L'Etoile, Charlotte Street

Monday 30 May 2016

I'll be honest, I didn't want to write this review because I didn't really enjoy the meal and you know I never like to post a bad review but the restaurant preferred I wrote a bad post than not write one at all so here it is.
The place is called L'Etoile and it's on Charlotte Street. I walk past it every day at work and from the outside, it looked like a cute little french restaurant so I was very excited to be invited for dinner a few weeks ago. We arrived at around 6 on Friday night and the lovely staff greeted us with a glass of fizz! To be fair, the staff were really lovely, happy and attentive throughout the evening and the food wasn't bad as such, there was nothing wrong with it, I just didn't enjoy it or being there at all and left feeling as though I'd wasted a Friday night. To be honest, I was happy to leave and do something a bit more exciting by the end of it.
Andrew started with muscles and I had crab mac n cheese which admittedly was the best part of the meal although it was far too creamy so I only ate half of it. It came out in a cute little pot with a lid which looked great and left me pretty excited for the rest of the meal, which sadly didn't live up to my expectations.
The main I found, along with the clientele and the setting, very traditional and old fashion and that is just not my style when its comes to food. I love trying exciting, quirky food with new and interesting twists and that is not how you would describe my lamb or Andrews beef for that matter. 
 I was pretty also unimpressed with desserts. Andrew ordered "black forest chocolate decadence" which turned out to be a brownie with some fruit in a sauce on top. I went for a lemon posset, the dessert itself was nothing to write home about and I was not really not a fan of the presentation of mine, the little serviette underneath just makes it feel so cheap in my opinion.

30 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 2NG

Check Your Pet: Babesiosis

Tuesday 24 May 2016

So hopefully you guys saw my last blog post with MERIAL (if not, it’s here) but I wanted to follow it up with another one on something that is very real in my area at the moment! This one is really quite a big scary issue and I wanted to let all you other Essex dog owners know about it and keep an eye out for yourselves.

The press release states: A fatal dog disease, carried by ticks, called canine babesiosis, has been reported in the UK, particularly Essex. Great. My mum has been telling me that there is something going around but we weren't sure what until now.
Canine babesiosis is similar to malaria and can be fatal to dogs. This disease is not new to the UK although all previous cases seen were in dogs that had recently travelled abroad. These new cases are significant because none of the dogs had travelled outside the UK, which is not good news at all!

The ticks might only be the size of a sesame seed (until they feed! They can swell to the size of a coffee bean afterwards) but they can be a big problem!

Ticks can be found everywhere, not just the obvious high risk places such as forests but also in playgrounds, parks and even your garden. That being said, it’s super important to take action to protect your pet. That’s where using FRONTLINE® Spot On monthly comes in. It kills ticks within 48 hours, minimising the risk of tick-borne disease transmission, this is what my dad has said we will do for Molly.
Remember to check your pets (and yourself) for ticks after walks or even having simply been outside, paying particular attention to areas where your pet's hair is thinner such as their head, around the ears and their tummy. Ticks should drop off naturally once they’re dead, but if they don’t, you can safely remove them using a tick hook. If you are unsure how to do it, it is recommended you contact your vet.

FRONTLINE® Spot On contains fipronil. Legal category: AVM-GSL (UK). ®Registered Trademark. For further prescribing information, refer to the data sheet on or contact Merial Animal Health Ltd, CM19 5TG, UK. Use medicines responsibly

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KOJOWAN, Edgeware Road Review

Sunday 22 May 2016

I love unique eating experiences and fun restaurants so I was super excited to be invited along for dinner and drinks on the 23rd floor of the Hilton in Edgeware Road. It was a super warm evening so I decided to walk there from work which took just under an hour. I've not been to that part of London before and I'll be honest, I'm not in a rush to go back, it's not the nicest of places although it was absolutely fine once I was in the hotel. The staff from the beginning were lovely and soon I was in a lift flying up to the top of the building.
From the invite, I assumed KOJOWAN was Japanese but there was something different about it. The place was very space age and futuristic, all silver and mirrored, it was like a Japanese Star Trek, it was very odd. I was told they like to refer to it as typically unauthentic which I absolutely loved.
We started at the bar where we ordered most of the drinks on the silver, manga illustrated menu. We soon discovered the most popular cocktail of the evening, which is called Astro Pussy. Apart from the coolest custom cup, it was a delicious concoction of  Bacardi Ocho rum, rice milk, peanut butter and cinnamon. Isn't this the cutest cocktail you have ever seen!
After our fill of Astro Pussy, we relocated over to the restaurant to eat. We all sat together around a big square table and the food soon started to arrive! There was so much - it got to the point that we were on our third set of main courses and I had to leave. I missed out on dessert which I am never happy about but I wasn't too keen on going back out to the station when it was dark.
So let me tell you about my favourite dishes of the night. Firstly the rich pork mince dip which came with sesame creckers. It was super tasty and a great one to share!

 I also really enjoyed the delicious charcoal octopus. I've had calimari before but I've never jut ordered octopus. I like to imagine in that setting that it was some kind of alien dish but nonetheless, it had great flavour and great texture.
The lobster and cheese dumplings were one of the last dishes that I tried and I loved how these ones looked. It had a ying yang vibe to it with the black of the bun and the white of the lobster and cheese. The bun was super soft and of course I enjoyed the big chunk of lobster too!

But my favourite dish of the night was the waygu tartar. I've become a bit waygu crazy lately and if you've tried it you'll know why. It is just the most delicious meat you will ever have and having it in tartar form delicious.

Will You Visit?

*Our food was complimentary. All opinions at my own.
** The good images are not mine, theyre Kojowans.

Barry M Molten Metals Range

Wednesday 18 May 2016

I hope your ready for my next installment of Barry M polishes because I this is one of my favourite ranges in a long time. It hardly ever happens that I love every single colour in a range but they've managed it with this one! It's called Molten Metals and consists of four beautiful, metallic shades.

 Originally, I thought these were a bit chistmassy to be launching in May but they are not your usual glitters and once I put one on, I could see that they are going to look amazing about tanned holiday skin. We are going to quite a luxe hotel later in the year and I have already decided I'm taking this whole range along with me! They are going to be great for that super glam vibe to go along with the hotel.

I do have a little insider tips for these though, first time I put them on, I wasn't happy but second time round, I'd fixed my problem! You guys know I am a lazy nail painter, I dont use a top or base and I only file them if its really essential but with these polishes, it is! My nails cracked and peeling as usual and when these polishes go on top of that, they sink in and show ever nook and cranny which I was not pleased with. This was easily fixed by giving them a quick buff before application the next time!
 I'm wearing Bronze Bae (like the rest of the Internet at the moment) - Which one is your favourite?

Copper Mine, Silver lining, Bronze Bae, Gold Digger
*PR Samples

Colour Me Launch & Giveaway

Monday 16 May 2016

I was recently introduced to a product that might not ordinarily been something that I was interested in but as of late it's something I have been thinking more and more about. Wearing make up. I know to most of you this sounds really strange but I dont wear make up and even if I wanted to, I have absolutely no idea how to apply it.

