by Fiona Duncan-Steer

Recent Posts

Brewhouse & Kitchen – New Menu

Brewhouse & Kitchen – New Menu

Brewhouse and Kitchen recently opened in Nottingham in the popular West Bridgford area located directly on Trent Bridge over looking the river Trent, so the perfect location for drinks in Summer with a view, local to the vibrant centre of Bridgford and near all of […]

Mike Lawrence Holistic Therapies

Mike Lawrence Holistic Therapies

Mike Lawrence has been hailed in the media as having a ‘gift’  being the ‘go-to’ person when considering a holistic treatment… Treatments advertised on Mike’s website range from stress management and life coaching to cognitive behavioural solutions and Chinese therapies.  Many of these therapies are […]

Acupuncture at Acu Spirit

Acupuncture at Acu Spirit

Acu Spirit Healing Centre situated on Wollaton Street in the centre of Nottingham state that they are dedicated to maintaining a balance of body and mind using a holistic approach catered to the patient. 

Bing -the owner recently invited me along to experience a consultation and treatment and  having heard a lot about the positive benefits of Chinese medicine, I was intrigued to know more…

The centre is fairly small and intimate with a reception area and display cabinet full to the brim of Chinese herbal medicines and teas and to my delight I was offered a cup of white tea on arrival taken of course without milk or sugar- just as is.  I instantly felt as though I had entered a healthy environment and was at the very beginning of my Chinese holistic health journey.

Bing the owner and practitioner specialising in acupuncture, asked me to complete an in-depth form about my health and then we began my consultation.  For years I have suffered with digestive/stomach issues being passed off by Western doctors as IBS – which can cover all manner of things and cannot be cured- simply managed.  Made worse by stress, certain foods, alcohol or general unhealthy living I have had to learn to manage it as best I can and now know the signs of a pending flair up.   Having made my way through all kinds of prescribed medicine and blood tests over the years, the best results have always come from natural, alternative therapies and so I was completely open to hearing what Bing had to suggest. 

Bing’s diagnostic techniques are both interesting and impressive, he will be able to pin point where your issues are on your body and get to the root of the causes just by going through a series of questions, feeling your pulse ( to which he will close his eyes and concentrate), look at your face /skin and relate this to the five elements of Chinese astrology- metal, wood, water, fire and earth.  

The treatment room is also small and cosy but warm with soft mood lighting.  I was asked to lay on the couch, relax, close my eyes and take a few deep breaths.  Bing spent some time looking at my posture and the alignment of my body, shaking my feet to see where they fell and walking up and down from my head to my toes correctly diagnosing that I have long standing pelvic issues (I was born with ‘clicky hips’ and had to wear a splint for the first two years of my life), also noticing that I tend to stand on one leg more than the other, which has subtly made my posture lop sided- something that my osteopath already stated a few months before!

My acupuncture session began and lasted 45 minutes.   For those not experienced in this popular Chinese treatment, acupuncture aims to promote all aspects of health and well-being; physical, mental and emotional.  Good health is a positive state rather than merely the absence of illness or pain.  In the view of traditional Chinese philosophy, this positive state of health depends on the smooth flow and balance of the ‘chi’ – our body’s motivating energy – as it moves through a series of channels under our skin.  The flow of chi can become blocked or put out of balance by physical or emotional factors such as infection, trauma, poor nutrition, anger, grief or stress, resulting in illness.

Very fine acupuncture needles are inserted at points along the channels of energy appropriate to the condition being treated.  Thus the body’s own healing system is stimulated and the correct balance restored.  The aim is to treat the cause of the condition as well as your symptoms, often resulting in (or leading to) a more permanent solution to your health problems.

I received the fine needles mostly on the right side of my body, in my fore-arms, legs, feet and my third eye (forehead between my eyes).  You can feel them going in slightly and some areas are more sensitive than others, but once in you very quickly forget they are there and do not cause any discomfort if you lay still and relax.

