7.04.2017

Foxhills, Surrey - Girls Night Away

Being a Mum and having a busy life is great, but now and again I think its really important to take some time out for yourself which is exactly what I done the weekend just gone.  My friend Ana and I fancied going for a nice relaxing night away (child free) just to chill. catch up and have some girlie time so we searched online for local (ish) Spa places to stay.  We didn't really have the budget to have treatments included in our stay but wanted somewhere where we could use the facilities, pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, gym etc.  After looking on Booking.com I came across Foxhills Club and Resort which is located in Surrey home to a beautiful 19th Century Manor House and only a 30 minute drive from where I live.  I had visited Foxhills many years ago when my Dad hosted a Freemasons dinner party there, I remember the food being amazing and the venue was lovely, I wasn't lucky enough to stay overnight at the time but always did want to go back.




So we booked for the Saturday to stay overnight, check in was 2pm but I rang Foxhills reception to see if we could check in earlier which was not a problem if the room was ready, the receptionist told me if it wasn't then we were more than welcome to use the facilities and leave our bags with them which was great.

So finding the location was super easy, as I said previously its only a 30 minute drive from me so we got the trust Google maps on and headed there just after lunchtime.

Our room wasn't quite ready so we headed to the spa/gym area, put our bags in a locker and headed up to the gym for a workout.  The gym facilities were great, gym was a good size, and quite empty so we didn't have to wait to use the machines if we wanted to.  We done our own floor workout which felt great as I hadn't had a good workout for a while and wanted to get back into exercising.  After our workout we headed back to the hotel reception to collect our room key as we had booked to have Afternoon Tea at the Nineteen restaurant for 3pm.  







Our room was great, super spacious, clean, the bathroom was massive and we had our own robes to wear which was really nice and super easy to pop to the spa or outdoor pool without having to take a change of clothes.  We had separate beds which were so comfy, TV was a great size and tucked away in a cabinet, along with the mini bar! Which we didn't use.  We had tea and coffee facilities which was great as I love a good old cuppa!  Our room was located right near the tennis courts and outdoor pool, and we had a lovely little woodland track just out the back of our door (perfect for our Sunday morning run we had planned)









We headed to the Nineteen restaurant for our Afternoon Tea which we were really looking forward to and we super hungry after our workout.  The Afternoon Tea menu sounded amazing for £12.50 you got a pot of tea, two fresh warm scones, clotted cream, strawberry jam, cake of the day ours was cheesecake & finger sandwiches.  I loved everything about the afternoon tea apart from the mouldy bread I was served for my tuna sandwiches.  I told a member of staff who sorted it quickly and offered to replace anything I had they took both Afternoon Teas off of our bill.  The only thing I was disappointed with was the fact that the staff member came back out and told us that the bread was fresh from that morning.  I can tell you now that the bread was not fresh at all, it was hard around the edges and at the bottom, you know that feel you get when the bread starts to go stale.  For a 4* location I was quite disappointed.







After tea we went to chill out by the outdoor pool which was super relaxing and the weather was lovely for it.

We were heading back to Nineteen that evening for dinner so were both hoping that everything would taste fresh this time and we weren't disappointed, dinner was lovely and fresh we both really enjoyed our meals.  We also had a cocktail in the Manor Lounge which was lovely.



Delicious Chicken, Broccoli & Spring Onion Pie with Sweet Potato Fries  



We headed back to our room around 9.30pm as we planned to wake up early the next morning and go for a run, so had our tea and a great nights uninterrupted sleep.  





Sunday we headed off in the morning for a run, found a random play area to have a quick workout and headed for breakfast in The Manor Lounge (which was included in our stay) Breakfast was delicious, I went for scrambled eggs, mushroom and fruit. 




After brekkie we headed to the outdoor Spa!  This was my favourite part of my stay, we wanted to use the Natural pool but that was closed so we headed into the outdoor Jacuzzi which was like heaven, Sunday morning relaxing with lovely hot weather in a bubbling Jacuzzi what more could we want.  We also used the steam room and finished off with a cool outdoor shower.  The indoor pool is massive and they also have an indoor Jacuzzi which we tried out before we left.










I left Foxhills feeling super relaxed, its such a beautiful place to stay and I would love to go back (for treatments next time) They have great facilities for a relaxing stay, or if you are a keen golfer then its the perfect place to go.  

The only thing I was disappointed in my stay was the mouldy bread for Afternoon Tea and on the Sunday morning there was a nappy sack full of nappies dumped outside the main entrance of where we were staying!

Disclaimer:  All opinions & photos are my own.



6.30.2017

Primark PS Nails - Review

I had to write up about these nails, as you know Primark I think have really come up in the world in terms of quality of the clothes, shoes, homeware and now their beauty products.  I am a mega beauty addict and love trying out new products.  So a few weeks ago I really wanted to jazz up my nails, I was going out for the evening with a friend but wanted something a bit more funky than I'd usually wear on my nails.  I've had false nails in the past, gel nails and have found that they completely ruin my nails, they become weak and break so was totally put off the idea of having them again.  Then I went to Primark and found a great selection of false nails.  




If I'm honest I didn't think they would be great in quality nor would they stay on but, how wrong was I!  They are the best false nails I have ever used and they actually stayed on for days which I was so impressed by.  I had loads of compliments at how great they looked, I'd say they stayed on for about 3 days until they started to come off, which was great for budget nails! Bearing in mind, I washed up with them on, showered, bathed the girls and done general everyday things.  

The best thing was they were a massive bargain price of £1 and they also had others for £2 so I purchased a few boxes!  

So if you're looking for something to jazz up your nails for just the night or even daytime wear I would highly recommend the Primark PS Nails.

P.S As you can see in my photo my hands are slightly different shade, this is not photoshop! I have been using the Skinny Dark Tan which I shall be writing about very soon on the blog!

I would love to know your thoughts on the nails? Have you tried them before? 

Thanks for reading x

6.29.2017

Little Mix Concert 2017

The weekend just gone Abi and I headed to Twickenham to see her favourite girl group, Little Mix!  Abi turned 8 this year and I was struggling to think of what to get her, she has lots of toys enough to last her a lifetime in fact.  Timing was perfect Little Mix were playing at Twickenham Stoop Stadium, which for us is only a bus ride away so I thought it would be great for her first concert.

Tickets were reasonable at £50 each (plus a few pounds booking fee) and our seats were fab.  The Stoop is a very small stadium located close to the main stadium so anywhere you were seated or standing you had a great view of them.  I went for the seated option instead of standing as we had a bit of waiting around and Abi's only 8 so she's not going to want to stand around for hours.  My friend had booked tickets too for her Daughter and luck be in she was seated right next to us which was great, my sister and niece were also sitting in front!






The concert went on for an hour and fifteen minutes, for their age was perfect as they didn't come on until 8pm so being a Sunday night I knew it would be a bit of a late one for school the next morning.  

Little mix were absolutely amazing, being a cool Mum myself I love their music haha! But honestly they were fab, Abi loved it, I haven't seen her smile that much in a long time she was singing along to all of their songs (I was miming as I didn't know the words!!) dancing and having just the best time.

It made the perfect birthday present for Abi and one she won't forget.

I have to also say the security was great there, our bags were throughly checked before we went it.  A few weeks before hand when the Manchester bombing happened Abi didn't actually want to go, but I sat her down and reassured her that she would be safe with Mummy and that security would be doubled up.  There were armed police outside so they were on high alert which really put me at ease too, as a Mummy I wanted my little girl to go and have the best time without feeling anxious, which she did and I'm so glad!

So Mummies and Daddies if you are struggling to think of a gift idea for your Daughter/Son then I would say concert or show tickets are a great gift idea and something for them to remember.

6.23.2017

Dior Summer Lip Favourites - Review

I'm not going to lie, I'm a complete sucker when it comes to anything make up related, especially lipsticks & glosses.  Now that Summer's here there have been lots of lovely new launches.  Working for a luxury brand Christian Dior, we have the most amazing range of lip colours for Summer being in the beauty industry I get so tempted by all the lovely new products.

Last month I went on a lippy spree so I wanted to share with you my Summer favourites.  I love wearing bright colours in the Summer months, you will rarely see me without a lippy on! My lipstick box is full of many brands budget to luxury, in fact my favourite lip liner cost me £1 from Superdrug! just goes to show that sometimes you don't always need to go and spend a fortune on products to look good, but I must admit I do like my luxury brands.  Here are a couple of my favourites that I've picked up for this season from.




First up is the gorgeous Dior, Dior Addict Lip Tattoo.  Now these are new to our Summer collection and I have to say are my ultimate favourite for this season.  The product also does live up to its name with a long wear which lasts up to 10 hours it really does fuse your lips just like a tattoo would. A lightweight feel on the lips.  I went for the Natural Coral (451) I adore these and am looking forward to getting myself the rest of the collection!

Next up is the Dior Lip Maximizer - I have found that this is probably one of the most popular of the Dior lip products with clients, and also myself I absolutely love it, the maximiser is part of Dior's Backstage range.  The maximiser can be used under or over a lipstick, or even if you like to use a lipliner as an all over colour on the lips then it would look great over that to give it a slightly glossy look.  On its own this is great, for that natural look, and obviously the main reason for this product is to plump those lips with its collagen active ingredient this really does give you a natural plumped look.  I have tried many different branded lip plumpers in the past and all of which have stung me but I have to say with the Dior Maximizer I had no stinging and it made my lips feel gorgeous.  A great everyday product.

Another love is the Dior Addict Lacquer Stick, these are really lovely and moisturising on the lips, so great if you do suffer a little from dry lips they won't give you that cracked look as say a matte lippy would.  I'm wearing shade 877 Turn Me Dior and its absolutely gorgeous.  Perfect for brightening the lips and its also long lasting.




I hope you like my Summer lip favourites, if you would like to see more and keep up to date with my beauty buys you can follow my Instagram (londonbeautymumblog) 

Keep an eye out for the rest of my Summer Beauty favourites, I have some great high street brands to feature!

Disclaimer: Work allocated products & one purchase.



6.12.2017

Harvester Restaurant Review

Over the bank holiday weekend, I was invited along to my local Harvester to try out their new and improved menu. I think the last time I ate at Harvester was when I was pregnant with Sophia, a long time ago now! So I was very excited to see what was on the menu!

We headed there on the Saturday evening, and already had our table booked for 6pm, peak time for service so knew it may be a busy one!

We received a lovely welcome when we arrived and were taken to our table and ordered drinks whilst looking at the new food menu (G&T for me!) they had a great selection on the drinks menu.

(Please excuse the quality of my photos my camera decided to stop working when we arrived)

Here's what Harvester are saying about their new and improved menu.

''Hold onto your hat… Our new menu is hitting the tables, and it’s packed with mouth-watering new dishes we know you’ll love.
We’re piling on the flavour with new favourites like our peri-peri chicken burger, succulent Cornish kiln-smoked St Louis ribs and new vegetarian and vegan options that really pack a punch. But that doesn’t mean waving goodbye to the classics – our rotisserie chicken, 28-day matured steaks, famous sundaes and unlimited salad are better, fresher and tastier than ever. So, what are you waiting for?''

Being a Tapas lover I was so happy to see that they now have tapas style starters, perfect starters to share.  Here's what we went for on the tapas menu.
Halloumi Skewers with Spiked Maple Sauce and grilled Pineapple.
Firecracker  Prawns with Mango Sauce.
The Salad Bar was delicious with a great fresh selection available.
On to the Main Menu, again a great selection to choose from, we were torn between having chicken and ribs so went for both! Here's what we chose for our main.
The Triple Combo - Quarter portion of rotisserie chicken, a southern fried chicken breast and a grilled cajun chicken breast.
BBQ Chicken Stack - Grilled chicken breast with Monterey Jack cheese, BBQ sauce, grilled back bacon with buttermilk fried chicken with buttered corn, coleslaw and fries. 
Full Rack of Ribs - BBQ sauce, grilled Pineapple buttered corn and fries
We also had extra sides of onion rings and coleslaw.
We couldn't leave it there without having a dessert, I don't know how we (or should I say I!) fitted in a dessert but the selection looked so appealing I had to try one.
Rocky Horror - Warm chocolate fudge brownie topped with chocolate fudge pieces and cherry.












