Hem and Away: The Story Museum

Hem and Away: The Story Museum

Once upon a time we took a trip to the land of Oxford to visit the magical world of the Story Museum. We had so much fun exploring this delightfully quirky wonderland that we couldn’t help but dedicate a whole post to our adventures. Shall we continue?

Hem and Away: The Story MuseumHem and Away: The Story MuseumHem and Away: The Story MuseumHem and Away: The Story MuseumHem and Away: The Story Museum

Since opening in 2009, the museum has been steadily working to create an international centre that’s dedicated to celebrating all forms of storytelling. Thanks to a willing army of volunteers (who are all very helpful and friendly), teachers, artists, and authors they have been transforming what they have called a ‘dilapidated building’ (but what is now more sort of charmingly ‘shabby chic’) into the most incredibly fun place to spend an afternoon. We honestly had so much fun there, it really does make you feel like a big kid!

Hem and Away: The Story MuseumHem and Away: The Story MuseumHem and Away: The Story Museum

Just when you thought we couldn’t get any more ridiculous! You can imagine how happy we were when we stumbled across ‘The Changing Room’ where you are encouraged to throw on all sorts of ludicrous fancy dress and then sit on a giant talking throne! We spent a fairly unreasonable amount of time here.

Hem and Away: The Story Museumsm13

Much merriment was also had as we wandered around the ‘Draw me a story’ exhibition which features six fabulous illustrators. It was wonderful to see their original artwork, prints and sketchbooks as well as seeing so many children getting involved with the workshops and chatting to the the artist in residence!

Hem and Away: The Story MuseumHem and Away: The Story MuseumHem and Away: The Story MuseumHem and Away: The Story MuseumHem and Away: The Story MuseumHem and Away: The Story Museum

On the top floor of the Story Museum you are treated to the extreme reading room in which you can sit and read (books are provided) in all manor of ridiculous spots including a garden shed, a cage or, if you’re like us, one or two boats! You are then invited to pop on a dressing gown and enter the ‘Time for bed’ room in which you will find a 15ft bed, complete with patchwork quilt. This quite magical space is all lit up with fairy-lights and is, quite possibly, the comfiest room in the land!

The End

 Have you read our guide to Oxford

Moomin Mania

Moomin Mania | The Watershed Bristol | She and HemMoomin Mania | The Watershed Bristol | She and HemMoomin Mania | The Watershed Bristol | She and HemMoomin Mania | The Watershed Bristol | She and Hem

We’ve said it before (here and here) and we will definitely say it again; we really love hanging out at The Watershed. Want to know what we also love? Hanging out with a bunch of jolly old eccentrics of course! Last week, those came in the form of a family of cuddly Moomins, blooming lovely children’s author/huge Moomin fan/epic tie wearer Philip Ardagh, and our BFF Ellie who, along with lots of other Moomin enthusiasts, gathered to watch a special one-off screening of the beautiful ‘Moominland Tales: The Life Of Tove Jansson’. As you might expect, it was Moomin marvellous!

In 1945 Tove Jansson wrote The Moomins and the Great Flood, the first book featuring Moomintroll, Moominmamma (and her rather fetching handbag) and the rest of the Moomin family, including She and Hem icon Little My. Last month, a mere 70 years later, Moomins on the Riviera was released, continuing the story of the much loved family and very much in the spirit of their revered author. Indeed, dedicated Moomin fans should not fret, as during a Q&A session Phillip expanded on how the film captures the charm and wit of Tove’s books perfectly. We will definitely be grabbing some popcorn and checking it out, as we have fallen in love with the Moomins all over again.

Moomin Mania | The Watershed Bristol | She and HemMoomin Mania | The Watershed Bristol | She and Hem Moomin Mania | The Watershed Bristol | She and Hem Moomin Mania | The Watershed Bristol | She and HemMoomin Mania | The Watershed Bristol | She and HemMoomin Mania | The Watershed Bristol | She and Hem

Many thanks to The Watershed for inviting us along. We definitely recommend keeping an eye on their What’s On page for future events!

