Tuesday, 30 July 2013

A Mildreds feast

Unassumingly named, Mildreds is a cool, laid back vegetarian restaurant in the heart of Soho, that really lets the food do the talking. Always buzzing, yet strictly no bookings - it is popular amongst both veggies and omnivores alike.

I've been vegetarian since I was eight years old and up until a few years ago really struggled to find restaurants that understood that a meat substitute didn't simply equal bland pasta or a plate of chips - even in a forward thinking capital like London.  I think vegetarians are more open to trying out new combinations of flavours and foods which, judging by the menu, is something Mildreds takes full advantage of. From hefty burgers to burritos to curries and pies- it's a traditional menu made innovative by the ingredients - all served up as reasonably priced, meatless fare.

I was very excited at the prospect of Ollie treating me to a meal here as celebration for both our new jobs. He on the other hand, as contented omnivore, wasn't so sure and had planned the route home via an array of fast-food chains, just in case. I am happy to report this was not necessary.

To start we had Gyoza dumplings and quesadillas, I then had the Sri Lankan curry and Ollie the risotto cake with shared sweet potato fries (literally the best in the world) and a peanut butter chocolate brownie for dessert. Wow. My date, combined with the recent good news for us both obviously made this an amazing night regardless, but the food, atmosphere and friendly service were spot on too.

I really recommend this lovely little restaurant to everyone who wants a good meal in an unpretentious setting. 

Please share any other great places with interesting vegetarian options in London with me!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

My London calling

This post is more of a diary entry than anything of real journalistic value. But sometimes good things happen. Like really, really good things. And that's when you realise that working your butt off and not giving up actually pays off and you just want to share it with the world via your blog.

I'm back in London, with a new job I am loving, staying with my oldest London friends whom I've know since halls, feeling a little bit "am I dreaming/ is this actually happening?!"

I have been busy busy at my first week at work, but have managed to fit in some downtime too, seeing my favourite people and visiting my favourite old haunts. And even when working I get to spend my lunch hour sunning myself in Kensington Gardens which is always good in my book.

I'm still stressing (of course!), as I don't have a flat sorted yet and I lost/someone stole my iphone yesterday... but I actually don't mind because I know those thing will sort themselves out too. And in the meantime I get to spoon Henrietta Young each night. Perfection.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Bumble & Bumble Thickening shampoo

Often beauty pages will suggest to scrimp on the quality of shampoo in favour of a higher-end conditioner, and I would usually agree with this sentiment. All shampoos do their job of cleaning - it's the conditioner that works the magic in terms of end results, right? Well, the clever people at Bumble & Bumble have made me re-think the power of a good old shampoo.

Like most haircare ranges, Bumble & Bumble's products are tailored to suit individual hair concerns. I have lots of hair, but it's very fine so I am always on the lookout for products which offer to create full-bodied, voluminous hair (aka The Dream).

Ideally you would want to invest in the whole Thickening range to really get the best results, however I have often just used the shampoo with no product or styling afterwards and the results were still incredible. This shampoo really lifts the hair and texturises it whilst moisturising without weight, sealing split ends and taming flyaways. 

I would never usually advocate spending 
£18.50 on a shampoo (the whole range would cost approx £60), however as clich├ęd as it sounds a little really does go a long way and it has been a month of daily usage leaving me with over half the bottle left... and the results, well they speak volumes. Go Bumble!

Friday, 5 July 2013

Lusting after bling: Katie Lees Jewellery

I was browsing in a pop-up shop in Glasgow's Flat 0/1 when I first spotted Katie Lees' unique designs. Like a magpie I was instantly drawn to her range of statement rings - some simple, some so intricately detailed and structured - to be worn alone or stacked high up to your knuckles. The lusting began. 

Katie is a designer whose unique style is defined by the perhaps incongruous concept of creating finely crafted jewellery, of silver and semi-precious stones, from the heavy industrial aesthetic of the shipbuilding history that has moulded her home city of Glasgow.

From her studio on the Isle of Arran, these evocative forms are translated by hand into finely crafted jewellery - another reason to add to the list of why I love Arran (others including the whisky and the soaps...). Her unique style lends itself well to bold statement pieces as well as smaller, more subtle forms.

Although Katie's designs do seem very fashion forward, I actually think they are really timeless pieces which will look good regardless of the current statement jewellery trend. A Katie Lee piece is something I would treasure as a special gift, something to mark an occasion or something to really treat myself to and love forever. The items aren't cheap, but that just reflects the quality and the one-of-a-kind designs - something you don't get from a high-street range.

If you have fallen for the collection as much as I have but can't catch a ferry to Arran then fear not! All of Katie's collection is available online at www.katieleesjewellery.com

My pick of rings from the website:

'Crank' ring gold vermeil | Katie Lees Jewellery | £188

'Gauge' ring III |Katie Lees Jewellery | £124

'Warp" ring gold vermeil | Katie Lees Jewellery | £138