• Vicky

Fortnightly Favourites #8

Updated: Jul 4, 2019

From cleaning products to divine Italian restaurants, these have all brought me some happiness in the last fortnight!

1. La Coppola

It was the kind of rainy Saturday afternoon where I just wished I was sitting in a sunny piazza in Italy, sipping wine and eating great food. So George and I decided to do just that. But instead of hopping on a plane, we jumped in the car and drove down the road to Leamington Spa.

La Coppola have recently opened their newly relocated restaurant on The Parade, and it is simply wonderful.

With an airy oyster and champagne bar as you walk in.

Order a Bellini and enjoy the atmosphere. We sat in the main restaurant under a ceiling heaving with stunning floral displays. I had the lobster linguine which was delicious and served flambé for an extra flourish.

If you're craving a little of Italy whilst the UK continues to tip it down, head to La Coppola.

2. Afterspa Make up Remover

I have spent ages looking for a more sustainable solution to make-up removal, but was getting so fed up of trying products which I found didn't live up to the reviews or left my skin feeling less than fresh. Then I got this little pink flannel in my Birchbox, and it is a game changer.

It removes all types of make-up (including pesky waterproof mascara!) with just warm water. Once fresh faced, throw it in the washing machine so it's ready for next use. Lasts up to 1000 washes. I'm never using disposable face wipes again.

3. Buying Local

By supporting local businesses you are helping your community to thrive. Research shows that £10 spent with a local independent shop means up to an additional £50 goes back into the local economy, because business owners will then reinvest money back into the local community, by visiting local farms, banks, pubs, shops and restaurants etc.

Shopping with local businesses also leads to a positive effect on the health of jobs in your area. Small businesses are (surprisingly!) the largest employer of jobs nationally, helping to grow employment locally. They are also more likely to pay a higher average wage than their commercial chain counterparts.

In a world that is becoming increasingly dominated by retail chains and online shopping, independent small businesses bring much-needed character and variety into our communities.

And you can’t beat the charm and personal touch of a local shop owner, individualised customer service is a breath of fresh air.

Small Independent businesses are run by people, not boards, stockholders or algorithms. This means you get a better kind of quality in their products and service, because their work is a personal reflection of themselves.

I always think that fruit from a local greengrocer or market stall tastes so much sweeter.

I'd much rather visit a favourite local florist than pick up some generic flowers in the supermarket, or choose a candle made in a small local shop than a mass produced fragrance. They also make far better individualised and unique gifts for others.

Shop local!

4. Zoflora

I'm late to this trend I know, Zoflora is no well kept secret. This weekend George and I decided to blast the house with a deep clean, so I stocked up the cleaning cupboard and thought I'd grab some Zoflora after reading so many rave reviews. Use it diluted or as a concentrated disinfectant (depending on the task at hand) and your house will be sparkling and fresh in no time. I use it to clean everything, from skirting boards and bathroom floors to household surfaces.

My top tip is to use it to freshen up artificial flowers! Dilute in a washing up bowl and swish your flowers in it for a few seconds. Leave to dry and they'll be dust free and smell great.

5. Spier's Chenin Blanc

Way back in this honeymoon post, George and I enjoyed a wonderful day at Spier Wine Farm, just outside of Cape Town in South Africa. I've recently found an online stockist where I can get it for a really reasonable price here at home, with free UK delivery.

Opening a bottle together on a sunny evening takes me straight back to wandering between the vines on honeymoon and such special memories.

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