Bing then left the room and set the mood lighting to my colour of choice – this is forced downtime if anything for the busy, so an excuse to lay still and not be able to go anywhere for 45 minutes of your life which isn’t a bad thing!

I was told that this treatment can bring out all kinds of emotions if causing a blockage in your mind/body and he was correct, as I did feel extremely emotional at one point- it came from nowhere and I couldn’t avoid the tears.  Having asked Bing if that was normal following the treatment he stated that yes he sees it a lot- some people literally release everything in that room and feel so much better afterwards  – like a weight had been lifted.  This may not happen in just your first session- it may take a few goes, but will be different for everyone.

Interestingly Bing also mentioned that as there is a lot of emotion and energy released in his treatment room, he has installed an large extractor fan to suck out all of that energy to cleanse the room ready for his next patient!

I have since booked a series of sessions at Acu Spirit which include 5 sessions of acupuncture with 2 free and this includes a consultation and a lifestyle plan for £190.00

I’d highly recommend trying it for yourself and at least booking in for a consultation whatever your reason – Bing is extremely knowledgeable in a lot of areas and also offers various types of massages, cupping and other treatments within the centre.

Fiona Duncan-Steer

The Hockley Arts Club, Nottingham

The Hockley Arts Club, Nottingham

My recent visit to The Hockley Arts Club in Nottingham took place at lunchtime on a Friday- the perfect way to spend a few hours winding down at the end of a busy working week… Hidden away behind the busy streets of Nottingham’s Hockley area […]

The Lost City Adventure Golf

The Lost City Adventure Golf

My recent visit to this Nottingham based family attraction was nothing short of fun, fun fun! I took my mum along for what was an afternoon was tasty food, impressive cocktails and crazy golf located in the basement of the popular Cornerhouse complex in Nottingham […]

A ‘Fab’ experience with Fab Clinic

A ‘Fab’ experience with Fab Clinic

Fab Clinics, located in Loughborough exists with the aim of giving both men and women the option of achieving their skin and body goals, using the latest in non-evasive technology.

I was recently invited along to the clinic to sample a treatment based personally on my skins needs and so off I went to Loughborough!

Upon arrival I was greeted by the lovely Julia on reception who offered me a nice healthy green tea- great start.  The clinic is quite beautiful with charming chandeliers and plush fabrics- very stylish and welcoming from the moment you enter.

Lucy came to introduce herself as my therapist and took me into the consultation/treatment room where I completed a standard form, requesting health information as well as current skin care regimes.  Lucy was extremely knowledgeable; passionately explaining everything in detail including the science behind the treatments.   I learnt a lot in my initial consultation including interestingly that the SPF included in face moisturisers is not sufficient and should be worn separately over the top of your moisturiser to ensure full protection from the suns damage.  Lucy also informed me that abrasive exfoliants for the face actually do more harm than good to the skin, creating tiny tears on the surface which then age you quicker, therefore an exfoliator without granules is much better- who knew!

I was then taken for my skin analysis- whereby I was asked to pop my face into a machine just about big enough for my head, rest my chin, close my eyes and wait for it to take its ‘photo’. 

It took but a few seconds and we were done as quick as that and no pain- bonus!  Lucy then asked me to head back into the treatment room while she worked on the analysis and printed off the results.

The results appear as a graph chart, showing each area of potential damage or problem as a percentage, focusing on seven main areas; spot, pore, roughness, wrinkle, UV acne, UV spot and UV moisture.  Being blessed with pretty good skin through good genes, I had high hopes for my results however was soon bought back down to earth when I saw how in-depth the test really went- turns out my highest percentages fell within the ‘roughness’ and ‘large pore’ areas (Pores I expected- roughness I did not!)  This just goes to show that what is visible to the naked eye is not all what it seems, as the machine does not beat around the bush- it just says it how it is. 

My UV /sun damage section also needed work to ensure it doesn’t increase -hence the SPF chat, so this is something I will be taking into consideration from now on.

