29 December 2015

#MyCelticXmas at The Celtic Manor

There's something still so decadent and indulgent about afternoon tea. When the urge for freshly baked scones and fingers sandwiches calls (which is more often than my waist line appreciates...) the only place I like to go is The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales.

This festive season The Celtic Manor offeres an Afternoon Tea with a twist and I was lucky enough to have a preview at their annual #MyCelticXmas Blogger Event.





We were served warm Mulled Wine to start with that had been brewing in dainty glass tea pots with crushed Cinnamon sticks and festive spices. Resident Barman Scott explained that the Cinnamon sticks were used to give that classic festive feel, but also add that extra depth and flavour. Our glasses were finished off with a garnish of Orange slices studded with cloves.

To be honest I could quite happily have drunk the whole tea pot...



Once we had finished our Mulled Wine we were offered a selection of loose leaf teas' to accompany our first course. I opted for Chamomile (far left) as I love it's delicate and refreshing flavour.
  

Our first round of savouries came in this gorgeous mini picnic hamper which was too adorable for words! My favourite was the Crab Blini and the dinky Welsh Rarebit on Toast. I'm definitely more of a 'savoury' person so I was in heaven with these.


Next we were served these beautiful plates of finger sandwiches and festive sweet pastries. The Celtic Manor's Head Pastry Chef Karl, also stopped by to introduce us to his latest culinary creations in person before we all tucked in. 



Now afternoon tea wouldn't be complete without Scones, and these Vanilla and Chestnut, and Cranberry beauties didn't disappoint. They were fresh out the oven and beautifully light and moreish served with Homemade Jam and Clotted Cream.


From Carrot Cake, and Pistachio Marzipan Waffle Cones to indulgent White Chocolate Christmas Pudding Truffles, The Celtic Manor's Festive Afternoon Tea has something for everyone this Christmas season.

The Celtic Manor serve their Festive Afternoon Tea in The Olive Tree and Garden Room until the 4th January if you'd like to experience it for yourself.

Please call their Reservations Team for more information 01633 410262 or click here... xoxo

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28 December 2015

A little Oscar update...

Oscar, our West-highland terrier is now just over 4 months old, he's grown so much lately I thought I'd share a few of my favourite pictures of him with you whilst he's still a puppy.
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
He is still keeping Garrad and I on our toes, but 99.9% of the time he's awesome and the best decision we ever made. He can now sit, lie down, give his paw, is toilet trained and loves a walk.
 
I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and is looking forward to the New Year? Please let me know if you'd like to see more Oscar updates in 2016.
 
With love... xoxo
 
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23 December 2015

An evening at the Newbridge on Usk

The Newbridge on Usk is an award-winning five star 'restaurant with rooms', situated in a picturesque location on the banks of the river Usk. It is owned by The Celtic Manor Resort and reflects the same glamour and high standard of the resort but with a homegrown feel. 

Last month India (The Jewel Beauty) and I decided it was about time we treated ourselves to a girl's evening out, and we thought that the Newbridge on Usk would be the ideal spot. 

Upon arrival we were greeted by Ronan, who offered us a seat in the lounge whilst we enjoyed a Vanilla and Passion Fruit Mojito's and drooled over the menu.







For starters I opted for the Smooth Liver Parfait with Port jelly, pear chutney and brioche (£7.95). The brioche was buttery, and crumbly while the parfait was deliciously smooth. The pear chutney broke through with a slight tartness that was perfect. I loved it!



For mains both India and I went for the Roasted 'Twenty-Eight Day Aged' Welsh Beef  with Slow cooked flat rib, celeriac bake, salsify, beetroot and horseradish (£22.50). This was hands down one of the best pieces of beef I've ever eaten. It was cooked medium-rare which is my preference but also how Ronan recommended.



 I had never tried beetroot hot and cooked before, I'd only ever had the pickled variety that everyone seems to have without fail every boxing day with cold meats. I admit, I was a little apprehensive of it to begin with, but it was surprisingly delicate in flavour. I'd definitely try it again with beef.



By the time dessert came around, we were both getting a little full... So, our solution to this was instead of missing out completely, we grab 2 spoons and share one . We went for the Apple and Cinnamon Roll with homemade Maple syrup ice cream (£6.25). 
When I saw this on the menu I was expecting a swiss roll style dessert and was a little surprised when an actual mini apple pie arrived. Nevertheless it was awesome and in hindsight I should have a ordered a whole one to myself... #AllTheFood. The pastry was light and flakey and the apple inside was beautifully sweet with a hint of cinnamon. Plus the maple syrup ice cream was what ice cream dreams are honestly made of.

If you haven't tried the Newbridge on Usk yet, then you really must. It's perfect for a girls evening out, couples date night or a relaxed Sunday lunch with family. The atmosphere is cosy and intimate, with a seasonal menu to die for. Plus the cocktails are not to be missed!

For more information and reservations contact The Celtic Manor on 01633 410262, or visit their website here... xoxo
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03 December 2015

A Few New Things...

This week I picked up a few little bits that I had been on my 'to buy list' for a while. I know I'm very late to the party with some of these, but I thought I'd share them anyway...


I have needed a Beauty Blender (£16.00) in my life for what seems like a million years (...First world problems).
When I saw that I could get 20% off one at Selfridges this Black Friday, I bit the bullet and went for it. I opted for the Classic Pink version as I've heard mixed reviews on the other colours. When it arrived I was shocked at how little it is, but once you run it under the tap to dampen it, it expands to nearly double it's size! I use the flat bottom side to 'bop' my foundation all over my face, and then the pointier end to blend around my nose and eyes. I am 100% converted to this after using foundation brushes for years. I have never been able to get my foundation looking this flawless, so effortlessly before. I'm curious to try the other products in their range now. Any recommendations?

EOS Lip Balm in Sweet Mint (£6.50) is another product that I have waited far too long to get my hands on. I noticed that Boots started stocking these earlier this year making them now much more readily available. The sweet mint scent appealed to me most and I love the fact that they are 95% organic, and 100% natural. They are also paraben and petrolatum free. At £6.50 they are pricier than the average lip balm, but the packaging is adorable and the design is unique I feel they're a must try.

I started out with the intention of buying an eye-cream. At 25 I decided it was time I invested in one. However, I got distracted in the skincare aisle and picked up Olay Anti-Wrinkle Instant Hydration 2in1 Moisturiser (£9.99) instead. This was reduced down to £4.99 and I was drawn to the fact that it claimed to provide a hydrating and smoothing base under my make up. This has a really light, mousse like texture and it quickly absorbes into the skin. I have been really enjoying this and I definitely think it helps out with the longevity of my make up.

Last but not least I picked up Eylure Pro-Lash Dylash in Black (£9.45). I have been struggling to wear my usual mascaras lately as they have been irritating the areas around my eyes. I picked this up so I could give my eyes a bit of a rest and see if that helped with the issue. The only downside is that I hate leaving the house without a bit of mascara and eyeliner. Being told you look tired and ill is not my best look! So, I thought this might provide a interim solution. I'll keep you updated on how this works out.

I hope everyone is having a great week and I'd love you to enter my giveaway if you haven't already... Speak soon xoxo

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