Oooh, what have we got here? A new blog series, huh? If you've ever read any of my Sick Tings posts you'll know that I'm very partial to a cream tea and have had a fair few in my time. I like to think that I'm quite the expert at judging what a good cream tea is and isn't so thought I'd impart this wisdom on the internet. My goal is to find the best cream tea on the south coast documenting it along the way. The current judging criteria are; taste, clotted cream quantity, price, aesthetic and location. Essentially, I'm going to try a whole load of different cream teas in the name of research and report back on each one in a blog post, giving it a full review.

So, where better to start than right here in Southampton? I'd heard a lot about Halladay's Tearooms but had never actually been myself. That all changed this week when Toria and I decided to check it out for lunch. It's located in Bedford Place, and has the prettiest decor, but more on that later. The tearoom itself is very small, it holds less than 30 people, but thankfully we arrived just as another group were leaving so didn't need to wait long for a table. I had the Halladay's cream tea and Toria opted for the breakfast - both were delicious. Finding The Best Cream Tea On The South Coast: Halladay's Tearooms, Southampton
Finding The Best Cream Tea On The South Coast: Halladay's Tearooms, Southampton
Finding The Best Cream Tea On The South Coast: Halladay's Tearooms, Southampton
Finding The Best Cream Tea On The South Coast: Halladay's Tearooms, Southampton
Finding The Best Cream Tea On The South Coast: Halladay's Tearooms, Southampton
Finding The Best Cream Tea On The South Coast: Halladay's Tearooms, Southampton

Hallday's Tearooms, Southampton


The most important feature: taste. The scones came out warm and were genuinely delicious. They were crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and had a caramel kinda flavour. They were actually incredible. They were also fairly light (aka not stodgy at all) so I'm very glad I opted for two rather than just one!

Clotted Cream Quantity 

A deal-breaker, no? There's nothing more disappointing than a scone with a shoddy amount of clotted cream on it, so, this criterion is certainly one of the make-or-breakers for me. I can confirm that a very generous portion was provided that was more than enough for my two scones.


I had the Halladay's cream tea which includes a pot of tea, two scones and costs £7.25. It also comes with lots of fresh berries and two pots of jam, so overall I would say it was a fairly good price.


An absolute top scorer on the aesthetic front. Everything in the tearooms is pastel coloured, the cream tea comes out on a two-tiered stand and the walls are decorated with pretty plaques. There are fresh tulips on every table and it's just a bit of an Instagrammer's dream, yanno? 10/10 for aesthetics.


As aforementioned, Halladay's is located in Bedford Place in Southampton and it's fair to say there isn't an awful lot to do around there, which could be a bit of an issue if there is a huge queue for tables. (They don't take bookings!) It's also about a 15 minute walk from West Quay, so not somewhere convenient to just pop into for a tea after a trip to Primark. 

Overall, with all things considered, I rate the cream tea at Halladay's pretty highly. The food was delicious, the decor really pretty and it wasn't too badly priced considering!

Where shall I try next?
Have you ever been to Halladay's Tearooms in Southampton?
Ahhh Pinterest, when used correctly, you're an absolute Godsend, but, you aren't the easiest of platforms to get to grips with. I mean, we've all heard about how good Pinterest is for content inspiration and pretty pictures but just how does one drive traffic to their website using it?

Well, up until fairly recently I was in this very position and was totally clueless on how to use Pinterest for my blog. Yes, I'd pinned photos on and off for a few years on my personal (nothing to do with my blog) account but never just more than that. That was until Christmas rolled around, I did Blogmas, got really into the Christmas spirit and just wanted to pin allll of the Christmassy photos. During this time, I hit 3 million monthly unique viewers on my account @becc4blog, and, I'm going to be honest, I didn't believe it when I saw it. I assumed it was some sorta glitch... Why would 3 million people want to see what I was pinning? Well, it wasn't a glitch and there really were 3 million people out there looking at my pins.

Now, it's nowhere near that high currently, but, I'm still driving a lot of traffic from it, and I know exactly why it's decreased, but more on that later. Since using Pinterest for my blog a few months ago I've had over 6000 views specifically from it and 500 unique clicks from one pin alone. So, for something that takes very little time to set up and run, it's definitely worth doing and getting the hang of. (Also, I know these really aren't crazy stats, but, that's 6K views I wouldn't have had without Pinterest, so yanno, every little helps.)

How to grow your Pinterest account. An easy guide detailing how I hit 3 million monthly unique viewers on Pinterest.

So, how did I grow my Pinterest account?

I'm in no way an expert, let me tell you, I'm just a gal with a laptop and some free time and somehow I've managed to garner together a few tips and tricks to make Pinterest work. FYI: this isn't some top secret information, just some easy, handy tips for anyone that is pulling their hair out trying to get to grips with the platform.

Step 1. Pin Regularly 

I know this sounds stupidly straight forward but that's because it is. As soon as I started going on the app daily, pinning other people's photos here and there I really noticed a spike in my followers/viewers. It really is that simple. Being more active on the platform leads to more engagement, simple as. So, if you take home only one of these messages, let it be this one. It's simple, easy, and leads to a noticeable effect. 

Step 2. Switch To A Business Account 

It's fairly straight forward to do and once done leads to a whole load of benefits. (If people are struggling with that, I could always do a whole post dedicated to making the switch and how to do it... Let me know if that would be beneficial!) Also, you can simply upgrade your current personal account to a business one, there's no need to make a new one and you don't lose any of the pins/boards you've already spent time curating! So, what exactly can you do with a business account? Well, for one, it gives you access to analytics for your account and secondly, it opens the door for all sorts of paid advertising, but we won't get into that today.

Step 3. Make Your Blog Photos Pinterest Friendly 

Now, you've pinning lots of pretty pictures to your business account for a while and you've got some time to do a little bit more. Well, it's time for some direct blog post marketing. For any post you write, make sure that you have a portrait oriented photo to use on Pinterest. The logic behind this is that they take up more of the users' screen, so essentially they have to scroll past more of your photo to bypass it meaning that it's more likely to catch their eye... Which leads me to my second subpoint - make your photos eyecatching, whether this be pretty, colourful, an infographic, a guide, anything. One thing that works really well on Pinterest is having bold text over the photo itself - this is really easy to do in Canva - and makes a whole world of difference. Catchy, clickbaity titles are the best for this. 

Step 4. Schedule Pins

You've started making graphics for your blog posts to pin, now it's time to start scheduling them. We all have busy lives and don't have all of the time in the world to dedicate to social media. Well, within Pinterest itself you can schedule pins for later. It's really really straightforward, and even just scheduling a pin or two for each day in bulk will really make a difference. Now, I don't know the best time to schedule these for, it very much depends on the locations/habits of your audience, I suppose. Have an experiment, try a few different times with similar photos and see which fairs better, and then you'll have your answer. 

Becca, but why have your stats dropped?

Well, for one, I've stopped doing step 1, eeeek. Things are really busy at the moment and going on Pinterest is nowhere near the top of my to-do list. As well as this, now that Christmas has been and gone I've sort of lost my niche... I was pinning photos of presents, food, and trees like a maniac, and I still occasionally do now that it's February, but I don't have a board that is my go to. As well as this, I also don't have a board that I also have lots of my own photos to contribute to. Plus other people have a lot less time to spend endlessly scrolling now that the holidays are over, so this has played a big part in it too. It's not me, it's you

What are your thoughts on Pinterest?

- This post contains gifted items from Femme Luxe -

I love clothes and I love shopping. I mean, I don't even want to admit how many items of clothing I have spread across my three (!!) wardrobes. (I've literally been the same size/height/weight for years now, so it's fair to say I've accumulated rather a lot of pieces. Or that's how I justify my excessive collection to myself at least.)

One thing I don't tend to get too caught up in is trends. Now, don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't like them, I just like what I like and buy whatever I fancy. So, for today's post I thought I'd style four of the current trends on the high street and report back with my thoughts...

Styling Four Trends: neon, leopard print, one shoulder, teddy fur.
So, where better to start than with an absolute marmite item. I've previously tried on a few neon pink pieces but I decided they weren't really for me, so, here we are trying out what can only be described as baby sick green/Stabilo highlighter yellow. Now, I actually love this a lot more than I thought I would. It's the Oversized Neon Jumper*, I have mine in S/M and definitely wouldn't want it any bigger. It's so cosy and has the hugest roll neck. You definitely wouldn't get lost in a crowd wearing this piece. I just styled it with black Topshop Leigh jeans and black heeled boots from Primark. As for a jacket, I would definitely wear a black jacket, perhaps a leather one. Overall, I like this a lot more than I thought I would and I'm definitely going to make the most of it whilst neon is on trend again. (The last time I wore neon I was at a school disco with legwarmers on, so yeah, a long while ago). 

Styling Four Trends: neon, leopard print, one shoulder, teddy fur.
Now, I'm not new to leopard by any means but I thought I ought to include some in this post because it really is everywhere at the moment. This is the Leopard Midi Dress* and it literally fits like a glove. I have mine in a size 8 and it's a perfect fit. It's a really thick, stretchy material and I love it. Now, I'm not usually that much of a midi dress fan and tend to opt for a mini, but I think I'm slowly being converted. This dress I just paired with black heeled ankle boots and a black fur jacket, and it's a solid 9/10. 

Styling Four Trends: neon, leopard print, one shoulder, teddy fur.
Ahhh, the one shoulder trend. I must admit, this is one I just didn't really get. This is the Mustard One Shoulder Midi* and like the other dress, is really good quality. Now, it does fit a bit funny around the chest, but the fit everywhere else is great and I love the split on the leg. I think this colour would definitely look a lot better on me with a tan so either I need a date with St Moritz or a holiday... I know which I'd prefer. Having tried a one shoulder piece, I'm still not sure I get it, and I won't be rushing out to buy more things in this style, I'm perfectly happy with my regular two straps, yanno?

Styling Four Trends: neon, leopard print, one shoulder, teddy fur.
And the final trend; teddy fur. I LOVE THIS STUFF. I recently bought a burgundy teddy sweatshirt from Stradivarius and it is the cosiest thing ever. So, when I spotted this Grey Teddy Jumper Dress* I decided it really needed trying out. It is the softest material ever and is slightly longer at the back than the front. I styled this with black vans and a denim jacket for a super chilled, casual look. I also think this would look fab with black velvet over the knee boots and a leather jacket, or just with leather trousers whilst it's still pretty chilly out. This is 100% going to be my go to lazy day outfit, it's just so so comfy. It seems a bit paradoxical to be wearing a big cosy dress whilst having your legs exposed to the elements, but that's a problem Becca can deal with another day...

Aaaaaand that's a wrap. Those are the four trends I decided to try out and my favourite by far is the teddy fur, closely followed by the leopard print. Neon is in third place - I can't work out if it looks really good or really bad, and my least favourite of the four is the one shoulder trend. I'm not sure I'll ever get it. 

Which is your favourite of these outfits?
What's your current favourite fashion trend?