Lucy then advised that as I had lovely skin, she didn’t think it necessary for me to have an abrasive treatment, so something like Diamond Dermabrasion would be best suited to my skin on that day.  I was more than happy with this and so de-robed (there is a nice cupboard in the treatment room for all of your personal belongings/clothes) and relaxed on the couch awaiting my pamper.  Lucy explained every step of the treatment to me beforehand so that I knew what to expect and asked if I’d prefer a hand or a foot massage whilst the mask was on- how lovely.

The treatment Diamond Dermabrasion is a mechanical peel using a diamond treatment head, which is designed to remove dead skin cells, reduce acne scarring, minimise stretch marks and scars, reduce enlarged pores, fine lines and character lines and is often used for:

The face, neck and decollete, postnatal stretch marks and superficial scars from past injuries.

It was a pleasure to receive this treatment from start to finish, beautiful products were used throughout and applied to my skin to cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise.  When the mask was applied and left for ten minutes, I received a delightful foot massage, which literally sent me off to a peaceful slumber and whilst other beautiful products were left on my face, I received a lovely neck and shoulder massage.  The dermabrasion treatment itself was very gentle and feels a little like sandpaper being rubbed gently across small areas of the face, only you can think of it less as sand paper and more as crushed diamonds!

A gentle suction device was then applied across my skin- in particular across my ‘large pore’ areas with the intention of reducing black and white heads- I can’t tell you the satisfaction you feel when you know those crafty little blighters are being sucked from your skin at record speed.

This particular treatment can be used in conjunction with ultrasonic treatments, IPL skin rejuvenation, dermaroller and radiofrequency to achieve outstanding results.

The products Fab Clinic use are by a company called Alumier who focus on the science behind great skin and as a client of the clinic you can have the option of becoming a customer of the products too, as they will set up an account for you so that products can easily be ordered online and delivered straight to your door.  Product purchases can also be based on the recommendation of your therapist following your treatment. 

I left the clinic with a goody bag, a glow and a smile 😊

Fab Clinic offer many other treatments – for the full list see their website-

Fiona Duncan-Steer

Ayurveda Massage With Alana

Ayurveda Massage With Alana

Alana Sheils is a specialist in the art of Ayurvedic massage and clearly radiates her passion for this 6000-year-old well-being healing system. A trained aromatherapist, Alana has moved into the world of Ayurveda and says, “I prefer to focus mainly on Ayurvedic massage now, as […]

Turtle Bay Nottingham Launch New Menu

Turtle Bay Nottingham Launch New Menu

You might assume that Caribbean restaurants often offer a limited menu choice for vegetarians, given that traditionally Caribbean cuisine tends to lean toward the more meatier options, (My late Grandmother who was born in Saint Elizabeth, Jamaica),  wouldn’t hesitate to cook with pig foot, goat/mutton […]

Harts does it again with their brand newly launched limited edition 6 course tasting menu

Harts does it again with their brand newly launched limited edition 6 course tasting menu

Prestigious Nottingham hotel and restaurant Harts recently celebrated their 20th anniversary year and with the success of two previous tasting menus on top of being awarded two AA rosettes for culinary excellence, a third menu was inevitable.

Devised by head chef Dan Burridge, the six course taster menu (also available as vegetarian and vegan) showcases the classic modern British dishes Harts are renowned for,  using quality, locally sourced produce where possible and perfectly paired with carefully selected wines by hotel owner Tim Hart.

In my opinion this tasting menu encompasses so many levels of fine dining creativity and culinary skills, giving you the opportunity to experience the best from Dan Burridge with a twist from Michelin Star Chef Aaron Patterson from Harts’ sister restaurant at Hambleton Hall. With this dream team running the show, you can expect the food to be divine on paper alone, but as I was invited to sample the goods, I can hand on heart say the menu lives up to full expectations…


Service at Harts is always exceptional and my visit on this occasion was enhanced by the hospitality of the lovely Anna who looked after us throughout our stay.  Being handed the vegetarian version of the six course taster menu, gave me immediate confidence and explanations along the way by James the sommelier throughout each course and wine pairing was a welcomed addition to the experience.

