Shop My Favourites:

Something You Might Like:





    Friday, 19 January 2018


    Is it just me or does it feel like January is never going to end?

    I’m not sure if it’s because I got paid early and am now skint from Christmas or because we’re all a little depressed with our new fitness and healthy eating regimes… there’s just something about the first month of the year which seems to drag on. Oh and you guys taking part in Dry January or Veganuary...I'm sure it probably feels even longer for you lot!

    Now, the concept of Dry January I can absolutely get behind. Not only is it a good way to kick off a new health kick, save a little money and help you re-address how much you’re drinking – it also helps spread awareness for a charity I hold close to my heart: Alcohol Concern.
    They kick-started the initiative back in 2014 and I took part last year to help raise for the charity. It was a really interesting experience and I learnt some great tips on my journey so if you are doing Dry January this year and you’re starting to struggle – don’t fear, because I’ve teamed up with Fentimans share my wisdom and help see you through the final few weeks.
    I honestly remember the hardest thing about doing Dry January was the lack of options for non-drinks at social events. No matter how much you love your friends, or how much they love you, you can not rely on them to provide adequate alcohol-free alternatives at events/parties/sleepovers (unless you really like drinking water or squash).

    The safest and easiest way to avoid being tempted into drinking is to drive to said event (so you physically have no choice but to abstain) but to also take something a little more interesting to drink.

    Which leads my neatly onto my next point. There's so many great alcohol-free versions out there which taste almost exactly the same as their alcoholic counterparts. Becks Blue is great for beer drinkers and Tesco recently launched a low alcohol wine range which is great.

    I also find Ginger Beer (the Fentemans one is delicious!) or Tonic/Soda and Lime are great options as people will automatically assume you're drinking alcohol, which helps to ward off all the questions about not drinking or people trying to tempt you!

    If you try to survive Dry January just drinking water and orange squash, I promise you won't survive for very long. But if you mix things up a little, like experimenting with your favourite flavours in mocktails, it'll make the whole experience a lot of more enjoyable.

    Fentimans was an absolute crutch for me on my Dry January journey last year. You might remember the old green glass bottles? Well they’ve had a complete revamp so all of the 125ml bottles in the range now feature clear glass, making them feel much more sophisticated....and you definitely won't feel like a wolly turning up to a party with a few bottles in tow.

    All the drinks have their own unique flavour which makes them great for drinking on their own or for mocktail making. I've got a fabulous Rose Lemonade version which I'll be sharing with you at the bottom of this post which I know you're going to love!

    I don’t know about you but every activity I seem to do with my mates either involves alcohol or food! Use this opportunity to do something different with your friends for once. Go to the cinema or take up a new class. You’ll surprise yourself at how little you miss drinking and also much you don’t need it to have a good time.

    If you've gotten to this point in the month without drinking, hopefully by now you'll have started to notice positive changes in your mind and body (improved sleep and more energy, anyone?) but there’s also lots of other changes to make note of.

    The Alcohol Concern app is a really great tool for staying motivated – especially as you’re nearing the end of your journey. You basically input how much you’d normally drink and it gives you updates on how much money and calories you'd have saved over the course of the month - it's actually insane to think about how many empty calories we consume through drinking!

    Now I bet you’ve been waiting for that recipe I promised you right? Fentimans has created a delicious mocktail in aid of Dry January so I wanted to re-create it and share it with you guys. It's super simple but incredibly delicious.

    All you need is a bottle of Fentimans Rose Lemonade and 20ml of Elderflower Syrup (I used House of Broughton). Pour the two over some ice, give it a stir and garnish with some mint. Voila - the perfect, refreshing drink to see you though the rest of the month!
    If you’re considering tackling Dry January next year, you can find plenty of information on the Alcohol Concern website and don’t forget to add fundraising to your efforts! The Fentimans website is also packed with loads of delicious drinks inspiration and you can buy their delicious drinks from any of the major retailers.

    * This post was sponsored by Fentimans

    Monday, 15 January 2018


    There's been a fair few pizza recommendations on this blog recently - and while I know you guys love a good pizza place - I thought it was time to show you something new. Something completely different in-fact! It's called Hot Pot and I have a feeling you guys are going to love it!

    Now don’t be fooled, I’m not talking about Betty's Lancashire Hot Pot, no - this is Hot Pot or 'Hou Guo', a traditional broth-based cooking experience which originated in Asia - and it's SO much fun!

    You'll find the restaurant tucked away under the glittering gateway to China Town on Wardour Street in Soho. 
    The restaurant has a really intimate yet relaxed vibe complete with lots of dark wooden panelling, polished brass lighting and hints of traditional red dotted through-out.
    At every table you'll find an electric hot-plate...which is where the magic happens.

    I'd never tried Hot Pot before but the concept is really simple. You start by choosing from the selection of eight highly flavoured broths...
    You then pick your fresh ingredients to help add even more depth. You'll definitely want to start with some of the luscious veggies like cabbage, mushroom and lotus root to help bulk your broth out...
    and there's a selection of meats including steak, free-range chicken and cuts of pork...
    plus the most incredible fresh seafood.

    This platter was actually my favourite. A whole array of seafood presented on crushed ice with everything from razor clams and scallops through to fillets of salmon and skewered prawns.
    All you need to do to get cooking is fire up the Hot Pot, bring your broth to the boil and start adding in your ingredients according to the cooking times provided...
    The beauty of the Hot Pot is, the more ingredient that you add, the more flavourful your broth becomes!

    We decided to try two different broths, the 'Tom Yum' - a spicy hot & sour soup and the 'Thai Green Curry'. The Tom Yum is a deliciously spicy option which is great for chilli lovers - it's not too hot (like the fiery Mala version) but is balanced out with lemongrass, lime and coriander. I'd say this was my favourite.

    The Thai Green Curry was also delicious. Our waitress explained this broth is very popular with Western customers and for good reason too - it's fairly mild but packs in the most incredible flavour which only intensifies as you add more ingredients to your broth.

    The other important element of the Hot Pot is the dipping station, where you can create your own sauces to help flavour your meats.

    It's all very DIY so you can either recreate the 'house' sauces by following their suggested recipes or use the ingredients to mix up creations of your own...The other thing I loved about Hot Pot was how incredibly healthy it is. All the broths are cooked fresh every single day using a variety of over 50 ingredients and all the food is boiled rather than fried so there's no sneaky oils being added to your dinner. You can also re-fill your broth as many times as you like making it incredibly good value (although bear in mind that it is deceptively filling!)

    Overall we loved Hot Pot. It's a really fun, social way to eat so I'd definitely recommend it for groups of friends or even for dates if you're looking for a unique experience (and it would definitely help break the ice!). They're open seven days a week from 12pm till late and unlike a lot of places in Soho - you can book!

    Hot Pot Restaurant
    17 Wardour Street, London W1D 6PJ

     * We were invited to review Hot Pot

    Tuesday, 9 January 2018


    I love a fancy restaurant as much as anyone - but do you know what really excites me? Finding brilliant value restaurants which serve incredible food without breaking the bank! And that's exactly what I found with this next place....

    Ladies and Gentleman, allow me to introduce you to (arguably) the best value pizza in London at Pizza Union. 
    For a lot of people, Pizza Union probably doesn't need an introduction. They've now got four venues across London (in Spitalfields, Kings Cross, Aldgate and the newly opened Dalston) and they pride themselves on serving up super-fresh, hand-made pizzas in all of about three minutes...

    And the best bit? You can order yourself an absolute feast AND it's cheap as chips! 
    Now I'd never been to Pizza Union before so when we popped down to the newly opened Dalston restaurant, I have to say I was SO impressed! 

    The restaurant is HUGE, seating up to 120 people while still maintaining a really laid-back and relaxed vibe. It's laid out almost canteen-style with exposed brickwork, Victorian tiles and incredible industrial-style lighting hanging above every table (not to mention all the red neon signage up on the walls). 

    Deep house blasts out the speakers as you eat which helps draw in the crowds and makes it a really lively choice for somewhere to eat after work or on the weekend. 
    You order both your food and drink at the bar (the frozen margharitas are delicious!) where you're given a buzzer to bring back to your table. Giving you just enough time for a couple of sips of your drink before your food is ready to collect...
    Seriously...within 3-4 minutes of placing your order, your freshly cooked pizza is ready and waiting for you at the collection point. 
    All the pizzas are hand-crafted and cooked in true Italian style (thin and crispy) in the giant clay pizza oven which takes pride of place in the open-plan kitchen.

    My favourite is the Romana (£6.50) which comes topped with generous chunks of creamy goats cheese, crispy pancetta and my absolute favourite, Tenderstem broccoli. Broccoli is such an under-rated vegetable and I love using it in pasta dishes so it was fab to see it on the menu here!
    If you prefer spicy - definitely go for the Vesuvio (£5.50). Loaded with slices of pepperoni, thinly sliced red and yellow peppers and tons of chilli - it packs just the right amount of heat and is an absolute steal for just over a fiver!
    You can also order salads which are great for sharing (the Antica with rocket, tomato and parmesan was delicious) - because life is all about balance right?

    TRY to save room for dessert if you can. There's only one option on the menu but the 'dolce' is well worth an order...
    It's basically a warm dough ring stuffed to the brim with creamy mascapone and Nutella - and believe me when I tell you it's incredible! 

    Taste-wise, it's not dissimilar to the incredible filled crepes you get in Paris or Amsterdam and is just the perfect way to round off the meal. It's a lot crisper on the outside than you'd initially expect but once you break through, the inside is filled with hot, molten chocolate. It's incredibly rich and decadent so order one to share between you. 
    Overall we loved Pizza Union. The laid-back atmosphere and lively soundtrack make it the ideal place to catch up with your mates - and besides...anywhere you can get pizza for under £5 is a winner in my eyes!

    Pizza Union Dalston
    14 Kingsland High Street, E8 2JE

    * I was invited to review Pizza Union
    Pizza Union Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato