Monday, 22 July 2013

Cheshire Rocks

Just over 2 years ago I moved to Cheshire and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Since being a little girl I had always yearned to live in the countryside as I need space and green to keep me sane. It is like total therapy for me and now I know what homesick feels like when I've been away from home too long.

Cheshire is such a gorgeous place and one of the many things I love about it is the local produce. Although I don't live in a rustic cottage overlooking farmland (not yet!) there are a few farms nearby that have wonderful shops attached to them. The farmers I have met so far have all been women which is awesome and I have such much respect for the hard graft they put in to feed our hungry bellies. Also there are so many local businesses producing wonderful meats, fish, veg as well as sauces, jams, chutneys....I won't go on but it really thrills me to be living somewhere where there is a passion and respect for food.
Loving Country Living
I love nothing more than a good old rustic country pub and there's so much to choose from in Cheshire; they seem to be on every corner. I was recommended one called the Black Swan in Lower Withington which I visited recently as I was told both the decor and the food were to die for. I wasn't disappointed. I wanted to move in to be honest! It is one of the most beautiful pubs I've been in. Apparently the owner designed it and every little detail is just wonderful. I took some photos but they don't do it justice and I encourage you to look on the website if you're a country homes kinda person. Kooky, bright patchwork fabrics on the chairs and lamps, quirky wallpaper, gorgeous wood and open fires gave the place such a vibrant, welcoming and cosy feel. I wanted to curl up with a magazine and a glass of wine and just relax there all day. My whippet decided to do just that!
Teddy my whippet loving the fine fabrics
So onto the food. It took me ages to decide from the plethora of potential offerings. From wood fired pizza, to good old beer battered fish and chips; my brain was in turmoil as to what to choose. I pondered over Cheshire sausages with sage and spring onion crushed potatoes with sweet cured bacon and caramelised onions (next time I think) and tantalised my taste buds with the thought of marinated beets salad with crispy goats cheese, caramelised red onion, pine nuts and honey.
Gorgeous spicy lamb flatbread

A closer look at this badboy!
I settled for the flatbread with spiced shoulder of ham,harissa, sticky red onion, charred red pepper, feta and tzatziki. It was incredible. The lamb was so sweet, melt in the mouth and all of the flavours married together so well, The flat bread was lovely and warm with a beautiful texture. Mr V opted for the Cumbrian steak which of course I had to try and it was delicious.

Cumbrian steak
I really wanted to try the mars bar cheesecake for sheer decadence but I was too full to be honest but I shall try my best next time. We sat outside afterwards in the sun and the outdoor area has plenty of tables and a huge sandpit for the kids as well as a covered area with lovely bunting. I honestly can't wait to go back there and it will be as equally as fabulous in the winter with roaring fires and candle light. If you're near the area, I insist you go. If you do, let me know! I'll leave you with some pictures of the decor if it floats your boat.


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Besame Lipstick Review

I almost fainted with excitement when the lovely Lisa Oakley from Lotty Blue asked me to review one of the Besame lipsticks they're currently stocking. Yes my blog is food orientated but you may have gathered from my pictures I'm also a fan of makeup and vintage glamour, so how could I say no to an opportunity to try a new lippy, especially one of this calibre. So excuse me while my blog goes off piste for this post. Put down your knife and fork and listen while I tell you about this wondrous find.

The brand Besame is from the US of A and founded by Gabriela Hernandez who was inspired by her Grandmother to bring back old style glamour. The lipsticks carry the exact shades worn by golden era Hollywood stars with Red Hot Red being Marilyn's favourite.

The colour I tried is called Besame Red. Firstly the packaging is to die for; vintage luxe and something you would imagine Garbo to have on her dressing table. The box is beautiful and Lisa will vouch for the fact that I was hyperventilating when I undressed it from the box to reveal a velveteen pouch which encased the lipstick. The lipsticks are styled into 1940's gold plated bullet shapes which are just beautiful.

I first applied it on the evening of the National Vintage awards so it's debut was highly appropriate. The colour is beautiful, a real rich, vibrant red and more on the blue toned side. I'm really pale so it suits my skin tone really well. It's really creamy upon application and clings well to the lip without it being heavy. It's really moisturising which is welcome since my lips are really prone to drying out with the corals and reds I tend to wear. Ingredients are natural and include vitamins A, E and C, aloe and green tea.

It's mega durable and I found that after a full night out and a fizz or two later it still held on. That said it doesn't take heaps of makeup remover to get off either. I always blot after one application and apply a second coat but one day I was in a real hurry and just put on one coat and that's all you really need. It doesn't slide or bleed which is always a bonus when trying to avoid the Courtney Love look!

Just one coat!

To be honest I've worn it most days as I'm in love with it. On Sunday I went out for a lovely walk followed by lunch and a couple of drinks. It had worn off slightly after the meal but not as much as other brands I've worn (Rimmel, Clinique) and even if you had (God forbid) forgotten to bring it out with you to re-apply, you can get away with what's left as it holds really well.

Besame for my Sunday walk
The price tag may make you gasp slightly at £29.75 but I honestly think that it is such a treat as well as being excellent quality and it really goes a long way since you only need one coat. If you can't face parting with the cash then definitely ask for it as a gift. After all, we're saving cash by topping up our wardrobes with Matalan and Primark frocks which is great but sometimes a girl needs a little luxe to light up her life and I think a Besame lippy does just the job. Every time I get it out it's little bag it makes my day that little bit nicer and makes me feel like a movie star! We just don't get makeup like this anymore, most packaging looks it all looks so modern and futuristic so it really looks beautiful on your dressing table.

Besame while dog walking

Besame for a street party

Still holding strong after a couple of tipples
In conclusion: pricey, yes but definitely worth the investment. Excellent quality and a must have for any Vintage beauty queen.

Check out Lotty Blue's website for the Besame range.