28 August 2016

Afternoon Tea For Two At Llangoed Hall

Going for afternoon tea is hands-down one of my favourite things to do. There's something about relaxing with a cup of tea whilst enjoying dainty sandwiches, scones and petit fours that I honestly can't resist (sometimes I think I belong in a different era...)

A few months ago whilst researching local venues at work I came across Llangoed Hall in the Wye Valley. I instantly fell in love with its country charm and sweeping driveway that I knew I had to visit in person.

Llangoed Hall is about an hours drive from Cardiff along the A470 that sweeps around the stunning Brecon Beacons. The drive itself is breath-taking as you take in the beautiful Welsh landscape made up of countless rolling hills and valleys, as well as infamous Pen Y Fan (tallest mountain in SouthWales).

'Llangoed Hall was believed to have been the legendary White Palace, home of the first Welsh parliament. A mansion existed from 1632. It was first in the possession of the MacNamara family having been won in a card game and it stayed with them for two generations until 1847.
In 1912 Clough Williams Ellis re-designed the mansion as a country house. Sir Bernard Ashley bought Llangoed Hall in 1987 and opened it as a hotel in 1990.'

Day dreaming the afternoon away...

After exploring all that we could of the ground floor, my Mum and I were seated in gloriously comfy armchairs next to a log fire. With it being Summer, it was sadly not lit. I couldn't imagine anything better than snuggling up with a good book and a hot chocolate in front of it when the weather turns.

My Mum and I both went for the Traditional Full Afternoon Tea. With that came a choice of either tea or coffee, I opted for a pot of coffee and my Mum went for a Chamomile Tea. Our afternoon tea was served in the most beautiful hand-painted bone china. I was in heaven!

After our tea and coffee arrived we were brought an enormous 3 tiered cake stand each that consisted of finger sandwiches, root vegetable crisps and dressed lettuce leaves on the bottom tier. It was lovely to have a variety of savoury options that you could pick at in between the pastries to break up the sweetness a little.

The middle layer had a pistachio crème filled choux bun, fruit topped tart and a freshly baked scone served with home-made strawberry jam and clotted cream! These 3 beauties were my favourites, especially the pistachio crème filled choux bun.

The top layer featured a raspberry macaroon and chocolate layered square. These were both equally amazing, and oh so pretty to look at. We were also served fruit trifles in shot glasses but we were so full by the time we got around to look at them that we just couldn't eat them. If anyone thinks afternoon tea isn't filling, has never visited Llangoed Hall...

My beautiful Mum!

Llangoed Hall offered the best afternoon tea I'd ever had and at £26 per person, I couldn't recommend it enough (menu link here!) The location is stunningly beautiful and the staff were knowledgeable and incredibly helpful.

If I'm ever lucky enough to get married, I know where I'll be checking out first... xoxo


07 August 2016

July 2016 Favourites

I can't believe that we're now over halfway through 2016, where is the year going? 2016 has been a crazy busy year for me with lots of changes, fortunately so far they have all worked out for the better! And the rest of the year shows no signs of slowing down either, but the highlight for me will be my Mum's wedding in September. I have been helping her plan it whenever I can and I'm honestly so excited about it. I will definitely be sharing a blog post, or 2 with you nearer the time.

I have discovered a few new products this month that have managed to quickly make their way into my favourites. The first being a new mascara that I can't get enough of...

At £3.30 this mascara is definitely the bargain of the month. Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara is so good I have since bought my Mum a tube and myself an additional tube. I have developed a fear of it running out and me being unprepared without a backup (massive beauty blogger issues...) This mascara gives me lashes like no other and is the closest thing I can get to looking like I'm wearing false lashes, without actually wearing them. It doesn't flake on me and I can remove it with ease at the end of the day. I personally like the look of lots and lots of lashes so I apply 2 generous coats on my bottom and top lashes. If you haven't tried this yet, you really need too.

Another makeup item that I can’t get enough of is from NYX. I had read rave reviews on their Butter Glosses but I didn’t appreciate quite how good they were until I got my hands on one myself. I went for the shade ‘Angel food cake’ that’s a dusky, muted rose colour and is absolutely gorgeous (they all have dessert inspired names which I thought was cute). The collection has a cream finish formula which I love, and I've found they're fairly long lasting. The best thing about them though is how moisturised they leave your lips, they’re a godsend for chapped, flaky, summer lips.

I’m all about nude nail polishes, they’re virtually all I wear on my nails and this last month I have been switching between 2 consistently. The first one is an oldie but a goody and is Maybelline 130 Rose poudre. This is almost the nail polish version of NYX’s Angel Food Cake Butter Gloss. It has the same dusky, rose tone that is super flattering on pale skin tones like mine. This polish has an awesome flat, wide brush that paints your nails effortlessly. I like to apply 2 coats and it dries in about half an hour. I can get away with a good 5 days wear with this polish.

The next nail polish that I can’t get enough of is from L’Oréal’s new Color Riche A L'Huile range. 114 Nude Demoiselle is a the perfect pale, milky pink shade and is very similar to Essie’s Ballet Slippers. I have to apply 3 coats of this to get an even, opaque finish and it take about 45 minutes to dry. I don’t mind the extra effort to be truthful because the finished look is so classy and elegant, it's 100% worth it.

Last up is the only skin care item to make it into my July favourites, and its the Skin Doctors Bio Serum. I hesitated about getting this oil for the longest time as I didn’t want it to leave my face looking like a greasy mess. Fortunately it doesn’t, but I only apply it at night as part of my bedtime cleansing routine anyway. It has a herbal smell to it, much like the origins cleansing oil that I love and I find very soothing on the skin. I massage a few drops into my face after cleansing and leave it to sink in. My face always feels super soft in the morning and I'm hoping it’s making a difference to my acne scars. I’ve only been using it a few weeks so I will report back on that at a later date.

I hope everyone has had a lovely July and has been enjoying what little sun we’ve had? Here’s to an August heat wave… xoxo
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