Sunday, 30 September 2012

The Providores and Tapas Room, Marylebone.


I first visited The Providores a couple of months ago, and didn't review it then because it was a bit of a 'surprise' visit - the guy I was dating at the time, Max, knew I would love the brunch there, so took me, but I had no clue where we were going until we got there. Anyway, he was right in the fact I would love it, and I loved it so much that I decided I needed to go back and review it properly (ie; with photos). I've been so busy lately I've only just had the chance to go back, so yesterday I headed there with the girls and we ate until we had Gregory's (a Gregory, for those who don't know, is a food baby). 


Located on Marylebone High Street, The Providores and Tapa Room is a New Zealand cafe/restaurant. The Providores is the more formal restaurant upstairs in the building, but I prefer the casual feel of the downstairs 'Tapa Room'. They both carry the same menu's, they're just different settings. The brunch menu is available from 10am-3pm in the Tapa Room and 11am-2:45pm in The Providores.


I had my second favourite brunch dish after pancakes; sweet french toast. The one on the menu comes stuffed with banana and pecans, with bacon and vanilla syrup, but I like to mix it up a little and be a little bit of a pain for the chef. I order it without the bacon, and with the vanilla spiced figs (you usually get them with the fruit salad) instead. I then add a dollop of greek yoghurt to it. And walla! The perfect sweet french toast! It's literally like heaven on a plate, and the mix of flavours is just sensational! I really don't understand why they don't already have this combination on the menu.



Sarah also had the french toast, but she had it as it came, with the french toast, banana and pecan in the middle, and bacon.


Jane had the Grilled Chorizo with a soft boiled organic egg, and it looked absolutely amazing! She said it was perfect and just what she wanted.


If you're looking for somewhere a little different for brunch in London, you have to come here! They have something for everyone, and the atmosphere is just wonderful. If you fancy taking a look at their menus or making a booking, head to their website.

What's your favourite brunch dish? Are you a sweet or a savoury?

Providores on Urbanspoon Square Meal
SHARE:

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Tresemme Keratin Smooth Hair Conditioner.


After my terrible experience with Sun-In, which completely destroyed my hair, I ran to Superdrug and picked up the Tresemme Keratin Smooth Treatment Masque. I needed something that would repair my hair, and fast. I was fed up with the straw-like hair sun-in had left me with, and I wanted my silky smooth locks back. I grabbed the Tresemme Keratin Masque because I was in a rush to get to work...and it was on special offer. Plus it said intensive on the pot. And, well, it's amazing.

I followed the instructions and left it on for about 3 minutes, and after just one use I could already feel the difference. My hair no longer resembled a bale of hay, and felt reasonably 'normal' again. I've now been using it for over a week, and although it isn't 100% back to being normal, I'd say it's 90% back. I'm guessing another week or so of intensive conditioning and leaving the hair dryer and straightener alone, and it'll be back to 100% normal. If this product can do this to my chemically damaged hair, then I'm pretty sure it can do wonders for just normal but dry hair, or heat-damaged hair. I think I'm going to pick up the shampoo and conditioner from the same range next time I'm near a Boots or Superdrug, and I'm pretty sure they're all still on special offer, so give it a try, and let me know your thoughts :)

SHARE:

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Bucks Club Dinner With Lord Black.


Last week was the Young Stationers black tie dinner at Bucks Club, the club where Bucks Fizz was created! We had a champagne reception before a sumptuous three-course dinner in the beautifully intimate dining room. Lord Black of Brentwood attended and gave a talk on the Leveson enquiry and what it means for the media. For those of you who don't know, Guy Black (aka Lord Black) is the CEO of the Telegraph media group, so the talk he gave was really interesting and he's a fantastic speaker - very engaging and easy to listen to. 

It was a very sophisticated evening - none of the debauchery that usually entails, so I'm afraid this may be a slightly boring post, but it was a nice change! For those of you who are interested I wore my blue Reiss dress that I also wore for the Jubilee Dinner (the one like Kate Middleton's). Anyway, enough talking! Enjoy the photos - all of which are courtesy of Chris Hanges as my battery ran out.







Lord Black seated in the middle




The very yummy menu!


Lord Black talking about the aftermath of the Leveson Enquiry


Are any of you in the media? What do you think of the Leveson enquiry?

