Events

#LeedsXmasMeet – a bloggers’ dream day out

Posted on 5 min read

 

Just over a week ago (how time flies!) I attended a huge event I’d been looking forward to for so long now (I feel like it was ‘thee’ event of the year). If you’re a Northern blogger and haven’t seen, nor paid any attention to the hashtag #LeedsXmasMeet over on Twitter then I assume you’re just as unresponsive as I am most days but we’ll talk about that some other time. Organised by the fabulous Rhianna, a local blogger I met a few months back now and continue to see in this formed Leeds blogger circle, Leeds Xmas Meet was basically descriptive by title. A bloggers meet up in the heart of my hometown with 70 people coming from all over the M62 side of the country (and maybe even further, who knows?). Filled with fun, festivity and general chit chat, it was a chance to meet and greet some old and new faces whilst getting into the Christmas spirit and raising some money as we go along.

 

The event took place at The Black Swan, a traditional pub that had the perfect space and rustic vibe for the chilled event it was. Arriving just after it began at 2pm due to the horrendous wind, road closures and typical weekend traffic, I walked up the staircase in my best Christmas dress and my seriously windswept and overdue for a cut hair into the booming room of people and a hoard load of Christmas jumpers. Honestly, I kinda knew what to expect with it being such a popular, busy event but there were so many groups of people talking away in their own bubbles and I kinda just stood there like a lost lemon (as always).

 

Thankfully, the event kicked off into full swing as even more people arrived and the bar opened its doors. It gave me the chance to say hello to all the familiar faces I hadn’t seen in a while, and to encounter some new bloggers I’d never seen or spoken to before. It was so lovely to catch up with everyone and to see the whole crowds nattering, laughing and just generally having a great time BUT I came away from the event sad I didn’t get to interact with as many people as I’d have liked to. I don’t know whether that’s because everyone was off doing their own thing or because I’m such an awkward mess. I’m pretty used to blogging events now but having lots of company often overwhelms me for some strange reason. I still had an absolute blast, just maybe next time I will up my confidence level!

 

 

The room looked splendid, seriously Rhi and her helpers did a fantastic job of creating a place made to occupy us for three hours. Everything was set up accordingly; a large raffle table filled with amazing, thoughtful prizes, a cupcake decorating and a Christmas themed selfie station, wooden seating packed with goody bags, a table jam-packed with Propercorn (possibly my favourite area?!) and another table featuring heart shaped candy-canes and Just Bee drinks AND to make it even better, the open room was trimmed up with the prettiest decorations so our outfit choices of the day blended in well.

 

 

Throughout the day there were a number of activities to partake in. There was the chance to design and decorate your own cupcake, with a best cupcake competition to follow, then of course there was the selfie corner stocked with Christmas props. As you can see, me and Kayla went all out-full blown turn into a child mode and beguiled ourselves with the Santa hats, beards, glasses and god knows what else. Also on board was a best dressed competition which we were all aware of beforehand. This prompted me to bring out a velvet burgundy number I dust off from my wardrobe every year, topped with a snowflake choker, a flashing Christmas tree brooch, and I even attached some tinsel to myself especially for the occasion. However, I didn’t win (not like I expected to or anything) and instead the prize went to Lucy, who was superlatively dressed as a light up Christmas tree in a fetching dress. Fair play Lucy, you deserved that win hands down just for being different and completely inventive from the rest.

 

There wasn’t no over the top, cheesy entertainment, nor did they need to be. I just loved the do as you please kind of option because there’s nothing better than sitting and standing around, socialising, chatting about completely random subjects and soaking in the savoured atmosphere. It was really nice to have everyone together in one simple room.

 

 

After all the enjoyment and as the day was subsiding, it was time to settle down for the raffle done in an advent calendar style, picked one by one – another distinctive detail that made the event so grand. There were some incredible prizes up for grabs, ranging from beauty products to cute stocking fillers and big hampers from some varied brands. I wasn’t one of the lucky winners (I now wish I’d have bought more than one strip of tickets) but it was lovely seeing so many happy faces, and even lovelier seeing Rhianna awarded at the end of the amusingly satisfying draw. Rhianna also did a basic but adorable little speech to sum up the day and informed us that all the money raised from purchasing raffle tickets would be going to Young Minds. I, for one, was thrilled my measly £2 would be assigned to such a beneficial and personal charity. In the latest thank you email which was ever so heart warming, Rhianna told us we had all raised £355 which is absolutely incredible!

 

As the day unfortunately came to an end, I couldn’t leave without giving Rhi a big hug and handing her a massive well done! However, the glee didn’t end there – we were gifted a goody bag which was crammed with so many accommodating treats and even a mini Christmas card with a delightful message inside. Rhianna really did make sure the special touches would be in action and I really really appreciated that. I know how stressed she was but I really hope she knows what an amazing job she did and that she’s proud of herself. The event wouldn’t have happened without all her hard work and passion! Rhi, you were brilliant and totally deserved that Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Palette and Charlotte Tilbury lippy (I’m not jealous by the way). Thank you so so much for inviting me along! You vowed you’d never do it again but after such a success, I know I’d be back in a flash if you ever change your mind!

 

Were you there?

 

Bridie x

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Life: the Lush Leeds Spa event

Posted on 6 min read

 

Is it normal to squeal when an invite to a Lush event reaches your inbox? Probably. Because let’s face it, when is Lush not exciting? Especially at the start of December to kick the festivities off with a bang. They never ever fail to impress and I was thrilled to be attending my first Lush Leeds Spa event (I’ve visited a Lush store event before but not the central Leeds one which made it even more anticipating). It was the fastest yes I’ve replied and upon joining lots of other ‘VIP’ bloggers (some regulars and some newbies) in a formed queue it was clear to see the feeling was mutual!

The initial purpose of the event was to celebrate the relaunch of the Lush Leeds Spa, a gem hidden away like a secret passage downstairs of the store. It shows how much notice I take when shopping; I can’t count how many times I’ve visited the shop and never realised at a lower level lived a luxury, tranquilizing experience in a darkened yet subdued world. Truthfully, I didn’t even know it existed, nor have I ever attempted to research more into it but one lesson it did teach me was to pay more attention because I was certainly missing out.

It was love at first sight as we were greeted with some appetising snacks (pretty cupcakes are enough to win anyone over, right?). Along with a Christmas tree that definitely outshines my own and an Alice in Wonderland themed fruit bowl, we were all geared up to take a mini tour round the four treatment rooms and the remedies on offer.

Being shown around each one in detail by the lovely ladies, I was in complete awe. Not only do Lush provide all your bath and shower needs but they have this entirely separate place where they deliver nothing but peaceful quality that will stimulate the mind, the inner spirit and even your emotions! I loved hearing about how the treatments can de-stress and release all the tension and badness that could have happened in life. I felt at this stage, this section was certainly for me!

The four spa rooms were all uniquely individual, each specifically designed in offering a beautiful encounter and a sensory journey you can indulge in. First up, with The Beatles in mind, was A Hard’s Day Night which was a 75 minute gentle massage focusing on the body parts that need stretching and elevating. Topped with a pair of pyjamas and some classic Beatles tunes, it was the ideal resting relaxation. Secondly, there was the Sound Bath session; I have briefly touched on what this entails at the last Lush event I went to but to be able to stand in the calming room and get the full picture of what I imagined, it only confirmed how unusually amazing it is as the instruments are placed to the ear to create a whirl of soothing sound and an almost intensifying buzz. With a face and head massage, hot and cold stones, candles and tuning forks, this noise based treatment aims to ripple energy in a meditative state to stimulate and allow your inner self to be more tuned (pardon the pun).

Third up we had 60 minutes of bliss with The Comforter; fruity, chocolatey goodness that is bound to leave you refreshed and reinvigorated and lastly, Lush saved the best till last and unveiled what was my utter favourite and most tempting treatment; The Planets. This ultimate package of 3 hours and a number of therapeutic practicalities including a full body massage, a hand and arm massage, a facial treatment and a day in the sheets, looked and sounded absolutely incredible. Along with the constellations and deepened lights on the ceiling, you were even able to take a bath afterwards with your Lush staple bath bomb and a dimmed room. Although all rooms were equally cosy, this for sure would have been the one to send me to sleep – and comfortingly we were assured many of people have found themselves dozing off during the endearing spell. At £285, it carries a hefty price compared to the others which were in the £70-£85 range but there’s no doubt in my mind it would be well worth the money. Especially for a group occasion, what a fantastic way to gather together and be pampered!

