Growing up in the 90s, it will come as no surprise to you that I was (and am still) a huge Spice Girls fan. Who was my favourite Spice? Posh of course. It's been amazing to watch Victoria Beckham go from plastic WAG fantastic to eternally-chic fashion designer and general style inspiration (via that song that she did with Dane Bowers - what a gem) And..... although I'm a lot older now, I'm still partial to a bit of merchandise.

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Victoria Beckham x Estee Lauder : What To (Calmly) Buy

Food blog alert, here we go! I've raved on and on about my wonderful weekend at Wilderness and this is one of the biggest reasons why. One of my fave things about Wilderness Festival #1 – the food is GREAT. 

I’m not just talking about foodie stalls and vans that they have. Seeing a mac and cheese van or a crab shack isn’t such a surprise at a festival anymore (although still very welcome) Wilderness went next level with REAL London restaurateurs and chefs, hosting REAL feasts and banquets throughout the weekend.

I mean, look at this Banqueting Tent! (One of many)

My personal highlight, was one of my London favourites - Mark Hix. I’m a big fan of Tramshed in Shoreditch, where they do a whole roast chicken served with the feet flamboyantly in the air – I know it’s mainly for show but Chinese people like me have a lot of time (and teeth) for that! Also Mark’s Bar has fantastic cocktails and chicken popcorn (not KFC popcorn chicken, I’m talking chicken flavoured popcorn) and the classic Hix Soho does a fabulous, under-hyped Sunday brunch – again, accompanied by fabulous cocktails. Basically, in the real world, I can’t get enough of Hix restaurants.

In the festival world, nothing changes. The food was equally as good but with the added bonus of being served in a lovely rural setting. The fact that it was about 24 degrees also helped.

First, we started with cocktails (of course). Since Mark's Bar in Soho has an extensive and exciting cocktail list, so we knew we were in good hands. The Bloody Mary's in particular are fantastically savoury and spiced without being overpowering. Bloody love a Bloody Mary.

The only downside is that due to the usual festival no-glass policy, they were served in little plastic cups which are fun for no oneIt's not full festival lockdown though. Like Business Class meals onboard an airplane, you actually get metal cutlery with your meal. Living the high life!

Here's me, looking a bit bedraggled on the last day of the festival and about to sit down to a full Sunday feast in the Hix tent.

Now the concept of the feasting tent is that you share between 6 people. As we were only a two, our meal was shared between old and new friends and it was truly great. Being honest, I'm not usually one for inter-festival mingling  (I'm shy! Cough.) but the people we met were bright and charming and all kinds of interesting. 

Seriously, one of our new companions was a high-end milliner and another foodie couple had travelled here from Singapore and were an accountant and a journalist (ie. basically me as two people, but much more lovely)

But enough about the social starter, what did we eat?

Pickled late summer vegetables

Woodall's Black Combe Ham

Heritage beetroot salad with toasted walnuts and Cashel Blue

First of all, the English equivalent of a delicious slice of Serrano ham. The Black Combe ham we were served was made in the heart of Cumbria. Hand rubbed with a dry cure mix and then cold smoked in oak for 5 hours before being left to air dry for at least 6 months. 6 months?! I've had relationships shorter than that. 

As a huge charcuterie fan, this did not disappoint. Fragrant and savoury with those deliciously satisfying melty bits of fat - y'know, the sort that turn people into vegetarians.

Moving onto a different kind of cocktail, we were treated to Atlantic Prawn Cocktail, large juicy prawns served on fresh lettuce with a tangy Marie Rose style dressing. The portion size was generous, I had at least four. My surprise favourite though, was the heritage beetroot salad. Never anything I'd pick off the menu normally but the beets were colourful and fresh, with the perfect amount of crunch. Perfectly offset with crumbly Cashel Blue and toasted walnuts, it's genuinely got me considering adding a beetroot to my supermarket shopping basket next time. (Hey, it can look pretty on my kitchen counter)

The Main Event

Roasted Dorset Blue Lobster with garlic butter

Glenarm Estate beef on the bone

The mains did not disappoint either - my eyes were literally on stalks as I watched boards of roasted lobster make their way into the tent. Lobster and garlic butter, can you get any better than that?

Well, apparently you can. Wood-fired ribs of beef on the bone. The picture tells you EVERYTHING. Beautifully tender and fully flavoured, these perfectly cooked ribs had us all in bits. (To get a similar beef fix, I recommend the Sunday Roast at Hix Soho) This meal was without a doubt, the best food I've ever had a festival. The only question was, who got to nibble the rest off the bone?

Of course, I can't sign off without mentioning the dessert. Raspberries fresh from the farm, with delicious clouds of meringue and rich chocolate mousse. As soon as I mentioned Hix Restaurants on my Facebook page, everyone was like "YOU HAVE TO TRY THE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE". (all the capitals as well) It's basically a London foodie rite of passage, sorry but I don't make the rules.

Oakchurch Farm raspberries with Peruvian Gold chocolate and meringue

A perfect end to a fantastic few days at Wilderness Festival - I really recommend treating yourself to a feast if you go next year. If not, check out the Hix restaurants dotted around London. They do bottomless brunches, oyster happy hours and even late-night lock ins. That, plus delicious no-nonsense food and interesting cocktails - what else could you need?! (though let's be honest, I had you at bottomless brunch didn't I?)

For the full Wilderness report, see my Wilderness Festival Highlights here and my Yahoo Style article on The Rise Of The LIfestyle Festival here.

What do you think of this festival feast? Have you been to a Mark Hix restaurant? Tweet me your thoughts @FaceValueBlog or send me a comment on Facebook!

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Festival Food Blog: Mark Hix Knows How To Do A Feast

For those of you who know me, I like a festival – but not the ‘real’ festivals. I like festivals like Coachella where I can dress up nice and stay in a hotel. I like festivals like Wireless and Lovebox, which are single day events that don’t require me to sleep in the grass (unless I pass out in my front garden) Just kidding of course. I live in London, my front garden is concrete.

Well NEWS FLASH, I've finally found a full-on festival that I can get on board with! For those of you that I DIDN’T hound via Instagram and Facebook, I went to Wilderness Festival the other weekend. A camping festival in the middle of leafy Oxfordshire. 

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Wilderness Festival 2016 Highlights & Top Tips For Festival Newbies

Given that I'm obsessed with makeup and beauty products, I like to try a lot of different brands. It's very rare that I use the same thing over and over again, unless it's something very special. 

Over the last month however, I realised that one brand was standing out and was regularly making an appearance in my makeup routine. 

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Makeup Lust List: My Rodial Beauty Recommendations

So last weekend marked an exciting time for Face Value Beauty Blog. I am venturing into the world of professional makeup artistry! HELLO new side hustle! I'm expanding my beauty obsession beyond myself and sharing my skills and tips with real, actual human beings rather than just the internet. Scary. 

And where else to start than at the deep end? A WEDDING. Yep, the biggest beauty day of many people’s lives. Obviously I am far too risk-averse to start my career with a bride, so I started with 4 bridesmaids instead. Better or worse?!

I’m going to do a series of posts about becoming a professional makeup artist, for anyone that’s considered it or even just generally interested! Today I’m talking about the basic kit that I’ve pulled together and then next week I’ll do a post showing the final looks, the products and techniques used.

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Be A Professional Makeup Artist. What's In My MUA Kit?

Hello new beauty friend! Another palette for my collection. Yes, I already have a full drawer dedicated to palettes and it's almost full but there's always room for another. Especially a do-it-all palette. Palettes that have essential light and dark eye shadows, completion powders to contour and highlight plus a pop of colour of possible. 

There's nothing I love more than do-it-all palettes but is it possible for a perfect palette that has everything? Well the new Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look In A Palette is pretty close!

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The Perfect Palette? Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look In A Palette

Finally – a bit of sunshine emerges through the clouds. You know what that means? It’s time to wear WHITE (and suncream)

Normally, the closest I’ll get to white workwear outfits is a white shirt. Or super-clean white trainers perhaps. It just seems a bit too dressy to go full-on white sometimes, I don’t know why that is but I always associate white with occasionwear, days at the races and holidays on the beach right?

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What I Wore To Work: New Meli Melo Bag & White Finery Workwear

MORE information on the EU Referendum? Or should I say more mindless opinion amongst the drama? I really thought twice about posting this - I really don't want to make this referendum more divise than it already is. However, it really wouldn’t be right if a 'money and makeup' blogger like myself kept quiet during the biggest decision of our economic lifetime. 

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Money Monday: The EU Referendum

So the sun is FINALLY here which is great news right?! Right? Maybe not. Unfortunately all this sun soaking has dehydrated my oily skin to a tight, itchy mess. The funny thing is, I would have NEVER have said I had sensitive skin. 

Seriously, the amount of chemical product I was layering onto my face through my teens was enough to make me feel like my skin was like leather, impervious to anything. 

It's like when people ask if you're allergic to anything in restaurants and I'm like STOMACH OF STEEL, bring it on! I always thought the same of my skin, until now. 

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