Thursday, 23 June 2016

Fashion // Festival Fashion Wishlist 2016

Festival season is well underway, with the mother of them all, Glastonbury, taking place this weekend. I'm a huge festival fan and love nothing better than covering myself in glitter and dancing madly in a field with a huge crowd! I love people watching at festivals and checking out everyone's amazing outfits. We Love Wristbands* challenged me to put together my perfect festival fashion wishlist so here it is!

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Quay Australia My Girl Mirror Cat Eye Sunglasses with Pink Lenses - £30.00

Yes, yes, I know I keep banging on about my Quay Australia My Girl sunglasses, but I blimmin love them! The mirrored lenses are so on trend right now and I think the cat eye shape is really flattering. Festivals are all about fun sunglasses for me and I love the black marble frames and pink mirrored lens version of these. 


New Look Red Stripe Heart Badge T-Shirt - £11.99

How cute is this top?! You can't go wrong with a little stripey tee and this one with its little love heart patch is so cute, and festivals are all about love aren't they?! I'm a big fan of layering at festivals as you're often out all day and into the night, so I always take heaps of cute tees which can be worn on their own, over a vest top or under a jumper.

NYX Face & Body Glitter - £5.50

I don't tend to wear too much make up to camping festivals but one thing I do go all out for is BODY GLITTER! Why wouldn't you want to shine like a disco ball of glory?! I'm allergic to rave paint so can never join in that fun, so I always make sure I'm sparkly and fabulous instead!

ASOS Reclaimed Vintage Embroidered Leather Saddle Bag - £38.00

A good handbag is key to a happy festival for me - it's got to be able to fit all my valuables and essentials in, be sturdy enough to not buckle under the weight of all that glitter, hand sanitizer and toilet roll, and be nice and secure so things don't go flying all over the place as I'm jumping around like a loon. And if you can get one that looks as stunning and festo fabulous as this one then Brucie bonus! This embroidered leather bag from ASOS is absolutely beautiful and it's brightly coloured pattern is so fun and will brighten up any outfit. It's also super practical too - with a wide leather strap, flap top and internal and external pockets to fit everything you need in. Bravo ASOS, bravo! 

New Look Grey Dungaree Pinafore Dress - £24.99

Dungaree denim is a classic festival look, but for me it's got to be a skirt over shorts. Festival toilets are never the nicest and the quicker you can get in and out the better. No one needs to be faffing around with taking off buckles and straps and trying to hold them out the way of the long drop whilst pulling down your trousers and trying not to drop your handbag or lose balance and topple over completely into the questionable water on the floor *shudder*  The dungaree dress however means you don't have any of these dramas! I love this grey denim pinafore from New Look and think grey looks a lot more interesting than plain black and will be great for hiding the layer of dirt which seems to engulf EVERYTHING at festivals!

Child of Wild Flash Metallic Tattoos - £20.00

I don't like to take lots of jewellery to festivals as I'm always worried I'll lose it or it'll get knicked, and to be honest lots of swingy bling just gets in the way as I dance like nobody's watching! Metallic tattoos are such a cool way to indulge in some fun body art or faux jewellery and you don't need to worry about losing your favourite piece or family heirloom, and can just concentrate on having fun! They're also super reflective and go with my whole COVER MYSELF IN SPARKLY STUFF vibe.

Boohoo Freya PU Coated Waterproof Mac - £40.00

A good waterproof is a UK festival essential. Seriously, no matter how much stuff you have to carry, do not overlook your rain mac! I love this bright yellow one from Boohoo and it's so fun and bright for festivals but I think is also really chic for wearing in the real world too! Who said anoraks had to be boring?!

Ash Virgin B is Gold Metallic Leather Buckled High Top Trainer - £89.99

I'm all about sensible shoes at festivals - closed toes and full foot protection are a must for me. With British summer being somewhat unreliable to say the least, there's bound to be a lot of mud and rain at some point and nothing will dampen your spirits more than wet soggy feet. These gold glittery Ash Boots* are so fabulous as well as being practical. They're real leather so will keep the cold and wet out and the trainer style means they're nice and light weight so perfect for carrying in your bag and trekking around in all day.

I hope you liked my festival fashion wishlist! I just need to sort myself out some tickets now, so I've got an excuse to buy it all! 


What are your favourite pieces to wear to festivals? 

Do you go for a more practical style or for full on festival glamour?