Aside from the spa side of things, we were of course also left to roam freely around what Lush do best – the bath bomb and bubble bar section (and at Christmas time that can be a pretty dangerous move). Once again Lush have outdone themselves with cleverly named products, from the overly cute Peeping Santa and fabulous glittery take on the star wand The Magic of Christmas to the tiny melts, a blast of colour from the Luxury Lush Pud and some simple shea softness from one of my beloved reformed Christmas bath treasures, the ButterBear. I found it difficult to choose just one favourite with all the new additions but the cinnamon touch of the Yog Nog was a close first. If in need of some season cheer, call in to Lush and all your problems are fixed. Their entire winter range is amazing!

Carrying on with the snooping around, I got snap ready with the rest of the Christmas attire and the pretty, glistening colours from the continuing bath bomb experiments. Lush have so many brilliant products on offer this year, you wouldn’t think so many would fit into one place but they did, and all displayed so immaculately! The gift sets always woo me over, the packaging is so inviting and saves you a job of the wrapping hassle. The oh so popular Snow Fairy and First Snow have made a frequent return this year too, in both shower gel and dusting powder form but there’s also lots of freshly acquired products. The shower smoothies, scrubs and the jellies are something I’ve never tried before and I was eager to give them a go after all the wibbling and wobbling. I was intrigued with the brand spanking new bark’s, especially the Salt and Peppermint scent. Same goes for the soap, with Christmas and winter in mind there’s the likes of Reindeer Rock, Figs and Leaves, Old Father Time, Baked Alaska, Snowcake, and Yog Nog and they’ve always seemed so appealing. What I love about Lush is that it not only provides the fragrance but the presentation too.

Finalising my in depth and borderline obsessive browsing with a glass of prosecco to hand I familiarised myself with the Lush vibe and the every day essentials. I often make the mistake of just labelling Lush as the place to go for an extravagant bath time but there’s an extent amount of beauty and hair care to take you through the day too. Ushered over to the makeup area and the swatches demonstrated allowed me to see the features behind the dreamy makeup (I must make a sneaky purchase as soon as the Christmas expense is over with), as did getting an insight into how much work and passionate thought goes on behind the scenes in the specially set up butter ball making station. With much delight I managed to make my own butter ball, not that I can say I was much good at it. It split in half once I carried it home but at least I tried, right guys?!

As you can see I underestimated the camera opportunities and I must apologise for the lengthy photo heavy post. Everything is just so damn photogenic and I couldn’t walk past without clicking away. Enhancing the situation further was a guitar player supplying the live music – even giving us a rendition of Fresh Prince at the near end (it may or may not have been the highlight of the night). Being gifted an absolutely amazing goody bag packed with treats meant I was leaving with an extra smile on my face. It was super kind of the Lush team to make sure we were satisfied and that I can confirm. Thank you to the lovely Urika for inviting me, I had SUCH a fun night!

Have you indulged in some Lush Christmas this year? Or even better, have you attended a Lush event lately?

 

Bridie x

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The launch of Leeds Fashion Initiative

Posted on 6 min read

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the launch of LFI (Leeds Fashion Initiative), a programme that marks the beginning of a long awaited, ambitious journey to create opportunities, re-establish Leeds as an international centre of fashion and regenerate the city’s fashion, clothing and textiles industry. The stationary Leeds City’ Museum was taken over by a passionate fashion frenzy catwalk show filled with delightful, distinctive, independent fashion brands bringing in importance from all areas; from journalists and celebrities, to bloggers, and keen fashion insiders.

Gaining phenomenal support from both industry and educational organisations, LFI was bound to impress all who were given an insight into their upcoming and future fashion talent. It was great to hear so many were behind shaping and celebrating Leeds’ potential. Driven by Lambert’s Yard, a dedicated team from the fashion concept store brought together and successfully showed off the hard work of everyone involved. Alongside stakeholders and sponsors including Land Securities, Key Logistics, Torque, Heinsworth & Sons and Leeds City Council, LFI is also in partnership with major fashion houses and local, educational institutes. With the likes of Centre for Fashion Enterprise, Leeds College of Art, Leeds Beckett Univeristy, the University of Huddersfield and the University of Leeds all involved and with collaboration being the backbone of the scheme, it was no doubt everyone present were able to set the feasible scene with excitement in mind.

