Thursday, 28 August 2014

Restaurant review | Brickyard

Where I ate:
The Brickyard, South Street, Romford
Three weeks ago now I went out for dinner and a catch up with Vicky (BeautyBloggingBrunette). As I mentioned in my OOTN post, I hadn’t seen her for ages so a catch up was well overdue and I was really looking forward to it – even more so when she recommended The Brickyard in Romford, somewhere I’d never been to but heard many good things about. I got the train so I could have a couple of drinks (plus it’s cheaper and much more convenient) and met Vicky at Romford station before we walked to the restaurant (it’s a straight road and only about five minutes away).
The phrase don’t judge a book by its cover couldn’t be more apt when describing Brickyard, it’s well away from the town centre, next to a tyre place and doesn’t look that aesthetically pleasing from the exterior, but once inside, I was pleasantly surprised. Modern, sophisticated and a great aura thanks to mood lighting, we went straight to the bar for pre-dinner drinks while our table was being set. We didn’t have long to wait though – and the staff brought our cocktails from the bar to our table, excellent service if you ask me.
What I drank:
Strawberry daiquiris
Cocktails are two-for-one every evening until 9pm and the strawberry daiquiris came highly recommended by Vicky, so we took advantage and ordered two each pre-dinner and a further two each during! I concur, they were incredible and even nicer than the one I had at Alec’s (so high praise indeed). The strawberries were perfectly blitzed and the ice was smooth; they were effectively boozy slush puppies! Just divine.
What I ate:
Trio of Melon (Grilled Honey Dew and Parma Ham. Sesame Coated Watermelon. Port and Charentis) followed by Chicken Kebab with peppers and onions (served with chips, coleslaw and pitta bread)
I wasn’t initially going to order a starter and while I thoroughly enjoyed it, you can’t really go wrong with parma ham and melon! The watermelon coated in sesame and poppy seeds was interesting but worked and I loved the port drizzle. There wasn’t very much parma ham and given the cost (£5.95), I was slightly disappointed. It was a refreshing way to begin the meal.
When the main course arrived, I instantly regretting ordering the starter and extra drinks and knew there was no way I was going to be able to eat it all! The skewer itself was huge, with large chunks of chicken, red onion and mixed peppers – which it was accompanied by chips, a garlic and herb pitta bread and coleslaw; talk about carbocide. I don’t think the photo does any justice to the actual size of the meal, but it’s certainly great value for money – there’s no scrimping on portion size at Brickyard! I think we would have been better off sharing a main course! The skewer itself was well-cooked and I’m a huge fan of creamy coleslaw. I barely touched the chips and was hoping for the skewer to be inside the pitta, but never mind. I’m still annoyed that I couldn’t eat more because it was very good.
The service was good, considering the restaurant was full, but it seems like the kind of place where the staff would go above and beyond to make their customers happy. The only thing that let the place down was the loud music, even at 8:30pm! The restaurant is separated from the bar by a divide and it’s nice to be out the way of those coming for the live music and not food, but it made conversation impossible at times. That said, I was very impressed and will definitely be returning – hopefully next time I’ll be able to eat more... and not drown on the way home!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

