GATHERING OF QUEENS – WHY WE MUST REFER TO OURSELVES AS QUEENS

There is nothing better than being surrounded by beautiful (inside and out), strong, empowered women – all supporting and motivating each other.

– This is what is known as a Gathering of Queens.

Photography by MLM Visuals (manlikemike.com)

Photography by MLM (manlikemike.com)

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Gorgeous ladies; photography by Leonie

My uni’s African Affairs Network organised a social event they called ‘the Gathering of Queens’. I was instantly hooked and promised myself I would attend, if not for the fact that my friends were on the committee, for the name!

MLM Visuals, top is IGWE by Ifeanyi

MLM, top: KWENU by Ifeanyi

I am ALL for referring to myself as a Queen (big Q, always!) not because I believe I am the best or whatever prideful connotations you may or may not associate with the word. I love referring to myself as a Queen because it promotes the idea of seeing your self-worth and self-value. Too often nowadays, it is way too common for young girls and women to search for their worth. Why? Why should you search for your worth, when you were fearfully and wonderfully made?

Queening; photo by Leonie (AAN)

Queening; Leonie (AAN)

MLM Visuals

MLM, choker: ASOS

There is something incredibly precious and profound in knowing how valuable you are. But not only knowing it, actually displaying it. You were hand-crafted, delicately constructed and inside that porcelain mind of yours is something to offer this world. It is time we start viewing ourselves this way, instead of looking to other people and other things for that validation God gave us from birth.

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MLM, headband: Primark

What do you need to do to become a Queen?

1 – Realise that you ARE one! Stop looking for someone else to tell you you’re a Queen; tell yourself.

2 – A Queen does not concern herself with trivial matters. She is not bothered by what people say about her. She is much too busy ruling and slaying. This is the mindset you need to have.

3 – Work, work, work, work, work, work! You can’t be a Queen without a kingdom or legacy. You can not sit there and expect things to be handed to you – Queens go out there and get things done!

4 – Surround yourself with a squad of Queens – that’s like-minded women, goal-oriented women. Women who will help grow you not tear you down before you even start.

MLM Visuals, Shoes: River Island

MLM, Shoes: River Island

This post is just here to remind you that you’re a queen, especially if you’d previously forgotten. But also, to remind you of your responsibilities, duties if you like, as a Queen to the world.

MLM Visuals, bag:

MLM Visuals; details of this bag are coming soon

Dear young Queen, please do not forget your worth. Please do not sell yourself short. Respect yourself, respect that beautiful mind, soul and body. Enrich yourself with positivity and arm yourself with knowledge. Feed yourself with love and wisdom, and be ready to share it with everyone you meet.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

DREAM NATION – I HAVE A DREAM 2016 CONFERENCE – & VLOG

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Dream Nation are all about empowering and education young creatives and business men and women. I have known about Dream Nation for a few years and have always wanted to attend one of their events. I am so glad that I have finally been able to attend one!

I also want to say a huge thank you to Tobi, one of the founders and editor-in-chief of Dream Nation, who encouraged me to vlog the night. Please do check out the vlog at the bottom of this post.

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I have the worst writing ever lol but of course, I took notes

It was an absolute privilege to attend the annual I Have A Dream conference! The evening was full of speakers and performances from some of the most inspiring, creative people I’ve ever met. The goal of the evening was to teach the attendees how to move from being an ordinary dreamer to a practical dreamer.

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Nissy Tee and I in full blown conversation

The night was hosted brilliantly by presenter and YouTuber, Nissy Tee who is an absolute sweetheart. It was lovely meeting someone who I’m subscribed to on YouTube and watch the videos of. I also met another YouTube (who I also happened to be a Subscriber of!) Adessy, who was so so lovely too. Small world!

Lorraine Wright teaching us about how to handle our finances

Lorraine Wright teaching us about how to handle our finances

The line up of speakers and panelists was absoluely crazy this year. From Pip Jamieson, founder of the creatives networking site, the Dots to Lorraine Wright, who has basically done it all in both the corporate and creative worlds.

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As well as these words of wisdom, the night opened with a powerful spoken word piece by Jolade and were blessed with by the soulful vocals of Barbella!

Barbella enchanting us with her soothing vocals

The only downside I can think of was that the event started about 45 minutes later than it was supposed to. This was a little problematic for me, living on the other side of London. I did have to leave early just to make sure I could get home, which was heartbreaking. But I am so grateful to my friend, Leonie who completed the vlog and continued taking pictures for me. The real MVPs.

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This event was a great opportunity to catch up with some of my friends that I had not seen since the end of uni! And also, a chance to network and make new, creative friends!

Photo creds - Leonie

Photo creds – Leonie

Thank you, Dream Nation, for arming me with knowledge and inspiring me to go out and make my dreams happen!

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

Top 10 Videos of Mine

It may or may not be slightly obnoxious to create a list of my top ten videos of my channel but I don’t mind! Sometimes a little public display of self-love is needed. A little pat on the back.

Sometimes a little public display of self-love is needed.

So here are my favourite videos of mine that I have filmed, edited and uploaded to my channel, and why! Click HERE to check out my channel and subscribe while you’re there.

10. A Level Results & Encouragement

I love how much positive feedback I got on this video. Even though this is one of my oldest videos, it is still relevant every year as kids get their A Level results.

9. Baequalities

Love love love this video because it incorporates two of my favourite things – bae and pancakes lol!

8. Harmonising Challenge (ft. Pamela)

This was SO much fun to film. We love singing and doing this challenge was our way of singing on the channel, outside of my singing channel. And I must say, we can actually sing… no matter how dreadful this was lol!

7. Who/What Inspires/Motivates You?

I loved being able to get a bunch of my friends on my channel discussing what inspires them. Having motivated friends constantly pushes me to motivate myself, work hard and reach my highest potential.

6. Blogger Event #JET2SUNCHESTER VLOG

This is one of my favourite vlogs that I have ever filmed and edited! This was my first bloggers event and this is when I began to feel like a real blogger. It was a fantastic day and I made some blogger friends that I still adore till this day!

5. I’m on BBC News VLOG (ft. Bolu)

This is one of my all time favourites because it was such a surreal day! I really enjoyed going on BBC News for the Queen’s birthday. This was my first taste at Live TV and broadcast journalism and I absolutely loved it!

4. Bean Boozled Challenge (ft. Pamela)

This HAD to be on this list because this video was hilarious!! I love filming with my sister. Warning – this video features us gagging and spittaking a lot!

3. The Flatmate Tag (ft. Will)

This made it to the top three because this video was so much fun to both film and edit! It features my flatmate (from my first year of university) and friend, Will, who’s an absolute legend! He’s been one of the most supportive people of my YT channel.

2. Growing Up British Nigerian (ft. ManLikeMike)

Honestly, this video will never not be funny! It was a really spontaneous video – we literally didn’t plan it. Sharing some of our childhood memories and reminiscing was really nice. Michael is literally hilarious.

1. Most Likely To (+ Girl Chat) (ft. Ayo, Bolu and Grace)

Of course this video is my number one! These girls are honestly some of the best people I know. It is such a blessing when you find like-minded people, who are passionate, love Jesus and work hard.


I am so proud of my channel and I am so so so grateful to everyone who has ever supported me. You can look forward to bigger and better content as I continue to have fun with it all.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

Bronze, Lime Green #OOTD

I never ever saw myself or called myself a fashion or beauty blogger but here I am posting three fashion outfit posts in a month.

I have no regrets.

Not sure why I'm scolding, but let's just call it my model look ;)

Not sure why I’m scolding, but let’s just call it my model look😉

I am clearly drawing inspiration from colour, with my other fashion-y post being titled Sky Blue and White.

Sky Blue and White – #OOTD

This lime green pixie-cut jacket has been in my wardrobe for yearssss and it is one of my absolute faves, mainly because it can dress up any outfit. My mother got it for me from an online store called Missi London.

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The classic “oopss, I dropped something” pose😉

I am also loving these cropped fitted striped trousers. As a tall girl, it can be hard to find trousers that fit well length-wise as well as on my waist – these do the job!

These black open-toed wedges are also my favourites because they are unbelievably comfy. I guess this whole outfit is a combination of all my faves.

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Typical young person, always on her phone (typical blogger too!)

Also, let us not overlook the attention to detail I considered when throwing ensemble together for church last Sunday. My necklace, a pressie from a friend from H&M, is the closest thing to a choker I own. I still believe I am not cool enough to buy one!

My cute little headband was an absolute steal from Primark. As you guys know, I did the big (mini) chop two months ago, so I was surprised but glad to see how much my hair has grown when blow dried. This headband has been a lifesaver – making me still feel cute and feminine even with short hair.
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And of course I MUST mention my face-of-the-day. My face was BEAT and I was so so so in love with my make-up that day! I loved the bronzy (this is the bronze element of the title) almost-90s-looking style I went for – Shiny eye shadow on my lids, glowing highlighter on my cheekbones, cupid’s bow and the bridge of my nose and brown glossy lips. I am truly a 90s baby.

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Shoutout Sleek highlighter for giving me the GLOW OF LIFE

 

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The behind the scenes of getting that perfectttt selfie;)

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

Teach Me To Be Carefree

I am forever grateful for friends that keep me grounded.

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Yesterday was a good day for me. It was impromptu and chill and reminded me that life does not always need to be so carefully planned out. It is okay to relax and enjoy the ride sometimes.

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My outfit for yesterday could be titled ‘how much can I look like my little sister, Pamela’! I may or may not have borrowed both the skirt and the trainers from her.

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Pamela’s trainers and my men socks loool

And just like the outfit, I had adopted Pamela’s carefree, chilled personality for the day and I must admit, I quite enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun wondering around Central London taking blog photos, checking out cute little independent bakeries/cafes and generally living carefree – for once. I must try it more often.

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I am forever grateful for friends that keep me grounded. They are the type of people that supply endless banter when you need to throw your head back in laughter. But they are also they type of people that lend a listening ear when you need to just talk and let everything out.

I am grateful that I know people that continually point me back to God as my comforter, friend and strength giver. Especially when I seem to forget. People that do not let me have a pity party but instead hold me accountable. You’re all the real MVPs. I appreciate you people.

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This post was kind of rambly, impromptu and messy and I like that. I am taking a page out of Pamela’s book and learning how to be a bit more carefree and chill.

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And as most of you already know, I am born and raised in London yet yesterday I saw some of London that I’ve never been in. It was magically! I challenge you to act as a tourist in your own city. Afterwards, you are sure to call it home a little more proud😉

Peace&Love

Paula Melissa xx

#Carefreeblackgirl

The Treat Kitchen!!!

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When I was contacted by the lovely Jodie from The Treat Kitchen, which are a family run confectionery retailer operating in a few cities in England and nationally online, I was a bit worried. I was worried mainly because I do not have a sweet tooth. At all.

I know nowadays someone saying they do not like chocolate is almost a sin, basically blasphemy, but over the last few years my sweet tooth has managed to slowly disappear.

The Treat Kitchen sent over some goodies for me to review and I thought it would be a great opportunity to film an boxing video.

The Treat Kitchen supply over 300 different types of sweets, chocolate and fudge and have stores in Nottingham, Leicester Highcross and Intu Derby. They are opening two new stores really soon, in Coventry and Sheffield Meadowhall. But for those of you sighing  perpetually because there isn’t a store near you, sigh no longer because they ship nationally!

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The Treat Kitchen took me back to my childhood with this cute little bag of pear drops. Pear drops are a traditional hard boiled sweet. While eating these I could not help but have flash backs of a young(er) Paula running to the corner shop with her little sister to buy some 5p and 10p sweets. Those were simpler, happier times!

The pear drops were really sweet and fruity, the parallel opposite of the Radioactive Cherry sours. It is a well known fact that I can (occassionally) be drama queen but no joke, these sweets were almost the end of me. I may or may not have pulled the most hilarious faces in my unboxing video because of these sweets. After getting over the intense sourness, I loved the kick of cherry. However, I stand by my original stance – Why do people like sour sweets? It’s in the name, sweets, they should be sweet!

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Now on to the coconut mushrooms. I must admit, I am not a huge fan of coconut so I wasn’t sure about this one. However, I was quite pleasantly surprised! The chocolate/caramel mixture on top of the marshmallow stalk was really nice. But trust me to choke on the coconut shavings!

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*Technically this post is not sponsored, but the samples were sent to me. However, as always, this is all my opinion. If a girl who doesn’t like sweets or chocolate is telling you that this brand is quality, believe me it is quality!

Check out the Treat Kitchen!

Homepage

 

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

 

Sky Blue and White – #OOTD

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My family and I went to a wedding today. I took the opportunity to try and create a new outfit and take some blog pics.

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I am sporting a light blue peplum top on top of a white bodycon dress. And of course, I am still rocking my natural hair with a cute gold headband. I did the big chop a few months ago and have been natural ever since – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVX9gecW1r0.

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Huge thanks to my sister for being my photographer today.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

God Worked Through His Deception

I wrote this post for Lively Stones and can be found here!


I was reading Genesis 27:19-33, which is the story of how Jacob, with the help of his mother Rebekah, deceived his father, Isaac and stole his older brother Esau’s blessings.

