Get a Wriggle on!

Get a Wriggle on! | Bristol | She and Hem

Get a Wriggle on! | Bristol | She and Hem

Get a Wriggle on! | Bristol | She and Hem

Get a Wriggle on! | Bristol | She and Hem

Get a Wriggle on! | Bristol | She and Hem

Like all good bloggers, when we get together to shoot a post, we like to shape our entire schedule around food. When shooting a maternity style post recently, we decided to make a day of it, after being invited to try out one of the lunchtime offers on the Wriggle App. Launched in Bristol in 2014, Wriggle provides an easy way to get hold of deals from the best local businesses, from street food to fine dining. Using the app is so simple – you just scroll through the many appealing deals, pick your favourite, purchase, and scoff.

Get a Wriggle on! | Bristol | She and Hem

Get a Wriggle on! | Bristol | She and Hem

Get a Wriggle on! | Bristol | She and Hem

Our chosen deal was the £19 afternoon tea at beautiful Chin! Chin! in Kingsdown, Bristol. It was a tough choice between all of the local eateries, but we both fancied going back to Chin! Chin!, as we’ve previously only been there for Sunday lunch. As we are currently both expecting, there were a few bits of the afternoon tea that we’re not allowed to eat (boo!), but thankfully this was no bother for the staff at Chin! Chin! who kindly made everything pregnancy friendly. Not only that, but both of us have gone completely off hot drinks, a key part of any afternoon tea! It’s a credit to the staff at Chin! Chin! that our waiter knocked up two tasty iced coffees, with beans from the excellent Clifton Coffee Roasters. They were blooming marvelous. In fact, we enjoyed the whole experience so much that we’re going back again today with our BFF Ellie. Thank you Chin! Chin! for looking after us so well. We are now hooked on your incredible double chocolate brownies! 

Get a Wriggle on! | Bristol | She and Hem

Get a Wriggle on! | Bristol | She and Hem

Get a Wriggle on! | Bristol | She and Hem

If you do purchase a Wriggle deal, make sure you upload a photo to Instagram and use the hashtag #wrigglemoment for a chance to win dinner for two!

V&J

We were invited by Wriggle to come and review their service in exchange for this review, but all words and opinions are our own. 

 

Afternoon Tea at Hotel Du Vin, Bristol.

Afternoon Tea at Hotel Du Vin, Bristol | She and Hem Afternoon Tea at Hotel Du Vin, Bristol | She and Hem

Afternoon Tea at Hotel Du Vin, Bristol | She and Hem

Afternoon Tea at Hotel Du Vin, Bristol | She and Hem

Afternoon Tea at Hotel Du Vin, Bristol | She and Hem

Last weekend, we were invited out of She & Hem towers to sample the new afternoon tea at Hotel Du Vin in the heart of Bristol. We’re happy to announce that it was, in the words of Mary Berry, absolutely scrumptious. Served daily from 12pm to 6pm, Hotel Du Vin have added their own spin to the traditional afternoon tea, by combining standard savories such as salmon sandwiches and sumptuous scones, with more unusual treats in the form of chocolate tea cakes and candy floss. Yes, you heard correctly, sugary sweet candy floss as part of an afternoon tea. What a treat! We had a lovely few hours devouring the two courses, admiring the gorgeous hotel and even making new blogger friends (Hi New Mum OnlinePurple Ella and Forget Me Knit!). What a perfect Sunday!

Jo and I (Victoria) have both previously had the pleasure of staying at Hotel Du Vin, and after attending this event, we are both lusting after a return visit. A former Sugar House with contemporary loft style bedrooms and exposed brickwork, it’s definitely one of the most luxurious hotels in Bristol. In fact, the hotel’s restaurant is so inviting that when my husband and I stayed over recently for my birthday, we decided to eat in the hotel, something we rarely ever do.