OOTN | Brickyard with Vicky

Three weeks ago, I went out for dinner, drinks and a catch up with Vicky. She’d been to Brickyard a number of times and has recommended it before – I’d never been, despite it being practically on my doorstep. So I got glammed up and met her at Romford station (not so classy) and we had a lovely evening. I honestly don’t remember the last time I saw her and we shouldn’t leave it as long next time, but it was so nice to go somewhere new and not worry about having to get the tube across London... I was home and in bed by 11!
Brickyard describes itself on Twitter as Fabulous food// professional cocktails// sexy music// fashionable people and considering it’s a bit of a TOWIE hotspot, it was all about dressing to impress. I was half-tempted to wear the dress I wore to Alec’s, but I changed my mind and went for something I’d not worn in ages!
Dress: Little Mistress // Shoes: Matalan
This is the gorgeous Oriental-inspired dress I won from Little Mistress back in January and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve worn it so far. The colour contouring is flattering, while I love the detail – the colours are perfect for Brickyard too, they’re classic and complement the restaurant’s decor. I really didn’t want to go over the top with colours or prints and thought it best to keep it simple.
Instead I added a splash of colour with my shoes – these beauties were £12 from Matalan last year. They can be worn with or without the strap and they were a good height for walking from station to restaurant – although walking back in the rain wasn’t much fun at all, especially as it was dark and the pavement was uneven.
I decided to put my hair in a pony as I’d straightened it for work that day and it already had a kink. I’m glad it was tied up though with all the rain! I rarely wear my hair up so it made a change and I didn’t really have the time to properly style it.
Expect to see a review of Brickyard soon – I thoroughly recommend it, even if you just go for cocktails or the bar scene!
Have you bought anything from Little Mistress recently or is there something that has caught your eye?

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Sunday Snapshots #33

Other than Wednesday when I had a really bad day and just wanted to get home from work and eat crap, I’ve been trying to eat healthy. It’s only a couple of weeks before I go on holiday to Portugal and I’m nowhere near bikini ready yet – eek. I’m going to start eating porridge with a mug of green tea for breakfast and in the evenings, do a couple of Blogilates videos. This was my fave breakfast of the week – strawberry & banana Innocent smoothie with a fruit salad.
I love trying out new products and since I got my hair coloured, I’ve found my locks to be really dry and when I wash it, it becomes tangled easily. I’ve been using this shampoo and hair mask conditioner twice a week and have already started to notice a different. I love Kerastase and believe it’s worth paying more for such high quality products. Their oils are great for frizz, I always have a bottle on the go during the summer months and in general, I find their products to be good – and they smell lush too!
This week’s #TBT really got me in the holiday mood, as well as bringing back some good memories. Months ago at work, I did a training module online and there was an opportunity to win a trip for two to Barcelona – guess who won! I had to upload this photo to their Facebook page, but what a great incentive – it’s by far the best competition I’ve ever won. You can read about my holiday here or see which restaurants I rated.
A Friday selfie! I kept everything simple – from my outfit to my hair and makeup... sometimes simple is so much better. I love the colour my hair has gone, a combination of the weather and the products I’ve been using; while I think a lot of my current makeup bag will end up being in my August Favourites! I’ve been using lots of new products and have definitely noticed a difference in my style – I’ve not found a need for layers and layers! It’s been so difficult dressing in this weather and I just know, as soon as I come back from holiday, it will effectively be autumn. I just kept it Basic H&M: a long sleeved black top with hot pink skirt for a bit of colour.
Ah the weekend at last – and even better, an extra day! I’ve spent most of it catching up on sleep and blogging. I’ve not slept well the last fortnight and been so busy-busy with work, when I’ve got in, I’ve not wanted to sit on my laptop. On Friday night, we had a Chinese takeaway and watched my parents’ Italy holiday video; on Saturday we had a steak dinner and I watched a film upstairs and tonight we are having roast pork with homemade apple pie and custard. Tomorrow, my brother is home so it’ll be Mexican night. Lots of good food is always a winner in my book!
How did you spend the Bank Holiday weekend?

