Monday, 30 March 2015

The Bluebell Tearoom, Stirling.

The Bluebell Tearoom is located just on the outskirts of Stirling town center. Hidden away among other cafes and shops, the tearoom is hardly an undiscovered gem by any means. Though, as expected, on arrival the cafe's tables were occupied by a few old women and one mother and daughter. My boyfriend and I probably looked completely out of place, little did we care at the time. The menu wasn't extensive, sandwiches, soup of the day, scones and cakes. We already knew what we had came to the tearoom for. 

(Pictured; Afternoon Tea at The Bluebell Tearoom)

Famous for their afternoon tea, we knew there was only one option. With the choice of a sandwich filling each, a scone each, a selection of cakes between us and endless pots of loose leaf tea, we were not disappointed. I chose a classic egg mayo, Alex a ham and mustard, served on a homemade seeded bread that was the best I've possibly ever tasted. The scones were delicious, warm and served with homemade cream and jam. Considering I think dried fruit is offensive and wrong in every way, I was  so so pleased that we were given a fruit and a plain scone. The cakes were a mixture, yet equally as nice. The cake of the day was a small malteaser slice each, along side mini red velvet, toffee and sponge cakes. The owner was impressed that we managed to scoff the lot within the hour, I think she underestimated us and our love for cakes. 

 (pictured; The Bluebell Tearoom)

The decor was simple, white chairs, white walls and table cloths. Yet the room was filled, top to bottom, with colourful and impressive vintage ceramic tea sets, which we were informed were all donated by customers of The Bluebell Tearoom. All sets were different, giving each table an individual personality. The picture above shows the only bluebell set they currently own, donated by a customer after he passed away. Also, as far as I am aware, the tearoom and Hotel Colessio are the only places in Stirling that serve real afternoon teas. Overall, The Bluebell Tearoom is a favourite in Stirling. With nothing else quite like it in the area, the tearoom covers a niche quite different from any other. 

Food - 8.5/10
Cafe Decor - 9/10
Overall 8/10
I really look forward to going back here and trying different sandwiches and drinking endless pots of loose leaf breakfast tea from their gorgeous tea sets.


Monday, 23 March 2015

MAC Cinderella A Stroke of Midnight Palette

(pictured; MAC Cinderella Stroke of Midnight palette

The collection we'd all been waiting for, once again, flashed before our very eyes and was sold out. MAC cosmetics love playing games with their customers. No real release date, definitely no release time. You're lucky if you even get a week sometimes, the month is only mentioned in the small print of an instagram post. Many customers will bang their fists on their desk and tell you how unfair it is, how they've been waiting for this collection for months and how they've been eyeing up a particular lipstick from the beginning, but to be perfectly honest so has every other girl who loves make up. MAC limited edition collections are designed to be sought after by all and, as you can probably tell by their extortionate prices on eBay, they are. The beautiful packaging unfortunately does mean that this collection sold out before I even knew it was available and by no means was I the only one. Only a small minority of those who wanted the collection actually managed to get their hands on something, with many girls taking advantage of this and buying vast amounts of products they knew they could sell on way above the RRP. Such is life unfortunately. In some ways it is better for collections to be randomly released, as surely MAC's server couldn't hold the amount of traffic it would receive in the ten minutes leading up to the release. Nonetheless, I wanted this palette before and after the collection sold out. I was desperate to get my hands on it and after a good week of tips from work I found myself purchasing it for over the RRP online. Ladies, I do not regret a thing. 

Firstly, I did think the packaging looked a little cheap and tacky when the initial collection images were released. The gold and this particular shade of blue was always going to be tricky. However, on receiving my palette I was pleasantly surprised. The blue is a a lot softer in real life, looking almost matte finished, and the gold a lot less brash and yellow. MAC Disney collection by far have the best mix of packaging, product names and colours. Vapour, Phloof!, Omega, Quarry and Satin Taupe are all well loved MAC eyeshadows. All classic neutral shades that are perfect for an every day look but that can also be built up to make an incredible smokey eye. The final shade, A Stoke of Midnight, is by far the darkest and most pigment shade of the palette, with a striking resemblance to the shade Beauty Marked. I'll be honest, it took me a good few days of looking at palette before I actually used it. It is just gorgeous. Overall, I am still smitten with the palette and the collection as a whole.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The Fat Cyclist, Stirling.

 (pictured; The Fat Cyclist decor)

The Fat Cyclist must have only opened a few months ago now and if you know me well, or just follow me on instagram, you'll be shocked to know that I had never actually tried the cafe until a few weeks ago. One gorgeously sunny Sunday morning, when my shift at work didn't start until 1, my boyfriend and I decided to go for a walk into town to get some breakfast. Not wanting to go for a classic fry up, we walked straight past Wetherspoons and down to the The Fat Cyclist, which at 11am was already packed. We took this as a good sign and went straight in, got a sofa and ordered the BEST pancakes I've had for ages. I chose nutella and Alex chose salted caramel. I must admit, the salted caramel pancakes were miles better than mine, which is saying something considering mine were amazing. Both came with huge chunks of banana and we both ordered orange juice, which despite coming straight from a carton actually tasted really fresh. The service after ordering was marginally slow, the pancakes took up to twenty minutes and the orange juice took around five (weird considering we literally watched him pour it from the carton). Breakfast was absolutely spot on though and I was so impressed with the decor of the cafe. Everything they have is made out of recycled goods, with the bike theme running throughout the cafe. There are books, board games and comfy sofas, meaning that you could easily spend a good few hours there undisturbed. The cake selection wasn't great. There was one huge coffee cake with layered with butterscotch cream that looked nice, other than that it wasn't much of a 'coffee and cake cafe', more of a casual lunch kind of place which, fair to them, seems to be paying off. I also like how they have tried especially hard to incorporate their menu and their decor to suit a wide a clientele. Adults, students and children all appreciate good food and a cosy setting and I'm please a cafe in Stirling has finally picked up on this.

 (pictured; nutella pancakes)

Food - 8/10
Cafe Decor -9/10
Overall 8.5/10
I'm really keen to try out other things now I've had breakfast here and I'm 100% sure that the rating will only go up after I do.