To kick off the half dozen menu, I was offered  a choice from the famous Hambleton bread basket- naturally as always I opted for the sourdough- made in a way that avoids bloating and gases within the needing process.  Next came a dish which I can only describe as something straight from the film set of Lord of the rings – Girolle mushroom, brik pastry, ponzu, butternut squash, paired with  Spanish wine Lustau Manzinilla, Papirusa – featuring lovely peach and citrus notes.

The mushrooms were amongst the most beautiful to look at aswell to taste and the presentation of this dish was exquisite.


Next came the Goats Curd Tortellini served with quince and sage and a non listed ingredient on this occasion of sliced pickled black walnut – a strong flavour which was completely new to me but delicious all the same.  Never one to shy away from pasta dishes, though always conscious they can be filling, in particular when teamed with five or more courses, this dish contained just the right amount of tortellini shells, made in house and beautifully done.

The wine paired with this dish was the young  2017 Simon and the Huguenots

Next course was the Terrine of Mediterranean vegetables , a cold dish with a saffron /horseradish dressinga delightful looking block of primary coloured vegetables including peppers, aubergine and tomato compressed into an easy to eat terrine with a tasty dressing of saffron,  paired with the 2016 Hunting Hill, Chardonnay – I’d describe as English country garden style with elderflower, pear and apple- this was perfect to bring out the tangy flavours of this particular dish.

My fourth dish arrived to the table paired with a 2013 Riesling , Rolly Gassman, my favourite wine of the bunch, with delicious honey notes to balance out the saltiness of the  Salt baked celeriac, apple, hazelnuts and autumn truffle – again very pretty and petit in presentation, the apple was sliced so thinly as if by razor blade and the much welcomed flavour of the hazelnuts combined with the extreme saltiness of the baked celeriac- another new flavour to me,  worked very well with the sweetness of the fruit and topped off with the autumn truffle, (which I’d say would be just as lovely without),  gives it a seasonal feel in-keeping with the menu theme- Chef Dan’s favourite of all of the dishes.


My favourite dish on the entire menu came next- Honey-glazed Halloumi, spiced lentils, tempura vegetables, a dish I could eat time and time again and would highly recommend for its superb flavour combination.  The mix of grilled cheese with crispy veg and the edge given by the spicy lentils offers a fusion of flavours and textures and this time paired with a red- 2010 Chateau Rouget, Pomerol featuring plums and black fruits,  this was among one of the higher priced wines at £95 per bottle and confirmed even more flavours for me with the dish.

Dessert was the final piece de resistance and came in the form of a Caramelised peach melba, the perfect way to end this culinary exhibition, as it was light and offered the satisfactory crack of a crème Brule courtesy of the caramel, but with the healthier option of combining peach with raspberries, over homemade ice cream and a cheeky sprinkling of crumble.  The Dessert Wine pairing was a 2014 Montbazillac, Domaine L’Ancienne Cure, Jour de fruits.

 Coffee and homemade petit fours (salted caramel and raspberry truffle) finalised what I can only describe as a spectacularly creative menu, executed very well, with all of the flavours and presentation you’d expect from a restaurant such as Harts – they have most certainly done it again with this winning menu and I urge you to book immediately before  you miss out.

The limited edition 6 course tasting menu at Harts is priced at £65 per person with a £55 supplement charge for the wine pairings.

The none vegetarian menu can be viewed here – with a vegan option also available.

To reserve your table or book the overnight package call 0115 988 1900.

Fiona Duncan-Steer












Holiday Inn Nottingham

Holiday Inn Nottingham

Holiday Inn Nottingham have recently been busy refurbishing some of their suites and launching a brand new menu to their in-house restaurant Eaton’s , so I checked in to check it out… First impressions of their new executive suites were extremely positive, I was delighted […]