Saturday 28 February 2015

Lazy Saturday...

Let's face it, we have all been there. Sometimes you go out for the evening only intending to stay out for a couple of hours...the next thing you know, you wake up the next morning feeling a little 'delicate' and still wearing the make up you had on the night before. This was the scenario I found myself in this morning after an amazing night at Amanzi in Liverpool, and one too many cocktails. I thought I would share with you how I recover on those delicate days...!
First I pamper my poor neglected skin with a mini facial, which is super quick and easy. I wash my face with Nivea Refreshing Facial Wash Gel then I refresh it further by sweeping Nivea 3 in 1 Micellar Cleansing Water over it with cotton wool. Next I apply my lifesaver, L'Oreal Revitalift Repair 10 Day Cream which feels lovely and super hydrating for tired skin. Then it is on to make up which by this point is the only option to avoid me scaring everybody who sees me. Zombie face is not my best look, so I apply Rimmel BB Cream and Match Perfection Concealer, followed by Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation. This foundation is a real hero product for those off days as it peps up pale skin. Next, I contour with Collection Bronzing Powder. I waken up my tired eyes applying Naked 3 Palette eye shadows and layers of Maybelline Colossal Volume Cat Eyes Mascara. By this point I may look vaguely human, so I add a bit more colour to my face with Me Me Me Blush in Coral. On my lips, I line them with a neutral lip liner and fill them with Bourjois Rouge Edition Lipstick in 02 'Beige Trench' before applying a layer of shimmery lipgloss to make my lips look fuller. After that, I like to relax with a good book for an hour, at the moment I am reading The Misbegotten by Katherine Webb, an intriguing story of love and lies. I always love the poems of John Keats, one of my favourite poets along with John Betjeman and Robert Burns. I love this book on the paintings of Kandinsky too, what a genius and I see something different in his work every time I look at his paintings.

The finished make up look is fairly minimal, and it makes your skin look fresh and dewy. To add more life to my skin I usually skip powder for this look.

 I don't actually need to wear glasses, but I love to hide out behind these 'geek' style glasses when I have a hangover. I just find they make me look a bit more awake somehow!

Another great tip to look more awake is to tie your hair back in a high ponytail. This lifts your face and makes your cheekbones look more defined which is never a bad thing when I need all the help I can get! A snug sweater and a slouchy t-shirt is my essential attire, along with some comfy boyfriend jeans!

After all of that, it is time to head out for a coffee and some junk food. I am sorry to those devotees of slow-food and fine-dining but sometimes nothing sorts you out like a burger and fries!

So that is all from me for now everyone, I hope that you are all having a lovely weekend and don't forget to check back soon for my next post all about a wine and cheese tasting I was invited to recently. I would love to hear what you all do to recover on days when you have stayed out too late the night before! Remember, I love to read your sweet comments and I follow back my followers. Thank you for reading this post! 

Until next time, 



Friday 27 February 2015

Red Door Liverpool

It is always great when a new bar springs on to the scene and I get to dust off one of my (many) black dresses and set off into the night, so I was excited to attend one of the launch nights of Red Door Liverpool*, a lovely cocktail bar which has a twin branch in Chester. There used to be one in my home town of West Kirby too, and I was so sad when it closed as I  regularly went there to enjoy a French Martini or a 'Fizz your bean' a prosecco cocktail served with a jelly bean in the bottom. I was looking forward to seeing whether Red Door Liverpool would be as good as I remembered, and it sure was!
Housed in an elegant building at the top end of town, I walked through the eponymous Red Door to find a lovely sanctuary within. There is exposed brickwork, kitsch posters, soft lighting and even a photo booth to add to the fun! The large, well stocked bar dominates the room and it was fun to watch the bar tenders at work, throwing cocktails shakers around with a skill and dexterity I could never master!
The cocktail menu is extensive and one of the friendly bartenders Nick talked me through a couple of options before I settled on trying the wittily named 'Breaking Badass' first. It was delicious and so refreshing, I was instantly transported to a tropical beach (if only!) as I could have imagined sipping this on a sun lounger beneath a palm tree!

 There is a cosy atmosphere inside the bar, with low lighting and a roaring open log fire. There is a chesterfield sofa in front of the fireplace which I can quickly see becoming the place to sit in Red Door. We were immediately served water infused with cucumber, mint and lemon when we sat down. I thought this was a thoughtful touch which showed great attention to detail. The managing director Lee Lynch was in attendance, mingling with guests which was great to see. This hands on approach is a credit to him as it is always a good sign to see the manager visible at the venue. He always took this approach at the West Kirby branch too, where he was often in the bar mingling with guests.

Next on the menu was a 'Summer of Love' a summery pink spritzer with vodka, cranberry, white wine and pink grapefruit liqueur. Delicious, light and refreshing. Now all I need is a one way ticket to Barbados to continue the summer vibes! 

So after a lovely time chatting to Tessa, the Red Door Liverpool Business Development Manager who was kind enough to invite me in, we set off into the night to go and find ourselves some delicious pizza! Well, a girls got to do what a girls got to do! Thank you for having us, we will be back soon!

What do you guys think, do you have  favourite cocktail? Would you like to snuggle up by the fire at Red Door for a drink with your friends? I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Until next time, 


TEL: 0151 – 709 – 7040

*Disclosure: I was kindly invited to review Red Door Liverpool, therefore drinks were complimentary for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and honest.

Sunday 22 February 2015

Batiste heavenly volume and an outfit of the day...

I have always loved anything off-the-shoulder when it comes to clothes. I think showing your back or shoulders is a way of being subtly alluring without revealing too much. Rushing through Primark the other day, with the intention of only buying a nail polish, I spied this top and just knew it had to be mine!
It is beautifully cut and such a pretty style. When I wore it out for drinks the other night, a few people asked me where it was from. They were surprised it was Primark and even more so when I told them it was only £6 ! Ah good old Primarni. So, it is a grey and rainy Sunday evening here in the UK and I have had an exhausting weekend, having stayed out dancing and drinking until 2am on both Friday and Saturday night. Suffice to say that I did not see the light of day today until well after noon. Well, what else are Sundays for other than to have a good rest? My plan for tonight is to catch up on some work and to watch Wolf Hall on the BBC Iplayer. Yes guys, I am a sucker for a little bit of Tudor intrigue! I think popping out for Chinese food is on the cards too...don't judge me! I hope you have all been having a good weekend so far lovely readers. What have you been up to?

  Top, clutch bag, sunglasses and shoes- Primark. 
Jeans- River Island.

 As you know, I love dry shampoo and my absolute favourite is Batiste. I have worked with them before and I was recently delighted to be sent a sample of the new Batiste Heavenly Volume* dry shampoo. It was the perfect day to receive it as I had been out very late the night before and I could not face washing my hair. We all know only too well that dreadful 'second day hair' feeling and I was delighted that after spraying on the dry shampoo and leaving it for a few seconds, it brushed out to leave my hair not only volumised but also glossy and lightly scented. It promises 'instant hair refresh for uplifting volume' and it certainly delivers. As you can see in the photos, my hair was revived and volumised and it did not look flat as it had before.  The packaging also says that it 'revives and instantly boost volume and body whilst retaining your hair's natural movement and bounce'.  I love that your hair feels revitalised after using this and I would definitely recommend it. Batiste Heavenly Volume is available at £3.99 from Boots, Superdrug and ASOS.

So that is all from me for now everyone. Remember, I love to read your sweet comments and I follow back my followers. 

Until next time, Camille xo.

* This item is marked with an asterisk to denote that it was sent to me on a complimentary basis for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and honest.

Thursday 19 February 2015

It was a dark and stormy night...

It was a dark and stormy night...well, actually it was a rather blustery Wednesday afternoon in February, but that does not have quite the same ring to it! I am setting the scene of swashbuckling pirates and secret rendezvous by lamplight, because I was invited for a spot of lunch and a meeting at a place I have heard much about, The Smugglers Cove in Liverpool's historic Albert Dock. Running slightly late (as usual) I battled the blustery gales and half-term crowds to make my way to the fashionable spot, which sits nestled between other big name restaurants such as Circo and Pan Am. In fact, the Albert Dock is a great place to head for when you want a bite to eat in Liverpool, with several places to choose from.  I finally made it and rushed inside, feeling rather windswept! I was soon restored by the candlelit ambiance and a Black Cherry Martini which was sharp and refreshing. Well shiver my timbers...!
I made it!

 Black Cherry Martini.

Inside the restaurant is just the right side of kitsch, with the pirate theme clear to see. Some of the desserts are served in skulls and there are swords hanging on the walls. Lanterns adorn many areas and there is a huge chandelier which can't fail to catch your eye. After chatting for a while we finally got to my favourite part, ordering food!
 Going with the seafaring theme, I chose Scampi and Chips which came well presented with the chips served in a shell and the scampi in a treasure chest. I thought this was such a cute touch! Sausage and Mash came presented on an enamel plate with a little jug of gravy. The pot of tea was served in pretty shabby-chic floral china. The food itself was tasty and good value for the Albert Dock, just what you would expect from somewhere if you want a quick bite to eat. There are a wide range of options available, from lighter bites served on a deli board to the heartier option of half a roast chicken. 

 Where is Captain Jack Sparrow when you need him?

The bar area, filled with plenty of rum to keep those Pirates happy!

 Sausage and mash.

 Scampi and chips.

Sticky Toffee Pudding.

 The Albert Dock.

 The cute menus at Smugglers Cove.

The eye catching chandelier.

 Slightly blurry- I think I need to invest in a tripod soon! I love the reflections though!

 I declined a dessert, but the Sticky Toffee Pudding looked (and I was told tasted) delicious. After a quick glass of wine to round of the meal, we set sail for new horizons!

What have you all been up to this week? Remember, I love to read your sweet comments and I follow back my followers.

Until next time,



Wednesday 11 February 2015

Lunch at The Art School Liverpool

You all know by now how much I adore good food, and yet until now I have not had the pleasure of reviewing a Fine Dining restaurant here on Coco Cami. I was therefore, delighted and honoured to be invited to have lunch last week at the prestigious restaurant The Art School* in Liverpool, the first solo restaurant by renowned chef Paul Askew who is a member of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and has cooked for none other than the Queen herself in the past. The Art School restaurant opened its doors last September, to rave reviews across the city and far beyond. It has consistently been voted Number 1 on Trip Advisor and it is the general consensus that a Michelin Star may not be far away. I was so excited as I hopped out of the taxi at 1 Sugnall Street Liverpool,  ready  to be whisked away into a world of culinary delights for a few blissful hours. 
Housed in the former lantern room of the Victorian 1888 Home for Destitute Children, the restaurant boasts both a historical setting and a great location close to the Liverpool Philharmonic and in the heart of an area with a wealth of culture to offer. Chef-Patron Paul Askew prides himself on the use of locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, and he has forged close relationships with local suppliers over many years.

The elegant facade.

 The restaurant has 48 covers, which means that it boasts an intimate atmosphere without being too quiet, I expected to feel at least slightly intimidated since I was lunching alone, but I could not have felt more at ease as I was warmly welcomed within. Indeed the restaurant is so refined, that I was awestruck by the elegance of the entire experience. As you arrive, the door is magically opened by a concierge sporting a bowler hat, creating a superb first impression which speaks of the understated glamour of an era gone by. I was enchanted with the lovely bar and reception area, which has a wood burning stove and classical furniture. What a place to spend an hour sipping a Vesper Martini, I thought, as I was offered to either have a drink at the bar first or to go straight to my table. Although tempted by that Martini,  I opted to go straight to my table with one sole aim in mind, wrapping my taste buds around the exquisite food!

I was immediately brought a glass of excellent Charles Heidsieck champagne, which had an amazing amber colour and was perfectly crisp and dry. Next I was presented with the menu, and I opted to start with the twice baked soufflé of wild mushrooms, with Barkham blue cheese, Ormskirk leek and Dijon cream sauce. Before that, I was brought a wonderful surprise of a delectable amuse-bouche. Tiny delicate vegetables and bacon were beautifully presented in a white bowl, then topped with a wonderful cream and parsley sauce which was ceremoniously poured from a teapot. I felt like I had fallen down the rabbit hole into a world of culinary fantasy, and I was enjoying every moment of it! The flavours were sublime and perfectly balanced with the smoky bacon playing against the rich and creamy sauce. This was only a taste of things to come, and the whole meal continued to delight.

The amuse-bouche.

I sat soaking up the ambiance of the dining room as I awaited my starter. Lunchtime service was in full swing and tables of contented diners were chatting happily and savouring the wonderful food. In moments, my starter appeared, which was served alongside an exquisitely carved leaf-shaped potato rosti. The pastry was excellent, buttery and light whilst the mushrooms were rich, meaty and tender. The leeks and Dijon cream sauce complemented the dish perfectly, balancing the rich with the delicate, in the way only such an accomplished chef can.
 I must point out that not only the food is extra special at The Art School, but also the wine. Marc, the extremely knowledgeable and friendly French sommelier had thoughtfully prepared a wine flight to perfectly match each course. The starter was paired with a delicious Spanish white wine, which was an ideal companion to it, with the sweet and citrus notes of the wine playing well against the smokiness of the mushrooms. As I sat back and savoured the last bites, before long I was brought an intermediate course of Terrine of Lancashire pheasant, partridge and pigeon in natural jus with chantrelles and winter leaves. Once again the dish was beautifully presented, a sheer work of art on a plate. It tasted superb, in fact just as good as it looked! 
I must add that I was in rhapsodies of joy over the slates of bread and butter which were brought to me. I do not want to make a gross generalisation here, but as a Northerner, I regard bread and butter as one of the pinnacles of good food and I think many other Northerners would agree. Good quality, home baked bread and fresh butter can provide the cornerstone upon which great meals are built and I was certainly in for a treat, as I was informed that the traditional Italian Roll and the Focaccia were freshly baked daily in The Art School kitchen. They were presented along with two slabs of butter, sprinkled with Sea Salt and Black Pepper respectively. My heart was filled with joy as unable to restrain myself any longer, I tucked in. The Focaccia was as light and fluffy as a sponge cake with exquisite flavour and the Italian Roll was hearty, dense and delicious. There was a hint of vanilla somewhere in the butter, or perhaps that was my imagination. Either way, it tasted like heaven!

The starter and the bread slate.

The delightful leaf-shaped rosti just added to the amazing dish.

The heavenly bread and butter.

The intermediate course of Terrine.

 This beautiful art work contains Gold Leaf.

 For the main course I was torn between the Salt Baked Celeriac and the Fillet of Peterhead Hake. In the end I opted for the Hake which was served with clams and Pommes Mousseline, a very delicious version of mashed potatoes, which I could happily have eaten an entire dish of by itself, such was the fluffy texture and light flavour! The Hake itself was a symphony of white flaky fish, so tender that it crumbled beneath my fork into slivers of gastronomic pleasure.
Sommelier Marc had the genius idea of paring this course with a superb Rosé, explaining that although fish is usually served with white wine, he felt that this particular Rosé would perfectly complement the dish. He was right, for the wine was sharp with just the right amount of summer sweetness and fruit bursting through. For a moment, I could have been sitting on a sun drenched terrace in Saint-Tropez, looking out over the glittering Mediterranean. For me, this is what excellent food is all about, the evocative power of different flavours to conjure up a whole world of imagination. 

The main course: Fillet of Peterhead Hake with clams and pommes mousseline.

As I was finishing my main course, I was so impressed to see Chef Paul greeting every guest in the restaurant personally. It is so refreshing to see this kind of hands-on approach from a renowned chef, and it is this kind of personal touch which sets a restaurant like The Art School apart from the rest. 
As I awaited my dessert, I was delighted when he came to sit down for a chat with me over a pot of tea. He is such a genuine, kind man as well as a superb chef. What an honour it was for me to sit and talk to him and naturally,  food was the topic of conversation! I had the pleasure of asking him about his career and his culinary inspirations. He told me that the Basque of Spain region boasts some of his favourite cuisine, and that there are more Michelin Starred restaurants there than anywhere in the world. He told me all about one of the many highlights of his career, cooking for the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh (Salmon and Colcannon mash was one of the dishes, in case you were wondering). We agreed on the power of great food to induce emotions and to evoke great memories, and right on cue, the platter of exquisite desserts was brought to me, evoking my sheer joy!
There was a praline macaroon, a white chocolate and orange Delice, an apple and cinnamon strudel and a mini lemon curd and meringue tart. My oh my, what a beautiful dessert platter, I honestly did not know where to begin! Luckily, I did not need to decide just then as we carried on chatting for a while longer, and Chef Paul was even kind enough too ask me all about my blog. We discussed the resurgence in popularity of 70's foods such as Black Forest Gateau and also how much he and his family love Ibiza. It was such a lovely chat to round off a perfect meal, and after he finished the last of his tea, he left me to enjoy the wonderful dessert platter! 
I felt quite guilty because by then I was the only diner still lingering over lunch, but I was assured that there was no hurry and so I took my time savouring the desserts. They were just sublime in every way, and the apple strudel took me right back to when I lived in Heidelberg, Germany, when a slice of Apfelstrudel with cream in a Konditorei used to be my favourite treat after lectures. A prime example of the power of food to take you back to a happy moment in life. Marc once again looked after me, bringing out a deliciously sweet dessert wine to accompany the platter. It was the perfect way to end such a wonderful meal.  At the end of the meal, I took some more photographs of the stunning restaurant interior. I love the fact that the kitchen is visible through a window, and you can watch Chef Paul and his team working away during service. By the time I was leaving, they were beginning their prep for evening service and a quick peek into the kitchen left me in no doubt  that the diners would be in for an amazing feast. The dining room has a vaulted glass ceiling which lets in plenty of natural light, and there are striking light fixtures suspended from above too, which must look incredible in the evening. Each table was decorated with miniature daffodils, a thoughtful touch which lent an air of springtime to proceedings. I loved the large art work at the back of the room, which provides an eye catching feature. It depicts flowers and the fish on it are painted with Gold Leaf.
After those final few photographs, it was finally time for me to bid a fond farewell to Chef Paul, his team and The Art School. I emerged back into the chilly Liverpool afternoon with that great feeling of happiness and fulfillment, which a wonderful meal can provide. The whole experience was refined, elegant and understated and the food was nothing short of heavenly. I cannot wait to dine there again in the future and I would thoroughly recommend the restaurant for either a special occasion or just for a wonderful lunch or dinner which you will never forget.

The dessert platter.

The lovely Sommelier Marc, who dreamed up the perfect wine flight to accompany my meal.

 Some of Paul Askew's many awards and accolades!

 The elegant dining room.

 The cosy reception area, complete with wood-burning stove.

 The delightful bar area.

The beautiful art work.

My lunch at The Art School was one of the best afternoons I have had in a long time, and it was a pleasure to meet Paul Askew himself!

I couldn't resit making an Instagram collage of my favourite photographs from the meal! 

0151 230 8600

The Art School 
1 Sugnall Street
Liverpool L7 7EB

A huge thank you to Chef Paul Askew, Sommelier Marc and the rest of the team for hosting me. A special thank you to Charlotte at The Art School too, who kindly arranged the lunch. It was such a wonderful meal and I was made to feel so very welcome throughout my time at The Art School. I would thoroughly recommend the restaurant to anybody who wants to experience exquisite fine-dining  and hospitality in an elegant setting.

What do you all think, have you ever tried a fine-dining restaurant? Remember, I love to read your comments and I follow back my followers. Thank you for reading this review.

Until next time, 


I was kindly invited to dine at The Art School as a guest of the restaurant. My meal was therefore complimentary for review purposes. All views expressed are my own and honest.