The Lady Bloggers

Sainsbury's Edible Flower Masterclass Launch

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 11 August 2017
I have walked past the historic Bourne and Hollingsworth building many times but have never ventured in. Luckily for me I had a wonderful excuse as I was invited to the Sainsbury's cake decorating masterclass with Great British Bakeoff winner Chetna Maken who would be launching their very first range of edible flowers, released in stores nationwide.

On arrival the private kitchen in Bourne and Hollingsworth is pure vintage heaven! Fresh plants, flowers, a large table workstation and old rustic wooden beams greeted me as I sat down.

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I was handed a cocktail of Frose (this summers craze of crushed rose) adorned with flowers (full on Instagram worthy) and each of our placemats had cake stands and decorating utensils complete with Sainsbury's aprons- I whipped mine on straight away!

The first thing I noticed about Chetna is she is completely captivating. She talks in a relaxed manner and brought out some freshly baked cakes, one being rose and lemon, another pistachio, followed by blueberry. She explained that her preferred protocol is to use hints of flavour rather than over powering the tastebuds.

She began by using a fragrant smelling buttercream and spoke about how to make and achieve beautiful baking by not thinking everything has to perfect- infact she made it sound so easy!

After icing and layering the cake on stands she explained that the flowers are made specifically in England at the Vale of Evesham and include varieties such as tagete marigold, monkey flowers, viola and dianthus.

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She also told us an amusing story that some people go into Sainsburys hoping to buy a bunch of flowers then decorate their food and eat them ( apparently a big no-no as some flowers can be highly poisonous!)

Finally, it was showtime i.e time to make our own. The room was full of bloggers such as Monas Eyes and Little Sunny Kitchen and I was worried my icing was going to look like I'd done it with my eyes closed compared to theirs. But the smoothing utensils helped greatly and I figured if I went wild with the flowers hopefully no one would notice if I was a bit scrimp with the buttercream! And wild I went, pretty much covering one side of the cake (whilst hoping Chetna wouldn't see the other!)

After helping each other take photos, chatting, and nibbling on other fabulous Sainsburys goodies, I realised that working with food is not only beautiful, fun, creative and therapeutic- but it brought a bunch of ladies together that evening who bonded over the simple love of baking - albeit with the icing on the cake and the flowers to go with it.

Sainsburys edible flowers are now in store.
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Ockendon Manor Spa Retreat and OTEP Launch

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Thursday, 10 August 2017
by Annette Kellow 

Sometimes in life we all need a little getaway. It can be a tranquil walk, a relaxing bath, some beautifully scented spa treatments... or a combination of all three!

Feeling like I needed a little TLC I discovered Ockendon Manor Spa and Hotel, based in Haywards Heath and handily just under one hour from London.

Arriving at Ockendon, which is set in acres of land with an abundance of flower beds, gardens and countryside I loved how peaceful the surroundings were and how friendly all the staff were as they helped me in looking rather disheveled from the rain!

My friend and I were excited to see our itinerary which had been carefully planned but first some snack indulgence! Off The Eaten Path are a new range of delicious snacks made with real vegetables. They have a high source of fibre whilst they come in delicious flavours such as sour cream, cracked black pepper or caramelised onion (naturally I simply had to try them all).

A lovely spread of all the flavours had been put out for us to nibble on (which we did more than nibble on by getting through a whole delicious bowl!)
We then had a walk organised with Devon based expert ramblers Two Blondes Walking, a duo with a wealth of information on how to get started in hiking.

annette-ockenden

We had a lovely afternoon finding our way through lush green fields and wooded areas close by. Two Blondes Walking are something of the connoisseurs of hiking, with a refreshing blog, authors of three books and some amazing tips which would make even the most fearful of walking get their waterproofs on and get outside! Their reason for this is to build confidence whilst we discussed the importance of how it can improve mental health and physical ability.

I think my favourite tip from them was that a long distance walk can burn a high amount of calories so it's good to bring snacks to keep you going (eating is recommended and you burn calories? I'm sold!) They also spoke of wearing layers of clothing that you can easily remove or add depending on the weather and I loved hearing their Devonshire tales of cold water swimming too.

After arriving at our hotel room, we delighted in all the details laid out. White fluffy robes, some Off The Eaten Path snacks and a small bottle of champagne greeted us. My friend Millicent and I decided to head straight to the outside jacuzzi which looked rather inviting, even though it had begun raining again! That didn't stop us as it was heated and we had a good chat before trying out the sauna and steam room. The staff were able to assist us in every way (even charging my phone when I ran out of battery) and the time melted away until it was evening.
After a long drawn out bubble bath and a small snooze, we visited the restaurant on hearing that their food was prize worthy.

Indeed there was a tasting menu featuring several courses but we decided to try the three course meal, which arrived with a delightful glass of fizz.
I tried the cod loin accompanied with a variation of fresh vegetables. It was so mouth watering we could see why the whole restaurant was packed within minutes of them announcing dinner!

The hotel rooms are also extremely cosy and inviting, and after all our walking, chatting, eating and swimming there was only one thing for it- off to bed. And as they say, a good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.

