Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Iceland: Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon Iceland

I am an awful blogger, I really am. But here I am, talking about Iceland a month and a half after we got back and just before we go on another trip (that says less about my tardiness and more about our compulsive jet-setting, though!) 

I think I first fell in love with Iceland because I saw a blog post about the Blue Lagoon on Pinterest (of course) and that was it, my heart was set.

Over two years later and we finally made it there! After reading all sorts of recommendations we went straight from the airport to the Blue Lagoon (There's a Grey Line stop right outside the terminal exit - remember that name, I wil mention them a lot). 

We arrived just after sunset so it was really very dark which added an eerie sort of element. We had already paid for the Comfort package which included a towel, super handy.

When you check in you're given a wrist band which is used for your locker and for payment which is great because there's no risk of losing anything. The changing room I was shown to was really tiny and cramped. I later found out, to my detriment that this wasn't the only changing area! You must shower beforehand, again, there weren't many showers available, especially as a group of girls seemed to be involved in a sponsored washathon!! But finally, I made it outside. 

Blue Lagoon Iceland

It is cold outside, especially in swimmers but it wasn't unbearable and once you're in the calm, hot water you don't care anyway. It was so warm, which sound ridiculous because it's a thermal pool but I couldn't believe that it felt much much warmer than a bath. Because it was dark, I couldn't see much further than my face so we gingerly made our way around the pool, stopping for a silica mud mask and a drink.

It was such an amazing, unforgettable experience, 5 'o clock at night, pitch black, drinking a cherry whilst sat in a naturally heated pool. We spent about an hour and a half relaxing at The Blue Lagoon.  

The only time I got even a little bit cold was when we got out and I couldn't find my flip flops, pacing up and down the outside decking was a little chilly but again not as bad as I expected and I soon warmed up when I got back inside. 

This is the point I fell into some difficulty with the multiple changing rooms. I said goodbye to Andy arranging to meet him at the exit, went into the changing room, took a shower, started to strip off (TMI?) only to realise that I didn't recognise any of the lockers and my number wasn't there. I hunted up and down the rows and couldn't find them anywhere. So back on went the wet swimming costume (never fun) and it was only then that I realised the changing room I wanted was upstairs. Oops!

The buses leave fro Reykjavik every hour and there was one waiting when we finished so we hopped on that and were soon headed to our hotel. 

Top Tops for The Blue Lagoon

1. Go straight from the airport. This can be booked before hand or at The Greyline counter upon arrival. Tours leave from the airport every hour or so. 
2. Pack what you need in your hand luggag -: swimming costume, towel etc. 
3. Bring flip flops - I know, you're visiting Iceland, hardly flip-flop weather! But you'll want these when you step outside onto the decking. Although I recommend bringing some distinctive looking ones. My black Havana style flip flops got lost among the Blue Lagoon branded flip flops! 
4. Lather up the conditioner - I was so worried about my hair being nasty afterwards because it's bleached but I didn't notice any changes despite warnings that the water can wreck havoc but my hair was saturated in the conditioner, it's free. Make the most of it!!
5. Get a drink - I would strongly advocate paying that bit extra for the Comfort Package, it's 2000 ISK (approx £14) more than the standard package but includes a towel and a free drink. Totally worth it in my opinion. But it was magical to find a shallow bit to sit down in and enjoy a drink while enjoying the water. 


Blue Lagoon Iceland

Monday, 6 February 2017

Hitting my Workout Goals with AdoreMe

Hello Ladies!

It's Feburary, how are you getting on with those New Year's Resolutions? I'm doing well on the weight loss: eating well. drinking lots of water and so far I've lost 6lbs in 3 weeks.

BUT now it's time to get back into the gym (and stop wasting my money and not going) and get back to the barre to get all toned up and fit! 

What better way to inspire me than new workout gear? So I've been keeping my eye on the AdoreMe Instagram for gym wear inspiration and today I'm sharing a pick of my favourites. 

Namia Active Jogger Set

AdoreMe Workout Gear

How cosy does this look? The keyhole back and loose, 3/4 length joggers would be perfect for stretching and barre while still keeping cool and looking great. 

Alia Cropped Pant Set

AdoreMe Workout Gear
This pattern is beautiful and such lovely colours. I'm not confident enough to wear just a crop top but this would be great underneath a slouchy top and the higher waistband means no embarrassing builder's bums when I bend down to pick up the weights. 

Darshi Active Pant Set

AdoreMe Workout Gear
My favourite colour is purple, so how could I resist this super cute set? The mesh detail and lightweight fabric will keep me cool even when I'm pushing myself with a HIIT session (I've managed one in January, so more than one is a bonus, right?) 

The best bit? With their brilliant 3 sets for $79.95 I can have all three without breaking a sweat (sorry!) 

AdoreMe Activewear is available in an excellent range of sizes, so there's something for every size and shape. They've got perfectly fitting activewear lets you focus on (and dominate at) any task at hand. So what are you waiting for? Get shopping

AdoreMe also stock lingerie, bras, sleepwear and more. For more style inspiration, check out their Instagram

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Kuckoo, Chester: Grand Reopening

What's your favourite cocktail? Whether it's a pina colada (served in a coconut shell) or a Mad Men era old fashioned, Rock and Roll cocktail bar, Kuckoo Chester will have every cocktail need covered. 

Kuckoo Chester has a special place in my heart, Andy, infamously, spent £400 there one night not longer after we first met (long story) and we visited there on our first date. So I was really excited to be invited* to their grand reopening. 

After 3 successful years as one of the hottest bars in Chester, Kuckoo Chester closed it's doors for a few weeks to undergo a £50,000 refurbishment. 

Photo Credit: Andrew Paterson

When we visited the plans were just finishing up, a little later than first expected, but anyone who's watched any channel 4 restoration programme know that these sort of things happen!

The centrepiece of the renovation will be an eye opening ‘Onyx’ style bar – a stunning, modern bar top and fascia, backlit in red to create a warm glow. The newly refurbished Kucko Chester also includes luxurious leather and velvet seating areas, modernised washrooms and a striking black, granite floor with a sparkle effect.

Photo Credit: Andrew Paterson

Staying true to its creative drinks offering, Kuckoo have also revamped their cocktail menu which plays host to 65 inspiring, classic and cool cocktails to keep guests entertained all evening.

Whilst there we sampled a good portion of the amazing cocktail menu:

Kuckoo Chester

Kuckoo Chester

Space Cadet Caiproska - zinging with lime 

Bootleg Moonshine - A must if you're a bourbon fan

Kuckoo Chester

Superfly Thai Sling - Yummy, but I could have had more chilli in mine 

Spiced Rum Mai Thai - Very nice, again not very spicy (which was great because this was Andy's!) He also tells me you'd like it even if you're not a rum fan.

Kuckoo Chester

Suicide Blonde - Why don't I drink more wine cocktails? This was amazing!

Bramble - Andy's favourite cocktail and an off-menu request. His verdict: very nice, very sweet. His favourite of the night. 

Kuckoo Chester

Kuckoo Chester

But, thankfully, the look of the bar might be new but the music hasn't changed, as indie rock and roll favourites from various eras are still on the playlist - with popular tracks from Elvis and The Beatles to Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Stone Roses and The Strokes – providing a feel-good vibe and fun atmosphere where revellers will never want to leave!

Basically, the bar looks beautiful! The stunning red bar and new picture frames have made such a difference in lightening up the area while still ensuring that it feels cosy.

Kuckoo Chester

We spent some time with Kuckoo founder, Richard Powell who gave us an insight into all things cocktail and bartending but also the way the staffing and training works at Kuckoo (it's a managerless system!) and also the future of the Kuckoo brand. They're due to open Kuckoo Sheffield and Knutsford very soon, so watch this space. 

Photo Credit: Andrew Paterson

We were given a full tour of the refurbishment and got to see the downstairs table-service area, which I'm eyeing up for my birthday in February. 

Photo Credit: Andrew Paterson

Photo Credit: Andrew Paterson

Overall, a wonderful evening full of yummy cocktails and reasons to celebrate. I can't wait to visit again very soon. Who's joining me?

Kuckoo Chester can be found at: 58 WATERGATE STREET, CHESTER, CH1 2LA and is open 7 days a week - 5pm until Late.

You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #KuckooRocks. 

*Thank you to Kuckoo Chester and Helen Wardley Communications for our invite, Drinks and tour were provided on a complimentary basis in exchange for an honest review. All views are honest. 

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