20 October 2015

OOTD | Autumn Leaves with Hottershoes Belle Biker Boots

I was recently invited to the Hottershoes store in Winchester to find out more about the brand itself and see the new collection up close. From my initial view of the website and familiarising myself with what they have for consumers, my views changed... for the better.

I thought it was a brand for specifically the elderly... I said it.
Some people may see some of the collection and think the same but when you see the range and how they have progressed throughout the years you will see they attract and appeal to a wider audience including the younger generation.
It was lovely to meet Mel and Jenni from the PR team who did really well presenting the history behind the brand and how far it has come since 1959. Being light weight, having room to wiggle your toes, fitting comfortably and having sufficient padding are properties most shoes should have.
This informative evening of course was enjoyed by all the bloggers who attended especially with the canapes and drinks provided. It was super exciting to know that one of their recent stores opened in Leeds... whoop!

Dress: Topshop
Belt: Primak
Tights: Dorothy Perkins
Bag: Zara
Boots: Hottershoes*
Glasses: RayBans

I say this over and over again but Autumn is literally my season! The colours the layers and now a new favourite... tall boots! As a style blogger I love to challenge myself to make an outfit work based around one key piece. So when I saw this pair of Belle Biker boots in the shop, I instantly created a look in my head. This had to be one of my favorites from the latest collection. Whether this is the exact look I had in mind... I don't know but I hope you like.

The Belle biker boots are designed for comfort as well as it's edgy buckle detailing around the top and bottom which can be adjusted around the calf. I find them ever so flattering as they can be worn not only with jeans but dresses too! The texture is 'waxed nubuck' which feels so nice and just when you think that you won't be able to maintain it... hottershoes sell the oil conditioner too! The durable build of the pair are definitely worth the £125* price tag. Look out for my discount code below if you fancy a sneaky purchase! Perfect Christmas gift ideas!

This outfit is one of my favourite simple looks at the moment and I love it even more wearing these practical boots. When I say practical, I mean they are so comfy you can 'practically' wear them all day long. I had some other favourites out of the new A/W 15 collection which included the gorgeous minimal heeled vanity boots! When I tried them on in the store, everyone loved them!

 Southampton Common is thee place to have a photoshoot amongst the warm colours or autumn this time of year. A lovely place to roam and get lost in too! Throw back to 2013 where I wore the same dress here! I enjoy reading posts that show outfits being worn on different occasions to really compare how style evolves over time. Mine has changed so much but I always make it my own. The hair really did change.

This week I have felt so proud of myself for making certain changes in my life and changing my perspective on situations. Confidence is forever building within me, yes some days can be harder than others but not anything I cannot get through. Faith has a huge part to play in this. Also working in a hospital makes me forever grateful for life in general. I encourage anyone reading this to think positive- always!!

The word of the week has been- "Yaasss" :D

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15 October 2015

Review: The Maytime Inn Restaurant

As you may sense from reading my previous posts and following me on my instagram (mintyessence), I love to explore! Exploring new locations has to be something I am most passionate about and when I discover somewhere new that is worth sharing, I take every given opportunity to capture the moment through my lens.

I was kindly invited to one of the most peaceful and tranquil locations in the Cotswolds, the Maytime Inn.  Located exactly 0.5 miles from the A40 and 30 mins from Oxford town, it was pretty easy to drive to.
After hearing so much good experiences from friends who had visited the Cotswolds area, it was great to see it all for myself! The long, narrow but scenic roads leading to the historic village of Asthall near Burford reminded me so much of the Yorkshire Dales. Something I am most familiar with.

My Experience will be split into two parts:
The Restaurant Review
The Night's Stay in the Hunting Room.

It was just before dinner that I briefly met Dominic Wood who has been the owner of this lovely BandB pub for just over three years. With an impressive history which dates back to the 17th Century where it was a coaching Inn, this entrepreneur has done well to continue its successful business. This was evidently the case as the evening was buzzing with locals and some new guest staying over.

I was grateful to carry my companion Naomi for the evening to help me choose some brilliant choices the menu had to offer because after all you cannot just leave after sampling one item.

The staff were extremely friendly and hospitable throughout the whole night so personal approach was considered.

Drinks were offered and as a first time visitor I sensed that this pub prides themselves with their range of gin options they have to offer... 37 at the moment is pretty good I think.

Enthusiastic about Gin time, this is a hot spot if 'gin o'clock' is your thing. Not only is the bar open just in the evenings but for lunch time catch ups too.

I don't drink alcohol so happily enjoyed my elder-flower and pomegranate drink which was refreshing indeed! My friend had the Ginger Ale which she really enjoyed and wanted to buy more of.

Presented with the 'Autumn Time Menu' it was great to know the food was all made from fresh local produce. There is of course plenty of food choice to choose from throughout the day such as the pub classics, the a la carte menu and even the lunch menu for midday.

For starters we got Chilli and Garlic Olives which were divine. Not being a huge fan of spice that kick was just what I needed after driving all the way from Leeds that afternoon. There was also pitta and hummus which I cannot fault as the pitta was served warm. The hummus however was tasteless compared to others I have ever tried and not very smooth. Nonetheless, the bread and olives together were a great way to open up the appetite.

For the main I had a tender and juicy braised shin of Beef, potato and celeriac mash, savoy cabbage, chantenay carrots. £14.95*
The meat was so soft and tasty you could tell straight away it was a good quality cut of meat. My portion was perfect and very filling indeed! It was just what I needed and accompanied by some homegrown carrots. The sauce was sweet  and just enough of it to be soaked up with the creamy mash.

My friend had the Pan roasted chicken breast, wild mushrooms, curly kale, parimentier potatoes and cep sauce. £12.95*
She loved it so much I knew I'd have to have it next time I come back. It smelt so good and the presentation was spot on. The sauce went well with all the flavours on the dish. The portion size was said to be just right for a small eater like herself so she was content with it all.

 The acoustics in the background and candle lit dinner made it such a pleasant environment to be in on such a cool night in Oxforshire.

For dessert I sampled the Blackberry Parfait, honeycomb and apple sponge which was a very seasonal choice in my opinion. I am almost always drawn to the fruity/ berry filled desserts... I just cannot help it! The parfait was so cooling, sweet and went well with the crispy honeycomb. I just wish there was more of the apple sponge as I felt I could of had more of it. £6.50*

My friend had the home made ice creams which included rum + raisin, vanilla and pistachio flavours... yum! Homemade is always the best right? £5*

To end the night we bought hot drinks so settle us for bed, my choice was hot chocolate and a latte for my friend. My hot chocolate was so creamy and lush, I just wanted to curl up in front of the log fire and snuggle up with the cushions that lined the windows.
Later we went and stayed in the Hunting Room but I'll tell you all about that later!
but that is for another post!

Overall I had a great experience dining here. The setting and friendly staff made it rate a high 8/10 in my books. I would have liked to maybe be presented with the owners own personal favorites to give me a gist of his personality within the company.

At the Maytime Inn they rent out their space for large group, memorable celebrations and even showcase local talents with open mics occasionally.
I also had a quick look at their 'cracking Christmas Menu'- excuse the pun!! It all looks very reasonably priced for the set menu so don't forget to book soon!

Will you be paying the Maytime a visit for a dining experience?

The Maytime Inn
Asthall, Burford
OX18 4HW

Similar Food Review: Ox Pasture Hall Courtyard

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07 October 2015

Review: Treacle Moon Coconut and Almond Range

Any bath or shower gel I use must and I mean  MUST smell lush and sweet. That's all I ask for so when I sent a coconut and almond flavoured duo through the post... I was excited to give them a whirl.

I have seen 'Treacle Moon' a lot before in supermarkets all around the UK, so they tend to have their faithful originals and bring out some limited edition ones every so often.

Below I will tell you more about them and my thoughts when I used them!

Sugared Almond Tart £2.99*
"She was sure the exquisite, warm scented bubbles were the work of mischievous fairies in lilac aprons... so tempting and happy that even Mondays were fine!"
This shower gel is so sweet and yummy. I'm a huge fan of Almonds so I was pleased to try this out. The creamy consistency is very much easy to apply. I wish it could create more bubbles in the bath but it still does the job. As well as the usual used, I use this to clean my brushes which leaves them smelling lovely.

My Coconut Island £2.99*
"I'm going to a faraway place she said... just for a while... her toes wriggled in the warm sand and silly seagull laughed and danced in the sweet wind."
I love me some coconut so this is right up my street. On their packaging there is a mini story to be told which is unique and fascinating. Slightly cheesy but we all need a percentage of cheese in a daily lives I think. Even more reason to use these products with a smile.
It actually does smell scrumptious as you would imagine and it lasts on your skin for a long time. Very good for how inexpensive it is to buy. If I could be picky I would want the scent to be even richer.

You can buy these in various others scents here:

Have you tried Treacle Moon before?

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