After soaking up the buzzed atmosphere, enjoying a glass of processco and feeling ever so relevant at the VIP drinks reception, it was time to head up to the main event and take a front row seat ready for the starter for the night – the incredibly inspirational speeches.

It began with the master of the ceremony, Laura Bartlett from House of Coco, the founding editor and publisher of House of Coco magazine giving her introduction and personal touch of the contribution towards the night ahead. It then followed by a huge round of applause for the first leading lady of Leeds City Council, Judith Blake, as she took a stand to express brilliant remarks on just how paramount it was to sustain the culture of Leeds and make Leeds a centered fashion destination. Thirdly, Ishwari Thopte from the London Centre of Fashion Enterprise gave a powerful and eye opening speech on how the input of their work and developed relationship with Leeds Fashion Initiative continues to emerge fresh fashion aptitude. Through their expertise, programmes and networks, CFE are engaged in assisting the development of fashion designer businesses in the area. I particularly took a shine to the announced plans to back Leeds and focus on fashion businesses beyond London. Ishwari explained their belief; that fashion knows no borders, how they look locally, regionally and internationally, and told us why Leeds was the perfect city to deliver strategies they have in place to maintain survival and success and to endorse Leeds’ strong fashion heritage. I think the often too familiar north-south divide means we can lose out to the London flock so having a major ambition to retain the talent instead of evading the quality is something to look up to.

Finally, Adam Jagger, a man who left London last year to become retail director of Lambert’s Yard, ended the group disquisitions with his own experience. Following on from what had already been said, Adam once again highlighted that collaboration is the heart of the LFI and revealed his core belief that everyone has something to offer that is mutually beneficial. His idea is to produce a game changing process, bringing the old in with the new, and gathering up to date, local talent worth praising to produce a northern fashion powerhouse we can be proud of. Being a Northerner seems to bring out the best in me, when an opportunity is risen outside of the capital I’m thrilled to be able to show the rest of the country the hubs we’re capable of and I’m pretty sure soon enough I’ll be able to shout it from the rooftops!

Instantly following on from the speeches came the hugely anticipated runway show where the engaging models were ready to strut their stuff and enable us to feast our eyes on a collection of looks and the contributing styles from both emerging, upcoming designers and the more established names; featuring the likes of Agi & Sam – known for their fun colour and prints, Aquascutum – the luxury British brand, Cabba – who offers gorgeous wardrobe staples with a twist, Christopher Raeburn – known for his unique and innovative take on men and women’s fashion, J Lindeberg – whom is popular within sport admirers, Giles Deacon – his individual, playful designs being key, Rejina Pyo – the Korean born designer who creates feminine garments with the idea of merging with colour combinations and geometric shapes to achieve a unique, confident stance, and Terry De Havilland – the iconic couture shoe designer whose flamboyant pieces stand out from the rest. The renowned brands are of course widely recognised for their distinguished appearance but the local talent were able to showcase their competition. Just to list a few, there was Blue Rinse – known for their vintage, used, recycled and reworked clothing, Danielle Romerial – a vibrant, youthful womenswear label with a sense of relaxation to contemporary fashion, Sgr Skl  – brand focusing on street wear fashion and jewellery, and Studio 805 – a progressive menswear label led by Andrew Bannister-Bailey who graduated from Leeds College of Art with a first class fashion degree!

Supplying fantastic hair and almost too pristine makeup looks were Westrow, Architect and Seema Ghir, all fabricated in line with the theme. There seemed to be a surfaced look for both the males and females: a subtle base makeup with emphasized, sharp cheekbones and a neutral, fresh and glowing finish whilst the hair altered between the two; slicked down, frizz free dos with a fixed middle parting and crazy, voluminous ends for the girls and a formal more trivial design with hair gelled to the side or let loose naturally for the boys. To construct the many garments featured on the runway, A.W Hainsworth & Sons were on board – a company that has been manufacturing iconic cloth in Yorkshire since 1783.

Snapping away at every moment, I managed to capture (albeit not the best) just about every look on the short but fitting catwalk and shall now guide you through both sides of the story…

MALES:

 

There was a fine mixture between super tailored and extravagant risque on the male front. There was a seriously great bunch of a suave and sophisticated pairing and the pop of staple colour and pattern that cropped up added some definition to the under layers making the display of nothing but shit-hot fashion.

FEMALES:

 

Some of my favourite looks of the night came from the lovely ladies as they platformed everything from chic, to haute, to flamboyant and outdoorsy. The runway was lit with quite obviously wise, prudential attire. Giles’ Giles Deacon range thoroughly impressed me with the best golden fringed skirt you ever did see, along with prestigious 3D floral embroidery and show-off puffball midi dresses. For me, the top and trouser combos and the more classic, dressy pieces like the all-lace outfit and the ensemble of light to heavy textures were a winner but I can just about pick a striking ensemble of every item from the remarkable exhibition.

I can’t wait to see and hear more from the soul of LFI. I loved watching the show, enjoying being able to be up front, close and personal to the show and to mentally evaluate every must-have garment. Thanks to SLBPR for inviting me along!


Bridie x

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Life: moving to Cuba at Revolucion De Cuba, Leeds

Posted on 6 min read

 

Ignoring the pelting rain outside, last week I was fully in holiday mode as I headed down to the brand new Revolucion De Cuba bar restaurant situated on the famous Call Lane in Leeds. Long story short, there used to be a sectioned part of the ordinary Revolution bar based around the Cuban style fiasco and now, they’ve brought the almighty to a whole different environment (and a brilliant one at that).

 

I’ve been so excited to write up this post and share this fab discovery with you all. I’m lucky enough to attend so many launch, preview, or offer nights in my hometown and there seems to be a new bar opening nearly every week but this one really made an impression. It wasn’t just your standard blogger evening, the team of staff worked together in effort and planning to create a fun packed few hours with an experience to remember.

 

Being the first one in there (yes you read correctly; me, early for a change) I killed some time waiting on the rest of arrivals by photographing the dark but inviting atmosphere in the downstairs area. The place was much bigger than I expected; a nice, open, warm space with the dreamiest of decor. Think cacti, teapot plants, picturesque lighting and rum-based quotes to live by. You could feel a real buzz as soon as you walked in. There’s such a laid back, chilled vibe, and with live bands on every night it means there’s not just great cultural food, tapas, cocktails and spirits, but a music scene too!

We all had such a warm welcome to the venue, the staff approaching us and even formally hand shaking to introduce themselves (very swarve indeed). After a thorough introduction of what to expect, we were lead upstairs to our own personal free room for the night, complete with disco balls and barrels for tables. Greeted with straw hats, flowered leis and a choice of Cuban beer or a classic cocktail, the treats began to well and truly launch. I, of course, opted for the cocktails (let’s be honest, I may as well bathe in cocktails with the amount I consume over event periods). The Cuba Libres were served in the coolest way possible – in teapots and mugs. That’s definitely my cup of tea (no pun intended).

The thing I loved the most about our preview evening was the fact we weren’t going to be just stood around finding our own entertainment. Not that I mind doing that but it’s good to have something to go by, you know?! Three activities were set in place for us to take part in and we were split up into three groups – round robin style for tapas party dining, cocktail masterclasses and rum tasting.

Our first activity was rum tasting (and I was quick to learn on an empty stomach this wasn’t the best idea for a non drinker). We were taken through to the VIP area to meet Alex, our rum trainer. I never knew so much information could be processed from rum until I sat down and listened to him talk. 21 years old and an absolute expert, I was enthralled by his knowledge! To say I knew little about alcohol, let alone rum alone, was an understatement. I was clueless as to what different types there were, where it originates from, how it’s stored and so on but all these topics were interestingly covered. He even told us some hidden secrets like how to convey a cheap rum to a high quality, how to test for sugar content, how to hold a rum glass, the best way to drink rum, and even some old legends from how rum was perceived in the past life. I haven’t found myself thinking about the in depth details of an enjoyed spirit before but surprisingly, there is a lot more to a drink than the basics you find in your typical bar.

We tried 5 different rums all ranging from light to dark; the first was Diplomatico Blanco, second Appleton Estate VX, third 8 Criollo Cacao, fourth El Dorado 12 Elements and lastly, Ron Zacapa. Taking on the advice of Alex I swirled the liquid round, brought the glass up to my nose slowly to get used to the smell, then took a gentle gulp. The instant reaction was a screw the face up, eye watering, burn right through to my nose and gullet kind of reaction but I learnt (once again from Alex) that once it reaches past the tongue, you will get used to it and surprisingly, I did. Each rum was different; ALL were strong and rich but the flavours varied, some were sweeter, some more harsh, some smokier and heavier. My favourite had to be the 8 Criollo Cacao, the taste was extremely unique; like a mixture of coffee and chocolate extract. Like a pure alcoholic version of a Mocha Latte.

By this point, my head was definitely spinning and as we moved on to another alcohol involved activity, I could almost hear my poor body crying out. It wasn’t used to the high percentage of alcohol but I was eager to master how to make my very own cocktail. Luckily, as we were last to have food, the staff catered for our near-drunk needs and provided us with some extremely delicious snacks and nibbles. The banana chips, roasted peanuts, pork crackling, tortilla chips, guacamole and olives did the job of soaking up the rum whilst satisfying my hunger.

The lovely John was on hand to teach us how to fest up our individually made Mojito. We had the choice of passion-fruit, raspberry or classic and I chose passion-fruit which was actually pretty nice and most importantly drinkable if I may say so myself. As you can tell from my overly concentrating face (along with Corinne and Hayley‘s focused gaze), I took this lesson really seriously. It was another heads up to the staff on this occasion as John was mighty patient with my clumsiness and lack of cocktail making skills. In the end it worked out but I never realised how many actions, methods and certain specific techniques go into making the perfect cocktail. Kudos to the bar workers whipping up those drinks without mistakes on a busy evening!

 

They definitely saved the best till last as our freshly made tapas was awaiting us on our concluded task seated on the vintage diner style booths with a gallery of framed photos above us. I’ve only ever had tapas once before and this one certainly favoured its way to the top. I’m not a huge meat lover so I was a little apprehensive at first but the mixture of dishes met my fussy standards (and more). We were generously served Cajun Cream Mushrooms, Potatas Bravas, Roasted Chorizo, Iberico Ham Croquettas, Serrano Ham Bruschetta, Honey Roasted Veg, Aubergine Quesadillas and baguette bread with a dip, and oh my, what delightfully sustaining tastes. As a mushroom, veg and carb lover, the bread, bruschetta, sauced mushrooms, quesadillas and potatoes were my favourite but every little bit was divine and I think we managed to eat every last scrap. Hey we even politely asked for more bread (totally not just because our clumsiness struck again and we dropped half of it on the floor).

 

Overall I had such a truly wonderful night and couldn’t have asked for any better. The food and drinks were spot on, the venue was gorgeous, I met and got chatting to some more lovely local bloggers, caught up with my usual girlies, and the staff were fantastic; eager to please us, guide us, accommodate us and inform us. It was clear the team were extremely passionate about the food and drink they produced and presented and it made me want to come back for more. I will certainly be heading back there, maybe for one of their special fiestas where dancers are even roaming around and it’s nothing but fun and games! If you’re ever in or around Leeds, you’ve got to go head down and check it out. With deals such as a burrito and mojito for £10 on weekdays and an easily shareable tapas selection being 3 for £13, it’s just irresistible. I couldn’t recommend it more. After-all, there ain’t no party like a Cuban party!

 

Have you ever been to a Revolucion De Cuba? Do you know anything extra important about rum, cocktails or tapas? Let me know!

 

Bridie x

There’s just a month left on my Paul Mitchell Christmas giveaway, don’t forget to enter!

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Life: the Bar Soba black card Leeds launch night

Posted on 4 min read

 

With the dark, winter nights drawing in, it’s becoming a barrier for a blogger who relies on natural lighting (like moi). However, when a venue comes to life with outdoor warmth shining through it becomes even more difficult to capture the essence in its finest hour of glory.

Last week I was thrilled to be asked along to Bar Soba for its Black Card launch night – an exclusive discount which offers 30% off food and various other benefits for the hidden gem on one of the most popular parts of Leeds’ night life; Merrion Street. Admiring the fellow local bloggers’ pictures from the previous Bar Soba event I unfortunately missed out on, I couldn’t wait to delve deeper into the intriguing loft and see that incredible interior for myself.

