Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Botanist: Possibly the friendliest place in Chester

As soon as the Tommy's Chester Girls heard about a quirky new bar on St. Werburgh Street , we wasted no time checking out their website and Social Media. 10 minutes later we had booked a table for food and planned Pre-Cocktails on their sun terrace. You could call us fickle but were suckers for a themed venue and knew this would be right up our street.

We arrived at The Botanist quite excitable, the sun was shining and for the last 24 hours we had been studying the drinks list and knew exactly what we were going to start with; a Watering can. Yes that's right a watering can. For those of you who don't know The Botanist is completely themed around plants, herbs and all things green fingered as A Botanist is someone who specializes in the study of plants. Although this theme would have been very fresh and unique had it just been down to decor, it was superbly played through from the hanging bicycle over the bar down to the obviously well researched knowledge of the bar staff.

The watering can we choose was the "Raspberry and Sage", its based on four people sharing,  we each ended up with 3 drinks from it and I think this was well worth the price and the wait for it to be made. For those of you who visit The Botanist (and I urge you all to go) you will find that the drinks take a little longer to make as they are extremely passionate about making sure each drink sold looks and tastes perfect. I found it personally really refreshing and honest that they test the drinks with a straw before passing them over the bar and will add a little bit extra of the ingredients to make sure its just right. I truly could not fault the customer service of the eye candy... I mean staff behind the bar.

We took a seat upstairs on the sun terrace and naturally took a million selfies and group photos with the watering can. We possibly looked over excited but the detail that The Botanist puts into every aspect of their drinks is incredible. Our cocktail glasses were actually mugs shaped as a flower pot with a caterpillar as the handle. Each "flower pot" came filled with ice and herbs in a small wooden crate complete with grass (plastic but sssh). I think by this point we were all completely sold on the place.

Once we had finished our drinks we asked to be seated and were directed to large picnic style table inside over looking the bar. Ellen and Emily ordered the Chicken Hanging Kebabs which came with chips and myself and Jessica ordered the Burgers. Let me just take a second to talk about the chips... I'm not a huge chip eater but I have been dreaming of these chips ever since, they were literally the best chips I have ever eaten. The only way I can describe them would be salt and pepper fries, we all agreed that we would go back their for the chips alone. Needless to say the food was incredible and although we did not have room for dessert we most certainly had room for more cocktails. We did try the "Peach and Rosemary" watering can which was equally as delicious as the first, although we did not seem to get as many drinks from this one, it may have been down to the fact we didn't spend half an hour taking photos of it first haha.

Post food we decided to take a seat down by the bar to enjoy some more cocktails off the menu. Any Mojito fans will love the "Raspberry Mojito", it was deliciously sharp as well as minty smooth. A run down of the other cocktails we sampled between us are the "Strawberry and Cucumber Breeze", "Blueberry and Apple Cooler" and their signature cocktail "The Botanist". We found that a lot of the cocktails were so fresh they did not taste alcoholic but "The Botanist" was definitely the strongest cocktail we tried and three out of the four of us loved it. We also loved the Strawberry and Peach Melba Bellini's.

The Botanist holds such a fantastic atmosphere and slowly transforms from "few drinks down the allotment" to "Garden Party" before you know it. We were so lost in conversation and laughs that we hadn't realized the lights go down and the eclectic cheesy (but not too cheesy) music turn right up. I can honestly say, the girls also agree, it was the best most relaxed night out I have had in such a long time. It is not often you can find somewhere you feel relaxed enough to stay from food to multiple drinks. We contemplated going elsewhere but we just knew it would not be the same and although we left their by 8:45pm we felt we had made the most of the evening.

If you are looking for a relaxed, comfortable, friendly and refreshingly unique Bar/ Restaurant experience, I urge you to try The Botanist and you will not be disappointed. Keep your eye out for  "emptyyourwateringcans" while your there and don't forget to TOMMYSrecommends

Lots Of Love

Carys x

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

12 Easier than Check-in Holiday Hairstyles

You are on  holiday, you wake up and realise that you look like you have been dragged abroad.  Don't worry!  Here are 12 easy to do styles that will give you some easy inspiration, day or night!

1. Au Naturel - I know this thought may terrify you, but look how effortless Alexa Chung looks with her natural wave.  It honestly may not be as bad as you make out!

2.  Turban Headband - Eva Mendes wears it beautifully, and it can be a great addition to a hair up, half down, or all up style. Literally takes the thought out of everything!

3.  Flick out bob - We know it sounds ridiculously simple, but getting those curling tongs and flicking out the ends of your bob is a beautiful way to add texture and style to natural hair.  Follow with some refreshing spray to give it body.

 4.  Half up - such an easy style, that can be made as elegant or as simple as you like with twists, braids, and plaits.
 5.  Plaits & Braids - if you want a look that will see you through day and night, then think about plaits and braids.  Keeps the hair off your face, whilst still able to be as messy or neat as you like!

6.  Off your face - no were not talking about too many mojitos at the pool bar.  Use cute little plaits or pins to simply take your hair off your face and leave your hair with it's natural body.  Think about adding some subtle slices of blonde in your hair before you go on holiday, they will brighten in the sun and really add to the look!
 6.  Twist & Pin - This look here by Khloe Kardashian is literally as simple as it gets.  You can add as many or as little as you want, will go through to night, and if you've been in the sea, the salt will add some great texture to your long locks!

8.  The low ponytail.  This is a great look, can be back combed for texture, or made as sleek as you like.  We personally love the messy low pony, and you can take a section of hair and wrap around the bobble to disguise and add some sophistication to the look.  The great thing about this style is that you wouldn't even need to wash your hair!
 9.  Mid length curls.  People always think that you need to curl the whole length of hair when going out. Simply  blast dry the top with serum, grab sections and curl the bottom half.  It adds fab texture and style and simply add a good hairspray to finish off!
 The hat & the plait - What could be easier?  Invest in a decent trilby, side plait the hair, and then carry on with your holiday cocktail!  Backcomb the plait a little to add texture, or mess around with the plait style, fish braid etc.  Miranda Kerr carries this look off effortlessly.

11. Be blunt!  Don't even want to think about your hair whilst on holiday?  Your pre-holiday appointment (ideally about 1-2 weeks before you leave) Speak to your stylist and get a blunt style like Reese Witherspoon here. The straight lines will literally let you get away with hair murder on holiday.  It will hold it's shape, and the straight lines mean that no matter what it's shape it will give a great look.

12.  Refresh. Let's be honest if you've got hair like Penelope Cruz without a team of 40 stylists running behind you then you are going to be in trouble on holiday.  Want a tip?  Refreshing Spray!  Shu Uemura do a great depsea foundation refreshing spray. Pop it through the hair, blast back into shape and boom! You are ready again.  Great if you are in a rush or just want to revive a style!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Packing for holidays!

Everyone knows what it's like.  You are packing your suitcase, and amongst the 7 bikini's, 5 pairs of shorts, and countless maxi dresses, you have to get your entire shelf of haircare products condensed into just one bag... ooookkkaaaayyyyyy.

Here are our tips on packing the essentials this holiday. Courtesy of our lovely team!

1. Anti Frizz - Battling the Beach look?  Here are Jennalea's comments on keeping the frizz at bay "The key is to get yourself some hydrating masks, conditioners, and some UV protective gel or serum.  Secondly, stay away from the sea water!  We know that's impossible, so the key thing to do is ensure that your hair hydrated before it hits the sea.  Salt Water really messes up your hair, giving it a frizzy look.  If there is no way you can avoid the pool or sea, then hydrate it with masks and serum, then rinse in the shower before you hit the pool" (yes...the one that is usually located right by the pool and always runs freezing cold!)  This hydration will stop so much chlorine / sea water getting into the hair, preventing the level of frizz you are used to!  Simply condition and rinse after the sea/pool, and put it up into a bun or top knot for evening!

2. Protect, protect, protect. Sally of our Chester Salon rather passionately states "Everyone wonders what the point in putting UV protection on their hair is. Your hair and your skin are basically made out of the same stuff! Would you go outside in that scorching sun without wearing sun cream?  The hair can become weak, brittle, sun damaged, colour faded, and unmanageable".  Use a good quality UV protecting spray or put on a sun hat!  Include in your packing a shampoo which also protects your colour from the sun.  There are some amazingly brilliant colour protecting shampoos out there now. Nobody wants to look like they've just jumped out of bed and straight on holiday.  Get your colour done before you go, and protect it whilst away! You will look and feel better for it.  Plus you won't get stared at for having that lovely big stripe on the top of your head all holiday.

3. Electric style - You go on holiday, and after a day of being in the sun with no decent conditioner or serum, jumping in and out of the sea, and thinking you need to sort your frizzy hair out, you decide that straightening it (let's be honest probably without heat protection as you forgot to pack it) or curling it will make you look human again.  Take note of the previous steps, and simply shampoo, condition and leave.  Camilla, Creative Stylist at the Ruthin Salon says "Pack the tongs not the straighteners, and when dry, shape and curl random sections to give a much more groomed look when you hit the bar that night, you can concentrate on having a good time and not moaning about the humidity making your hair curl even though you only straightened it 45 minutes ago.  If you can't beat it, join it". So true Camilla!

4.  Accessories! You want to 'jush' your look whilst away with minimal effort? Pack a couple of accessories this holiday. Tommy says  "Loose knots and messy buns can all be fixed with a couple of kirby grips, and then teased and clipped with diamant√© grips, flowery slides, or tasteful hair clips.  Or even simpler, wear a teased ponytail.  Once cleansed, conditioned and treated, pull the hair back, put in ponytail, then take a section of your hair and wrap around the bobble, securing in place underneath with a kirby grip.  Then continue to back comb the pony with your fingers.  The look will be casual, yet fashion forward".

 So what do you need in summary?

Products - UV Protecting Shampoo, conditioner, and mask / serum
Tools - Hairdryer (if the hotel doesn't have one) Curling tongs
Accessories - Grips, slides, and other pretty things.

Stay tuned and we will be recommending some products for you over the coming days.

With Love From Tommy's xxx