I considered the fact that Jacob actually used deception as a means to receiving blessings from his dying father – this was a blessing that was due to the elder twin, Esau. The fact that Isaac had reserved this blessing specifically for Esau also implies that there was another, perhaps a smaller, less passionate blessing reserved for his second son Jacob. But Jacob (and his mum) wanted that first-born, hefty blessing.

Why would God allow their deceptive plan to work? Why would he allow Jacob to be blessed through the deception of a blind old man?

Well, it all stems to a few chapters back in Genesis 25 when Rebekah is pregnant with the twins.

22: The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.

23: The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

From the beginning there had been a power struggle between Jacob and Esau and from the beginning, God had made it clear that Jacob would be on top of his brother. Rebekah must have kept this in her mind since their birth and have constantly been looked for opportunities for this prophesy to be manifested. Because God had decided this, I believe that no matter whether Isaac wanted to bless Jacob or not, Jacob would have been blessed. It was already ordained.

When God has a plan for your life, a destination, a destiny, I believe there are different paths to reach it. There is the path that God has initially created for you. This path has His divine backing all of the way, but that does not mean that it is smooth all of the way. Let me be real, with God things are not suddenly easier, but they are doable because you have a source of never ending strength in God.

With God things are not suddenly easier, but they are doable because you have a source of never ending strength in God.

As well as the path God has planned for us to take, there are paths outside of His will that we, as humans, often stumble across because sometimes we think we know it better. We do not. While these paths were not where God wanted us to go, He will still use our circumstances to elevate us to that final destination. That is what happened here!

God was NOT happy with Jacob deceiving his dad and Jacob did have to suffer later on in life as a result of his actions. Jacob even had someone deceive him – his uncle Laban made him work more years than agreed to marry his daughter. God has a sense of humour, so be careful what path you try and follow, especially if you know that God is not a part of it.

It is comforting to know that in all things, God is in control. Even when we deviate from the script. Even when we getfaith confused and think we are making mistakes. God can work through our situations to make us strong, wiser and better, ready for His ordained plan for us. Whether we feel like we are on the wrong course at university or we are confused about our futures – find peace in the knowledge that God’s got our backs.

Practically speaking, pray, pray pray then do not be scared to jump. One thing I have learnt this year is that in certain areas, what God wants us to do is not always clear. So just pray and jump. And trust that He will be there to catch you because He will be.

Pray, pray pray then do not be scared to jump.

 

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

Jones Bootmaker Shoes Wishlist*

A girl can never have too many shoes – or at least that’s what I’ve been told! In my experience, some boys have more shoes than I have ever known, but that is a story for another day.

The British shoe company, Jones Bootmaker have been making classy shoes in London and the rest of the UK wellllll before I was born. I put together a little high-end wishlist of some of their shoes!

JONES BOOTMAKER OLIA ANKLE BOOTS

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https://www.jonesbootmaker.com/ladies/boots/ankle-boots/jones-bootmaker-boots-rough-wear-boot-2630441711

I’m straight lovin’ these little boots in both the black and brown! The heel looks sturdy but stylish and the cute tassels make them a little more fun and playful!

CLARKS ORIGINALS DESERT BOOT ANKLE BOOTS

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https://www.jonesbootmaker.com/product/8000336222?gclid=CN6XmPvK7c0CFaoy0wods30KeA

I love the colour of these! The pale blue is sure to tie together any outfit and make you look great without looking like you tried too hard. They kind of remind me of a more feminine Timberland – these are a pair that I could literally wear all year round!

Jones Bootmaker Odette Ankle Boots

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https://www.jonesbootmaker.com/ladies/boots/jones-bootmaker-boots-rough-wear-boot-2630441919

I might just have a new obsession with tassles because I am loving these boots! I like the suede material that looks gorgeous in both the black and tan colour. These boots could easily ‘dress up’ or ‘dress down an outfit.

Jones Bootmaker Carnival Court Shoes High Heels

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https://www.jonesbootmaker.com/ladies/snake-reptile/jones-bootmaker-heeled-shoes-buckled-shoe-2611202044

These elegant shoes are definitely one of my faves on the site! The pointed front and brace give it such a classy look. The black is more of a everyday work look compared to the camel snake/lizard-printed one. That one could be saved for special occasions when you’re going all out!

Jones Bootsmaker have a sale for you guys so click here and give their site a browse!

For more gorgeous shoes, accessories and clothes, here’s another luxury store to check out – Garment Quarter.

 

*This post is sponsored however, as always my opinion is my opinion😉

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

LIVELY STONES – Content Contributor

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http://www.livelystones.co.uk/

You’re looking (or reading!) at the newest addition to the Lively Stones content team!!

