Saturday, 10 January 2015

REVIEW: Jamie's Italian Manchester

When Jamie's Italian Manchester got in touch to ask if I'd like to visit their restaurant I jumped at the chance - I love me some Italian food and it's the perfect antidote to a grey January full of resolutions!

We visited on a dark, rainy Friday in Manchester - it's on a corner of King Street (just behind Market Street) and to be honest the signage is quite subtle so you could miss it!  The restaurant is situated in an old bank, and the way that it's all been fitted out pays homage to this - it looks fantastic, really well done, without feeling pretentious.  Our booking was at 7pm and when we arrived it seemed a bit quiet for a Friday night but we must be early birds because the whole place filled up within about half an hour.

Our waitress was really nice, very knowledgeable and attentive without being overbearing.  The menu surprised me - to be honest I was expecting your bog standard Italian restaurant type food but I should have known better, it was really varied and a far cry from spag bol, lasagne and pizza.
I ordered Crispy Squid to start, followed by Lobster Al Forno.  I really enjoyed both, the flavours were fantastic and everything was really well presented.  The squid was perfectly cooked, nice and soft, with plenty of flavour and a little chilli kick here and there.  The lobster was really luxurious - a half lobster cooked in  rich cheese sauce, the flavours worked well together and were set off perfectly by the spaghetti pomodoro in a light tomato sauce with a little kick.  It was nice and light while still being enough fro an evening meal.
My boyfriend randomly ordered pork scratchings from the nibbles menu - they weren't really my sort of thing and were definitely what they say they are, pork scratchings with a salsa type dip.  A bit of an odd choice but there you go!  He then ordered baked chestnut mushrooms followed by a steak dish from the special's menu which was huge!  He enjoyed the starter but the real winner for him was the main - steak was done perfectly, triple cooked chips were absolutely gorgeous and the onion puree, red cabbage and onion rings set it off well.
After that my boyfriend was too full for a dessert so I ordered a chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream and caramelised popcorn - so nice and all the components went well together (my favourite bit was probably the ice cream though, beautiful!). Despite being full my boyfriend ate half of it!

We had a lovely night, the staff were all really friendly and efficient, the food was great and the surroundings were fab! Including drinks our bill came to about £75 which considering we had lobster and steak isn't too bad at all, there's options on the menu to suit different budgets so don't worry if lobster's not your thing!

Visit the website for more information about Jamie's Italian Manchester (including menus and details of how to book!)

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Schwarzkopf got2b Mind Blowing - Xpress Dry Styling Spray, Quick Shape Mousse and Fast Dry Hairspray

I was sent these to review a little while ago and they've fast become early morning and gym essentials!   The range aims to cut down blow drying time while protecting your hair from heat and styling damage.

I use the styling spray when I go to the gym on a morning because it detangles and conditions as well as cutting down on blow dry time.  I use a 2 in 1 shampoo after my workout which saves on time (and space in my bag) but doesn't always make my hair as manageable as I'd like so this spray is the perfect solution.  It makes it really easy to comb through my hair and it definitely speeds up the time it takes to dry my hair without it feeling fried, I get out of the gym about 10 minutes quicker using this spray - it doesn't sound like much but it's an extra 10 minutes in bed on a morning which I'm happy about!

I use the mousse when I'm going to curl my hair either on a morning or for a night out when I need to be ready quickly.  It definitely helps hold my style in place and makes it quicker to dry.  My curls hold much better with this mousse than using other kinds of products.

The hairspray is a nice enough firm hold hairspray but I'm not totally sure how it fits into the range or how it speeds anything up.  It's meant to have a micro fine mist that dries quickly but to be honest I can't see that it's any faster than a normal hairspray, it still does the trick though.

Really happy with these products and will definitely repurchase the styling spray and the mousse in future as they save me time and save me having to use loads of different products.

For more information about the Schwarzkopf got2b range visit their Facebook page or check them out in Boots or Superdrug.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Nuxe Paris Crème Fraîche de Beauté - 24 hour soothing and rehydrating fresh mask

Happy new year!  I took a little blogging break over December because it was so busy but I'm back now and I've got plenty to tell you about.

I haven't tried anything from Nuxe before but I've heard the brand mentioned a lot by other bloggers.  This mask came as part of October's GlossyBox* but I only just got round to trying it last month.  I had really bad winter skin and a lot of dryness around my nose because of the cold weather and then central heating everywhere.  I get it every winter and I'm always looking for a remedy!  I was just rooting through my bathroom cabinet for an exfoliator or a mask and I stumbled across this.

In consistency, it's quite light and feels more like a moisturiser than a mask and you don't need to use loads of product which is good.  You apply a layer over your face, leave it for 10 minutes and then massage your face.  When you do this, the mask kind of rolls off into little pieces, so you need to be careful that you get rid of them all or you'll find that later on it looks like you've got dry skin but it's just pieces of leftover mask!  It doesn't have a strong smell but smells vaguely floral to me.

The results from this mask are absolutely amazing - no dry skin whatsoever and my skin feels soft, moisturised and supple for days after I use this.  It also looks really moisturised too which is fantastic.  It actually leaves my skin feeling so good that I (this might make me sound weird) keep touching my skin because of how smooth it feels, this probably isn't a good thing because I'll be transferring dirt to my face.  Apparently you can store this in the fridge too to make it feel extra refreshing!

I would definitely purchase this in future, it's an absolutely fantastic find for winter and anything that stops my skin looking dull in December is a complete winner!  I can't recommend it enough really and I'm glad that I got the opportunity to try it through GlossyBox* as it's not a product I would have bought myself as I don't know the brand.  Because I'm so pleased with this I'll probably end up seeking out some more Nuxe products to try!

This mask is available from the Nuxe website for £19.50 for 50ml - if you suffer from dry skin I'd definitely give it a go!


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