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Sunday, 29 July 2018

Thirty Nine Desserts Cardiff


Happy Sunday everyone!

We've got some great pictures to share today, who doesn't absolutely love dessert??


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Thursday, 24 August 2017

The Celtic Manor Resort Summer Berry Afternoon Tea


Hey all!

Happy National Afternoon Tea Week! I mean, this week is only second best to Christmas in my opinion. A week dedicated to afternoon tea?? How British and how delightful!

We were super lucky and were invited back to the Celtic Manor Resort to try their new Summer Berry afternoon tea - we were obviously never going to say no but especially not when the treats looked this beautiful!


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Friday, 2 June 2017

Afternoon Tea at The Cavendish, London


Hello!

A few weeks ago we went to London for the weekend, we managed to pack in quite a few activities in the 2 days we were there for and one of them was afternoon tea. Obviously!


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Monday, 27 February 2017

Life Update


Hi all!

The first 2 months of the year have flown by, I've been trying to save some money so have been keeping things fairly low key. I've been out for lots of tea and cake, made a few things for my house and have been trying to up my photography game!


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Saturday, 4 April 2015

The Angel Hotel Abergavenny


Hi all!

One of my Christmas presents was a voucher to go to the High Tea in the Angel Hotel in Abergavenny. I've heard a lot about this place a lot from when I used to work near there and lots from other friends and bloggers who have been.

I was really looking forward to it and I can tell you it didn't disappoint!

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We were taken to a dining room where the china was so beautiful! It was all matching and perfectly placed, totally ideal for afternoon tea.

I wore my new black Ralph Lauren dress as its really smart but still chic - I love the leather edging to the V on the neck and the pockets, and it's also got plenty of room for cake!

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And considering this amazing stand of food wasn't even all of the food included in the High Tea it was a good idea!
Just look at all of the beautiful pastries, delicate cakes and really cute sandwiches - I couldn't stop staring at all of the food but also couldn't wait to tuck in either.

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Let's start with the pastries - coronation chicken, prawns, salmon, beef and stilton as well as cheese scones and quiche. I was totally loving this part as savoury food is my fave.
This was all absolutely divine, I managed to restrain myself from shoving them in one after another but as our time slot was 3pm I was so hungry it was difficult! Some of these also came out warm, it would have been rude to eat them cold right?

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Next up we went through the sandwiches - egg mayo, ham and mustard, salmon, and cheese and onion. They were all really nice and the crusts were removed meaning the fillings were right up to the edges, something I personally think is vital in a sandwich!

The last tier was the cakes themselves. For every other level on the stand we had one of each of the pastries or sandwiches, for the middle level of cakes they were all to share or split between us which was fun!

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There was tiramasu cake, custard slice, raspberry ripple sponge, lemon roulade, chocolate brownie, profiterole and biscuits. I can't begin to tell you how gorgeous these were, and although they were sweet they weren't overpowering and the lemon and raspberry were so real tasting.
We didn't manage to finish these because there were so many to eat but they do allow you to take home a box of everything that you can't manage!

Apart from the stand there was also a mini trifle each (I can't cope with jelly so I just ate the cream off the top..!) shown below:

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There was also a warm scone with jam and cream brought out to you when you were ready for them. I am slightly ashamed to admit that I didn't manage to eat these at the hotel so we brought both of these back home with us and ate them later on. For the record, they may be the best scones I've ever eaten (not including my mums - eating them straight out of the oven is different!) but they really were GOOD.

Aside from the food there was also the tea menu, it's fabulous and super extensive. It is also seemingly unlimited for the duration of the 2 hour slot and I started with a lovely black tea (needed the caffeine for my 3pm slump) and then followed it with a Moroccan mint tea.

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They were also really good and I would love to go back and find some more, if I wasn't so thirsty I would have been more adventurous with my tea choices.

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I would 100% recommend the High Tea at the Angel Hotel in Abergavenny, it has a wonderful selection of cakes and pastries for everyone and the tea range is outstanding.

The menu for the Angel Hotel can be found here, and the prices for the Afternoon Tea is £21.80 and the High Tea is £26.80. It would be a great mother/daughter day, catch up with friends and family, and I did also see a sophisticated hen party there too!

It gets a full recommendation from me, have you been to afternoon tea at the Angel Hotel? Have you been to any others in South Wales that you would recommend?


L xxx



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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Birthday!


Hello!

Last week it was my birthday, and it's been a bit of a different one this year. I turned 27 and although that doesn't sound particularly old this year I definitely feel it. Suddenly it was the week of my birthday and I hadn't even thought about what I wanted for it from my parents, and I spent some of the week away with work so it flew by even faster!

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I started the day with a favourite breakfast of mine - chia seeds, almond milk, greek yogurt, fruit and a good dollop of peanut butter. It was lush!

I went into work and was met with this monstrous cake - who on earth can turn down what is essentially a giant triple chocolate cupcake. It got me through my 11am slump and my 3pm slump - normally I'm a fan of the 'sugar is the devil' saying but birthdays mean anything goes!

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As I mentioned before there has been so much going on this week, one major thing that has happened is that I have finally bought my own house! I am massively scared but also excited, I can't wait to own my own home, decorate it and essentially grow up!
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As far as presents go, I had a gorgeous Champneys set from my aunty which was a lovely surprise, I've been working my way through my stash for quite a while and haven't bought any bath products so this will be a lovely treat now that all of my budget will be going on house bills and items!

My mum has also been buying me a few things for the house, we are both fans of the citrus scent so she has got me a citrus candle to put in my kitchen, they're great for getting rid of cooking smells and i can't wait to get more of these to put everywhere all over the house!

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She also picked these up from Home Sense, 3 beautiful silver bottles that will be going in my new bathroom! It's a very plain white bathroom with a black tiled floor so it needs a bit of sparkle!

I went out to watch the rugby with a few friends (M included in the middle!)

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There were a lot of shots to celebrate me buying a house, in fact the next day I did begin to question if it was even real!

As a birthday celebration I took a day off work and went for afternoon tea with my mum, it was absolutely amazing and I can't rave about it enough. There will be a full post on this soon!

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So there was my 27th birthday!

It was short and sweet and I definitely feel like this year is much more grown up. I'm super excited about having a house and although it is pretty small it will be all my own, so any blogs or website you read with interior design ideas please send them my way - I will be writing a wishlist post in future for the design ideas I would love to incorporate into my house.


L xxx



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Saturday, 6 September 2014

Lush Cardiff Event


Hi all!

We've been super lucky recently and have been invited to a few events that we've really enjoyed and can't wait to share with you.

The first one was at Lush in Cardiff and it has been such a long time since we've been there it was really lovely to be invited back.

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After meeting everyone and having a quick catch up we were separated into groups. There were three separate stations for us to walk to and have a demonstration and also cake and tea at each station from Waterloo Tea Gardens.

Going to tea rooms is something me and M keep meaning to do and after trying this tea and cake we can be sure we will definitely be going to sample some more!

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We wandered around upstairs first and were given a quick chat about the scents from Lush. I hadn't smelt them before but i do love the large squirty bottles at the back of the tray that are used for body sprays, so fun and easy to use!

I love that they also have names like Smuggler Soul and a book to detail the journey behind the fragrances. i will have to go back for a full test but the packaging is very appealing!

A product that we came across but hadn't seen before was the Black Stockings solid body tint; a gorgeous bar that melts on contact with skin and gives the skin a lovely sheen and slight tan. It would be great for use on nights out on your legs for a gleam without being glittery.

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As promised here's the cake; lemon and poppy seed, followed by a gluten free orange cake, and lastly a super sweet and sticky chocolate and salted caramel cake.


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We also had a variety of tea to enjoy and this one was my favourite. Peppermint tea is my fave anyway but brewed with REAL peppermint leaves from Lampeter (a place in Wales) and a bit of brown sugar and it didn't take much more to win me over anyway!


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My hair has been feeling awful after so many years of highlights so recently I've dyed it back to my natural colour but it needs a bit of TLC so I picked up this hair treatment. I'm really looking forward to trying it and getting my locks back to their former glory!

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M absolutely loved the Knot wraps that Lush now use instead of wrapping paper. We both thought it was a really nice and environmentally friendly way to give a gift, or as M did, pick one up for herself to use in her hair! There are quite a few options for the prints and colours so you're sure to find one you like and for £4.25 they're a bargain!

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We were lucky to come home with a goodie bag too so expect some reviews of these products soon. As well as the hair treatment we received a product from their new sun tan range (Sesame Suntan Lotion), a tester pot of their Dream Cream and the choice of one of their new self preserving products. I chose the Ocean Salt scrub and M chose Mask of Magnaminty so there will be reviews soon!

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We also got given a bag of tea leaves from Waterloo Tea gardens so me and my mum are waiting for a time when we're both in to make a pot and test it out!

Do you like Lush products? Have you tried out their new natural sun care range or new self preserving products?

It was lovely to catch up with everyone and hear about the new ranges and smell everything as usual.
We can't wait to try them out and get to Waterloo Tea gardens and samples some more cake and tea too!


L & M xxx



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Friday, 23 May 2014

Fitness Friday: Let's Eat Cake


Good afternoon!

I hope you're all excited for the impending weekend.....M has finally finished her exams so we are both going out for the first time in months!

Lots of fake tan and make up headed our way for a night of drinking and dancing and I cannot wait!


First things first though, i need to share this recipe with you. I've been changing my diet and lifestyle over the last few years and have mostly kicked the bad habits to the kerb. I no longer drink diet coke, I rarely have takeaways (in fact i made it until May 10th without one this year!) and sugary snacks I don't even think about. However.....I have an extremely large achilles heel in the form of cake.

My mum is an amazing cook and has always provided some form of cake the rest of my family. I'm talking muffins, flapjack, traybakes, loaf cakes and sponges. None of which are particularly bad for you as my mum is health conscious....but they're not exactly the nutritious snacks or desserts that I normally have.

So you can imagine my surprise and delight at finding a recipe on Emily Skye's 30 Day ab shred that produced muffins! I was over the moon and it was the first thing that I made sure I had the ingredients for. Muffins on an ab shred that genuinely works, and a quick check of the forum told me that although the ingredients made 2 snacks...it actually made around 6 muffins. 3 muffins as a snack?! It was love.


I've made them a few times since and have changed the recipe around a few times trying different things so I will share my tips and tricks with you as we go!



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Firstly cover your muffin tin in coconut oil so the cake batter doesn't stick. I love coconut oil for its many health benefits and its the best one to use in all cooking and baking as its treated by the body as a carb and so is burned off rather than stored. I've previously written a post about it here.

Secondly, get all your dried ingredients together:




This was one of my many batches so I've cheated here and varied it from the original recipe. you'll need 1.5 cups of almond meal, 1-2 tablespoons of stevia and 2 scoops of protein powder.

I ran out of almond meal so have been using quinoa flour and oatmeal for a similar effect. Quinoa flour has also been amazing because its gluten/fat/cholesterol etc etc free so would be a good substitute but generally i use whatever is available. I still can't find stevia so have been using demerara sugar; i know its not as good as stevia but it's better than refined sugar!

Mix all of these together in a bowl with a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.



My protein powder is also chocolate flavoured....my unflavoured hasn't turned up yet but I figured it was only going to help the taste!

Next up you need to crack the two eggs into a bowl and whisk them together before adding to the mixture with a tablespoon of honey.





The original recipe is for apple and cinnamon muffins. For this you will need one apple, peeled and grated, and 1-2 tablespoons of cinnamon. The cinnamon you can add as much or as little as you like, I find 1 is enough for me but you might be a cinnamon fiend so throw in as much as you want!



I've also made coconut and cranberry muffins with the same recipe too, just substituted the cinnamon and apple for 2 tablespoons each of the dried cranberries and dessicated coconut. These taste so sweet, I love cranberries in baked goods! I'm sure there are plenty of others you can also try too, some with nuts in and other fruits would be great but try and steer clear of the chocolate....



Mix up all of the ingredients together in the bowl and hopefully you will have a fairly runny batter. I've found depending whether I've used oatmeal, almond meal or quinoa flour the mixture can be quite thick and nothing like how a normal muffin batter is.

I made them following the recipe and instructions and unfortunately ended up with some quite dry muffins that tasted fine but definitely required a cup of tea or two to wash it down with! So i would definitely recommend that you add some almond milk to the mixture to loosen it enough so that it is runny. Hopefully you'll know what i mean but as an extremely novice baker my technical terms are somewhat ridiculous!

After that simply spoon them into the tins and pop them in the over for 15 mins on Gas mark 6. As long as the tops are slightly spongey and bounce back after you give them a prod then they're done! Here's my latest double batch cooking away...





On the left are the coconut and cranberry, and on the right are the cinnamon and apple. Again, according to the meal plan I got the recipe from this make 2 servings, so three muffins for a snack! This is delightful news for me but i have managed to keep control of myself so far and have had one in the morning with my cup of tea on my work break. However on particularly hungry days i know that i can have another without any problem at all and its knowing this that makes these taste even sweeter!

I tend to make a double batch like these, pick 3/4 to keep in a container on the side of my kitchen and freeze the rest. Then when i run out I just need to take out whichever flavour I want that day and it defrosts in my lunch bag by my 11am break, perfect!

Have you tried baking without using flour before?

Almond meal is a great alternative but can be expensive for small bags. I've found quinoa flour to be better value and is still has so many health benefits.


Will you be trying these muffins? What would your recipe suggestions be?


L xxx


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Friday, 16 May 2014

Life Update



Hi!

I haven't been up to much recently but I have had a good bank holiday weekend so I thought I'd share some photos with you. I went with my family to our caravan for the day so we could take out my dads new boat. It was a lot of fun and it was great to finally get the boat out on the water!



The beach was lovely and empty and for once the sun was out. My dog absolutely loves the beach and cannot wait to get on the sand.






As you can probably tell from my selfie below, I was a little bit excited to get out onto the boat! My dad bought it a few months ago but the weather was pretty bad every chance we had so this weekend was the first chance. It was still pretty cold and after being stood holding the boat in the water whilst my dad took the trailer back to the car park I was FREEZING! Luckily for me I could just sit back and watch after we got started.

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The views from the sea were lush and all I was missing was a cocktail! It's not a luxurious boat nor is it very big but I'm sure a few cans of cider wouldn't go amiss next time ;)

My dog was shattered after running around the beach with me and looks lush and fluffy after getting soaked!



I came back on the Sunday night then to get ready for my personal training session on the Monday morning which went really well and I'm writing about my new program for this weeks Fitness Friday.

After that I felt I deserved to completely pig out so me and M met up in Barker Tea House in Cardiff which I'd never been to before but had heard of and been recommended so many times. I'd heard lots about the cake so we tucked in!




I fully recommend the lemon and poppy seed and also the brownies, unbelievably gooey! The peppermint tea was also amazing, the tea pots are so heavy though it was a bit misleading every time I picked it up.

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After this we finally got to see Divergent which I really enjoyed. I recently finished reading the last book in the series and couldn't wait to see it portrayed in the cinema too. It didn't disappoint and you should all get your hands on the books too! The books are always better I think.



Lastly I also had my hair done this month and decided to go a bit lighter again. I've had an ombre look for a while, not the dip dye that everyone else has but the true ombre where your hair on the lower parts of your head are all a lighter colour. As my hair is so dark it can sometimes look like it's 'blocked out' when I tie it up so I decided to have highlights all the way through my hair instead. I don't use bleach on my hair my hairdresser uses something called high lift so it isn't as damaging on my hair but it doesn't get as light as quick either. Over time the highlights will lighten by themselves and I'm hoping it will look more natural.


I'm kidding myself that my hair is anything like the fabulous Kate Beckinsale's above; her hair is amazing and I so badly want the all over blonde highlighted look. If someone could style it like for me every day too that would be even better!


What have you lovelies been up to lately? What have you seen in the cinema?


L xxx



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