I adore Lush products and I love Christmas, so naturally I was super excited to spend an evening in their Bournemouth store, checking out their seasonal range – and even having a go at making some myself!

I struggle a bit at events with a lot of people I don’t know, and I found this one, in particular, quite difficult. There were a lot of people packed into a fairly small space, and it was – as Lush stores often are – quite overwhelming, with the combination of strong smells and relentlessly cheery staff (as lovely as they are!).

We began the evening with an icebreaker, which was getting into pairs and giving each other arm massages. I was thankful to be paired up with Tara, who I both know well and feel comfortable with. Even so, I wasn’t expecting that level of physical contact, and it put me slightly on edge. I nervously swigged my Prosecco, which we were served in Lush’s classic black pots – a really cute touch.


I gradually eased into things, and enjoyed leisurely checking out all the new products.

We were given the chance to have a go at making our own bath bombs and fresh facial cleanser. I haven’t actually used my bath bomb yet, but it’s this one, and it’s so pretty!

The cleanser is called Bûche de Noël and features festive ingredients including cranberries and brandy. It even has little bits of gold leaf in, for an even more decadent treat. It smells absolutely wonderful and, let me tell you, makes my skin feel AMAZING.

The cleanser is wrapped in Nori seaweed sheets. So much fun to make!

I sampled and smelled loads of lovely products, and treated myself to some gorgeous things too. I bought my first Lush fragrance, the sweet and delicate Amelie Mae.

I love the subtle sweetness of this perfume, and the scent of almond oil transported me back to my recent, wonderful holiday in Greece.

I got myself a little bottle of Snow Fairy shower gel to use at Christmas, because I just love it.

I fell in love with Christingle, a limited edition body conditioner that feels so cooling on the skin, I just knew it would be perfect for days when I’m feeling hot and flustered (most of the time tbh!).

One thing I really like about Lush is the little sinks they have, where you can try the products on your skin. It was there that I enjoyed a really lovely arm massage from one of the members of staff. Again, I felt a little nervous at first, but it actually felt great.

“You have so many knots,” she exclaimed, as she rubbed firm but soothing circles in my skin. “Let’s get rid of some of that tension!”

All in all, it was a really lovely evening. I went in feeling tense and anxious, but left feeling pampered and refreshed.

A huge thank you to all the wonderful staff at Lush, who made me feel relaxed and at ease.

Some other products I loved

These are sort of hideous, but I love them!

How great is this packaging? Scent wise, would have gone for Vanillary.

Looks like cheese. Enough said.

These are just adorable!

The Bluewater Spa, part of Bournemouth’s 4-star Connaught Hotel, recently hosted a party to celebrate the launch of its Temple Spa product range.

The Connaught Hotel

Champagne

We were welcomed with a glass of Prosecco, and enjoyed a lovely evening of canapés, live music, and a tour of the gorgeous spa facilities.

Relaxation room

Can I move into this relaxation room please?!

One of the treatment rooms.

We were given samples of some of the Temple Spa products to try, and I’m in love – they feel wonderfully luxurious, and smell gorgeous. The spa itself it beautiful, and I’ve already bookmarked some pages of the brochure, which I’ve left out strategically for Dave to find before Christmas.

Thank you so much to the lovely staff at The Connaught, and Sunny Bird PR for inviting me – I will definitely be back!

I was very lucky to be part of a group of local bloggers, who were invited to a cocktail masterclass at Be At One.

Conveniently located on Richmond Hill just off Bournemouth Square, Be At One is the ideal venue for a night out, or just a cheeky after work drink.

We were welcomed with a lovely Bellini and guided through the rather extensive (and ever so tempting!) cocktail menu. We were also told about the Be At One app, which asks you a few questions about your favourite spirits and flavours, in order to recommend the perfect cocktail to suit you.

Emma having a go at mixing up a cocktail  


I started off with a Banoffee Old Fashioned, a fun take on one of my favourite drinks. I’ve never had a cocktail quite like it, but I loved it. The banoffee foam on top was amazing.

Emma ordered the Petty Filoo which, as you might imagine, tasted exactly like a boozy fromage frais. Delicious – and look how cute it was!

For my next cocktail I chose the White Chocolate Kinder Bueno. OMG. This was one of the most indulgent and absolutely delightful cocktails I’ve ever had. Creamy and rich, this one went down a bit too easily!

  
James was very knowledgeable and friendly, and told us all about his love of cocktails. He shows off his flair skills and his delicious creations over on his Instagram.

Thank you so much to Be At One for a wonderful time, though I totally blame you for the kebab shop cheesy chips I wolfed down at about 8 o’clock in the evening…oops.

Recently, I received quite possibly the best email ever. No, not my Hogwarts acceptance (I’m still waiting), but an invite to La Piccola on Holdenhurst Road, to sample their bottomless Prosecco brunch. I was promised 90 minutes of sumptuous Italian food, washed down with as much Prosecco as I could throw down my gullet. Ideal, no?

Salad

A simple, but delicious, caprese salad. The deep-fried tortelloni – amazing!

This glorious offering is available to book between 12 and 5pm every Saturday and features decadent charcuterie and cheese platters, a Cicchetti section of small plates including calamari and gnocchi (both sublime!) and, of course, plenty of pizza.

I’ve been to La Piccola before, for a standard à la carte meal, so this was a nice change. It was a great way to sample lots of different dishes, and the sociable ‘tapas’ style setup was perfect as there was a large group of us.

The restaurant has a really lovely, classic Italian feel, with rustic decor and green chequered table cloths. The staff who looked after us were all knowledgeable, friendly, and more than happy to have their photo taken!

As a vegetarian, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of choice I had. Naturally, I demolished the cheese board, and enjoyed wonderful grilled vegetables, along with a fab choice of meat-free pizzas.

I honestly didn’t feel like I was missing out at all, except for the charcuterie board – cured meats are my main temptation as a vegetarian! If you love simple Italian food done well, I would definitely give La Piccola a go.

What happens when you dine with bloggers!

 

I’ve never really enjoyed having any sort of facial treatment. Having always struggled with problem skin, facials have often felt clinical rather than luxurious. I’ve never looked in the mirror afterwards and thought my skin looked radiant, or felt like the facialist has taken the time to understand my skin and tailor the treatment to tackle my problem areas.

So when I was offered the chance to have a skin scan and bespoke facial at HI Therapies, I was definitely intrigued.

The reception area

Make up display

The salon, based on Charminster Road, was lovely and airy, and I felt instantly welcomed.

When I went into the treatment room I was greeted by Shelley, the Environ consultant, who asked me questions about my current skin care, as well as any concerns I had. Then it was scan time, and I had stick my face into this rather terrifying looking machine!

Skin scanning machine
It was obviously fine – I just had to close my eyes while it took a few snaps of my skin. I went through the results afterwards with Shelley, which I found really interesting.

The scan revealed areas of oil, bacteria and UV damage. Warning: super sexy photos below!

Using these results, Shelley talked me through the products she was going to use for my mini facial, and drew up a personalised skin care regimen. She was really knowledgeable and answered all my questions. She too struggled with acne when she was younger, so it was nice to swap stories and hear her experiences. Also, her skin looked incredible, so she was definitely a glowing advertisement for her products.

The facial itself was really relaxing, and left my skin feeling tingly and refreshed.

Facial

Shelley used sound waves to help the products penetrate deeper into the skin.

Verdict: The whole experience was really enjoyable and felt much more personalised than treatments I’ve had in the past. Afterwards my skin felt moisturised but not oily and, the following day, my blemishes were less angry looking. I would definitely consider having similar treatments in the future, and trying out some of the products Shelley recommended.

You can book a treatment at HI Therapies here.

Find out more about Environ here.