Something that definitely helps me to get through my 9-5 lifestyle during the winter months is having a dinner reservation, trust me, there’s nothing better.

Surely everyone I know must feel the same satisfaction I do knowing you’re going to get a top notch dinner, with no cooking preparation or cleaning after! IT’S HEAVEN!

I’d never been to Winstanley House, and after arriving I was so disappointed that I hadn’t gone sooner. I never imaged that in Braustone, Leicester this beautiful manor would be tucked away ready to feed me some incredible treats 😍

As soon as we got there, we were led to a bar area whilst our table as being prepared. I never thought the decor of a building would be make me feel so incredibly underdressed, and I had actually made an effort! The decor was exquisite. I felt like I was in a film, or like a celebrity, a successful business woman all rolled into one. I sat down with my grapefruit gin and ginger beer wondering what could possibly make me feel any happier, and then we were called to our table!

Starter: Beetroot salad with honey & hazelnut

This was incredibly refreshing, so flavoursome which I really didn’t expect. The walnuts complimented the beetroot perfectly, giving it a rich at satisfying flavour, I felt if I’d had any more it might have ruined my main! Beautifully balanced!

Main: Courgette flan with cauliflower purée, ash baked sweet potato & roasted vegetables

Ahhh I loved this so much, when I first saw the dish I did think “omg I need twice this much” because I’m a little piggy, but the flavours were incredible. The courgette flan was actually rather hearty, and paired with the potatoes and roast vegetables I was in heaven. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a meal so slow, I wanted to savour every bite.

Dessert: Tea & Cake victoria sponge cake, strawberries & earl grey ice cream

Considering I’m a savoury over sweet type of person, this dessert was my favourite part of the meal. The early grey ice-cream was so interesting, I wish you could buy it from the shop! (if you can and I’m unaware someone please tell me). I always find tea flavoured things quite underwhelming, but there was no denying that this tasted like earl grey, and it wasn’t sickly which was my first fear. I would 100% go back just to have this again.

Overall, I really enjoyed this meal, it was nice going to quality over quantity for a change, as I tend to be the girl that likes a huge portion for under a fiver! I’d definitely recommend Black Iron for an anniversary meal, birthday celebration or a treat yourself day.

Considering the location, presentation and quality of the food Black Iron’s pricing is incredibly fair. All this for the small price of £22, and you get to feel super fancy just being there for free!

 

If you’re like me and have brows that need creating each morning, you’ve probably looked up longer-term fixes. I’m not a make-up queen by any means so I try and keep my routine minimal, yet my brows always seemed to demand attention.

Enter microblading. Now this blog post isn’t going to focus too much on what the process is about (hopefully you already know), rather than simply describe my experience of it.

What actually is microblading? Does it look fake? Does it hurt? Can I justify the price? 

These were just some of the questions running through my head when I considered the process. It all seemed too permanent and risky; I really wasn’t sure whether I was ready to commit. But I was really fed up of feeling like I was unable to go outside without getting fleeky first. Getting up earlier every morning to sort out my non-existent slugs that end up wonky and smudged was really starting to cream my corn. I decided to take the plunge, can’t hurt to try right?

back in 2011 when my brows were the least of my problems…

After too much deliberating, I booked an appointment with Soraya Steel to see what kind of magic she could work.

I couldn’t believe how intricate and detailed the whole process of microblading is. Microblading is basically semi-permanent tattooing that lasts between 1-3 years. Small cuts are made under the eyebrows and dye is deposited in them so it resembles small, natural-looking hairs.

When I arrived, the first process was to map out the points to make my eyebrows even, cos why should eyebrows be sisters and not twins?

Soraya then took a picture of my eyebrows on an app that checked whether the measurements she’d taken were correct, it’s insane how there’s an app for it!

(lol that one of my eyebrows was so much lower than the other)

After I was all measured up, it was time to get slicing. I was pretty nervous but thanks to the reassurance from Soraya and noticing the anaesthetic kicking in, I was ready. I’d definitely say the weirdest part was the sound, listening to your eyebrow being sliced open is an odd experience to say the least.

mapping that brow

prepping for the procedure with anaesthetic!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The whole process took around an hour and a half – that’s the mapping of the brow, the anaesthetic and the filling.

When Soraya handed me the mirror I was pretty speechless. There were defined, dense brows hovering above my eyes like little halos! They’re definitely more natural looking than I was expecting, especially compared to when I was drawing them on, it’s saved me SO much time in the morning!

