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7/23/2013

Ginger's Jollies: The Monro, Liverpool


On Saturday, I am going on holiday to France with my parents for two weeks (God BLESS the Summer Holidays!) Although I'm super excited to be going away, it also means that I will not be seeing Boyfriend for two weeks. (BOO!) With the prospect of my approaching departure from Liverpool, Boyfriend suggested that we go to The Monro as a special treat! 

The Monro is a place I drive past all the time heading back home from town, but somewhere that I have never tried, although, I have always heard some amazing things about it. And with me being the Ultimate Foodie that I am, I knew I just had to give it a try. 


They do say great things come in small packages, and The Monro is no exception. The exterior is lovely and sleek, and what greets you as a beautifully understated exterior hits you with one hell of a gigantic punch of sophistication on the inside. 

We arrived with about ten minutes to spare before our reservation, so, naturally, decided to get ourselves acquainted with the bar. Whilst we were waiting for our drinks, I got the chance to have a look around the restaurant and was amazed at how pretty everything looked. The restaurant isn't exceptionally big compared to some of the others in the city centre, but what they have done with the space works really well. The d├ęcor really made you feel at home, and reminded me of the homely, comforting feeling I get when I go in to the country pubs where I grew up....Everything in there made me feel really warm and relaxed.

When it was time, were taken over to our table, and had a chance to peruse the menu. I had looked at the selection earlier in the day, but, as usual with me, was drawn in by everything when I looked at the menu again. Everything sounded just too delicious that it came to a point where I had to make a decision then hide my menu from view. I chose the Fylde Coast Quail & Chorizo Ballontine. Boyfriend had the Cumbrian Sourced Rabbit Terrine. 






Quail & Chorizo Ballontine

OH. MY. GOODNESS. 

I had bever had quail before up until this moment, so had no idea what to expect, but whatever I had pictured in my mind, I was surpassed. I mean, just look at the presentation of my starter. Stunning. That was enough for my mouth to instantly start watering. But then I tucked in to one of the portions of quail and my heart skipped a beat. The meat was so succulent and juicy, and complemented the chorizo to perfection, and the accompaniments added a fresh note to the dish. Boyfriend wanted to try some, and it was one of those moments where I was half tempted to stuff every morsel into my mouth and say:

 "Ginger doesn't share food!

But I didn't, because with Foodies such as we, amazing food needs to be experienced together (and I wanted to try some of the terrine!) 

The terrine was probably the best experience of rabbit I have had. The meat was tender and went perfectly with the cranberry marmalade, adding a subtle accompanying sweetness to the bacon.

Both Boyfriend and I took a risk and ordered dishes that neither of us had tried before, and our adventurousness paid off.

Both starters were a good portion size too, and definitely whetted my appetite for the rest of the meal. Absolutely beautiful start to the night! 

British Fillet Steak


Goosenargh Duck Breast


After we had finished our starters, and our plates had been collected, we did not have to wait long at all for our main course to arrive. The service was absolutely brilliant. Sometimes in restaurants  you can be waiting for ages in between courses, especially if you go during busy periods, but not tonight. Oh no. I'd say we only were plate-less for about 2 minutes. It was absolutely incredible! I decided to go for the Goosenargh Duck Breast, and Boyfriend went for the British Fillet Steak. We also decided to order a bottle of wine to go with our mains, and our lovely waitress was really prompt in bringing it over and pouring some for us. 

If I had been happy with the starters, by the main course I was floating on a cloud in Foodie Heaven! The dishes were beautiful. I had to sit in awe for a few seconds at how pretty the arrangement on my plate was. But then I caught a whiff of the duck and had to dive in.

Now, I'm a girl who gets excited about the simplest of things, so when I discovered that my duck was already in bite-sized chunks that did not need to be cut, you can imagine my delight. I did not need my knife at all. The duck was tender as anything, and my fork glided through the breast with no difficulty. The plum-chilli sauce packed a bit of a punch (there was definitely chilli in it) but the plum immediately appeared to soften the blow. And the parma ham crisp! I'm a lover of crispy things at the best of times (particularly bacon) and this just tipped me over the edge!

The stuffed tomato
Of course I had to sample the steak as well! 
Now, the waitress had chuckled at me as I gaped at Boyfriend when he asked for his steak to be blue, but when it arrived, my reservations disappeared. It wasn't actually still moo-ing, and there was no visible signs of blood on the plate. His steak was cooked beautifully, and his knife glided through the meat like it was butter. But what we couldn't get over was the tomato. 
It was delicious!

With every bite there was a new flavour to be found. All the ingredients had infused together inside the tomato and it had the most beautiful succulent favour you could imagine! We must have spent at least five minutes discussing what we could taste, and Boyfriend even asked for the menu back so that we could see if it gave us any clues. I've never had anything like it, and I only wish I knew how it was cooked so that I can try and recreate it myself!

White Chocolate Marscapone Cheesecake

Cheeseboard

Now, by this point I had had two very yummy courses, and, you might think that I was full, but when those deliciously naughty words "Would you like to see the dessert menu?" were uttered to me, I just could not resist! 

Boyfriend and I decided to order a pudding each and then share the two between us, because we had both been drawn to different things on the menu. I went for the cheesecake, and he for the cheeseboard. 
The selection of cheese that came with the cheeseboard were lovely. There was a smoked cheddar, a Wensleydale, and a cheese with what we think was onion in (there's no dessert menu online for me to double check.) The cheese was served with crackers, celery, butter and apple. It was like a wooden platter of cheesey deliciousness. The wedges were perfect to share between the both of us, and again. the food was displayed beautifully on the board! Just looking at it was enough to make my mouth water. 
After the cheese it was on to the cheesecake. And this is going to probably sound like the biggest statement of the century, but that cheesecake was within no doubt the creamiest, most yummy-scrummy-in-my-tummy cheesecake I have ever had! I don't know whether it was the marscapone, or the chocolate, or the layer of fruit on top, or everything all together, but it was stunning! And not too heavy either. It melted in my mouth and made me feel giddy.

We were the last people to leave the restaurant area, but there were still a lot of people seated in the bar, and the atmosphere was buzzing. You could tell everyone there was having a really good time, and there was a relaxed, jovial atmosphere as we left the restaurant. 

So. Final Thoughts.....If you're a Foodie looking for a place to eat in Liverpool, then I'd definitely recommend The Monro. It's a beautiful restaurant with beautiful, atmospheric decor. The food is absolutely stunningly presented, and tastes phenomenal, and the staff are really friendly. I left feeling really sated, happy, and already planning my next visit! 

For more information about The Monro, visit:

http://www.themonro.com/default.aspx





7/19/2013

Ginger Fashion: OOTD Update


Normally when summer comes around, I crack out the maxi skirts, linen trousers, and clothing that generally hides my legs from total view. 

Well.... this summer there is no way I intend to forgo my precious maxi style, but I am definitely embracing the fact that I am a young woman and I am really proud of who I am! I'm in a stupendously happy place in my life, so it's time to reflect that in my clothing choices! 

Here are some of the summer styles I have been working lately. All photos are taken from my Instagram account. 

My Username is: Gingerjax

I have quite a relaxed style, especially in the summer, and like pieces that I can mix and match and play around with


Print Scarf: Primark 
Black Maxi Dress: ASOS


Neon Kimono: H&M
Leaf Necklace: ASOS (Old)
Crop Top: New Look
High Waisted Shorts: River Island (Old)
Stackable Rings: H&M
Bracelets: A Present


White Shirt: River Island
Maxi Skirt: Primark 
Stackable Rings: H&M


Playsuit: River Island

I'm off to France next week with my parents. 14 days of soaking up the French sun and indulging in a glass of vino or two! I'll definitely be taking some of these pieces with me! 

Pssst: Don't forget to check out my JustaddGinger FB page for picture, post, and video updates


Ginger x

Beauty by Ginger: Skin Favourites

I have always been one of those types who has experimented with skincare products over the years. Growing up, I had the most horrendous spots you could imagine, and was realy self conscious about them. so the more products I could find to rid me of those CRATERS OF DOOM, the better. 

I tried them all. Lotions, potions, creams, cleansers, scrubs...the list goes on and on, but nothing really seemed to help. I was just one of those poor unfortunate souls (name that film) who was cursed with bad skin. 

As I came out of my teens, my skin cleared up a bit, but in place of spots were a few scars to remind me of the trauma, and the odd invasion of my skin by bouts of pimples (mostly on my chin!) 

Instagram: Gingerjax

Now that I'm in my mid-20s, I don't really mind the odd pimple appearing. I've becomes really comfortable in my skin, and especially lately, have really started paying attention to what my body is telling me.

I have combination skin. I have an oily T-zone, dry patches on my cheeks, and my skin is really sensitive. Basically, I have to be really picky on the products I use otherwise my skin cries! 

These are the products that work best for me at the moment. If you have a similar skin type, you could give these a go, but nobody knows your skin better than you. 

St Ives Naturally Clear Apricot Scrub - Blemish Fighting: A bit of a cult classic really. When I was a teenager, this was the product everyone talked about. And only now, at the tender age of 26, I have only just discovered it. I LOVE this scrub. It smells lovely and fresh, and isn't harsh on my skin at all. The exfoliating properties make my visage feel soft and smooth rather than dry and horrible, and with regular use, my scarring looks fainter and my spots look less angry. It's a great product to have in the shower because you can use it when you wash your hair (I'm big on multi-tasking, world-saving beauty tips!)  I use this 3-4 times a week, and my skin is left feeling gorgeous! 

St Ives Refreshing Facial Cleansing Wipes: These were a complete random purchase because I was in town and realised I was in need of face wipes. I picked these up because they were the only brand I recognised. (I haven't seen them in any other shop since.) These wipes are designed for Normal/Combination skin, which is perfect for me. They are also really handy as a cleanser. I don't wear much make up at all at work (mascara and concealer at a push,) so these wipes are good a removing just the grime and dirt that accumulates on my skin during the day. They don't have much of a scent either, which I like, because I don't really like having a facial... scent! 

Simple Kind to Skin Protecting Moisture Cream: I am a big fan of the Simple brand because they do not use harsh ingredients in their products. I use this moisturiser everyday as a base for my skin, and to give it a bit of love and TLC. The formula is lovely and light, and soaks into the skin quickly. The SPF is a great addition because at work, I spend 85-90% of my time outside, so need skin protection. I'm hoping this bottle lasts me on holiday, because it's the perfect size to fit in my wash bag. 

Witch Blemish Stick: You can't get a more natural a product for blemish-battling than witch hazel. I used to swear by this stick when I was younger, and now, I've rediscovered it. This stick is great to dab on any spots you may see/feel coming, or to put on any spots that have come out and you want to make disappear quickly. It dries out blemishes really quickly. This is great, but if you get dry areas of skin that are also susceptible to breakouts, make sure you use a moisturiser because it may make your skin a bit flakier than normal. But for me, it's perfect! 

Benefit It's Potent Eye Cream: This product was a recommendation from one of the lovely ladies who gave me a make up lesson a month or so ago. I work shifts everyday, and am up early in the morning, so when I'm tired, it shows. Plus, because I am a redhead, my skin is naturally thinner, and when I get dark circles, they look awful. But within about 3 weeks of using this eye cream twice a day, they started to disappear, and now, I don't really have them at all (yay!) It is a bit pricier than high street/drug store eye creams, but I think it's definitely worth it, and a little goes a long way! 

Milk Cut Down, Water Upgrade: I am an absolute milk FIEND. I can drink a pint of milk in one go like it's water. But with the weather getting warmer, I've been drinking less milk, and drinking more water, and the difference in my skin is ridiculous! At first, I thought it was just a weather-related thing that was making my skin clear up, but it's actually drinking less milk. Whenever I drink a lot of milk, or eat lots of dairy, my chin just erupts. I think a lot of my adolescent skin issues would have been resolved if I hadn't drunk so much milk. I'll still be drinking some and eating dairy (I need to get lots of calcium as my family has a history of osteoporosis,) but just cutting down a little every day, and increasing my water intake has really made a difference. 




What skincare tips do you have?


Ginger x