Monday, 29 June 2015

Game Of Thrones King's Banquet at The Cuan Inn, Strangford.



When my friend Sarah from http://thesarahstory.com/ messaged me late one night having just discovered a Game Of Thrones themed banquet WITH menu lifted directly from the books(!!!) it was instantly decided that we must go, without question. 

We investigated a little further and discovered they were holding 3 public events over the summer. One a month in June, July, and August respectively. July was debated but we settled on June because, excited little fangirls that we are, we really couldn't wait! And so it was booked, we would travel up to Strangford to The Cuan Inn on the 27th June to feast as they did in the books. 


On arrival we were ushered into a curtained off area, lit only by candle light, and met our fellow diners. For a little backstory we were told about the close relationship the Inn has with the production. Many of the main cast, including Sean Bean & Mark Addy in the early days, have stayed there. They themselves have worked on set up at Castle Ward for the External Winterfell scenes, Robb Stark's encampment, and a few others. You could genuinely tell that they loved the show and loved being able to offer a little slice of it to fans & tourists.

Our dining buddies included a couple from South Wales who were over touring the various filming locations and tourist hot spots for the show. We told tales of friends & family appearing as extras and they in turn shared their Doctor Who, and various other BBC programming, connections. Everyone was in good spirits and at ease with each other which made for a lovely atmosphere in what could have easily been a very awkward situation. 

Dire Wolf butter... Can we just appreciate?


THE KINGS BANQUET

Starters

- Cod cakes on a bed of buttery Winter Squash
- Crusty Fresh-Baked Bread with Medieval Pease Porridge

My first thought looking at the menu was one of stretchy waist bands and breathable fabrics. Laid out as a 5 course menu (2 starter, 2 main, 1 dessert) it's a bit daunting. Thankfully they scaled down the courses and combined them so you actually recieved 3 healthy courses, slightly more manageable for the mind. 
The cod cake was lovely, more on the potatoey side than fishy but steaming hot and very satisfying. The Pease Porridge, which is basically a fancy (or maybe old fashioned?) name for mushy peas was also fab. I love Mushy Peas so this was always going to be a winner. The stand out of this course was the Winter Squash. Unassuming on the plate but oh my it was wonderful, I could have happily sat with a full bowl and a spoon for the rest of the evening. 


Mains

- Honeyed Roasted Chicken with Roasted Onions in Gravy
- Venison Pie

It was a bit odd receiving these two items together as one course. You ended up mixing and matching elements in ways you probably weren't meant to. The caramelised carrots that came with the pie were lovely but they were slightly overwhelming when eaten with the honeyed chicken. Both the pie and chicken were nice, the meat itself was tasty but I was a bit disappointed in its dryness. Potentially not their fault though, we were running slightly late so timing was an issue. Also, I missed out on the funky Dire Wolf shaped pie crust my companions received so I have may have been slightly bitter about that. 


Dessert

Iced Blueberries in Sweet Cream with Sweet Biscuits

Dessert translated in partially frozen blueberries (the best way to serve blueberries!) with a sweet, oaty, biscuity crumble topping and a drizzle of CrèmeAnglaise (custard). My verdict? More custard, please! I mean yes it was all delicious but I will always stand on the side of "more custard, please!" It was a very good custard.
 

After dinner we hung back to create our own theatrics, playing about with props & cloaks while everyone staying the night retreated to the bar. I really enjoyed the meal over all and it was lovely to get up to Strangford to see the lough and the old castle buildings.  

The whole night for us cost £25 each for the meal but you could stay in the guestrooms for £62.50 Not a bad price for a full evening plus room & board. 
We also discovered that they will arrange the evening for large groups of 20+ so if you have a gang of geeky friends and a special occasion coming up I would give this some serious consideration. 




Monday, 8 June 2015

Asos Curve: sHell Yeah!



There's a movement in Belfast right now called #freethenipple. It was started by the lovely girls of Go Girl who decided they were bored of the internets double standard for women and they have made a hilarious music video which I will link below.  

Despite the internets apparent revulsion of the female form and all of its small bumpy bits, there are elements of the fashion industry that still seem determined to remind us that they are there and that we should draw as much attention to them as possible. 

I'm all for this!

Asos Curves' "Shell Yeah" vest is a prime example of this. Every girl in our generation has grown up coveting a clam bra like the Disney Mermaids we all wish we were. Heck, if you search the Internet deep enough you'll find that some people have actually made some! That's a different post, maybe. This vest gives you the clam bra look without the pesky plankton ickyness.

I picked it up in the recent 20% sale because I rarely buy anything these days that isn't sale but, if I'm being truly, soul searchingly honest with myself, I would probably have bought this full price. It's only £16 and brings me one step closer to being an actual mermaid (which you'll have noticed is a bit of a theme recently). 



Watch the Go Girl video here and if you're in Belfast on the 27th June come to their debut gig in The Bar With No Name!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

The perfect pink, the "perfect" selfie, & the Perfect you.


They say it takes on average 7 attempts to take the perfect "selfie". Well I don't know about perfect but I managed to be happy with this self portrait in 6 attempts with the aid of my DSLR (or as I call it "The Fancy Camera I share with my Dad), a remote control, a homemade tripod because mine is broken, & some decent natural lighting. 

