Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Small gift Christmas gift guide

Small gift Christmas gift guide
Small gift Christmas gift guide flatlay


Oh here we are with a Christmas gift guide. I’m quite lucky in that the people I buy for at Christmas just tell me what they want specifically, but I do like to get a few little extra presents as it’s nice to have little things to open, don’t you think? Christmas in the Legge household is a pretty small affair as there’s just the three of us on the big day itself meaning we can make our own traditions. Traditions like my sister eating a chocolate orange in 7 minutes whilst still in bed or heading over to Scarbvegas/Scarbados/Scarbs for a beach walk on Christmas morning with our own icecream. FYI, nowhere is open to buy icecream at the beach on Christmas day and every year people stop to ask us where we got ours from – it’s a BYOIC situation.

One of our newer traditions from the last few years is to bin off crackers and have table gifts instead. We each have one of those tubes that you put a bottle of wine in when you’re giving it as a gift and we fill them with small presents for each other. I’ve put together a list of ideas for this type of present but really this guide doubles up as some inspo for stocking fillers or secret santa. Enjoy!

1. Alcohol miniatures. Well, what did you honestly expect from me? I really like the miniatures which Demijohn do as they come in a cute corked bottle with the spirit hand written on it. They do have a full range of gifts including personalised bottles too (if anyone wants to buy me one, I’ll take anything gin) which are gorgeous, but the small ones are perfect for a stocking filler too.

2. Toiletries. I appreciate this could be seen as being a little generic but it’s actually seriously handy as we all end up travelling all over the place at Christmas and have probably forgotten something anyway. I’m a big fan of The Body Shop for miniatures as there’s so much choice in terms of scent (give me anything from the Frosted Berries collection and I’m yours) plus they’re a nice size for a few days away – let’s face it, nobody likes going to stay at someone’s house only to find that they use some weird smelling shower gel.

3. Anything with a star sign on it. Does everyone remember 2016 Lizi who had an absolutely manic obsession with everything with initials on it? Yeah, that’s been replaced by star signs this year. We’re talking mugs, necklaces, basically anything and it’s a little personal touch to show that not only have you had a little look on Facebook to check when their birthday is but then you’ve gone on to Google what star sign it equates too and if that’s not thoughtful, I don’t know what is.  

4. A journal. Whilst I love going wild in Paperchase, I know most people already have about a billion notebooks, and a one line a day journal is a more thoughtful gift. I got mine last year and started filling it in from January first (I’m surprised I’ve kept it up this long!) and this one has a page for every day of the year, split into five sections so you can keep the same one for five years.

5. Nail polish. I think it’s a sign that you know someone well if you can choose a nail polish that they’ll love, right? I’m personally a massive fan of blue and green, even over the festive season and my go to is always Barry M – yes, that might make me sound like I’m 15 but the Gelly Hi-Shine polishes are honestly the best I’ve used and they come in at about £3.99.

6. The best book you’ve read that year (as long as you both have similar tastes!). Reading is such therapy to me, so giving the gift of books is fairly sentimental – especially when buying gifts for children as it was such a big part of my own childhood. This year, though I haven’t read as much as I’d have liked, I really enjoyed Wilde Like Me by Louise Pentland, so that would definitely be on my list of books to gift.


So, that’s a small gift, gift guide for this year, what else would you add to it? Do you have any ideas for things I should be buying? Let me know in the comments!
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Monday, 11 December 2017

2017: The Highlights

2017: The Highlights
Garland on wooden mantle piece


I realise that I say this every year but dear Lord how quickly has this year gone?! As I write this, it’s the start of December and my advent calendar has made it down from the top of the kitchen cupboard which is where it has lived since I bought it about a month ago. I got a Miniature Heroes one FYI. Side note, apparently you’re meant to be bought one rather than buy it yourself (as I have been reliably informed) but in the absence of a significant other and in the knowledge that my mum would buy me one that’s less exciting, I took matters into my own hands this year. Anyway, here are my favourite moments from 2017. (I appreciate I’m writing this prior to the end of the year and still have a good few weeks to go but I’m assuming nothing groundbreaking will be occurring).


