Tartan Trousers: A lil touch of quirky sophistication

Fashion

Back in September I bought this fab pair of tartan trousers to take on a city break to Budapest I honestly haven’t taken them off since. As much as I would have LOVED the matching blazer to make this a full power suit, I unfortunately don’t have north of £100 to be spending on something unless i’m wearing it everyday. The trousers alone however were super reasonable and they have proved one of the most versatile things in my wardrobe.

The fit is fab – super flattering and high-waisted with a flared leg making them baggy and casual but fitted at the same time. I’ve paired with a trusty pair of chunky New Balance and an oversized shirt for daytime style and i’ve also worn them countless times for dinner and drinks in the evening with super pointy boots and either a high neck jumper or bralet. For sophisticated vibes these are also super cute with a blouse tucked in and a trench over the top. To accessorise i’ve been going for chunky gold jewellery and and either a mini handheld tote or a leather backpack. This is just how ive been styling them but these are honestly so easy to wear and the perfect item for when you want to add a little quirk to your everyday style. I’ve seen a lot of straight leg tartan trousers around at the minute and whilst I think these and a chunky knit is such a winter look, I just think the flared leg makes them that little bit more statement (and their neutral tones mean they’ll match pretty much anything in your wardrobe).

New Italian American restaurant comes to Liverpool One

Food

For a while, The Red Hot Buffet space at the end of Chavasse Park has been vacant and ive been thinking for a while how much of a shame that is because it’s such a big space with loadssss of potential. Anyway, behold: Smoke n Dough.

I was asked to try Smoke n Dough a few weeks back and after seeing pictures of the absolute feasts people were having, i was so ready to try it for myself. The concept is pretty unique combining fresh Italian flavours (dough) with slowly cooked meats (smoke) and an array of everyone’s favourite side dishes. There’s also a killer cocktail menu, more wines than France and a decent dessert menu to have a go at. Sound good? It is.

Firstly, we were brought over our first course which consisted of fresh breads, pizza slices, breadsticks and an array of salads, meaning we could chat and nibble with a cocktail whilst we waited for our meat – smoking slowly by the chefs in the open kitchen.

After our first course, the meat was brought over. The tables are especially designed so that a hot plate can stay warm in the middle of the table, piled high with everything from steak and pork to chicken skewers and sticky wings. On the side, we were brought deliciously creamy mac and cheese (a real winner in my book), crispy onion rings, rich peppercorn sauce, corn on the cob and even mash potato. Amazing.

This probably goes without saying but if you’re paying a visit to Smoke n Dough – go hungry. There’s so much to eat, id say almost as much as a buffet style restaurant but with the intimacy of a sit down meal and a higher quality of food. With a grand interior, professional and friendly staff and PLENTY of food, this is the perfect venue for everything from a date night for two to a huge group meal – a great addition to everyone’s fave shopping space!

Christmas with Added Sparkle: A Festive Trip to the Metquarter Liverpool

Fashion

It’s that time of year now where Christmas events are popping up left, right and centre and i for one am not at all mad about it. Last week one of my favourite places in town, The Everyman Cinema, partnered up with the Metquarter to give us a lil taste of what we can expect from them at Christmas. From mulled wine and nibbles, to a super Christmassy film, blogging pals and goodie bags, it was a super gorgeous Tuesday night.

Arriving at The Everyman, i’m always super amazed at the interior of this place, you really do feel like you’re stepping into a little slice of luxury and i can only imagine how fabulous this is going to look in the lead up to Christmas. We were directed up to screen 4 (this screen has its own lil reception area so it’s perfect for groups and special occasions) and before i knew it, a steaming hot mulled wine was in my hand and i was dipping soft pitta breads into hummous and tucking into little tapas nibbles. Perfect. A few glasses of the good stuff later (and a slight food coma from all the snacks) we were ready to settle down and watch the Christmas movie.

On our seats was a super cute little tub of popcorn and a delicious bar of Green and Blacks white chocolate (fave!!) as well as a goodie bag packed full of everything from mac make up samples to 200 degrees coffee and even a Say it With Diamonds friendship bracelet which i haven’t actually taken off yet i’m that obsessed with it.

