City Break Style: Lisbon

Fashion

In my opinion, a city break is all about exploring. Exploring a new city, discovering new locations, tasting local food and using the ‘that’s what the locals do’ to sip vino in a historic square, usually with a fountain and a museum. But not only can you make ‘cultural’ discoveries, it’s also a fab opportunity to go a lil bit ‘out there’ with your style, whether you’re going for Parisian chic, Mary Kate and Ashley New York Minute or taking the opportunity to rock the grunge in Berlin. One tip I always abide by when travelling with just hand luggage is to pack by outfit. One trusty pair of trainers and a couple of pairs of sandals is really all you need footwear-wise and dresses and skirts that can be taken from day to night with a quick refresh of accessories will be your new best mate.

I picked this maxi skirt up in the Zara sale and it was one of those ‘not really sure’ purchases but I went with it anyway and dressed it right down with a graphic tee, Vejas and a cute ASOS micro bag. I absolutely love this skirt now and paired with a black one shoulder top and a pair of block heels or mules, it’s a night-time winner as well.

I’ve already worn this dress once for a wedding with heels but this works just as well with a pair of chunky sandals for a holiday evening out or trainers for comfortable yet feminine day time style (plus it hides ALL of the food babies). If you’re quick you might find this in the ZARA sale, this is fast becoming my dress of the summer and I would 100% recommend.

This spotty smock was one of those impulse buys that you’re actually MADE UP about when it looks a lot nicer in real life than on the ASOS website. I jazzed this up a little with a pearl hair slide and neon earrings and then just carried my fishnet shopper which is literally a Mary Poppins bag and fits in everything AND the kitchen sink. I chose this H&M one because if you look closely it has a lil bit of sparkle and I am totally about that life.

I am a magpie when it comes to sequins, sparkle and bright colours and when i saw this ZARA top I knew I had to have it (despite there being one left in the wrong size). Being so extravagant, I knew I had to make sure everything else worn with it was pretty casual so I looked more chilled rooftop drinks in Lisbon and less met gala chic. I paired with my Veja’s (these were my go-to holiday trainers), black linen shorts, a micro bag and drop earrings, throwing my hair up to make sure the area around the HUGE bow wasn’t too busy. This is definitely going to be paired with boyfriend jeans and heels for my next ‘jeans and a nice top’ occasion.

I feel like Birkenstocks are just complete Marmite and you’re either gonna love em and wear them ALL the time (jeans, shorts, maxi dresses, jumpsuits you name it) or you aint gonna go anywhere near them. I’ve taken it one step closer to hippy mum with mine because they have the ankle strap as well but I just love them and they come out every summer. Paired with this super wearable scarf print ZARA top, h&m white linen shorts and an oversized sun hat, this is the perfect outfit to explore in (I added a studded back pack to toughen up the look a little bit and balance out the sun hat).

This look just has 90’s vibes written all over it (just missing the space buns) and you can’t really go wrong with these wide leg linen trousers, whether that’s for a throwback to 90’s girl band days or to dress up with heeled boots and a blouse. This little neon orange ASOS crop just proves why i love a halter neck – so wearable no matter what (this is also cute worn with the maxi skirt at the start of this post!)

You can’t really go wrong with a cami dress and I’m just a bit obsessed with the length and satin sheen on this Zara one (not to mention it’s gorgeous shade of pink). Paired with a little handheld tote, trainers and some FAB tan lines this is just a super simple look that can be thrown together in minutes. I was on holiday so wasn’t arsed about a sangria-induced nip-slip but if you want to be a little more covered in the day time this dress is even perfect for work over a t-shirt or with a sweatshirt thrown over the top.

Believe it or not, I actually managed to fit two maxi skirts into my cabin bag and this was the second. Linen, buttoned down the middle and complete with adjustable belt (ideal for an after dinner situation) I decided to stick to simplicity and just pair with a plain bandeau. I accessorised with a little touch of leopard print (because that’s ALWAYS a good idea), pearly earrings and a white micro bag. I did wear this skirt again with trainers and a Calvin Klein tee and I will be getting loadssss of wear out of it this summer at home. Found on Nasty Gal for about £10 but the quality is fab and the fit is lovely. Another go-to.

