April 14, 2015

Tea and Cake at Penny Black Cafe in Lyme Regis

The Jurassic coast may be a favourite haunt for treasure hunters scoruring for hidden gems but we stumbled upon a pretty special one ourselves. Penny Black Cafe is hidden away behind a post office and at the back of an antique shop, and is one of those secrets that is just too good to keep quiet. The family run tearoom is a little place of infectious happiness that appears to be extremely popular with the locals as well as seaside visitors. The cafes retro decor is a credit to the owners who have clearly lavished it with passion, love and charm. Thought and care is evident in every charming teacup and quirky knick-knack.
I ordered a chorizo toastie, which will forever cast a shadow over all other breaded concoctions, along with a thick, bubbly, chocolate milkshake that I happily slurped down. My Grandma described the scones, with lashings of homemade jam and local clotted cream as some of the best she'd ever had and my mum loved her Dorset apple cake. The extensive menu lovingly comprises of nearly all homemade treats including delicious, creative lunches and an array of baked goods. We finished off the last of our cups of tea with the sound of yesteryear's music playing in the background, all agreeing that we'd definitely return. 
The lovely owner Hattie (pictured) made the experience even more enjoyable with a relaxed, friendly and attentive service that complemented such a wonderful place. She made us feel right at home and nothing was too much trouble! We left with full tummies and even bigger smiles. 
Lyme Regis is such a beautiful place, so if you're lucky enough to find yourself there, make the trip more lovely by paying a visit to Penny Black Cafe. 

April 09, 2015

The Little Seaside Town of Lyme Regis

To celebrate mothers day and a rare blanket of blue sky we headed to the picturesque seaside town of Lyme Regis in Dorset. Famous for it's jurassic coast line, Lyme Regis provides more than just glorious ocean views and irresistible fish and chips on the beach. It is also home to a thriving hub of unique, one-of-a-kind shops. I have been buying crystals from one particular shop since I was a child, and along with it's million year old fossils it's the perfect place to pick up a real treasure of a souvenir. Further along the narrow paths lined with pastel pink and blue houses live the most charming antique shops, local art and crafts studios and chocolate box boutiques that sell everything from nautical apparel to precious trinkets that leave you feeling blessed to have stumbled upon them.

My camera was absent last week so I decided to dust off some photographs from my archives, which I took during a visit to celebrate my mums birthday, a year ago. Even though the photos were taken a little while ago, Lyme Regis remains the same, including all those little shops!
 
Afterwards we strolled along the beach, taking in the darkening horizon and leaving jolly foot prints in the sand. Lyme Regis is such a beautiful place, so if you ever find yourself in Dorset, be sure to pay it a visit.

February 21, 2015

Saying farewell to winter skin with JoeSCRUB

Spring is fast approaching and if you've wrapped yourself up in layers of clothing for the past few months, it might be worth preparing your skin now. It always evokes mixed emotions when you leave the tights at home and expose your legs to the (hopefully sunny) elements for the first time that year, reminding you that soon you'll be basked in summer heat, on a glorious beach, in a bikini. In a bikini. Whilst glowing, sun kissed skin may take some time, giving your skin a wealth of goodness that will leave you looking and feeling refreshed and pampered is something that can (and should) be done right now!

The reason behind my newly-found glow comes from sharing my showers with my new love; Joe. JoeSCRUB* is an invigorating coffee scrub, comprised of just 9 natural, vegan and cruelty-free ingredients that know exactly how to love your skin. I've been trying to reduce the number of chemicals I'm using on my skin after making a conscious effort to read the ingredients on every beauty product I use, from shampoo to foundation. It's a real eye-opener! One of the reasons I love JoeSCRUB is because of it's beauty ethics, everything is cruelty free and some ingredients are organic or fair trade. Such a positive and responsible attitude to the beauty industry is as refreshing as the scrub itself. 
It is clear that the 9 ingredients have been chosen with care and thought, as every single one is packed with skin benefits;

1. Fair trade organic coffee - reduces inflammation, increases blood circulation and releases toxins to help tighten skin leaving skin toned and even and reduces cellulite.
2. Organic Cacao - Improves skin hydration and complexion, firms skin and reduces puffiness and provides UV protection.
3. Himalayan pink salt - detoxifies skin and alleviates psoriasis.
4. Brown Sugar - acts as an effective exfoliant helping to scrub away toxins and dead skin cells as well as promoting younger and fresher skin.
5. Organic coconut oil - hydrates the skin, rich in vitamin E and minerals, Soothes eszma and reduces premature ageing.
6. Grape seed oil - cleanses the skin and prevents breakouts whilst firming and improving skin elasticity.
7. Sweet almond oil - protects the skin against the elements such as harmful UV rays or harsh, cold winds and is high in vitamins.
8. Jasmine oil - contains anti-bacterial properties and acts an aphrodisiac with a blissful fragrance.
The smell is one of my favourite things about it. As soon as I open up the pouch an energising aroma of coffee beans wakes me up, which is why I love to use this in the morning - especially on a Monday!   

I pour a little into a pot to take into the shower as the pouch cannot come in contact with moisture. I recommend using JoeSCRUB in the shower or in the bath as it can get a bit messy, but thankfully a quick wash with the shower hose and everything is washed away.  The scrub itself is rather crumbly and initially I thought it would be a little tricky to attach the scrub onto my skin, assuming much of it would fall out of my hands and be wasted on the shower floor. But once I made sure my skin was wet, the scrub attached itself with ease and I was able to scrub away without wasting much product. Using the scrub was a revitalising and energising experience that charmed the senses with warming aromas and radiating sensations that left me feeling utterly pampered.

I was surprised at how little I had to use for a full body, neck and face application and how easily it scrubbed onto my skin. I have always found scrubs to be somewhat disappointing, either being far to harsh on my skin or containing scrubbing particles that are to gentle, such as the widely used microbeads that are also damaging the environment by polluting lakes and killing marine life. Because JoeSCRUB contains natural abrasives such as pink Himalayan salt, brown sugar, coffee grinds and cacao I found it to be far more invigorating then any scrub I've used in the past, plus there's the added bonus that I'm not washing thousands of non-degradable plastic beads down the plug. It is recommended that JoeSCRUB is left on the skin for 5-10 minutes so all the vitamins can be absorbed. 

I was amazed at what was revealed underneath, once I'd quickly washed off the scrub. My skin was baby soft and sensuously smooth, with a delicate jasmine scented residue that was neither greasy, nor oily. Even once my skin had dried, it felt incredibly nourished and well moisturised. I didn't want to get dressed. In contrast to the powerful fragrance experienced in the shower, my skin was left with a subtle hint of coffee and a heavenly aroma of jasmine oil. 

Having used this several times now, I've noticed my skin is far more radiant then before and the addictivly silky smoothness lasts a while after use. JoeSCRUB is an unexpectedly stupendous concoction of goodness in so many ways and a fantastic way to give your skin the very best start to the year!