Ox Pasture Hall Hotel: Review

Ox Pasture Hall Review Grounds

I’m bringing you a rather different kind of review today! A couple of weeks ago, Tiz and I were invited to the beautiful Ox Pasture Hall Hotel near Scarborough, North Yorkshire, to stay in a luxury suite (how fancy!) and let you know what we thought of everything. You might have spotted a couple of snaps on my Instagram feed from our stay, but I wanted to bring you the full low-down on this gorgeous hotel in a full blog post. Let’s go!

Hotel

As you can see from the first photo above, the hotel itself is a stunning country house with a LOT of land surrounding it. We’re city dwellers and do miss greenery from time to time, so this was a great break for us. Despite the rain and cold weather (we do live in the UK, let’s be honest) we were greeted very warmly by the reception staff and shown to our room. We wandered through the twisting inside-and-outside corridors of the hotel before arriving at the courtyard you can see in the bottom left photo above. Our room was at the far corner, and just behind and to the right was a cute mini-lake overlooking even more rolling countryside. Bliss!

Ox Pasture Hall Review Bedroom

Our bedroom consisted of three separate areas – a living room (top left), an absolutely wonderful bathroom and the sleeping area, complete with a king sized bed. I cannot describe how comfortable the mattress was! It was the kind of bed you decide you never want to leave as soon as you jump into it – the covers were super cosy too. All in all, the bedroom was clean, warm (very important to me!) and well-equipped. There were only a couple of things I’d change in an ideal world – the WIFI didn’t extend to our bedroom, which made Instagramming tricky (there were so many things I wanted to post about) and there happened to be a rather active family staying in the room above, whose footsteps we could hear quite heavily. But all-in-all, we were relaxed and happy in the room.

Ox Pasture Hall Review Bedroom

The room’s facilities were great, with a good range of toiletries to use and plenty of tea, coffee and hot chocolate supplies. The little details, like the clock and paintings on the wall, were wonderful touches and made the space seem very homely. In a way, the lack of WIFI was quite nice – people often talk about having technology ‘blackout’ nights to stop the distractions of our phones and laptops getting in the way of actual conversation, and we found it was quite refreshing. There was good internet access in the lobby and lounge areas, so we didn’t miss out too much.

Restaurant & Food

Now for the absolute highlight of our trip – the food and drink at the hotel’s Courtyard Restaurant! WOW. I mean it. There are certain meals I can pinpoint as being truly exceptional, and this was undoubtedly one of them. Let’s start with what I ate as a vegetarian at dinner…

Ox Pasture Hall Review Dinner Food

When we went down to the restaurant for dinner, we were first taken into the lounge and given a glass of bubbly (my favourite!) and our orders were taken from the menu. We were led into the beautifully laid out restaurant and first brought an unexpected amuse-bouche – a teacup of Cream of Carrot soup. I am very picky when it comes to soup, but fell in love with this one – I knew we were in for a real treat. My starter was a Goat’s Cheese Panna Cotta, the perfect option for me. As you can see in the top right hand corner, it was served with beetroot crisps, orange slices and other fruity delights. Incredible. But then we come on to the main…this Open Lasagne, created for veggies, was one of the best dishes I have ever tasted. I can’t even explain how amazing the flavours were. Divine from start to finish. My dessert was equally fantastic, and I opted for the Sticky Toffee Pudding. We also had some lovely red wine with the meal, plus coffee (or in my case, chamomile tea) to finish.

Ox Pasture Hall Review Dinner Food

Tiz also had the amuse-bouche but I thought I’d include a photo of the bread we were also given, which was delicious! He loved his food as much as I did – his starter was a Traditional Prawn Cocktail, his main was Lamb with Dauphinoise Potatoes and Butternut Squash Puree, and he chose the Chocolate and Pistachio due for dessert. When I asked him to contribute to this post, he described the food in one word (in capital letters): AMAZING. I think that says it all really! He also asked me to mention that the service, both in the restaurant and hotel in general, was fantastic. I definitely agree!

Ox Pasture Hall Review breakfast

After our dinner experience, we knew breakfast would be lovely too. We weren’t ravenously hungry (as you can expect!) so just picked what we fancied. There was a breakfast buffet (Tiz had some cereal, and we both had juice) and we were served with a generous pot of tea too. I was a tiny bit disappointed that there weren’t any pastries, as described on the menu (I have such a weakness for them), but my cooked breakfast choice of poached eggs on toast with mushrooms (my favourite things ever!) more than filled me up. Tiz opted for the Full English, and really enjoyed it!

Weddings

Ox Pasture Hall Review weddings

As many of you know, Tiz and I are engaged (6 months today!) and couldn’t help noticing that Ox Pasture Hall is also a wedding venue. Although we’re personally not actively wedding planning at the moment, it was still good to appreciate how the venue could work for someone’s big day. I think for a small-medium sized summer wedding, the hotel would be simply stunning – the opportunity for photos amongst the green land when the sun is shining would be amazing, and as you can see in the photos above, the hall looks spectacular when all done up according to the wedding’s colour scheme.

