So, this is a new style of blog post for me. KATIE WOO UPDATE: I’ve now signed up (been signed up for) the Relish Running Two Tunnels 10km Race in July!

I wouldn’t consider myself a runner AT ALL. I love exercise and enjoy pushing myself, but when it comes to running I fail. I either get bored/ get stitch after 2/3 mins of running/ feel wheezy when running in chilly weather and usually only make it a mile and then stop. So I wouldn’t say I’ve had a positive relationship with “going for a run”.

I’ve always considered myself a short burst runner kinda gal. I enjoy high intensity workouts, for example British Miltary Fitness. This may be an hour long class but the exercises are varied and change quickly. I love this as it keeps you on your toes. This is why I also really enjoy JUICEHIIT in the Park too (can’t wait for the outdoor sessions to start up again).

— Recommend both of these! Check out British Military Fitness & JUICEHIIT by ToniqLife (both located in Royal Victoria Park)

Now, back to running — the exercise I am really concerned about. Since I’ve signed up to run the race I’m already feeling the nerves that I won’t enjoy it at all.

Will I ever get a runners high?!

The reason I’m inspired and actually said yes for once:

This lovely chap is UltraRunnerBean. Since seeing his running campaign 2017for2017 where he ran a ridiculous amount of miles in one year – completing multiple ULTRA marathons, and just a casual half marathon, plus even MORE – made me see how incredible it is to achieve such big physical and mental running challenges. The reason he ran so much was for so much more than just a personal goal/achievement, it was to raise money and awareness towards mental health charities like MIND and CALM. His running achievements also helped him with his own mental health journey too, breaking through the barriers both physically and mentally in everyday training and throughout these challenging races. He’s seen the effects of running has had on his mental and physical health and is really keen to shout about how much running is great for everyones mental wellbeing.

I can in no way follow in his footsteps – not at all – but it has inspired me to run. Not only to raise money for charities close to my heart, but also discover how running can be a life changer. I’m excited to see how running can help my mental health journey too!

UltraRunnerBean (Rob) will help me with training for this 10km race (because obviously this race will be a doddle for him!). I hope he doesn’t think he’s going to make my into a Ultra Runner after this… (talking to you Rob!).

The 2 things I know are key in my first steps of becoming a better runner are:

  1. To Eat Better

A healthier lifestyle will help me so much – I’ve already witnessed the evidence being around UltraRunnerBean. After his most recent ULTRA MARATHON! 33 miles! (I KNOW!) The next day I thought I would be waiting on him hand and foot, bringing him food (and I was going to say rubbing his feet – but nah, not RUNNERS FEET!! Ew!). But I thought I would be looking after him for days! But nope – INSTEAD, he was out walking my dog with me and kept moving the whole day. He links this to his plant-based diet – helping his muscles recover a lot quicker and his diet giving him so much more energy.

So… not that I’m becoming fully plant-based – not going to happen – but I aiming to eat more of a plant-based diet to see the results for myself (ah damn it, Easter is coming up — definitely going to need to run with the amount of Easter Eggs I’m planning to consume).

2. Wear Better Trainers

The most important thing to prevent injury and to properly support my feet is to check whether my trainers are up to it too. You don’t want trainers that are too tight, too loose, or have lost their cushioning inside (such as mine). As much as this is an extra cost to buy new trainers I think it’s worth it – especially for my FIRST big race.

So, I am doing this!

I AM DOING THIS – keep telling myself. I have to now – I’ve signed up AND written a blog post about it… AH! SHIT.

I will be giving your little running updates about how my training is going. Plus, check out the boyfs blog – UltraRunnerBean – for more training updates, from someone who knows what they are talking about.

From a non-runner to a “slightly better, who won’t get stitch” runner. Let’s see how I do – and whether my body is up for this.

Any advice appreciated so feel free to message me or comment on my social media.

Much love (and hello again, from the blogging sphere… it’s good to be back!)


NEW at Radiance Wellbeing Bath: Relaxed & Radiant in 30 minutes!

2 New Bond St Place, Bath BA1 1BH


Annnd relax… Take 30 mins to chill and be pampered

Working hard? Busy hectic life? The least you can do is treat yourself to a 30-minute facial. I think that’s the minimum amount of time you deserve to be pampered! 😉

Your Skin Needs Extra Attention in the Winter Months

Your skin is battling against the harsh cold winds, intense drying heat from central heating and maybe the seasonal stress we tend to have around this time of year. It’s the time to start thinking about treating others BUT also, it’s time to treat yourself! It’s coming up to the end of the year and there is no better time to give yourself a moment to just chill out and pamper yourself. Take a moment to re-adjust and pamper your skin before or after all those Christmas parties.

