Monthly Archives: September 2013

Mexican fun at Guaca

Friday night was another belated birthday date night. This time with my beautiful friend Anna.

When planning our evening, we chatted about a cocktail night in Chelsea, or dancing the night away with fizz in the City, but then Anna came up with an even better idea. Guaca!

Guaca is a real gem –  a Mexican in Fulham.  It is a little den of Mexican wonderfulness, not only the food, but the staff too – they are all super friendly.

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We started with cocktails. I went for the Passion fruit frozen margarita.

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They soon disappeared, so only one thing for it….another one (well, maybe two).

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Before the food came, we popped our sombrero’s on (it is a must when eating Mexican).

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Now the exciting part….the food.

Anna and I always go for a selection of starters to share, rather than a main.

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We shared fresh guacamole, and a pile of hot tortilla chips.

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Along with boneless chicken wings, smothered in delicious tangy sauce (they have a real kick), and potatoe skins with cheese and bacon.

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Last but not least, we went for the chilli and tortilla chips (the chilli is probably my favourite thing, and the portion is a really good size for a starter).

There are so many starters to choose from, we almost ordered more….but we would’ve had to be wheeled out of the place.

After frozen cocktails and alot of food, I couldn’t even consider a pudding.

Oh no, Anna wouldn’t let me get away with that one. The place went dark, the music changed, and out came the Guaca guys with cake, with the tune of ‘happy birthday’.

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And some free tequila. Ouch

After a great evening at Guaca we decided needed to dance, so off we set to the Durrell Arms, a pub on Fulham Road.

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At the weekend, the Durrell has live music.  I have never seen this band before, but they were great.

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There was even a song dedicated to my red dress by the talented man in blue.

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We danced our little socks off before heading home and into a state of Mexi-coma.

(I would highly recommend a trip to Guaca if you are in the Fulham area, and even better, they have a steak house round the corner which is just as good)

‘Roll up, roll up’ – Wonderground LIMBO

I was a lucky lady last night and got taken on a date by my lovely friend Ali.

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It was the perfect date: We met at Embankment station, she handed me beautiful flowers, before whisking me off for wine and my birthday treat.

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Ali had got us tickets to LIMBO at Wonderground.

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We arrived at the Southbank Centre to a buzz of people drinking, chatting, and getting excited for what was about to happen.

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We made our way inside the circus tent…

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Sadly, no camera’s allowed. I did plan to try and take some sneaky one’s, but I was too mesmerized by the show and forgot.

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All I can say is go and see LIMBO! It is absolutely amazing, from start to finish my mouth was open, and it went far too quickly. It was 75 minutes of musical talent, dancing, strength, moves, sitting on the edge of your seat, nail biting fun…..

This takes going to the circus to a new level,

We left the tent to a hustle of people, chatting away about everything we’d all just seen. We both agreed we needed to go for another drink.

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I always love the walk along Embankment.

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We made our way to a pop up bar called Propstore. It is all in the name, a bar furnished with old props from the national theatre.

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We treated ourselves to some fizz, and accompanied it with a scotch egg and some chips & garlic dip.

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A perfect end to a perfect evening.

Ahoy Sailor – part 2

Leaving Emerald Bay, it was time to set sail again…..

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En route to our next stop off, we passed alot of these little creatures (and some not so little!), jelly fish. We decided to wait before playing in, no one fancied being stung…

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We found a nice little area by some rocks for a swim, J did what he does best and threw himself in..

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I decided to jump in to (not quite so elegantly)

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One of our evenings involved some dancing…of the Greek kind!

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One of our final stop off’s, we jumped off the boat and went for a wander before heading back to the boat to get ready for dinner.

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I managed to make a new friend, Frank (I wasn’t allowed to adopt him – but he was super friendly and very cute).

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The week went so quickly, and before we knew it, it was our last evening. J and I decided to spend the day soaking up some last minute sun, and then head into Corfu Town for dinner before heading back to London.

I loved Corfu Town, so beautiful and alluring, full of narrow streets, leading off from the hustly bustly main walk ways full of shops. I have never seen so much jewellery in one place!

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After a final evening of wine, pasta and coffee, we said good bye to a wonderful week and made our way to the airport.

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This was my very first sailing experience, and to be honest I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect. I have always stayed in hotels, and been used to packing my usual suitcase necessities for a week or two in the sunshine, or a city break. But this time was different; I was spending a week on a boat.

I was advised to take the basics, which means, not too much (no hair dryer, no curling tong, no electrical items for you hair basically…..). Well, I didn’t really listen, and packed my hair dryer and curlers! If I could offer any advice as a newby, this is it:

1. Don’t take a hair dryer or any other appliance. Not only do you have limited electricity usage, but you just don’t need it, just embrace the natural look by washing your hair and letting it dry (it is quite nice having a weeks break and my hair felt great at the end of it).

2. Take sea sickness tablets. I was ok for most of the trip, but did have one day when it was very rough, so after that, it was reassuring to have the tablets to hand.

3. Just take what you need, and take a bag (not a suitcase). You have limited space, and to be honest, you live in swimwear every day anyway. This means, no heels or fancy dresses. On most trips, I pack way more than I need, but on this trip it would just be a pain if I did.

I had a great time, and can’t wait to do it again!

Ahoy Sailor – part 1

It has been less than 24 hours since I landed back In London, and I already have that ‘winter blues’ feeling. Partly because I left the house to people wearing coats and trousers, but mainly because I’m not in Greece anymore.

The last week has been spent sailing around the Greek Islands, and let me tell you, it is a good way to spend your time.

We started off by collecting the boat in Corfu ready to set sail, the plan was to make our way south to Antipaxos, stopping off at harbours, ports and beaches along the way (and anywhere else that took our fancy), before heading back North again….

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No cars, no noise, just us, the boat and the big wide ocean….

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After some time on the water, we dropped anchor and headed to land. We spent the evening at a lovely little restaurant over looking the water.

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The food was delicious! I started with fresh anchovies on toasted bread with tomatoes

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…..followed by fresh prawn pasta (sooo tasty).

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After filling our tummies with an abundance of fresh fish and fizz, we headed back to the boat for a much needed sleep.

In the morning we headed back onto the land for a bit of exploring, but first stop, coffee (and chocolate milkshake).

I felt like I was having coffee at someones house, a chic, boho style living room….

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The chocolate milkshake was good, and I loved the glass it came in…

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The view from our very own private living room on the harbour wasn’t too bad either…

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Caffeine and sugar loaded it was time to explore.

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Something I noticed thoughout the whole trip, was the amount of cats and dogs wandering around. It did make me feel a bit sad at times, so many kittens running around for food, looking so thin. If I had my way, I would take them all home…

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After a lovely wander round, it was time to head back onboard ready to set sail…

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One of my favourite parts of the week, was our visit to Emerald Bay. We dropped anchor, jumped in, and made our way to the beautiful beach.

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At one point, we had the beach to ourselves…

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Thanks to our rubber ring and dry bag, we managed to bring this along with us….

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After a couple of glasses of vino and some beach play, we headed back to the boat ready to set sail to our next destination……..

Welcome to my (iphone) world – part 1

4,252 – this is the number of photo’s I have taken on my iphone.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love taking pictures, infact you could call me snap happy (and proud of it). But I’m not sure how I’ve managed to accumulate over 4000 photographs on my phone, without removing them.

It has however, provided me with some fun and memories….

My beautiful bicycle Tallulah-bell. I had wanted a bicycle for so long, and then I found her. I initially wanted a Pashley, but with a pretty hefty price tag, I couldn’t justify it. Instead I found her on the made website. They don’t have my model on the site right now, but I found this and you can find similar online.

She is a little (well actually a lot) neglected. I seem to have a fear of the road (slight issue in London). The plan is to build up more courage and start using her again soon.

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I missed it this year as I was in Ibiza, but this is a from last years Notting Hill Carnival. After a fun day, making my way home, I came across someone with a giant hip flask. I didn’t attempt a sip of whatever was in there! The dress is from h&m, you can find similar here.

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Meet King Luther Banana Hammock esq (real name: Luther). Lucy and I renamed him, we felt he deserved it. This was taken on halloween at Andres Serrano’s halloween party in New York. Great halloween costume.

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I LOVE Morecambe Bay’s potted shrimps. They remind me of going back to my parents, as my dad always has the fridge stocked with them when he knows I am coming. I spotted them in Whole Food on High St Kensington and had to get some! If not already, you’ve got to try them. Heated for a minute in the microwave, with a big mound of toasted wholemeal toast for dipping, yum.

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I am a huge fan of studs and spikes. I saw the black heeled studded shoes and had to have them, have I worn them? No. Do I plan to wear them? Highly likely not. These have all been bought over time, so not sure they are available in store, but I checked ebay and spotted a few still.

Red boots: Zara          Black heels: Office             Cream heeled ankle boots: Zara        

Black & cream flats: Topshop          Brown heeled ankle boots: Zara

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My friend Lucy invited me to the WW Gallery to see Susie Hamilton & Inguna Gremzde ‘Vacant Lots’ at the end of 2012. This was one of favourites, done by Inguna. Miniature landscape paintings in plastic bottle tops.

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My mum is one of my favourite people. She is not only a best friend, someone I can tell anything to, someone I adore and love, but is basically just great. She loves the garden, like my grandad used to do, she is always checking the green house to make sure all is growing as it should. As well as the green house, she has her pond. Not just any pond, a pond she made herself.

After doing a bit of reading, she grabbed her spade and out she went to dig away (and whatever else you do to make a pond), and it is now home to the big fish Jaws (and co). Hippo sits and protects the pond, and what a fine job he does….

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This is the Karim Rashid Veuve Clicquot Loveseat I’m happily sitting in. This was at a past companies stand at IFA, Berlin a few years ago, Karim did a collection for us.

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Growing up, as most of us do, we go on holiday with our family. Then we reach a certain age, and it seems to stop. Once we have the freedom to do as we will, holidaying with friends seems much more fun. Five or so years ago, I started joining my family again on summer trips, whether it be for a week or a few days. Some of my best memories are from these holidays. This is a picture from a trip to Spain about 4 years ago…

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My Dad is my best friend, we are so similar and he just gets me. We have had quite a few daddy, daughter trips over the years, from dad taking me to Dusseldorf to help with my German GCSE, to a trip to Paris. This is from that trip, i introduced him to Laduree….

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The girls and I went to an evening in East London, near Bethnal Green, in a working mens club randomly, last summer. It was a night of dancers, tattoos, candy floss and fun.

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I got my very own anchor tattoo.

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Still to this day, I can’t work out what this bird was doing at a technology exhibition. I still managed to take a picture and hold it. I never saw it again for the rest of the exhibition.

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This is my naughty little kitty, Daisy. When I was 11, we rescued her (well the neighbours thought she was our other cat and called us over). My my mum had to wear gardening gloves to grab her from under the neighbours car, as she was a feisty little thing. Since then, we have never looked back.

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The whiskey brand, monkey shoulder hosted a ‘for one night only’, and we went along. It was an evening of whiskey and sweets (They do a selection of different themed nights). When entering you got a number of vouchers and could use them to try a selection of whiskey cocktails. They had games, whiskey and as many sweets as you could manage. I checked their website, and seems they have more coming up soon.

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Watching Anna Kournikova at Wimbledon a few years ago.

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This is a piece of artwork from my school days. I can’t bring myself to throw it out, yet I don’t think it will ever make it to my wall.

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This is a tiny percent of my iphone collection – part 2 will come soon.

The weather has been pretty miserable the past few days in London, but lucky me, I get to escape for a week. Bright and early tomorrow I head off to Greece for a week of sailing around the islands.

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See you in a week x

Dog and Bone – Ben’s Canteen

I just love ribs, especially when they are covered in a mass of BBQ sauce and accompanied by slaw. The only tools you really need? Your hands (and a bunch of napkins). A gloriously messy meal.

It was dog and bone night at Ben’s Canteen last night, they have it every Wednesday. I haven’t been for a few months, so I was very happy to see they had gone bigger and better. I wasn’t exactly sure what they meant by this (I knew it would be good with the words ‘bigger’ and ‘better’), but when my meal arrived I soon realised.

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The portion was huge – 2 slabs of ribs, a mound of coleslaw, and something new, 3 mini corn on the cobs with a hint of garlic – all for £13!

I really enjoyed the ribs, the meat fell off the bone and was really tasty, (more of a personal preference, but it would’ve been nice to have a smothering of BBQ sauce, or a little dish of sauce on the side). The corn was really tasty, with a hint of garlic and the slaw had a nice kick to it too.

J went for the hot dog, a pork and apple dog, covered in onions and jalapeno’s. He seemed to enjoy it, as it disappeared pretty quickly…..before he moved on to help me with the ribs.

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Having eyes bigger than my belly, we both ordered a side of skin on fries too, but this was way too much, one would’ve been plenty.

I stuck with a glass of wine, but they do have a tasty cocktail menu (and on a Tuesday they have 2-4-1)

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Picture taken from their website

I really love Ben’s Canteen; It is a cave of warmth and vibrancy that I always look forward to going back to. I’m already looking forward to the next rib night…….

‘Old enough to know better, but still young enough to do it anyway….’

I of course love every weekend, who doesn’t? Goodbye painful early mornings, being woken up by that harrowing iphone alarm noise. Hello to big fat lie ins.

This weekend was even better, as it was my birthday weekend.

The weekend started on Friday evening, meeting J from work and going for dinner & wine at the lovely B-Soho, in, you guessed it…Soho. I just love this part of London, It offers a mix of people and lots of little streets with an array of shops, bars and places to eat.

I have never been to this particular restaurant/bar, but I have read about it, and was keen to try it out. I just love pizza, so it was a perfect choice.

I opted for the ‘Don Rocca’ – Mozzarella, tomatoes, rocket and Parma ham, and we had a bargain bottle of house white wine for £10! It was a lovely little place, and I would recommend a visit if you are in the area.

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Once we had filled our bellies with food & head with wine, we headed to Euston to catch our train to Manchester, but on the way, being the sweet addict I am, I managed to spend £10 on pick & mix. A quick visit to M&S, I picked up 2 G&T’s for the journey (may I add that G&T from a can is nothing like the real thing, but after a couple of gulps, it is passable).

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After 2 hours of G&T’s, tummy ache from too many sweets, chocolate, iphone pub quiz and who wants to be a millionaire, we made it to Manchester ready for the rest of the birthday fun to begin….

Saturday saw us head to Albert’s Shed in Didsbury, I have only been for drinks on a Friday evening, so I was looking forward to a lovely lunch with some of my favourite people. I opted for fish & chips (it was delicious), I got J to snap his, he had monkfish & scallop curry.

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Everyone seemed to enjoy their food, with some of us going for the bargain offer they have on a Saturday, £10.95 for 2 courses! The food was good quality, and the staff super friendly, all in all a great first time trip to Albert’s and I will look forward to going back.

After having a wonderful birthday lunch with my family & one of my bestest, we made our way to the Manchester City Center. It seems a bunny decided he wanted to pop into Manchester too!

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I spent 5 great years living in Manchester, so know it quite well, but J hadn’t really been before. We wandered around the busy streets of shoppers and visitors, the city has a lot of character and characters….

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With a big evening ahead, we got our glad rags on and headed out. At this point, I had no idea where I was actually going, not only was the venue a lovely surprise, but the whole mystery and organising that had gone into it. Turning up to big smiles from all my fantastic friends was the best feeling. I was instantly handed a glass of bubbles and eventually sat down to be presented with an abundance of presents and cards.

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With a huge smile on my face, and feeling very loved, we made our way to Dough for pizza time. It was my first time here, but I liked the fact it had such a varied menu and catered for large groups. It didn’t disappoint, my pulled pork pizza is probably the best pizza I have had! (And I have had a lot of pizzas).

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Once again, lots of little surprises awaited me…..

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I felt this really accentuated my eyes, same for Kev too….

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After filling out tummies, it was time to head out into the city and dance the night away, which we successfully did. I even went home with a reminder of the evening….

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I even woke up to a reminder from the evening….

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Such a lucky lady, with an array of wonderful gifts.

J decided to remind me I am older than him with this….(luckily he got me a beautiful bracelet too, but i secretly quite like this t-shirt!)

Not sure where he got it from, but found similar here

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Bracelet

I love this film and now I have my very own Mike to cuddle…

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My friends know me so well!

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Wonder ground Limbo here i come (my creative friend made this ticket! I thought it was a real one). You can find out more and book tickets here

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You can get these bad boys here

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I had the best birthday! I am a very lucky lady to have all the people I do in my life