Valentine’s Day

It’s almost Valentine’s Day.

You can’t forget it, because it’s everywhere.
Signs in shop windows, gift guides in magazines and little red hearts everywhere.

Now I know there a few of you that are very anti-Vday, but listen up.
If you’re single, it’s the perfect excuse to either treat yourself to a night out with your girlfriends or consume a pint of ice cream guilt free.
If you’re loved up, it’s a day to show someone hey, you make me happy and I like sharing my world with you. 

If you’re stuck for ideas, I have a few varying in price and mushiness for your boo, girlfriend, best friend, and even your mum.

The Gift:

Chanel Red

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour £18
Everyone has a lovely lady in their life that deserves to have killer claws. My favourite is Rouge Noir, Number 18

Macarons

Pierre Hermé Macarons £14-£22
Nothing says I love you like a box of decadent macarons.
Pop into Selfridges and customise your gift by selecting his or her favourite flavours.
A box of 7 macs are £14, or get the Valentine’s Day box Les Macarons de Saint-Valentin for £22.

I Love You Ring

Tiffany & Co. I Love You Ring £100
For the serious couple, say it with Tiffany’s.
No, not an engagement ring! Just an I love you ring, so she always knows you love her…even when you forget your anniversary.

Perfume Floris Bespoke Perfume £195
For this one, you’d have to really know the other person’s favourite scents in order to create their perfect perfume. But, I think that this is such a thoughtful gift.
Spend 90 minutes consulting with a Floris perfumer and choose from a range of scents to personalise a 100ml fragrance.

Massage Oil

Massage Oils £10
To tease and please, why not give a sensual back massage with Polynesian Massage Oil.

Hotel Chocolate

Chocolates £45
When it comes to chocolates, everyone knows that the bigger the box, the more you love them.

LingerieSomething sexy to spice up your night £20-£200
Take a cheeky peek at Agent Provocateur for some luxury lingerie or Gilly Hicks for a great deal on on some down undies.

Flower card

Flower Card £10-£20
Don’t get her flowers, they die.
Ok, she probably likes flowers. But instead of paying an extortionate price for roses on Valentine’s Day, how about a big bunch of her favourites. Or how about this neat flower card. Strange, but creative.

Bacon

The Bacon Club £17-£30
Give the gift of bacon because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love bacon?
Remind your man how much you love him every month with a nice stack of meat.
The Bacon Club sends a 2 pack of British bacon for £17.50 or 4 pack for £29.77 will be delivered right to your door each month.

Batman cufflinks

Batman Cufflinks £16
For the inner nerd that manages spreadsheets by day and crime by night.
Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na BATMAN!
(you’re welcome for now having that stuck in your head for the rest of the day)

Oil set

Vom Fass Customised Oil Sets
For the chef, pop into Selfridges for a Vom Fass customised oil set. You can choose from a selection of different bottles and sample which flavour oils you’d like to buy. Alternatively, order them online to be shipped to your door. If you’re doing this, I’d suggest the miniature oils and vinegars gift set which gives you a variety of 8 little bottles for £25.

Passport Holder

Leather Passport Covers £29 him / her
For the frequent flyer that loves a good travel accessory.

Destination Print

Personalised Destination Print £38
For the traveling couple, this awesome print of destinations you’ve been, or plan on going. It’s a sweet way of encapsulating memories without putting all your vacation photos on display.

The Date:
Now if your girlfriend / friend / boyfriend / mum is anything like me, the way to their heart is through their stomach.

homemade-pizza

For an easy, romantic night in, why not grab some pre-made dough and all his or her favourite pizza toppings and spend the evening making your own pizzas. Share them cuddled up watching an action rom-com movie.

Kitchen TableFor the gourmet foodie, surprise them with seats at Bubbledog’s Kitchen Table. Check their twitter feed here for seats available and reservations.
There are limited seats left for Valentine’s Night – email info@bubbledogs.co.uk to reserve your spot.

