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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We see often in the news: people becoming deformed or losing their lives because of cosmetic procedures performed by under qualified professionals. I am grateful I have a dermatologist I can 100% trust.
According to the Guardian, in 2017, 72% of all complaints about cosmetic procedures were from patients who had found the practitioner on social media, where you can easily find offers of cheap deals luring people in. That’s insane – remember that you usually get what you pay for.
Even though my experience was even close to an extreme case, when I had an allergic reaction after a facial peel, I really started thinking about how important it was that the professional that did the procedure on me was not only qualified, but also reputable, knowledgeable and above all, caring.
He knows my skin (and all skin, for that matter), I had done chemical peels before, I had used all the products on my after care in the past, so why oh why I ended up looking like the marshmallow man mid bonfire?
My face swelled up to full blood moon proportions: it was big, red, hot, itchy, angry and my skin was full of bumps underneath. It was horrible.
My dermatologist’s fast and knowledgeable action got it under control and most importantly, got me reassured – not only that it would pass but I wouldn’t get any after effects.
I got booked in swiftly (almost impossible in that busy clinic) after hours, had topical treatment and left with medication prescribed and dispensed, on top of a whole new after care routine, in case one of the products was the cause of the allergy.
But above all, I felt safe – as safe as I feel when I am having my procedures done there.
I arrived in tears after feeling like a monster on the tube, with people staring and being unable to look in the mirror. Might sound dramatic, but that’s how I felt when I didn’t know what was happening and if things would get better.
Apparently, you can just develop an allergic reaction to anything at any time; even someone like me who’s not allergic to many things.
After a few days on steroids, antibiotics and anti histamines, on top of some medicated creams, my face started to go back to normal.
In the end, the peel did its business and go rid of most of the post inflammatory pigmentation I had on my face.
My doctor called me after, checked on me several times and the clinic staff, daily.
Once again, I cannot stress how important it is to seek sound professional advice when considering a cosmetic treatment.
It’s true Dr. Haus performs miraculous aesthetic treatments but above all he is a (super) qualified dermatologist and his duty of care as a doctor is second to none. And all procedures performed by his staff are also under his care, guidance and training.
This is peace of mind. After all, in my case, he’s looking after my face, which with I’ve always had a fragile relationship due to the acne, and trusting someone with it means a lot to me.
At Dr. Haus Dermatology, you get the latest tech in treatments – aesthetic and medical, and I love their problem centric approach where treatment is tailored to address your issue – it might be a combination of procedures, or even tweaks to existing ones, to really deliver the best results to your individual case.
Worth thinking long and hard – is it worth the extra pounds? Absolutely.
You can get the same fabulous treatment my skin gets (and many others, cosmetic or medical) at Dr. Haus Dermatology. They are located at 140 Harley Street, London and you can contact them via phone (02079356358) or email (email@example.com) .
You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post is a result of a wonderful partnership with Dr. Haus Dermatology. The opinions, feelings, admiration and trust, however, are all my very own and honest.
When I was invited for Floral Street’s scent school I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but I was sure excited to get to know another brand.
Floral Street has a beautiful shop in, well, Floral Street in London Covent Garden and they are a little bit different: inspired by the streets of London and the women in it, and created to break with tradition and follow the beauty world evolution towards a younger audience.
I started my fragrance wardrobe with something quite different from what I go for, but that suited my mood on the day and certainly did not disappoint: ylang ylang espresso eau de parfum is magnetic; a powerful, deep and strong fragrance that’s more me than I ever thought.
As Floral Street labels it, ylang ylang espresso is “for the spirited, fearless, mystical and audacious. For the rebels. The thinkers. And the leaders: a powerful fragrance with it’s own electric current.” And I cannot disagree one bit.
It’s so modern and different from anything I smelt before. Instead of floating to my usual lifetime favourite notes, this alluring scent pulled me in and now I cannot have enough.
Blending traditional fresh red rose, ylang ylang and jasmine crossed with slightly less traditional coffee, cream and pepper notes, it also has Sichuan pepper, tangerine, tiramisu(!), patchouli, cocoa beans and guaicwood. In a way, it’s easy to see why I was drawn to it: jasmine, coffee, cocoa and tiramisu.
However, it’s the rest that actually made my decision. Decision was hard and I was so close from picking wild vanilla orchid which is the day “pairing” of ylang ylang espresso. And I am so glad I did – there’s no going back from it. And it may have been highly praised by a boy.
The Scent School experience (£20) was a great help as it breaks down the notes, all over a glass or two of prosecco!
Floral Street has 8 fabulous unisex scents, including my absolute favourite ylang ylang espresso, which retail at £55 for 50ml. You can also get a handy 10ml version for £22, and for Christmas, they also have the 10ml in “bauble” version.
Apart from that, Floral Street also has discovery sets and exploration kits, and a beautiful range of home fragrance with candles and diffusers, and body creams and washes. Even stationery. Needless to say, all gorgeously scented.
The Christmas collection is beautiful, with the baubles and gifts sets of eau de parfum, candles and diffusers, well worth a look (empower set, I am looking at you).
And the packaging is just stunning – with amazing prints and sustainable.
For more information on Scent School, the brand and the amazing products, go to their website, their boutique in Covent Garden’s Floral Street or their pop up in Westfield London.
You know the drill, but I’ll say again: this post contains GIFTED PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.
It’s been so long since I actually published a style post, but I am hoping to get back into it. What better way of getting back into it than this little gem, shot in the beautiful Spencer House over London Fashion Week?
If you haven’t noticed (I am sure you have), stripes are going to be everywhere for spring/summer. It suits me fine as for me, they are always welcome. However, even though I like trends, I will only adopt what I like, twisting and tweaking to make them suit my personal style.
This is a super budget outfit that turned out to be quite fun, quirky and cute, which is just the kind of style I love!
This New Look cropped red wool jumper, currently on sale for £6 (a bargain!), comes in 7 colours and also looks amazing layered.
The sac, tie waist trousers, also from New Look, has a great fit for its shape and it seems to come quite large – this is a size 6, while I am usually a 10 for trousers. It costs a reasonable £19.99 and I feel it will be a staple on my spring wardrobe.
Boots are from H&M – another great bargain at £29.99, and the cute hearts from IPHORIA on the laces add extra cuteness to the ensemble and break up the rough edge of the boots.
And I was wearing my favourite clutches ever: Lulu Guiness lips, this time in black, which was the first one I got.
A couple of years ago I started building a solid handbag and shoe base. Since then, I haven’t wasted money on high volumes of cheaper shoes and bags.
I currently have 4 lips, in black, gold, red glitter and nude, to cover most outfits!
Finally, to top it off, you know I like making stuff, eh? I made this cute hair piece with a little gem encrusted whale keyring, also from New Look at £4.99 (now on sale for 2.99). I cut the keyring bit and added a little bow to the loop at the top of the happy whale’s head.
I then scrunched some net I had home, to channel a bit of SS18 Chanel, and all was duly hot glued onto half a fascinator hair comb. Suddenly my side ponytail is a load more fun just by sticking the hair piece to the base of it.
Makeup was simple: a long feline flick, a little bit of nude matte eyeshadow on the crease, and 3/4 lashes, a good measure of highlighter and a killer red – he almost electric Charlotte Tilbury Tell Laura on my lips!
You all know I love a monochrome with a splash of bright, so no wonder I like this outfit so much. I am very excited to have FINALLY posted a style piece – and that is comes ahead of the new season!
What are you looking forward to wearing when the weather is warmer?
How about sending a glittering interactive hologram message into the London night sky and in the process help Macmillan Cancer Support continue their precious work?
Sprinkling some magic over the capital’s skyline, Light Sky sees the glamorous Amanda Holden team up with npower to help raise funds for the cancer charity. She kicked off the Christmas campaign by sending the first message, one of love, into the sky at the Southbank Observation Point.
If you are in the area, pop in and talk to one of the friendly guys over there – you can donate, send your own message and watch the beautiful spectacle illuminate the sky. If you are not in the capital, you can still spread love, support and hope by going to npower.com/lightsky.
Sent in person or online, the message will be projected among London’s landmarks and you will get a video of it via email, to share and treasure.
I was very lucky to be part of the launch during a cold, but cheerful, evening and Amanda, who looked amazing in red, said she felt “privileged to be a part of this campaign; Macmillan Cancer Support is a great charity which provides crucial support for people affected by cancer” and urged people to take part.
As one of the first to do so, I (made my donations and) shared two messages; one to my beloved grandfather, who passed away last month in Brazil, and it shone up in the sky the way I am sure he is shining now.
As I had no time to say my goodbyes and hadn’t seen him in a while, I wanted him to know he will forever be with me.
The second message was to my aunt, to echo as her optimism, strength and hope through very recent tough times with surgeries and waiting for biopsies results.
As she is also in Brazil, I want to reinforce that she is supported, loved and I am adding to the hope everything will be alright.
Amanda Holden kicks of the npower Light Sky for MacMillan Cancer Support
Amanda’s message of love
MacMillan Cancer Support does amazing work with people affected by cancer, be it practical, emotional and personal support. They are there during treatment, to help with work and money worries, and listen when people need to talk about their feelings.
MacMillan does not receive any government funding, so every donation counts towards keeping their fantastic work going.
One in two people are likely to get cancer in their lifetime and, not wanting to play the scare card and more putting things into perspective, the support of a charity like Macmillan would probably keep someone like me, who has been living alone in a foreign country for many years, stronger and more hopeful to fight through such a difficult time, should that happen.
And npower, which is putting on the stunning light show, is a long-standing partner of Macmillan, helping people affected by cancer to keep warm without worrying about the costs.
Take part sending as many messages as you can; the suggested donation is £4 per message. Not only will they light up the sky and the heart of your loved ones, but will also be helping those affected by cancer. How amazing is that?
Head off to the Southbank Observation Point in London (58-72 Upper Ground, Gabriel’s Wharf, SE1 9LT) between 5pm-10pm or get online at npower.com/lightsky.
This post of was created in partnership with npower. I do, however, believe it is a great cause to support, so get on the site, for this campaign or just a straight on donation!
Confession never heard before: I don’t really have much of a sweet tooth. Too much sugar does make me sick quite quickly and I don’t tend to crave sweets very often. Not even chocolate. There, I said it.
However, how could one even consider resisting these amazingly pretty cupcakes from boutique cake studio The Pink Kitchen?
Especially when they come hand delivered by baking extraordinaire Aline Wickens, the mega talented cake designer behind the bakery? No way!
They came in time for my birthday celebration and I must say they were a hit with the guests and a feast for the eyes.
The new collection has some cupcakes with pipettes filled with a special sauces that gives them that extra oomph.
After much doubt (as they all sound amazing), I picked the chocolate and Bailey’s, raspberry and mascarpone and lemon and blueberry flavours for my birthday.
To start with, the cupcake dough is fluffy, ever so light, moist and not overly sweet, which I love.
The icing is smooth (and quite dreamy like a sugary cloud), flavoured to perfection.
All the elements (be it with a pipette or not) are beautifully balanced to create a cupcake that is enjoyable from beginning to end – in all the flavours I tried!
And I even got a bonus: amazing Brazilian truffles – brigadeiros – and coconut beijinhos <3, so fresh, with perfect texture and flavour.
More than a small bite
But if those babies are impressive, wait until you see their real business: the cakes. The Pink Kitchen specialises in impeccably elegant cakes for all occasions.
Aline’s sugar skills are amazing, as are her creations, which frankly look like works of art; all custom designed, freshly baked and beautifully decorated.
On top of it all, The Pink Kitchen also specialises in dairy free, eggless and vegan cakes, and cater for many dietary restrictions.
There are cakes, cupcakes, pop cakes and mini cupcakes. The Pink Kitchen also creates personalised cupcakes for businesses, as well as catering for events and photo shoots on top of the usual birthdays, weddings and other celebratory occasions.
I am also told she creates gorgeous dessert tables! All delicious, of course!
Cake wonders aside, Aline is very sweet (see what I did here?), very talented, creative, hard working and strives to meet your taste, brief and budget!