Beauty & the bakery… a blogger’s dream

When my friend and fellow blogger, Emma, were invited to Edinburgh’s Fort Kinnaird to spend the afternoon being pampered at the Body Shop, followed by a meal at well known bakery, Patisserie Valerie, we jumped at the opportunity.

From a young age, I have had quite dry skin. I have to moisturise at least twice a day and if my face was to get slightly wet without instant moisturising, my skin would feel taut and horrible. So on arrival at the Body Shop, sales assistant Gwen asked if I was interested in having a skin consultation. Having seen people have this done before, I was aware that there are certain machines that are able to identify your skin type. This would then rank you, with 1% being abnormally dry and 100% being extremely oily. I sat around the 20% mark, having both dry and dehydrated skin. What surprised me was that Gwen gasped when she saw the reading.

Now, I am the first to admit that I can be quite lazy when it comes to my skin. I tend to just chuck on a load of E45 cream and as I drink around 4 litres of water a day, I expect to get by. Gwen told me that this was not the case and introduced me to a number of different products that I could be using. The range that she suggested being best for my skin was Drops of Youth (how depressing at the age of 26…) as this is full of hydrating ingredients that sink deep into the skin, repairing it. I was lucky enough to try a number of different products and even managed to get myself a bag of samples. As someone with not only very dry, dehydrated skin, I am also extremely sensitive to perfumed products. Therefore, these cute mini samples are great for me as I need to be sure that nothing will irritate my skin.

One of the products that I found really appealing (and was able to take away a whole bottle) was the Drops of Youth Liquid Peel. You work this into your routine twice a week and it gently exfoliates your skin, removing the day’s pollutants. I have to admit, it was quite shocking to see the dirt come away but this left my skin feeling silky smooth and alongside my other goodies – Drops of Youth Concentrate, Youth Cream and Vitamin C Reviver, I’m hoping I’ll be working my way up the hydration chart and hitting 60% on my next visit.

After being beautified at the Body Shop, we headed to the much loved high street bakery, Patisserie Valerie. We had originally been promised afternoon tea but were made aware a few hours prior to our arrival that this was no longer possible. It used to be the case that if you were gluten-free, Patisserie Valerie was your worst nightmare (hello soft bouncy sponge cake). However, they have recently introduced a gluten-free range to cover all tastes – chocolate brownie, butter flapjack and marble slice, to name a few.

We were welcomed by a friendly team of staff and they told us to order as much as we liked. So naturally Emma and myself did just that. Starting with a delicious hot chocolate, I scanned the menu, opting for a ham and cheese omelette. Although the omelette was nice, this was one of the only options for me as the menu was full of sandwiches, quiches and other heavenly goods that you would expect to find in a bakery.

As a food blogger, I obviously couldn’t have left without trying out the new gluten-free range. There were many treats that took my fancy but my cravings were directed towards the chocolate muffin. If I’m being critical, it was sadly not as good as I had hoped however this could have been because I was staring at Emma digging into not one, but two slices of fresh, bouncy cake.

The overall dining experience in Patisserie Valerie was pleasant and is definitely somewhere that I would go again. I am keen to try out the other sweet treats in the gluten-free range and hoping that one day, this range will expand and include the much loved gateau slices.


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