The #HBHullBloggers take on Furley & Co for the #HBMiniMeet*

Hello, lovely! I’m so sorry if you visited this post earlier to find nothing at all; everything I had written up somehow deleted and didn’t make it apart from the title, which is very frustrating. Anyway, here it is, so let’s start again!

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A few weeks ago myself and some of the #HBHullBloggers came together to give the lovely Alex from Champagne and Lemonade a cheery farewell as she embarked on her travels for six months. We thought it’d also be a fabulous chance to have a mini get together, and we were lucky enough to have some gorgeous goodies sent to us. imag2019.jpg

We met at Furley & Co, a fairly new eatery/bar/cafe in the centre of Hull, which serves a huge variety of craft ales, beers and other alcoholic beverages, alongside freshly brewed, quality coffee, teas and other soft drinks. Though Furley’s hasn’t been round for long, it has already made a huge impact on the locals and is widely-renowned for their delicious ‘Freak Shakes’, which you’ll get to see later! We were lucky enough to try some of Furley’s newest menu items – burgers and fries – which are made from chuck steak seasoned in house, lovingly crafted and griddled with cheese and served with your choice of mustard, BBQ mayo or ketchup and pickles. Yum! Although I do sometimes eat meat, I am becoming increasingly interested in exploring vegetarian foods and perhaps switching to a veggie diet altogether, so I plumped for the halloumi burger; griddled halloumi, rocket and onion chutney, all sandwiched between a rich brioche bun. Yummy!

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13384791_10154211558068544_125391270_nWe also had freshly cooked fries, seasoned with chip spice, which was the perfect accompaniment to both burgers. I really liked the BBQ mayo, and would seriously recommend trying it with the fries! After the burgers came the monstrous ‘Freak Shakes’; a sweet concoction of milkshake, whipped cream and plenty of sweet treats. I had the banoffee flavour. A warning though; these are not for the faint-hearted!

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Isnt that amazing?! And yes, that is a doughnut! These are quite the party-piece, and we sure gave them a good go. A definite treat, but something I would recommend when visiting Hull!

As I said earlier, we were fortunate enough to have some gorgeous goodies sent to us, and below you’ll see some of the gorgeous goodies. These included Batiste, Benefit, Stargazer cosmetics, Simply Beautiful Collection, Gosh, Paul Mitchell, Make Up Revolution, LYDC and Ultradex. I’d also like to thank Eat Your Photo for making me look good enough to eat! Don’t worry; you’ll get the lowdown on all these fabulous products soon, so keep your eyes peeled for my upcoming favourites! As always, a huge thanks goes to Kat from The Kats Paws for being so wonderful and an organisation-Queen,  who even treated us to our very own party bags! Of course you’re never too old for party bags, and the whole evening was so much fun.

Here’s a few snaps; how lucky were we?! I’m sorry there aren’t lots of snaps right now. I’ve had real trouble uploading pictures, but as soon as I’m able I’ll post them for you to have a good nosy at. Technology isn’t always on my side!

Hope you’ve had a great day, whatever you’ve been doing…

Heather x

 

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Hallmark Hull: #MadHattersAfternoonTea*

Hello, you! It’s great to see you. Thanks for popping by! Though I’d share a recent experience I had at the Hallmark Hotel in North Ferriby a few weeks ago. I was lucky enough to be treated to a deliciously inviting Alice in Wonderland-themed afternoon tea, complete with tiny ‘Drink Me’ bottles and a myriad of lovingly-crafted savoury snacks, sweet treats, pots of tea, and a glass of sparkling bubbly. It really was as good as it sounds!

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We were very lucky to have had our afternoon tea on a gloriously sunny day, which can sometimes be a rarity in the North so we were all rather pleasantly surprised! Afternoon tea was served in the grounds of the Hallmark Hotel, with a view of the Humber Bridge. We really couldn’t have asked for a better day.

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Our table was strewn with playing cards and adorned with delicate china tea cups, waiting to be filled with freshly brewed tea or coffee. The rabbit ears were a lovely touch, and we all got into the spirit of things and thoroughly enjoyed trying them on. We just couldn’t wait to see what was on offer, and we weren’t disappointed when our food arrived!

 

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We were brought a selection of hand cut sandwiches – including ham and pickle, cheese and chutney, egg mayo and rocket – alongside some homemade scotch eggs and tomato and egg ‘toadstools’. My sweet tooth was well and truly sated with a selection of iced cupcakes, mushroom-shaped meringues, freshly baked scones with dollops of zingy lemon curd and lashings of clotted cream, and adorable ‘Drink Me’ strawberry beverages that tasted deliciously fruity and exceedingly summery. All this was topped off with helpings of popping candy, to delight both children and big kids around the table in equal measure!

The full menu of delights is as follows:

Assorted finger sandwiches/wraps: Ham & Pickle, Cucumber & Cream Cheese, Cheese & Chutney & Egg Mayo & Rocket
Home Made Mushroom meringues
Savoury Scotch Egg and Boiled Egg/Tomato Toadstool
Eat Me popping candy cupcake
Freshly baked Scones and Strawberry Jam, Lemon Curd & Devonshire clotted cream
Strawberry ‘Drink Me’ Syrup
Popping Candy
Pot of Tea or Coffee.

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We loved the attention to detail given to the afternoon tea, where the items were carefully stacked on miniature picnic benches and surrounded by Alice-themed paraphernalia. This treat would be a fabulous experience for any Lewis Carroll fiend, or for anyone who simply loves a little bit of magic and Wonderland whimsy!

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L-R: Me, KateAshtonAlex and Megan. Photo courtesy of Ashton Gibbs. 

 

 

All in all we had an absolutely fabulous experience at the Hallmark Hotel, and I would like to thank the chef for preparing such a wonderful treat and the staff for making our visit so relaxing.

Why not pop into Hallmark in Hull to experience this for yourself? Prices start from £17.50 without the glass of bubbly and £22.50 for the fizz included.

What do you make of the afternoon tea?

Hope you’re having a great evening,

Heather x

 

Event: Hugh Rice Luxe*

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Hello! Just thought I’d share a quick event post with you all today. A few weeks ago I was invited to the launch of the gorgeous Hugh Rice Luxe store in Beverley, East Yorkshire. Those who know me fairly well will know how much I love jewellery. I have many pieces of jewellery in my collection, and I’m fortunate enough to have inherited some heirlooms that are very special and mean so much to me. Jewellery can really add so much personality to an outfit, particularly if it’s meaningful and has great sentimental value. I have been very lucky to have received some gorgeous pieces from close friends and family, so an invite to a jewellery store was extremely exciting. I was joined by my wonderful friend Emma who is also a jewellery lover and has a collection to rival my own!

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Em and I have been best friends for around eleven years now (which makes me feel so old!) and I just knew she’d be the perfect person to join me at the launch of Hugh Rice Luxe. Em has treated me to some truly gorgeous pieces of jewellery over the years, and I knew she wouldn’t be able to resist having a peek at the collections on offer. When we arrived at the store it looked bright and beautiful; there were glasses of prosecco carried around on silver platters, piles of tasty canapés making their way around the room, and some rather delicious-looking cupcakes sporting Hugh Rice Luxe’s very own logo! The whole place looked truly luxurious, and to top it all off, we were also treated to some cocktails, or mocktails if alcohol wasn’t your thing. Very decadent, and definitely appreciated after the long week we’d had!

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We had a fantastic time browsing at the collections on offer. I was particularly taken by the range of Daisy jewellery, as I love how delicate and dainty the pendants were. I’m also a fan of Thomas Sabo as I have a few charms and a chain already, and the little charms on display were (almost) irresistible! The Sif Jakobs range was also particularly stunning, particularly the small circular pendants encrusted with crystals.

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It was such a lovely evening and I had so much fun catching up with some of the Hull Bloggers. We even went away with a couple of goodies, so keep your eyes peeled as they’ll be appearing in a favourites post very soon.

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You may have noticed that the pictures in this post are far, far better than my usual, and that’s because Em took some photos of the event and has kindly let me use them here. Em is a really talented photographer and all-round creative, and she’s very nearly finished her final year of a photography degree. Em particularly loves photographing landscapes using mixed media, and her work is truly beautiful. Why not check out her website and give her facebook page a like? You can click here for facebook and here for her website.

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We really enjoyed our time exploring Hugh Rice’s newest venture, and thanks ever so much for having us. I wish you every success, and hope the store is everything you wished for!

What do you think of the store?

Heather x

Backstage In Biscuit Land at Kardomah94*

Hello! This is a post I’m really excited about sharing with you. A few weeks ago I was asked if I’d like to attend a couple of events at a local venue, and when I found out the subject of the events I absolutely had to accept! This was the first of the events (the next is in a couple of weeks)  and is an award-winning show that has received fantastic reviews from critics and the general public. I knew I was in for a treat, but this show completely exceeded my expectations!

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When we arrived we sat for a beer and admired the lovely food coming from the kitchen – the pizzas looked INCREDIBLE – and the atmosphere was really lovely and ambient. Kardomah94 would be a fabulous place for a spot of dinner! The show space was fantastic, and we picked a lovely spot with extremely comfortable bucket chairs.

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Backstage in Biscuit Land is an extremely powerful show, containing equal measures of comedy and emotion. It is a show unlike any other, and is something that will stay with me for a very long time. It was shown as part of the Heads Up Festival in association with the Battersea Arts Centre, which presents some of the most exciting contemporary British and international theatre in some of the best venues in the city of Hull, of which Kardomah94 is one.

Through a mixture of puppetry, comedy and song by the aptly-named ‘Touretteshero’ Jess Thom – and her sidekick Chopin – we are given a poignant and at times intimate insight into life with Tourettes. You see, Jess Thom has Tourettes, which causes her to say ‘biscuit’ 16000 times a day.

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Tourettes is a condition often trivialised by the media. We’ve all heard jokes about people swearing loudly then blaming it on Tourettes, and most of us – myself included – understand very little of the condition, so it was incredibly refreshing to be introduced to something I know very little about.

The set itself was like something out of a dream; huge cardboard cutouts of trees, a loaf of bread, dolphin puppets, an assortment of biscuits and twinkly lights, and as we sat down in our seats we heard a muffled voice projecting a stream of assorted words from the wings. Chopin welcomed Jess onto the stage, and explained that her tics would  – inevitably – contribute to the show and its content. We were encouraged to laugh at the tics if we found them funny, and sure enough some were so unusually wonderful they were difficult to ignore. As is turned out Chopin – real name also Jess – is referred to in that way as a result of tics!

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Jess explained how tourettes is an awful lot more than the media-portrayal of incessant swearing that we’re all accustomed to. Jess needs to have a care plan sheet, which informs a reader of the steps needed to take when she has a fit as a result of the Tourettes and constant physical and verbal tics, which become completely exhausting. This is another of the realities of tourettes we don’t often hear about; sometimes her tics become so intense she loses the ability to communicate with others. This was extremely interesting to hear, and made us realise how hard life can be with constant physical tics. Jess revealed that her vocal tics have also made life very difficult, and recounted a time where she was asked to leave a theatre as she was apparently disturbing others. This was incredibly emotional – in essence the episode made her feel that she wasn’t allowed to be herself – and this really got everyone thinking.

Anyone who knows me will know how personally invested I am in societal perceptions of disability. My MRes explores disability through literature and the impact this has upon cultural attitudes. Though I have a form of cerebral palsy and other conditions – which aren’t always noticeable – I have been treated disrespectfully and without care by members of the public. It can be really upsetting, and Jess’s story really resonated with me.

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The whole show was a spectacular journey of incredible highs and gut-wrenching lows, and when I went to meet Jess and purchase her book and a T-shirt emblazoned with a selection of tics, I was completely overwhelmed. Her work is so integral – so vital – to thousands of people who face prejudice every single day for disabilities they have. Awareness is key; disability doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care where you’re from, or who you are. And I firmly believe that sharing experiences is key to advancing understanding of disability. Disability has many faces and forms, and the more we discuss it the more we can begin to understand.  I left on a complete high, and feel privileged to have had an insight – albeit small – into her world.

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Jess and Chopin are currently touring their Backstage in Biscuit Land show around the UK. You can see the tour dates and locations here.

Thanks for having me Kardomah94 ; I can’t wait to visit in a couple of weeks for another fantastic show!

Hope you’re having a great evening,
Heather x

#HBMarchMeet at Al Porto, Hull

Isn’t it strange how quickly things creep up on you? That was certainly the case when it came to the hotly-anticipated Hull Blogger’s March Meet. The last meet was a huge success, and we enjoyed an afternoon of drinks, demos from brands such as Lush, Weleda and Viridian and – of course – plenty of chat. Though the March meet was smaller with just under 20 attendees, it was by no means any less fun, and I came away feeling grateful to be a part of such a welcoming and warm community.

The event was held at Al Porto, a gorgeous little Italian restaurant situated on Hull’s marina. You may recognise the name of the place as not only did we hold the Hull Blogger’s summer meet there, but I was also asked to review their delicious Christmas menu with a couple of the girls. You can find these links here and here.

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Al Porto has become a favourite with the Hull Bloggers; it serves authentic Italian food in a gorgeous rustic setting. We enjoyed a drink – including wine, if that takes your fancy – and a very hearty portion of delicious food from the lunch menu, which is sure to cater to everyone’s tastes. Their lunch costs £8 a head, and it is well worth it. I can definitely recommend the salmon pasta. Find their lunch menu on their website here.

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Al Porto’s food is always beautifully presented and extremely delicious. The winter salad was also a hit with the other bloggers, and I will definitely try it when I go back!

As usual we came away with a fantastic array of goodies. Here’s just a few photos of them, and I’m currently busy reviewing them so hopefully you’ll see the whole selection soon! A massive thank you to all the generous brands who got involved.

There are many other lovely little things so stay tuned to see what I think of them!

As always a huge thank you to the wonderful bloggers who make these events so worthwhile. Sadly Kat (who did an AMAZING job with everything) was too ill to attend, and we missed her very much! You can check out Kat’s blog  here.

I can’t wait to review all of the wonderful things for you.

Hope you’re weekend is going well,

Heather x

Review: Wella’s System Professional at Unique Salon*

Hello there! It’s very busy over my way. I’m trying to apply for as many PhDs/jobs as possible and it’s all a little time consuming and stressful. I know what I want to do but money is the biggest obstacle at present. Wish me luck!

With all this in mind you can imagine my relief when I got a lovely email inviting me to try out the newly launched System Professional range at Unique salons. It was just the little pampering treat I needed.

I decided to attend Unique’s Beverley branch, and made a little day out of it. I got in early, had breakfast and explored the shops. Beverley in East Yorkshire is historic and beautiful, and is well worth a visit if you’re around Hull. It was nice to head somewhere a little different; I love where I live as it is so convenient but things do begin to become a little bit mundane after a while!

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Unique’s Beverley store is nestled right in the centre of town and is really easy to get to from the bus station. When we arrived it began snowing very heavily which was quite unexpected! Typically I hadn’t really dressed for the weather so I was more than glad to get into the warmth of the salon!

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The staff were lovely and welcoming on arrival, and I was offered a hot drink which was most definitely appreciated! I was asked to fill out a form regarding what I expected from the appointment, and the lovely John made sure to ask lots of questions regarding my hair type, current hair care regime and past treatments. He noted all my answers on a tablet which the calculated my ‘Energy Code’, allowing us to work out what treatments would prove beneficial to my hair. This process ensures the correct combination of products for optimal results.

Next my hair was washed using the appropriate products; the System Professional Balance Shampoo, the System Professional Smoothen Conditioner and System Professional Reconstructive Elixir. This was a wonderfully relaxing experience, and I felt totally at ease with the friendly staff.

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The salon itself was really beautiful, and made the whole experience feel like a very special occasion. After having my hair washed and prepped, John blowdried my hair to see the results.

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My hair felt really bouncy and healthy, and it was lovely to have a professional blow-dry. I really struggle to dry my hair with my hemi hand, and often end up unable to do it, so it was lovely to have it done for me.

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My ‘Energy Code’ combination was noted down for me so I know what to ask for when I head back!

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All in all I was really impressed with my experience at Beverley’s Unique salon. The System Professional range looks extremely promising and I can’t wait to try out the samples I received.

Many thanks to the wonderful Unique Salon Beverley team for making me feel so welcome; I’m sure I’ll be back very soon!

Why not check out Unique Salon on twitter? Search @UNIQUEsalons

You can also find out more about the System Professional range over on their website.

I hope you’re enjoying your Monday,
Heather x

One of Hull’s hidden gems: Stanley’s Brasserie

Hi there! Now, this is the fourth year I’ve lived in Hull to study at the university, so I’ve had ample time to sample and savour the local delights in wonderful restaurants dotted around the city. On Saturday it was my birthday (which is a completely scary thought…where has that year gone!?) and my parents headed over to help me celebrate with a meal out (I know, I’m a lucky girl!). We wanted to book a table in a local restaurant for the occasion and decided to try Stanley’s Brasserie in Hull. I’ve never been before and always admired its cosy atmosphere from afar.

I’m so so glad I booked that table, because it was absolutely amazing.

I’m a fan of most foods. I like to be adventurous, and it’s always great to try new things. I was fortunate enough to have an upbringing filled with many different types of food and cuisines from all over the world. As I’ve got older I’ve become a real fan of seafood, and fish – when it’s well-cooked – is one of my favourite meals.

Well, little did I know when I sat down at the table that I’d have one of the most delicious fish dishes I’ve ever had.

We kicked off the meal with cocktails, and I chose the Espresso Martini.  If you’re a big coffee fan, this is definitely the drink for you. Delicious! In fact, it was so good I forgot to take a picture. Woops!

To start I ordered the Hot Mozzarella. I’m a huge fan of cheese – cheese and biscuits is one of the best parts of Christmas day for me – and when I saw that this came with Italian prosciutto, I knew it’d be right up my street. I wasn’t wrong. It was fantastic; oozy, salty mozzarella in crunchy breadcrumbs, surrounded by fruity tomatoes and a good drizzle of pesto and topped with some delicious prosciutto, which is definitely one of my favourite things in the world.

It was divine, and it tasted even better than it looked.

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Next up, I had the seabass fillets, which came with a spinach and potato gratin and a dressed side salad. This was literally the best fish I have ever EVER tasted. The skin was crisp and salty; the fish itself was succulent and tender, and the gratin and salad was the perfect accompaniment.

It was truly divine, and is definitely one of the best things I have ever eaten.

Because I enjoyed it so much I didn’t even stop to take a picture which is a real shame, but wow. I would go back just for the seabass.

To finish mum and I shared a little lemon meringue pie. I think it’s true what they say; you definitely have a separate stomach for pudding! I did take a photo of this one.

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Again, beautifully presented and also extremely delicious. It had a crisp, buttery pastry case, lashings of tangy lemon curd, sweet marshmallowy meringue all topped with a generous helping of whipped cream (although we could have had ice cream but I think mum would agree the cream was a great option!).

All in all this was seriously fabulous. If you’re around this part of the world be sure to drop by; it’s feeling very festive at the minute, and the fairy lights definitely help!

You can check out their menu online here.

I hope you’re having a fabulous Wednesday.

Heather x