The Best Christmas Gifts (For Everyone)

CHISTMAS GIFTS
We have just over two weeks left until Santa Claus comes to town and – if you’re anything like me – just about all your loved ones’ presents left to purchase.

Fear not, festive friends! I have created a handy list of wanton presents – the best Christmas gifts (for everyone) – to inspire you and make your gift-giving exceptionally easy and fun.

Giftspiration, if you will.

Christmas Gifts

For The Beauty Lover That Has It All…
Esthechoc. These one-a-day dark ‘beauty chocolates’ use Cocoa Polyphenols and Astracells to form a complex anti-ageing beauty supplement. Each individually-wrapped portion works to keep skin clear, luminous and oxygenated from the inside out (and they have the science to prove it!). A tasty treatment, to say the least

For The One Who Loves Vintage…
The Celine Thin Preppy Sunglasses are a statement and a half.

For The One with a Red Cup permenantly attached to their hand…
Starbucks have the most ridiculously adorable range of mugs, tumblers, stacking cups, et al. I find I’ll often use my “special cups” as decorative items (makeup brush holders, pencil holders, etc) so love the idea of filling these with something personal, as well.

For The One That Needs to take time for herself…
Gift cards can come with a bit of a stigma as a last-minute gift, but a Priv giftcard sits in an entirely different present realm. As the app offers a number of in-home beauty and health services, you can give the selfless woman in your life the gift of everything from professional hair and makeup to a resolution-friendly personal training sesh.

For The Rose Gold addict…
I am an absolute glutton for everything rose gold and recently came across two fragrant little beauties perfecr for any woman of the same ilk: the Monsoon Rose Gold fragrance and Cocolux Wild Frangipani candle. The fragrance is a fresh floral with lemon, vanilla and amber notes ahile the candle is hardcore Frangipani sweetness infused in Coconut wax. Like cheat day for your nose.

For The Blogger…
Since coming across the vintage-style Olympus Pen E-PL7, I have become wholly obsessed with the camera. Both technically and aesthetically sophisticated, the camera features an LCD that flips down (vlogging goals), built-in Wi-Fi, and specs that will rival your favourite DSLR.

For The One Obsessed With Lush…
I was 11 years old when I made my first Lush order and have been the happy recipient of many Lush products in the 10+ Christmases since. The Lush Legends box set, however, feels like all of those holidays in one.

The decadent present contains 27 of the brand’s bestsellers (scrubs, bath bombs, conditioners, and more). It is the ultimatw in indulgence.

For The One Who Doesn’t Like Anything…
I firmly believe that gifts should be personal but know that this can often be a challenge for those with friends and family members who keep their hearts off their sleeves.

For this, concert tickets are my go-to recommendation. It is relatively simple to discover someone’s musical tastes and feels like such a treat to immerse a friend in something they love (creating memories while you’re at it!).

If all else fails, I’ve also never see someone receive a hoverboardΒ with anything less than excitement.

What I Wore – Mulled

autumn outfit post
Though I am a woman of dress-donning nature, my inclination for trouserless ensembles means I spend an absolute fortune on tights over the Winter months.

Try as I might, I just don’t have the cajones for bare legs and beanies like my Northern partygirl counterparts. My legs have, however, found a best friend in these super affordable and adorable mulled wine-coloured jeans. A welcome break from an expensive uniform of colour-coordinated dresses and tights.

What I Wore:
“Mulled wine” (burgundy) off-duty denim (from George!)
Faux fur-trimmed gilet
Black top (similar here)
Black and gold eels from Duo (past season, similar here)
Laser-cut EvelinaΒ clutch bag

autumn outfit post
autumn outfit post

The Real-Life Quality Street

quality street westfield
Last night, I had the pleasure of bringing Quality Street to life.

In celebration of everyone’s favourite Christmas chocolates, I was invited to ‘switch on’ a slew of lights, snow, and choc-tastic fun as Westfield London let us bring Christmas ad to reality and turn their Southern Terrace into a real-life Quality Street.

Free for everyone to enjoy, our little festive ceremony welcomed a slew of chocolate-loving children and adults for an evening of carols, indulgence, and good ol’ fashioned Christmas cheer.

If Quality Street can’t get you in the holiday spirit, nothing can.

quality street
quality street westfield

In Review: FireLake Grill House, Leeds

firelake grill house leeds
This past weekend marked my long overdue return to Leeds for a few days of catch-ups, indulgences, and bittersweet goodbyes.

But, most importantly, the indulgences.

Though I had lived in Leeds for over a year, I never made it to the Firelake Grill House in The Light’s Radisson Blu hotel – despite heavy praise – so decided my return was the perfect opportunity to book in.

Upon arrival, my lady love and I passed through the bar area and made our way to the dining area to snuggle up in a plush, kitchen-facing booth. Aesthetically, Firelake is somehow both expansive and cozy – it has ‘Yorkshire’ written all over it.

Quite literally; I started the meal with the ‘Stubbornly Yorkshire‘ – a beautiful wooden platter of cured meats, pressed pig cheek & ale terrine, beetroot yoghurt and homemade pickles – while my accomplice opted for the much more sensible grilled asparagus starter, paired with parmesan, hazelnuts and lemon.

After quite literally agonising over the decision, she then chose to play Yorkshire’s Advocate with an incredible tray of Champion Yorkshire pork sausages, home-made ketchup, milk-bottled gravy and charred potato mash while I gave into my vices and ordered half a native, flame-roasted lobster with lemon preserve.

In the comfort food stakes, Firelake’s fresh bread (smothered in olive oil) and lobster are going down as an unlikely lead.

Upping the ante on our skinny jeans, we decided to go all out on dessert with warm doughnuts (warm cinnamon sugar, strawberry preserve & cream) and black figs (floating atop lavender custard & salted meringue).

The menu is an unusual delight and one I plan on forking my way through for many Northern trips to come.

firelake grill house leeds
firelake grill house leeds
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A Central London Staycation

amba marble arch
Though my blog will forever and always be my ‘happy place’, I have been dealing with an exceptionally tough year behind the screen. From ongoing surgeries to unexpected losses, 2015 has been as trying as it has been wonderful.

As a silver linings kind of woman, however, I like to focus on the wonderful.

Having enjoyed the Amba Charing Cross so much during my last London staycation, I thought it would be a great idea to book in at the new Amba Marble Arch for a weekend of Christmas shopping, relaxation, and spa treatments.

Nestled straight off of Oxford Street, the new hotel may not have the unique charm of Charing Cross’ iconic architecture but could genuinely not be in a more convenient location for shopping, eating, and entertainment.

That, and the brand’s hyper-digital offering (you may remember me swooning over their complimentary iPads in a previous post) is as seamless and savvy as ever. After a long and festive afternoon through Soho, I returned to my lovely little room to be greeted by a toothbrush (requested by their “Oops, I forgot my…” app as I left) and a surprise assiette of desserts.

The rest of the evening consisted of a dinner catch-up in bed with one of my best friends, a complete clear-out of the Nespresso facilities, and a stream of movies so ridiculously bad I daren’t name them. As far as ‘wonderful’ is concerned, it was the real deal.

After waking up and getting ready for the day (pausing to revel in the heated, steamless bathroom mirrors), we spent the rest of our morning enjoying the gargantuan breakfast selection at The Grill and drinking far too many cups of tea before parting ways.

The final stop on my staycation was fast approaching.

During a recent browse on Red Letter Days I had spotted that my all-time favourite spa (The Spa at Dolphin Square) was offering an insane deal through their pamper day packages and couldn’t quite book it fast enough.

After a short tube ride to Pimlico, I made my way to the spa’s stunning Moroccan-style chambers and spent the next three hours being hammamed, massaged, steamed, and herbal tea-ed to complete tranquility. Very few ‘holiday’ spa experiences have evet come close to Dolphin Square’s.

Staycation of dreams, this one.

amba marble arch
amba marble arch
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