Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Late Afternoon Tea at The Fitzwilliam Hotel Dublin

On Sunday I was lucky enough to be invited to the Fitzwilliam Hotel to experience their Late Afternoon Tea. The Fitzwilliam Hotel is located just at the top of Grafton Street, on St. Stephens Green. This was my first time in the Fitzwilliam and it was a pleasure. From the minute we entered, Gosia, our server for the afternoon looked after us so well.


After we were seated we were given a selection of six teas to choose from. Gosia talked us through each of the different teas and helped us decide which tea to pick based on our tastes. I had a delicious champagne & strawberry green tea whilst the boy choose Earl Grey, which were served to us in individual teapots.

Shortly after the tea arrived, Gosia brought over a large stand filled with all types of sweet & savoury goodies. Before we dove into the desserts, we began with the beautiful canape selection. Everything was a treat for the eyes and was so visually pleasing. So much effort was put into every little detail that the canapes and cakes looked like pure perfection.  And they tasted just as good as they looked! 

The canapes consisted of caviar blinis, langoustine and truffle wanton with lemon aioli, crab mayonnaise and tuna tartare cones. My personal favourite was the wanton which was so good I wanted more! One thing I really enjoyed about this Afternoon Tea is that is steps away from the very traditional (and boring) format of having sandwiches with tea, I really enjoyed the canapes and loved trying each and everyone. I also loved how fish based the menu was. 

So after the canapes we got to the best bit of Afternoon Tea and the real reason people love Afternoon Tea, it was time for the sweets! Even though I was nice and full after the canapes, I made it my mission to taste each and every one. Luckily for me the boy hasn't got a sweet tooth so I could eat double! :) Yay for me! The sweets consisted of choux buns with peanut and salted caramel ganache, rhubarb jelly with a white chocolate mousse, mini scones with clotted cream and raspberry jam, a selection of macaroons, Vienna cake (delicious!) and chocolate and peanut cups (amazing!). I loved how the scones came with the cream and jam already on them. Again the attention to detail here was impressive! For the dessert, I decided to try the Pu-erh Peach and Kombucha tea which was really light and fruity and worked perfectly with the sweets.


After all of this scrumptious goodness you think it can't get any better but you get to finish off your Late Afternoon Tea with a cocktail. You can choose between the refreshing Cucumber Cup (made with Hendricks gin) or the deliciously decadent Nutella Martini (made with real Nutella). I cleverly asked the boy to order the Cucumber Cup whilst I ordered the Nutella Martini, so I could taste both! This was the icing on the cake of what is a great way to spend an afternoon with your friends, other half or family.


The Fitzwilliam has also launched a ‘Fashion Tour’ walking podcast.  The podcast takes you on a sartorial adventure from South William Street, to George’s Arcade, Dame Street, and back along through the main shopping artery of Grafton Street; stopping at select boutiques and fashionable treasure troves. It includes a combination of Dublin’s fashion stalwarts and emerging designers, with various places to stop off and visit along the way.

The podcast http://www.fitzwilliamhoteldublin.com/fashion-podcast.html is free to download, across Stitcher, SoundCloud, and iTunes. It can be accessed by anyone interested in exploring Dublin’s style scene, and is not exclusive to guests staying in the hotel (yay!), although guests will receive a complimentary set of headphones to experience the podcast with.

Late Afternoon Tea can be booked on its own or is available as part of The Fitzwilliam TRENDING SUMMER Package which includes a one night stay-over for 2 people, breakfast on the morning of departure, as well as headphones for the Fashion Walking Tour Podcast, and Afternoon Tea from €299 per night.

Late Afternoon Tea costs €35pps and is available 7 days a week from 2-6 at The Fitzwilliam Hotel. Pre-booking is necessary and can be made by calling +353 (0)1 478 7000 or by visiting http://www.fitzwilliamhoteldublin.com/afternoon-tea. I was a guest courtesy of The Fitzwilliam Hotel.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hotel/Spa Review: Farnham Estate

Recently my boyfriend treated me to an overnight stay in the Farnham Estate Golf & Spa Resort. We had stayed there last year and loved it so much that we knew we had to make a trip this year.

Firstly, if you have never been the hotel is a 16th Century Estate house that used to belong to Lord Farnham. It is set on a sprawling 1300 acre estate just outside Cavan town. This is one of the reasons we came back for a second visit. Living and working in a city, we are constantly surrounded by noise and people but the minute we drive on to the Estate all of our stresses just melt away.

The weather was beautiful so we were able to take advantage of some of the many walks that are on the estate. We walked through the forest and around the lake which is just so pretty and really helps you to unwind.


My favourite part of the Farnham Estate is the spa. I have to admit after spending the previous day and night in the Farnham, I was already pretty relaxed by the time I got to the spa the following morning! The spa is amazing, I had the Farnham Estate Signature treatment which starts with a foot soak and a foot and lower leg scrub, which then leads to a leg and back hot oil and hot stone massage and a facial. It is to die for and you will come out of there floating on a cloud! The spa only uses Yon-ka products so your skin will be silky soft after your facial! It is perfect for girly trips or a romantic night away for two. I am already planning my next trip back!

All images from www.farnhamestate.ie

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Product Review: Kiehl's Daily Reviving Concentrate Facial Oil

When I first heard about Kiehl's new daytime face oil I was intrigued but a little bit nervous, would it make my face shiny during the day? I am a big fan of face oils but had previously only ever used them at night time and to be honest I was a bit reluctant to splash out €42.50 on something that I may use a few times and then discard to the back of my beauty treats never to be seen again.

So when my moisturiser recently finished I thought there was no better time to try out the oil.  I popped into Kiehl's one lunchtime and got a Daily Reviving concentrate sample and a Ultra Facial Moisturiser sample. The lady in the store advised me to layer them together as the Facial Oil works best underneath a moisturiser. I tried it for two mornings and I was sold. My skin was so soft. Initially I was worried that it would affect my make-up but it hasn't, if anything it has given me an extra glow which makes my make-up look great.

After my shower and a cleanse and tone, I take a small drop and warm it between my fingertips before pressing it into the skin on my face. As it is an oil, you don't need to use a lot of product and warming it on your fingertips before applying really helps it to move better on your face. Initially I was rubbing it into my face but I have found that gently pressing or patting it into my skin works a lot better for me. I give it a minute or two and then I apply my moisturiser as normal. I have found that I don't need to use so much moisturiser either after using the Daily Reviving Facial Oil. I then put on my make up as usual and this beautiful warm glow appears. Actually the glow is there before I put on my make-up, it just makes my skin look great!

A couple of days after I introduced it into my routine I started getting so many compliments in work about how tanned my face looked and how relaxed I looked. My skin has never looked or felt better. I have had notoriously dry skin for as long as I can remember and I have to be careful about which products I use as my skin is also sensitive but I have had no reactions to this product. It is free from all the baddie ingredients.

Just this weekend I got a facial and for the first time ever the beauty therapist told me there was no sign of any dry skin on my face and to keep doing whatever I was doing! I am also using Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Oil at night-time which is designed to be used alongside Kiehl's Daily Reviving Concentrate Facial Oil. I honestly thought that using face oils day and night would clog my skin and cause it to become oily but it hasn't, if anything it was obviously the level of moisture I needed to be using on my skin to combat the dryness. One tip my beauty therapist did give is to gently exfoliate the T-Zone with a very light facial scrub 1-2 times a week when using face oils day & night.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

My favourite morning green juice

I have recently cut meat out of my diet totally as a challenge to see if it made me feel better. It did and still does. But one of the withdrawals of cutting meat out of your diet totally is that you need to ensure you are still getting all of your daily nutrients but from a different source. Iron deficiency is something that is quite common in women in their 20's and 30's (thanks periods) and can be counteracted by eating a portion of red meat, maybe once a week. Now I needed to find the same amount of iron but not from meat.

When I first told people I was cutting meat out of my diet completely the usual scaremongering started, "Oh you won't get enough iron, you'll become anaemic" is something I heard surprisingly more than once. Initially I ignored these comments and ploughed through, feeling full of energy for the first few weeks but then my energy levels started to wain, and I started to think the critics were right. Needless to say I wasn't going to give up, I hadn't felt so good in myself in ages, so I started thinking. One idea I came up with was juicing. I had tried juicing before with a big old bulky juicer, but the hassle of cleaning it every single time I used it usually meant I was cleaning for longer than I was juicing so as you can imagine that habit didn't last long. I had taken green juice before in the form of Amazing Grass Superfood powder and I can hands down say it is one of the main things that helped me get through my Masters, it gave me so much energy, so  I knew juicing could work for me.

So I bought a Nutribullet. My idea was if I could make sure I was getting as many nutrients as possible first thing, then I had to benefit from it. I stocked up on loads of fruit and vegetables, mainly greens and started to play around with recipes. My juice has now replaced my breakfast and I drink it first thing on an empty stomach. I believe that this helps the goodies assimilate into your bloodstream (or wherever they need to go) much faster than taking it after food. It is important to ensure that you have a balance of fruit and vegetable in your juice, as the sugar from fruit juice can damage your teeth.

The Ultimate Green Smoothie

> 2 handfuls of washed spinach
> 1 green apple
> 1/2 cucumber
> 1 cup of coconut water

Add one if you want
>> 1 kiwi
>> 1 pear
>> 1 banana
>> 125g blueberries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

How to celebrate St Patrick's Day in Dublin

If you are one of the over 100,000 visitors coming from all around the world to celebrate St Patrick's Day in Dublin or if you are Irish and are looking to celebrate St Patrick's Day by doing something different, then you are in the right place. I have compiled a list of some really cool events that are taking place in Dublin over St Patrick's weekend. Now traditionally people associate St. Patrick's Day with a lot of alcohol being consumed throughout the day but for me this is only part of St. Patrick's Day. Yes St. Patrick's Day is the time to celebrate being Irish but it is also a time to celebrate our culture and history.

So first things first, The Parade.

The Parade starts at midday in Parnell Square and continues down O'Connell Street, over O'Connell bridge, up Westmoreland Street, across College Green continuing along Dame Street, Lord Edward Street, turning onto Nicholas Street and ending at St Patrick's Cathedral. So if you are anywhere along this route, you will see the parade but bear in mind the parade is very long and will last a couple of hours from start to finish. The parade route gets very busy so you might want to get your space early.

Celebrating St Patricks Day at the Guinness Storehouse

The Guinness Storehouse are celebrating St Patrick's Day from March 16th-20th, with a daily ceili, food, marching bands and live music topped off with a pint of the black stuff.

GAA All-Ireland Club Championship Finals

If you are inviting Ireland especially for St Patrick's Day, you might want to take the opportunity to see our national sports in all their glory at GAA Headquarters. crokepark.ie/match-day

Visit the President

On Saturday March 19th, there will be free guided tours of the Presidents residence, Aras an Uachtarain in the Phoenix Park. Tickets are free and are issued on a first come first served basis. http://www.phoenixpark.ie/visitorcentre/

See the Plough & The Stars

When Sean O'Caseys play was first performed in the Abbey Theatre in 1926 there were riots. Now returning to the Abbey Theatre 90 years later to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising when it was set. http://www.abbeytheatre.ie/whats_on/event/the-plough-and-the-stars-2016/

Follow in St. Patrick's Footsteps

Take a walking tour around Dublin to discover the truth behind St.Patrick. This tour finishes in the beautiful St. Patricks Cathederal. http://www.walkingtours.ie/en_GB/