Category Archives: Events

‘Fine Dine On A Diet’ At The White Peacock

Fine Dine on a Diet at The White Peacock in Leicester. Red pepper pannacotta with grilled asparagus, courgette, cherry tomato sala and micro cress. Fine Dine on a Diet at The White Peacock in Leicester. Eating prawns. Fine Dine on a Diet at The White Peacock in Leicester. Trio of Bloody Mary with beetroot carpaccio, sorbet, jelly and goats cheese. Fine Dine on a Diet at The White Peacock in Leicester. Shallot, carrot and artichoke tarte tatin with olive mash, lentil and sweet chilli veloute. Fine Dine on a Diet at The White Peacock in Leicester. Coconut and lemongrass pannacotta with compressed cherries, apple sorbet, tuile. The White Peacock in Leicester

Last month I was invited along to sample a specially created 7-course tasting menu at one of Leicester’s most renowned independent restaurants, The White Peacock for their ‘Fine Dine on a Diet’ evening in collaboration with U Fit Studio. The idea being to showcase that dining out can be healthy, nutritious and also guilt free, showing us options which are delicious but wholesome and not just packed full of empty calories.

Now if you know me even slightly, you’ll know that to me diet is a bit of a dirty word. I’m probably the worlds most unhealthy vegetarian, and thanks to being blessed with a high metabolism I’ve never really had any need to watch what I eat – yet! I’ve been vegetarian for over 10 years now and I must admit that often I’m a little disappointed in what my choices are when eating out, it feels like it’s the same few dishes recycled over and over no matter where you go, like it’s more of an afterthought, so as soon as I saw the menu for this evening I was intrigued.

We all mingled in the bar with lavender gin cocktails before being shown to our places in the dining room. I’d made a point of not eating any lunch so I wouldn’t spoil my appetite, so I couldn’t wait for the first course to come out and it didn’t disappoint. A ‘Trio of Bloody Mary’ with beetroot carpaccio, sorbet, jelly and goats cheese, it was heavenly! I always forget how much I like beetroot and I loved all the different textures here. Next up was the ‘Pea and spring onion risotto’, followed by a ‘Red pepper pannacotta with grilled asparagus, courgette, cherry tomato sala and micro cress’. I love pannacotta, but I have never tasted a savoury one and this was really special, it was so light but packed full of flavour and was easily one of my favourite courses. After this we all had an ‘Avocado, lime and grapefruit sorbet’ palate cleanser before our main dishes came out, mine was a ‘Shallot, carrot and artichoke tarte tatin with olive mash, lentil and sweet chilli veloute’, after all of the light courses before it this was much heartier and I was actually quite surprised that the previous courses had managed to fill me up so much that I could only manage about half of this, despite it being delicious. I was glad to have saved just enough room for pudding though, I have such a sweet tooth and the ‘Coconut and lemongrass pannacotta with compressed cherries, apple sorbet, tuile‘ was completely perfect and really finished the whole thing off on a high. It was such a treat to sit down to a vegetarian menu that felt like it’d had as much effort and thought put into it as the non-vegetarian courses, some of the dishes were really innovative and I got to try a lot of new things that I had no idea I’d enjoy so much.

One of the nicest things about evenings like this though is meeting new people, I was pleased to be sat next to the lovely Laura (check out her review of the non-vegetarian menu here) who I already knew, but I didn’t know anyone else I was sat near by and it was lovely to have the opportunity to talk to people I would probably never have gotten the chance to if I’d just chosen to sit with my friends instead. The evening was also in aid of Alex’s Wish a wonderful charity set up by Alex’s Mum to raise awareness and money to help improve treatments and lifespans for children and adults affected by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. They have lots of events coming up, including a ‘Mad Hatters Tea Party’ at the end of October which sounds like such fun and a great way to support such an important cause, check out their events page for more details.

The next ‘Dine on a Diet’ event is being held at North Bar & Kitchen in November and tickets are available here.

