Work+Play at Malmaison – A Girly Night In

Last week I was invited to enjoy a girly night of food, pampering and cocktails at the very stylish Malmaison. It was strictly ladies only as we were treated to manicures, blow dries, makeovers and arm massages, whilst the prosecco flowed and food was served in the guise of the new Malmaison menu. If all this wasn’t bliss enough, we also had the chance to create a special cocktail that matched the colour of our nail polish.

Malmaison is home to the lovely La Petit Spa, a haven in the heart of the city where you can enjoy full spa treatments, as well as manicures, pedicures and make overs. On the evening espa were offering hand cocktails that left your skin smelling divine and feeling silky smooth and soft. There was also the opportunity to have a manicure using the new CND Shellac and Vinylux colours, adding a nail colour of your choice. My nails were in particularly bad condition, but they were shaped beautifully and my trademark red shade was added – it proved to be very popular on the evening.

Once the paint on my nails had dried it was time to create a cocktail to match the colour. Thankfully, there were no Bloody Mary’s in sight as I opted for a raspberry martini styled cocktail that contained a lot of vodka, including Absolut Raspberry. It was very sweet, totally delicious and it looked amazing too, although, as a Mojito fan, I did wonder whether I should’ve opted for a green shade, just to create my favourite cocktail of them all.

Cover FX make up, who you can find in both Harvey Nichols and Selfridges in the city, were on hand to find your perfect foundation and also introduce their brand and hero products. I love the fact that their custom enhancing drops can be added to your moisturiser or foundation to create a new dimension to a base product, whether it be to add a metallic glow, a sunkissed look or even to highlight your cheekbones. Custom FX really is a brand of beauty innovation, a brand I was not familiar with, but already love.

With nails and make up sorted, hair was next on the menu, with blow ltd on hand to create the perfect express style look. Blow are sometimes referred to as the Uber of the beauty world, as they will come to your home and sort all your beauty needs. On the evening we were looking at the fast beauty to go menu, and I was so pleased with the beachy waves that I was treated to.

 

And, of course, there was food. I loved the chargrilled chicken breast and crunchy Thai salad – a perfect summer dish, whilst the desserts were to die for, particularly the fresh red berries and vanilla marscapone (pictured below) and the warm steamed summer pudding. I love a good dessert and these rated really highly on the pudding-o-meter.

I left Malmaison feeling totally relaxed and pampered, with gorgeous hair and shiny nails. It was a wonderful night in a fabulous destination.

*With thanks to Malmaison and East Village PR for the invitation.

Roger Taylor joins the Careless Memories launch

Following on from last week’s press and VIP launch, last night saw the official opening of Denis O’Regan’s Careless Memories exhibition of Duran Duran photographs. Taking place at Birmingham’s Malmaison, Duran Duran fans had traveled from far and wide to be a part of the special evening, and were rewarded with an appearance by Duran’s drummer Roger Taylor.

photo credit Ryan Phillips

photo credit Ryan Phillips

It was a really great event. The stunning images that I had watched being hung last week were now providing a real visual spectacle in the reception and side rooms of Malmaison, taking viewers back to the golden heyday of one of Birmingham’s most famous bands. The champagne reception being hosted in a cordoned off area of the bar was buzzing with anticipation for the arrival of an actual member of Duran Duran. Denis was also there, charming all the guests with his warm and friendly manner, clearly pleased with just how good the prints looked against the cool modern decor of the Birmingham hotel.

The arrival of Roger was one of quite frenzied excitement. The drummer who is sometimes known as the quietest member of the band was clearly over-awed with the number of guests, fans and press that turned up to great him, but happily posed for a number of photographs outside Malmaison before rushing off to for a quick change.

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Roger with the general Manager of Malmaison hotels Damian Goom

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One of the iconic images of Roger on display.

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It’s Roger in the glare of the camera once again.

With Roger temporarily unavailable, another surprise guest made an unexpected appearance. Johnny Robinson was one of the final ten on The X Factor a few years ago and is now on the promotional trail. A lovely, friendly man, he was happy to pose for plenty of pictures, and I got a couple of selfies with the man himself before he was introduced to Roger, which, I have to say, was one of those surreal moments that just don’t happen every single day.

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With the very lovely Johnny Robinson from The X Factor

With Roger back in head to toe black, looking as handsome as in his heyday, the Duran frenzie continued. It seemed like everyone in the room wanted to get a picture with the iconic drummer, and it has to be said that Roger was friendly, gracious and totally accommodating to all requests. I was lucky enough to get a few minutes chat and a rather lovely photograph with the man himself, and it seems there could well be some more live dates later this year (keeping all fingers and toes crossed for this). He also said how lovely our photograph was, which, to someone who’s first album purchase was ‘Seven and the Ragged tiger’, was a definite weak at the knees, starstruck moment.

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With Duran Duran classic hits pumping out from the DJ, and a video screen showing how Denis’s book was put together, this was a Duranie’s dream. I managed to grab a few more words with Denis, thanking him for almost crashing my site last week, and managing to grab a quick picture, which, in the excitement of the press launch I had completely forgotten about, before it was time to leave. I had an amazing night, one which I will never forget. I guess you could say I had made a few Careless Memories of my own, and become a tiny little part of the Duran Duran continuing story.

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Roger and Denis with ‘Careless Memories’

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Finally – a selfie with Denis!

The Careless Memories exhibition is at Birmingham Malmaison for the next three weeks. Whether you are a Duranie, or just love beautiful photography – this is well worth a visit.

*With thanks to East Village and Prepared PR for the invitation.

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