Solo travels to Amsterdam
I’ll keep this short as I appreciate I’ve banged on about this till the cows come home but this city break turned into a bigger challenge for me as I wasn’t in the best mental place when I went and it felt as much like an achievement as it did a holiday. I fell in love with the city, packed a whole lot into the couple of days I had there and proved myself wrong. I’m so, so glad that I went as I had the opportunity to visit the Anne Frank house which is something I’ve wanted to do since I first heard her story as a child.

Friendship goals
I’m ending this year with some pretty solid friendships, some which I started this year with, others which have developed over the last year, all of which I’m grateful for. Whilst I’ve always been lucky to have incredible friends, this year I feel like my gal squad has absolutely excelled itself. 2017 has been even more exciting in that internet friends have become real life friends this year too.

New job, new starts
After three years working for the same agency I moved to Leeds for, I moved onto another incredible agency back in July. The move definitely threw me off balance for the first few weeks as I’d never appreciated how big a change it was to move jobs but now I’m settled and know that I made the right decision for me. My new role has been a massive learning curve and filled with challenges but I absolutely love it and I’m working with the nicest people too.

Loads and loads of fun plans
I feel like I’ve done so many fun things this year and when I scroll back through my calendar, there seems to have been something every week. I’ve seen Russell Howard, Chris Ramsey twice, Little Mix, James Blunt, Busted, The Pigeon Detectives, The Kooks and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I’ve been to so many blogger events that I’ve lost count. I’ve spent time in Manchester, Liverpool, London, Durham, Huddersfield, Scarborough, Northallerton, Newcastle, Edinburgh and York. Needless to say, I’ve kept myself busy!

This blog
I’m so grateful for the opportunities which I’ve had out of my blog and 2017 has been another year with even more content, collaborations and incredible experiences. I’ve definitely put more effort into my writing, my photos and my Instagram this year and even though I’m far from rivalling Zoella,  I’m pretty content with where my blog is at. I enjoy the mix of topics, it still feels like a reflection of my life and I love that I can share the perks with my friends and family too. I mean, it’s never hard to find a plus one to come for dinner with me!

So, they’re some of my highlights from 2017, tell me what your best bits have been in the comments!


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Saturday, 9 December 2017

Styling up my plus one

Jacamo shirt


I’ve had a pretty crazy six months in terms of blogger opportunities and I’m absolutely loving that it’s giving me the opportunity to share the love a bit and take people along with me for the ride. Since starting my new job, I’m very lucky that my new work friends are more than willing to be my plus one for things (I’ve had blogger date nights with quite a few of them now), so when an email from Jacamo dropped in my inbox I decided that in the absence of a significant other (LOL hit me up with your single guy friends please), I’d style up Juan.

Well, I say I styled him up, he chose the checked shirt he’s wearing in the photos and Hayley (work gal and blogger gal over at Prawnstar Martini) chose the other shirt. I think we did pretty well! Though both are a step away from his usual style, as Juan has an absolutely banging jumper collection, I thought both hit the smart/casual nail on the head. Our office is pretty casual when it comes to work attire but I think for the guys, a checked or printed shirt takes you from work mode to G&Ts in the pub pretty seamlessly.

I’m a fan of Jacamo’s collection as whilst they have a rep for just catering to bigger guys, what I hadn’t realised is the number of brands which are on there. We’re talking French Connection, Ben Sherman, Original Penguin... and the list goes on. A lot of what Jacamo stock is the style I love too – I love the shirt and chinos look.  A lot of the shirts have an option for a longer length too, which is great for guys like Juan as he’s over 6ft so shirts can be a bit of a nightmare on the highstreet.

Here are the two shirts styled up and if you think he looks a little chilly in the photos then you’d be right as it was about three degrees when we had him posing for photos down a side street near the office.


Jacamo shirt


Jacamo shirt


Jacamo shirt


Jacamo shirt



Let me know what you think of the outfits in the comments and a big thank you to Juan for getting involved and working with me on this post.
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Thursday, 7 December 2017

Spotlight: Trinity Leeds

Trinity Leeds
Trinity Leeds Wonder Weekend


Now that I work in Leeds city centre, I seem to be spending an awful lot more time doing some serious window shopping, eating out and ahem a few too many treat yo’self moments. I’m definitely spending more time appreciating the city I call home as I feel as though I’m seeing so much more that’s going on!

