Jamie's Italian Winter Menu | Bullring Birmingham

6a00d8341cf2ef53ef01b8d24daced970c-800wi
Hi guys! I'm finally back on my blog after a few weeks of turmoil and being locked firmly out, but I'm here again! I felt like I was back in a groove and now I've got so many things to share, starting with a sweet evening I spent at Jamie's Italian. I've been to the Bullring destination before, with it's huge wooden beams, yellow metal chairs and damn tasty dishes. While I'd sampled a summer menu of light bruschetta and elderflower cocktails then, this time I delved into the winter menu.

DSC05143a

Now you know you are excited for a dinner when you check out the menu before you even arrive. That day I perused the fresh pasta and loaded pizzas online but actually chose a few antipasti and cortorni dishes. It's a classic vegetarian (or pescatarian in my case) option to choose a few starters and sides as a main, despite eyeing up a rare vegetarian bolognese, wild mushroom ravioli and truffle shuffle pizza. I absolutely love fried gnocchi but have never mastered the knack of creating it myself so these were absolutely addictive with lashings of Parmesan fonduta - a creamy, tangy sauce sprinkled with crispy sage.

DSC05171aDSC05158a

I accompanied these with my restaurant favourite, and again another dish I can't just whip up at home, the crispy squid. Unlike a usual chewy calamari, these melt-in-the-mouth bites of curly squid had a feather light texture and taste, perfectly complimented by chilli, garlic and parsley, and a creamy house aioli with a hint of paprika.

DSC05196a DSC05181a DSC05188aDSC05193a

I rounded these off with spicy fries, perfectly slim and crisped up with a fiery kick, and treated myself to a wobbly vanilla yoghurt panna cotta, mixing up the texture with spiced crumble and a zingy orange zest. It was almost like an indulgent breakfast that completed a full-flavour meal that was so tasty, I am looking forward to sampling even more of these delicious delights again hopefully soon.

6a00d8341cf2ef53ef01b8d24dac19970c-800wi
I also vlogged the visit in my latest weekly vlog! Take a peek below.


HD Brows with Benito Brow Bar | Debenhams, Bullring

DSC04790a

I don’t think I’m a ‘brow girl’ as I never feel like I have mine quite right. Not only are my brows two different shapes - I even feel like the two sides of my face are sisters rather than twins! Symmetry is not my best feature! I need help and guidance in this area but my brows have been looking more than groomed over this party season thanks to a trip to the Benito Brow Bar in Debenhams Bullring for their collaboration with High Definition (HD). 

DSC04792a DSC04796a

I lay back in the chair and my brows were threaded, plucked and tinted into a defined set that literally lifted my no-makeup face from sad to sculpted! Rather than a hop in-and-out of the chair experience from my local nail shop, there’s a tailored approach to totally transform your current brows. If you’re needing an overhaul like me, trust the experts and give your sisters a whole new look. Trust me, your eye makeup will never look better!

DSC04798a PicMonkey Collagea

I also bumped into Ting and she kindly filmed the experience for my weekly vlog below. Thank you Ting! Enjoy with a cuppa (or a Christmas Baileys!).


Dermalogica Professional Skin Treatment | Selfridges, Bullring

DSC04787a

When I find something I love, I want everyone to love it! There are so many beauty treats I hail but I feel like everyone should try a facial. The heaven of this practice is one of my favourite things!

I recently had a complimentary Professional Skin Treatment with Dermalogica at Selfridges Bullring, with skin expert, Helen. There is a secluded treatment room on the beauty floor and a host of Dermalogica products were waiting. The treatment began with a snuggly dressing gown, a soft bed made extra toasty by a warming blanket and plush quilt, and the delicate music that makes you question why you don’t listen to twinkly piano sounds all day, every day.

DSC04757a

The best elements of the Dermalogica experience is that it is completely tailored to your own skin. There is no dry/combination/oily category to fall into; your own skin menu is created as a tailored process that is even customised to the different areas of your face. This is kicked off by a FaceMapping Skin Analysis, though you wouldn’t know it as you drift off into a blissful snooze. 

DSC04765a

Next will be stages of a deep double cleanse, tailored exfoliation, professional Galvanic current, a masque and hydrating finishing products, which sounds rather like a landscape gardener’s day job but is actually a therapeutic series of actual therapy for your skin, and even your mind and spirit. The reason I love facials is that you feel so relaxed and light after. It must be the combination of the way the techniques and massage affects your sinuses and releases toxins, and it’s a chance to completely zone out.