“I only want to live in peace and plant potatoes and dream!”

V&J

1 Hot Bath Street, Bath Boutique Stays

1 Hot Bath Street | Bath Boutique Stays | Bath UK1 Hot Bath Street | Bath Boutique Stays | Bath UK1 Hot Bath Street | Bath Boutique Stays | Bath UK1 Hot Bath Street | Bath Boutique Stays | Bath UK

As you may know, we love spending time in Bath…..not just to keep ourselves clean you understand, but also to eat, be entertained and get pampered! Although it’s only a short train ride back home to Bristol, we just couldn’t refuse when we were offered the chance to stay in the tub a little longer and have a snazzy sleepover at the incredible 1 Hot Bath Street. There wasn’t a rubber duck in sight!

1 Hot Bath Street is one of the insanely gorgeous properties owned by Bath Boutique Stays. There is certainly nothing wishy-washy about this accommodation, it’s a Georgian dream! It sleeps up to twelve people in four bedrooms over three floors, but you may not be surprised to hear that we just couldn’t bear to leave each others sides and ended up bunking in together! After all, it wouldn’t be a real sleepover if we were on different floors, would it? It definitely didn’t have anything to do with the idea of being alone in a massive townhouse, no sirree. We needn’t have worried though as we slept soundly and felt very secure indeed! We were also pleasantly surprised not to be disrupted by any late might revelers, which was impressive as the property is right in the centre of Bath. Top marks!

1 Hot Bath Street | Bath Boutique Stays | Bath UK1 Hot Bath Street | Bath Boutique Stays | Bath UK1 Hot Bath Street | Bath Boutique Stays | Bath UK1 Hot Bath Street | Bath Boutique Stays | Bath UK1 Hot Bath Street | Bath Boutique Stays | Bath UK1 Hot Bath Street | Bath Boutique Stays | Bath UK

We had so much fun exploring all the rooms and admiring all of the detail that has gone in to creating such a fab space. We would have gladly taken a lot of the furniture home with us! They really have done an excellent job of creating a modern contemporary space whilst being faithful to this beautiful 200 year old townhouse and we really appreciated the local touches they have incorporated too. Our bedroom (which we chose because we liked its lamp so much) overlooked one of our favourite Bath hotspots, Thermae Bath Spa. Sadly we didn’t have time to pop along this time, but what an excellent excuse to stay again! I (Victoria) will be dropping lots of subtle hints to my exceptionally beautiful, intelligent and generous bridesmaids over the next few weeks as I’ve recently discovered the Roman Goddess Gold Hen Spa Package and HELLO, it sounds incredible. Vintage tea party! Cocktail making! Makeovers! Spa! It sounds like my perfect hen do. Hint hint.

1 Hot Bath Street | Bath Boutique Stays | Bath UK1 Hot Bath Street | Bath Boutique Stays | Bath UK1 Hot Bath Street | Bath Boutique Stays | Bath UK

I think possibly our favourite room in the house was the kitchen, which has a beautiful breakfast bar area and everything you could wish for having a big celebration with family or friends, including cake stands, picnic baskets and even champers. They really have thought of everything. Naturally we had to have some champagne whilst we were there, as you really shouldn’t have Bath without bubbles!

She and Hem

Akira + Neo Tokyo After Party: Watershed, Bristol.

Akira at Watershed | Bristol | She and HemAkira at Watershed | Bristol | She and HemAkira at Watershed | Bristol | She and Hem

Now for something slightly different.  We love going to the cinema, even though we often dip into our overdrafts to pay for a She and Hem worthy amount of popcorn. We feel so privileged to live so close to Watershed, a venue and event space in the centre of Bristol which always provides such an excellent, diverse and interesting programme.  One event we definitely couldn’t miss (mainly because my (Victoria) OH would most certainly leave me if we did) was the showing of iconic anime film Akira, with added Neo Tokyo Party.

