Compact Travel Beauty & Fashion Essentials

It doesn't matter where you are heading on holiday- packing space is always a consideration. Fashion items that fold neatly, and miniature beauty products reign supreme on our shopping lists. We've rounded up the best compact travel essentials for you to pack for your vacation.


These foldable ballerina slippers, that come in a handy drawstring bag, are beyond cute and comfortable. Whether you want them to keep your feet cosy in a hotel room, or for comfort on a plane trip, these little gems are perfect. The come in a variety of colour-ways; but the light denim and baby pink is definitely our favourite, and they are only £15 from Bedroom Athletics.

We all know that shaving our legs is a pain, and having to pack a full-size razor securely is even more so. The Gillette Venus Snap With Embrace razor (£9.99 from Boots) has solved all of our travel de-fuzzing woes- the adorable miniature 5-blade razor comes in a very helpful plastic box. You can literally take this anywhere for whenever a stray hair may appear. 

Yes, you can de-pot your favourite moisturisers and cleansers into mini temporary containers; but how handy would it be to have a complete miniature skin, body and hair care line-up already made up for you in a handy clear pouch. You get 8 brilliant products in the REN Grab & Go Kit for just £20. It contains more than enough to see you through your vacation, and includes their Rose Centifolia Cleansing Gel, Vita Mineral Daily Supplement Cream, Vita Mineral Lip Balm, Vita Mineral Active 7 Eye Gel, Oat & Bay Shampoo, Pro-Vitamin Conditioner, Neroli & Grapefruit Body Wash and Neroli & Grapefruit Body Cream.

All hotel rooms have hairdryers now, or you can just let it dry naturally in the sun; however, where your hair usually comes-a-cropper on holiday is in the straightening department. Heat can do terrible things with frizz. These small and slim compact BaByliss Pro 200 Nano Hair Straighteners, £15 from John Lewis, are fuss-free to take away with you.

There is nothing worse than tangled necklace chains, an there is no neater and more convenient way to store them when travelling than in a space-saving jewellery roll-up. The Ted Baker Opulent Bloom Travel Jewellery Roll is £25,49 at Flamingo Gifts. It has a gorgeous print, and has pierced earring holes, zip pouches and a ring holder.

Dinner at Sugar Dumplin', Glasgow



Sugar Dumplin' is new on the block in Glasgow's luxurious Princes Square shopping complex. This hot new restaurant and rum bar serves authentic and delicious Caribbean food, and we couldn't wait to try it when it opened.


Sugar Dumplin Glasgow Interior

Luckily, we weren't disappointed, and it exceeded our expectations. The food is superb and plentiful; so be prepared to have to loosen your trousers on the way out. Everything is themed Carribean-style; but not in a cheesy, over-the-top way- table water is served in imported rum bottles, and up-ended wooden boats make for great seats.

Sugar Dumplin Glasgow Menu


The menu is extensive, and whilst most of the food has a spicy kick to it (they even give you extra sauce bottles to up the ante), there are quite a few excellent options for those with a milder palette. 




For our starter, we shared the Roti & Garlic Flatbread With Spiced Crushed Nuts and Avocado Oil Dip (£4.75)  I could have happily chowed down on this all by myself (and what I wouldn't do for a plate right now as i'm writing this)! Chopped spiced nuts with oil and bread was never a combination I would have considered before; but it's heavenly and must be tried.


I love a bit of spice and full-on flavour, so for my main course I opted for the BBQ Jerk Chicken Breast & Fried Plantain Chips (£11.95). This had been chargrilled after being marinated for 12-hours, and it was so juicy and spicy. It was also great to have the novelty of the plantain. Plantain doesn't taste of much; but the extra sauce bottles soon sorted that out.


The other main course we had was the Jerk Pulled Pork Roti & Sweet Potato Fries (£7.95). I obviously couldn't resist having some of this also. The pork was mild but so tasty and succulent, and the roti is a great lighter option for those who don't want a heavier burger bun. I can't wait to return here and try some of their other offerings, as the whole menu looks so tempting. It's definitely a place for foodies.

To book a table and view the full menu, visit www.sugardumplin.co.uk.

Dinner at Gusto Glasgow Restaurant


Gusto Glasgow Review

We are big fans of the Gusto chain of restaurants, having enjoyed a great meal at their Newcastle restaurant (reviewed here); so we were keen to try out the newly opened Glasgow branch on Bothwell Street.

The menu at Gusto restaurants is amazing- so varied, and so difficult to choose from. There is something for everyone from pizzas and pastas to steak, seafood and burgers. Unfortunately, unlike the Newcastle restaurant, Glasgow just doesn't do the great menu justice- extremely slow service and cold food let the Gusto brand down. I'm hoping this is just some teething problems since they have only recently opened. With a menu as fantastic as this, it has great potential if they can only make people want to make a return visit.

Before we get down to talking about our menu choices, we just want to talk about the problems we encountered. One of our starters, and one of our main courses came out only luke warm. I suspect this is because they had been sitting on the pass for so long; since we experienced such slow service with everything else in the restaurant. We waited a long time for everything- from our orders being taken, to our food arriving. We could excuse this if the restaurant was busy; but there were only four tables occupied, and with three waiting staff and two floor managers, this should have been more than manageable. For example, we were given our dessert menus and it took them 25 minutes to come back to take our order. We also requested that coffee come at the same time as dessert- we got it 10 minutes after we had finished eating. Far from great.



The food, however, tasted (and looked visually) great. For starters we had the Deep Fried Calamari with Lemon Mayonnaise (£6.75). The batter on these was light, crisp and seasoned to perfection. Our other starter was the Tiger Prawns in a Tomato, Garlic & Cream Sauce with Grilled Ciabatta (£7.50), which was full of flavour.


We also tried the Peach & Passionfruit Julep (£8.95) cocktail, which has a strong bourbon base. This was great, but isn't a choice for the faint-hearted.




For our main courses, we both opted for steak. The Flattened Rump Steak with Grand Padano, Rocket and Chilli (£13.95) was a brilliant flavour combination, and was very juicy. You can have this thin steak cooked either 'pink' or well done'- definitely go for pink, as the meat stays nice and moist. A side of Fries (£3.95) and Peppercorn Sauce (£1.95) finished this off nicely. The 6oz Fillet Steak (£20.95) came with Fries, Garlic Butter and Grilled Tomato. It was cooked just right, and the meat was good quality.


Gusto Nutella & Mascarpone Calzone Dessert


The highlight of the night was definitely the Nutella & Mascarpone Calzone (£5.95) dessert; basically a chocolate and cream cheese pizza. It is worth visiting a Gusto restaurant for this alone (we had it in Newcastle too) as it's complete and utter heaven. The other dessert we had was the Warm Chocolate & Hazelnut Brownie with Pistachio Ice-Cream and Chocolate Sauce (£5.95). This, unfortunately, was a let down, as they didn't have any pistachio ice-cream left, and you needed a magnifying glass to see the 'chocolate sauce'. 

Will we come back to Gusto Glasgow? Probably not anytime soon... unless they don't mind us just popping in for a chocolate calzone or two.

You can view the Gusto menu and restaurant contact details online at gustorestaurants.uk.com.