Sunday, 29 April 2012

Walking on the Milkyway

The other week it was my brother Alex's birthday. He is one of those people who hates having a fuss made over his birthday and wilts at the prospect of anything OTT. If you don't believe me, ask him what the worst night of his life was... he will tell you that it was the day his sister decided to throw him a surprise party.

Knowing this, his girlfriend (also called Alex) and I decided to do a dinner he couldn't possibly object to... me, her... and our closest friends united by a love of curly cheese fries and shakes.

So we headed to The Diner in London's Soho. An American eaterie and temple to all things fried, greasy and sugary. It's one of those places where the whole concept is so appealing that you look past the fact that the food tasted so much better in your head than on your tongue. The food was decent, but not knee-quiveringly good. However, we had an amazing time, just because 10 years of friendship tends to do that to people and there's something so nostalgically nickolodean in sharing a shake with your best amigos.
18 Ganton Street
London, Greater London
020 7287 8962

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Oh Kimchee, I did not know thee, but now that I do, I'll take nothing in lieu.

Yes, you probably winced at the post title, but I just couldn't resist.

 As a law student at BPP Holborn, I have spent the best part of a year marvelling at queues snaking round the block, to get into Kimchee, a Korean on the corner of High Holborn and Red Lion Street. Cynically, I dismissed Kimchee as a case of 'location. location. location'; ravenous law students and portly barristers, all looking for a vino and noodle fix.

Whilst planning dinner with my friends the other week we realised how bored we had become of all our regular haunts. Suffice it to say that when you can recite the Zuma menu backwards and spot new tipples on the Nobu cocktail list, a change of scenery is called for. 

Lightbulb moment- Kimchee. A stone's throw from my friend's bank and a road cross for me. No reservations, just turn up, although better early in the week when there are no queues. The interiors are dark, moody and sexy; reminiscent of a dressed down Hakkasan but with utterly reasonable prices (£30 pp if you order A LOT). The open plan kitchen meant watching the chefs tossing steaming prawns and stirfry in woks and Flambéing pink juicy pieces of meat. Appetite propelled into Lewis Hamilton overdrive I was ready to order.  

The food was absolutely delicious. I wish I could tell you what we ordered, but that would involve me reeling off everything on the menu. Apologies for the paltry number of photos, but after the first few delicious mouthfuls taking pictures was no longer on my agenda. The food was perfectly cooked, flavoursome, comforting and totally indescribable (so I don't know why I'm trying). And when you think it can't get any better; desert. Creamy almond flavour ice cream- AMEN!

p.s. if you're my friend and if we've got a lunch date in the book, please let's go to Kimchee.  

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71 High Holborn, London WC1V 6EA  United Kingdom
020 7430 0956

Favourite dish, Korean pancakes with veg and octopus

Friday, 27 April 2012

And all that I hear as I lie in my bed... Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.

At the beginning of last week I was still sort of feeling the romance of rainy walks down deserted streets, kicking puddles of water in my Hunters and cups of builders tea (with rich-tea biscuits mmm) tucked up in bed with the rain thrashing against my window. However a week and a half on and dareisay that the novelty has worn off, well barring the pot of gold at the end of my road, which gave me reason to smile.

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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

At the violet hour

If you read my blog, you'll know I'm cray-cray about the countryside. What started on a childhood visit to Shropshire, snowballed into an impossibly exciting night in a tent on a Duke of Edinburgh expedition and culminated in me dragging my unfortunate family to the top of Mount Helvellyn in the Lake District last year. 

In fact I cannot imagine a better way to spend a weekend then a couple of friends, a bucolic country setting, dog on a lead, a guitar, someone who can play the guitar and pictionary. This is why when I chanced upon these breathtaking photos of the English countryside by photographer Martin Turner I knew it was time to plan a weekend getaway. Watch this space because as soon as the thermostat inches into the twenties I am collaring the mischief-makers and cookie-bakers amongst my friends into a compulsory mini-break and The Wheatsheaf Inn in the Cotswolds has our name written all over it. However, we are having a trial run in Tetbury, deep in the Gloucestershire countryside. My favourite people, marshmallow fondue over the fire, rambling country walks, drinks in the local pub and pony rides.

Some Pre-Requisites
- Polaroid camera
- Boxes of sweets
- Strawberry laces
- Blankets and cashmere socks 
- Binoculars
- Acoustic guitar & harmonica
- Ipod
- monopoly and scrabble
- your loudest singing voice
- Hunter wellies
- Spin the bottle
- a kite
- Moet & Chandon rose
Sasha Holland 

Monday, 23 April 2012

How to: The Perfect Manicure

As someone who is particular about grooming, I always despair over the grungy state of my nails. Perfect manis give way to chipped nail laquer in a matter of nano-seconds, which isn't helped by my constant gesticulation and compulsion to touch things for emphasis. But lately, I have not needed the same level of robotic self-possession as I've discovered two nifty products which keep my nails tip-top for DAYS! Both are available on a range of sites including ebay.

  1. CND Stickey Base; A sticky base coat that fixes your polish in place, so that it doesn't chip or slide off. 
  2. Seche Vite Top Coat; An amazingly glossy, hard, fast-drying top coat that keeps your manicure fixed in place like no other. I've tried them all and this is really the best!


Studs and Shorts

I am feeling this La Garconne sleeveless military coat in a big way. The buckled strap closure is uber-cool and the cotton canvas makes it wearable all the way through from Spring through to Autumn. It was $825 from their website but is now sadly sold out, but that doesn't stop me crossing my fingers.

studs and shorts

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Carpe Diem, because tomorrow it could be too Late.

 Reread T.S Eliot's The Wasteland over the weekend, which to me along with The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock is one of the most beautiful poems ever written.  Here is one of my favourite stanzas, poignant and true, the truth of it being relative to its reader and therefore all the more beautiful.

The awful daring of a moment’s surrender
Which an age of prudence can never retract
By this, and this only, we have existed


Friday, 20 April 2012

Review; Rossano Ferretti London

"That's today's news, now let's take a look at the week's weather".. Rain. Rain. And more Rain.  

I really should have been more prepared, but was caught in an almost mythical deluge. Soaked and cowering in a doorway I half expected to see Noah's Ark floating up Piccadilly.

Then I had the misfortune of catching sight of my reflection in a car door. My hair was a mess. I looked like Professor Snape and my evening plans meant I needed a hairdresser. PRONTO.

And that is how I ended up in Rossano Ferretti's newly opened Mayfair Hairspa in St George St. Located across five floors of a beautiful Georgian Mansion, formerly home of William Morris, the salon feels more like a luxury hotel. I breathed a sigh of relief, left my coat at the door and spent the next two hours cocooned in this shrine to glossy locks. 

Rossano, who is the world's most expensive hairdresser, is known for 'The Method', cutting hair naturally so that it falls according to its natural movement. No harsh geometric or dodgy bobs here, but soft elegant beautiful styles. I cannot tell you the number of times a hairdresser has tried to go 'scissor-happy' on my waist length tresses, but not here. Rossano's approach is cutting hair only where it needs it and optimising its natural beauty.

After washing my hair with Shu Uemura ceremony and a magical 10 minute head massage, we were ready to rocknroll. I was off to dinner at the Ritz with a friend's family and opted for loose romantic waves. My amazing stylist, Clare Young used a barrel brush and breathtaking dexterity to tease my looks into smooth tumbling waves, as we chatted about our lives and divulged little secrets that you only tell your hairdresser. Little more than an hour later I was transformed, with a head of hair that was more Sleeping Beauty than Snape and an appointment in the book for next time. What's more is that Rossano has salons worldwide, so whether you are in LA or the Four Seasons Maldives you can enjoy some of his magic hair fairy-dust.

17 St. George Street, London, 0207-493-0555

View from the Salon's roof terrace