Saturday, 31 December 2011

It's been a happy 2011. Let's hope for an even happier 2012 :)


Favourite Books: book Lovers Never go to Bed Alone.

I had a comment asking for a post of my favourite books of 2011. As an avid reader I am happy to oblige. When making this list, I realised that my favourites are invariably 20th century American authors with plots that interweave subtle observation of personal human struggles against the backdrop of a particular cultural and socio-economic contexts. Wharton and Williams are both masters of this genre. As with life, there are no heros or villans and the polished surface of convention is pierced to reveal the poignant underbelly of the human condition.

However, as much as I revel in gloomy atmospheric fiction there are also restorative entries on my list; a perfect antidote to any  Tennessee Williams induced despondency.

I'd love to know what peoples favourite reads are, as I am always adding to my list so feel free to recommend. 

All Time Favourites

  1.  Age of Innocence- Edith Wharton
  2.  The House of Mirth- Edith Wharton
  3.  The Great Gatsby- Scott Fitzgerald
  4.  Collected Stories of Tennessee Williams
  5.  White Teeth- Zadie Smith (hilariously witty)
  6.  Lolita- Vladimir Nabokov (fantastically written and stylistically magnificent)
  7.  The Thornebirds- Colleen McCullough (An epic love story)
  8.  Shadow of the Wind- Carlos Ruiz Zafon (magical and captivating)
  9.  Her Fearful Symmetry - Audrey Niffenegger (totally original plot)
  10. One Day- David Nicholls
  11.  Barbarians at the Gate


Friday, 30 December 2011

2011 Toplist; Leisure and Entertainment


Yummiest London Restaurant: Hakkassan, Bruton St
Most Romantic Restaurant: La Poule au Pot, Ebury St
Best place for a Sunday roast: Formosina, Maida Vale (go to post)
Best cocktail: The Lychee Bellini at Nobu
Best burger: The Burger at Carlton Tower Hotel
Favourite Turkish/ Kebab Place: Best Mangal, North End Road
Best food on a Budget: Best Mangal, North End Road (thank me later)
London Spa: Four Seasons, Park Lane (Go to Post)
Luxury Weekend Getaway: Paris, Plaza Athenee Hotel
Romantic Summer getaway: Santorini, Greece. Hotel Grace
Exotic holiday destination: Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali
Best Island resort: One and Only, Reethi Rath. Maldives
Alternative European Destination: Dubrovnik, Croatia. Villa Agave




Book of the year: Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffeneggar
Romantic Novel: One Day by David Nicholls
Party Song: Neyo- Tonight
Sit there and weep: Adele- Someone like you
New Artist: Lana Del Rey
Album: Born this Way- Lady Gaga
New film: Midnight in Paris
Romcom: Crazy Stupid Love
Old film: Butterfield 8 / Splendour in the grass
Top TV: Suits
New Megan Fox?: Minka Kelly
Best Male Lead: Ryan Gosling
Rising Star?: Douglas Booth



Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Snakes, Golden Buddhas, White Sand Beaches and lots of Sun; Malaysia

Here are some pics from my Malay adventure a year or so ago. It was my first experience of the Far East and I would 100% go back. Loved the friendliness of the locals, the tropical climate, monsoon showers followed by clear skies and luxurious hotels. Stayed in the Mandarin Oriental in Kuala Lumpur, followed by the Four Seasons Resort in Langkawi- possibly heaven on earth if there is one. The only downside was that the Andaman sea is impossible to swim in, so the hotel pool had to do instead. What I loved most about my holiday was exploring a completely alien culture and places that were unlike any I had ever visited; imbued with the exotic magic you find in totally foreign climes.

View of KL from the Hotel Pool

Out and about Kuala Lumpur

At Malaysia's National Mosque

Royal Salongor Factory

The Batu Caves- complete with snake charmers and medecine men

Absolutely Incredible Food in the Four Seasons Resort

Tour of the Mongroves - Complete with Eagles, deadly snakes, cheeky monkeys, bats and creeeeepy crawlies

Snaps of the Four Seasons Resort

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Ooo Baby it's cold outside

Whilst all my friends are swanning off the the Maldives, far east, skiing in the Alps and whirlwind city breaks, I am torpedoing through my LPC notes prior to exams in February. I have a cosy little set-up in my living room; thermos with thermal tea; assortment of sweets; roaring fire and piles of paper everywhere. 

Statement Dresses of 2011?

Love the Red Carpet Fashion Awards, Statement dresses of 2011 feature;

Monday, 26 December 2011

Shopping is a dangerous sport

You do not want to see my shoe closet; it's really more of a garage. And Louboutin's are my vehicle of choice. This is why I lost control in Harrods today and here are just some of my purchases.

Most of my girlfriends totally get the complex thrill of acquiring something beautiful and taking it home. Rationality takes a back-seat, replaced by a primitive endorphine driven urge to conquer and own. Grrr. My favourites are the wedges; I rarely wear flats and love a comfy wedge to shlep around in.