2 hours or so later, Im in love!

Here’s a couple of points I feel anyone considering microblading should know:

  1. It will hurt a little. I’m not going to pretend that it’s painless, but I would definitely say it’s worth it and I’d happily do it again. I did have anaesthetic but after a while it does start to wear off, so prepare yourself for that!
  2. Make sure you know what eyebrow shape you want – considering I’d been drawing my eyebrows on for years, I had no idea what shape or size I wanted 🙄
  3. You cannot wear eyebrow make-up whilst it is healing, no matter how patchy they look!
  4. Everyone heals differently, so in the following weeks, results may vary from person to person.
  5. Aftercare is crucial!

I’ll be following this post up with the healing process, as well as my top-up come December. A huge thank you again to Soraya for being a genius with a scalpel and giving me the brows I’ve longed for all my life.

photo by Brows of Steel

If you would like to get your brows done by Soraya, check out her Instagram here and don’t forget to use my 10% discount code TIFFANYBROWS10 xoxo

 

Now let me tell you, being a veggie does not mean you miss out on some DOPE burgers, and I feel like I’m becoming quite the critic when it comes to veggie/vegan cuisine. That being said, I was recently invited to try out Boo Burger on London road. It’s the first Boo Burger and we’re lucky enough for it to be in Leicester, and I’m lucky enough for it to be 10 minutes from my house! I’d seen Boo Burger killing it on social media. I was very intrigued to see whether it lived up to the hype…

I was accompanied on my burger quest by my friends Sharni and Dani, mainly because they both are just as food obsessed as I am but also because we all have different tastes. Especially Sharni, if you’ve impressed her you’re sorted for life!

Boo Burger‘s vibe is all about being urban, modern and rustic. I have to say they’ve hit the nail on the head.

Take the design of the establishment for example. Now I know that this doesn’t really play a part when putting a restaurants menu to the taste test, but when you’re a blogger and you need to get some snaps it helps tons.

The service is also top notch, I love being able to see my food my made, and the fact that I was given a little buzzer to let me know when it was ready meant I could carry on nattering to my friends without worrying whether my name/number would be called and I’d missed it!

Being a vegetarian, I was drawn to the Booloumi burger. Mainly due to being the only veggie burger on the menu, but I can’t deny that the flavours were SENSATIONAL.

BOOLOUMI  (V) | £5.50

“Halloumi Cheese, Crispy Onion Strings, Round Leaf Lettuce, Tomatoes, Sweet Onion Relish”

I cannot stress that I am not a very cheesy person, I tend to steer clear of it being lactose-intolerant. But even I couldn’t keep away. I watched as they prepared every part of my burger, it was genuinely handled with so much care. It genuinely looked like one of the burger you’d see on an advert, super model burger fo sho.

Everything in this burger just worked, the tenderness of the halloumi with the crunch of the onion strings is stuff only Shakespeare could right about. I can’t explain a love like that. The sweet onion relish was such a clever addition tying together the combination of flavours. The brioche bun played a huge part too, they toasted them just like my mum does when we have a BBQ. Can’t beat it. Tasty nostalgia nuggets.

I added fries and a drink for £3 (duh) and I was impressed. The fries were not what I was expecting at all, they’re shaped like a crescent moon, not greasy what-so-ever and incredibly crispy. I’ve honestly never had better fries/chips with a burger meal before. We also got unlimited refills which I feel should always be a thing. Why doesn’t everyone do refills? It’s 2017 people. We sampled ‘Blue Mix’ which tastes just like WKD, non alcoholic unfortunately, but we later found out that it was sponsored by WKD itself! 2008 and 2017 me are still buzzing about this!

So overall it was a great experience, and I will 104% be going back. I really hope they bring out some extra veggie options because I feel like I’m missing out! This place is spot on for a catch up with friends, or a place to grab a bite to eat before your train home. I even took some home for my boyfriend as I didn’t want him to miss out on the experience!

Location: 7
Local to town which is great, parking is a bit of an issue depending when you go as London road is MANIC but definitely worth circling a few streets for some tasty treats

Interior: 9
Blog. Goals. I mean the cups literally say ‘Hey Boo’ and the tables are marble, it’s like it was made for the blogging community. I would vouch for comfier chairs though if I were to be picky!

Food: 10
I cannot stress how delicious the Booloumi burger was, I can’t really speak for the rest of the menu but Dani has the Haystack and you can read what she thinks here!

