Bonjour Gatineau, Welcome to my Skincare Regime

gatineauBonjour Gatineau,
Welcome to my Skincare Regime

My love affair with French skincare started around five years ago. At the time I was travelling to-and-from France on a regular basis, and I was enthralled by the products that lined pharmacy shelves. They promised quality over quantity,  unlike a lot of British & American beauty brands that churn out product after product. Not only that but most of the brands had reassuringly been around for years. One of these brands was Gatineau, founded back in 1932 by beauty therapist, Madame Jeanne Gatineau.

C’est Gatineau

Over the years Jeanne Gatineau’s pioneering research and development has resulted in cosmetic breakthroughs that have been stepping stones for the entire beauty industry. Par exemple, Gatineau were the first beauty house in the world to develop an exfoliator and alcohol-free cleansers and toners – I bet you didn’t know that.

Back to 2018, and Gatineau very kindly offered to send me a selection of their products to try, which I was happy to accept. After all I had been longingly staring at them for several years now, and I was dying to try out more than the travel size companions (body lotion, and hand cream) I had in my beauty cabinet.

I’m currently using the Perfection Ultime Beauty Cream, and I’m completely in love with the texture and scent of the product. I recently had a bad breakout and this has helped bring back some luminosity to my skin. Alongside this I tried the Collagene Experte Eye Pads in my bi-weekly routine., which have been freshening up my tired eyes. I’ve yet to try the other items I received, but if this experience is anything to go by then I can’t wait. Gatineau’s products look, feel and ooze quality – exactly what I’d expect from a luxury skincare brand.

Check out more of my beauty must-haves now!gatineau gatineau

The Beauty Lover’s Christmas Gift Guide

Beauty Lover's Christmas Gift GuideIt’s that time of the year again, when every other sentence is either “Urgh it’s too soon for Christmas stuff” or “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it’s Christmas already”. Whichever kind of person you are (I’m the latter), you are almost certainly beginning to think about gifts for Christmas. Right? I thought so. And in true Bloomzy tradition, I have decided to write a series of gift guides again this year. First up is ‘The Beauty Lover’s Christmas Gift Guide’, and it’s jam packed full of awesome products that will leave you looking like a pro gift giver.

The Beauty Lover’s Christmas Gift Guide

With several big launches this year, beauty products – in particular gift sets – are great standalone gifts or stocking fillers to put under the tree. I’ve included some of my favourite products from 2017, alongside some of the items I currently have on my own wish list. It’s safe to say you’ll find a variety of high quality brands and price points, from well known-names such as Givenchy and The Ordinary, to independent must-haves such as Etta French and Maya Nije. With this gift guide, you’re bound to impress any beauty lover.

If you enjoyed The Beauty Lover’s Christmas Gift Guide, check out the rest of my Christmas Gift Guide series.

Beauty Lover's Christmas Gift GuideBeauty Lover's Christmas Gift Guide Beauty Lover's Christmas Gift Guide Beauty Lover's Christmas Gift Guide

 

Why you should be independent shopping this Christmas

independent shopping

Why independent shopping?

Independent shopping has become a hot topic, and with chains littering the high street it’s easy to see why. I for one am tired of poor quality mass produced items. And as more independent stores open across the country, it would seem that a lot of other people are too. My own hometown, Norwich, has seen a rise in independent stores and cafes, and they are thriving. But why? Well there are a lot of great reasons why you should be independent shopping:

  • Quality products
  • Unique gifts with a story
  • Support your local shops
  • Help someone do something they love

Where should I shop?

Well that’s entirely up to you. You may have some great local businesses and stores nearby. But if you don’t, or you just fancy checking out somewhere new, I have a few recommendations for you:

  • Trouva
    • This is the place for independent shopping. With boutiques across the UK you can shop from the comfort of your own home – or office desk etc – to find the perfect item for you and your loved ones. My current favourite is: Blabar
  • Stranger London
    • This one is for those who want a little bit of magic into their life, and homes. Run by my friend Yasumi, she focuses on unique pieces that scream adventure & personal wellbeing. The store boasts handmade pieces with nods to Japan, UK and Scandinavia. I’m a personal fan of her thread sketches.
  • Weathered Penny
    • If you’re into jewellery, this is the store for you. Their pieces come in a variety of contemporary styles, and they won’t break the bank. I love the hand earrings.
  • Triangle
    • Their choice of products is well thought out; they’re simple, functional and let’s be honest, aesthetically pleasing.
  • Aida
    • This is one of my favourite local stores for fashion, and not only because they have their own cafe on the shop floor. They carry a range of quality brands such as Rains, Veja, and Mads Nørgaard.
  • Botany
    • For the plant lovers and homeware addicts out there. I often stop by Botany’s store to browse their selection of plants. And I love that they offer workshops for those who really want to get hands-on.

 

Keep an eye out for my Christmas gift guides, coming soon!

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Images are courtesy of Trouva, however all views, suggestions and words are my own.

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My Travel Skincare Essentials | 2017 Recommendations

Travel SkincareMy Travel Skincare Essentials – 2017 Recommendations

Travel and skincare are not always the best of friends. There’s a lot to take into consideration: the 100ml liquid rule for cabin bags, baggage space, non-breakables…and let’s not even start on the plane’s air con. For these reasons – and many others – I despised packing my skincare regime into my case. However after travelling so much this year, I like to think I have it down to a fine art.

My daily skincare regime is quite lengthly, and when I’m travelling I try to make sure it doesn’t suffer. And thanks to most brands bringing out travel size versions of their signature products, it doesn’t have to. So I’ve compiled a list which features my favourite travel skincare essentials, alongside some new products I’ve discovered.

My Travel Skincare Essentials

Everything I have included in this post is travel-sized, and can either be purchased separately as such or as part of a gift set. Where applicable I have linked to the specific product or set. However where some products are no longer available in travel size I have linked to the full size product. After all, you can always de-pot a product into a handy travel size kit!

Happy travels! And don’t forget to check out more of my travel recommendations.

Travel Skincare Travel Skincare Travel Skincare Travel Skincare Travel Skincare

24 Hours in Aarhus, Denmark | A Travel Guide

24 Hours in AarhusIt can be pretty tough visiting a new city, or country. You’re not sure where to eat, what to see, or even where to stay. Well I’m here to change all of that with my handy guides! They’re full of tips, tricks, and the best places to go. So stop worrying about how you’re going to make the most of your time in a new place; here are my recommendations for spending 24 hours in Aarhus, Denmark!

24 Hours in Aarhus

24 Hours in Aarhus, Denmark

  • Do breakfast at Bills Coffee 
    • The Danes know their coffee, but they know their pastries even better. And Bills Coffee won’t let you down on either front. They offer up the best pastries in town (in my opinion), and a relaxing atmosphere. Don’t be afraid to chat to the staff – who are super lovely – they’re full of great recommendations.
  • Tour Aarhus City Hall
    • If there’s one thing you don’t want to miss in Aarhus, it’s the city hall tour. This architectural marvel is the epitome of Danish design. You can find photos and tour information here.
  • Enlighten your senses at ARoS
    • The art museum features an array of amazing artwork, and possibly the world’s most colourful rooftop.
  • Refuel at La Cabra, Coffee Roasters
    • This ridiculously stylish coffee shop also offers up plenty of fresh, local produce. My recommendation: the crayfish sandwich, which is hands down the most delicious sandwich I’ve ever had!
  • Fancy some retail therapy?
    • The streets around Vestergade are littered with independent designers, well known brands, and Magasin department store.

24 Hours in Aarhus

  • Take a bus out to the Deer Park
    • Just a 10min ride from the central bus station is Dyrehaven (Deer Park). This piece of woodland is open to the public, but you’ll have to share your walk with some of Aarhus’s friendly deer – and there are lots of them!
  • Stop by the beach!
    • The woodland borders the Kattegat sea by Dyrehaven, and it’s absolutely beautiful. There are showers and changing facilities for those who are brave enough to take a dip.
  • Choose street food for dinner
    • Conveniently located next door to the bus station is the Aarhus Street Food market. You’ll find a wide variety of cuisines, including traditional Danish food. But don’t fork out on the alcohol, instead…
  • Finish the night at a local craft beer bar
    • Mig og Ølsnedkeren is a cozy – some might even say hygge – spot, filled with groups of young stylish friends and couples. Their main offering is a variety of specialised craft beer, but don’t worry they also serve other drinks.

24 Hours in Aarhus

If you have some extra time…

  • Visit Den Gamle By
    • A must-visit for budding architecture nerds and historians alike. Den Gamle By is a small recreation of a Danish town throughout the years, including houses, shops and more.
  • Pop by the Botanical Gardens
    • Nestled right next door to Den Gamle By, and with free entry too! It’s small, but worth a visit – especially for the butterfly room!

Well there you have it, my travel guide to 24 Hours in Aarhus, Denmark!
And don’t forget to check out the my other 24 Hours In… guides.

