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A festive visit to Bristol Harbour Hotel

The first thing you should know about Bristol Harbour Hotel is that it smells amazing - a mix of spa-ey goodness, Christmas trees and just general indulgence. With my breath freezing in the plummeting November temperatures (they sprang out of nowhere), stepping into the warm, cosiness was even more welcome.

Situated in Corn Street, the building used to be two banks (Fun fact - I opened by first bank account in the Lloyds!) but has now been restored as a luxury hotel and spa. I visited alongside some of my fellow bloggers for an evening of spa chat, treats and decadent cocktails.

The spa is situated downstairs, and has a really snug feeling, with brickwork, low ceilings and snaking corridors. I love that they have kept little nods to the banking history - with safes and vaults popping up, it's a bit like Gringotts!

The relaxation pool was surrounded by what I can only describe as a giant sofa with cushions everywhere - after a long day at work, the resist to jump in and assume the foetal position was real!

I was treated to a mini arm and hand massage, which was soothing and vert welcome after typing at a desk all day. The spa use ESPA treatments products, with different blends of essential oils depending on your mood.

After some delectable canapes (mushrooms in mini filo pastry cases where have you been all my life?) and my first Christmas cocktail of the festive season, we were given a goody bag with an invitation to come and enjoy the spa facilities at a later date. Massive sofa - I'm coming for you!

Find the spa treatments here, and gift vouchers here. Perfect for Christmas! 


6 ways to shop Black Friday like a Christmas champion

Photo by on Unsplash

I don't know how long Black Friday has officially been going on in the UK for but it feels like its power has gone 0 to 100 in a second. It is now a bonafide Christmas THING, like the tiresome Coca Cola truck and ice skating at a museum. Black Friday used to go over my head but I participated heavily last year and now I'm all over it like a rash and a bit obsessed with ensuring I complete all my Christmas shopping by 7am on Friday.

Here are some handy hints so that you too can get your Christmas shopping done and dusted before December even begins. I was gonna say you can get your Christmas shopping wrapped up then, but I'm not a dad so I didn't. 

List it up

Make a detailed list. A spreadsheet, if you want. List ALL the presents you need to buy. Secret Santas, Dads, Mums-in-law, cousins, your milkman, the lot. Write your maximum budget next to each name and think of a few ideas for each. For inspo on this, browse some gift guides - The PoolBuzzfeed & Refinery 29 are good ones, also search gift guide on Twitter and You Tube. This way, you are prepared. You can even add links for quick shopping, which is especially savvy if the gifts are from a big retailer likely to have big ol' discounts. 

Martin Lewis knows 

Speaking of discounts, be sure to check Martin Lewis's Money Saving Expert Black Friday Christmas Deals predictor to further plan your shopping like it's a military operation. The man's not often wrong!

Tell me who you loyal to

Make use of loyalty schemes. If you're planning to buy from somewhere that offers a loyalty scheme you're not part of, sign up now my friend. You might even get the new customer discount some retailers offer as well as the Black Friday discount. Rejoice in those sweet sweet points. 

Don't be scared of Cashback

Cashback sites are your friend. It took me an age to get on this bandwagon, and I could shed a single tear when I think of all the moolah I could have accumulated from my past internet purchases. I use Quidco but I have recently signed up to TopCashback as well, and I plan to switch between whichever offers me the best deal. They are super easy to use so don't be afraid - all you do is search for the retailer on the cashback site, then click through and shop as usual. It logs what you have bought then gives you a percentage back. Win win. 

The early girl catches the deal

Shop early. I would recommend being the earliest bird in work so you can shop in peace. As you can imagine, the best and/or most popular deals will sell out early. Give yourself time to shop around a bit too, as some stores can be sneaky and increase their prices just before Black Friday to look like they are offering bigger discounts. It can be difficult to know exactly when to buy as Cyber Monday looms on the horizon with its promise of bigger discounts if you wait. However, there is of course the possibility that the item could sell out before hand. That, in my opinion is worse than missing out on a slightly bigger discount, so I say buy ASAP - if it's what you want and it's a good deal then you're laughing.

Treat. Yo. Self

My last tip is to TREAT YOSELF like Tom and Donna would want. Black Friday is an ideal time to tick some bits off of your wishlist (keeping a wishlist on Google Docs complete with prices and links is my favourite thing. Very handy to send to loved ones when you're asked what you want for birthdays etc. Mine's here, seeing as you're asking). Stocking up on beauty products you use all the time, or staple items of clothing that are missing from your wardrobe is also clever. Just keep things in perspective y'all. Millions of £10 tops you will wear once is not a saving. 

Now go forth and prep, and conquer Black Friday. You've got two days. GO!


5 of the best veggie burgers in Bristol

1. Burger Theory, St Stephen's Street

This restaurant is a bit of a newbie in Bristol, and I'm sure it's gonna be a firm favourite. There are two veggie burgers to chose from, and I went for the Dirty Hippie, which consists of a Tofu & quinoa patty with melted cheddar (which I ommitted as I'm weird about cheese - see about me for further info), halloumi, pink pickled onions and dirty burger sauce. It was everything you need in a burger, but it didn't make my feel like I needed to wash my insides, like some fast food does. So good. Just so good. They also do Espresso Martinis, and Espresso Martinis + burgers is the type of situation I can get on board with.

2. Roll for the Soul, Quay Street

I like to frequent this cafe when I need a burger on the go. It reminds me a bit of my favourite vegan burger of all time, which is the one they sell at festivals from a van simply labelled 'Vegan and Vegetarian'. It's juicy, herby and comes with plenty of salad and vegan mayo. Whilst doing research for this post, I found out that Roll for the Soul is closing! This makes me VERY sad, but it says they are staying until the end of the year so I'm gonna keep this one in and advise you to go and try ASAP. R.I.P Roll for the Soul :(

3. The Burger Joint, Clifton, Bedminster & Fishponds

If you live in Bristol I'm pretty sure you'll know about this one, but if you're new or visiting, it's a must try for any burger lover because you can build your own veggie burger. There are 3 options (including a vegan choice), plus a multitude of toppings & sauces, including wasabi mayo, fried eggs and a plethora of cheese options (vegan too!).

4. The Spotless Leopard, Various

There is a food market right across from my work which is very handy when it comes to days where I haven't brought lunch from home. Recently I had a burger from The Fancy Leopard, a vegan food van which pops up around Bristol. The burger is made from beans, lentils and mixed seeds and comes in a wrap or bun (or on a bed of salad). Lots of flavour, however I would recommend asking for extra sauce/pickles as it can be a tad on the dry side.

5. Molloys, Baldwin Street

This one is a shocker, I know. It surprised me. Despite living in Bristol until I was 18 I'd never been to this pub, but ventured there recently to take part in a Friends pub quiz. (We came 12th out of  24 since you ask, and the host did not understand our team name, which was MERGE). It was the only vegetarian thing on the limited menu they had that evening, so I didn't have much choice, but turns out it was delicious. It was a standard kind of pub veggie burger (beans & veg in a breadcrumb coating type of situation) but it had a layer of garlicky cream cheese in the middle and it was so good! Cheap AF as well.

Other honourable mentions go to: Nandos (thumbs up for having 3 different types of veggie burger, but I have not forgiven them for getting rid of their 'Veggie' burger - the soya one), Asado (heard great things but I can't get on board with the melty cheese in the middle), Atomic Burger (fun decor also), CAU (some of the best chips I've EVER had).

If you know of any other gems I've missed - let me know in the comments! All in the name of research obvs.


OOTD + a London love letter

 I write this with a kitten on my lap and the heating on and I'm squeezing in one more legs-out OOTD before it's properly properly winter. Trying to convince myself more than anyone else tbh, although I haven't started wearing a warm coat or a scarf yet, so it's fine. It's FINE. 

I wore this outfit during a London trip back in the summer. Ah I just love London. I love how each tube comes within minutes of another, even if they are hotter than Hades. I love how everything happens there first - restaurants, events, pop ups. I love how there are so many different areas to explore, even if you've lived there before and visit as often as you possibly can. 

I love all of the mews and coloured houses and cute streets which are made for Instagram. I just love the VIBE. That is the wankiest term in history but I can't think of any other way to describe it I'm afraid - there is just an atmosphere, a London-ness. 

Blazer Topshop
Dress New Look
Bag Zara

I heard someone describe themselves as a Londonphile on a podcast the other day and I have decided that is what I am, a Londonphile. I love you London and I hope you love me too.