Unfortunately, neither myself nor Jo were able to partake in the cocktail tasting this time around (damn babies!), so we’re itching to go back in a few months time to try the new drinks menu, all created especially for the hotel by the Bristol staff. Don’t feel too sorry for us though, as the ever accommodating Hotel Du Vin were more than happy to whizz up some iced coffee’s just for us! Turns out this pregnancy thing does have it’s perks.

Afternoon Tea at Hotel Du Vin, Bristol | She and Hem Afternoon Tea at Hotel Du Vin, Bristol | She and Hem Afternoon Tea at Hotel Du Vin, Bristol | She and Hem Afternoon Tea at Hotel Du Vin, Bristol | She and Hem

Thank you for having us Hotel Du Vin, we hope to see you again very soon!

V&J

 

Nespresso @ The Lido

Nespresso @ The LidoNespresso @ The LidoNespresso @ The LidoNespresso @ The Lido

Nespresso has recently opened a pop-up boutique in Cribbs Causeway, Bristol. To mark the occasion, those fine, caffeine loving folks hosted a coffee inspired dinner at the wonderful Lido Restaurant in Clifton. What does this have to do with us? Why, we were lucky enough to be invited along! Head chef Freddy Bird created an incredible bespoke menu, with all three courses infused with Nespresso coffee. The food was seriously good and looked almost too beautiful to eat. We were really spoiled rotten by the team at The Lido, and the tables full of empty plates was testament to the quality of the grub. Before we sampled the food, there was a tasting masterclass, as well as a talk on Bristol’s buzzing food scene with food and drink expert Andy Clarke, which made us feel especially proud and lucky to live in a city with so much choice and diversity when it comes to eating out.

Nespresso @ The Lido Nespresso @ The Lido

The salmon starters were beyond delicious, thanks to a cheeky burst of vanilla and lemon zest. Oh and edible flowers of course! Next up was veal, slow cooked in a coffee and wine sauce, served on a bed of potato puree. To the surprise of no one, we both made short work of this delectable main course. However, that was all just a warm up for the main event; dessert. And they really saved the best until last, producing a true She & Hem favourite, an affogato! This wasn’t just any affogato mind you. This one was made with vanilla and cinnamon ice cream, heavenly rum and dulce de leche ripple and topped with a shot of (you guessed it!) coffee! Affo go on that! Truly, this was a Rolls Royce of desserts.

Nespresso @ The Lido Nespresso @ The Lido Nespresso @ The Lido

Thank you so much for inviting us along Nespresso. We can’t wait to check out the pop-up boutique very soon!

V&J

Foodies Festival 2016

Foodies Festival 2016 | She and HemFoodies Festival 2016 | She and Hem Foodies Festival 2016 | She and Hem

Yum! Last weekend I popped up the road to The Downs for the Bristol leg of Foodies Festival which, if you’re not familiar with, is the UK’s largest celebration of food and drink. It’s basically a touring food festival that aims to give punters the opportunity to try an array of culinary activities (e.g. eating) in a nice family-friendly environment.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect but, thanks in part to it being a totally beautiful day, the atmosphere was truly fantastic! The place was packed with locals who were out in force ready to try the food and drink on offer whilst soaking up the sun in one of the many seating areas provided. There was even a live music stage for those who truly wanted the authentic festival experience.

The idea is that you pay for a ticket which grants you access to the festival itself and then allows you to pop along to a whole host of free events taking place in the marquees.These include The Chef’s Theatre (where you will find familiar faces from shows like Masterchef and Bake Off teaching masterclasses), The Tasting Theatre and The Children’s Cookery Theatre. Although I didn’t take advantage of any of these (I know, I’m useless) they were all packed out with eager cooks! You can also mooch about the many food and drink stands available which are all ready to sell you their delicious wares! This could potentially make it quite an expensive day out if you like to eat a lot (hi) but thankfully most of the stands have samples available for those of us on a budget.

