Saturday, December 01, 2018

Recipe: Boozy Tequila Hot Chocolate

Fancy trying an indulgent festive hot chocolate that will warm you from the inside out?

This boozy Tequila Rose hot chocolate recipe is so easy to make and tastes good enough to drink whilst watching your favourite Christmas movie. I think I will make mine to drink during Elf.

Pin this recipe for later!

(Serves 1)

  1. In a pot over medium-high heat, bring the milk to a simmer with the hot chocolate powder. Add in the Nutella, stirring until it has melted and become incorporated. Add the cinnamon stick and shot of Tequila Rose and bring to a simmer.
  2. Using the grill of your oven or a blow torch, toast the marshmallows on a lined baking sheet and leave to crisp up until golden.
  3. Ladle the hot milk mixture into the mugs and serve with fresh whipped cream and the marshmallows.
  4. Tequila Rose, available now in Sainsbury'sTesco and Amazon 
  5. Share your Tequila Rose recipes with the hashtags  #PaintItPink and #TequilaRose


Saturday, November 24, 2018

Laura Ashley: The Tea Room at Burnham Beeches Hotel

There is nothing more enjoyable than retreating to a cosy hotel in the winter and enjoying an afternoon tea.

I was lucky enough to take myself and my Mum to experience the Laura Ashley Afternoon tea at Burnham Beeches Hotel. It was a beautifully sunny Saturday so we were able to really enjoy our window seat, taking in the grounds of the hotel. 

We were immediately served a glass of fresh water in either orange or cucumber - we both opted for cucumber. We then selected the tea we wanted to drink for our afternoon tea and both opted for jasmine pearls. Guests can also opt for Prosecco or Champagne, or for a truly British affair. The Tea Room has partnered with Hattingley Valley English sparkling wines to serve afternoon tea with their classic multi-award winning English Sparkling Wine and English Sparkling Rosé. With our pot of tea each served to us quickly, the afternoon tea was well and truly underway.

A fantastic Chocolate Orange hot chocolate was served as an amuse-bouche with an edible cinnamon stick. It was piping hot and the perfect festive start to the afternoon tea.

Freshly made finger sandwiches such as cucumber with cream cheese and dill on granary bread; Wiltshire ham with grain mustard on onion bread; and Loch Duart smoked salmon and lemon butter open on rye bread were served on the bottom tier of the afternoon tea. 

The decor of The Tea Room has been transformed into a feminine and Instagrammable space perfect for all your afternoon tea desires

Laura Ashley Afternoon Tea Menu

Amuse bouche
A selection of freshly made sandwiches:
Cream cheese and dill on granary bread; Wiltshire ham with grain mustard on onion bread; and Loch Duart smoked salmon and lemon butter open on rye bread
Freshly baked sultana and plain scones with artisan jam and Cornish clotted cream
A selection of sweet treats:
Rosemary and pumpkin cake
Monbazillac and rose bavarois
Apple and cinnamon tartlet
Chocolate and caramel mousse

The afternoon tea’s fancy cakes and patisserie selection has been curated entirely by Head Pastry Chef, Laura Zilio and included a super moist Rosemary and pumpkin cake that was so delicious, a monbazillac and rose bavarois and an apple and cinnamon tartlet to name a few (It is important to note that the cake selection changes regularly depending on seasonality of the ingredients and experimentation from the Head Pastry Chef).

Head Pastry Chef, Laura Zilio

It was such a leisurely and relaxing afternoon spent at The Tea Room, I would highly recommend you try it.

Give the gift of a Laura Ashley afternoon tea this Christmas - Buy Gift Voucher

You can also find Laura Ashley The Tea Room on Facebook and Instagram 

Grove Road, Burnham, Slough, UK, SL1 8DP 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Recipe: Autumn Leaf & Pumpkin Cookies

There is nothing I love more about Autumn time, than the way the leaves change colour and fall from the trees.

It is this time of year that inspires me most, so I have taken great inspiration from the leaves and seasonal produce and their vibrant colours and have created these delicious Autumn Leaf and pumpkin cookies for you all to enjoy around the fall time.

I purchased my Leaf cookie cutters here.

  1. In a large bowl (to avoid making a mess), mix together together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer (or more traditionally, a fork or spatula) beat together the butter and sugar until well blended. Add in the pumpkin puree, egg and vanilla until the batter is smooth.
  3. Slowly stir in the dry mixture that was set aside earlier until combined. Cover and chill in the fridge for 1 hour or until the dough is firm enough to roll. (I have made this recipe a few times and found that my cookies were much crunchier and had a more intense flavour when I left the dough to chill in the fridge overnight.
  4. When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 170°C. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper ready for your cookies to lay on.
  5. Using a rolling pin, roll out the cookie dough evenly, about half a centimetre thick. Then taking your leaf and pumpkin cutters, cut out the shapes being careful not to damage the dough. For an extra sweet twist coat the cookie cut outs in cinnamon sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes for soft, malleable cookies. If you want your cookies to be more of a crunchy biscuit, then I recommend cooking them for longer. Allow the cookies to cool properly before adding the buttercream.
  7. Put the cream cheese in a large bowl and gradually add in the icing sugar, being careful to avoid creating a cloud of icing sugar (something I always seem to do). After all the icing sugar has been incorporated, divide the icing into three bowls. I used food colouring to create orange, green and red icing.
  8. Get creative and spread the icing onto the cookies with a palette knife. For a more rustic look, lift the icing up as you place it onto the cookie, creating texture.

I would love to know if you end up recreating these Autumn Leaf Cookies, so be sure to tag me in any pictures to @alicelucybradley

Why not pin this recipe for later.


Saturday, October 20, 2018

Is Instagram putting pressure on life's milestones?

Scrolling through my Instagram feed has become more of an obsessive routine than a form of entertainment or relaxing down time. I seem to waste countless hours each day scrolling through the endless stream of posts, liking pictures I often end up loathing because 'why isn't that me'. I have such a love hate relationship with Instagram and the power it has over my happiness.

I have been reflecting, occasionally self-pitying as of late and I know I shouldn't be. I am healthy, I have an incredibly close network of friends and family and I have a graduate job that is actually providing me with a wage so that I can do fun things when the weekend rolls around. But for some reason, there is a constant niggling inside of me, a feeling that goes into overdrive when I open Instagram - where are all my milestones?

Why is Instagram bringing us down?
Firstly, I think it is important to establish why Instagram brings us down, despite being used as a platform to spread positivity. It took me a while to really understand why I was always feeling down after a session scrolling through the gram.

Instagram successfully tricks us into thinking we are not working hard enough towards our goals, purely on the basis that others are getting there before us. It even manages to influence how we see the goals we have achieved. I have often reached a goal and then suddenly felt as though I needed to start tackling the next venture, with little thought about what I had just successfully accomplished. The hype of a new success is so fleeting, because we are part of a generation so dependent on 'the next big thing'.

Another inescapable issue is that everything is heightened on social media. Relationships look perfect, appearances are flawless, lives are hassle-free. We are continually bombarded with photo's and Instagram stories documenting edited snippets of our everyday lives that look perfect. And because we only see the edits, we don't see the struggle behind the hustle and the end results.

The 'Instagram Ick' Explained
Despite being completely obsessed with Instagram, I know it affects my mood. I have learnt that if I don't give myself a regular reality check and remind myself that Instagram is not a reflection of real life, I will get worked up by it.

The Instagram Ick is essentially the resulting feeling you experience after a period of time on the app. Symptoms include, feeling anxious, lonely, self-loathing about your physical appearance and/or the life you are living, jealousy, FOMO and stress. The Instagram Ick affects our day to day life, harming our sleep quality, our mood and our self-esteem.

Those are just a sample of some of the damaging affects Instagram has on your psyche. It came as no surprise to me that Instagram is considered the most likely social media platform to cause depression, according to a UK wide study conducted by the Royal Society of Public Health. This image focused social media platform will undoubtedly feed your insecurities and catalyse any feelings of inadequacy you may have once felt before you saw people's latest pictures on the gram.

