Friday, 21 June 2019

The plant based afternoon tea with a difference at Farmacy

What difference you ask? This being that Farmacy is reportedly the first London restaurant to serve CBD; the non psychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant, famed for its feel good and health benefits (reportedly good for inflammation, pain relief, and even helping enhance memory and cognitive function). CBD - otherwise known as Cannabidiol - is one of approximately 104 chemical compounds (cannabinoids) found in the cannabis plant. Some of these cannabinoids are intoxicating and reflect the aspect of the cannabis plant that you may be more familiar with(!), but CBD is completely non psychoactive, meaning it doesn't produce the same sort of effects.

So no, I wasn't going to get stoned. But I liked the idea of going for a feel good, healthier take on an afternoon tea. Farmacy's plant-based High Tea is free from dairy, refined sugars, additives and chemicals and I was intrigued how it would shape out as for me personally, sugary cakes and biscuits are my vice


The food was beautifully presented on a very Instagrammable three tier stand with a log slice base, copper framework and crown of foliage. LOOK HOW PRETTY

The middle plate contained all the savory offerings and at the time of my visit, these included smoked carrot and chickpea blinis, mushroom and spinach quiches (almond milk used as the dairy substitute here) x2 open sandwiches on charcoal bread (one cucumber and dill with a cream cheese substitute, the other roasted peppers with chilli). The open sandwiches were a clever twist on an afternoon tea classic and the smoked carrot ribbons on the blinis were much like smoked salmon, both in appearance and texture.

I will say however, to not pin too many hopes on the menu that you see on the Farmacy website because this is subject to availability and or / seasonality. For example, I was really excited by the prospect of pulled jackfruit tacos but we didn't have these on the day. As it turns out, the roasted peppers with chilli on charcoal bread was an excellent substitution and was in fact one of my favourite things from the day. So no harm done.

The top layer contained all manner of sweet treats. These being strawberry and rose jelly, apple pie, CBD truffles (supposedly tahini and dark chocolate) and raspberry pavlova. A lot of these constructions were especially impressive given that these were free from dairy and refined sugars.

I'm not usually a fan of pavlova (or meringue in general), but as the meringues were crafted differently (using aquafaba, or chickpea water), this was a pavlova I could get behind. I was dubious about how good the truffles would be given that these were dairy and sugar free, but they were good and chocolately and melted in the mouth. Again, the online menu is subject to variations and two of the things I was most looking forward to (the chocolate & praline ganache and the strawberry & cashew mousse) weren't available on the day. The apple pie was a worthy adversary though and it takes a lot for me to say my favourite dessert was the non chocolate one!

Finally the last layer housed an afternoon tea classic - scones. These were pretty sizable poppy seed scones served with dairy free coconut clotted cream and homemade jam. The jam was less jam more couli due to its runny nature, but we didn't mind this as it tasted every bit as good.

People often question how much flavour vegetarian and sugar free / dairy free / plant based foods can have, but I have to say, everything we had was flavoured really well and far from bland and boring. Also it was really refreshing to go to an afternoon tea and NOT feel like I was going to burst afterwards.


Upon arrival we were reportedly going to receive a CBD infused cocktail (this being Heart Chakra Rose Infusion & fresh raspberries shaken with vodka & lemon), but we never received this. However we were given free rein of the cocktail menu which I actually preferred as I'm not really a vodka drinker. Instead my sister and I opted for the "RUM ME UP THE RIGHT WAY" (rum, mango and lime) which contained a good and generous measure of rum.

Farmacy's High Tea differed from that of a standard afternoon tea in that you didn't receive tea until the END of the meal. I'm still not sure how I feel about this as one of the things I love most about afternoon teas is having the tea WITH the food and having your teapot refilled with hot water every so often. On the day we visted we did wonder if they had forgotten the tea as our table was cleared and we actively had to ask for the tea menu. My sister opted for the ginger and lemon tea whereas I had the hemp tea (not too dissimilar to a chamomile tea or green tea, it turns out).


I feared it could be uncomfortably upmarket or hipster, however it was very relaxed and we couldn't fault the staff who were all incredibly friendly (and like genuinely friendly, not forced). My sister and I decided it felt like "sitting in a garden centre café" due to plants and ivy trailing the ceilings, window ledges and shelving at the bar. It all felt very natural (to match the food no doubt) with chipboard walls and jute rugs presented on the walls as art.

The toilets were another highlight with this dreamy animal print wallpaper

Obligatory toilet selfies to test the lighting

Shirt - Anthropologie (sold out) - similar here (which I have also purchased!)
Military button shorts - Morgan de Toi

The building's exterior did make me think of a re-purposed former pharmacy. Which got me thinking if the name "Farmacy" is inspired by the plant based menu (i.e farmed from the land) and if its a play on words for "pharmacy" whereby the food is good for the soul and remedies all life's ills... although admittedly, maybe I'm reading a little TOO much into it ;)

High Tea is priced at £42 per person

To view the menu and / or book a table click here

W2 5SH

Disclaimer: this afternoon tea was entirely paid for ourselves. I'm sharing because both food and atmosphere were fab and thought they deserved a mention!

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Future plans for our hallway // a hallway mood board

The hallway is often overlooked when it comes to home improvements, however it is every bit as important as any other room in the house. The hallway - whether yours or someone elses - marks your first impression of a property. You want it to be a nice welcoming space for visitors and a place where you can return home and instantly unwind from the stresses of the day. I'm impatient AF to give our hallway a makeover, but the sensible person in me recognises the amount of dust that will engulf the house if extension / new kitchen / new bathroom projects roll out as planned. So hallway plans are temporarily on hold, but until that day I can dream, right?


The hallway is pretty generous, meaning that when we have guests over, people don't need to walk in single file to enter or exit the property (always a bonus). The space itself is light and airy - mostly due to the front door with its huge panes of glass which allow plenty of light in, as well as the white walls which bounce the light around. The carpet however has seen better days (the less on that the better).


Those wonderful white walls I spoke of are covered in textured wallpaper and removing said wallpaper fills me with dread. Why? Because 89% of the time textured wallpaper are a strategic play to hide problem walls lurking underneath. So I'm fully expecting the worst. And the front door, although great for letting light, is old school and could really do with replacing.


I'm looking to create a calming space with muted colours (so a total contrast to our dark lounge!) and this is the sort of mood board I'm looking to work to

Walls - I'm after something neutral and calming on the walls, almost a biscuit sort of shade. My chosen wall paint is Farrow & Ball's Peignoir, a light pink shade with grey tones. This pairs beautifully with a soft grey which leads me on nicely to flooring...

Flooring - I'm after soft grey flooring with added interest - which is when the idea evolved to patterned flooring. I'm thinking either this soft grey Hexagon carpet for the entirety of the hallway and stairs, or these beautiful grey patterned floor tiles by the front door (probably more practical for muddy boots!) accompanied by a plain soft grey carpet running up the stairs.

Stairs - our wooden stair railings and banisters are rickety and well overdue replacing. However to keep costs down, it's more likely that these will be sanded down and re-painted white to give them a new lease of life.

Front door - not pictured here, but I'm itching to change our front door to something a little more modern. I'm thinking black or grey with silver hardware for future proofing as both of these would complement a wealth of wall colours (should these change in the future!)

Console table - this needs to be quite slimline so as not to block the light from the front door, or more importantly, access to the stairs. I quite like the idea of having drawers so incoming mail can go in one and outgoing mail can go in the other. Whilst I think a mirrored console table could look very swanky against the pink walls, a white or grey table is probably wiser for a future proofing point of view. Current favourites include this chest of drawers (not a traditional console table but hey) or else a table with a shelf like this one. I love the idea of a shelf with baskets like these, to stow away shoes, the childrens' book bags and toys (again, future proofing!) and any other clutter.

Accessories - I wouldn't want to clutter the hallway with too much stuff, but essentials would include a slimline table lamp like this one (or fairy lights) to create atmosphere at night, coat hooks to match my silver theme (these are a strong contender) and a statement mirror a little like this one to bounce the light around (I also love arch mirrors that look like windows). And "nice to have" accessories would include a reed diffuser like this one (fig is my favourite!) for a nicely scented hallway, a statement vase to display freshly cut flowers from the garden, a quirky print propped against the wall, and if space, a curios or statement ornament

Which items are your favourites?

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

The perfect Father's Day gift with Moonpig

I was very kindly invited to a blogger event in Edinburgh with Moonpig earlier in May, but the timing wasn't right what with my Dad's health, so sadly I had to decline. When the lovely people at Moonpig got in touch after the event and asked if I'd like to review a product from their Father's Day range, I was really touched.

Moonpig is an online treasure trove where you can order personalised cards and gifts to send domestically or internationally (I in fact ordered and sent Moonpig cards when I lived and worked abroad in France!). I knew they sold cards and gifts like chocolates and flowers, but what I didn't realise is that they stock many other gifts like hampers, alcohol, beauty and home gifts, and experience days. Who knew? Just in time for the Bank Holiday weekend I received the loveliest of hampers:

The hamper in question came in a lovely dark brown basket and excited the cats every bit as much as me

You know how in some hampers there is always that one item with ingredients you don't like, and your friends and family don't like? Not the case here! What I liked most about this hamper is that it doesn't contain anything obscure or really out there. What does said hamper contain you ask?

Vanilla fudge - my Dad's absolute favourite
English Breakfast Tea - how cute is the packaging?
Oak cakes - my Dad instilled his love of cheese and biscuits onto me (I owe him big time)
Marmalade - not just any marmalade. Orange, lemon and WHISKY marmalade <3
Shortbread - not just any shortbread, but clotted cream shortbread (another one of Dad's favourites!)
Chocolates - Only the best. Trust me, Lily O'Briens are AMAZING

Seeing as I am now a married woman and have acquired a second Father figure, I will be dividing up items from the hamper for both my Dad and Father-in-Law this coming Father's Day. Which actually works out really well seeing as one loves chocolate and tea, whereas the other is more fudge and cheese and biscuits orientated. SORTED.

If you fancy having a nose at Moonpig's full range of Father's Day gifts, you can do so here. There is a vast array of different hampers so there is really something for everyone! Perfect for if your Dad gravitates towards a very specific food 'theme' like cheese / beer / chocolate / coffee. Thanks once again to Moonpig for thinking of me (here's hoping I'll be able to make the next event!)

* hamper very kindly supplied by Moonpig but words and love of hampers all my own!

Friday, 31 May 2019

A sneak peek of what I opened on my birthday

Birthdays... always over in the blink of an eye, right? This year was no exception. I managed to drag celebrations out for a couple of weeks and thinking about it, this post allows me to draw things out a little longer #MilkingIt

I don't know if anyone else finds this, but as you get older, it becomes harder and harder to think of gift ideas or to ask for things in general (does anyone else find this increasingly awkward?). Which is such a contrast to the days of being knee high and writing long lists to Santa or circling ALL THE THINGS in the new Argos catalogue. Here are a few of the things I received this year.

Water bottle

Drinking water from old plastic water bottles reportedly carries health risks due to the sun reacting with the plastic and reportedly chemicals in plastic may be linked to causing cancer. I've known this but for whatever reason it still hadn't given me the kick up the arse I needed to bin said plastic bottle and replace with a non plastic offering. My sister gave me this pretty floral Chilly's bottle which is much nicer to look at than my manky old plastic bottle I've had since god knows when. Now I have no excuse!

Interiors magazines

My other sister knows how much I love poring over interiors magazines and usually treats me to an assortment of titles that I'm not able to afford on a regular basis. This year she found the prettiest Joules gift box and magazines focusing on kitchens and extensions which is pretty perfect timing what with our recent renovation plans!

Money / vouchers

I always feel really boring asking for money, but it's so useful - particularly when you're in the planning stages of an extension like I am! A bit of money here and there buys me a bar stool or two - every little helps!

Pink House Living

Emily I had the pleasure of meeting last summer here and her renowned hashtag #cheatingonfashionwithfurniture is something I find myself relating to more and more these days. Don't get me wrong, I still love fashion, but I have a new found appreciation for interiors and these days I prioritise any spare cash to the house fund rather than to myself. Emily's house is a vibrant pop of colour and joy which constantly inspires me to be braver in my decorating choices. Really excited to start reading Emily's debut book!


One of my best friends took inspiration from my recent jaunt to the Maldives and found these beautiful Matthew Calvin earrings. I love all things rose gold and how beautifully are these presented? I love the message in a bottle vibes!


One of my colleagues surprised me with a big bottle of dark rum and I also had a lovely card and the mother of chocolate cakes from work

Concert tickets 

One of my best friends got tickets for Walking on Cars (one of our favourite bands) and also surprised me with a tee and signed CD of their latest album. I'm sure you'll have seen plenty of videos on IG by now. By the end of the night my back and legs ached (that's 4 hours of standing for you!) and my voice was husky and not all there from singing along, but I wouldn't swap it for anything in the world. An amazing night

So a pretty colourful assortment this year! 

What are your favourite items?

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Father's Day gift inspiration with I Just Love It

* Product received for review purposes but as ever, all opinions are my own!

My Dad has had a bit of a time of it lately, bless him. Last year he wasn't in the best of health and had two operations, and then only went and bloody got pneumonia after his second op, didn't he? Then fast forward to the other week where he went in for a third op. When I Just Love It got in touch offering to treat my Dad for Father's Day, I couldn't think of a better person to receive a gift!

I Just Love It is an online gift company who specialise in personalised gifts, making items that extra little bit special. Items range from BBQ tools, photo frames, tool boxes, beer caddies and DIY tools, most of which have personalisation options. They also have an extensive range of alcohol gift sets so no matter whether you're into wine, cider, prosecco or whisky, there's something for everybody.

Under normal circumstances I would have gone down the alcohol route as my Dad loves beer or a good bottle of red wine, however given his recent op, he needs to play it safe. Which is when Plan B came in.

My Dad is seriously into football and more specifically Spurs (North London and proud!) I Just Love It have an amazing range of personalised football books and guides for a wide variety of football teams, and also have bottles of cider, wine and champagne specific to your favourite team. The problem with buying the ultimate football fan a football related book is the age old question: "does he already have this one?!"

As luck may have it, I found a book very similar to my favourite One Line A Day book that I use, which instead would allow him to look back at past proud memories and achievements of his favourite team.

Sized at 12 x 19cm and embossed with gold lettering, this is a football book with a difference. They do stipulate on the website that the cover colour may be subject to change (it's white on the listing here) and to be completely honest, I was a little disappointed with the colour that I received. It's just my opinion, but I think the white and gold combination looks a lot more expensive and special. Whilst I have nothing against the colour blue, I just don't feel like the blue used is very 'Spurs' and it makes the product look quite cheap (it photographs better than it looks in person). I feel that a darker blue like a navy would look more striking against the gold lettering (but that's just my opinion). Saying that, my Dad likes ALL types of blue and will love it (and that's the most important thing!).

The phrase "never judge a book by its cover" has never been so apt. Once you get past the cover, it's a great little read. I can't possibly comment on the content as I know next to nothing about football(!), however the text is a good size and looks very readable (something very important to me whenever I choose out a new book!)