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The Yauatcha City Summer Tasting Menu is Hot!

Yauatcha CityYauatcha City | Dim Sum Teahouse | Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street | Map

Working right next to Yauatcha City used to be oh-so convenient. Anytime I fancied one of the most beautiful desserts in London, I’d just skip on over. So when my office moved, I was almost certain that was the end of my love affair with the dim sum teahouse. But it was just my luck that I was invited back to try their new Summer Tasting Menu last week, which I dragged my friend Zarna along to (spoiler: she wasn’t unhappy).

And so rather than being petty and keeping all the good food in London to myself, I decided to let you all know about it too.

Yauatcha City Summer Tasting Menu

The Yauatcha City Summer Tasting Menu comes in two varieties: meat or vegetarian. We both chose the meat option, however Zarna can’t eat beef, and Yauatcha were very kind and replaced her venison puff (incl. beef gelatin) with a duck spring roll. I like to mention these little gestures as customer service is very important to me, and all these little things add up to an even better experience.

But of course I’m here to talk about what we ate…or more accurately, what we devoured:

  • Cocktails
    • Asian Daiquiri
    • Thea Martini
  • Steamed Dim Sum
    • Champagne scallop & prawn dumpling
    • Wild mushroom dumpling
    • Crystal dumpling wrap with pumpkin
  • Fried Dim Sum
    • Venison puff
    • Mushroom spring roll
  • Mains (1pp)
    • Stir-fry sliced beef
    • Stir-fry pepper chilli seafood with asparagus
  • Sides
    • Chinese vegatables
    • Jasmine steamed rice
    • Macarons (2pp)
  • Tea (1pp)
    • Classical beauty
  • Desserts (not included in tasting menu)
    • Fromage Frais
    • Tropical Dome
    • Chocolat Mint Delice

How hot is the Summer menu?

My favourites from the menu were: Venison Puff (the pastry & filling is to die for!), Stir-fry Sliced Beef (melted in the mouth), Thea Martini (sweet & fruity), Fromage Frais (beautiful & tangy), and the Chocolat Mint Delice (rich, indulgent…with popping candy!).

The Yauatcha City Summer Tasting Menu is £34 per person (min. 2 people), which includes a glass of wine/cocktail, macarons (2pp) and tea. For such a generous menu, I think the price is more than fair. We were pretty much full by the time our main course came round, but of course we couldn’t let good food go to waste so we devoured everything.

Check out more: Where to Eat in London

Yauatcha CityYauatcha CityYauatcha CityYauatcha CityYauatcha CityYauatcha CityYauatcha City

 

My Top 5 Foodie Hotspots in Aarhus, Denmark | Travel Guide

Foodie Hotspots in AarhusMy Top 5 Foodie Hotspots in Aarhus, Denmark

Hands up if you have trouble deciding where to eat out on a regular basis! Insert raised hand emoji here. I constantly have trouble trying to remember restaurants, or find something new in London, let alone a new city. So I did quite a bit of research when we visited Aarhus recently. However I also wanted to leave some options up to chance, and find something truly amazing. Because there’s nothing better than being surprised, right?

So here are my top 5 foodie hotspots in Aarhus including a selection of cafes, restaurants and bars.

My Top 5 Foodie Hotspots in Aarhus

  1. Bill’s Coffee
    • Let’s start with breakfast. And what better for breakfast than Danish pastry and coffee? The pastries at Bill’s are heavenly. The coffee is some of the best in Aarhus. And the staff are friendly and welcoming. Perfect, no?
  2. Mig og Ølsnedkeren
    • If you’re a fan of craft beer, this is the place to relax after a long day. The selection of beer is insane, and the atmosphere is very chilled (read: Danish). It’s perfect for a hyggeligt evening with friends or family.
  3. Pinden
    • I’m a firm believer in taking in a country’s traditional delights, and Pinden is the perfect spot for delicious Danish food. Don’t forget to finish your meal with some snaps (Danish schnapps)!
  4. La Cabra Coffee
    • For a lunchtime snack and a caffeine pick-me-up, you can’t beat La Cabra. The fresh crayfish sandwich is hands down one of the yummiest meals I had whilst in Aarhus. So much so that I’d happily marry it!
  5. Den Lille Kro (The Little Inn)
    • If you fancy spending a little more, and want something special, this is your place. The Smørrebrød (Danish open sandwich) is delightful, and some of the most impressive I’ve had. Not to mention THAT burger.

Bon Appétit! Or as they say in Denmark, ‘Velbekomme’!

Don’t forget to check out my other Denmark travel posts!

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