More cute designs from Chatty Feet

Chatty Feet, the company who ‘put quirky characters at your toes’ have recently launched a whole range of new designs.  As ever, the socks are, quite literally, full of character, they are funny and quirky and can either be a real talking point that you show off to your friends, or a little secret that you hide underneath your business suit. I love the idea of Chatty feet, putting the fun back into your sock drawer!

I was sent a pair of Yoko Mono socks to review in size 4-8. I quite honestly adored them. Obviously based on a gorgeous Japanese lady (how funny is the punny name!), the design is bright and oh so colourful. The gorgeous blue of Yoko’s kimono is just lovely, and teamed with deep red and black, it makes these a bright and vibrant pair of socks that you won’t really want to hide. The design is on both sides of the sock, making them cute and funny from every angle. If you are daring, you could be teaming these with heeled sandals or Swedish hasbeens for a fashion forward look. Me, I wear them with my best pj’s as a bed sock now the warm weather seems to have disappeared.

Yoko Mono Socks by Spyros Zevelakis £7 click to visit Chatty Feet

Yoko Mono Socks
by Spyros Zevelakis £7 click to visit Chatty Feet

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DSCN8958[1]Chatty Feet make a great gift idea, and not just for the young at heart. The socks also come in smaller sizes for children, as well as in sets with one pair for an adult, one pair for a child (the Mini Me sets). Joe was also sent a new design, a super hero sock by the name of Commander Awesome. Again, the bright vibrant colours make these socks very attractive, especially for children, whilst the super hero design made these an instant hit with Joe. Joe insisted on showing his socks off to everyone, his nan said they were snazzy, which I think may just be the perfect word for them. The children’s designs start at 12-24months, and go up to age 4-7 years.

Commander Awesome Jr Kids' Socks by Captain Kris £5 click to visit Chatty Feet

Commander Awesome Jr Kids’ Socks
by Captain Kris £5 click to visit Chatty Feet

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DSCN8761All Chatty Feet designs are machine washable, and wash really well without losing that lovely colour. I must admit I am really looking forward to checking out the very special design that is coming soon, the Kate Middle-Toe!

click to visit Chatty Feet

click to visit Chatty Feet

Family Fever

Feasting at the Chef’s Table at Grill LaTour

An invitation to dine at the Chef’s table at one of my favourite Birmingham Hotels was the exciting proposition that dropped into my inbox a couple of weeks ago. Hotel LaTour has always offered fabulous fine dining in its Aalto restaurant, but the rebranding of the restaurant as Grill LaTour, with an emphasis on my very favourite food, succulent steak, was something for foodies(and me!) to get very excited about.

A really good steak restaurant has to be one of my favourite places to eat, and when the restaurant is also offering fresh produce, including locally grown fruit and vegetables, I think you have a destination that will be hard to beat. Hotel LaTour has teamed up with innovative project Edible Eastside in order to offer food grown in urban Birmingham, in the Eastside allotment space,  as part of the menu. From September, the hotel will also be growing its own produce in its very special roof garden – all very exciting stuff!

DSCN8834With all these developments in mind, the opportunity to sample key dishes on the menu was a very welcome one, so I joined a team of real foodies for the most delightful night of fine dining. We were greeted with a glass of Prosecco that was crisp and refreshing, before making our way to the chef’s table in the main restaurant. The chef’s table offer a full dining experience for 6-8 people, but for tonight we were able to choose a traditional 3 course meal, with specially selected drinks to compliment.  All the dishes on offer were from the new Grill menu. Before choosing our dishes, we were introduced to a truly magnificent piece of steak (almost a cow in my humble opinion), the Tomahawk, which was meant for sharing and certainly tempted a few of our party.

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For my starter I opted for Chicken Liver Parfait. This was a delicious pate that was served with Pear Chutney and Sour dough crisps. I was unsure about the Pear Chutney when I read it on the menu as I’m not a fan of pears in general (pear cider doesn’t count does it?) but it was really unusual, quite sharp and vinegary, which totally complimented the savoury chicken liver. The sour dough crisp was also good, although I do think a crusty bread would  be a good accompaniment to such a generous amount of parfait.

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For my main it was always going to be a steak, and as I am a bit Jack Spratt in that department (avoiding fat like the plague), a fillet steak was definitely calling to me.  I chose to have mine with Bearnaise sauce, and I honestly couldn’t have asked for any more from this dish. The steak was perfectly done to my taste – medium and pink, but not blood running. It sliced so easily, it was just so soft and tender. I was interested to learn something new about cutting steak – my knife was sharp, but not serrated, as I always thought a steak knife needed to be, but chef explains that a jagged edge just rips and tears the meat. My steak was accompanied by a grilled tomato and crispy shallots, as well as hand cut chips which had been seasoned to perfection. The whole dish was perfectly balanced, traditional, but with lovely twists, like the crunchy shallots, a nice change from the huge onion rings that often spoil this sort of dish. A hearty Malbec was also pretty much the perfect wine to bring out the flavours of the dish.

DSCN8849I was very interested to see what the other diners were trying out. The huge LaTour Tomahawk attracted lots of attention and, I have to say, looked like the ultimate in sharing dishes, with 900g grams of steak, confit potatoes, handcut chips and seasonal vegetables making a real feast of food. The lovely Dave from Brum Hour thoroughly enjoyed the Steak and Brummie Ale Pie which looked enormous and needed a spoon, as well as a knife and fork. I also really liked the look of Hanger Steak Skewer which came with shoestring fries and garlic butter.

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DSCN8846Unfortunately, at this point, I had to leave the proceedings. But before leaving I got a very welcome opportunity to enjoy one of my all time favourite cocktails one more time. The 1889 cocktail, so named for the year Birmingham gained city status, is a frothy confection of gin, apple elderflower, ginger and lime….and a touch of CO2. It needs to be drank straight away for the full effect, and is, quite frankly, heaven in a glass.

photograph c/o Ed James group

photograph c/o Ed James group

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Fabulous!

I enjoyed a wonderful night of dining at Hotel LaTour, and was truly impressed with the quality of the dishes on offer. If you are looking for a great dining experience in Birmingham, Grill LaTour should definitely be on agenda.

*With thanks to Jane Riley and Natalie Murison of Hotel LaTour, and the Ed James Group for the kind invitation.



 

Christmas comes Early with Unineed

With the last bank holiday of the year well and truly over, and with children returning back to school after the summer break, I think it is safe to say that Autumn is well and truly here. With the start of the new season, I’m afraid to say I start to look ahead to Christmas, to make my lists and do some forward planning, trying to find a few bargains along the way.

I have good reasons for getting stuck into the Christmas shopping so early – my little boy also has a Christmas birthday, and I have special family birthdays in October and November, as well as two family wedding anniversaries in December, so I find those final few months of the year to be very expensive. I also have an ever-expanding family, with two new members to buy for this year. So that list has now been started, and I’ve been looking to Unineed for inspiration.

Unineed is the perfect destination for those searching for luxury, designer presents for their loved ones. An online fashion and beauty retailer, Unineed offers over 150 premium brands and thousands of products covering skincare, makeup and accessories. What is really great about this website is that many of the products have huge savings, with up to 70% off premium brands. Burberry, Zatchels, Dior, Clarins and Benefit just some of the great names you can find there.
There are just so many great gift ideas available, so it is agood thing that you can create an online wish list to keep all your choices together. In addition, Unineed offers worldwide delivery, and also has daily hot offers, which are well worth a look due to the huge savings and premium names on offer.

Here are some of the things I am adding to my wish list this Autumn…and maybe I might find a couple of these in my stocking come December 25th…

A bit of Zatchels always goes down a treat.

Zatchels Green Lava Metallic Leather Tote Bag £125 click to visit Unineed

Zatchels Green Lava Metallic Leather Tote Bag £125 click to visit Unineed

Something for the beauty lover

ELIZABETH ARDEN JEWELLERY BOX GIFT SET 355 click to visit Unineed

ELIZABETH ARDEN JEWELLERY BOX GIFT SET 355 click to visit Unineed

Decleor 15ml Aromessence Strengthening Serum for Nails£19.99 click to visit Unineed

Decleor 15ml Aromessence Strengthening Serum for Nails£19.99 click to visit Unineed

 

Anything by Vivienne Westwood would be a perfect present for moi!

Vivienne Westwood Scarf For Women £49 click to visit Unineed

Vivienne Westwood Scarf For Women £49 click to visit Unineed

A designer belt is a great idea for a present for dad.

CK CALVIN KLEIN Belt 100% leather £34 click to visit Unineed

CK CALVIN KLEIN Belt 100% leather £34 click to visit Unineed

Stocking fillers for the little ones.

Looney Tunes Bugs Bunny 50ml EDT Spray+ 75ml Shower Gel + Tin 36.50 click to visit Unineed

Looney Tunes Bugs Bunny 50ml EDT Spray+ 75ml Shower Gel + Tin 36.50 click to visit Unineed

The Smurfs Brainy 50ml EDT Spray / 75ml Bubble Bath £7.50 click to visit Unineed

The Smurfs Brainy 50ml EDT Spray / 75ml Bubble Bath £7.50 click to visit Unineed

You can’t really go wrong with a gift of fragrance, now can you?

 

CK Contradiction 100ml EDP Spray £24.25 click to visit Unineed

CK Contradiction 100ml EDP Spray £24.25 click to visit Unineed

DKNY Energizing Eau de Toilette Spray 30ml £17.95 click to visit Unineed

DKNY Energizing Eau de Toilette Spray 30ml £17.95 click to visit Unineed

What will be on your Christmas list this year?