Monday, 27 February 2017

The Duchess of Argyle

Arriba! Are you ready for a Mexican party in Glasgow!

Welcome to The Duchess of Argyle!

Finneston is a bit of a hot spot in Glasgow just now and every week it seems like some new and fabulous place makes an entrance. The Duchess of Argyle has just opened up right in the thick of it all. As Kained Holding's latest offering it serves up authentic Mexican food and some scrumptious tequila cocktails in a gorgeous old-style pub, complete with it's own twists.

This is a place that's all about fun.

The unique spot fuses an old Victorian boozer into a Mexican party bar. It's atmosphere is all busy and buzzing, everyone is there to have a good time and whilst sipping on slushy margaritas with the music lifting your spirits it's pretty hard not to. It's a place to go to enjoy yourself with friends and have a little fiesta!

We were greeted with the most delicious cocktails as soon as we walked in the door and that definitely set the tone for the evening....!

The Duchess of Argyle aims to serve up authentic Mexican food for you to enjoy. We ate a delicious selection of jalapeño poppers and chicken wings before the main event - the tacos arrived. Just so good. If this is your kinda food you're simply not going to get any better. The beef, chicken and even langoustine tacos were all sublime and we couldn't get enough of it.

The food here isn't you sub-standard mexican food that you can sometimes find in other restaurants it's all about being authentic and traditional. The menu is filled with tacos and street food dishes that will definitely get your mouth-watering.

And it's not just food... what's a party without a little drink!

The party bar hosts a Tapatio Tequila Margarita Machine to get you into the spirit of things. There's a delicious cocktail list filled with all kinds of delicious sounding drinks and of course an amazing selection of tequila concoctions. We also got the chance to sample some Mexican wine, which I've never tried before. I'm not 100% sure it's going to take over from my favourite vineyard tipples just yet, but it was tasty in its own right and went perfectly with the tacos!

The decor also won me over in the bar. It's all traditional, old-man pub with some amazing twists.

The bar sits at the end inviting you to place your order and luxurious looking booths with dimly lit chandeliers entice you to settle in for the night. But, it's the little quirks that really make this place. The bar is hung with a selection of old-fashioned paintings, as you may expect in an old boozer, but there's a twist. Celebrated street artist Rogue One has added his touch and the gentry gallop through fields, not on horses but n polar bears! They stop off in the local inns taking a break from their skateboard journeys. It's just another element of fun that really adds a bit of wonder to the place.

Kained have heralded The Duchess as "something different from anything else in the city" and its been put together in order to "surprise and delight" as a "traditional Victorian boozer that's been transformed into a brash and accessible Mexican party bar."

For me I'll definitely be back at The Duchess. It's the perfect place to celebrate the end of the week on a Friday evening or for a Saturday night out with the ladies. Revel in the party atmosphere as you fill up on tacos and order far too many tequila drinks! It's somewhere to have fun!

Thanks so much for having me along to the Press Launch and see you soon!

x x x

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Red Leather

A pop of bright red is the perfect addition to an all black outfit!

Every single component of this outfit is one that I absolutely love. But, items that I often find myself faffing and fussing over wearing. There's something about each of them that push me a little out of my comfort zone, I don't know why, but when I do take take a deep breath and pop them on I remember how much I love them and swear to wear them more!

This was an outfit that I wore for a little weekend in Edinburgh, so I couldn't change my mind as it was all that I had packed! It was perfect for a Sunday spent visiting my sister and wandering around the cobbled streets, before we stayed in the amazing MacDonald Hotel.

But lets get into the details...

The jacket. Oh my goodness isn't it great. I picked it up almost four years ago on a little jaunt down to London. I had an hour or so to waste in Piccadilly Circus so I did what I do best and had a wee peruse of the shops. I found myself in a huge shop right on the corner - I couldn't even tell you its name - filled with wooden hangers with the softest cardigans and sharp blazers. Hidden at the back was a few sale racks and this is where I spotted the jacket! It was £15 reduced from £75, so it would really have been insane to resist don't you agree.

