LIFESTYLE: Vapiano, Soho

Friday 29 May 2015

I had never heard of Vapiano before they invited me along for a review last week, although it seems like I was the only one becuase everyone I told said that they loved it there - of course that added to the excitement of reviewing it.
Vapiano is pretty different to any resturant that I've been to, when you arrive, you are given a card which you scan in each time you order anything, then you can pay at the end. Fair enough, that didnt bother me one way or another. I guess it works well for their layout as it is set out a bit like a canteen. You line up at each station - Pizza or pasta - when you get to the front you order what you want, scan your card and they make it right there in front of you.
Vapiano Cooking Pasta
There were some very tempting specials on the board so in the end the two of us ate 3 dishes between us, it was just too hard to decide! We got a  simple pesto pasta which was actually my favourite. Charlotte wanted to try spelt pasta so we went for that with sundried tomatos and feta. And then we went for a special which was something like prawns and white wine sauce. They are asking you questions throughout, whether you want this or that added which was great.
Vapiano Prawn Pasta
Spelt Pasta
Pesto Pasta

We had the same issue with dessert in that we just couldn't decide so we went for three. Strawberry’s with mascarpone which tasted the same way it sounds. Strawberries and cream is always a winner for me. Charlotte came back with a panna cotta which i have never been a fan of but she loved that one best and also a white choc and lemon thing which was really good too.  Vapiano Dessert
I almost forgot to mention the drinks, the was one thing we could decide on and we decided well. Vapiano have their own range of iced teas and as soon as we spotted the elderflower and mint one we both wanted it and it really was delicious
Mint and Elderflower Tea
All in all, it was a great place for us to have a catch up over a very reasonably priced meal. 

Have You Been To Vapiano?

A long weekend in Mayfair staying at The Thistle Hotel, Marble Arch

Wednesday 27 May 2015

I had a pretty jam packed bank holiday thanks to Andrew! I had booked us a hotel in Marble Arch so he decided to make a whole weekend out of it and booked some super fun things for us to do while we were there. He didn't tell me about any of them so they were all a lovely surprise! 

On Friday after work, he met me on oxford street and we wandered the back streets until we came across Grovsner square. We had dinner at Maze, Gordon Ramsey restaurants in Mayfair. Three courses and lots of cocktails, everything was delicious, including the drinks. I started with a terrine followed by the lamb and Andrew had giant garlic prawns and then a steak. Of course I had the chocolate tart for dessert too while Andrew had another cocktail. It was all very posh and expensive but it is somewhere we have spoken about going to before and we both really enjoyed the whole experience. We were so full afterwards that we decided to get ourselves an uber home. Andrew picked so well - it was a really great night!
The next morning we were up early and on the train for the next surprise. We ended up at Charing Cross station which isn't somewhere I go that often so I had no idea what was in store! Half way down the road I saw it! I didn't even realise he was listening to me when I mentioned the Afternoon Tea Tour Bus once, months ago but obviously he was because he had booked us on it for the afternoon! We have been wanting to do some more touristy things lately so this was perfect for us. More yummy food and lots of laughing at each other trying to pour milk into our tea on a moving bus plus we got to see some more sights of London from the top of a bus! So much fun!
It was such a warm day that when we got off of the bus I really didn't want to get on the tube so I convinced Andrew to that we should walk to Marble Arch. Finally after an hour of walking, we came across the hotel. The entrance is around the back but what I didnt realise is it acutally sits on oxford street - right opposite Primark which puts it in a pretty amazing location for anyone whos visiting London. 
The hotel has just had over £26million spent on it which (after the odd entrace and up the escalator) you could see- the place looked brand new and everything was sparkling clean. The lobby area had a strange old fashioned feel to it but everything, you could tell was brand new - it reminded me of being on a posh old cruise ship.

And then we were off to our room on the 7th floor and we were impressed. The big windows left the room filled with natural light making it bright and airy, it was already very spacious as it is. There was a little note left for me with some chocolates. The bed was big and very comfortable which to be fair, is the most important thing when staying in a hotel. I was very impressed to see plug sockets everywhere with a socket and two USB charging ports within reach of the bed. There was also super fast free wifi and a Nespresso coffee machine.
 We spent the rest of the afternoon in bed watching Harry Potter! I love when they are on TV because I never ever remember what happens in the end so its always like watching it for the first time!
As part of our room, we had been given access to The Executive Lounge which is something we hadn't experienced before so of course we went exploring to see what it was. Located on the 2nd floor and you needed your special key to get, which we were given at check in. It was a relaxing lounge with a bar full of drinks and canapes, all free as part of the executive room that we had. We stopped off for some champagne and snacks while we discussed what we wanted to do for the evening.
We decided on a Chinese, which ordered to the room and a night in with Britians Got Talent. I also wanted to use my new bath bomb from the Oxford Street Lush. I picked up Intergalactic because it smelt so fresh and minty - hotel stays are the perfect opportunity for a bath bomb!
It was getting pretty late when I decided I wanted to have a bath but for some off reason I couldn't get the plug to stay in. We called down and they said they would sent someone up soon but by the time the arrived an hour later, I just wanted to go to bed, plus he couldnt fix it either. It was a real shame as I called up twice during the week to ensure we would have a bath with our room. I'm sure it will get used soon so watch out for a review!
 The next morning we woke up super early to the lovely sunshine! After a quick shower, we went down to breakfast - I didn't eat too much because we had a BBQ later that day but I couldn't resist a couple pieces of bacon to go with my healthy melon! 
 Check out was quick and easy and soon enough we were off back to Essex for some sunshine with our friends and their family! Andrew even got burnt!
Our stay at the Thistle hotel was complementarity although, as always, all comments are 100% honest. Apart from the bath incident, we had an amazing stay and would be very happy to stay there again.

EVENTS: Boohoo Press Day, Godiva Launch, Chalk PR Press Day & New Look AW15

Tuesday 26 May 2015

Boohoo Press Day
I ran to this one again during my lunch break - Luckily it was only down the road so it didn't take to long to pop in and get back. There were so many pretty collections to look through from Retro to Futuristic! As you know from my New Look Wishlist post I am loving suede at the moment and it looks like Boohoo have a lot of pretty suede to come so I am looking forward to that! I also loved their futuristic galactica range which was all very shiny with interesting cuts and materials! I went back to work and ordered some really lovely new dresses straight after this event so watch out for the outfit posts to come!

Chalk PR Spring Press Evening
On Thursday evening I was off to the Sanderson (also down the road from work - and one of my favourite hotels in London) for the Chalk PR spring press day. There were different stations for each of their brands each with their own expert to talk us through them. It was lovely to catch up with all my blogger friends as most of them happened to be there all at the same time! We were all super impressed with the afternoon tea. The Sandersons tea is something I've always wanted to experience so I was very pleased to see it all laid out on the table.

Godiva Ice Cream Re-Launch 
It rained on this day but that didnt mean I was going to turn down an ice cream launch. Godiva invited us to their Regent Street store for the re-launch of their soft chocolate and vanilla ice cream just in time for summer and it was delicious! Super thick, rich and creamy plus there was a whole table of toppings set out so we could cover it in what we liked! Of course I crammed as much as I could into my little pot haha. They were also sampeling thier yummy ice cream shakes to wash it all down which were also delicious. I was also lucky enough to take home (among other things) a come of their chocolate covered strawberries which are such a treat!

New Look
It was one of the warmerst days in a while so going to an AW15 press day was a bit odd, long boots, coats and scarfs - but there were lots of exciting new clothes so as soon as I'd started looking around I'd forgotten all about the sun outside.

As with Boohoo, there was so much suede which I am sure I will be investing in, from jackets to dresses, skirts and shoes - they stock the best suede shift dress I have come across so far, so I am after one of those on my next shopping trip! After a quick pit stop in the kitchen with I was ready to look around the shoes! New Look are always a go-to for new heels as as usual they have lots of lovely things to come, I loved all the tassles! As well as heels, there were loads of new over the knee boot styles which means they will be in next winter, loved that trend last year!!

LIFESTYLE: Infographic From Roberson Wine

Monday 25 May 2015

Isn't it lovely when marketing people come to you, having read your blog, with content that you are actually interested in posting? Well, Roberson Wine got in touch, knowing that I love food knowledge as well as eating the stuff and sent over this infographic. I don't drink wine that often but I love learning about food so I still found this super interesting! And with London Wine Week finishing yesterday, what better timing?!

If I am drinking wine, it isn't usually with a meal although its a well known fact that they right wine can totally enhance the taste of whatever your eating. I was super surprised to see that, that is even the case with chocolate! My favourite pairing from this list - and the one that I have most often - is Lobster and Champagne. Andrew and I were only in Burger and Lobster last week, with our bottle of prosecco - it's nice to know what we fancy is actually known to work well!

Do You Pair Your Wine With Your Food?


Friday 22 May 2015

Since I started working in Tottenham Court Road, I often spend my lunch break on sunny days wandering around down into all the back streets of soho. Old crompon street is one I always go back to because it is full off all sorts of weird and wonderful places, especially some super yummy looking japanese resturants. Andrew and I were invited to dinner at Dozo and it was absolutely delicious. 
We arrived early but as we were leaving, it was buzzing with a que winding down the street. I was very excited with the authentic japnese style seating although Andrew wasnt best pleased when I made him sit on the floor style seats with me to add to the expereince. 

The waiters were great when we tried to read out all the dishes with weird names and said them all wrong, they knew exactly what we were talking about and they were fast and efficient, I always appreciated a good waiter. Another thing that I always appreciate, and a saying of my mums: if the toilets are kept clean, then it's pretty likley that the kitchens are too so I was very plesed to find spotless and lovely smelling toilets!

Now for the food and drinks, Andrew started with a japanese beer, one of his new favourite things and on the recommendation of a friend, I went for the lemonade and mint which was so delicious and super refreshing on such a hot day!
To start, we ordered all sorts, from Edamame beans to nibble on, gyozas, Rainbow sushi and a couple of Tori Negima which were delicious chicken thighs with a sticky sauce.
Then for mains, I went for a ramen which is something I watch Andrew eat at wagas every time but have never tried myself. It was full of noodles and came with a bowl of tempura veg and prawns. yum. Andrew also went for something new - the Sabashioyaki & Tori Teriyaki bento box which came in a supr cute tray, I've never seen them before haha. He also ordered the Crabmeat Fried Rice which I ended up fighting him over because it was so delicious and we both wanted to eat it all. 
I love being sent on reviews because it pushes me to try as many new things as I can, thats why when the waited offered us Mochi for dessert, I just said sure without being 100% sure what it was. Andrew isn't as adventurous and I had to try it first to convince him it was nice but in the end we decided that we loved the! Especially the fruity ones becuase they were just so tasty. We love mochi
We both really enjoyed every course and will be sure to be visiting again. With such a great loacation we will be back for dinner on a friday night super soon!

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