Foodies Festival 2016 | She and HemFoodies Festival 2016 | She and HemFoodies Festival 2016 | She and Hem

Now, I should admit that I hadn’t actually been feeling too well pre Foodies Festival and I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t fancy any of the offerings. This notion was swiftly challenged on spying the glorious giant bacon signage belonging to my dear favourites, The Breakfast Club. Could it be a mirage? Surely I wasn’t going to be able to consume the hallowed BC pancakes in my own fair city. I practically skipped up to the counter and all previous concerns about a lack of appetite disappeared as maple syrup was poured in my direction. It was a wonderful moment, and a bargain, I felt, at £3.50. My husband James plumped for the chicken waffles and was equally as thrilled, if that’s possible. With my newly formed attitude to eating I followed this up by trying every sample offered (there were lots – my favourite was the marshmallows from Grown Up Marshmallows which tasted like pure heaven), buying some macaroons and eating strawberries and cream. What a winner!

Foodies Festival 2016 | She and Hem Foodies Festival 2016 | She and HemFoodies Festival 2016 | She and Hem Foodies Festival 2016 | She and HemFoodies Festival 2016 | She and Hem  Foodies Festival 2016 | She and HemFoodies Festival 2016 | She and HemFoodies Festival 2016 | She and Hem

Clearly the biggest question of the day was which is the better name, Boy Meets Grill or Strumpets with Crumpets? I’m still torn.

I would definitely recommend checking out the Foodies Festival website to see if they’re coming to a town near you soon. London, I believe you’re next!

Jx

Massive thank to Foodies Festival for inviting me along and providing us with complimentary tickets. Although I didn’t pay to enter the festival, I did purchase all the food consumed and, naturally, all words are my honest opinion. I really just am that into pancakes!

Ice and Pies!

Ice and Pies | At-Bristol Ice Skating | Bristol Bloggers

What a bunch of blogger babes! On Friday night I (Victoria) wrapped up warm and joined Sophie from Saints On A Plane, Hayley from Bonjour, Blogger!, Dulcie from La Dulcie Vita and Amie from Credit Crunch Chic (Tara from The Style Rawr and Lucy from The Parent Game not pictured) for a night of Ice and Pies! We looked like an off duty ice skating girl band who only eat pies. Incidentally, this is pretty much my dream come true.

Every festive season I excitedly exclaim how I’d love to have a whizz around the rink at At-Bristol, but I never seem to get around to it before it vanishes for another year. Instead, I just bore my friends with my story about how Christopher Dean once called me ‘a ray of sunshine’. Unfortunately, compliments from skating legends do not equal skating prowess, and I can just about shuffle around the outside of the rink without falling over. Luckily for me, the soundtrack was spot on, so I felt pretty great creeping zooming along to Shake It Off.

For dinner, we popped along to St Nick’s night market to sample the new festive pies from Pieminister, which were pretty damn tasty. Myself and Hayley went for the Three Kings pie, which contains a mouthwatering combination of turkey, smoked bacon, parsnips and cranberries. It’s like Christmas in a pie. Merry Piemass indeed! It would definitely get more than 3.142 out of 5 from me…

Ice and Pies | At-Bristol Ice Skating | Bristol | She and HemIce and Pies | At-Bristol Ice Skating | Bristol | She and HemIce and Pies | Three Kings Pieminister Pie | She and HemIce and Pies | Pieminister St Nick's | She and HemIce and Pies | Three Kings Pieminister Pie | She and HemIce and Pies | Pieminister at St Nick's Market | She and Hem

If you are looking for things to do in Bristol during the lead up to Christmas, check out Visit Bristol. If it’s not listed on there, it’s probably not worth going to.

Vx

Wahaca, Bristol.

