Summer is calling!

Somerset House is a special place in London – not just for me, I am sure. The art, the fashion, the fountains. There’s nothing not to be in awe of.

I used to work around the corner and the terrace comes alive in the warmer seasons and this year, San Miguel is (beautifully) owning the space, putting a gorgeous Spanish laid back twist to it. 

Obviously San Miguel beer is widely available, but not only as we know it: they have a selection of 10 different beers, which include special edition varieties, with varying strengths and using hops from around the world, as well as gluten and alcohol free versions.

Brave enough for a Dorchester? Its ABV is 9.1%!

Food is a ace, as in any Spanish affair: tapas such as albondigas, tortillas and padron peppers, as well as sharing platters and delicious wood fired flatbreads to be washed down with the beer selection, or the very interesting beer cocktails.

Sceptical as I am, I was somewhat besotted with Piscolinho (£10.25), which contains pisco, cointreau, agave syrup, lime and San Miguel Especial. 

And the decor? Well… think Spanish veranda: white washed, pink flowers in abundance, a swing (very insta worthy!). 

The Somerset House x San Miguel terrace is open throughout the spring and summer until September.

Well worth a visit, as well as the place it sits in, when strolling through the capital.

You can check all the details on the Somerset House website (and make group bookings). I recommend you check their menu – you won’t be able to resist!

A beautiful setting with fantastic food and drinks – what a way to spend a (hopefully) balmy summer evening or a scorching afternoon!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: I was invited to the terrace opening, so it was a PR experience. This review, however, is based on my honest opinion.

Brush it gently

If you have fine and/or fragile hair, you know how important it is to treat as the finest of silks, especially when brushing. 

I’ve been using brushes specific for my hair type for a while and was very happy to try the new Denman Tamer Gentle, designed especially for fine hair. 

This tug-free brush is very light and comfortable to grip, with fine bristles of varied lengths to really get into the finest of hair for gentle detangling and smoothing. 

It feels fine on the scalp and brushing, wet or dry, is a breeze. It comes in 4 different colours, and I love both I was sent – the black one now lives in my bathroom while the bright blue, pink and yellow made my bedroom its home!

Marrying the detangling power of the Tangle Tamer Ultra with the Denman soft brush technology, the Tangle Tamer Gentle has an ai-cushioned pad that rides the contours of the head and soft ball ended bristles to glide through hair gently.

And talking about the Tangle Tamer Ultra, for thicker, unruly hair, it now comes in beautiful new shades, including this gorgeous pink, plus purple and another 4. 

I gifted one to my friend Carol and she has been enjoying the brush on her (gorgeous) thick mane! I am glad it now had a good (and more appropriate) home!

Denman is a traditional British company born in 1938 from the will of a brother to help his sister style her wonderful but unruly curly hair and is a now a established worldwide company. 

The new Tangle Tamer Gentle brushes cost £11, which I find great value for money, and can be purchased at denmanbrush.com and Amazon.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains some PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Underneath your clothes

Pants. Knickers. Nether garments. Underwear. We all wear it, most of the times, but we don’t really talk about it very much.

Is there anything better than new, fresh underwear? Come on!

There are many different shapes and styles to suit all body shapes and I favour some more than others, depending on the occasion.

A thong is very handy and lends itself for a sexier look, so I wear them quite a lot, especially when going out.

I find that when picking a lacy number, it is important that the lace quality is good, so it does not feel uncomfortable or cut.

The lacy numbers are a staple in my wardrobe and I love thongs with pretty details on the back.

Maidenform underwear at Fashion World, £31 for 2

Talking about staples, seamless pants in colours close to your skin tone are always welcome, especially in the summer with lighter colour skirts. Not the sexiest of pants but super useful.

Another favourite shape is the Brazilian brief. I feel it is comfortable but still makes the bum look good.

For every day, I prefer cotton (or at least a blend with high cotton %) as it is breathable and better for intimate health – I am quite sensitive so this is a great help for me.

Pretty Secrets cotton rich underwear at Fashion World, £11.20

The brief shape is doubtless a favourite for day to day.

All these (and much more) can be found at Fashion World. Check out their broad knickers selection, which has a great ranges of sizes and stocks many known and loved brands.

written by Dani

This is an AD as it is sponsored post. This piece was written by me.

New in the London nightlife

Just hanging: Near & Far with the lovely Kat (and a few cocktails)

Camden is a place I don’t venture that often, but I was glad I made it for the opening of Near & Far. 

If you’re thinking the name is familiar, you are right: there’s another one in Peckham Levels and they belong to the same group behind the Magic Roundabout. 

