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Eating My Way Round Amsterdam 🇳🇱🍴

Last week I ventured back to the wonderful city of Amsterdam, with plenty of food inspiration to explore from searching through instagram I was on a mission to try it all! If you haven't seen my post from my previous trip there I shall link them here: Day 1 & 2 and Day 3 & 4.



The day were arrived was Shrove Tuesday so understandably our first stop was to find some pancakes! We had been recommended Pancakes Amsterdam by a family friend so we stopped by the Spui outlet of the chain. We both opted for bacon and cheese dutch pancakes due to the sheer amount of other sugar I had planned savoury seemed the best option! It was certainly very filling, I was unfortunately defeated by the size of it but it was very tasty!

 


We were staying at the INK Hotel Amsterdam  which I must say was amazing and we had a great stay there. We dinned twice in their restaurant called the Pressroom , as the building used to be the base of the dutch newspaper 'De Tijd'. The first night I had the risotto which was the perfect portion size, packed full of flavour from the asparagus and pine nuts. The last night of our stay we returned and I decided to splash out and have the peppered steak served with peppercorn sauce, confit shallot and mashed potato. The steak melted like butter under a hot knife and was up there with some of the best steaks I've ever had. I would really recommend this hotel and its restaurant and I would certainly book again!



The first morning breakfast destination was one I had been to before on my previous trip as its an instagrammers paradise. Pluk has a sort of boho chic vibe with gorgeous homeward and foodie goods to match! If your looking for instagrammable smoothie bowls or avocado based dishes this is a must visit. It does get quite busy and you can't make reservations but its worth waiting for! We had the Bali bowl and some lemon and poppy seed cake.



Van Stapele Koekmakerij Cookies are also one to get to early in the day, as once the 3000 cookies they bake a day are gone they close! I had to make two trips to catch these elusive cookies but they were worth the wait! They only bake one type of cookie; They are made from a high quality chocolate dough, full of Valrhona ingredients. The cookie’s crispy outside envelopes a soft white chocolate filling. Perfect afternoon snack! 



Pastai is a lovely little Italian restaurant I found on one of the foodie instagram accounts. They change their menu weekly so there is plenty of chance to go and try something new each time! I had some really nice arancini and pasta with courgette and cheese. Perfect spot for some delicious fresh pasta! Service was quick and certainly filled us up after a day of walking round all the museums! Though I do wish I had tried their chocolate cake as I had read many a good word about it online!



Melly's Cookie Bar is a artisan bakery are famous for their cookies,  Argentinian Alfajores and Dulce de leche and Yerba mate. So obviously I had the chocolate cake with dulce de leche for my breakfast with a hot chocolate! Perfect little pitstop before exploring more of the city for a sweet treat and hot beverage.   



If you are looking for the best instagram pretty content then you must stop at Polaberry. I think I spent more time taking pictures of all the beautiful product and store than I did devouring this adorable unicorn cakepop! Even the merchandise was gorgeous! Trying to pick what to buy was very difficult! A must see for any pink lovers or chocoholics! I also had possibly the best hot chocolate from my trip there, so also get that on your winter warming drinks list!



I couldn't have not come to Holland and not tried a stroopwafel, I went for one from Van Wonderen. With various topping options to have including more stroopwafel, Oreo, chocolate to hazelnuts (and more that I can't remember!) Nothing beats eating it warm from the waffle iron!



Continuing my sugary quest I went to the wonderful Tony's Chocolonely Super Store and created my very own bar! Tony's chocolate is out to create 100% slave free chocolate and traceability from bean to bar. Not only are they improving living quality for the people producing the cocoa, the chocolate is delicious! I went for milk chocolate with cinnamon sugar, hazelnut and spiced biscuit! I loved how personal you could make them from the packaging to the flavours! Perfect gift to bring back or keep for yourself I'm not judging!.



My last foodie stop less sweet and more meaty. I had a super tasty burger and sweet potato fries at The Butcher Social Club which is just below the A'DAM Lookout. I had the daddy burger and it was a beast of a burger but full of flavour from the edam to the fried onions, I didn't leave a scrap! The price point was also really good for the quality of food and its destination. There was also a really good selection of drinks which I wish I had tried out a boozy milkshake now!



That bring the end to my foodie adventures of Amsterdam for this trip. If you have any recommendations for if I go back I'd love to find more typical dutch places to eat!


HAUS LABORATORIES Kit First Impressions

Its been a while since I've reviewed any new beauty products, and when I had seen a few other influencers talking about Haus Laboratories I decided to pick some bits up! I picked up the Haus Of Goddess collection as I thought all the gorgeous pinky shades would go nicely with my current makeup collection.



The collection contains; Aphrodite Glam Attack Liquid Shimmer Powder, Myth RIP Lip Liner and Venus Le Riot Lip Gloss. I also picked up another lip liner in Slayer. I really love all the colours of this collection as you can make either a really natural look or full glam.

 In the swatches below the order is Myth, Layer and Aphrodite. (p.s. I appear to have misplaced my lip gloss so unfortunately couldn't swatch it, but I had been using it and it is a really lovely pinky nude!)



The lip liners blend really easily and are perfect for doing an all over lip colour or just as liner. I've used the shade Slayer as a nice berry lip with a bit of gloss over it quite a few times. The Myth liner reminds me a bit of Charlotte Tilbury Pillow talk in terms of shade. One thing I do find with the blendability is that sometimes it can smudge if I've knocked it, so maybe keep a mirror to hand or set it by blotting.

The liquid shimmer powder is truly beautiful, the shade, the consistency the shine, I just can't fault it. It looks pretty on its own or layered. My personal favourite way to use it is to layer it over my Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk palette to add a real shine and sparkle to it.

All in all I really like the formula and shades. I'd definitely like to try some of the other shades out and maybe the eye liners! I do think they are a good price point for the quality of them as well. The packaging makes it feel really high end and special. Go give the products a go and let me know what you think!

Smokeworks BBQ Cambridge *AD



A few weeks ago the Smokeworks on Station Road had a fabulous revamp! Me and a few local bloggers were all kindly invited to go and check it out! The new bar area had the perfect atmosphere for pre-drinks or after work cocktails! With a great selection of tasty cocktails, beers and selected bourbons. 



On the evening we got to try out some deliciousness from the menu from some of their new vegan options to their classic BBQ ribs!  I was so distracted by my fabulous company that I didn't get round to eating all the food! So I decided to go back last week and give the food more of a go! (AD I was kindly given a discount card)



I started off with a Strawberry Collins made with vodka which was super fruity and sweet. For food we ordered the 14 hour low 'n' slow brisket 'steak', a whole chicken with sriracha glaze and a stack burger. Safe to say we left feeling very full! There certainly is a whole variety of options to choose from, it certainly took us a while to decide. The sauces are all made in house and certainly went really well with my brisket. If you are feeling very brave you can even have Vlad's Blood Hot Sauce, which certainly adds a kick to your meal!

All in all if you are looking for that smokey BBQ flavour in Cambridge look no further than the Smokeworks and make sure you are hungry! I shall certainly be going back for another Cogtail!

*AD I was kindly invited to try out the food at their launch evening and given a discount card for when I returned again.

Festive Afternoon Tea at Parkers Tavern💛⛄️AD

With the festive season upon us my mind has certainly been thinking about all the fabulous Christmas foods to indulge on. When an email from Parker's Tavern dropped into my inbox inviting me to try out their new Festive Afternoon Tea I jumped at the chance to go! These three tiers of temptations are available to book from November 18th. They also have  children's, vegan, gluten free and dairy free options as well so you can all indulge!



Let's start of with the savouries tier! Starting off with three sandwiches; Cucumber, Dill & Mint Mascarpone, Smoked Salmon & Crème Fraîche,  Turkey & Cranberry. Followed by the PT Sausage Roll and Crayfish Tarts. I must say the sausage roll is the best one I have ever tasted!

Sausage Roll and Sandwiches

Moving onto the middle tier of Plain and Fruit Scones with Spiced Jam and Lemon Curd and the obligatory cream. You just can't beat warm scones with cream and jam. The flavours Parker's Tavern have created in the spiced plum jam are so perfect with the scones.



Now for the most exciting tier of the three! Starting with the Ferrero Roche, Chestnut 'Snowman' Macaron, Paris Brest, Mincemeat & Brandy Custard Tart and Marmalade & Cardamon Financier.  The level of details and range of different flavours are the perfect treat to get you in the festive spirit.