SHARE:

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Sun-In Hair Lightening Spray.


I feel awful for doing two bad beauty reviews in less than a week, but I guess the truth needs to be told! I promise I'll do a good review on Wednesday!

So a couple of weeks ago I got the Sun-In hair lightening spray, after a friend recommended it. I have blonde hair, which goes dark blonde in the winter and light blonde in the summer when it's had quite a bit of sun on it. I have never once dyed my hair or put any type of chemical on it before, I am a complete hair-dye-virgin, so to use sun-in was a huuuuge step for me! This summer has been such a wash-out that my hair has stayed dark blonde, and I honestly hate it. I miss it being light blonde with all my natural highlights in it, and I just don't feel that the dark blonde suits me or feels 'me'. So I turned to sun-in after seeing the great results it gave my friend with dark brown hair.
Here you can see the difference between my hair in the summer when I've been in a decent amount of sun, and in the winter (this isn't a before/after of the sun-in product, it's all my natural colouring that changes with the weather. The light haired photo was taken a couple of years ago, and as you can see I was pretty tanned too, and the dark haired one where I'm as pale as a ghost was last week). 

Now, sun-in is for blonde to dark brown haired people, it is not for those with black hair as it will turn it ginger. My friend E used the gentle one, and as it worked on her dark brown hair, it should work on my dark blonde hair, right? Wrong. It didn't work. At all. I followed all of the instructions religiously, and after it didn't work the first time, I tried it for a second, and third time. Despite blow-drying and straightening my hair after all three attempts (it works with heat), it didn't make my hair lighter at all! Yet it worked after just two tries for E! So weird.


And the worst part? It completely damaged my hair. I used to have beautifully silky soft and shiny hair from never using chemicals on it, and after I used sun-in (which contains hydrogen peroxide), it became straw-like; very knotty and dry, and just generally felt rough and absolutely horrible! I threw the bottle straight in the bin, and went out to buy intensive conditioners, and thankfully I chose one with keratin in it so after a few uses of it my hair is now back to it's normal shiny, silky smooth self. I'll do a separate review post on that conditioner because I'm SO happy I've found it - it's the best one I have ever used, and doesn't break the bank! So keep an eye out for that review - it'll be up Wednesday :)

So, a word of warning; unless your hair is used to chemicals, be very careful when using this product. 

SHARE:

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Pinterest.


I've had Pinterest for a while now, but I've never really used it...until now. I'm literally obsessed. I thought I'd share with you some of my favourite pins so far. I have 15 boards; photography stuff, accessorize it, it made me giggle, back in the day, in my spare time, hair styles, cute animals, food porn, quotes, beautiful dresses, automobiles, favourite places & spaces, things I love, and books worth reading. If you fancy following my link is pinterest.com/catherinelux, and I'll always follow back :) after all, the more you follow, the more awesome pins you discover!

I think my favourite boards are 'Back in the Day' (a board full of vintage photos, fashion and adverts), 'Quotes', and 'Beautiful Dresses', but saying that I'm addicted to all of my boards and finding more pins to pin to them. And I'm loving all of the amazing food recipes you can find! Anyway, here are some of my favourite pins!

This made me laugh SO much!

...as did this!

Smores Cookies - amaaazing!

Absolutely beautiful classic Mercedes!
Zuhair Murad Couture Fall 2012


Such a cute hair style!
DIY home idea - change your Attic into a giant tent! Such a cool idea!
Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire Dancing
Dior 1950's
Dovima for US Vogue 1951
Vintage Nautical - LOVE this dress!
One of my hero's - Gene Kelly
Are any of you on Pinterest? What's your favourite thing to pin?

SHARE:

Friday, 21 September 2012

How To Make An Iced Chocolate.


There is one thing the UK is lacking. Iced Chocolate. You get these everywhere back in Australia, all the cafes and restaurants do them, and they're the easiest and tastiest drink ever.

