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.

When beauty turns ugly: the importance of having reputable cosmetic medical advice

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. 

Laugh away. Here’s my best impression of the marshmallow man mid bonfire. And this wasn’t even at its worst!

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 (appointments@drhausdermatology.com) .

Highly recommend.

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.

Flowers all around me

Floral Street ylang ylang espresso eau de parfum

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. 

Floral Street ylang ylang espresso eau de parfum

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. 

Floral Street ylang ylang espresso eau de parfum

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. 

Floral Street ylang ylang espresso eau de parfum

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.

written by Dani

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.

Dani’s Little Book of Fashion: stripes incoming!

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?

And huge thank to Kat for shooting me pretty. Check her out on Insta!

written by Dani

Npower Lights up the Sky in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support


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.

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.

written by Dani

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!

Pretty (and) delicious

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!

You can check out everything The Pink Kitchen has to on their website and you can contact the super friendly Aline to talk about you requirements.

Yum!

written by Dani

 

For your pleasure

Oh to have a Magnum ice cream…. for years now I’ve been feasting on the most indulgent flavours and every summer Magnum does not disappoint.

Their fabulous pleasure store is back in London for another year, this time located on Seven Dials.

Dare I say it’s the best edition yet; decorated in collaboration with Moschino, it is colourful and bold and it even has special edition totes (£212) you can buy.

Now, the opening was, of course, star-studded. The store was opened by Jeremy Scott Moschino’s and Magnum creative director, with the soundtrack provided by the fabulous Jodie Harsh.

And I got to rub shoulder with Erin O’Connor, Alice Dellal, Talia Storm, Vanessa White, Oliver Proudlock and many others.

But the highlight was really the ice cream!

The Moschino collaboration cements this year’s Dare to Go Double attitude, which sees the amazing Magnum Double Coconut and Double Raspberry as the new flavours for the summer.

I could not resist them on holidays!

Of course, at the pleasure store you can, for £5.50 make your own bespoke freshly dipped Magnum with three toppings of your choice – and they are something special.

I had pistachio, cherry and gold flakes (because why not?) on mine, dipped in dark chocolate, white chocolate sauce and a pink Magnum coin. It was delicious – and gorgeous: it’s my very own at the top of the post.

As they say, a day without pleasure is a day lost. Hurry up!

The pleasure store is located in London Seven Dials (21-23 Earlham Street, WC2H 9LL) until the 10th September 2017, and the opening times are:

  • Sunday: 10am – 6pm
  • Monday/Tuesday/Wed:  10am – 7pm
  • Thursday: 10am – 10pm
  • Friday: 10am – 9pm
  • Saturday: 10am – 10pm

You can get all the info on the store at the Magnum UK website.

written by Dani

I was invited to this experience by Magnum; opinions are my own.

Fruit power for the skin

Oh, how much do we love affordable skincare that does its job and on top of it looks great? The answer is an awful lot.

Meet Formula 10.0.6 skincare. A traditional brand created by chemists in 1933, they have an affordable range that promotes clear, healthy young skin (but works wonders for older skin too, if you’re not specifically looking for strong anti-ageing solution).

For me, it really acts as a “maintenance” range, so it’s always by the sink. The fact if has some cute names, simple and bright packaging with effective products within certainly help.

My favourite from the selection I tried was the Pores Be Pure Skin Clarifying Mud Mask. This light mud mask feels very purifying and is quite gentle on the skin.

It contains strawberry, yarrow and rosemary. It dries but doesn’t crack on the skin, sucking impurities for a clear, less congested complexion.

Taking about clearing, the Best Face Forward Daily Foaming Cleanser is exactly that: a fabulous, gentle everyday gel foamy cleanser that leaves skin feeling super clean and fresh.

It contains oiliness reducing passion fruit, soothing and exfoliating green tea and calming chamomile.

Now, who doesn’t love an exfoliating scrub? The One Smooth Operator Pore Clearing Face Scrub purifies, gently exfoliates with pumice from volcanic rock.

It also contains purifying zinc and soothing oat. Feels comfortable to apply and leaves skin feeling soft.

Finally, the P.M. Perfector Overnight Hydrating Cream with black currant and liquorice for a long radiance, soothing and nourishing overnight skin workout. It’s light and absorbs very well.

Best of all, you can get Formula 10.0.6 products from Boots in the UK, and it’s great value for money – each one costs £8.99!

written by Dani

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

Happening now: Organic Beauty and Wellbeing week

If you follow me on Instagram and saw my stories (if not, @dani_dutra, I talk non-stop), you know I went a bit crazy after coming back from the first day of the Organic Beauty and Wellbeing Week, currently happening at Protein Studios, 31 New Inn Yard, Shoreditch, London, EC2, until the 21st March.

I attended the press event last year and in 2017 they are back, bigger and better, to also include wellbeing, which is a great advantage of organic cosmetics. Don’t you know, they have high concentration of pure ingredients which can actually get properly absorbed by your body and bring other effects apart from the cosmetic ones!

The Soil Association is behind the event to reinforce their “Look for the logo” message, which confirms the product organic certification. Natural and organic are very different things and because cosmetics are not as regulated as food when it comes to be called organic, products with very little organic content can pass for being organic, even though that is quite misleading.

With the Soil Association logo on the product, you can rest assured you are getting the real deal. Here’s a little word of advice from them on what’s NOT in products they certify. You can also check their full list of certified brands. Handy!

With an increase of 30% in sales in the last 2 years, it is important you know that you are getting what you expect from the organics beauty products.

The pop up shop is a great chance to know some brands pioneering organic beauty and looking to extend their knowledge to the consumer, so they can be confident on their purchases.

Apart from brands such as Neal’s Yard Remedies, Viridian, VOYA, Bamford, Herbfarmacy, LA-EVA, Therapi, Nourish, amongst others, you can also catch some amazing talks, workshops and events. My highlights:

  • Naissance bespoke serum bar (OMG! NEED): 16/05, from 12-13:00, FREE!
  • Energising Yoga with Cristina Chandika Ma: 17/05, 8:30-10:00, for £5 which goes to charity
  • A night of food and beauty (I mean COME ON!): 18/05, 18:10-22:00, FREE!
  • Neal’s Yard Remedies Stress Less Workshop: 20/05, 14-15:00, for a £5 charity donation

To browse all events, and book your place, go to organicbeautyandwellbeingweek.eventcube.io. Some events are already sold out.

Of course, you can (and should) take a look at the brands’ stands (it’s all so pretty) and grab your favourites with discounts or deals. And have a nice chat.

If I were you, I’d keep an eye out for the Neals Yard Organic Eye Makeup Remover, Viridian brand new Organic Curcumin Latte (seriously delicious), Nourish London Illuminating Face Shimmer and the Toning Body Shimmer (in love), Yes organic intimate products(read lubricants and hygiene), anything Herbfarmacy (lookout for the marshmallow root!), Therapi toners, LA-EVA Roséum Lotion (for face, hands and body!),  VOYA body oils (OMG, can’t even), Naissance Organic Beauty box, Bamford Essential Oil blend (I am overworking the Padmasana one, which is for concentration when writing this so late!)… I cannot stop!

And that’s not even a fraction of the goodness available… plus the added bonus of all the lovely people.

So hurry, you have until the 21st of May to catch them. All information can be found on the Soil Association website.

Oh, and here’s the logo! LOOK!

If you are not in London, they put a handy list of all the discounts together, you know, because they are nice like that!

Also, a massive shout out to the lovely Nicola from Black Book Communications who pulls this all together and is always so kind to get me over! ❤

written by Dani

Right, you know the drill… this is a bit of a PR post.

The London festival experience

GALA Brixton

As spring is firmly underway – or so we hope… c’mon, it’s still around 13°C most days here in London!– and daylight gets one extra minute each day, we get closer and closer to the wonderful stream of festivals that sweep across the UK. However, it seems like long gone are the weekends of mud, sweat and tears…

It seems that, as years have gone by, people are less interested in what some still love to call *the festival experience*. By that they mean camping for three/four days, often braving horrible weather conditions, large quantities of mud, bad toilet facilities, with little or no possibility of freshening up, let alone having a shower.

GALA Brixton

For someone who loves freshly washed hair (although I thank the Gods every day for dry shampoo!), clean and crisp clothing and the comfort of my own bed, this reads as my description of HELL.

I was never into this idea of ‘festival experience’, and I remember going to V Festival in 2006 and saying “oh my word, I cannot BELIEVE I’m home”. Don’t get me wrong, the festival was incredible! And it was even more so because in 55 minutes I was at my door, skipping happily to my warm shower.

I’m so glad to know that I’m not alone in this. The new festival experience involves VIP bracelets, a “sweat only if you want to” attitude, gourmet food trucks, drinks from independent producers and –the best of it all – a short tube/bus/Uber ride home.

LOVEBOX

It is no wonder that inner London festivals are becoming big players in the music scene. Field Day (Victoria Park), South West Four (Clapham Common), British Summer Time (Hyde Park), Wireless (Finsbury Park), Lovebox (Victoria Park) and GALA (Brixton) are some of the main festivals happening within London this spring and summer, taking advantage of the appeal of being at home after a long day (and sometimes night) of partying.

And let’s not forget that 2017 will be the first year where we’ll be able to use the night tube during summer! This is something I’m really looking forward to, in order to reduce my late night post-partying Uber addiction…

So, if you ever thought that you wanted to experience festivals but wouldn’t be happy applying your makeup in a muddy compact mirror, after cleansing your face with just a baby wipe for the third day straight… I HEAR YOU. Have a thorough look on all events happening within London and I’m sure you’ll find something that tickles your fancy – and with travelling time possibly shorter than your daily work commute!

written by Carol

Right, you know the drill… this is a bit of a PR post.