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Graze | 14.04.14

In this box, I got:
  • The Graze brownie
  • Smoky gazpacho dip
  • Bounty hunter
  • Shangri-La
I’m going to have to start by talking about The Graze Brownie – it is SO good! I remember waiting so long to receive it in my first box, I never thought I was going to be able to sample it and I’m definitely going to have to start selecting ‘send soon’ so I get it more regularly. At only 129 calories, it doesn’t taste like it should be guilt-free and honestly, you wouldn’t know any different. There’s even beetroot in the Graze Brownie, but you couldn’t tell – apparently it helps bring out the chocolaty goodness. Like the flapjacks, this comes in pre-cut pieces – but there is no way I would share this!
The Smoky Gazpacho Dip was a new snack I requested as I wanted to try it. It has since been discontinued – and I couldn’t make my mind up about it either. It didn’t taste too much like barbecue and was more like a mix of onion and tomato, with a sweet vinegary taste.
The final two snacks were ones I’d had before and rated with a LIKE – Bounty Hunter and Shangri-La (since renamed Rainbow Vitality... I prefer the former!). Bounty Hunter is a combo of cranberries, coconut and chocolate drops and is quite high in calories (due to the foods it contains). It isn’t too sweet and the flavours all work well – even better when used in baking! Although this contains chocolate, it’s guilt-free snacking.
Shangri-La is a mix of lingonberries, pineapple, almond slices and pumpkin seeds. As well as a good source of vitamin E, it’s also only 132 calories and so, is awarded the Graze light badge. I ate this for breakfast with some natural yogurt and really liked it. The nuts and seeds were crunchy, while the dried fruits were soft with natural sweetness. It all went really well with the yogurt too!
Follow this link to receive three complimentary boxes – remember you can pick any snacks you like and can also cancel at any time. There are so many new treats to try – and you can even search by ingredients you like!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Haul | Clarins

It seems like months ago fellow bloggers were advertising the Clarins sale. While I couldn’t find anything I liked or wanted, it didn’t stop me from having a splurge – and now I’ve signed up and reaping the benefits, I’ll definitely be making it my first website for a number of products.
I bought:
HydraQuench tinted moisturiser in blond (£30)
Cleansing vanity for combination skin (£22)
At the checkout, I also got the option to pick three complimentary samples, so I chose:
Instant Eye Make-Up Remover 10 ml
BB Cream Sample - Shade 02 1.5 ml
HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase 3ml
I can’t believe it was only last summer that I added tinted moisturiser to my makeup bag. Before that I wasn’t wearing foundation during the summer months but I’m glad I found an alternative. This product is certainly a step-up from the brand I previously used and is well worth the money – it’s incredible. I bought it in shade ‘blond’ which is perfect for my skin tone. The consistency is just right and not too runny, the formula is light and you really don’t need to apply tonnes; a light glide does the trick. It even smells like Clarins, if that makes sense? It’s become a must-have for my summer makeup bag and I’ll definitely be purchasing it again next year.
I bought the carry case as it contained three products for £22: a cleanser, a toner and exfoliator all kept in a handy vanity bag; perfect for sleepovers, weekend breaks or holidays. Or in my case, storing random products I have no space for. I’ve always had what you call ‘normal’ skin, until I worked in an office and it’s fair to say the constant air-con has made my skin suffer – I’ve found my skin is more ‘combination’ these days. The selection of products is perfect for oily or combination skin and since I’ve used it, I’ve noticed a big difference – there’s less shine, my makeup stays put for longer and I’ve not had any breakouts! I cleanse and tone every morning before adding my Urban Retreat moisturiser and I use the exfoliator twice a week.
I always knew I was going to select the eye makeup remover – I often find that wipes and even cleanser don’t seem to remove my thick eye makeup. I’m better off having a product designed to remove dark eye shadow and layers of mascara and this has done the trick. Again, I’m going to be purchasing the full-size and you can read more about it in my July Favourites.
Anyone that has read my beauty and favourites posts will know how much I’m loving BB cream. You can read more about the sample in my June Favourites but this a product I’d definitely buy in the full-size. I’m just torn between that and REN; which do you prefer?
I chose the intensive serum as it intrigued me, it’s not something I’ve used before and to be honest, I didn’t know too much about it. It’s great for keeping skin hydrated, looking fresh and feeling soft. I apply it before bed and when I wake up, my skin looks radiant. I don’t think I’d take the plunge to buy the full-size (£42 for 30ml) though.
What are your favourite Clarins products? Have you tried any of the products I chose?

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Restaurant review | Back Inn Time

Where I ate:
Back Inn Time, Victoria Road, Chelmsford
The best way to describe Back Inn Time, is to say it’s like a more novelty version of TGIs with better food and real good-time factor. I hadn’t been there since my childhood so I was really looking forward to it – even more so when I saw the cocktail menu! I had fond memories of meals here with family friends (other than my last visit when I had a rack of ribs, followed by ice cream sundae and was later sick in the car park!) so I was hoping it’d live up to my expectations. I was really pleased to see the backwards clock still in action and the train which runs on a track around the walls. It suddenly brought back so many memories – the interior hasn’t changed at all.
We booked a table but it wasn’t ready when we arrived, so we enjoyed a drink at the bar beforehand. We sat towards the back of the restaurant, down the stairs and away from the main dining area. The seating was quite cramped, particularly for a table of four. Despite fans hanging from the ceiling, it was also way too hot where we sat, so next time I think we’ll have to request a table!
What I drank:
Apple pie mojito followed by Opal Froot
The cocktail menu was really extensive and I was totally spoilt for choice; I didn’t know what to go for at all. The drinks are so reasonably priced as well – you’re looking at £5/6 each. I’d go back just for drinks, there are so many I want to sample. I began with the apple pie mojito, which was nice enough. It was refreshing but unfortunately I couldn’t taste the cinnamon and because it contained lime and mint, it overpowered the apple juice and tasted like a normal mojito. The Opal Froot on the other hand was lush! It actually tasted like eating fruity sweets and was turquoise in colour, due to the curaçao.
What I ate:
Cajun chicken burger with curly fries and coleslaw
I was adamant I was going to have the ‘To Brie or not To Brie’ burger, but as soon as I saw the specials, my decision swayed. Laura chose it and I panicked so ordered the same as her. When it arrived, the burger was huge – I had to cut it into quarters to eat and even then, I couldn’t bite into it properly. The chicken was well seasoned and the lime wedge was a welcome addition. I managed to eat all the burger but left most of the fries and didn’t touch the side salad or coleslaw.
Mitch had steak topped with prawns which looked really nice and cooked to perfection, while Jake had the chicken ‘n’ ribs combo, which came out with a box of serviettes and an actual dog bowl for the bones – the thick barbecue sauce made it very messy; not great date food.
The service was pretty good, not spectacular but we weren’t left waiting at any point. It was nice to relive my childhood and the restaurant and food lived up to my expectations. I’d heard mixed reviews prior to going back and it’s easy to see why Back Inn Time isn’t to everyone’s tastes. It was quite cheesy, especially considering their motto: Good Food. Good Times. I’d definitely go back – I want more cocktails and the create your own sundae!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Tag | British

I recently saw Emily tweet a link to this post and I favourited it as a reminder to answer it later, so here goes.

1. How many cups of tea do you have a day? + How many sugars?
I normally drink green tea, so no sugar. My favourite currently is either the lemon variety, or mango & lychee.

2. Favourite part of your roast
I really can’t choose, either the roast potatoes (especially the ones my mum makes coated in semolina), or the meat and condiments (pork and apple sauce is my favourite!).

3. Favourite dunking biscuit
Probably chocolate digestives, because the chocolate slightly melts in the tea/coffee. It’s weird but so good.

4. Favourite quintessentially British pastime?
In the warmer months, going to the seaside. In the colder months, walking through the countryside or woodland. I love a winter walk.

5. Favourite word
I don’t really have a favourite. I can’t really think of a word I say a lot either.

6. Cockney rhyme slang
Plates of meat = feet.

7. Favourite sweet
I have to agree with Emily’s answer and I don’t have a favourite. I love Mr Simm’s old fashioned sweetshop with the pick n mix counter and all the old fashioned sweeties in jars. So I’ll also say pick n mix.

8. What would your pub be called?
The Golden Vixen.

9. No.1 British person
I’m going to have to be really shallow and just say David Beckham!

10. Favourite shop / restaurant
Favourite shop is difficult to narrow down to one. My favourite restaurant is Catch in Buckhurst Hill, or possibly even Alec’s at Navestock. You can’t beat a country pub with cosy interior and roaring fire though.

11. What British song pops into your head?
Blur – Song 2.

12. Marmite?
I quite like it.

I tag you all to complete this post and leave your links in my comment box so I can see your answers.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Health | Your Tea

The teatox craze is absolutely everywhere at the mo – if you’re not sure what I mean, where have you been? I really wanted to try Bootea after a colleague at work did the 28-day detox, I was going to try that but when I heard about the brand Your Tea and their different kinds of tea, I thought I would give that a go.
You can choose from the original Tiny Tea (in 14- or 28-day formats), gluten free tea, Anti-C tea (for getting rid of dreaded cellulite), Her Tea (an everyday tea) and men can even jump on the bandwagon with Man Tea. Or the one I sampled – the Fertility Tea.
Having read up on each of the varieties I was interested in, weighing up the benefits, I soon realised the fertilitea would be a good idea – after all, it’s marketed at PCOS sufferers.  What Your Tea say:
Our fertility tea isn’t just for women trying to conceive. Nat has created this blend to benefit the reproductive system as a whole. This includes targeting PMS, endometriosis, hormonal imbalance and PCOS to name but a few
Each box contains 60 tea bags – that’s a 30-day supply as you’re supposed to have a cup in the morning and another in the evening. You’re also meant to drink the tea half an hour before or after eating to reap its benefits.
I finished my first teatox last week and I’ve felt so much better – both inside and out. While I haven’t actually jumped on the scales and I don’t think I have lost weight, I feel less bloated all the time and have noticed a difference when I’m wearing tighter clothing. I feel like I have so much more energy and having a cup of tea in the morning before my overnight oats has left me feeling fuller for longer – I’ve also stopped snacking in the evenings as once I’ve had my tea and dinner, I’m full. It really is a miracle product.
The box was £30 with free delivery and is available here. I definitely want to try the Tiny Tea before going back to the Fertility Tea – that’s what they recommend. If you’re unsure whether this is the variety for you, I definitely recommend this blog post, which explains everything. I found it so helpful.
Have you teatoxed? I would love to hear how you got on.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

City hopping: Paris

Getting the Eurostar from St. Pancras was so convenient and working in travel, I was fortunate enough to get an upgrade to Standard Premier, meaning more space and a meal – bonus! The journey really didn’t seem that long at all and as we arrived into France, the scenery was really beautiful. It honestly seemed like less than an hour – before I knew it, I was en Paris à la Gare du Nord!
I saw the Arctic Monkeys on my first evening at Le Zenith. The venue was pretty big and the capacity was something like 6,000. Alex Turner and the boys put on a really good show and I was pleased with the set list – I think they played almost every song I wanted or expected. There was seating but we stood. I know it sounds really bad but there were far too many substances being taken and shoving going on, which spoilt my enjoyment. I think I would rather have been seated (definitely getting old).
Of course no trip to Paris is complete without ascending the Eiffel Tower for blistering views of the city and despite the torrential rain and wind, it surpassed all my expectations.  It was just an incredible experience and one I’d love to re-live. It’s not until you’re actually outside it that you realise its sheer magnitude and I would never have known it isn’t actually silver. I’m so glad I can finally tick it off my bucket list but I think had it been a nicer day, I could have spent hours just gazing out over the city.
I also visited the Louvre and could quite easily have pottered about and spent a good six hours there! I feel like I barely saw any of the exhibits as there were so many rooms I didn’t venture into. The courtyard was really beautiful and had it not been pouring with rain, would have been a lovely serene spot to relax. The pyramids were spectacular too and it’s hard to believe the main one is the entrance to the museum – it doesn’t look nearly big enough!
A city tour isn’t complete without seeing the local football team in action and so I head to Parc des Princes to see Paris Saint-Germain in action. There were over 45,000 people in the crowd and despite the metro being absolutely packed, it really didn’t seem like that many once I’d taken my seat. It was absolutely freezing and suddenly wearing pumps and a blazer in November seemed like a really bad idea!
I ate so much – and tried to eat as much ‘French’ food as possible. From croissants at breakfast, to grabbing a poulet baguette for lunch and a croque-monsieur (post mojito) in the evening – I even had steak for lunch (it was definitely horse – the French love it). I was so pleased to get my moules et frites fix too. I can’t stand it when people go on holiday and just eat the same stuff they do at home, or actively seek out burger and pizza places; what’s the point of going away if you’re not going to try new or different things? I wish I had tried snails or something really random though...