The NEW 30-minute slots have been launched this week at Radiance Wellbeing in Bath. The new smaller time slots give visitors even more treatment options. Whether you add an extra 30-minute facial treatment onto another longer treatment OR for the time conscious, these shorter slots mean you can visit on your lunch break or after work.

Who doesn’t want to go back to work after lunch with glowing skin?

Roger said that the 30-minute option also gives people a chance to try out new treatments, maybe try something they’ve never had before. So for someone who is a newbie to treating themselves to a spa treatment, these shorter time slots are the perfect introduction to a new treatment.

Radiance Wellbeing

Located on New Bond Street Place, tucked away behind the busy bustling high street, Radiance Wellbeing is a relaxing haven away from the busy city centre.

Welcomed by the lovely team and spa co-founder Roger, I felt in no rush and instantly relaxed. By arriving 5/10 minutes early I had plenty of time to chill with a cup of Pukka herbal tea. The lovely Grace showed me up to The Drawing Room – one of their two twin therapy rooms.

The rooms are relaxing and each have character. For example the room I was in, The Drawing Room, had a mural on the wall which was specially commissioned and hand painted by local artist Alex Lucas (Lucas Antics). It was quite a large room with two armchairs in the corner for your treatment consultation, a large fireplace, and round the corner, two large waterfall showers. I instantly felt relaxed entering the room. We sat down on comfy armchairs first, for a quick consultation.

The decor is beautiful and even though they are situated in a small 480-year-old building, the rooms felt spacious but cosy.

THE TREATMENT – Elemis Superfood Pro-Radiance Facial (More info)

“A nutritional boost, rich in superfoods and essential minerals designed to pack stressed, dull skin with energizing, detoxifying actives.”

I was treated to the Elemis Superfood Pro-Radiance Facial. I have had an Elemis facial before and it is always a treat as the products always smell amazing and feel gentle on your skin. Like many people it’s hard to just completely switch off but being tucked under a warm blanket, my head resting on a comfortable pillow and calming music filling the room, I very quickly felt very relaxed.

Big thank you to Grace for a brilliant facial!

Some people may think they can’t stop to relax – taking 30 minutes to think about nothing. Whether you are one of those people who can zone out or not, why not treat your mind and body to a calming environment, collect/organise your thoughts – whilst being pampered at the same time.

Thank you to Roger at Radiance Wellbeing for the invitation to try out this 30-minute facial. It was the perfect way to end to my week!

Find out more here: Radiance Wellbeing

Or to book, call: 01225 975 997

** Acknowledgement: Photos used in this post are courtesy of Radiance Wellbeing.


Monday: 10:00am – 6:00pm

Tuesday: 9:00am – 7:00pm

Wednesday: 10:00am – 6:00pm

Thursday: 9:00am – 7:00pm

Friday: 10:00am – 6:00pm

Saturday: 9:00am – 7:00pm

Sunday: CLOSED (OPEN on Sundays from the 26th of November)

Blackberry Cheesecake at The Bybrook

Michelin-Starred Chef Robert Potter presents his NEW Autumn Menu for The Bybrook

It was a lovely surprise to be invited to preview the new Autumn menu at The Bybrook restaurant at Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe. Michelin-starred chef Robert Potter served us eight Autumnal themed dishes – yes! I did say 8! I basically rolled myself back home after all that food! 


“Standing to attention in the cosy Cotswold countryside, The Manor House offers a wealth of experiences to savour, from overnight breaks to unrivalled meetings, world-class dining to award-winning golf, dream weddings or the perfect setting for a private family celebration. Surrounded by 365 acres of spectacular Cotswolds countryside, The Manor House is one of the most beautiful destinations you will discover. At the heart of the 14th century village of Castle Combe, and waiting to be explored are the carefully tended parkland, woodland and gardens and village beyond.”

Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe

It was a pleasure to have Executive Chef, Robert Potter explain how each dish was created, drawing our attention to the locally sourced ingredients (some of which were grown in the hotel’s own garden). It was good to appreciate how much work went into each dish, making all of them memorable.

“Potter says he has “a dedicated focus to serving seasonal and classical food combinations” and his aim “is to create a relaxed fine-dining menu influenced by the seasons as well as being dictated by the beautiful British produce harvested from within the grounds of The Manor House.’’ The Bybrook.

The chef introduced each course, explaining how he created it and the flavours we would expect to taste, then the sommelier matched a wine to each dish and explained the pairing. I’ll give a brief overview of each dish and the photos will speak for themselves.

First, we were served with an amuse-bouche – a selection of three small dishes to get our taste buds fired up. One of which was foie gras in a small cone with golden raisin puree at the bottom.

