Monday, 12 May 2014

Travel: Day trip to Whitstable

England isn't the most glamorous of places to have a stay cation, but it certainly has a number of cute little fishing towns and lovely places to explore during a day trip!

I wanted to find an interesting town that wasn't your usual Oxford, Bath or Cambridge so decided to drive down to Whitstable, just an hour from London. It was easy to get to and there is a huge parking lot near the harbour which was perfect!


We spent a couple of hours at the harbour, taking photos of the colourful boats and on the lookout for yummy food. The weather wasn't at its best so I was kidding myself a little in this leather jacket, but apart from the wind it was a great day trip.

I'm wearing:
Leather jacket from Iceland
Twenty8Twelve jeans
Aldo sandals
New Look top
Zara bag
Zara scarf


We walked past an area filled with small shops that had a mix of independent stalls as well as your usual market stuff, and a few food stalls in between. If you like local produce such as jam this is the best place to get it.



As all the restaurants were booked up (it was Mother's Day), we went into the local fish market cafe to taste the fresh sea food.


The fried mussels were delicious, I had two portions. They were absolutely huge, too!






We discovered a vintage market nearby, too with this beautiful pup!


I found the hessian clutch on the left, for only £5, to match my lighter one. They're great for the summer and for holidays.



Bicycles covered in knitted colours, so cool!




I loved this little town!


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Thursday, 8 May 2014

Food: Black Dog Delicatessen

Check out the cute labrador packaging on the risotto!

During my ongoing quest for unique and delicious food, I came across this beautifully packaged Black Dog Delicatessen range. There are 17 items in the range - 5 pastas, 4 risotto mixes (for people like me who are useless when it comes to risotto!), 5 spiced olives, balsamic vinegar and 2 extra virgin olive oils.


The range is part of the FoodHQ own brand selection, taking inspiration from across the world and selecting the high quality ingredients but at great value prices.

It's all in the name, too...and the best thing about these delicious products is that a percentage of the proceeds from every sale will go to support The Labrador Rescue Trust, where the company owner's labradors Blue and Bailey came from as rescues. How cute!!!!


The products I had have lasted me months and I am still using the balsamic vinegar. It's got a delicious kick to it and is perfect for side salads, especially with a good steak. It comes from Italy and is aged in wooden barrels for ten years according to local traditions...and you can certainly taste the quality. The ageing gives the vinegar its sweet, mellow taste and glossy, dark colour.

The olives are huge and juicy, flavoursome and come in a large jar. The tomato risotto was really easy to make, and the already added flavours made it a lot quicker - perfect for after a late night at work when I want to make a quick dish.

They have an extensive range of products including pasta and more olive flavours, and even a lovely hamper that is only £45 - perfect gift for your foodie friends! Most hampers are £60-£200 so I was surprised how reasonably priced this one is, considering how much product is included.


You can buy all the Black Dog Deli products on the FoodHQ website


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London: The House of Peroni May


The House of Peroni, home of the best of contemporary Italian food, drink, design and fashion is back again and for one month only. I've attended all the Peroni events before and really enjoy my time there.

The residency is now at Lincoln's Inn Fields in Holborn and free for all to attend. With a fresh selection of pioneering Italian chefs, mixologists and designers, The House transformed all four floors of a beautiful townhouse into a tantalising, immersive world of fashion forward, design-led Italian style and culture for everyone to enjoy. 

Sort of like a unique pop up bar where you will always find room to sit and chat! 

The piece at reception is my favourite

We sipped on the new Peroni bottles specially made for girls, and it somehow tasted that little bit better for me ;) The bottle design is really pretty and the drink was so refreshing that I finished it within 5 minutes...and I don't even like beer.


The House was inspired by 1963; a transformative year when Italian style became renowned across the world and the year that Carlo Peroni created Peroni Nastro Azzurro.

Trippy room with mirrors!


Upstairs there is a stunning restaurant overlooking a picturesque part of the city as well as a convivial outdoor terrace serving a selection of dishes from Monday to Saturday. 

Throughout the month, The House will feature an exciting weekly schedule of stylish Italian events which include immersive dining experiences, gelato making course, a brunch club, barista class and a silk scarf design masterclass which I was lucky to attend.


When we arrived to the workshop we were introduced to the Italian history of the silk scarf by girls from the Bespoke Atelier studio from Glasgow. After some inspiration from the 60's, we were really excited to start so quickly chose our base colours and print patterns.


My friend Annie chose purple and I chose a blush pink.


The procedure is simple but not as easy as it looks. The screen must stay still at all times, and has to be hand washed every time you want to use a different colour.


Once you choose your base colour, you have to use a heavy squidgy-type tool to press down and pull two times over the canvas to ensure the print is neat. This is probably the hardest part as the tool is slightly on the heavy side and it's tricky pushing it down at the same time as pulling it. Nevertheless, everyone did really well and all it takes is one or two pulls.


A little hand is always helpful! I chose a print with lots of flowers and herbs as I really liked the intricate detail on it.


I then used a smaller screen to print a little bird in the middle of my design. My jeans got stained in the process and some purple colour came off the screen on to my scarf...showing just how tricky it can be to work with these tools even when you're being extra careful. Art is all about being free and letting loose so if I ever do this again I'll make sure I wear something more appropriate! It definitely got messy.


After my printing was done, I fixed some of the frame and started to carefully hand paint inside of the flowers to finish off my design. 


And ta-dah, here is the finished product!

You can't see the flower colour detailing so much here but I spent a fair amount of time on it. I really, really enjoyed this workshop and it reminded me of my school days when I used to do lots of art...perhaps I've awoken a new hobby!

The before and after

I'd highly recommend you go to the house if you get the chance, and try to book in a time at the restaurant before the residency comes to an end this month!



For more information about The House of Peroni visit: www.thehouseofperoni.com

Open every day until 11pm in May except the 5th, 11th, 18th and 26th 64 Lincoln’s Inn Field, Holborn, London WC2A, 3JX 

No admission fee
18+ only

Reservations for the restaurant and tickets for the events are bookable via The House of Peroni website (be quick, they sell out fast!)



All images provided by House of Peroni

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Monday, 5 May 2014

Desire: Helen Moore faux fur scarves

Whilst flicking through LOOK magazine I came across this gorgeous blue faux fur vixen scarf from Helen Moore. I'm really into strong colours this Spring and would love to own one of these, but also want it in about five other colours...aaghhh!!!! The blue or pink would look amazing with an all black or all white outfit.

You can buy it on the Helen Moore website for £68...and the best thing is, it's faux!














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London: Exploring Newington Green

If I don't go away somewhere during a Bank Holiday I always feel like I'm missing out...so I made sure I did lots this time round even though I stayed in London.

And the best thing about this city is that you can explore something new every time...


On saturday morning I made myself some scrambled eggs on sour dough bread, with a side of avocado topped with lime juice (the best combination ever, try it!)

I got this pretty plate on Portobello Road and it always makes my eating experience that little bit nicer :)


I then went to Tesco and bought some pretty tulips...I'm not a fan of them but these looked great and I like the vibrant yellow colour.

The glass bottles are from Homesense and a little Deli on Stroud Green Road where you can top up your wine.


I met my lovely mama at Warwick Avenue for the boat show, and luckily the weather was great all day. The Little Venice canal is a short walk from the tube station, and great for a short walk. The festival was filled with families and beautiful boats on display, as well as independent stands with food and other bits and bobs to buy.

The people who live on the colourful canal boats opened up their homes to us and we were able to take peeks inside where I saw lots of cute vintage kitchens and bedrooms.


We got some ice cream and continued walking down the canal...


On sunday my boyfriend and I decided to check out the Hackney Flea Market on Church Street in Newington Green (North East). We specifically went to check out the vintage market but ended up staying in the area for a few hours to explore.


I found these pretty vintage embroidered coasters for £5 at the market. You can also find similar ones on eBay.

There were lots of cute little cafes down Church Street, as well as shops, flower shops and gastro pubs where we stopped for some food and a good old Pimms!


We had a booking at Angel's Screen On The Green (Part of EveryMan) cinema so decided to walk from Newington Green to Angel...where we came across this small antique homeware shop on Essex Road called Mr All Sorts.

Apparently Harry Styles from One Direction shops here, so we had to take a look and see what all the fuss is about. It was full of randomly placed nick nacks, lights, large letters and all sorts (true to its name...) and the owner was really friendly. Definitely a good one to checkout once in a while to see what new stock he's got.


After some shopping in Angel's Camden Passage, we had another Pimm's and headed over to the boutique cinema Screen On The Green, to see Blue Ruin (2013). This cinema is AMAZING!!! There are 2-person couches instead of seats, with foot rests and tables. There is a bar behind you where you can buy some food, drinks and pop corn so we slightly overloaded on everything!

It was so comfortable and cozy, I will be coming back! 


On Bank Holiday Monday we headed to a pub called The Dissinting Academy near Canonbury.

I'm wearing:
Zara ripped skinny jeans
River Island sandals (sold out)
Zara bag (sold out)
Biked jacket from Iceland

We drank Pimms (again...) with edible flowers, ate the most amazing carved meat I've ever had, and gorged on the most amazing thick-cut chips I've ever had (no joke)!! The peppercorn sauce was pretty amazing, too.


Then came this EPIC pudding...don't think anyone expected such a dramatic presentation which was served in front of us, but it was pretty awesome.

The chef laid out a greaseproof piece of paper in the middle of the table, and proceeded to bring parts of the pudding over to us as we watched.

He placed the grilled pineapple, strawberries, thick chocolate ganache (yum!!!) and vanilla yoghurt mousse on the sheet, and sprinkled it with popcorn to finish.

You wouldn't be surprised to hear we finished the entire lot. I would highly recommend this pub for a sunday lunch!




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