Review: Northern Tea House, Huddersfield



Northern Tea House is a beautiful tea house in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire and it is a place I love dearly.  The cakes are always freshly made with gluten-free and vegan options readily available, the china teacups help make every cup of tea feel special and the staff always go above and beyond to make all their customers smile. Over the last few years, I have spent many a Saturday or Sunday afternoon frequenting this little cafe, sometimes with friends, other times with my husband and today I thought it was about time that I shared one of my favourite little gems in Huddersfield with you.

Northern Tea House first opened their doors back in 2015 and they became a welcomed addition to the Huddersfield food and drink scene. The tea house is conveniently situated next to Kingsgate, the towns busiest shopping centre and they are never short of customers. On a weekend, grabbing a seat at Northern Tea House can be quite difficult, but once seated it is worth the wait. The decor has a welcoming modern, vintage twist with industrial style furniture styled alongside vintage crockery and black and white photographs hanging from the walls. They have an extensive menu filled with cakes, sandwiches, hot and cold dishes, many of which are suitable for an array of dietary requirements. 

Last week I went to Northern Tea House with a few of my friends for afternoon tea and I ordered a vegan option. Finding a vegan afternoon tea can be quite difficult as a lot of cakes are full to the brim with eggs and dairy, however, Nothern Tea House already has quite a substantial vegan menu and was more than happy to accommodate my needs. My pot of tea came with its own little jug of soya milk and my afternoon tea comprised of hummus and chargrilled vegetable sandwiches and peanut butter sandwiches, a light, fresh lemon drizzle cake and two moreish dark chocolate coconut slices, that I could happily eat every day. The afternoon tea came to £14.95 and I was able to box up some of the items I couldn't finish eating.

If you're looking for a place to meet up with friends, your partner or colleagues and grab a coffee, tea or a light lunch, Northern Tea House is the perfect place for you to visit.  I would definitely recommend popping in if you have the time.

Have you been to Northern Tea House?


*I have NOT been paid or compensated to write this review, I wrote it because I genuinely enjoy visiting
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How to feel confident wearing prints


The older I've become, the more I've started finding my ground when it comes to my personal style and what suits my body. When I was younger I was quite self-conscious about my body and what I wore and I used to wrap myself up in all black in order to not draw attention to myself. I think there is a pivotal point in every young woman's life where you suddenly decide not to give a damn about what everyone else thinks about you and although it took me awhile, I think I've finally reached that point. Over the last twelve months,  I have really experimented with my wardrobe and tried clothes that I never thought would suit me. I have developed my own individual style comprising of daring vintage pieces with modern, elegant twists. I used to be someone who used to shy away from colour, now I can't get enough of it and when it comes to prints, the more vibrant the better.

Inspired by new vintage Liberty of London skirt that I found in Oxfam for only £10, I have decided to put together a little guide on how to feel confident wearing printed clothing. Prints are often associated with garish 80s designs or bohemian hippies, but these days that is far from the case and out there in a vintage or high street store, there's a print to suit everybody. Autumn is my favourite time for prints as they often replicate the tangerine orange and fiery colours seen in the weather as the leaves begin to fall onto the ground. The patterns are usually a lot more subtle and the colours are often darker, which is great for those looking to test the waters and wear prints for the first time.

Select key pieces
My first piece of advice for anyone looking to wear prints is to select key pieces from your wardrobe and unless you're really confident, refrain from wearing all over patterns. Skirts and blazers are a fantastic start for anyone looking to wear prints and they can be worn up with a simple cami top or blouse to tone down the outfit.

Opt for subtle patterns
Floral and Aztec patterns are great for beginners and they come in a variety of colours, all year round. Opt for subtle, classic designs that will stand the test of time and can be worn all year through.



Muted colours
If you are just starting out wearing prints, chose muted colours such as deep reds, dark green or black and whites. The more confident you become wearing these, the more experimental you can be later on.

Accessorise
Adding accessories will draw some of the attention away from the prints if you are feeling self-conscious. Wrist jewellery will draw your attention to your arms or a striking necklace with a basic blouse will draw attention away from patterned trousers, skirts or blazers.

Sometimes it is worth paying more
Sometimes it is worth paying a little bit more for a piece of clothing if it is patterned because the more time that is invested in your item of clothing, the more attention to detail there will be in the design. This is important when it comes patterns as the more expensive the item is, the easier they are able to add finer details that really enhance a piece of clothing compared to going for a larger, generic pattern. If you are worried about investing money into clothing that you are unsure you will wear, you can always look through charity shops and try to find similar items for more purse friendly price.


How do you feel about wearing prints?








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Sunday Thoughts: Dealing with Fatigue


You may have noticed that things have been a little bit quiet here over the last month or so and the reason behind this has been my ongoing battle with fatigue. Sometimes even though I don't want to take a break or slow down, my body just surrenders itself and tells me I'm doing far too much and recently, everything has been an ongoing struggle. I've suffered from fatigue for as long as I can remember, but it hit me the most when I first started university. I was diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency, anemia and a multitude of chronic health problems including biliary problems and autoimmune arthritis, it simply knocked my body out of whack and unfortunately fatigue isn't that easy for doctors to fix.

When you mention fatigue to people, they generally just think that you are tired,  but it is far more than tiredness. It is brain fog, the inability to think straight, dizziness, feeling weak, aches and pains and constantly craving energy that you struggle to muster up. There are days that I get tongue tied because I can't put words together and other days when I struggle to lift my body from the sofa and those are days when I'm not having rheumatic flare ups or struggling with my stomach problems. 

I'm not looking for sympathy, I just want to reach out to the people who are struggling and to let them know that they are not alone and to also open up to my readers so that they know what I'm going through when blog posts aren't as frequent like they have been over the last few weeks. 

If you are struggling with fatigue or you're just feeling a bit run down, here's a few of my tips on how to combat it and give yourself a much needed energy boost - sometimes we all just need some T.L.C.

Exercise

As hard as it is to drag yourself from the sofa, exercise is one of the best remedies for fatigue and feeling tired. It releases endorphins to make you feel better about yourself and subsequently give you the energy buzz you need. If you are really struggling with fatigue, try not to push yourself too much by going on a heavy gym session, just go for a nice long walk or a few short walks to keep yourself energised.

Eat healthy

The food we eat can have a huge impact on our energy levels, with fast and unhealthy food often leaving us feeling sluggish. To give your body a boost try eat plenty of fruit and vegetables rich in nutrients to ensure your body is giving get enough vitamins. The best food to help keep you energised are slow releasing carbohydrates, iron rich food such as spinach and nuts like almonds which contain magnesium.

Drink plenty of water

Not drinking enough water is probably my downfall as I know I drink nowhere near the recommended allowance, however upping your water intake is a must to help fight fatigue. Dehydration is known to leave your body feeling weak and can zap the energy out of the most healthy of people. Make sure you try to drink the recommended eight glasses a day.

Digital detox

These days it is almost impossible for most people to go even an hour without looking at some sort of digitised screen and it is really bad for our health as it can lead to eye strain, tiredness and headaches. If you're feeling the effects of staring at your computer all day, consider taking a digital detox.  If you spend all day at work on a computer, cut down the hours you spend outside of work looking at a screen and also try to limit the amount of time you spend on your digital devices before bed as they lead to a disruptive sleep.

Rest

Finally, if you are feeling really tired, it is probably your body telling you that you need to rest and sometimes that is the only way for your body to recover. Cut down your social schedule for a week to ensure your body can get as much rest as it needs, get plenty of early nights sleep and do things that help you relax, such as having a nice hot bath or reading your favourite book on the sofa. 

                                                               Do you suffer from fatigue?



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Celebrating Pride with Thomas Cook Airlines


Manchester Pride festival takes place annually and is one of the longest running pride events in the UK and a few weeks ago, I was invited to walk the parade with one of the events biggest sponsors, Thomas Cook Airlines.  There's nowhere that does Pride quite like Manchester - the city is known for championing social diversity and has always shown tremendous support for the LGBT community, in particular, Canal Street that draws thousands of people each week to celebrate the Manchester LGBT night life.