Plus a selection of warm, homemade bread. The favourite of the night – the caramelised onion bread roll.

So, onto the main event!

1. CRAB – Hand rolled macaroni, Cornish white crab, mooli, Exmoor caviar, chervil, shellfish foam.

Served with Albarino, A20, Rias Baixas, Spain, 2016

This dish wasn’t too fishy, even with the Exmoor caviar, and the shellfish foam was light and delicate. I think this meal would even appeal to someone who isn’t too keen on fish.

Would I eat this again? Yes, but not my first option for a starter.

2. SALMON – Confit of citrus cured Loch Duart salmon, marinated garden beetroot, Yukon gold and horseradish mousse, dill.

Served with Crémant de Bourgogne, Veuve Ambal Grande Cuvée, France, NV

I am going back to visit JUST for this dish. The combination of flavours with the salmon was amazing!

Hmm, so words to describe this dish – I’m not a food critic but let’s go with… succulent, tender, melt-in-the-mouth salmon with a tangy kick from the beetroot and horseradish. I wish I could create this meal at home!

Would I eat this again? Well, obviously, yes! ^^^

3. FOIE GRAS (controversial I know, but had to try it) – Torchon of Rougie foie gras, golden raisin puree, sweet wine jelly, date and walnut toast.

Served with Sauternes, Le Garonnelles, Bordeaux, France, 2015

It was interesting to try. The foie gras dish was accompanied with warm date and walnut toast. The foie gras was a smooth, rich, buttery pate, I wasn’t blown away by the foie gras flavour but with a little spread on the toast together with sweet wine jelly added some sharper flavours to offset the richness of the foie gras.

The wine that accompanied this dish also stood out – it was a sweeter tasting wine, the same wine used in the sweet jelly. The wine had a honey and toasty flavour which also went with the next dish.

Would I eat this again? Hmm, I wouldn’t order this as a dish but wouldn’t say no to a canape style version (like the amuse-bouche we had at the start).

How does the sommelier pick the wines for each dish?

Manuel, the sommelier, told us that he does not only take into account matching a wine with a particular dish but makes sure the wine taste actually goes with the next dish to be served – as that wine flavour will linger in your mouth as you start your next course.

4. HALIBUT – Braised Gigha halibut, buttered lettuce, sea purslane, cockles, mussels, chive beurre blanc.

Served with Chateau Pierr-Bise, Clos de la Couilaine, Savennieres, France, 2014

Perfectly cooked halibut that was buttery and tender and served with a silky smooth beurre blanc. The wine that accompanied this dish was perfect! A clean cut, mineral flavour with a hint of citrus fruit.

Would I eat this again? Maybe, I’m not a massive lover of seafood (well cockles and mussels), I would be more than happy with just the Halibut. So I guess, yes, I would, but a simpler version of this dish.

5. BEEF – Fillet of Herefordshire Longhorn beef, braised oxtail, pancetta, crushed salt baked celeriac, girolles, truffled heritage potatoes, red wine sauce.

Served with Fog Mountain Merlot, California, USA, 2015

Everything you want in a warm, hearty, Autumnal meal, but with added luxury taste of braised oxtail and truffled creamy heritage potato on the side.

Would I eat this again? YES! In a heartbeat!

6. YOGHURT – Whipped yoghurt, iced muscat grapes (+ grapes 4 ways)

This was a great palette cleanser and we all agreed that we would love to eat this for breakfast every day. Light and refreshing yoghurt with added texture from the grapes prepared in a variety of ways e.g. dehydrated, crushed, poached and a surprise frozen grape at the bottom.

Would I eat this again? I enjoyed it but I wouldn’t order it after tasting the other desserts. It would be a good choice if you only wanted something light as a dessert, but, I have a MASSIVE sweet tooth so this might be just a bit too healthy for me 😉 As I said, I would have this for breakfast!

7. BLACKBERRY – Brillat-Savarin cheesecake, blackberry jelly, confit lemon, blackberry sorbet.

Served with Dow’s Late Bottle Vintage, Douro, Portugal, 2011

I’m not always a fan of cheesecake but this cheesecake was the perfect combination of being indulgently creamy but still very light. The sharpness of the sorbet, lemon and blackberry arrangement on the plate and the sweet blackberry jelly layer on top made this cheesecake a delight to eat.

Would I eat this again? Yes, in a flash! Tangy blackberry is the perfect flavour to accompany this cheesecake. Also, I would order this dessert for the presentation too, just to impress my friends 😉

Blackberry Cheesecake at The Bybrook

Blackberry Cheesecake at The Bybrook

8. LEMON – Amalfi lemon tart, Oakchurch farm raspberries, baby basil, raspberry sorbet.

Served with Tokaji, Late Harvest, Hungary, 2015

This was the dessert that Michelin highlighted across their social media when it was announced that Rob Potter had been awarded a Michelin star. Unfortunately, this dessert is only on the menu for the next two weeks as the raspberry season is over. We all felt very privileged to eat this dessert since it was a stand-out dish in the Michelin Guide this year!

