Sunday 25 August 2013

Afternoon Tea at The Radisson Blu Edwardian, Manchester.

So for those of you that follow me on twitter (@katelou11) or Instagram (kateld85) you may have seen me tweeting about afternoon tea that I quite happily indulged in earlier this week.

I went to Manchester for a few days for my boyfriend's 30th birthday, and although Afternoon Tea isn't really his thing, I decided to book it anyway, as a little 'extra', and I'm glad I did, because he really enjoyed it.

We arrived at the Opus Lounge at The Radisson Blu and were told to take a seat on the plush sofas. Another member of staff came to greet us and directed us to another section of the Opus Lounge that overlooked Peter Street. We were seated next to a floor to ceiling window, which enabled us to people watch (and for people to also watch us!). We were given a small menu and was able to pick from around 4-5 different teas. I settled for the Cylan Tea, which was very similar to traditional tea, but with a sweet kick. Being a person that doesn't usually order tea, I wasn't sure if to add milk to this or not, so tried it both ways, just in case!

Food wise, we were able to pick from either Gentleman's Tea (which consisted of sandwiches, pork pies, and fish n chips) or a Traditional Afternoon Tea. We obviously went for the latter.

We were presented with a 3-tier stand, full of delicious looking food. I was a bit apprehensive that this would fill both me and my boyfriend (who loves his food) but we walked away from there bursting at the sides, with cakes still left on the stand.

We started at the bottom and worked our way up. The sandwiches were gorgeous! That nice that I wish there were more sandwiches and less cakes (and I can't believe I just said that!).

The warm scones were yummy, with fresh cream and our own little jar of strawberry jam. I was a little gutted that I had to leave one of these scones (I would have asked for a doggy bag but thought they may have frowned upon me ;-).

The Pimms jelly and fruit was a refreshing way to end it all.

Safe to say, I was bursting at the sides for a few hours after this and actually felt rather uncomfortable.

It made a really nice change to experience something different, and it's something I would definitely do again in the future. The staff at The Radisson were fantastic and we didn't feel out of our comfort zone one bit (something I fear when going into posh hotels!).


Friday 23 August 2013

Lifestyle - Instagram it! August Week 3

This last week has been manic. It's consisted of planning a surprise buffet for my boyfriends 30th (and everything that could have gone wrong, DID go wrong!), presents, balloons, a 2 night trip to Manchester, afternoon tea, cocktails, a motorway break down (my car really doesn't like motorways!) and a whole lot more!

Although its been full of exciting things, I'm also glad to see the back of it, just to feel the pressure and stress ease a little off my shoulders.. aahhh...

Top Left - This months Birchbox. Very impressed!
Top Right - These little biscuits are the ones you get next to your latte/hot chocolate/coffee in cafes. Yum yum yum!
Bottom Left - Just before I devoured this Keylime Pie whilst eating out with my family
Bottom Right - I love this stuff! A little bit goes such a long way and creates so many bubbles! Needless to safe I'm using in sparingly!

Left - Afternoon Tea at The Radisson Blue Edwardian in Manchester (review coming soon!).
Top right - Thought it'd be rude not to include the boy on his 30th, enjoying a glass of rose at The Alchemist, Manchester.
Bottom right - We stayed at The Midland on our stay in Manchester. We got a free upgrade to the superior room. Review of this hotel coming soon.

Only 1 more week of August left? Craaazy! I'm sad that summer's almost over - it's gone SO fast!


Wednesday 14 August 2013

Lifestyle - Instagram it! August Week 2

As promised, for the month of August I am giving you a weekly insight into my day to day life!

Here's what I got up to this past week...

Top left was a lovely surprise last Wednesday morning. I woke up and went downstairs as usual to find this lovely bunch of flowers sat on my kitchen windowsill with a note next to it from my boyfriend. He had finished a night shift a few hours before and popped to the supermarket before I woke up. He has never bought me flowers outside of celebrations (i.e. birthdays and valentines) so this was a lovely surprise and made me smile :-)
Top Right - NOTD - BarryM's gelly nail paint in 'Blueberry' with BarryM's 'Liquorice' on top from their confetti range. This is a new addition to my collection and I'm loving it!
Bottom left is self explanatory - August's GlossyBox. I wasn't overly impressed with this months but I don't expect fantastic boxes every month. Birchbox made up for it ;-)
Bottom right - I spent the majority of Sunday doing this - (not just this chair, I painted a few other bits too!) I think I'm going to get a nice Cath Kidston style seat pad to pop on this and pop it in my makeup room.

Top left - It was Monday, what more can I say - a dull Monday with nothing to photograph except my attraction to child-like juice drinks! I love Morrisons range - especially their marshmallow drink - if you like sweet juices, try this, its so yummy!
Right - A baboon on a day trip to Yorkshire Wildlife Park yesterday with work...
Bottom left - a nice surprise through the post today of a competition I won - bit of a random prize but some of this will come in handy for work, especially the stapler - all of ours in the office have broke!

So that's my last week in pictures!

Keep your eyes peeled for next week, I've got lots more planned!