Filed under: Events | 3Comments

Artist Of Makeup by Zukreat at Femi Health & Beauty

Artist of Makeup by Zukreat at Femi Health & Beauty salon Leicester. Demonstration by Zukreat of products. Artist of Makeup by Zukreat at Femi Health & Beauty salon Leicester. Macarons by Macarons and More. Artist of Makeup by Zukreat at Femi Health & Beauty salon Leicester. Capanpes from Hotel Maiyango. Artist of Makeup by Zukreat at Femi Health & Beauty salon Leicester. Artist of Makeup by Zukreat at Femi Health & Beauty salon Leicester. Palettes. Artist of Makeup by Zukreat at Femi Health & Beauty salon Leicester. Make up Demo by Zukreat. Artist of Makeup by Zukreat at Femi Health & Beauty salon Leicester. Demonstration of products by Zukreat before and after. Artist of Makeup by Zukreat at Femi Health & Beauty salon Leicester. Artist of Makeup by Zukreat at Femi Health & Beauty salon Leicester.

Last week Femi Health & Beauty held a small launch at their beautiful city centre salon to celebrate the arrival of Youtube sensation Zukreat’s Artist of Makeup range of cosmetics, being the first and only retailer in the whole of the UK to stock the line. Outside of the salon you can buy all of the products online, however it’s always nice to be able to swatch in person before committing to a purchase, especially with things like foundations and concealers.

A handful of press and local bloggers were invited for a preview before the salon opened to the public when everyone got the first chance to see and sample the products and for a meet & greet with Zukreat. The queue was huge, with lots of girls saying how excited they were to have the brand stocked here, so I imagine it’ll be a huge success. We were treated to canapés from Hotel Maiyango, and some of the most delicious macarons I’ve ever tasted from Macarons and More whilst we all chatted amongst ourselves. We then headed into the conservatory where Zukreat gave us a demonstration of the products, doing a full look on one of the beautiful Femi girls, showing us how best to use each product and explaining the formulas and backgrounds of each one as she went along. I was amazed by how quickly she did a full, super polished look and I definitely picked up a few tips and tricks myself.

The products themselves are an absolute dream, everything is very high quality and they are super pigmented and blend-able making them lovely to work with. We were kindly given a Contour Stick, Art Liner & Eye Shadow Palette to try for ourselves and I have raved about each one to my friends and family since, especially the Art Liner with its jet black formula and ingenious refill cartridges. I have been a lifelong liquid foundation user but I’m also very tempted to try the cream foundations now after seeing how glowy and natural it looked when she demonstrated them to us, doesn’t it make her skin look so luminous and incredible?

We were also given a full tour of the salon, Femi is one of Leicester’s premier salons having won a host of awards for it’s services and excellence over the years. They offer everything from facials, massages and hair removal to tanning, nail treatments and full makeup packages. The salon is so bright and airy throughout, with a huge variety of different rooms to ensure you have the perfect relaxing atmosphere for your treatment. After eyeing up all of the Femi girls perfect brows pretty much the whole time I was there, I know where I’ll be going when mine are ready for a reshape!

Filed under: Events | 1Comment

SummerDine at Highcross

FAIIINT Bill's Restaurant at Highcross Leicester. Selection of starters including Spiced Tortilla Chips. FAIIINT Bill's Restaurant at Highcross Leicester. Crispy Crumbed Halloumi. FAIIINT Bill's Restaurant at Highcross Leicester. Selection of starters including Bill's Cheese & Tomato on toast. FAIIINT Bill's Restaurant at Highcross Leicester. FAIIINT Handmade Burger Co at Highcross Leicester. Goats' Cheese Veggie stack burger. FAIIINT Handmade Burger Co at Highcross Leicester. View from above of table of burgers, sweet potato fries and shakes. FAIIINT Handmade Burger Co at Highcross Leicester. FAIIINT Handmade Burger Co at Highcross Leicester. Oreo Shake and Banoffee Pie, Strawberry Cheesecake, Brownie and Waffle sundaes.

Last week I was invited along with a small group of other local bloggers to sample some of the best places to eat at Highcross to celebrate the launch of the Highcross PLUS App. It’s free to download and has lots of exclusive offers and discounts across many of Highcross’s stores and restaurants, with a special focus on dining throughout August. I love that Leicester is starting to become a more foodie kind of city, with new places from independents to much loved chains seeming to be popping up constantly over the past few months and the vast majority of these are situated around the outdoor food court area of Highcross.

I headed over to Bill’s for starters, where I met up with the lovely Gabby who’d invited us, plus Nancy, Sophia, Emma & Hareem. I’ve always loved eating at Bill’s when I’ve been to one elsewhere in the UK, so I was really excited when I first heard we were getting one here too and it’s quickly become one of my new favourite places for lunch. The menu is nice and varied, with plenty of great vegetarian options so I don’t find myself constantly ordering the same thing and getting bored and the food is all really hearty and delicious. We were treated to a selection of starters and to share, which was perfect as we all got to try out a lot of things we hadn’t had the chance to try before. Favourites for me were the Crispy Crumbed Halloumi, Bill’s Cheese on Toast and the Spiced Tortilla Chips. Though not something we had this time, I highly recommend the halloumi veggie burger too! I might have filled myself up a little bit too early considering there were two more courses to go, but I just couldn’t stop eating the halloumi, Grille Piadina bread and tortilla chips, they were soo good!

After Bill’s we made our way over to Handmade Burger Co for mains. I’m already a big fan of theirs and I love that they have a selection of veggie burgers and allow you to mix and match everything too so I actually have a choice, instead of just the usual lone veggie burger on the menu to keep us happy! This time I went for the Goats Cheese Veggie Stack which is made up of some of my favourite things – chargrilled mixed peppers, juicy mushroom, goats’ cheese, caramelised red onion relish & watercress. My eyes lit up when it came out and I saw that it had a really nice thick slice of goats’ cheese, the more cheese the better as far as I’m concerned! It’s definitely something I’ll be ordering again. We also got some sides, and I think all of us ended up ordering a portion of sweet potato fries with rosemary salt, those went down really well. Of course I couldn’t not try the Oreo Shake, I love a good shake and it was even more sickly and amazing than it looks!

Service here is usually self-serve but we were given table service and our waiters Paddy and Sam were super friendly and accommodating, they did a brilliant job of explaining everything to us, recommending dishes and seemed genuinely interested in making sure we had a great meal. Most of our table mixed and matched their burgers and added extras but Lerelle, Eddie, Johnny and Blake in the kitchen did a great job of making sure we got everything quickly and all together. I was a little jealous of some of the girls meaty burgers, the ‘Slow N Low’ pulled pork one looked and smelled incredible and I do wish I could have had a little bite, burgers and bacon are my vegetarian weakness!

The plan was to visit Patisserie Valerie for dessert, but as we all got chatting we lost track of time and realised too late that it would be closing too soon to go. It was a shame as I do love their cakes, but thankfully Handmade Burger Co also do ridiculously good sundaes, so we decided to each get one of the flavours and share so we could try them all! If I had to pick a favourite it would have to be between the Banoffee Pie and the Brownie & Waffle, but honestly they were all very good.

We left ready to burst with a takeaway shake in hand (highly recommend the butterscotch!) which I curled up on the sofa with as soon as I got home, the perfect end to a really lovely night. It was so nice to see Nancy & Hareem again, and meet Gabby, Sophia and Emma too, the 6 of us was the perfect number of people and we were all talking each other to death before we knew it! Thanks so much to Gabby for the invite.

Filed under: Events | 4Comments

Lush Leicester Summer Sneak Peek

FAIIINT Lush Leicester store. Bubbleroon & bath bombs. FAIIINT Lush Leicester cupcakes. FAIIINT Lush Leicester massage bars FAIIINT Lush Leicester store soaps FAIIINT Lush Leicester store FAIIINT Lush Leicester store products FAIIINT Lush Leicester store The Experimenter bath bomb water in action FAIIINT Lush Leicester store event FAIIINT Lush Leicester store Dark Angels cleanser FAIIINT Lush Leicester store Summer sneak peek blogger event FAIIINT Lush Leicester Summer sneak peek blogger store event

Last week I had a nice little group of blog events all right here in Leicester. It’s rare to have even a single event here, so to have a bunch all together like this and not have to travel anywhere to get to them made for such a lovely week. Thursday was the Lush Summer Sneak Peek, a preview evening celebrating the launch of their latest ranges, we got to check them all out and splurge our cash on the pre-release products before they went on sale to the public.

I headed down to the store to meet up with our small gang of local bloggers – Nancy, Hollie, Kirstie, Steph, Laura & Emma. I’d met some of the girls before at other events and the others when we recently organised a bit of a meet up – if you’re a local blogger too go join our group as we’re hoping to make the meet ups a regular thing. It’s so nice to finally know some other bloggers here, I’ve become good friends with people from all over the country through blogging but I’d never really met any other bloggers from my home town, I was beginning to think it was just me!

I grabbed one of the delicious vegan cupcakes as soon as I arrived and was immediately drawn over to the super bright display of new bath products. I must admit, I’m more of a shower girl really and I never feel like I have the time to have a real soak in the bath, so when I do it’s nice to make it a little more luxurious and the new Intergalactic bath bomb and Sunnyside & Karma bubble bars had my name all over them. Their skincare is my favourite thing though and I could easily have spent a fortune picking up new cleansers and masks, but I behaved and just picked up the Cup O’ Coffee mask, clay based masks are my favourite for my combination skin and I couldn’t say no to that smell!

We also had a little workshop upstairs where we could make our own The Comforter bar or Butterball bomb, it was really fun to get hands on and be able to take home something you’d made yourself. I made myself a Butterball after hearing such great things about it from the other girls. I guess because it’s quite plain looking I’d never picked it up or tried it before, but after trying it for myself I have to agree, it’s really wonderful and leaves your skin amazingly soft.

We all had such a nice time and left with the most generous goodie bags, I seriously had to resist the urge to jump into the bath and try everything out all at once as soon as I got home! I’ll be doing a little review on some new favourites I’ve discovered soon. Thanks again to the girls at Lush for the invite and for organising a really lovely evening!

Filed under: Events | 2Comments

Hyper Japan 2015

FAIIINT Hyper Japan Festival 2015 at The o2 London. Pretty pastel japanese fashion. FAIIINT Hyper Japan Festival 2015 at The o2 London. Dreamy Bows stall pretty pastel japanese fashion, visitors wearing traditional kimono. FAIIINT Hyper Japan Festival 2015 at The o2 London. Cup cakes. FAIIINT Hyper Japan Festival 2015 at The o2 London. Japanese candy and sweets, pocky. FAIIINT Hyper Japan Festival 2015 at The o2 London. Traditional kimonos. FAIIINT Hyper Japan Festival 2015 at The o2 London. Elegant Lolita and pastel fairy kei fashion. FAIIINT Hyper Japan Festival 2015 at The o2 London. Perpex jewellery, glitter black moon, Sailor Moon and pegasus constellation necklaces. FAIIINT Hyper Japan Festival 2015 at The o2 London. Pretty pastel Japanese fashion, decora, lolita. FAIIINT Hyper Japan Festival 2015 at The o2 London. FAIIINT Hyper Japan Festival 2015 at The o2 London. Honey Spice girl group performing live. FAIIINT Hyper Japan Festival 2015 at The o2 London. Guys in One Piece cosplay Luffy, Adventure Time Fiona & Cake cosplay costumes. DSC_0450_2 FAIIINT Hyper Japan Festival 2015 at The o2 London. Female girl Bowser cosplay costume. FAIIINT Hyper Japan Festival 2015 at The o2 London. Third Window Films Japanese Asian cinema DVDs. FAIIINT Hyper Japan Festival 2015 at The o2 London. V Cosplay Totoro realistic costume, school girls, sailor fuku. FAIIINT Hyper Japan Festival 2015 at The o2 London. Fluffy alpacasso teddies toys. FAIIINT Hyper Japan Festival 2015 at The o2 London. Dreamy Bows pretty sweet pastel lolita fairy kei fashion. FAIIINT Hyper Japan Festival 2015 at The o2 London. Princess Peach cosplay costume. FAIIINT Hyper Japan Festival 2015 at The o2 London. Franky and Nico Robin One Piece cosplay costumes. FAIIINT Hyper Japan Festival 2015 at The o2 London. Espeon Pokemon cosplay costume. FAIIINT Hyper Japan Festival 2015 at The o2 London. Toothania Tooth Fairy Rise of the Guardians cosplay costume. FAIIINT Hyper Japan Festival 2015 at The o2 London. Cosparage cosplay costumes.