Would I eat this again? YES! It’s exactly what you would expect from a Michelin-star dessert. I’m not exaggerating when I say this is the BEST LEMON TART I have ever tasted. The smooth lemon filling was perfect, the pastry base melted in the mouth and I enjoyed the crunchy, sugary topping.

Thanks to everyone at The Bybrook. It was a pleasure to be invited to such a special evening!

Don’t wait for a special occasion, go and visit – you won’t be disappointed with the quality of food!

Book here: call: 01249 782206

Breakfast Preview at The Ivy Brasserie Bath


I was invited to attend a little preview of the breakfast menu this week. We were given a small taster menu of the breakfast on offer.

We were given a selection of mini pastries and tea and coffee to start.

I chose the Eggs Royale and Green Juice.

Egg Royale: Poached eggs on top of an English breakfast muffin, with smoked salmon, lemon, and a hollandaise sauce. The hollandaise sauce is perfection!

Green Juice: full of natural goodness: Avocado, mint, celery, spinach, apple, parsley.

Not too “grassy” but maybe not the best green juice to start with if you are not a fan of green juices.

I really enjoyed the Green Juice however it was quite filling with the rest of the breakfast. Maybe just a juice and a couple of mini pastries would be enough for another breakfast.

One of the best seats in the house. With a view of the busy Milsom Street and below the stunning chandelier inside.

A little gift to take home…

Welcoming The Ivy Brasserie to Bath

Tomorrow is the day! The stunning, luxurious Ivy Brasserie is opening in Bath.

Located on Milsom Street.

As we know The Ivy London oozes filmstar glamour, elegant dining and ArtDeco inspired contemporary decor. This is exactly what The Ivy Brasserie brings to Bath but with a more relaxed and accessible presence. Open to all and offering all-day dining, you can pop in for a relaxing coffee or a quick after work drink or celebrate a special occasion with friends.

I interviewed the General Manager Katja Kammerer and asked her a few questions about what we can expect from The Ivy Brasserie Bath.

When did The Ivy Brasserie chain start?

“We started in November 2004. We refurbished the original Ivy (London) and at the same time opened our Ivy Market Grill in Covent Garden – so it was almost, if we close one for a few months, let’s open something else that actually looks quite similar in style – so you still get that “gentlemen’s cigar club”, very symmetrical, black and white, all those big stage actors, that theatre feel in the Market Grill… and that’s pretty much what kicked it off. Then after that, we had Marylebone, Chelsea, High Street Kensington, Wimbledon so then quite slowly it built the collection.”

What makes your British dishes stand out from anywhere else in Bath? 

“I think that you have that glamour from The Ivy combined with some of the traditional dishes, like the Shepherds Pie which has been around for a hundred years. So it is obviously the name The Ivy carries and it’s the glamour that comes across and makes it special but more accessible. So instead of having a 3-month waiting list to go to The Ivy (and making it that one place to get into), you now have it in more and more major cities – so you can just pop in for a coffee, for some pastries, afternoon tea. We always keep a proportion of our restaurant available for the local residents for exactly that – to have that glamour in a very accessible way. You can come in just for a coffee and some pastries but you can also have your 50th Anniversary here.”

“We wanted The Ivy Brasserie Bath to have a neighbourhood feel and located on a beautiful street in Bath that everyone knows”

Katja explained that it was important for The Ivy Brasserie to be incorporated into the neighbourhood and pay homage to the historical and cultural relevance of Bath.

Do the menus differ across the different Ivy Brasserie locations? And are some of the ingredients sourced locally?

“In the Ivy Collection, we have cafés, brasseries, and gardens and they all have slightly different menus but there is a lot they have in common. But all the different restaurants have something that will make them a bit more special to them. We are also very aware that Somerset has a wide range of local markets and local produce and we are aware of it and want to incorporate it. We do have a Blue Cheese and Apple Salad with Bath Blue Cheese, we have Beauty Of Bath Apples, and we are using Somerset brandy for our flambé desserts.

Going forward we will, particularly with our drinks, look into how we can make them more local because we are very aware of the importance of that.”

Do you have a signature Bath cocktail?

“We have a beautiful cocktails list, some created by our bar team specifically for Bath. We have some very prominent names on our cocktail list so you will recognise some of them from place names to street names. We also have a cocktail that was made specifically for us.”

Afternoon Tea at The Ivy Brasserie: Everyday 3-5pm

“We have incorporated the Bath Buns in the afternoon tea – something very specific to this brasserie and they are delicious, believe me.”

Vegan or vegetarian options

“We do offer a selection of vegetarian dishes (for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) and we do provide solid training to all the waiters/waitresses and the rest of the management team, so we are approachable in certain alterations as much as possible.”

Can we expect any exciting plans for Christmas – Offers/Seasonal dishes?

“We like to keep our menu as seasonal as possible and there will be some more Christmas inspired items. But we are keeping it under wraps at the moment – keeping it a surprise until later on.”

MORE! Opening in Spring 2018!

The second floor and terrace

There will be a second bar on the second floor with a dining area

The terrace will be open until 10pm


The Ivy Bath Brasserie

** Acknowledgement: a few of the photos used in this post are courtesy of The Ivy Brasserie Bath PR. 

A/W 2017 Beauty Essentials

Helping you find your Glowing Autumn/Winter Goddess Essentials!


Where has summer gone?! It’s gone in a flash. We can’t complain we didn’t get enough sun during the heat waves in the early months of Summer. So now that chance for a Summer tan has disappeared we need help finding that healthy glow again. We all want to keep a Summer glow for as long as possible so here are some Autumn/Winter essentials to keep you looking like a glowing goddess throughout the cooler A/W months.


Keep that skin plump and replenished to combat the chilly Autumn winds. Our skin feels a lot tighter as the weather gets cooler, and you can really feel the effects of cold weather on your skin. The best way to protect your skin is to have a similar routine to the Summer months. During the Summer we (well some of us) get too much sun, it dehydrates our skin so we have got to keep our skin’s hydration balance in check.

Another key essential not only in the Summer months but Winter too, is to apply a low SPF on your skin to protect your skin from the UV rays. Any dermatologist will say SPFs are vital to keep in your skincare regime, to protect your skin from UV damage all year round and help with signs of ageing. Wearing a lightweight SPF every day will help your skin even on those cloudy, overcast days.




UltraSun Face Anti-aging Formula, LaRoche Posay Anthelios Clear Skin, Kiehl’s Ultra Light UV Defense.


Hydration and Brightening Masks:

Origins GinZing Peel-Off Mask, Clinique Moisture Surge Night Mask, Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance.

Facial Oils:

Elemis Superfood Facial Oil, The Body Shop Oils of Life Facial Oil, Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate.


Cleansing Creams or Balms:

Emma Harding Cleansing Balm, La Roche-Posay Effaclar H Hydrating Cleansing Cream.

A gentler way to cleanse the skin and a relaxing way to remove makeup.

Intensely Hydrating Night Cream:

Estee Lauder Nightwear Plus, BodyShop Vitamin E Night Cream, Charlotte Tilbury Magic Night Rescue.

Look out for hydraluronic acid to conquer dehydration and fine lines.

Lip Balm:

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant, Dr. PAWPAW Original Clear Balm, Burts Bees Ultra Conditioning Balm with Kokum Butter.



With the help of your hydrating skincare routine your skin should be on it’s way to feeling plump, looking fresh and bringing out that glow. Here are a few make-up essentials to help create a glowing goddess look.


Eyelash Curlers

Wide awake eyes are the quickest way to get standout lashes.


Tinted Moisturiser

Don’t cover up your gorgeous natural glowing skin too much. Give your skin a helping hand throughout the day by applying a moisturising tinted moisturiser/BB cream.

If the weather is drying out your skin and foundations/concealers feel tight and dry at the end of the day opt to find the hydrating products for this season.


Long Lasting Eye Shadows Sticks

Crayon/Stick eye shadows are easy to use without getting excess glitter/shimmer all over your face. Try some gorgeous neutral shades to give your eyes a bit of a pop.

For a cream shimmer haze try Laura Mercier’s Caviar Stick in Sugarfrost – Tan Biege Shimmer.



To add some Summer warmth to your face.

et viola! A glowing Autumn/Winter goddess!


Also, find this post on Total Guide to Bath:

Another £10 Tasty Bargain! Great Bath Feast ‘Tenner Treats’: The Clifton Sausage Bath

I had to make the most of The Great Bath Feasts amazing ‘Tenner Treat’ offer, AND this time, I visited somewhere that serves one of my all-time, favourite meals… EVER! The classic, BANGERS AND MASH!!

The Clifton Sausage, Bath.

“a trio of gourmet sausages (Bath Blue cheese & leek, Clifton and Old Spot Pork) served with creamy mash and homemade gravy and accompanied by a 125ml glass of house red, white, rosé wine or a soft drink for £10 at The Clifton Sausage throughout The Great Bath Feast

Perfect comfort food for the cooler Autumn months.

