Monday, 27 July 2015

The Z Hotel London Review

So, I have just returned from an absolutely amazing trip in London and have plenty of exciting posts lined up, the first of which is about our accommodation, The Z Hotel, which is located in Piccadilly Circus.

The hotel was very close to the tube station, which was highly beneficial as there was torrential rain as soon as we arrived (typical). Luckily Lillywhites was also close by and we were able to purchase a large umbrella.

This particular Z Hotel is a designer conversion of a former office building, with 112 bedrooms arranged over lower ground, ground and five upper floors. It was beautifully done out, however the rooms are very small. This wasn't really an issue though, as we weren't planning on spending much time in the room. Each room features an en suite bathroom, which was built in the room using glass partitions.

Now onto the best bit! Between 5pm - 8pm every night, the hotel offers free cheese and wine to all guests, which was fantastic after a long day's shopping. It was certainly popular and we were quite lucky to get a seat!

In total we paid £270 for two nights and I would definitely say it was worthwhile. Although the rooms were small, they were nicely done out and the hotel was very clean.

It's also located in a great location, close to Covent Garden, Bond Street and Soho. We will definitely be returning!





Friday, 24 July 2015

My London Trip - Beauty and Fashion Blog Newcastle

As someone who loves beauty and fashion, I'm writing this blog with lots of excitement as I'm finally en route to London from Newcastle thanks to my lovely other half who booked this surprise to celebrate our anniversary. I can't wait!

I'm not completely sure what we have planned yet, however I can imagine it will involve lots of shopping, food and prosecco.


As soon as we arrive I am off to experience my first blow dry bar, something I've been keen to try for a long time but haven't yet had the chance to do. My hair is thick and naturally quite straight so I'm looking forward to going for something a bit different in style. It looks fab blow dried however I struggle to do it myself.

When I was out in Dubai a few months ago I tried ceviche and I haven't yet been able to find somewhere up in Newcastle that serves this, so I think tonight will be spent on the hunt for a nice mexican restaurant offering this dish. We will then most likely try out a few bars before a bigger night out tomorrow.

I haven't really done the clubbing scene in London (apart from Soho) so I'm hoping to try out a few of the more lively spots when we're there. I'll also be dropping in a bit of shopping as I currently have my eye on a fab  bag and some new shoes - fingers crossed they have them in stock.

We don't head back until late on Sunday evening so I'm hoping for a quite relaxed day, incorporating a lie in (rare for me since opening my shop), visits a few coffee shops, a walk through Hyde Park and a maybe a few other tourist attractions.

The hotel we are staying in isn't somewhere we have been before so I will certainly take some photographs for a follow up post soon!

I'll be adding a few posts about recommendations soon so please do keep checking back for further updates and if anyone has any recommendations of places to visit please do share them below! 

Thursday, 23 July 2015

First Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas - Paper



I celebrated my first wedding anniversary last weekend and wanted to share some anniversary gift ideas.

Traditionally the present for a first anniversary is paper, so I have been busy planning some paper-based gifts to surprise him. He is one of the hardest people in the world to buy for, which has led to me having quite a backlog of presents to buy, so I thought I would clear them all off in one go. This is what I ended up with:

Golf Lessons
Having recently signed up for a golf membership I decided to purchase a course of golf lessons with a Pro Instructor at Close House. I don’t know much about golf but John was delighted with them and I’d like to say a huge thank you to Ian at Close House for all of your help.

Custom Golf Clubs - There’s a bit of a theme developing here
Given in the form of a nicely Photoshopped image, I also arranged for John to attend a golf store to have his height and swing etc to then purchase golf clubs specific to his style of play. This was more of a belated birthday present but still went down well.

I also treat him to a new shirt and a deep sea fishing trip in Thailand, however this still needs to be booked!

In addition to the above, some of the other paper-based ideas I considered were:

Travel Tickets - A trip somewhere in the UK or abroad presented in the form of a ticket.

Painting – I did look around a few stores to find a nice painting of a place we have been to together.

Word Collage –Several sites offer the opportunity to create custom word collages with dates, places and names that are personal to you as a couple.

Personalised notebook  - These are generally made of moleskin and feature sentimental sayings on the front.

I also did well on the paper-front and ended up with a paper trail that led me to tickets and a hotel booking for a trip to London this weekend. I was also presented with an ‘Unlimited Shopping Voucher’, however I’m sure it will quickly become ‘limited’ once I’m let loose in London!

