Rose gold, podcasts and seasonal eating | July Favourites

Beauty
I have fallen in love with the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette all over again this month. I dip in and out of love with this palette but I’m seriously obsessed. Everyone knows how pigmented and bendable Urban Decay eyeshadows are so I’ll gloss over that, these shades are beautiful. So easy to just slap something on on a workday but it can also do a nice, pink-ey smokey eye. My favourite way to wear it before shooting off to work is Trick on most of the lid, Buzz on the outer lid and Limit in the crease. If I’m feeling I bit fancy I’ll smudge Blackheart into my upper lash line. I’m still debating whether I need the Heat Palette in my life but for now I’m pretty happy using this.
Bit of a small and random favourite but I haven’t liked a lip balm this much in a while. It’s the Palmer’s Coconut Oil Lip Balm. It’s hydrating, comes in a handy stick and smells and tastes amazing. I’m obsessed with this scent and I think I need to try more from the Coconut Oil range, smells like heaven and holidays!
Food
After listening to the episode of ‘At Home With’ (more on that later) with Madeleine Shaw, I thought I’d give one of her books a go as I liked the sound of eating well and eating what’s in season. So, after a couple of weeks of looking in all my local shops (to find that we were looking in the wrong section, well done) I finally got my hands on it. It being A Year of Beautiful Eating. I am so impressed with this and I think I can say the rest of my family are too! The recipes are pretty easy to do (I say that but my mum has made both of them) and so tasty. I can’t wait to make more and I’ve just recently bought her second book and can’t wait to try recipes from that one too!
Lifestyle
I’ve listened to a few podcasts over the years but none as religiously as ‘At Home With’. I’ve been hooked on every episode, even when I had no clue who the guest really was, and it was so entertaining I was longing for more when the 30 minutes was up. My favourite episode was Giovanna Fletcher but after listening to the one with Kate La Vie I’ve become a massive fan of her blog. As an avid follower of Anna and Lily I’m really pleased it has gone well for them and I really hope it comes back for a second series!
I bought the Nina Perfume from Nina Ricci when I was on holiday last month and this scent has just become the staple summer scent for me. Sweet but not sickly and in the cutest bottle it will brighten any sunny day.

One week ago today I decided to bite the bullet and finally watch Riverdale. Oh wow am I glad I did. It’s the perfect mix between a gripping crime drama and a high school programme. I only had a brief idea of what it was it was about so I kind of went in blind and I was hooked from the first five minutes. I cannot wait for series two and if you haven’t watched it yet, please do, you won’t regret it and it won’t take up too much of your time.

I’m in serious need of another series to binge, any suggestions?

Trick | Buzz | Limit

The most Instagramable Coffee place – Tamper Coffee

This place was one of the most cool places I’ve ever been. Cool in the fact that I imagine cool bloggers to go there, have a latte with a fancy pattern on the top and instagram a perfectly flat-layed photo. Oh the dream! Anyway, my brother shared this little gem with me and my mum when we went to drop him off at university. It’s called Tamper Coffee and is on Arundel Street.

It looks like nothing from the outside, just a wooden door that you would walk past without giving it a second look. But as soon as you step inside it’s like you’re hit with cool vibes. So much wood and exposed brickwork, I love it! There was also such a buzz inside it was full of people, weird when we had just come from a dead quiet street. We had to wait about five minutes for a table but everything else came super speedily.

It serves breakfast and then lunch from 12pm but there’s a lot of crossover on the menu. There was a decent amount of choice, something for everyone without leaving you overwhelmed. I went for a hot chocolate and an eggs benedict, you could add smoked salmon or bacon but I wanted to try it in its ‘original’ form. Tick number one for this dish, perfect poached eggs. I think you can always tell a good place by their ability to cook poached eggs. Tick number two, it came with bubble and squeak. I am ALL about bubble and squeak and it was a nice addition that gave the dish just an extra pinch of tastiness. The hollandaise sauce was delicious and the muffin that everything sat on was soft and doughy. The only thing I would say about it is that there was a heck of a lot of spinach, and I like spinach, so I did take some of it off. Other than that I have to say I was very impressed and it was a delicious experience. Not much to say on the hot chocolate front other than it was really nice, not overly sweet but also not sickly. A good, simple hot chocolate.

If you’re ever in Sheffield then I would definitely recommend checking this place out, especially if you want a good instagram or you’re hoping cool vibes will rub off on you (no, just me?).

If there are any more places, preferably in the northern area of the country, that serves delicious food but will also do my instagram some good then please let me know!

Pierre Le Bistrot!

I’m going to make a bold statement now, this might be the best meal I’ve had in my three years living in Nottingham. I know, bold claims but it was amazing. If you are anywhere near Nottingham then you have to take a trip to this place. I think it’s a french restaurant and it is a lovely place. Dimmed lighting inside and wood furniture gives it a cosy vibe and the relaxing music makes you feel like you are on holiday. I had such a nice time that this meal with probably stick in my mind forever.

For starter I had the calamari, which is one of my favourite starters ever. I have to say this is one of the best I’ve ever had. The squid was nicely cooked so it had substance but wasn’t at all chewy. The bread crumbing was nice and crispy and held together well, because sometimes with calamari the crispy outside can fall off. The mayonnaise had a really great garlic flavour and there was plenty of it which was good as I hate running out of a sauce. I’d definitely recommend this starter, great flavour, perfect portion size and cooked very well. Yum!

This main was insane! I’m a big fan of chicken dishes with a creamy sauce and this was no exception. Starting with the chicken, it was extremely moist and tender but the top piece had a great piece of crispy skin which I was all about. Also there was plenty of chicken so you got a lot of meat for your dollar. I’m not really the biggest fan of peas or mushrooms but when it was altogether with this creamy sauce it was delicious. The sauce was the perfect consistency, not like soup but not overly thick and the peas and mushrooms gave it a more interesting texture. All of the mains came with roasted new potatoes and some more vegetables. I had a big of cabbage which was lovely and sweet and the potatoes were to my liking too. Crispy but fluffy on the inside. This is the dish that put this restaurant to the top of my list. It ticked all of the boxes and it has left a lasting impression.

For dessert, which I have to say I was very full and had to power through, I had a chocolate torte with blackberry ice cream and a chocolate pot. This was sensational, even if I didn’t make it to the end. I was expecting the torte to come with a biscuit base, no idea why, but it was just pure chocolate heaven, like one big chocolate truffle. I also really liked the ice cream to say I’m a person who isn’t a big ice cream fan. It was really creamy and had a sweet flavour that wasn’t too overpowering. Now the chocolate pot, THE CHOCOLATE POT! It was literally a pot of melted chocolate-y goodness. Super sickly but amazing at the same time. I’d love to eat this dessert when I wasn’t as full so I could get the full chocolate effect so I may have to return just for this reason.

If you have any suggestions of restaurants I should visit then please let me know because eating out is one of my favourite things to do,

Bills!

Damn Abz, back at it again with the delicious food posts! Oh how I have missed looking at pictures of delicious food and sharing my thoughts on them. I thought I would start with something I have never spoken about before on my blog, and that is brunch. I’ve never been for a proper brunch before so this was a very exciting moment and it was a birthday brunch for one of my amazing friends which made it even more special.

If you’ve been reading my blog since last year then you’ll know that I’ve been to Bills before on a few occasions and I’m a big fan but I’ve never tried any of their breakfast stuff. I rarely get the chance to have pancakes so I went for those with the bacon. You get three big, american style pancakes with blueberries, bananas, strawberries, bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup. This was the perfect brunch size as I was starving by the time we got there so I wolfed it down at the beginning but there was enough to fill me up until tea time. The pancakes were soft and fluffy and I liked the addition of the blueberries in the pancakes as when you cut through one it exploded like a blueberry firework! There was the right amount of fruit to pancake and I had just enough crispy, delicious bacon to enjoy. Overall I would definitely have this again in a heartbeat.

If you know of any other brunch places that you think I should try out then please let me know!

La Cachette! (Take Nine)

Another trip home another La Cachette meal so without further ado let’s jump in!

For starter I went for the duck pitivier special. It was delicious. It was beautifully cooked duck inside a puff pastry casing on top of a tasty sauce. The duck was soft and had a lovely flavour of duck which wasn’t over powered by any of the other elements. The pastry was crisp and well cooked and the sauce was tasty and there was just the right amount of it. The portion size was perfect and it was an all round great starter that I would definitely have again in a heartbeat!

Main course wise I went for the chicken with celariac dauphinoise, mushrooms and cabbage. This was insanely good! The chicken was moist on the inside but slightly crispy on the outside with a lovely flavour of sage. The dauphinoise was delicious, again soft on the bottom and crispy on top. It didn’t have much of a different flavour to a normal potato dauphinoise but it was delicious all the same. The mushroom and cabbage were also very tasty and the portion size was perfect. I finished every last mouthful and would have gladly gone back for more.

Little bit disappointed with my choice of pud. I chose the apricot and frangipane tart with ice cream. It was all very dry. The cake part was powdery and the apricots, although caramelised, were chewy and not very nice to eat. I ate the cake with the ice cream and that moistened it a bit and when I got to the thicker part of the cake that wasn’t as dry but it wasn’t as amazing as the other two courses which was a bit of a shame.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen Deliveroo!

Another Deliveroo! I’m seriously going to have to stop because this is 1. Not doing my figure any good and 2. Not doing my bank account very good. This delivery was prompted by being alone the night before coming home and not having much in the cupboards. I was also really in the mood for a burger which is how I came to the decision of GBK. I’ve mentioned my love for Deliveroo before but I’m just going to share it again. I can’t believe how easy it is to get restaurant food to your house. Amazing, if you can get it, do it!

I went for a chicken burger, which I chose to be covered in breadcrumbs, with lettuce and onions inside (I chose for them to remove the tomato which I thought was a nice touch on the app). For sides I went with skinny fries, onion rings, garlic mayo and baconnaise, which is mayonnaise with bacon in it. Let’s get the bad things out of the way first. I didn’t like the fries. This isn’t because they were bad or cold but because they are my worst kind of chip. I like fries when they are crispy and have bite to them but these were completely the opposite. I should have put them in the oven for a few minutes to crispen them up but next time I would get sweet potato fries. Now with that out of the way let’s get to the good stuff! The onion rings were crispy on the outside and soft in the middle with the batter having a bit of a spicy flavour to it making them very tasty. My dips were delicious. The garlic one was packed with flavour and the bacon was nice, all be it a bit strange, and both went well with all of the elements of the meal. The main event was to die for. The bread was sweet, my perfect burger bun, and the chicken was moist on the inside with a crispy coating on the outside. It was the perfect size and not at all greasy which can sometimes happen with burgers. I would definitely recommend this, it didn’t disappoint!

Bills! (Take Three)

I went through a phase last year of eating at Bills any chance I could but then I think I overdid it because I just wasn’t into it anymore. I’m so glad that I gave it a little break because I really loved it. I like the whole vibe of the place and I tried their pink lemonade for the first time and I would seriously recommend it, delish!

I went for the chicken burger with chipotle mayonnaise and sweet potato fries. A word of warning, it doesn’t say that it comes with anything on the menu but it comes with sweet potato fries. This dish was amazingly delicious. The bread was sweet and that is my favourite thing to have on a burger. It came with coleslaw inside which was a nice touch. I love coleslaw and it was nice because it wasn’t overly creamy and didn’t make the bread or the chicken soggy. The chicken was crispy on the outside, moist in the middle with a delicious flavour. The mayonnaise had a really nice flavour that meant it was good to dip my fries in and to have on my burger. The sweet potato fries were amazing, crispy, soft and deliciously sweet. You also get loads to say it’s just in a little can. The portion of the whole meal was spot on and I would definitely have this again!

I pushed myself a little to go for a dessert and I chose the pecan pie with malted milk ice cream. It was delicious! The pastry was thin and crisp, the pecans were sticky and sweet and it was just a nice size. The ice cream tasted like banana to me which isn’t a bad thing because it was delicious and it went well with the pie. I don’t think there’s anything else I can say about this other than yummy!

Cumin!

Curry time! I’m going to give you a massive spoiler, this place was AMAZING! We were going to go to La Tasca for a casual Friday meal but for some reason they are getting rid of the one in Nottingham so it was back to the drawing board on places to go. A lot of suggestions were batted around but then someone came up with this little gem, in the top 20 on trip advisor, and off we were on our merry way. It’s in the most random place across a main road but apparently this isn’t so random because there are loads of nice looking restaurants surrounding it so they might be getting a little try soon. The staff were really friendly, the atmosphere was really nice and chilled and I’d definitely go back. No, onto the food!

We just dived straight into mains so I had a Murg Makhini which was chicken in a creamy tomato sauce with rice and a garlic naan. It was so delicious! Everything was totally to die for. The chicken was moist (hate that word but it was so moist) and tender and the sauce was creamy and had a bit of heat to it but filled with spices that would make my tongue want to explode. The rice was your standard rice but was nice all the same and the garlic naan was great. You got lots of it which I love because I love bread and dipping it in the leftover sauce. There was plenty of food but I didn’t feel over faced and I lapped it all up! I would definitely come back here and try a little bit more, maybe some starters and a few more sides. I totally recommend coming here for a curry and if you don’t feel like leaving the house you can get a Deliveroo which is all kinds of amazing!

Deliveroo!

Slightly different food post this week but it’s a good’un! I think that Deliveroo started working in Nottingham at the beginning of this year and ever since I heard about it I’ve been dying to try it out. I’ve had the app downloaded to my phone for a while and every so often I’d browse through to see what kind of things that I had. The night I took the plunge I really fancied a lasagne and because Bella Italia is one of my favourite places to eat I thought I’d compare and see if there was any difference between a takeaway and what you’d receive in the restaurant. I wanted to get calamari but the choice of starters on Deliveroo is very limited and the only thing you can really get is bread which was disappointed. It only took half an hour for the meal to arrive and it was great because you can track your driver and see exactly where they are (stalker alert!).

I ordered lasagne, onion rings and bread with a garlic butter dip. If I get a Deliveroo again I’d just get the meal and not go for the extras. They were nice but I really didn’t need them as the size of the main was enough to make me full and they weren’t anything special. The onion rings were very crispy and they made me really thirsty and the garlic breads were very doughy and dipping the bread in the garlic butter was a bit messy. The lasagne, however, is a totally different story. It tasted exactly the same as if I’d gone to the actual restaurant. It was a bit weird the way it came as it was basically just plonked in the box but that didn’t effect the flavour or it’s temperature. It was easy to eat from the box, it was creamy, tasty and delicious, lovely. I definitely recommend getting a Deliveroo if you can and I’ll try out more from some different restaurants in the future and make sure to report back!

Browns Afternoon Tea

So many afternoon teas, I love it! If anyone has any recommendations of anywhere else I can go then please let me know! I love Browns. I think that atmosphere is really nice and the one in Nottingham especially just has nice vibes. I’d never been here for afternoon tea before and my amazing friends were kind enough to treat me to this a couple of weeks ago as part of my birthday present. I had a great time and would happily do this all the time! The cake stand was literally insane. It was a great mix of modern coolness and the traditional-ness of afternoon tea. I just want this for personal use when I move into my own house.

Let’s start how all afternoon tea’s start with the savoury and the sandwiches. They were quite strange fillings but at the same time normal. The weirdest one was cucumber and cream cheese. Although it doesn’t sound weird it just didn’t look anything like it was meant to be. The cucumber was chopped up into tiny pieces so you couldn’t really tell what it was and it made the cream cheese looked non cream cheese like. However, it tasted very nice and that’s all that matters. I don’t normally like egg mayo sandwiches because I’m not the biggest fan of overly eggy things but because this sandwich didn’t taste much like egg it was all okay. My favourite sandwich was the smoked salmon sandwich with lemon and chive creme fraiche. I just love smoked salmon so it will always be my number one afternoon tea sandwich!

Next layer was the scones (even though they were on the top that’s the order I normally eat it in). These scones are some of the best I’ve ever had, no joke. They were still warm even when we got around to eating them and there was plenty of clotted cream and jam for all of the scones. What I really liked was that you got a fruit and a plain scone which is very unusual because you normally get one or the other. Great texture, lovely flavour and I could have eaten more and more!

Finally the cakes and I was very surprised at the size of these! This afternoon tea is great value for money in that respect. The middle cake was a salted caramel profiterole. It was okay and tasted nice but salted caramel wasn’t my favourite flavour and profiterole wouldn’t be my pudding of choice, but it was still very nice. The chocolate brownie was huge! It was incredibly rich and chocolate-y and there was no way I could finish it because it was so big and rich, but the bit that I did have was lovely. The lemon cheesecake was delicious. The base was thin, buttery and crumbly and the filling was sweet but with a tang and it was lovely and creamy. The creme de la creme was the white chocolate pot. It had the texture of a posset, like a thin mousse and tasted like a dream. It was like creamy melted chocolate and I loved every spoonful! I think this one was my favourite.