Value: 10
2 burgers, bites, 3 lots of chips, 2 refillable drinks and milkshake all for £21, and don’t forget your student card cos that’s including discount!

Service: 9
I was thoroughly impressed with how quick and friendly the service was, I never really expect much from a burger joint but Boo definitely excels itself.

IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!

No really, it is. But then again I do say this a lot.

What’s better than having a day to celebrate the beautiful delicacy that is B u R G e R Z !

I was honoured to be invited by Byron Burger in Derby to celebrate their 10th birthday, and I was especially excited as I’d never been before. Their aim is to serve “simple, delicious hamburgers made fresh from properly-sourced British beef and the best ingredients possible, paired with a cold crafted beer or an extra-thick shake” and they didn’t disappoint.

For those of you that follow my blog, you’ll know I’m a lactose-intolerant pescatarian. So as incredible as properly-sourced British beef and extra-thick shakes sound my body can’t take it! So here’s a review of the vegetarian side of Byron burger.

I opted for the mushroom burger, as I feel like I’ve had my fair share of bean patties during my veggie life.

“MUSHROOM – Portobello mushroom, goat’s cheese, roasted red pepper, baby spinach, tomato, red onion, aioli”

 

How can you pass up the chance to have goats cheese in your burger? I also added avocado to bulk it up, which in my opinion was a massive win. You get a very generous portion so I gave some to Nat to put with his chicken burger too!

The peppers and goat’s cheese pairing is a genius pairing, I’ve never had them on a burger before and I’m wondering why! The brioche bun added a slight sweet flavour along with the aoili. It was a crazy combination of flavours, a welcome change from the regular spicy bean burger or soya patty decisions veggie’s are always bored of making.

“CLUCKY – Fried chicken breast, guacamole, sriracha mayonnaise, pickled red onions, pickles, shredded iceberg” (Nat went for grilled)

What else do you need when you have a burger? SIDES!

We went for onion rings and courgette fries (they’re healthy, right?)

The onion rings were incredible! Covered in a lovely light batter with incredible peppered seasoning, I would go as far to say they were the best damn onion rings I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.

The courgette fries were crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, just what you want. They’re not too heavy on your stomach either, so win win win!

And of course you can’t review a restaurant without trying their desserts, I was ready for the challenge despite how filling the burgers are! Nat went for an Oreo cheesecake and I chose the biggest brownie I have ever tackled in my life (seriously).

The juxtaposition of the cheesecake was a treat to the taste buds; the soft cheese filling teamed with the crunchy Oreo base was something that will be on my mind for weeks. I never usually go for chocolate based desserts, I’m an apple crumble girl myself, but this was just the right amount of indulgence.

Onto the biggest brownie EVA, it was heavenly. Considering the size of the brownie, it was soft, toasty and moist. I bloody love having cold ice-cream with a warm dessert too, so I was pretty pleased with my choice. It did defeat me though, and as I always say “I don’t want to look back and think, I should’ve eaten that”.

I. SHOULD. HAVE. EATEN. THAT.

 

 

Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with Byron, I had never been to the one in Leicester (I thought it was only for meat eaters!) and I’m definitely regretting it now. Everything from the portion sizes to the decor, I was smitten. What I do know is that next time I go, I’m ordering 3 sides of onion rings. For real. Watch me.

I’m so thankful they gave me the chance to celebrate their birthday and I can’t wait to try the Byron in my home town!

 

❤ HAPPY 10TH BIRTHDAY BYRON! ❤

 

* I was invited by Byron Burger in Intu Derby to review their menu. All images and views are my own.

The Cultural Quarter of Leicester is one of the best areas of the city. It’s got bars like Manhattan 34 and The Exchange, entertainment from the wonderful Curve theatre and a number of gems in between.

So I was more than keen to visit the quarter’s local restaurant Chutney Ivy to take its new menu for a spin, and thought I would bring my lovely boyfriend as company. I was especially excited as Chutney Ivy bagged the prize of “Best Restaurant of 2017” at the Curry Awards – given Leicester’s renowned Asian heritage, this can’t have been an easy feat – so I was itching to sample the reasons why!

Chutney Ivy offers Indian cuisine that respects its heritage but isn’t afraid to innovate – Shaf the co-owner’s enthusiastic insight into the kitchen’s culture attested to this. The restaurant isn’t afraid to take on the features of a swanky bar either, so don’t hesitate to go even if it’s just for a cocktail! Interested? Read on…

Berry Mojito – Chutney Ivy

Starter

Indian Tapas Platter

“A combination of Siek Kebab Stacks (kebab with sun-dried tomato on a nan square), Aloo Tokki, Paneer stacks and Fish Pakora.”

This platter is a perfect companion to after-work cocktails with a gal pal or significant other, but be warned, it will leave you wanting more. The catfish pakora stood out as the showcase portion: its sweet, rich seasoning was so delicately paired with a light batter that made the texture so irresistible. The Akoo Tokki is worth a mention too – the crisp of the potatoes was heavenly and gave a great earthy balance to the dish. Nat and I agreed that this platter was a well-thought-out way of exciting the palette and prepping the appetite – it was light, flavoursome and moreish in a way that really set up for the mains.

Dim Bhajee Salad

“Boiled eggs, sautéed in caramelised onions, roasted jeera and turmeric. Served on a bed of greens.”

This is something I want to attempt at home as a snack salad that has some character to it. I would never have thought the combination of boiled eggs, jeera and turmeric would be so powerful! This dish complemented the platter well, providing a crisp alternative to the hotter flavours.


Mains

Because I’m a little fusspot that lends herself to the pescatarian style of living, I wasn’t able to try the new mains. Fortunately though my human vacuum of a boyfriend is, in his words ‘a conscious meat-eater’, or in my words ‘a part-time, zero-hour contract vegetarian’, so he permitted himself to eat what I could not.

Muragh Jaal Qurma

“Roasted chicken from the Tandoor gently cooked in sweet spices of cinnamon, Bay leaves, green cardamom, milk, yoghurt and a hint of green chilli. Garnished with caramelised onions and fresh coriander.”

Now it’s very rare that I ever wish that I had meat on my plate, but this was genuinely a struggle. This is a Bangladeshi Korma, which Shaf was keen to differentiate from the slightly saccharine, cream-centric Korma we’re used to in the UK. This dish is made with milk and yoghurt rather than cream, making the dish a lot less sweet, and while it takes longer to cook, the flavours were richer for it. Nat described it as more complex than kormas he’d had in the past, with a welcome heat that gladly superseded the general theme of sweetness he was used to. That isn’t to say this wasn’t mellow and accessible to those with a more sensitive tongue though – these flavours are indiscriminately pleasing. The aroma alone wowed me.

Capsico Keema Mattor

“Juicy bell peppers chargrilled in the Tandoor; stuffed with spiced minced lamb, paneer and peas.”

Another chef-favourite that challenged Nat’s capacity after the Korma, the pairing of paneer with tandoor spice was a harmony that explained Shaf’s enthusiasm for the dish.

There was “a lot of interesting tastes at play in this dish,” with Nat describing it as a “introspective lesson in flavour,” (yeah he’s that guy) that required quite a few mouthfuls to really get to the bottom of.

Sea Bass Bangla Massala

“Whole sea bass fillets gently infused with a blend of caramelised onions, tomatoes, fresh garlic, turmeric and lemon juice. Garnished with spring onions and fresh coriander. The favourite dish of the Bengal.”

I, hand on heart, think this might be one of the best fish dishes I have ever had.

Shaf explained he uses sea bass as it’s a dark fish, and one that is most similar to the Bangladeshi fish that is traditionally used. The fish was beautiful, it melts in your mouth and the sauce made a lasting impression. The lemon juice played a huge part in this dish, teaming up with the spring onions and coriander to deliver one of the most refreshing curry dishes I’ve had the pleasure of trying. Needless to say I didn’t leave one bit.

Dessert

Kalajam 

“sweet milk dumpling, marinated in ghoor.”

After the feast we’d just had, this dessert was welcomingly humble, but not at the expense of character. I’m a big fan of the very similar gulab jamun thanks to my colleagues, as they often bring Indian sweets into work. I was told I needed to try them warm with vanilla ice-cream so this felt like a sign! Kalajam has sugar added into the batter, and after frying the sugar it caramelises, giving it the name kala jam or “black jam”. This did not disappoint and lived up to my work pal’s recommendation. I’m normally an apple crumble kind of girl, but this sweet little beauty is always going to be top of my dessert list given the option!

 

I had a lovely time exploring this new menu, and I will definitely be back! If you want fearless food in a relaxed open space (the whole front of the restaurant can be opened up!), visit Chutney Ivy.

 

To book in and try Chutney Ivy’s new menu, call 0116 251 1889 or head to their website.

 

I was kindly invited by Chutney Ivy to sample their new menu. The views are my own, as are the images unless stated otherwise.