For those of you that do not know what Lively Stones is, allow me to explain. Lively Stones is an online platform that acts as a voice to and for Christian young people in the UK to be heard. They discuss topics and issues that students face and look at them from a biblical and therefore Christian perspective.

They contacted me earlier this month and I was so surprised but excited at the opportunity. A lot of my content on here falls into that subject bracket (of a Christian living and studying in the UK) so I am very grateful to be sharing some of my stuff with another audience (and hopefully learning a lot in the process!).

Check out the site here!

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

Love… Hate by Ejiro (Guest Poet)

Love… Hate

Someone define these words please
         What I feel I’m not sure
         A mixture of both? Maybe.
         Conflicting emotions
         Pretence of love? Or hate altogether?
         I don’t know what to call it
         Once it was like a bed of white roses
         How beautiful a sight.
         And in the blink of an eye 
         It was there, a thorn in my beautifully primed garden
         Tried to make it come off but it didn’t
         So I ignored it.
         But it kept on hurting me
         Poking me until blood trickled down and stained my roses
         Filled with raging anger I ripped it out
         With a strength I never knew I possessed
         I looked at my rose turned thorn and
         Without a second glance threw it out
         Exiled…because it didn’t deserve to be with the gentle ones
         In the end I guess it was a love-hate relationship.

 

Written by Ejiro Ogunyemi

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_ejiro/ // @The_ejiro
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jeneeiethompson // @jeneeiethompson

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

Look Mum! I’m on BBC News! + VLOG

The title was basically my reaction when I found out two nights before going on BBC News. I literally called my mum and hyperventilated down the phone to her. Basically, I was very excited.

When I was contacted by a woman on Twitter asking me if I would be interested in appearing on The Victoria Derbyshire show on BBC News for the Queens 90th bday, of course I thought it was a joke. A few emails and calls later, they had booked my train ticket to and from the studios and cars to drive us around London.

Wow! What a whirlwind day it was.

This was my first TV appearance so of course I had to get a recording of it – (Huge thanks to the BBC for giving this vid to me).

I am so blessed to get a taster of something I want to do in the (near!) future. That day really did firm how much I want to work in broadcast journalism, and I am now even more motivated to get there!

I am also so grateful to my friend, Bolu for coming along with me (on super short notice, mind you!) and making this experience even more enjoyable. Bolu also acted as my personal photographer and took some amazing pics. Check them out below.

I am not really going to refer to the rather offensive comment the elderly woman on the panel said (watch the video to see) because I want this post to remain positive. I am still quite proud of my response to her and I stand by what I said.

Make sure you check out my VLOG of the day below!

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P&L.

Paula Melissa xx

 

Vapiano – Manchester

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Last month, myself and three of the best blogger babes in the North of England – EllieLily and Erin, were invited to VAPIANO Manchester to try some of their dishes as well as check out their #EatPastaRunFaster campaign.

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It is a German company making Italian food. And as if that isn’t enough of a USP (Unique selling point – who said I’ll never use GCSE Business Studies again lol), they have a quirky way of ordering and paying for your food.

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Upon arrival, you are given a Vapiano card that kind of works in the same way as a credit card. When you order your meals, they scan your card and save it on there. This is incredibly helpful, especially when there are a group of you and you’re all paying for different meals and different drinks and all that hassle.

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When ordering food you go up to the counter – there is a different one for each course – and you order your meal to specification (I love this because I’m picky). And the best thing is that you can literally see them cook the meal right in front of you. No more waiting for ages only to find your meal has been made wrong. Those days are over!

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I used to have a huge sweet tooth. While that tooth is rather tamed nowadays, I still have a deep love for dessert. So after a fantastically large meal (I was too embarrassed to ask for a doggy bag!) came dessert time and as everyone knows, we have a separate stomach for dessert.

The girls and I went for the classic, get four desserts and eat a quarter of each each.

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Lily modelling a deliciously chocolatey dessert!

All in all, it was a wonderful evening. The service was efficient, the food was delicious and the ambience was lovely! If I would have to find a qualm (like if I was being extremely picky) I would say maybe the meals were a bit too big. But then again, that might just be because I’m used to eating smaller meals lol!

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I have got to say, a huge thank you to the manager for treating us so well and ensuring we enjoyed our meal and time there!

If you are ever in Manchester or London I would definitely recommend VAPIANO!

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While our meals were complimentary, these views here are my own. I can be very picky with food, so if I say it’s good food, know it’s good food!

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx