Monday 6 October 2014

Byron Burger Restaurant Review | Highcross Leicester

I dare anyone to venture into Byron and not be impressed. Look no further for a proper hamburger that gives any burger a run for it's money.

I was recently invited to sample the menu at Byron in Leicester, so I invited Sophia ( to come along with me. In short I was overwhelmed at how keeping things simple really is the best way to go when it comes to burgers!

To start, the fact that this is a British burger restaurant really gets me excited. Normally you associate burger restaurants with America, yet on this occasion Britain are stepping up to the plate (pun definitely intended!) and proving that we too can create a delectably moist, meaty and ever so tasty burger. Not only that, but the restaurant manager explained to us that Tom Byng, the founder and creator of Byron is very hands on and likes to know exactly what's going on within his company and can normally be found in one of his restaurants around the UK.

Anyway! Onto the burgers. I'm not sure if you've ever heard of the phrase 'keep it simple, stupid' but this really is the case here. Byron's whole concept is to do just that; keep it simple. You'll see that from the word go, when you walk into the restaurant you'll notice that there are no 'frills' and the design is simple yet quirky. I love the fact that the kitchen is open plan, so you can sit and enjoy your meal knowing that it's completely fresh. The menu is limited, but that's not a bad thing! Think quality over quantity - and I'd take that over anything, any day of the week. Unless we're talking diamonds...

I decided to go with the ever so popular Byron Burger (£9.50) dry cure bacon, mature cheddar, shredded iceberg, tomato, red onion and Byron sauce. I ordered this with a side of skin on chips (£3.25) and needless to say I was not disappointed in the slightest. The meat was so juicy and full of flavour, you could tell it was fresh. All the burgers here are cooked to perfection which doesn't mean 'well done' it means 'medium' which means the beef patty at the end will be slightly pink on the inside. This doesn't mean it isn't cooked. The bun is also super squishy, against those from other burger restaurants where you're battling against it to get to the meat.

Sophia went for the Smoky (£9.95); smoked Cheddar, streaky bacon, crispy fried onions, shredded iceberg, pickles and smoked chilli BBQ sauce and I'm informed it was amazing. Not only that but the courgette fries (£3.50) she got as an accompaniment were to die for. I'm not even joking! Who knew courgettes could taste so good?! 

On a side note Byron's attention to detail far surpasses any of the competition. When receiving your drinks you'll notice that they are served in a ice cold glass that has already been in the freezer, therefore your drink remains nice and cold throughout your meal. Also a nice touch is that the Coca a Cola is proper coke from a glass bottle...that may just be me, but it's the little things. 

I would 100% recommend the milkshakes - take my advice and get the Oreo Cookie Shake (£4.25). Oh dear lord it was heaven! You will not be disappointed, in fact you may be a touch overwhelmed when it arrives as it's massive - but don't panic, Byron provide you with a beaker to take it away with you. 

I would say that the only thing Byron needs to work on is its desserts. Take it from me (who we all know loves a good pudding) that this is not at the same level as their burgers. However there is always room for improvement in everything so hopefully they'll take notice and come up with something a lot better than what they're offering at the moment. 

I suggest you all get your butts down to your closest Byron restaurant soon! You will not be disappointed.

Bye for now!


Disclaimer: I was invited to Byron, and my meal was complimentary. However all views are my own and are 100% honest. 

Monday 1 September 2014

Nigella's Strawberry Ice Cream With A Twist

I know it's a bit late in the Summer, however a month ago Emily ( came over to my house, where we decided to have a baking day. This was a very exciting, super hectic day which evolved strongly around people with a sweet tooth! Emily posted about her amazing (and I mean amazing!) macarons and immense chocolate brownie and peanut butter cookie stack. I decided to make a home made strawberry ice cream sandwich which had way more technical points than I thought!

So to start I used Nigella's Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe which I found to be the most indulgent of the few I came across. It also looked very simple too, and it is so long as you leave plenty of time for cooling between each section.