 

 

Luckily, before the crowds rushed in and dusk drew in, I managed to snap a few photos and make the most of the open space I could only ever dream of. Without a doubt, the decor inside of Bar Soba is seriously stunning; the huge glass roof featuring structured ceiling windows, the familiar, industrial lighting, the perceptible bar area and the amazing, artistic murals covering the wall (which actually light up once projected at night time, eeeek) really do bring the place to life. I may or may not have even been too enthralled in my own presence to appreciate the cocktail we were kindly greeted with as we entered. It took me a good few minutes to settle back on planet Bridie whilst I waited for the others to arrive but it did give me a chance to perch myself down and slowly sip my drink to ensure nobody was going home light headed that night. The Drumstick Caipriovska cocktail was super tasty but had a double load of vodka topped up with sweet syrup and lime juice and I didn’t want to be the lightweight who can’t handle even the slightest bit of alcohol. The highlight was of course the drumstick placed on top to match the intended taste which did definitely have a hint of the chewy goodness. Best idea ever, right?!  

Of course drinks aren’t only Soba’s speciality; their Pan-Asian street style cuisine is a hit with the public and we were able to try out some of their signature street food from the new menu. By this time, it was only me and Kayleigh on board so we decided to take the best seat in the house (and discover a secret cocktail recipe whilst we were at it: squish the berry, mush it into the drink and you have triple the fruitiness… they don’t name Kayleigh Very Berry Cosmo for nothing I’m telling you). Canapes were on hand all night and we grabbed the freshest of the bunch by sitting right beside the kitchen, thus getting fed quicker (result!). First up there was the fish and sushi dishes which I swiftly avoided as if anyone knows me well, they’ll know I can’t stomach any sort of fish but they seemed to be enjoyed thoroughly by those who do. Secondly, there were Vietnamese crispy fried chicken wings coated in a hot and sour sauce which were delicious albeit a little too sticky for Mrs clumsy fingers here. As the plates were brought out, the food seemed to be getting tastier; after the chicken wings came seasoned chicken satays with a unique but sublime peanut sauce. Then lastly, my definite favourite of the night, corn fritters and a roasted butternut squash and sweet potato roll which were absolutely spot on. Being a big veg lover, I couldn’t get enough of that combo!

As the night rolled on, the music and the chatter got louder, cocktails and canapes galore (and going down a treat may I add) Leanne, her friend Lorrain, and Deimante decided to join us. Whilst they indulged in some more cocktails, I stayed the bore that I am and continued to be behind the lens in attempt of capturing the whole night vibe of the bar. I did try but I couldn’t quite conquer the cosy, chilled feel, although the lighting looked twice as pretty. It was lovely to have a much needed catch up with the girls whilst getting weighted on and just enjoying a relaxed Friday evening.

I loved everything about Bar Soba, from the set of old and new upbeat tunes they played, to the food and drink served and the generally great atmosphere itself. It’s the perfect cross between classy and cool and I think it’s just become my new favourite hangout! I never knew there was such a beautiful eating area with a choice of rooms upstairs, as well as a traditional bar downstairs. I’ll certainly be heading back there as soon as possible, especially to make good use of my black card. Thanks so much to the Pink Gorilla team for inviting me down and to the lovely Bar Soba staff whom were on their feet all night providing us with nothing but divine treats. I had a fab time!

Have you been to any of the Bar Soba venues, either in Leeds or across their Scotland chain?

 

Hope you all have a brilliant weekend and don’t forget there’s still plenty of time left to enter my Paul Mitchell giveaway.

Bridie x

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Life: Aquascutum and Issa launch event at Lambert’s Yard

Posted on 4 min read

 

After being on a mini blog event hiatus, I jumped back on board this week at the ever so lovely Lambert’s Yard to celebrate the launch of two exclusive brands, Aquascutum and Issa which will be available in the shop this season marking Leeds as being the first place to stock anywhere out of London! With the likes of the Duchess of Cambridge herself sporting the marque, it was bound to impress (and that it did).

