Soap and Glory – Orangeasm

DSC_0544Soap and Glory have just released their new collection, Orangeasm, just in time for the warmer more summery weather.

I love this range – it’s made up of three products, the body wash, body butter and scent spritz. The fresh, citrus scent of this is gorgeous and is made up of notes of fresh green mandarin, Sicilian lemon and sweet orange peel oils. Citrus scent can veer a bit toilet cleaner for me, but this smells a lot more expensive and chic than it is. I love that the three products can also be layered to improve the longevity of the scent. If you like the Body Shop’s Satsuma range, I think you’ll like this, although for me it is a more mature, sophisticated scent.

In terms of the packaging, it fits right in with the rest of the brand, with a cheeky play-on-words name and kitsch, slightly retro plastic tubs and bottles.

The body wash comes, as all the S&G washes, in a super 500ml size. Used with a puff, this stuff lasts seriously ages and works out a major bargain on a cost per use basis. I absolutely love the brand’s Clean Girls body wash, but their Sugar Crush one didn’t agree with my skin, so I was a bit nervous on using this. However, my skin seems to agree with it really well and was left feeling super moisturised and smelling delicious.

I also love that the shower gel has a pump that dispenses just the right amount, and you don’t end up with too much on the puff, or shower gel gooping round the tub.

And, as always, the body butter is lush – super hydrating, thick and creamy but it soaks in quickly and doesn’t like a sticky film on the skin. I’ll definitely be picking up the scent tonic to add my collection (and it’d only be sensible to pick up another couple of bits, to save money and make the most of the Boots offer…)

These are really lovely products for summer and if you fancy trying these, or stocking up on anything from Soap and Glory, I suggest you hit Boots pronto and make the most of their 3 for 2 offer!

Love List

When I passed my driving test a couple of months ago, I decided all those nerves and hard work deserved a treat (any justification…), and I bought this beautiful purple suede bag from ASOS.

This bucket-style of bag is very on-trend at the moment, with it’s slouchy casual shape. As soon as I saw this, I fell in absolutely love with the vibrant shade of fuschia purple. My wardrobe is becoming increasingly monochrome and I love to accessorize with bright accessories to add a bit of interest – and I’m always a sucker for anything suede.

Diptyque – Feu de Bois Candle

IMAG0084I am very partial to a scented candle or two, as they make a space feel so warm and cosy especially when the weather outside is wild and cold. I have tended to stick to mid-range prices, buying Lily Flame and Yankee candles but I recently went mad and treated myself to my first ever Diptyque candle, in the smoky, sensuous Feu de Bois scent.

I went for the smaller size, which was £20, as I just couldn’t bring myself to part with £40 for a candle (how do all the other beauty bloggers manage to have dozens of luxe candles dotted about?), especially as it was a new scent.

Although it was the smaller size, the scent throw was really good, and it filled my living room with a beautiful, smoky, log-fire scent – perfect for the stormy, rainy weather, making the room feel very cosy.

I had heard through the grapevine that Muji’s Log Fire candle is a really good dupe and for only £3.95, I ordered two to try it out – the smell is very similar, but they don’t have the same throw – only to be expected, but at the price, I’m happy to buy multiples at burn together to give a similar effect!

Bistro Moderne, Stockbridge Edinburgh

My boyfriend had a business meeting just outside Edinburgh the other weekend, and we thought we’d take the opportunity for a wee date day in the capital.

There are literally dozens of restaurants I’m dying to try in Edinburgh but, as fans of the original Mark Greenaway restaurant, we decided to try his new offering Bistro Moderne,which is in the Stockbridge area.

This was the first time we’d been to Mark’s new restaurant, and we nearly bypassed it entirely as the sign is rather discrete. Once inside, the décor is a gorgeous mix of the traditional – cornicing and wood paneling – and industrial – the pass on view to diners, and stainless steel lights. You can see the chefs at work in the kitchen, which is something I personally love. The service was, as you’d expect, slick, swift and professional.

I had originally seen their fantastic value £15 set menu, but when we arrived they didn’t offer this on a Sunday. Instead they had a roast beef/ chicken sharing board for two, for the princely sum of £25. Plumping for this was no great hardship, although I will admit that sharing boards make me slightly nervous – well, you just don’t know if you’ll get a decent feed, do you? – but the idea of a Sunday roast was just too appealing.

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We skipped starters and went straight for the main, and when the board was placed on the table I was more than happy with what I saw – a pile of pink, juicy roast beef, scrumptiously crisp potatoes and a mini-gravy boat with the tasty meat juices. This was accompanied by some strips of incredibly tasty beef fat (I’ll admit to dribbling slightly thinking back on this…) plus two small ramekins of roasted root veg and spring greens.

The beef was absolutely delicious, and the gravy flavoursome. I could quite easily have eaten the pile of potatoes all to myself, as they were crispy on the outside and very fluffy within.

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For dessert, we shared the Chocolate Tasting Plate from the a la carte menu – a mix of milk, dark and white chocolate elements. There was something similar to honeycomb – both pieces and a mousse – but this might’ve been caramelised white chocolate. Either way, it was delicious, but not too heavy after the roast.

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I’d say Bistro Moderne is a strong addition to the Edinburgh food scene and another successful offering from the expanding Greenaway empire, and I look forward to visiting again and trying the a la carte menu.  

Beef Rendang

unnamedOver the Christmas holidays I wanted to take the chance to do some cooking, but the two weeks seemed to fly past without anything special, other than some Christmas Pudding vodka my other half made, appearing out of the kitchen.

I did take the chance recently to make this slow cooked beef rendang by Merilees Parker, with a couple of tweaks (tweaks only because I forgot to buy lemongrass and fresh limes really) and some added veggies – I went with baby corn and mange tout.

This was a tasty dish, perfect for a cold windy evening but next time I think it would benefit from the zesty freshness of the lemongrass and lime zest to brighten up the flavours, but it’s definitely one I’ll make again.

Jacker de Viande

Well, after a longer than planned hiatus, my wee blog is back with a bang in the form of a review of the delightful and utterly delicious Jacker de Viande.

Walking though the door of Jacker De Viande means descending down the stairs to a basement unit on West Regent Street and into a dark cavern, which looks rather like the bloodstained interior of an abattoir. Appropriate certainly, but not especially conducive to a relaxed meal.

However, I’d choose good food over sophisticated decor any day, so on to the main event…

We went for the pulled pork in a bun with black pudding and apple puree, and the pulled pork burger. We should maybe have branched out from pork, but as soon as we got a sniff of the food we knew we’d made good choices.

Sides were chilli cheese fries and macaroni. The noises emanating from my dining partner, which could only be described as being a moment from When Harry Met Sally, started as soon as the silver platter bearing our food arrived and only ramped up when he took his first bite.

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Everything was very well cooked, from the soft, spicy chilli to the burger with just a hint of pinkness in the middle – every dish was absolutely packed with flavour. For the pulled pork roll, the combination of super-soft pork with a crispy onion ring and bacon was really well balanced texturally as well as being as tasty as it could be. The chilli cheese fries were also very moreish, with the chilli being moist without making the fries too soggy.

Prices hover around the £7/8 mark, which I’d say is pretty reasonable, with other similar options like Meat Bar higher up around £12 per main.  

Service was also very good, though I should mention we were the only people there as it had literally just opened at 5.30pm for the night time seating (keen? Us…?), which just added to our overall experience.

This place got a rave review by Ron McKenna in The Herald, and rightfully so – there has definitely been a profusion of burger bar type restaurants in Glasgow over the last year, but I don’t think Jacker de Viande will have to fight too hard to make it’s mark on the food scene. I for one can’t wait to get back and try out some more of the menu (along with a sneaky helping of those awesome chilli fries…).