Belsazar Vermouth Masterclass at Harvey Nichols*

Belsazar Vermouth Masterclass

As a rule, I’m not the world’s biggest drinker. I’m able to nurse a drink or two throughout an evening, and I usually go for something simple and uncomplicated when I choose to imbibe. I’m not sure I’d ever even looked at a bottle of vermouth before, so when I was kindly invited to a masterclass with exciting new brand Belsazar at Harvey Nichols led by the incredibly knowledgable Fliss, I knew I couldn’t refuse!

Harvey Nichols Belsazar

If, like me, you’re not too familiar with the tipple – vermouth is a fortified wine which originally started out as something of a medicine. Typically it’s found in cocktails like Negronis and Americanos, although Belsazar is creating a vermouth which can be used in classic concoctions as well as just sipped on its own with a little ice. We started the evening learning about the history of vermouth, and quickly got round to tastings – Belsazar is a German company, and get their grapes from the South Baden region. The company use only the highest quality, and carefully blend the wines with brandy and a touch of botanicals for flavour. Belsazar are the only people to produce German vermouth, and it’s such a discovery! We first tried all of the four variations (Dry, Red, Rosé and White) making sure to really notice their scents and flavour notes, I was seriously surprised at how delicious all four were!

Belsazar Vermouth

 We started with the Dry, which had notes of chamomile tea and fruit thanks to the inclusion of apricot brandy in the mix. We then moved onto the Rosé which was delicious! I think this one was my favourite thanks to creamy and fruity notes in it. Since it has the lowest alcohol content, it’s perfect for sipping on summer evenings, and it was absolutely delicious when mixed with ice, tonic water and a twist of grapefruit. My whole table thought it just tasted so light and refreshing, I think we all pledged to buy a bottle! Next up was the White, which is probably the most traditional of Belsazar’s vermouths. The refreshing and fruity notes would be a perfect accompaniment to spicy and oriental dishes, and it was incredibly refreshing when mixed as part of a classic martini. We finished up by tasting the Red vermouth. By far, this had the fullest and spiciest flavour, and when sipped alone it just tasted like mulled wine and Christmas. I think my most unexpected find of the evening came courtesy of the Red vermouth mixed as part of an espresso martini. When combined, the Red gave the cocktail a delicious depth of flavour, whilst the notes of cinnamon and cloves really sparkled with the coffee notes, in a word, it was incredible!

Prior to the masterclass, I’d never really considered vermouth as a drinks option. Usually I just go for something like a G&T or glass of champagne, but I’m a complete convert! Thankfully, the Harvey Nichols Forth Floor bar is already stocked up with Belsazar, whilst the Food Department will soon be filled with all four varieties of the vermouth available for purchase. I think I’m going to start with the Rosé whilst the weather is nice, and start experimenting with some mixes!

Thank you so much to Harvey Nichols and Belsazar for inviting me! You can find Belsazar vermouth here

Helly Hansen W Active Headband*

 Helly Hansen Active Headband

I can’t really believe that we’re nearing the end of June, although I am relishing the long nights which mean I have ample time to get out and about to enjoy the golden light.

Helly Hansen Active Headband 1

To keep me looking tidy, and to brighten my otherwise monochromatic workout gear, I’ve been loving Helly Hansen’s W Active Headband in Neon Pink. It looks so bright and fun, and it’s incredibly comfortable to wear. After securing my hair in a high ponytail, I just pop the band on. It’s super stretchy, so it fits my big head comfortably, and thanks to the double straps it stays in place, and keeps all my flyways neat and tidy.

Possibly the best thing about this awesome hairband? It’s only £ 8.00 and it’s available here.

10 Over 10 Salon – Tribeca

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I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to post my review of 10 Over 10 salon which I visited when I was most recently in New York.

I had been aching to head down to Tribeca and try the salon for ever! It’s a perennial favourite of the who’s who of the fashion industry, and I had heard only good things about the place. Located between Duane and Reade Street, you have to look out for a cute little neon sign, and then head up the stairs. Even though I didn’t have an appointment, I was accommodated for a mani pedi, and I got to work choosing my colours, whilst sipping on green tea.

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The sheer choice of colours available was beyond impressive. As well as having every Essie shade I could think of, as well as many, many more, I could choose from Chanel, Nars and 10 Over 10 own brand polishes – I was in heaven. I’m so picky when it comes to polish, and I really appreciated not having to tote my own along with me. I went for Chanel Fracas for hands and toes, and looked forward to the treatment.

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When it was time for my pedi, I got shown to a comfy little chair and invited to relax whilst my technician got to work. The view is incredible – as warm light shone in I had the perfect people-watching spot for the entire duration. It was bliss. My feet were silky smooth afterwards, and I was super impressed with techniques used. This might sound a little odd, but the shape which my nails were filed into were perfect.

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Following my pedi, I was shown to the manicure bar, where my fingers were suitably pampered – the service was blissful, and the technician didn’t blink an eye when I asked for an extra dose of acetone before polishing since my nails chip ridiculously easy. Unlike regular nail salons, there is no UV light which dries the polish, instead 10 Over 10 has developed their own special oil which dries polish quickly without bubbling or any other negative consequences. The mani lasted for around 4 days on me (a marathon by all accounts) and the pedi a week, and the whole experience was blissful. The salon is such a perfect little hideaway if city life is getting too much!