The bar is pretty, let’s agree beforehand. Pinks, palm trees, flamingoes, in a Palm Springs style: it’s an insta-dream.

It has a terrace, perfect for the coming months, and hiding at the lower level is a gorgeous sitting room like area, with the most gorgeous hanging chairs and neon art. 

Being one who does not pass on a cocktail, I am happy to see Peckham classics and new additions such as the The Benedict Cucumberbatch (gin, elderflower and cucumber) and the Emergency Brexit (play on a classic Negroni), both £7.50 – very affordable!

The menu, by Elote, is fabulous – a Mexican fare of snacks, tacos and tostadas, with options for everyone – all gluten free. I loved the pulled pork tostada, and the chickpea fries are definitely worth a try!

You can check their food and drink menus out, and head to their website to make bookings – apart from being a cocktail and food place, they also host ArtNight events and cocktail masterclasses. You can also do private bookings and have the place to yourself!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this is an AD as I was invited to the opening night to sample the drinks and food. This review, however, is based on my experience and reflects my honest opinion.

A bit of insolence

When I got my hands on the gorgeous Vetiver Insolent from Miller Harris, I just admit the scent was a bit wasted on me. 

Although I loved the company and the sheer craft behind their fragrances, I just thought that wasn’t one to call mine.

As I write this in the tube, I catch pleasant whiffs of Vetiver Insolent from my hair and skin and I can’t have enough of it. 

Needless to say that the staying power of this exquisite scent is great!

Strong and beautiful, Vetiver Insolent is a spicy fragrance mixing vetiver, which is theroots of a grass grown in Haiti and India.

Altough quite smokey, it is not heavy and intriguingly fresh, with the rootiness of vetiver playing nice with smoky resin of elemi, woody elements of black pepper and the brazen freshness of bergamot and cardamom.

Its top notes are of bergamot, black pepper, elemi and cardamon, while iris, lavandin abs and crisp amber are at its heart and vetiver, tonka bean and moss as base notes, making this a deliciously developing and striking fragrance.

Admittedly, a daring fragrance for day (but I don’t care and wear it anyway), which leaves a powerful trail and envelops you. 

Sometimes you mature into tastes, as I mentioned a while ago it is something that seems to be happening a fair amount of times with fragrance, and this is exactly what happened here.

Plus, how cute is my personalised bottle?

As expected from a unique, specialist blended fine fragrance, the price is premium, but not outrageous: Vetiver Insolent costs £75 for 50ml, as mine, and also available in 100ml bottles for £105.

You can also get small sample bottles of most of their perfumes for £16 for 9ml, which is a great way to trial before committing to a full sized bottle. Delivery is free in the UK when you spend over £50.

Miller Harris is a fine London perfumier with an exquisite range of fragrances, inspired by the less obvious and the streets of London. To find out more about them, visit their website.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains some PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Unleashing creativity

Gorgeous gift!

I do love doing something different and Viking really nailed it recently with their Tudor times creative evening.

With some background live lute music, we were treated to a little food feast, plenty prosecco and fabulous workshops to unleash our creativity, Tudor way, to celebrate Shakespeare Week.

My best attempt

First, the calligraphy workshop ran by the talented Mathilda from Quill London. I have been to one or two workshops with those guys and they are a great intro to the art of calligraphy.

Putting pen to paper. Photo by Eloisa (https://www.elouisageorgiou.co.uk/)

And the kit we left the event with will fuel my like to it.

Calligraphy is a great way to create head space, and sometimes I just write on old magazines images, to ease my constant battle with anxiety.

The biggest surprise of the night was, doubtless the sonnet writing workshop, which was, in the very short time available, a whistlestop class on the art of poem writing.

The lovely Jacqueline Sapphra expertly explained what a sonnet is (fourteen line poem, usually written in iambic pentameter and rhymed, you all) and we got to write sonnets, but one line each, complementing others’ writing.

And we were introduced to the sass of Edna St Vincent Millay.

It reminded me of classroom play, when we created to most amazing stories by passing a notebook around and I enjoyed way more than I though I ever would.

Of course, Viking has stationery solutions for all your writing needs so I’ll be able to keep putting creativity to paper!

You can check their website out – but careful, once you go in, it’s hard to get out!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this is an AD (GIFTED), as post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience reflects my honest opinion.

Art and wings in the heart of Hoxton

If you don’t, I’m an east London girl. Well, adopted, that is. 

Many years ago I left SW crying on the front seat of a moving van, clutching a box containing my most precious shoes towards east London. I never looked back and now I can say E is definitely home.

Amongst the (maybe many) bars I go to, the Hoxton Square Bar does hold some find memories of my ex (yes, very fond) so I was delighted to be invited back as they have seen quite a few changes since I last visited.

Currently, the bar is dressed in the beautiful Chanovsky “RGB Universe” exhibition, on until 29th June 2019. The artist presents on the wall three different artworks, that can be seen when the light changes to red, green and blue (get it?), so it makes for great surroundings.

Now, I had the cheeky Don’t go to Dalston cocktail, which is so fresh with raspberries and lime, made with my favourite tipple, vodka, and topped with prosecco.

So good I stuck to it, but there’s a whole menu of cocktails priced £9 and £9.50, as well as the usual bar fare – beers from and wine from £4.70 (bottle) and £4.80 (pint) and wine from £4.90 a glass and £20 a bottle.

To eat, Orange Buffalo serves up a filling selection of food. You can of course, have their speciality, chicken wings, with 7 sauces to choose from. Legend has it a person fainted after having it, so proceed with caution.

Being the wimp I am, I went for the Sgt. Slawter burger (£8.50) – succulent breadcrumbed chicken thigh on a potato bun, with cheese and, well, a mild sauce.

It was so filling and I couldn’t stop eating even though I should’ve! And of course, on the side, their home curly fries (£3.50), which I may say, are deliciously crunchy and extremely flavoursome.

Service was great and fast – although they don’t do table service, ordering and receiving the order was very smooth. And you can book tables.

My friend had the vegan option, the cauliflower “wings” (£8) – battered cauliflower served with hot sauce, coriander, sesame seeds and slaw and she approved!

There’s also a gorgeous veggie burger on offer and if mine is anything to go by, I think it’s a winner!

Oh, and they have a photobooth – £3 for 2 prints and you can email the image over – and it has a wind machine!

Adjacent to the back of the bar, there’s a live music area, where they hold at least one live gig a week and during the weekend it turns into a club! 

Hoxton Square Bar also has a private events room, the Green Room, with a bar and DJ booth, which holds around 100 people.

I hear they are going through a bit refurb in the summer, so doubtless will be even better!

Get yourself down for a basket of wings and to check the exhibition before the end of June. You can check out what’s on on their website.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this is an AD as the experience on the evening was GIFTED. This review, however, is based on my experience and reflects my honest opinion.

It’s all in the scent…

Cacharel Yes I Am perfume

When Yes I Am Eau de Parfum from Cacharel arrived at my doorstep, even before I smelt it, I was flooded with teenage memories.

Why, you ask? Well, Lou Lou, a Cacharel late 80s/90s classic, was my staple for years. Many years.

No wonder I warmed up to Yes I Am straight away, and heart-eyes really appeared when I saw the gorgeous lipstick shaped bottle. I was in.

Cacharel Yes I Am perfume

The fragrance is distinctive, and as expected from the brand, it is strong and powerful. Its strong oriental notes are balanced by the fresh florals and it develops into a delightful creamy scent that I’ve been wearing almost everyday since I got it.

The top notes are mandarin, raspberry and cardamon, with ginger flowers, jasmine and gardenia at its heart (what a beautiful heart it is) and sandalwood and milk to form the base.

Cacharel Yes I Am perfume

A fragrance that is meant to produce the power of the perfect red lipstick, but making it clear it is NOT a lipstick – my interpretation is that it is not just how it looks on the outside, but about the woman’s inner beauty being highlighted; it speaks to daring, independent, and powerful women. When asked if you are any of the above, the answer should be: Yes I Am!

I used to be quite loyal to a fragrance, but as years gone by, not only I started to reach out to different fragrances to suit my mood (yes, I became perfume-promiscuous), but the type of fragrance I like has changed a bit too.

Cacharel Yes I Am perfume

Thought this post was quite fitting to go out this week, given the concept behind the fragrance, to follow up from my feelings about international women’s day: let’s build each other up, let’s empower each other, and be kind.

Sometimes all it takes to help unleash inner confidence (on others and ourselves), is a word, a lipstick, a shift in posture, the knowledge someone’s got your back.

Yes I am Eau de Parfum is priced from £35 (30ml; 50ml is £60 and 75ml is £78) and is available from major retailers nationwide, including Boots.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this is an AD (GIFTED), as post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

A little London haven

Agua. In my mother tongue, something I cannot live without and if I had my way, I wouldn’t go without the agua Spa, at the newly renamed Sea Containers London hotel in London.

Beside the fact it’s my favourite hotel – it has a great restaurant, an amazing growing floor bar facing the river, a cracking rooftop bar and a gorgeous cinema, the agua Spa really lives up to the rest of the family.

Delighted does not even describe when I was invite to sample one of their treatments and their delightful spa menu.

I experienced the hot oil manicure which is great to help improve the condition of nail that may have been a bit neglected.

The 55-minute treatment combines nourishing organic oils from Dr. Jackson’s which soften the cuticle and moisturise nails. Then, using Japanese techniques, nails are buffed so the nutrients go deep into the nail bed.

It is great for nails that have been damaged by gel application, polish changes, health conditions or medical treatment, as it helps restore them to health and no polish is needed for up to two weeks.

This picture was taken 5 days after the mani and it still looks perfect – shiny and pink!

The hot oil treatment is available for pedicures too (I am tempted to have one as my toe nails are indeed in need of post-winter hibernation TLC), and is priced from £50 (off peak, £55 peak).

Treatments take place at the fabulous Glamour Room within the spa, an area that can also be hired for pamper parties – birthdays, hen do and other celebrations. They offer a great range of treatments and packages.

Which leads me to the menu. What a fab food and drink menu to help take relaxation to another level!

I tried the delicious Immunity (£10) and Energy (£15) booster bowls and could not have enough of the tasty, fresh goodness in them. However, the star was the scrumptious salmon tartare, avocado mousse and oscietta canape cone (£12). The flavour was off the charts! I could’ve eaten 10.

The also have a range of snacks, fresh juices, sundaes and of course, champagne for celebration or well, just champagne. Definitely check out the impressive menu on offer.

And you can have afternoon tea there (from £38pp).

Last, but not least, the spa itself. What a gorgeous haven or tranquility. I had a terrible day that Tuesday and very quickly it all got wiped away by such a great environment and people – service was professional, attentive, personal, warm and overall lovely; the people are the real assets there!

The lounge is an (insta) dream, the steam room is superb with a great shower, and the showers are amazing. And the toiletries are Malin+Goetz, so… Love.

You can check out all the spa treatments available, including massages, facials and body, including maternity specific ones. The range of products they use is also carefully curated to offer really bespoke, quality treatments. Well worth a visit.

For more info, visit the agua Spa website.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: I as invited to the spa, so this post contains some PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

When haute couture sparkles

It has been a while since I wrote a style post – or even longer a fashion post. So how best to pick it up than with Paris Fashion Week? From FROW, merci!

Don’t they say Paris is always a good idea? Turned out to be a great one got treated to a plethora of amazing shiny designs. 

In total, we covered about 10 shows in 2.5 days under mainly freezing in snow and, trust those 55k steps taken, hectic. But boy, would I do it again? Hell yeah!

I will start with what makes my heart flutter: whimsical sparkle. And there as a fest for my eyes!

Alin Le’Kal brought in wearable glamour to the catwalk with Reflective Elements. And reflect it did, as it shone its way past me.

So close I could (wanted, but didn’t) touch the fabulous creations, the heavily embroided evening gowns walked had in had with very party friendly versions.

These gold numbers are an example of the versatile core design translated into different styles and occasions.

The black numbers didn’t disappoint and again, seeing something I could wear straight away was a delight.

Also alluding to princess dreams, some of my favourite designs had a classic full skirt, and the mix of materials is just dreamy – crystals, feathers, beads.

The lines are sensual and feminine, and very relatable.

Regal. That is what Ziad Nakad‘s Orion collections says to me. I am not going to lie that every time a model came down the long staircase into the double runway, it did take my breath away.

The craftsmanship was almost palpable and the whole collection looked like a magical fairy tale, with flowy and extravagant styles.

Dazzling in pastels, champagnes, silvers and black, the collection did allude to vintage royal styles, heavy on stone work, Nakad created his own constellation that afternoon.

The above, my favourite, mainly for the combination on the ombre colours, neck line and the exquisite use of feathers and crystals, was a just breathtaking – I let out a huge gasp when it came in and when i went out.

Finally, not as amped up but also shining bright, La Metamorphose brough some classic (and classy) lines into their Eden Gardens collection.

Having a woman in bloom as its theme, the pastels and whites call for purity and light – in design and personality.

Again, vast skirts did take my fancy, and I was again taken aback by the prettiness of it all.

A huge thank you to all of the amazing people at MÉPHISTOPHÉLÈS Productions – Romain, you are a gem and everyone working at the shows made me fell so special!

Stay fashionable – I will soon be dropping more fabulous brands in!

Alin Le’Kal and La Metamorphose images by imagetree, prss release by Mephistopheles Productions.

written by Dani