There are also so many varieties of tea to accompany your afternoon delights, or a little festive tipple of Mulled Cider or a signature Wittgenstein's Poker cocktail. The team at Parkers Tavern were so accommodating and welcoming I can't fault anything about my experience and will certainly go back again! Tristan and his kitchen team have really nailed the perfect festive afternoon tea.

Disclaimer: I was very kindly invited to try out the afternoon tea and it was gifted to me but all views are my own.

Christmas Gift Guide 2019🎅🏻

With Christmas coming up we all face the struggle with what to buy people for presents! I decided to compile a few ideas from John Lewis & Partners that I picked up myself! Disclaimer, I do work for John Lewis & Partners but this is not AD or gifted I purchased them all myself!



One of the first gift ideas I picked up was a Choose Your Favourites Customised Quality Street Tin. I love the personalisation of this and it means you don't end up with flavours you don't like! New this year were two exciting flavours; Chocolate Caramel Brownie and an exclusive flavour to John Lewis & Partners Crispy Truffle Bite! Its priced at £15 for the personalised tin with pick and mix flavours and then you can refill the tin for £10 (because we all know these tins never make it to Christmas without being eaten!). *Available in store only



Chocolate not your thing? Why not go for more adult crackers with Fevertree Gin and Tonic Crackers! There were so many options to choose from and you can buy a set of four you pick yourself for £32 or £8 per cracker. You can go in store to the Oxford Street branch to select your flavours but can can still order these online!



This next one is another foodie gift! The Kit Kat experience is perfect for chocolate lovers that want that personal touch! You can create your own eight finger Kit Kat; you first pick a chocolate for the base then three toppings and then it its made and put into a personalised box! I went for milk chocolate with chocolate brownie, mini marshmallows and caramel chunks! This service costs £14 and it available at Oxford Street. There are also Best of British Flavours or Special edition flavours you can buy in selected stores and online! These would also make great Secret Santa gifts!

Bleu De Chanel and Mens Leather Wallet

Men can be notoriously difficult to shop for at Christmas time. The two gifts I picked out can always be changed for personal preference but the Chanel Bleu De Chanel Parfum is a really timeless fragrance that is a aromatic, intensely woody fragrance. It opens with powerful freshness, then lingers with a precious accord of New Caledonian sandalwood that gives it sophisticated full smell. The other thing I chose was a John Lewis & Partners RFID Blocking Leather Flip Card Wallet in Brown which I thought for £38 was really nice quality with 8 cards slots, 2 additional slots, 2 note slots, a printed lining, and flipover section complete with four extra card slots and a transparent ID slot. Again a very classic design so I'm sure it would be a good gift! 

Stackers watch box to store my collection of Olivia Burton watches

For any accessories lovers I discovered Stackers that make all sorts of storage from tiny travel boxes to big jewellery storage. Due to my rather large collection of Olivia Burton watches I decided to gift myself this Stackers Watch Box in White. I love how I can see my watches while the box is shut and the pads to keep your watches on are so soft and secure. I think this could be a nice gift for males or females and does come in other colours! The joy of it as well is as the name might suggest you can stack it with other layers to add a jewellery one underneath!

Reindeer Olivia Burton watch

Of course I had to get a new watch to go with the watch box! This gorgeous Olivia Burton Winter Wonderland Mesh Bracelet Strap Watch is so perfect for Christmas! With a little frosted trees and a little reindeer I couldn't think of a better watch to have for Christmas. The pale rose gold strap is also a perfect metal colour for a piece of subtle winter bling! 

Charlotte Tilbury Starry Eyes to Hypnotise Eyeshadow and Chloe Nomade Perfume

Two beauty picks for the lady in your life I decided on this year are the Charlotte Tilbury Starry Eyes to Hypnotise Eyeshadow Palette and Chloé Nomade perfume. I really feel like the Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow palettes are a good investment for any beauty lover. The colour selection and pigmentation quality are just top notch, you can create so many looks from this palette and it just looks stunning. The Chloé Nomade Eau de Parfum is my go to fragrance and it is certainly popular amongst other people I know, it has an intense character of oak moss, shrouded in the sweetness of cherry plum and the freshness of freesia. 

Thats it! Just a small selection of gift ideas to either inspire you on what to get your loved ones or yourself (I'm not judging?). 

