Monday, 31 July 2017

Epic England Road Trip ~ Part 7 ~ Bath!



Hi & welcome back to our Epic England road trip from Pembroke Wales across the South of England and back again. We’ve covered oodles of fantastic spots over the last few weeks but now we’re on the home stretch.

Bath:

One of my biggest regrets of this whole trip was not spending more time in Bath. It’s easy to see why the city is a designated UNESCO world heritage site, the architecture is beautiful and intricate so take time to stop and look up at buildings. 

We had to visit The Circus, a circle of Grade l listed townhouses dating back to the mid 1700’s. The view from the centre is magnificent; I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Bath is a relatively small city and can easily be toured on foot. Download one of the free walking tours from the app store or join one of the daily free walking tours, further information can be found HERE. 


How to get to Bath:

Using Skyscanner to find the best priced flights, I found weekends in September flying from Dublin to Bristol with Ryanair for just €39pp return. I then used Rome2rio to find the best way to get from Bristol airport to Bath. You’ve multiple options, bus, bus & train, taxi or hire car to take you the 20 miles to Bath.


Roman Baths:

A spring was discovered on this spot in 836BC, a temple was constructed between 60-70AD & over the next 300 years the bathing facilities were gradually built. Throughout the ages it has fallen into disrepair but with the stellar work of the council restoring and re-developing the complex it has been brought back to its former glory. My girls, aged 10 were learning about the Romans in school recently so it seemed a perfect time to visit.

The Roman Baths has four sections consisting of the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House & a display of artefacts that were excavated at the site. The natural hot spring at Bath was used by the Romans as a centre of a medical bathing complex. Sick people from all over the UK came to bathe in the waters and pray to the Celtic Goddess Sulis. 

While it’s not recommended to touch the water in the baths there is a spring at the end of the tour where you can drink spa water. We had an amazing time soaking in the history and the children especially loved the kids’ version of the audio guide.

Our visit was complimentary. It’s recommended to buy your tickets online HERE as you can skip the queue by bringing the print out of your purchase to the entrance desk where you’ll receive your tickets. Adult tickets are priced at £17/€19.37 with children aged 6-16 costing £9.80/€11.16. 

Children under age 6 gain free admission. There are also discounted family tickets available and museum saver tickets where for a couple of pound more you can also visit the Fashion Museum and the Victoria Art Gallery however if you’re visiting during summer months I’d advise you wait to visit until after 5pm as The Roman Baths are open till 9pm and they are usually much quieter in the evenings also the torches are lit at dusk creating an amazing atmosphere. 

Included in your ticket price is the use of an audio guide and a guided tour that starts every hour. Unfortunately buggies are not allowed into the museum but you can swap them at the entrance for a baby carrier.


Fashion Museum:

Our complimentary ticket included the Fashion Museum but our time in Bath was running out so my husband took 3 of our kids to go shopping while I took the short stroll from the Roman Baths to the museum with my daughter Aoife (10) & son Seamus (9). As we walked through the museum we saw some exquisite pieces dating as far back as the 1600’s, over 400 years of fashion is represented in just 100 objects on show in the current exhibition which will be displayed until January 2019. 

Our favourite part was where we got to dress up in Victorian and Georgian clothes, there’s a full range of hats, bonnets, dresses, coats etc for young & old to try on and take a picture against the backdrop of the Royal Crescent, we had so much fun!


 


Baths:

You cannot bathe in the Roman Baths but there are two other baths in Bath where you can enjoy a thermal spa experience. Next time we return without the children we’re definitely visiting the Thermae Bath Spa at dusk!

A two hour session at Thermae Bath Spa costs £38/€43.29 at weekends and slightly cheaper during the week. Use of towel, robe & slippers are also included in that price. Children under the age of 16 are not permitted in the New Royal Bath. You’ll have full access to the open air naturally warm mineral rich rooftop pool and the Minerva bath; you can also use the multi sensory wellness suite. An extra hour can be added to your session for £10/€11.39 HERE

It’s slightly cheaper to use the smaller Cross Bath, an open air thermal bath with its own changing facilities. A 1½ hour session with the use of towel, robe & slippers costs £20/€22.78pp at weekends. Children under the age of 12 are not permitted and children aged between 12 -16 are only allowed if there is an adult present for each individual child. See HERE.


So there you have it that’s Bath in a nutshell, I’m sure there are lots more amazing places that I haven’t included. If you’ve any recommendations for our next visit we’d love to hear them!

*** Disclaimer: As advised above we received a complimentary family Museums Saver ticket. As usual all thoughts are my own, I was not asked to write this review. As ever neither free services nor payment would ever sway my opinion. ***


Sunday, 30 July 2017

Cherry Pick of the Week: L'Oreal Elnett Strong Hold Volume Crème De Mousse!



I figured if Cherry Picks of the Weeks were to have real value I should show you a cracker of a product that, although started out as a Press sample, has since been repurchased several times over because it's feckin' marvellous. L'Oreal's Elnett Strong Hold Volume Crème De Mousse is unlike any hair care product I've used and, much like Elnett hairspray is a staple hair product that really should be in your arsenal. 

We all know I'm a lover of product but Elnett Satin mousse is one of those every day work horses, a given, regardless of fads, phases or press drops because it works beautifully, reliably and effortlessly every time. I apply it to damp, towel dried hair and it soaks in immediately. It's weightless, non sticky & gives my hair lift & hold like products five times its price. 



Unlike the Elnett lacquer, this mousse doesn't brush out, it doubles its efforts ~ exactly what you need if you, like me, turn into a greasy swamp rat if you wash your hair every day. For regular use, this mousse has actually replaced my use of lacquer entirely. Good news for the earth, my bank balance and my boys not having to leave through a fug of hairspray in the morning (We do our hair by the front door, I have no idea why). 


Just Elnett Stong Hold Volume Mousse blow dried - that's it. (same for me!)
There's 4 iterations of Crème De Mousse available, Stong Curl, Extra Stong, Glam Waves Supreme Hold & this Volume and Stong Hold. if truth be told I haven't tried the others yet as I shared the love with my original press pack and gifted my Mam the others. I may need to rectify that now my hair is shorter and curls are back on my radar. 

You'll pick each of the above up in Boots for €6.99 (there's usually an offer available), though it's sold out online, pretty much always or you can order online from Superdrug for £5.99 (2 for £9) HERE. Your grúaig will thank you for it. 

I wrote about other unsung beauty heroes many moons ago, funnily enough Elnett featured THERE too! 

Tell me, have you tried L'Oreal Elnett Strong Hold Volume Crème De Mousse? What's your go to, everyday Joe hair care product that you use almost without thinking about? 
Image result for signature new cherrysue

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Cherry Pick of the Week: Jo Malone's Exfoliating Shower Gel!



Brand new & badly needed this month are Jo Malone's Exfoliating Shower Washes.
If you're a Jo Malone lover you'll know that everything about this brand is luxe, these fancy ablutions are no different. I've been getting better as using the good stuff, I have long had a very strange habit of saving products or nice things for good but no more. Whether it's a quick shower after a long day in the office or an uninterrupted bath at the weekend, I've been using this and loving it. 

The exfoliating shower wash I was gifted by the brand, Lime Basil & Mandarin is an unmitigated WETSER. Bright, citrussy and ideal for the clement weather we've been enjoying. Soft Jojoba beads, finely crushed orange peel and bamboo stem work brilliantly to gently scrub off SPF & false tan alike & prep your skin for the next round. It's literally a full body primer. 

My skin, aprés shower or bath is softer than it's been for quite a while, which in turn means I'm making a more concerted effort to moisturise too - something I often skip. It's win/win for my skin. 

There's 3 variations of these exfoliating washes available: Tantaslising Lime Basil & Mandarin (my fave by far), Enigmatic Pomegranate Noir (which I can't use as it reminds me of my favourite candle) & Vibrant Geranium and Walnut (of the three, this definitely appeals to both sexes). 

All three are available in The Loop HERE for €28, or on BT counters now 💦

What's your go to shower fave in the summer months? 


Friday, 21 July 2017

War for the Planet of the Apes - Movie Review



Who's In It?

Amiah MillerSteve ZahnWoody Harrelson, and Andy Serkis


What's It About?

When the American remnants army led by The Colonel attack the apes at their home, Cesar sets out for revenge in a western style posse - joined by the most blatant boardroom characters ever created.





Any Good?

It opens on a Vietnam-like attack on a monkey fort, which looks fantastic and transitions absolutely perfectly into an almost horror sneak invasion on the main fort by the humans and it looks incredible - all throughout the film. 

The movie handles the characters of the main apes so well it's easy to see them as the humans (that's the point, but they pull it off REALLY well) - that is, until the shove the offending boardroom characters in. 


The movie gets extremely heavy at points, touching on things like crucifixion, euthanasia and concentration camps - but even in incredible scenes like these they focus is instantly ripped away to what a child who has no reason to be there beyond her first scene (and somehow always fixes everything)and a monkey that tried way too hard to be funny at the worst possible times.




These characters are a slap in the face of what this movie tried and  still somehow mostly succeeded to be - a great dark western redemption meets Schindler's List. They just pull any power a scene has and kills the atmosphere to keep the studio execs biggest fear away - a non-child friendly summer blockbuster.  

I was so disappointed by the addition of the cliche deus ex machina child and comic relief - they were very clearly jammed in to appease someone because both of their entire reasons to be are explained anyway and render them pointless. 

With all that said, the rest of the characters are fantastic and so is the story - a testament to how good the film is and could have been.



Rating: 

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Epic England Road Trip ~ Part 6 ~ Stonehenge!




Welcome back to our Epic England road trip across the south of England, last week I gave you all of our tips to help make your visit to Chessington as enjoyable as ours. So far we’ve brought you from Pembroke down through Devon & Somerset as far across as Hastings and this week we’ll bring you from Chessington to (our ancestral home) Stonehenge in Salisbury, just outside London.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Cherry Pick of the Week: The Velvetizer from Urban Decay!


When the brand new Irish Urban Decay flagship store opened on Dublin's Grafton Street last month, one of the most exciting elements was that we would have exclusive access to certain products. One of those products, The Velevetizer Translucent Mix-In Medium is worth the trip to the city alone. A new take on Makeup Artists' old trick of using translucent powder to alter foundation finishes in a pinch, The Velvetizer is about to be a go to makeup product, rather than a last resort. I was thrilled when UD Ireland popped a sample my way. 

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Cherry Pick of the Week ~ The Body Shop Banana Shampoo & Conditioner!


Let's try a little something different, shall we? A return of Cherry Pick of the Week (this time with a product or service that's seriously impressed that week). While I will continue to micro blog beauty news & reviews on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat & Twitter, I feel a dedicated return of beauty to the blog might be worthwhile too, and what better product to kick us off than another return? This time it's The Body Shop Banana Shampoo & Conditioner!

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The ULTIMATE list of Chessington Tips!






Welcome back to our Epic England road trip across the South of England, over the last few weeks I’ve told you about DEVON, SOMERSET, THE NEW FOREST
and BRIGHTON.
This week we’re going to share all of our tips for visiting Chessington World of Adventures on a budget, strap yourselves in!