Highlights of April: Gin Festival, Cocktails & Kiehl's | AD-Event

3 May 2017

Highlights of April NottsCocktails Masterclass

It feels as if I've blinked and missed April, how are we now into May? Summer will be here before we know it and I'm SO excited for the warmer weather (Kirstie, you do know you live in England, right?). It's been a while since I did a Monthly Highlights post, so I thought I'd take a look back over the month and share some of my favourite things that I did. I'm actually considering starting a monthly vlog series over on my YouTube channel - not as much pressure as weekly vlogging and means you won't get any of the boring "I'm just gonna sit on my sofa and chat bc my life isn't interesting enough" bits. Just the fun stuff. Watch this space... But for now, here are my Highlights of April in blog form, and you can also catch up with my April Favourites video too, where I'm chatting through all the beauty products I'm loving, and I have a tea favourite and a few Netflix recommendations too!

Highlights of April NottsCocktails Masterclass

Loves Cocktails Masterclass, Nottingham

The first event of the month was popping over to Nottingham for a masterclass with Nick Fox, organiser of Loves Cocktails, at Brass Monkey. After giving us an insight into the festival (which took place between 24th and 30th April, with cocktail-themed events all over the city's bars), we hopped over to Brass Monkey's terrace to to try some yummy cocktails for ourselves. First up (above photo) was my fave, a Tom Collins with a twist, featuring apple juice and thyme syrup alongside Portobello Road gin (Nick's fave). This was a delicious way to enjoy gin, with a sweetness from the apple juice and a herbaceous twist, complementing the botanicals of the gin, which is robust enough to hold its own amongst the strong flavours. Next up was a Pineapple & Basil Margarita, which had a tropical fruit touch that made it perfect for me as I'm not a huge tequila/margarita lover. Lastly there was A Passionate Afternoon, a new concoction including passionfruit, vodka and prosecco with a cherry and mint garnish. Sadly we weren't able to make it to the festival, but I really enjoyed the masterclass and I'll definitely be making the Tom Collins at home!

Kiehl's Leicester Event KiehlsOnWheels Bus

Kiehl's Event, Leicester

In honour of the brand new Kiehl's counter in Highcross Leicester's Debenhams store (yasssssss!), us Leicester blogger's headed down to St Peter's Square where the #KiehlsOnWheels bus was parked up and ready for us with Hannah and Saff from Kiehl's. Sipping on some delicious fruity mocktails from nearby Turtle Bay, we got the opportunity to try some of Kiehl's newest and most popular products, and then we popped over to see the new concession. It was a really fun event and nice to have something beauty-related in Leicester! I wrote a lil blog post here about the event if you want to read more, as well as my recommendations of the products that had caught my eye!

Girlie Night in Nottingham

After a bit of a mix up with the Cocktail Festival dates, I ended up booking a hotel for me and Emmie the night before the Gin Festival, and even though cocktails weren't on the cards as we originally planned, we thought it'd be nice to have a girlie night to catch up. We stayed at Hotel Ibis Nottingham City Centre, which was really affordable and a great location, based in the Hockley/Lace Market area, a mere stone's throw away from restaurants and bars. It was the first time I had stayed in an Ibis hotel, and I was really impressed at the size of the room, facilities and ease. It had everything we needed for a quick and comfortable stay. We decided on Chinese for dinner, and popped just down the road to Mandarin Restaurant and enjoyed a feast of Prawn Toasts (obvs), Salt & Pepper Prawns, Beef in Black Bean Sauce and Sweet & Sour Chicken. And prosecco of course! I was really impressed with the food - everything was piping hot (lukewarm food is such a pet peeve) and delicious, and it's somewhere I'd definitely visit again. Cocktails were a must, so we popped over to The Hockley Arts Club, which Em had been raving about after trying the Drumstick cocktail a while back. I loved the vibe and decor was gorgeous, especially on the top floor which was adorned with cherry blossoms. It was a blogger's dream! I was impressed with their experimental cocktail menu, and I definitely need to head back to try the rest of them!

The Gin Festival Nottingham

The Gin Festival, Nottingham

The next day, it was time to head to The Gin Festival, and after a night of little sleep, gin was far from what I fancied! We stopped off for a bit of brunch at a lovely little spot called Wired Cafe. I had the Posh Breakfast, which was poached eggs, roasted tomatoes and rocket on an English muffin, with added bacon. It was tasty and pretty affordable, and I'd definitely recommend popping in for breakfast! We toddled over to The Nottingham Conference Centre, which was the location of The Gin Festival, and spent the afternoon trying various gins. Thankfully I perked up a bit and let's face it, I couldn't really say no to gin could I! I wrote a full blog post on all the gins I tried, as well as how the Nottingham Gin Festival compared to the Leicester event last year, so you can read that here.

What have been your highlights of the past month?

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