How to do: Safari Chic

Fashion

When Meryl Streep, in all her iconic glory, first brought us safari chic vibes in 1985, it was evident that this trend was gonna stick around. Stylish enough to be worn out and about for (a few too many) dranks with the gals and casual enough for that ‘yeah i just threw this on even though I really didn’t’ aesthetic, you can’t go wrong with safari chic style. Give it an upgrade this season with everyone’s most talked about animal print (move over leopard, there’s a certain Zebra in town) and keep your accessories minimal (I matched my shoes and bag completely to add minimal fuss). Chuck your heels off and throw on a pair of Birkenstock’s or Teva’s and you’ve gone from flower wall and Prosecco to casual daytime style in a suuuper hot minute. To get this look, I’ve paired this cute H&M Zebra t-shirt (about £7 – bargain) and a khaki ZARA skort.

How to do: Everyday Crochet

Fashion

Whilst it might scream festival style, there’s no reason why you can’t weave crochet into your everyday wardrobe (‘scuse the pun) whether that’s a lil hint of fezzy vibes dressed down with jeans and trainers (like i’ve done here) or you go full on matching two piece with cute sandals and a sun hat, every wardrobe needs a little bit of this timeless trend. Here, I’ve worn this Zara crop top for brunch and a spot of shopping (the dream) with baggy boyfriend jeans, trainers and a trusty Valentino, but pairing this with a flowy floral maxi makes for a different outfit altogether. Why not have a play, with your very own cro-chet?

How to do: Summertime Florals

Fashion

The floral trends of summer ’19 are anything but subtle. Think bright vibes so tropical most prints include the odd lemon and palm tree. As well as tropical style bralets and dresses there’s also flowers, and lots of ’em. The prints that can be found at the moment can be likened to something your Nan might have in her wardrobe, but, I’m totally here for it. Birghtly coloured florals can be worn super easily either by dressing down and pairing with a block colour or wearing against florals of a slightly different print, it totally depends on how out there you’re willing to go. But when the sun is shining and the sky is blue, remember, there’s no such thing as too far. If you want to clash prints, then now is the time to do it.

This super cute Zara number is totally perfect for everyday summer style. Take on the beach to throw over a one-piece , pair with shorts and sandals or wear over ripped jeans and your fave trainers. This top is also one of those precious numbers that defines ‘nice top’ in the infamous jeans and a nice top duo. It’s named the Dolly blouse and it’s totally easy to see why. I love it. Happy floral-ing.

For something a little more ‘out out’, pairing tropical with ruched, one shoulder style is definitely the way to go. This (also Zara) crop does all the talking itself so really is just perfect paired with boyfriend jeans and some cute mules. Im also on the hunt for some fuschia wide leg flares to go with this . Perfect holiday style.

Event: Yu Donut X Aether Liverpool

Food

If anyone knows me, they’ll know that i’m a big fan of a gin balloon or cocktail bar type situation and so when i was invited down to Aether in Liverpool One Chavasse Park I was READY. Even better, the event wasn’t only to try out the fab cocktail creations of Aether, but also to try out Yu Donut, the brand new street food brand that was poppin’ up inside. Yu Donut has a chinese-inspired donut menu as well as a selection of Dim Sum (yep, you heard that right). Here’s what went down. 

We arrived at Aether and were greeted by the fab Think team to a gorgeous table decorated with colourful mini gins and a selection of nibbles: goats cheese popcorn, prosecco popcorn, olives and Thai chilli crackers which went down an absolute treat with my drink of choice: The Pink Fizz (obvs). This gorgeous concoction slipped down a little too easily, tasting like a fruity combination of strawberries and rose petals, delicious. As sometimes happens at the end of the week, before I knew it I was ordering my second cocktail and was intrigued to try the ‘Wale Watcher’ – a gin infused number that when it arrived, came complete with binoculars – the cutest ever. The drink itself was delicious as well, dill in a cocktail hey – who knew?!

Next up was samples from the brand new Yu Donut residency that now gives Aether a mouthwatering smell of Asian cooking and some super delicious foodie options to accompany your drinks. First up, we sampled every scousers fave; sui mai – and wow was this a good one. We also got some vegetable gyoza’s as well and i’ll just say this: they absolutely trumped Wagamama. Super tasty. The sui mai and gyozas were followed by the main event: the Peking Duck Donut. A super soft, savoury creation stuffed with the sweet but savoury flavours of peking duck and accompanied with an Asian style slaw. As well as being totally original in execution, this dish’s flavours were unreal. A must try and a welcome addition to Chavasse Park.

For veggies or anyone that doesn’t like to eat meat, the next sample is perfect for you. Covered in a sticky glaze and served on a steaming bed of soy egg noodles and crunchy peppers, the char sui seitan was just divine. 

So for cocktails, DONUTS and other delicious Asian style food, head to Aether on Chavasse park and order from Yu Donut. What could be better?

