Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Amy Rowley Lifestyle - Banana Tree Chelmsford Review

Oh hey! It's me..after what feels like a lifetime I am finally sitting down to write a new blog post and for good reason too! A couple of weeks back I was kindly invited down to review the new branch of he Banana Tree in Chelmsford. As a food lover at heart, I love an excuse for a girly evening with food and cocktails so I jumped at the chance and let me tell you now...I wasn't disappointed. 

I wasn't really sure what to expect as this was the first time I had heard of the Banana Tree but after looking at their website I was suprised to see that their other branches were mainly based in London. With Chelmsford's new addition 'Bond Street' it's safe to say their shopping and dining areas are going up in the world, who else agrees?

When we arrived we were kindly shown to our table and handed the menu. After a long day at work, myself and Zoe ( a fabulous work friend) were more than happy to receive all of the food choices and of course the drink menu, which included a mixture of yummy cocktails that we were keen to try out. We decided to go with the Lychee flavoured cocktail which we ended up reordering several times as they were simply delicious, so that is definitely worth a try if like us you love a cocktail.






Now lets get down to business, with our food choices, as of course that is what you're here to read. We decided to go with a starter so that we could road test as much of the menu in one setting. Zoe went with the chicken dumplings in fresh herb sauce and I decided to try the crispy seafood money bags. Zoe was certainly impressed with her dumplings as before I had even managed to ask to try some she had devoured them all with a big grin left on her face. The seafood money bags were just as good and for someone that normally leaves a little bit of their starter to make room for their main, this time round I couldn't help but finish every single one. The sweet chilli dip was the perfect finishing touch to a super scrummy starter. 





For main, Zoe chose Taramind Crispy Fish with Thai Basil Glaze, which I did manage to take a sneaky bite of and have already mentally noted it down to try on my second visit. I decided to try the Thai Classic Roast Duck Curry. I'm a huge fan of duck and so wanted to try it in a slightly different dish. The waiter informed me that this didn't come with rice but if I wanted to, I could add on a mixed side which at an extra price of £3.95 was the best value side to go with. What I wasnt ready for, was for the side to take up my entire plate, a mix of rice, salad and prawn crackers...It surely was worth the money and worth getting if like me your eyes are bigger than your belly. Of course I didn't manage to finish the entire course, but I did try my best to eat as much as I could as the entire dish was very yummy. 




After seeing social media posts showcasing very cool swinging chairs, I was surprised to see that they weren't there when we visited, after all imagine the boomerang. However I have been notified that they are now up and running again so if you are keen to visit the new branch of Banana Tree you can be sure to have a bit of fun sipping your cocktail in those. 

Overall, my experience at the Banana Tree, Chelmsford was a great one and I will definitely be returning with other friends very soon. If you're in the area for an evening out or shopping and need a lunch break, this is the perfect pit stop and you're sure to be delighted with the tremendous food, cocktails and customer service that I am sure you will be greeted with. 

Thanks for reading my lovelies x














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Sunday, 13 August 2017

Amy Rowley Style - Sunday Funday

Sunday, the one day of the week that can often be misconstrued as a waste, a slump day or even time to get hung up on the fact that Monday is just around the corner. But this is not the case and today I wanted to share with you ways in which your Sunday should be spent and how to make the most of SUNDAY FUNDAY. 

As the jumper suggests, Sunday can be bundles of fun and can actually be the perfect day to slap on some make up and head out the house. After a few years of spending most of my Sundays hungover with a dominoes, I've learnt to appreciate the second day of the weekend to its fullest. Yes I sound old, but honestly i'm on to something here I promise. 

Below are five activities to get involved with on a summer Sunday in England, some more extravagant than others. 







Outfit

Jumper - Newlook
Jeans - Asos 
Bag - Bershka
Trainers - Stan Smith 

Strawberry Picking 

Strawberry picking or fruit picking whatever your sweet tooth fancies, it's a great way to spend a summers afternoon. Take your kids, younger cousins or even just your friends that are big kids just like yourself. You will probably eat more berries as you're picking them than what you end up taking home. But you could have enough for a fruit crumble or homemade dessert if you're lucky.