It was an emotional experience walking the parade knowing that it has only been fifty years since homosexuality has been decriminalised and these people celebrating their way of living would have been prosecuted for just living their lives half a century ago. Fast forward fifty years and the streets were lined full of supporters, the crowd seemed never ending as we walked the one-hour long parade and it was such a warming experience, bringing all different communities together for such a fantastic cause.


When the parade had finished, we then made our way to the Thomas Cook Airline stage to watch the evening entertainment. We were lucky to be given VIP passes so that we had a clear view of all the bands and we could meet some the incredible people behind the scenes of Pride.  In the area, we saw the cast of Corrie supporting Be More Martyn, which is a charity set up to commemorate the life of Martyn Hett who died in the Manchester bombings and there were numerous celebrities, including Gok Wan (who I accidentally walked straight into).

My highlight of the entertainment had to be N-Trance as their music was the soundtrack to my early teenage years. I screamed my lungs out to 'Set You Free' and thoroughly enjoyed reminiscing over my childhood with my husband. Other bands that played included Lisa Maffia,  a DJ set by Gok Wan and headliner of the evening Example.

For those thinking, should I go to Pride if I'm straight? I would say 100% yes. The atmosphere is incredible, the parade is magnificent, it's a really fun event and it's a chance to learn more about your local LGBT community. Although the LGBT community is more socially accepted these days, there's still a lot of hate crime that goes on and we need more people to shout out loud that it is acceptable and that people should have a right to love who they want.  The Pride event is fundamentally based on love and that is what makes it so special.


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A Glimpse of Marco's New York Italian, Leeds


I have always been a fan of Marco Pierre White's restaurants and although they are predominantly steak houses, I've found the few vegetarian options that I've had highly enjoyable and each of the restaurants I have visited, the decor has been exceptional. Last week I was invited to check out the new cocktail and food menu at Marco's New York Italian in Leeds and I couldn't wait.

Marco's New York Italian, Leeds opened in April this year and the restaurant offers an extensive Italian/American menu consisting of all the classics such as pizza and lasagne, as well a few nice surprises like the new addition of the quinoa superfood salad. This particular restaurant has been highly anticipated on the Leeds food scene for the last few years as Leeds is the birthplace of the man behind the restaurant, Marco Pierre White.


The evening began by talking through some of the cocktails on Marco's menu and a brief history of how cocktails began, back in the prohibition era in America. Marco's cocktail menu has all the much-loved favourites such as Martini's and Daiquaris, as well as a few house specials such as 'The Golden Cadillac' - a mixture of Galliano, creme de cacao, orange juice and cream and 'Blood and Sand' which comprised of Chivas 12 year old whisky, sweet vermouth, Cherry Heering and orange juice.


Once the cocktail briefing had finished, we were given the chance to have a go at creating our favourite drinks from the menu. I opted for the classic 'Pornstar Martini' which is made by mixing fresh passion fruit, Absolut vanilla vodka, Passoa and lime juice, with a shot of Prosecco on the side. It's a refreshing, fruity cocktail that isn't too sweet and it is always my drink of choice on a night out. This particular cocktail had a smooth vanilla finish due to the Absolut vanilla vodka.


To soak up all the alcohol we had just been given, we were then taken into the main restaurant and served some dishes from the new food menu. We started with pizza, garlic bread, olives and nuts to share, then proceeded with a variety of salads, lasagne and pasta dishes. My favourites during the evening were the margarita pizza which had a lovely crunchy base, plenty of herby flavours and a topping that wasn't too greasy, the wild mushroom lasagne which was rich and indulgent, but not too heavy and the Quinoa salad which tasted fresh and juicy.


After we had made our way through all the delicious main courses, we were then greeted with a plethora of mouth watering desserts from this Manhattan Milkshaker which came complete with a New York cheesecake on top, to a naughty, but irresistible Chicago hot brownie with chocolate sauce. At this point, my lactose-intolerance was in overdrive (I usually avoid dairy at all cost), but I wasn't going to let that stop me from sampling the cheesecake. It was creamy, light and melted in my mouth and it went incredibly well with the rich strawberry milkshake that my husband was only happy to oblige when it came to polishing it off.  It was the perfect ending to a great night and a wonderful meal.


Have you dined at Marco's New York Italian before?



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