When it comes to places to shop, eat and drink in Leeds, you don’t need to do much exploring to find the best places. Trinity is the highstreet hub of the centre, containing the majority of your go-to shops for day to day bits and pieces. Hell, who doesn’t want a three storey Primark, flagship Topshop and most importantly an absolutely banging M&S? I’d actually pick M&S over Toppers any day being the mature and responsible adult that I am.

Trinity has some serious festive vibes going on at the moment as they did a full ‘Wonder Weekend’ recently (which I won tickets for on Facebook – YAY!) to welcome the season and switch on their ‘Wishmas tree’. That would be the absolutely MASSIVE tree in the middle of Trinity. They’re actually running a competition for people to enter to win a ‘wish’ (there are prizes including a personal shopping spree and a year of free films at Everyman cinema), and every time you enter, the tree lights up. That’s pretty cool! The Wonder Weekend included some pretty cool free treats, including getting my head 3D printed into a chocolate lolly (with questionable results) and a whole load of performers getting the crowd ready for the lights switch on.


Trinity Leeds Wishmas Tree


Trinity Kitchen also has a really strong line up at the moment too. This is a space where there are loads of different streetfood vendors, some permanent (like Pizza Luxe who I can confirm have cured an office hangover for me in the past) and others which come in on a 6 week rotation. I was actually invited down to try some of the new vendors and headed straight to the Greek Food4Festivals van to grab a pork and halloumi gyros. This wrap was absolutely filled to the brim with meat, cheese and salad – 10/10 would recommend for a solid work lunch, even if I did manage to spill tzatziki all over my jeans. I took my friend Maz with me and she had the most delicious looking massaman curry and Sriracha mayo fries from Tikk’s Thai Kitchen.


trinity kitchen leeds


trinity kitchen leeds


trinity kitchen leeds



Right now, Trinity has it all going on and I’d definitely recommend heading there if you’re coming to Leeds for a day of Christmas shopping. With plenty of festive feels, strong foodie offerings and all the shops you need under one roof, you really can’t go wrong.
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Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Christmas with Carluccio’s

Carluccio's York Christmas Menu
Carluccios Christmas Menu York



Earlier this year, Carluccio’s opened their York branch in the beautiful former Terry’s building on St Helen’s Square by throwing an 80th birthday party for Mr Antonio Carluccio himself. We had the most wonderful evening toasting his celebrations and he was such a lovely, charming man, so I was very saddened to hear that he passed away earlier this year. Having met the man behind the restaurants, going to Carluccio’s in York will always be a little bit more special for me.

I was invited to try the Christmas menu and jumped at the chance as what could be more festive than dining in such a beautiful building, overlooking York’s Christmas tree and sampling some delicious Italian cuisine? Honestly, every time I go into the restaurant in York, it hits me straight in the cosy feels. I took my mum along with me as she’s a long time fan due to their excellent gluten free offerings.


We were shown to our table which was upstairs and in the window, overlooking Betty’s, by our lovely waiter Andrew (he was an absolute gem the entire night), and I decided to start the evening with a cocktail and mum had a diet coke as she was driving. I had a Malfy Cooler which was Malfy Italian gin, elderflower, Martini Rosso and ginger beer. Let’s just say I could have drunk those all night, it was that good. 


Carluccios Christmas Menu York


We were dining from the Christmas menu which is running until the 3rd January and costs £17.95 for two courses and you can pay an additional £3 for dessert. Given the quality of the food, I’d say that’s a very good deal, especially for such a central and beautiful restaurant. Though Carluccio’s is a chain, there is no quality lost and the York restaurant in particular feels like an independent because it’s in such a stunning building. There’s definitely a welcoming and family feel to it.


To start, mum had the Crostini al Funghi which was mushrooms, kale and garlic served on gluten free toast and I had the antipasti plate. Antipasti is definitely in my top three foods so I was living the absolute dream with baked ricotta, various cured meats, peppers and balsamic onions, though I was very jel of my mum’s too as I also adore anything with mushrooms in it.



Carluccios Christmas Menu York



Carluccios Christmas Menu York



For mains, mum chose the Saltimbocca di Pollo al Vin Santo which is a flattened chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto, I went for the steak and both were served with garlic and rosemary potatoes. My steak was cooked to perfection – medium rare but more rare than medium – and mum’s was absolutely delicious too. I was eyeing up the chicken on the menu but after she chose it, I thought I’d go for something a little different and picked the steak which isn’t something I usually have. Does anyone else make a point when they go to restaurants to have something they’d never normally cook themselves? 


Carluccios Christmas Menu York



Carluccios Christmas Menu York



When it came to dessert, there was only one option for me, panettone with vanilla icecream. This is my favourite Italian dessert and after I was sent a giant panettone by Carluccio’s with my invite to the launch, I knew it was going to be delicious and Christmassy and it lived up to every expectation. Though I would happily eat panettone all year round, there’s something so festive about the fruits and it’s essentially a better version of Christmas cake. Mum chose the chocolate torte which was drizzled with raspberry coulis and I quote ‘like eating pure chocolate’. Well, if that’s not the dream at Christmas, I don’t know what is.


Carluccios Christmas Menu York



Carluccios Christmas Menu York


I couldn’t recommend Carluccio’s highly enough all year round but at Christmas even more so. It’s perfect for a civilised Christmas dinner than can be followed up by a less civilised night out as it’s in the best location, just a stone’s throw away from some of my favourite bars in York. Where are you heading for your work’s Christmas do this year? Let me know in the comments.
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Sunday, 3 December 2017

A Caribbean Christmas

Turtle Bay Christmas Menu Leeds
Turtle Bay Christmas Menu Leeds


Can you tell that I’m taking every opportunity to get on the Christmas hype this year? I’m definitely catching the festive feels (I blame the girls at work) so when Turtle Bay invited me down to try their Christmas set menu, I was definitely down to try something a little different. When you think Christmas dinner, you’d be thinking some kind of roast with a stuffed pepper for the vegetarians, but Turtle Bay does it entirely differently which makes it perfect for groups. It’s the kind of place you’d go for a team Christmas dinner after work when you want to have some cheap cocktails on the side. Preferably on a Thursday as Friday’s are made for work hangovers, right?


Turtle Bay Christmas Menu Leeds


I headed down after work to try the menu with my friend Luke as he’s already a Turtle Bay fan and who doesn’t love a four course dinner on a Wednesday evening? The set menu which we reviewed is priced at £24pp for nibbles, starters, mains and desserts and it was a serious amount of food. As it’s 241 cocktails until 7pm, we took advantage of the offer and had a few drinks with dinner too and tried the Tobago tea (like a long island but with mango and lemonade instead of coke), a zombie (lethal yet delicious), and the Rum Runner which is an off menu drink and we didn’t know what was in it other than rum but it was delightful.

The nibbles we started with were pork rind, a garlic flatbread and chickpeas. I’ve had the chickpeas before and honestly could eat them like crisps as they’re baked in seasoning and are really flavoursome. The garlic flatbread was another winner as it had a hot sauce drizzled over it to give it a kick, and the pork rind was a bit like a pork scratching.


Turtle Bay Christmas Menu Leeds


Our starters came out with our nibbles so we shared them between us tapas style and had the duck rolls and mango chicken wings. Duck is one of my favourite meats and I’ve had the rolls there before, which are in a tortilla style wrap rather than a crispy wrap as you’d get in a Chinese restaurant, and they almost have a hoisin flavour but with jerk spices too. The mango chicken wings were also really delicious with a lot of meat on the bone, but as you can imagine, the messiest food to eat ever. Not that it stopped us, obvs.


Turtle Bay Christmas Menu Leeds


Turtle Bay Christmas Menu Leeds


After the starters and nibbles we were almost doubting whether we’d manage mains and desserts but y’know, we persevered. We both went for curry and Luke chose curried duck, whereas I picked the vegan option which is spinach, sweet potato and aubergine. Luke’s was a slow braised duck leg in the curry and served with coconut rice and peas. Mine was a lighter and less spicy curry as it was vegetables in a light curry sauce and served with steamed rice. We both really enjoyed the mains as they were full of flavour and being there for the Christmas menu meant we ordered something different to what we’d usually pick at Turtle Bay (forever fans of the goat curry). I really enjoyed that despite it being a Christmas menu, Turtle Bay has stuck to what it’s good at rather than trying to do a twist on a British Christmas dinner. I mean, can you even imagine jerk pigs in blankets? That would be a no from me.


Turtle Bay Christmas Menu Leeds


As it would be rude not to have dessert, we both finished the meal with something sweet. Luke chose the upside down rum cake which I’ve had before and can vouch for it being pretty much pure rum (and absolutely incredible), and I went for the dark chocolate brownie. Both were seriously good but I was so full that dessert defeated me. The brownie was so rich and is actually one of the gluten free options available.


Turtle Bay Christmas Menu Leeds


Overall, I’d definitely recommend the Christmas menu at Turtle Bay as it has all the best bits from the main menu on it and is pretty good value for money, especially for a central Leeds restaurant. It covers off all your dietary requirements without compromising the quality as can often be the case with set menus and timed right with the 241 cocktail offer, you’re pretty much in for a great night.
Would you be down for a Caribbean Christmas meal? Let me know in the comments.


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Sunday, 26 November 2017

Tackling the winter blues (again)

Winter Blues
open fire


In the last couple of years, winter has felt like being hit in the face with a brick. It’s made me down, unmotivated and the least fun person to be around. Whilst autumn and spring have me running at a solid 10/10 as I swish my way through piles of brown leaves or daffodils, recent winters kicked me down to a measly 3/10 version of myself. Which let’s be honest, is a bag of shite as winter is a babe of a season when you think about it – it’s all knitwear, Christmas markets and less pressure to shave your legs. Winter is banging.

Admittedly, a lot has changed in 2017 for me which I think has also helped me seriously combat those seasonal feels, but I’ve also taken some active steps to help me stay at least averaging above a 6/10, and for me, it’s working. Is it a placebo affect? It could well be. Do I care if it is? Not particularly. Here’s how I’ve been beating my winter blues.*

*Disclaimer here, obvs I’m not a medical professional so please don’t take the below as a treatment plan, this is simply what’s working for me. Also, I haven’t self-diagnosed myself with anything, I’ve simply reflected on my mood patterns and made active changes. (Nobody wants to be a self diagnos-er).


Taking Vitamin D
I started taking a Vitamin D supplement back in March this year and who knows whether it’s actually made a difference or not, but I’m going to attribute some of my not feeling horrendous vibe down to it. Vitamin D is what you get from the sun and as a non-outdoorsy type, it’s not like I’m topping myself up with rays on the regular so I figured that taking it will give me a little boost. So far, so good.


Sunrise/sunset lamp
I appreciate that I’ve banged on about this lamp basically since I got it in February but honest to God it is a game-changer. I read recently that waking up to the sudden sound of an alarm is essentially like giving your body a heart attack (LOL that’s a Daily Mail level of exaggeration there) and now I’ve used my lamp to wake me up for so long, I appreciate the sentiment behind this statement. I set mine to hit about 80% brightness (which is enough to wake me up) about 10 minutes before my alarm so that I’m awake and have done my morning scroll before my alarm prompts me to get out of bed.


Healthier lifestyle choices
I won’t bore anyone with this one but it’s a no-brainer really that everyone feels better if they don’t live off a diet of beige food and sofa slumps. Whilst I’m far from rivaling Joe Wicks, I’ve upped my vegetable intake and go to the gym often enough to not need to send myself a reminder of the pass-code I need to get in.


Filling my diary with plans
Distraction works well for me and keeping both my weeknights and weekends full helps a lot, whether I have plans by myself or with other people. It’s always easy to fill your weekends, especially in the run up to Christmas so I think putting some effort into the mid-week is more important. Walking home in the dark to an empty flat night after night can get me a little on the doom and gloom side but a few plans mid-week really breaks it up for me. And then when I am at home, I’m too busy catching up on home-y stuff to notice how I feel.


Allowing myself social hangover time
A social hangover sounds weird, right? I wrote a post about being an introverted extrovert earlier this year and this is the concept of loving spending time with other people but that desperate need for downtime afterwards. It’s essentially a social hangover. It’s getting headspace that stops you emotionally burning out. Whilst filling my diary is important, I need those nights off inbetween just to get me back on track. As I write this on a Sunday morning, it’s after a week of back to back plans after work and then all day Saturday and this time for just me is like the equivalent of ordering a Dominos the day after a messy night out. It’s indulgent, it’s necessary and it makes me feel a little more like a human.


Saying no to fuckboys
Probably not a tip you’ll find on the NHS website for combating a bad mood but honest to God, rinsing your life from toxic individuals seriously helps those winter feels. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed that all it takes is one chilly Sunday eve for the Whatsapp graveyard to come back to life in the style of Thriller? But now is not the time to want to get cosy with someone who only give you attention when the temperature drops below 6 degrees. And if you do want to get cosy, at least find yourself a new snuggle buddy off Tinder and keep your toes crossed that they’re not a dickhead (surely it’s better to chance a new person not being a knob than to get back with someone who you know will fuck you over the moment the clocks go forward, right?).


So that’s what I’ve been doing to feel better this winter, what are your tips?



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Thursday, 23 November 2017

A cosy dinner at The Adelphi

The Adelphi Leeds
The Adelphi Leeds


There’s honestly nothing better at this time of the year than a proper pub and comforting food, right? The Adelphi is a pub in Leeds city centre which has nailed that local village pub feel, from the traditional interiors and fire to the ever-changing food menu and local beers on tap. In fact, the pub is Tetley’s flagship and is just near the former brewery site. What sets The Adelphi apart for me is the super-hygge atmosphere (the pub itself has Victorian architecture) and how all of the staff are really friendly – they had just put up their Christmas decorations too so I was in my absolute element. I’ve been to The Adelphi a fair few times before as it was a firm favourite for work lunches and drinks at my old work so I was pretty chuffed to be invited down to review their Autumn menu.

Having spent over three years living in Leeds, I’ve become very familiar with the bar and restaurant scene, but being from York, I’m definitely at home in a proper pub. The Adelphi has the perfect balance of cosy feel and yet is still the perfect after work haunt for professionals in the city.

On the recommendation of the lovely Fay who was looking after us for the evening, I went for the chicken, mushroom, leek and pancetta pie which was served with chunky chips and root veg (The Adelphi is known for it’s strong pie game) and Jenna went for bangers and mash. My pie was seriously good, and had the perfect pastry to filling ratio, plus the roasted veg was the perfect addition. Jenna’s bangers and mash also looked pretty damn delicious too – I had some definite food envy going on there.



The Adelphi Leeds




We couldn’t say no to desserts as y’know, it being Thursday is a good enough reason for a little indulgence, am I right? I went for the classic sticky toffee pudding with icecream and Jenna opted for the chocolate brownie with ice cream. As someone with a mega sweet tooth, I always go for dessert over a starter which can make me a little picky, but these were both rich and delicious and just what we both wanted after a long day at work.



The Adelphi Leeds


The menu at The Adelphi changes fairly regularly which is great as it means you can keep going back knowing you’ll be able to have something different – does anyone else have a go-to local where they end up having the same food every time? I always end up doing that. Overall, I’d really recommend The Adelphi, whether it’s for a drink on an evening or for dinner, especially during this time of year.

What’s your favourite thing about country pubs? Let me know in the comments.


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Monday, 20 November 2017

Beach bars in November?

Coco's Beach Bar Trinity Leeds
Coco's Beach Bar Trinity Leeds


Freezing cold weather means one thing doesn’t it? Getting your Brazilian beach vibe on of an eve and making like it’s summer all over again. I mean, obviously.

The newest bar in Leeds right now is Coco’s Beach Bar and it’s right in the centre of the city, within Trinity and right next door to Trinity Kitchen as part of Cabana. I already knew I loved Cabana (their food is to die for) so when the lovely team at Coco’s invited me down to try out some of their food and drinks, I didn’t hesitate to round up some of the girls from work to give it a try. Shout out to Maz, Hannah and Charlie (who also blogs over at The Hungry Lass) for coming with me for some hump-day beverages.