  • 500 grams strawberries
  • 175 grams caster sugar (plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 500 ml full fat milk
  • 500 ml double cream
  • vanilla pod
  • 10 large egg yolks
  • tablespoons lemon juice

  • To start, you must ensure your ice cream maker has been in the freezer over night for at least 12-24 hours. 

  1. Hull (remove the stalks) and roughly chop the strawberries, put them into a large bowl and sprinkle over the 2 tablespoons of caster sugar and leave them to steep and infuse with flavour. I also find that placing clingfilm over the top and keeping the bowl at room temperature also helped with the seeping process.

  1. Pour the milk and cream into a heavy-based saucepan, and add the vanilla pod, split down the middle length ways. Bring the pan nearly to the boil and then take it off the heat and leave to infuse for 20 minutes. You may also find this may take longer than 20 minutes but it is important that it cools to prevent the ice cream from splitting later in the process.

  1. In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks and the 175g sugar until thick and pale yellow. Take the vanilla pod out of the milk and cream and pour, whisking all the while, the warm liquid over the yolks. Put the cleaned-out pan back on the heat with the cream, milk, egg and sugar mixture and stir the custard until it thickens, then take it off the heat and pour it into a bowl to cool. Again, you may find this takes at least an hour or so. You may want to put this in the fridge at this point.
  1. Puree the strawberries in a processor, and when the custard is cool fold in the lemon juice and strawberry puree.

  1. At this point you can either freeze the ice cream in an ice-cream maker, or in a plastic tub in the freezer. If you do the latter you should whip it out every hour for 3 hours as it freezes and give it a good beating, either with an electric whisk, by hand or in the processer. That gets rid of any ice crystals that form, that make the ice cream crunchy rather than smooth. Also as as side note - you may want to put your mixture into a jug so it's easier to pour into the ice cream maker. 

So then, on to the cookie sandwiches! I used a basic cookie dough recipe which actually turned out to be pretty damn good. The cookie dough tasted just like Ben and Jerry's Cookie Dough so I froze some of it to make another ice cream with at a later date. 


225g Butter, softened

110g Caster Sugar

275g Plain Flour

75g White or Milk Chocolate (or both)

  • Preheat the oven at 170oC (375oF) or gas mark 3.
  • Cream the butter in a large bowl or in a food mixer until it is soft. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.

  • Sift the flour into the mixture and add optional ingredients. Bring the mixture together until it forms a dough.

  • Using your hands, make walnut sized balls and place them slightly apart from each other on a tray. Flatten the balls with the back of a fork and bake them in the oven for around 15 mins until they are golden brown and slightly firm on top.
Place the cookies onto a cooling rack and leave them there for around 15 mins.
Then the final step gets a tiny bit technical. If you have an empty ice cream tub this comes in very handy as you get the perfect circle for your sandwich.

Place some of the ice cream mix into the tub and freeze for another hour which allows the ice cream to go rock hard.
After this time, take out the tub from the freezer and slice up the tub in 2cm slices. once you've done this all you now need to do is sandwich them together and enjoy!

i hope you've enjoyed this post and let me know down in the comments if you've made ice cream before from scratch or if you've tried this one!



Friday 8 August 2014

What I Got For My Birthday!

So on the 1st August I turned the grand old age of 25! I can't believe I'm seems very surreal. So much so I actually realised half way through the year that I was telling everyone I was 23...when actually I was 24. I mean really?! Memory loss is slowly working it's way to me.

What I Got For My Birthday Main Image

Anyway!! Onto the really exciting stuff - what I actually got! I'd just like to state I'm not showing off in the slightest- I just love to read what about what other people get for their Birthdays and Christmas' etc... so I thought I'd write about what I got.

So first of all, from my Mum and Dad I actually got a veneer...which seems like a rubbish present but I really want one on my front teeth as I had a root canal done there a while ago and it starting to discolour...also they cost an absolute bomb therefore my Mum offered to pay for that for my birthday. Nice one.

Liz Earle Limited Edition Hot Cloth Cleanser - John Lewis

Next was a total surprise as my brother is currently hosteling around Europe for 6 weeks so I did not expect anything. However about 1 week before my birthday I received a cylindrical tube in the post from John Lewis and in the address part is said Charlotte Thompson **DO NOT OPEN UNTIL 1st AUGUST** so automatically I knew it was a present but didn't know who from. It was only when I opened it on my Birthday that I realised it was from Guy (my brother) with a lovely note saying 'I bet you though't I'd forgotten about your Birthday - well I did up until Mum reminded me haha! I'm sorry I can't be there celebrating with you, however I shall certainly be consuming a few beverages in your honour tonight! Love you sis x' Needless to say I was a blubbering wreck after reading this. When I actually opened the tube, he had bought me a Liz Earle Limited Edition Hot Cloth Cleanser. I was impressed and emotional, what a great mix. 

Bourjois Erasable Liner & Colour Boost Crayon

Aussie Beach Mate Shampoo & 3 Minute Miracle

I then went round to one of my best friends house for a Birthday Breakfast, where we had croissants, hot chocolate, then a full fry up! She gave me such fantastic presents, I was overwhelmed really. She knows I blog about make up and beauty products so she went on the prowl and bought me lots of little bits that she thought I could write about! So first of all in the bag of goodies was an Aussie Beach Mate Shampoo and the Aussie Beach Mate 3 Minute Miracle which smell incredible! OMG they smell like bubblegum. I then came across 3 BarryM nail polishes in Gelly Papaya, standard polish in Nude and Confetti Nail Paint in Dolly Mixture. I am really excited to try the confetti polish as it looks like a lot of fun. Also staying on the nail theme there was a pack of Turquoise stick on nails which I am excited to try next time I'm out. Delving in a bit more I found a beautiful little heart necklace which I love. Then finally there were two Bourjois products one was a Colour Boost Lip Crayon and the other was their new Bourjois Erasable Liner which I am super excited to try out.
After about an hour or so at my friends house another one of my friends came over and she had bought me a really cute Thomas Sabo bracelet which had a beautiful pearly white effect to it.

Nars, ByTerry Misty Rock. Aussie Beach Mate. Liz Earle, BarryM Nail Polish, Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler, MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Deauville and Vallauris

ByTerry Ombre Blackstar Misty Rock
Caudalie Beauty Elixir
Nars, ByTerry Misty Rock. Aussie Beach Mate. Liz Earle, BarryM Nail Polish, Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler, MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

My boyfriend (Luke) decided he was going to take a half day from work so in the afternoon he took me to Nottingham and we headed to Space.N.K where he let me roam around for about 2 hours (no lie!) and buy pretty much whatever I wanted. It's funny because whenever someone says you can have whatever you want your mind goes into overdrive and in the end I was so conscious about what I was buying that I didn't even touch my 'budget' so I won't be forgetting that Luke (if you're reading!). So I ended up buying 2 NARS Sheer Glow Foundations in Deauville and Vallauris; one for my natural skintone and the other is for when I apply tan. I then bought Caudalie's Beauty Elixir, I also went for a Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler as it caters for a wide eye, so I can fit all of my lashes in. I also opted for another ByTerry Ombre Blackstar in Misty Rock as that seems to be the one everyone goes on about. I also eyed up Paradise Island at the same time and regret not purchasing it there and then. So after dragging Luke around Space N.K asking his opinion on things..(which he pointed out several times that he didn't care or had no idea what I was on about) I decided to take him into MAC.

Nars, ByTerry Misty Rock. Aussie Beach Mate. Liz Earle, BarryM Nail Polish, Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler, MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

We ventured into MAC where his Mum had given me some vouchers to spend in there. I bought two of the MAC prep and prime highlighters which I have to say I'm in love with them. I also bought the much sought after All That Glitters to add to my pallet and then finally a lipstick I've been craving for ages Costa Chic.

