Monday 29 December 2014

Banish the January Blues

The Art of Dining
If I said I was going camping to banish the January blues, you might be thinking to yourself that I've lost the plot. Who on earth wants to be in a tent in the wind, rain and freezing temperatures currently being experienced in the UK. Well the promise of good company and food will make me go just about anywhere even if it is camping in January. 

The fun doesn't have to stop at Christmas. As a child I wished I was one of the Famous Five so i've already got my walking boots, I've shaken out my sleeping bag and I am heading out camping. 
Gone camping
Well hold on just a second there is a twist. The Art of Dining have created ‘Gone Camping’ which combines theatre, food and set design. The best bit of all it's in the warm. 

Set designer Alice Hodge will be transforming the Pickle Factory, near Bethnal Green into a wonderful campsite in the English countryside. 

There will be billowing canvas, flickering lamplight, nature all around, can you hear the seagull’s cry – everything you might expect from a camping trip apart from the drizzle and mud. 
The Art of DiningGone Camping
The best bit of all their will be a five course meal designed by chef Ellen Parr that will have all the charcoal-y flavours of campsite cooking but will be edible and wonderfully delicious

Well I might be a mean cook in a kitchen but who said anything about being a good cook on a campsite stove. 

The perfect antidote to cold, dark, winter nights. 

Want to go along you better hurry and book your tickets? 

Dining ticket: £55 includes five-course dinner, welcome drink and entertainment.

Dates in January 2015: (7.30pm -11.00pm)

  • Wed 7th – Sun 11th
  • Tue 13th – Sun 18th
  • Tue 20th – Thur 22nd 

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Friday 26 December 2014

ASAP54 -The must have fashion app

How many times have you spotted the perfect dress on Instagram, on a celebrity or the person sitting next to you on the train? You love the look the only problem is you have absolutely no idea where it's from. 

ASAP54 is a new way to discover and shop for fashion online, simply snap and upload an image, and then shop for it or find similar inspired pieces with the simple click of a button. 
Have a favourite dress already but just cannot find the perfect accessories or shoes to match? ASAP54 can help here too, simply take a picture of the colour and it will share accessories and shoes that will match. 

The app has a huge network of fashion affiliates, ranging from Net-A-Porter, Topshop, ASOS, to The Outnet, and beyond so there are lots of fashion ideas to pick from.

You can also share your fashion discoveries with friends and see what style icons are looking to buy. 
Fashion Icons

Love food and art but not fashion, well take pictures of your favourite things and see how they translate to fashion. 
ASAP54 is the new way to discover and shop for fashion online. You can search for fashion with keywords and images, you can also filter your search by adding keywords, price and colour. 

If you haven't downloaded the app already what are you waiting for?

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Monday 22 December 2014

Relaxation time

Relaxation time
It makes a very pleasant change to be writing this blog post at a sociable hour. I will confess that I am writing this blog post sitting on the sofa, under a large blanket, with a lovely cup of tea and eating two of my favourite naughties, After Eights and Terry's Chocolate Orange. Can life get any better?

Finding time in the week to relax, unwind and recharge the batteries can be really difficult. For me there are simply not enough hours in the day and relaxation generally has to wait for holidays. But the festive season is a good time to relax, pamper yourself and unwind. 

Today I thought I would share some of my pampering habbits. Relaxation time for me always has to start with running a wonderful bath.Given the choice I will always opt for a nice warm bath over a shower any day. I don't often have the time however to have a nice relaxing bath, but when I do I like to go all out with nice candles and bath products. 

Not only do lush products smell divine they also make a wonderfully pretty bath. Favourites have the be the above and I will be sad when Christmas is over and the Lush Pud and Northern Lights will disappear for another year. 

Another firm favourite is Chanel No5 Bath Oil. 
No5 Channel
As with any bath oil it is important to gently shake the bottle to mix the oil up. Only a few drops of the pink oil is needed, pour under warm water and a cloudy sweet flowery aroma is released. It does smell true to its Chanel No5 (£65) roots and is wonderfully calming and nice to relax in. Although expensive this little bottle has lasted for over a year. 

There are times when my actual body and muscles need a calming and relaxing scent. Bath salts are perfect for this and Ila have some of the best spa products I have tried. 

Bath oil for glowing radiance £51
Bath Salts for inner peace £49 

I also light some wonderful candles to go around the bath so the main light can go off. 

Another important ingredient to any bath is a relaxing face mask. 
Face masks
A selection of my favourite face masks are below. 
Face Masks

Once the face mask is done I like to pamper and bring back to life the rest of my skin, the best way to do this is with a scrub. Favourite has to be the Sanctuary gentle polish body scrub £5.50. 
Sanctuary Gentle Polish body scrub
This smells divine and helps to remove all the dead skin. Favourite washes for the bath have to be...

Sanctuary cleansing Burst Body Wash £5.50 and Soap and Glory Body wash £6.50. 
After a while I begin to look like a shrivelled prune so am forced to have to get out. The pampering doesn't stop there however. Moisturising your body, hands and feet is just as important and they are often the bits that get forgotten. Favourites have to be...

Sanctuary Luxurious Body Butter £10.
Sanctuary Body Butter
Sanctuary spa products
If your feet need a good moisturise the best thing to do is slap on some intensive heel balm and leave a pair of socks on over night. You will wake to wonderfully soft feet. 

I like to round of the pampering with a lovely Chai latte or hot chocolate. 

What are your favourite ways to relax? 
Do you have any favourite products to share? 

This is my last post before Christmas, so thank you all for your support and comments this year, it really means a lot. Wishing you and your families a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year. 
Merry Christmas

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Friday 19 December 2014

Pizza East Shoreditch

Pizza East
Managing to fit in all the family around Christmas time can be a real challenge. I generally end up doing a mini tour of the UK. This year however I realised that getting to see everyone was physically impossible, so we did the next best thing and went out for lots of dinners. Well we are a foodie family after all.

The choice for our first meal was an evening at Pizza East, which is right in the heart of Shoreditch near to the train station. Shoreditch is in a part of London I love, it has wonderful restaurants, popups, independent shops, it supports local creative talent and well the Graffiti is superb. If you haven't seen my posts on the local Graffiti check it out here.    

Here are a few to wet the whistle. 
London Graffiti
Pizza East is housed in a huge old tea warehouse that has rustic charm. The place is always a hive of activity and always busy so make sure you book ahead for a visit. 
Pizza East
They also have a casual drinking space perfect for pre-dinner drinks or catching up with friends over a nice cold pint. 
Pizza East
As a family we were seated right in the corner of the restaurant with the perfect viewing platform to watch the comings and goings. I am not sure if I have shared this previously but I love people watching. 

The starters consist of cold, baked and fried Antipasti. I always opt for the same, not because I am unadventurous but it is just so good. 

Lamb meatballs, tomato sauce and cheese (£5). Hell yeah!
Pizza East
Now these beauties are huge for a starter, the lamb is wonderfully moist with rich tomato sauce and gooey cheese. 

Other members on the table opted for the squid fritti and lime aioli (£8). This was demolished with speed so I always take this as a sign that it was good. The lime aioli I was reliably informed, was a great accompaniment as it added some tartness to the dish.   
Pizza East
The menu changes regularly but they stay true to what is in season and are creative with the ingredients. 

Unsurprisingly for mains we all choose pizza's but they also offer Mac 'n' cheese, chicken, salmon, lasagne, ricotta and a variety of salads. 

I really enjoy eating rocket and any pizza that has this as a topping wins my vote. So I opt for bresaola, rocket and parmesan (£12).
Pizza East
Other pizza's at the table Buffalo mozzarella, tomato and basil (£8). 
London's best pizza
Radicchio, gorgonzola and walnuts (£9). Gorgonzola is a favourite of mine, as are walnuts so the idea of mixing them together on a pizza seems to be a match made in heaven. I seriously wanted to nick a slice. 
Pizza East
The crusts to the pizza are lovely and lite, these for me normally get left but not here. The only thing missing is garlic or chilli butter to dip them in. 

We finished our lovely meal off with fresh mint tea. The thought of anything else to eat was just not possible. 

If you are looking for a lovely pizzeria where the food is freshly prepared and you enjoy eating in a lively atmosphere, then Pizza East is definitely the place. Be aware that tables are booked for a limited time slot, normally two hours.

Pizza East also have sister restaurants in Kentish Town, Portobello and if your are based in North America they have one in Chicago.

Pizza East, 
56 Shoreditch High Street, 
E1 6JJ

Square Meal Pizza East on Urbanspoon

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