Sunday 30 March 2014

Arabian Oud - The scent of luxury

I love perfumes especially those with floral scents that uplift and remind me of spring and summer. 

Arabian Oud, established in 1982 is one of the largest fragrance retailers specialising in oriental and oil perfumes. They opened their first store in the UK in 2002. If you haven't seen their beautiful perfumes and shops you really have been missing out. 

                   Arabian Oud

They sell the loveliest perfumes contained within the prettiest bottles. 

                          Arabian Oud

                     Arabian Oud
                           Arabian Oud

My personal favourite is Nagham meaning musical note. The bottle is so beautiful. 

                         Nagham perfume

                                  Nagham Perfume

The hue of the perfume is floral fruity, with a bergamot, pineapple and lavender aroma. 

Oil perfume I find maintains its lovely smell for much longer than spray perfumes. I generally use this little beauty when going out for a night on the town. 

Fancy checking out the perfumes yourself you can have a look online or in store. 


435-437 Oxford Street
Tel: 0207 491 3333

Westfield Stratford
The Arcade,
Westfield Stratford City,
E20 1EL
Tel: 0208 534 6715

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Wednesday 26 March 2014

Bunnychow - Shoreditch

Before you think this blog post is going to be about a big fat bunny who eats too much food think again. No I promise I haven't lost my marbles stick with me.

Bunnychow started its life on four wheels rather than four legs as a pop up street food experience. Serving its tasty Bunny Chow to London foodies who just couldn't get enough. 

But when they got so popular they set up a new pop up shop in Boxpark in Shoreditch. 


What is Bunnychow I hear you cry? 

         Bunnychow menu

A little loaf, hollowed out and filled with some juicy chunky pieces of meat, fish or veg. 


Pulled pork, pickles and BBQ sauce. 
Pulled pork

Originating from South Africa, you use the bread to scoop and eat, best of all you don't need a knife or fork.

Bunny Chow comes in lots of yummy offerings: 

  • Monkey Gland - Meatballs, peppers and BBQ sauce 
  • Bunny Dog- Sausage, onion gravy and blue cheese
  • Bunny Chowder - smoked haddock, spring onions, quail egg and classic chowder sauce. 
  • Pork and Pickle - pulled pork, pickles and BBQ sauce. 
  • Boston Beans - Baked beans, spinach and smoked cheese.
  • Ginger Chicken - chicken, squash, bean sprouts and Thai Ginger sauce. 

Personal favourites are the Monkey Gland and Bunny Dog. 

Fancy trying it out for yourself visit Shoreditch BoxPark

Unit 55
2- 4 Bethnal Green Road
E1 6GY 

Square Meal

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Saturday 22 March 2014

Concoction bespoke - Shampoo

Concoction Shampoo

Now I don't know about you but I hate washing my hair. Before you judge me this is not because I don't like clean and lovely smelling hair. It is because I have the thickest hair in the world and washing and styling it is a real chore. 

Growing up I washed my hair but rarely did I ever dry it, why simply because it took more than an hour to dry with a hair dryer. What a chore. 

So I would tie it up and leave it to naturally dry, only that never happened. I would wash it every other day and when it was time for the next wash yes you guessed right my hair was often still wet.

As an adult I have continued this same love hate relationship, I love clean hair but hate the drying part of the routine. Drying my hair takes well over an hour and I can think of a million and one other things I would like to be doing. 

So trying new shampoos, conditioners and styling products eases the pain and makes the chore of washing my locks a more pleasant one.  

So when I popped into BeautyMART and saw Concoction lemon and verbena shampoo that you can personalise to your own hair I had to give it a go.

Concoction Shampoo
Concoction is a great new way to create personalised shampoo and conditioner perfectly matched to your hair. The first shampoo you can customise. 

First you choose your base shampoo choices Bakhour (exotic woody aroma), Lemon and VerbenaBlack Pepper and Citrus and Rosemary and Mint

 You then choose two superserum shots. I opted for High definition blonde and thermo straight.

Concoction Superserum

You snap of the tops and mix with your shampoo. Give it a good old shake and away you go your very own personalised shampoo is ready. 

The Concoction shampoo had a lovely fresh lemon scent when washing my hair which lasted well after the wash. 

The high definition blonde superserum had chamomile which definitely added shine to my otherwise dry blonde locks. But the best bit of all had to be the thermo straight superserum which not only protected my hair from my straighteners but the aloe and cucumber added hydration. 

Concoction is a great shampoo that I really enjoyed using and I will definitely be trying other shampoos and superserums.

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Wednesday 19 March 2014

eos - organic lip balm

eos lip balm
I use a lip balm everyday and I have tried many over the years. As someone who is allergic to sunlight having a lip balm with an automatic SPF in summer is a must, very few have any sun protection. So when a new one comes out that does I am excited to try it. 

Eos lip balms come in eight exciting flavours (Blueberry, strawberry, pomegranate, summer fruit, sweet mint, honeysuckle, tangerine and lemon). 

The packaging and design of Eos has a twist on any current lip balms, coming in a sphere shape and with a rounded lip balm. 

Eos lip balm

eos Lemon Drop lip balm

When I spotted Eos Lemon Drop lip balm in the range which comes with a built in SPF 15 I had to try it. 

The balm is bursting with a zesty lemon flavour, is packed with vitamin E and has a natural conditioning through shea butter and jojoba oils to keep your lips moist. 

It sounds as though it should be amazing, sadly whilst it made my lips feel smooth, it never really moisturised and nourished them in the way I would expect given the ingredients. The lemon balm also has a fake smell of lemons when applied that shatters the illusion of a lemon grove in Seville.  

Have you tried any of the Eos lip balms? What are your favourite lip balms?

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Friday 14 March 2014

Aspinal of London

There are very few things now that are made to last. I'm pleased to say however that there are some British institutions and products that the above simply is not true of.  

Aspinal of London is a company that growing up I loved. Why? "Simples!", Aspinal of London is founded on superior quality and well crafted beautiful designs that are made to last. 

So when for a special occasion a while ago I unwrapped a present to find the distinctive Aspinal branding, to say I was excited would be a bit of an 

Ooh! what could be inside? There was lots of shaking the box, feeling how heavy it was, well you get the idea. I opened the box to find the most beautiful leather purse, with pink stitching and best of all my initials. 


On unclasping the belt, inside was the best bit of all my very own make up brushes. 

Aspinal Makeup brushes
A whole set of absolutely brilliant brushes that were all my very own to try out and use. The smile at this point on my face was huge. 
Aspinal Brushes

I love the idea of having a few items that I can pass onto my children when old enough to appreciate them and this is one of those very items.

Aspinal is a wonderful British company with so many beautiful leather products, best of all they ship worldwide.  

They have lots of lovely offerings so you can visit their online website here or one of their many stores UK wide here

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Monday 10 March 2014

Champagne and Fromage

I love cheese and even more than that I love bubbles (both of the champagne and bath variety). 

So when I got the chance to go to Champagne and Fromage a bistro in Covent Garden that does both cheese and champagne I was really looking forward to it. What better way to spend a Monday evening after work than eating cheese and supping champagne. 

Champagne and Cheese
The shop from the outside looks unassuming but looks can be deceiving inside is a shop that reminds me of a true French fromagerie. If you are visiting London this really is a must. 

Champagne and Fromage

The shop sells over 25 award winning Champagnes, so what better way to start our evening than sampling some. 


We opt for a bottle of Champagne Philippe Dechelle Brut, which has 33% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Noir and 34% Pinot Memier. But the Bistro also sells Champagne by the glass at £9 - £18.

The bistro has lots of lovely food on offer (menu) from cheese, charcuteries, tartinnes, salads, Foie Gras, snails and baked cheese.  

For us the choice was easy we opted for cheese and cured meat boards (£8 each). 


The shop offers over 30 soft and hard cheeses. For us the selection was easy we opt for Roquefort and Brie. 

Roquefort Cheese


The Corsican cured meats are a delicious accompaniment to the cheese. 

Cured meats

If you are looking for a hidden gem in the heart of London well this could be it. Champagne and Fromage really could be my new London secret, well that was until I shared it with you all. 

We had a really lovely time. 

Got a good London restaurant to share? 

Fromage and Cheese:
22 Wellington Street, 

0207 240 1604


Square Meal Champagne and Fromage on Urbanspoon

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Tuesday 4 March 2014

Shutterbug - Happy Pancake Day

Today when a friend at work suggested that we should celebrate Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) by having some pancakes/Crepes for lunch I struggled for two seconds with the decision. 

As someone who loves food and especially pancakes I had already mentally planned out my whole evening of pancake celebrating (lemon and sugar, Nutella, strawberries and whipped cream, banana, blueberries and maple syrup).   
Ok you get the gist, we could be here a long time otherwise. So the prospect of having them for lunch and dinner was almost too exciting. 

We decided to head to Shutterbug Bar and Creperie in Shoreditch which does the best selection of traditional sweet and experimental savoury French pancakes. 


If visiting in the evening and not during working hours they do brilliant cocktails too. 

Their pancakes are so good this weekend their Red velvet pancake with chocolate and strawberries (£5) appeared on Channel 4 Sunday Brunch. 

As I was having sweet pancakes for dinner I opted for their pulled pork with cheese and pickles (£8) which was absolutely delicious. There was lots of BBQ pork with oozing soft melted cheese. 

pulled pork

To be honest there was loads on the menu that I would happily have eaten if given the chance. 

Not sure what you are having on your pancakes tonight and fancy getting some inspiration have a look here.

Well what ever combination you choose have fun, I am off now to make my sweet offerings, well it is Pancake Day after all. 



1 Riverton Place

Square Meal Shutterbug on Urbanspoon

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Saturday 1 March 2014

Hardwick Hall

For those amongst us who love Downton Abbey or are avid readers of classical English fiction set in huge sprawling mansions this post is for you. 

Hardwick Hall

For those of you who the above does not apply don't worry the beautiful English countryside has some wonderful things to offer you too and I am sure you will like this post just as much

England this winter has had quite a battering with the rain and awful storms, so when last weekend we had a glimmer of sunshine I donned my wellies, wrapped up warm and was out of the house quicker than my feet could touch the floor. 

The East Midlands has some wonderful country estates that are beautifully preserved and looked after Hardwick HallChatsworth House and Clumber Park to name but a few.

I have often wondered what it would be like to live in a grand stately home, in plush surroundings, embracing my inner lady of the manor and having Mr Carson catering to my every whim. 

Unfortunately I wasn't born into Royalty so realising this dream is unlikely, visiting a stately home is the next best thing. 

Hardwick Hall has a stunning house and is set in a beautiful landscape.

Hardwick Hall
Hardwick Hall

Hardwick Hall

The house, gardens and old ruins are beautiful and you can easily while away a few hours wandering round them. 

I especially like the gardens which you enter through an enchanted gate...

Hardwick Hall

This chap reminds me of a character that you would find in The Chronicles of Narnia.

Garden Hardwick Hall

Some evil witch having turned him to stone. They even have their own mushroom tree. 

Beautiful gardens

The old ruins are amazing you can climb right to the top and whilst climbing you can imagine what this wonderful house used to look like long ago. 

The views as you get higher get more spectacular what a view. 

The best view is saved till last. 

After a fun day spent gallivanting all this fresh air has built up an appetite. So it is off to the local pub for a lovely ploughman's lunch. Thank you Hardwick Hall for another lovely day. 

Hardwick Inn

Hardwick Inn

For opening times of Hardwick Hall check here 

Doe Lea, 
S44 5QJ

Telephone: 01246850430 


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