So all in all I was very spoilt on my birthday and loved every second of spending time with the people I love most in my life. In the evening myself and about 14 of my friends went out into Leicester for a meal and cocktails. It was such a fabulous Birthday.

See below my daytime and evening birthday makeup looks. What do you think?

Birthday Makeup Look - Subtle Contouring

I hope you enjoyed this post? I certainly enjoyed writing it! Let me know down in the comments what your favourite item is from the hugeeee list above! I wonder if your's would be the same as mine?

Remember to follow me on Bloglovin, Twitter and Instagram!

It's been a pleasure.



Monday 21 July 2014


So recently I went to IMATS with the beautiful Lauren over at and I can honestly say it was such a great weekend I'd do it all over again in a heart beat. We decided to make a weekend of it and stay in a hotel overnight, and by hotel I use that term loosely! We rocked up and it all looked very clean and nice, however the room was no bigger than my wardrobe at home (which isn't that big!) and the bed...oh dear lord, was perhaps the smallest double bed I've ever come across, so all Lauren and I could do was get much better antiquated haha! That was the only downside of this weekend as we ate loads, shopped loads and shopped a bit more. Fab.

So...what did I buy?! Quite a bit is your answer. I don't think I went too crazy personally - I could have gone completely mental and bought pretty much everything however I'm no millionaire so that didn't happen.

Let's start of with brushes. I knew before I went that a stall was going to be selling Zoeva so I purchased the 231 Petite Crease Brush, 315 Fine Liner Brush & 312 Detailer Liner Brush. I'd wanted some new eyeliner brushes as my MAC one had pretty much had it by now. Also I didn't have a small enough crease brush before so this one is perfect.

  Next we'll go on to Sigma. Well I had no idea they were going to be at IMATS so I made a little excited squeak when we stumbled upon them! I went for the obvious choice of their Kabuki range and chose the ever so popular F80 Flat Kabuki Brush and the F86 Tapered Kabuki Brush. I have used these everyday since and they are SO good. I 150% recommend them - they are so soft and dense that they just pack on the foundation / concealer and work really well at blending into the skin to look flawless.

Next we ventured over to the NARS counter which was crazy busy. It was as if the world was about to end and there was a free for all on the counter! I feared for my life. I quickly grabbed the items I needed and queued for a lifetime. No joke! I bought NARS Laguna Bronzer as it was on offer and I clearly needed another bronzer to add to my already huge collection of bronzers...then I bought ANOTHER bronzer in stick form which I don't feel bad about buying as it's the only cream one I own, and I adore it! (I apologise for the blurry photo below)

Okay so after queuing for about an hour we went over to the Kandy Eyes counter where I purchased some glitter...I had tried this before at a previous Beauty Convention and instantly regretted not buying it at the time. So I made up for lost time and bought 3 pots of glitter which will in turn last me just short of a no doubt I'll be some cool hip granny with glittery lips..I can see it now people. I bought electric pink, Jessica Rabbit red and a turquoise. See picture below with me showcasing the glitter.

With extra money cluttering my purse, we scoured around for something to spend more money on. Needless to say it took all of about 20 seconds to come across the Inglot stand. My only regret is I didn't buy more. I was SO impressed with this brand I can't wait to buy more from it. I purchased the Kohl Eyeliner in Brown and Nude as I was so desperate to try a nude liner then when it came to swatching it, it went on like a dream I had to get the brown too! I now want to get the black, grey, green and any other colour they do. I also decided to go for the Colour Play Eyeliner in 204 which is a beautiful aqua blue. Perfect for Summer, and again goes on like a dream. 

And finally, with our purses a hell of a lot lighter I found a remaining £10 note which clearly had to be used. We came across the Eldora Handmade Eyelashes Stand. I fell in love. I'm a sucker for eyelashes and even though I have pretty long lashes naturally, I can't resist wearing these to add more depth to my lashes; making them look fuller. I love these as they look so natural on (see below) and can be used again and again. Very impressed. 
 So, that's it for my IMATS haul - what do you think? Have you tried any of the above? Let me know in the comments down below. I've also included a photo below of me using pretty much everything above. I hope you like my look!

Don't forget you can follow me on twitter, instagram and bloglovin!

It's been a pleasure.



Saturday 19 July 2014

Showcase XPlus Premier | Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

I was lucky enough to be invited to the VIP XPlus Premier Screening of Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. The evening started at 6:30 pm where we were welcomed into the Studio One Bar and were greeted with a choice of either Champagne, Sparkling Elder Flower Cordial or Orange Juice. I chose the Elder Flower - I thought it was a nice refreshing choice as I was the designated driver...I know! No fair! The room was in full swing by the time we arrived. Waiters were serving the most delicious canapes from every corner of the room, shortly followed by mini desserts which I was trying very hard to say no to. I took this as my que to go and take as many pictures of the event as possible. From the Champagne being poured, to the superior XPlus screen itself!

 With the assistance of the complex manager we ventured up to the third floor where the XPlus Screen is located to marvel at its greatness! I was in absolute awe as I walked around the corner and caught a glimpse of this vibrant blue screen that just hits you smack in the face! Needless to say I was impressed. Very impressed.

Once all the the guests had arrived we were asked to take our seats and revel in the XPlus experience. Once at our seats we were given little goodie bags containing popcorn, 3D glasses and a bottle of water. The seats themselves were brand new and I have to say, very comfortable indeed. I'm normally a bugger for fidgeting about when watching a film but I didn't move once.

So on to the actual XPlus experience...this was like no other cinema experience. It was amazing and certainly revolutionary. I am an avid cinema goer, so when something new comes along which is going to make my viewing more extreme I'm definitely up for trying it out. It was awesome!!

So, what is Showcase XPlus? It's a proprietary large format auditorium featuring Dolby Atmos sound and the most advanced digital projection and screen technology.  XPlus offers a premium cinema experience with immersive sound, crystal clear projection and reserved seating.

At the start of the film we were given a brief presentation of how XPlus creates an experience like no other. We were told that in the next few minutes we would hear a man singing, however it would be as if he was walking around the auditorium. So the music starts (there is nothing on the screen) and you feel the man is literally walking in a huge circle around you. People were turning around in their seats as he was 'walking' behind them. The sound was just immense and the quality of sound was like no other. We were then thrown into what could only be descried as a monsoon storm in what would seem like a rainforest. Thunder, lightning, torrential rain! It was fantastic - it was as if you were there, experiencing it for yourself - just not getting drenched.

Then came the picture; we were asked to put on our 3D glasses and revel in the ultra sharp image quality. Again, we were not disappointed - the quality was second to none and was visually stunning. If Showcase could fit one of these in my lounge - that'd be great! In all seriousness, this really will make people get out of their homes to go and experience a film at Showcase as it's completely out of this world.

People were cheering, whooping and applauding this magnificent technology. Needless to say I was joining in too! I knew this would certainly make watching any film a hundred times more intense.

With regards to the film itself - I don't want to spoil anything for anyone, but it was brilliant, exciting and quite worryingly life-like! Also it's not essential to watch the first film in the series, so don't let that put you off seeing it.

So; prices to watch a film in a Showcase XPlus is £14.90 a ticket. To watch a 3D film in a standard screening is £12.40, so I really do think it's worthwhile spending that extra few pounds to experience something extraordinary.

There are currently only 3 XPlus Screens in the UK at the moment in Derby, Nottingham and Leeds. However we were told last night that Leicester and Bristol are due to have them fitted this year. So watch this space.

Also on a side note; if you sign up to become an Insider you benefit from discounted tickets and food deals. It really is worthwhile doing, so sign up now.

Make sure to book soon!


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