LIFESTLYE: Phone Case Wishlist

Sunday, 31 January 2016

When it comes to phone cases I am still a child most of the time! I am always after something fun and cute to make a boring everyday thing a little bit more exciting!

I have a really awkward Samsung S5 which makes finding these sorts of cases really hard. But recently, I have come across a few super cute cases so I thought I'd put together a little wishlist to show you guys what I have spotted.
Good old ebay eh? As you can imagine, this is always my first point of call when it comes to cases and numbers 1 & 5 are both from here. I love the smooth metallic cases I have been seeing on iphones everywhere at the moment so I was very pleased to see that I could get a Samsung version on ebay for a grand total of £1.99. Incredible price, plus it comes in rose gold!

Number 5, as I said, was also ebay and a little bit pricier at £3.99 but look at the duckies they are so cute and I can imagine this particular case being pretty entertaining!

I love anything with a smiley face on it so this pineapple case from Claires is right up my street. I currently have their strawberry one on my phone which I got for Christmas.

Minnie & Tigger both come from a japanese site called Rakuten. They were kind enough to gift me some credit as part of a valentines day campaign which I have coming up soon so I think I will treat myself to these two! I love that they are different to the usual run of the mill Disney style cases I've come across in the past so I like those two!

There is one sensible choice in this wishlist and that comes in the form of this heavy duty patriot protective case from tech21 which provides all round protection.

And lastly I was very pleased to spot a rare Samsung case on the skinny dip site last week in a super cute design. Not only does it have googly eyes but its also covered in cute little pugs with wings!

LIFESTYLE: Gilgamesh, Camden

Thursday, 28 January 2016

I've mentioned Gilgamesh on here a couple of times in the past because it has been one of my favourite restaurants the past 4 or 5 years - so when an email popped into my inbox to come along and try the set menu I was more than a little excited!
I first when to Gilgamesh with my family when I was about 18. We were back again the week after and soon enough my parents decided they liked it so much that they booked my brothers Bar Mitzvah there. Since then it has become one of those special occasion places that we love to visit! I thought I'd bring Georgia along with me as its only fair - she has never been before so I thought it would be a nice treat for her too. 
At the entrance of Camden market, just before the bridge, the venue itself is unlike any other restaurant in London. You go up a mysterious escalator in the middle of the street to discover a massive space at the top. It has a very beachy sunset vibe with dimmed red lights, palm trees and amazing wooden carving in everything from the bar, to the table and chairs. You could easily forget you're still in London.

We were treated to a pretty amazing table, a large round one that seated the group of seven next to us. From there we had an amazing view of the whole restaurant which for a people watcher like me was absolutely amazing.
As per usual, we started off with a cocktail each - a belini to toast to Georgia starting her new internship and of course they were delicious. We loved the pretty ornate glasses they came in too! While we got through them, we perused the £55 set menu. 
I love taking Georgia along on my reviews! Not only is she great company, but it's also a great way to see how well a restaurant deals with a gluten free customer. Let me tell you, Gilgamesh have that one covered. They went above and beyond for her and I was really impressed. She called up beforehand to see how they go about it all and they said if we let them know which main she wanted, they'd make sure not to marinate it so that's what we did! When we arrived though, they sorted out her starters with the sauce separate and her very own gluten free soy sauce as well, I didn't even know that stuff existed.
The food was as good as I remembered. There were a few dishes on the set menu that'd I'd tried before like the duck and watermelon salad and a couple of new ones too. The salad was so refreshing and delicious with chunks of watermelon, shredded hoisin duck, pomegranate seeds and cashews. 
We had a bowl of edemame beans which are always a good call for the two of us and the most incredible salmon sashimi, I've never seen such thick, luscious pieces of salmon. It came from a whole separate sushi bar area of the resturant. 
And on top of all of that, there were prawn spring rolls which were thin and crispy tubes stuffed with the biggest juiciest giant prawns.
After another cocktail, it was time for the main course! We both went for salmon (Georgias without the sauce) which came with fragrant, fluffy coconut rice and pak choi - all perfectly cooked. We also ordered a side of chinese mushrooms which we were fighting over because they were so good.  
Dessert arrived and disappeared within seconds so I don't have any photos - sorry. Georgia went for three scoops of sorbet since she couldn't handle a proper dessert after all that food haha. I had a burnt milk panna cotta which is a dessert I haven't really had before! It came all pretty on a plate with red sauce, berries and bits of ripped up pistachio cake plus a scoop of lime sorbet. The panna cotta was dense and delicious, I really enjoyed it! I was also glad to have the sorbet because it was sharp and cleansing which is just what you need after a big meal. 

