuscan classic.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Korres Party Survival Kit

The 'Korres Party Survival Kit of travel sized goodies contains everything you need the day after a night of partying, ideal for this time of year of endless Christmas parties and heading into the New Year. Small enough to pack into your toiletries bag these samples are generously sized for a few uses.



Contents 



Wild Rose Cream 24-hour  Moisturising & Brightening, SPF6 16ml 

I absolutely love this facial moisturiser. It smells a little bit like Dentyne Gum for those that remember it.. (cinnamon, but is blended with the delicate rose) and it does a SUPERB job of leaving skin moisturised and wonderfully bright. Honestly just after one application those who know me knew I had used something different on my skin and said I looked really well! Very tempted now by the full size version. 

A great product for the morning after the night before!

White Tea Fluid Gel Cleanser 16ml

The cleanser doesn't really have a scent as such but is a decent cleanser and it doesn't leave skin feeling tight or dry, just soft and clean.

Aloe & Dittany Shampoo 40ml

This shampoo smells lovely and did a good job of washing my hair.

Guava Shower Gel 40ml

A gorgeous and fresh scented shower gel that wakes up the senses, leaving skin soft.

Basil Lemon Body Milk 40ml

Completing the lineup is this fabulous body milk. It has a wonderful citrus scent that is spiked with basil so it's not overly sweet or citrusy. It is non greasy and dries in seconds leaving skin smelling delightful and skin super smooth and soft.

KORRES PARTY SURVIVAL KIT RRP: £19.00,  available to buy online from www.Debenhams.com

*PR Sample

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