This look is sort of a variation on theme for me but it's part of an attempt to branch out and become more adventurous again and hopefully as a result become less judgemental of myself. It's a subtle move I'll give you that but I'm so tired of the rut that I'm in with make up and clothes. I'm hoping that by doing this series of make up and outfit self portraits I will be encouraged to branch out, be happier and more confident. Because ultimately, although I don't care about being thinner or prettier. I'm still a girl. And we are trained from a very young age to look for flaws within ourselves and to change them. A small scar on the lip, a round face instead of an oval, a slightly lazy eye. These are the things we need to learn to truly love before we tear ourselves apart. 

As for the makeup itself! Things to note are that no matter how good your eyeliner brush (mine is from Zoeva and I love it) it can be quite tricky creating a double flick using only eyeshadow. MAC Carbon is used here but sometimes I really wish I wasn't allergic to normal liners and could get that crisp line I so very much crave! On the lids was a light blend of Carbon & a Barry M Dazzle Dust Yellow. I haven't used dazzle dust as actual eyeshadow in ages and forgot just how nice they are, even if I'm not their target age range anymore. 

On the lip I used MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Laquer in Criminal which is a pretty decent dupe of Lime Crime's Velveteen and a bargain at only £3. Most high street/drugstore brands have their own attempts to recreate this super Matte long lasting look but this is my favourite and fits my tight budget perfectly! 





Friday, 5 June 2015

Mermaid Hair with BLEACH London


 So I've been talking about it for months and finally I got up the nerve to go crazy with my hair. 

I've used BLEACH London in the past when I had pink through my hair and was impressed although in the spirit of honesty this time I had a fair bit of trouble. Despite having quite a bit of blonde put through my hair the last time I got it done as you can see below it was still quite a dark blonde so my first 2 attempts (once with Violet Skies and once with Washed Up Mermaid) failed spectularly. Violet skies went a horrid dishwater grey, not the gorgeous Granny grey we've all come to love and Mermaid just didn't do anything except for one pale green streak. 


Fail. 

So out came the home dyes to lighten the blonde and touch up my roots. I also enlisted the help of my best friend who took painstaking efforts to paint the actual green on to my hair as accurately as possible. 


The dye bowl & brush were £3 from superdrug & well worth the investment for this sort of endeavour!

BAM!


Much better!! I'm completely sold on Turquoise hair now & have abandoned my plans to switch to the Violet colours next. I'm going to be investing in a few different brands to trial out longevity (already I've lost a lot of colour in the first wash but that's the fun with fashion colours!) so suggestions are greatly welcomed! 



Thursday, 4 June 2015

Make-Up Marathon Day with Gordon's Chemist



It's so rare that I get to share an event in my home town that I'm a wee bit excited. 

Gordon's Chemist have teamed up with The Northern Irrland Cancer Fund for Children to host a marathon make up event on the 5th June. Their Antrim branch, based in the Castle Mall, will be doing 15 minute makeovers for just a donation to the charity. And you don't have to book! 

Those who don't know, Gordon's are known for their Clarins & Estée Lauder counters so you'll be in good hands with the ladies and you may even discover a new wonder product while you're at it! 

For a good cause and a bit of fun I'd definitely recommend heading down, they open between 9-5.30 and will be available all day. 



Monday, 1 June 2015

Etsy favourites: GrandmaThunderPants



I love shopping on Etsy and I'm absolutely in love with this Panda necklace I bought as a gift for my best friend. It's from a seller based in Florida called GrandmaThunderPants and oh my her store is amazing! So is her price point to be honest. I had to share it.


It's the little extra touches I love when shopping on Etsy such as the foam confetti that came with the necklace. Too cute! (Or should that be Kawaii?)

Don't you wish you were a zombie now? I kinda do.

Find her as GrandmaThunderPants on Instagram or here on Etsy to see more.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Makeup Revolution Scandalous Lipsticks



I'm not sure what possessed me to buy these at 1AM a few weeks ago. Maybe it was the pay day excitement of restocking up on foundation. Maybe it was the boredom of the pinks and nudes that all just seem to blur in to one another these days. Perhaps I thought I'd get adventurous and come up with some amazing avant-gard look and become a famous Instagram MUA... 1am purchases are often filled with idealism and self delusion. 

Whatever the reason, when the lipsticks themselves arrived I was a bit meh. The colours are amazing and I've heard awesome things about Makeup Revolution so I was expecting big things. Instead I got an exact copy of the MUA packaging and a similar formula although perhaps slightly more buttery leaving them more sheer. Not bad for their £1 price tag and it wouldn't stop me buying them but I'll not rush out to empty the Superdrug shelves just yet. I was happy with MUA as a brand. I didn't need another carbon copy. 


Makeup Revolution - Immortal (Blue) & Felony (Yellow)



When swatching I noticed that they looked like the colours of the Swedish flag so I played about. And then Sweden, who are my ultimate favourite Eurovision country, won Eurovision last night! This is definitely kismet, this post was destined to be published today!