Friday 9 August 2013

Lifestyle - Instagram it! August Week 1

Some of you may remember reading that I have decided to photograph each day of my life in August. We're currently on day 9 and so far, so good! I'm quite enjoying doing it, some days you'll notice a little dip in the 'excitement' of the photograph, so it doesn't take a genius to know that those were work days were I never really get up to a lot! If all else fails, I turn to food for my photograph option, always a winner, haha.

Started the month with a glitter mani! I love this polish from BarryM, the colours are so pretty, its a shame the flash bleaches them out.
Aug 2nd - My mum moved house, which was a little sad but exciting. She's been in her previous house since I was 18, so 10 yrs now, so I've got a lot of good memories there - however this is her new front garden. I love the white dove box you can seem amongst the conifers, I think it's pretty!
Aug 3rd - Me and my boyfriend took an evening stroll down the seafront and stopped off at this rock shop for some sweeties!
Aug 4th - We took a drive to the Nottingham/Mansfield area and visited Newstead Abbey - I'd never been here before and it was our first 'proper' day out this summer, so was nice. We set up a picnic in the gorgeous grounds and also had a tour of the abbey, learning about Lord Byron (who I studied at Uni so was reminiscing a little!)


Aug 5th - Our Jimmy Carr tickets arrived through the post! (Which is part of my boyfriends 30th present from me). I'm a little apprehensive about this because I've only just started to like Jimmy Carr, simply because I'm not usually fast enough to get his jokes, I don't understand what's changed!

Aug 6th - I was craving cake just a little, so after browsing round Morrisons, I saw too many packs of cakes on offer, so I went for mini Victoria sponges and viennese whirls (one of my faves!). This was my first cup of tea in a few months too, so it went down a treat!

Aug 7th - I was feeling a little overwhelmed today because I've been really busy at work these past 2 weeks, and I had too many notebooks on the go, at both home and work, so I thought I'd take a photo of them all, because I love my stationary! The book on top is my most recent buy, I found it in Sainsbury's on offer - I love the fact that it says 'You are my sunshine' on the cover - my mum used to sing this song to me as a baby/young girl so its always been close to my heart.

How's your August going?!

I can't wait what the rest of the month has to bring!


Sunday 4 August 2013

Lifestyle - Newstead Abbey, Nottingham

My boyfriend and I decided to make use of this gorgeous weather we've been having and go out of town for the day today, a change is as good as the rest!

I've been searching high and low for somewhere to go for the last few days now, specifically looking for somewhere nice to have a picnic. We were originally going to go to Sherwood Forest in Nottingham, but then searched that area and discovered Newstead Abbey as well, so re-arranged our plans.

Newstead Abbey was home to Lord Byron (a famous 18th century poet). I studied a few of his poems when I was at Uni, so I felt like I was on a bit of an educational trip, but I enjoyed it nonetheless!

We wandered round the gardens which were so pretty. Huge green lawns, Japanese gardens (which were very similar to my previous trip) but on a bigger scale, and rock gardens (somewhere that we didn't actually get round to venturing in). There were gorgeous waterfalls and a little forest that you could walk through. What I liked about it was how vast it was so you were never on top of other visitors, you almost always had a huge area to yourself at any one time. We set up a picnic but the weather spoilt it a little as it went overcast and the wind increased (I was thankful for my scarf that I used as a shawl/blanket!) - it felt like Autumn and that we shouldn't be sat here on a bright pink blanket eating food alfresco! Nonetheless it was a nice change to get some fresh air whilst we ate!

After that we took a tour of the Abbey. I'm usually not one for history but I actually enjoyed reading about his history and being nosey round his house. We even played dress up in the dressing room and tried on some posh hats! (There were a lot of old style dresses to try on too but I was being a little lazy!)

Overall, such a nice little day out, and somewhere that made a change from our usual haunts. I can't wait to have more before the summer's out!

Been somewhere nice recently? Pop your suggestions below!


Thursday 1 August 2013

Instagram it August!

I'm one of these that loves taking photos. I'm sad and like to take photos of food and even plan days out, just because I know I can take photos. Something you may not know about me - I did photography A-Level at 6th form, however I was never really great at it, and could never get to grips with how the ol' 'F number' and 'Aperture' worked. Those words still haunt me to this day - I remember getting an A in my written work, but a D in my practical... needless to say I went onto do English at uni...

However my love for taking photos has still stayed with me. And I love the fact that I can be a bit quirky with my photos on-the-go thanks to Instagram. I was really late jumping on this app band wagon surprisingly, and have only been a fully fledged member for around 5 months.

If any of you read my Japanese Gardens post, you'll know I asked if any of you guys would like to see more lifestyle posts from me. Seeing as though its the start of a brand new month today, I am going to try my very best at taking at least one photo a day and sharing them with you on a weekly basis. I have quite a busy month (for me!) so I'm hoping for some exciting and unique photos to give you an insight into my life!

If you would like instant updates, then come follow me on @kateld85
If you are embarking on this little mission as well, let me know below and I'll come check you out!

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