All you need:
- A big glass
- Chocolate sauce
- Ice Cubes
- Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream
- Milk
- Whipped cream
- Dusting chocolate

Right, start by squeezing a load of chocolate sauce around the inside of the glass, and make sure to put a good sized dollop at the bottom of the glass. Then, put a few ice cubes in (but not too many - no one likes a drink full of ice!). After the ice get a nice big scoop of ice-cream (either vanilla or choc), drop it into the glass, then top up with the milk. Finally, swirl a load of whipped cream on top (you know the fuzzy stuff you get in a can), and finish with dusting chocolate powder onto the top. If you want it really chocolatey, stick a long spoon in and swirl together the milk and all of that chocolate sauce on the bottom.


Easy. Takes less than a minute, and you'll have an incredibly tasty and satisfying drink that's suitable all year round, especially if you're like me and not a huge fan of hot drinks.

SHARE:

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The Body Shop BB Cream.

I've been wanting a BB Cream for a while now as I've heard some great things about them, and after trying a sample of the Maybelline BB Cream and hating it, a friend recommended The Body Shop one. I'd seen her wearing it and her skin looked amazing so I thought it was a new foundation, then she announced it was just The Body Shop BB Cream with a little powder on top. We've been best friends since we were four, and we've always had the same skin type so of course I had to buy it and try it for myself!


So last week I headed into town and after talking to the lovely ladies in-store, I walked out with their BB Cream in shade 01 (they have three shades; 01, 02 and 03, with 01 being the lightest). The first thing I noticed about the cream was that it came out as a white liquid, and when blended onto the face turns into the colour of foundation (ie; beige). It smells a little weird, a bit clinical. And although it blends out imperfections such as those dark marks you get when a blemish is disappearing, it's just not enough coverage for me. It didn't cover or dull down the couple of red pimples I have at the moment, and I also really needed powder on top to 'set' the cream so my skin didn't look shiny. The worst part is that the colour is completely wrong, I have fair skin, but not overly fair, and the 01 shade (their lightest shade) looked orange on my skin! 



The Body Shop BB Cream would be perfect if you have clear skin and don't need a lot of coverage, and it's great for those with darker skin. But for those with fair skin and blemishes, it just isn't very good. Also it's £12.99, which for a 25ml high-street BB Cream I think is pretty pricey. After trying two bb creams and not liking them, I think I'm just gonna stick to my normal foundation for full coverage and the L'Oreal Lumi Magique foundation for light 'summer' coverage.

SHARE:

Friday, 14 September 2012

Raffles Re-launch & Dukebox First Friday.


Wednesday night after a couple of hours at the new London club Dukebox's launch party, the girls and I headed to Juju to meet some friends for drinks before heading across the road to Raffles to see the new refurb and celebrate Sophie's (AKA The Pink Fox) birthday! I was a little confused as to why Raffles did a refurb, as it looked great before, but stepping inside it was nice to see everything so fresh and clean, and they also have a new dance floor. 



Whereas before the dance floor lit up in different colours, it's now more modern and 'techno' with rows of lights lighting up and flashing rather than the entire dance floor. The dance podium is still there, as is the resident saxophonist! The bar looked the same but the tables and booths looked new and less tatty than before. 

We saw a couple of people from Dukebox there (clearly they were stalking us...*nods*), and Hugo Taylor and Natalie Joel from Made in Chelsea were on the table next to us. The Raffles team also made Sophie's birthday a great night, with drinks and cupcakes.

Sophie's birthday cupcakes!

If you fancy popping down to Raffles to see the new refurb for yourself, just say 'Pink Fox' on the door and if you're a fillie you'll get in for free! Guys are £10. 

After a nights' rest, my friend Katie and I headed back to Dukebox last night for the champagne reception and their first Friday night being open. 



We threw some shapes on the dance-floor...


And swung around the carousel pole...


My skirt is a little Topshop number from a couple of years go - I love the colours so much!



We met a couple of cool photographers who taught me some italian! They also took quite a few photos and promised to send them to me...*fingers crossed they actually do*


Beautiful Katie!
Katie and I on the carousel inspired dance podium

We spotted some very large bottles of Vodka in the fridge...so managed to persuade a lovely group of young men to get one for us


After hours of dancing our little socks off in Dukebox, we headed to the inevitable...VQ.


Katie had the VQ burger and fries, while I had my usual - buttermilk pancakes with a side of sweet potato fries and sour cream. 

It's been a heavy few days...excuse me while I curl up in a ball and sleep for the next week.

SHARE:
Blogger Template Created by pipdig