Monday, 29 September 2014

Home Sweet Home and Cocktail Couture

After two weeks of adventures I returned to London on Saturday evening, sad to be at the end of an amazing trip to China (more on that later) but happy to be breathing in London's comparatively fresh air and for it not to be grey and miserable. To further cure my post-holiday blues, my mother and I headed to The Lobby Bar at One Aldwych on Sunday afternoon to sample their "cocktail courture" menu which celebrates the four fashion capitals - having missed London Fashion Week while I was on my travels it was nice to have a little taste of it. The cocktail courture menu is all based on Tanqueray Gin - long-term blog readers will know that I am the Gin Queen and so this menu sounded perfect albeit a complete nightmare in indecision.

After being seated at high backed chairs with a view of the rest of the bar, I opted for the Temperley-inspired English Rose and my drinking companion for the Moschino-inspired La Dolce Vita - I'm not sure if this decision was based on it containing Champagne or on it being served in an intriguing sounding "cat glass". Both cocktails were delicious - the rose flavours in mine were perfect for a late summer afternoon and the cat-shaped glass made for one of the most unique cocktails I've ever seen.

We couldn't turn down a second drink (like mother like daughter, eh?) so I sipped on a Blanc et Noir (inspired by Karl Lagerfeld) and my mother chose the Calvin Klein-inspired New York New York while we had a good old catch-up about my travels and nibbled on spicy nuts and olives. Our waiter warned us that the New York New York was rather strong and he was not wrong! My drink was super refreshing and so different from my first despite containing the same base spirit.

The cocktail couture menu is only available until 2nd October but the afternoon tea being enjoyed by some of our fellow guests looked pretty good (even more so after the second cocktail) so I'm definitely tempted to re-visit One Aldwych.

What's your favourite cocktail?


Friday, 12 September 2014


Picture from Google.
Taking a break from downloading yet another book to my Kindle and contemplating how many pairs of shoes are really necessary to put my blog "out of office" on. Using up a big chunk of my holiday allowance to explore China and catch-up with some London friends on the other side of the world. Familiar people and unknown places always makes for a fun combination. I am currently "excitified" about this whole thing (excited and terrified) but focusing on it all step by step - step one being a dose of duty free retail therapy tomorrow. I have no idea what the internet will be like over there so it might also be a time for some well-needed but non-optional "unplugging".

See you in October!


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

An Early Birthday Weekend in The City

My birthday isn't for over a week but as I'll unfortunately be on holiday on the day itself so I celebrated this weekend, too. I'm not usually one to over-do the "birthday" thing but any excuse to catch-up with friends and eat cake! On Friday night I had birthday gin with my non-internet friends (yes, I do have those) but being almost 27 I was in bed (just) before midnight with a late night snack of macaroons thanks to my friend, K. Maybe I am growing up? The weekend looked like this:

Saturday morning pancakes topped with frozen banana, chia seeds and coco nibs. I am getting better at making these
Daddy Lipstick's birthday was on Saturday so my parents popped over for coffee and cake - Waitrose's finest for Daddy!
I spent the afternoon running pre-holiday errands and enjoying this pretentious but incredible drink from Wholefoods.
Sunday morning run - the Queen's barge was also taking a trip along the Thames.
Sunday dressing up - Topshop lace top and F+F Mistress lipstick. I didn't get changed out of gym clothes or wear make-up on Saturday so it was nice to make an effort again (although equally nice not to the day before and I did bump into two people I knew who still recognsied me sans make-up).
Hannah and I visited the Digital Revolution at the Barbican - this is the Will.I.Am experience - a 3D room which was amazing and rather odd at the same time.
Hannah the Phoenix.
Tea time! I'd booked a table at the Barbican Lounge and we sat outside which was lovely - the weather on Sunday afternoon was surprisingly amazing!
Central London at its best when it doesn't feel like central London.
We all agreed that the children's afternoon tea sounds rather appealing...
The afternoon tea was really good - pleasantly surprised for the price! The above is for two and it was plenty! The sandwiches were good, especially the egg one which would not be my usual first choice. The scones were some of the best I've ever tasted - I kind of wish there were more of them! The cakes were very varied - the best was definitely the lemon tart, again something I wouldn't usually pick out. The banana cake was good too. I thought the blondie would be my favourite but it wasn't amazing, not bad, but no way as good as the lemon tart! The service was so-so but once we'd sorted out what we wanted the tea was topped up and we were left to gossip away.
Presents from the girls - spot on! The G&T shower gel might have to be saved for weekends so that people at work don't think I've had G&Ts for breakfast... (although if my friends at the weekend think that, it's ok and they're probably right*)
*Please drink gin sensibly and preferably not for breakfast (unless its a special occasion).
How did you celebrate your last birthday?


Friday, 5 September 2014

Taking Stock

September might be the end of summer (although I agree with Sophie, don't wish it away too soon) but for me it always feels like a new start, too.

My birthday is in the middle of September (the 16th) and the slight chill in the air brings back memories of "back to school" - new shoes, new starts and (most importantly) new stationary. It's ten years since I stepped of the school bus to start my A-Levels at a new school - a first day that will forever be ingrained in my memory for being absolutely terrifying and at the same time the beginning of everything my life is now - and a year since I started my new job (I'll be "celebrating my work anniversary" as LinkedIn refers to it). My life will always be tied to the academic year, September feels so much more like a "new start" than dreary January ever will. I'm excited to turn 27 (since feeling all "quarter life crisis about turning 25 I now feel young again), to reflect back on an amazing summer (maybe just maybe the best ever) and to think about new adventures...

Taking Stock is inspired by Bee (original source here).

Making :: Loom bands, still.
Cooking :: Courgetti, one of the few things I can cook.
Drinking :: Gin, Vita Coco Cafe when its not gin o'clock.
Reading :: Less Than Zero by Brett Easton Ellis.
Wanting :: Everything (while realising I don't really need anything).
Looking :: Like I need to invest in an eyeliner that doesn't smudge all over my face.
Playing :: With the Hyperlapse app and trying to figure out what the fuss is.
Deciding :: Whether a 6am alarm and a spin class tomorrow morning is a yes or no.
Wishing :: That life be simpler but no less enjoyable for it.
Enjoying :: Mother Lipstick patiently listening to me talk about domain names without knowing what they are.
Waiting :: For the rest of my furniture to be delivered so I can finally unpack my boxes.
Liking :: Statuses on Facebook, photos on Instagram. As always.
Wondering :: How a cycle of Facebook / Gmail / Instagram / WhatsApp came to constitute "a night in".
Loving :: Life, London, the people I've met through this crazy blogging thing.
Pondering :: Why some people don't have "moons" on their nails and why this bothers me so.
Considering :: Whether shorter hair would be more or less time consuming.
Watching :: Orange Is The New Black, Utopia and The Great British Bake Off.
Hoping :: For more fun, more adventures, soon.

Marvelling :: At how much stuff I have managed to accumulate in a very small space.
Needing :: To have a huge sort out and give half my wardrobe to charity. To worry less.
Smelling :: Rose incense in my flat.
Wearing :: Topshop dress, bare legs, bare feet.
Following :: Symmetry Breakfast on Instragram.
Noticing :: A spider on my ceiling and trying to un-notice it.
Knowing :: That I need to start running more ahead of my half marathon.
Thinking :: Too much about everything.
Feeling :: Content, no regrets, excitement.
Admiring :: The colour of the sky at this time of night.
Sorting :: My thoughts, my belongings. An ongoing and never-ending process.
Buying :: Travel toiletries for my upcoming trip to China.
Getting :: Excited about said trip to China.
Bookmarking :: Time Out Shanghai for inspiration.
Disliking :: The spider on my ceiling.
Opening :: My post, when I remember to check it.
Giggling :: When it's most inappropriate to do so.
Snacking :: On Propercorn popcorn.
Coveting :: ASOS new season arrivals.
Helping :: Where I can.
Hearing :: Arcade Fire's - "Here Comes The Night Time".

Have you taken stock lately?

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

A Cultural Weekend In The City

Well, outfit posts and burgers are cultural too, I guess.

On Saturday, Sarah and I headed to the Old Vic to see what is fast becoming the most talked-about play of the summer - Arthur Miller's The Crucible starring Richard Armitage. Having heard how long the play is, a little catch-up was in order first - reverting to true "blogger behaviour" we snapped outfit photos and headed to Byron. Sitting down for four hours calls for courgette fries and chocolate brownies.

The play was ah-mazing. Super intense throughout with great performances from all the cast, even if Mr Armitage does completely steal the show. Leaving the theatre afterwards and returning back to a sunny London afternoon felt surreal after 4 hours in 17th century Salem. A story that will stay with you long after the standing ovation and final bow. Go see it (if there are any tickets left).

Skirt: American Apparel, Sandals: Office, Skirt: Zara, Sunglasses: ASOS
Oh hi, Bryn.
Practicing sitting down ahead of the play.
Byron veggie burger and courgette fries.
Chocolate brownie sans ice cream.
"Behind slim pillar" = bargain price ticket.
One for the memories box.

Have you seen / read The Crucible?
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