19 December 2016

Christmas with Betty's

There’s something twinkly happening. Alongside the famed Fat Rascals and tiers of afternoon tea, Betty’s has spruced up for Christmas. The welcome is in the window. The Harrogate store has been decorated for Christmas, with different characters in wait behind the glass, at the foot of the incredibly impressive gingerbread village.

A host of Northern bloggers were introduced to the magic of Betty’s to come this season, from their product offerings, their newly unveiled Christmas window and the Pinterest-worthy table settings.

Entering the Harrogate store, you’re greeted with a Betty’s B under foot - #Ihavethisthingwithfloors. Treading past the ceramics and up the stairs, a winter wonderland began to unfold. Eyes darted from cosy candle lit lanterns, a table filled with festivity and topped with the gingerbread centrepiece, leading to the corner - a majestic tree lined with Betty’s boxes and surprise gifts waiting to be delved into.

We were treated to Lady Betty Afternoon Tea, genuinely amongst my top three afternoon teas - and I like to think myself quite the connoisseur. A slight twist on a classic as you begin with two small plate appetisers before the familiar tiers are served. This, of course, with a vast choice of tea to choose from, alongside a glass of prosecco for optimum Boomerang cheers opportunity.

Mini sandwiches, a tier of scones and a finale of miniature desserts later, so deliciously full and ready to explore further into Betty’s magical Christmas.
We were introduced to their limited edition Christmas products - FYI the absolute of stocking fillers, especially if your mum is as big as a Betty’s fan as mine. I have my eye on the luxury Belmont Chocolate Box, a real high-end treat.

Through the afternoon, we were introduced to the Betty’s Chief of Beautiful. He guided us around the exquisitely decorated tables, from Christmas bling to a festive array of natural accessories and my favourite, the one centred with the Gingerbread village, glowing in the centre of the table. Each luxuriously finished with the best of the best and the perfect inspiration for my next dinner party *a girl can dream*.

As a parting gift, we gathered around the Betty’s Christmas tree, with a well executed line-up of Betty’s boxes tucked underneath. There, topped with a bow was a surprise gift for each of us.

We headed back out into the night, leaving the now glistening Christmas window shining in all its glory, the magic of Betty’s attracting an audience with fascination.

18 December 2016

The Secret Dreamworld of a Department Store Fanatic

The slick glass doors have been opened to the public, the endless hours of set-up are complete, products waiting to be adoringly caressed by the buyer-to-be. This would be the lead up to the already iconic John Lewis of Leeds opening its doors to the public earlier this year.

Department stores are my happy place, no more so than the seemingly infinite stores that offer everything you could ever need. Despite being one of many in the crowd, those first steps into the brand new John Lewis store were so exciting. The first floor of a department store is usually amongst the best; the stationery, the nic-nacs and what can now be in stocking filler territory leaves so much to be explored.

Something about the instant change-up of merchandising and products makes for excellent mooching ground - one of my favourite past times and what is no doubt going to be done a whole lot more with a department store great now around the corner.

Four floors may not sound gargantuan, but there is more than enough to keep you occupied and heavily excited about in the new John Lewis. The escalator void is adorned with understated Christmas flavour, willing you to explore the floors above. This is the gateway to the understated Christmas shop that Leeds has welcomed within the new store - the perfect time to open.

A thorough mooch around the womenswear had me swooning over Loved and Found - a newbie to me, but a predicted favourite. This as well as the twinkling Christmas section, adorned with so many festive items now on my homeware wish list.

Every floor unfolds with a different attention to detail, I was on an unmarked treasure hunt to spot as many themes as I could. The favourite was draped over the camera display, a chandelier of tiny photo slides bringing some nostalgia to the newness.

I'm excited for the more to explore as the seasons change, I'll see you there?

21 September 2016

Friends Fest | Harewood House, Leeds

A little known fact about me, I am a Friends enthusiast. I want to say superfan, but I know there are many more superior out there... It would however be my Mastermind subject if I ever got to sit in the chair.

Reason enough, I think you'd agree, to get oh-my-god excited about Friends Fest coming to Harewood House over this past weekend. Limited time only for a limited number of 'superfans' like me. A small-scale fair celebrating all things Friends. My goodness it was amazing.

A photo posted by Phoebe (@phibster_) on

There were Friends best bits on repeat through the day - admittedly, it might have been better if they mingled these in with a few 'best' episodes instead of just clips - surrounded with Joey & Chandler's apartment, Central Perk, the Moondance Diner, a silent disco, the Vegas chapel and of course, Monica & Rachel's apartment with a pre-entry photo shoot on the opening credit couch.

SO MANY PHOTO OPS. It was a little taste of fan-girl for me and getting that sofa shot is something I can now tick off my bucket list.

They hadn't pimped it out with endless sales opportunities which I liked, although they missed the opportunity to sell oodles of crap. I did get my Central Perk coffee though. I don't think I've been this excited about anything in forever - so ALL THE kudos goes to my boyfriend who woke up at the crack of dawn whilst we were in the US earlier this year to get tickets. Apparently I don't like Friends as much as I like sleep...

It solidified my undying love for Friends - I've obviously seen every episode countless times but it made me want to watch it in order from the beginning... Again. I'm still all about the early seasons, 1-3 are peak Friends and where my trivia points get racked up. I'll still be watching it repeatedly and applying most situations back to some Friends reference. Should any other Friends fan-girl opps pop up again in the future I will 100% be there for you - EY! Sorry, definitely had to.

Given the Insta's I spotted over the weekend, I know I'm not the only one in the Leeds blogger circles who are obsessed with Friends - anyone else making it there at one of the locations around the country?

19 September 2016

Bossa | Leeds

Welcoming your newest Latino restaurant experience, Bossa. Now lining the cobbles by the Corn Exchange, Bossa has stepped in to offer seriously affordable skewered meats.

The concept is simple and one you're probably familiar with. Turn your cow to red or green depending on your hunger - green welcomes the servers circulating the restaurant with various meat skewers and freshly cooked meats. Red, you're on hold - for a breather or calling it quits, the servers will pass by your table.

Sides of fries and slaw are replenished at your request, additional sides at an insanely reasonable £2 each. One of which being Feijoada, Brazil's national dish and one of my favourites. Honestly, you probably won't need any additional sides - the meat was more than enough to overly quench my hunger - but it's one I want to head back to try.

This is a meat lovers paradise. My favourites were the Roupa Velha - slow braised, pulled beef - that was deliciously moreish, super moist and tasted even better with the slaw. Secondly, the Chorizo Criollo - pork sausage but still served from a skewer - tiny but meaty sausages, one that excited my taste buds and one I kept going back for.

The main meat menus are all the classics - pork, beef, lamb, chicken, but there are vegetarian and pescatarian options available. We started with the chicken wings, not something I normally favour as meat off the bone is not the one for me - these had a really nice flavour though, with a delayed hit of warmth running through.

The essentials - it's an all you can eat serve, quality meats and a really cool environment. At £18 for dinner, or £13 for lunch - plus your optional £2 sides - you're getting quality for value. For any of you giving it a taster, review the feijoada for me will you? I've only ever tried (and loved) Cabana's offering, but it tops my favourite dishes list.