Galentine's Bloggers Brunch | Intu | Caffe Rizzoli | House of Fraser

Wednesday 15 February 2017

What would you say to a prosecco brunch and makeover on a rainy Sunday?

Well, if you’re anything like me, you’d say ‘Yes please!’, and that was exactly what I did when I was invited along to Intu Victoria Centre by the lovely team there for some nibbles, pampering and a whole lot of fun.

Now I’m juggling full-time work and mummy duties such opportunities for girlie pampering are almost non-existant, and I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a coffee without having to be simultaneously on toddler-wrangling duties for quite some time, so I was champing at the bit to get involved for an afternoon of indulgence.

Intu are celebrating all things ‘Galentine’s’ – a chance to have fun with the lovely ladies in our lives and celebrate friendship and girlie pampering.

Enjoying the chance for a trip into the city unconstrained by a buggy and my son’s short attention span, I headed to Caffe Rizzoli, a brand new venue inside the Victoria Centre.

It’s an area inside the shopping concourse on the Upper Mall and the perfect spot for a leisurely lunch, a spot of people watching, and of course a few glasses of prosecco.

I’m always going to be in favour of a prosecco bar, but one that also has a selection of irresistible real Italian gelato? Sold! (Fun fact: Did you know that gelato is made differently to ice-cream and has about half the fat content? Great excuse to eat more, in my opinion…)

We were greeted by the very lovely Intu team and the café’s owner, Jeremy, who was extremely welcoming and more than happy to tell us all about all the antipasti, cakes and other goodies on offer.

It’s always so inspiring to see a business owner who really cares about what they do, and the level of attention to detail at Caffe Rizzoli was very high.  Straight away I had a Passionfruit Bellini in my hand and got to catch up with some of the lovely ladies who make up the Intu Nottingham blog squad – as we’ve all met at previous events, there was a nice friendly feeling.

Thoughts soon turned to food. I ordered the scrambled eggs with crispy bacon which was absolutely lovely and the perfect brunch treat. It’s the little points of detail that really elevate dishes like that, and it was served with an excellent more-ish sweet tomato salsa that really added to the whole thing.

Everything that I saw come out was beautifully presented and looked very tasty indeed. I managed (somehow) to actually hold back on the desserts, but the ones I saw others order looked amazing – I made a note to myself to go back for an Affogato as soon as possible!

Good company, good food, good Bellinis – I was already in a very happy place, but we were then all given beautifully wrapped gifts from the Intu ladies. These turned out to be from Skinnydip – which is a brand I really love – and all the iPhone owners got treated to a new case with plush monogram stickers to personalise them, while those not wedded to Apple all got a lovely purse.

This was really thoughtful and such a nice touch. There’s nothing I like more than new clothes for my beloved phone! Skinnydip have their own concession in the Victoria Centre too, so you can pick up the phone case and accessories on your shopping trip – I’ve got my eye on a few of their handbags!

The fun didn’t even stop there. Next, we got taken to House of Fraser where there were more bubbles and a make-over at one of the counters in their large beauty department.

We were made to feel like real VIPs and the manager was truly lovely, taking us through what brands were on offer and what exclusive offerings they have -  for instance, they are one of the few stockists of Shiseido (whose skincare products are next-level amazing), have one of the largest regional fragrance areas – with everything out to play with and nothing locked away behind glass doors.

This is a much nicer approach – fragrance is incredibly intimate and tactile, and generally you want to try a few out if you’ re in the market for something new. How much nicer is it to be able to explore freely? Who knows what you may discover.

I was also thrilled to discover that House of Fraser Nottingham now have a small Charlotte Tilbury concession. Until now I’ve either had to wait for a trip to London or Birmingham, or take a risk and order online – which is risky when the cosmetics are high-end. Now I know I can pop in and try the latest lipstick shades.

I was also really keen to explore the latest offerings from Urban Decay. They’re a brand I love, and their offerings seem to go from strength to strength to strength. I was especially keen to try out their new Optical Illusion primer, that swipes away pores, fine lines and shine, and a couple of their Vice lipstick shades.

Here I am modelling the primer and the lipstick ‘Big Bang’ which is an insanely glittery magenta shade! I haven’t seen anything like it elsewhere. Urban Decay combine innovate formulas with stunning packaging and always seem to be ahead of the curve with things, and I love the whole brand aesthetic. UD4EVA ;)

I also popped over to the Lancome counter where the lady very kindly showed me how to do a Valentine’s day ombre red lip, and that was fantastic. It was lovely being made to feel so welcome, and I can’t wait to go back – in fact, I’ve booked a day off work for some solo shopping and pamper time soon.

To finish off a lovely afternoon, we were all given a gift bag from House of Fraser, which was extremely thoughtful. Mine contained Clarins Super Restorative Night Cream, a mini Molton Brown bath and shower gel, a Benefit  Porefessional Instant Wipeout Mask, and samples of Shiseido foundation, and perfume from Charlotte Tilbury and Paco Rabanne. I can't wait to try them out.

An absolutely massive thank you to Caffe Rizzoli, House of Fraser and the Intu ladies for another thoughtful event -  I loved discovering the new things Intu Victoria Centre has to offer.


  1. You look gorgeous in that UD lipstick! And a huge YES to that SkinnyDip case- I love allllll their designs!

    Claudia xx

  2. I have read more and more posts about this event and the more I read, the more I'm sure I need to get myself down to that Cafe Rizzoli. Everything looks fantastic!