Thursday, 28 April 2016

Let's Do Brunch

They are currently having a bit of brunch "moment" over at All Bar One*, and I was very happy to join them.

Did anyone say pancakes?

Brunch is one of my all-time, favourite meals. On the one hand, it can ooze relaxation and that pjs-all-day kinda vibe that I am a little partial to or on the other, you can enjoy throwing on some comfies (or something a little more snazzy) and spending quality time over tasty food with friends.

Proud of their selection (and quite rightly so), All Bar One invited me to bring a friend and come and chill with them over brunch to get a little taste of it for myself, so I was quick to nibble their arm right off.


We kicked things off with Mimomas, because let's be honest, any good brunch that doesn't feature a cocktail is just a sad, late breakfast. Sippin' our way through Saturday morning with something fresh felt like a treat and the weekend suddenly was off to a flying start.

A quick glance at the menu was all I needed to secure my choice.


There was practically no decision to be made here. I skimped on the bacon in favour of the fruit version, and could practically hear the round of applause in the crowd as a grasped the healthy option with both hands. I was practically laughing all the way to the gym.

Ok, so it came with a generous serving of maple syrup to sweeten the deal, but it still counts towards some of my 5 a day, yeah?

For my dish, they served up 3 pancakes, all topped with a medley of banana, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries and a side of maple syrup which, in my infinite wisdom, I decided not to use sparingly.

My sidekick decided to go for a slightly new spin on a classic bacon roll. This roll was accompanied by sour cream, chilli tomato jam and a sprig of coriander and from where I was sitting it looked de-li-cious.

To round things off, I chose to finish this delightful visit with a latte. Cleverly I ordered this at the end so that I could relish it a little. One should never rush brunch.

My coffee came served in their new duck-egg blue china with a few smarties on the side and a mini milk bottle. As I have confessed on many an occasion, I am a total sucker for detail. You will always find me at the front of any queue that appreciates when a venue goes that extra mile with those subtle touches, just because they have a hunch I might enjoy it.

My guest is a self-confessed tea-totaller. Sometimes, when all things are said and done, there is nothing better than a good, ol' fashioned cup of tea, right?

We are British, it's what we do. *raises pinky*

So, here's the recap. The d├ęcor is fresh with some interesting accents and the atmosphere is pleasantly busy but retains that nice, relaxed feel.

The staff were friendly and helpful. The menu has something for all and everything was served with just the perfect window to chat in between, I really can't fault it.

Did I also mention that you can probably find me somewhere in a corner hugging all the retro light fittings like long-lost relatives? I have a problem.

All Bar One appear to have a trick up their sleeve to cater for any occasion. Early menus, small sharing plates, work drinks, parties, light lunches, cocktail masterclasses. It is pretty hard to find an excuse not to check it out.

If you are keen to get your brunch on, remember they serve until 1pm on the weekend, so you won't have to hot-foot it down their in your PJs at some ungodly hour to grab your table in the sun.

Phew, thanks goodness for that!

*I received an invitation for brunch for review purposes only. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*

How can I connect with All Bar One?
Facebook: All Bar One
Twitter: @allbarone
Instagram: @allbarone

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Spring into action..

So, now that I have caught your attention with some pretty flowers, let's have a catch up...

Somehow we have crash landed into the middle of April, how did that happen so fast? Sadly I haven't had time on my hands to update the blog as often as I would like. They certainly weren't lying when they said holding down a full-time job and still having the time/energy and ideas to pour into your content would be a tricky businesss, but I continue to try and strike a fine balance.

Don't get me wrong, things have never been busier back at HQ. I am already dreaming of spring/summer evenings, catching up with friends, drinks in the meadows, walking in the park, highlighted hair, fresh make-up and basically anything I can do to channel some of those beach vibes. When I am not swatching products or testing new releases back at base, I am scribbling down plans about what I would like to accomplish in the next little while, especially as I approach my 1 year mark. Did anyone say blog party?

I just thought I would stop for a second to update you on what has happened lately and a few things I have been loving as we get ready to switch season and dial up the heat.

The Scottish rain will eventually get the message, I promise...

1 The Birthday

So, I had a birthday. I'd like to say I am still clinging onto the last days of my 20s but that ship has sadly sailed far into the horizon. It was a relatively low key affair but that's just what I needed. I spent the weekend being showered with gifts and treats and then nipped back to Aberdeen to spend some quality time with my best friend, sipping tea, eating cake, watching seriously bad movies. You know the drill...

2 The Redesign

I waved goodbye to the first-look There goes Claire and spruced up my site with a bit of a redesign.

Impressive, right? Personally, I am really happy with how things turned out in the end and I think everything is looking rather fresh and sparkly *pats self on back*

3 The Flower Power

I recognised very quickly that life is a whole lot better when you get some fresh flowers involved. Now, I don't mean weekly florist deliveries with an emotional card from my fake beau, but you can easily snap up a cheery bunch of tulips from LIDL/ASDA and pop them in a cute vase or mason jar. There is something about having fresh flowers in my space that I absolutely love.

So, yeah... More of that... All the time.

4 The Chop

I also decided that I did care about long hair and made myself, ooh..about 6 inches lighter in the barnet department. Having worn it long for quite some time, I am enjoying a fresher feel and new sense of freedom. Plus, I waved goodbye to endless scarf entanglements and forever trapping my hair under my handbag. Is anyone with me here?

5 The Drinks

No No No, it's not what you think, I am talking about refreshing drinks, pretty straws and colourful glasses. Alcohol free of course. My go-to for the sunnier evenings is coconut water blended with some frozen berries and a dash of cranberry juice. Ok, so it's not quite Tom Cruise in "Cocktail", but you get the picture. Just feels nice to do something a little bit different. Wild, right?

6 The Make-Up Reshuffle

Spring is the perfect time of year to shift things around in your collection. You can pack away those berry lips and darker, autumnal hues and heavier foundations and rediscover all those pink/peach/nudes that you enjoyed from last year. There are an overwhelming amount of SS16 beauty launches out there, so if you need enabled, just sayin. If you are trying to save some pennies however, then I didn't say a word. I adore cracking into BB/CC creams for a good skin day, soft lip shades and the occasional colour pop.

Did I mention how much I obsessing about the new Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley collection for M&S? It is basically like someone took a dream I had, and sprayed it with rose gold.

7 The Chill

I have quickly realised that sometimes it really is OK to simply STOP. Life has felt rushed lately if I'm honest, but we all need a little downtime. To read, sleep, watch a movie, chat with friends, have a bath. Netflix and chill (and yes, I actually just mean Netflix and chill.)

8 The Creative Juices

I often feel conflicted to maximise my free time for creative projects or to work on the blog because I am excited and passionate, and I happen to have a lot of ideas flying around (usually at very inconvenient times of the night!) Sometimes we need to have a break, and not feel guilty about it. I have so many thoughts on how to expand creatively and develop what I am doing, but I also need to ensure that when these ideas come along I have the energy to do them well. You gotta recharge your body and mind if you want to continue to create. Don't burn the candle...

9 The Little Things

All the small things...the little day makers. Friday Flowers. A glass of wine. Every kind of candle. Poppin' on a record at the end of a long day to soothe the stress. Small changes can make a huge shift in our experience of the day-to-day and keep our minds in that happy place.

So that's enough about me, how have you been? Are you ready for Spring/Summer?...

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