Beauty, Body

Summer Fragrances

May 22, 2015

When it comes to changing my perfume, throughout winter I stick solidly to my Chanel Chance, but as soon as summer comes I always want to experiment and mix it up a little. For summer I love a fruity fragrance and something really light and fresh.

Summer Fragrance Ideas

Thanks to The Perfume Shop I have had the chance to experiment a little and find three fragrances that I will be mixing it up with this summer. First up is Marc Jacobs Daisy Sorbet (£51.50 for 50ml), I like the original Daisy perfume and this Limited Edition version for summer is exactly what I like in a summer perfume. It has fruity notes of grapefruit, pear and exotic passion fruit blended with a floral infusion of jasmine, lily of the valley and wisteria. When I smell this it just puts hot summer days in my head, so it’s a joy to wear. I love the cute flower decorated bottle it just makes it even more appealing.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Sorbet Limited Edition

Jean Paul Gaultier is a perfume I was never really a fan of, however the gorgeous bottle of Jean Paul Gaultier Hindi Summer (£40.50 for 100ml) had me hooked at first look. I just love the design it’s so pretty and surprisingly I loved the smell too. The limited edition fragrance takes inspiration from Jean Paul Gaultier’s Spring/Summer collection, Hindi Summer depicts an ‘Indian Romance and is a fruity twist on the Classique fragrance. It has a floral oriental scent with refreshing notes of rose, jasmine, orange blossom and musk. This one smells so lovely when it’s on and really lasts too, I just keep sniffing it. A great one if you love something fruity but more with a much more subtle and musky smell.

Jean Paul Gaultier Hindi Limited Edition

Another fruity based fragrance this summer is Issey Miyake Summer for Her (£40.50 for 100ml). In a long and elegant bottle, this is a fruit and also floral fragrance with notes of lychee and passion fruit mixed with a blend of vanilla. It’s a very light and fresh scent which is perfect for summer.

Issey Miyake Summer Fragrance

All of the above summer fragrances are available from The Perfume Shop who have partnered with Alzheimer’s Research UK to help raise awareness of the intrinsic link between scent and memory. They are running fundraising initiatives in store through £1 gift wrapping, as well as until this Sunday 25th May if you tweet your favourite scent memory to @theperfumeshop using the hashtag #TPSMemoriesMatter, they will donate £1 for every post to Alzheimer’s Research UK. 

What are your favourite fragrances for summer?

Fashion, Food, Lifestyle, Lunch, Outfit Of The Day

Columbia Road Flower Market

May 21, 2015

After my trip to Borough Market recently, I have the market bug and last Sunday Danny and I took a trip to Columbia Road Flower Market. The market is every Sunday from 8am-3pm and is of course the most beautiful flowers you will see at such great prices. As soon as you exit the train station at Hoxton you see everyone walking up with their bunches of flowers, eagerly I eye them up and walk by saying ‘I like them’ at every available opportunity.

Finally when you hit the market, it’s packed! The market is so fun with market sellers everywhere trying to sell you their sunflowers, because of course their sunflowers are the best. It was a lovely day on Sunday and the sunflowers were calling me for sure.

Columbia road flower market

Sunflowers columbia road flower market

rannuculus flowers at columbia road flower market

columbia road flower market

Peonies at columbia road flower market

Oriental lily columbia road flower market

Thistles columbia road flower market

Cactus at columbia road flower market

Surrounding the market are lots of little shops and cafes, a complete mixture that you don’t always know what you will find. There was entertainment courtesy of the man and his guitar and everyone was just having a lovely time.

Columbia Road Flower Market

columbia road flower market

Tulips columbia road flower market

Columbia road flower market

Guitar man

I stopped in the sun for some outfit pictures and to show you this gorgeous Boohoo jacket that just blends in so well with the flower market don’t you think?

The LDN Diaries Fashion Blogger London

The trousers are ASOS jersey peg trousers and are the comfiest trousers, it really does feel like you have left the house in your pyjamas. These New Look shoes are perfect Aquazzurra dupes and after a test run a few times are now really comfy to wear and go with everything. Venessa Arizaga does some amazing bracelets and this ‘Howdy’ one is so cute, I definitely need to get more of these.

Venessa Arizaga Howdy Bracelet | The LDN Diaries

Boohoo Jacket | Boohoo T-Shirt | ASOS Trousers | New Look Shoes | Zara Bag

Tom Ford Sunglasses (similar)Venessa Arizaga Bracelet

The LDN Diaries Columbia Road Flower Market

The LDN Diaries at Columbia Road Flower Market

I was pretty pleased with my bunch of dutch roses and sunflowers and so we took a short walk to Shoreditch to Tramshed. I have been to Tramshed loads before but the menu was a little different this time so I thought I would share it with you. First things first about Tramshed is that you can’t help but notice the giant Damien Hirst art installation above your head. When that’s over with you can settle into the bright airy space and get cracking on the food.

Damien Hirst cow at Tramshed Shoreditch

Hix Tramshed Shoreditch | The LDN Diaries

We started off with a giant Yorkshire pudding and pate to share, I love this pudding so much it’s the biggest and tastiest and great to share for a starter. It was Sunday lunchtime, so I was feeling daring and went for a Zombie cocktail, whilst Danny had a cider.

Yorkshire Pudding and Pate | Hix Tramshed | The LDN Diaries

Zombie cocktail | Hix Tramshed | The LDN Diaries

For mains I had a big juicy Sirloin steak with bearnaise sauce, chips and salt and vinegar onion rings. If there was one thing I would recommend ever ordering at Tramshed it’s the onion rings, they are bites of heaven in your mouth. Danny had the delicious half chicken and also chips and sauce.

Sirloin steak and chips | hix Tramshed

Tomato Sauce and condiments

Half chicken | Hix Tramshed | The LDN Diaries

Fries | Hix Tramshed

For dessert I was stuffed but the strawberry & white chocolate cheesecake was calling me, I’m not a big fan of cheesecake but this was so light and lovely, that I’m starting to reconsider. Danny had the credit crunch ice-cream with chocolate sauce, full of little bites of honeycomb.

Strawberry white chocolate cheesecake | Hix Tramshed | The LDN Diaries

Credit crunch ice cream with honeycomb pieces and chocolate sauce at Hix Tramshed | The LDN Diaries

A bloomin’ good Sunday afternoon! For more market inspiration check out my Borough Market and Portobello Market posts.

Dinner, Events, Food, Lifestyle

Andaz London #ZomatoMeetup

May 20, 2015

Being part of Zomato is like being part of the biggest foodie club there is. Given to join the club all you need is a love of food, but boy am I glad to be part of it. A few of us food lovers were invited by Zomato last week to enjoy all that Andaz London has to offer. This 5 star boutique hotel by Hyatt was built-in 1884, has 267 rooms,  4 of which are decorated by artists and is an original railway hotel. We were taken on a culinary adventure and treated to a mini tour of three of the restaurants and bars, as there are actually seven, yes seven restaurants and bars throughout the hotel, so believe me there is lots of choice.

Andaz London Hotel Catch Champagne Bar Review Zomato

Starting off at Catch Champagne Bar & Lounge we got to enjoy Laurent Perrier champagne and canapés in a beautiful setting. I had been to Catch bar before and it’s just so decadent. The lounge is really relaxing to chill out in and of course enjoy a glass or two of bubbly. Here we were treated to a selection of charcuterie platters and where I also managed to devour all of the ham.

Andaz Catch Champagne Bar

Catch Champagne Bar & Lounge | Andaz Hotel London | The LDN Diaries

Charcuterie Board | Andaz London Hotel | The LDN Diaries

We then moved on for a quick look at the Masonic Temple, this area is available for private hire and has recently hosted some amazing events such as the HBO Game of Thrones pop-up, plus Lady Gaga has even done a photoshoot for Vogue here. I absolutely loved this space, it was so grand and I couldn’t resist taking pride of my place on my throne, I think it suits me no?

Masonic Temple |Andaz London | The LDN Diaries

Masonic Temple at Andaz London

Masonic Temple | Andaz London | The LDN Diaries

Masonic Temple | Andaz London

Next up was a visit to the Eastway Brasserie to learn how to make a caipirinha. Making cocktails is always fun and so we got to a lesson how to put one together. I went for a sweet berry version and learnt I am apparently a good muddler, who knew.

Making cocktails at Eastway Brasserie with Zomato

Fruit for cocktail making

Eastway Brasserie cocktail making

Berry caipirinha cocktail

Now to the food, it was simply delicious. We tried mini burgers, so juicy and tasty, fish and chips – simply the best fish & chips I have ever tasted, I think it was the batter, so moreish and left me wanting so much more. Also steak and chips and all washed down with my hand-made caipirinha. The food at Eastway Brasserie was only a taster, but I was sold, it really was awesome and I definitely will have to pay a proper visit back to this restaurant.

Mini Burgers | Andaz London | The LDN Diaries

Fish & chips | Andaz London | The LDN Diaries

Steak and sauce | Andaz London | The LDN Diaries

Lastly we all enjoyed a nice chilled out chat amidst 1901, this is Andaz’s fine dining restaurant and bar. So as the lights dimmed, over candlelit we got to sample Port and sweet dessert wine alongside cheese and crackers and a selection of desserts. My favourites were the apple and passionfruit and chocolate. The menu at 1901 is varied and has something to suit most tastes.