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*Sponsored post. All thoughts are honest and my own. For more information please see my Disclaimer Page.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Lifestyle // Missoni Art Colour Exhibition & Afternoon Tea at Aqua Shard with Farfetch

I love my little blog and having my own sanctuary where I can come and document my adventures and the things I'm loving and doing. It also means I get to have some super fun experiences because of it, such as the other week when the babes at Farfetch contacted me and asked if I'd like to join them on a little adventure around London, checking out the Missoni Art Colour exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum followed by Afternoon Tea in the clouds at Aqua Shard. Yes please!

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If you're not familiar with Farfetch, please go check out their website as soon as you've finished reading this! EVERYTHING IS TO DIE FOR! Farfetch brings worldwide shopping right to you, with access to 400 carefully selected visionary fashion boutiques all over the world in one place, allowing you to shop the cream of the crop super simply and not having to pay extortionate customs or postage fees (or having to travel around the world to find the things you're after) as you deal directly with Farfetch. Very clever! Farfetch sell over 1000 designers including huge fashion powerhouses BalmainDolce and GabbanaSaint Laurent, and of course Missoni. Their bag collection is particularly lust worthy! See, I told you you'd want to check it out!

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It was a beautiful bright sunny day in London - perfect for a trip up The Shard, so I was full of beans as I headed to the Fashion and Textile Museum to meet Dani from FarfetchLela from LelaLondon and Serene from I am Serene L, the other blogging babes who'd been invited along. We headed straight into the exhibition and all loved learning more about Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, their inspirations and creations. As well as the modernist art from Sonia Delaunay, Lucio Fontana and Gino Severini, which influences the house of Missoni, there were also sketches and work by Ottavio Missoni himself. It was so amazing to see the work that goes in to creating such stunning pieces and it was lovely to see some video footage of the designers talking about their work and why they choose the colours and patterns they do.

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Also displayed were a selection of Missoni's fashion masterpieces, including a stunning display of mannequins all clothed in the iconic graphic Missoni style. It was so amazing to see them all together with the dramatic prints and colours - total wardrobe goals! The exhibition runs until the 4th September so I definitely recommend checking it out if you get the chance this summer. 

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The exhibition wasn't as big as we'd anticipated so we had an hour to spare before our reservation for afternoon tea. We wandered down to the River, taking in the beautiful views of Tower Bridge and had a good old girlie gossip. It was so lovely to get to know the girls and  it felt like we were old friends as we swapped stories about dating disasters and holidays, as well as learning more about each other's blogs and the work Farfetch do. By the time we got to The Shard it felt like I was with three of my oldest gal pals - so nice! I've been to The View at The Shard before (read about that here) but had never visited any of their bars or restaurants, so I couldn't wait to experience Aqua Shard's Afternoon Tea.

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It's a really beautiful space, with wooden floors, neutral walls, mirrored columns and of course those stunning views out of the floor to ceiling windows! Unfortunately the tables right at the front of the windows are reserved for couples only, but we were sat just behind so still got to admire the amazing lookout over the City as we ate.

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We started our Afternoon Tea by selecting our pot of tea, and I confessed to the gang that in all my 30 years I have never had a proper cup of English tea! (I am British I swear) Swayed by the lure of notes of chocolate and caramel, I decided upon the English Breakfast Single Origin. And I have to say - I really enjoyed it! And it's true what they say - tea is really refreshing!!!! Who knew! 

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We were soon bought over a plate of delicate finger sandwiches - Staffordshire leg ham, grain mustard and Bermondsey hard cheeseEarl Grey tea smoked Loch Duart salmon, cucumber, Oscietra caviar and dill scented creamchicken perfumed with lavender mayonnaise and Neapolitan - organic hen's egg, smoked mustard cress. They were all so delicious but my favourite was definitely the Neapolitan - you can't beat a classic egg sandwich and the addition of the curry powder gave it such a nice depth of flavour. The classic ham and cheese was also really nice - the meat was beautifully cooked and it was nice to have something so savoury before digging into the sweet treats which soon arrived!

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The presentation was beautiful - three tiers of stunning patisserie YUM! I started with the freshly baked scones (one each of the vanilla and golden raisin, obvs - it would be rude not to try them both!) They were huge and the nicest scones I've ever had in my life, even better than my mum's (soz Sue!) They were also still warm which I think makes all the difference, so the clotted cream can melt right in, and were so soft and buttery it was like eating a cloud of glory. YAAS!

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Moving it up a tier we had Passion Fruit Cheesecake, made with vanilla cream, passion fruit jelly and crumble which looked so bright and colourful and Serene said tasted just like a Solero ice cream. There were also the prettiest Victoria Sponges I've ever seen - encased in white chocolate and topped with a bubblegum flavoured candy pink macaroon. YUM! The macaroon was surprisingly delicious - I thought it might just taste mega sweet and synthetic but it was actually quite delicately flavoured and I could have munched my way through dozens more!

