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    Wednesday, 11 October 2017

    NEW FOOD ALERT: HALLOWEEN DOUGHNUTS HAVE LANDED AT KRISPY KREME

    One of my favourite things about having this little old blog is being able to share my favourite foodie finds with you guys - and I'm really excited about this one. Like really, really.

    Can you guess what it is....
    Yep! Halloween Doughnuts from the one and only Krispy Kreme! I LOVE doughnuts and I bloody love Halloween, so of COURSE I was going to love this eerie new range!
    Taking inspiration from everyone's favourite spooky holiday, the team at Krispy Kreme has dreamt up four 'wicked' new flavours and I promise you're going to love them!

    Whether you prefer cream or chocolate in your doughnut, there's something for everyone so grab a cuppa and I'll tell you a little more about the limited edition range....

    Monster Mummy
    The cutest, scary doughnut I've ever seen! This delicious number is filled with creamy chocolate brownie batter, generously coated in green icing and topped with white icing bandages and little eyes. 
    Creepy Cobweb
    Not one for the faint hearted! Hand dipped in chocolate icing and filled with Krispy's signature kreme, this creepy doughnut is finished with an orange spider's web and its very own eight legged creature!

    Evil Eyeball
    My absolute fav! A deliciously sweet Krispy Kreme ring doughnut, topped with white icing and decorated with red iced veins. There's even a creepy sugar eye to watch you as you tuck in!
    Spooky Sprinkles
    Last but by no means least, the Spooky Sprinkle doughnut uses the same signature ring but this time dipped in chocolate and topped with halloween-inspired orange and green sprinkles! Definitely more treat, than trick!
    The Halloween range is available in all Krispy Kreme UK stores and cabinets from 13th October until the 31st! The cobweb, Mummy and Eyeball doughnuts are priced £1.90 and the Spooky Sprinkles is £1.65

    * I went to the London Dungeons to celebrate the launch of the Krispy Kreme Halloween range

    Monday, 9 October 2017

    EXPLORE THE CITY WITH JOHN LEWIS

    "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life" - I'm sure that's how the saying goes, right? I've lived in London for pretty much my whole life and there are still SO many places I've never seen or explored. 

    London is such a melting pot of different cultures, food and influences and every single borough has something unique to offer. I love that Camden Town is completely different to Westminister, which is SO different to Shoreditch or Mayfair - and all these places are in walking distance to each other. 

    John Lewis is on a mission to get more people out and about exploring London, which is why they've just launched a handy new Explore the City tool on their website. 
    It's a really handy app which allows you to pop in your postcode and unlock thousands of activities and attractions in your surrounding area, all which can be explored by foot.

    The routes can be broken down by borough, activity type (be it arts, museums or exercise classes you're after) and fitness level, telling you how many steps they take so you can plan out your route.

    I love exploring London so inspired by the new app, I've set out some of my favourite things to do in the Capital...

    What I'm Wearing
    Denim Jacket / Earrings / Dress / Boots

    Eat your way around Borough Market
    You HAVE to head to Borough Market for food. Now, you could queue for one of the restaurants nearby (like Padella for their amazing pasta) but there's so many amazing traders and stalls to explore inside the actual market. It's the perfect place to waste away a Saturday afternoon, eating ALL the cheese, wine, fresh bread and don't even think about leaving before you try the doughnuts - how can you not fall in love with this place?  
    Fish Borough Market
    Go house hunting in Islington
    Hypothetically of course - because LOL, I'm not a millionaire. We love our little home in Beaconsfield but it's nice to go window shopping, dreaming of the Victorian townhouses you'd buy if you won the lottery, right? There's some gorgeous houses in Islington but Richmond, Southwark and South Ken are other fav spots too. And I really have a thing for red doors....

    Hunt down London's best burger
    All that walking means you've gotta replenish the calories right?! If you're looking for a burger in London, there's only really one choice: Bleecker. You can now find them in Victoria, Spitalfields and on the Southbank so it's well worth planning a detour on your route. The Blue burger is a dream and don't even get me started on the angry fries!
    Spend the afternoon people watching in Marylebone
    There's something weirdly theauputic about people watching. I love finding cosy little bars where you can sit outside, order a cocktail and watch the world go by. Some of our favourite places are The Cavendish in Marylebone, Bluebird in Chelsea and London Grind. Does anyone else invent back-stories for every person who goes by, or is that just me?
    Have a pint in a back-street pub
    Espresso martinis in fancy bars are great - but some of my favourite places are the little backstreet pubs, tucked away from all the tourists. Yes, you'll get weird looks from the locals when you first walk in, but they get over it and you can enjoy a little people watching too! My favourite pub in London is Ye Olde Watling, over by St.Pauls and we ALWAYS head to The Kings Head in Marylebone. It's a little rough around the edges, but we were in there with Kate Moss on our last visit!
    What are your favourite things to do in London? Let me know in the comments below!

    * I was gifted a FitBit by John Lewis
    in exchange for this post
    Bleecker St. Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Wednesday, 4 October 2017

    NEW FOOD ALERT: THE NEW MARS CHOCOLATE COOKIES

    When a GIANT box of cookies lands on your doorstep, which you've been asked to review, all in the name of blogging, you really do have to pinch yourself.

    Mars has just launched a new range of cookies and I had the pleasure of trying them out to give you guys my opinion (it's a hard life, right!).

    The new range of cookies, based on some of the UK's favourite chocolate bars, are the perfect treat and with each having its own distinct texture, there's something which everyone will love! So grab yourself a brew, and I'll tell you guys all about them.
    M&M's DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES
    Everyone loves a good chocolate biscuit, so let's kick things off with the M&M's Double Chocolate Cookies. The cookie itself has a deep chocolate flavour and each one is packed with real chocolate M&M's baked inside. Just the right balance between soft and crunchy, it's the perfect cookie for dunking in your cuppa!

    BOUNTY SOFT BAKED COOKIES
    Based on a Bounty chocolate bar, it's no surprise these cookies are packed full of coconut flakes and chocolate chunks. So, it's also no real surprise that they weren't really for me! I really don't like coconut and I don't like Bounty so it was kind of a given they wouldn't really do it for me. I also wasn't keen on the texture - which was a little too soft for me personally. I like a good crunchy cookie so I'm afraid I'd have to give these a miss! But hey - if you like Bounty and you like a softer bake...you'll probably love these!

    GALAXY CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES
    The Galaxy Chocolate Chunk Cookies though? Now we're talking. These were my absolute FAV. They've got a real bite to them and huge chunks of creamy galaxy chocolate. If you love Galaxy chocolate you're in for a real treat!
    Gather your friends, put the kettle on and start dunking!
    All the cookies are priced £1.99 and you can get the M&M's cookies from Tesco and Galaxy & Bounty ones from Tesco or Sainsbury's. 

    * This post was sponsored by Mars 

    Monday, 2 October 2017

    FOUR FAB GARNISHES TO PIMP YOUR G&T

    I have to admit, I was a little bit late to the party with gin. It's been super popular over the last few years, but I've pretty much avoided it like the plague since my uni days. 

    I remember I really, really wanted to be 'in to' gin when I was in second year - so I used to drink it at 'pre-drinks' to absolute excess and would wake up in the morning either depressed (which explains why they call it Mother's Ruin) or with the hangover from hell.  Recently though, now I've learnt my limits, I've discovered that gin & I actually do get along. 
    To put this new found love to the test, I headed down to the Franklin & Sons Penny Farthing Supper Club to celebrate two of India's greatest exports: tonic and curry. 
    The team at Cinnamon Kitchen were on hand serving up delicious Indian Street food while Franklin & Sons created G&Ts using their award-winning range of tonics and mixers. Franklin & Sons pride themselves on only using the finest natural ingredients to bring out the very best in spirits like Gin and Vodka.
    While I was at the event, I also got the chance to experiment with the various botanicals and garnishes which is a great way to bring new depth to your drink: 

    PEPPERCORNS
    Pink peppercorns immediately make me think of holiday. Every G&T I've had out in Spain has come served with gorgeous pink peppercorns which add a lovely sweet, fruit aroma. You can also add  black peppercorns to your gin for a savoury kick or Sichuan peppercorns for a little added heat!

    CARDAMOM
    Cardamom has a really strong, intense flavour and works brilliantly with citrus. Green cardamom seeds tend to have a slightly eucalyptus taste whereas black cardamom has a more smoky finish.

    KAFFIR LIME LEAVES
    Give the leaves a little rub to bruise them up a bit - then pop them in your drink and they'll bring a lovely citrus zing to proceedings!

    STAR ANISE
    I love Star Anise. It tastes a little like licorice and adds a really fragrant kick when you add to a G&T. Not only that but it reminds me of Christmas and is also one of the prettiest garnishes you can add to your drink! 
    What other garnishes do you love in your G&T? 
    I'd love to hear your favourite flavour combinations! 

    * I attended the Franklin & Sons Penny Farthing Supperclub as a guest
    Cinnamon Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Saturday, 30 September 2017

    MY NEW FAV RESTAURANT: BLACK ROE, MAYFAIR

    Anyone asking me for a restaurant recommendation, for the foreseeable future, will be directed to Black Roe.

    You might remember that I recently fell in love with the food at Chotto Matte, well Black Roe is their sister restaurant and it is INCREDIBLE. The food is a fusion of Japanese/Hawaiian cuisine and it's all set in an ultra-trendy dining room in Mayfair - which plays deep house beats while you eat. Sounds perfect, right?

    If you can, try and nab one of the banquettes which give you a great view of the restaurant and plenty of room! 
    There's an extensive wine menu as well as some seriously good cocktails. You HAVE to try the HAU’OLI KA WAII - a gorgeous blend of Bombay sapphire gin, manzana verde, cucumber and spiced vanilla sugar. It's absolutely delicous - just don't ask me how you pronounce it!
    All the dishes are designed for sharing. Our waitress suggested we order around 4-5 dishes from the menu of pokes, appetizers, main courses and sides and each comes to the middle of the table once it's ready.

    If you're not exactly sure what to go for, you can tell your waitress your likes and dislikes and they will build a bespoke menu designed on your tastes. It's a great way to explore the menu and try some of the things you'd usually overlook!

    To kick things off, make sure you definitely try the poke - the restaurant's signature dish.
    One of the BIG dishes of 2017, Poke (pronounced poe-kay) is a traditional Hawaiian dish, combining rice with marinated cubes of fresh fish. It's a little like sushi and a little like a salad and it's so delicious.

    The signature 'Black Roe' ahi and yellowtail poke is a dream. Huge chunks of expertly diced tuna and a generous spoonful of black roe - super fresh and so tasty!
    Another of my favourite dishes is the Ahi Sashimi Salad. A simple, light salad with generous slices of avocado, salmon and tuna - all coated in a delicious onion dressing. 
    It sounds simple but it honestly packs SO much flavour. Definitely one of those dishes I'd normally overlook but it ended up being one of the highlights of the meal. Next I'd highly recommend the scallops. You're served two huge scallops, in their shells, on a bed of black quinoa with a fruity mango salsa. 
    They look beautiful and taste just incredible - a real Instagram-worthy dish.
    I wasn't overly fussed by the Octopus aioli, but I've never really been too keen on Octopus. Here it's served with a chili salsa which brings just the right amount of heat to the dish - just a little too tough in texture for me!
    If you're really looking for a treat, order a round of oysters. These are super fresh, served on ice with a good squeeze of lemon and a delicious soy dressing.
    This was my first REAL taste of fresh oysters and I was honestly blown away. The taste and texture was completely different to what I was expecting (e.g. nothing like sea water) and I can't wait to try them again!
    The beef fillet tataki is another excellent dish. The fillet is served rare, delicately carved into thin strips and presented with sun blush tomatoes, parmesan crisp and a salsa picante. 
    You'll also want to order the prawn tempura. Huge king prawns, served with a coriander salsa and truffle aioli. Crisp, juicy and absolutely drenched in flavour. Moving into main course territory, there's plenty of fish options like the soy glazed salmon with pickled daikon and pineapple. The skin is slightly charred giving a smokey flavour while the flakes of fish are delicate and super tender.  
     But if you're going to go for meat, you HAVE to order the smoky lamb rack. This was one of my favourite dishes of the evening.
    Perfectly pink in the centre and coated in charred, smokey spices.
    Perfect rounded off with a portion of the beef dripping fries with a ponzu mayo dip! A truly epic feast!
    If you've got any room left at all, after ALL that food. You might as well finish the dinner in style. Introducing the Shake and Bake...
    A show-stopper of a dish.It's a real concoction of flavour. Cream, ice-cream, Italian meringue all piled in with fruit salad and sliced peaches. You can either dig in with your spoon or sip the fruit juices up through a straw - oh and don't forget the warm, baked churros!
    What a brilliant way to end an evening! I honestly can't recommend Black Roe highly enough. It's a little pricey, but it's Mayfair and the food is incredible so it's well worth a trip. Definitely one for a date night or anniversary - or just when you're looking to impress.

    In a nutshell: 
    What: Trendy Mayfair hot-spot serving up incredible Hawaiian-inspired raw fish & seafood
    Where: 4 Mill St, Mayfair, London W1S 2AX
    Find out more: http://www.blackroe.com
    * We were guest of Black Roe
    Our food was free but my opinions are honest
    Black Roe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Thursday, 28 September 2017

    YOUR FAVOURITE CHOCOLATE BAR IS NOW AVAILABLE AS A T-SHIRT!

    Want to know the way to this girl’s heart? Through chocolate and fashion of course – which is precisely why I am SO excited about the latest collaboration between Cadbury and Henry Holland.

    Yep. Henry Holland, of super trendy label House of Holland, has joined forces with Cadbury to design a series of T-shirts, taking inspiration from the nation’s favourite chocolate bars!
    Each unisex T-shirt has been designed to reflect the tastes and textures, we know and love of Cadbury’s chocolate.

    If you’re a crunchie fan – you’ll want the vibrant orange number, complete with illustrated shatters to represent the crushing honeycomb. Love a Double Decker? Then the purple and orange tie-dye number is for you!

    My personal favourite though? Wispa of course! A lively blend of red and purple, complete with tiny bubbles, just like those found in a mouth-watering Wispa! I haven't been this excited about chocolate since....well, since Cadbury brought back Wispa!
    What I'm Wearing: Jeans / Earrings

    The T-shirts are super limited edition sand already sold out on the House of Holland website - BUT luckily for you, I have 5 shirts to giveaway! Simply enter using the Rafflecopter widget below and you could win the T-Shirt of your choice! Good luck!


    * Cadbury kindly sent me a T-shirt and chocolate in exchange for this post

    Monday, 25 September 2017

    WRINGER & MANGLE, SPITALFIELDS

    I'm not sure if it's because we're in the middle of renovating our cottage - or it's a sign I'm getting old - but I've started obsessing over interiors. I spend HOURS scrolling through the #InteriorGoals hashtag on Instagram and don't even get me started on the 74537 Pinterest boards I've created for almost every single room in the house.

    Well I've taken it to a whole level as I've found a restaurant, I'm determined to model my whole cottage on: Wringer and Mangle.
    You might have heard of Wringer and Mangle before - the 'original' is over in London Fields and now they've just opened a second outpost in Spitalfields, a five minute walk from Liverpool Street Station. 

    As soon as I stepped inside, I fell in love with the decor.  It's got a very industrial feel (in keeping with the trendy Shoreditch vibe) with exposed brick-work, wooden and steel panels and pops of greenery from the indoor shrubs dotted around the room. The venue is spread across two floors with the top floor providing all-day dining, whilst downstairs promises to be a destination night spot.
    There's a well-stocked bar where you can head for drinks before your meal and sample the killer cocktails from the award-winning mixology team. Make sure you order the 'Locals Only' - a delicious take on an Aperol Spritz made with Stoli Vodka, Aperol, Montenegro, Cinzano and Segura Viudas Brut Reserva.
    The restaurant itself focuses on serving home-cooked style food in a laid-back, relaxed setting. We were invited down to the launch to try the food before its official opening and I promise you'll love it. The team aims to use the finest cuts of meat and fresh vegetables every day, taking pride in sourcing the best possible ingredients.
    Everything is sourced as locally as possible - like the freshly baked bread which arrives at your table wrapped in brown paper bags, still warm from the oven.
    The menu is filled with simple ingredients, prepared in inventive ways. The 50 degree cooked salmon  is delcious. It comes served with a bread sauce, charred gem lettuce (which seems super trendy at the moment) and piquillo salsa. 
    The fish is vacuum packed and cooked sous-vide until you're left with the most incredible, tender, flakes of salmon. The texture is almost a cross between poached and smoked salmon - super soft, tender and incredibly delicious.
    Meat-lovers will adore the crispy pigs head croquettes. Not only are they huge but they're packed with meat - perfectly crisp on the outside and deliciously fluffy within.
    The Merlot braised beef cheek is melt-in-the-mouth tender. It arrives nestled on a bed of red cabbage and celeriac puree and is just the PERFECT dish for the colder weather. Comfort food at its finest.
    For pudding, the warm blackberry rice pudding is an autumnal DREAM. Served with clotted cream ice cream (yep!), it's like a giant hug in a bowl.
    But if you're after something a little lighter, you can't go wrong with a bowl of red and black fruits, arranged beautifully over a light elderflower curd and chia granola. Deliciou
    We had a fab evening at Wringer & Mangle. So much so, that by the time we'd finished chatting. we realised we were the only ones left in the restaurant! 

    They're open 11am-11.30pm Monday to Wednesday, 11am - 1.30am on Thursdays and Friday and closed at the weekends!

    Now I just need to find out where they got that dining table....

    In a nutshell: 
    What: Quality produce in a laid-back, homely setting
    Where: 94 Middlesex Street. London, E1 7EZ
    Find out more: https://www.wringerandmangle.com 

     *I was invited to review Wringer & Mangle
    All opinions are honest
    Wringer & Mangle Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato