Monday, 26 September 2011

Clarice House Spa Break

(Image sourced from Google Images)

As you saw from a previous post I recently went to a spa with my friend for a girly break. We chose Clarice House in Bury St Edmunds due to a fantastic previous pamper day there, and a fab offer that meant we saved £150 for the two night stay. They always have deals on throughout the year and I would definitely recommend it if you were seeking a similar break. Here’s what you can expect and my thoughts...

The house itself and the surroundings are beautiful. It’s a large manor house with a grand staircase, chandeliers and lush red carpet – they hold wedding receptions there too! Upon arrival we were shown to our room where our complimentary gowns and slippers were waiting, and our itinerary’s for the three days. We had a double room which was modern, spacious and clean (the only downside was that we had been situated above the kitchen and with breakfast starting at 7am, we had a *lovely* morning wake-up call).


Whilst there you have access to the pool, the Jacuzzi, the sauna and steam rooms, the gym and the classes. Having forgotten our trainers (totally not on purpose!) we were unable to participate in the gym classes so opted for water aerobics which was super fun and surprisingly a good workout! There are loungers surrounding the pool and you are provided with free towels but I would recommend taking a cushion or yoga mat as the loungers aren’t padded, leaving you feeling as though you’re lying on rocks!


The staff are so friendly and couldn’t do enough for you – one evening we had hot chocolates in the lounge (posh eh?!) and had this cute waiter following us round meeting our every need, bless him. And the food...I would go back again solely for the food, it was A-Mazing!! Our stay included breakfast, a two-course lunch and a two-course dinner for both days, and you pre-order from the menu before your sitting (at breakfast you order your lunch and at lunch you order your dinner). The menu was extensive but quite fish and meat orientated – don’t go expecting your average bangers and mash! What I did order was delicious but if I had stayed any longer, I would have had to repeat as there wasn’t anything else that took my fancy.

To give you an idea of what’s on offer, I had (and this is me ordering the most known, familiar dishes) a burger with chips, a trio of ice-cream (which I repeated THREE times during the stay(!), a tuna and cheese Panini, lamb shank and fish and chips. There was a great selection to choose from for breakfast too such as croissants, a full-English, cereal and yoghurt but I stuck with fruit salad and marmalade on toast.



The treatments: hmmmm...if you are a regular spa-goer you will be very impressed. The therapists are friendly (albeit no older than 18!) and you are treated well. However as much as I enjoyed my facial and full body massage, I couldn’t help but compare it to treatments I have had in a salon and realised that a spa treatment is a very different experience to that of a salon. You don’t receive the personal touch that comes with going to your regular therapist and it felt rather cattle-market-esque to me – one in, one out! I didn’t feel as relaxed either and for me personally, I like to lay and enjoy my treatment in silence but the young girl I had was practising the art of small talk. The treatments weren’t as relaxing and beneficial as I had hoped but I enjoyed them all the same as it was part of the girly break – and who doesn’t like being pampered?

So for three whole days we indulged in lovely food, lots of chat, and many hours spent lazing around the pool – a perfect escape from reality. Ooh and of course several episodes of SATC of an evening! It was simply heavenly. And my favourite part (aside from the food)? Living in a world where everyone walks around in slippers and a dressing gown all day without an ounce of make-up on. It was very refreshing and somewhat liberating!


Ps, apologies for the mammoth post - there was just so much to tell you!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Chocolate digestive biscuits


At the weekend I was challenged to a ‘Come Dine with Me’ dinner. I’m not the most adventurous of cooks (my speciality being carbonara or sausage pasta! Mm mmm) but I wanted to make everything from scratch and really give it my best.

For starter I made stuffed mushrooms with bacon, onion and cheese, and for main I MADE (very important!) chicken goujons, new potatoes and salad and...pulled it off quite well!


My favourite dish of the three course meal however was a chocolate digestive biscuit cake – recipe courtesy of my friend’s Aunt. They were so yummy that I thought it would be selfish not to share so here’s my delish dessert and how you can make your own:

(This recipe makes 12-14 biscuits)

8oz digestive biscuits
4oz margarine
1 generous tablespoon golden syrup
4 teaspoons cocoa powder
2oz caster sugar
8oz chocolate (for melting)

1. Crush the biscuits. This can be done however you please but I put mine in a big mixing bowl and beat them with the end of a rolling pin (actually I’ll let you in on a secret, this is what you should do but I couldn’t find the rolling pin so made do with the handle of the cheese grater – it worked though!)
2. Put the margarine, sugar, cocoa powder and golden syrup in a saucepan and heat on low until melted
3. Once melted to a brown, runny consistency add in the crushed biscuits
4. Stir until all the biscuits are covered in the chocolate-tey sauce and remove from the heat
5. Spoon out the mixture into a 7inch shallow square baking tin, pat down and place in the fridge to set for 3-4 hours
6. If you would like melted chocolate on the top, make this once the biscuit cake is set. To make it, simply break the chocolate into bits and melt it in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of hot water on the hob, on a low heat
7. Once melted drizzle the chocolate over the set digestive biscuit cake and place back in the fridge for another hour

And voila! You have one delish, easy-peasy dessert. You can also customise it by adding raisins or nuts, whatever takes your fancy really. I’ve even heard of adding marshmellows!

I’d love to hear if any of you try this and what you thought. Enjoy!

Monday, 12 September 2011

100th post calls for something special

Welcome to my 100th blog post! I was going to do an ordinary chatty post today as I am going away somewhere exciting tomorrow but I thought I really should do something a bit more special for the big 1-0-0! As I keep promising them and not delivering (sorry!) I’ve decided to make this my first official well-photographed outfit post.

I had a mini-photoshoot set up in my house over the weekend for something in particular and I thought I’d share a couple of these with you. I really really want to regularly feature high quality outfit photos –I’ve bought the tripod and everything! – but my camera just isn’t up to the job. However these were taken with a profesh Canon one (not sure which model but I can find out if you wish).


Blazer – River Island, Blouse – New Look, Leather shorts – River Island, - Knecklace – Miss Selfridge

Let me know what you think. Would you like to see more high quality outfit photos?

{In addition} I’m off on a spa break tommorrow with my best friend!! So excited :) I’ve booked for an hour-long facial and a full body massage – my two favourites. We also have breakfast, a two course lunch and a two course meal included on both days, use of the swimming pool, gym, track, fitness classes, sauna, jacuzzi, and of course a beautiful hotel room. I cannot wait! Here are my essential supplies for a three-day girly break...



Ps, whilst I’m away a few items that I have listed on Ebay will run out so have a browse if you so wish. I have an unbelievable amount of clothes to put on there too, I just can’t seem to find the time!!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Pink Kisses...


I’ve developed a love for lipsticks of late and wanted to share my favourites. Lancome Juicies were always my first port of call when it came to lip colour (particularly Greseille which of course they’ve discontinued, sigh!) but when a L’Oreal Intense Color Riche landed in my goodie bag from working at Fabulous, I thought I’d give it a whirl!

Well I never, I have totally been missing out! I am quite lucky to have fairly deep coloured lips naturally so a little gloss was always enough for me but now I have experimented with bolder colours, I won’t be going back. Sorry Juicy tubes!


As well as L’Oreal’s Pink Passion (371) – a bright coral pink with a rich creamy finish – I’ve also recently picked up two Rimmel colours. Sweetheart Tulips (215) from the Moisture Renew range– a slightly glittered hot pink that has a firmer texture and is less creamy – was my first lipstick purchase and for £4.99 I was impressed! The colour is high in pigment, gives a sheer, almost glossy look and is perfect for brightening up an outfit. Although I love the colour, the texture wasn’t as pleasant on my lips as the creamy L’Oreal one so with that in mind (but still wanting a bold colour for a highstreet price) I bought Rimmel’s Firecracker (214) from the Lasting Finish Range. This is almost identical to 215 but a slightly lighter shade, however the texture and feel is much nicer. It’s creamier, smoother but still looks feminine.


I guess it’s clear that I like pink when it comes to lipsticks but I am looking to try a red shade. Do you have any recommendations? I’d also like to break away from the highstreet ranges (as good as they are) and try my hand at something more high end. Perhaps I’ll break my MAC virginity!! I would like a lipstick with a bit more staying power as my three pinks do need reapplying every couple of hours but aside from that, they are great buys.


Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Brain Boggle


Do you ever feel as though blogging is constant? Not in a chore sense but that you have never finished and never can because there are always posts to be written, blogs to be found, comments to be made. It literally is an infinite, never ending hobby. This can make it all the more exciting for some and does not alter my passion for the concept at all but of late I have felt overwhelmed with to-do's and adding a task that can never quite be completed to my list just didn't seem possible.

I have lots of ideas that I'd like to try for my blog but A this involves a better camera which I have to wait a few short months for, and B my head is so consumed with other thoughts that thinking of what to post about was proving difficult (and as bloggers you'll know that you can't force a post, you have to be inspired or excited to share something).

So apologies for the tardiness, and for yet another nail post! I'm not sure if you like these or not?...let me know :)


As I mentioned in a previous post, I used the ELLE Grey Mavala varnish that came with my September issue of the magazine to create a polka dot effect. But I wanted to try it as a base colour with sparkles on top. Well voila! Something I can check off my list. I didn't want to go overboard with the glitter as I really liked the neutral monochrome of the grey - a colour that's right on trend in the nail varnish world I see!

This week I'm concentrating on my final major project for my third year uni assignment and it's not going very well, hence the head-confusion, tearing-out-my-hair frustration, mind-boggling-ness that's kept me from what I like to do best. Hopefully things will begin to 'click' soon - well I hope so as I'm off to a spa next week and would love to go with a clearer mind so I can truly relax.

Wish me luck! (My stomach flips with nerves just at the thought of the gigantic task ahead eeek :/)