Obviously, we finished off the evening with another cocktails and a little bit more people watching from our amazing table. We spend a good two and a half hours in there and the time absolutely flew by, we would have happily stayed a few more hours if it wasn't a Thursday and I was on the wrong side of London.

I really do count this place as one of my favourite in London and I definitely recommend you visit if you get a chance!

LIFESTLYE: The St Martins Lane Hotel, Andrews 25th

Monday, 25 January 2016

Andrew hates having his birthday in January, but I don't know why - it's the perfect excuse to indulge in some more celebrations a few weeks after all the excitement of Christmas has fizzled out. 

We wanted to try some where new this time, so after staying at both The Mondrian and The Sanderson a few times last year (two of our favourite places) we thought we'd try out the third of the Morgans hotels in London - The St Martins Lane Hotel.
 After a lovely breakfast at Bills just down the road, we popped over to the hotel at around 12 to see when we could check in. Officially its meant to be 3pm but it's always worth checking earlier just in case. It just so happened that our room had just been cleaned so we were able to go up near enough straight away - although I would have been happy to hang around in the lobby for a bit longer, it was pretty cool in a really strange, chilled kind of way. You know, giant golden teeth as seats and chess pieces scattered around.
It actually has the same Alice in Wonderland vibe that The Sanderson has going on and was something we really love about it! After arriving at the 6th floor we found our room! It was perfectly clean with everything in its place, minimal and very white. There was a big TV, an arm chair in the corner, a desk and seat on the other side and a big mirror - perfect for getting ready in front of!
 and of course, a huge bed. After playing around with every single light switch, as you do, I discovered two very exciting things! Firstly, there were USB plugs everywhere which is something I love in a hotel room - so helpful! I also found a colour changing mood light around the bed which was so much fun! We left it on blue while we got ready for the evening, pink when we were watching TV in bed afterwards and yellow in the morning!
Little did Andrew know, I'd emailed beforehand to let them know it was his birthday and the lovely Guest Experience Manager, Belle, made sure we got a room with a view. It really was incredible, from bed we were able to see the London Eye which really was amazing when it got dark.
I also wanted to give a mention to the rest of the staff at the hotel. I think out of all the hotels we have stayed at in London, they were the quickest to get things done for us as well as being super friendly the whole way through. All the way from Christian who checked us in at reception to the room service who sent up a tea set within 5 minutes of asking for it and the technician who was up as soon as he found out we couldn't get the TV working. And when we did, we were very pleased to see it had a catch up facility and spend the next couple of hours catching up on First Dates.
Once we were settled, there was a knock at the door - Another surprise for Andrew that I had arranged with Belle earlier that week.. 
 Massive thanks to Belle for all of this. We had agreed on a plate of strawberries and a glass of fizz each so I was just as surprised as Andrew when a whole bottle arrived! She really does her job well, my emails always got a fast, friendly reply and the things she helped me arrange added so much to our stay!  
Soon enough it was time to start getting ready and boy, was I glad for the use of that huge mirror - I brought four outfits with me and spend forever deciding which to wear. In the end, I went for this maroon, eyelash bodycon with some simple strappy heels. 
We hopped in a a cab to STK and spend the evening there - I've got a whole other post of that. We decided it was best to walk back to the hotel afterwards since it was a lovely evening and we both needed to let the food go down. After picking up some snacks on the way we were straight back to the room to catch Take Me Out on +1.

We had the best sleep surrounded by big fluffy pillows and woke up in the morning to the sound of church bells outside somewhere, I spent ages just sitting up in bed looking out of the window, it was so lovely. Soon enough there was another knock on the door and a table full of food was wheeled in! I do love a hotel breakfast and if the other two hotels were anything to go by, this was going to be good.
Obviously, I ordered the eggs florentine, it's my favourite breakfast dish ever and obviously it was delicious. I also had a fresh fruit salad and a bowl of yogurt with granola too. I ate it all together, there was just too much to try to bother eating one course at a time!
Sadly, after one more episode of First Dates, it was time to leave the hotel and get back to Essex for one last birthday meal! We were both really impressed with the hotel and loved every part of our stay! I'm sure we will be back in the future!