It's a beautiful kinda biker style, with gold zips and details. The fabric is heavy and luxurious with a woven, tweed texture. It's just all round fabulous and I do just love a good jacket. However, there's some reason that it often just hangs in my wardrobe often being trumped for the fail-safe camel coat. But, when I pulled it on this weekend I remembered why I bought it that evening in London. I love it on. I love how it's a bit different, I love the bright red and how it makes me feel all snazzy. It's a winner that from this day forward I swear to wear more.

The leather-look leggings are a newer addition to my wardrobe. My sister actually bought them first and I couldn't stop thinking about them - so I knew I had to have them too! Leather leggings had always scared me a bit. I worried they would be unflattering on me and would look cheap. But, this pair proved me wrong and I've now joined the hoardes of fashion-conscious who swear by leather leggings as a wardrobe staple. I'm besotted. These one's are from Zara and are a little thicker, which I thinks gives me some more confidence when wearing them. They're also lined on the inside with the softest material, making them so comfy to wear - the dream.

Now this might seem to be a funny one to be scared of wearing, but I confess I've never really been a trainer person. Ever. At school trainers were reserved for PE with an assortment of ballet flats being my footwear of choice. And this didn't change much. My shoe-drobe has always been all fancy flats, amazing heels and a selection of boots, but something made me change my mind. Maybe it's old age creeping in and the need to be comfy, maybe it's the oh-so-stylish instagram pictures filled with black Nikes that made me take the plunge... But, I'm so glad I did!

These trainers feel like I'm walking on air and I love it. I also love how they look out and about. They don't have to be just for the gym and look great with jeans, or leather trousers, for the perfect weekend look. You'll be seeing a lot more of these I can promise you that...

I was even a little worried about the black jumper - can you believe it! It's like a thick velour material and I was worried it would look a bit tracksuity and a bit of a Juicy Couture throwback. But there was something about it that I just couldn't resist and I'm so glad! It's so comfy and soft and I've honestly been wearing it everywhere. At the weekends to battle the cold with jeans or in the office layered over a shirt and with tailored patterned trousers. Definitely one of my best buys.

And for the finishing touches something I'm always comfortable with - a chunky scarf wrapped round to keep me cosy!

I do actually love wearing all of these things and I promise myself I will be wearing them a lot more in the future!

Jacket - Sutherland 
Jumper - H&M
Leggings - Zara 
Trainers - Nike 
Scarf - Primark 

x x x

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Columbia Road Flower Market

Flowers make me smile and this place left me grinning from ear to ear.

Every Sunday in East London a magical place pops up - Columbia Road Flower Market. It's a paradise of greenery where stall owners cries fill the air and the perfume of a thousand flowers waft towards you. It's everything I could ever wish for. There's so much going on it's hard to concentrate on one thing and bright colour grabs your attention from all angles. There's a frenzied, chaotic atmosphere - that's actually a whole lot of fun! All in all it's just fabulous.

The market has been on the go since 1869 and it carries on every Sunday morning without fail. Open from around 8am - 3pm it's the perfect way to while away a morning in London. I will warn you though it gets super busy so if you really hate crowds I would recommend getting there early.

As it's been around for over 100 years you do feel like you're in a favourite spot of history and some of the seasoned Londoners selling have taken over the family business from generations before them. And they definitely do make you smile as they entice you with their wares.

Bucketfuls of blooms line the street and the cobbled path is flooded with colour. There's big beautiful hydrangeas (definitely a favourite) but also who can resist smiling at sunflowers. There was plants we knew and some we'd never seen before, and every stall held a new wonder. It's a really lively market and one where you really want to get stuck into the thick of it as your senses come alive with everything going on.

The whole place has a really friendly feel to it and old Victorian shops and little cafes line the street along the market. Set just off the street is a little square that's filled with antiques and there was even the best little band playing jazz music. Can you think of anything better on a Sunday morning?

Flowers are one thing that will always make me happy. The boy got it easy, ooooh you've got me a big bunch of flowers, all is immediately forgive and forgotten! I'm not fussing what kind they are or where they're from. They could have been picked up from the bargain bucket because they'll start to droop tomorrow, but I'll still love them. So I think this is why the Flower Market goes down as one of my favourite mornings of last year! It was everything I could ever dream of.

And all that was left to do was pose with posy of flowers!

I love this frilly white shirt. I've been wearing it constantly since I got it and it's the perfect, pretty top to pop on for a Sunday with the flowers. I like how I can wear it in the office, but how it also look great tucked into boyfriend jeans for a more relaxed vibe.

A pair of sparkling shoes and a classic trench are all you need for a morning amongst the petals! Just make sure you have a big bunch of flowers to totter off home with!

Columbia Road Flower Market was my ideal Sunday morning - could someone just start a Glasgow branch for me please?

Coat - Zara 
Shirt - Primark 
Jeans - 'Mom' Topshop 
Shoes - River Island 

x x x

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Boohoo - Treat Yourself Spa

Gorgeous swimwear and some spa pampering - what more could you want on a Tuesday evening!

I couldn't believe my luck when I was treated to a fabulous new swimsuit from Boohoo and then got to enjoy the most relaxing evening at Village Hotel Spa in Glasgow. I mean how lovely!

As soon as the office clocked chimed home-time I couldn't wait to head to the Village Hotel Spa for an evening of relaxation. For them is all about giving you the chance to "Relax. Recharge. Renew' and there's nothing like a little pampering to make you feel brand new. They've got a full list of treatments offering you all could want from nails and facials to reflexology and massages. There's also spa day breaks and packages if you're looking for something extra special!

When we got there we all changed into our pretty snazzy new swimwear - it was so good to see how amazing everyone looked in their picks! Everyone looked great and amazingly no-one matched. There was a mermaid theme, some amazing patterns and a frilly pink flamingo number that I think we all fell in love with! We then spent some time exploring the pool, whirlpool and sauna and of course plenty of chitter chattering!

Boohoo are fashion leader and have also been the first-stop for those looking for a fashion-fix. They've got designs that you'll fall head over heels for and to make them even more tempting all the pieces are really affordable. They've always got something for every occasion and they've definitely solved some of my fashion dilemmas in the past. I know all you ladies out there already love it!

But back to the main event - Boohoo swimwear! It's all about pieces that you can't wait to be seen in, whether you're dreaming of summer holidays or spa breaks with the girls. They've got all kinds of style, including some dreamy bikinis and gorgeous cut-away swimsuits. It was so hard to pick just one!

In the end I went for the MEXICO LEAF PRINT SCOOP NECK SWIMSUIT as I just fell in love with it. I adore the tropical print on the swimsuit that's been seen everywhere in the past few months and it works so well on swimwear! I can't wait to wear it in the summer - just add a big pair of sunglasses and mojito! It's also perfect for the spa as it's so comfortable. We're all guilty of feeling a little body-conscious in swimsuits, but this one made me feel so comfortable and confident, so it was ideal. The style was just perfectly flattering and combined with the amazing print it made me feel fabulous!

The pool was the best place to bop about and relax. The water was lovely and warm and it had such a lovely atmosphere, but soon my fingers turned wrinkly and it was time to move on to a little more pampering!

But not before some nibbles and fizz!

There was a stunning selection of canapés and it was the perfect way re-fuel after a little swim. The Village Hotel has a great selection of food to get stuck into and a plate full of delicious and mouth-watering food is the best way to fully relax.

Pampering isn't complete without an amazing facial and luckily the ladies from the Village Spa were on hand to teach us how to give yourself the perfect facial in a skincare workshop.

The ladies used a selection of the lovely ESPA products for the facial. They started off by explaining how ESPA is all about a sensory experience and you pick the products based on what what smells you like best at the time.The belief is that you pick up on these smells because this is the treatment your skin needs at the moment. I went for the 'Hydration' smells and then went through the facial step-by-step, cleansing, exfoliating and moisturising. It was just bliss and my skin felt amazing after.

A huge thank you to Boohoo for treating me to the perfect swimsuit and the most amazing spa evening! I had such a fabulous time at Village Hotel, so a huge thank you to them too!

This event was part of the Boohoo ‘Treat Yourself’ Spa Tour

For an exclusive 10% discount off treatments or food and drink at Village use voucher BOOHOO10 – For 20% off Everything at Boohoo use voucher BOOHOOXVILLAGESPA20

Thursday, 2 February 2017

The Perfect Valentine's Outfit with the St Enoch Centre

Love is in the air dooo do do doo do dooo......

Valentine's Day is just around the corner and whether you're going on a dream date or just sharing your love with your best pals I love any excuse to dress up! This year the St Enoch Centre has sorted me out with the best out for February 14th. I think it's time to forget the Valentine's cynic in you and use the day as the perfect excuse to eat good food with the lovely people around you!

And with every special day comes a special outfit....

Last week I popped into the St Enoch Centre to go on the hunt for my ideal Valentine's outfit. Now, as Valentine's is on a Tuesday this year I needed something that could take me from the office to the date really easily and fabulously. My aim was to stock up on some essentials that I'll always go back to, as well as something a little more exciting.

The St Enoch Centre is known in Glasgow as the 'First for Shopping' and I definitely found everything I needed! There's shops such as Miss Selfridge, H&M, Boots and Debenhams. And if you're feeling a lil peckish (I always do when shopping!) there's the lovely DDoce Cafe and the failsafe Costa if you're needing a little pick me up.

But let's get back to some shopping for just now...

This year the boyf and I aren't doing anything overly fancy and we'll probs just head to our favourite place to feast on huge burgers or mouth-watering pizzas and giggle at ridiculous jokes. Skinny jeans are a wardrobe essential that work for pretty much any occasion and have also been the base of the perfect date night outfit. You just can't go wrong with them.

I headed into Debenhams and after a little wander I found their Topshop section. I really love Topshop jeans, for me they just fit perfectly and Debenhams had a really great selection. I picked up a pair of the classic JAMIE JEANS. These are jeans that every girl needs in her wardrobe and Topshop call them 'A cornerstone of the fashion-girl's modern uniform'. The ankle-grazing, skinny style with a high-wasited fit are ideal for any occasion and they're made in a wonderful soft denim. I just love them - a basic every girl needs!

Another good basic is a fabulous pair of black ankle boots. The pairs I've got at the moment are looking a bit tired after being worn all Winter so I thought I'd treat myself to a new pair that are perfect for an after-works Valentine date!

The AMANDA BLACK MONOCHROME HEEL BOOTS are just fabulous. They've got the most gorgeous kind of marble-effect heel that jazzes them up a little and makes them a bit dressier I think. They're also a pretty good heel height giving me the boost I need! Black-heeled boots go with everything and anything and a fancy-fancy heel makes them wonderful to head out in on a pizza date. I'm in love.

The next essential in my arsenal is a good bag. This beauty is from Dorothy Perkins again, the BLACK BELT STRAP HOBO SHOULDER BAG. As I'll be rushing off to meet the boyf straight after work I need a bag that's big enough to throw in all my essentials for the day and have a bit of spare room for a beautiful top to change into and a big ol' make-up bag for a fresh slick of lipstick. I love the faux suede texture of this bag and the slouch style is just perfect for me. Welcome to the best every day bag.

And now lets take a look at some more of the exciting bits and bobs!

The coat. Ooooooh the coat. The pièce de résistance for Valentine's Day. Just take a moment to admire it. 

I simply adore the bright red colour of it - and I mean you just can't get anymore Valentine's than a beautiful, bright red! I'm also a bit of a coat addict and if I spy one I love. I find it so hard to resist. This one from H&M just sits perfectly with an open design. It just dresses you up a bit and adds the finishing touch to any Valentine's look. 

Finally is this gorgeous strappy top, also H&M. The crushed velvet cami has an amazing lace trim that definitely adds more of a dressy element to it and a bit of date-night appeal. I'm quite a fan of the underwear as outerwear trend and this top hits the mark, making you feel all wonderful. It's of so fancy on its own, but I'm also looking forward to dressing it down layered up over a polo-neck top. 

And voila - there you have to the perfect Valentine's outfit! 

But one of the best things about shopping at the St Enoch Centre is the Rewards Club! When you join you'll receive treats and offers whilst you shop, basically rewarding you for all the shopping that you love to do! The three-tier rewards programme has Bronze, Silver and Gold levels that let you unlock all kinds of rewards. All you need to do is collect points on scanned buys that are over £5 in any participating retailer or restaurant. Just download the app or pick up a Rewards Card and get shopping (I know you're already doing that bit!)

Thanks so much to the St Enoch Centre for helping me to find the perfect Valentine's outfit - I love it so, so much! 

*** This is a collaborative post, but all Valentine's picks are my own