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I’m not sure about you, but when I’m on holiday, I really love to treat myself to a couple of really incredible meals. It’s such an indulgence, but honestly, sitting back, enjoying wonderful company and sampling delicious food simply cannot be beaten! I had heard wonderful things about the restaurant at Jesmond Dene House. It’s been awarded three AA Rosettes, and reviews are entirely positive, so to say we entered the dining room with high hopes is an understatement.

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The dining room itself is housed in the hotel’s former music room, and is decorated in warm tones, designed to draw the eye upwards, towards the most beautiful plasterwork. After admiring the room, and perusing the menu, we were treated to a selection of freshly baked, still warm from the oven breads. From a choice of three we opted for a slice of traditional sourdough and a sun-dried tomato brioche roll. There was a selection of butters too, and I went for the seaweed option. It’s not something I’d ever tried before, but it was absolutely delicious. Delicately flavoured, and deliciously savoury, it was the perfect way to start off the meal.

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I couldn’t resist the Chicken Liver Parfait which was served with Onion Marmalade and Toasted Brioche (£8.50). The parfait was an absolute delight – despite having a deep, rich flavour, it was whisper-light and satiny smooth. Piled on top of the freshly baked brioche toast, it was a study in comfort, and the onion marmalade was perfect for cutting through the richness. The salad which was served alongside was fresh and peppery, lending the dish another layer of complexity.

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We also couldn’t resist the Hot Smoked Salmon (£10) which was equally delicious. A mix of smoked salmon and salmon mouse, it was a such a wonderfully flavourful dish. The smoked salmon was rich in taste, with a perfect, firm texture. The mousse was flavoured with horseradish (one of my favourite flavours) which, along with the generous slices of gherkin cut through the richness of the dish. We both agreed that our expectations had already been exceeded, and they were the perfect start to the evening.

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Somewhat unusually, we both went for the same main course. You couldn’t not really. The Himalayan Salt Aged Cote de Boeuf (£35) was just too perfect not to try. Almost prehistoric in proportion, it was exactly what I was in the mood for! Served with Cafe de Paris butter alongside a garden salad and hand cut chips, it was the just the thing to enjoy on a cold, damp night.

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If you’ve not tried the Cote de Boeuf cut yet, you really must! It’s a rib steak with the bone still attached, and is the most perfectly succulent, flavourful steak you can imagine. Cooked medium rare, it was just the most wonderful supper. Crowned with a slab of mustardy Cafe de Paris butter, I could have feasted on this all evening.

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Honestly, this has to have been one of the best steaks I’ve had, probably ever. It was so tender and juicy, and the flavour was just out of this world! It was such a treat to be able to sit and really savour it.

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Along with a delicate garden salad (complete with edible petals) the Cote de Boeuf was served alongside a bowl of what could easily be the world’s most perfect hand cut chips. Served piping hot with a light sprinkling of sea salt. They were so crisp, with fluffy insides, they were an absolute joy!

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We couldn’t resist ordering a couple of desserts, and, the first to arrive was the absolutely gorgeous Lemon Meringue Pie (£8.50). It was a study in delicious contrasts – rich, buttery pastry held the most delightful sharp lemon curd. This was crowned with the most perfect swirl of meringue. Served with a refreshing quenelle of raspberry sorbet, it was a perfect way to end the meal.

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I had plumped for something a little more dramatic – the dark chocolate sphere (£10.50). I’d seen similar puddings plastered all over Instagram, and honestly, I couldn’t resist. Served a couple of beats behind the lemon meringue tart, I was a little baffled when a parade of waiters arrived table-side brandishing the gold-foiled sphere and a jug full of hot chocolate sauce.

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As the sauce was poured over the sphere, the magic really happened – the crisp outer shell simply cracked in two, revealing home made caramel ice-cream sitting on a disc of buttery shortbread. This was resting on a hunk of the most delicious caramel, as well as crisp salted peanuts.

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It was one of the most delicious and dramatic desserts I’ve ever encountered! It was such a decadent experience, and I’m it was just one surprise after another – I absolutely adored it!

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As you can probably tell, I had an absolute ball, and I have to say thank you so, so much to Jesmond Dene House for inviting me for both dinner and an overnight stay! It was a truly wonderful stay!

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Just over a fortnight ago, I took a week off work for the first time in what felt like a lifetime. Realistically, it’s more like a year, since I had so much time off, but it was very much needed! To make best use of the time, we decided on a bit of a road trip to explore down south and see a little more of England.

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Whenever I have a spare weekend, I tend to find myself in Cheshire, so, on this trip, I wanted to venture a little further afield. The first stop was the stunning Jesmond Dene House located in the centre of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. I’ve never really visited Newcastle before (unless a school choir competition counts), and since it’s only about a two hour drive from Edinburgh I don’t really have an excuse, but since visiting the stunning Jesmond Dene House, I think I’ll be back far more regularly!

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The hotel is situated in the centre of the city, within a stunning parkland. It was built as a mansion for a Victorian industrialist, and you can only imagine our oohs and ahhs as we drew up in the pouring rain. The hotel is a study in Arts & Crafts architecture, and is absolutely stunning. After trying to dodge the rain to take a few photos, were were ushered inside by the concierge, who whisked away our bags, and showed us to our room.

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Honestly, the welcome couldn’t have been warmer, and it was absolutely fascinating  to learn about the history of the house. There are nods to the property’s history throughout – with photographs on the walls and original features in some of the bedrooms.

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We were shown to room 2, located just off the lobby, with views to the back garden, it was the perfect spot to spend a rainy evening.

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The room was previously a library, and benefits from almost double-height ceilings, turreted seating area, and copious original features. It was an absolute gem, and we couldn’t have been happier with it!

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I was absolutely obsessed with the nook, which overlooked the gardens. It was such a cosy little spot to answer emails and enjoy the rain pounding outside.

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The room is fully stocked with everything you could possibly need. The wifi was super fast, and, importantly for a hotel, free of charge, and the cupboard was filled with fluffy robes, a mini bar and complimentary coffee and tea. Needless to say, we fixed ourselves a few cups of tea and settled down to enjoy watching the rain outside.

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The room was wondrously spacious and benefits from a double bed, which can be split into two singles depending on your needs. Swathed in super-soft white linens, they were absolutely heavenly, and so comfortable to lounge on!

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I loved the mix of contemporary decor within the traditional room, and it was the perfect place to relax and begin to unwind.

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After arriving we had a couple of hours to fill before our supper reservation (more on that tomorrow!), so I did what anyone would, and drew myself a long, hot bubble bath.

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You can see why I wanted to spend so much time in the bathroom – it was stunning! With a huge bath which was perfect for wallowing in, as well as a double sized shower and two sinks, it was absolutely heavenly!

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The bath was set beneath an original doorway, and getting to soak in a bath whilst sitting under all the carving was absolutely glorious! Despite being pretty much in the centre of town, the hotel was so tranquil, it was the perfect place to begin our vacation!

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Soon though, it was time to tear myself away from the room, for supper, which we enjoyed in the hotel’s dining room. Jesmond Dene is probably best known for it’s restaurant which has been awarded with 3 AA rosettes. Honestly, it was one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time (and you can read about it tomorrow) and I can see why it’s so beloved.

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Positively stuffed, we were thankful that the room was only a few footsteps away, and sank into the beds. Perfectly comfortable, we both remarked on how well we slept, and how cosy the hotel felt.

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All too soon though, it was time for breakfast, which we enjoyed in the conservatory. Still full from dinner the night before, we didn’t really take advantage of the breakfast like we should have. Guests are free to choose hot items from the menu (there are mouth-watering options including French Toast and Porridge which is served with a hint of Single-Malt Whisky and stewed fruits) or from the buffet – there really is more than enough choice for everyone.

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The buffet is a Continental affair, with a wide array of yogurts, breads, cereals, patisseries, meats and cheeses. I so wish I had been able to squeeze in a pain au chocolate or muffin, as they looked and smelled absolutely divine!

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Despite the array, we chose to keep it simple, ordering black coffee and orange juice, and sharing a plate of smoked salmon and watermelon.

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Despite sounding simple, they’re some of my favourite breakfast foods in the world, and so easy to get wrong. At Jesmond Dene, however, they were perfection. The coffee was delicious, and strong enough to shake off any morning snooziness, whilst the orange juice was freshly squeezed and wonderfully zesty.

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Our watermelon was perfect – firm and juicy, with wonderful flavour, and I’m still dreaming about the smoked salmon! Home cured in dill, it was rich and flavoursome, and the perfect way to round off a truly enjoyable stay.

We both had an absolutely wonderful stay at Jesmond Dene House, and are already looking at dates for our return! Our stay was complimentary, but the room rate was £250 per night including breakfast.

 

 

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I feel like Edinburgh has a whole lot of little gems, which I’m just finding, and one of those has to be No 11 Brunswick Street’s Brasserie. When I mentioned I was heading there after work, my colleagues had nothing but good things to say about it!

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No 11 Brunswick St is a stunning, luxury hideout situated in one of Edinburgh’s iconic Georgian townhouses. It’s a touch down from the Edinburgh Playhouse, so if you’re after a spot for supper pre-theatre, you’ve got to check out the Brasserie.

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The restaurant itself is in the front of the property, it has views out onto the street, and it’s a gorgeously intimate affair. Painted in deep charcoal grey, it’s the perfect canvas for the chandeliers and mirrors which glitter as the night gets darker, and it has to be one of the cosiest dining rooms in the city!

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I went on a Friday evening, straight from work, and the welcome couldn’t have been warmer. We were shown to a table in the corner, right next to the window, and settled on two glasses of the House Red and got down to choosing what we wanted for supper. The wine was an absolute delight – rich and fruity – it was the perfect accompaniment for what was to come!

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The menu is well sized with enough variations for everyone – the first appetiser we opted for were the Chilli and Coriander Fishcake Bites with tartare sauce (£7.00). A trio of crisp spheres arrived, coupled with a homemade tartare sauce. The bites were hot and crisp on the outside, and wonderfully fluffy within. Hunks of cod and salmon studded the bites, and the tartare sauce was wonderful – filled with capers and dill, it was a delicious update on a classic.

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I opted for the Grilled Queen Scallops with Bernaise sauce (£7.00) which were just heavenly. The scallops, served on the shell, were soft and sweet, whilst the Bernaise sauce had just the right amount of vinegary bite.

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When it came to mains, we both opted for the Fillet Steak (£28.00) with Red Wine Jus (£2.75). As you can probably tell, it was a wise choice. The Brasserie at 11 Brunswick Street really aim to serve as much local produce as possible, and the beef was just delightful. Rich in flavour, yet incredibly juicy and tender, we both agreed that it’s one of the best we’ve had in a long time. The Red Wine Jus was the perfect accompaniment – I don’t usually add sauces to steak, but this was a delight.

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To go alongside the steaks, we shared three of the side dishes – it was a touch call, but we went for the Red Cabbage and Chilli Coleslaw (£3.00), Garlic Buttered Greens (£3.00) and Mascarpone and Parmesan Mash (£3.00). Honestly, the whole thing was perfection. The Coleslaw was light, and crunchy – just as it should be. The Garlic Buttered Greens were delicious – the garlic was light enough to let the freshness of the vegetables shine through, and the Mash was heavenly. We should have guessed, thanks to how light the Fish Cake appetiser was, but the potatoes were wonderfully creamy and flavourful. Exactly what you want to have alongside such a heavenly cut of meat!

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Then, after giving ourselves a good while to ponder the dessert menu (and to digest the rather delicious meal) we both opted for the Sticky Toffee Pudding with vanilla ice cream (£5.50). I had wavered over the idea of Creme Brûlée, which, of course, sounded divine. But by this point it was pitch black outside, and the dining room was positively sparkling, and a cosy pudding sounded pretty much heavenly. What was served has to best the very best Sticky Toffee Pudding I’ve ever even thought about. With a swirl of homemade vanilla ice cream and doused in rich caramel sauce, the pudding came already crowned in pear soak in mulled red wine. The sponge was airy in texture, and incredibly moist. The sauce was incredibly moreish, and the ice cream just superb. It was the perfect way to end one of the best meals I’ve had in a very long time. So then, after a pot of green tea, we positively bounced out of the dining room, full of wonderfully fresh, Scottish produce, promising to return soon.

