Tuesday 30 December 2014

Farewell 2014...

Hi everyone, I hope you are all well and that you have had an amazing Christmas! Along with most other people, the highlight of my Christmas has been spending time with family, partaking of as much eating, drinking and merriment as possible. I went home on Christmas Eve, arriving quite late in the day after a quick stop at the supermarket for a few last minute bits and pieces. I always love arriving home at Christmas, seeing my family farmhouse in Derbyshire all festively decorated is such a happy occasion. My mum festoons the hearth with fresh ivy, holly and laurel which she gathers from her own garden. 

The lovely tree.

 Espresso Martini Ingredients. 

Pre-Christmas night out!

 We always have a late night buffet meal on Christmas Eve, with lots of delicious canapés and drinks, we stay up late and then of course we wake up late on Christmas Day! My mum bought me a cute onesie which she gave to me on Christmas Eve, so I snuggled up in that when I eventually went to bed.
On Christmas Morning, I got up late to a breakfast of croissants and Mimosas, which was a lovely start to the day. We opened our presents next to the Christmas tree, with a roaring log fire to keep us warm. It felt like Christmas had finally begun. I was lucky enough to get some lovely presents, and after breakfast we all went for a walk. After that, it was time to dress up and sit down to Christmas Dinner, my mum cooked us an amazing meal as usual. All of the traditional food was on offer, including butter basted turkey, roast potatoes, duchess potatoes, glazed parsnips, garden peas, carrots,  Brussel sprouts, stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy. Phew! It was an incredible meal, washed down with plenty of fizz. We managed to leave enough room for matured Christmas pudding with cognac-soaked fruits, served with brandy cream. 

Christmas Dinner!

With all the food and drink involved, it is a good job that Christmas comes only once a year! On Boxing Day we had another amazing meal and then went out for drinks in the evening. There was a blizzard later and it was uncertain as to whether we would be able to make it home, but luckily we got back. The day after Boxing Day, there was crisp white snow everywhere and it looked like such a winter wonderland.  I managed to get some good photos and you just know that we had to take the opportunity to have a snowball fight! I hope you all have a wonderful New Years Eve whatever you have planned, I am having a relaxing day with my family followed by a drinks party in the evening at our friends farmhouse. Happy 2015 everyone and thank you all so much for supporting, reading and following my blog ! I consider you all my friends and I can't wait to share more posts with you soon. Remember, I love to read your sweet comments and I follow back my followers! Happy New Year in advance everyone! 

Until next time,


Friday 26 December 2014

Dinner at Restaurant Bar and Grill Liverpool

Last week was a whirlwind of fun evenings out, in between the Amanzi launch and going out for drinks, I managed to squeeze in a trip to one of my all time favourite restaurants in Liverpool, Restaurant Bar and Grill. Situated in an elegant building on Brunswick Street, your evening at RBG feels pretty special from the moment you walk through the doors. The sweeping entrance gives a view of the elegant bar area and the kitchen beyond. The rectangular bar is flanked by the restaurant on either side, and there are huge wine racks displaying some of the many bottles on offer. There is also a spectacular domed glass ceiling above the bar and marble colonnades surrounding the room, the architecture is simply breathtaking and lends an air of the grandiose to proceedings.

At the bar, there is an amazing array of cocktails to choose from, and the bar staff are more than happy to create off-menu cocktails for you too. To me, coming through the doors of RBG always feels like walking out of Liverpool and walking straight into Manhattan. It is a place which manages to fuse an elegant restaurant with a contemporary and bustling bar, and the beautiful building gives every moment spent here a feeling of being truly special. Once comfortably ensconced at the bar, I immediately ordered my favourite cocktail, an Espresso Martini. Not everywhere gets this drink right, with the majority of places serving it either too sweet or too bitter, but RBG managed to make the perfectly balanced drink, garnished with three delicious coffee beans.  Since it was Christmas, I was able to admire the beautiful Christmas tree and garlands as I sipped my drink and relaxed in the elegant surroundings. 

After a short while, our table was ready and we were ushered through into the busy dining area which boasts semi-circular booths which are ideal for bigger groups. Since we were a party of two, we had one of the smaller tables which was equally comfortable, and afforded a great view of the restaurant floor. 
Our engaging waiter talked us through the specials on offer and we ordered more drinks as we perused the menu.  Having eaten a big lunch, we decided to skip the starters and go straight for the mains. I ordered a Caesar Salad with a side of ‘Charred Sweet Potatoes’ and my dining companion ordered the interesting sounding ‘Flattened Chicken’ with a side of fries.  The food arrived in no time and I was so impressed by the presentation of the dishes, which never disappoints at RBG. The Caesar Salad was stacked high; with crisp Romaine lettuce layered with ciabatta croutons, tender chicken and elegant Parmesan shavings. The portion was generous and it was deliciously simple. My companion was impressed with the flattened chicken, which was cooked on the grill and seasoned to perfection with a delicate mix of herbs and marinade.

When it comes to food, I am truly a savoury person rather than a sweet person, and I am often happy to wave the dessert menu away when I go out to eat, but RBG has some seriously tempting classics on offer, such as Treacle Tart, Crème Brûlée and Chocolate Fondant. I twisted my companions arm into ordering the Chocolate Fondant (without too much persuasion!)  and we ordered a latte (me) and an espresso (him) to round off the meal. The coffees arrived before the dessert and we were happily sipping them when the pièce de résistance arrived. The Chocolate Fondant was one of the most exquisite looking desserts I have ever seen, a dome of chocolate sponge garnished with an elegant chocolate stick and served with vanilla ice cream.  Suffice to say, I was rapidly revising my opinion of not wanting any! I plunged my spoon in to reveal a waterfall of rich, melting chocolate which combined with the cool ice cream was simply out of this world. The flavour of the chocolate was perfectly rich, whilst the sponge was light as a feather. I managed to work my way through half of it (maybe slightly more-cough!) before reluctantly surrendering the rest! I must also mention that the dessert contained a fabulous and innovative surprise, there was popping candy nestled within the ice cream. This added such a fun and sensory element, to what was already a perfect dish.

After all of that amazing food, we sat back and relaxed for a while longer, enjoying the buzz of conversation and laughter and the clink of plates and glasses as many satisfied diners enjoyed their meals. The whole bill was only £70 including service and we had an amazing time.
 We skipped off into the night with light hearts and very full tummies, looking up at the familiar and comforting clock face of the Liver Building to see that we had enjoyed a leisurely three hour dinner. I wish nights like those could last forever.

I hope that you are all having a Merry Christmas so far, sorry if I am slow to reply to comments, I am away in Derbyshire and I have no reliable internet!

Remember I love to read your sweet comments and I follow back my followers!

Until next time, 

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

Hi everyone, I just wanted to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. I actually wore a red dress the other day, I hope all my lovely readers do not faint with shock at the notion of me wearing colour! I got this dress when I was on holiday in Chester from good old H&M and I think it looks nice paired with black tights,a blazer and boots. I wore this for running around last-minute shopping and then for a delicious meal at one of my favourite Liverpool restaurants Casa Italia 

 Dress - H&M
Boots and Blazer- Primark
Bag- Marc B at Topshop

I love the quilted fabric of this dress!

Liverpool looking so festive!

 Pizza and pasta.


Don't forget, if you want to get someone a belated gift, you can use my exclusive blog code Holidaycoco to get 15% off your purchases from Daniel Wellington watches until the end of December! 

Have a wonderful Christmas you guys, thank you so much for all your support for the blog, it truly means the world to me. What do you all have planned over Christmas? Remember, I love to read your sweet comments and I follow back my followers.

Happy Holidays!

Monday 22 December 2014

An invitation to the VIP launch of Amanzi...

This weekend I was extremely honoured to be invited to the VIP launch night of an exciting new contemporary restaurant/bar in Liverpool. Amanzi restaurant is housed in what was formerly Newz bar and I was so thrilled to be invited to attend by PR maven Paul Knowles of PK PR 
I don’t know about you guys, but for me half the fun of going out is the process of getting ready, so I took my time doing my hair and makeup and choosing what to wear. I got dolled up in a little black dress and heels (of course!) and set off into the night feeling so excited!
From the offset it was an amazing evening, As soon as I arrived, I could tell I was in for a fantastic experience. There was a beautiful light display projected from the bar on to the outside of the buildings, giving a really exciting party feel to the night before I had even stepped inside. I gave my name (plus one!) to the friendly staff and once they checked that we were on the guest list we were ushered straight inside, to the lively bar area. The first impression I had was what an awesome and contemporary venue Amanzi is, having been completely redesigned from its old days as Newz Bar. New life has been breathed into the interior, and there is now a light and airy atmosphere to the whole space, with cosy areas of booth seating. The designers have certainly made sure that every detail has been thought of, from the stunning feature mirrors on the walls, to the quilted leather banquette seating. The open-plan bar and dining area has a stunning staircase at the back, leading to another intimate mezzanine bar. It is such an exclusive and luxurious venue, with the emphasis on elegance and style. 

There are two large downstairs bar areas, which were strikingly lit to show the vast array of drinks on offer. Champagne was being served in abundance, and I thought it was a really nice touch that there was ‘caviar’ in the glasses. These are little soluble pearls, similar to what is served in bubble tea, and they gave the champagne a hint of strawberry flavour. There was a great soundtrack of soul classics and dance music, provided by DJ Terry Samuels and there was a real party atmosphere, with photographers circulating to take pictures of all the glamorous people, who were soon dancing to the excellent music!
There are plenty of tables to sit at in the bar areas, and the restaurant has a spacious and modern atmosphere, with the staircase at the back proving to be an eye catching feature.

You can see into the kitchen at the back of the restaurant, through porthole style windows, which are a really cool feature. The chefs were busy making trays of amazing food to accompany the drinks and there were waiters circulating with delicious canapés all night. They were all so tasty and I can see that the food on offer at Amanzi  is going to be very special indeed. In fact, I may be lucky enough to review the main menu there soon, so stay tuned for that post!
During the launch party, there was an array of delicious morsels on offer, such as Brie Crostini, Smoked Salmon Blinis , Smoky BBQ Chicken Bruschetta and Strawberry and Marshmallow treats.

 The beautiful array of canapés on offer. 

The stunning restaurant area. 

Irresistible treats.

There is an incredible wine list at Amanzi, offering an array of exquisite choices. There is also an extensive cocktail list and I had one of my favourites, a classic Cosmopolitan , which was zesty and refreshing and served with an elegant twist of grapefruit peel. This is definitely the ideal place for a swish night out for dinner and cocktails with the girls, or with the man in your life. I had a wonderful time and I cannot wait to go back and sample the food.  The full a la carte menu will be available from mid-January, and for now there is a tasting menu on offer, featuring gourmet creations such as 'Pressing of ham hock with balsamic, caper berry and sweet pea salad' and 'brown shrimp and soft shell crab linguini'. Reservations can be made to: reservations@amanzirestaurants.co.uk or 0151 227 5557

Bubbles and dessert treats!

The beautiful festive garlands which adorned the mezzanine.

The intimate mezzanine bar.

A Cosmopolitan.

 Drinks and BBQ Chicken.

Sweet morsels!

 The restaurant and mezzanine level bar.

The DJ at work!

The stunning restaurant.

I am sure all of you ladies agree with me that the bathrooms are an important part of any restaurant/bar, and the bathrooms at Amanzi are absolutely immaculate, with chic green tiling and hand wash and hand cream provided on the sinks. It is the little things like this which really raise the standard of a restaurant and keep me coming back for more. Such impressive attention to detail demonstrates a really good attitude towards customer care, ensuring that everybody has the best experience possible. 

The ladies bathroom: immaculate and chic.

Lovely finishing touches of hand wash and hand lotion in the ladies bathroom.

The perfect place for a quick mirror selfie. Meow!

The Amanzi website promises that 'you will always be our special guest' and I must say, I agree! 
What an amazing evening, thank you so much to Paul Knowles for kindly inviting me and to the whole team involved in making it such a special evening and one which I will never forget! 

Do you guys have any favourite restaurants which you would recommend to me? I hope that you are all looking forward to an amazing Christmas. Remember, I love to read your sweet comments and I follow back my followers. 

Until next time,