Lush Christmas 2019🎅🏻

This might just be my favourite time of the year to shop at Lush because the amount of new products that come out is far too exciting for me! I was kindly invited to the Christmas launch at my local store in Cambridge and this is what I picked out of the Christmas collection! There were so many other products but I just picked out what I thought I would like most so check out their website to see the full collection!



The first thing I picked up was the one I was drawn to most! The new Rudolph Bath Bomb was certainly the cutest reindeer design I've seen Lush do so far. This little guy has a sweet marzipan scent and makes a pretty warm orange coloured bath. You can even write on the antlers like a gift tag!



The second thing is new for the Christmas collection this year are shower bombs! They brought out a Polar Bear Nose (left pic), Rudolph Nose (right pic) and Snowman Nose. These are perfect if you're feeling left out the bath bomb club if you only have a shower, you can finally have a shower with one by simply letting them bubble up in your hands under the shower and then wash with it like you would a shower gel.



This is possibly the most exciting the Amazeballs! I picked up three of the four designs because I just couldn't decide! From left to right Snow Fairy, Holly Golightly and Don't Let The Bells End. These are bath bombs with hollow centres that are filled with bath bomb dust and bath salts and a little lid to keep it all safe inside. You can use it all at once in an epic bath or split it into three by using the filling, the lids and bath bomb shell separately. I think I shall crack one out for my Christmas Eve bath!



This little guy is the Not So Secret Santa which reveals himself as he fizzes around the bath tub releasing a citrusy scent. At £3.95 he also makes the perfect secret Santa present if you have a small budget. He creates a pretty candy cane coloured bath so leaves you feeling in the festive spirit.



The Bomb Bomb's are back and this year I decided to p-p-p pick up the Penguin Bomb Bomb. This citrusy penguin turns your bath a really pretty blue colour making it the perfect bath bomb for refreshing yourself after a long day of Christmas shopping! You can save him for one epic bath or half him to make him last!



Chris the Camel Bath Bomb will be your ride into the colder nights and keep your skin ready for winter. With spice and warming clove bud oil and black pepper oil its the perfect winter warmer and the addition of date syrup helps the skin retain moisture so this has all the skincare goodness in a cute shape of a camel!



This little Snowman Dreaming bath bomb is one for everyone. With secret colours that appear as he drifts around the bath making it perfect for bath art. The Chinese cedarwood and lavender oil its perfect for helping little ones and big ones get to sleep with all the excitement at Christmas.



This pretty emerald green bath bomb is Santa's Grotto, covered in lilac gems and plastic-free glitter.  It has a lot more of a floral scent so if spice is not your thing and you want more of a fresh bath this be more up your street.



Lush have also brought out Bath Oil Tablets with little bits of string on them so you can hang them on your tree before popping them in the bath! I went for the Santa's On His Way filled with Tangerine and Bergamot oil and it makes a pretty pink bath. You can also split it up into multiple baths so perfect for using over the festive period!



This smiley Santa is a new Bubble Bar for this Christmas with cheery notes of uplifting neroli, zingy lime and crisp lemon myrtle it all leaves you feeling uplifted and refreshed. I love combining bubble bars with bath bombs to create bath art so this one is a perfect base leaving an orangey-red water!



Wash away your winter blues with this cutie, Polar Bear Plunge Bubble Bar. With the Spearmint oil and Fine Sea Salt it'll leave you feeling fresh. It also makes a bubbly white bath so again will be a really good base for bath art. He's almost too cute for me to use!

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies🍪 🎃

It is that time of year that Pumpkin Spice becomes part of our autumnal food intake and I came across this recipe on Delish's website and gave them a go! They were super delicious so I thought I would share the recipe over here to share it with you! Disclaimer that this recipe is from Delish and not my own I'm just sharing it over here because so many people liked them I thought I'd find an easier way to share it! I've also converted the measurements into grams to make it easier for myself and UK readers!



INGREDIENTS
  • 280g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 170g pumpkin purée
  • large egg
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 350g semi-sweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 190°c and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, pumpkin spice, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl using a hand mixer*, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla extract until combined, then add flour mixture. Beat on low until no raw flour appears, then fold in chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
  4. Scoop 1” balls onto prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart, and bake until puffed up and golden around edges, about 12 minutes.
*I used my Kitchenaid to make the cookie dough rather than a hand mixer and then used a wooden spoon to hold in the chocolate chips