Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Orangegrass Thai Restaurant in South Shields Review

Orangegrass Thai Restaurant in South Shields Review
Image by Chris Ord
Orangegrass Thai, South Shields first and only authentic Thai restaurant, have reopened their doors following a £10,000 renovation to celebrate a decade in business.  To mark the occasion, they held a grand launch party and I was lucky enough to be invited along to see what all the fuss was about.

Let me tell you, Orangegrass Thai Restaurant is a MUST VISIT in the North East and I've already been back since the opening with another friend!  I love Thai food but live in a region where Thai restaurants are few and far between.  The ones that I have visited or ordered from before haven't been anything to write home about.

Orangegrass Thai Restaurant in South Shields Review
Image by Chris Ord
Orangegrass Thai, is a cut above the rest; authentic Thai cuisine in stylish surroundings with friendly hospitality.  From my first visit, I could see why this is one of the Sanddancers favourite restaurants!

The restaurant first opened 10 years ago this April, when the recession had hit and many businesses were struggling.  Orangegrass Thai weathered the economic climate well through consistent quality and customer loyalty from the local community so its no the wonder restaurant owner, Titu Akhtar and his dedicated team were so proud to open their doors once more following their five-figure refit!

Orangegrass Thai Restaurant in South Shields Review
Image by Chris Ord
The new look restaurant has had its interior redesigned and the addition of upgraded fittings and decorations to give the restaurant a new lease of life and a bright, fresh and open feel.  Its the kind of place that would be equally as perfect for a family celebration or a date night and if you're looking for a superb Sunday buffet lunch, then they've got you covered with their all you can eat Thai buffet too.

North East Blogger WhatLauraLoves at Orangegrass Thai Restaurant in South Shields wearing Yours Clothing

So, what do you wear to a new look restaurant?  A new dress of course!  Mine for the evening came courtesy of Yours Clothing in the form of the Black & Pink Floral Mono Panel Sleeveless Skater Dress.

The thick jersey, almost scuba material, and skater shape proved a wise choice as not only was it incredibly comfortable but it held its shape really well, didn't crease at all after sitting down over dinner and the cut of the dress together with the black panelling down the sides proved to be very figure flattering.


Paired with my Chanel Wallet On Chain and black Primark wedges, I felt comfortable, confident and ready to party!  This is the perfect dress for any spring parties you've got coming up girls so definitely check it out online and in store.

Stepping into the restaurant on the night of the relaunch, we were greeted with prosecco and a beaming smile; definitely a warm welcome and the staff were equally as friendly when I returned the week after.  Consistency is key and Orangegrass Thai have got it down to a T, especially when it comes to their delicious food.

North East Blogger WhatLauraLoves and Sparkles Wedding Stationery Sharon Boston at Orangegrass Thai Restaurant in South Shields
Image by KWPhotography
To coincide with the restaurant revamp, Orangegrass have treated their customers to a new food and drinks menu, including starters, mains, desserts and drinks.  They even serve authentic Thai wine, imported by Siam Winery.

Orangegrass Thai Restaurant in South Shields Review

At the launch night,  our meal began with a mixed starter platter, followed by a buffet, which was served so that guests could try out a range of dishes accompanied by vegetable fried rice to see what the Orangegrass has to offer.

We enjoyed special yang grilled chicken with tangy herb sauce, green curry vegetables, Larb Gai (traditional minced chicken salad), Som Tam (spicy green papaya salad), phad see yiew noodles and tiger prawns with salt and pepper sauce which were incredible; I'd highly recommend giving these a try when you visit!  The masaman beef curry was one of our favourites as the meat was so tender.

Orangegrass Thai Restaurant in South Shields Review

On my return visit to Orangegrass Thai, I ordered the Chicken Satay starter which was marinated in Thai spices and accompanied by carrot and cucumber pickle and a peanut sauce, followed by the Ped Grob.  This was a sweeter dish comprising of a crispy duck breast in a sweet caramel sauce and garnished with asparagus and coriander; tasty, filling and unlike anything I've tried before.

I love that the quality of food and high standard of cooking at Orangegrass Thai gives me the confidence to try something new and order a dish from the menu that I wouldn't have usually tried.

Orangegrass Thai Restaurant in South Shields Review

For pudding, we tried out the Thai sticky rice which is usually served with mango.  This dish seemed to divide opinion; I loved the sweet taste and sticky texture, definitely a treat and one that I'd order again.

