2018 Summer Must Haves

Hello my lovelies a very happy Monday to you all! The weather in the UK has been amazing so far this year and I put together a short ‘2018 Summer Must-haves’ list. My aim was to give you some inspiration on the products worth getting this season. Most of them are a great investment and you will be able to benefit from them throughout a year.

1. Vionic shoes

As some of you know, I was trained as a professional image consultant and even worked for some well known brands including Christian Dior. I love stylish shoes and I own over 100 pairs but most of them aren’t suitable for everyday wear… Whilst I adore my Louboutin’s – let’s be honest – nobody can wear them all day long. They look amazing but they are also extremely uncomfortable.

I was on a mission to find some stylish and comfortable shoes for this summer when I came across – Vionic. The range offers podiatrist-designed footbed in every pair of their shoes and is a result of 30 years of research and development by renowned Australian podiatrist – Phillip Vasyli.  Vionic’s sandals, slippers, active shoes and casual flats ranges use natural alignment technology which helps to promote alignment from the ground up. Vionic’s wedges and heels, on the other hand, use elevated support technology which everyone comfort and style in our wedges and heels. I’ve decided to get a pair of beautiful ‘Ainsleigh’ wedges. They have crossing elastic straps and black leather uppers which add some modern take on the classic espadrille wedge silhouette. As they are elevated my legs look longer and sexier. They are also perfect for a day-to-night wear and you can easily ear them with an elegant dress or a pair of trousers if you wish. Below you can find a proposed outfit and how it looked on my last Saturday.

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I will be sharing some photos wearing Vionic’s on my Instagram (@firstclassloungewithme). What I like the most about them is the fact that I can feel them all day long and I do not end up with painful and tired legs. It’s almost like wearing the slippers so the technology behind them definitely works.

vionic

I am a number 1 fan of the brand now and I’ve even ordered a pair of smart ‘Josie’ heels which I wear for meetings at my office and parties. Vionic has a lot of stylish and comfortable shoes available though so you need to check their website and order some:

https://www.vionicshoes.co.uk/

2. Assome! Ultrasonic Massager

We’ve just booked our summer break to Fuerteventura and I started thinking about what diet, exercise and beauty treatments I can have to improve my bikini-body. Whilst researching the beauty treatments I cam across the beauty Tech brand Assome! which has launched ground-breaking technology to help women say goodbye to cellulite for good, all within the comfort of their home. This innovative long-lasting cellulite treatment works with ultrasonic technology to increase the skin’s natural thickness, reduce bumps and stimulate collagen production.

Combing three cutting-edge technologies- LED, radiofrequency and ultrasonic waves the Assome! Ultrasonic Massager fights cellulite and helps to lift and firm your booty in the comfort of your home.

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For those sick and tired of paying for beauty treatments that promise and don’t deliver, Assome! provides a dedicated alternative. For too long the beauty industry has focused its energy developing technology to improve the skin on our faces, it is now time to focus on the booty. Assome! wants women around the world to love how they look from head to toe, from back to front, and especially in the booty department!

In addition to Assome! massager the range also offers ultrasonic absorption gel and a selection of advanced, targeted serums that help to penetrate beyond the dermal layer to lift, tighten and reduce cellulite. I’ve only been using the massager and the serums for a month and I can already see that my skin is much smoother and my cellulite is less visible so I hope that I will be bikini-ready for my break next month.

If you would like to find out more and order your own Assome! products then please check: https://amzn.to/2v03Boj

3. SmoothSkin IPL

As some of you know, laser hair removal is quite costly when you do it at the professional beauty studio. I was looking for a longer-term hair removal option as I am very busy and shaving every couple of days is extremely time consuming. I came across SmoothSkin IPL which is the latest Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) hair removal system from SmoothSkin.

IPL

SmoothSkin Muse is created to break the hair cycle by using Intense Pulsed Light to prevent further regrowth. Light energy is absorbed by the hair follicle which heats up and stops unwanted hair from growing back. By using SmoothSkin Muse once a week for 12 weeks initially, all hair follicles will be captured and treated to really kick start your
treatment and give the best results. After the initial 12 treatments, top-up sessions will be required when and if you need them – usually once every 4 to 8 weeks. Depending on your skin tone, hair types and lifestyle the treatment regime might vary slightly but what’s great once you’ve been through the initial 12 sessions, you can adapt it to your needs.

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In addition, SmoothSkin Muse has an in-built skin tone sensor which will offer you a bespoke treatment with every flash. The technology, scans your skin before
each flash and automatically selects the light intensity best suited to your unique skin tone – maximising your results, safely.

So, if you are looking for a permanent hair removal which you can do in the comfort of your own home and at the fraction of the price you would pay at the hair removal salon, then look no further! I’ve been using the SmoothSkin Muse device for over a month now and I am impressed already as the hair that grows back looks thinner and lighter. What’s more, the device looks very stylish and exclusive. It is currently on offer on Amazon with £50 discount so get it before they run out of stock:

https://amzn.to/2OoPpgi

4. Salter Back Massager Shiatsu Massage Chair

I have recently ordered Salter’s Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder’s massager for my father for his Father’s Day gift and he uses it daily now. When I am busy running around all day and my muscles are tired after my gym sessions I love to go for a relaxing pedicure at the local shopping centre as they have massaging chairs there. I decided to treat myself and get my own massaging chair which I can use on my return home when I need a pick-me up treatment.

Salter Back Massager Shiatsu Massage Chair has targeted buttons for lower back, upper back or full back massage options and is easy to adjust to provides anyone with relaxing massage. It has a simple handheld controller and you can either try out the pre-programmed demo or customise your massage and adjust the nodes to your perfect fit. It’s also easy to choose the areas you want to focus on with target buttons for lower back, upper back or full back massage options.

saltermassagechairIn addition, Salter Back Massager Shiatsu Massage Chair can also be used for a targeted relief if you want to target a specific area, according to your height and preference, you can adjust the position of the rotating massage mechanism with the easy to use hand-held controller.

What’s more, Salter Back Massager Shiatsu Massage Chair has a smoothing heat and seat vibrations penetrating warmth deeper into stiff muscles during your Shiatsu massage so you can just seat and enjoy it.

You can order it now on Amazon with 40% discount using this discount code and the link listed below: SALTER40

https://amzn.to/2Lw0Mp2

I love all products featured in this review and if you decide to get anything from my list then I hope that you will enjoy them as much as I do 🙂

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Pauline

After-work tapas at James Cochran’s restaurant

As you all know I am a massive foodie. I work in the City of London (near Monument) and I always enjoy discovering hidden-gems where I can unwind after work. I recently visited EC3 restaurant by James Cochran who received 2 Michelin stars at The Ledbury. The restaurant was names in Fay Maschlers top 10 restaurants of 2016 and James Cochran definitely deserves this as he is an excellent chef. I was impressed by his tapas menu which I experienced after work a couple of weeks ago.

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Atmosphere: 

James Cochran’s restaurant has a very casual atmosphere. It has a modern decor with a few paintings and a vibrant, bright yellow chairs adding some chic to its interior. Its guests have an option to pop-in for some drinks or sangria which are served at its 16-seat bar in front of the restaurant or to have a meal / tapas. The restaurant also offers take-away menu.

Location:

James Cochran EC3 restaurant is located in the heart of City of London. It is just a few minutes walk from the Liverpool Street and Aldgate stations and easily accessible if you are travelling here by tube or bus.

Menu:

James Cochran offers its dinners original Scottish and Jamaican influenced dishes that are made from fresh, regional produce. During the summer, the restaurant offers its dinners tapas style dishes. There are 13 dishes to choose from and they are perfect for sharing with your friends or loved ones. I really like tapas as sharing food stimulates conversation and is great for any occasion. I was accompanied by my husband and we ordered 6 dishes between us:

  • pork kromeski served with peppers and mayo

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  • lamb kromeski with marmite mayo

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  • hackney n’duja Scotch egg

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  • Jamaican jerk buttermilk chicken

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  • smoked cornish mackarel with some picked fennel, pepper puree and coriander crumb

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  • smoked salmon with some apple, cod’s roe, radish, chorizo crumb and basil oil

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All of the dishes were tasty and delivered different culinary experience. My favorite were the pork and lamb kromeski – amazing croquettes dipped in batter and deep fried. The restaurant is also known for its hackney n’duja Scotch egg – it was top notch and had just the right ratio of meat to egg to crispy exterior. In addition, we both really enjoyed one of the restaurant’s signature dishes – the famed Jamaican jerk buttermilk chicken -it’s fragrant and had a perfect balance of heat, sweet and savory flavors.

The portion size of the dishes we ordered was just the right size to share between two of us. What appealed to me was that all of the dishes were reasonably priced so I will definitely return to try their A La Carte menu during the autumn.

Address:

19 Bevis Marks,

London

EC3A 7JA

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Pauline

Vietnamese meal at Pho & Bun in London, UK

Do you like oriental cuisine? I definitely do. During my honeymoon, I visited Vietnam with my husband and I was really impressed by how beautiful the country was and how friendly its’ citizens were. I like going out and discovering different restaurants so this Monday, I visited Pho & Bun for a dinner with my husband.

Atmosphere: 

Pho & Bun offers authentic Vietnamese food in a casual setting that will make you feel as if you’ve stepped foot in Vietnam.

Location: 

Pho & Bun is located in central London on the popular Shaftesbury Avenue which is a few minutes away from the Tottenham Court Road & Piccadilly Circus stations. It is also around a corner from both Chinatown and Soho. It is surrounded by many West End theatres, shops and tourist monuments so it is a great place to go to for a lunch or dinner if you are nearby.

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Menu:

Pho & Bun offers its dinners great selection of authentic Vietnamese street food at a reasonable price. There are 2 menus to choose from:

  • A La Care
  • 5 – courses tasting menu

We decided to order from the testing menu. Firstly, we selected 3 starters each to share.

  • Fresh summer roll with tiger prawn;
  • Pork & crab spring roll;
  • Mango salad with tiger prawn;
  • Chilli salt and pepper squid;
  • Sticky honey chicken wings;
  • Honey glazed spare ribs.

All starters were tasty but my favourite were the honey glazed spare ribs and pork and crab spring roll.

Secondly, we ordered our mains. I had some honey glazed BBQ pork with vermicelli. The dish was a combination of delicious pork, fresh vegetables and noodles seasoned with different herbs and spices.

A0BD95CE-9B3F-417C-B5AA-5B5E7C7A2934My husband ordered some Bun Sa Lemongrass beef rump steak with vermicelli.

We found both of these dishes really filling and tasty. I would recommend them especially when you are hungry as the portion size was really generous and we finished about half of our mains.

Lastly, we ordered some desserts. I had some mouth-watering pandan & coconut panna cotta whilst my husband decided to have some homemade soft yoghurt ice-cream. I love desserts and they were both delicious.

Overall experience:

Pho & Bun offers a range of original Vietnamese dishes with a  twist. The service was quick and friendly, atmosphere was casual so this restaurant is perfect for a casual dinning experience with your friends or family. What’s more, the restaurant is reasonably priced and our 5-course tasting menu was only £27.95 per person. I would definitely visit again!

Address: 

76 Shaftesbury Avenue,

W1D 6ND,

London

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Pauline

 

 

Father’s Day Gift Edit

I am very close with my parents so every year I put a lot of thought into any of their celebrations. As Father’s Day approaches, I wondered what he would appreciate receiving and so I got him quite a few little treats. If you are still thinking about what you should get for your dad then I put together a shortlist of products that might be of interest for you. If you decide to buy any of them then I hope that your father will like them.

Firstly, My father is almost 70 but he is probably one of the most active guys I know. He used to be an army general and he still likes to do exercise and stay in shape. Whilst doing my research into Father’s Day gifts I came across Me and My Sport which is aimed at men who like sport. My father loves cycling so I decided to get him a cyclist sculpture from www.meandmysport.co.uk It is made from metal and has an antiqued bronze finish so it looks very sophisticated. I am sure that it will look great at his bedside table and it will bring back memories of the Olympic Velodrome and the Tour de France, which he enjoys watching. There is a ton of other interesting gifts on offer on this website so if your father likes to stay active then I am sure that you will find something there. NOTHSfiona336a

The sculpture costs £24.

Secondly, I found a similar website Me and My Car https://www.meandmycar.co.uk/ that offers gifts for anyone who likes cars and let’s be honest which guy doesn’t ;-)? The gift shop offers a range of products such as classic gifts, food & drink gifts, stationery, toys, games and tech. My Father always has a cup of coffee in the morning so I decided to get him a spanner cutlery set of 4 Coffee spoons. Don’t they look amazing?

 

The set of spoons costs £30.

Thirdly, I decided to get him Salter Neck and Shoulders Shiatsu massager. As I mentioned above, my father is very active and this Shiatsu massages is perfect for anyone taking part in sports as it helps to relieve sore and aching muscles. It has 3 adjustable speeds and an integrated easy control panel. It also auto shuts off after 15 mins so it will relieve any tired muscles in almost no time. I am sure that he will love it!

This Shiatsu massager costs £59.99 and you can get it from Amazon.co.uk or Salter’s website.

My father loves high-quality leather accessories. My younger brother bought a new wallet for him so I decided to get him a nice belt. I have recently ordered a decorative purse from Berber Leather and I was really impressed by a high quality of its design and its affordable price. I remembered that Berber’s website (https://www.berberleather.com/shop/handmade-leather-belt-black) also stored the belts so I decided to order a handmade wide black leather belt for him.

It is extremely strong and durable as it is made from 2 pieces of leather stitched together to create a strong and lasting piece. Once again I was very pleasantly surprised by its price of £25 only – a bargain for such a high quality.

Lastly, my father enjoys an occasional drink with his friends so I got him a bottle of Black Cow Vodka made locally in Dorset from the milk of grass grazed cows.

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Black Cow Vodka has an exclusive bottle design and distinctive logo. It is also known to be “the worlds’ smoothest vodka” and it was launched a while ago by dairy farmer Jason Barber using his secret recipe. I am sure that my father will like it and enjoy it with his friends.

Black Cow Vodka prices start at £31.75 for 70 cl. and you can buy it from a few retailers (i.e. Marks & Spencer, Majestic, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges) or you can order it online from:

https://www.blackcow.co.uk/shop/

I hope that this review will give you some ideas and help you to come up with a perfect gift for your dad.

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Paulin

Lunch at Talli Joe – the best Indian restaurant in London

As you know, I am a massive foodie! Eating out with my husband is something that I am always up for. Recently, we enjoyed a special occasion together, we celebrated our 6th anniversary of us officially ‘going out’. Since my husband absolutely loves Indian cuisine, we decided to investigate “Talli Joe’ near Covent Garden. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of authentic Indian restaurants and take-away shops in London, but ‘Talli Joe’ was voted the best Indian restaurant in London, so it seemed like a no-brainer to book a table on a Saturday afternoon.

Location:

Talli Joe is centrally located in Covent Garden –  a popular theatre and foodie district of London. You can get there easily by public transport; Leicester Square, Covent Garden and Tottenham Court Road stations are just few minutes walk away.

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Atmosphere:

I went to the gym in the morning and when I arrived, I was welcomed by a smiley waiter who took me to my table. Whilst waiting for my husband, he took my drinks order and made me feel welcome.

The ambiance of this restaurant is very laid-back and relaxed. I really liked the funky décor and trendy finish.

 

The menu:

When my husband arrived, we reviewed the menu and discovered that there were lots of dishes we fancied trying. Talli Joe’s menu takes a modern day twist on classic Indian dishes and offers its diners a vibrant selection of small plates which I can only describe as being similar to Indian tapas and great to share in addition to half plates which we ordered as our main dish.

To start with, we ordered a few small plates to share:

  • Kale Chaat – my favourite dish;
  • Kolhapuri Chaap – nice and tender lamb chop;
  • Old Delhi Butter Chicken Samosa – Tandoori Chicken thigh;
  • Truffle Ghee Kulcha.

 

For our mains I had  Kochi Beef Fry. It was a nice Scottish Beef rump tail fried with some paratha. My husband had Gol Baari Kosha Mangsho – a lovely Lamb roast on the bone + luchi.

To finish our meal, we ordered some traditional Indian desserts. Talli Joe’s Black Gajar Halwa was voted one of the Time Out Top Ten Dishes of 2016 so I decided to try it and it was just right to finish my meal whilst sipping a bit of green tea. My husband doesn’t like desserts much thus he decided to have Gulabo omemad- a rose-flavoured ice cream and he enjoyed it.

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We finished our dining experience with a great cocktail.

 

Overall experience

Talli Joe is a perfect destination for a relaxed Indian meal with a twist. The food was delicious and the service friendly so I will definitely visit again soon!

Website:
For more information and to book visit:

http://tallijoe.com/

Address:

152 – 156 Shaftesbury Avenue London,

United Kingdom,

WC2H 8HL

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Saturday lunch at Galvin at The Athenaeum

Have you heard of Michelin-starred London chefs Chris and Jeff Galvin? I definitely have so I decided to visit their restaurant for a Saturday lunch with my husband. Today, I would like to tell you about our culinary experience.

Location:

Galvin at The Athenaeum is a hotel restaurant located in the famous area of Mayfair in London. It is situated opposite Green Park and only a few minutes walk from  Green Park station walk and around 10 minutes walk from the Buckingham Palace.

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Atmosphere:

As soon as we arrived, we were welcomed by a friendly door hostess who informed our waiter of our arrival. He took us to our table and made us feel welcomed.

The hotel and the restaurant both have a classic and modern décor. AS we visited during lunch, the restaurant was buzzing with Londoners enjoying their afternoon in the beautiful surroundings, most with a glass of prosecco in hand. There was a soft music playing at the background.

The menu:

Galvin at The Athenaeum offers its dinners a few menus to choose from – Afternoon Tea, Prix Fixe and Lunch Menu. We decided to have a set, bottomless prosecco menu.  The menu is developed Chris and Jeff Galvin who focus on British specialties. They champion Britain’s delicious local produce and support independent farmers across the UK.

To start with, I ordered some classic crayfish salad with Espelette pepper whilst my husband decided to have some deep fried whitebaits served with a bit of tartare sauce. Both dishes were tasty and presented well.

For our mains we both decided to have a Rose County rib-eye, Béarnaise sauce and chips. It was cooked to perfection and my husband cleared his plate in no time.

I love desserts so I was in heaven when I discovered that the restaurant offers an unlimited desserts buffet to its dinners during the Saturday & Sunday lunch. I was able to choose from:

  • Blood orange cheesecake
  • Chocolate mousse & coco nibs
  •  marinated pineapple & vanilla cream Yorkshire rhubarb,
  • champagne & white chocolate trifle Fruit salad,
  • meringue & blueberry coulis
  • Apple, pear & almond tart Pistachio éclairs
  • Macaroni

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My husband prefers savoury options so he had some cheese from a selection of English cheese and accompanied it with some grape chutney.

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Overall experience

We both enjoyed our Saturday bottomless set lunch at Galvin at The Atheneaum. The restaurant is perfectly located and I would definitely recommend anyone to go for a romantic walk around the Green Park and St. James’s Park after their dinning experience, especially if the weather is nice. The service and atmosphere were flawless and as the menu is very reasonably priced I will definitely return here again soon!

Website:
For more information and to book visit:

https://www.athenaeumhotel.com/restaurant-bar/galvin-at-the-athenaeum/

Address:

116 Piccadilly,

Mayfair,

London W1J 7BJ

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Iceland Foods Feaster Dinner

As some of you know I am a massive foodie and I love trying different products, recipes and cuisines. I normally write about dining at top restaurants but where do I shop to create meals in the comfort of my home? You will probably be surprised by what I have to tell you today so read on… I have recently attended ‘Iceland Feaster’ event focusing on Iceland’s Easter range and today I would love to share with you my thoughts about their products.

Background:

Iceland Foods launched a while ago in 1970 and it is currently one of Britain’s fastest-growing retailers with over 900 stores based in UK. Iceland focuses on frozen products and a recently conducted blind taste test by 32 UK chefs showed that there were no significant differences when eight frozen products and their fresh equivalents were put to test. In addition to it’s own branded products, Iceland offers lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, food cupboard, bakery options and variety of other products from famous brands such as: Slimming World, Pizza Express, Millie’s Cookies. There’s something delicious for everyone! What’s more, if you like eco-friendly brands then you will be pleased to discover that Iceland is the first major retailer to commit to being plastic-free across their own label range by 2023.

Event: 

I was invited to attend the Feaster event last week and I was really looking forward to it as I have recently discovered that Iceland won multiple awards such as ‘Business Initiative of the Year’ and ‘Online Supermarket of the Year’ (Which? 2016 and 2017).

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The event was lead by the UK Food Hero Award winning chef – Neil Nugent. The purpose of the event was to showcase some of Iceland’s Easter products and show all attendees how they can create a perfect Easter dinner for their family using high-quality frozen products.

Firstly, chef Neil showed us how to prepare a perfect fish-cake with a running egg in the middle. It was great to watch him conducting live cooking show demo and sharing his tips with all attendees.

I loved discovering little tricks such as cooking a pierced egg for 6 minutes and 10 seconds. Once our starter was prepared, all attendees had an opportunity to taste it. Our fishcake was served with a bit of sour cream, mayonnaise and mustard dressing. It was delicious! I couldn’t believe how easy it was to prepare it and I have already recreated it at home since I returned from the event.

Secondly, chef Neil worked on our mains.

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He showed us how to create a perfect dish based on the Iceland’s British Turkey Crown, broccoli on a bed of beans, couscous with an edible egg shell and accompanied by some rich Morley sauce with cranberries. It was delectable.

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After our mains, we were shown how to create some perfect hot cross buns in two different ways.

Chef Neil showed us how to make a perfect bacon jam and shared with us his rarebit recipe. I really enjoyed the bacon jam and I definitely need to prepare some for my husband!

Lastly, we were served some of the Iceland Luxury Raspberry & Pistachio Layered Pavlova.

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I have a very bad sweet tooth and this cake was simply delightful. It was better than some of the cakes I buy from Patisserie Valerie and was definitely my favourite product I tasted during the event. I couldn’t believe that it only costs £6 and serves 8. Clearly delicious food doesn’t have to be expensive.

Final thoughts: 

I think that lots of you probably think that frozen food cannot be tasty. I had a similar preconception however it changed after I attended Iceland’s Feaster event. All food was mouth-watering and I will surely do my Easter Weekend shopping at Iceland. As I loved the Luxury Raspberry & Pistachio Layered Pavlova, I am looking forward to trying some more of the Iceland’s desserts to satisfy my sweet tooth cravings. You should definitely give Iceland foods a go and I hope that you will be as positively surprised as I was!

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Pauline