A Girlie Night In With Glimpse Opticians

Glimpse Opticians are independent eyewear experts based in arguably the most beautiful setting in Birmingham, the Great Western Arcade. Glimpse has a carefully curated selection of frames, both prescription and sunglasses,  with eyewear ranges that are entirely exclusive to Birmingham including MYKITA, Garrett Leight, Maui Jim, Anne et Valentin, Vinylize, Ørgreen, Theo and LINDBERG.

Glimpse was the setting for an exlusive, invite only, girls night in a couple of weeks ago. Joining forces with some of the other independents from the Great Western Arcade including 1847 Birmingham who provided the Veggie canapes on the night, fashion accessories from Peter Forson, hair styling from Umberto Giannini and stress relieving massages from At One Day Stay. Add in food from Anderson & Hill, delicious lemon bespoke macaroons from Miss Macaroon, and delicious gin from Edinburgh Gin, and you were all set for a stylish evening of fashion, style and pampering, with a little gin thrown in.

If you are yet to visit Glimpse, it is a great, friendly opticians with a rang of frames that are totally covetable. The girls night in was a great excuse to try on a range of frames, the only tough part was making a decision on which ones to get for the upcoming Summer holidays. There are designs that suit every taste, from large Jackie O style frames, to animal print and patterned frames of all shapes and sizes. I have a sunglasses obsession, and have to say I felt totally spoilt by the choices available at Glimpse, loving the independent brands that I could not find anywhere else in Birmingham.                                . I had a lovely time at the Glimpse Girls Night in. If you would like to find out more about the ranges available at Glimpse, you can visit their website here.                                                 .With thanks to East Village PR for the invite.

Breakfast At The Ivy Birmingham

There are some invites that you say yes to. There are some that you politely refuse. And there are some that you receive, scream, and jump up and down shouting yes, yes, yes over and over again. An invitation to breakfast at newly opened The Ivy restaurant in Birmingham is just one of those invites. And that is where a beautiful Saturday morning took me last week.

The Ivy is one of London’s most iconic and stylish restaurants, and its Birmingham incarnation is destined to be the same. It opened last week in the former Louis Vuitton building on Temple Row and is definitely the new place to see and be seen in the second city. A mixture of Art Deco and Art Nouveau style, the restaurant is absolutely stunning, a vibrant, colourful space spread over three floors, with a private dining room on the top floor.

We were treated to breakfast in the private dining room, The Archer Room, a room festooned with beautiful vintage prints and artwork that celebrates the best of Birmingham’s industry and achievements.  The room is dominated by a long table that can seat 20 people, and was laid out in exquisite style for the breakfast, complete with silver tableware and fresh flowers, all creating a bright and beautiful space.

The breakfast menu is deliciously balanced and varied, catering for those who enjoy both sweet and savoury options. The Beet It juice was deliciously refreshing, with a surprising hit of ginger giving you a great morning kick. The pastries were as soft and tasty as you would expect, I loved the chocolate twist which was just the right side of sweet and complemented the very good coffee perfectly. In terms of breakfast mains, I opted for the buttermilk pancakes (totally sweet tooth time). These proved to be a fine choice – not too sweet because of the use of yoghurt rather than cream. The sweetness was added by a succulent strawberry sauce, and the dish looked just beautiful in it;s presentation with the addition of the berries. The dish was also surprisingly filling with three decent sized pancakes.

The whole dining experience was relaxed and yet decadent, this is the perfect place for a breakfast/brunch with the girlfriends before a mornings shopping, although you may find it hard to actually leave the place, it is just so beautiful.

For bookings and more information, visit The Ivy website here.

Christmas At The Botanical Gardens

Last Thursday was possibly the coldest night of Winter so far, but it was also a night full of magical sparkle and beautiful lights. A very special blogger event was taking place at Birmingham’s beautiful Botanical Gardens which have been transformed into a wonderful illuminated trail for the festive season, and with the promise of vintage fairground rides, warming mulled wine and deliciously festive food, we donned our hats and scarves and braved the cold in order to see the Botanical Gardens in a whole new light.

We were not disappointed.

The glasshouses, trees and bushes of the gardens are totally transformed as they twinkle and sparkle in the darkness. There are tunnels that are emblazoned with lights, and the eerie glow of the fire garden bathing everything in an orange light. The whole gardens are a riot of colour and sparkle, with lots of wonderful Christmas touches, from the 12 days of Christmas mural, to a reindeer trail which ends with a golden Rudolph. You can also find Santa, and some of his helpful elves along the route too.

There are numerous food and drink concessions both inside the trail and at the start of it where you can feast on gourmet hotdogs, festive cookies and a variety of hot and cold drinks. The mulled wine and ciders are delicious, and there are also bottled cocktails that are well worth a taste. This is also the area where you will find a beautiful, traditional carousel ride and a helter skelter, a definite taste of Christmas past.

But it is the finale that really takes the breath away. The lawn aviary finale is quite simply stunning, as the lawn and glasshouses are all light up and Christmas music plays. If there really is such a thing as a Winter Wonderland, then this just might be it.

Christmas at the Botanical Gardens runs until December 30th, you can find opening times and ticket information here.

With thanks to the Brum Bloggers for the invitation.