22 August 2014

OOTD | Matalan Popping Yellow Blazer

Blazer: Matalan
Cami: Primark
Jean: Topshop
Shoes: Ravel*
Bag: Oaks Boutique

They really do say that a colourful outfit can make someones day. Due to my big move to a different city soon it is proving to be a bit dull especially when I come to the realisation of how many items of clothing, beauty products and clutter I have. Wow Joanna, you have accumulated a lot of stuff in your 21 years on this earth. Haha

The other day I ventured to Manchester to show my mum the city I had grown to like very much and celebrate afternoon tea week! You can see that review here at the Radisson Blu Hotel.

I was complimented so many times that day with my bright jacket getting all the attention. Everyone needs a popping bright blazer especially if you are wearing basics. As it was a casual day of shopping I wore a light cami top, super soft Leigh jeans and heeled boots.

I hope you have a great weekend!


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20 August 2014

Iconemesis Indiegogo Campaign

Iconemesis is a British accessories brand becoming very well-known focussing on limited edition iphone cases designed by independent artists and illustrators. I tend to be very attracted to the Fifi Lapin designs as I think they are extremely cute! You can see a previous OOTD in October where I featured a case here.

A campaign was launched by Indiegogo to increase the support of this small business become a lot bigger. With generous donations they will send out an iphone 5/5s  or iphone 4 case to you to repay the favour and show that they are thankful for any support given.

I was kindly sent this case which I chose and love how much smoother and rounder the edges are than the other one. Of course the illustrations of this case live up to the 'cuteness factor' I expected.

You can support them here and see the different designs they have to offer.

Which illustrations would you pick?

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17 August 2014

Review: Ox Pasture Hall Courtyard Restaurant for two

Last week I had the pleasure of revisiting the Ox Pasture Hall to review their Courtyard Restaurant in Scarborough. You can see how much I enjoyed the afternoon tea they have to offer via this recent post here.
On this special occasion, I took my mum as we spent a day out up North for her birthday celebrations. Keep on reading if you want to see what we picked for our three course meal!

On arrival we were greeted with some friendly and familiar faces. As this was one of England hottest days ever, being offered a drink straight away was a plus! However we were not asked what we wanted to drink and just offered prosecco which unfortunately we both don't drink. We were later given an alternative. If you do drink I can see this as a brownie point.
We were then given some menus with a full range of starters, mains and desserts. The great thing is that we could mix and match from the 'A le Carte' AC and 'Bistro' B menu.

We were seated at our table with a fantastic view and served our starters. My mum got the soup of the day- Sweet potato and Leak Soup with homemade fruit and nut bread £5.95*. She did have a great selection to choose from when it came to the warm fresh bread offered: tomato bread or plain. Mum absolutely loved the warm bread and soup so much, I didn't hear her for a whole 5 minutes! Haha

I ordered the Chicken Roulade which was served with spiced apple chutney £7.50. After I had said no pork/ham, I really did not expect to see the chicken wrapped in bacon. It was no where on the menu but this is probably what I get for trying something new. However surely I could have bee offered another option. The chutney was okay.

For mains, she had the Lamb dish which was the 'Herb crusted rack of Lamb, braised rump, Lamb and Kidney Faggot, Sweet Potato Dauphinoise, Butternut Squash Puree.' £21.50* It was cooked to perfection and just how she liked so was very pleased indeed. The flavours complemented each other and the portion size was just right!

I had the Beef dish with 'Sirloin, Braised oxtail, beef shin, celeriac Fondant, wild mushrooms, celeriac Puree, Horseradish Foam. £23.50* I asked for the meat medium to well-done and it was cooked just right. A generous portion size and everything was so succulent and seasoned so well. We were very impressed by the main courses.

In between courses we were given palette cleansers which were little treats to look forward to. My favourite had to be a sweet strawberry cooli. mmmm

For desserts, my favourite part, I picked the Yorkshire Berries £7.95* being the Yorkshire lass that I am. I made the best choice ever! Sweet like you would not believe, but still a great choice for those who have a sweet tooth. A slate came with four different mini desserts including summer fruits, strawberry jelly, raspberry creme brulee and strawberry ice-cream. It was very nice to try a creme brulee different to the usual. My mum had the Chocolate and Raspberry Mille Feuille with pistachio ice cream £7.50. The presentation of it was lovely and crunch of the wafer and pistachio made the dessert just right. But mine was better!

Overall the three course menu was of good quality cuts of meat and we both left very content. Slight amendments like considering the dietary requirements of customers could be considered better in future like listening everything that would be presented on the plate.

The Ox Pasture Courtyard also cater for weddings and do lovely afternoon teas so check their website out!

Ox Pasture Hall
Lady Edith's Drive
Raincliffe Woods
North Yorkshire
YO12 5TD

How tempting do the desserts look?

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14 August 2014

Afternoon Tea Week 2014 at Opus One Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester

This week 11th-17th is National Afternoon Tea Week meaning you have every excuse to enjoy the most spectacular tea, cake, scones... you name it! No regrets okay :)

I was invited to The Opus Once Bar and Restaurant at Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel today to find out a little bit more about their Aperol Spritz Summer Afternoon Tea and of course sample some goodness. I will give you my honest view of everything on this complimentary afternoon. Just keep reading.

