September food diary- The Ned, Black Roe & Ozone Coffee

I am widening my horizons these days when it comes to restaurants, trying places in the city, shoreditch but still touching base in mayfair. I really should stop eating so I can fit in my dresses for the Christmas season (Hello, 11 Mondays left till Christmas) but here I am wining and dining because yolo- food makes me happy. See below where I have been gaining calories and enjoying every minute of it 🙂

The Ned

Finally! a majestic place (a hotel) in the city for us ladies where we can chose from 9 restaurants to dine at, a rooftop bar to enjoy city views and even a private members club to kick back and relax. Located right opposite bank station, you can’t miss the grand building- I always struggle to find a place for a quick drink for a catch up during the week but I can’t help but force all my friends to meet me there for a naughty glass of G&T . Monday to Friday a very busy feel; whether it is lunch or dinner time, a very 1920’s feel, think Gatsby like! I am a massive fan of reservations and so are they but if they can accommodate you last minute, they surely will.  A friend took me out to Cecconi’s (one of the restaurants) for a sophisticated lunch and it did NOT disappoint-the food and the atmosphere. Say bye bye to your usual sticky dark dingy pub and hello to champagne, well dressed men and good food. The cheese fries are to die for!

Address: 27 Poultry, London, EC2R 8AJ

 

Black Roe

Located in the heart of Mayfair, right opposite Maddox- offers grill, Asian, Hawaiian, Japanese food. Really well presented and something for everyone, for some reason I hadn’t been here before so was keen on trying it.  A varied cocktail menu too, even a decent mock tail menu for you non alchys. I recommend the ‘a quiet storm’ which consists of coconut creme and passion fruit, some sweetness to along with your Poke dinner. The atmosphere is low lit, music and seems to be the place to have dinner to line up your stomach before a late night out…in our case we went straight to bed (sleepy dolls)

Address: 4 Mill St, Mayfair, London, W1S 2AX

 

Ozone Coffee

I was introduced to this cute laid back place in Shoreditch for brunch. Like most ‘hip‘ places these days there is no concept of reservations so be prepared to queue up but like all good things, the wait is worth it! The roots of this restaurant come from New Zealand with a varied breakfast, brunch menu- I had the omelette of course alongside with a soft, hot, melt in my mouth chocolatey pancake. The portions are big (size matters of course) I had to have a nap after, no joke- A lot of big windows for natural light, lotsa’ Shoreditch locals, fresh cakes and delicious coffee for you caffeine addicts.

Address: 11 Leonard St, London, EC2A 4AQ

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My fave go to food spots- London

Eating is one of my hobbies- as my friends would know too well. Dieting and behaving is a foreign concept as food is the highlight of my day, I think about what I am going to eat all the time! I guess one has to know what’s good out there especially if they are a useless cook themselves, sorry but as if I want to get in to a kitchen and start cutting up ingredients after a long day and then do the dishes, seriously just no. Life’s too short for that and why am I going to tire myself out in the kitchen when I can make some sweet reservations….

  1. Zefi (Mediterranean) 

I’ve been going to Zefi for years, I may as well have grown up there- the food is always fresh and in giant portions (perfect for a fatty like myself) My favourite is their beef lasagna, I may have eaten possibly 100 in my life but they are just so delicious! They have a good cocktail menu too. Now I don’t like salads but their salads are huge and beautiful, not to mention very filling. What I love most about Zefi is their service, always welcome you with a smile, ask you how’s your day and ensure you have a pleasant time. If you go there make sure you get the cheesecake too- it is the best cheese cake of my life! (just look how the dog is eyeing up my cheesecake in the picture below…he’s cute but I wasn’t up for sharing tbh)

2. Franco Manca (Italian)

My addiction. This is my number one pizza place. I would say I have never tasted anything like it- they only serve pizza there so if you are on your leaf eating diet then you may as well pass. This pizza is so soft, it melts in your mouth! One of my girlfriends is Italian and even she admits this is the best pizza of her life. I have no complaints except for the long queues that you may get stuck in Wednesday on wards for dinner- there is no reservation policy so first come first served but like all good things, the wait is worth it 😉 Not expensive at all, a perfect treat and sometimes the guys will make you heart shaped pizzas as well, makes my day..

http://www.francomanca.co.uk/

3. Granger and Co (Australian)

An Australian place and an amazing menu- their brunch is their speciality especially those ricotta hotcakes. Again another place which does not take reservations but usually you get a table after 15 – 20 minutes. Locations are Chelsea, Notting hill, King’s Cross and Clerkenwell. A lot of healthy options with an amazing taste, loving their almond chais.

https://grangerandco.com/system/menus/pdfs/000/000/023/original/SS17_Chelsea_lunch_170801.pdf?1501683258

4. Maroush (Lebanese)

Another one of my faves- probably the best shawarma in the whole city. Seriously, what is their hummus made out of because it is so creamy. Most Maroush’s are open late so after a night out this is my guilty pleasure, like while I am out I am literally counting down the minutes when I can turn to my friends and be like is it shawarma time? The menu is amazing, the service is quick and I am totally obsessed with their smoothie fruit cocktail, so filling and sweet. This is actually my family’s favourite restaurant too, whenever they come to London usually the first stop is Maroush- oh that shish taouk  and tabbouleh! Prices are amazing, nothing crazy- it’s all reasonable 🙂 Complimentary baklava served at the end- what a generous touch!

http://www.maroush.com/

 

Life in West London & The big dream?

Everyone looks good, the coffee tastes expensive and most appear to be so happy but the more you live here the more you you learn that it is just a ‘perfect picture‘- Basically, it looks gorgeous but nobody knows what is going on underneath the surface. I come across so many personalities pretending to something that they are not, I know I have met my fair share of ‘investment banker’ wannabes who do everything else in a bank but investment banking , ‘super models of instagram’ whose face you never saw in a magazine or fashion week for that matter and of course the full time bloggers. For some reason these are the only three occupations I come across here not that there is anything wrong with it but it is the same thing, every single time.

It is OK to have big dreams and want a certain type of life style but it is important to be true to yourself along the way- when I first arrived in London as a very young girl in my dorky glasses, I was living in zone 4- sleeping in my cousins house because I just could not afford the rent in the ‘place to be zone 1‘.  I was literally commuting 45 minutes in the morning to work and in the evening, it was obviously a drag but I did not want to live beyond my means. Asking my parents for money was out of the question too because they gave me such a strong education and it was now my time to use it and be the independent woman my mother didn’t have the chance to be when she was my age. So anything I accomplish by myself is a blessing and it brings me a lot of happiness.

har1]I do love  West London though, the shopping is fabulous and I have a circle of the bestest friends a girl could ever have!  Secure, educated ladies who offer the most intellectual conversations, advice and look good in 5 inch heels but they are rare and they don’t live in the West sadly. I hate to say this but perhaps big cities are like that? it can’t all be giggles and champagne all the time. There are the opportunists, the wannabes and the insecure which used to cause me a lot of negativity but a lesson was learnt and now I take my time to trust.

For now, I love walking past by pretty white town houses, the well dressed families brunching on a Sunday and the red sole heels strutting the street but I can admit and say that it is not everything to me. I do have my moments where I miss conversations where people don’t talk about money, or how they only go to exclusive places but you never saw them there for yourself in all those years you’ve been going out yourself. I mean if somebody starts talking to me about their holidays again- I will cry. I was fortunate enough to travel the globe with my family so the last thing I want to know is about how you rented yet another yacht bla bla bla, it is always the same story. I guess what I am trying to say is humility is far more attractive-

In an ideal world I would say I would like to be drinking coffee, in that very cute coffee shop listening to how you face timed your mother today, talk about how she is doing?  or even what book you’ve been reading lately and then I think…West London would actually be just perfect. 

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The couple next door- book review time

My usual Sunday stroll starts at about 10 am- the first stop is my usual cappuccino from my local Pret followed by a trip to my local Waterstones. Reading has been an obsession of mine since I was a little girl, collecting books and falling in love with characters. C’mon girls, you gotta read time to time- it can’t be all insta and shopping. They have a really good deal at the moment, ‘buy one get one half price’ so obviously I was over the moon. The first book I picked up was ‘The couple next door’ by Shari Lapena.the

So for starters I bought this book Sunday morning and I finished it the next evening at midnight- Clearly this is an indication to how addicted I was to it! The book follows a couple called Anne and Marco who are going through a tough time with their new baby, marital problems with each other and of course issues with the couple next door.

I won’t go into the details but Marco and Anne decide to leave their six month old daughter asleep in their house whilst they have dinner at the couple next door’s house- thinking the baby would be OK as they would check in every half hour(like seriously why would you do that? Can someone call social services sil vous plait) but the child goes missing by midnight. What keeps you turning pages like a maniac is your curiosity for who took the damn baby? Is it a stranger? a kidnapper? the baby sitter? or did the mother Anne kill the baby herself since she has had mental health problems in the past.

What I liked most about Shari’s style is her ability to give the characters a lot of depth and layers, you really learn more about them the deeper you get into the book. The author has really taken her time to create tension throughout, I personally couldn’t predict at all to what happened to their child or the ending for that matter. As soon as you start trusting one of the characters, you realise actually you can’t trust anyone (lol like real life hey)

If you are looking for a good thriller which keeps you on an edge then I suggest picking up a copy or borrowing mine. You will definitely get lost in another world, a stressful world where a mother is desperate to find her only baby and a husband who has lost all control. I am just sad I finished it so soon, now I am just waiting for my bestie to tell me she has finished reading it too before I end up spoiling it for her!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Younger guys- Why not?

I was thinking the other day how we are in 2017 and it still is kind of considered a taboo to date a man a few years younger than you. Some women no matter how nice the guy is, won’t give him a chance because he maybe a few years younger than them. You start hearing things like, ‘But he is too young to settle down, he’s too immature’ but the reality is even a grown 35 year old man can be just as immature and petty with their Peter Pan complex!  However, we have successful relationships to name a few; like Eva Mendes who is six years older than the gorgeous Ryan Gosling, Shakira ten years older than her ballin’ soccer player,Brigitte Macron, the current French President’s older wife and let’s please not forget sexy Hugh Jackman who is 48 and his wife Deborra is 61. All these women are powerful, stunning and have an intelligent younger man by their side so it seems age is nothing but a number.

Here are my four reasons to why you should consider a younger man;

Always up for fun and open minded:
I don’t know if it is the age or personality but guys in their mid 20’s are always excited to try new things and experience new places. They can go out dancing with you till the sun comes up, wake up bright and early to go running with you, their energy is inspiring. They are also not set in their ways- which can get so boring. Most are happy to try that new restaurant you’ve been talking about all week and go to Paris on the weekend spontaneously because they aren’t worried about the lack of sleep or  a possible hangover.

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– So loving/emotionally available
A few older men can go on and on about how that bitch once upon a time broke their heart ten hundred years ago so they will never buy flowers for another girl ever again. So now you are being punished and settling for a glass of house wine because he is still crying about his ex who dumped him in college because he got fat or something. Usually, younger guys don’t have that emotional baggage so they treat you like the princess that you are and happy to open up their heart to you! Which is so important.

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– Passionate
Whether it is technology, their career or art; younger guys can be so passionate and optimistic about things and if you have a black soul like me then it can be so infectious to be surrounded by such positive energy. They can even teach you how to kick back and relax and to enjoy life for a second-
– Amazing body
Shallow but true- being a fitness bunny myself I sure can appreciate a man who takes care of himself. Some guys in their 30’s just start letting themselves go and all that constant drinking in the evenings contribute to their beer belly- so not cute. I feel it is a luxury these days for a man to have nice abs- he doesn’t have to be Britain’s next top model but a guy who treats his body well is always attractive. I am always bumping into younger male models who are only a year or two younger than me and I am super impressed by their physique because it’s like ‘wow…are you real though?’ 🙂

I don’t have anything against older men, in fact I wouldn’t mind myself a George Clooney- sophisticated, worldly and classy but if you meet a man with all those qualities and he is a few years younger than you, it would be stupid, immature even to let him go.

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Hotel Cafe Royal Afternoon tea- the Oscar Wilde way

So me and my Parisian went to afternoon tea on this super beautiful sunny day and this time we had the pleasure of champagne-ing and scone-ing at Hotel Café Royal. I could have gone for a run but we would rather have some cakes, obviously.

The kind host lead me to my table in their Oscar Wilde Bar room where Oscar Wilde dined himself hence the name. Now I am a big fan of the fabulous playwright as I read so much of his work throughout university so I just had to see one of his hangouts for myself. The walls are covered with mirrors and a stunning gold interior top to bottom which surrounds the entire room, serious glamour! There is a pianist playing in the middle for some background music and bottles of Laurent Perrier being poured in elegant tall glasses.

Now let’s get to the good stuff; the sandwiches! Soft, fluffy and fresh- just the way I like it. The pastries were very well presented and the scones were cute and mini which went well with our tea. This tea room is a pure royal experience, if you like all things gold then this is the one. Also for you insta addicts, this room is great for photos! #opulent baby

The table you get is for 1.5 hours only but that is understandable as it was quite crowded by the time we left. I would give the service 5 stars as I didn’t have to wait around for anything, our champagne glasses were always full, the tea was warm and we had such a delightful time! I am so glad I found this little gem in Soho, definitely worth going to with your dear ones for a perfect afternoon 🙂

Address: 68 Regent St, Soho, London, W1B 4DY
Price: £55.00 per person inclusive of a glass of LP
Closest station: Piccadilly Circus

 

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5 reasons why you should go on holiday with your Mom

Sounds crazy I know but I recently went on holiday with my mother and had a great time (I know right). Obviously, it wasn’t a holiday which consisted of popping bottles but I couldn’t have thought of any other person better to enjoy Rome with. We walked a lot, ate a lot (mostly her watching me eat a lot) and I can confidently confirm she is really a cool person -but here are my top 5 reasons why you should go on holiday with your mom…at least once.

1. She always looks out for you
You feel sick on the plane, guess who has paracetamol in her purse that you wouldn’t even have thought of packing? Your mom. You need tissue papers because you eat ice cream like a toddler on the street, guess who has a magical supply? Mom. You forgot your mascara but your mom didn’t obviously so you can easily just grab hers! Sharing make up is gross but with the woman who made you, it makes no difference!

2. You and her are most likely to have the same taste in destinations, restaurants and so on.
Couples or groups of friends are not likely to enjoy similar tastes, you may like Monaco and yachts but your friend may like backpacking. You may like beach time rose parties, they may like drinking cider in a tent- better to go on holiday with someone who wants to do the same things to avoid bickering and awkward moments. Mom and I enjoyed so many fabulous later dinners in Rome, rooftop tea times and gelatos during the day, it was so easy to choose activities because we knew what we wanted from our girly break. Win win!18579514_321291064956263_7446142826359816192_n

3. You learn so much about her (as a friend)
Sometimes I forget she was a woman my age! You get so used to only seeing her as a mother since she was always over protective but as you get older you find yourself talking to each other about life, the cute boy that just walked past and that lip stick she must buy from Sephora. She has plenty of wisdom to share with you and you start wondering, ‘Why didn’t I listen to her before..’