The major plus point for me would be the availability of rooms at the hotel for guests to stay over. It’s something we’re very conscious of, and it makes all the difference if people don’t have to worry about finding a separate place to stay after the reception comes to an end. If you’re engaged and are looking for a beautiful Yorkshire countryside venue, definitely look up Ox Pasture Hall!

A huge thank you to the hotel for inviting us to stay with them, and for their hospitality. We had a great break and hope to return again some day!

Stay Creative,

Chyaz xox

Disclaimer: As mentioned, our break was complimentary and paid for by Ox Pasture Hall Hotel.

Cute & Quirky: Flamingo Gifts Review

I love all things cute, quirky and totally kitsch – with me, the more unusual something is the better! I was really excited to be sent some gorgeous goodies from Flamingo Gifts to try out and share with you all. Prepare yourselves for unicorns, sparkles and utter awesomeness!

Flamingo Gifts Unicorn Plasters Strawberry

Let’s start with this cute little Umbrella Jewellery holder. Since getting engaged I haven’t worn my usual rings as frequently (I felt like my diamond should have centre stage for a while!) and they were sitting around on my dressing table. This upside-down brolly is so cute and totally perfect for keeping them safe and together. It couldn’t have arrived at a better time! Next, on to the Enchanted Unicorn Bandages. I don’t really know what I can say about these, other than that they’re spectacular – no one likes getting a cut or graze, but when you get to cover it up with a unicorn plaster things don’t seem so bad. At the top is something I have been looking for for AGES – a Strawberry Bowl! It would be perfect for a big fruit salad, or popcorn if you fancy a treat. It’s brilliant, and one of my favourite items from the bunch.

Flamingo Gifts Lolita Glass Tiara

I have wanted one of these glasses since I was at uni! There was a little gift shop that sold them and I always used to marvel at their fabulousness – now I own one! It’s the Lolita Tiara Glass, complete with sparkles, gems and a recipe on the bottom of the glass. It is just pure princess indulgence, and the cocktail suggestion actually sounds delicious! I could totally picture drinking out of this on a special occasion, like my birthday or our anniversary, and I’d feel like a total sassy-pants the whole time. I adore it!

Flamingo Gifts Cookie Cutter Heart

I love all-things-Alice-in-Wonderland, and when it comes to the story I can’t help thinking of yummy baked goods! This cookie cutter may not say ‘eat me’, but it does tell you that the biscuits are ‘home made’! I haven’t made cookies in a little while and I feel totally inspired to get baking now – I’ll have to look up some healthy recipes! If you have any suggestions, please do leave me some ideas in the comments below.

What do you think of these gifts from Flamingo? Do you love them as much as me? A huge thanks to the company for sending them to me!

Stay Creative,

Chyaz xox

Dealing With A Total Style Rut

I am in a style rut. There’s no two ways to put it – I’m having one of those moments (weeks…months?) where I can’t stand how I look in anything, and just want to start from scratch. It sounds like such a silly, whiny non-problem, but when so much of what you do involves your appearance, it can really start to get you down.

I’ve always had a bit of a style battle on my hands. I went from being an awkward tomboy who wouldn’t even wear a dress to my mum’s wedding (I insisted on a white suit…kind of chic when I think about it), to an alternative teenager who shunned the high street for punk-inspired indie stores (see the photo below!), to a slightly lost 24-year old who doesn’t feel like she fits in anywhere when it comes to fashion. I have my favourite brands, like Black Milk (whose clothes make me feel super sassy) but aside from that, I tend to struggle. I feel that nothing really suits me, and my wardrobe is almost exclusively black-and-white.

Chyaz Alternative Style

The thing is, I know what I like in my own mind. But when it comes to trying on clothes, or putting together an outfit, I have a total brain meltdown. I tend to get obsessed with one particular item (at the moment it’s this black blazer from Dorothy Perkins – it’s lovely, but not exactly mind-blowing) and wear it to death. Picking an outfit for an occasion sends me into meltdown, and I inevitably go for something boring each time. The thing is…I’m not a boring person. At all. So why can’t my style reflect my personality?

I think some of it is to do with the annoying, freezing cold weather we’re having at the moment. I hate being cold so just go for comfy options, which feels nice for a while but quickly makes me feel frumpy. In the summer I’m much more daring, and my rock-inspired style comes out more, but I still feel I want to mix it up a little. I know what I want to do…it’s just a case of getting there.

Chyaz Black Milk Westerns

So what I’d really love is to hear your thoughts – how do you get out of a style rut? If you’ve read my blog or watched my videos before, what would you recommend for me to try out? Any help or advice would mean the world to me!

I’ll get there, and when I do I want to be able to post so much more about my style here on my blog. I just hope that time hurries itself up!

Stay Creative,

Chyaz xox

WIN: Come To The M&S Fashion Show With Me!

London Fashion Week is fast approaching, and it’s fantastic to see the style buzz extending out from the capital to other British cities! I think Manchester is one of the most fashion-forward places in the world, and I was thrilled to hear that M&S are celebrating becoming an Official Sponsor of London Fashion Week by holding a catwalk show here in MCR!

m&s fashion show

I am very excited to offer two of my readers a pair of tickets each to come along to the show with me, plus receive a goodie bag! It’s being held on Wednesday 26th February, 6.30pm at the M&S store on Market Street – the show will be presented by M&S Style Director Belinda Earl, who’ll introduce the company’s Spring/Summer 15 collections, plus there’ll be exclusive footage from the London Fashion Week shows presented too!

m&s fashion show

To be in with a chance of winning, answer the following question in the comments below:

Who is the M&S Style Director?

  • Mark Earl
  • Belinda Earl
  • Anne Earl

I’ve popped some Terms and Conditions just below. You’ll have to be able to make your own way to/from Manchester, and I’ll be picking the winners at random from those who enter in the comments!

Good luck to everyone who enters!

Stay Creative,

Chyaz xox

(Disclaimer: This post was created in conjunction with M&S, who are providing the prize to two lucky readers!)

Terms & Conditions

  1. The competition will close at 5pm on Monday 23rd February.
  2. There will be two winners who will each receive a pair of tickets to the M&S Fashion Show on Thursday 26th February 2015 at 6.30pm and a goody bag.
  3. The winner must be available on Thursday 26th February at 6.30pm.
  4. Prize is non-transferrable and non-refundable.
  5. Winners will be informed by Tuesday 24th February 2014 and receive their prize no later than Thursday 26th February 2014.
  6. Prize will be delivered by Grayling [Bramley Grange, Skeltons Lane, Leeds, LS14 3DW].

Holland & Barrett Spa Day Event!

I LOVE Holland & Barrett. I think I was about 14 when I became a little bit obsessed with popping into the store every time I spotted one, and can even remember my first ever purchase – a snack bag of cashew nuts! Over time I’ve become more and more into health and fitness, and though I still pick up my cashew nuts in the store, you’re also likely to find things like coconut oil, wheatgrass powder and Vitamin B12 spray in my shopping basket.

I was over the moon to be invited along to their Weird & Wonderful Spa Day Event, its name owing to the huge and varied range of both exciting and unusual products Holland & Barrett have in their stores. It was held at the stunning Hale Country Club and from the moment I received the invitation I knew we were in for a great day! I met fellow bloggers Rosie and Cat in Manchester before heading out to Hale for our day of treats.

Holland & Barrett Blogger Spa Event Chyaz

First on the agenda was lunch! I’d visited Hale Country Club before so knew we were in for some delicious food – I opted for the grilled halloumi plus the garlic ciabatta (with cheese…can you spot a theme here?). It was, of course, divine, and after a glass of bubbly, a great chat about our favourite Holland & Barrett goodies and a quick change into our robes we were ready for our treatments! We were totally spoiled with a 2 hour pamper session, which included a divine facial and full back massage treatment. It was literally heavenly, and I don’t think I’ve ever been quite as relaxed as I was then. Full marks to Holland & Barrett for choosing the treatments, and to the therapists for carrying them out so perfectly!

Holland & Barrett Blogger Spa Event Chyaz

Afterwards, we headed into the beautiful leisure area, which includes an infinity pool, underwater massage chairs and every kind of steam room/sauna you can think of. It added a whole new level of relaxation, and even being outside in early February felt blissful as the infinity pool was perfectly heated! All of us left the day feeling totally chilled out, wonderfully pampered and just plain happy. It was, hands down, one of the best events I’ve ever been to and I’m so grateful to Holland & Barrett for such a great experience! Plus…look at how curly my hair was after being tied up in its bun. I couldn’t do this look normally if I tried!

I wanted to share a few things from their very generous goodie bag with you, plus let you know about a couple of my favourite recent purchases from Holland & Barrett. I was thrilled to find a box of Booja Booja chocolates in the extra box of treats we were kindly sent after the event – they’re vegan and free of any nasty additives, and are TOTALLY GORGEOUS! I can’t wait to try out all of the different flavours, as I’ve only tried a couple of them so far. I’m also so intrigued by this Opal London Sisal Brush (which is made from vegetable fibres produced from crushed cactus leaves, how cool is that?) – I’ve wanted to use a body brush for SO long, so here’s the perfect opportunity! I’m also loving the Dead Sea Spa Bath Salts, as I’ve long been a fan of their magical properties and was low on supplies.

Holland & Barrett Blogger Spa Event Chyaz

A week or so ago, I popped to Holland & Barrett in the Trafford Centre and picked up these two beauties in the Penny Sale! I’ve been adoring the Bioglan Wheatgrass Powder in my smoothies each morning, and I can’t wait to use the Bioglan Raw Organic Cacao powder in some healthy baking recipes. Does anyone have any recipe requests? I’d love to have a go for you!

Holland & Barrett Blogger Spa Event Chyaz

So a HUGE thank you to Holland & Barrett for such a spectacular Saturday out, and for all of the lovely gifts. It’s safe to say I love you more than ever!

Stay Creative,

Chyaz xox