First of all, I was surprised at how big this restaurant was – covering two floors and extending out into a conservatory and outdoor terrace at the back, they have a great view of Bath. We sat in the perfect spot to see the view and were very excited to treat ourselves to a classic British dish.

So, get to it! The meal! 

As I mentioned above, this meal is my favourite meal, OF ALL TIME (not being over the top, it seriously is!). If it’s anywhere on a menu I have to have it! Sooo… I don’t think it’s going too far to say that I am quite the “connoisseur” of sausages and mash 😉

It was a delicious meal made up of three varieties of gourmet sausages – Bath blue cheese & leek, The Clifton (pork, cider and wholegrain mustard) and Gloucester Old Spot Traditional Pork, accompanied with mash potato, onion gravy and parsnip crisps.

The presentation was great, with a good amount of parsnip crisps on top and a generous serving of gravy on the side.

The sausages were great! I really enjoyed all the flavours but the flavour that stood out for me was the traditional Gloucester Old Spot pork sausage. Second in line was the Bath Blue cheese and leek sausage, it was nice to have a stronger flavour come through but the sausage meat was slightly crumbly (if that’s the right word to explain it). Finally, The Clifton sausage with pork, cider and wholegrain mustard. This was nice, however, I would have much preferred to eat this sausage in a casserole (such as my Mum’s homemade sausage, apple & cider casserole). Still, it was great to be able to try three different varieties of sausage in one meal!

One small issue to note – not a massive issue, just a small one – was that I was a little disappointed in the amount of mash. Maybe this is just me being a mash fiend and maybe I don’t need/shouldn’t have a giant mountain of mash potato on my plate (think of the carbs Katie!) but let’s just say for me this wasn’t my “normal” portion of mash (…usually a half plate’s worth if I’m being honest). But I guess that is what you are paying for, £10 for a meal and a drink.

Still, if you are a sausage and mash connoisseur like me I would definitely pay The Clifton Sausage a visit – these sausages are too good to be missed!

FYI: NOT PART OF THE GBF OFFER BUT… we finished our meal off with a cheeky Eton Mess 😉

Joy can be “terrifying”: How To Practice Gratitude

[Video at the end]

“Cultivating gratitude and joy: “Letting go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark”

I thought I had worked out how to feel truly grateful and not take things for granted, but I think, after watching this video, I have been kidding myself. Do I really enjoy those moments of happiness fully? Or does that niggling thought of, “what if this never happens again… what if I don’t see them again… what if, what if” creep in and take over? Those feelings definitely hover around my mind in moments of happiness and joy which means that I’m not truly enjoying the moment.

I can’t believe just one YouTube video would make it so crystal clear and give me a new outlook on how to practice gratitude.

Dr. Brene Brown and Oprah discuss Dr. Browns book, “Daring Greatly” and highlight the “Guideposts for Wholehearted Living”.

No. 3 – Cultivating gratitude and joy: “Letting go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark”

Dr. Brown explains that “when we lose our tolerance for vulnerability, joy becomes foreboding” – because we are scared joy will be taken away if we don’t acknowledge the other, darker thoughts; meaning that we never fully LEAN INTO those joyful moments, just in case we never have it again.

Even writing that out helps it make sense to me. If we NEVER fully allow ourselves to feel joy, enjoy the moment, and feel truly happy, then we restrict ourselves from living a joyful life – and we do not deserve that!

“In moments of joyfulness we try to beat vulnerability to the punch”

Key Moment:

3.22 seconds in

Another key moment in this discussion was when Dr. Brown mentioned what a man once said to her about being joyful.

“My whole life, I never got too excited, too joyful  about anything – just stayed in the middle – that way, if things didn’t work out I wasn’t devastated and if they did work out it was a pleasant surprise.”

Writing and reading it back on here has really clicked with me and it seems so silly that many of us (including myself) actually follow his way of thinking without realising.

Then Dr Brown mentioned that after this man lost his wife in a car accident he then said to her:

“the second I realised that she was gone, the first thing I thought was, I should have leaned harder into those moments of joy because that did not protect me from what I feel right now”

Dr. Brown mentions that some of us seem to dress rehearse tragedy, to protect and shield ourselves from bad things BUT this is not the way to live a full, happy life. Instead, all we need to do is practice gratitude.

“Once you actively practice gratitude you go through the day looking for it.”

It made so much sense when she mentioned that a lot of people, after losing someone they love, actually miss the ordinary, smaller, day to day things, rather than the extraordinary things.

So really, it can be so easy to practice gratitude everyday, from the moment you wake up to the people you meet throughout your day. The ordinary things in life should not be taken for granted and by actively practicing gratitude and thinking positively you can then enjoy those moments of joy and happiness fully – shutting out those thoughts of fear and negativity in the background.

It sounds so simple – and it is – but I think for myself and maybe you too, it does take time to train yourself, to slap those negative feelings in the face in moments of joyfulness.

Hope you get as much out of the video as I did. Enjoy!

NEW! NANABAR London: “like ice cream, but good for you”


“like ice cream, but good for you”

London’s first made-to-order Nice Cream bar – 45 Charlotte Road, Shoreditch.


After popping to London for a few errands, walking through Shoreditch where I used to spend a lot of time visiting my sister, I stumbled across a new foodie hot spot.

It caught my eye as I saw a photographer outside taking photos. As I glanced in I could see people sat on giant wooden steps (picture below), loud music blaring out and a buzz of people inside. I glanced at the sign and read MADE WITH FROZEN BANANAS, before reading on I immediately thought back to my old uni housemate showing me how she made healthy ice-cream by freezing bananas and blending them. I remember it tasted amazing – thanks for introducing me to it Alice 😉

Then, reading on, I realised they were selling just that!

The second time I walked past that day I popped in to explore. I walked up to the counter and saw a sign saying ‘Today’s flavour’… it said mango (I hate mango). As I couldn’t see any other flavours I thought, ‘Naah, I’ll give it a miss’, but as I was walking out the founder Justin caught me and asked if I needed any help. I said I didn’t like mango so I wouldn’t be a fan and I couldn’t see any other flavours.

He went on to tell me that they serve one flavour per day and reassured me that they had other great flavours to try too. I started to get interested when he asked if I liked chocolate (how did he know), and mentioned that the Sunday flavour, HAZELNUT TART, is basically Nutella. (Now I’m interested!)

Justin told me that all the ingredients they use to make their Nice Cream are Natural, Organic & 100% Plant-based and persuaded me to try the SATURDAY FLAVOUR:

Mango Nice Cream topped with Coconut flakes, Pumpkin Seeds & Broken Brazil Nuts, served with a Medjool Date caramel.

You can also add extra toppings like chia seeds, nut butters or granola. I chose to add peanut butter, thinking that at least if I didn’t like the other flavours I could just eat the peanut butter. Whilst I was waiting for my order I thought, “How will it be successful… with just one flavour per day, and with people like me, who have a MASSIVE sweet tooth for all things chocolate – how could I be converted to a fruity, healthier option?”


(you knew this was coming),

…after trying a pot of flavours/ingredients that don’t usually take my fancy I was completely surprised! I don’t like mango, or coconut or brazil nuts but I devoured the whole pot!


Homemade caramel made out of medjool dates

After thinking that I wouldn’t like any of the ingredients I was so surprised that I loved every single mouthful. 

It was refreshing and moreish, and even after eating a large pot of Nice Cream you didn’t feel over indulged on sweetness. It was just the perfect amount of sweet, icy, deliciousness!

The NICE-CREAM (as they like to call it) had the lightness of sorbet and the yummy, moreish-ness of ice-cream.  As you tucked into the flavoured nice-cream you occasionally came across a lump of frozen banana, adding a nice refreshing crunch.

You also get a substantial amount of nice-cream for your money, and it is definitely enough to share between two!

One pot of Nice Cream £5.50 (with no added extras)
– Granola 50p
– Regular shots: Chia/Flax/Peanut Butter 50p
– Premium shots: Hemp/Almond Butter 75p
So far I’ve tried one flavour combination and it was delicious. On my way to London again today and I’m definitely popping back in to try the MONDAY FLAVOUR SENSATION. 

Check out my Instagram to find out what flavour I try next >> @katiewoo_

NEW Smashburger Bath Review

“…proving that the burger experience can be a superior one”

Smashburger originated in Denver in 2007 and now has over 370 locations within ten countries. Luckily, in May this year Smashburger was brought over to the UK. Starting in Milton Keynes and then setting up in Brighton, Newcastle and now Bath.

“an innovative approach to the humble burger, transforming the fast food staple from the predictably mediocre to a must-try explosive taste sensation.”

Once we sat down and had a look through the menu the lovely Gordy talked us through the menu and told us why their burgers are unique and different to anyone else’s.

SMASHBurgers unique cooking method:

The secret’s in the “smash” – a unique method of cooking whereby 100% British Red Tractor Assured beef is hand-formed into a meatball and then smashed onto a hot buttered grill, searing in all the juices and flavour, producing a burger unlike any other.

The burgers are always made-to-order, never frozen, and all produce is sourced from reputable, local UK suppliers and designed to be cooked and ready to devour in less than six minutes.