So I was very interested when I heard about a brand called Colour Me. I was lucky enough to be one of 4 or 5 bloggers invited to dinner at Zuma to hear all about the new product. The founder, Eric spent the evening with us retelling amazing tales of his past and how he came up with the product! Everyone loves The Naked Palettes right? All his idea. And of course so is the colour me tool. While he was working with Benefit & Urban Decay in the past, he found that all of his clients were asking him for that airbrushed look. He achieved this manually by patting on the make up and in the end he came up with the colour me. It taps your make up on to your face with tiny vibrations - 250 times a second!
Dinner by the way, was absolutely amazing. Just opposite Harrods, we ate incredible quality food and drank (lots of champagne, naturally) in a private room and it was the best sushi I have ever eaten. Plus I now have a new found love for wagyu beef - I'm never eating normal steak again. 
As the only one without any make up on that evening, I was nominated for the demo. This was actually a good thing because it meant I got to see and feel how it was applied by an expert. The result? A Smooth seamless finish which I was pretty pleased with! My face felt great afterwards as well, I feel like the vibrations got the blood pumping a little bit, I was all tingly afterwards. Shame I was only going straight afterwards but nonetheless, check out my slightly drunken midnight selfie before I took it off.
 I have been lucky enough to get a colour me to giveaway here on my blog so if you want a piece of this action, enter below as usual!

Pizza Express Spring 16 Menu

Friday 13 May 2016

It's a well known fact that nowadays, I love Pizza Express - and I got particularly excited when I saw what they had in store for Spring 2016 - some of my all time favorites! So I booked up a table and as with most of my Pizza Express reviews, I brought Georgia along to try the new menu with me! I know she likes it there and they are really good with keeping their food gluten free so its perfect for us!

First things first - drinks! I really enjoy drinking prosecco at Pizza Express, it tastes good and its a really great price, I think its something like £26 for a bottle which isnt bad at all! Georgia's turned into a cliche Londoner and ordered a G&T.
OK, First course. Did you know that they finally have gluten free doughballs? Georgia didn't and she got so excited when I asked her if she was going to order them this time! I always go for doughballs and although I don't have what you would call a full blown gluten intolerance, it definitely doesn't agree with me. I love trying new things so of course we both ordered them. I was super interested to see if they would be as good and in all honesty, they weren't as good as normal doughballs but they weren't bad at all. They arrived bigger than the normal ones and were much more fluffy inside whereas the usual ones are quite dense. Georgia told me how she didn't feel like she was missing out anymore so that was lovely!
I had been thinking about the Hawaiian pizza all week as it's my number one favourite topping but when I actually looked at it on the menu, I realised that it was just a pineapple chutney, not chunks like my old favourite. I was soon distracted by the new risotto on the menu and ordered that instead!

I dont think I really realised what Risotto was until last year but I love rice so I never looked back after accidentally buying one in Pret once. So yes, Risotto is still super new for me, and I was curious to try a new flavour, this one was fish based - white wine, salmon and garlic! The rice was thick and creamy and very cheesey but what I liked best about this dish was that the salmon was crumbled and mixed into the rice. Topped with fresh tomato and paisley, it is now one of my favourite dishes!
Georgia went for the Leggera Superfood Salad with extra salmon which is a brand new salads under 500 calories. The plate was huge when it arrived but she said it was a little heavy on the leaves and a little short on the superfood which is a shame although with the extra salmon, it was more than filling!
Now for dessert! Passion fruit has become one of my absolute favorite flavours over the past year - I love its bright colour, crunchy seeds and tartness so to spot another of my favourite on the menu was pretty excited! The dessert was called Passionate Mess so we assumed it would be some kind of Eton Mess style but when it arrived, it actually looked like a slice of lemon meringue pie with soft chewy meringue on top and a biscuit base underneath. As expected, I loved the passionfruit flavour but I think there was just a bit too much of it which I was shocked about! I still finished it off though so it wasnt that bad haha

Have You Tried Pizza Express' Spring Menu?

*Our food was complimentary in return for this review. All opinions at my own. 

Parasite Party with MERIAL

Tuesday 10 May 2016

MERIAL got in touch with me recently to see if I'd heard about their new ‘Parasite Party’ campaign. As a dog owner, obviously I was very interested to hear what they had to say and I've decided to post what I've seen for all you other dog owners! Firstly, this little video they sent me to raise the awareness of the risks parasites pose to pets:
And it certainly did its job - I knew dogs could get ticks and fleas but seriously, seeing all the different internal worms that can harm dogs really scared me. I didn't know things like that happened.

They also sent me a one minute checklist (link) to see what kind of risk Molly might be exposed to and what should I know about it. For example, It pointed out that, since we live in the forest and take her out there every day, she could be prone to ticks as they live in vegetation and attach to dogs on their walks.

My dad deals with all of this stuff for Molly but I do know he takes her to get wormed regularly which is really important for her and for us too - some worms can affect people if they get into our bodies which is not ideal!

 Molly is the center of our family and I'm sure a lot of other dogs are to theirs so be sure to help keep your pet healthy with visits to the vets who can help you out with expert advice if you're ever worried!

My May Day Bank Holiday

Sunday 8 May 2016

I've been really interested in trying a diary style post for a couple of weeks now. The first one I wrote never made it out of my drafts but I thought I'd try again and write about my May Day bank holiday weekend. Let me know what you guys thing yeah?

I finished at 4 on Friday and although that should have been a good thing, it was a bit of a pain because Andrew didn't finish until 5.45. I was pretty exhausted but I decided to make the most of my spare time and go to the gym, on my own for the first time ever - I'm still a gym newbie remember. We go to one locally so I got on the tube back to Essex and went straight there from work. I took my new Ivy Park shorts for a spin and actually got loads more done on my own and felt so awake by the end of it that I decided to get back on the train and meet Andrew for cocktails!

We went to Searcys at Westfield because it's not too far into town, the prices are really good and so are the drinks! It's such an easy place to spend the evening and it means we have a huge choice for dinner afterwards. We picked YO Sushi. Obvs but I was a bit drunk to think about taken any photos before I stuffed it in my mouth.
The next morning, we were up bright and early! After spending a whole year saying that we dont want to get on the train again at the weekend, we decided that, that was the wrong way to look at things and going into London at the weekend to do something fun rather than work was a good idea.

So on Saturday morning we jumped on the train to Oxford Circus for breakfast! I'd been to The Riding House Cafe for a meeting a couple of weeks back and it was absolutely delicious. So I was super excited to take Andrew there. I ordered near enough the same thing as last time but with a different smoothie. I loved how they arrive in cute little old school milk bottles so I definitely wanted another one of those - this time I went for Racer, chocolate and banana, my favourite smoothie combo - hold the espresso. 

Now as for the food, rather than just the usual avotoast and poached eggs that you know very well, I love, I had avocado benedict which is a dish I search for everywhere and rarely find, so when I did find it, I ordered it large. And stepped it up another notch with feta. It was honestly delicious and my favourite breakfast dish so far.
After breakfast we went for a little walk down to Oxford Street but soon regretted that - London is a nightmare when you dont know how to dodge tourists but I do, so we retreated back up to the empty back streets - it was absolutely empty and a pleasure to wander down to Selfridges.

We somehow then ended up drinking champagne in the sun on their rooftop before deciding that, actually, we don't like the trains and getting an uber home.
After a little nap, Saturday night was spent on the sofa with a big duvet and all of Tesco's (think chocolate crispy bites, mango juice, and a 2 liter tub of mint choc chip) stuffing our faces some more whilst watching Britians got talent and catching up on first dates. It was pretty chilled.
On Sunday morning I went home and just relaxed with Molly because on Monday, I'd planned a long awaited trip to Lakeside with my Mum and as usual, that meant leaving at 9 and doing Primark before anyone else arrives! We bought alot, and we ate alot and it was a great day! I think I'll leave what I bought for some upcoming outfit posts!

Mink Pink at JOY Maxi Dress

Wednesday 4 May 2016

London weather is really teasing with one day being hot enough to spend lunchtimes eating ice cream in the park and the next day giant hail stones appearing from no where but this week seems a bit more promising with yesterday being warm enough for a little afternoon sunbathe and apparently temperatures hitting the 20s later in the week! The radio said that, that means that on some days its going to be hotter than Ibiza.

