Friday, 30 November 2012

Christmas is Coming.


So I thought as Advent starts in a couple of days I'd do a little Christmas post! It'll be a mixture of what I've been doing in preparation for Christmas, from the lights in London to what's on my Christmas list, to what I love most about the holiday season! 


My list of what I love about Christmas!

- Spending lots of time with my wonderful family
- Buying lots of presents for everyone
- Watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and White Christmas
- Listening to the Andy Williams Christmas Album
- The lights, shopping, and holiday cheer
- Going around Harrods and Fortnum and Mason looking at the gorgeous decorations
- Chocolate. Duh.
- Mince Pies
- Snow *fingers crossed*
- My Grandma's home-made Christmas Pudding
- Dylan in his Christmas hat
- Christmas tree choosing and decorating
- Tins of Roses chocolates around the house
- Midnight mass
- Dylan getting really scared by one of our Santa Christmas decorations and hiding from it every year

A few things on my Christmas list!

The Asus S200 Touchscreen Ultrabook.
I hate laptops, I hate Mac's, and I hate tablets. I'm a Windows netbook and desktop, two-computer-kinda-girl, and have fallen in love with this nifty lil ultrabook with windows 8 and a touchscreen as well as the keyboard. My desktop is still working all good, but my current netbook is slowly but surely dying, so this gorgeous lil thang would make me a very happy girl!


Jo Malone Blackberry and Bay perfume.
I am completely and utterly in love with this perfume, it's so gorgeous and reminds me of summer days picking blackberries, and autumn days eating blackberry crumble all snuggled up in front of the fire. It's ideal for every season and is just ah-mazing! I think I'm going to give this to myself for Christmas :)

As you know I love my books, and I'm a huge Cecil Beaton fan! I'm also a lover of Vogue (what girl isn't!?) with a monthly subscription, and basically after flicking through this book in Waterstones, I want it so badly! It's so beautiful with the photographs and various articles written by Beaton, and I would be so grateful to get this for Christmas.

Glee Season 3 Dvd.
Yep. I <3 Glee.

Dylan The Dog wants this to add to his collection...

He says thanks in advance, he reckons it will go wonderfully with his Christmas hat!


I really do love Christmas (who doesn't!?), and on Sunday I spent the day in London with the family just doing a bit of Christmas shopping, and seeing all of the Christmas lights and pretty decorations. Here are some of my favourites!

Cartier on Old Bond Street

Covent Garden

Gorgeous Fortnum and Mason Christmas Bazaar!

Fortnum and Mason Christmas Bazaar

The absolutely beautiful lights and Christmas tree in the Covent Garden piazza. The huge crowd is due to a guy proposing to his girlfriend by the tree! She said YES!

For Christmas my uncle, aunt, cousins and grandma are coming down to stay, and I'm really excited! I haven't seen my cousins for about four years as they live really far away, so I can't wait to see them all!

What are your plans for Christmas? Anything exciting on your Christmas list?


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Sunday, 25 November 2012

Swan Lake at The Royal Opera House.


I go to see an awful lot of shows. From concerts to theatre to musicals to opera to ballet. I just love it! I've never really posted much about them all before, but I thought maybe I should? Anyway, last night I finally went to see the Anthony Dowell production of Swan Lake at the Royal Opera House after years and years of wanting to see it live, rather than just on Youtube.

I saw Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake at the Royal Albert Hall during summer 2011 for the BBC Proms, but it was just the orchestra playing the score, with no actual ballet accompanying it. It was incredibly special with just the music, as the music itself is just magical, but to see the dancing alongside it last night just moved me to tears. It was just spectacular, I felt as though I was dreaming the entire performance. 

Right from the first bar of the overture the hairs on the back of my neck were standing on end, and that crescendo towards the end during the main title piece gets me every time I hear it, but to actually see the ballet alongside the music, was just so so special. And despite seeing hundreds of shows throughout my life, I have never heard an applause like the one I heard last night, it was actually deafening!

The choreography of the ballet was beautiful, and although I'm no expert, everyone performed exceptionally well, and the ballerina playing Odette/Odile was effortlessly graceful and made it look so easy, she really did dance beautifully, there was so much emotion in every move she made. 

I was also really surprised about how much I could see from my seats. I just got a £10 seat up in the slips, and you could see everything apart from a small corner of the stage. If you do go for the cheap seats like me though (I go to far too many shows to be able to afford the top seats every time), then I would suggest getting the 'CC' ones in the slips rather than the 'DD' ones like I had, as I think you can see more in the CC ones. You can see from the photos in this post (apologies for the poor quality of them) what my view was, and for just £10, it was great!

Anyway, I would highly recommend this ballet to absolutely anyone with any appreciation for music or dance, and I really am just ecstatic that I finally got to see it! And on it's closing show as well!



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Friday, 23 November 2012

How I Got Rid of my Eye Eczema.


Update: I have found a cream that clears up my eye eczema and has also helped many others. 
You can purchase it here if you're in the UK, and here if you're in the US or Canada if you don't want to read my whole story and just want to find out what got rid of the eczema.

Swollen and red dry eyes caused by eye eczema and eczema around the eyes and face

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Monday, 19 November 2012

Mamounia Lounge, Knightsbridge.


Saturday night Claire and I went to Mamounia Lounge in Knightsbridge for dinner, before heading back to Brompton for dancing (where we bumped into Sherlock himself - Benedict Cumberbatch!). Mamounia Lounge is a Moroccan Lebanese restaurant, and I love Moroccan and Lebanese food, so when I was invited to review Mamounia, of course I wasn't going to say no!

I drive past Mamounia every time I drive into London, so I knew exactly where it was, and on weekends parking around there is really easy and there are lots of free parking spaces after 6:30pm. We got there around 8pm, and the mood in the restaurant was quite bar/club-like, with the music loud (maybe a little toooo loud - it made it quite difficult to have a conversation) and the lighting dark and atmospheric. The decor is exotic and very Arabic, which I loved!

 We started with cocktails, C had the Marrakech Express, which is passionfruit with vodka and midori.


As I was driving I stuck to the non-alcoholic cocktails, so I had the Mamounia Fresh Fruit Cocktail, with Seasonal Berries and Passionfruit, and it was absolutely delicious and very refreshing!


For you beauty bloggers, if you're wondering, my nail polish is Nails Inc. Motcomb Street!



To start with I had the very un-Arabic Tricolore, which was a salad of tomato, mozzarella balls, avocado and basil, it was the perfect light starter, to prepare me for my heavy main and dessert! Sorry I didn't get a photo of C's Moutabel Mezze, I totally forgot until she had polished off the lot!

For main I had the Shawarma Lamb, which is slowly cooked thin layers of lamb sliced and served in grilled Lebanese bread. Moroccan/Lebanese lamb is my favourite, I adore the way they cook it so tender and full of flavour and spice! Although my main didn't look like much, it filled me up and I barely had room for pudding!

 C had the Lamb Tagine and a side of Couscous, which she said was delicious! It certainly looked good!

 For dessert we both had the Fig Tart with Cinammon Ice-Cream. I am a huge fan of figs, as you'll already know from my Providores post, and although yummy, I found this tart quite stodgy and heavy. It was really the Cinnamon Ice-Cream that made the dish, as that really was like Heaven in your mouth!

Just as we were finishing our dessert the music stepped up a notch and a Belly Dancer appeared to entertain everyone. She was very good, and C and I left giggling after quietly admitting we wished we could do that!


Overall we had a fantastic time at Mamounia, and I would definitely go back. It would be great fun in Summer as you can sit outside and have Shisha - it was just far too cold Saturday night for us to even dare to brave it! All of the food was delicious, my only disappointment was the very loud music, the stodgy dessert, and also I found it weird how the staff uniforms were tracksuits...? But maybe that's just me. Despite those small annoyances, I would highly recommend a visit! I'm still drooling just thinking about that lamb!


* We were invited to Mamounia Lounge for review purposes and received our food and drink complimentary.

Mamounia Lounge Knightsbridge on Urbanspoon Square Meal
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Thursday, 15 November 2012

The Builders Arms Blogger Event.


Last night was a fantastic food and wine event at The Builders Arms in Chelsea. The lovely PR team for the Pub Company of the Year Geronimo Inns, invited a few other lovely bloggers and I along to feast on a delicious four course meal with different wines accompanying each course. 

The wines were chosen by two sommeliers from Ellis of Richmond, who were also at the event, and with each course they explained why the wine was chosen and what flavours it brought out in the food. For some reason I didn't get any photos of the wines? It was quite dark inside as well so I had to use the flash on my camera, which is why the photos have a filter over the top - the flash is just too bright on my camera.


We started with Quail, which had prune in the middle, and the entire thing was encased in jelly. I was quite surprised by just how tasty this was; the Quail was slightly stronger in taste than normal poultry, but super yummy, and the sweetness of the prune just made the dish. You all know how I feel about mixing savoury and sweet (love). The only bad thing is that I then went home and Googled what a Quail actually looks like...and they're really cute little birds...so now I feel bad :( The Pinot Gris that accompanied the dish was very light and sweet, and complimented it perfectly.

Next was the Salted Cod stuffed into a baked potato. I'm not usually a fan of 'mashed' fish, but this was actually superb! Very enjoyable, and you could really taste the salt, as usually 'salted cod' isn't actually that salty. It went with the potato perfectly. The Gavi di Gavi wine that accompanied it was quite heavy and I didn't like it as much as the first wine, but I am really fussy when it comes to wine and alcohol in general :/

Next up was Mutton with Sweetbreads. Mutton in case you didn't know, is old sheep. Sweetbreads, can be a number of things from the pancreas to testicles. But usually it's throat. I didn't eat the sweetbreads, as I'm not brave enough, but the Mutton was mouth-wateringly scrumptious - it's much stronger in taste than lamb. The wines paired with it were of course reds, and were excellent.

The final course was my favourite - dessert! Eccles Cake with a large wedge of deliciously creamy Lancashire Bomb! The main part about this dish is that I'm SO happy they didn't choose a mouldy cheese, as I'm allergic to mould, so that would have been a bit unfortunate. The Eccles Cake was just perfect, the pastry was lovely and thick yet crispy and flaky, with a huge amount of wonderfully gooey mince inside. 

We had such a wonderful time last night, the food was out of this world, and the company great fun! It was so lovely to see Mina from Kings Road Rocks again, and I also had the pleasure of meeting Mel from Random Mel and Gemma from ggcloset.

A huge thank you to Alix, The Geronimo and Builders Arms team, and the very insightful Sommeliers from Ellis of Richmond for such a fabulous evening!


Builder's Arms on Urbanspoon Square Meal
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Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Blogger Tag - Operation Christmas Child Update.


So the other week I posted about the Operation Blogger tag, which is basically bloggers doing Operation Christmas Child and posting about their boxes. It's a fun and charitable thing to do at Christmas, and doesn't cost much if you know where to buy your gifts.

After a week or two of collecting goodies I have now finally finished my box - woohooo! It's been so much fun and I love putting thought into the gifts and thinking about what I would have liked at that age. If you didn't see my last post, I chose to make a box for a girl between ages 10-14. 

If you go to my last post, you can see the other items I got, but here are the extra gifts I've added since that post. I've also now wrapped my box, whereas in the last post I hadn't wrapped it yet.

The little cosmetic/washbag was £1 from Poundland, and I put all the jewellery and hair bits in there. The hairbands were also £1 from poundland. The jewellery (hair grips, bangles, necklace) came to a grand total of around £3 for all three pieces, in the Superdrug sale. The sewing kit was pricier at just over £2 from Sainsburys.

 The bear hat was £1 from Poundland, and although it's just made from Acrylic/Polyester, it feels really thick and warm. The socks were £1 from Poundland, the sweets were 3 for £1 in Sainsburys, and the Wenlock Union Flag keyring toy was £1 from The Entertainer. I thought it would be nice to give the child a small, fun souvenir of the Olympics, seeing as I live near London.


I got this Body Shop bag a couple of years ago for £1.50, but have never used it and the label is even still on it! So as it folds up small I thought I'd put it in the box so the girl has something to keep all of her gifts in.

Everything packed into the box...
And the lid only just fits on, haha! It's so surprising how much you can fit into a shoebox with a bit of careful/smart packing!

There are quite a few bloggers taking part in this, and a couple of them have already done their boxes and tweeted the links. If you fancy joining in, just blog about the box you're doing with photos, then tweet me the link with the hashtag #OperationBlogger, I'll then add your link to this list here;



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Sunday, 11 November 2012

Brompton.


Last night we headed to Diego and Antoin's newest venture - Brompton, which is a new rock 'n' roll private members club which was previously called The Brompton Club. I was invited to the launch Thursday before last, but was really sick so couldn't go, so I promised them I'd go last night instead.

We started at The Collection for a couple of cocktails, before moving onto Brompton for dinner, as PizzaLuxe currently have a pop-up restaurant there. When we got to The Collection we discovered there was a party going on, and the people had hired out the entire venue for a birthday, but the manager very kindly swept us through and let us sit at the bar for an hour or so - thank you Mr Manager!




In case you're wondering, my lipstick is the raved about Rimmel Kate Moss in shade 107. It looks quite pink here, but it's a much deeper red in real life.


We then headed to The Brompton Club for dinner and dancing. I love how Brompton is like one of the traditional private members clubs that we're all members of, except at the turn of 11pm, it turns into a nightclub. After dinner the tables were taken away revealing bar tables underneath, and the cushions on the benches were taken away, revealing a raised platform for you to dance on.


 We loved the fresh basil on the table - such a lovely extra little touch!

I hate saying negative things about places, especially when it's owned by people I know, but although clearly freshly made and very tasty, my pizza was quite cold :( sorry guys. And for some reason they wouldn't let me add chicken onto the pizza rather than feta, even though I offered to pay more? Thought that was a bit odd.

Anyway, enough of negativity and onto the positives! One word describes the club. Epic. 

I think this photo and the fact I'm dancing on the chairs we had been sitting on to eat dinner, shows my feelings about the club very well.


We threw some shapes on the dance floor to old rock n roll tunes, which was so much fun, I love how different the music is to other clubs. 



That's A - we think he looks Russian with his Robert Langdon turtleneck on. What do you think?



 Very very drunken photo. Can you see up my nose ok? Yes? Good. Clearly I was enjoying myself.
Apologies to all of the people I crashed into when dancing wildly.


Brompton is perfect if you want a purely debaucherous night out dancing to old school rock n roll music, and drinking fabulously tasty cocktails (the Daiquiri's are lethal!). I love how you feel really naughty and rebellious partying amongst the wood panelled walls reminiscent of our normal/traditional private members clubs. Except at this club, there's no chance of you getting ostracised for throwing alcohol around and throwing shapes like it's your last day alive. Also sorry for the lack of photos - we were having too much fun.


PS; I usually don't drink, but this weekend was a one off. I now remember why I don't drink (I don't need to drink to have fun, and I can't stand the hangovers the next day!), so I'm back to being the sober friend.
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