What I liked is that you could choose either a beef, veggie or chicken burger (chicken either grilled or fried), and you could also create your own burger combo too! Gordy did mention that someone has had both beef and chicken in one burger before (interesting choice!).

Since we could not decide on what burgers to get we decided, upon Gordy’s recommendation, to try THREE (yes, THREE!) different burgers. I really don’t know how we ate it all… but all for a good review peeps 😉

“Developed by Smashburger Founder Tom Ryan in Denver USA, the founding location, original recipes such as the Classic Smash, BBQ Bacon Cheddar, Truffle Mushroom Swiss and Bacon Cheeseburger can be found worldwide alongside a menu of many more.”

“Part of Smashburger’s rich ethos is to develop a Local Smash dish for every location meaning that there are now over 370 unique recipes keeping locally produced food items at the core of their ever-expanding menu. The UK exclusive Stilton Stack burger marries the signature “smash” patty with sweet chutney, fresh rocket, crispy haystack onions, Applewood smoked bacon and Stilton cheese, all piled high on a Smashbun.”


















1st burger: BBQ, Bacon & Cheddar

BBQ sauce with applewood smoked bacon, cheddar & haystack onions on a Smash bun.

Order again? Yes! Great combination of flavours and enjoyed the crispy crunch of the haystack onions.

2nd burger: Sweet Butternut & Chickpea Veggie Burger

Chutney with rocket and pickles, served on a multi-grain bun.

Order again? I enjoyed the veggie bean pattie and the chutney, however I wasn’t as keen on the burger bun. Maybe because it was the healthier option 😉 Also, after eating half of the BBQ burger before, with a brioche bun, I think this bun had a lot to live up to.

3rd burger: The Truffle Mushroom Swiss with Grilled Chicken

Sauteed chestnut mushrooms with truffle mayo & aged Swiss on a Smash bun.

Order again? Oh. My. Goodness. YES! This is the POSH Smashburger. The chicken was moist and the truffle mayo was absolutely delicious. For someone who isn’t a massive fan of mushrooms, this was incredible!

Easy to eat!

I loved the size of the burgers. The bun wasn’t gigantic so you could easily pick it up and eat it – unlike some restaurants where you find they put a stick or knife in it just to hold it together.


We also ordered a side of SMASH Fries, tossed in garlic and rosemary.

You can tell when fries are really good, when you don’t need a dipping sauce!

Finally, we ordered the deep fried pickles. I don’t even like pickles AND usually take them out of burgers, however, for some reason these were so moreish I kept going back for more. The slices of pickles came with a ranch dipping sauce.


















‘handspun’ shake made with Häagen–Dazs® ice cream in chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, Oreo and chocolate Oreo flavours.
















We tried the Oreo and chocolate and Strawberry shakes. The oreo and chocolate was gone in about 5 minutes (that’s quick right?). Luckily, with the shakes, we also given the leftover shake in the mixing tumbler, which surprisingly was another glass worth of milkshake.

Once you start drinking these shakes you can’t stop – I had to move it to the other side of the table to carry on with my meal again – it was very difficult to choose between burger and shake.

The Strawberry shake was also delicious. I am not usually a fan of strawberry flavoured milkshakes however this flavour wasn’t too sickly sweet. I think this shake has converted me into liking strawberry milkshakes.

















We didn’t try any desserts – obviously, after 3 burgers, 2 sides and the milkshakes we couldn’t find the room to indulge in a sweet treat to finish. However, look at the options – I think I’ll go back just for the Oreo Chocolate Doughnut!!

















As soon as I walked in it felt like a traditional American diner, with sofa seats, sit up bar along the window and the Coca Cola Freestyle touch-screen soda fountain (apparently with over 100 different fizzy drinks). It felt like we were in an American teen movie, sipping our giant shakes and listening to their epic playlist of songs. The modern diner experience was continued upstairs, with more sofa bench seating AND great round sofa seating for larger groups – called “curved banquette seating”. We could not ignore the epic black and white photos of New York as we walked up the stairs and spread across the wall.

All the staff were friendly and chatty, and you could tell you were being served by people who really loved the food. Smashburger is relaxed enough for you to pop in for a basket of fried pickles and a shake (just a casual healthy snack), but also nice enough to take friends and family out for a special meal.

“the quality of high-end casual dining with speed, efficiency and value.”

So! Overall, I would definitely choose to come here again.

  1. You can create your own burger.
  2. I like the size of the burgers and the size of the bun burger. Easy to eat.
  3. The flavour combinations, sides, shakes…                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Ok, I tried to narrow it down to three points but I couldn’t.                                                                                 Let’s just say, 5 days later I was eating another Truffle Mushroom Swiss Chicken burger again!!                                                                                             

SMASHBurger Bath:

Order on Deliveroo: