Monday, 26 January 2015

Aromatherapy Associates

Relaxation
Being unwell sucks and I really don't make a good patient. I have now been unwell for a number of weeks and it's starting to really hack me off. I enjoy being kept busy and doing something every minute of the day, sitting around is not really my style and there is only so much American Horror Story that you can watch. The fact that my diet is seriously restricted is also bugging the hell out of me. A foodie who can't eat makes for a rather grumpy person. 

Baths have been my little distraction and a good way to help me relax and unwind. I love aromatherapy oils because of their wonderful smell they instantly relax my body and the essential oils help my mind relax. 

For Christmas I was lucky enough to receive the Aromatherapy Associates ultimate bath jewels. Until now I haven't really had the time to properly use them, but being unwell has been a good excuse.
Aromatherapy Associates
The beautiful collection comes with 10 mini versions of their signature bath and shower oils and are stored in a nice keepsake draw. It is the perfect set to try out the complete collection of oils. They have a new version that is £35 here

They are the perfect size for travelling too. You have two options for using them, two capfuls for a quick bath or the whole bottle for a sumptuous spa bath. I never stay in the bath long enough so I'm more than happy to use the two capfuls which fills the bathroom with wonderful aromas. 

The oils come in Relax Deep, Relax Light, De-stress mind, De-stress muscle, Revive Morning, Revive Evening (perfect if you are going out), Support Breathe (perfect if you have a cold or sore throat), Support Lavender and Peppermint.
Aromatherapy Associates
Lavender and peppermint is a favourite so far, the lavender relaxes the mind and the peppermint cools and relaxes tired and weary muscles. 

My other favourite has been Support Equilibrium (geranium, rose and frankincense) and Inner Strength (sage, frankincense and cardamom). What is lovely about the sample set is you can choose the oil based on what your mind and body needs. 
Relaxation

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Monday, 19 January 2015

Laura Mercier

Laura Mercier
During the winter my skin always misbehaves; it becomes dry and I suffer with little red cheeks, better known as rosacea. Body cream can be a saving grace, but I have sensitive skin and often this means having a cream with no sent. 

That was until I realised that Laura Mercier did Soufflé  body Crème, they come in six great foodie scents and best of all they are wonderfully moisturising and good for my skin. 
Laura Mercier
My favourite has to be the Crème Brûlée Soufflé Body Crème 300g (£44.50). I love the dessert but who knew that it  could be so kind to your skin. With sweet almond, vitamin A, C, E, Pro-Vitamin B-5, Grape Seed and Rice Bran Oil, it is wonderfully nourishing for the skin.   
Laura Mercier
How would I describe the smell? Well think of a French Patisserie, spun sugar and vanilla beans. It smells good enough to eat, however; I would avoid that temptation and just appreciate its lovely non overpowering fragrance. 

Almond coconut milk Soufflé Body Crème At 300g (£44.50), this is really luxurious and I use this for special occasions. It smells wonderful, the mix of almond and coconut is lovely.  
Laura Mercier
Fresh Fig Soufflé Body Crème 300g (£44.50), I only ever eat fig with cheese. But in a cream it is lovely and refreshing. 
Laura Mercier
Tarte au citron Soufflé Body Crème 300g (£44.50), this smells like a lemon grove it is wonderful and fresh. 
Laura Mercier
Creme de Pistache Soufflé Body Crème 300g (£44.50). This is a rich and deeply moisturising cream. It has a delicate scent that lasts all day.  
Laura Mercier
Ambre Vanille Soufflé Body Crème 300g (£44.50). This is the ultimate luxury in moisturiser. I am not that keen on vanilla I generally find it too sweet, but this is like silk on the skin and best of all is wonderfully moisturising. 
Laura Mercier
Not sure what smell to go for? Laura Mercier do a sampler pack every year in which you get six minis to pick your favourite smell.   

What is your favourite moisturiser? 

Laura Mercier

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Friday, 16 January 2015

The Little Yellow Door

The Little Yellow Door
Having a new flatmate moving in can be a daunting experience. You have your living space just as you like it but are you willing to give some of it up? Will your new flatmate have any strange habits that will drive you up the wall and the big question; will you get on? 

Well this situation does drastically improve if the person moving in can cook. 

The Little Yellow door (TLYD for short) is the ultimate "flatshare" popup restaurant, with 5 flatmates opening their living room located in Notting Hill Gate to the public. 

The Little Yellow Door
From the street and up a very narrow steep flight of stairs we were shown into a living room, with a wonderful eclectic blend of décor, armchairs, mirrors and The Big Lebowski movie playing on the wall. 
  
It was great to meet some of the flatmates Kam, Tom,  Lalie and their newest flatmate Luigi. The Little Yellow Door has the tradition of catering to the origins of their newest roomie, so the food for the evening was a menu of beautiful Italian food and as you know a FoodieForce favourite. 

All good parties start with cocktails - The Libertine (Earl Grey infused Gin, Lemon, Gomme, Egg White), served with a biscuit favourite went down a treat. 
The Little Yellow Door
Foodies love nothing more than covert missions in which they attend locations they haven't been to before, with the reward at the end of it food and a good natter with fellow bloggers. 

It was lovely to be seated with some of my favourite bloggers Angie from SilverSpoon, Suze from Luxury Columnist, Zoe from Love and Limoncello and Rosie from A Little Lusciousness

I also got to find some great new blogs to follow, Emily from Curious London, Lebinh from The Food Connoisseur and Felicia from Dancing In High Heels.
The Little Yellow Door
On being seated we were served with Antipasti:


Burrata with Mint Pesto, Cured Tomatoes, Smoked Aubergine, Confit Onions and Rye Crisps.

Proscitto, Lardo, Peach, Basil and Almonds. 

Smoked Beef Carpaccio, Mustard Dressing, Crispy Capers and Salted Ricotta. This for me was a favourite I love beef carpaccio and the capers went well.  
The Little Yellow Door
Arancini of Mushroom and Asparagus with Truffle and Porcini Mayonnaise. Lovely and creamy and the truffle mayonnaise a great combination. 

Based on how quickly the appetisers disappeared it boded well for the rest of the meal. 

The starter that followed was Egg Tagilatelle with Spiced Duck Ragu. 
The Little Yellow Door
The absolute highlight for me of the entire meal was the Main. Belly Porchetta with Caponata, Pickled Baby Vegetables, Sultanas, Capers, and Pine Nuts. The flavours created in this dish were superb the capers and pine nuts were great additions, the meat was perfectly cooked. 
The Little Yellow Door
A trio of desserts:
The Little Yellow Door.
Pine Nut Caramel Tart with Marsala Raisins
Chocolate Tiramisu Panna Cotta
Sicilian Cannelloni with Pistachios.

The Sicilian Cannelloni with Pistachio was a wonderful spin on baklava and the hidden orange a great addition.  

A alternative to boring coffee, a Grand Brulot, Espresso Coffee, Tobacco Gomme. I really enjoyed the cocktail, however didn't see the need for the cigarette, especially for non smokers like myself.
The Little Yellow Door
With great food, superb company and pyrotechnic cocktails the only thing that was left was to climb in the tree house and go to sleep.  
The Little Yellow Door
The Little Yellow Door
Fancy going yourself the house is open Thursday - Saturday and you can book using What'sApp. If you prefer using a phone you can text or call 07738195996.

www.thelittleyellowdoor.co.uk

The Little Yellow Door
68 Notting Hill Gate
London

W11 3HT

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Monday, 12 January 2015

Taste of Travel

Taste of Travel
Food for me can always conjure up memories. A smell, a taste, a texture, a flavour can remind me of a special meal, a wonderful event or holiday. When picking a holiday destination I research the food and restaurants probably as much as the accommodation and the cultural activities. Well I am a foodie after all. 

I was nominated by Suze a fellow lifestyle blogger from Luxury Columnist to come up with my three favourite courses encountered on my adventures and to take part in Celebrity Cruise's #tasteoftravel bloggers competition. They've just been voted Ocean Cruise Line of the Year in the 2014 Food and Travel Awards. 

The competition gives me the opportunity to share the most delicious and memorable starter, main and dessert I've discovered from my travels around the world.

If given the choice my starter to any meal would always be scallops. I have tried many variations but my personal favourite would have to be seared scallops with chorizo and pancetta
Scallops with chorizo and pancetta
The dish for me combines memories from my wonderful holidays in Spain and Italy. 
Italy
There are no pretensions here, and the freshness of the food speaks for itself as does the beauty of Italy and Spain. The scallops are presented beautifully with the roe still attached and cooked to perfection. The seared scallops are wonderfully moist and the chorizo and pancetta has a beautiful flavour. 

Main course is slightly more tricky as there are so many things I would love to eat. But there is a wonderful meal that holds lots of happy memories and the main I have chosen reminds me of celebrating my friend Sinéad's wedding in beautiful Cavan in Ireland. 
Ireland
Even looking at this picture is making me salivate, Tournedos of Prime Irish Beef Fillet. The best steak I have had anywhere and rivals any Argentinian steak. 
Steak
Dessert for me is an event in itself. My dessert would be two fold, I would have a selection of small patisserie that are representative of the countries and places the cruise will visit. One of the best selections I had was from the Sanderson hotel.
Sanderson Hotel
Dessert would be followed by a port and chocolate tasting
Port and Chocolate
The chocolates would have to come from wonderful Brussels. 
Brussels
Food should be an experience in itself and with a wonderfully crafted meal, it's possible to travel around the world without even leaving the plate. 

What food would you pick? Join me for dinner and share your own three-course travel menu on your blog and tantalise my taste buds. Leave a comment below if you take part. 

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