Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Afternoon tea at The Covent Garden Hotel

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
― C.S. Lewis

For a recent celebration I went for Afternoon Tea at The Covent Garden Hotel.  I was looking for somewhere classy but not too formal, not ridiculously expensive and also offering a lunch menu for a fussy pal.  We looked at various options but Firmdale Hotels were the winner- and they even offer a gluten free or sugar free option which is amazing (I went full of sugar on this occasion but good to know the choice is there).

We had a nice table near the bar and were offered unlimited sandwiches which will always win me over!
There's something so appealing about a whole tower of food isn't there, the bread was fresh, the scones were light, fluffy and delicious and although there's never enough chocolate on the sweet plate for my liking there was a great selection of dessert options.  My favourite was the white chocolate pannacota.


We assumed these flowers were edible but they didn't taste very good! More fool us for giving it a go.

If this has got you salivating then rest assured it's only £27pp + service charge

Let me know if you go..Book ahead.


Sunday, 21 August 2016

Food pics are my favourite

“But you're so strong. I wish I were strong. I just like eating.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

Since I discovered this whole new world of eating I've become obsessed with cataloguing my own improvements. So in case you need some inspo for that Wednesday night dinner or another desk lunch I've collected my favourite selections together for you to have a drool over... Well aware I've become such an insta-cliche.

 Banana pancakes with sugar free choc sauce - pefect start for a weekend
 Avocado toast from EAT on the go, or chocolate oats at home

 Salads from Whole Foods, Pret a manger or home made
Olives are my new fave thing to eat - so flavoursome!  This Cobb salad from Byron is a clean choice for eating out (just get the sauce on the side)

 Soy bean 'pasta', courgetti, courgette 'fries' chicken and my favourite Heck sausages. Linda Mccartney does the best veggie sausages as far as I'm concerned. I eat them allll the time.

That's exhausted this month's collection of yumminess, what's your most - eaten healthy dish? 


Sunday, 14 August 2016

Scrap booking; the hen do

“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.”
― L.M. Montgomery,
The Story Girl

A friend of mine is having a hen do this weekend, I was put in charge of making a guest book and decided rather than repetitive messages I'd do something a little different.
I did a mini shopping spree in Paperchase to buy a little scrap book, some stickers and postcards and procrastinated, for a whole week!

I sent a mini questionnaire out to the guests and then printed them on to pretty card I bought at The Works.  I got everyone to send me thier favourite pictures and got them printed out.
Then came the creative bit (which I'm not great at), but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and thanks to Tiger and The Works I'm fairly sure she'll like it. (I'm like Annie in Bridesmaids with the box of memories - hopefully I wont try and break a giant cookie!)

What tips have you got for me?

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Online dating - the dos and dont's

“Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates and guys are just people to have fun with.”
― Candace Bushnell,
Sex and the City

Online dating - two very scary words! After many failed dates (and a few good ones) the boys in London are no longer something to fear - this is a list of my definitely yes and hell no things to do.

Firstly - your profile - please choose a good picture, a clear one, showing you looking excellent and having fun.
Don't choose an out of focus, or over filtered, or very old picture - you don't want to be a real life disappointment. The amount of pixellated, sunglasses wearing, skiing action shots I see is unbelieveable.

Make sure you engage - I spent a long time being passive and getting nowhere, the whole point is to find and make opportunities. Be brave, message first, start a chat and see how it goes - it's good for the ego I promise.
Maybe this is a good opportunity to go for a different kind of partner, or at least explore the possibility? Chat to people you perhaps wouldn't normally and see what happens!

Use the block button - if someone starts sending those lovely dick pics we all like so much or just won't get the hint....BLOCK THEM #byefelipe

Try a few different sites. See what works for you. I think if you're looking for a relationship you're perhaps more likely to find someone taking it seriously on a paid site, but I know many happy couples who've met on Tinder and Plenty of Fish which are free. Bumble is the new gimmick - putting girls in the driving seat... not sure I approve of letting the date be passive from the get-go.

Only exchange numbers when you feel comfortable to.  I've had lots of guys who chat for weeks and don't make a move and others who invite me over the night we start chatting. Do what you're happy with.
Try to go with the flow! I have a few deal breakers, that if I see in a profile I will move along (like smoking) but don't be too focused on a certain goal, you never know who's round the corner if you can be open minded.
Try not to feel too nervous - You're expecting a confident, chatty fun date so try and be one too!  The more dating you do the less scary it will be (I promise). Easier said than done for you shy people, personally I can't shut up and probably talk way too much!  Make a mental list of things to talk about, what have you been chatting about online? Ask lots of questions and conversation should follow.

Suggest a fun first date. A coffee is all well and good but it can feel like an interview - and I've been on many bad 'interviews'. I suggest you go for a walk, or to a museum or to crazy golf (some ideas here) bonus - it's something else to talk about it you are feeling shy.
Ideally don't get hammered - whilst a cocktail or two may help relax you, getting smashed probably won't.

As Christina Aguilera would say 'trust the voice within' - you can't fake it. If it doesn't feel right for whatever reason, then it probably isn't.  I've been on several dates recently where the guy has been keener than me (first time for everything!) and I've debated continuing dating them to see if anything grows, but unfortunately I think this is easier when you meet someone organically and get to know them over a period of time. In the online world I think that instant chemistry is vital. Without it, you're probably not going to get very far.Take it at your pace and they should understand and accommodate. If they don't - ditch them. Don't be pressured into anything you don't want to do.  I recently ended things with someone who wanted to push and push me to go at their speed.. Bye Bye Mr Clingy
Have fun! (or try to) A friend of mine used to tell me how much fun dating was and I just couldn't understand what she meant. However after a few dates with someone you click with you realise it is fun! I think it's only first dates that are the worst and once you're into multiple dating (with the same person) then it gets a lot more exciting and less stressful.  When you start looking forward to seeing them, you know you're on to a winner.

Never chase someone who's not worth your time. 'Busy' is an excuse. If someone wants to be in your life, they will be there. I'm all for chasing up a slow replier, BUT you can't make someone like you so don't waste your time trying to. 
Don't worry. Most important of all. You're brilliant and you deserve to meet someone brilliant. As the saying goes you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your Prince so don't panic if it takes longer than it took your mate, or than you thought, or you're still looking. Hopefully you'll have some fun along the way!

I'm sure some of this sounds like the most obvious stuff so let me know your top tips please, I definitely need all the advice I can get

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Birthday Brunch

“If it's not chocolate, it's not breakfast.”
― Laini Taylor,
Daughter of Smoke & Bone

My friend and I are on a mission to find the best brunch, or maybe it's just to eat as much brunch as possible.... Either way, this week's location was Berners Tavern, a swanky, upmarket restaurant attached to the London Edition Hotel. 

We made a 12 noon reservation (they serve brunch til 4pm - winning) and hoped for air con.
 We were seated at the back of the restaurant, a perfect place to people watch; a mixture of tourists, London ladies and hotel guests while we perused the menu and tried to decide whether we could class nutella pancakes as nutritious....Sadly the answer was no, so I decided to go for Moroccan eggs.
Sunday roast is also availble from 11.30 - imagine eating beef wellington that early haha.
Our food came so quickly I almost thought it was for a different table. The service really was great actually, I suppose that's what you get for the extra bucks!

The eggs were delicious and came with a healthy portion of sourdough too, to mop up those tomatoes. My friend ordered brioche french toast with maple and berries - I had serious food envy - is breakfast dessert allowed? I wondered... thinking about those pancakes....
Then, much to my surprise our lovely waiter arrived with a mini birthday cake for the birthday girl. I'd forgotten completely that when I made the booking I had referenced our joint birthday celebration.  When we told them it was both of us, they arrived with a second cake and glasses of champagne for us to celebrate with. What a lovely touch.

It was such a lovely gesture, we were quite touched! And here I am, writing them a glowing review so it was totally worth them making us feel special as I encourage you all to go there for your next celebration. I'm sure they'll look after you just as well.