Festive Afternoon Tea Aboard The Orient Express

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Recently, we had the pleasure of Afternoon Tea aboard a carriage from the Orient Express, now known as the Pullman Restaurant at Glenlo Abbey Hotel. The restaurant has recently won a second AA rosette for fine dining and was cited by critic Lucinda O’Sullivan as one of her ‘Best of 2016’.

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However, on this occasion, we weren’t there for fine dining but for festive fun. Some clever elf in hotel management thought it would be a magical idea (inspired by the movie Polar Express, I’m sure) to have a Christmas Afternoon Tea and visit to Santa aboard the train. Magical it was indeed.

From the outside the train looks like a charmed setting for a special occasion. But nothing prepares you for how wonderful it is once you venture inside. No joke, you begin to wonder when the train is going to start moving. The nostalgia is captivating and you relax as you get the sense that a wonderful adventure is about to begin.

As we sat in our traditional pull down seats, Áine was served a chocolate milkshake in a cute vintage glass milk bottle. Whilst us adults were gifted with a huge glass of mulled wine – no doubt to help us through the next couple of hours on a train filled with kids high on sugar and Christmas.

The Afternoon Tea was a delightful mixture of festive treats: orange scented scones, cake pops, rocky road. All fun-sized treats for the children to devour.

 

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The visit to Santa after tea has to be the highlight. Seated in his own private booth (which if you ever choose to dine within the train you should ask to be seated in, incredible!) Santa really pulled out all the stops to make the afternoon really special. As you can see from the pictures Áine was really captivated (and not much keeps Áine quiet!)

I feel December is a really special time of year and it isn’t just Christmas Day itself that is special but the whole 24 days leading up to it. Now Áine is five I was delighted to be able to add to the excitement with such a treat, hopefully it will become one of our of traditions for many years to come.

Find me on Instagram and all other social media at @accordingtoger

Thanks for reading.

Speak Soon,

g x

 

The Lipstick Diaries #1 | Velvet Slipper

Hi Everyone!

It is four weeks until Christmas and the excitement is really kicking in. I always feel that the Toy Show is the start of the festive season buzz, and as Ryan and little people will be entertaining us this Friday night I’m really in decoration mode. The five-year-old is very excited about buying a Christmas tree and mentions it every time we pass the garden centre on the way home from school. So, on high priority for this weekend is the tree!

Now on to the title of this post ‘The Lipstick Diaries’. I’m a massive fan of lipsticks, particularly bold ones. With all other aspects of my make-up it generally stays the same, I use the same palettes, have a couple of foundations I like and my go to concealer, but with lipstick I can have multiple love affairs throughout any given month or season.

So, as a way of testing the best and finding my favourites I thought I would buy a new lipstick or liquid lipstick every fortnight and try it out. I am also going to purchase from a different brand every fortnight so I can compare quality, formula and longevity. If you know me in the ‘real world’, you will know I’m a massive fan of a bold red lip – especially on nights out. Well nothing has changed, but I am going to push through my comfort zone (always a good thing to do) and try out some nude colours.

Saying all that the colour that features as #1 in ‘The Lipstick Diaries’ is a deep plum called Velvet Slipper by Sleek Cosmetics. Now to be fair I think the name alone sold it to me, I swatch’d it on my hand, and spent twenty-four hours staring at it before walking straight back into the pharmacy and buying it. Purple, after all, is my favourite colour.

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As with all bold liquid lipsticks a lip liner is needed otherwise you will lose your tiny mind trying to straighten it up with those applicators. Save yourself some brain cells and draw out the lining of your lips first and fill them in.

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This didn’t go on as I expected – maybe it is my skin tone but it looked much darker than in the tube and more brown than purple, which didn’t delight me to be honest. I wanted that vibrant matte plum (which I’m still on the hunt for).

The main issue I had with this liquid lipstick is its longevity, the idea of matte lips being that the colour lasts all day wasn’t present with this particular product. After I ate dinner and had a cup of tea, within four hours the colour had started to fade dramatically from my lips as can be seen below.

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Pause for Dramatic Effect

I really wanted to love this. The colour in the tube is just so perfect and would be a favourite of mine if it had worn that way and lasted. The hunt for the perfect plum goes on (not that it’ll be a particularly arduous task).

It scores a 2.5/5

 

If there are any colours you would like to see me try please leave a comment or email me at accordingtoger@hotmail.com.

Find me on Instagram and all other social media at @accordingtoger

Thanks for reading.

Speak Soon,

g x

 

 

 

 

Carolyn Donnelly eclectic for Dunnes Stores

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This post is inspired by the beautiful display at the entrance to Dunnes Stores in Eyre Square, you know the entrance next to the Hole in the Wall. If you went to college in Galway you’ll know it because you more than likely used it as a short cut to Supermacs during Rag Week.

When Carolyn Donnelly eclectic first appeared in Dunnes Stores I didn’t really know what is was or why it was there. It felt a little jarring, it wasn’t what I was used to seeing in my local store. Nonetheless, I must say the recent crop of brand collaborations has really propelled Dunnes Stores into competition with the likes of M&S – well done Dunnes, I like it.

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Gluten Free Clementine Cake

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I promise, hand on heart, you would never know this cake was intended for Coeliacs. It is a popular creation of mine that I make every Christmas, when clementines really fit the bill. There are a variety of toppings that can be added to enhance this cake – I’m still experimenting with them myself. In the recipe below I’ve included the most basic syrup version which makes this cake even more moist. It is great to be able to offer those suffering from a Gluten sensitivity/intolerance something irresistibly moreish.

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Strange Things That Happen In Pregnancy That You Aren’t Warned About

Pregnancy doesn’t suit me, I mean it really doesn’t. I feel like something has taken possession of my brain and has completely depleted me of any energy, memory or general common sense. Add to that the acne issues and having cravings for the worst food you could possibly eat whilst pregnant and it’s not as fun as those women on the cover of pregnancy magazines make it look.

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