It’s that time of year again, the one and only time colourful, pastel & pretty things are allowed on this blog – Hyper Japan! I headed down for the Sunday session of the UK’s largest Japanese cultural event with my cousin Demi, for a day filled with fashion, cosplay, culture, shopping and lots of good food.

I have a secret soft spot for anything kawaii and Hyper Japan is absolutely filled with it! I feel like it’s taken over more and more each year that I’ve been, and this year you could barely move without bumping into a girl in her best lolita, fairy kei or decora outfit. I really love nothing more than seeing others going all out on their look, even if it’s not my personal style, it’s still something I can appreciate and admire. I’m obviously a big advocate of doing a particular look head to toe myself, I think if you’re going to choose a certain style like this you should do it almost obsessively, and of course here that’s exactly what you see, with a huge chunk of the visitors proudly walking around showing off their best outfits or cosplays. It’s so nice to see and I think it creates such a fun, inspiring atmosphere too.

There’s also still a nice proportion of stalls dedicated to more traditional and cultural things, from travel and food to traditional dress and homewears. I always have to be steered away from the Doki Tablewear stall, otherwise I’d just buy all of their beautifully organic hand decorated pottery and it’s become a bit of a tradition to stop by Third Window Films and ask them to recommend me a heap of DVDs. I’m a huge cinephile, and I love foreign cinema especially Asian, so I’m always looking for new ones to check out and every year these guys always seem to get the recommendations so spot on, plus at £5 each, I’ll happily buy a pile!

Unfortunately we didn’t get to see too many of the live acts this time around. This year the festival had been moved to The o2, and though it seemed like a great venue for it initially, I have to admit it felt very disjointed and as a result much smaller and less immersive than previous years. With all the different areas we couldn’t find where some acts were, or hadn’t left enough time to get there. We caught a little of Honey Spice‘s live set on the way to find the maid cafe, they were super energetic with their carefully choreographed routines and the crowd absolutely loved them. The best thing about this venue was that the live acts were in an actual club venue, not a pop up stage, which gave a much better and more enjoyable atmosphere. I’m still a bit gutted we didn’t manage to see any of the others here. We also caught the Cosparade, and as usual everyone had gone to incredible effort for their cosplays. My favourites were Franky & Nico Robin from One Piece (maybe a little biased!), and the insanely amazing Tooth Fairy from Rise of The Guardians, I can’t begin to imagine how long this one took to make, even the wings opened and closed with the push of a button!

I managed to resist the cuteness of the fluffy alpacassos this year, and I just came home with a stack of DVDs, plus lots of sweets and food! We had such a fun day, and I say this every year, but I’d highly recommend it to anyone interested in Japanese culture, fashion or just as an interesting day out, it’s like nothing else you’ll see or do here in London that’s for sure! I’m hoping to check out the Christmas market for the first time too this year, so there may be more pastels and cute overload around here sooner rather than later!

Filed under: Events | 7Comments