Coco's Beach Bar Trinity Leeds


As someone who spends, ahem, a fair amount of time drinking cocktails in Leeds (LOL, hi, I don’t have a problem, I promise), I was beginning to think I’d seen it all. And then I was passed a drink in an inflatable flamingo and things got a whole lot more exciting. What I love about Coco’s is that their drinks are affordable (£6 a cocktail, all day every day), they’re something a little more special than what you’d normally get for that price in the city centre (most places you’re looking at £9+ for anything worth putting on Instagram) and the bar itself has the fun but chilled vibe going on that makes it the perfect day drinking pitstop. It’s the kind of place where you’d head to after a long day shopping before going out for the evening and though it’s in the middle of a shopping centre, it feels a million miles away for the frantic mess of Primark.



Coco's Beach Bar Trinity Leeds


Whilst we were there, we tried a whole load of cocktails, starting with the Mermaid’s Mai Tai, ie a fruity rum-based sharer cocktail served in a giant shell. See what I mean about it being the Insta dream? We followed it up with a few more drinks and tried the Naked Lady, Coco Colada, Pink Flamingo, Bounty Hunter, Island Life and Jungle Fever. As y’know, who doesn’t love trying out pretty much the entire cocktail menu on a Wednesday evening? My fave had to be the Island Life cocktail which is vodka, agave syrup, apple juice, grenadine, raspberry and passionfruit, all shaken up and served in a coconut. If anyone knows where I can get some ceramic coconut cocktail glasses from, please hit me up.



Coco's Beach Bar Trinity Leeds

When it comes to food, whilst Coco’s is very much a bar and all about the cocktails, I can’t not mention the fact that it’s bloody good. We’re talking nachos, tacos, halloumi fries, burgers and wings. We tried a bit of everything and oh my days, I’d come back for the food just as much as I’d come back for the drinks. Again, they’re all reasonably priced for small plates (all £5-6 each plus generous portions) and I’d be so down for another Brazilian style tapas feast.



Coco's Beach Bar Trinity Leeds


So tell me, who fancies coming to Coco’s with me for a cocktail or three and some seriously good food? Let me know in the comments.



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Sunday, 19 November 2017

How to fake Christmas confidence

Simplybe Christmas Party Dress
Simplybe Christmas Party Dress


Just me, y’know, back with some more festive chat! I won’t lie, I’ve already got some presents both bought and wrapped and I went so extra on a Miniature Heroes Advent calendar several weeks back – to say I’m dragging out the season of goodwill would be an understatement.

One thing that’s pretty much dominating office chat right now however is the subject of the Christmas party. This will be my first Christmas do with this company and not only has the date been set, but it’s going to be a pretty damn fancy affair. And so starts the hunt for the perfect dress.


Simplybe Christmas Party Dress


When it comes to dressing up, I’m by no means a pro as I just don’t do fancy all that well. I spend my days wrapped in a comfort blanket of skinny jeans, oversized tops and trainers so whilst I love the opportunity to make a bit of effort, dresses are a massive step outside of my comfort zone. When I do dress up, I tend to stick to safe options like black lace and skater dresses so when Simply Be offered me the chance to pick a new dress from their party wear range, I jumped at the opportunity to kick myself out of my cosy little comfort zone and it gave me a shove towards Christmas party confidence. If you’re not a dressy kinda gal, here are some of my tips to help you feel Christmas party ready.


1. Go for your favourite silhouette. Whilst I’m all for pushing the boundaries, choosing a dress in a cut that you know works for you is key to feeling great all night. Get the right cut and you’ll soon forget feeling a little insecure as you’ll be more concerned by having fun and chatting to your colleagues – whereas the wrong cut can leave you tugging at your hemline or feeling self conscious. As someone who isn’t all that comfortable baring skin (it took a lot to take photos wearing nude tights as opposed to black ones!), this dress is perfect for me as the cut means it doesn’t cling to problem areas.


Simplybe Christmas Party Dress


2. Get good underwear. Whether you choose Spanx or suspenders, it should make you feel great, whether that’s because it sucks you in and smoothes you out or because it makes you feel sexy af. There’s absolutely nothing worse than bad underwear choices ruining the line of a dress as nobody wants to spend hours getting ready only to get VPL.

3. Don’t be afraid to size up. A lot of the time, we forget that when fretting over our dress size that it’s not worn on the outside. Sizing up doesn’t mean you gain a stone when you step into it and a dress that fits looks better than one which is a little too snug – let’s face it, nobody wants to look like a slug stuck in a straw for the sake of a label with a smaller number on it.