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

OOTN: Roberto’s birthday

It seems so long ago now, but a fortnight ago, I finally got my hair cut and coloured, before heading up to Ipswich to celebrate my friend’s birthday. We went to Mizu, a noodle bar in town and then to the pub next door for drinks (the prosecco priced £3.95 a glass was surprisingly good!) but all week I knew what I was going to wear.
Co-ord: Rare // Shoes: AX Paris
As I said in my haul post, I instantly fell in love with the co-ord when I saw it online and I had been after one for so long. The bright floral print is perfect for summer. I teamed up this simple outfit with my favourite white heels (which were in my July favourites), to complete this night time look. During the day, I’d probably just wear gladiator sandals.
I can’t believe how well it fit and how light the material was – it wouldn’t be too hot during the day and when the evening got cooler, I wasn’t cold. I’ll admit I wore the shorts as high-waist, but once I’ve finished a month of Your Tea and Blogilates, I’ll be wearing them around my hips (eek!).
I really need to purchase a couple more co-ords as they’re so simple – they’re gonna be so easy to pack and it’s basically an outfit sorted. Plus they’re versatile – I’m gonna be wearing the top with my new skort soon and the shorts can always jazz up a plain vest/strappy top.
What summer time looks do you love?

Sunday, 10 August 2014

ClaireaBella | Bikini jute

Another year, another ClaireaBella bag! I’ve been meaning to buy a bikini jute for aaaages and I’ve bought this with plenty of time before I go to Portugal – how lush is it going to look next to my sun lounger or down the beach?
There are so many other designers ripping off Claire’s style but none of them compare – she’s a seriously talented lady. Every aBella is unique and that’s the beauty of the concept. I’m forever changing my hair, which means needing to keep up to date with my aBella goodies. My phone case was bought a couple of months ago and so is brunette – but this bag matches my summer style.
When you design your aBella, there are so many options to choose from, which makes it ultra-personal. And so my design was:
hairstyle: long
hair colour: blonde
outfit: sunset pink
eye colour: blue
skin tone: fair
personal text: LucyLocket
I bought this jute in medium but as soon as it arrived, I regretted buying it large – I’m really unsure if all my essentials will fit in it. They’re both available from Toxic Fox, the medium is priced at £34.99, while the large is £39.99.
I love all the cute extra touches, from the little diamantes that add sparkle, to the bows and the spray glitter (which doesn’t photograph well); the handmade tag is also a really lovely touch. The back is emblazoned with Yes it’s a ClaireaBella and there’s the ClaireaBella Classics tag to prove authenticity.
Even better, when I bought my bag, I received a free makeup bag, which is SO cute! The material is soft and velvety and the size is decent, it can hold all my everyday products. I chose the heart background which is so girly and just totally me.
I find myself forever wanting to add to my ClaireaBella collection and the top three on my wish list at current are:
Do you own a ClaireaBella bag?

Friday, 8 August 2014

Restaurant review: Alec’s

Where I ate:
Alec’s, Navestock Side, Brentwood
Owned by Alec Smith (formerly of Smith’s Brasserie), Alec’s bar and grill is synonymous with quality and fine dining – and I can’t believe this is the first time I’ve eaten there, especially when it’s practically on my doorstep. We went as a family to celebrate my parents’ birthdays, brother’s graduation and it’s nearly a year since I started my job!
The restaurant itself is huge and open plan, and I know it was a Friday night, but it was so busy – there wasn’t an empty table. We were taken to our table, which wasn’t in the main dining area, until my brother spotted his friend working and we were moved to a better table, next to the outdoor courtyard. This was lovely as the sun was still shining for most of the evening, but the restaurant itself was very light and airy. The tables for two were intimate enough, while, I found we had plenty of space at ours. At this point, I’m going to apologise that this post is text heavy and there are no pictures – I wouldn’t dream of whipping my phone out and snapping my food at a place like at Alec’s! You’ll just have to take my word for it...
What I drank:
Strawberry daiquiri, followed by a couple of glasses of Muscadet
I began the meal with a cocktail as I knew we’d be sharing a bottle of wine and I panicked, saw the cocktail menu open on one page and noticed strawberry daiquiri – one of my favourites. It was the nicest I’d ever had, with the right amount of ice and plenty of blitzed strawberry. The wine menu was incredibly extensive and could be purchased by glass, carafe or bottle with prices ranging from £18 to £90 (gulp!). The wine coolers hang from the walls which I thought was really cool and a good idea; it’s remarkable how the staff knew which bottle belonged to which table.
What I ate:
Crispy soft shell crab on baby gem with sweet chilli sauce to start, followed by seared tuna on pak choy and a spicy lemon dressing, with crème brûlée and berry Viennese finger for dessert
As soon as I saw the menu, I knew what I was going to have, but I’m still surprised I managed all three courses – especially as no-one else ordered a dessert. I began with the soft shell crab which is something I’ve only ever had at a Chinese. I think I had four crabs in total, all in a light tempura batter, on a bed of wilted baby gem. The mixture of soft crabmeat and crispy batter was incredible, while the chilli sauce was quite hot, but a lovely accompaniment. I definitely made the right decision – although my brother had the sticky beef salad (in mooli rolls) which looked yummy.
The menu is predominantly fish and seafood, with a couple of tempting steaks and a lamb dish and although I really wanted the fillet steak, I opted for a lighter option – the seared tuna. I rarely have tuna, especially tuna steaks and I love their simplicity and freshness. There were two large pieces of tuna on the plate, so it was a meal in itself, although I had some side salad as well as the pak choy. The tuna itself was perfectly cooked and pink and luckily this time, the chilli accompaniment was more citric than hot – but it all worked well. We also ordered chips for the table, but I didn’t have any of those.
Overall, I was very impressed with the food; the only thing I felt let down by was the service. It began well and efficiently, but it seemed to go downhill the moment we stopped ordering drinks. Once the wine was gone, everyone just stopped drinking. We were left waiting far too long for desert, almost to the point I wasn’t going to order – I just can’t resist a crème brûlée though! And when we asked for the bill, we waited 25 minutes, before my brother asked his friend, who then brought it over immediately. I think this stopped it from being the perfect evening – but I can definitely say it was the best meal I’ve had at a restaurant.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

OOTN: Dinner at Alec’s

A fortnight ago on Friday we went out for dinner as a family. As it was a special occasion (congrats Robbie on graduating and the new job!) we went to Alec’s at Navestock for the first time. I’d heard good things and some say it’s a lot better than Smith’s, so I spent ages planning my outfit. The restaurant is very formal and to keep with its elegance and minimal colour scheme, I decided to wear white.
Dress: Rare // Shoes: AX Paris // Jewellery: Primark
The shift dress is basically TOWIE inspired – the title on the website is Chloe Sims wears cream shift dress with PU detail front – could I be any more Essex? White isn’t a colour I wear often, which is one of the reasons I chose it. I also love the detailing, which I’m really hoping doesn’t fade after several washes. The material is so light, which would make it ideal for a daytime garden party or barbecue; but I think it’s more suited to eveningwear. How good is it gonna look with a tan?!
The shoes I bought last year for a friend’s wedding and my work’s awards do and I still love them – but who doesn’t love a pair of white stilettos? During the summer, other than when I’m at work, I live in peep-toes, which means always having pedi-perfect feet.
I can see this being my outfit of the summer and I really want to wear it when I go out this weekend – although I’m a bit wary about wearing in quick succession. It’s also so nice when you buy something new and instantly fall in love with it, especially when it’s something you wouldn’t usually choose.
What were you wearing at the weekend?