First, the film. Shown in the original Japanese with English subtitles, this was a particularly immersive way to first experience the influential, thrilling and visually dazzling world of Neo Tokyo. To those of you who have seen it, the film needs no introduction and I doubt I can do it justice. To those who have yet to experience Tetsuo and Kaneda’s technicolour adventure, please allow me to Samurais it for you;  loud, brilliant.

The party? 80’s computer games! Japanese food! Graffiti wall! It was all very exciting. As I am off to Japan for my honeymoon later this year, I was eager to pick up some tips about how to join a gang of delinquent cyberpunk bikers. Be sure to read my Japan review in October to see how I got on with that. Unfortunately we were unable to wear our favourite Kiyoko and Takashi manga cosplay outfits as we had both came straight from work. Also, it would have caused a huge Japandemonium! But please don’t be koi, and for goodness sake let us know if that is something you would like to see.

Akira at Watershed | Bristol | She and HemAkira at Watershed | Bristol | She and HemAkira at Watershed | Bristol | She and Hem Akira at Watershed | Bristol | She and Hem Akira at Watershed | Bristol | She and Hem Akira at Watershed | Bristol | She and HemAkira at Watershed | Bristol | She and Hem Akira at Watershed | Bristol | She and Hem Akira at Watershed | Bristol | She and Hem

I hope you enjoyed the post. I really bento-ver backwards thinking of all the puns.

V&J

Bath Literature Festival 2015: Mary Portas

Bath Literature Festival 2015: Mary Portas

When perusing the fantastic lineup for this year’s Bath Literature Festival I was very excited to see that our very own Queen of Shops, Mary Portas, would be attending to speak about her new memoir, Shop Girl. I really love Mary Portas (and her sassy bob) so naturally when I was invited by the Bath Literature Festival to attend a couple of their events this was right at the top of my wishlist! Thankfully, despite being completely sold out and with a waiting list, they managed to squeeze myself and Kelly into the packed Banqueting Room at the beautiful Guildhall.

Bath Literature Festival 2015: Mary PortasBath Literature Festival 2015: Mary Portas

I can now, with some authority, confirm that the official cut off point for being fashionably late is a measly three minutes as it was at 11.03 at which Mary graced the stage to begin an enthralling 60 minute discussion with the wonderful Viv Groskop. Mary spoke about what inspired her to write her memoirs (we can thank Kirsty Young) and discussed some of the more difficult chapters of her life and how they helped to shape the person she has become today. The importance of the high street, her belief that M&S needs a woman at the top and Ed Milliband’s inability to close a gate properly were all covered, along with the opportunity to address recent stories about her family in the papers. It was an incredibly inspiring and at times moving discussion during which Mary spoke with great humour, intelligence and eloquence. She really is fantastic!

Bath Literature Festival 2015: Mary PortasBath Literature Festival 2015: Mary Portas

There was a book signing straight after the talk and, high on Mary Portas vibes, Kelly and I decided to join the masses and queue for a signature! We had both already bought the book after falling in love with the cover (that’s a totally acceptable way to judge a book, OK) so it was nice to be able to get them signed. Mary was just as lovely in person and even complimented our outfits and hair, much to our relief! We obviously couldn’t help but get a cheeky photo too!

Jx

Mercure Holland House Spa, Bristol

Mercure Holland House Spa | Bristol | She and Hem

A couple of weeks ago we took a short walk through the centre of Bristol to visit the Mercure Holland House Spa to try out their facilities, and catch up on all things Christmas! After initially navigating ourselves to the wrong Mercure Hotel, we put our heads together and managed to arrive just in time to cut loose, don our swimming caps and goggles and head for our treatments.