Talking of which, I booked up two holidays this week and I am SO excited! My first trip is later this month and I cant wait for some proper sunshine! We arent going for long but that hasnt stopped me buying a whole new wardrobe for the occasion. I went to Lakeside with my mum earlier this week as as well as buying a couple of bikinis then, I've ordered 6 more.. oops. Look, Summer is finally on its way and I want to be ready!

I was sent this amazing dress by Mink Pink at JoY a couple of weeks ago and this is definitely coming with me! I can imagine wearing it for one of those warm evenings eating dinner and drinking cocktails by the beach! It's fitted at the top and floaty with a slit at the bottom which is perfect for a holiday date night. And if the weather reports are telling the truth, it might even get an outing sooner!
P.S. If you in Soho today, why not pop down to Bateman Street and visit the Dairy Milk Medley Lounge? They're offering a free head massage, a hand and arm massage or a luxury manicure to show off the joyful and luxurious experience that comes from tasting one of their new medley bars! They're launching two new flavours - biscuit and fudge or my favourite, caramelised hazelnuts and raspberry pieces!

Most spaces are booked up but they have some walk in slots too! I went yesterday for a half hour massage at lunch and ate much more chocolate than I should have. Definitely worth a visit!

Lunch at Le Pain Quotidien

Tuesday 3 May 2016

I am in the terrible habit of buying lunch every day. I know, it's expensive and I could save loads by bringing in food but it is seriously the highlight of my working day and I feel sad when I haven't got a nice lunch to look forward to. As much as eating nice food, I love to get out of the office for an hour and usually go exploring with Juanita. There's lots to be seen in Fitzrovia and recently, rather than visiting a new shop to pick up something exciting to go, we've been enjoying actually having a sit down lunch in a restaurant.

Whether it's google, or more recently, Instagram, I am always hunting for new places to visit and I recently came across Le Pain Quotidien, a cute little Belgium chain with a pretty delicious looking menu and after a quick search, I realised that we walk past our local one, on Tottenham Court Road every day. So today, we went in.
We arrived at 12:30 and the lunch time rush had already started - it was already packed out. We found a table by the window and setteled down for an hour. I could already tell this place was going to be good. There was a little takeaway counter at the back which was full of delicious looking bread and cake and some very yummy looking specials up on the board. As for the menu, it had some many perfect lunch time choices from salads to tartines (much more on this to come) and lots of hot options.
It was the first time I'd ever seen a whole section on the menu just for tartines. Actually it was the first time I'd ever heard of a tartine in the first place. I soon learned that an open topped sandwich actually had a name, it was a tartine - and their choices looked just my style - three of them had avocado on them! I went for chicken avo and feta and I think I made a good choice. Plus it didn't make me fall asleep at work afterwards (this has definitely happened) so maybe just once slice of bread at a time is the way forward!
Piled high with toppings (which I was very pleased about as I have been known to shun bread altogether in the past when it comes to sandwiches.) The bread was smothered with smooth avo and topped with thick strips of chicken and chunks of tomato, then sprinkled with feta cheese.

I'm actually starting to love feta on things that aren't salads. The scattered pieces give a nice little kick of flavour.
Juanita ordered the potato and chorizo frittata. I didn't know what a frittata was either but turned out its similar to an omlette but much chunkier with much more filling. It came with a large plate of salad and a couple of slices of bread.
We also decided on hot chocolates and we're both very amused when Juanitas turned up with a teddy bear in the froth. It's much harder to do with soya milk so mine had a simple love heart but still, when your just expecting a plain drink to arrive it was a lovely, happy surprise that made us both smile. 
We smiled a little harder when we realised the hot chocolate came with a little jug of more chocolate that you could add to flavour. No testing needed. We both tipped the whole thing straight in. 
 To finish off we picked up a tart each to take back to work! One lemon and one strawberry with thick whipped cream underneath. SO delicious and the perfect late afternoon pick me up.
*Our lunch was complimentary in return for this review although all thoughts are 100% my own. And we will be going back very soon.
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