Simplybe Christmas Party Dress


4. Take time out to get ready. This year I’ve booked the afternoon off work so I have plenty of time as it can be a bit of a rush to get ready when it’s an after work party. Having more time means being less frantic and there’s no need to arrive feeling stressed because your eyeliner just wouldn’t go right.

5. Go all out. Well, this is the one time of the year when excessive sequins are totally acceptable and a red lip is an absolute must.


Simplybe Christmas Party Dress


What do you think of my Christmas party outfit? If you're on the hunt for the perfect dress, I'd definitely recommend hitting up SimplyBe, especially as they have their Black Friday deals going on!



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Monday, 13 November 2017

Wagamama - Vegan Menu Tasting

Wagamama vegan menu
Wagamama vegan menu


I’m not vegan, I’ll throw that out there from the start, but I’m definitely curious when it comes to vegan food, simply because it appears to be a big deal right now. Dining habits are changing and catering for dietary requirements and preferences is certainly a big deal for the restaurant industry, and Wagamama appears to be leading the way in the world of chain restaurants.

Everyone and their cat seems to have an opinion on the vegan diet and mine is the same as it is for any diet – as long as it provides the nutritional value for the body to function, it’s of no concern to me. I don’t have a moral standpoint against eating meat, however, when I was invited to go to Wagamama at the White Rose in Leeds, my keenness to give it a try stems from the understanding that there is a lesser environmental impact from a meat-free diet. And y’know, if it gives me a nudge towards perhaps having more veggie or vegan meals (as my default is to always go for meat), then that’s a good thing, right?

We started with three starters to share between us and had Yasai steamed gyoza, edamame beans with salt and wok-fried greens. All three went down seriously well but the wok-fried greens were my fave as I love tenderstem broccoli and pak choy, and they were cooked with a delicious mix of spices so the dish was full of flavour. Gyoza from Wagamama will always be delicious and who doesn’t love edamame?


Wagamama vegan menu


Though there was only three of us trying the menu, the Wagamama team at White Rose provided us with an absolute feast of main courses to try as they didn’t want us to miss out! There are six dishes on the menu of which we tried five:

-   Yasai Itame – rice noodles in a spicy green coconut and lemongrass soup with tofu and vegetables. topped with stir-fried beansprouts, red and spring onions, bok choi, peppers, mushrooms and chilli. garnished with coriander and fresh lime

-   Kare Burosu Ramen – shichimi-coated silken tofu and grilled mixed mushrooms on a bed of udon noodles in a curried vegetable broth. finished with pea shoots, carrot, chilli and coriander

-   Yasai Pad Thai – rice noodles in an amai sauce with tofu, beansprouts, leeks, chilli and red onion. garnished with fried shallots, peanuts, mint, coriander and fresh lime

-   Yasai Yaki Soba - udon or rice noodles with mushrooms, peppers, beansprouts, white and spring onions. garnished with fried shallots, pickled ginger and sesame seeds

-   Yasai Samla Curry - a fragrant, spicy lemongrass and coconut curry with tofu, peppers, shiitake mushrooms and baby plum tomatoes. Served with white rice and garnished with spring onions, chilli and coriander


Wagamama vegan menu


Wagamama vegan menu


The curry was definitely my favourite as it was really light and fragrant, plus the coconut added a sweetness to it which I really enjoyed. I found that all of the dishes were both incredibly flavoursome and filling which is really the reassurance I was looking for – I always expect vegan dishes to be neither! I was so impressed by the range of dishes available, especially as it turns out that only one of them is a new addition to the menu, the others have always been on there. Wagamama actually take staff from the restaurants down to their head office in London to help craft the recipes and Charlie who was looking after us on the night, who is a vegan himself, was one of those people.

When it comes to dessert, the vegan offering is a choice of two sorbets – pink guava and passionfruit or lemongrass and lime. The guava one was definitely a favourite for me as it was a perfectly refreshing end to the meal and a palate cleanser after trying so many different flavours.

All in all, I would absolutely recommend Wagamama to anyone as I feel like they have nailed not only their vegan menu but they’re able to cater for all dietary requirements which is ideal if you’re going out in a group. Are you a Wagamama fan? Let me know in the comments!


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