Going down well: One of my porn star martinis
When your local bar has an extensive revamp, reopens with a new name, new look and promises “epic food, creative cocktails and great times” then it was only a matter of time before I’d be checking it out.
The Oakleigh, in London Road, Leigh-on-Sea, launched a couple of week ago and is offering a new restaurant, cocktail bar and evening bar.
It’s on the site of the former popular Bellini Bar and Brasserie, which closed a few months back – and is run by the same folk, namely the McManus Pub Company.
I’ve had a fair few girly nights at Bellini (pre-baby, its oh-so-moreish jam donut cocktail gave me possibly one of the worst hangovers I’ve ever had!) so when I was invited along for dinner and drinks at the Oakleigh, there was no way I would be saying no.
The husband and I headed up there last night, after our tot was tucked up in bed and the babysitter safely installed in front of Love Island. Continue reading
Child-free… and enjoying the fizz
It’s not often I get a whole toddler-free Saturday afternoon.
So when I do, I really, really want them to be fun. Which is why I was delighted to be invited along to Pink Vanilla Events’ first ever tipsy tea party.
Held at the Rayleigh Club, the afternoon is the brainchild of creative director, Amy Langmead.
And, Oh My God, was it a fun few hours.
When we arrived at 2pm we were greeted by a couple of butlers in the buff (*blushes*) and handed a glass (the first of many) of prosecco. (NB if you’re given a glass of prosecco with a puff of blue candyfloss on the top, eat it, don’t push it into your glass. It’ll turn your fizz blue and you’ll end up looking like you’ve got a flute of WKD blue in your hand. Classy.) Continue reading
Sometimes with a toddler, a husband, a job, a blog, a dog, and an endless to-do and should-do list, it can be a bit difficult finding a bit of time to just be me.
To get a bit giggly, to have a glass – or three – of prosecco, to chatter about stuff that isn’t important, but just interesting.
And it appears I’m not alone with this.
Which is why the Amazing Club came about.
Set up by two make-up artists (who happen to be sisters-in-law) its aim is to be somewhere women can escape, chat and rediscover themselves. To stop feeling like a watered down version of yourself. To meet new people. A reason to make time for you. It’s not just for mummies. Or business women. It’s for all women. A supportive group. A grown-up gang. A tribe. Continue reading
Even the loos are lux: Ladies’ room selfie at Southend’s new Seven Hotel
Southend’s brand new boutique hotel opened its doors officially today, but I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch party last night.
The luxurious seafront Seven Hotel, in Clifton Terrace, offers 37 super lux bedrooms, a 70-person restaurant and a gin-centric cocktail bar, following a £4million project.
Last night I was among Seven’s first guests and enjoyed a decadent evening of sumptuous cocktails, in partnership with Tattinger Champagne and Copper Head Gin, as well as canapes from the new restaurant, Aurum.
The nibbles, prepared by head chef, Simon Webb, who has previously worked with the likes of the legendary Roux family, included monkfish cheek in black brioche buns, opulent oysters as well as carrot and orange ice cream (not a combo I’ve ever heard of before either!)
For one night, the tables in Seven’s plush restaurant were pushed aside to allow us to dance to tunes being played by DJ Shmia. Continue reading
Little fan: Sonny Jim seems to approve of my new Cambridge Satchel Company number
Sonny Jim is only a few months away from turning two – and my changing bag is even closer to reaching that milestone.
I bought it when my due date was looming and I had no idea of what I would actually need in a changing bag, but I liked the fact it didn’t look too mumsy, was leather and it had decent straps.
And in fairness, my Mothercare number has more than delivered. It’s seen me through the newborn days, epic walks with a tiny tot who would only sleep in the buggy. Trips to the beach. Picnics. Our first family holiday. Leaking bottles. Forgotten bananas. Poonami nappies.
It’s only now that the inside sections have ripped that I’m kind of over it. And I didn’t really want to go buying another “changing” bag, when the amount of gear I need to cart around for Sonny Jim isn’t really in the newborn baby league anymore. Especially now he’s got his own (super cute bumblebee!) rucksack/reins for his snacks.
So, I needed a new bag. A less mummy, more me bag. But that would still be able to fit a few nappies, a beaker, an emergency toddler vest/trousers in. It needed to be practical. But stylish. And good quality. Something classic. But not boring. And a decent size.
And, this was when I discovered the Cambridge Satchel Company (www.cambridgesatchel.com)
Vegan: From kitchens to salons
IN the past decade, the number of people who consider themselves vegan has rocketed from 150,00 in 2006 to 542,000, according to the Vegan Society and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
And it’s also becoming a growing trend among our celebrities, with the likes of comedian Russell Brand saying “I don’t see why someone should lose their life just so you can have a snack”. A vegetarian since the age of 14, he went vegan in 2011.
It’s no surprise then, that veganism is now stretching from our kitchen tables to our beauty regimes.
Superdrug’s budget B Beauty vegan range has just launched and the Body Shop, Odylique and Hourglass are just a few of the brands with entirely vegan make-up ranges.
Now Essex’s Beauty Shop is among a handful of the county’s businesses capitalising on the trend, by offering a unique vegan beauty treatment menu.
So how did the idea for the menu come about, I ask salon owner, 26-year-old Courtney Smith? Continue reading
While Sonny Jim slept – the MBP855 Connect watched
When Sonny Jim was first born we didn’t have a monitor.
He slept in the crib in our room when we were in bed – and when we were up he slept where we were, in a sling or the pram or a rocker.
When he started waking up less though and moved into his own room I suddenly realised just how badly we needed a good monitor.
We went for the Angelcare video, movement and sound monitor because a few of my mummy friends had it – and they really rated it.
And it’s been great. The sensor pad has kept this worried mama reassured past Sonny Jim’s first birthday. And the range meant I could be in the garden and still see and hear my boy.
However. It’s not very portable. So when I was offered the chance to try out the MBP855 Connect video baby monitor by Motorola, I was more than happy to. Continue reading