Sent from my iPhone

The Belted Denim Dress: A Wardrobe Staple

Fashion

When I spotted this lil gem in H&M (poet and I didn’t know it) I just knew it was going to be one of my total wardrobe staples. Midi in length, you can dress this gal down with trainers (chunky or, I’ve chucked on a trusty pair of Veja’s here) or up with boots, mules or even super high heels. I love this dress because its length makes it quirky enough to make a small statement but wearable and plain enough to feel totally comfortable. Denim all over, there’s loadssss of room to accessorise however you like – I’m off on a city break in a couple of weeks and (weather dependent) I’m even planning on chucking it on with an oversized sun hat and Birkenstocks. Just a fab all-rounder and also a great, slightly more summery alternative to the boiler suit.

Review: Retro Dining at Bundobust Liverpool

Food

A brand new big, open space with to die for retro decor and the most delicious Indian style dishes has open up above Bold Street – and everyone needs to visit. Already taken Leeds by storm, Bundobust is now gracing the streets of Liverpool and the mouths of foodies with it’s fun, creative and most importantly delicious, vegan and veggie Indian menu. 

After arriving at Bundobust, we wasted no time in deciding which cocktail to order (after all, it was Monday), deciding on the top two from the list – the Desi 75 (sipsmiths sloe gin, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup and Prosecco) and the Mango and Rosewater Bramble (Portobello Rd gin, mango, rosewater and lemon juice). Handily, Bundobust actually have combo options on their menu that you can order depending on your party size. This gives you the option to taste a bit of everything. We chose the combo for two and because im literally never full also ordered some extra side dishes, including the amazing Bhel Puri, the infamous Okra fries and some deliciously warm and soft Indian flatbreads.

One of the many great things about Bundobust is the dining style. Whilst canteen trays and paper pots might not be ideal for a dressed up date night, this style, combined with the amazing decor, gives the whole thing a super cool, retro feel. Our combo arrived on a tray and there was more than enough for two and with the extras we’d ordered alongside it – we were strapped in and ready for a huge feast. 

Standout dishes from the Bundobust menu for me are definitely the Bhel Puri (this can literally be described as a rice krispie style texture with all of the spice of bombay mix, topped with pomegranates and smothered in a sweet and spicy tamarind sauce. A close second has to be the Okra fries – it’s easy to see how the guys at Bundobust are famous for these super crispy and salty battered courgette fingers – im not really selling it but TRUST ME on this one. 

Overall our visit to Bundobust was an absolute winner. So many people have been raving about how good it is (it’s already in Leeds and Manchester) and you really should believe the hype. Bundobust – until we meet again.

Review: Sunday Roastin’ at the Maritime Dining Rooms

Food

You’re probs all familiar with the Maritime museum and the many days spent there as a kid but did you know that there’s also a restaurant that serves Yorkshire puddings the size of your face? No. I didn’t either, until the guys at Pink Media invited me down to go see for myself. Put it this way. We didn’t leave disappointed. Or hungry.

Situated inside the Maritime museum with a gorgeous view of the dock, this place is already interior goals. We were shown to our table and the prosecco was popped as we sat down to eat with some other fab bloggers. 

After a few glasses of the good stuff our roast dinner was brought out in all its glory. The dinner is served on sharing style boards, but don’t let the word ‘sharing’ scare your hangry alter ego – the board is literally PILED with meat (we had beef and chicken) as well as tonnes of veg, a WHOLE cauliflower smothered in cheese, plenty of crispy roasties, carrot and swede mash, a Yorkshire pud filled with BBQ pulled pork and a huge boat of gravy. Absolute roast dinner goals. 

It might not be everyone’s cup of tea but i love the  sharing board roast dinner idea. It’s been done in a few places (Camp n Furnace and Baby E off the top of my head) and it just reminds me of a sociable, family style Sunday lunch where everyone just gets stuck in. As well as there being plenty of it, the food genuinely tasted amazing and at £20 pp including dessert it’s definitely well worth it for a Sunday lunch somewhere special.

Despite the more than generous portion sizes, we obviously still had room for a little (big) bit of dessert and it was just as well because before we knew it, out came another bored carrying chocolate brownies topped with salted caramel popcorn and pavlova, whipped cream and fruit. Being a sucker for all things sweet i was delighted that there was more than enough for me to have a big fat slice of each. Each pudding was every bit as good as it sounds and i rolled out of that museum like it was early evening on Christmas day. 

If you’re looking for somewhere a little fancy schmancy for a special Sunday occasion or even just fancy some bloody good food in a venue with a difference – i can’t recommend The Maritime Dining Rooms enough. Book your table now!