DSC04775aDSC04781a

Compared with facials I've had in the past, this felt supremely balancing and restorative. Once you wake up slowly and head back into the real world, at Dermalogica you have the chance to see the results of your skin mapping and delve into just what your skin is asking for. You’re not sent on your way or pitched the newest brand release; you are educated on the way your skin behaves and Helen was so insightful, and especially warm and chatty with a real passion for the results of the brand. You get to take away the map of your skin types and a list of specially chosen products, and for example the ‘touch sensitivity’ areas numbered in mine were completely the areas that turn a bright pink after patting in my moisturiser or smoothing on a serum each day despite how gentle I am!

I couldn’t resist picking up two new cleansers; the Ultracalming Cleanser, a light gel that is perfect for a no-fuss morning cleanse, and the Daily Microfoliant that I’ve owned in the past, an enzyme based exfoliator that clears those dead skin cells in the gentlest way by turning from a powder into a thin milk when you add plenty of water.

DSC04786a

The next time my skin feels off balance, congested and calling for some TLC, I’ll be following Dermalogica for their calendared weeks at the Selfridges treatment room. You can scope a live version of events in my weekly vlog below too!


Chi Kitchen Christmas Menu | Birmingham

DSC04849a

Since visiting in February and subsequent trips for a prosecco dinners with girlfriends or light lunch between shopping, I’ve kept Chi Kitchen as a favourite hidden-gem dining experience. This calm haven is home to the tastiest Eastern-inspired dishes; my favourite to enjoy when I’m heading off to party or getting spendy at Bullring. Asian food can leave you satisfyingly full yet not sluggish or heavy, despite the menu at Chi Kitchen tempting you to order so many intriguing dishes. It’s the delicious flavours that I could never achieve in my own kitchen, plus the beautiful presentation that allows this corner restaurant to be a perfect day time or evening date hotspot. Each time I’ve visited it has been a mix of couples, families or friends, and each table will be heaving with the colourful offerings. Completely satisfying yet interesting, surprising and exciting!

DSC04844a DSC04845a

I was invited to try their new Christmas menu, offering a taster of the best of South East Asia, from crispy spring rolls to light gyoza to a fragrant curry. I sampled each dish (well, the pescetarian ones!) and found the best Chilli Prawns I’ve ever had, not only coated in a crispy batter but encased in a sweet and sticking sauce. 

DSC04851a DSC04856a DSC04858a DSC04861a DSC04863a DSC04866aDSC04865a

The Vegetable Nyonya Curry put any takeaway offering to shame as I loved the opportunity to slather the Egg Fried Rice and Snow Peas in plenty of thick, creamy sauce as generous as this, still keeping the vegetables fresh and crunchy. I always appreciate a range of veggies too rather than a boring selection. The sticky, rich Salmon Teriyaki offered the option of the hearty main I’d want if I was looking to feel extra warmed and full this season. And I'll definitely be sprinkling fries with fresh red chilli from now on for a fiery twist.

DSC04867a DSC04868a

Rounding off was one of my typical favourite choices of gyoza with a sweet apple twist, and the perfect walnut chocolate brownie drizzled in a blood orange custard. Not forgetting the perfect Mixed Berry Bellini cocktail to set off any evening at Chi Kitchen a treat.

I can’t wait to work my way through this menu in the new year and continue to try new dishes that I already know are right up my street!


My Christmas Wishlist 2016 #sp

Hey guys! Did you know I have been posting weekly vlogs recently? How did you not! I’ve been picking up my camera a little more recently, as inspired by a host of weekly vloggers who are paving the way for a more natural style of content. You will have seen in a most recent vlog that I popped over to my mom’s house to talk everything Christmas, and her house is absolute Pinterest goals.

I’m apparently notorious to buy for as I’m one of those people who will just buy everything they want themselves; I don’t like to wait! I’m really not afraid to treat myself either, but here is my list of the things that are just too indulgent for my usual weekly shop.

 

My mom helped me to recreate the Bailey’s Eggnog recipe from thebar.com to enjoy as we nattered. It's one of their Christmas cocktails and it was darn delicious! Christmas is the time to indulge in everything rich and warming, and this recipe incorporates classic Baileys with spicy cinnamon. Heavenly!

DSC04602aDSC04622aDSC04629aDSC04642aDSC04635aDSC04649a
This post is sponsored by Diageo. All thoughts are my own!