Beach Picnic 

If it's a sunny day, then a picnic by the beach it's the perfect way to spend your Sunday. Pack up the strawberries, crisps, chicken strippers and cocktail sausages into a basket and head down to the seaside, with your partner or friend. The sea air will do you the world of good and it's a great chance to catch some rays while the British summer is still in full swing.


Exploring London

If you don't mind jumping on a train, then London can be the perfect Sunday city. Everything is still open, you can simply wander new parts of London that you haven't visited before, take some snaps and find a cute yet yummy cafe for brunch. Yes brunch, my favourite time of the day.


Bike Ride

Exercise and a right laugh - Bike rides are the perfect Sunday activity. If like me you don't own a bike, whip your phone out and google rental bike hire in your local area, i'm sure you will be surprised. Find a nice scenic route and take plenty of water for your journey, or at least to keep you hydrated until you find the nearest pub on route. You might ache a little the next day but that's what it's all about it. 


Discover a New Town 

This is possibly one of my favourite things to do, especially after learning to drive, but pick a town near to where you live, park up somewhere and just explore. Living on the edge of Suffolk means there are plenty of cute picturesque villages to choose from with quaint little shops and cafes, perfect for afternoon tea when you're feeling peckish. 

These are just a small range of activities that you can fill your Sundays with, but there are plenty more where that came from. Let me know how you like to spend your Sundays, whether it's chilling with family or heading to the gym for a quiet work out. 

Thanks for reading my lovelies x 


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Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Amy Rowley Lifestyle - Taking a Break

It's safe to say I haven't posted regularly in a while and not only have I missed it, but its added to my long list of stressful things. STRESS. A word thrown around a lot and a feeling that no one enjoys. And yes, you guessed it, that's where I've been; simply tackling life, being busy and more importantly feeling stressed more often than not. 

Because of this, I thought I would use my stress and turn it  into something productive...a blog post of course. Below are some of the things that I believe can help to relieve your levels of stress and ensure we take a little breather from life when needs be. 
















Outfit 

Maxi Dress- ASOS
Sandals - Office (Old) 
Bag - Bershka
Belt - Topshop

Taking a break.


First things first, it's okay to take a small break. Let yourself work through the thoughts that you're tackling and take a step back from certain things in your life, allowing you to relax where possible. For this, it meant that my blog had to take a back seat, which is unfortunate, but it had to be done. we don't always have the energy to carry on typing and thinking when we get home and sometimes we all need to shut off for a little while. Don't ever be ashamed of recuperating and letting yourself sort things out.

Sleep. 


Next up is sleep and for anyone that knows me they will be chuckling away to themselves, but my way of dealing with stress will often involve in good ol'naps. A nap at any time of the day, in any position, as long as it's a nap. It may seem silly or weird, but it can be the only way of shutting your brain off for a little while. Amongst many others, I suffer from anxiety on a daily basis and for any that share similarities in this, you will know that it can become draining and essentially exhausting. Taking yourself to your bed (my favourite place) to have a short but sweet nap, can sometimes be exactly what you need to power on through the rest of the day.

Exercise


Something I don't do enough of, but will without a doubt level out your stress levels, is exercise which is the main reason that I've joined a gym. A new thing for me, after having a good two years of no gym activity but something that i'm excited to do. It's time to set goals and enjoy running off any stress that may have built up throughout the day. 

Learn to say no 


Last but not least, a very important point is to ensure that you spend your time as you wish. It can be so easy to say yes to everything and try to please people, something I do way too often, but your time should be spent as you wish. For me, this means making time to see my family more and also to spend quality time with  my boyfriend. For those that live with your partner, you will know that it's not till you get out of those four surrounding walls that you spend quality time with them and make those memories that you never forget.

After a month or two of being of the radar, I hope to be posting more regularly and get back to the blogging game. I really hope you enjoyed this post and if you can relate to any of these points then give yourself a break, because sometimes we all need one.

Thanks for reading my lovelies x 
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Monday, 24 July 2017

Amy Rowley Travel - Budapest City Break Part Two

Better late than never it's me again, with another Budapest ramble and yes, I'm still obsessing over the incredible food that I had whilst I was there. If you missed my first blog post then read it here, perfect if you're a food lover like me. 
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Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Amy Rowley - Budapest...The Airbnb and the Food

So last week I took a little break from work to spend some much needed girl time with a bestie, in no other than the incredible city of Budapest. I really wasn't sure what to expect but I had heard so many wonderful things and after being on a couple of city breaks I was eager to travel to some more places. 


We booked our trip pretty last minute with only a month to wait until we flew away for a couple of days. After looking at several hotels not really sure what I was looking for, I decided to try Airbnb to see what it had to offer.  First off, it's safe to say there were plenty of adorable apartments up for grabs and an array of choices available but once I stumbled upon what was to be our little apartment for the trip, I knew I had found exactly what I wanted. Located in central Budapest, easy access to all landmarks, city life and of course interior goals I couldn't really say no. Being a bit apprehensive to the whole Airbnb thing, I was more than pleasantly surprised when we arrived. It literally couldn't be more perfect. Our host even offered to do the airport run to and from so we didn't have to worry about public transport. This was very welcomed and made the whole process a lot less daunting and stressful. I will leave a link to our little humble abode here, so if you fancy going to Budapest you can try it. I can highly recommend and would be happy to use again when I return to Budapest. (Which I plan to do in the near future) 






So, moving on of course you want to hear about the city and what we got up to. Our plan was to do some exploring,  eat incredible food and to relax whilst soaking up some rays...this my lovelies is exactly what we did. 

Here are the main factors to our trip and what I recommend if you are booking a trip or already have one sorted for he near future. 

Food - 


Now before I go even further, it's important that I tell you we did not eat one bad meal whilst in Budapest. Everything we had was scrummy and the drinks were just as good. 

Kiosk - we went to kiosk for dessert and drinks after our Airbnb host recommended it to us. The interior and exterior was incredibly instagramable and the drinks and dessert we had were sublime. We had a white wine spritzer with elder flower and cucumber and they were delicious, followed by a salted caramel and chocolate dessert. It's safe to say the dessert was one of the best I'd ever had and I will happily reminisce over for months. Looking back now I would have loved to have a starter and main too, so if you get the chance to, do a girl a favour and let me know if it's just as good as I imagine. 






Mazel Tov - one of the prettiest little restaurants I ever did see, this was worth getting lost for. So yes as you can imagine it's a bit tucked away, but a hidden gem if it were. We had lunch here, I tucked into a lovely hummus bowl with Pitta and falafel, whilst Katie, my friend, had a sweet potato burger with red cheddar and falafel, which of course I had a cheeky bite of too. We also got a side of fries which were lovely too. It looked like a great place to go for the evening as I can imagine it would look gorgeous at night and it looked like they had bands and singers on a regular basis. 





Perfetto - of course I can't go anywhere without finding an Italian and eating either pasta or pizza. Perfetto filled that obsession nicely with it's beautiful pasta dishes and refreshing lemonade. I had salmon fettuccine with a creamy white wine sauce and hint of garlic. Again, another amazing meal that I quite happily devoured. You can tell how good the food is when you start running out of adjectives. *laughs* 




Other quick mentions would have to go to Gelarto Rosa and Madal Coffee. Rosa being the epitome of Instagramable rose shaped ice cream and possibly the best gelato I've tasted. Madal Coffee, the perfect little pit stop for a pick me up and incredible coffee. 




So....this post is starting to seem longer than I expected, but hey what can you expect when a food lover gets started. Stay tuned for part two of my Budapest blog post. Up next is things to do and places to see. 


Thanks for reading my lovelies x 


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Friday, 23 June 2017

Amy Rowley Style - The Perfect Summer Dress

So it's official, England is currently experiencing a crazy heatwave and I don't know about you but when this tends to happen the first thing I think is.. 'Crap, what am I going to wear'. 
Feeling hot and sweaty is simply uncomfortable but of course being me, I still want to stay stylish where I can. I know floral tea style dresses have been huge this spring/summer and were last year too, but up until now i've never been able to find the perfect one for me. 

You may have seen if you follow me on Instagram, that last week I got my hair done and whenever I decide to get a refresh in the hair department I always tend to have a wild moment where I feel a bit sassy and think that I can maybe rock something that I couldn't before. This happened to occur when I entered Topshop ( big mistake) and picked up some summer bits to try on whilst I had 5 minutes to spare. I often think that these dresses don't suit me but I absolutely loved the colour and print and just thought why the hell not. After trying it on, I didn't want to take it off and although it was a little bit pricey I knew that I would get the wear out of it. So of course I ended up walking out of topshop with a sneaky purchase. 

Anyway, enough of the ramble, ( sorry i'm in one of those moods) the dress itself is as I mentioned from good old Topshop and was £46. I know what you're thinking but honestly the possibilities are endless and i've already worn it three times in the space of a week. 

It's perfect dressed down like I have for this outfit with some sunnies ( my trusty Raybans) and super cute pink loafers from New Look. But, it also looks fab with heeled sandals and a western style belt for drinks with the girls which of course occurred Saturday night, after all getting your hair done is the perfect excuse to go out. 

I know there are plenty of these dresses on the market and you can definitely pick up some more affordable options from the likes of Boohoo and Missguided, but for me I just could't help myself. I will link some other options below along with my dress for you to have a sneaky look at.





*Outfit*
Shoes - New Look



So, what do you think? Will you buying into the tea dress trend and are you a fan of my latest purchase? Let me know!

Thanks for reading my lovelies x 
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Thursday, 15 June 2017

Amy Rowley Style - Let's Talk Colour

Hey guys, it's me again, of course with a new outfit and some new ramblings that I hope are gonna make just that little bit of sense. Today I wanted to talk about the 'C' word. Noooo not that 'C' word but colour and the way you can inject different colours and shades into your wardrobe in different ways.

Now I know a number of people that seem to be afraid of wearing brighter colours and instead stick to black and white for their entire wardrobe. That is totally okay and if that's want you are comfortable wearing then go ahead, I myself am never opposed to a bit of monochrome! However I think it can be nice to be a bit more playful with your style and inject colourful pieces into your outfits. I have thought of a couple of ways that you can do this, if like many, you tend to stick with 50 shades of grey instead of wearing those brighter shades/

1. Shoes - It's summer and that means you can be overly playful with your shoe game. Use a pair of shoes to inject a bright colour into your wardrobe, by playing with red, blue or even yellow shades. Yes that's right yellow!

Yellow is going to be so big this season, from more pale shades to mustard yellow. I recently picked up this pair of mules from Primark and I absolutely love them. They just make your outfit POP! Perfect for wearing with summer dresses or as done here, with a pair of simple black jeans and white embroidered blouse. I love how the embroidery has very small accents of yellow to help pull the whole outfit together.

2. Accessories - If you still don't feel sassy enough to wear too much colour in your day to day outfits, edge yourself in slowly with a handful of accessories. Tassel earrings are really popular this season, in bright blue or red (see here.) Another way would be to incorporate a colourful bag into your look. Zara and Mango often have a great selection of good value bags that look either designer inspired or simply a lot more expensive. An example, would be pairing a red bag with an all black outfit. Perfect!!

3. Pastel Shades - If you dont want to go for a bright yellow or red, a great way of implementing colour into your wardrobe is to wear pastel shades. Sage green colours, or dusty pinks are slightly softer and not as scary, especially if you don't wear colourful items that often. By wearing pastel shades they will still work well with black, white and grey but just add that something different to your overall look. I love pale pink tones and pale blue. If you follow me on Instagram (@amyrowleyy) you will have seen me wear a baby blue suede biker from Zara to death.

4. Beauty - Last but not least, why not play with your makeup! A bright coloured lipstick or eye shadow will work just as well to create a pop to your outfit. If not, orange coloured nails are a fantastic way to introduce new shades into your summer look. This is also a really affordable way of mixing up your outfits as you can pick up a great lippie for around a fiver!








* Outfit *
Top - Zara 
Jeans - Topshop 
Mules - Primark 
Bag - Vivienne Westwood (No longer available)

These are just four simple ways of injecting some colourful pieces into your wardrobe. I hope you enjoyed this little post, what do you think of my new colourful mules?

Thanks for reading my lovelies x  





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