Monday 26 February 2018

Asian Afternoon Tea at Australasia, Manchester

During December I was lucky enough to win Asian afternoon tea in Manchester at Australasia. It's definitely not something I would have gone for normally, because I do like my traditional afternoon tea, however I'm so glad I gave this a chance!

Firstly, the interior of Australasia was stunning. From the iconic glass pyramid entrance on The Avenue in Spinningfields, to the beautuful restaurant downstairs with its white interior (I swear I need to revisit just so I can sit in those booths!) to the terrace and bar area upstairs with its unique shell theming and statement pieces, everywhere oozed luxurious and the interior definitely ticked all boxes for me.

We decided to sit in the terrace area outside - it had vibes of being abroad out there, with its mint green cushioned seats, and leafy walls, adorned with fairy lights. The terrace was heated, however with it still being a blustery February day, it did get a little chilly towards the end, but I can imagine this area to be divine on a warmer day, and even prettier by dusk.

The Asian afternoon tea came in 2 'waves' - savoury, followed by dessert on a different tier. The service was impeccable; both friendly and informative, and each item was explained to us so we knew what we were eating! Fresh wasabi was made in front of us which I liked. The afternoon tea usually comes with Chardonnay, however because Mike was driving later on, we both passed on the alcohol, and went for mocktails instead. I had a coconut and mango cocktail, whereas Mike had an Apple, Kiwi and Lime cocktail. They were both so refreshing and tasty.

The top tier consisted of 'salad' and pork. The pork was full of flavour and reminded me of something from a Chinese dish.

I couldn't tell you what the second tier was, but there was something on there that reminded me of the battered dumplings from Wagamamas, however this one had avocado in.. I'm not normally a fan of this but it worked perfectly with this concoction. This was teamed with a small salad and edamane beans which I'm a huge fan of. I think the cracker was a take on prawn crackers, however this had a slightly different taste to it, but was still just as nice.

The fresh sushi was on the bottom tier, and the one I was least looking forward to, simply because I don't eat raw fish, however I was pleasantly surprised. I will admit, there were a couple I slid across to Mike but for any fish/sushi fans out there, you'd appreciate this tier! There was a range of prawn, tuna and salmon, each on a bed of rice. The soya sauce really complimented these and definitely got that palette going!

After taking a moment, we then went in for the second tier - desserts! The majority of each one is bite-size, and were really tasty!

On the top tier lay 2 good-sized chocolate brownie type cakes. These were quite rich for me (but I managed to eat it all, obviously!). The chocolate was smooth and it was topped with a fresh blackberry and cream. 

The second tier came with these little glass pots of can only be described as a contrast between vanilla yogurt and blancmange. They werent my favourite but were definitely asthetically pleasing! The cute pink merringues that sat next to them were nice and crunchy, topped with a blueberry.

The third tier came with these 3 little beauties. The one on the left bizarrely reminded me a little of a bakewell tart, even though the colour doesn't resemble this! The middle was pastry with what tasted like lemon curd inside (my favourite!), topped off with a blueberry. The final one reminded me of an almond slice, and this too was lovely.

After our desserts, the wind had really upped its game, so we moved inside to the bar area to wrap up the last of our afternoon tea. Here we were presented with tea - we were given a small selection of teas to choose from; English Breakfast, Earl Grey or a few fruit/herbal flavours. I opted for the English Grey and it was presented on a small wooden tray and everything was made from glass which really pleased me!

Overall, an absolutely lovely experience and a place that I'm definitely going to revisit on our next trip to Manchester, this time to sit in the restaurant and experience their food menu and more of their cocktails!

Monday 19 February 2018

UK Staycation Bucket List

There's something I want to start doing more of, and that's seeing my own country. I've been a bit of a traitor over the years and have visited more countries outside of UK than I have in. However there are so many beautiful places within England that I long to visit, and that list is ever-growing. Here are my top 5 places that I would love to visit within the next year or so..


I love the look of bath, and how it holds a lot of history. I remember learning all about the Roman Baths as a kid in school, so I'd love to be able to visit them one day! It's a slight trek from us, at a 4+hr drive, but I'm determined to get there at some point. I'd love to visit whilst they had their Christmas market on!


I've never visited Scotland but again, Edinburgh really appeals to me because it has the perfect mixture of city life and history, with countryside being on your doorstep. I'd love to see Edinburgh castle too, and I can imagine the military tattoo festival would be amazing to watch!

The Lake District

Now this one I've been to on several occasions, moreso when I was a teenager though so I can't remember it too much (and definitely wouldn't have appreciated it back then). My last trip was with work in 2010 for a sponsored hike. We didn't really get to explore too much and 8 years have passed since then, so I think another trip is in order! I'd love to get a cottage with a hot tub and just enjoy lots of walks in the countryside and getting in touch with nature.

The Cotswolds

I'm a sucker for quaint little villages, and this looks like somewhere I'd love to live (how could you not think those houses are cute?!). I don't really know too much about the place but I can imagine walking down all the country lanes on a summers day and admiring all the cute thatched medieval villages and sitting by a lake whilst enjoying a picnic... dreamy.


This one is closest to us, but still a 2.5hr drive, yet somewhere that I've never visited. I like the fact that this is predominantely a university city, but has that quaintness to it. I want to see the boats/punters and I'd find a cute little tea shop and have afternoon tea whilst people watching. My perfect afternoon!