The Instagram High
Instagram has become a quick confidence high, that I find myself taking often. The likes provide me with enough of a confidence boost to last me a couple of hours, sometimes, if it is a well received post, I can feel the high for an entire day. When the post begins to loose its lustre and becomes just another image on the grid, I find myself plummeting into a low. The  drug begins to wear off and I no longer feel the same. I begin to look for new photo's to post, lining up my pictures in a preview app so I can keep my Instagram addiction temporarily under control. Is this constructed reality really a reflection of my life? No, it isn't.

Are we all to blame?
I am always so saddened when people make assumptions about my own life, as if it is 'perfect'. It has come up in conversation a few times before and I have always felt like I have done them an injustice. It's not nice knowing that I could be the reason why someone feels down about the way they look that day, when I carelessly posted a posed OOTD, or that I made them feel as though their life appears less exciting because I decided to share a travel snap.

I only use this as an example because I compare my life that way and I'm certain that I'm not the only one who does it too. I constantly save and 'bookmark' things that I aim to do, go, wear, buy, achieve. Does it put enormous amounts of pressure on myself to do those things in good time? Hell yes! Do we realise the ripple effect we are having on people's self esteem? Unfortunately, no.

Why are we never satisfied?
Chasing happiness only leads to feelings of disappointment. The key is to savour those moments of joy you are already experiencing, recognise that you are reaching your own milestones at your own pace and learning to feel satisfied where you are in that present moment. I know I am in the guilty camp here when it comes to analysing what other people are doing in their lives and never feeling satisfied, so if you can relate to this, you are not alone.

Those who actively pursue happiness and the next 'big step' in their life will often find that those in-between periods where life is just happening, makes us feel low. It is as though we are unproductively waiting for our next milestone to come around. Instead, we could be using this time to show gratitude and say thank you.

Social Media in your 20s
I think social media is hard no matter what age you are. Despite Instagram launching when I was just 13, I didn't start using it until I was 15, posting random stuff without a care in the world, with no intention of showcasing my best angles or the highlights I was experiencing in my life. It was a carefree platform that didn't mean that much to me. Sidenote: If you fancy a stalk, be my guest, all the evidence is still there six years later. But, my point really is, is that before the Instagram hype, people didn't have the intense 24/7 photographic access to people's  'perfect' lives that they have access to nowadays.

It also makes me question what on earth teens these days are exposing themselves to and the undue pressure they are going through to be pristine on social media.

Although I have fun with Instagram and I work hard to keep my feed light-hearted and still aspirational, it is no surprise that it has become a competitive reel of people's milestones and successes. And I know, it sounds like perhaps I'm taking things too seriously, but I do genuinely believe that Instagram is affecting how we view ourselves as individuals. 

Social media in your twenties is particularly hard, as you're noticeably stuck between two ages. One part of me is clinging onto my teenage years for dear life, hoping that it will still be acceptable to drink cheap alcohol and wear short-short denim cut-offs from Urban Outfitters out in public. The other age I'm evolving into is making serious decisions about saving money for my 'future'.

Your 20s are already a confusing time, before you even throw social media into the mix. Some of your friends are travelling the world alone, others have settled down, bought their first home's, have serious relationships and babies on the way. But then there are others, like myself, who have no ties in their life except a full-time job.

But unfortunately as inquisitive human beings, we naturally focus on what others are doing that we are not, instead of remembering that we all do life differently.

Lucky or Unlucky in Love
Whether you are loved up or on the look out for love, you will find Instagrammer's a tough crowd to please.

I'll be honest, I've been single for three years now and in that time I've seen dating and relationship rules molding around Instagram. It's quite the mine field and it is affecting how we interact in relationships. Social media allows an intimate-access pass into people's relationships and whether we think we are participating in this Instagram forgery or not, it most certainly puts pressure on those trying to date and those in serious relationships.

Has Instagram given people permission to question where we are in our lives?
Traditionally, only family and friends could have access to the gritty details in our lives that would enable them to comment on the decisions we are making. However, with Instagram, this boundary is completely blurred and we have enough information to make assumptions about people's lives all the time, from what they wear to where they go on holiday or who they date. Rightly or wrongly we all do it subconsciously, without even realising it.

Unrealistic Expectations
Instagram also gives us unrealistic expectations on how life is supposed to pan out. I am often wondering “Hmm, this person’s life looks awesome, their pictures come out perfect every time they post, their life must be permanently perfect.” Do you ever stop and realise that all the social media accounts you are following are there on your feed because they inspire you or make you wish for something better? Well yes, because I can guarantee the majority of the people you follow on Instagram are there because you think they have something you don't (and you want to know how they got it). In moderation, this feed of inspiration can give you the motivational kick up the bum you may be needing. But after a binge, it can leave you spiralling into a vortex of self loathing. It is so unrealistic to be surrounded by people who act out these indefectible lives, but still despite having an awareness that "social media isn't real", you still set down your phone and are left with a sense of inadequacy.

I hope you can take away with you, the understanding that you are enough and your milestones are happening at their own pace for a reason. I also hope that you can take the time to be more aware when you analyse other people's lives, be it because they are two steps ahead of you, or two steps behind. We are all going to experience life differently.

And don't forget, that once in a while you should take a step back, look at all the beautiful things you have in your life and appreciate the milestone you're at, at that moment. Embraces your successes and always show gratitude. Oh and put the damn phone down once in a while - It's so good for you!

Need to talk?
Mind - Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm)

CALM - 0800 58 58 58

Samaritans - 116 123

You can also contact me if you fancy a chat:
DM me: @alicelucybradley
Tweet me: @alicelbradley


Friday, October 19, 2018

About Me

Welcome to Bandteesleatherandlace,

English-born writer Alice Bradley is a London and West Sussex based blogger and journalist. Writing has always been a huge part of her life, from writing short stories as a child to starting a blog in her teens. Since launching her blog in 2014, Alice has gone on to publish works in notable fashion, music and culture magazines, published works of poetry, assisted fashion PR teams creating successful social media pages and worked as a fashion photographer, shooting London Fashion Week shows for editorial magazines.

How did you start your blog?
Bandteesleatherandlace has been my baby since July of 2014 and ever since, I have not looked back. In fact, I can't remember what my life was like before I started my blog. It has been my creative outlet for over four years now and has been a growing portfolio that showcases my love for writing, photography and so much more. This website has enabled me to develop as a writer too, bringing together a body of work that I am not only proud of, but has brought me some incredible opportunities, memories and friends for life.

Where did your blog name come from?
My biggest act of rebellion came during my final year of college when I could dress the way I wanted to. It was my first taste of freedom, I was finally free from the shackles of an ill-fitting school uniform. I began to express myself more, clashing prints, styles and brands that were always deemed to be out of the 'fashionable' norm.

I purchased a leather skirt that had a lace trim on the hem. Being a gig lover, I attended lots of shows and had a collection of band t-shirts and merchandise. I would tuck these boyish slogan t-shirts of The 1975 into this skirt and walk into college with a proud look on my face. Predictably, it raised eyebrows and left a lot to be whispered about at the time. It wasn't particularly cool.

It wasn’t until I was in college that I realised I wanted to start a blog. I knew that my outfit combinations were a controversial one, so when I came to creating the blog name, I found myself revolving it around the components I knew made me stand out: my band-tees and my much-loved and well-worn leather and lace skirt.

What did you study at university?
I studied at Kingston University for three years, completing a degree in Journalism.

Do you have a media pack?
My media pack can be sent on request.

Do you have a portfolio?
My portfolio can be found here.

What camera's do you use?
How can we collaborate?
  • Product reviews
  • Hotel or restaurant reviews
  • Press trips
  • Featured Lookbooks using brand clothing
  • Sponsored content
  • Event attendance
  • Authentic Social media & Photography
What is the best way to contact you?
I am always on Instagram, so you can can drop me a DM.
Alternatively, if you want to contact me more formally, please drop me an email -


Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Recipe: Pretty Pink Tequila Rose Freakshake

It's the ultimate sinful treat, the Freakshake has to be up there as one of the most Instagram-worthy drinks to enjoy. 

I have tried a lot of Freakshakes in my time, from Unicorn Hot Chocolates to Extra-Chocolatey Nutella Shakes. The beauty of the Freakshake is that no ingredient is too weird to add, meaning that the possibilities are endless.

But one thing I have never tried, is a Freakshake with a boozy twist.

After doing some research on some of the coolest toppings, I put together my favourite ingredients to make an alcoholic version of my favourite freakshake.

Tequila Rose is a unique blend of strawberry flavoured cream liqueur with a splash of premium Mexican Tequila. The silky taste of Tequila Rose makes it the perfect addition to your freaks


For the shake:

  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Milk/Almond Milk
  • Pink Food Colouring
  • 2 Shots of Tequila Rose Strawberry Cream
  • Glass Jars
  • Paper Straws

To Decorate:

  • Squirty Cream
  • Fresh Ring Donuts - Preferably iced in colourful colours/sprinkles
  • Pink Wafer biscuits
  • Lucky Charms/Marshmallows
  • Hundreds & Thousands
  • Vanilla Icing

    • Method
      (Serves 2)
      • Line the rim of both glass jars with the vanilla icing, ensuring that a couple of layers are applied to the edges evenly. Then sprinkle on the hundreds of thousands on top of the icing, creating a colourful rim to the jar. Tap off any excess and place the jars in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes whilst you carry out the rest of the recipe.
      • Scoop a large serving of ice cream and add to a blender with a dash of milk, 2 shots of Tequila Rose and the pink food colouring. Blend until combined. 
      • Depending on the size of your jars, adjust the recipe so that enough of the shake can be added to each jar.
      • Remove the jars from the freezer and pour to shake mixture into each jar.
      • For a marble effect, make a light pink batch and darker pink batch, layering the shakes on top of each other until the jar is full.
      • Squirt on whipped cream and decorate with sprinkles, Lucky Charms/marshmallows and the pink wafer biscuits. For something a little bit more over the top, place a ring doughnut down on top of the cream.
      • Pop in your papers straws and you're ready to enjoy them.

      Instagram Tip:

      I found that the mixture melted down quickly, so allowing them to chill in the freezer for 20 minutes meant that the shake stayed thicker for longer. It also helped when added the whipped cream and toppings. 

      Obviously it's great to serve Tequila Rose in these super cute Freakshakes but Tequila Rose tastes great served over ice.

      Tequila Rose, available now in Sainsbury'sTesco and Amazon.

      #PaintItPink #TequilaRose

      Wednesday, September 19, 2018

      Autumn Lookbook: Zara //

      Autumn and Winter fashion, in my eyes, will always produce the crème de la crème items of my wardrobe. From transitional knits to Prince of Wales check mini skirts and formal trousers, Autumn and Winter clothing always manages to stay relevant year round.

      My wardrobe most definitely matures during the colder months. Perhaps it is the conditioning of academic routine. September will always be seen as a time for a new start; a new set of clothes, a declutter, a fresh haircut and a refocused set of goals to achieve.

      My style becomes much more refined and concentrates on classic styles, tones and cuts.

      I wanted this shoot to embrace the most obvious sign that autumn is near. The sun is more golden and starts to set earlier in the day, playing with the shadows it casts. The days are warm, but the nights are suddenly cooler. This look reflects the uncertainty of early autumn and is perfect for either weather outcome.

      Shop This Post

      Slogan Crop Top, £1 (Was £7.99) | Zara
      Checked Asymmetric Skirt, £5.99 (Was £29.99) | Zara
      Stilleto Ankle Boot (Sold Out) - Similar here (£89.99) | Zara

      Bag, £20 | Vintage (Thrifted at Goodwood Revival)

      Photography by: @joysworld_
      Blogger Template Created by pipdig