Where to meet Santa in Edinburgh*

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I think winter is my favourite time of year in Edinburgh. There’s something about strolling down George Street when it’s all twinkling and fairy lit which just feels so magical. Especially this year, when the entire West end block of the street is dedicated to the street of light.

Edinburgh’s Christmas 2016, Edinburgh – Unlike some Christmas events, which are confined to a specific location, the entire city of Edinburgh comes alive when the winter rolls in. From an enormous Christmas Market to a funfair, ice wall, ice skating, Christmas tree maze and more, you’ll find something for everyone when you’re welcoming in the festivities. Running from the 19th of November until the 7th of January, it’s an event that consumes virtually all of the city’s main shopping streets, so can’t be missed!

Of course, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a visit to St Nick! Thankfully, the capital has you covered!

Santa Land, Edinburgh — tell any child they’re going to Santa Land and their excitement levels will likely go through the roof! Santa has pitched his grotto in Santa Land this year, near the Christmas Tree Maze and Santa Train, and will be there between 19th November and Christmas Eve. He will be of course dishing out gifts too!

Opening times:

* 10.30am to 7pm Monday to Friday

* 10.30am to 8pm Saturday & Sunday

* 10.30am to 7.30pm Christmas Eve

*Many thanks to Stagecoach for sponsoring this post – you can find easy transport options at www.stagecoachbus.com

Ban.do stationery at Rooi*

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When it comes to cute stationery I can get a little obsessive. I like my things to be super organised and look cute too! So, when I was contacted by Rooi and asked if I wanted to try a couple of things, I absolutely jumped at the chance. The site has some of the best selection of stationery around, and when I saw that they had US-based brand Ban.do my mind was made up for me!

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Considering I’m always looking for ways to keep my thoughts straight, I thought that the Rough Draft Mini Notebook in Girls Just Wanna Have Fun would be a good shout. It’s the perfect size for popping into my handbag, and I love the fact that it has a thick, durable cover which withstands a bit of rough and tumble when I’m out and about. It’s also super cute. I love the cute, slightly snarky doodles!

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Then, as if the notebook isn’t awesome enough they sent over a whole booklet of stickers! Considering I’ve just treated myself to the Ban.do Agenda (it’s on offer at Rooi at the moment if you want to indulge), these couldn’t have come at a better time! With stickers for everything from nail appointments to coffee dates, with pretty much everything in between, they’re the perfect way to perk up boring appointments!

You can find ban.do stationery at Rooi here.

Black Chicken Remedies Love Your Face Serum*

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Ok, so it’s not exactly news that I’m all about hydration when it comes to skincare. Especially when we’re in the middle of winter. So, when I got the opportunity to try out Australian brand Black Chicken, I absolutely jumped at the opportunity! So, when a green tube arrived with the postman, I was more than a little intrigued!

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The brand is Australian made and owned, and all the ingredients are naturally based and toxin free. They’re all about making your skin as good as possible without adding anything unnecessary or unnatural, so I thought that the face serum was the perfect place to start. Packaged in a dark glass bottle, it’s got a bit of an old-school apothecary feel. The ingredients list for the serum is like a who’s who of great skincare; Apricot Kernel Oil, Jojoba Oil, Evening Primrose Oil and Neroli Essential Oil are all in there.

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The serum itself is an absolute dream come true if you suffer from dry skin. It has a thicker texture than any other serum I’ve tried, in fact, it feels more like an oil to apply. You can use the Love Your Face serum either morning or night (or both if your skin is feeling particularly parched) and you only need to massage a few drops into freshly cleansed skin. My face absolutely drinks the serum up, and I’ve noticed that my skin texture has improved dramatically, even just using the serum a few nights in the row. It also cuts down on redness, which means I don’t need to use as much foundation the morning after. I’ve fallen absolutely in love with the serum, and can’t wait to try other products from the range!

Black Chicken Love Your Face Serum is priced at £66 and is available here.

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Palette – Junkie*

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If you even have a passing interest in makeup, beauty or fashion, chances are you will have heard about the Vice lipstick collection Urban Decay released earlier in the year. With 120 shades to choose from, and a variety of different textures which range from sheer to retro-matte, it was a seriously impressive drop. So, right in time for Christmas, there are some brand new palettes to choose from!

