Monday, 30 January 2017

Sunday Lunch with a Sea View - White Lodge Hotel, Filey

In these dark days of winter it seems that fresh, bright, spring-like days are few and far between. When they do arrive though, I can't help but start to think of all of the opportunities that are on their way for enjoyable lunches out; Mothering Sunday, Easter or just those sunny Sundays when you just don't want to cook. It's not like there needs to be an excuse. I've found an ideal venue for just such occasions.

Standing proud on the beautiful Victorian Crescent in the quiet seaside town of Filey, the White Lodge Hotel holds an enviable position overlooking the sea.

The hotel has made the most of this by positioning its' inviting and largely glass fronted restaurant to make the maximum benefit of the wide expansive views. When we visited on Sunday and were shown to our seat at the front of the restaurant, I couldn't have been happier at the view I was set to enjoy over my Sunday lunch, not least because it was such a rare clear and sunny day.

Yorkshire lifestyle blog
A perfect view for Sunday lunch

I must admit that, prior to my visit to the restaurant I was little bit concerned about the expanse of glass in the restaurant. That's a strange statement, I know, but I have been to many glass fronted restaurants before and found that they are terribly chilly and that I spend the entire visit trying to stay warm. I need not have had any such concerns for The White Lodges' restaurant, it was perfectly cosy. Decorated in a modern neutral colour scheme, they have still managed to maintain a somewhat traditional feel to the hotel and restaurant, which to my mind is absolutely perfect and emanates a warm and yet up to date feel.

The popularity of the restaurant locally was obvious since, shortly after we took our seats at 1pm, lots of other diners started to file in creating a lovely buzzing atmosphere. There's nothing worse than being the only diners in an empty restaurant. Looking at the menu, it was pretty easy to see what the attraction was. There is a great range for all tastes, including vegetarian and fish options, which can often be hard to come by on a Sunday lunch menu. Add to this the fact that all of the produce, including all of the fish, meat and poultry is sourced locally, and that a 3-course offering comes in at a reasonable £19.95 (with main only and 2-course options available too), it's hardly surprising that diners frequent this venue.

We had the same starters, a lovely light carrot and orange soup. I'm sometimes wary of ordering soup as a starter; if it's made too thick and heavy then you end up full before your main course. We had no such worries with this flavourful and light soup with the most delicious homemade croutons. The soup was perfect with a distinct taste of orange flowing through it, and whilst all of the other starter options sounded absolutely delicious, I was very pleased that I had opted for this beautiful light soup.

Luxury lifestyle blog
A perfect soup starter

It wasn't too long before we were enjoying our main courses, and now seems an opportune time to mention the lovely service that we received at the restaurant too. The waitresses to our table were attentive without being intrusive, friendly, welcoming and accommodating. Part of the experience of eating out is always the quality of the service, and it was certainly one piece of a very pleasing jigsaw at The White Lodge.
Mouthwatering tuna steak

Back to those main courses. I'm trying to eat less meat in my diet, so I was thrilled to see a tasty and inviting fish option. The herb crusted tuna steak with parmentier potatoes and sauce vierge certainly did not disappoint. The serving was most generous, the tuna was cooked to absolute perfection and the tastes, oh my word the tastes, that herb crust was an item of taste perfection, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. The vegetables, which came separately, were cooked perfectly and complimented the dish wonderfully.
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The Mr. ordered an oven roasted chicken supreme with a creamy mushroom sauce. I had a little taste, just in the interests of being able to tell you what it was like you understand, and again it was cooked to absolute perfection and looked sublime.

After such a feast, I thought I would struggle to manage a pudding too, but let it never be said that I'm a quitter. I was torn between the fresh fruit platter with lemon creme fraiche, and vanilla creme brulee with a berry compote and biscotti. In the end I plumped for the creme brulee. Creme brulee is something I'm always a little apprehensive about because they are either absolutely amazing, or really really bad. I'm pleased to report that this was the former and not the latter. The tart berry compote contrasted perfectly with the rich vanilla tastes of the brulee. I have to admit, in true bad blogger style, I took a taste before I took a photograph! I just couldn't wait to crack that caramelised sugar top... I'm sorry (I'm not really, it was delicious and I'm not ashamed!)

Creme Brulee perfection

Finally, we retired to the comfortable bar area to enjoy a rich tasty coffee in the comfort of wing back chairs, before leaving for a wander around the nearby park to walk off some of the delicious food that we had enjoyed.
Yorkshire lifestyle blog
A relaxing bar area at the White Lodge Hotel

We had an absolutely lovely afternoon with perfect service, beautiful food and a stunning location and I would heartily recommend that you check out The White Lodge hotel as soon as you can.