4. She will take the best pictures- because she knows your best angles
So shallow but you know this is true. I know so many girls who will beg you to take pictures of them and make you bring out your inner professional photographer, but when it is your turn she will quickly take a blurry one with your mouth half open and when you ask for another one; she will come out with, ‘Cmon, people are watching- it’s embarrassing!’ Like it wasn’t embarrassing enough when I took 50 pictures of you for your instant gratification on your Instagram page. But Mom’s no, they would never do that! She thinks of the bigger picture, she’s not jealous- she is your biggest cheerleader and will make sure her baby looks damn good! Thanks Mama bear

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5. No boy drama
Some girls have a tendency to bring the baggage with them, ‘why didn’t he call?’ or ‘he’s calling too much’ but with your mom you don’t have to worry about that at all, everyone is present in time and no ones checking their phones. She may nag you and ask you what’s going on with your life once but after that we can all move on and focus on sightseeing and shopping… which is why we came on holiday anyways, hello!

In conclusion, I really enjoyed making my mother happy-  sometimes we forget all the sacrifices our parents made for us whilst we were growing up since we get so busy with our own lives. She’s already planning her next adventure with me and I don’t mind because I can happily say now, she’s also one of my girlfriends but don’t tell her that! 😉

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My 5 Fashion Must-haves

I can honestly say at 21, I had no style- I dressed like a dork. Not to mention all those cookies and cakes I was eating, they weren’t helping. I blame it on my Masters’ and all those late snacks to keep me awake whilst writing my never-ending dissertation. I think as a woman grows older, she discovers what suits, what doesn’t suit and finally (yes it does happen) we get more comfortable in our skin.
Now I am no fashionista, I don’t really have the time to research what looks good on me nor am I keen on studying the latest trends. During the week, you’ll catch me in pencil skirts and heels and on the weekends I will be rocking those sheer leggings with a bit of Adidas (I can’t resist) I thought I’d share in a short post, my 5 fashion items I cannot live without since a lot of people have been asking me lately.

1. A sexy pair of heels
Yes I know flats are comfy bla bla bla but wear a decent pair of heels and when you walk in a room, you’ll own it. Something about heels that make me stand up better, strut better- dance better! Seriously! I know starting out in heels is tough but practice makes better. I used to wear heels in my apartment and just walk around, whilst hoovering and now it’s just second nature. Now I know my tall gals will be like, ‘No I don’t want to be anymore taller’. But seriously who cares what others thinks? You look model esque and for the photos, just get your friends to sit down for the photo op or something. Better yet, get a solo photo

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2.The Blazer

I can’t live without them- I have them in black, navy and for the summer I really need one in white. I wear it to work, evening drinks, hell I wear mine out on a Sunday stroll on King’s Road. I pair it with some jeans or a dress. I love my blazers! I would die for them! They just add a classic touch to your ordinary outfit. I remember being a kid and trying on all my Dad’s blazers, I was always fascinated- Invest in a really good one and you will certainly look like you mean business.

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3. The Little Black dress
How cliched coffeedoll! Yes I know, but honestly my black dress can save any day. Whether I am feeling super bloated or feeling super fab about my body- I know my little black dress will always be a winner. Black will always make me look slim, 2. Everybody loves black, can’t go wrong really and 3. It’s perfect for whatever occasion! Parties, birthdays, a date with a fine gentlemen. I mean whatever, this is a winner! Mine is sleeveless strappy and knee length and I love

4. The Red lipstick (Rouge allure baby)
This is a funny one- when I was a teen red lipstick never suited me. But as I get older, OmG I love! It’s just so beautiful- I think the colour red is quite bold so it suits more women than it does girls. It was just two years ago, one of my best friends gave me the Chanel Rouge Allure for my birthday and I would save it for special occasions- Now I wear it whenever I feel like it (which is a lot) I feel so chic with it! I can wear a plain outfit, keep my make up minimum and put on some red on my lips and it will brighten up any look. Take time finding your perfect shade, my skin colour is quite tanned and golden so I opt for deeper reds than the brighter ones.

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5. Big Diva Sunglasses
A few years ago, I was heading out to lunch with an older friend of mine- someone I look up to. She pops on her sunglasses and is like, ‘I can’t believe people leave the house without their sunglasses’. Thinking to myself, I was like what is she on about? We live in England, the sun doesn’t come out often- but boy, was I wrong…
Regardless of a big bright St tropez sun or not, a girl should always have a decent pair of sun glasses, something that suits her face well. Mine are life saving-If I don’t want to put on make up, I hide behind them. If I want to avoid someone when I am out during the day, I hide behind them- if I am hungover…guess what? I hide behind them. I mean I love mine, they are a bit heavy and futuristic but boy, do I love them. Mine go with everything, in fact I want another pair but waiting for the right frame to show up.

So there we go, my 5 must haves! I have to say, I don’t believe in spending a fortune on these items. It doesn’t have to be designer to look good and I am a firm believer of that- some of my stuff sometimes are from topshop and uniqlo! Yes of course some items are worth investing in but I will usually save that for something I really want. Remember you can always look good with a £5.00 lipstick or a £50.00 lipstick; it’s all about what suits you and most importantly what makes you feel good.

My top 4 Brunch spots (London)

Brunching is a hobby for me- I actually live for it. Whenever my friends want to do brunch I always end up organising as I do have a  bit of a flair for picking fabulous spots with good food, in fact I really enjoy researching and finding out what’s hot in town…. Catching up in the sun with waffles and drinks, what more could a girl want on a Sunday? (nothing wrong with a bit of day drinking now and then) But on a serious note I thought I would post my top four spots especially with the summer around the corner.

1. Chiltern Firehouse:
Now I don’t know if is the enchanted courtyard, the decent menu or the lovely service but this is one of my all time faves. I always end up here with someone I adore like really close friends or family, I mean one can sit there for hours just eating fluffy pancakes whilst enjoying the sunshine  (when the sun does shine that is) or just have a glass of champagne on their sofas whilst relaxing in front of their fire place. Not to mention, the crowd is always super stylish- you literally feel like you are in a glossy magazine. We even made a little friend there on our last visit, a cute little Robin…now I didn’t except to see that in central London. Definitely recommend calling and booking for a table- and recommend the crab stuffed donuts too!
Address: 1 Chiltern St, London, W1U 7PA
Closest station: Baker Street

2. The Ivy Chelsea Garden:

The décor is just wow, it really is a secret garden inside and out with green furnishings and outdoor seating available too. I like how it always busy for brunch as well; Chelsea locals just stopping by for a delicious brunch. The menu is very much modern British, a bit of everything for everyone- from my favourite eggs royale to the lobster benedict. The drinks menu has a wide variety too, rose always seems to be a winner with us on our visits. The staff are lovely too, they always greet you with a big smile and make sure you have a pleasant time.

Address: 195-197 Kings Rd, London SW3 5EQ

Closest station: Probs Sloane square

3. Duck and Waffle:

Now if you are not afraid of heights then this is the place to especially be with it being on the 40th floor- the views are amazing, in fact London looks even more spectacular from that high up! Reservations are well worth making to ensure a table and if you are lucky, you may get one next to the glass walls with views to die for. A truly amazing city experience, I remember my first time here with a very close girlfriend of mine and we had such a delightful time, with so much sun around- how can you not?

Address: 110 Bishopsgate (Heron Tower), London, EC2N 4AY

Closest station: Liverpool street

4. Aubaine

There are a few of them in London but the one inside Selfridges on the women’s shoe floor gallery is super pretty  and of course so many pastries to chose from. Their brunch menu has everything from pancakes to French toast- their French toast are my favourite in town! So soft and filling! Every time I go to Aubaine I feel like I am in Paris- plenty of French cute families and not over priced either. Definitely one to visit for a casual yet chic brunch.

Address: a few around town (Selfridges, Marylebone, Mayfair, Broadgate circle)

So there you have it folks, my top 4 brunch spots in London for exceptionally good food and a beautiful atmosphere- I look forward to discovering a few more hidden gems, in the meantime I will probably be running around the park a few times so all those pancakes and waffles don’t catch up with me :(. Yolo!

Afternoon tea at the Ritz (Paris)

I went to Paris for the weekend (finally, I was missing it so much) and was absolutely ecstatic to get reservations at the Salon Proust for afternoon tea at the Ritz. 

The Ritz was going through a lengthy refurbishment and I was dying to visit as I had only heard good things about it but the wait was so worth it. If I had to chose one word to describe the Ritz in Paris; it would be regal. The hotel is based in the very glamorous Vendome area, where one might be tempted to go shopping as all ones favourite designer stores are available but I did control myself. For once.

My main objective was to try their afternoon tea which is not like our standard English afternoon tea which consists of scones and sandwiches. Their afternoon tea consists of biscuits, madeleines, cakes and other pastries. If you have a big sweet tooth like me, then this is the dream. A very beautiful tasty dream.

You can tell their Pastry Chef Francois Perret really is amazing at his craft of creating the most delicate yet so delicious pastries. You can even catch him popping in and out of the Salon Proust, the man has great attention to detail and you can see that in each of his creations. They have a grand fireplace which creates a warm atmosphere whilst you catch up with your bestie or family as well as a stunning hallway across with a lot of natural day light-

Per person it costs 65.00 euros but I think it is a small price to pay for a luxurious setting, delightful cakes and a very welcoming service. Can’t wait to back.

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My night time skin care products I am lovin’

Long time no post but I finally had some time to write up on my favourite night time  skin care products that I feel are a must on your dressing table. I know it is so annoying after a long day or an evening out to come home and take off all your make up but this stuff  is so important after all that polluted air and in reality it literally only takes me fifteen minutes every night. Below are my faves;

1. Sephora’s Miscellar Water (Eau micellaire demaquillante)

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This is by far the best make up cleanser I have ever used. I wear make up most days and this is a saviour! With just one stroke with a cotton pad (from Boots) and all my make up is gone. I do wash my face after which gives me panda eyes and with just one swipe under my eyes all my mascara and  liner is gone. So I got mine from Paris and keep topping it up whenever my French friends go to Paris for the weekend, not sure if it is available here but in euros it is 13.95

2.   Lancome Tonique Doucer with Rose water-

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Oh wow, I have been using this for a few months now and this is just beaut. This so hydrating after a long day! Toners are so important to minimise pores and smaller pores means less toxins settling in your skin. This also helps remove any little make up which may be left on your face. I am a big believer in if you take the time to put on all that make up then you gotta make the time to take it all off. This is great, a little pricey but I will definitely buy again.

£36.00 (400ml)

3. Nivea creme

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Ah this is a classic. I don’t believe you have to have the most expensive moisturiser! It really just depends on what suits your skin and as a kid I have been slathering this on my face generously. It is rich and creamy and just reminds me of my childhood so I am going to stick to it. Really moisturising and always a winner. Available at most stores! Me and my whole fam are obsessed with it

£2.99

4. Shiseido benefiance eye cream

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I have been using this one for a year now and I absolutely love it. The packaging is so cute and feels so luxurious against your skin- it just glides on. The best part is you don’t even need a lot; you perhaps need a drop of it under your eye and it is enough to go round. Ok, so it is a little pricey but it will last you absolute ages! I bought mine in New York and our love affair is still going strong so it is a winner in my books.

£55.00

To call or not to call?


I remember being 14/15 and literally spending all my free time on my phone- just talking to my friends for hours and hours about what annoying homework we had that week and the new Josh Hartnett movie we just had to see. Then you got a little bit older and you got your first boyfriend and you would spend all night talking to him about absolutely nothing or watch MTV’s Catfish together till one of you fell asleep (Don’t pretend you didn’t used to do that too

Then as teenagers we got our first mobile phones (a pink samsung flip phone in my case LOL) and calls became into texting and texting became into whats appingI was having dinner with a dear friend last weekend and he and I were discussing how nobody actually calls each other anymore, unless it was urgent and I mean really urgent.

It makes sense really- we aren’t in high school anymore and we are pretty busy so it is easier to reach each other via email or text but I don’t know I have always felt that there is something special about a phone call. It does feel that phoning someone has become somewhat of a taboo; my male friends admit to never calling a girl because they don’t want to seem ‘creepy’ and girls don’t call guys nowadays because they don’t want to be labelled as ‘crazy’ either

Which to me all just sounds a tad bit insane! Let me explain why-

I quite like it when my friends call me instead of texting back and forth where to meet and
what time, it just makes everything a lot easier and faster. I don’t have an issue with texting, some people are shy and a typed up text is an easier way to express themselves but if the text is interpreted in a wrong way then it can also pretty much ruin things (happens to me ALL the time lol)

There is just something a lot more meaningful with a phone call, hearing someone’s voice; whether it is your mom  calling up on to check  up on you or your partner calling you to tell you that he/she misses you. I mean a phone call can go either way really- either you make quick plans or you end up talking for absolute ages and there are no misunderstandings.

A ‘Hi, How are you?’ text with a boring emoticon can be a nice gesture but I think a phone call with your voice asking how someone is, is far more endearing. I love it when my phone rings and it is a girlfriend calling to tell me some juicy gossip or even better some guy who you exchanged numbers with because I think whilst my phone is flashing that OK he’s confident- I like it.

But maybe I am just old fashioned and prefer a ring then the same old ‘What you upto?’ text. It’s just a thought

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Running around town in Nike Flyknit!

Don’t you just hate it when your favourite running shoes are ruined forever? I had a cute pair but sadly their time was up; so last month I was on a mission to find the perfect running shoes. I never really do my homework when it comes to sporty gear so decided to ask my brother for help since I am such a girly girl. So I was quite glad when I forced him to go shopping with me otherwise I would have walked out with yet another pink pair.

I explained to him that I wanted something specifically for running not to mention my dance classes during the week and I really wanted a pair that looked cute too. He suggested we get me some Nike Free RN Flyknit, he has a few pairs so I thought may as well try them out for myself.

They were for £105.00 but that’s OK I mean you want a pair that is decent and going to last you for a good amount of time. I have had them now for just about three weeks and I have used them quite a lot and I can honestly say so far so good. Running in them is more than comfortable and I like how they are so easy to move around in which is what they are designed to do. The fit for me personally is great, I definitely feel like the modern Cinderella with her perfect shoe!

Not only are they super light, flexible- they also look pretty good. You can get them in different colours of course but I got them in black so I could wear them often with all my gym outfits. I have a tendency of hanging about in my gym clothes over the weekend so I thought may as well get some black running shoes to complete look. I even wore them to brunch last weekend and it felt great, especially when you want a break from heels.

Of all the running shoes, I have had, these are the best. I honestly feel like I am walking on comfy pillows. This is probably the foam they have at the bottom, the white bit of the shoe. I also like how the top of the shoe has these little circle shaped holes which allow your feet to breathe, Nike really was thinking about all sorts of details when making this pair…and us girls, well we are always thinking about the details! The fact that they are so light, they are great for carrying around in your gym bag or whatever which is pretty convenient for you girls on the go. The last thing you want is a chunky pair to carry around-

Running in them is a fantastic experience, everything feels a lot easier and I guess that is because they are quite bendy. I highly recommend them if you are looking for a new year running pair! Here is the link if you want them too;

http://store.nike.com/gb/en_gb/pd/free-rn-flyknit-running-shoe/pid-10943360/pgid-11266210

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Life after my mobile phone

Mobile phones, where would we be without them? They can do almost everything for you these days and we depend on them for so much, perhaps far too much.

You see it on the street, in the shops, sometimes annoyingly in the cinema too that sky3everybody’s attached to their phone looking like they are dealing with something urgent. But usually you can see them flicking through their whatsapp conversations, Instagram or their face book news feed. Sometimes I even see couples sitting across each other just checking their phones not even speaking to one another.

I am always on my phone whilst I am out. I don’t know why either (tagging my friends in annoying cat memes probably) I thought I had to break this vicious cycle because I was starting to feel that my phone owned me. I had this irrational need to reply to every message I got which was starting to give me anxiety so I thought why not leave my phone home every time I go out? I mean what’s the worst that could happen.

I thought of excuses like what if someone really needed me- but then I thought my loved ones would know how to reach me anyways. Then I was like, OK but what if there was an emergency and I need my phone but then I thought people back in the day survived without their mobiles and I sure as hell survived at 15 when I didn’t have one. So I decided to leave it alone one day and just get on with it.

So crazy right?

I have to admit I am actually having a nicer time without my mobile phone. I am listening to my friends when I am with them and appreciate all their endearing facial expressions that come with the conversation.  sky2My tube journey was when I would catch up on social media but now I am now catching up on my reading and instead of taking pictures of my delicious lasagna I actually get to eat it…whilst its warm.

I was reading all these studies online on how millennials are always on their phones and it made me ask myself why? I still remember when I went to Ibiza and I dropped my phone in the ocean whilst taking pictures and my reaction when it wouldn’t turn on. There were tears, there was sulking and so much anger! My £700 phone gone forever! Looking back now I realise it wasn’t such a big deal because I was on holiday and I still had a good time even though my phone refused to work.

It’s just so much nicer to catch up with friends or family face to face instead texting back and forth all the time. I honestly thought I would have a panic attack without my phone but I really didn’t- However, I did miss the camera, not going to lie. I do love a good insta moment- but it’s just so much nicer to capture a sunset with your own eyes rather behind your camera’s lens.

I think the mobile phone has become a security blanket hasn’t it? A lot of people nowadays like to appear important maybe feel needed, so they’ll keep their phone in their hands whilst waiting for the bus or if they are at a bar waiting for someone to avoid any awkwardness. Yes one may be busy or need to be reached by a phone call but if it is 9pm on a Saturday and you are out with friends and you can’t put your phone away then something isn’t right.

I think mobile phones are great but going forward I will only be using them to make plans or to talk and to take selfies, of course! Life’s just a lot more beautiful with eye contact and actually living in the moment.

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P.S My new pretty pink Iphone 6S case (pictured on the top right) is from TOPSHOP for £18.00

The glitter moves around- so girly

Betty’s Afternoon Tea (York)

My best friend from University and I decided to catch up in York over the holidays which meant I could finally try the very famous afternoon tea at Betty’s.

I believe the original opened in 1919 in Harrogate. It is family owned and only available in Yorkshire (Harrogate, York, Harlow Carr, Stonegate, Ilkley and Northallerton). We went to the cafe in York at around 12 perhaps a 10 minute walk from the station- Now they don’t take reservations so there was a small queue, but by the time we were seated the queue was so long, that I was so glad that I wasn’t the one waiting outside…

We were seatg1ed by the window (joy!)- it was quite busy inside too but the service was on point. The café was quite spacious with glass windows surrounding so we had a lot of sunlight. We had the standard breakfast tea since we are not so adventurous but we did go for their traditional afternoon tea
It consisted of;
• Sandwiches
• Scones
• Pastries
• Cakes…(chocolate for me of course)
• Roughly spent £20.00 each-
I can see why there isn’t a single bad review out there- the cakes are delightful; the service is kind and the location is beautiful. Betty’s knows exactly what they are doing when it comes to traditional afternoon tea.

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Address;

6-8 Helen’s Square
York
YO1 8QP

My 2016

I don’t know where the year went. It was a tough year for me, I walked in to 2016 wining and dining at Sexy fish with the girls excited only to be super drained due to some bad experiences. It was bit of a dramatic year wasn’t it? We had the Brexit in the summer whilst I was on holiday, then my flatmate moved away(that’s never fun) and then I even had the flu in October (nightmare by the way..complete nightmare)

My close ones know me as this cheerful, geeky girl but by early summer I had completelyl1 shut down. Closed myself off completely- it came to the point that I was so disappointed that I just didn’t want to meet anyone new since my trust was broken in people. I mean once you’ve received 200 messages like example 1 on the right- you just get fed up and you don’t want to know.
One shouldn’t paint everyone with the same brush but sometimes a girl has to wonder when every guy she meets seems to have one agenda. Anyways, dismissing sexually deprived losers is not the problem – the problem was and is how my attitude had completely changed.

What did I learn though? I learnt a lot-

  • I learnt a man/woman who is insecure will always makes you feel bad and put you down. I learnt I cannot pretend to be stupid or less confident to make my partner feel better. It’s exhausting. Never lower your standards-
  • I learnt travelling is a great distraction but it doesn’t fix problems because they are still waiting for you when you get back
  • I learnt that you don’t have to be friends with everybody. Stick with the few who love you and inspire you. Quality over quantity-you don’t have to save everyone.
  • But most of all I learnt that just because you’ve had bad experiences doesn’t mean you have the right to treat people in a bad way. Because let’s be realistic not everyone is a douchebag

I think when your trust is broken, the natural reflex is to push everyone away even if their intentions are pure. Eventually you end up creating this dismissive personality which came out of nowhere- but not because you want to hurt anyone but because you want to protect yourself.

We live in a big city, obviously now and then we are going to meet individuals who we should have no business with but a few good words here and there, you are sold. This applies to friendships too, at some point in your life you are going to meet characters who want something from you and pretend to like you but that is when your filtering process should sharpen up.

So my birthday came around towards the end of the year and boy was I spoilt. Spoilt AF. Not trying to show off but my point is yes I met some bad people but boy, I ay1m blessed to know a lot more good people. Flowers, dinner parties, champagne nights from both my guy and girlfriends- and most of all the most beautiful words (and they didn’t really have a clue to what I was going through on the inside)

It is so easy to forget about your blessings in life but sometimes you have to go through some up and downs to remember everything else around you.  The important things.

I decided in the new year I am going to go back to my cheerful self, who used to like to meet new people, the girl who always had a mischievous smile for no reason- I am not saying go back to being stupid but to enjoy life and do all the things I want with an open heart. We should never let others affect our attitude in life, most of all we should never let someone else’s insecurities affect us. Life’s too short.

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What a profile of a‘douche’ looks like;

Unfortunately, I did spend a lot of 2014 on these countless dating apps available on our phones, looking for Prince charming, you know true love and all that shizzle. Now if my bestie R was here, she would lecture me asking ‘Why on earth would you waste your time on a hook up app?’

b2But I didn’t want to believe it because I am such a ‘Charlotte’ -you know the naïve Charlotte from Sex and the City so I thought no! I am going to give it a chance but I didn’t know the big city had a lot of wannabes to offer. Please let me enlighten you to what a douche really appears to be like and says.(Also please note that the following are just my opinions and some people actually find true love on these apps just not me because I am a sleaze magnet);

Now a dating app douche has the same kind of photos in London city;

  1. The Skiing photo; Here he has some mediocre photo of himself on the slopes to highlight that he is in fact ‘adventurous’  on those alps- congratulations. Oh and we can’t really see the face either- so you may be surprised when you meet him face to face
  2. The Boat photo: you know that boat he rented with his 7 other male friends
  3. The Wedding photo: He is looking into the distance somewhere but he is most likely in a suit so wants to show that ladies, he can suit up ok if the occasion needs be.
  4. A photo with a kid– this is a classic, ‘oh I am so good with kids, I am such a family man’ Bullshit, he probably hasn’t even called his own dad in a month-Don’t fall for that one.
  5. The Bottle Photo– you know with the motto, ‘bottles and models’ only. Sheer class

A dating app douche will also have some vague job title. I am not saying his job title is important but he should be proud of what he does or at least honest. I mean if he is an artist, he should say he is an artist, if he is a waiter, he should say he is waiter because women like honest and genuine guys but hey Linkedin reveals the truth in the end anyways. But here are the below I always see;

  1. Founder– founder of what? Your attic in your flat? I am so confused.
  2. Investment Banking– Ok but like what? Not everyone in Investment Banking is an Investment banker but hey whatever helps their ego sleep at night. Only Investment analysts i.e M&A and Fund managers are Investment bankers to me, educate me if I am wrong.
  3. Owner- Owner of what again? Your collection of socks? Congratulations, then I am an owner too. Better yet, call me CEO of socks.

Now the profile descriptions are always quite similar too;

  1. ‘Ambitious guy looking for fun’- Now if you are so ambitious I would have seen your photo on Forbes, no need to tell us
  2. ‘Hey! New in London looking for a fun girl to show me around!’- Great, another tourist I have to tell to stay on the right hand side of the escalator, what an ideal Saturday evening. Not to mention you will have to show him where the best cocktail bar is- great, just great. Nothing worse than a guy who can’t even show YOU the lady around.
  3. DTF– Like seriously, why? Just why? Do girls actually respond to this? I don’t get it.
  4. ‘Live, Laugh.etc;- Just kill me now, the corny quotes, just kill me.

Exciting stuff really.

The above are the common themes I seem to see on most dating apps on my phone and so have my girlfriends actually. To be honest, it is all just a tad ridiculous and I love to share my experiences  whether they are good or bad with people, so perhaps they can learn from my mistakes or even get a giggle out of it.

Or even better, save that expensive Chanel rouge allure lipstick for a good man, an authentic man- a man whose originality just gives you butterflies and makes your heart skip a beat.b2