Off The Eaten Path snacks are now available from leading retailers including Sainsburys, WHSmith and Ocado.
www.twoblondeswalking.com
www.hshotels.co.uk/ockenden-manor
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I don't find my husband sexually attractive anymore

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 04 August 2017
Dear Patricia Marie,

I have been married for just over 2 years to my second husband, who is kind and loving. The problem is that I don't find him sexually attractive anymore. I love and care for him, but, to put it bluntly, no longer fancy him. I am 52 and menopausal, so keep thinking this may be contributing to my loss of libido, which has now started to affect our relationship. Our sex life was good when we first met, but it is now almost non existent. I want our love life to return to the way it was, but don't know how to do so.

Thank you for reading my problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Patricia Marie says...

In the early stages of a relationship, sexual desire can be intense, and then generally replaced by deeper love, warm companionship and familiarity. Nevertheless, loss of libido can become a serious problem for many couples, and appears to become more common with ageing. Often when someone is withdrawing from intimacy, they tend to push their partner away, yet, ironically, this is the time when communication is more important than ever. For many couples celibacy can become a habit, and the only way to break this pattern is to start indulging again. Of course, this is easier said than done.

Do consider there are many psychological reasons for not wanting to make love, such as stress, poor diet, lack of sleep, and depression. Part of the desire to make love is purely physical. The rest is emotional. Relate can offer expert Psychosexual Couples Counselling which you may find beneficial. The menopause doesn't help either, and can have an impact on sexual feelings and behaviour, so eliminate any problems here by arranging a blood test with your GP.

Can you share with your husband your desire to rekindle the passion between you both? This should open up the channel of intimacy and help create a reconnection. Plan ahead for an intimate evening. It's surprising how sending a few flirty text messages throughout the day can instigate sensual thoughts. Prepare an easy supper, so you won't feel tired, enjoy a candlelit bath together, and see where this leads - which may not necessarily be to the bedroom. Variety really does help. There is nothing quite as boring as predictable sex. We can all take what we have for granted. Remind yourself of all the things you used to find seductive about your husband, then re-visit those memories, which could reignite the spark between the sheets.

I recommend: Reclaiming Desire by Andrew Goldstein and Marianne Brandon.

Relate: 0300 100 1234 www.relate.org.uk 
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My friend has the life I want

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 28 July 2017
Dear Patricia Marie,

My friend has the life I want. We met at university where we were both studying the same subject. Since then she has always been one step ahead of me. She secured a job first at a place where I also applied for a position, has a lovely husband, 2 children and a beautiful house. I hardly get to see her now and miss the times we used to share. Meanwhile, I am struggling to pay my bills and don't seem to have the time for a relationship. I have been trying to just get on with everything, but I am now feeling completely stuck and resent my friend for having the 'perfect life'.

Patricia Marie says....


I believe that it's not so much that you're jealous of your friend for what she has, but now that her family prioritise her attention, it's more the friendship you're missing and fearful of losing. Speak with her and suggest whilst you fully understand she has commitments to her family, it would be good to spend some time together as her friendship is very important to you.

By writing to me you have taken an important step in acknowledging you are not happy with your life. Make this a turning point. Yes, your friend will always be special as you have shared your growing years together, but you need to start meeting others with whom you can now share more common interests. Start looking for a new job that pays more and will offer you a change of environment. This will enable you to meet new people and also improve your cash flow.

We can often be easily seduced by the fairytale of other people's lives and become blinded by the reality of how things really are. Remember that very true saying; 'the grass isn't always greener on the other side'. Have you considered your friend may be just as envious of you for different reasons? She has huge responsibilities, whereas you have lots of freedom to do as you please. You are so concerned with what you don't have, that you are failing to see what you do have. Be happy for her and see what she has achieved is something you can too, and more. Your life is full of great potential, but you will only find the happiness you are seeking when you stop comparing your life to your friend's and start embracing your own.
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China White enclosure at the Royal Henley Regatta

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Wednesday, 26 July 2017
by Andrea Brown

The China White enclosure at the Royal Henley Regatta has once again proved to be one of the most exciting social events of the British Summer season.

China White kindly invited The Lady to revel in a day full of delicious cocktails and mouth-watering food all inside the glamourous riverfront garden enclosure.

The afternoon started with refreshing Grenall's gin and tonics in the main tent followed by a delightful high tea consisting of mini cucumber, smoked salmon and egg sandwiches.
The savoury scones with goat's cheese and onion relish were a definite stand out followed by a variety of incredibly delicious macarons, cakes and petit fours.

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The stunning weather made the riverfront garden the perfect spot to watch the races and sip on Grenall's Wild Berry Flora Dora cocktails before China White's infamous after party kicked off. We also indulged in the incredible street food. The pulled pork burger was our flavour of choice to give us the energy for an evening of dancing in the DJ tent. The amazing DJ sets from internationally acclaimed DJ's really picked up the vibe and made for a great end to an eventful and enjoyable afternoon.
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