The personalisation aspect of the gift was what won me over the most. I often give my Dad books, but never before has he received a book with his name embossed on the front in big gold letters (note: I have given my Dad anonymity here)

I'm seeing my Dad next weekend and am really excited to present this book to him and see his reaction! I just know that it will be something he will treasure forever. If you need a last minute Father's Day gift, do check out I Just Love It's extensive Father's Day range here.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

The bargain marble fireplace that only cost £10 / $13

I love a fireplace, me. When house hunting, high on my wish list was a fireplace to cosy up to of an evening. However in the end, the perfect property (sans living room fireplace) prevailed. The character properties we viewed with fireplaces and high ceilings were narrow and needed A LOT of work. The house we put an offer on (and won - hooray!) had a generous foot print with good sized rooms but lacked character features (a fair enough compromise). There was a chimney breast, but it was in the back of the property (well, the kitchen) with no fireplace to speak of at the front of the house. Without a fireplace, our living room lacked a focal point. Which is when I broached the subject with the man of the house.

Mr Curiouser & Curiouser: "Why do we need a fireplace?"

Don't try and talk to men about focal points and how the TV shouldn't be THE focus of the room. Because men love their TVs and you uttering these words is blasphemous.

And men certainly don't understand the joy of decorating a mantel piece with foliage at Christmas, or the joy having a stone hearth so you can actually display your sizable candle collection and burn them safely rather than precariously balancing them on a fabric ottoman, trying not to set the house alight.

Source: as found here
Source: as found here
Source: as found here

Mr C & C: "You do realise it wouldn't be functional, don't you? And that we don't actually have a chimney breast there?"

Well yeah. 

Mr C & C: "where will the TV go?" (again with the precious TV)

Me: "maybe in the corner?" (we have a completely empty other side of the room which gets zero use and is wasted space)

Mr C & C: "isn't that a bit far away?"

Me: "what about by the window?"

Mr C & C: "it's too bright by the window"

Me: "your parents have their TV by a window"

Mr C & C: "it's still bright"

Me: "well, wall mounted above the fireplace then?"

Mr C & C: "isn't that a bit high up? Won't we be craning our necks?"


Men don't get fireplaces. More so in this case, because it wouldn't be a functional fireplace. Instead it would be imitating the look of one.

Another challenge I had with trying to convince Mr Curiouser and Curiouser is down to the fact that fireplaces are bloody expensive. Brand new these can range from hundreds to thousands of pounds. Even when refining the search to just fireplace surrounds (the main frame and not the stone insert or hearth). Even when refining the search to used and unwanted models that have been ripped out of people's homes. 


Imagine my joy when one day I found the fireplace surround of dreams on eBay. It had a white surround (a must on my wishlist) with a soft grey marble hearth and wraparound which would match perfectly with my recent marble table DIY project

Expecting the worse, I clicked into the listing and found it was being listed for the surprising sum of £10 (approximately $13 with the current exchange rate). It was for collection only but the seller did have a van and said they would deliver for an additional fee. But even with said delivery fee, this was still peanuts. Excitedly I contacted Mr Curiouser and Curiouser with a link and all the details. Expecting a "not this bollocks again" type of response, he actually came back with the following: "Let's measure up later". SUCCESS.


The fireplace listing had 5 days remaining and no watchers. I refrained from watching the item myself as I didn't want to draw attention to it or ramp up the price. I honestly expected it to rocket in price but when the big day came and it was still listed at £10, I couldn't get too excited, expecting a last minute bidding war.


It was not meant to be. A last minute bidder got in there first (much to Mr Curiouser and Curiouser's relief). So the search for a fireplace continues.

If anyone knows of any secondhand or otherwise affordable fireplaces and fire surrounds that are willing to deliver, holler at your girl. Until then, you'll find me ogling pictures of enviable fireplaces:

Source: as found here
Source: as found here
Source: as found here

Recent research has got me thinking that maybe I could mock up my perfect fireplace surround. That instead of investing in an actual fireplace, I try and DIY my own using a piece of wood for the mantle and then wooden boards for the sides and hearth, covering these in tiles / tile stencils / tile stickers to make the fireplace more of a focal point in the room.

Source: as found here
Source: as found here
Source: as found here

Please tell me that epic fireplaces excite you as much as they do me???!