As well as amazing movies at the The Everyman (including screenings of Friends episodes!!!) the Metquarter also has some fab places to visit in the exciting run up to Christmas. With so many gorgeous independent and national brands to choose from, don’t forget to spend a lil time here when you’re doing your Christmas shopping.

Thank you so much to Carousel PR for the fab evening, im well and truly in the Christmas spirit now and will definitely be paying another visit to The Everyman before the festive season is over.

Passing on the Love at the Thorntons Liverpool One Store Relaunch

Food

I feel like Thorntons chocolate has always been a little bit of luxury, loved by everyone. It’s that feeling of being inside warm and dry on a rainy day, that contentment as you settle to watch a movie on a Saturday night in and that roaring fire and glass of red on a Friday night, delicious and comfortable all rolled into one.

We’re all familiar with the smooth and creamy taste of a Thorntons choc – whether you’re a Viennese Truffle lover or a Coffee Cream fiend or perhaps you love a good old toffee cased in milk chocolate. Whatever your poison, Thorntons is a fantastic way to show someone you care and so when Thorntons got in touch to ask if i could help them pass on the love with the opening of their newly refurbished Liverpool One store – who was i to say no?

Even just approaching from the outside, it’s clear to see how much of a massive improvement the new store is. Light and airy with tones of gold and cream, it’s interior coincides perfectly with Thorntons’ luxury demeanour – the one we all know and love.

Arriving into store, we were handed empty Thorntons bags and were told that although empty now, by the time we’d finished our new shop experience, they’ll be overflowing with goodies. First up, we made our way to The Craftery, a counter full of all of Thorntons best chocolates. The Craftery allows you to fill a box of chocolates with your own personal preferences. I chose six chocolates – some of which have always been a firm favourite Thorntons choice of mine (strawberry creams and pralines hiiii) and some new creations that i was itching to try (the Speculoos being one). I honestly think this is such a cool idea and whether you’re making a box for yourself (like me) or gifting it to someone else, you can make a box of chocolates full of favourites. The boxes are tied up with a gorgeous gold bow – just to give them that extra special touch.

As well as crafting our own chocolate box, we also created a chocolate block – a super nice idea which consisted of choosing five blocks of chocolate to sit together in a little box, which would then sit perfectly on a book shelf. The flavours again, were a mixture of new and old and amongst my choices were the fudge brownie, the eton mess and the pistachio – heaven. As well as creating chocolate blocks we were also treated to a good old Thorntons tradition – icing chocolate. I made an advent calendar with my name on (my first ever one!!) and a little heart iced to my boyfriend – because im cute like that.

After allllll of the chocolate fun (and an overflowing goodie bag) we headed to the cafe where Thorntons are now serving a delicious afternoon tea for just £12 per person. The sandwich and cake selection is served beautifully, with each cake representing a Thorntons chocolate. With the afternoon tea comes hot drinks – we sampled the salted caramel hot chocolate topped with cream and chocolate sprinkles and it was honestly the best hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted. This, with a baked in store brownie so gooey it was falling apart, is EXACTLY why you should head into the Thorntons cafe.

It’s safe to say we were well and truly spoiled as we made our way around the brand new Thorntons Liverpool One shop – from the beautiful interiors to the delicious food and of course, the amazing chocolate, I would definitely recommend popping in for a visit. If you’d like to pass on the love yourself and treat someone special to some gorgeous Thorntons chocolate (or treat yourself!) click here for some fab discounts and vouchers!

Until next time, Thorntons.

This was a paid partnership with Thorntons.

Bottomless Brunch at NYL Liverpool

Food

If there’s ever been a greater invention than someone putting the words bottomless and brunch together in a sentence then i wanna know about it. Being the type of basic bitch that lives for bottomless brunches, when NYL got in touch to invite me for unlimited gin, a continental breakfast buffet AND a hot meal off the menu i was there already. What a fabulous idea.

After a super busy Saturday morning (why do plans always all fall at the same time?!) i finally headed down to NYL and was more ready than ever for a delightful afternoon. If you’ve never been into NYL before then you need to. The interiors adhere to true NYC style; light and airy but with hints of gold giving it an overall appearance of grandeur and luxury. We took a seat in the booths in the main dining area and dug straight into the goodie bags that had kindly been left on our seats (full of gorgeous little treats and our very own NYL lounge mug). Perfect.

Pondering the menu was accompanied by some live music that was playing on the mezzanine of the bar. Not the kind of live music that totally intrudes on your conversation but just the right amount of buble as we sat and sipped our Liverpool Gins (rose petal for me, always).

Like most bottomless brunches, NYL allow you 90 minutes of gin or prosecco sippin’ but also allow unlimited trips to the continental buffet (er HIIII chocolate popcorn brownies, jars of nutella and gorgeous fruit platters) as well. For our hot meal, we were presented with the NYL brunch menu which has a bit of something for everyone included on it (pancakes, vegan full english, french toast, benedicts, you name it). I went for the sweet potato benedict which was essentially super crispy sweet potato fritters topped with perfectly poached eggs, ham and hollandaise – it was top notch tbh. We also went for the pancakes which were served with toppings of your choice, clotted cream and maple syrup. On top of this saw us making countless trips for more delicious brownies, cakes and breakfast pastries and so for £35 per head, NYL’s bottomless brunch really is a no-brainer for a special occasion (or even if you just fancy a lil treat).

As far as bottomless brunches in Liverpool go, this one, in my opinion is definitely up there. From the absolute interior GOALS of the venue itself to the gorgeous food and unlimited gin balloons, im already planning my next trip back. Thank you so much to NYL lounge for having me!

Let’s be Honest about Honest Burgers

Food

Honest Burgers has been open for a couple of months on Bold Street and after hearing nothing but amazing things from people who have visited the new restaurant as well as one of their several London venues, I’ve been meaning to get down there for a hot minute and scoff one for myself.

I was invited down after work with blogging pals for an event aptly named ‘meat and potatoes’ where we were told we were going to learn (from the founders themselves) all about how Honest Burgers was founded as well as order our own delicious burger off the menu. And that is exactly what we did. Oh and we also drank gin. A lot of it.

The Honest Burgers event was a Wednesday after work affair and so naturally, all day I was scrolling through the menu and picturing the burger I was going to devour later that evening. 6pm ticked around s l o w l y and eventually we were welcomed into the brand new restaurant with a smile and a Three Graces Pink gin – perfect. We sat around at the far side of the restaurant on stools and high tables as we listened to Honest Burger founders Tom Barton and Phil Eles who chatted through everything from the humble beginnings from which Honest Burgers was founded (a small tent at an 18 year old’s garden party) and their simple, ‘no-nonsense’ but bloody delicious menu to how they’re able to serve their burgers the best way: pink.

The chat was super interesting and as well as informing us all about using the ‘chopped’ rather than ‘minced’ method with their beef patties (to get them super tender) Tom ans Phil also shared with us the art of cooking their super crispy rosemary fries which they make from scratch everyday and were once described by Jay Rayner as nothing less than ‘edible crystal meth’ – not that he’s ever wrong but on this occasion, he was really, really right (I haven’t done crystal meth but I totally get what he meant). We sampled the burger meat patties (wow) as well as a bowl of the rosemary fries (wow again) and asked any questions we had about the restaurant (which has expanded into Liverpool from London and I for one am very grateful it has). With question time over (and about 4 gins later) it was time to order our burgers.

The beauty about Honest Burgers menu is that the burger comes with the chips at a decent price. You can order sides to go with your meal (bacon gravy, chicken wings, enormous onion rings etc) but you can get a decent meal without paying for additions – something that Tom and Phil feel is important. The menu is simple, including a beef burger, an American version with bacon and cheese as well as a chilli burger (there’s also a plant-based an chicken option). As well as the core four beef burgers that roll out across all of their restaurants, Honest Burgers run 36 specials which are a little more creative and involve a number of different flavours. The specials in Liverpool include the Teaxs (in collaboration with Bulls Eye BBQ sauce) and the almighty ‘Liverpool’ – a collab with none other than creators of the halloumi fry, Hafla Hafla. Described by a fellow foodie as a ‘Chinese, on a burger’ there wasn’t really any question that I was going to order this bad boy. Honest beef, halloumi, Hafla Hafla salt n pepper, spring onion and lashings of Sriracha mayo this shit was GOOD. After a few bites of my burger, an onion ring and handfuls of rosemary fries dipped in bacon gravy, I came to the decision that this was the best burger i’ve ever eaten. Yep. I said it. With everything from the freshly cooked amazing quality beef, to the Asian flavours, slightly melted halloumi, crispy, salted rosemary fries, this was just INSANE. I felt emotional.

It’s safe to say I’ll definitely be returning to Honest Burgers (how soon is too soon?) to give another burger a go. Maybe one day I’ll find a better burger but, as it stands at the moment, there’s nothing that’s compared, and that’s my honest opinion. Until next time, Honest Burgers.

Let it bloom: Bloom Bar and Bistro comes to Liverpool

Food

What was once The Verdant on Allerton road (known and loved by many for its boujee interiors and ability to host a beautiful baby shower) has closed down and in no less than five days has transformed into a beautiful bar and bistro complete with gorgeous floral decor, a huge gin and cocktail selection and an impressive menu of delicious-sounding food from brunch to dinner. I was invited down to their super busy, super fun launch party to get a taste of what Bloom is going to offer to Liverpool’s bar and restaurant scene. Clue: ya gonna love it.

Although The Verdant was loved by many, the bright, welcoming yet totally instagrammable Bloom reveals a more stripped back and in my opinion, much improved restaurant. The bright decor and beautiful flowers allows for a warm welcoming where guests will feel just as much as home grabbing a coffee and a bit of breakfast as they would sipping an elderflower bellini at the bar. We were greeted into Bloom’s gorgeous interior with a glass of prosecco and some chilled out live music as guests chatted and soaked up the restaurant’s new, totally enjoyable atmosphere.

After taking some photos seriously, you gotta it’s gorgeous and oh so instagrammable, we were treated to a huge array of canapes, from halloumi skewers, cheesy nachos, salt n pepper chicken and sweet potato fritters, all of which were delicious and can be found on Bloom’s new menu. As well as savoury snacks, guests also helped themselves to a fabulous cupcake table as well as little slices of white chocolate cheesecake – which was insane, btw.

Washing down our tasters was a selection of gin, prosecco and bellini’s, all of which could be retrieved with the cuuuutest little flower tokens, found wrapped around the stem of our prosecco glasses. I opted for the elderflower bellini which was honestly divine and far far too easy to drink (hence snoozing so HARD the next morning). The bar menu is, like the food menu, full of delicious options, with something for everyone to choose from. I have it on my to do list to return for brunch AND cocktails (probably not at the same time but hey who knows).

Overall, if Bloom’s gorgeous launch party is anything to go by, this bar and bistro is going to be a pretty special addition to Allerton Road, combining delicious food and cocktails with an impressively beautiful interior. Whether you’re popping in for brunch, fancy a cocktail, want a date night dinner or need a fab venue for a party, let it Bloom!

The real halloween costume: double denim

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Notoriously the trickiest trend to pull off, i feel like the whole entire world is scared of double denim but at the same time has this insatiable itch to match up your fave denim jacket and blue jeans it when they see someone else rockin’ it well (it was queen Gigi’s party dress code after all). Whether you reckon it’s the worst crime against fashion since the trouser skirt of the 90’s or love it loads, it’s a trend that’s never gonna disappear. And you know what they say, of ya can’t beat em, join em.

Unless you’ve got balls and just think fuck it am doing it anyway, putting together a double denim outfit can be a little daunting. However, with so many fab denim wardrobe staples available to buy (straight leg jeans, oversized shirts and belted dresses being my fave) pairing your denim pieces doesn’t have to mirror Britney and Justin‘s iconic 2001 double denim date (unless that’s your whole thing cos if so I’m HERE for it all day).

I think for me, the trick to double dressing it to mix up the fits of your items, so unless it’s a jumpsuit, i wouldn’t pair a tight fit denim jacket with super skinny jeans. Instead, i’d mix it up like i’ve done here, with this fab Zara denim shirt and waist belt as its oversized fit allows for tighter jeans and boots. If you were going to go tight on top (a cute cropped jacket for example) id go for baggy boyfriend style jeans, breaking up the denim with a cute bralet. The oufit im wearing here was for an event so i went for boots but you could totally remove the belt, roll the jeans slightly and throw on some chunky trainers or high top converse for a casual cool vibe.

People go on about mixing tones to make the full matching a little more subtle which it some good advice but TBH with any co-ord being a total v i b e right now, i wouldn’t be scared to go full matching with the shades of denim. Trust me.

If you’re brave enough to rock double denim for a special occasion (i really hope I’m that person tbh) id go for a denim bralet and denim flares. Ive been trying to get my hands on the perfect denim bralet for a whole minute and the struggle is real – any suggestions HMU!

So if you’ve got a few denim bits and before now haven’t worn them together, then i urge you to take the plunge. A motto i live by can also be applied here: if kanye can do it, so can you x

Sunday Roastin’ at Il Forno

Food

You may know il forno for incredible pizza, pasta, tiramisu and THAT cheese wheel, but what about everyone’s favourite meat and two veg? The humble roast dinner has made its way to the top end of duke street covered in gravy and smelling amazing, and I went to give it a whirl.

The Il Forno Sunday Roast menu gives you the option to choose your own beef, lamb, pork or chicken roast or to whack it all together on a sharing platter for two, so we went for option B. Our sharing platter was also served with a delicious bottle of wine and side dishes of our choice. We went for the mac and cheese (don’t knock it), red cabbage and creamed spinach to accompany our platter. It arrived on a huge plate, piled high with four different meats, colourful roasted veg, crispy roasties and two huge, fluffy Yorkshire puds. On the wide were two pots of rich, jus like gravy. Heaven.

Now i know us Brits can be fussy about our roast dinners because, as many people will say, nobody quite makes them like at home. And whilst i’ll agree with this statement (even tho i can’t remember the last time we had a roast at home) I think there some pretty bloody good ones on the Liverpool foodie scene (some shocking ones as well but we won’t go there). I was sceptical (they’re the pizza and pasta kings but roast dinner?!) but they smashed it. Loads of meat cooked to perfection (the beef was actually medium rare which was a delight) and the Yorkshire puddings were soft and fluffy just as they should be. The addition of side dishes such as the mac and cheese also added a nice touch and it was safe to say there was MORE than enough food to go round – just as it should be on a Sunday.

With my dinner pipe very much full, but my pudding pipe still empty (something we used to say as kids) we were offered the dessert menu and poured over the options. From chocolate bombs to babana splits and boozey tiramisu, it really was a tough call. In the end we went for the melt in the middle chocolate fondant and the chocolate mousse cake (i forget the proper Italian name for it) and both were as indulgent and as decadent as you’d expect and were a truly delightful end to a slap up meal.

If (like me) you’d never consider Il Forno to satisfy your roast dinner needs, you should definitely re-consider. Whilst they’re perfect to visit for a Friday night of wine n pasta, they’re also a fabulous option for your Sunday afternoon dinner needs.

Bongo’s Bingo is BACK – and better than ever

Food

Probably the less said about why Bongo’s Bingo has moved out of the camp n furnace the better, but if you’re unaware of what went down then all i have to say is: where the hell have you been?! ANYWAY, after always being huge fan of bongo’s and all that comes with it, i was more than ready to try out their brand new night in their brand new venue and can safely say i wasn’t disappointed. LET’S PLAY BINGO.

For those that don’t know, Bongo’s Bingo has moved to Content, a brand new venue tucked away in Cain’s brewery. Although smaller than the Camp n Furnace, it doesn’t pack any less of a punch and in true Bongo’s Bingo style, the show went off with a bang. From Apple Sours and Coco Pops to Philip Schofield, mobility scooters and the humble Henry Hoover, the prizes were as good as ever and with confetti canons and throwback tunez – i was a lil bit relieved to see the atmosphere of the Bongo’s we all know and love was still the same.

With a jug of ‘Fizzecco’ on the table (pretty sure this is lambrini but i am not complaining – it only adds to the throwback element of the night IMO) our red felt tips and bingo books to hand, we were ready to play Bingo. Despite our ‘lucky tickets’ being, well, not so lucky (my ticket is NEVER lucky) and not getting any lines never mind a full house, we had an absolute ball. Whether you’re off on a group night out, a girl’s night or even a date night, Bongo’s honestly never fails to be fab. And despite my concerns that their new venue might make it different to the Bongo’s Bingo I know and love, i didn’t need to worry. Jonny Bongo, Slutty Susie, Horny Heidi (and dangerous Dave the security guy) are here to stay in their brand new Cains Brewery home and im MADE up. Until next time Bongo’s – 88.