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2/20/2016

Tea Parlour Liverpool | Just Add Ginger


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Just Add Ginger blog

As a little post-birthday outing a few weekends ago, myself, Leanne, Hannah and Sarah all made our way in to Liverpool City Centre to meet up for afternoon tea at the Tea Parlour. A very unassuming place at first sight, hidden above a shop on Matthew Street, you climb up a flight of stairs, guided by tealights, and go back in time, entering in to the quaintest cutest, and most beautiful set of tea rooms I think I've ever seen.

Intimate and cosy, from the eclectic mix of d├ęcor to the gentleman playing the piano as you enter, this is as far removed from a modern day cafe as you could imagine. It is more like going for tea at Lady Catherine de Bourgh's house than stepping out of the rain in 2016's Liverpool. Grand but not too overwhelming a setting, we were greeted and show to our seats, and I tried desperately to refrain from being constantly on the lookout for Mr Darcy.

As we sipped on a refreshing glass of elderflower water from our wine goblets, our waitress explained what the afternoon tea would entail. Firstly, a warming pot of Breakfast or Earl Grey tea (we all chose Early Grey,) then a platter of various sandwiches, followed by a selection of cakes.

Having chosen not to eat too much before our trip to Tea Parlour, I reached for the sandwiches with great gusto. You receive three fillings as standard - egg and cress, cucumber, and ham with Cumberland sauce - but then get to choose an additional sandwich out of salmon and cream cheese or roast beef and horseradish. The table was split, with Sarah and I opting for salmon, and Leanne and Hannah choosing the roast beef, but with one sandwich of each variety to go round, there was plenty to go around.

After a quick top up of hot water on our tea leaves, the cake arrived. And were we in for a treat! Two scones each, as well as a selection of tasty, cute looking cakes, ranging from ├ęclairs, to a fruit tart, and a chocolate Guinness cake! The scones went first, but by the time we had indulged in the first serving of cake, we all suddenly realised that as tasty as the food looked, we couldn't eat another thing...

...just as the pianist started to play "Happy Birthday" and a giant piece of delicately decorated cake appeared and was placed in front of me. Tucking in to as much as I could, we distributed and boxed up the remainder of the cakes to take home with us.

Going to Tea Parlour was an exceptional experience, and for £20 per person you get what you pay for and more. The staff are attentive, the setting is warm and inviting, with an atmosphere that is always buzzing with excitement, and the food is just lovely. I already can't wait to head back there for another afternoon tea treat. And this time, there won't be any cake going home!

For more information about Tea Parlour, visit:

http://www.teaparlour.co.uk/



2/14/2016

ESPA Bridal Skincare Routine | Just Add Ginger


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I have always been really careful when it comes to skincare products I use. Growing up, I had absolutely terrible skin that really knocked my self-esteem, and I never, ever want to go through what I did back then, because, quite frankly, it was not a happy time for me ... at all!  

Given my love for all things ESPA, when it came to establishing a good bridal skincare routine, who else was I going to choose? Knowing anything that was recommended to me would make my skin look and feel fantastic, I headed to the counter in Harvey Nichols in Manchester to ask for advice. 

The sales assistant was so lovely, and suggested a three-step routine that would suit my "lazy girl" sensibilities when it comes to a beauty regime. I never doubted this, but I can honestly say that since starting my bridal routine, I have noticed such a difference in my skin. 

1. After cleaning my face (with a baby wipe - who are we kidding?) I dab a few drops of the ESPA Optimal Skin ProSerum on to my skin, focusing mainly on my T-zone and cheeks, as these are the places that I find to be the most dry. The serum works to prevent signs of premature ageing, and helps brighten the skin, which for me is really important. My skin can look really drab and lifeless - during the winter in particular- so anything that helps give me a bit of colour and some glow is very welcome. 

2. After applying the ProSerum, it's time for the 24 Hour Replenishing Eye Moisturiser. I dispense two pumps on to the back of my hand, then dab this on to each under-eye area and round to my crow's feet. The consistency of the eye moisturiser takes a little longer to sink in to the skin, so I let this settle for a minute or two. Having super-fair skin, my dark circles show like crazy if I'm not careful, and I can look really sleepy - almost zombie-like - especially in the mornings. I also suffer from dry eyes occasionally, and my eyes will just water for no reason. But since using the moisturiser, I a) no loner feel like I scare people, and b) my eyes are hydrated and are left feeling soft all day. 

3. The final step in my routine is with the Optimal Skin ProMoisturiser. I've been in love with this moisturiser for ages. It really hydrates and takes care of your skin, and is also a great base for make up. It's rich and luxurious without feeling heavy, and oh yeah, did I mention it smells amazing? It sinks in to the skin quickly, which is perfect for me, as I literally roll out of bed and get ready for work still half-asleep! 

I can't pin the results down to just one product, but since adopting a sound bridal skincare routine, and using ESPA products that I really trust, my skin has been brighter, I haven't had any breakouts (unless "time of the month" related) and my skin generally feels softer, Okay so I did spend a little more on preparing my visage before the Big Day, but it has been well worth it, especially because I'm going to be papped so much on the day. And bearing in mind I picked up all these goodies before Christmas, and I'm nowhere near finishing them, I think I've got a lot of bank for my buck. 

2/13/2016

But A Mermaid Has No Tears | Just Add Ginger


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My personal taste seems to have changed significantly over the past few years, and as I get that little bit older, I am very much aware of clothes that make me feel comfortable, sexy, and sophisticated. Shorter skirts have been tossed out of my wardrobe, and in their place are longer hems, softer lines, and more flattering shapes. I'm taking more pride in my appearance, and understanding what makes me feel beautiful! 

It's something that comes with age. Five years ago I would never have dreamed about flaunting my figure in a pencil dress, but now, slipping in to one feels so empowering. Fashion is about self-expression, and when we find something that truly epitomises who we are, we should wear it with pride. 

I hope you feel beautiful today!