Wahaca | Bristol | She and HemWahaca | Bristol | She and HemWahaca | Bristol | She and HemWahaca | Bristol | She and Hem

At long last, the people of Bristol can enjoy the delicious taste of Mexico in style at the brand new Wahaca restaurant in Clifton. Located on Queens Road, Wahaca has won numerous awards for it’s flavoursome street food, so we popped along to try it for ourselves. As luck would have it, super glam former Masterchef winner and Wahaca co-founder Thomasina “Tommi” Miers was in town to see how the things were going, so we took full advantage of her insider knowledge and asked for her top picks. What a lovely lady. She really is juan in a million…

But enough waffle, let’s taco ’bout how awesome the food was. I (Victoria) am always annoyingly indecisive when it comes to ordering, because I genuinely love most food. So somewhere like Wahaca is perfect for dawdlers like me as it has a bountiful Street Food section from which you are encouraged (although no encouragement is really needed for me!) to order 2-3 dishes per person. On Tommi’s recommendation I chose the salmon sashimi tostada, sweet potato and feta taquito, and the scrummy spicy crab special, whilst Jo opted for the grilled British steak taco, the chilli quesadillas, and another salmon sashimi tostada (great minds etc.). It would have been guac-ward (ha!) to leave without trying the desserts, and as they all sounded so appetising, we decided to share the churros y chocolate and the salted caramel ice-cream! I’ve already booked to go back, as I’m desperate to try the buñuelo with Tommi’s tomatillo jam. I’ll be in sweet fried pastry heaven!

Wahaca | Bristol | She and HemWahaca | Bristol | She and HemWahaca | Bristol | She and HemWahaca | Bristol | She and HemWahaca | Bristol | She and Hem

V&J

SummerDine @ Cabot Circus, Bristol.

SummerDine  @ Cabot Circus, Bristol.SummerDine  @ Cabot Circus, Bristol.SummerDine  @ Cabot Circus, Bristol.

On a sunny evening last week I caught up with a few local bloggers to eat and drink our merry way around the centre of Bristol to celebrate the launch of SummerDine at Cabot Circus. We made a rendezvous at Coal for a catch up over cocktails. Unfortunately, I needed to drive to the event, so I wasn’t able to indulge quite as much as I would have liked, but I took contentment in giving my cocktails to a very loved up couple in the corner of the restaurant. Bless ’em. I’m almost Valentine by name (7 weeks to go!) , but certainly Valentine by nature!

For our mains, we popped down a level in Cabot to TGI Friday’s, where I found myself quickly distracted by the mountains of meat on offer. It must be my short attention spam…

As well as tasting the new menu, I volunteered to try my hand as a mixologist, as I do love to lift people’s spirits! As you can see by the picture below, the guys at TGI’s were astounded by the amount of maple syrup I decided to put into my concoction. Next time I’ll have to use it a little more syrup-titiously…Kudos to Lily for tasting the scotch bonnet and posing with the biggest piece of steak I’ve ever seen. Bristol bloggers got beef, but only the good kind!

SummerDine  @ Cabot Circus, Bristol.SummerDine  @ Cabot Circus, Bristol. SummerDine  @ Cabot Circus, Bristol. SummerDine  @ Cabot Circus, Bristol.

The last stop on our foodie tour was dessert at Brasserie Blanc in Quakers Friars. Ooh La La! Emily and I chose the chocolate souffle with pistachio ice cream. Merci beaucoup and bien joué to Raymond Blanc for creating that little piece of chocolate heaven. Now I know why you are (probably) the nations favourite Frenchman! Désolé, Monsieur Ginola.

SummerDine  @ Cabot Circus, Bristol.SummerDine  @ Cabot Circus, Bristol.SummerDine  @ Cabot Circus, Bristol.

Don’t worry if you don’t have an iPhone or Android, you can download and print out all of the SummerDine offers right HERE!

Vx

Four go mad in Manchester

She and Hem | Manchester | Travel

She and Hem | Manchester | TravelShe and Hem | Manchester | Travel

She and Hem | Manchester | Travel

A wee while ago we ventured North for a girls weekend with fellow appreciators of quality cake, Kelly and Deesha. Whilst we were there we decided to eat and drink all of the prettiest things we could find! Which turned out to be pretty damn easy. Manchester, we salute you.

Our first port of call was milkshakes at the incredibly popular Home Sweet Home. Kelly and Jo went for the blueberry topped with Lucky Charms (!), whilst Deesha and Victoria plumped (plumped being the operative word…) for peanut butter and jelly! Breakfast of champions. It was the perfect place to spend a Saturday morning. After spending far too long browsing the many floors of Afflecks, the home of She and Hem faves Chocolate Ape, Pop Boutique and Thunder Egg, the sight of Ginger’s Comfort Emporium was quite the comfort indeed! We perked up and planned our evening over a few brews. If you fancy reading about the evening in question, click here! *Warning* This link involves Harry Styles.

She and Hem | Manchester | Travel She and Hem | Manchester | Travel

On Sunday morning, before catching the train back to Bristol, we took a (very) leisurely stroll to Sugar Junction. A vintage tearoom serving freshly baked cakes, homely meals and some of the best milkshakes in Manchester. There is no such thing as a light lunch in the life of She and Hem, so after much discussion we settled on milkshakes (duh), pancakes and a large slice of cake to set us on our merry way. Bristol, you seriously need to up your milkshake game. Or maybe that’s just the sugar talking.

She and Hem | Manchester | Travel

She and Hem | Manchester | Travel

She and Hem | Manchester | Travel She and Hem | Manchester | Travel She and Hem | Manchester | Travel She and Hem | Manchester | Travel

Manchester, we’re mad fer it!

V&J

 

Coffee with Currys

Coffee with Currys | She and Hem | Cardiff

Not a day goes by in which I am not fueled up to the eyeballs by delicious coffee. Without it, I am pretty despresso. Although I am slowly but surely working my way through the South West Independent Coffee Guide (look, here’s me really enjoying a hotdog at the launch party), when recently invited to a whole day of coffee based fun with added cocktails and cake, I just couldn’t say no to #coffeewithcurrys. The event was held at Waterloo Tea in Cardiff, a blooming lovely place which is located in the equally lovely Wyndham Arcade. Having only ever been to Cardiff once before to boo Luis Suarez during the 2012 Olympics, I really enjoyed wandering around the city and it’s charming arcades before the event.

Coffee with Currys | She and Hem | Cardiff Coffee with Currys | She and Hem | Cardiff Coffee with Currys | She and Hem | Cardiff

During the event there were five stations, where you could take part in different activities, such as latte art, coffee cocktail making and testing your taste buds at a coffee cupping session. Once you had bean (HA!) around them all, a glorious lunch was available, courtesy of Waterloo Tea. A gorgeous array of gourmet salads, artisan breads and cheeky truffles was our reward for a hard morning’s work (it was work, right?), and I would definitely go back the next time I am in Cardiff, as the food was absolutely delicious. Later in the day, they even provided a seemingly endless parade of cakes, presumably just to counterbalance the high caffeine intake with a healthy dose of sugar. Definitely my cup of tea!

Coffee with Currys | She and Hem | Cardiff Coffee with Currys | She and Hem | Cardiff Coffee with Currys | She and Hem | Cardiff

As if that wasn’t enough, the main event was saved for the afternoon, and it was certainly a case of last but not least. Two contests, requiring all the skills, knowledge and intellectual guile that we, naturally of course, had picked up throughout the day. First, the coffee cupping contest, a fierce battle of taste buds, brain cells and who could pull off the most dignified slurp (not me). Representatives from each group were called forward and asked to blind taste test a selection of coffees, matching them in turn to a list of brews, based on flavour profile alone. Challenging, but oh so tasty! The techniques we learned earlier were especially useful in tasting the coffees and picking out certain tastes and styles, and it helped that we were guided along by the dutiful, knowledgeable baristas. Contestants submitted their cards, with the winner being the person with the most correctly matched coffees.