Lambert’s Yard has to be one of my favourite hometown venues anyway (there’s some serious interior inspo in there), but when a regular retail store is transformed into a ‘Powder Room’ packed with music, rails and displays of luxury clothing and accessories against bare brick walls, cocktail master classes, wine tasting, Illamasqua makeovers and immaculate hair styling it really ups the excitement levels.

 

 

With fashion being the main focus of the event, samples from various collections were presented for us to have a nosey at (and swoon over, then walk away sadly when the price tag was exposed). The extravagant pieces from Aquascutum and Issa were the centre of attention, arranged on mannequins and caged boxes, we were given a sneak peek on what’s to come. However, it wasn’t only the prosperous pair on show, there were lots of other brands available to covet. With the likes of Antipodium, Ilse Jacobsen, Hunter and J Lindeberg being unveiled, it was only natural that I was in my element. I spent a good half hour browsing the rails, my favourite garments of the night being a classic trench coat and a co-ord set by Aquascutum, a fringed jacket by J Lindeberg, a grey marl boyfriend coat and another striped number by Selected Femme, a super cool range of funky characterised fur clutches by Lazy Oaf, the minimal, neutral Williams handbag selection and of course the beautifully unique dresses by Issa. Every single item was perfect for the Autumn/Winter; from the soft textures and the assorted prints, to the array of denim, the ensemble of coats, and even a carefully put together display of vibrant umbrellas, raincoats and boots which summed up Yorkshire pretty damn well.

 

 

It didn’t take me long to get knuckled down to the fun of the event; as the DJ played an ambiance of catchy tunes (and even delivered some music master classes teaching the basics of DJ-ing which most likely for the best I didn’t get the chance to trial) I headed off to grab a cocktail provided by the expert mixers from The Botanist. After some vast surprise of stating I didn’t particularly fancy alcohol (looks as though for those experienced mixologists not being a big drinker is a sin I should be ashamed of, oops), I opted for the non alcoholic version of their signature special which minus the trio of spirits, consisted of elder-flower, mint, lime juice and lemonade which was a tangy, fruity, heavenly combo! The alcohol wasn’t only provided by The Botanist, however, Latitude were on standby with a chance to indulge in some Cocchi Vermouth aperitivo tasting, as well as demonstrating how to make your own cocktails at home.

 

 

With the ladies (and some men) in mind, the hair and makeup team were kept on their toes styling the public to perfection. The popularity of both Westrow Hair and Illamasqua was obvious, the lines of people were growing and the crowds getting busier yet the teams handled the approach so well and managed to please each guest with a glamorous revamp to show off those latest hair trends, even for those with unruly overgrown hair like myself. Some gorgeous big waves were styled into my hair and I felt like a new woman (it’s just a shame they didn’t stay in longer). Unfortunately I didn’t get the opportunity to try out some makeup products with some amazing shades but it didn’t stop me from admiring one of my top favourite makeup brands with an Instagrammable set up of lined up, in sync and matching blushes, eyeshadows, lippies and powders beside some IKEA plants in metal pots (yes I’m that much of an IKEA hoarder to the point those are now utterly distinctive to me).

 

 

Towards the end of the evening I found myself soaking in the great atmosphere; sounds of blared melodies, laughter and loud chatting, awe of the goods continuing through the night and the photographer clicking away at every enjoyed moment (he may or may not have caught some off guard angles whilst I was getting my hair done). I also found myself heading towards the already stored merchandise of delicate detailed accessories and quirky homeware. There were some divine Industria perfume which were the best scents I’d inhaled in ages, some arrow print cushions, some super chic Wood Wood sunglasses, and intriguing jewellery bits. THEN to finalise a fun-filled night, there were some fashion illustrated tote bags available to purchase from a creative combo of independent brands; Find Yourself and Maryam.

 

I could have easily stayed till the end of the entertainment but had to head off once i’d explored the entire party and had a second glance amongst the collection of clothes just to double check they were as snazzy as I first inspected (which they were and sent my admiration even more awol). Huge thanks go out to Lambert’s Yard and all involved in making a fabulous evening turn successful. It was a productive way to spend a few spare hours on a boring turned bold Tuesday!

 

Have you been to any events lately?

 

Bridie x

 

You can enter my Paul Mitchell Christmas giveaway here.

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