Mercure Holland House Spa | Bristol | She and HemMercure Holland House Spa | Bristol | She and HemMercure Holland House Spa | Bristol | She and HemMercure Holland House Spa | Bristol | She and HemMercure Holland House Spa | Bristol | She and Hem

We both had a tranquility scalp massage followed by a cleansing and purifying back treatment and were so impressed with our wonderful masseuses. As we were both a little apprehensive about what the treatments would involve (prudes or what?), it was lovely to just be able to take ten and relax, rather than try to make half naked small talk.

One of our favourite things about the spa was how you are given free reign of the facilities, with the staff just letting you get on with your reclining, paddling and, errr, even more reclining. After our treatments, we felt free to spend an hour or so just lazing around in the relaxation room, sipping on endless tea and coffee. We only left because it was getting a little latte… ahem! We also *may* have snuck in a couple of our favourite Pear Cafe brownies to indulge on as we relaxed. What do you mean that isn’t what you are supposed to pack for a spa day?! You’re all doing it wrong.

Mercure Holland House Spa | Bristol | She and HemMercure Holland House Spa | Bristol | She and HemMercure Holland House Spa | Bristol | She and Hem

To finish our day we popped to the hotel restaurant for a late (post brownie) lunch of smoked salmon sandwishes and a yummy shot of soup before taking another well deserved rest which was followed by a dip in the pool. You could say the day went swimmingly!

Do you know of any great spas in the South West? If so, pop them into the comments box below as we’d love to pay them a visit! Make sure you give the Mercure Holland House Spa a whirl(pool) first.

V&Jx

Swindon Designer Outlet Part 1

She and Hem: Swindon Designer Outlet

Having grown up in a town that lies between Bristol and Bath, I can assure you that neither city was quite the shopping destination that they can now both claim to be. For myself and my friends it was either Topshop, Pilot and Claire’s in Bath or, errr,  Topshop, Pilot and Claire’s in Bristol. Cheers, then. It was for that reason that we used to very often board the train to Swindon to visit their Designer Outlet where we would spend many a happy afternoon picking out our new knickers Kickers for school (showing my age terribly here) or buying the biggest, warmest GAP hoodie we could find.

It was a nice nostalgia filled surprise then, when an email landed in our inbox inviting us to come check out what’s new at the McArthurGlen owned centre. I probably hadn’t been back to the outlet since maybe 2004 and was instantly very curious to revisit this shopping haunt of my past. As it turns out, we’ve both been doing a lot of growing up!

She and Hem: Swindon Designer OutletShe and Hem: Swindon Designer OutletShe and Hem: Swindon Designer Outlet

The first thing I did on arrival was to appologise to Victoria for having never told her about the place. As she got massively overexcited at seeing a Cadbury factory shop and I lost my composure at the sight of a Ted Baker outlet, we both realised that despite having a lot of great shops on our doorstep, there’s always time for a good discount. We spent an embarrassing amount of time looking around all of the many (over 90!) stores on offer, only pausing for breath for a cheeky Wagamamas (soy happy). We left with so many bags we could barely carry them all!

She and Hem: Swindon Designer OutletShe and Hem: Swindon Designer Outlet

She and Hem: Swindon Designer Outlet
Hat from Fox and Feather, jumper from Matalan* (menswear), top from M&S and jeans from Topshop

We weren’t being completely self-indulgent though as we had in-fact been set the challenge of buying Christmas presents for three of our nearest and dearest for under £250…..as well something for ourselves for under £100. OK, that’s pretty darn indulgent but let’s go with it. So, without further ado, here are my results! Mum, if you’re reading this, STOP READING THIS.

She and Hem: Swindon Designer Outlet

I began with my other half who, as you might have already guessed, is a big kid. I knew the moment Victoria took me into the Hornby shop (more on that from her in part 2) that I wasn’t going to leave without some sort of train set for the railroad-tycoon-sorta-chap I married. It’s also, really, a present for my nephew (an actual child) as I know the two of them will be playing with it for years to come. I plumped for a Christmas themed set as a) it will look so cute around the bottom of our Christmas tree and b) I will only have to deal with tripping over train tracks once a year. SMART. On the hunt for another gift, I spotted the Cold Brew Bottle in Whittard and knew it would make the perfect addition to all of his tea and coffee related paraphernalia. I rounded things off with some chocolate from Lindt……..I am hopeful that I might get a few sneaky squares!

She and Hem: Swindon Designer OutletShe and Hem: Swindon Designer Outlet

Next up for a bit of Christmas spoiling was my lovely Mum (WHO SHOULD NO LONGER BE READING THIS BY THE WAY). I knew before I arrived that I would be heading to Radley for her main gift as she is obsessed with that little dog and it’s not the sort of thing I would usually be able to afford for her! I spent quite a lot of time umming and ahhing over the range of bags and was so pleasantly surprised at the very heavy discounting on offer! I ended up paying under £50, which is a pretty good deal for a Radley! I had already picked her up some Lindt and decided a Christmasy Yankee Candle would finish things off nicely. Luckily for Mum (WHO HAD BETTER NOT BE READING THIS) I then spotted her beloved Origins GinZing eyecream in The Cosmetics Company Store for at least a fiver cheaper than it would be on the high street and threw that in for her too. What a nice daughter I am.

She and Hem: Swindon Designer Outlet She and Hem: Swindon Designer Outlet

Finally it was the turn of my teenage cousin who also ended up with some goodies from The Cosmetics Company Store! The trio of Bobbi Brown goodies above set me back a cool £30 which is pretty insane value and I’ll admit I am very tempted to keep that lipstick for myself! I picked up the bow bag from M&S because I considered it to be well trendy and added a salted caramel Yankee Candle because everyone knows that it’s the absolute best.

She and Hem: Swindon Designer Outlet She and Hem: Swindon Designer Outlet

It was then on to buying stuff for me! Hooray! I knew that I wanted to buy some sort of sparkly Christmas outfit and having narrowed down my options to about 34 different dresses I finally took the plunge in French Connection and bought the beauty you see above, along with a lovely gold bag to go with it. I had a little bit of money left over which went on another salted caramel candle for yours truly! It’s the best, remember? I buy myself the greatest presents!

What do you think of my choices? Will it be a very merry Christmas?

I will definitely be seeing you again soon Swindon Designer Outlet. Thanks for a great day! To see what Christmas goodies Victoria purchased, check out Part 2.

Jx

Beer52

She and Hem | Beer52 Review | LifestyleShe and Hem | Beer52 Review | Lifestyle

One of the many areas in which Bristol excels, alongside balloon fiestas, harbour festivals and street art, is craft beer. New establishments are popping up everywhere, showcasing the weirdest, wackiest and, most importantly, tastiest brews from near and far. Some have been critical of this upswing, but it is 100% fine by me. You can be a fan of traditional pubs and these new fangled craft beer hang outs. I know this, because I am one, and many others are too! Furthermore, as a budding connoisseur of all things hop, and a keen fan of having all my food and drink arrive on my doormat, when I saw that Beer52 were looking for people to review their beer delivery service, I was more than happy to volunteer. The opportunity to have 8 different craft beers delivered to my front door was too good to pass up, and having previously given a beer subscription as a Christmas present (Beer52 offer this service here) I was really keen to try it out for myself!

I was flipping excited when they arrived, so much so that I spent several hours days researching and meticulously planning and pairing the beers with the perfect food accompaniments to really make the most of the review experience. I roped my OH in to help with the cooking by promising to share of all the beers, and having prepped a little 4 course menu to spread over the day, here is how we got on.

She and Hem | Beer52 Review | Lifestyle

After some extensive background work looking through all the beers, researching the styles and earnestly discussing food pairings, we chose the beer with a pig on the label. Because, pig. Setting aside the excellent, porcine themed label design, this is “Cerdos Voladores” from the Barcelona Craft Beer brewery, a zesty, fruity IPA of a style very much at the vanguard of the craft beer movement. As a fan of the city, I was keen to keep in the spirit of our Catalan chums and pair this with something typically Spanish. Hence, gambas et ajillo! That’s garlic prawns to me and Google Translate. From my admittedly limited knowledge of beer and food pairings, I know that your typical IPA is said to best be accompanied by a spicy dish, and so we went for this chilli infused creation. I can confirm that the taste makers don’t lie – the punchy, lemon-y flavours of the beer took the edge off the heat, whilst enhancing the sweetness of the dish. A light and refreshing lunch, especially when paired with a simple salad.

She and Hem | Beer52 Review | LifestyleShe and Hem | Beer52 Review | Lifestyle

From such big flavours, there was really only one direction to go; bigger. The second beer we chose (and not just for the equally excellent label art) was “Ascendancy” from the Panda Frog Project, an experimental offshoot brewery of North Tyneside’s Mordue. As a girl normally into her chocolate stouts, and one known to get a bit giddy at just the thought of a second round, I was a bit nervous about this higher ABV beast of a beer! Especially one described as a “Belgian Double IPA Weizen Hybrid”, I had no idea what to expect! After being assured by the OH that it would be a good ‘un, we dove on in, pairing this big flavoured brew with an equally big flavoured Teriyaki Chicken stir fry (with home made teriyaki sauce and garlic paste of course). I can confirm that the floral, tropical kick of the DIPA side of the beer was present and correct, a lovely thirst quencher after the spicy, marinaded chicken, and an appealing accompaniment to fresh crunchy peppers, bean sprouts, pak choi and red peppers. The “weizen” element (a traditionally German style of hazy wheat beer, brew fans) gave the beer more body than I was expecting, and helped to soften the impact of that big tropical tartness. Unusual, but highly recommended.

She and Hem | Beer52 Review | LifestyleShe and Hem | Beer52 Review | Lifestyle

And now we’re back in my comfort zone. For afters, we naturally opted for my go to sweet food of choice, the prince of puddings, the don of desserts, the sultan of sweets, the chocolate brownie. Paired, most appropriately, with the delicious coffee-infused Toasted Porter from Iceland’s Einstok brewery, a brewery from which I’ve tried and enjoyed beer from before when visiting Iceland. It was a satisfying and waist expandingly indulgent way to end a satisfying and waist expandingly indulgent day. As keen coffee fans (who, us?), we even added a little local flavour to the brownie, sticking some of Extract Coffee RoastersKiangoi in the batter. The porter was smooth and rich, and unlike a lot of similar beers, neither too heavy nor overpowering. As we head into winter, I can imagine settling down in front of a Christmas box set or two with a bottle of this, idly sipping over the course of a few hours.

She and Hem | Beer52 Review | LifestyleShe and Hem | Beer52 Review | Lifestyle

Oh sorry, you didn’t think we were done did you? All that eating really made us work up an appetite, so a little more research later, and we found that you simply can’t enjoy an Oatmeal Stout without a good chunk of aged cheddar. So naturally, we followed this advice and opted for a simple, paired down snack of cheese and beer, using the Belhaven Brewery’s Scottish Oat Stout. The oatcakes, crackers, apple, pickles and chutneys just forced themselves on us, ok? Again, the tastemakers are on it with this – the velvet-y, silky texture of the stout was a nice base for the strong cheese. As a person not normally into such cheese, I was surprised and impressed! This was another delicious beer from the darker end of the scale, perfect for warming one’s cockles by the fire candle on a cold night.

candle

Thanks Beer52 for expanding my beery horizons and for giving me a good excuse to get creative in the kitchen! If you fancy having a little tasting session yourself and want a cheeky discount code, just pop SHEANDHEM10 into the ‘got a special code’ box on the Beer52 website for £10 off of your order. Also, if you would like any of the recipes for the food items in this post, please get in touch!

Vx

The Great Wall (and some china)

She and Hem | Lifestyle | Homeware

Now for something slightly different. Here at She & Hem towers, our primary passion is blogging  about fashion. Writing, reading, oggling Cara Delevigne, you know the drill. However, if I’m honest, I’ve recently found that I like reading lifestyle posts just as much. I love hearing about holidays and weekends away, exciting events, and of course, admiring certain cakey creations. However, my absolute favourite kind of blog posts are all things interior inspiration and homeware hauls, because I just love STUFF. So I thought I’d give it a little go myself, one room at a time!

She and Hem | Lifestyle | Homeware

She and Hem | Lifestyle | Homeware

Buying a house can be a really moving experience…. I’ve been such a busy bee, that I haven’t even held a house swarming party yet! Sorry for those puns, they didn’t really bring down the house, did they? Anyway, a few months ago I moved into a new flat and ever since I’ve had lots of ideas about what I want it to look like. After learning how to put up shelves, prune the shrubbery and build a wall (!!), I thought it was about time to pop my overalls on and tackle wallpapering. Unfortunately, I’ve simply been too lazy busy, and as Handy Andy wasn’t available, I just asked (*cough*) the OH to do it.

She and Hem | Lifestyle | HomewareShe and Hem | Lifestyle | Homeware

Luckily for the both of us, you don’t need awesome DIY skills to do this job, as with Superfresco Easy wallpaper, you paste the wall and not the paper. This made for some hassle and mess free decorating. Pretty innovative stuff! After too much browsing I picked what I consider to be the best wallpaper ever, the 1970’s inspired Ponder by Graham and Brown from Superfresco Easy.* I am quite indecisive, so spent a good few days pondering (ha!) between Ponder and Tower. It’s a big, bold and rather jazzy pattern, making for quite the feature wall. I’d love to know if you think I have made the right choice!

She and Hem | Lifestyle | Homeware
China and tins from Orla Kiely, TK Maxx and Cath Kidston.

Vx

Tequila Mockingbird

Tequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | Lifestyle

Tequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | Lifestyle

Happy Friday everyone! Most Fridays upon finishing work we head to an all night disco party home, put our pyjamas on and drink all of the gin. Sometimes with friends, but usually alone with our cats. Luckily, when we can persuade our pals (they do exist, honest!) to hang out with us, they all love a simple G&T too. Very fortunate, as we can be predictably lazy when it comes to the art of mixology. However, last weekend we decided to step out of our boozy comfort zone and hit the hard stuff. Fruity pink cocktails! When excitedly hitting the supermarket, we quickly realised that neither of us really knew how to make anything other than a snowball, so we had a little helping hand from the experts at thebar.com.

Tequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | Lifestyle

Tequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | Lifestyle

Tequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | Lifestyle

Luckily for us, thebar.com is really simple to use, with a handy search function on the main page, you just type in a spirit that you like (it doesn’t have to be gin!) or a cocktail you would like to try and hundreds of tasty recipes will pop up in seconds. As most have been sent in by members of the site, there are lots of fun ideas with suitably charming names, and well, they just all look so pretty. As a gift to you our loyal readers, we decided to try and throw ourselves a She and Hem style cocktail party. With added massive birthday cake. No, it wasn’t anyone’s birthday, we just like massive cakes, ok?

Tequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | LifestyleTequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | Lifestyle Tequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | Lifestyle

I’m pretty partial to a Prosecco (not that I like to wine on about it…), so I was very keen to try a French 21. Oh là là indeed! For some of the cocktails, we went a wee bit rouge with the ingredients to suit our tastes, but with the French 21, the only switch we made was using a lemon peel spiral rather than lime spiral. These were used a lot elsewhere, and we didn’t want them hogging all of the limelight…

Tequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | LifestyleTequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | Lifestyle

After lining up our top three cocktails from the evening, there was no clutching at straws and, in a strong field of creatively named confections, the clear winner was the decidedly more Ronseal Archers Peach Schnapps & Cranberry Juice. Easy to make, refreshing and fun. It was sodalicious!

Tequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | LifestyleTequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | Lifestyle

Cheers!

V&J