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The top tier was full of chocolatey goodness! The piece de resistance being the Red Velvet and Dark Chocolate Shard Cakes which tasted as good as they looked! They were very rich but really light and fluffy and the coloured chocolate shards were so creamy. It did sadly leave me too full to try the Milk Chocolate Mousse with hazelnut crunch and blackcurrant, but that just means I have to go back, right?!

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I had such a lovely day with Farfetch and am so grateful to have been treated to such an amazing experience. The Art Colour Missoni exhibition was so interesting and it's was great to see so many incredible iconic Missoni creations in one place, and Afternoon Tea at Aqua Shard was delicious! The food itself was so scrumptious and the views were of course breathtaking. It was great to make some new friends and I loved hearing more about Farfetch and the exciting things they have to offer both now and for the future. 

I can see myself being a right spendy Wendy on there! 

Thanks so much for having me guys!


Have you bought anything from Farfetch before?
Where else are you favourite spots for an adventure in London? 


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*Thanks so much to Farfetch for inviting along and treating me to such a lovely day - I had the best time! All thoughts are honest and my own. For more information please see my Disclaimer Page.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Favourites // May 2016

Well it's June, and my summer body is nowhere to be seen. I'm going for a Christmas body now! Seriously though, I am a bridesmaid in December, I must pull myself together and put down the Wotsits. Mmmm Wotsits.... Despite still not looking like Khloe Kardashian I'm going to put it out there and say that May 2016 was one of my best months EVER! I had two holidays, got back in to the swing of blogging events, went to the Royal Albert Hall and feel a bit like I'm starting to make solid plans to get my personal life back on track. YES GIRL! 

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Adventures in Chicago

My top May Favourite has to be my week long trip to Chicago at the beginning of May. It was literally the most incredible week ever and just what I needed. I stayed with two of my friends from my summers spent working at an American summer camp and two other friends also flew in from the East coast to join us, which was AMAZING! I hadn't seen them for about eight years but it felt like just yesterday we'd all been together and it was so nice to catch up on all their news. So much love for my Fleur de Lis Family! Chicago itself is also such a fantastic city. It's filled with beautiful architecture and art and is very friendly and approachable, so a great place to explore on your own. I really enjoyed travelling on my own and think it was very important for me to do so - I used to be the most independent person I knew, and thought nothing of zipping off half way round the world solo. Then spending nearly eight years in a relationship you definitely lose a little bit of your independence and sense of self, and never need to go anywhere on your own. So it was amazing to prove to myself that hell yeh I got this - and of course, I did! And travelling solo was so much fun as I got to do exactly what I wanted when I wanted during the day! Pop into Sephora for the third time in one day? Why the hell not?! I really did have the best week and will have a full post up about my adventures (and my Sephora purchases) soon, as well as a look at a gorgeous photo album I've made to commemorate my trip. Watch this space! Though you can see a couple of pics below....

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Girls' Weekend in Center Parcs

My second fabulous holiday in May was for a long girls weekend to Center Parcs in Woburn Forest. We had so much fun - riding the Rapids, enjoying the fumes, relaxing in the spa, drunk dancing at the disco and pedaloing on the lake. I had so much fun spending time with seven of my faves and was so impressed with Center Parcs. I'd never been before but thought that, whilst everything is quite expensive, it is done really well. We're already looking forward to going back next year! 

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Despite a shocker of a week weather wise last week, May was actually pretty nice and sunny in London Town huzzah! And whilst for some, sun's out may mean guns out, for me it means ciders out in the garden! I've been loving the new Waddlegoose Cyder from Aspall - they're so refreshing and the perfect treat at the end of the day. The best bit about them is that they're not too sweet, and actually taste quite fresh, rather than artificially flavoured - lovely! I took loads with me to enjoy with the girls in Center Parcs and I think they're going to become staples at all our barbecues over the summer!

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I could literally eat pizza all day every day - I just love it! So when the babes at Ristorante asked if I'd like to try out their new limited edition Salame Arrabiata pizza my answer was a resounding HELL YEH! I'd never tried Ristorante pizza before but was really impressed and I've eaten far more than is advisable for someone who's meant to be working towards that Christmas body! The Salame Arrabiata pizza has literally all my favourite toppings in one place - mozzarella, Edam, salami, yellow peppers, red onion and a spicy Arrabiata sauce. YUM! I'm addicted to spicy food and add chilli and sriracha to EVERYTHING so I was interested to see whether the Salame Arrabiata would live up to the two chilli spice icon on the front of the box - and you know what? It did! The base is nice and thin and the top is also really well filled - no sparse cheesy bits left on the plate till the end here! It's so nice to have a pizza which doesn't need me to add extra ingredients to, making it actually really quick and easy to prepare. I did find it needed a bit longer than the recommended 10-13 minutes in the oven to properly crisp up but it was totally worth the wait. I'm almost glad these bad boys are limited edition as they're so blimmin tasty I'd considered moving permanently into the freezer aisle at Tesco just to be close to my new bae! I definitely recommend running out and nabbing a few for the freezer before they disappear. 

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The Perfume Shop #TPSPerfumeBar Event 

I've been loving getting back into blogging and have been to some really lovely blogging events this month. My favourite event was a trip to Mahiki with The Perfume Shop to experience their Perfume Bar and try out the cocktails they'd designed based on some popular fragrances! I thought this was such a neat idea and so inventive! I picked the Chloe Signature Martini - "an elegant fruity floral cocktail to reflect the timeless notes of Chloe Signature. Hendricks Gin and vermouth partnered with sweet lychee liquor and the distinct elegance of rose syrup for a smooth, chic and moreish martini. Completed by the addition of fragrant grapefruit zest". It was so delicious and so cool to see what notes they had picked out of each perfume and how that had been translated into a drink. There were also heaps of perfumes dotted around for us to try and smell and I have fallen head over heels for the new Jimmy Choo Exotic which just screams summer holidays! I haven't got another holiday planned for this year so I think at the very least I need to treat myself to a bottle of this! I had such a fun night and it was so lovely to catch up with my fave PR girlies too - the Popcorn babes are always so lovely and friendly, I always enjoy events with them for a little catch up! Thanks for having me guys! It was really dark in Mahiki so I didn't get many photos but I was given a really amazing Modern Muse Le Rouge perfume bottle shaped biscuit which is what you can see here! How cool is that?! I also Snapchatted my way through the event - @pickleemsy - so come say hello there to see more blogging event fun in the future.


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Fashion Favourites time! I decided to treat myself to a backpack to take to Chicago with me to make sure I had enough space for all my hand luggage crap essentials. I was after the nude pleather one I featured in my SS16 Wishlist a few weeks ago but unfortunately I couldn't find one in store, however I fell head over heels for this white and tan one instead. I love the neutral colours of it and think it looks really cute and chic. I found the three compartments so useful for keeping everything organised, and it's quite a neat size - not so big you cant find anything, but large enough it doesn't become overstuffed and you walk around looking like one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I've never been one to use a backpack but I loved this one and think I'll get lots of use going out and about this summer with it. 

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I was determined to pack light for Chicago and not take too much with me. Amazingly I received these gorgeous little Dalmatian print pony hair ballet pumps from Butterfly Twists just before I went away. How cute are they?! I don't own any shoes like these and love that they're a cross between ballet shoes and trainer pumps, meaning they can be dressed up or down - perfect for taking away with me as they suit every occasion! I loved slipping them on for casual evenings out when I wanted to be fancier than my New Balance trainers but more relaxed than my heeled boots. Butterfly Twists also have a really awesome story behind them - they were created by a group of guys, one of whom ended up wearing women's shoes on a night out after losing a bet. They soon discovered the pain that heels can cause us girls on an evening out, so decided to create a collection of cute flat pumps which can be folded up and slipped into a handbag, ready to be changed into when needed. Again this made them great for squeezing into my suitcase as they literally do fold in half! They come with a dust bag too to keep them, and my other items, clean and tidy. They're seriously a traveller's dream! 

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I've only got one beauty favourite this month and that is the Superdrug Weak Nails Strength Serum. I had my acrylics taken off after I got back from Chicago following three consecutive months of wearing them and my nails have been absolutely DESTROYED! They were so sore and weak when I first had them off and literally flaked and folded like paper. Not good! My nails have never been strong, which is why I started wearing acrylics in the first place, but the weakness they're at now is awful! I just want acrylics back on to give them back some structure but am trying to keep them natural for as long as possible to get them healthier. Oh it's a vicious circle! One thing which I've found has been a massive help in getting them stronger is the Superdrug Weak Nails Strength SerumI've previously used a Primark Cuticle Oil, which is great but I wanted to try something less greasy and this Superdrug number is great. My nails feel much stronger and it absorbs really quickly after being massaged into my nails and cuticles. It was also super cheap - just £3.99 - and it's a nice thin tube so great for just throwing in my handbag and taking with me to top up throughout the day. I definitely recommend giving this a go if you've got weak nails that need a healthy boost. 

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So there you go - quite a lot of faves this month and mostly all lifestyle based! I treated myself to a lot of beauty bits in Chicago, which I've finally got round to photographing though so I'm sure there'll be a good few beauty faves in June! I've got another busy month coming up too with hen dos, weddings and birthdays so it looks set to be another fun month hurrah!


What were your favourite things in May? 



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*PR Samples. All thoughts are honest and my own. For more information please see my Disclaimer Page.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Lifestyle // Girls Day in London - Brunch at All Bar One & Royal Albert Hall

You can't beat a girls day out with your bestie, and that's exactly what I had the other week as my friend Lauren and I headed for brunch at All Bar One followed by watching the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Film Gala at the Royal Albert Hall.

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I think everyone is familiar with All Bar One* as a late night cocktail destination but did you know they have also do a killer brunch menu too (complete with brunch cocktails?!) Me either! One of the great things about All Bar One is how conveniently placed they all are - you're never too far away from one in London! Lauren and I headed to the Villiers Street branch which is just below Charing Cross Station.

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I've never been to this branch before but was really impressed - it's really big inside and has a gorgeous mezzanine level which echoes the architecture of Charing Cross Station above (I'm a big of station design #ArchitectureGeek) I was also really surprised by how many people came in to have brunch and coffees over the course of our visit - clearly most people have beat me in discovering All Bar One's daytime delights! 

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We settled down at a little table and again I was surprised, this time by how vast the brunch menu was - the classic pub / bar full English breakfast was joined by a healthy Boost Breakfast, Mango & Passionfruit Granola, pancakes, various eggs options, baps, patisserie and even a healthy Protein Power Up breakfast. Something for everyone! A big fan of hash browns I decided on the Smoked Bacon Potato Hash (£5.50), served with spinach, pan fried onions and a poached free range egg. Literally all my favourite things! Throw in Jason Statham and you've got my ideal plate! Brunch wouldn't be brunch without some yummy avocado so I also added half a sliced avocado for an extra £1 (though I only got 3 slices - definitely not half!) I was really impressed with my hash - it looked great and was super filling! Everything was cooked really well and my poached egg was perfectly runny inside which went really nicely with the salty bacon and fried potato. Nom!

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Lauren went for the Boost Breakfast (£6.50) which included grilled portobello mushrooms, poached free range egg, plum tomatoes, avocado, toast with humous and sweet chilli sauce, and also added a side of Pan-Fried Potato Hash with Spinach and Onion (£2) which although smaller than mine was still a really decent size. Lauren really enjoyed hers and was pleasantly surprised as, not eating pork, she often finds brunch a bit limited and boring but really liked the variety of flavours in the Boost Breakfast

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As the menu said "A brunch without a cocktail is just a sad, late breakfast" preach! so of course we each had a Mimosa (£5.95) to wash down our food which was lovely and refreshing and the perfect start to our girlie day! 

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We had a good old gossip then headed off to the Royal Albert Hall ready to watch the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra perform some fabulous film scores including the Star Wars, Jaws, ET, Shindlers List and - my fave - Jurassic Park - themes. I've seen the RPO a few times at the Royal Albert Hall and they always absolutely blow me away - it's so incredible to hear such beautiful music played live and I always find it so emotional. Seriously, the Jurassic Park theme makes me cry every time I hear it, especially when performed by a full live orchestra! All the feels! The Royal Albert Hall is also so beautiful that it doesn't really matter what you see as you can easily entertain yourself looking at the beautiful interior and architecture! 

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london-lifestyle-girls-day-out-london-brunch-all-bar-one-review-royal-albert-hall-royal-philharmonic-orchestra-film-gala


I loved my girlie day with Lauren, it's so nice to get up and do something productive and fun on a Saturday. We really enjoyed our brunch at All Bar One and I'll definitely be stopping by for some more brunch cocktails and treats soon - it's the perfect place for a high quality, low cost girlie get together. The Royal Albert Hall was also as fabulous an experience as ever and I am DYING to get tickets to see Jurassic Park accompanied by a live orchestra in November. My goodness I better start stocking up on the tissues now!


Where are your favourite places to go on a girlie day out?



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*Thanks so much to All Bar One for inviting us to come and try out their brunch menu for free. All thoughts are honest and my own. For more information please see my Disclaimer Page.

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