Competition – Win a Parisian My Little Party Box worth £20 – now closed!

With their effortless style, natural confidence and classic beauty, French women are renown for their attitude to grooming, clothing, nutrition and skincare.

Myy Little Party Box

Indulge your obsession for that ‘Parisian je ne sais quoi’ with My Little Box – a monthly subscription box that started in France. 

Just like the French edition, this carefully curated and beautifully designed mailbox-sized package is filled with fashion, beauty and lifestyle surprises.
My Little Box brand products

Expect fashion accessories designed exclusively for My Little Box, a selection of cosmetics and other exciting bits and pieces. The icing on le gateau? My Little World – a monthly magazine edited by the best bloggers from around the world. 

Each collectable My Little Box is given a different theme.
My Littel Box Bo ho

Elixir has one Little Box to give way – its the My Little Party Box worth about £20 and packed with goodies for the younger woman – a perfect Xmas present. It contains:
Silver style bracelet

– Must-have beauty products (including one from the own in-house beauty range, My Little Beauty) – body oil with gold sparkle 100ml
– Payot hand cream – 15ml
– boho eye shadow – cafe (brown)
– NYX eye/eyebrow pencil – Bronze Glitter
– Rock your hair pony tail accessory
– Silver style bracelet/arm bracelet
– My Little World magazine

With my My Little You can opt out of our monthly subscription anytime you want – no mess, no fuss.
We already have 80,000 subscribers in France. Why not join the club! Find out more at


If you would like to win our sample just answer the simple question below:

Win competitions at

– See more at:

Don’t save your alcohol units until the weekend

wineA study comparing patterns of alcohol consumption in Northern Ireland and France found that the binge drinkers of Belfast were at a much greater risk of heart disease.  The choice of beer or wine may also be important.

The volume of alcohol consumed by middle aged men in Northern Ireland and France is almost identical. However, in Belfast, the alcohol is all consumed within one or two days at the weekend. Drinkers in France tend to consume the same amount over a whole week.

The researchers, led by Dr Jean-Bernard Ruidavets from Toulouse University, investigated whether drinking patterns in Northern Ireland and France were linked to the known disparity in heart disease between these two culturally diverse countries.

In the study, binge drinking was defined as drinking more than 4- 5 drinks over a short period, where a drink equates to a 125ml glass of wine or half pint of beer.

Over a ten year period, Ruidavets and colleagues assessed the alcohol consumption of 9,758 men from three centres in France (Lille, Strasbourg and Toulouse) and Belfast. The participants were free from heart disease when the research started in 1991 and were between the ages of 50 to 59.

The participants were divided into never drinkers, former drinkers, regular drinkers and binge drinkers. The ‘drinkers’ were asked via interviews and questionnaires about the volume of alcohol they consumed on a weekly and daily basis and also about the type of beverage.

The results show that the men who “binge” drink had nearly twice the risk of heart attack or death from heart disease compared to regular drinkers over the 10 years of follow up.

The researchers write: “the prevalence of binge drinking, which doubled the risk of ischaemic heart disease compared with regular drinking, was almost 20 times higher in Belfast than in the French centres.”

The drink of choice in both countries may also play a role; beer and spirits are most commonly consumed in Northern Ireland, with wine being France’s preferred tipple. Established research has concluded that drinking a moderate about of wine can protect against heart disease.

Ruidavets and colleagues conclude that the research has important public health implications, especially given that binge drinking is on the rise amongst younger people in Mediterranean countries.

They say: “The alcohol industry takes every opportunity to imbue alcohol consumption with the positive image, emphasising its beneficial effects on ischaemic heart disease risk, but people also need to be informed about the health consequences of heavy drinking.”

Read the full paper below;

Western Loire – Spas and so much more

image image

If you love pristine beaches of fine yellow sand, gourmet food, fine wine and world-class spas then the Western Loire is a perfect destination if you want to splash out on a romantic weekend. Its also great for budget family holidays – eating out doesn’t need to be expensive – the area is also known for its crêpes and local cidre.

And its quick and easy to get to, particularly from the UK as the low-cost airlines fly to Nante.

The Western Loire is just below Brittany and includes unspolit coastline with ancient fishing ports such as Piriac-sur-Mer, Le Croisic and the mediaeval fortified town of Guérande, in the heart of ancient salt marshes. A unique local landmark of this area are the “carrelets” –the huts on stilts in the seabed which are dotted along the coast and still used for fishing.

The local climate is mild year-round so it’s possible to walk on the beach under blue skies even in January.

One of the most popular spots is the upmarket seaside resort of La Baule, which has one of the best beaches in Europe – it’s huge and crescent-shaped and stretches for miles. It is also one of the cleanest – smoking is banned and after sundown every day the beach is cleaned. The town has a population of affluent retirees which is reflected in the quality of the shopping, the property market and restaurants where you can get the best local seafood and the finest Loire wines such as Muscadet

Fortunately the region is not yet on the radar of the holiday hoards and you can listen to the sound of the ocean and breathe in the fresh salty air in relative tranquility.

The salt marshes and wetlands around Guérand, for example, are protected and of great ornithalogical interest as they provide a refuge for many migrating species flying between Europe and Africa. There are guides at the Salt Museum who can take you through the marshes and point out the wildlife which you might otherwise miss.

The superior quality of the local salt which has unique minerals is why it is known as ‘white gold’ and also the reason this region is has world-class thalassotherapy treatments – where seawater is the main rejuvenating ingredient.

One of the other delightful aspects is that they actively encourage family participation in spa rituals. Many have dedicated babycare to give parents a break, programmes for new fathers to interact with babies and special programmes for young mothers.

This is all in addition to fitness programmes, weight loss, smoking cessation, physiotherapy, beauty, and cosmetic treatments which can be tailored to individual requirements with all the benefits of the latest techniques combined with the special properties of seawater. And there are always other activities such as golf and horse-riding nearby.

At the traditional fishing village of Pornic is the Alliance Pornic Resort Hotel & Thalassotherapy Centre. This is in a quiet and intimate setting next to the beach on the edge of a small village. The rooms are bright and light – designed for relaxing and most have sea views and balconies. You can also walk from your room to the thalassotherapy area. The restaurant, La Source, is designed like a ship and overlooks the large bay.

The spa is state-of-the art with a seawater indoor pool that is heated to 30oC. There is an aquatic trail with Jacuzzi, jet streams, cascade showers, bubble baths and bubble beds, a steam room, men and women’s saunas, a fitness and gym room.

The spa has an exceptional menu of treatments that span European, Asian and Oriental traditions. As well as slimming and cellulite programmes. Surprisingly the resort only has three stars but it more like a five star.

The food here is excellent and you can walk off any excess by rambling along the nearby cliffs and beaches.

In La Baule, the Royal-Thalasso is a very different kind of hotel and spa experience. It is one of those really grande 19th century resort hotels, with red carpets, cabinets of glamorous clothes and jewellery and a top-hatted doorman.

Here you are in the centre of town, minutes from the beach and right next to the casino if you want to indulge.

The Spa again is impressive catering for parents who want to destress – they have male and female nannies for children. The area and care dedicated to the younger ones is phenomenal.

This is a great luxury hotel but it doesn’t stint on the family stuff.
From the moment of arrival, younger guests are given special attention with their very own welcome gift. In the room, they will find specially created bathroom amenities and, they also have their own menus at the restaurant and with room service. The hotel also has a Baby Club for smaller guests of 10 weeks to 5 years which is open daily

Other activities such as horse-riding, watersports, tennis and hiking are also available. And if you fancy a quick spin round the town – you can always hire a ‘Segway’ from the local tourist office. You can ride the pavements and terrorize the locals on this two wheeled electric transport device.

Don’t miss: Restaurant Le Beau Rivage, Pornic – local fish specialities.
The mediaeval town of Guérande which overlooks the ancient salt marshes – the Pays Blanc and the Pays Noir are where peat can be found. For more than 1000 years the salt-panners have fashioned the mosaic of clay and water into a unique ecological site.
Visit the Salt Museum at Terre de Sel Pradel and buy the Guérande Gros Sel and Fleur de Sel – the salts prized by top chefs.
Crêperie La Salorge, Saille T +33 (0)2 4014 4419 – traditional creperie serving the local cidre;
Restaurant Le Gulf Stream, Plage Le Baule T: 33 (0)2 40 24 48 07


France Information Line: 09068 244 123
Easyjet flies from London Stansted/Luton to Nantes. Bookings at
Pornic Resort Hotel Thalasso, Pornic T: 33 (0)2 40 64 01 80
Royal-Thalasso Barrière, La Baule Reservations: + 33 (0)825 826 016
La Baule Tourist Office T + 33 (0)2 40243499

image image

Udai vilas, Udaipur, Rajasthan


T:+91 294 243 3300;

The resort has two large swimming pools which are heated in winter, a gymnasium, boutique and a library with a selection of music and DVDs. Private excursions and cruises on the lake can be organised by the hotel. The spa, managed by Banyan Tree, offers holistic treatments and therapies to pamper and revitalise mind and body using holistic therapies and massages combining the best of East and West. Massages, facials and body beautification methods use ancient Ayurveda and aromatherapy as well as Thai and western techniques designed to relieve stress as well as create a sense of wellbeing. The spa has a private pool and individual therapy suites with views of Lake Pichola, the Aravali mountains and City Palace. Each of the eight suites has its own steam sauna and Victorian style bathtub. The gym and hair salon are located around a central domed foyer with a marble fountain.