Friday, 27 December 2013

2013 Snapshot

The year has gone so fast. when I first started my blog this January one of the reasons for doing so was to keep a diary. Although in the past year my blog has changed slightly it's still been amazing to look back on things I forgot about. It sounds a typical thing to say but a picture really does say a 1000 words. Just looking at one simple picture brings back so many fun memories of 2013 what I completely forgot about. I will admit it has been very cringy flicking back through to my first posts and finding too many photos where I've though why the hell have I posted that I look hideous. However although this year has gone far too fast just looking through everything gives me so much motivation for 2014.

Best wishes too you all for 2014.



Good evening y'all. Hope you all had a swell (swell? I might try bring that word back into fashion) Christmas and Santa bought you all lots of amazing gifts. Hopefully they all managed to fit down the chimney as I know my drum kit never did as a child! I'm now back to more regular blogging after the Christmas holidays, although it's only the 27th so I can still feel guilt free about eating left over cheese-cake for brekie. I thought I would start things back up with one exciting little arrival that arrived today.

Today the amazing guys at ASOS kindly waved there fairy god mother wand and granted my wish of becoming in their #AccessAllASOS gang. They also gifted me with a little box of treats. Just when I thought I'd opened all my fabulous gifts I was spoilt a little more with a nail art kit (just in time for new year) and some snuggly socks for lazy hungover Weekends. 

The one thing I love ASOS for is there such an interactive brand. Whenever advise is needed or there's any problems ASOS will always tweet back and engage in a little chit chat with everyone what's amazing for such a big company. The personalised hand written note and fortune cookie in the parcel was super thoughtful and very cute. 

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas


Thursday, 19 December 2013

Monthly Shoe Wishlist | Christmas edition |

Top left: ALDO: Dwaydien - midnight black £70.00
So as I've previously mentioned by new job in now back in the city centre (hence lack of posting at the moment). This has come with its own problem of too much window shopping. A brief 5 minuet walk through town to work can end up taking a lot longer as you will regularly find me stood gazing at shoes in shop windows. This is when I happened to spot these beautiful shoes in ALDO. As much as these are perfect for a night out I'm also trying to convince myself these would be practical for work to justify buying them, although maybe not? 

Top right: Designer Desirables: Lemonade Shoes Baby Pink Crystal Couture Glitzy High Heel Pumps £250.00 £62.50
The Christmas season is well and truly upon us and no Christmas night out would be complete without the perfect pair of party heels. I'm still shocked by the amazing reduction on these and with a £187.50 saving these would be an amazing treat for myself. Obviously my new job has justified a lot recently, multiple Costa coffees, a nice lunch, new clothes, the pair of shoes mentioned above etc but the saving starts in January right? 

Bottom left:Topshop: Rebel pink mirror heels £48.00 £38.00
Ok so these would defiantly be a wear as off kind of item but these defiantly caught my eye. I'm not sure if I would be able to pull of wearing these, however as much I would be willing to give this a go I think for now this hot pink little pair remain in Topshop. 

Bottom right: River Island: Multi chain strap sandals £70.00
I've always found River Island hit and miss for shoes and clothes although some people love it I'm much more a topshop gal. However since I picked up a pretty nice (and practical believe it or not) pair of boots here recently I thought I'd have a little browse. I adore the chain detail on the shoes and could defiantly see myself wearing these quite a lot.

Whats your favourites?


Sunday, 15 December 2013

T Shirt Store | Trinity Leeds

Firstly it feels like I have not blogged in so long! It's only been a week but I've kind of missed it. For all of you who don't know on Monday I started a new job so I've been rather busy. 

Since my previous working hours allowed me to roll out of bed around half 9, my new job now means I'm up at 7am like an actual adult. Quite frankly although that's pretty normal time to awake, for me the only time I see 7am is after a pretty god night out! I would say my new job feels like it's going to be very challenging but it's a good step forward. I am also quickly starting to realise the perks of city centre working again, so maybe I should leave my bank card at home. Although I save loads on travel, a Costa coffee here, a nice lunch there, a magazine for the bus and a few irresistible items spotted in shop windows quickly adds up. 

Since Leeds has changed so much over the past year with the launch of the Trinity shopping centre I've had so many new shops to fill my lunch breaks with. Leeds has always been a good place for welcoming independent stores and so I was very excited last week when I received an invite to the new T-Shirt store. The company also kindly sent me a new phone cover as well, I must admit when this arrived I was very confused and my first thought was have I been drunk online shopping again? 

T-shirt store Leeds Trinity
T-shirt store Leeds Trinity
So onto the Tshirt Store. Arriving fashionably late as usually I was greeted to some champers and pizza from the staff and shown around the fabulous collections.  The store has such an amazing range of t shirts and jumpers all designed by independent designers. It was so hard to pick a favourite as all the designs are unique however I would say my favourite was the one pictured below with the video tapes on (It makes me feel a little old now that video tapes are now seen as vintage).  

T-shirt store Leeds Trinity
T-shirt store Leeds Trinity
T-shirt store Leeds Trinit
T-shirt store Leeds Trinit
The T Shirt Store pride themselves on the quality of there t-shirts and they are all made from the highest certified organic, fair-trade cotton. Speaking to the manager of the store the passion for using ethically sourced cotton and finding the best independent designers definitely showed. 

genuinely loved the T-Shirt store and think the store will be a brilliant edition to Leeds. The store should defiantly go down well with the student population and I would like the thank the guys for the invite.


Sunday, 8 December 2013

Sunday supper | Roast & Conch Leeds | restaurant review

A few weeks back I visited the newly opened Roast & Conch restaurant in Leeds, which is a new restaurant as part of Leeds Trinity. The restaurant is from the creators of the delicious little chocolate shop Hotel Chocolate.  The restaurant uses coco beans in all of it's dishes and after my little trip to Bruges I was craving a little chocolate fix. 

Roast & Conch Leeds
Roast & Conch Leeds

Walking into Roast & Conch, you first enter into there adorable little cafe and chocolate shop. After some confusion me and my friend then noticed the sign to the main restaurant upstairs. Walking past the sacks of coco beans displayed at the bottom of the staircase and up the wood chipped rustic panel walls and staircase it feels as though you have emerged from a cargo shipment of coco beans and into a sophisticated restaurant. As you may of also noticed and another adorable feature is amongst the salt and pepper grinders is a chocolate coco bean grinder. How cute?

Roast & Conch Leeds
We was shown to our table and treated a little amuse-bouche of warming pumpkin soup. A unique little talking point for the table is the little bowls of coco beans for you to try. Although they are very bitter and I wouldn't particularly say they taste nice they make a fantastic talking point and are a great ice breaker to start conversation. 

Roast & Conch Leeds
Roast & Conch Leeds
Roast & Conch Leeds

"Not So Scotch" Egg - £6.50

Free-range hen’s egg cloaked in softened pearl barley and penny bun mushrooms, cocoa-nib crumb crust. With roast leeks and garlic. 
This was rather delicious and I was a little shocked at just how much I enjoyed it. When I think "scotch eggs" I think of child hood picnics and those super market pre packed versions. So this was a nice eye opener to how nice the humble scotch egg can be. Although a vegetarian option made with pearl barley the starter was ever so tasty. The crisp crunchy breadcrumb and subtle coco crust was cooked perfectly with a gooey runny yolk centre surrounded by soft pearl barley.  

Roast ‘Yardbird’ For Two - £14.00 Each

Basted with cocoa-nib butter served with dauphinoise potatoes, plantation stuffing, roast garlic and red wine roasting jus.

(‘Yardbird’ - West Indian for chicken)
Me and friend both decided to order the yard bird. I normally don't like ordering sharing courses as I'm a nosey little being and enjoy seeing what food other people order. However my friend was set on ordering the roast yard-bird and so the good friend I am went along with their wish. The chicken is cooked well although I couldn't taste any hint of chocolate in the actual chicken the flavour comes through slightly in the red wine jus. The little treats of stuffing, roast garlic and dauphinoise potatoes are perfect little treats to accompany the main course. 

White chocolate mash - £4.00
Side dish
As soon as I saw this, I has to order it. To many people this may sound sickly but don't knock it until you've tried it. In my opinion this a genius idea and although I thought this would be a simple gimmick it actually tasted really good too. The subtle hint of white chocolate comes through nicely without tasting like your eating a desert. It was the perfect side for my main course and I would return to this restaurant based on this alone. 


55 Boar Lane

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Wishlist | Christmas list |

So it's now officially December and to be honest I still can't believe it. I hate to be a Grinch but this year I don't feel festive at all. Having a total of 4 work Christmas do's pencilled in the diary (due to starting my new job next Monday), participating in 2 secret Santa's and a whole bunch of shopping to do I still can't quite believe Christmas is coming.

My mum has been asking me for weeks what I want for Christmas and I've barley given it any thought. Although I have asked Santa for a new camera. I think it is a sign of growing up as up until many.. years ago I would be sat circling the entire Argos catalogue greedily picking out presents. Although I still hold grudges about not getting that Mr Frosty and question just why Santa couldn't fit that drum kit down the chimney, Christmas means a lot more now in some ways then it did when I was a child.

I personally love the whole build up to Christmas, the festive nights out, enjoying buying gifts for other people and even the smell of the Christmas tree. Christmas day is now more about enjoying good food, the get together of family and friends and of course the squabbles over board games and quizzes don't go a miss. (To all family members reading this, dad is on my team in any family Christmas board or quiz game) 

In contrast the above statements and "not wanting anything" I've manages to put together a little list of Christmas goodies, that might be able to find there way under my Christmas tree this year. 

Audrey Hepburn DVD Collection: Amazon
Since buying the Marilyn Monroe DVD collection, I've been intrigued by old movies. I'm fascinated watching them. The Audrey Hepburn collection will be a perfect addition to my DVD collection. 

Chase Marmalade Vodka: Harvey Nichols
Not the typical Christmas drink but for me this drink reminds me of Christmas. I've no idea why. I love unique drinks and since I discovered this a few years back it's been my Christmas drink of choice. 

Snow Fairy Shower Gel - Lush
No Christmas wishlist would be complete without a little treat from lush.  

Wonderland Dusty Pink & Gold Watch - Olivia Burton
Ever since I treated myself to my Daniel Wellington watch earlier this year, I've been lusting over more watches ever since. I never used to wear watches but I'm since converted. This Olivia Burton watch is girly yet elegant and classic and is very affordable in comparison to other good quality watches. 

Best Of Benefit - Benefit
I normally always end up buying the benefit gift sets for my mum or my sister. Each year the Christmas range seems to get more adorable and this year is no exception. 

Dior Addict Eau De Parfum - Dior
Christmas wouldn't be complete with some perfume. Although my fragrance of choice this year isn't a cheap one it's always nice to have your favourite fragrance for special occasions.  

What's on your Christmas list?


Sunday supper | Rare (Lamberts Yard Leeds) restaurant review |

This week I was very fortunate to be invited down to the press launch of the newly opened RARE, bar and restaurant in Leeds.The restaurant which promises "uncommon excellence" and offers quality food, would rival any fine dining restaurant. However Rare offers larger portion and uses meat from rare breed stock which yields a higher fat content so the restaurant uses traditional techniques like brining, braising and slow cooking that although takes longer, produces a fantastic unique melt in the mouth taste. Going against traditional fine dining concepts diners can except spacious seating, excellent table service and no dress code. So whether you put on your Conserve or your Louboutin's, want a intimate meal for 2 or a place to catch up with friends, rare can "meat" your fine dining expectations, without the fine dining price tag.

 Here's just why I love Rare:

Arriving at Rare, you first enter the upstairs bar area. The seating is spacious and with the dim lighting, comfortable seating it could be the perfect setting for day drinks after a hard days shopping or quiet drinks on a date. Taking our seats we was quickly brought over a drinks menu. The simple clip board menus (what I think is genius) fit the simple "uncommon excellence" theme of the restaurant. I was very quick to spot the Hiver Honey Beer, this proved a very good choice as I was told Rare is the only bar/restaurant in Leeds to currently stock this. 

Our table was soon ready and we was lead down the candle lit staircase into the main dining room. Although the taxidermi longhorn cow takes centre stage in the dining area, the dining area feels sophisticated and cosy more like your entering into a friends dining room (a friend with very good taste in décor) then a busy city centre restaurant. 

So enough of me rambling on, obviously you all want to know about the food: 

Rare (Lamberts Yard Leeds)
Rare (Lamberts Yard Leeds)
We was seated and handed a menu each. The menu is small but for me I prefer small menus, it shows the restaurant has selected fewer dishes to showcase only the best cooking. We was also given a little bowl of Tamworth pork cocktail sausages to tuck into whilst we decided what to order. This was such an amusing yet thoughtful touch what also made me very hungry as it instantly gives high expectations as they are delicious.  

The starters:

Potted smoked duck £6.00 
Served with grilled sour dough toast and a date, fig and apple chutney.
The duck was excellent and the presentation was beautiful. The pâté was smooth and flavoursome and the tangy date, fig and apple chutney was perfect accompaniment. This starter I felt actually had a little festive theme and in some ways represented excellent home style cooking at it's finest, presented in the sealed little jar it looked every bit home made. My only criticism here is the portion is rather large so I quickly ran out of the crisp sour dough toast so I was unable to finish all the delicious potted smoked duck. 

Spicy Tamworth pork belly ribs £7.50
Served with red cabbage and beetroot pickle.
My friend ordered the Tamworth pork belly and  must say I was a little jealous. However as I had "work" to do I obviously has to try some. The pork broke away easily with the side of the fork and was moist, juicy and super delicious. The accompaniments of red cabbage and pickled beetroon worked well with the pork and made this one very morish starter.  

Rare (Lamberts Yard Leeds)s
Rare (Lamberts Yard Leeds)
Browsing the main courses on the menu everything looked so delicious. Split into the categories, cow, pig, chicken, lamb, game and veggie even with the short menu I felt spoilt for choice. The one thing I did notice is the chicken (aimed at been a sharing main course) Is described as plenty for 2 enough for 3 what again is a thoughtful touch and promotes the friendly welcoming theme of the restaurant, also making the dining experience very affordable. 

The main course:

10oz Longhorn beef burger £13.50
Minced in house and served with baby gem lettuce, heritage tomatoes, dill pickle, red onion rings, Swaledale cheese, beetroot and horseradish relish, triple cooked chips, wholegrain mustard and celeriac coleslaw. 
Lets just take a minuet to ogle the burger. Mmm. I never order burgers in restaurants (this is what my friend choose) it feels like I'm wasting the opportunity to try something new. I did however how to eat some humble pie  when this arrived. We've all eaten burgers but I've never seen a burger look as delicious or thick as this. Although my friend struggled to finish it all, this was more because it was so meaty and filling. With the traditional burger toppings of onion, tomato, pickle, lettuce and cheese even all these ingredients had been carefully selected to ensure the best in taste. 

1/2kg Tamworth pork belly £13.00
Served on sliced pickled cox English apples, wholegrain mustard and cider sauce and finished with pork crackling. 
This seemed to be a very popular choice amongst diners and there is clearly good reason for this. Firstly the portion is more then enough, in fact it could probably be shared.The meat falls away from the bones, if your like me and bones in your food is a scary thought, you need not worry your little self. The meat is moist and flavoursome and again shows just what the restaurant stands for with there uncommon labour intensive cooking methods. Sitting on top of thinly sliced English cox apples and surrounded by the cider and mustard sauce the meal is simple perfection.

Rare (Lamberts Yard Leeds)
The cocktails:

Now as if I was going to end this post without taking about my favourite topic of all, cocktails!

Although the restaurant offers a unique wine and beer list, if there's one thing I love it's cocktails. The cocktails are made with just as much care and love as the food. Served in chilled frozen glasses with weird and wonderful garnishes reflects the effort put into creating these delicious drinks. I despise any bar that charges high prices for cocktails when the bar staff can barley create a Black Russian yet my fuss pot self was very impressed. The cocktails cost around £7.00 - £8.00 and are worth every penny. I did have to double take at the menu when I read the word pancetta in their gin cocktail. I can assure you the gin cocktail tastes like fruity sherbet sweets and the pancetta is a garnish. It's like a free bar snack in your drink and nothing to fear.  

Overall I was very impressed and can't wait to return to Rare. The food shows delicious simple cooking at it's best, using only the freshest locally scoured ingredient. The staff are friendly and the atmosphere is welcoming. The prices are more than reasonable and the restaurant is excellent value for money. 

For me the restaurant defiantly delivered "uncommon excellence"


Lamberts Yard
163 Lower Briggate 

Follow on twittter: @eatdrinkrare

*Meal provided free of charge*

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