Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Review: Worsley Marriott - The Best Hotel Breakfast in the North West?


So today I'm talking breakfast.

I'll be honest, breakfast isn't something I usually get excited about. More often than not, I'll tend to scoff down a packet of breakfast biscuits or have a bit of bland cereal at work for nothing more than a little fuel 'til lunchtime - on a weekend, I might treat myself to a bit of toast, that's your lot.

However, a hotel breakfast is a WHOLE other story. I think it's probably because I've usually paid for it within my room rate (and you know, get what you can for your money *read* typically tight northerner) and so it seems perfectly reasonable to eat as much as humanly possible at the breakfast buffet...

Skinflintedness aside, perhaps it's more the veritable wealth of tantalising and varied options available at most hotel buffets that does it for me. I mean, being presented with an array of breakfast items of the savoury, sweet, hot and cold varieties certainly put my plain Shredded Wheat (other boring wheat-based cereals are available) with almond milk to shame.

And so what usually ensues goes a little like this; "I'll start with a bit of toast with my coffee", "ooh I think I'm going to go continental! A few pastries with some meat, cheese and yogurt", "well I might as well have a bowl of cereal too", "that fruit looks too fresh and amazing to miss out on", "I suppose a bit of cooked breakfast won't hurt either, I need to set myself up for the day after all!" You get the picture.

Anyway, hopefully this gives some understanding of my unhealthy, irrational love of a hotel breakfast so when I heard that a hotel on our doorstep in Manchester had been voted 'The Best Breakfast in the North West' by search site, Trivago - I knew I had to check it out*...

We started with some delicious fresh pastries, of which there were several varieties, along with some strong coffee, of course.

I also decided on some fresh fruit and greek yogurt before moving onto the cooked options. There was certainly a lot of choice in this area; toast with all kinds of preserves, cereals with a broad range of toppings like nuts and seeds, porridge, muffins, cheeses and breads, as well a good choice of gluten free options.

However, I did my best to be restrained in order to leave some room for our host, Mark's recommendation - a made to order, fresh omelette from the central omelette bar.

I didn't need much convincing in choosing the house special which was made with locally sourced black pudding and blue cheese - two things I absolutely love!

Chris went for the same choice and we both agreed it was one of the best omelettes we'd tasted. We were so full after the omelettes which proved to be a tasty and satisfying set-up to the day!

Now, it would be fair to say that living in Manchester, neither of us has much call to stay over locally and it's therefore hard to say for sure whether this really is the best hotel breakfast in the North West!

What I can say is that the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club makes a damn good breakfast!

Do you go to town on a breakfast buffet?


Thursday, 9 March 2017

Review: barn//it Hair & Beauty Super Salon, Manchester


I'm always game for trying new hair and beauty treatments in Manchester, which is great as there's always new salons popping up the city.

However a new kid on the block really caught my eye recently with their interesting 'super salon' concept.

barn//it* isn't your usual run-of-the-mill hair salon offering a few beauty treatments on the side, oh no. barn//it is touted as a real 'destination'; catering for pretty much all imaginable hair and beauty services under one roof - and with no less than five floors.

Fronted by celebrity hair stylist, Andrew Trott-Barn (putting the Barn into barn//it) and housed in a listed building on centrally located John Dalton Street, barn//it seems like the perfect addition to Manchester, cutting through the noise of 'samey' chain salons.

I popped down to try out one of their beauty services.

For a salon boasting five floors, barn//it actually feels really personal and perfectly formed. Each floor feels like its own tranquil (and especially stylish) oasis.

Having toured all the floors, the jewel in the salon's crown is undoubtedly the nail room. Kitted out with a full length bar serving specially created cocktails with your manicure, it's a brilliant way to spend a girly afternoon.

The fantastic, Lucy performed my treatment of choice: semi-permanent eyelashes, which I wanted to try out in advance of my wedding in July.

She totally put me at ease and I was so impressed with her level of knowledge of eyelash treatments - I truly felt that I was in the hands of an eyelash guru.

I had no idea what to expect with the treatment but Lucy explained every stage to me. I am normally a nightmare with anything around my eyes as they are ridiculously sensitive (to light, pressure, touching, pain!) but I was surprised at how comfortable I was during the treatment - especially as gluing the individual lashes to my own takes almost an hour.

I write this just as the very last of my semi-permanent lashes are hanging on. I looked after them as best I could following Lucy's advice and I'd say they still looked great after two and a half weeks. Take a look at the results below!

I was genuinely so so pleased with them. I completely boycotted false lashes for nights out a long time ago as I discovered that applying them was just not my forte... Because of this, I was a little scared of them looking too 'fake', especially as I was trying them out for a wedding day-through-to-honeymoon look, so asked Lucy to make them really natural.

There was no fakeness whatsoever - my lashes simply looked full, thick, dark and voluminous, with no need for mascara.

I'll certainly be back for these again and might even be bold enough to go slightly longer!

Have you ever tried semi-permanent lashes?

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