Tarquin's Gin Tour Review

Tarquin's Gin Tour Review

Tarquin's Gin Tour Review
Tarquin's Gin Tour Review
Tarquin's Gin Tour Review
When your Dad and family friends absolutely rave about a gin tour and mention it all of the time, you know it's going to be good. As a gift, Elliot and I were given tickets to Tarquin's Gin Tour in Cornwall and I'd been looking forward to going for quite a while. Based on a farm near Padstow, the tour takes about an hour and a half and it was a brilliant way to spend a Saturday afternoon...

Tarquins Gin Tour Review 

We were greeted on arrival by the very friendly tour manager and both given a double of their dry gin and tonic to start. There were about 12 of us on the tour, so we sipped our drinks and waited for everyone else to arrive. The gin tour started with a brief explanation of the company, it's history and who Tarquin is. (Yes, he's a real person)

Once we'd been brought up to speed with the story of Tarquin's Gin we were taken into their warehouse where they distill all of the spirits. All of their gins and rums are distilled at the site, and we saw the different stills used for each of the different products. 

Up until January this year, all of the bottles were hand; poured, corked, labelled and waxed. They now have technology that does all of the above for them, bar the waxing, which is still all done by hand. What's crazy to see is how small the warehouse is, I was expecting a far bigger operation!

Once we'd seen where the gin is made and the group had asked any questions they had, we headed back to the tour room to 4 different gins waiting for us to try. Set out on a surfboard, we each had a single of; the Navy Strength Gin (57%), the Hell Bay Gin (which is a limited edition one made with seaweed), the Rhubarb and Raspberry Gin & the Blood Orange Gin. Each of the gins was paired with a bottle of Fever Tree Tonic and I have to say I loved 3 of the 4. No prizes for guessing which one didn't go down quite so well... (Ahem, seaweed). The Navy Strength one we initially tried straight and it certainly is strong enough to blow your socks off. But, as soon as you add the tonic, it's really smooth and goes down an absolute treat. Almost too well. 

After we'd finished our initial tasting, the team then asked if there was anything else we wanted to try from the shelves and shelves of delicious looking bottles. We tried a small sample of the limited edition Black Cherry Gin, the Pastis (which was actually very tasty and nothing like Sambuka) and a couple of the rums. 

Whilst all of the drinks were tasty, there was one stand out one for us; the Blood Orange Gin. Elliot and I bought a bottle of it and I can't wait to sip one (or three) in the sun. It's a fresh and fruity sunny drink.

As you can probably see from the pictures, all of the Tarquin's Gin bottles have their signature waxing. This is actually something you are able to have a go at as part of the tour at an additional £30 (but only on the Dry Gin). A bottle normally is £36, so if you're looking at buying a bottle anyway, it's an absolute no brainer. 

The whole experience was truly brilliant and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who is a gin fan. It was interesting and educational but certainly wasn't stale or boring. The girls who did our tour were absolutely brilliant and, as expected, all of the gins were genuinely fantastic. 

One thing to note, the distillery is in the middle of nowhere, so if you're planning on doing it, definitely pre-arrange your transport there and back. There were a couple of designated drivers in our tour group who were given plenty of soft drinks, but it definitely wasn't the same experience! 



Have you done Tarquin's Gin Tour?


Noughty Curly Hair Products Review

Noughty Curly Hair Products Review




It dawned on me the other day (whilst moaning about the condition of my hair) that I've been using the same shampoo and conditioner for a long old while now. I swapped for a sulphate-free shampoo about 2 years ago but have been using the same Elvive conditioner for about 4 years. Yikes. I first started using it whilst I was at university and have just repurchased it ever since. It's great, it makes my hair feel amazing and also gets rid of all of the tangles. That said, I just don't think it does great things for the genuine condition of my hair. 

I have naturally wavy hair (with frizzy tendencies), so decided to opt for something specifically curly hair friendly. After a quick bit of research (aka about 13 TikToks) I decided to give Noughty a go for the first time. I'd seen a few people absolutely raving about their products and being made of natural ingredients (and sulphate-free) it seemed like a bit of a no-brainer.