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Monday, 23 January 2017

Outfit: mid-century for the Office

vintage style blogger

I don't do too many outfit posts. I think that I would like to do more this year, especially since one of my intentions at the start of the year was around style, and really getting back to that vintage look that I love. I thought the perfect start was an all out 1940s look that I wore to work during my first week back after Christmas.

vintage yorkshire blogger

Back at the start of December, my friend and purveyor of exceptional vintage goods, Vix, sent me a surprise parcel in the post. You can't imagine my elation to open the package and find within the most beautiful red Travilla suit jacket. For those of you who don't know who Travilla was, he made all of Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell's costumes for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, as well as many of Marilyn's other clothes. He was renowned for making clothes that embraced and accentuated the female form, and I've been obsessed (although never owned any) for some time. As soon as I tore open the packaging and saw what was inside, I didn't even have to think of an outfit to put together because all I could envisage was Jane Russell's outfit in these early scenes of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and I know that would be my inspiration.

Pairing the jacket with a beautiful vintage skirt that the Mr. bought me for Christmas, and my trusty comfy Van Dal shoes, I think I had the look nailed.

Never one to be lukewarm on the style I plump for, I decided to also experiment with some victory rolls, and the fantastic snood that I bought from Gin Poodle on Etsy. My hair is getting so long now, I love to find new ways to keep it out of my face and these snoods are the perfect option.

A closer view of the hair

I admit, this was a bit of an all or nothing look for work, but I felt very smart, stylish and glamorous all in one and I have finally got the Jane Russell outfit that I've always craved.

Monday, 16 January 2017

A Day Out at Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Yorkshire wildlife park review

During the Christmas break, in that lull you get between Christmas and New Year, where the only obvious thing to do seems to be to join the hoards and descend on the nearest town to see what bargains you can bag, the Mr. and I opted to pay a visit, on a crisp, clear day, to Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Well placed near the M18 at Doncaster, the park is sufficiently easy to get to, and priced at only £15 for adult entry, we didn't think it was too expensive either. We arrived early in the morning, and whilst there was a queue to get in, it wasn't ridiculous and moved quite quickly. 

lifestyle blogger Yorkshire

Inside is well signposted, and there's no set way of going around the park. We opted to head in the direction of the Baboons first, passing by what looked like a family friendly eatery on the way. 

The Mr. is a huge lover of natural history, and there's rarely a day goes by in our house where one animal documentary or another isn't on. That said, he's always quite reluctant about zoos and safari parks since there's always a concern about the way the animals may be treated, or that they may be in small enclosures. Of course, he'd done the research before we visited here, but as we actually circulated the park, one of the main things which really stood out was how much space there was. The enclosures, whilst of course they could never match up to the arctic tundras, or wild Siberia, didn't seem too enclosed, and some of the smaller animals such as the lemurs even seemed to have a relative freedom which allowed the visitors to get quite up close and personal with them.

The park has a fantastic range of animals, and never in my life did I think I would get to see a real life polar bear. It's hard to believe when you see one of these beautiful animals sleeping, that inside that enclosure, you would be prey! Even harder to believe is that, possibly within my lifetime, there's a very distinct possibility that these animals will face extinction, and because of our own greed and lack of respect for the planet that we occupy. It's really sad. 

polar bear yorkshire wildlife park

The animal I was most excited to see was the giant otters. Such adorable creatures, and they didn't disappoint with their funny little noises and excitable natures. 

The Mr. and I had, thankfully, brought a packed lunch with us. I say thankfully because, what with it being out of season, many of the food outlets were sadly closed. Having gone through much of the big cat area, and covered at least half of the park, we did find a nice little coffee shop next to the Giraffe enclosure, which being the only one open was pretty busy, but they did do a nice coffee and that's all that matters.

The big cats in residence at Yorkshire Wildlife Park are really impressive, with beautiful Lions rescued from a zoo in Romania, as well as stunning tigers and a leopard, and specially constructed viewing platforms affording clear views. It is little wonder that this place seemed to be quite popular amongst hobby photographers and their long lenses. Not that they were necessary, I'm happy with the results my little Canon compact achieved. 

We were at the park for hours, and for me, despite all of the big impressive animals, the most exciting experiences were the enclosures where you could go in with the animals; wallabies, lemur, capobara, they were experiences that were very exciting and I imagine would be a major boon for families with young children.

As the sun started to go down over the park, and the lions began to roar as if they were out on the great plains of Africa, it was time to go home. We were exhausted from an entire day spent walking around the huge grounds of the park, but had such an amazing day out that I would happily do again. 

If you are looking for an interesting day out and love animals (or photography) then I would highly recommend a trip to Yorkshire Wildlife Park. 

Monday, 9 January 2017

Tutorial: How to refill a vintage lipstick case

I'm fickle. I am a marketeers dream because when it comes to cosmetics, I'm 90% about the packaging. If it looks pretty, I'm all over it. If it looks pretty and vintage then I'm definitely all over it. Vintage beauty packaging is something that I have more than a passing interest in anyway, I've got an extensive vintage compact collection that I've accumulated over the years, just because I love them, and amongst them are some vintage lipstick holders too.

Whilst I often use the compacts, after all, it's the best way to showcase them, I've never known how to fill up one of the lipstick cases until recently when I stumbled upon the instructions in Dita Von Teese's book, Your Beauty Mark. I could wait to try it out myself.

I chose this 1960s sprint loaded Stratton lipstick case with inbuilt mirror to refill.

You will need:
One vintage lipstick case to be refilled,
One knife,
Access to a freezer,
Tissue paper,
A lipstick (I bought one from Superdrug's MUA range since it's cheap enough to not worry about messing up)


1. Freeze your lipstick

2. Once your lipstick is frozen and you have removed it from the freezer, lay out some tissue paper to protect the surface which you're going to work on. Screw the lipstick until it's out fully, and line it up with your lipstick case to make sure it's going to fit.

3. Using the knife, cut the lipstick out of the case, as close to the bottom as possible.

4. Screw the lipstick holder up fully, and place the base of the lipstick on the platform. Gently apply some pressure to the lipstick to push it into the platform.

Ta Da... one fully functioning lipstick in vintage packaging for your glamorous touch ups on the go!

Sunday, 1 January 2017

2017 Intentions

Happy New Year.

The fun and frolics are over for another year, and the excesses of the season are long behind us. I know that for some, the prospect of January holds thoughts of doom and gloom. All the money’s gone, the waistband has expanded and it gets dark around 4pm. For me, however, I enjoy this time of year. It’s a fresh new start, time to kick your life into touch and set your intention for the year ahead. Maybe you’ve been reading books, or listening to podcasts that have inspired your goals for the year, and perhaps you’re raring to get going. Maybe you are one of the ones for whom the prospect of reimagining their journey will have swept them away long before the chimes of Big Ben have sounded.
Whilst I have set my own goals, I have a tendency not to announce them, not all of them at least. For me, they are a more private affair, something to set the compass of your life by during the forthcoming 12 months, and to take stock at the end of how far you have travelled. There are a few aims though that I’m happy to share with you since, hopefully, some of these will provide blog fodder for the year to come.
I love reading, but I have this awful habit of buying books and leaving them to fester on a pile that never gets read. That doesn’t mean I don’t read, it just means I read other stuff instead of the books from the pile, some of which have been there over 2 years. I intend to read 10 books this year. I know some of you are prolific readers, and that will sound like such a small amount, but, for me, 10 books will be an improvement on previous years. The books I've chosen vary between feminism, self-help, biographies and novels and whilst some are my selection, others are recommendations from friends and relatives. With this in mind, I will not be buying any books for myself in 2017 unless they are on this list (there are a couple I don't own but really want to read), a big statement, I know, but there’s no point buying them when I already have a burgeoning ‘to read’ pile.

Sewing has been sorely neglected for well over a year. A couple of skirts were pretty much all I made in 2016, and then I lost a fair bit of weight and they no longer fit properly anyway. The Mr. is creating space for me in the studio (AKA the middle bedroom) to have a dedicated craft and sewing space, which will include a table large enough for me to sew, cut patterns and do whatever else I need to do to contribute to my homemade wardrobe. This combined with the reduction in clothing I have, due to the aforementioned weightloss, will, I hope, be enough stimulation for me to dust off the sewing machine again. Ideally, I would like to expand my sewing repertoire too, perhaps branching out into some small handbags and amateur millinery, but I won't set my sights too high just yet.
One of the few skirts I made in 2016

What can I say about knitting? I’ve come on leaps and bounds in the past year, and still I have so very many projects that I would like to tackle during 2017. My ultimate goal will be to knit my own vintage style Christmas jumper at the end of this year, but overall I see knitting playing a key role in my homemade wardrobe om 2017.
Talking of style, it’s felt a bit all over the place this past year, and I feel like I’ve lost some of my quirk. I’m not sure if that’s because I have less choice, having purged such a lot of my wardrobe post weightloss, but I think I would like to continue to pursue a vintage inspired look. It’s important to point out, that doesn’t mean leaving the house looking like an escapee from the 1940s every morning, but it means paying more attention to doing my hair, and leaning towards a more vintage shape in my every day attire. I will be making a lot from vintage and repro patterns, and I think I have the skills to do it. I miss the pride of knowing that what you’re wearing has been lovingly fashioned by your own hands.
I am going to post more regularly to the blog, and share my journey with you. I’ve been blogging on here for less than a year, and already I have made some new friends, and fallen back into contact with friends I made through my previous blog. Sometimes I’m regular with posting, but there have been periods where it’s fallen off the map. That’s life and we all have to appreciate that there are limitations to what we can achieve each day especially alongside a full time job and some other hobbies, but with some sensible planning, I can be a more regular contributor to my little online world.


As much as I often look at people's instagram accounts with images of far off tropical climbs and wish that were me, the truth is that at this stage of my life, finances will not allow for such luxury. That's not a bad thing though, my entire childhood was spent taking holiday's and daytrips around the UK, and that's what I intend to do in 2017 too. Just because you have to stay nearer to home, it doesn't make it any less fun or any less of a holiday, so I'll be planning some UK trips and breaks this year, and I'll look forward to them too.

me and Mr. exploring Edinburgh in 2016

So, what intentions are you setting out for the year ahead? Do you share your goals or are you more private about them?

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