I’d be really keen to hear of any other first anniversary gift ideas so please do feel free to comment below!

Monday, 20 July 2015

What are HD Brows?

I have recently completed training to become an official HD stylist and one of the most common questions I get asked is 'what are HD Brows?', so I felt a post detailing the treatment would be helpful – especially as I've just had mine done.

HD Brows is an exclusive treatment where a qualified stylist will analyse your face shape and colouring to provide a bespoke brow service. The treatment involves seven steps and the results can really transform your look.

On my last appointment I was keen to define my brows and create a more dramatic effect. I had previously been spending a lot of time applying a brow pallet each morning and was keen to try and reduce the amount of time I spent getting ready. This treatment has certainly helped and I am now only using minimal make up each morning.

A range of make up and hair removal techniques are used throughout the treatment, including waxing, threading, plucking, tinting and make up application. For those who don't have a lot of hair on their eyebrows, a tailored re-growth plan can be devised to help to thicken out the brows and achieve the desired look. I have just ordered HD Brows' Lash and Brow Booster to try and encourage my eyelashes and brows to grow in thicker – I'll be blogging about my progress as I go.

The treatment isn't just about thick, structured brows and many customers will ask for thin, arched or angled brows – it's all dependent on your own personal preference. I really enjoyed the training and love undertaking the treatments as they can make so much of a difference to a client's appearance.

In my last treatment my brows were changed to create a more defined look and shape to really help frame my face. I am delighted with the results. A before and after picture can be found below.

This treatment is great for anyone, regardless of the shape or thickness of their brows. If anyone would like to make a booking please do not hesitate to contact Epernay Beauty by calling 0191 236 8760 or emailing info@epernaybridal.co.uk. Our new website will be launching soon. HD Brows offers a range of brow make up pallets, all of which can be purchased from Epernay Beauty. I will be posting a blog about each one soon, but please do not hesitate to contact us if you'd like to purchase any products in the meantime. Their brow pallets are fantastic!



Friday, 17 July 2015

Anniversaries and Make Up Artists - Newcastle Blog

'Anniversaries and Make Up Artists' is definitely one of the more random titles I have posted but hopefully all will become clear. 

I can't believe how long it's been since I last posted. I've had a very busy and exciting few months/year and time just seems to have just ran away with me. 

This weekend marks my first wedding anniversary and I can't believe that this time last year I was preparing to walk down the aisle (and jet off to Africa for the holiday of a lifetime). It has certainly been an interesting year and so much has changed. We have opened an exciting new wedding boutique together, my husband has changed jobs and we've travelled to some amazing places. That's possibly why the time has gone so fast. 

I would have really liked to celebrate our anniversary with a trip away, however work commitments have meant that this isn't possible so my parents have kindly arranged a party for our friends and family tomorrow, which I'm really looking forward to. Let's hope the weather keeps up. 

The traditional gift for your first anniversary is paper, so I've been busy planning a few paper-based presents for my husband which I'll post more about later. He is the hardest person in the world to buy for so it hasn't been the easiest task. Let's hope I've done well!

My other exciting news is that I am launching another exciting new business in September! Epernay Beauty will be the sister company to our bridal shop and offer a range of specialist beauty treatments including HD Brows, semi-permanent eyelash extensions, LVL Lift, Bio Sculpture nails and bridal and occasion make up. 

I originally trained in beauty 11 years ago and have gone back to complete further training in each of these specialist treatments. 

I've also undertaken a qualification as a Professional Make Up Artist, which covers all types of make up application, from subtle day-to-day looks right through to airbrushing for the camera. I absolutely love it and being able to do it as a job is fantastic!

The treatments that Epernay Beauty will be offering sit perfectly with our bridal and prom business and I'm delighted that I will be there with our brides on the morning of their wedding. 

I will be posting further blogs about each of the services we offer too so please keep checking back!

We are taking make up bookings for 2015 and 2016 weddings, in addition to our other treatments now so please do not hesitate to call 0191 236 8760 or email info@epernaybridal.co.ukinfo@epernaybridal.co.uk if you'd like to make an appointment. Our new website will be live soon so I'll post a link as soon as it's ready! 