Then, the latte art contest. Latte art is always something I’ve wanted to have a crack at, and while I very much enjoyed my first attempt earlier in the day, I’ll be the first to admit that the end product wasn’t the most sophisticated of art ever seen. More broken jigsaw piece than a cute balloon unfortunately…

Again, representatives from all teams were called forward and tasked with producing a latte art heart. The end results were displayed before the crowd, with the winner determined using the tried and tested “applause” scale. A bottle of champers to the winner, whose foam heart made me swoon with delight! Generous to the last, Currys also offered up a Nespresso machine to the attendant who posted the best Instagram pic, using the #coffeewithcurrys tag. Can we do this every weekend please?

All that remains is to say thanks a latte to Currys, Nespresso and the team at Joe Blogs Blogger Network! I had a great time, and have been on a coffee high ever since. I hope to get some sleep in again in the next two to three weeks.

Vx

Swindon Designer Outlet Part 2

Swindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas Shopping

If you have read Swindon Designer Outlet Part 1, you will know that a couple of Saturday’s ago, myself and Jo went wild in the aisles and shopped until we dropped at McArthurGlen Swindon. And by dropped I mean, we both spent far too much money and promptly fell asleep on the train home. Our mission as part of The Gift Hunter Challenge was to find Christmas presents for three of our nearest and dearest. With the promise of The Cadbury Store, blogger (and personal!) favourite Yankee Candle and Ed’s Diner, and an eggnog latte or two, it sounded less like a challenge, and more like the perfectly indulgent girly afternoon out!

To fully embrace the Christmas spirit, I wore my snowflake jumper from Matalan* and subtly festive beret from Gallic Rooster*.

Swindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas ShoppingSwindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas ShoppingSwindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas Shopping

After a few hours browsing and admiring all of the lovely things, we made the difficult executive decision to head to Wagamama to have an in-depth discussion about Strictly Come Dancing what we wanted to purchase. Here are the items that are now patiently waiting under the tree.

Swindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas Shopping

The store I spent the most time and money in, and I’m not ashamed to say this, was Hornby. I am so ridiculously pleased with what I bought from the store and also, with the incredible customer service I received whilst there. Following advice from the very knowledgeable manager, James, I decided on what I wanted to buy for my dad, a life long model train fan. He often gets somewhat forgotten about at Christmas, his annual gift of a box of Liquorice Allsorts from every member of the family being hilarious to everyone but him, so I wanted to give the old boy something special this year. As soppy as it sounds, being able to give my dad the above gifts will be the highlight of my Christmas Day, especially as I am back to work on Boxing Day! I did blow over half of my budget in Hornby, but I don’t think any of the other recipients will mind.

Swindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas ShoppingSwindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas Shopping

My favourite auntie really loves Christmas and makes the whole family a small stocking every year full to the brim with small but uniquely personal gifts, which we open just before our Christmas dinner. It’s probably my favourite of our family traditions. To say thank you, I decided to put together a rather special stocking of treats just for her, including a gorgeous Bobbi Brown set from Cosmetic Company Store.

Swindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas Shopping Swindon Designer Outlet | McArthurGlen | Christmas Shopping

These two gifts are for one of my BFF’s. Although there are several specialist bag shops at the outlet, including Osprey London, Antler, Radley and Fiorelli, it was this gorgeous blue French Connection bag that caught my eye. I think it will make a perfectly casual but fun day bag. My friend has been super supportive this year, and as she is a fellow Yankee Candle obsessive, I couldn’t leave without popping in to purchase my last perfect present! I spent far too long choosing the most festive Yankee Candle from their vast selection, and I really hope I made the right choice. Just another 23 days to find out!

If all these goodies have got you in the mood for a little festive shopping, as a little Christmas gift from me to you, to get an extra 10% off during your trip to McArthurGlen, just click here!

Vx