Friday, 27 June 2014

Lush Spa London

Lush spa
Everyone needs a little me time now and then to help relax, unwind and recharge the batteries. 

As you all know I love Lush products, but I have never visited the Lush Spa before. So when I booked a Lush Spa treatment at Chelsea, London I couldn't wait.

Lush Spa

The shop is on the Kings Road in Chelsea. They do lots of wonderful treatments and picking one was quite a challenge, but I opted for The Comforter (£75). 

To get to the spa you have to walk through the wonderful shop, resisting the temptations to buy the whole shop.  


At the end of the shop is a winding stairwell that leads to the basement, the spa is set in a quaint kitchen with tea and massage bars adorning the shelves. 
Lush Spa
It reminded me for some reason of Alice in Wonderland, I am not quite sure why. Maybe the little bottles with messages dotted around. 

Lush Spa

Lush spa


It also had inspiring messages written on the walls. 

Lush Spa

I was greeted by my masseur who was lovely and friendly, instantly putting me at ease. He checked that I had no medical complaints and that I wasn't about to drop dead. 

With the formalities over it was on with the show. The Comforter Lush claim, would help stimulate my senses and help me dive into a world of pure imagination. 

 Luxury Spas London
The room was dreamy with wonderful lighting, floating stars and the most wonderful aroma. 

Lush Spa

After getting changed I tucked myself up in a warm and cosy duvet, with a soft mattress that felt like a cloud underneath. I rang the bell placed by the bed and my dreaming and uplifting journey began. 

The massage consisted of dreamy music that instantly helped me drift into a deep relaxation. Coated with a hot chocolate ex-foliating body scrub I was instantly relaxed. I did every now and then have the temptation to eat the product, but that soon passed. 

The rose scented bubbles and rose massage that followed was wonderfully rhythmic and allowed me to drift off. An hour drifted by and I was seriously chilled by the end. 

When the massage was completed, I was offered a wonderfully refreshing drink of candy floss and elderflower juice. This was the sweet kick back to life that I needed. 

Lush Spa

I cannot stress how wonderful The Comforter was, it certainly lived up to its name. Considerable thought has gone into every step of this massage which was totally uplifting. I was seriously chilled by the end and wonderfully relaxed.  

I will certainly be visiting again to try out one of the many other massages on offer.

What do you do to relax and unwind? Do you have a favourite massage? 


123 King's Road, 

 photo foodieforce_32.jpg

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Limited Edition

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish
Liz Earle has been a favourite of mine for many years in part because they know how to make good, honest beauty products that do exactly what they say they do. There are no over inflated claims, their acclaim to fame comes from their loyal customers who swear by their products. 

I have been using Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, Hot Cloth Cleanser for a number of years. It is my regular beauty product and is one of my favourites. 
Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish

The original product has over 90 prestigious beauty awards and it didn't get them for nothing. With gentle cleansing power of eucalyptus, rosemary, chamomile and cocoa butter it is wonderful at removing dead skin and bringing my skin back to life. 

So when I saw recently that Liz Earle had released a limited edition Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser - orange flower and Chamomile (£19.75). It was a definite need to purchase. 

Liz Earle

The packaging for the new bottle is lovely and fresh in design and quite different from the rest of the Liz Earle range. I wonder if this is to appeal to a younger age group? 

The limited edition comes in 150ml compared to the original Cleanse and Polish which is 100ml.

I was excited to see if the limited edition would be as good as the original Cleanse and Polish. Placing two pumps on my hand the first thing I notice is the consistency is not as thick as the original it is more of a creamy fluid consitency.

Liz Earle

This product has a heavenly scent, greeting me instantly with an uplifting fresh aroma of orange blossom, transporting me to a beautiful Summer garden.   

The process of applying it is the same, taking two pumps you gently massage onto dry skin. 
Considering the product has Chamomile as one of its central ingredients, it does have a small tingly sensation when applied to the skin. I am not sure if this is the orange citrus interacting with the skin. 

Now don't get me wrong this wouldn't stop me purchasing this product again, but it is definitely a different product. 

Using the muslin cloth with hot water I gently wipe the cream off. My skin afterwards is tighter, fresher and the product has removed what feels like lots of dead skin. 

I really enjoyed the new take on the renowned beauty classic. In my view this is a wonderful new fresh approach to Cleanse and Polish. My only one wish would be that they consider adding back in the cocoa butter which would reduce some of the citrus sting to make it my perfect new Cleanse and Polish. 

To read the review I have done previously of the other products in the Liz Earle range visit here
Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish

What are your favourite beauty tips, secrets and products you use? Please share below I love reading your comments. 

Liz Earle 

 photo foodieforce_32.jpg

Friday, 20 June 2014

Underground cookery school

Food Bloggers

Foodies love nothing more than covert missions in which they attend locations they haven't been to before and the reward at the end of it is food.

When I received an email in my inbox from Anneliese which I read the subject header, Underground Cookery School and food in the title, I was already there with bells and whistles on.

Well what else does a foodie need as temptation, the chance to meet other fellow bloggers, learn some new cookery skills and to be fed.

The Underground Cookery School has been going since 2003. Only 5 minutes walk from Old Street, it offers a fun and uncomplicated way to learn how to cook.

The Underground Cookery school is as the name suggests under street level in a modern and professional kitchen space. 

Underground school

If I had known about it before I would have certainly sent the other half in the direction of Underground Cookery School, who actively practices the can't cook, won't cook mentality.

The evening was off to a good start when I was handed a glass of Prosecco. 

Followed by Canapés cream cheese with smoked salmon on crostini, Parmissan cheese pesto twists and deep fried risoto balls. Absolutely delicious. 


As a cook I don't take myself too seriously. Now don't get me wrong I love to cook and have a serious approach to eating food but cooking is about fun, laughs and putting that enjoyment in your food.

We were split into two groups and began work on our three course meal, starter - Salad of Sea Bass, served with asparagus, fresh Pea & Mint with Lemon Dressing. 
Sea bass filleted
Fillet the Sea Bass into two fillets. Mix five tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, five teaspoons of lemon juice, one tablespoon of mustard and seasoning together in a bowl; set a side.

Place the Fillets in a hot pan with a little vegetable oil. Cook for about 90 seconds or until the edges turn white and then flip over; cook for another minute. 

Pat dry with kitchen roll and serve on a bed of the peas and dress.

Sea bass

Main - Roast Breast of Chicken with Salsa Verde, Broad Beans & Jersey Royals. (To the veggies amongst you look away now).
Underground cookery school
Take a whole chicken and remove both chicken breasts. 
Underground cookery school
Place both chicken breasts in a frying pan and brown for 3 minutes each side, place in a pre-heated oven at 170°C/Gas mark 5 for twenty-five minutes. 

New Jersey potato's
Wash the potatoes thoroughly. Cut into smaller sizes if needed. Place the potatoes in cold water and bring up to the boil until cooked. When soft drain and add to a frying pan, add a few slices of spring onions, some chopped chives salt and cracked pepper; dress with a little extra virgin olive oil.
Underground cookery school

Chicken with Salsa Verde, Broad Beans & Jersey Royals

Dessert - Strawberry Meringue Roulade.

Strawberry Meringue Roulade
Place the 6 egg whites in a bowl and whisk to soft peaks. Now add one table spoon of vanilla essence and lemon juice and then 200g of caster sugar and continue to whisk until the whites stiffen. 
Using a pallet knife or a flat edge, smooth the whites into the prepared tin and bake in  a pre-heated oven at 140°C for 12 minutes or until cooked. Take out of the oven and set a side for a few minutes.

Whip the double cream and of course take the customary finger taste test. 

Turn the meringue onto the greaseproof paper and cover the top with the whipped  cream. Add the strawberries and using the greaseproof paper roll into a roulade. Place in the fridge and when ready to serve, roll off the greaseproof paper and cut into portions.
Strawberry Meringue Roulade

Strawberry Meringue
After all that hard work all that was left was to sit down and eat the wonderful food (well after countless picture taking, tweets and discussing it first). 

Underground Cookery school
Food blogs

Special thanks to (JesseEmmaLilyCharlie
Ashleigh,VictoriaAllyChiara and Melanie) for the brilliant company and chatter. 

So all in all, if you want to learn to cook, improve your skills or become a sultry cooking goddess this is the place for you.

One thing I learnt throughout the night was...
Cooking school

I was kindly a guest of the Underground Cookery School and supplied the recipes, however in no way did that affect this review I had a wonderful time and I am looking forward to donning my black silk dressing gown and becoming a sultry chef. Ok everyone has to start somewhere.
cookery schools

Underground Cookery School, 
201/203 City Road 

Free weekly recipe blog

#FF (Foodie Force) out-takes...
Cookery school

cookery school
Cooking antics

 photo foodieforce_32.jpg

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

21 Restaurant and Bar Covent Garden

Growing up in London I was spoilt with wonderful places to visit. Covent Garden especially has always held a special place in my heart, having spent many an hour shopping, wandering around the lovely market stalls and then having a bite to eat. 

Covent Garden

London Transport Museum

If you haven't visited before then you are really missing a treat it has some wonderful foodie treasures. I have written about some of them which you can read here.   

On the weekend Covent Garden is a hive of activity, with people milling around and making the most of their weekends. There is also the wonderful Royal Opera House and London Transport Museum to visit where children get in free. 

But one of my most favourite things to do has to be visiting The Moomin shop.


For those of you too young to know what I am talking about check it out on YouTube. Growing up I loved watching reruns of this programme. 

Covent Garden

So when I was contacted by 21 Restaurant and Bar in Covent Garden, to come and try out their Italian restaurant, it was a resounding yes. Well any excuse to visit Covent Garden, The Moomin shop, and we all know how much I love Italian food.  
21 Restaurant Covent Garden

I have often seen people sipping and eating food on the cobbled piazza terrace that is owned by 21. But it had totally passed me by that 21 also had a restaurant and bar set over three floors. 
Alfresco London eating

Restaurants Covent Garden

The restaurant is set in the beautiful historic cellar vaults.  

Restaurants Covent Garden

21 also has a roof terrace bar The Print Room with wonderful balconies overlooking the piazza.   

Cocktails in Covent Garden

Cocktails Covent Garden

Now where better to view the street performers and watch the world pass by on a hot summers day than here. This is the perfect spot for people watching. 

Cocktails Covent Garden

Once comfortably seated inside we started our meal with two cocktails. 
Taytini (on the left) made with Absolut vodka and served straight with an elegant mix of Aperol (Italian aperitif), Merlet peach liqueur and fresh raspberries. 

San Sebastian (on the right) flavours of Havana three year rum, Carton banana liqueur, passion fruit and cinnamon syrup. This one is potent.

Both were delicious but the Taytini I could have easily supped all night. I have these on my cocktail list now. 

Looking over the menu there was lots of choice and after lots of umming and ahring we opted for:

Italian food Covent garden
Salumi board a selection of cured meats and pickles (£13.25) - prosciutto di Norcia, finocchiona, capocollo toscano and aged balsamic. This is a perfect dish for me as I love prosciutto and with a basket of focaccia bread I was in heaven.   

We shared a crostini three piece selection (£4.45) - vine plum tomato and basil, goat's cheese, Parma ham with caramelised fig, beetroot cured salmon, horseradish cream and pink peppercorn.

The toppings were really delicious, my favourite the goat's cheese, Parma ham with caramelised fig.

For our mains I opt for salmon cooked in a paper bag (£15.25), with baby leeks, garlic, rosemary and broccoli.

Italian Restaurants Covent Garden

Now the pictures cannot do this beautiful dish justice. The Salmon was packed with flavour, lemon, rosemary, garlic and tomato. The Salmon melted in the mouth and the addition of leeks was a great idea. 

Places to eat Covent Garden.

My other half opted for Cornish crab Linguine (14.25), garlic, lime, chilli and coriander. 

Restaurants Covent Garden

In an Italian restaurant, pasta is one of those meals that in my view is a signature dish, and if done poorly, can make or break your relationship with the restaurant. 

The Cornish crab Linguine was rich in flavour and texture. I am pleased to report that Crab Linguine here is a signature dish, the huge portion was devoured in minutes. 

We were absolutely full at this point, but the menu for desserts was really tempting. A foodie never knows when to say no. So we choose a dessert to share.    

A chocolate chip cookie sandwich with Vanilla pod Galato and Irish coffee. The cookie was perfect for sharing or should I say fighting over.  

When we headed for the exit the restaurant was full, always a good sign of a much loved restaurant. 

21 is a hidden gem, offering great service, authentic Italian food that is reasonably priced and now that we have found this hidden gem, we will most certainly be back. 

If your visiting the theatre in Covent Garden 21 also offer a wonderful pre theatre menu from 5.30 pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday evenings. 

London Theatre

Thank you very much to 21 restaurant for a wonderful meal. Our meal was complimentary for the purposes of a review, but this is an honest and fair reflection of the restaurant and our meal. 

21 The Market
Covent Garden

Tel: (0)20 7836 2137

Square Meal 21 Covent Garden on Urbanspoon

 photo foodieforce_32.jpg