So, what did I get? I bought the Wave Hello Shampoo & Conditioner, the Intensive Care leave-in conditioner and the Hello Curls curl primer. Now, spoiler alert, I'm not completely sold on all four products, I'm starting to think my hair only needs three. 

The shampoo takes a little additional water to get going but once you've managed to get it to lather up it does a good job of cleaning my hair. It always feels clean but not stripped. The conditioner is certainly not as rich feeling as some of the others I've used, but once I'm out of the shower my hair feels smooth and isn't tangled. The leave-in conditioner I really like. It smells fab and leaves my hair feeling nourished but not weighed down in the slightest.

The product I'm not sure about is the curl primer, Hello Curls. Each time I've used it my hair has ended up feeling knotty and tangled, and it also gets greasier far quicker. I don't think I'm using too much of the product, as I only use a couple of pumps of it at a time. To be fair, my hair is more wavy than curly so perhaps I've just bought a product that isn't wholly suited to me. 

If you're in the market for a new shampoo and conditioner, have wavy hair, and want to opt for something sulphate-free, I'd say it's worth giving this Noughty duo a go. It's slightly more pricey than a standard drugstore product but there are always offers on their products online...


Have you tried Noughty haircare?

Flamingo bournemouth reviewFlamingo bournemouth review

Flamingo bournemouth review

Lunch at Flamingo, Bournemouth - Review

Lunch at Flamingo, Bournemouth - Review

Lunch at Flamingo, Bournemouth - Review

Flamingo bournemouth review

Before our massage at Lush Spa Poole, my sister and I stopped at Flamingo for some lunch. Flamingo has been on my list of places to visit for the longggggest time and I'm so glad I finally got to visit. If you're based in Bournemouth (or the surrounding area) then I'm sure Flamingo doesn't need any sort of introduction, it's very popular, and rightly so...

Flamingo Bournemouth Review

Based in Winton, Flamingo has 4 seating areas; the Lounge, the Restuarant, the Garden Pergola, and the Deck. We were sat in the Garden Pergola and it's stunning. It's got a retractable roof, loads of plants, and sage green paneling, it's a summery dream. The roof wasn't off whilst we were there but I can imagine in the summer it's absolutely glorious. The 4 separate areas each have their own decor style but the food and service is the same throughout.

Not only is the building itself split up into 4 areas, but the menu is split up too. There are 3 sub-brands at Flamingo, and each serves food from 9am until 9pm. Flamingo Brunch, as the name suggests, caters for allll of your brunch needs. Whether you fancy avocado on toast, pancakes, or a full English, the Brunch menu is full of all the classics. Poco Loco is their Latin-American inspired tacos and tapas brand and Brenda's Burgers serves burgers, fries, and shakes. 

I opted for the Cajun Fried Chicken Tacos, with cajun-spiced buttermilk fried chicken, pico de gallo,
pink pickled onion, shredded lettuce, and chipotle. I also had a side of Loco Fries. Holly had the Crispy Chicken & Fries which is their buttermilk fried chicken burger. 

We both absolutely wolfed down our food, it was delicious! The Tacos were full of fresh flavours and the chicken was moist but crispy on the outside. The portion of Loco Fries was huge and the chipotle dip they came with was really tasty. 

The decor is amazing. The food is amazing. The service is amazing. If you haven't been to Flamingo yet, I highly recommend you get down there and give it a go. There's free one-hour parking on the surrounding roads, so getting there and parked is nice and easy. As for pricing, we paid about £30 all in and were both absolutely full afterwards!


Have you been to Flamingo yet?

Neutral Capsule Work Wardrobe
Neutral Capsule Work Wardrobe
















Next week I start my new marketing job and the dress code is office wear. I haven't worn smart workwear in over 2 years now (my last job was suuuuper casual) but I luckily held on to a lot of my old work clothes. 

Seeing as I already have a load of clothes that work together, I've decided that I'm going to have a go at having a set capsule wardrobe. Anyone who has followed this blog for a while will know how much I love a bit of beige, and when putting together a capsule wardrobe, neutrals are an absolute godsend. 

Now, I don't quite know just how strict the dress code is at my new place, but I've picked the following 14 items: 
  • 2 Jumpers
  • 4 Blouses
  • 3 Short-sleeved tops
  • 3 Pairs of trousers
  • 1 Dress
  • 1 Midi skirt 
I'm going to be wearing these items in allll of the combinations over the coming weeks and months and I'm excited to really get the most out of each of these pieces. Hello, slow fashion

To help with this whole mission, I recently downloaded the Whering app which I've seen all over Instagram. It's essentially a digital wardrobe and allows you to add all of your clothes to it and put them together into outfits. I added each of these 14 pieces to the app and so far I've created 23 different outfit combinations. Not only is the app useful for seeing exactly what you have, but it means you can see how different outfits look without actually having to try them on. You can also log how many times you've worn each piece in the app, if that's something that interests you too. 

As someone who loves clothes and once would have gone and thrifted an array of new pieces to wear to their new job, this is an exciting change for me. Whilst I'm not sure I could commit to a capsule wardrobe for my 'fun clothes', I have a feeling this is going to be a breeze for my workwear...


Have you ever tried a capsule wardrobe?

Lush Spa Poole Massage ReviewLush Spa Poole Massage ReviewLush Spa Poole Massage ReviewLush Spa Poole Massage ReviewLush Spa Poole Massage Review

For Christmas, my sister and I received vouchers to visit the Lush Spa in Poole for the first time. Fun fact, my sister had a Lush birthday party 10 years ago, back in 2012, so it's fair to say we've been Lush fans for a while now. The Poole Spa is located next to their shop on Poole High Street and is a blissful place to spend the afternoon. 

Holly and I both had a 'Tailor Made' massage. This is a 30-minute firm massage focussing on an area of your choosing. As someone who spends at least 8 hours a day hunched over a laptop, I opted for the back and shoulders, as did my sister. 

When we arrived we were greeted by the friendly staff and taken into the Spa Kitchen for our consultation. We filled out a quick questionnaire and then were talked through all of the products that were going to be used in the treatment. There were 4 massage bars that we got to choose from, Holly picked the Sleep Bar and I opted for the Therapy¿ Bar. We were then also shown the cooling jellies they were going to use during the massage - these are unique to the Spa! 

Lush Spa Poole Massage Review...

The Tailor Made Massage at Lush Spa Poole has a nautical theme. The treatment room has a decor style similar to that of a ship and there are sea shanties playing throughout the duration of the treatment. The air was also filled with the scent and vapour from a mini 'Big Blue' bath bomb, which truly added to the experience. 

The massage itself was incredible. It was firm but in all the right ways. The therapist was really friendly and did an excellent job with the knots in my shoulders. The half an hour absolutely flew by and my back felt brand new.

We then had a cup of tea and a shortbread in the Spa seating area before heading back into the shop for a wander. 

Whilst not the most affordable form of self-care, if you're in the market for a massage, I highly recommend visiting the Lush Spa Poole. Or, if you are in need of a gift idea, the vouchers are so easy to use and make a fab present. The team were so friendly, the whole experience was fantastic and the massage itself was brilliant. 10/10.


Have you ever been to the Lush Spa in Poole?

Cafe Croyde, Devon - Review

Cafe Croyde, Devon - Review

Cafe Croyde, Devon - Review

Cafe Croyde, Devon - Review

Cafe Croyde, Devon - Review



On our second day in North Devon, we wandered up to Baggy Point and then stopped off at Cafe Croyde for some lunch on the way back. I'd seen a few of their Instagram posts before we visited Devon and immediately added it to my 'must-visit' list. Pizza, beach views, cute mugs, it had my name written all over it...

Cafe Croyde, Devon - Review 


THE MENU

Cafe Croyde's menu is far more extensive than you'd typically find at a beachside cafe. Whilst they do sell the standard sandwiches and pastries, they also have curry nights, make pizzas, and serve beers. All of the cakes and pastries looked delicious and they also serve pancakes too.


THE FOOD

We shared their veggie pizza between us and it was really good. It had a sourdough base and pesto, rocket and sundried tomatoes on top, as well as plenty of cheese. It's worth noting that their pizzas are also able to be made both gluten-free and vegan too! For a light lunch, one of their pizzas is great for two.


THE DECOR

There's not too much to say on the decor other than it's simple, minimalist whilst also being beachy. The outdoor area looks as if it's all been recently redone and was a really nice spot to sit in the sun overlooking Croyde Bay. 


EVERYTHING ELSE

They're open 9am-4pm every day and it's somewhere you just walk in. In the summer, I can imagine it gets pretty packed, being a prime spot by the beach, but it'd be well worth the wait. The food was delicious and it's a great spot to watch the world go by. 



A short but sweet review, but I'd highly recommend visiting Cafe Croyde. Tie it into a walk up to Baggy Point and a swim in the sea and you've got yourself a great day in North Devon planned!
The Duck and Bean, Tiverton - Review
The Duck and Bean, Tiverton - Review
The Duck and Bean, Tiverton - Review
The Duck and Bean, Tiverton - Review
As part of my birthday weekend, we stopped in Tiverton (on the way to Croyde) for some brunch. After a quick Google of all the brunch spots and cafes in Tiverton, I decided that it just had to be The Duck and Bean. Their food looked really tasty and seeing as it was a gorgeous sunny day, somewhere with an outside seating area was a must...

The Duck and Bean, Tiverton Review


THE MENU

With pancakes, avocado on toast, fry ups, and french toast, The Duck and Bean are pretty much ticking all of the brunch option boxes. With such a great selection, Elliot and I weren't sure what to go for. But, in the end, decided that it just had to be the pancakes after we saw one of the waitresses bring out a fantastic-looking stack to another table.

THE FOOD

We both went for the blackberry compote and mascarpone pancakes and they were sublime. Three huge fluffy pancakes, maple syrup, decorative flowers, and our choice of toppings - we had a feast in front of us. I've had a lot of pancakes over my 24 years but these were by far some of the better ones I've had in a long time. The mascarpone was a fantastic addition and the flowers were a lovely touch. (Sidenote: I did end up eating one and I can confirm it tasted like grass)

THE DECOR

With such gorgeous weather, we decided to make the absolute most of it and sit outside in their little courtyard (even if wasn't quite as warm as it looked). The decor inside The Duck and Bean, however, was really nice with dark green velvet chairs, plants everywhere, and industrial-style lighting.


EVERYTHING ELSE 

We didn't realise it at the time, but we coincidentally parked right behind the cafe in one of the pay and display car parks. So, if you're also stopping on your way through Devon, this is a really great convenient little spot. The only other thing to note was that the tea was a little bit floral, and whilst we're both truly avid tea drinkers, the tea we had really wasn't hitting the spot. 


I really enjoyed our brunch at The Duck and Bean in Tiverton and would certainly recommend it for anyone looking for a cute brunch place in the area. Whilst the tea certainly wasn't anything to write home about the pancakes were!

Black Butter Lymington ReviewBlack Butter, Lymington ReviewBlack Butter Lymington ReviewBlack Butter Lymington ReviewBlack Butter Lymington Review

Last weekend Elliot and I spent Saturday driving around in the campervan. Our first stop of the day was Lymington for some brunch. We'd had a look online for somewhere to visit and Black Butter had come up a few times so we decided to give it a go...


Black Butter, Lyminton Review 


THE MENU 

Whilst not being the largest brunch menu in the world, there are plenty of options to be had. All sorts of eggs on toast combinations, pancakes, granola, and, of course, the (featured here) breakfast muffin. They're also open in the evenings and have a whole range of cocktails, shots, and other alcoholic drinks available too. 


THE DECOR 

A cute little spot, the decor at Black Butter is very simple and minimalistic. There's pot plants everywhere, fairy lights and a generally airy feel to the place with the large windows the whole across the front. 


THE FOOD

We ordered two 'Black Butter Breakfast Muffins' and a 'Hash Brown Share Box'. The muffins were absolutely full of sausage and bacon, and the chipotle mayo was a great accompaniment you wouldn't expect. The hash brown share box comprised of 8 hashbrowns and the same chipotle mayo and we polished off the lot. The food was incredibly tasty and I'd definitely recommend it. There was also plenty of food too, we certainly didn't leave hungry.

EVERYTHING ELSE

Black Butter in Lymington isn't the largest of places so during the summer I imagine it gets very busy very quickly. Although saying that, we were able to walk straight in, at lunchtime, without a booking on a sunny Saturday. The staff were all really friendly and price-wise, Black Butter is about average for what you'd expect for a nice brunch. I think we paid less than £25 including a pot of tea for two. 



If you're ever in the Lymington area and after a tasty brunch, definitely give Black Butter a go. That chipotle mayo was one of the best I've ever had and we've even tried recreating it ourselves at home (to no avail, unfortunately). 

Afternoon Tea at The Ritz Reviewritz afternoon tea review


Afternoon Tea at The Ritz ReviewAfternoon Tea at the Ritz ReviewAfternoon Tea at the Ritz ReviewAfternoon Tea at the Ritz ReviewAfternoon Tea at the Ritz Review

My Mum and I recently had an afternoon at The Ritz and it was quite possibly the coolest thing I've ever done. We'd watched quite a few of the programs on the renowned hotel and obviously knew it was going to be grand, but wow, were we surprised. I've never seen opulence like it. It truly was incredible. 

Afternoon Tea At The Ritz Review


THE MENU

As part of the afternoon tea, there was a choice of 18 different teas as well as coffee available on request. I went for 'The Ritz Royal English'. As for sandwiches, here's what was on the menu when we visited; Ham with Grain Mustard Mayonaise On Brioche Bread, Cheddar Cheese with Chutney on Tomato Bread, Cucumber with Cream Cheese, Dill and Mint on Granary Bread, Breast of Chicken with Tarragon Creamed Mayonaise on Malt Bread, Scottish Smoked Salmon with Lemon Butter on Sourdough Bread and Egg Mayonaise with Chopped Shallots and Watercress on Brioche Roll. There were 3 different patisseries; a peanut-based one, a rhubarb-based one, and an orange-based one (unfortunately I can't remember their names). We had one of each sandwich each, one of each patisserie each, and two scones each. We were also offered a slice of the lemon and earl grey loaf cake once we'd finished our afternoon tea too. 

THE DECOR 

Just wow. The decor at The Ritz is incredible. I'm not sure I even need to write any of this, you can see it all from the photos. It's absolutely stunning and truly luxurious. Everywhere you turn is a stunning piece of furniture, artwork, or an ornate mirror. Even the bathrooms are gorgeous, not that I'd expect anything less.

THE FOOD

I'll be honest I wasn't sure how much a Ritz afternoon tea could vary from any other afternoon tea but oh my... I was very wrong. I've never tasted food like it. All of the sandwiches were light and full of flavour without being too overpowering. The scones were light and fluffy and the patisseries were out of this world. The peanut one actually ended up being our favourite, surprisingly. A special shoutout to the lemon and earl grey cake too. I wish I could have enjoyed it to its full potential but after devouring over half of our afternoon tea I was pretty full. All of the food was truly delicious and besides the salmon sandwiches, we polished off the lot.

EVERYTHING ELSE 

The Afternoon Tea at The Ritz certainly isn't a cheap experience (£62 per adult) and there is a service charge on top too. But, the food was incredible, the decor is out of this world and the staff were all very helpful and attentive. It was a fantastic afternoon and I'd highly recommend it to anyone. There was also a harpist playing the entire time we were enjoying our afternoon tea - you don't get that just anywhere, do you?! 


In case it wasn't already obvious enough, we had the best afternoon at The Ritz and would go back in a heartbeat. The Afternoon Tea is currently being held in The Ritz Club and we're very keen to go back once it's being held in The Palm Court again. 

The Exchange Romsey Review
The Exchange Romsey Review
The Exchange Romsey Review
The Exchange Romsey Review


The Exchange Romsey Review


So I think I've found the most Instagrammable cafe/restaurant/bar in Hampshire... The Exchange in Romsey. Elliot and I went for a wander around Romsey and stumbled across this little gem in the square. We'd already had a big breakfast so didn't fancy a massive lunch, instead we had a cup of tea and some cake, and weren't disappointed!

THE MENU

For a café/cocktail bar, The Exchange in Romsey has quite an extensive menu. They have quite a few brunch options, lunch dishes as well as various different tapas in the evenings. They also serve afternoon tea, pastries, cakes, and all sorts of other sweet treats. Their cocktail menu was huge, with all of the classics, and a happy hour every Thursday. 

THE DECOR

10/10. That's all I have to say, The Exchange is an Instagram dream and I will absolutely be returning. With pretty pink velvet chairs, a gorgeous bar, terrazzo tables and flooring, and pretty crockery, it's certainly ticking all of the decor boxes for me. 

THE FOOD

Now, we did only have a piece of cake each but they were delicious. I had the Victoria Sponge and Elliot had the lemon cake. They were both rich, moist but lovely, and light. We didn't see anyone else eating  whilst we were sat outside, but there were plenty of people having hot drinks.

EVERYTHING ELSE 

As for service, it was a little slow but we didn't mind and enjoyed just sitting in the square in the sun. For a hot drink on a sunny winter's day, there aren't many other places in Romsey that I'd rather sit. Price-wise, it was all fairly reasonable and not particularly extortionate considering the decor and the captive market. 


Overall, I would highly recommend The Exchange in Romsey. It's a truly aesthetic venue and the cake is pretty delicious. With the Causeway not too far away, it's a nice spot to visit after a wander... 
El Murrino Bournemouth ReviewEl Murrino Bournemouth Review

El Murrino Bournemouth Review

El Murrino Bournemouth Review


This weekend I finally got around to trying somewhere I've been meaning to go for ages.... El Murrino, Bournemouth. I've seen their pizzas all over Instagram, especially during Christmas Market season, so this weekend whilst I was in Bournemouth I decided to give it a try... 

THE MENU

With over 20 pizzas to choose from as well as 15 pasta dishes, risottos and salads, it's fair to say that the El Murrino menu is pretty vast for an Italian restaurant. One thing to note is that the menu has limited vegan options, so if that's something you're looking for, El Murrino might not be the place for you.


THE DECOR

With a bright glass front, the restaurant is airy and light. It has exposed brick walls, industrial-style lighting, and a huge bar with black and white tiles. It's not a massive building, so the bright decor certainly helps it to feel bigger and more spacious. 

THE FOOD

The bit we're all here for... The food! The pizzas were incredible! Matt and I had a garlic pizza bread with cheese to start and then a margherita pizza each. The bases were fantastic - nice and light, there was plenty of cheese and the tomato sauce was really tasty. I can't fault the pizzas in any way at all, one of the best I've had in a while.

EVERYTHING ELSE

Being quite a small venue (with, from what I can tell, a bigger emphasis on takeaway) it was fairly quiet. When we arrived at about 12:30 on a Saturday we were the only people in there to begin with. The service wasn't the quickest ever, so it's certainly not somewhere to go in a rush. In terms of price, for two lemonades, a garlic pizza bread with cheese and two margheritas we paid under £28 - it's very reasonable! They also do all sorts of offers and meal deals so be sure to check those out if you're keen to give El Murrino a go. 


The pizzas at El Murrino were fantastic. If I'm ever in the Bournemouth area and fancying a pizza, this is definitely going to be my new go-to spot!