So my overall thoughts on the starters, main, sides and dessert.  I absolutely loved it, the food tasted fresh, everything came out on time and together, which is important when dining out, there's nothing worse than waiting an extra few minutes for the other persons food!  The new menu is great, there is so much to choose from, everything sounds so appealing and delicious.  I am really impressed with the new and improved menu and the freshness of the food and will be going back with the rest of my family.  
Thank you to Bull Dog Harvester in Ashford (Middlesex) for the lovely food and excellent service.
Here's a little more from Harvester about their latest Campaign.
Joking aside, Brits have the best sense of humour Harvester recruits comedian to train staff to serve rib ticklers to self-proclaimed witty British public.

As a nation famed for its collective stiff upper lip, it takes a lot to make us appear blue, so it should come as little surprise that our sense of humour is prevailing even in downbeat Brexit times. According to a new poll revealed today, over three quarters (77 per cent) of us think Brits have the best sense of humour in the world.

The survey of 1,500 people, conducted by Harvester, also reveals that humour is the key ingredient when out for dinner. More people prioritise humour (65 per cent) over romance (44 per cent) when out on a date and a further 65 per cent say fun and laughter is key to a great dinner with family and friends.

However, awkward dinner experiences are not uncommon, and many Brits wish they'd been able to call on the sense of humour we're most proud of in certain situations. The top mishaps people have experienced when dining out are:
Spilling a drink everywhere (41 per cent) . Dropping food down themselves (35 per cent) . Getting food stuck in teeth (18 per cent) . Receiving a call from an ex-partner (6 per cent) . Accidentally setting fire to their hair (6 per cent)

To help its customers get through such awkward moments and have plenty to tickle their ribs, Harvester has recruited comedian Rhys James (of Mock the Week fame) to train some of the team on a variety of comedy tactics and conversation starters.

The quips and tips compliment the UK's favourite feel good restaurant's wider training scheme on 'feel good moments', and one group of staff experienced the training first hand. They were challenged to put their new skills to test on unsuspecting diners, assisted by Rhys on hidden camera, and the hilarious session was captured on video to view here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqQhyEXmRFg&feature=youtu.be

Rhys James said of the initiative: 'It was fascinating to meet the Harvester staff and a wonderful, if challenging, project to work on. We have all had an awkward dinner experience where things haven't gone quite right, and I think comedy can help to alleviate that awkwardness. Everyone I met was so enthusiastic and the feedback so far has been fantastic".

Harvester has also turned to psychologist, Donna Dawson, to comment on the findings: "Humour is the ideal way to defuse any tricky situation. Laughter releases feel-good chemicals in the brain which make us feel happy and relaxed; this, in turn, makes us appreciate and admire the laughter-givers more, while also helping us to feel better about ourselves. A shared joke, self-deprecating quip or humorous observation can lighten the atmosphere and lessen the nerves, whether it's a first date or a group bonding session. The British value a good sense of humour because it puts everyone at their ease, turns potential embarrassment into shared fun, and gets the good times off to a quick start."

Rob Pitcher, Divisional Director at Harvester, commented: "Our ethos is based on 'feel good dining' and we believe that training our staff in comedy will help bring family and friends closer together. Introducing more humour to the server and guest relationship is something we consider very important.  We want guests to know that if they go into a Harvester, they will not only be served delicious food, but they'll have a brilliant experience too!"

To find out more, visit: http://www.harvester.co.uk/ribticklers









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