What’s in my travel skincare bag – then v now

A year ago, before I packed my suitcase and went on a weekend away to Brighton, I wrote a post about what travel skincare I was taking with me on my trip. Well now I’m doing the exact same thing for another trip down to the seaside this weekend. So I thought I’d look back at what I was taking last year and if things have changed or stayed the same or if there was something I used that I wouldn’t touch now.

Makeup Remover | Garnier Micellar Water v Garnier Micellar Water and Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover

Snap! I’ve used this product on and off (but to be fair more on than off) for the last five years. It dissolves base makeup like no other and is just the pick me up I need when I’m feeling a little bit sorry for myself (AKA hungover). The only problem is that it’s not fab at taking off my eye makeup, which is where the Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover comes in. It means that I can take off the tonnes glitter I put on my eyes on Saturday night a lot easier.

Cleanser | Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser Sample v Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser Mini

As you can see this, is the same. Although I’ve upgraded to an actual pot of the product instead of just using the sample. This isn’t the cleanser I use on the daily (I’m using the Saturday Skin Rise and Shine Cleanser) but I am still a big fan and it does the job.

Eye Cream | Body Shop Vitamin E Eye Cream v Clarins Eye Contour Gel

The Body Shop Eye Cream is one that I used for a long time. It’s not bad but I’ve used some better ones since. I’m currently using the Saturday Skin Eye Cream (which I do like) but it’s in such a big bulky tub that it would take up a fair bit of room so I’m taking the Clarins Eye Gel. I REALLY love this one. I’ve used up a few applications of this mini during my Paris trip last year and it’s the most hydrating eye cream I’ve used. So watch this space as I will probably purchase a full size soon.

Serum | The Ordinary Rose Serum v Pixi Rose Caviar Essence

Last year I put a little bit of the serum I was using (The Ordinary Rose Serum) into a mini serum container to take with me. I can’t say I’m a fan of this product anymore. It’s a bit too greasy and didn’t sink in properly into the skin. Unlike the serum I’m using at the minute which is beautiful. It’s like water and gives my skin a big hit of hydration. It’s what my skin needs right now as it’s really dehydrated and sinks into the skin in no time.

Lip Balm | Glossier Coconut Balm Dot Com v Glossier Mango Balm Dot Com

As you can tell, I love a balm dot com. So much so that the one I’m taking on this year’s trip is the new mango scent. They’re easy to wear and moisturising – big fan.

Moisturiser | The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream v Nuxe Nuxellent

With both of these products it’s a case of ‘use up what you got in your beauty advent calendar’. The Body Shop one is a hit with me though. A really straight forward, hydrating moisturiser that doesn’t get greasy or feel like on your face. If you’re in the market for a no frills bronzer then I definitely recommend this. Now, with this Nuxe product I think it’s a moisturiser but I’m not 100%. But because I’m taking the Pixi serum, if I don’t like it it doesn’t matter that much because I’m still get the hydration boost I need.

Extras

Pixi Glow Tonic | I love this product and don’t ever want to be without it so I’ve decanted (is that the right word?) it to bring with me. Fab!

I’m not taking a hand cream this time. I do use one every night (The Body Shop Shea one) but it’s not a necessity and I can do without it for a few days.

What’s your favourite travel skincare product?

My favourite restaurants from the last 12 months

Today is my birthday! To celebrate turning 24 I thought I’d look back on some of the best places I’ve been to eat over the past 12 months. I love eating out, it’s one of my favourite things to do, and so I thought I’d put together my top picks from last year which could be helpful if you ever find yourself in these areas looking for somewhere to go!

A stand out highlight of last year was my trip to Roots in York. Probably the best meal I’ve eaten in my entire life, no exaggeration. The food was incredible, the vibe of the place was amazing and I had the best time. I went with my mum and dad back in November for lunch because I’m obsessed with Tommy Banks (and because we’ve heard very good things). It was fab. Amazing food, which is all small sharing plates, in a chilled out atmosphere. We decided to go for ten plates and they just brought the food out that was ready. Everything was so good it was hard to pick a favourite but I loved the beetroot cooked in beef fat, lamb bao buns and the apple cake.

Location: York

Perfect for you if: You love top quality dining and are willing to pay the prices but enjoy more of a chilled out vibe.

During another November trip, this time to Paris with my friends, we went to Frenchie. Super cool vibes, it felt like the worst kept secret as the place was small and intimate but packed with people. We didn’t book and had to wait about an hour for a seat but with a bottle of wine and space at the bar it wasn’t a problem. The menu was small and kind of had a sharing plate vibe but we all went for our own thing. I had the squid ink ravioli and it was amazing. So tasty. I also had the tarte tatin which was delicious! I would totally recommend giving this a go but maybe book, it was rammed on a random Tuesday in November so strikes me that it’s busy all the time.

Location: Rue du Nil, Paris

Perfect for you if: You want something a bit special that isn’t too pricey. Also if you need a picture for Instagram.
Just down the road from where I live, the Sun Inn at Rastrick does cracking food at a great price. Think ‘pub food’ but ten times better and two for one fish and chip Fridays. Dream! They also do two for one gins on a Saturday, so I mean you really can’t go wrong with this place.

Location: Rastrick, West Yorkshire

Perfect for you if: You don’t want to cook on a Friday night or need somewhere to chill out on a Saturday afternoon.

Potentially the most instagramable place I’ve ever stepped foot in, Red Roaster was subject to a very hungover visit when I was with my friend in Brighton. The fact that we were both feeling a little worse for wear after a major prosecco session didn’t ruin the visit though. Such an amazing breakfast was had. I went for the waffle with bacon egg and apple washed down with a latte and it was glorious. The different food options here were pretty special and interesting and I have to say I would like to go back and try some of their lunch options – especially when I’m feeling a little perkier than I did the last time.

Location: Brighton

Perfect for you if: You want breakfast with a twist or to take advantage of the marble tables and amazing lighting for your instagram.

Trips to see friends seem to constantly produce new restaurant favourites! An amazing meal that left us all full to the brim was had at Farmshop. Located in Bicester Village, I think it’s in associaton with Soho ____ (am I a real blogger yet?) and has a lot of hearty meals on offer like burgers, pies. mac and cheese, etc. We all went for chorizo and smoked mozzarella croquettes to start (sensational) and that was followed by a delish chicken burger. I’d love to go back and sample the desserts but those croquettes have definitely stuck around in my memory.

Location: Bicester Village, Oxfordshire

Perfect for you if: You want to live out your YouTuber life with a smaller price tag and delicious food.

Last but not least is where I went for my birthday meal this year, and somewhere which is probably going to become a new favourite. Eric’s Resturant in Lindley (wonderful West Yorkshire again) has everything you want and more. I’d class it as British food that’s fancy but not lacking in the portion size department. We went for the early dining menu and there was a nice selection on offer at a good price. I had chorizo gnocci (creamy goodness in a bowl), tasty pork with dauphinoise potatoes and pecan piece (HEAVEN).Not only is it great for an evening meal but there are also a number of events like afternoon tea and brunch to sink your teeth into. We went to a brunch at the end of December which was fab. Anywhere with pancakes gets two thumbs up in my book!

Location: Lindley, West Yorkshire

Perfect for you if: You’re celebrating something and you want to try somewhere a bit special that won’t totally break the bank.

What to do and where to go on a weekend in York

York has to be one of my favourite places to visit. It’s bustling with visitors but you can also find yourself away from people on quiet cobbled streets. After a recent visit which confirmed my love for the city, I thought I’d share a few of my favourite places in the form of an ‘everything you need to know for a great weekend in York’ guide. 

Things to do

There’s so much to do in York that it’s pretty much impossible to do it all in a dozen trips never mind just one. But between museums, landmarks and pretty walks it’s quite easy to pick and choose a few things to during your trip. Here are a few options, stuff that costs money and also some freebies.

The Castle Museum is a great place to start when it comes to museums. There’s so much to see but it makes for a great morning. The museum takes you through York’s history and even has a recreation of a Victorian street which is seriously cute. If you end up going in December then you will get to see it all dressed up for Christmas, a real treat!

Chocolate lovers should really think about visiting York’s Chocolate Story. A bit of a Cadbury World vibe, this tour takes you through the city’s sweet history and at the end you can enjoy some delicious chocolate. What’s not to love?!

If you want to have a cheeky look in York Minster then you can do so without paying but I would really recommend buying tickets to walk round the place and especially go up the tower. Not only is it a really interesting, historic building but the views from the top of the tower are really great.

If you’ve spent enough money on fun activities and delicious food (more on that later) there are still plenty of things to do that don’t cost a penny. The walls that surround York are great for a little wander around. You can spot a few sights along the way and it looks like quite a scenic walk.

If you need a picture for your Instagram then The Shambles is where you should go. An old street in the centre, it has everything you want in a cute cobbled street. The main draw are the overhanging buildings that are pretty gravity defying. A must see! 

You may have to pay to go to the Yorkshire Museum but it’s free to have a wander around the gardens. I had a fleeting visit as we walked through post-amazing meal and what I saw of it was very nice and it would make a lovely little walk.

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Places to eat

There are so many food options in York it’s actually excessive but it means that there are plenty of places for whatever you fancy. Now I haven’t been to all these places but after researching some solid options ahead of my recent trip, these are the top dogs in my eyes and restaurants I’d like to go to.

Roots: The best meal I’ve ever had. Literally. It’s basically delicious sharing plates of unusual ingredients that are just amazing. It’s been set up by Tommy Banks of Great British Menu fame and is an experience that won’t disappoint. For example, we had a piece of beetroot cooked in beef fat which tasted like a delicious piece of beef. There was also a perfect little apple cake. For £55 each you get 10 plates, this includes your bread and two desserts, and for a restaurant with an amazing experience I don’t think that’s bad at all.

La Vecchia Scuola: Totally delicious. There are so many Italian places to eat in York that it took us a while to decide on one but after trawling TripAdvisor we settled on this one. Extensive menu in a really cute setting it was a lovely way to start our trip. I would 100% go back. A couple of the other restaurants we looked at were Gusto and D’Vine.

The York Roast Co: A Yorkshire pudding wrap is 100% on my bucket list and after following them on Twitter, I am desperate to give this place a go. It didn’t slot into the schedule this time but hopefully my next trip will feature some gravy goodness.

Bettys: An absolute staple of any York trip, Bettys is literally life. An actual institution, it’s a must visit. An olde worlde tearoom with cakes, pastries, soups, sandwiches and more. When you go (not it, when), try one of the rostis. There are a few different types but all seriously delicious. Cake-wise, the vanilla slice is always an amazing option.

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Where to stay

Because York is so close to where I live (about an hour by car), I’ve only stayed over a couple of times. But there are plenty of options for where to make your bed on an evening. I definitely recommend going for somewhere in the centre. Sounds obvious I know but if you can get a place within walking distance of York centre then you’re winning because the shops, restaurants and things to do are all very close to each other. There are a few hotels which are good, like the Park Inn by Radisson, but there are also some amazing Air Bnbs to choose from. During our latest trip we stayed in a cottage by York Minster and it was in the perfect place. So I’d recommend having a look around because you will find a total gem!

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Other things to note

Now when we went, filming for upcoming BBC drama Gentleman Jack (which I’m seriously looking forward to because part of it was filmed near where I live) was happening outside York Minster. I can’t promise that this will be occurring if you plan to visit but if you spot any then definitely take a peek because it was really interesting and exciting to watch!

If you’re looking to bag a few bargains then York Designer Outlet is where you should head. There are so many shops and a lot of them tend to do cracking discounts if you bulk buy. Places you can visit are Yankee Candle, the Body Shop, Cadbury and there are loads more.