Friday, 14 July 2017

Oliver Bonas Wishlist

Saying that Oliver Bonas have some amazing things in stock at the moment is a bit of a pointless statement because they ALWAYS have amazing things in stock...but it seems like right now they're totally nailing it and it's making me want basically everything. 

I'm a total sucker for coffee table books, statement jewellry and quirky homeware, which I guess is preeeeety obvious from this wishlist. 

I've decided to try and be kind to my bank balance so I've whittled it down to my 9 favourite items, but from browsing the website they do seem to have the uncanny ability to constantly deliver and make your dreams of a Pinterest-worthy home that little bit more realistic. Obviously some of these are pretty pricey, but a girl can dream.

What do you think of my picks?

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

2017: 6 Month Goal Review

And just like that, we're halfway into the year...
Not only has it shocked me to find that 6 months has passed already, but it's also been over a month since I last posted! Which probably isn't much of a deal for most, but it's been my longest ever bloggy break (for a number of reasons)

But onto the point in hand, it's time to log back on so I can update on how I've been getting on with my goals for 2017. I won't lie, despite purposely picking vague goals that aren't easy to break, I've not exactly stuck to them like glue. I've made vague improvements here and there but meh, they're a work in progress and I have 6 more months to work on them...

Be Better With Money
Lets start with a positive...this goal is actually going quite well. I wouldn't say I'm perfectly balancing my bills each month, but I've definitely curbed my spending somewhat. I haven't been buying clothes and make-up the minute payday strikes, but I'm still not exactly living within my means all the time. But I'm getting better and I've managed to save a fair bit over the past 6 months meaning I've now got a deposit at long last! Yay!

Think Less
Hmm, nope. Not happening. If I'm being kind to myself I'd say I've started to improve on a few occasions, but then life gets in the way and I'm back to square one. Over the past few weeks I've definitely done better (and been happier for it) but tonight for example, I've been in an over-analytical tizz. So this is still a work in progress.

Keep Active
I'm doing fairly well with this one, because I love being outside and it makes everything seem better somehow. Though I'm not practically able to crack 10k steps a day I am walking as much as possible and I've seen an improvement in my fitness. I'm getting out most lunch times and evenings, which is definitely more doable when the weather's good!

Less Phone, More Living
Gah, no. This one was going really well, but me being me means I couldn't stop for long. Whenever one door closes another opens they say, and my frenzied little brain loves to second guess everything. So I'm definitely not switching off as much as I should which is a shame because I feel so much better when I do. On the living front though I'm definitely doing more than I was a few months back, so it's swings and roundabouts.

Be Kind To Myself
Last but not least...this one is also a work in progress. I haven't been getting any more sleep (damn you Parks & Recreation!) and I'm not always getting my full intake of water, but I'm not being too bad. I don't like baths in the summer so I'm not having the time to pamper quite as much, but I'm still taking care of my skin and trying to listen to my body when I'm tired, so that's something.

All in all, I'm still not quite where I want to be 6 months on. I've had a couple of setbacks, but I'm also doing better than I was emotionally in many ways and am feeling stronger in myself.

How are you getting on with your goals/resolutions?


Sunday, 14 May 2017

Chateau Rhianfa, Menai Bridge

A couple of weekends ago, my Mum and I booked an overnight stay at Chateau Rhianfa on the spur of the moment, in order to have a night of rest and relaxation.
Described as a 'Welsh Fairytale Hotel', which is a pretty fitting description, luckily for us Chateau Rhianfa is right on our doorstep so there wasn't much travel needed.
I've been lucky enough to stay here a few times before, as well as attend a couple of weddings, but no matter how many times I visit it still feels like a real treat. 
Our room was a standard double, with beautiful views across the perfectly manicured lawns and a large modern and luxurious wetroom. The bedroom itself was decorated in a classic country style, but each room in the hotel is unique and individually decorated to the highest standard. One of the suites for example, (The Duchess Suite, named after Kate) has a beautiful free-standing roll-top bath in the window! My personal favourite has to be this room, which I've added a link for as unfortunately I've never been lucky to stay in the amazing round bed on any of my stays, but a girl can dream.
After a few hours of unwinding in our room, we ventured downstairs to the Dragon Rouge restaurant for a slap up three course dinner, complete with two amuse bouche (bonus extra courses are always a winner in my book!) of a goats cheese roulade and a mushroom arancini - both of which were delicious. For my meal I had the locally caught scallops to start (which were so darn tasty I didn't even stop to take a photo, but believe me were incredible), the blade of beef complete with potatoes and Yorkshire pudding, and the deconstructed rhubarb crumble for dessert. The food was melt-in-your-mouth good, and we left feeling very full and very satisfied.
To walk off all the food we'd consumed, we decided to explore the rest of the hotel. Each corridor is like a labyrinth of hidden treasures, filled with trinkets and oozing old-school luxury. From the grand piano, to the chandelier, to the overstuffed leather sofas and soft table lamp light, each room is a sight to behold and manages to be both grand and cosy, as opposed to imposing.
The following morning we awoke to the sun streaming through our window, and headed downstairs for breakfast. There was a generous choice of continental food on offer; pastries, fresh fruit, yoghurts and breads, as well as hot food cooked freshly to order. I opted for the eggs royale which were absolutely delicious, and tasted all the better for being eaten while admiring the views across the Menai Strait.
After checkout, we went for a leisurely walk around the grounds; the hotel has other features such as a hot tub, tennis courts, summer house and even its own private jetty! There are so many cosy corners in the grounds I imagine it would be perfect to relax with a book and take in the fresh sea air. 

If staying in a luxury fairytale castle is your thing, Chateau Rhianfa is the place for you. I'm so proud to live in an area where we're blessed with so many amazing venues, and already can't wait for my next trip!


Tuesday, 2 May 2017


Life has certainly had it's challenges lately. And while there is always something good amongst the bad, at the moment for me it's felt like these moments are few and far between.

Despite all the gloom, I'm still finding things that always cheer me up. I'm still laughing, I'm still yearning to explore, and I'm still enjoying the things that make me, me
So it's not all bad.

This weekend, I've spent a fair amount of time walking. Not walking to reach any particular destination, but instead just to enjoy my surroundings. And what beautiful surroundings I have!
Pretty pastel painted houses I can only dream of living in, fresh flowers reminding me that Spring is on its way, and as always, breathing in the sea and letting it wash away my worries. 
For me the sea will always be my leveller, it's always there and it always reminds me that things are only temporary. Enjoying my beautiful coastline made me realise that life is always going to be what I make it.

And even if this weekend I've done nothing of more value than walk, stretch my legs, marvel at the stunning scenery I call home, and eat one of my first ice creams of the year, maybe that's in fact all I needed to do.
Maybe in fact, that is life.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Lady Betty Afternoon Tea

When I recently visited Harrogate we couldn't possibly miss the opportunity to visit the world famous Betty's Tearooms. I've always wanted to visit Betty's, there's just something so quintessentially British about an afternoon of tea and scones, and it really is an institution.

We decided to go all out and book in for the Lady Betty Afternoon Tea. At £39.95 per person it's definitely not the cheapest, but considering the amount of food included and the service provided, it's definitely worth it.
We arrived for our tea and were shown to our table in the window. The room in which the tea is served is like being transported into another world, with it's high ornate ceilings, chandelier, opulent decor and even a pianist to accompany our experience.
Once we'd placed our drinks order (Jen had the Moutard Rose Prestige Champagne while I plumped for the Rhubarb Champagne Cocktail) a tray of tea (we went for Betty's Tearoom Blend) arrived followed seconds later by our appetiser; diced tomato and red onion on a bed of creme fraiche and pea puree. It was delicious and I knew from that point onwards that the rest of the tea would be just as lovely.

Shortly afterwards we had our savoury selection; smoked salmon, cream cheese and dill roulade, and a miniature pork and apple pie. They were both melt in the mouth delicious (I will forever be a savoury girl) and definitely whetted my appetite.
The sandwich selection was traditional; ham and tomato pate, egg mayo and a very tasty chicken and tarragon. When they offered us more sandwiches we happily accepted, but a note to self should have been to step away from any more food because there was just so much of it!
Onto the sweet selection: first off we had two scones, a lemon and a rose. I absolutely love rose and it was so delicately flavoured and lovely. Of course these were served with lashings of fresh cream and jam, as any self respecting scone should be.
Sometime before we tackled the top tier of miniature cakes, we hit a wall. As truly delicious as everything really was, there was just so much of it and it was really filling. Of course for the price, it's great that you get your money's worth. We had a gooseberry macaroon, a chocolate and passionfruit cube, pistachio and chocolate dacquoise slice (very sweet!) and we had to ask for our battenberg, fresh berry meringue and lemon religieuse to be boxed up as we simply couldn't fit them in!
The tea was a truly lovely experience, and perfect for a special occasion. You really do feel spoilt and waited on hand and foot, and the food is wonderful. Just step away from the extra sandwiches!

Have you tried Betty's?

Friday, 14 April 2017

A Weekend in Harrogate

My bestie moved to live in Yorkshire at the start of last month *sob* which is about a 3 hour journey from here in North Wales. After trying to coordinate our diaries for what felt like forever, last weekend I finally packed up the car and made the trip up to see her!

Though she doesn't live in Harrogate itself, we decided to take a trip there on the Saturday which I was so excited about as it's somewhere I've always wanted to visit! It definitely didn't disappoint; the sun was cracking the flags and I fell in love with all the winding streets, green parks and pretty buildings instantly.
I'd never realised how good Harrogate was for shopping, so I was pleasantly surprised to see most of my favourites; Lush, Jack Wills, Joules, Seasalt and of course Fat Face in among them.
As always, my caffeine addiction wouldn't allow me a break for long so inevitably a coffee stop was needed after a while. Jen had found Baltzersens online and it was right up my street - what's not to love about a Nordic inspired cafe?! Perfectly in keeping with my obsession with Scandi design, this place was an absolute dream. We settled for just 2 cappuccinos, but we were salivating over the choices on the menu and that'll definitely be our first port of call next time.
Finally, la piece de resistance: We headed to Betty's for afternoon tea which was something else I'd been desperate to do, Betty's is such an institution and we went all out and had the Lady Betty Afternoon Tea which was delicious! Full post coming soon!
After the sheer volume of food included in the afternoon tea, we waddled home for a bit of a break before deciding to head out for the evening. A small pub near Jen's flat has a hidden gin bar so we popped along for a drink. Jen had the rhubarb and I had the raspberry gin and both were amazing!
Finally on Sunday morning we had a lie in before having the very instagrammable breakfast of avocado, vine tomatoes, bacon and eggs before walking off our food by exploring the canal. Again the sun was shining (my back was pink!) and it felt so peaceful and summery. 
The only disappointment was that it had to end and I had to tackle the Sunday traffic to get home!
Have you been to Harrogate?

© YellowIcing. All rights reserved.