Bubble Food Valentine

If you don’t want to battle for reservations, you could pull out all the stops and have molecular gastronomy created right in your very own kitchen.
Bubble Food will bring molecular fine dining to you with liquid nitrogen cocktails, deconstructed canapés, floating mains, and a Valentine’s Day dessert of champagne caviar sabayon with bitter chocolate crispy strawberry and liquid cherries.
No true foodie could turn down this love potion.
Contact them to arrange your showstopper evening here.

Complete your gift with a thoughtful, meaningful Valentine. I’ve attached a few for inspiration.Valentine

Valentine Valentine
Valentine

I hope this V-day fills you with lots of love and chocolates whatever you do.
But mostly chocolates.

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Insta-Catch Up

I got the job! I got the job!
Well, sort of.

After months of job researching, CV fixing, and application filling, I finally landed the internship at the dream PR Firm. The firm I had my little heart set on since day one of University.

I’ve been plunged into the chaos that is the daily life of PR, and am loving every second of it. Even the Dry Cleaning, Post Office, and Soy Cappuccino runs, because it all means my foot is in the door.

With the new 9-5, and moving mid-first week of the internship, I have been crazy busy. I’ve been completely exhausted, but have thought about you everyday. I missed you and would love to do a little insta-catch up to get things back on track. If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve seen some of my latest adventures. But, for those that don’t, here’s what I’ve been up to.

A surprise Feng Sushi Feast.

The best. homemade. lasagne. ever! The recipe: I’ll never tell. Incredible, creamy Truffle and Porcini Risotto to kick off an eventful dinner party. You know the Dinner Party has gone on too long when…
Queen Nonna taking charge of the table games. The night ended with a game of International Poker. An incredible, inspiring day at the Paralympics.
The day started with Women’s Wheelchair Basketball at the O2.
Followed by a ride on the Cable Cars to the other side of the river. And finished at the Olympic Stadium for some Paralympic Athletics.

Team GB! 

Posing with The Olympic Torch! 

Posing with Mandeville, the strange Olympic Mascot.
Did you know he was named after Stoke Mandeville Hospital who created and held the first Paralympic Games?
Naughty Midnight Milkshakes Mussel Men Chips at The Real Food Festival on Southbank before the Thames Festival FireworksA late night ride on the Eye before the Thames Festival Fireworks
Stunning display of Thames Festival Fireworks Rainy Day curled up watching movies with Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Celebratory MeatLIQUOR burgers
Come to Mama
MEATliquor Madness. Pierre Herme Macarons

How cute are these!? I found them for sale in Selfridges. Brits, say it with me: A-le-SSahn-draFrae Frozen Yogurt after a lovely walk down King’s RoadA Golden MagnumI really love your peaches, wanna shake your tree
Lovey dovey, lovey dovey, lovey dovey all the time…

Homesickness cure: Chipotle Burrito Bowl
Homesickness Cure: Pinkburrrry
I’m glad we’re all caught up!
What have you been up to?

Paris

One of my best Christmas gifts this year was a quick trip to Paris.
The trip coordinated with my best friend’s family EuroTrip so that we would get to spend a couple days with them in when they reached their last leg in Paris.

We stayed in the gorgeous, modern boutique Hotel L’Adresse in the 8th Arrondissement. It has black and white interior with a signature scent and contemporary fixtures. The hotel is tiny but incredibly romantic and you can book here.

My favourite thing to do in Paris is to wander the streets aimlessly with nowhere to be. Actually, that isn’t true. My favourite thing to do in Paris is to eat. Second to that, there’s nothing like discovering little shops with the latest fashion trends, hidden markets with local specialties, and flower shops bursting with colourful, fresh bouquets.

We walked the streets of Paris, popping into art galleries and stores before beginning heading to Poilâne, Paris’ legendary bakery. The bread is available in their two shops in London and at select specialist stores, but it isn’t the same. Besides, I was looking to snap a picture of the famous, fully functional bread chandelier.

We could smell the shop before we could see it. The windows were lined with fresh loaves of sourdough marked with Poilâne’s signature P. As Christmas had just passed, other loaves were decorated with winter scenes made from bread. After nibbling on fresh bread samples, I selected a miniature loaf of sourdough to take with me for later. The bread is phenomenal and the shop has an incredible history which you can read here. 

More wandering led us to my next food item on the list, Pierre Hermé Macarons. A long line snaked out of the shop as it always does. The macarons are also available in London, but again, it’s not the same. As we waited in the shops, I drooled over the pastries and cakes. One in particular caught my eye, La Cerise Sur Le Gâteau, or The Cherry on the Cake. This stunning cake is made of Dacquoise Biscuit with Hazelnuts, Wafters of Milk Chocolate, Milk Chocolate Ganache, and Milk Chocolate Chantilly. I wan’t this cake. Although, I don’t know if I could destroy it’s perfect exterior. On second thought, i’m sure i’d forgive myself. We selected a six macarons to take with us and set out to explore more.

We continued walking into the night, passing the sights and snapping away. It was quite cold and I was beginning to get hunger pangs, so we stopped at a hidden steak restaurant near the Eiffel Tower. We shared a beautifully cooked Thick Rump Steak with Béarnaise, Pomme Frittes, and a luscious Mushroom Risotto with Truffle.

We chatted into the night as the restaurant packed with locals. Happy and full, we took a cab ride home. Did you know, that if an accident occurs on the Arc de Triomphe roundabout, your insurance doesn’t cover it?

Once we had snuggled up in the room, we shared our Pierre Hermé macarons with tea and flicked through the day’s pictures. We planned our next day around food, as I so often do, and went to bed.

The next morning began with a nippy walk to Marche d’Aligre, one of the most famous Parisian food markets. It consists of an indoor market, Beauvau-Saint-Antoine, and an outdoor market in the place d’Aligre. Food markets are typical part of the Parisian way of life, and happen to be one of my favourite things, ever.

We drifted around the market, watching locals exchange with stall holders and mothers stock up on supplies. As we were meeting Lauren (best friend) and Marty (other mother) at the train station, we bought a huge hunk of Brie and a fresh baguette to take with us. As we were leaving the market, a man was selling an entire box of figs for €5 as he was packing up. This was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

We headed to Gare De L’est Train Station, happy as could be with my newly purchased market snack. As we were early, we found a table to eat whilst we waited for their train to arrive. Bite after bite of the fresh, fluffy baguette smothered in creamy Brie with ripe fig spread over the top. I was in heaven.

We greeted them at the platform, and took a cab back to their hotel. After they settled into the Concorde Lafayette, we went back out on the town. We walked around the Louvre and through Jardin des Tuileries to one of my favourite stores, Colette. Colette is a concept shop with an eclectic, trendy mix of luxury goods and fashionable garments. I definitely recommend a visit, even if you’re there only for, as the french say, léche vitrines – which literally translates to window licking.

After more window licking, we stumbled upon the most amazing chocolate shop with a Willy Wonka-esque chocolate wall fountain, Jean Paul Hévin. The shop had bowls of chocolate, macaron towers, and a killer pump made solely from chocolate. We left with with a box of the most incredible macarons to have after dinner. Sadly, they got a little mushed on the journey.

 We stopped for dinner and chatted about their EuroTrip so far. Look how decadent my French Onion Soup was! It was much needed after the long, cold day and I ate every bite. Considering the French are particularly opposed to ketchup, I found their rather American serving bottles to be quite amusing. For dessert, a decadent Crepe with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Chocolate Sauce, and a Banana.

We walked down the Champs Elysees and around the Eiffel Tower. As it began to rain, we went back to the Concorde Lafayette and marvelled over the views from their Panoramic Bar. We lounged, listening to the Parisian singer serenade the guests before heading downstairs for some tea. We sampled the macarons and chatted late until the night before saying goodbye and heading back to our hotel.

Sad to be leaving on our early Eurostar trip back to London, only one thing could cheer me up.

Au Revoir Paris xx

Greenwich Picnic

Just a quick post to show you the epic picnic we had in Greenwich Park.
We found a beautiful spot under a tree with the perfect view of the city.
We munched and chatted until the sun went down on a spread of sandwiches, hummus, cheese & crackers, fresh strawberries, pomegranate, tabbouleh, grapes, and my favourite Macarons from Yautcha.
I just love this city when the sun shines.

What is your ideal picnic location and what must you have to snack on?