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The two palettes are split by names – Junkie (mine) and Blackmail. Depending on your preferences, you’ll fall in love with at least one of them! Blackmail has more of your classic lip colours; there are five fairly neutral nudes, with a selection of bright reds, pinks and some wine shades to mix it up a little. Junkie, as you will see, is a little more risqué!

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Before I get onto the shades though, the packaging needs some serious attention. The out casing is a stunning gunmetal grey. Then, once you pop it open, there is a wonderfully large mirror, then a protective flap inscribed with ‘Lipstick is my vice.’ It’s a really sleek package, which is perfect if you’re looking to update your collection!

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Once you get inside, you can see how gorgeous the lip colours are. Ranging from a perfect nude-pink to a deep forest green, I can genuinely say, you will have nothing like this in your stash!

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The colours included in the Junkie palette really are stunning. With twelve shades to choose from, I feel like wearing a different shade every day of the week, and the options like Junkie and Studded really make me feel like pushing my boundaries.

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I might not have stepped out with green lips yet, but Safe Word and Whip are daily must-haves for me. As you would expect from Urban Decay, the formulas feel incredible on the lips, and colour payoff is insane.

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As if 12 stunning lipsticks wasn’t enough, Urban Decay has included a screw-up lip brush which makes application an absolute dream. Since some of the colours are so dramatic, you do need a lip brush for a precise application, so having such a great one included feels like a real treat!

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Palette in Junkie is priced at $35 and is available here (US) and will let you know when it drops in the UK!

Brunch at Montpeliers, Edinburgh*

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Sunday always seems to be the perfect day for brunch. Late and slightly lazy mornings feel like such a treat, especially when you’re up as early as I am every day! So, I absolutely jumped at the chance to sample Montpelier’s brunch menu.

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They’ve just been named as the best brunch in Edinburgh by ion magazine, so, as you can imagine, I went with high expectations! Situated in Bruntsfield, we parked the car nearby, and when we got in, we were met with possibly the cutest Christmas decorating in the whole of Edinburgh. Everywhere you looked there were fluffy little owls perched alongside teeny stockings and berries.

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We settled down to the task of ordering, we got some tea and orange juice to keep us going. The restaurant had a really wonderful atmosphere – buzzing with groups of friends, families and couples, all enjoying a bit of a morning treat. There was even the most adorable maltese sitting under a neighbouring table, which was very difficult not to offer treats to!

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Since we were in to see what was on offer, we had to order the The Full Monty (£11.95). This really is a breakfast fit for a king, and comes with a pot of tea and a glass of orange juice. If you’re after something to really set you up for the day, this is it!

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The Full Monty is literally everything you could imagine in a breakfast on one plate. Fluffy eggs, baked beans, bacon, sausage, haggis and black pudding all competed for space with a rack of fresh toast and a potato scone. Considering we had dived into Montpeliers out the rain, it was really a perfect winter warmer of a dish. I admit to nicking a bit of sausage, and it was absolutely delicious – flavourful and herby, everything was so fresh and flavourful, we were more than a little disappointed when we couldn’t quite finish it!

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When I saw I could order a stack of pancakes, complete with maple syrup and crispy bacon (£5.95) there wasn’t another choice for me. There’s something about fluffy pancakes smothered in syrup that’s just delightful, and then the addition of bacon (especially when it’s crispy) just makes it heaven.

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The stack was three pancakes high, and they were absolute perfection! With crunchy outer edges and soft, fluffy centres which just sucked up the syrup, the dish was exactly what I was after! It was such a treat to be able to sit on a weekend morning, and really enjoy breakfast. Sitting in the window of Montpeliers, we got to people watch (my favourite) and really savour the morning, soaking up all of the restaurant’s convivial atmosphere. It was such a lovely way to spend an hour or so!

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Also, I just wanted to draw attention to the amazing initiative that the restaurant is currently running. If you’re dining (or just having a drink) you can add a couple of pounds onto your bar bill, and it means that a homeless person will be able to enjoy a hot Christmas meal. If you’ve been in the city centre recently, you will have noticed how many people need our help, especially in this cold weather, so I really appreciated the gesture.

Thank you so much to Montpeliers for having us!

 

 

 

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