LIFESTYLE: Halfords Boardman Bike Competition #OUTTHEREWITHYOU

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Hands up if you joined a gym as part of your new years resolution? I'm guessing most of you, myself included (well, I decided I was going to work out more) haha, it seems to be a popular one and after all the indulgence of Christmas I can totally see why, winter is for indulgence (fair, its too cold to eat salad) but summer is for short shorts and crop tops. I cant even handle stepping into a gym so started my resolution with a swim so I can imagine, three weeks in now and you're probably feeling a bit sick of the sight of the gym. Maybe its time to get outside and exercise in a more fun way? 
Apart from swimming, the sport I most enjoy is biking. I have never had my own bike but I love a good session with the exercise one in the garage! I've always said I would love to live in Central London and be able to commute by bike in the summer, getting my morning work out instead of sitting on a stuffy train! 
With my Fitibit competition doing so well it's clear you guys are all into your still motivated with your fitness this January so if you fancy adding a bike to your work out routine, why not check out this competition to win one with Halfords!

The brand new Performance bike range from Boardman launched on Friday 29th January, exclusively available Halfords. If you want to win one for yourself all you have to do is enter your contact details and sign up.
First Prize: Win the opportunity for you and a friend to partake in a ride out with Chris Boardman and a fantastic new bike up to the value of £1,000 each from Boardman's Performance range! Second Prize: Win a new Performance Boardman bike up to the value of £1,000, signed by Chris Boardman himself. Third Prize: Win a signed Boardman bikes cycle jersey.

LIFESTYLE: Order By Emoji at Aloft Excel #AloftTiGi

Monday, 18 January 2016

So I wrote this a liiiiitle bit tipsy on the train home but who cares - we'll stick with it! This event was my first event of the year and what a fun one it was! I started the evening by getting monumentally lost on the tube, which isn't something I do often but the DLR is just so hard to navigate! Anyway, an hour and a half after, I arrived at the Aloft Excel which is conveniently about a 20 second walk from Prince Regent station (I also managed to get lost during that part - take the right, not the left)

The lovely Aloft Excel team met me inside, whisked me off to our private area, and explained the new concept to me - Oder by emoji or #AloftTiGi (text it, get it) which is something they started this January! I swiftly whipped out my phone and text the number with a line of emojis. Next thing I know, a waiter appeared with a plate of food and my drink. I also got a reply which I wasn't expecting, so as the evening went on I got more and more casual about it, ending the night with a casual 'Can I have a belini please?' haha
After playing around with that for a bit, we all sat down for a session with The Biscuiteers - We were going to ice our own emoji biscuits. I got pretty into this with a stripey dress for my dancing girl and deciding that a normal smiley was too boring, I turned it upside down and made it into a bear, all whilst sending the bar one text after another of course. 
We finished off the night playing around in the photobooth at the bar and of course using our emojis to order one more drink before I jumped back on the DLR and got lost again haha. 
Big thanks to the team who arranged it and made it such a super night for us all! I had a great evening, made some new friends and realised a new skill, I even impressed myself with those stripes!

LIFESTYLE: Christmas At The Milestone Hotel

Monday, 11 January 2016

Remember that I was telling you about the surprise that Andrew was planning for me? Well, last month, I finally found out what he had planned for us and it was pretty amazing! He booked us a night at a super old and very christmassy hotel, plus a few little extra surprises for me too! My dad was on his way into London on the day so he was able to drop us off outside right our hotel in Knightsbridge.
As we checked in and dropped off our stuff, I was handed a gold envelope which I opened once we got to our room! Apparently, the package that Andrew has booked included a Harrods voucher at check in so you know what happened next - within minutes, we were in an Uber and dropped off outside the store ready to get some Christmas shopping on! I knew exactly what I wanted and was on the verge of buying it for myself anyway so this was a super amazing surprise! As well as my new purse, we also stopped off in the food hall to pick up some Charbonnel truffles.
Soon enough we were back in the hotel drinking champagne in their amazing black and white conservatory.
My next surprise? A champagne afternoon tea! So as soon as we were finished with that glass, we were off to another cute little room. I headed straight for the table with the big armchairs, it just feels more luxury doesn't it?! Am I the only one who starts with a few sandwiches, then has a cake, a scone and finishes up with more sandwiches haha we had to order a second plate, they were so delicious!
Afterwards we were totally food coma'd and good for nothing for the rest of the day! So we got into bed, watched Toy Story which happened to be on and fell asleep haha. We did get up for a little while just to have a drink and a snack at the bar before getting back into bed for the Xfactor final!
After a posh cooked breakfast, the next morning was spend eating champagne truffles in the big white bed and watching Jeremy Kyle, I think that one is a bit of a hotel tradition for us haha. It was a pretty amazing weekend!

LIFESTYLE: Things Before Christmas

Friday, 8 January 2016

So I already wrote this post once, I spend the whole month adding to it like I usually do with monthly roundup posts but for some reason when I went to post it a couple of days ago, it had disappeared. What a pain. Anyway I'm going to re-write it because and I just hope this makes sense and sounds an enthusiastic this time around haha.

Work Christmas Party
I always envied people who had a work Christmas party to go to and this year, I finally had my own! It started just after lunch when the guys from The Metro turned up in reception with their prosecco cooler.
After that, we all got ready in the office toilets and cracked open a bottle of apple sourz that we found on one of the desks. After a quick pit stop at the pub - we jumped in a cab just down the road to the venue which was huge might I add! Free drinks, friends and a photobooth - what else could I have asked for?!

London Lights With Farfetch
I love being a tourist in my own city. I love driving through London and I love Christmas so when I got an invite to join the Farfetch girls and four other bloggers on night time tour of the London Christmas lights, you can imagine I was pretty excited. We all met after work and bundled onto a vintage, open top route master. It was pretty drizzly but that didn't stop us from all rushing up to the top to sit at the front -  it wouldn't be London without a bit of rain. Over two and a half hours we toured the city and saw all of the pretty lights, it definitely got me even more excited for Christmas!

And if the tour on it's own wasn't a big enough treat, they let us choose a gift for each other as a Farfetch Secret Santa ! I left with a pretty new dusty pink Michael Kors travel wallet!

Costa Fresco
Costa have launched their new Fresco store on Tottenham Court Road and invited me down to see what it is all about! Luckily for me, this one used to be my local Costa (before a new one opened across the road from work a couple of months ago) so it was super easy for me to pop in before work.
Of course the drinks are the same, the hot chocolate (and coffee) are just as amazing but this store has a whole range of tasty food to enjoy as well! There was all sorts from mini quiches and hot sandwiches, little pots of olives and chorize to muffins, croissants, cakes, fruit pots and much more! I tried one savory cheese and sun dried tomato muffins and it was delicious - seriously, I am pleased its so close so I can go back and get some more!

Very kindly, they sent me on my way with a selection of treats to take back to the office which of course were all snapped up as soon as I'd walked through the door!

Christmas Jumpers

If you know me well (or just follow me on twitter), you will know that I love Christmas Jumper season and I spent most of December wearing one! My newest addition is this one from the mens section of F&F - how cute are the little gingerbread men!
I wore it to work for Christmas Jumper Day with a pair of black skinnies and my pretty new, leopard print flats from Jones Bootmakers - they go perfectly with the colour of the gingerbread men!All of the best Christmas jumpers come from supermarket clothing lines! My other two are from George at ASDA! Cute!

Bob Bob Ricard
This is somewhere that Andrew and I have wanted to visit for a while so we decided to celebrate my last day at work (Andrew finished ages before me) by going for dinner! Of course the first thing I did when we sat down was push the button, I couldnt resist - and Andrew wasnt going to turn down a glass of champagne haha. That button got quite alot of use whilst we were there!
The place was so lovely and decorated with the prettiest blue and silver christmas decorations! Each course was delisious but of course dessert is always my favourite and the desserts here were a bit crazy.
It was very expensive, but something we wanted to do and can now tick off of our list! It was such a lovely night and a really perfect way to start the holidays!

How Was Your December?

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