Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Christmas Treats

I ventured into town yesterday for some last minute Christmas shopping and I picked up a couple of small goodies. Admittedly I was meant to be buying gifts for my family, but I got a little sidetracked at the new Charlotte Tilbury counter in John Lewis - although I'm still deciding whether to give these to my sister or keep them for myself.

Side note: the Christmas card is actually a Topshop voucher. Happy Everything!

Charlotte Tilbury has been one of the most talked about high end cosmetic brands of 2015, and there's no question why - the packaging is beautiful and the brand screams Hollywood glamour: have you seen Charlotte's new store in Covent Garden?! Anyway I couldn't leave the counter without purchasing a couple of small indulgences.

I chose two of her cult products because I knew they wouldn't disappoint and they happen to suit my daily makeup look perfectly. Firstly, I opted for 'Bitch Perfect', a nude lipstick with slight peachy undertones. I have heard so much about this lipstick and so it was an obvious purchase for me. It has a smooth glossy finish when swatched, but as I said I might end up giving this to my sister so I haven't had the opportunity to wear it yet.

I also chose the Lip Cheat liner in 'Iconic Nude'. Famously coveted by Kim Kardashian, this brown shaded liner is velvety and creamy in consistency when swatched and I imagine it is not too drying on the lips and glides on well. It supposedly reshapes and enhances your lips seamlessly, so I can't wait to see what it looks like on.

I also managed to visit The White Company pop up store while I was in town to pick up a few scents and while I was there I was given a £10 voucher to use online. As far as I'm aware this is not exclusive to this store and is aiming to drive customers to their online site, so if you're a fan of The White Company I'd suggest a visit this week to see if you can pick one up!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Sketch & Pisco Sour

It's so blustery outside that I'm delighted to be writing this post from the comforts of my living room and the company of a cosy fireplace, fluffy blanket and my favourite green tea.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that my sister turned 21 recently, and so we decided to book Sketch for our celebratory meal. This was my first visit to the London gem and it didn't disappoint.

We chose to eat in the Gallery because look! It's one of the prettiest rooms I've ever had the pleasure of dining in. As you can see from the photos the entire room has a pastel pink and copper aesthetic with scalloped velvet booths and each wall covered in a collection of whimsical art drawings (I'm not gonna lie it's every girl's dream decor). The restaurant is inside a gorgeous Georgian town house in Mayfair and it pretty much screams decadence.

To drink we stuck to cocktails and for those visiting in the future, the Pisco Sours are delicious.
We also decided to skip starters and get straight to the main course. I chose the steak which came with a garnish of a sweetcorn puree topped with chorizo and squid, and my sister ordered the lamb chops with grated cheddar, green cabbage and lamb shoulder confit with dried fruits. We also shared sides of creamed spinach and dauphinoise potatoes.

The service was impeccable - all of our food arrived promptly and the staff were lovely and all very attentive.
We ended up sharing all of the dishes between us as both mains looked so delicious we couldn't make our minds up on which we preferred so we ended up tasting both. The lamb was beautiful and very tender. The steak was a little tough for my liking, although I did order it medium/well done and in hindsight I should've asked it for just medium instead. For a side I would definitely recommend indulging in the dauphinoise as they are the creamiest cheesiest goodness and will not disappoint, and the creamed  spinach is also really nice too.
We then ended our meal with macarons (our personal favourites). You can't really go wrong with macarons so of course they were really tasty.

It's also worth noting that our bill came in a gold sandpaper envelope which I seemed to appreciate more than most (I notice the details!)

And of course I couldn't write a blog post about Sketch without including a photo of their very famous toilets.

While I was in London I also got to visit one of my favourite bars, the London Cocktail Club. Also if you're in the Kentish town area I would recommend Boulogne Bar (it's upstairs in the Bull & Gate). They make a hellova' good lavender infused Pisco Sour. In fact it is thanks to Boulogne and Sketch that it is my new go-to cocktail.

This year has been somewhat of a struggle for me and the past few months have been especially hard so it's been nice to spend time with people I love.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Ghetto Geisha's all round!

Unfortunately, having been housebound for pretty much 3 months now, my life has been very dull, resulting in a lack of social life, or any life for that matter (cue the violins).

However, on those rare occasions that I have been able to leave the house, I took those opportunities to try to eat out and see my friends.

Last night I visited Mister Miyagis on Bold Street for the first time. I have only heard good things about this place and it has been described as 'ghetto Asian' so that alone prompted a visit from me. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience of MM - the staff were very friendly, the food was delicious and the cocktails were mouthwateringly good.

I visited with a friend, and we shared a couple of sushi dishes, opting for the California rolls as neither of us are particularly daring when it comes to sushi, and I ordered the minted lamb Yakitori with egg fried rice. This was just enough food for me as I left the venue feeling comfortably full. Here you can also see my cocktail of choice which was the 'Ghetto Geisha' - made with pineapple, coconut water, lychee, Havana 3 year rum and coconut rum. The closest taste I can compare it to for reference is probably a Pina Colada, and I mean who doesn't like Pina Coladas (and getting caught in the rain)?

Overall the service was great and the extensive menu has a lot to offer. The food is a little pricier than say if we were visiting our local burger joint, but that was expected and in my opinion worth it. I will definitely be visiting again soon!

Another place I managed to visit lately was Central Perk (also located on Bold St). Now this place is no news to anyone from Liverpool, especially as there is now TWO Central Perks in the city centre (whattttt...) however I thought this particular visit was worth mentioning because 1. Who doesn't like to channel their inner Rachel from Friends every now and again, and 2. Their red velvet cake is unbelievable. We also ordered two hot chocolates with mini marshmallows, cream and a flake on top because why not???
It probably comes to no surprise when I say I was on a massive sugar high that afternoon.

And last but not least, LOOK at my new ASOS boots! These are my favourite boots in my wardrobe and YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY PAIRS OF BOOTS. Truth be told I ordered these on a whim as my favourite every day boots had had their day and I needed a pickmeup. I actually ordered these in September but as I've been stuck on crutches since August I knew it would be a while before I could actually wear them (I've been living in my Nike's for 3 months now). But these are the perfect Winter staple - they go with almost everything. The heel is high enough to give a lift and look a little more put together, but not too high so I can still comfortably wear them daily, and they are slightly longer than my other ankle boots so they actually cut off just above my ankle which I love.

P.S. have you seen Spectre yet? I wasn't massively impressed tbh. I found it a bit cheesy and predictable. Also the scene with JB and the dark haired woman (I forgot her name) was so cringeworthy I couldn't handle all the weird sexual lip sucking action. Not sexy sorry Mr Bond.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Ice cream doughnut sandwich

I've visited Portland St 358 a few times over the past few months and I've really enjoyed it. And after visiting last night with a friend I thought it was worth writing about. The street food restaurant is relatively new and I only found out recently that it's part of Deliveroo in Liverpool too so I'm definitely looking forward to trying that out soon.

The atmosphere here is very casual and relaxed which I really enjoy and the menu caters to a variety of tastes. The food is affordable, the wait for our meal has never been too long, and the staff are always friendly.

I tried the Cajun dry rub chicken wings and sweet potato fries as my main which were really good as expected, but I must say it was the dessert I was most looking forward to.

Zomgggg! The dessert was unbelievable. We shared the ice cream sandwich as there was no way I could have eaten a whole one to myself after that meal, and it was so so delicious. I mean, obviously it was going to be - it's a heap of creamy vanilla ice cream sandwiched between 2 glazed doughnuts, covered in caramel sauce :O. I have also tried their cinnamon battered waffles with maple syrup and ice cream in the past, which also makes my mouth water even thinking about it. Although I have not been disappointed with any of the food I've tried here, I definitely think the desserts are what really hit the spot.
I also made my way through their extensive cocktail menu, which I enjoyed - although let me tell you, being drunk on crutches is a really bad idea.

Also, while I'm here can we just talk about Legend for a second?! I finally went to see it in the cinema on Sunday and really really enjoyed it. Hats off to Tom Hardy who manages to play both of the Kray twins without fault. Hardy is one of my favourite actors so when I heard he was cast for the role I couldn't wait to see it, and it didn't disappoint.

Friday, 2 October 2015

The Opposite of Loneliness

"I feel like we can do something really cool to this world. And I fear - at twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five - we might forget."

I first saw this book on one of those lists like '50 best Summer reads' or 'books you must read in your twenties' or something along those lines a few months ago and I screenshotted it for future reference, unaware of Marina Keegan's story. 
However, it wasn't until a month or two later when my friend was telling me about this new book she was reading and was filling me in on the author's story that it really stuck in my mind.

If you are unaware of Keegan's story then prepare to be deeply saddened. She died in a car accident in 2012, aged 22, just five days after graduating from Yale. This book is a collection of short stories and essays, curated by her loved ones in order to share her remarkable talent with the world. 
After reading this book I can honestly say that Keegan has one of the most engaging, authentic and thought-provoking writing styles I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. She perfectly represents our generation and I cannot think of another young author who does so in such a way. Reading this book I struggle to believe it is her only published work as she writes with the confidence and truth of an established author.

A lot of what Keegan writes really strikes a chord with me. A lot of it has to do with the fact that we have shared similar experiences and I am at the same stage in life as she was when she wrote many of her stories, particularly the non-fiction. There are many many parallels between her life and mine and her stories truly touched my soul in a way I have never experienced before. Even as I write this I am feeling rather emotional. I have goosebumps.

No book I have read has made me feel so alive. As you make your way through each story her lyrical style makes you contemplate your own life as well as humanity on a much larger scale. It has made me extremely grateful for my own privileges as well as extremely saddened that her life ended so shortly.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, but particularly to people in their early twenties and those who are at the end of their time at university or school and entering a new chapter in their life. Without a shadow of a doubt I have found this book to be life-changing. As I was reading this book, I was going through a very challenging time in my life and it really gave me perspective. 

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Widow Basquiat

Widow Basquiat by Jennifer Clement

Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I am inspired by a multitude of art forms (writing, fashion and art mostly). Jean-Michel Basquiat is an artist that I have been intrigued by for many years. I first came to know of him through my fascination with Andy Warhol (yet another artist of whom I am a massive fan). However, once I looked into Basquiat I became hooked on his work and just as importantly, his story.

Basquiat was an iconic artist of the 1980s whose life was drug and sex fuelled, in the midst of the chaotic New York party scene. I was naturally interested in the celebrity aspect of his life - his friendship with Warhol and even Madonna - and enjoyed a glimpse into that lifestyle.

The book centres around his love affair with Suzanne Mallouk - Widow Basquiat herself - who delivers a running commentary throughout the book. She was his muse, his lover and their complex and disturbing relationship is so interesting, it seems she is the key to understanding the complicated artist on a personal level.

The whole book is interpreted by Jennifer Clement, through Mallouk. The delivery of Basquiat's tragic story is raw, open and at times vulgar. I absolutely love that.

There is a jumbled kind of disconnect between each chapter and this is really reflective of the artist's journey. The memoir raises real, raw issues such as overdose, AIDS and STDs, and uncovers his unique, controversial views.

Basquiat died in 1988 aged 27 of a drug overdose. I'm sure you may have heard of the 27 club (a large number of famous creatives who tragically died at the age of 27 - those of which include Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse and Jean-Michel Basquiat amongst many others) This fascinates me and that alone is something to make me want to read a story such as this.

Widow Basquiat is poetic, it's strong, and it's fascinating.
I would definitely recommend this book.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Gucci, Alberta Ferretti, MaxMara & Fendi: MFW Highlights

Gucci AW 2015-16 Ready-To-Wear

I love the softness of this collection. It's young and it flows and has a free spirited feel to it. With the use of billowy chiffon and pleated skirts, it all has a very down to earth, 70s feel to it. I just really love the mix of contemporary 'geek chic' and retro.

Alberta Ferretti AW 2015-16 Ready-To-Wear

This collection has kind of a historic feel to it, like modernised Renaissance. I love the suede over the knee boots teamed with sheer, frilly dresses. I just think it's so high fashion, but so wearable at the same time.

MaxMara AW 2015-16 Ready-To-Wear

Inspired by Marilyn Monroe, this collection really is divine. With the backdrop of waves, similar to those infamous Marilyn photos taken by George Barris in the 60s, the whole show emanated sultry glamour. Everything just resembles Marylin, even the silhouettes with the pencil skirts and nipped in waists. I absolutely love it.

Fendi AW 2015-16 Ready-To-Wear

Wow. This is by far my favourite collection from MFW. Karl Lagerfeld really can't go wrong, can he?  I love the neutral tones and the unusual use of fur. There's just so much going on here, and it's all amazing - this collection really speaks for itself.