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

2015 Summer Fashion Picks - North East Fashion Blog!

I wanted to share a post detailing some of my 2015 summer fashion picks. I've done quite a lot of shopping recently and there are some fantastic clothing and accessories around. A few of my recent buys are below and I'd expect most to still be available in the shops! 

Day-to-Day Items 

Zara Biker Trousers
Although I love it when the sun is shining, it can sometimes be deceiving how cold it is outside so I was keen to buy a pair of summer trousers that can be worn in slightly more chilly weather. I came across these beautiful faux leather, white biker jeans from ZARA and having worn them a few times I am in love. In addition to being extremely comfortable, they are also great teamed with smart or casual shops. They are in-store now!


 Zara Shorts
On the same visit to ZARA,  I also came across these fab shorts, which are available in a range of colours and patterns. At just £19.99 they are great for wear at home or abroad - I'm just hoping we get the weather here in Newcastle to wear them.


 
Warehouse Spotlight Top
I have been on a few hen nights recently and needed a black outfit for one of them. Thankfully I came across this beautiful top from Warehouse Spotlight. Featuring a beaded panel running down each side, it's great teamed with jeans or shorts.

Topshop Blazer 
I try to avoid wearing white as it's so hard to keep clean, however I couldn't resist this Topshop blazer. Let's hope I can get a few wears out of it before it needs dry cleaned.
Mori Lee Dress
Owning a wedding shop definitely has its benefits, especially thanks to the new range of occasion dresses that we have recently taken on. With five weddings to go to this year I decided to treat myself to a few new outfits, my favourite however is this Mori Lee lace dress which I bought in coral. Anyone looking to buy one can find more information at www.epernaybridal.co.uk.


And now for some treats...

Handbag
I absolutely love shoes and bags and couldn't resist buying this Celine Trapeze Bag when I saw it in Cruise recently. I love the colour and the option of using this with both a long and short strap. I have another Celine bag and find they never go out of fashion. If you're looking for a treat, this is definitely worth a look!




Burberry Wrap
Although summer is coming, the nights can sometimes be cold so I decided to purchase this beautiful Burberry Wrap as I thought it would be ideal for summer evenings. This is also available with your initials on, however I opted for the plain version!


Chanel Shoes 
Another of my guilty pleasures are shoes and on a recent trip to Dubai I couldn't resist these beautiful leather pumps. I was a bit worried about the size of them initially, however they have stretched since being worn and now feel like slippers!



Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Newcastle Fashion and Lifestyle Blog - An Update!

It's been a little while now since I last updated my Newcastle Fashion and Lifestyle Blog as I have had an extremely busy few months. 

In addition to launching my second business, Epernay Bridal, I've had the pleasure of attending four fantastic hen nights, in addition to a fantastic holiday in Dubai with my husband. I will be adding a more in-depth blog about each place and where we stayed, however I thought it may be nice to add some brief information for anyone who is currently in the process of organising a hen party or trip away.

My first hen party was in Albufeira in Portugal and we had an amazing time. We stayed in some fantastic apartments located just outside of the town. Albufeira is a really good place to visit as a couple or group of friends as it offers something for everyone. Split into two main areas, New Town offers lively bars and Clubs and Old Town is perfect for those looking for live music and nice restaurants. This was my second visit to Albufeira and I would certainly recommend it!

The second hen party took me back to Portugal, this time to Vilamoura. We managed to get a fantastic deal in a Hilton Aparthotel and found some fantastic beach bars that I would highly recommend (further information will be posted soon). Vilamoura boasts a beautiful marina and a great nighlife and I will definitely be making a trip back. It's also a great for those who love golf!

A few weeks later I made a trip to Spain's Benalmadena resort. This time we stayed in a hotel located very close to the beach and main town centre. Our accommodation was half board and the food was great. We ate out at lunchtime to sample the seafood, which was absolutely delicious. The nightlife at the main square was fantastic and we had a great night partying in some of the more lively bars!

My fourth and final hen night was this weekend just gone in Benidorm and we had an amazing time. I arrived slightly later than the rest of the group due to work commitments but this didn't spoil my trip at all. Benidorm certainly lived up to its reputation and we had an amazing few days, especially on the Friday when we visited Tiki Beach! If you are visiting Benidorm, you have to go here!

As mentioned, I will be uploading some further posts over the coming days about each area and the places we stayed and visited, however if you do have any questions or would like any specific recommendations please do not hesitate to contact me!