I absolutely love afternoon teas and only really got into them A LOT this year! Not so good for the waistline. Betty's is an all time favourite and you can see a review I did at the Ox Pasture Hall here.

As it is coming down to the last afternoons of Summer, we might as well make the most of it and eat to our hearts content. We'll fit in fitness and healthy eating later :)

At Opus One they do two standard Afternoon Teas:

Traditional Summer Afternoon Tea £18.95*
*Tea of Choice
*A selection of finger sandwiches
*Delicious Mini Cakes
*Freshly Baked Scones
*Served with clotted Cream and preserves

Gentleman's Afternoon Tea £18.95*
*Tea of Choice
*Mini hot Yorkshire pudding
*Pork Pie, Mini Fish and Chips
*A selection of rustic sandwiches
*Freshly baked scones
*Served with clotted cream and preserves.

[Available from 13th August]
Aperol Spritz Option
Can be added to either Traditional Afternoon Tea or Gentleman's Afternoon Tea for £27.95

As well as the alcoholic option, the bartender was a whizz at whipping up some non-alcoholic versions on the Aperol Spritz, so for that... I thank you!!

I don't eat pork so did not have the pork pie but the fact they include a cute mini portion of fish and chips in the Gentleman's Afternoon Tea must be a winner by all! There two scones on each afternoon tea platter were scrumptious although they would have been even better warm. At the bottom the sandwiches were comparably bigger than the traditional tea platter.

The mini cakes on the traditional tea set were very delicious and complemented by a cool jelly.

I opted for the Ceylon Tea which was a first for me and I must say I took a liking to it straight away. This bright amber tea is refreshing and thirst quenching. With sugar of course :)
My mum opted for the Lapsang Souchong tea which definitely was strong and had a smoky character. If you like that distinctive flavour then you will love this but personally not for me.

The setting was lovely and the waiter was extremely helpful throughout. For those decent prices, you leave pretty filled and content so I am one happy lady.

This week only you can get 25% off at the Opus One RBE Manchester!

If you recommend and lovely place that serves Afternoon Tea, please list them all below. They could be anywhere you have tried and tested :)

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05 August 2014

OOTD | Black and White Dorothy Perkins Jumpsuit

Dress: Dorothy Perkins
Bag: Urban Outfitters
Shoes: Topshop
Sunglasses: River Island

Jumpsuits have always been something I wanted to wear a lot but never really had the chance to. Or if I did have the chance to, I felt it looked better with a larger derriere. As stupid as my personal opinion may sound, thats how I felt. However gradually becoming more comfortable in my own skin due to eating healthy and maintaining a fitter lifestyle I thought I would take up the challenge to style this particular jumpsuit.

This formal attire was superbly spotted by my mum. Go you mum! Conveniently worn for my 21st birthday back in November. The jumpsuit is made from a silky material. Very sophisticated looking especially with strappy heels. I think you have to choose wisely what shoes you wear with jumpsuits as it makes a huge difference in appearance. I thought strappy heels went perfectly. If you are on the shorter side, heels elongate your legs and if you are tall, you can get away with scandals.

Following previously from when I mentioned my Urban Outfitters sale finds, this triple zipped bag is a beauty. It did come with strap, but I detached it for a clutch on this occasion. I absolutely love the fact I can carry so much around with me in these compartments but finding items is another story!

Little life update: I usually blog about personal style, beauty and lifestyle so I aim to make more of a balance in the future. Lifestyle has been SO interesting to me over the last few months which I regularly update on my instagram @mintyessence. So look out for that!

Also, straight after finishing my final year of uni, I applied for jobs and got offered various ones which I am so blessed to have got. The decision now was... which one should I choose. Should I stay home or move away? I decided to move away... eeek! I can't believe I have to be a full-blown grown up and conquer the world on my own but it will be fine!!

Hope you are well :)


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02 August 2014

Review: Le Chalet French Tearoom and Bakery Leeds Park Row

Last week I was delighted to be invited to Le Chalet French Tearoom and Bakery in Leeds City Centre. Located on the well known Park Row, this fairly new establishment serves all things French and delicious!!

The friendly staff had a range of afternoon tea dishes, pastries and cakes for us to try which were all from their new menu available from August 2014. This means you definitely must go and have a munch. Especially after hearing from the owner herself that the aim was to make a great atmosphere for people to come together and enjoy great food.

Not only do they sell macaroons, croissants, all the tea you can think of and a yumtastic Chicken Fricasse dish but the atmosphere is so chilled out. You will absolutely love it if you haven't experienced it yet. I personally loved the french inspired decor and the large chandelier which welcomes you with a bang! Also the clear glass teapots showed off the beauty of colours that dispersed from the herbal infused teas... wow! I seriously want one for myself :)

This tearoom and bakery is certainly a great location to escape to from the hussle and bussle of Leeds central. Looking at the menu, they have an impressive breakfast and lunch menu so I will no doubt be popping back in pretty soon. I must say that the temptation to take home some treats are very high. Macaroons galore!

How lovely does this French Tearoom and Bakery look? 

Le Chalet
31-32 Park Row

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