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Over the past few weekends, for one reason or another, I’ve found myself ending up in North Berwick. Before this summer, I’d never even ventured to the town, but now, since it’s only a half hour drive from Edinburgh, I’ve become quite the regular!

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Discussing places to go in the town, everyone had something great to say about The Lobster Shack, so it was about time to go explore the harbour and indulge in a little fresh seafood!

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The Lobster Shack is located right in the centre of North Berwick’s harbour, and you can’t miss it. If the blue and red shed wasn’t eye-catching enough, there will be a long, though quick-moving, line of people all debating over the small, well balanced menu.

DSC_0429Considering that The Lobster Shack consists of a single ‘shack’ with one chef and a few wait staff who buzz around taking orders, tidying and doing whatever else, the menu has everything you could enjoy on a sunny day in Scotland, and from beginning to queue to being served up with steaming boxes of seafood, could have only been 15 minutes. Considering it was a sunny afternoon, it was a pleasure to stand outside and watch the boats come and go and relax a little.

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We opted to sample three of the menu’s best-loved dishes – a half lobster, breaded haddock and a carton of seafood chowder. Honestly, I forgot to photograph the chowder, but it was the best cup of the stuff I’ve had outside of the American East Coast. It was indulgently creamy, with hunks of potato, haddock and lobster. Served with slices of crusty bread, it was the perfect start to an indulgent lunch in the sunshine. Then we moved onto the mains – both hulking boxes of seafood, chips, salad and coleslaw. The breaded Haddock and Chips is the fish supper of your dreams. The fish was juicy, the breading crisp, and the double-cooked chips were crunchy on the outside, yet still pleasingly light and fluffy in the middle.

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I went for the half North Berwick Lobster, and honestly, I think it’s one of the best meals I’ve had in a while. Cooked simply with a little garlic butter (the remnants of which are poured over the chips) the half lobster was a gleaming mass of fresh meat, just waiting to be wrestled out it’s shell. Wonderfully sweet, the freshness of it was evident, and sitting in the sunshine enjoying it was absolutely heavenly!

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I’d never been to Peebles properly before heading to The Horseshoe Restaurant and Rooms in Eddleston. I think I had driven through in the middle of the night on the way back up from Cheshire, but considering how close it is to Edinburgh, I’m kind of amazed and ashamed I’d never seen it in the daylight.

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The Horseshoe Restaurant and Rooms in located just off the road in Eddleston is definition of picture postcard pretty. With most of the main restaurant dating back to 1862, it was originally a blacksmith’s forge and the rooms are located in a Victorian school building. It’s the cosiest of set ups, and when I found out that they even have their own kitchen garden, I was in absolute heaven!

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Attention to detail is everywhere at the Horseshoe – even the planting beds are planted to supplement the kitchen. Just outside the rooms there are wild strawberries, lavender and daisies, all of which can be used either for desserts or for their wild flower displays which are sprinkled throughout the buildings.

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The restaurant is possibly one of the most comfortable I’ve been in. It’s a luxe mix of golds and rich woods, with candles flickering in every corner. The sitting room and lounge, also has a beautifully large circle window which lets you sit and watch the world go by. The dining room is an intimate affair with only 10 tables which vary in size, meaning it’s easy to find a corner to tuck yourself into to enjoy your meal. We started with amuse bouche of red pepper cream with a red pepper crisp, then duck with a little foie gras. Both were rich and flavorful, setting the scene for the rest of lunch. We also tucked into some of the freshly baked breads and home-churned butter. The olive studded option was satisfyingly warm, with a light crust and springy texture.

Summer truffle risotto, king oyster mushroom and mushroom ketchupThen we moved onto starters, and honestly, there was only one option I was going to choose – a Summer truffle risotto, king oyster mushroom and mushroom ketchup. I’m always a touch nervous opting for a heavy starter, but this one was absolutely heavenly. The rice was perfectly cooked, whilst the mushroom added texture. The cheese and truffle shavings were also a absolute revelation – they were so rich, whilst there was also a citrus element, which cut through the richness, balancing the dish.

Venison loin, black pudding, potato terrine, carrot, raspberries

Then I moved onto the main course, which was a study in rich comfort – Venison loin, black pudding, potato terrine, carrot, raspberries. I was a little apprehensive about ordering venison – I’ve not had it in years, and I’m not a fan of meat that’s overpoweringly gamey. This however was an absolute dream. The venison was melt-in-the-mouth tender, juicy, with a delicate flavour, which sat perfectly with the homemade black pudding which was rich and spicy. The raspberries cut through all the rich meat, with a pleasing tartness, whilst the chard was surprisingly sweet.

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After savouring every mouthful we headed back through to the sitting room and bar area for tea and petits fours. A sort of salted chocolate fudge was absolutely delicious – rich and smooth, and I’m already pondering ways of recreating it at home.

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The Horseshoe is the perfect spot to while away the afternoon, delighting in food that has been thoughtfully sourced and cooked. The pairings of flavours were really incredible, and the wine list is something special too! The Horseshoe offers over 300 bottles – and keep a special eye out for resident wine expert Mark Slaney’s sourced ‘Desert’ Wines!

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If you’re more in the mood for supper, they offer both an a la carte and tasting menu with accompanying wines. There are eight en-suite bedrooms which are, again, so comfy and cosy. Farrow and Ball paint, with crisp white linens mean that you can partake in some of Mark’s wine suggestions without worrying about how to get home safely.

Lunch at The Horseshoe Restaurant with Rooms starts at £20.00 for two courses and their website is here.

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There are a million reasons why you should visit London in the winter: the lights, the shopping, the general festive cheer. But one which is terribly tempting is Easton Regal’s new winter hair menu which has just launched.

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The salon is a beautiful, super sleek haven from the city buzz, and they’re offering 45 minute hair-up sessions complete with a glass of bubbly!

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You can choose from styles like ‘Regal Wave’ and ‘Regal Knot’ and they’re guaranteed to keep you looking beautiful throughout the festive period!

You can book in for a Coife and Cocktail for only £49 at Easton Regal.

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Aspinal Travel Collection

If you follow me on Instagram (you can find me here) you’ll know that a couple of weeks ago, Harvey Nichols Edinburgh kindly invited me to an event being hosted with Aspinal of London.

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Positioned right in the centre of the swoon-worthy accessories department, Aspinal of London had set up a seriously old school monogram press, which meant that anything purchased could be personalised to your heart’s content. The selection of leather goods from Aspinal was truly the stuff of dreams – neon pouches, sleek clutches and the most glamorous of totes were all crying out for a little bit of initialing, so when I was handed a rather sleek box, I’m not ashamed to admit that I squealed more than a little bit!

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Aspinal of London Travel Collection

Tucked inside was the chicest of collections – Aspinal of London’s Burgundy Red Travel Collection. I cannot tell you how long I have lusted after this selection of goodies! Every time I’ve stepped foot inside an airport I’ve promised myself that I’m going to treat myself to an Aspinal of London travel wallet – they are just the epitome of glamorous travel (not to mention being incredibly useful) and I’ve never gotten around to choosing one. So, you can imagine how excited I was to get my paws on the entire travel collection! Safe to say I can’t wait to book up somewhere terribly exotic to christen the set!

Aspinal of London Travel Collection Travel Wallet monogram

Crafted out of the finest Italian Saffino calf leather, the Travel Collection comprises of a Classic Travel Wallet, Passport Cover and two luggage tags (one for hand luggage and one for checked) and is available in a veritable rainbow of shades. Mine, burgundy is a new shade for Aspinal, and it’s also my favourite!

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The Classic Travel Wallet is everything you want and need when you’re travelling. Whenever I travel I tend to get super paranoid about losing tickets and passports, so to have everything in one terribly good looking package is an absolute dream!

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Inside the Travel Wallet, there’s a place for everything! From a zippered compartment for coins, to a slot for your boarding passes, tickets and passport, it means that fumbling around at passport control is a thing of the past!

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Aspinal Travel Collection Travel Wallet interior

The interior of the Travel Wallet is trimmed in stunning blue suede. It’s buttery soft, and it adds the most beautiful pop of colour to the wallet.

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I was so happy to see the Passport Cover tucked into my box – my passport has definitely seen better days, so to get a super sleek cover like this one is the stuff of dreams. In addition to the gorgeous Saffino leather, the Passport Cover has reinforced corners so it stays looking pristine no matter what adventures you get into!

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Once again, the Passport Cover is lined in gorgeous blue suede, and comes complete with a navy twill ribbon which acts as a page saver for whatever stamps and visas you need to keep out.

Aspinal of London Travel Collection Luggage Tags

The duo of luggage labels is just adorable. The two sizes means that one is perfect for hand luggage, whilst the other can be used on checked bags. I absolutely adore how the gold monogram shines out from the burgundy Saffino leather – it feels super grown up and glamorous, and it means I can easily identify my bag when it comes off the plane!

Aspinal London Travel Collection Luggage tags interior

Both luggage labels have little flaps which cover your name and address details, and again, the conners are reinforced with brass corners to make sure they hold up through even the most vigorous of baggage handlers.

Thank you so much to Harvey Nichols Edinburgh and Aspinal of London for the beautiful Travel Collection!

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Last night, Harvey Nichols Edinburgh very kindly invited me to their Beautiful Mind Expert Panel Discussion. Nestled high up on the Forth Floor, the newest and best products for Spring and Summer were discussed by some of the stores experts, and I have to say, I had an absolute ball!

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The Harvey Nichols’ Beauty Hall is where I tend to go whenever I’m in the mood to treat myself, so when I had the opportunity to learn from the best, and absolutely jumped at the chance! The evening was hosted in the upstairs bar, and we were treated to the most perfect looking nibbles and copious amounts of fizz! It was a lovely way to meet people as excited about beauty as I am – and I was so excited to meet Debbie Jones, who is the head beauty buyer for Beyond Beauty.

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As well as being a serious beauty buff, Debbie gets to introduce the best and newest products to Beyond Beauty, so if you’re like me and are addicted to EOS lip balms or at-home beauty devices like Tria’s or Clarisonics, you have Debbie to thank! It was fascinating to learn about what’s popular up in Edinburgh versus elsewhere in the UK (EOS lip balms are a very big deal) and I loved learning about what’s coming up. London’s Beyond Beauty are going to be the first in the UK to open up a sculpting bar with Rodial, as contouring has become such a popular technique, and Debbie also talked about how important cleansing and at-home devices have become.

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Jacqui Fenner from Harvey Nichols’ Beyond MediSpa then shared about the incredible range of treatments which are available at the in-store spa. It’s one of the corners of the store I keep meaning to head into, but learning about their incredible treatments means I am booking up ASAP! Rather than the typical whale-music beauty salon, the Beyond MediSpa is far more futuristic! Instead of relying on products alone, the spa is focused on intelligent skincare and body treatments. Jacqui talked us through the Hydrafacial which is a new treatment which was introduced last year. The process includes everything from lymphatic drainage, hydra-dermabrasion, a mild peel as well as red light treatment.

She also talked about CoolSculpt which is the newest treatment at the spa. It sounds amazing! Basically, it’s a non-invasive way of getting rid of any areas which you can’t target with exercise. The treatment can be used on arms, tummy and thighs, as basically the fat is sucked and then frozen, and the fat cells crystallise and die. It’s a permanent solution, and one treatment can make you drop an entire dress size!

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Gillian from Tom Ford then explained about the brand’s rather impressive fragrance collection. She is so passionate about the brand, and it was fascinating to learn more about the thought process behind the perfumes. Rather than having delineated ‘male’ and ‘female’ scents, they are unisex and you really do need to take the time to see which fragrances really appeal. Gillian explained that Tom Ford doesn’t want his fragrances to appeal to everyone, but I think that once you find your fit, you really love it. We got to sample a little of the Neroli Portofino Body Oil (my favourite) and we all had serious scent envy!

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Michael Becman is a top Laura Mercier makeup artist, and has ‘made-up’ everyone from models to celebrities. He talked us through the top trends he is seeing with makeup, and was even kind enough to perform a demonstration of contouring. Since the Kardashians have become so popular, more and more people want to learn how to contour.

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The Laura Mercier Contour Palette has been swiftly added to my wish list after seeing Michael work his magic! He recommended to start contouring after applying foundation, and rather cleverly, the Laura Mercier kit has no warmth so whatever you contour gives depth to your face. Depending on your problem areas, contouring can shorten your forehead, slim your nose or lift your cheeks. Unlike the rather distressing Pintrest contouring tutorials I’ve seen, Michael’s work was like magic! He pressed the cream into cheek bones and chin, and instead of looking stripy, his model just looked well rested. It was incredibly subtle but so beautifully done. After working the kit to add depth, he used a highlighting shade to add some life to cheek and brow bones (always blend up!). Then, to finish off the natural look, he added a swirl of blush. To find your perfect flush, he recommended pressing just underneath your fingertips to see what colour suits you best!

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If contouring sounds like a little too much, he also shared what he loves for an easy, everyday look. Rather than just popping your regular moisturiser, Michael likes to apply a moisture mask for all day hydration, and he recommends attending to your brows rather than adding mascara if you want a bit of a lift. A touch of bronzer is then all you need to look beautifully natural.

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Manda Gunion from Nails Inc then talked us through what’s new from one of my favourite nail brands. Harvey Nichols Edinburgh has a Nails Inc manicure bar, where you can enjoy a glass of champagne alongside your mani or pedi. I love visiting before I have an event to go to, since it’s so fun getting to enjoy some bubbles alongside your pampering! This year marks the brand’s 16th birthday party, and Nails Inc are in the middle of rebranding their old style bottles from round to rectangular. The new bottles are incredibly well thought out – they are made of Venetian Glass, and the brush designs are patented to be as easy to use as possible. We got to see the stunning collaboration with Victoria Beckham which resulted in two exclusive colours, as well as new colours which are being released for Spring and Summer. Manda recommending plumping for the Judo Red, turquoise and yellow if you want seriously on-trend nails. She also talked about what’s new and coming for the brand; Alexa Chung has been signed as the newest face (or nails), and there is a new formula which easily washes off the nail. There is even a halal formula in the works which allows water to fully penetrate the polish! In store, there is also going to be an unlimited manicure card, which means, for £99, you can enjoy as many champagne manicures that you can squeeze into 8 weeks! This summer, the nail bar is also introducing a new pedicure treatment which sounds divine – it’s inspired by crystal, and as well as your regular moisturising treatments and massages, there is a warming jelly which deeply nourishes feet, leaving them toasty for hours after you leave the store. It will cost somewhere around £65 and it sounds amazing!

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Last, but certainly not least, was James Hoffman of Electric Hairdressing’s Edinburgh salon. It’s a relatively new edition to the Edinburgh store, and you can find it tucked in beside the MAC makeup counters. It looks super slick, and I’ve been meaning to head in and check it out! I’ve tried and loved Electric products in the past, so it was great to hear from James. He explained that the UK-produced products are more universal than brands like Kerastase, so they sort multiple hair-related issues. And, unlike a lot of salons I’ve been to, Electric also believe your hairdresser should be both your stylist and colourist so that you get a really bespoke look and service. If your in the mood for a seasonal change, James is seeing shorter, blunter looks and hair colour is getting lighter, with a move towards more ashy blondes.

After the experts had finished telling us about all of their wonderful departments, there was time to mingle, and get some one-on-one attention. I had such a wonderful evening, and I feel like learned an absolute tonne. Not to mention that my wish list has grown considerably! As if the evening wasn’t fabulous enough, everyone went home clutching the most generous of goody bags courtesy of the evenings’ brands.

I would like to say a huge thank you to Harvey Nichols for inviting me – I had an amazing time!

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Since I was little, makeup compacts have fascinated me. I still love the way they look, and they still keep me occupied for hours as I play about with the products within, and Urban Decay‘s newest offering is one to watch View Post

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