Tuesday 27 May 2014

#1 Who does it better? // Chorizo hash browns

For my first ever Who Does It Better, I'm going to be testing my all time favourite: chorizo hash browns. Because someone's got to do it ;)

Riding House Cafe

Located in the West End, there is rarely an empty table here. I first discovered Riding House Café a few years ago and it's my favourite place to grab brunch when in town. Ever since I first tried their hash browns, there was no going back. I haven't tried anything else off the menu which I see as the ultimate compliment. There is a generous quantity of chorizo within the hash brown, which is perfectly crunchy and thankfully not oily or soggy. The big difference between here and Breakfast Club is that Riding House Café serves theirs with a poached egg and spinach. The spinach really adds something and is just right quantity wise. The egg is poached to perfection. There is nothing more satisfying than piercing an egg and seeing the yolk bleed all over the plate.

Breakfast Club

Breakfast Club I'd heard a lot about, so I was curious. There are various branches across London and one coming soon in London Bridge. For my first ever Breakfast Club experience, I opted for the Spitalfields branch. Decorated with a neon "Sex, Drugs & Bacon Rolls" sign, board games galore, a Sega Mega Drive and vintage furniture, it had a hipster East London kind of vibe. Staff were just as friendly as RHC, but breakfast felt more relaxed and less formal. Size wise, it was a very generous portion and we struggled to clear our plates. In contrast, there were red peppers instead of spinach, and a fried egg instead of a poached egg. My only complaint? I just wouldn't classify this dish as "hash browns". By definition hash browns are shredded / chopped potatoes that are usually formed into a patty. At Breakfast Club all the ingredients were laid out on the plate individually (it was more of a fry-up). I wanted to love it, but I just didn't. Despite being the ultimate chorizo fan girl, I wouldn't have this again. Next time I would have pancakes for sure.

Verdict: Riding House Cafe wins

But why not try for yourself? 
(let me know if you do)

If you wish to follow the action or join in yourself you can find the hashtag #WhoDoesItBetter on Twitter

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Hampstead Heath // Boohoo dress

If you're ever in London, Hampstead Heath is one of the places you MUST visit. Scenic and serene with decent views of the London skyline from Parliament Hill Fields. Oh and Hampstead's renowned pancakes nearby. What else do you need from a day out...?

Hampstead Heath seemed as good a time as any to wear my new (ish) dress from Boohoo. Teamed with a taupe mac, it added a - well needed - injection of colour to my outfit. And my wardrobe. I can't really do body con / shift dresses (neither suit my body type), but this dress is the perfect fusion of both. It's hard to put into words... the dress is sort of fitted, but also loose enough for you to eat, breathe and live your life. Plus it has pockets. I don't really need pockets, but I find my hands in them constantly. Force of habit.

I only paid £15 for this dress and considering how much I've worn it, cost per wear etc, it's proving to be an absolute bargain. Plus it's nice when a body con dress doesn't make you feel like a whale. I really recommend stopping by Hampstead Heath if you're ever in London. And do track down the Hampstead crêperie! You will be queuing around the block, but damn it's worth it.

Monday 19 May 2014

#2 Alice in Wonderland inspired dress

Long time readers will know that anything remotely Alice in Wonderland will always make its way into my basket - whether I'm browsing online or in-store. I live for that shade of blue. And who can resist a pretty dress?

I was browsing the H&M website the other day and came across the shade of blue. But it was Alice with a twist.
  1. Preppy with the white lace-ups and a white tee underneath
  2. Bordering on hipster with the blue sunglasses
  3. And beach chic with the cut out beach bag in the perfect pop of neon colour 

The outfit itself is an absolute steal. The dress is a mere £7.99, 
the lace ups are £7.99 too and the white tee? £3.99. 
This is a look that won't break the bank.

Get the look:

The bags aren't available online just yet, but I have seen them in-store. 
As much as I love the blue, the pink works so well with this look. 
All I need to do now is track down some sunglasses with baby blue frames!

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Everything is just peachy

Peach. Whether it's fashion or fruit, either way it's delicious. Satisfyingly sweet and juicy, or if we're talking clothing, muted, whimsical and soft - just like that lovely fuzzy skin. The ultimate spring / summer shade, there is an abundance of it on the High Street at the moment. Perfect for summer weddings, spring flings, and festivals when paired with braided hair and flowers. What's not to love?

ASOS  //   New Look (now sold out!)  //  H&M  //   Boohoo

I have a wedding next week and on Day One (yep, it's one of those weddings) the dress code for women is "peach". Being a colour I used to shy away from, I now absolutely love it. Are you so pale you're almost see through? Peach works well if you have a ghostly complexion like I do. And it never fails to make me feel uber feminine. You will feel like royalty

Do you like the colour peach?   

Monday 12 May 2014

#10 Life as we know it

Apologies for being a bit MIA since my birthday! I have put together a photo diary though so get yourself a cup of tea, put your feet up and feel free to have a browse! :) Over the Bank Holiday Weekend I went to Brighton with the Dream Team. We ate fish and chips on the beach with a cheeky bit of Captain Morgan to liven up some very watered down Coke

We walked the length of the pier, chased one another on the dodgems, parted with our coins on the arcades, had the tastiest milkshakes we'd ever tasted, chilled out on the beach some more, then played crazy golf as the sun set. We lost track of the time and missed our train back to London so we got a later one back. So worth it.

The day after I had brunch with two of my best friends who I've know since I was three. We went to my favourite place in London and ordered chorizo hash browns and buttermilk pancakes:

Earlier that week I went back to Shaka Zulu for a joint party / celebration with one of my friends whose birthday is a few days after mine. We devoured ate crocodile steak, ostrich fillet, springbok, billtong, ratatouille, cerleriac mash and cinnamon dusted butternut squash. All washed down with a very boozy Cape Town sharing cocktail served in a massive elephant:

The Shaka Zulu staff were lovely and let us have the table all night long (normally you're on a bit of a time limit there). They also brought out cake for birthday girl and I with a fountain sparkler which we were really touched by:

It's little touches like this that really make a dining experience special and encourage you to return.

More recently I went for belated birthday drinks with work. I really recommend Nordic Bar if you're ever near Oxford Street. It's cosy, it's usually pretty quiet, there's a free round of drinks for your group if you have a birthday, a great choice of food platters, and 2-for-1 on cocktails on certain days of the week. Gutted they no longer serve my favourite cocktail Sex in the Snow (essentially an alcoholic strawberry milkshake in a Martini glass!) but hopefully they'll bring it back! ;)

Earlier in the week, I met an ex work colleague of mine who is equally as excited about fish finger sandwiches as I am. I managed to track down a place that did fish finger BURGERS and oh my, it was delicious

And on my actual birthday, I tried The Breakfast Club for the first time

Mmmm chorizo....

... but because we were queuing for such a long time, there wasn't enough time to visit Kew Gardens like originally planned. I just couldn't justify spending that much for admission for the sake of a few hours. Instead we made our way to Hampstead Heath. Lovely weather, beautiful scenery and I got to walk around with my DSLR so I was happy! Pictures from that day will make their way into their own post - so watch this space! Last weekend I had a free house and it turned into a bit of a Eurovision fest - Eurovision is my guilty pleasure! We ate Marks & Spencer pizzas, macaroons and played Eurovision drinking games inspired by a Buzzfeed one.

This week I'm going to see Cats the Musical as a belated birthday present. It's only showing in London temporarily for a couple of weeks in May so I'm really excited! Then later this week I'll be watching some comedy at the O2!

What have you been up to lately?

Friday 2 May 2014

Birthday wish list // gift guide

My birthday is less than a week away and as people keep asking me for birthday ideas, I thought it was high time I made a wishlist!

Anything Alice in Wonderland - I particularly love these framed book prints

Wall art in general - framed posters of inspirational quotes. I'm constantly pinning them on Pinterest

Bangles ....which leads me on to bangles with inspirational quotes. Can't get enough of them, as you may have noticed before...

Flowers - I adore sunflowers, birds of paradise and dyed flowers like dendrobium orchids and rainbow roses

Diptyque candle - the ultimate. And once it burns down, perfect for storing make-up brushes

The White Company - Orange Grove reed diffuser and candles - the nicest scent, so fresh and natural and summery

Yankee Candles - everyone has their favourites, but mine is mango peach salsa

Tea cups and saucers - as well as drinking vessels, also great for desserts and a novel way of storing your jewellery

Satchels - I bloody love satchels. Particularly tan ones. My tan Primark satchel broke and I've been left broken hearted ever since. I'm after a decent sized one because I always carry so much crap stuff around with me.

With mere days to go (5th May, if you're curious!), I've been enjoying meals out, spending time with friends and the odd cocktail here and there. I'm looking forward to catching up with more people over the next few days - roll on the weekend!