Annabel Pattinson Singer at the Orangegrass Thai Restaurant in South Shields
Image by KWPhotography
A fabulous evening was had by all at the relaunch and I particularly loved how  the Orangegrass brought two cultures together with their entertainment.

Titu Akhtar who has been the owner of Orangegrass Thai from the beginning wanted to bring a taste of Thailand to Tyneside with a traditional Thai dancer who moved around the floor effortlessly, as well as the voice of local talent, Annabel Pattinson who performed an acoustic set of chart favourites.

Ryan Phelps The Magician at Orangegrass Thai Restaurant South Shields
Image by KWPhotography
Ryan Phelps The Magician at Orangegrass Thai Restaurant South Shields

My favourite entertainment of the evening came from Ryan Phelps The Magician who had me baffled and laughing in equal proportions.  Friends will know I'm a fan of magic and love to captivated by a good card trick.  This guy is the best; I've watched the video my friend took of us and I cannot for the life of me work out how he did it. 


Ryan Phelps is quietly confident, quick witted and funny too which I think are essential when working a room of guests at an event like this.  He had everyone hooked and there's no doubt that he'll go far as a magician.  Ryan is a full time magic man these days and he'd make the perfect entertainment at a wedding, corporate event, birthday or special occasion.  I hired a fabulous magician for my wedding a few years ago and Ryan is equally as great, if not better so when it comes to my 30th birthday party next year, I know who I'll be booking.

Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat @ RyanPhelpsMagic. 

Orangegrass Thai Restaurant in South Shields Review
Image by Chris Ord
After discovering Orangegrass Thai Restaurant at their relaunch and visiting since, I would not hesitate to recommend this restaurant if you're looking for an authentic Thai meal at an affordable price in the North East.

The restaurant is situated on Mount Terrace, a couple of minutes walk from the heart of South Shields town centre and there's plenty of parking outside too.

Orangegrass Thai Restaurant in South Shields Review
Image by Chris Ord
Table bookings and takeaway can be made online where you'll also find their menu and promotions and over the telephone on 0191 455 8555.

To whet your appetite with mouthwatering food pictures, their latest news and special offers, follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

I'll be back for cocktails and tasty Thai cuisine at my earliest opportunity!
SHARE:

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Charlotte Tilbury Makeup Launches at Feel Unique!


Girls, I've got some exciting news for you!

Iconic makeup brand and one of my personal faves, Charlotte Tilbury Makeup have launched at Feel Unique!

Join them for their official launch party on Facebook Live TODAY from 1-2pm.

Charlotte Tilbury herself will be revealing her MUST HAVE makeup secrets and much more!


You can now shop #FeeluniqueXCharlotteTilbury on their website here.

Happy Shopping!
SHARE:

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

In March I had the honour of experiencing my first red carpet at the prestigious Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards.  Founded in 1976 by HRH Prince of Wales, The Princes Trust are a youth charity who help young people  that are unemployed or struggling in education to get their lives back on track and achieve their potential by developing their self esteem and skills required for the workplace.

Every year, the Princes Trust honour the achievements of the young people who have been supported by one of the Trust's programmes, with the National Celebrate Success Awards.  Last Autumn, there were 11 Oscars-style regional awards, of which I was delighted to attend the one at The Sage in Newcastle, from which a short list was drawn for the finals that I went to at the prestigious London Palladium.


The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

The dress code was business smart which immediately threw me as when I think of a red carpet event, I automatically think of more of an evening dress.  However after a quick dash through to the Metrocentre, I picked out my outfit for the occasion; a Yours Clothing Black Crepe Longline Waterfall Jacket with a jewelled brooch from personal shopper, Cocorichelle1, worn over the Evans Longline Pocket Dress which is available in a round neck or the split that I have.

As I'm sure you'll be aware, I love mixing high end and highstreet pieces together and a great example of this is the Dune Briela Shoes that look so much like Manolo Blahniks, worn with my Primark pearl effect bracelets, River Island earrings and my Chanel WOC that I tend to used when I don't need to carry too much with me!


The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

The morning of the Celebrate Success Awards went by in a bit of a whirlwind and while I may have tweeted a couple of outfit photos, behind the scenes I was in far more of a rush to head out of the door than I had anticipated.  When the opportunity arose, I headed to The Alnwick Garden up in Northumberland to recreate my outfit.

Their perfectly preened Serpent Garden was the perfect backdrop for this outfit and when the hidden water features come to life both here and at the bottom of the Grand Cascade, the true beauty of Alnwick Gardens appear even more magical.

The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to create and maintain the stunning gardens which are qualities that The Princes Trust encourage in those they help.

Through hearing the stories of the young people at the awards, it is evident that such a positive mindset and productive behaviour has been encouraged and achieved.


The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

Many Celebrity Ambassadors were in attendance from North East legends Ant and Dec to Philip Schofield and my Silent Witness girl crush Emilia Fox who wore the most incredible bright pink heels, as well as many dedicated volunteers and staff, bloggers, sponsors and of course, HRH The Prince of Wales himself.

It was amazing to be in the presence of the Royal Guards Fanfare and to sing the National Anthem which really brought home just how much of a momentous occasion this was.


The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

We were treated to performances by X Factor winner Matt Terry and the fantastic cast of School of Rock, the musical. Each of the sponsor's representatives and the Trust's Celebrity Ambassadors who presented an award ,spoke candidly about their connection with the Trust, the work that the Princes Trust do and how they have been inspired by the young people that have been helped.  Professional Footballer, Thierry Henry in particular gave a very humble and thoughtful speech that really impressed me.

However it was Prince Charles' sincerity, appreciation, thought provoking words and witty charm at the end of the proceedings that really struck a chord with me.  He spoke with reference to Efaz, who had turned his life around and won the Mappin & Webb Young Ambassador of the Year Award, and his joy at hearing him refer to the The Princes Trust as being a family.

The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

When Princes Charles set out in creating the Trust, he aimed for it to be a virtuous circle with one sequence of events benefiting the next.  It was great to hear how this has been achieved, especially with the example of Elizabeth Galton who is the Creative Director of Mappin & Webb, who sponsored one of the awards.  She got started in her career thanks to a travel bursary from the Princes Trust some twenty years ago!

Above all, it goes without saying that the most important people who were at Celebrate Success, and those who had the biggest impact on myself, were the young people who had been helped by the Princes Trust.

The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

The Princes Trust help transform the lives of 13 to 30 year olds that are out of work or struggling to progress at school.  They provide expert advice, courses and life skills as well as support and guidance to get them into jobs, education and training.

To date, The Princes Trust have helped over 870,000 young people, almost 60,000 a year.  Many of them are from disadvantaged backgrounds, unstable homes or the care system and many are in vulnerable position, facing the prospect of homelessness, suffering with mental health issues, have been in trouble with the law or are at risk of offending.


The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

Its a sad fact that despite living in such a developed, privileged country, not everyone in the UK has an equal start in life.  I think its really amazing that the Princes Trust are there to help as many of those people as they can by giving them the practical and financial support that they need to stabilise their lives, gain independence and give themselves the best chance at a brighter future.  This not only impacts them positively but their family and community too.  I have experience of this as The Princes Trust helped someone close to me which has directly benefited not only their life but mine too.

To me, one of the greatest things about The Princes Trust is the confidence and increased self esteem that they encourage in those who they help.  Belief in ones self is an incredibly valuable asset when entering education, training and work because when the going gets tough, it encourages you to keep moving forward.


The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

The Princes Trust are currently working at a fantastic 78% positive result from all of their efforts and I'm sure if even more people heard the success stories of those involved with the Trust, even more young people would be motivated and encouraged to get on board.

You can read more about how the Princes Trust provide help for young people here.


The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

Hearing some of the Celebrate Success stories of those who have overcome so many personal struggles and challenges in life to get to where they are today, having taken part in one of the Trust's programmes, was incredibly inspiring.  I've felt motivated to support The Princes Trust for a long time but my experience at the awards ceremony certainly made me feel keen to get the word out to those who they could help.

I felt incredibly proud to be a part of The Princes Trust as I'm sure you'll have gathered by my tweets, live from the London Palladium on the day!  


The Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards Red Carpet Outfit Recreated at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland

The whole occasion was a very overwhelming experience to say the least, particularly being in the presence of royalty and amongst so many incredibly inspiring young people; a day that I will never forget.

Find out more about The Princes Trust for yourself here and the many ways that you can support them here.

SHOP THE POST

What do you know about The Princes Trust?  How have you been inspired by their work?  What do you think of my outfit; does it meet the business smart dress code?
SHARE:

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Luxury Gifts for Women

Luxury Gifts for Women

Mother's Day may have been and gone but there are so many times throughout the year where I'm sure the women in your lives could do with some spoiling.  For birthdays, anniversaries or even just as a little thank you, they're all gifting times that are very much appreciated.

Trouble is, unless its Christmas, Valentine's or around Mother's Day, its hard to get a lot of gift inspiration if you're not much of a shopper for women because the shops aren't necessarily having a focus on gifting.  Just this morning I had a DM on Twitter from a man who asked for a makeup recommendation for his wife's birthday.  He gets in touch around the same time every year and the same goes for many other men and women who are looking for the latest must have recommendations for their partners.

Worry not though, as I have gifts for women sewn up so even if you don't have a woman's birthday coming up in the next few weeks, book mark this page to inspire you later!

Atkinsons Scilly Neroli Eau De Parfum


It's my mam's birthday this month and she'll be celebrating a big birthday so I've been focusing on scouring the shops to find the most gorgeous gifts for her and now I'll share them with you all.

Let's start with a fragrance...

The Atkinsons Scilly Neroli Eau De Parfum is a fabulously fresh, zesty scent that is perfect for the summer months.  With top notes of lemon, petitgrain and sea notes, a heart of neroli essence and orange flower absolute and a base of ambergris and patchouli, it is a floral yet aquatic and really packs a punch.  

This perfume comes in a huge 100ml and since the fragrance is strong and long lasting, only a couple of spritzes are needed to last the wearer the whole day long.  It is beautifully packaged as you'd expect from Atkinsons.  More on this fragrance in a review post soon!

Côte Noire Blush Roses in Black Glass with Giftbox from Amara Living

For the woman in your life who loves flowers, let me point you in the direction of Côte Noire at Amara Living.  They create the most stunning lifelike floral arrangements in sleek holders for the home which not only update the decor but the scent of the home too as the faux flowers are perfumed.

This particular bloom is the Côte Noire Blush Roses in Black Glass with Giftbox.  I love how luxe the packaging is and it certainly makes a great first impression.  The gift inside is of an even higher standard and the flowers look so realistic.  I do love the look of real flowers but I hate that they cost so much money and then die after a week whereas the Côte Noire flowers will last.  It even comes with a 10ml spray bottle of the rose petal scent that you can use to lightly mist over the flowers to refresh their scent, when needed.

I'm so impressed with this company and will certainly be buying more in future for around my home.  I love shopping at Amara Living as they have such a wide range of homeware and gifts.



For the lady who loves to collect things, a Pandora bracelet that you can add charms to is absolutely ideal as a gift because it gives you instant ideas for presents in the future!

I'd recommend checking out Jewel Hut as they sell both the bracelets and the charms too, including this lovely Pandora Silver Charming Owls Charm from the Enchanting Fairytales Range.  It combines a big owl with a smaller owl so it would be ideal as a gift for a mother or a mum to be, perhaps as a baby shower gift, Mothers Day present or as a birthday/Christmas gift from a child.

The great thing about ordering Pandora products from Jewel Hut is that they offer free delivery on those items which will save you some money compared to ordering from other websites.  The shipping is fast and accurate too; I've never had any problems ordering from them before and the Pandora items arrive with the gift bag and box packaging just as they would if you bought them in store.


Ladurée A6 Notebook Set from Amara Living

For the lady who loves to make notes (what mam doesn't?!) then the Ladurée A6 Notebook Set would be perfect.  Again, I picked these up from Amara Living and they have some other designs too if these didn't suit as well as plenty more stationery from other brands like Kate Spade.

The Ladurée notebook set comes with three lined paper notebooks that have 40 pages in each.  The dog and bunny, floral and cake designs are really charming and sweet.  If the lady you're buying loves going to Ladurée for their famous macarons then I think these will be a hit with them but really, anyone can benefit from having a notebook around the house or in their bag.  I love these ones because the paper is high quality, the outer designs are so sweet and the Ladurée branding adds a subtle yet luxe touch.

Swarovski Stationery Crystal Stardust Pen in Blue

The perfect accompaniment to the notebooks has to be the Swarovski Stationery Crystal Stardust Pen which has around 1300 individual Swarovski crystal stones inside it!  There are so many colour variations of these pens available, this is the blue and there's also ones with USB's in the lid and others that have the functionality of a stylus for use on iPads and other tablets.

The pens are available with black or blue ink and they're refillable too so this would be a gift that the person could use for years and years to come.  Although we're a nation glued to our phones, we always need a pen and having such a beautiful sparkling one like this in a handbag makes writing notes that little bit more special.

Laduree Notebooks from Amara Living and Swarovski Crystal Pen

I've bought lots of these pens for my friends over the years and I have a silver one of my own which has lasted me for years.  They're very well made and the beautiful Swarovski crystals remain just as sparkly years down the line as they were when you first bought it!

By Terry Baume de Rose Crystalline

My final recommendation for luxury gifts for ladies has to be the By Terry Baume de Rose Crystalline.  This is a cult, iconic product that is loved by so many women the world over that it is sure to be a hit with the person you're buying for!  It is available in a pot but this version with the wand in the tube is far more practical... plus the packaging is so beautiful.

Baume de Rose is a rich, highly nourishing lip balm that intensely hydrates the lips leaving them feeling incredibly soft.  It also gives the lips a perfected and full appearance which is perfect for days when you don't want to wear a colourful lipstick but you still want to have something on your lips.

By Terry are one of my favourite beauty brands of all time.  Their products are incredibly high performing as is to be expected from such a luxury brand and they've never let me down.  Whenever I've bought By Terry products for my friends as presents, they've always been delighted with my choices.  They're certainly a fail safe brand for skincare and makeup and are worth every penny.

Luxury Gifts for Women

We all know how much I love my luxury pieces and items that have that special appeal to them but they needn't cost the earth to look luxe.  I do prefer to spend a little more on my parents as I find that they have a real sense of who they are, what their style is and what they like and dislike which makes buying more luxury gifts that little less daunting because there's a really high chance that they'll love the present.

That being said, there are some gorgeous gifts out there that are really luxe and special from a range of different price points that wont break the bank.

I hope this post has provided you with plenty of inspiration!

SHOP THE POST

Which item would you love to gift or receive?
SHARE:

Monday, 10 April 2017

Marc Jacobs Decadence Perfume Review

Marc Jacobs Decadence Perfume Review


My favourite fragrances to wear are deep, sensual and stand out.  I've said it before and I'll say it again; scent is so powerful because it has the ability to  create a lasting first impression and evoke memories.  The scent you choose to wear says so much about you and how you want others to perceive you.

The indulgent, sophisticated and sexy scent of the Marc Jacobs Decadence perfume embodies the power that I want possess.  Its a fragrance that I've worn since it was very first released and I'm now onto my second bottle.



Marc Jacobs Decadence Perfume Review

First things first, lets get the one negative out of the way; I cannot stand the garish handbag bottle.  I love the emerald green colour but the handbag shape with the python pattern on the lid, gold chain and black tassel is just far too OTT for me.  It is designed to symbolise opulence and glamour which I think the fragrance itself does and I can see where they were going with the bottle but in all honesty I think its just a little tacky.

The fragrance however, is INCREDIBLE.  With top notes of Italian Plum, Iris and Saffron, a heart of Bulgarian Rose, Jasmine Sambac and Orris and a base of Liquid Amber, Vetiver and Papyrus Woods, Decadence certainly lives up to its rich, elegant name.

Decadence is long lasting; I can spritz it onto my pulse points before I leave the house at work, enjoy compliments on it all day and still be able to smell it when I get changed as I return home.  That kind of longevity is precisely what I want from my perfume as I like to purchase the big bottles of fragrances and don't like to take them out with me in my bag and there's only so many Travalo perfume bottles one girl can have!


Marc Jacobs Decadence Perfume Review


The effect is far more mature than all of the other Marc Jacobs fragrances I've smelt and definitely my favourite of the bunch.  Its floral but on a much deeper level than you'd imagine because of the powdery woods and the mix of fragrance notes is really quite unique.

If I had to liken it to anything it would be the now discontinued Jo Malone Blue Agava and Cacao.  The only similarity between the notes is the vetiver but the air of the fragrance gives me the same feeling and sense of opulence when I smell it.  If you were as gutted as I was when Jo Malone took Blue Agava and Cacao off then shelves then do give this fragrance a try as it may bring back some memories of that delicious scent.

For those of you who love your memorable, sensual, sexy scents, this one is definitely for you!


SHOP THE POST

What do you think of the Marc Jacobs Decadence fragrance?  Do you love or dislike the bottle?  What is your favourite memorable or sexy perfume?
SHARE:
© What Laura Loves. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig