Monday, 30 April 2012

Automat, Mayfair.

Yesterday I went for lunch at Automat on Dover Street in Mayfair with Max. It was the first time I'd been there, and I was impressed! It calls itself an American Brasserie, and boy did it deliver! The menu was packed with eggs and steak, pancakes, waffles, burgers, and all sorts of other yummy American dishes. 

I had the pancakes (no surprise there) with maple syrup and blueberries, and (as I do most places) I also had french fries on the side, with Automat's sour cream and chive dip. Not only were the pancakes HUGE, covered in fresh blueberries and drizzled in lashings of maple syrup, but the sour cream and chive dip was heaven!! I'm a bit of a sour cream addict, and I think this one was the best I've tasted in a long time. 

Inside the brasserie is a mix of European and American, with a European style cafe/restaurant area, which leads through to an American diner style 'railway carriage' with booths, which then leads through to a lovely airy and light conservatory area.

The only issue with this place was the space. It was packed and all of the tables were super close together, so you felt like you were sitting on the same table as complete strangers. Would have been nice to of had more room. Also some of the meals were quite pricey, with the fries as a side being £4.50 just by themselves, but my pancakes were £10, which I think is OK. 

- Fast service
- Good food
- Attractive decor
- Amazing sour cream (which will always earn extra plus points from moi!)

- No 'freedom' to move
- Pricey

Apologies I didn't take photos as I didn't have my Camera, but here are some off good ole Google;

Automat, 33, Dover Street, Mayfair

The Railway Carriage seating area

Automat on Urbanspoon Square Meal

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Sake No Hana, St James'.

Last night some friends and I went for drinks in our usual Mayfair. We were going to go to Dukes Hotel, but there was a wedding on so they didn't have any tables left *sob*.

As it was pouring with rain we headed to the nearest bar - Sake No Hana. Sake No Hana is actually the restaurant upstairs, but their bar is Ni Ju San, which means '23' in Japanese (their address is 23, St James) and is located downstairs.

Anyway, so we went in and it was empty, but it gradually started filling up as people had drinks before heading upstairs for dinner. It had the most wonderful modern and 'trendy' fusion atmosphere inside, and tasty and unusual cocktails.We all had a great time, it was a very relaxing evening with fantastic company and the staff were also excellent! If you're looking for somewhere different to go, I'd definitely recommend this place!

Enjoy the photos...

Me studying the menu intensely...

Japanese Wine which is called 'Sake'
The bar

Amy and I

My cocktail :)


Thursday, 26 April 2012

Bakers Delight Cheese and Bacon Twist.

As many of you know, I lived in Australia for a couple of years when I was 16 and went to school out there. One of my favourite things about Aus is the food culture, they have the most incredible restaurants, seafood, cafes and bakeries. Although I prefer the little country bakeries selling their own home-made pies (we used to rate each one we visited out of 10...Pinjarra, Harvey and Augusta did the best pies every time!), I also love the chain bakeries like Bakers Delight. 

My all time favourite product from there is the Cheese and Bacon Twist. Well after going for 9 months without any, I've had enough, and instead of waiting until I next go home in November, I've decided to make my own. Now, again, as many of you know, I can't bake, so this should prove interesting. Anyhow, I thought you lot might also like to try this taste sensation, so here's the recipe! If you make it blog it and send me the link! :)


Panasonic Lumix GF3.

Today I bought the Panasonic Lumix GF3. You can currently buy it with the twin lens kit from Jessops for just £299.95. I really wanted it in red, but no where was selling the twin lens kit in red, so I had to settle for black :'( sad times!

I'd been wanting the GF3 for absolutely yonks, so decided to get it with some birthday money, and I'm SO happy with it so far! I have a Nikon DSLR and a Nikon coolpix compact, but the compact just isn't good enough for me. I got it a couple of years ago for only £99, and I can see why - despite decent reviews, it's pretty awful. It's been fine for carrying around in my handbag for quick snaps, but the quality really is dreadful compared with my DSLR. 

I wanted something in-between a compact and my DSLR; something that was small enough to carry around in my handbag, but that was good quality and produced photographs similar in quality to my DSLR. I'd read heaps of reviews on both the GF2 and GF3 and after testing both in-store I opted for the GF3, as I found it more user-friendly, lighter, and easier to hold. I'm a little bit addicted to cameras, I have quite a few. So far I own;

Digital cameras;
Nikon D40X
Panasonic Lumix GF3
Nikon Coolpix
Fujifilm XP10

Film cameras;
Praktica LTL
Praktica MTL
Rollei B35
Kodak Brownie

I think I have an addiction.

Here are a few of my favourite photos from the LTL, Lumix and D40X (all photographs are copyright and must not be used without permission and link-back);

Praktica LTL;

Oranges in the garden in Australia

Sculpture at Vasse Felix Vineyard, WA

I see you!

Lumix GF3;

My birthday cake!

Dylan! How can you say no to those puppy dog eyes?!

My mum's garden gargoyle - always makes me laugh!

Nikon D40X;

Koala at Caversham Wildlife Park, 2008.

Jug in Hong Kong, 2008 (edited by myself, the camera doesn't come with colour selection)

Jonty Howley from 'The Dirty Chimes' performing at Guilfest 2010

Andrew Brown and Rick Parfitt, performing as Status Quo at Guilfest 2010

Taba Heights, Egypt. 2011


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Twenty First Birthday.

Last Wednesday I turned 21 - wooo! Sadly I was really sick on my birthday, I've had that cold/bug thing that's going 'round at the mo and it was making me feel rather rubbish. But I was determined to have a good day! So I went for brunch with my best friend at Giraffe in Guildford, we had the pancakes with banana, blueberries and maple syrup. Anywhere I go for breakfast or brunch I ALWAYS have the pancakes - I love love love them! Then I headed into central London to see the matinee of Les Miserables...for the 6th time, hehe. Then finally I went for dinner at Le Caprice with my parents and brother :)

On the Friday after my birthday Bella and I had a joint birthday party at the Royal Automobile Club, which was super fun!

My birthday pancakes at Giraffe
Le Caprice was absolutely incredible! The restaurant itself was classy and elegant, and oh so art deco. The staff wonderful, they were all so friendly and couldn't do enough for us. And the food - divine! I had the deep fried fish with chips and tartare sauce for main, and rhubarb and apple pie for dessert. I only had two courses because I really wasn't feeling well enough for three, but the rest of my family had three, and they all agreed that it was delicious!

I can't remember what the others had, I do remember that my Dad had some unusual dishes (one included bone marrow and rabbit!?) and my Mum had the Suffolk Lamb for main. My fish was perfect, huge piece of fish, with the most perfect light and crispy batter! And it was surprisingly good value, we were ordering what we wanted and not worrying about cost, but it ended up being very reasonable. I would recommend booking early though, as they do get very busy. My parents were so impressed with the restaurant that they booked there and then to have dinner there again, with friends in a few weeks time.

My birthday dessert at Le Caprice - Rhubarb and Apple Pie with Custard
On the Friday I had my birthday event with my friends, I had a joint celebration with my friend Arabella as our birthdays are really close together. We went to the Royal Automobile Club with around thirty of our close friends, and had champagne and a huge frosted cake from the Hummingbird bakery, which was very kindly given to us by Immanuel. 

We were supposed to go to Kensington Roof Gardens afterwards but I was just too sick and went home to my nice warm bed. After staying in bed all weekend I'm feeling much better now (although I lost 4kg just last week because I was so sick - couldn't keep any food down), so I'm hoping to make up for my 'soft' 21st last week by going out clubbing this weekend! Especially since I officially finished University yesterday when I handed in my final assignment - double celebration!

Both of us cutting our cake together! It's quite useful having a friend who's a photographer, I really love this shot. The below photos are from someone going around with my terrible compact camera :/

Everyone enjoying the cake and champagne at the RAC
Arar doing all the work and cutting the cake while I discuss important things with friends ;)

Arabella and I - birthday girls!
Her boobs are huge and very grab-able ok! Don't judge!
Despite being sick I had a wonderful birthday week and was VERY spoilt!

What did you do for your 21st? 
And if you've been to Le Caprice let me know - I'd love to know your thoughts on it!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Anaya London.

Friday night some friends and I went to the nightclub, Anaya, in London. This club has recently been refurbished and is on Swallow Street in Mayfair (just opposite Waterstones on Piccadilly). It's been rumoured as the 'up and coming' celebrity club, with Drake performing there last week! We were on the Capital A List guestlist, so at 10:30pm strolled along and queued up. After getting in we went over to the Capital A List table, where there was free-flowing vodka and mixers. We had a fantastic night and the music was great - old school R&B, which was interesting haha! It was also the official launch party of the GNA 'Inhibitions' single, so we got to hear GNA performing it live. 

We got there really early and it was very quiet in there until about 11:30/midnight when it got busy. The club itself is quite small, and it has a lot of blue lighting! But it was very clean (always an important thing!) and despite being small there was room to move and dance without being pushed around by other people. Like most clubs there were professional photographers going around from various PR and promoter companies. We had a great night and would definitely visit Anaya again, and I'll be sure to use Capital A List in future as they were fantastic!

After Anaya we went to Vingt Quatre (as usual) for pancakes and fries :)

Anaya before it got busy
Some of our group (I'm in the middle, lol)

CJ from GNA


Monday, 16 April 2012

Maybelline Falsies Mascara.

My usual and favourite mascara is the Lancome Hypnose Drama, but I'd heard good things about the Maybelline Falsies mascara, so decided to try it out. 

I wasn't that impressed with the Falsies mascara. I got the waterproof one, and it was THE biggest pain to get off at the end of the day! I used eye make-up remover, normal make-up remover, and cleanser, and it STILL wouldn't all come off! So I would then go to sleep, wake up in the morning, and my eyes would be all crusty and sore, and my eyelashes would feel stiff. 

My lashes would also be all out of shape and sticking the wrong way from where I'd slept and they'd stayed in that position from being stiff from the mascara - not a pretty sight! And it was so bad for getting off that when I went to put more mascara on the next day it wouldn't go on properly and would clump because there was still so much on from the previous day that hadn't come off. 

It did appear to lengthen the lashes and make them look thicker, and it's cheap.

Final Thoughts; I'm gonna stick to my Lancome, the cheapness of the Falsies just isn't worth the pain and stiffness of the lashes.

Have you tried this mascara? Did you have a similar experience to me or did it suit your lashes better?

Thursday, 12 April 2012

The Call - Short Horror Film.

Our final year horror film is finished (although it's more unnerving/psychological than horror). 
So, what are you waiting for? Watch it! And let me know your honest opinions :)


Wednesday, 11 April 2012

L'Oreal Lumi Magique.

I have done it! I have found a foundation that works for me - YAY! It's only taken 8 months! After trying many different foundations, both high-end brands and drug-store, I found the L'Oreal Lumi Magique. This foundation was only released a few weeks ago, and I picked it up in Boots while it was on special offer. I got it for about £7, but usually it's £10.99. You can buy it here

This foundation really is my favourite product right now, it is the perfect consistency - very light, and a liquid that goes on without being too heavy and creamy, and blends very well. It gives great coverage with two-three layers, and it feels like you aren't even wearing foundation. I also found the perfect shade for me (which doesn't happen very often!), the shade 'C1 - Rose Pearl' matches my skin tone perfectly, (my skin tone is NC20 - yeh, I know, I'm really pale). 

The foundation lasted a good few hours, although it lasted much longer with a powder to set it (I use MAC studio fix). On the bottle it claims it is 'light-infusing', which is definitely true, and it gives you a healthy glow and makes your skin look a lot less 'dull'. It also gives a nice 'dewy' effect, so it isn't too matte but it also isn't wet and oily. This is a very natural foundation, and the best I've tried for a long time, and if you use foundation a lot then this one doesn't break the bank!

Have you tried this foundation? What are your thoughts?


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Glossybox Harrods Edition - March 2012

I'm really really sorry for how belated this post is, but as you already know I've been really busy lately. Anyway, so the Glossybox Harrods edition was my very first Glossybox, and to say I was disappointed is an understatement. There were three different versions of the box, and I got the crap one, basically. It included 3 travel-sized products, and three 'samples' that you can get for free at any beauty counter in any store. 

The reason I was disappointed was because of the samples. This box was hyped up as being the 'luxury' box and being very 'Harrods'...the only thing in the box that screamed luxury and Harrods was the SK-II moisturiser, if three free cardboard samples is luxury! Two of the samples I have had for free from beauty counters before, so to pay £12 for the box only to get free samples and just three travel sized products instead of five, really disappointed me. 

Anyway, after sulking for a couple of days I decided to try them all out. The box included; Clarins Extra-firming body cream, Molton Brown bath & shower gel, SK-II skin signature, Valentina by Valentino sample perfume, Shu Uemura cleanser sample, and Lancome Hypnose Drama sample mascara.

The Clarins cream smells good, and seems like a good moisturiser, but because of the size of the sample I can't really tell if it actually does firm...and to be honest because of this I wouldn't spend the money on the full sized version.

The Molton Brown I love, but to be honest I love all MB products - they just smell so amazing! And this size really is perfect for travelling with - it has happily been added to my travel toilet-bag along with my Bulgari travel products :)

The SK-II moisturiser leaves the skin VERY soft, and lasts absolutely ages! The sample in the box was worth around £25, with the full size version being £120. The great thing is that you really don't need much of it to cover your face and neck, and it really does leave the skin velvety soft...although after a week of perfectly clear skin it made my skin breakout again after just 2 days of using it :( *sigh* so I wasn't too impressed with that! But if you don't have to be careful with what products you use, I think it would definitely be worth paying the full price for it.

Valentina by Velantino sample smells gorgeous, and I would definitely buy the full size of this.

The Shu Uemura cleanser I honestly haven't tried yet, as I do have to be really careful with what skincare products I use on my face, so I'm always a little apprehensive about what I use and trying new products (some products cause serious breakouts, whilst others cause eczema...which is not a pretty sight!). My skin is just far too sensitive to be able to experiment with heaps of different products...which kinda sucks. I'll do a little research on this cleanser before using it, especially as it's oil based, and then let you know my thoughts if I decide to try it.

I find the Lancome Hyponose Drama mascara mini's are always handy to keep in my mini make-up bag which then goes in my handbag, but I pick these up all the time for free from the counter, as it's actually my favourite mascara along with the Covergirl LashBlast, so I was disappointed that it was in the box I paid for. It is a fantastic mascara though and I would encourage everyone to buy the full version!

I really hope this months box is better than the March one, otherwise I think I'll be cancelling my subscription.

What box did everyone else get? What do you think of the products?


Saturday, 7 April 2012

Primrose Shoes.

On Thursday my Yull 'Primrose' shoes arrived. To say I was excited would be an understatement! Not only are they gorgeous and completely unique compared to shoes in high street stores, but they are also super comfy! I literally can't wait to wear these when the weather is nicer, and I've already picked out the outfits they'll go with :)

 I LOVE the fact they have the Union Flag on the bottom of them!

Soooo comfy!

What do you think?


Friday, 6 April 2012

Good Friday.

I really am slacking in the blogging department as of late! I have been away the past few days with the family at the Celtic Manor Resort in South Wales. We had a lovely time, despite the Spa being fully booked, and the food was much much better than the last time we went (we went to a different restaurant this time!) We also had a day trip to Cardiff! It was the first time my Dad had ever been, even though he is Welsh, so he loved the chance to visit his capital city. 

On Monday the 1940 US Census was released, so as well as being away I've also been trawling through that desperately trying to find relatives that seemingly disappeared after the 1930 Census with no death records or immigration records! Unfortunately I haven't found any yet, but it doesn't help that the entire record hasn't been indexed yet, so to have a chance of finding anything you really need to know the exact address they lived at. Also they haven't uploaded all of the images yet, so I haven't been able to search for the Montana relatives, just the Illinois and California ones. I really wish they had indexed it before releasing's so frustrating knowing that all of the information is there but you can't access it! It would take days to go through the millions of images on there. 

Happy Easter and Passover everyone, I hope you all have a lovely relaxed weekend with family and friends and gorge yourselves on chocolate/unleavened bread until you burst :) personally I can't wait to sink my teeth into a Cadbury's chocolate egg and finally get what I gave up for Lent!
Enjoy the weekend of church and chocolate, and remember the true meaning of Easter...


Sunday, 1 April 2012

Dollar Martinis and Archer Street Bar.

This past weekend has been a bit of a non-stop party. Friday night was a friend's birthday so we went to Dollar Grills & Martinis, before heading to 151 for some dancing after. Now, if you love cocktails - head to this place. Dollar's cocktails are Ah-mazing!

Their menu is extensive and they have some very 'interesting' one's on there; Raspberry and Chilli Martini anyone? or perhaps you would prefer the Rhubarb and Vanilla? I was driving so could only have one (the Strawberry Citrus - 'Ketel One Citron. Muddled with Fresh Strawberries, Limon-cello & Lemon Juice'), but I had a little sip of everyone else's as well, and they were all completely scrumptious!

Then last night we went to 5th View Bar and Archer's Street Bar, for another friend's birthday! 5th View Bar is the bar above Waterstones in Piccadilly, and was absolutely lovely. Comfy sofas, a great ambience, Prosecco, and wonderful views, made for a very good pre-drinks session before heading to Archer's Street.

Friends and I at 5th View Bar
Now, Archer Street HAS to be my new favourite place! It is I N C R E D I B L E. Upstairs you have a boutique feel bar with plush sofas, fresh flowers, a neutral colour scheme and a very 'swish hotel lounge' feel to it, and then downstairs you have more of a club vibe. We were downstairs first, but it was far too crowded and very hot, there was no room to even turn around from the bar let alone throw some shapes! So we headed upstairs and thank goodness we made the decision to do that!

It was brilliant, we drank far too much Grey Goose vodka, chatting and getting merry, before dancing on the tables until 1am and singing along with the bar staff to 'Proud Mary' before it closed. This bar has the most incredible vibe and atmosphere, all the staff are incredibly friendly, and they don't just let you have fun, but join in with you!! Fantastic! Definitely my new favourite bar and with it being in Soho (yes...I stepped out of my comfort zone), it's only a 10 minute walk from Mayfair, so I will be back there soon for sure.

The bar staff singing and dancing on the tables at Archer's Street Bar.
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