We have started to save for our wedding (yes, he finally popped the question on New Years Day!) so unfortunately a lot of travel plans are having to go on the back burner for a while, so it may take me a while to get through this list!
Where would you like to visit this year?


Saturday 10 February 2018

Frezyderm Hydrating & Repairing Facial Cream

It's been a long time since I last made a blog post about a beauty product, but this one deserves a mention.

A couple of weeks ago I won a competition, and the prize consisted of a bundle of skincare. I'll be honest, I'd never heard of the skincare brand before and was quite shocked when I realised how much these products were retailing at on their website.

A bit of background on my skincare routine (or lack of..) - It's basic, like really basic. I don't have lotions and potions that I apply every morning and evening, and to be honest, I've only recently in the past year or so been using moisturising cream. Yes, I know, its really bad. But I've just not found a moisturiser that's right for my skin. I'd either break out, or apply it under my foundation and my make-up just wouldn't 'sit' well on top of it. I gave it up as a bad job and around 6 months ago, finally settled on one particular day moisturiser that suited me well, but I used it at night instead. I've always received compliments on how 'youthful' and 'glowing' my skin looks, so I was always happy with how I did things.

After receiving my prize bundle, I gave the moisturiser a whirl. Being sceptical because of my relationship with moisturisers, I wasn't all that hopeful, however there are a few key things I would like from a moituriser, the first one being how well it absorbs into the skin. I hate how after applying moisturiser, half an hour later and the face still feels tacky, however I was amazed at how quickly my skin drank this up. Not only that, but how velvety soft my skin felt within minutes after applying. I couldn't stop touching it! It had the same effect that a favourite primer of mine has, so it definitely got a huge tick in this area!

An hour after applying, I was getting ready to go out for a meal, and begun applying my foundation. After nearing the end of applying my make-up, I noticed my skin looked different, like I had applied a brand new foundation. I looked closer in the mirror and was baffled as to why my make-up looked flawless - I had only used the same products that I always do. The appearance reminded me of an old favourite foundation of mine, Estee Lauder, that I hadn't used in years! Then I realised... it was the Frezyderm Moisturiser I had used earlier! I was amazed! It is worth noting that this moisturiser is targeted for ages 30+, so is designed to target areas where the skin (sadly) starts its ageing process.

This product claims to hydrate and restructure skin and has collagen boosting and elasticity improving properties. It's obviously early days in order to comment on this but I have definitely noticed a change in the appearance of my skin under make-up and that alone I am happy with.

The packaging is rather unique too. The bottle comes in a perspex 'capsule' almost, which can either be kept in this or taken apart. This gives the product a more luxurious feel. I occasionally find the pump applicator a little difficult to use, but it definitely doesn't effect my opinion of the product overall.

I've been using this a few days and haven'd had any break outs. Is it going to be a repurchase at some point? I think so!


Thursday 1 February 2018

Love is in the air at Cheerz

I've been to lots of people's houses over the past few years and they all seem to have one thing in common; a photo canvas hung proudly on their wall - something I've never owned. It's quite apt really, considering how 'into' photography I am, but with the likes of social media, all these lovely photos stay on my phone, or get broadcasted on facebook, but never see the light of day in physical format.

I finally got round to ordering a lovely 40cm x 40cm canvas photo print from Cheerz which now hangs proudly in my living room, and I love it. 
I've always been a bit fussy when it comes to the quality of photos; if a photo is slightly out of focus (unintentional) then I'll spot it. The very few photos I have had developed in supermarkets or Max Spielman, I've been so disappointed when they've been printed because of the quality, so I was a little apprehensive when ordering this canvas, however I really had nothing to worry about. The quality is absolutely beautiful, and is the perfect replica of the original photo, if not better because of the size! If you have the wall space, there is an option to go even larger with a 45cm x 60cm canvas - this would look great over a fireplace! 

The canvas' offers premium photo printing onto the material, which is mounted on a wooden frame. What I also loved about this product was how secure the packaging was when it arrived. It was almost vacuum-packed into the box which made no room for manoeuvre, so no risk of the canvas getting damaged in transit.  

You also get the option of adding a velcro fastener (for a small additional fee). Can I just say I've never come across these before but they are a complete game changer! I was in awe of their method/capability and I can safely say I'll definitely be repurchasing these for future wall hangings! So simple yet effective - if you dislike nails/hooks/marks in/on your wall, then these are for you! Marvellous little things which allow you to hang things and leave no trace on the walls afterwards... genius!  

Cheerz are currently getting into the spirit of Valentines day by offering a small range of romantic photo-themed items for your loved ones. 

These adorable heart magnets are the perfect little gift for those sentimental ones in your life...personalise them with not only a photo but a short message too.. maybe leave them round the house so they can go on a treasure hunt and collect them all!

These personalised Valentines Photo Albums are a great way to store memories for your loved one to reflect over. How about showcasing all of your 'firsts' ... first date.. first holiday together.. it would make a great coffee table book too! 

With only 2 weeks to go until Valentines Day, how are you going to show your loved one that you appreciate them? Cheerz are kindly offering all of my readers £5 discount on all orders over £20 when using the code Q1GXNX. This can be used on both the website and Cheerz App (which is also so easy to use!).

Get snapping and make someones day this Valentines! 
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