1901 Restaurant | Andaz Hotel London | The LDN Diaries

Candle light

Cheese board

Crackers

Light at 1901 restaurant | Andaz London | The LDN Diaries

You can’t help but notice the interior which is rather lovely, it was once the grand ballroom of the 1884 Great Eastern Hotel and was designed by the architects of the Houses of Parliament. An interior really helps to add to a dining experience and this one is no exception

Dessert apple mini cake

I had a great time exploring Andaz London, so thank you Andaz and Zomato. For more information visit Andaz Hotel London and follow me on Zomato here.

Events, Lifestyle, What's On

What’s On

May 18, 2015

Welcome to a new section of The LDN Diaries! Starting this Monday we will be bringing you all the latest events and goings on in London you need to know about. Whether it be a new cool food pop-up, an arty event, sample sales or the very important London Wine Week, you can find all the info you need right here.

So what’s on?

MAKE UP FOR EVER launch in Oxford Street!

MAKE UP FOR EVER launches exclusively in Debenhams Oxford Street on May 19th. To celebrate the brand have enlisted world-famous photographer Rankin to shoot a series of portraits that reimagine the brands logo. The 14 exclusive photographs will be displayed as part of the launch turning it into a modern art space. Then on Friday 22nd and Sat 23rd May, models will be in the windows having live body art done as well as an exclusive performance from Dany Sanz the creative and artistic director outside the store.

MAKE UP FOR EVER launches in Debenhams Oxford Street

Gü Pop-Up Pudding Bar

This Wednesday 20th until Thursday 21st May sees the first ever UK restaurant for one. Gü are launching a pop-up pudding bar, sounds good already right? And even better it’s desert island themed, that’s desert not dessert or is it!? The pudding paradise will have giant concave LED screens to display footage of desirable locations and immerse diners in their chosen private paradise. Launching the new range of elegant single glass ramekins from Gü it’s free to attend and there will be a limited number of bookings available. Email your interest to dessertisland@gupuds.com. Find it at 15 Bateman Street, nearest tube Piccadilly Circus.

Gu private paradise pop-up pudding london

London Wine Week

This week London Wine Week returns for its second year. Between the 18th -24th May wine lovers can enjoy a series of masterclasses, tastings, pop-ups and wine tours at some of the best venues in the capital. You need a wristband to attend, which you can pick up for £10 from the website. This will enable you to try out £5 taster wines in over 100 venues, plus lots more discounts and offers. Visit www.londonwineweek.com for more info on and how book into the events.

London Wine Week

Yeah! Burgers Hola Luah Bank Hoola-Day

Back by popular demand Yeah! Burger returns to The Star By Hackney Downs for a summer residency. To celebrate and also announce the new weekend BBQ offering, on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd May they will be kicking things off in true Yeah! Burger style with 150 free sliders, a roaring BBQ, DJs all weekend, a Pineapple Balance-athon and more surprises on the day! Find it at The Star By Hackney Downs, 35 Queensdown Rd, London, E5 8JQ. More info @sayyeahburger.

Yeah! Burger at Hackney Downs London

Cîroc at London Riveria

Cîroc Vodka has partnered with the team at The Food Firm to launch Cîroc at London Riveria, a summer food and drink pop-up experience on the Southbank. The boutique pop-up will run for five months from June 1st, 8am-10pm daily and is inspired by the tropical vibes of Cuba, the chilled Miami beachside and the French Riviera. There will of course be palm trees, flamingos and plenty Cîroc Pineapple cocktails to enjoy. There will also be Cîroc School of Mixology master classes every Wednesday evening. For more visit www.thelondonriviera.com.

Ciroc launches at Southbank for pop-up cocktails

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Fashion, Videos

Spring/Summer Haul Part 2

May 17, 2015

I’ve been buying lots of bits and pieces for my holiday in just under two weeks, finally it is nearly here!

So I have put together a Spring/Summer Haul Part 2, this time around there are lots of pieces from ASOS, MINK PINK, H&M and more! So if you fancy a nosey at what I have been buying then you can watch below. Remember to subscribe to my channel for all the latest videos – subscribe here and you watch my last haul video here.

Shop The Video

Beauty, Face, Skincare

Tried & Tested – Luxury Face Serums

May 16, 2015

If you are looking to invest some money into skincare, I would highly recommend that the product you do this on would be a serum. I admittedly never even used to use a serum in my skincare routine and now I couldn’t think of not using one. I’d even swap it out for a moisturiser if I had to make the choice. I think they really benefit my skin and have noticed vast improvements from them, examples include Nip & Fab Glycolic Serum or the Herbalife Serum also.

That said it doesn’t mean you have to spend the earth on one, but if you were looking to spend a little more, I’ve put four of the top luxury serums to the test to see how they faired.

La Prairie Rapid Response Boosting Serum review

La Prairie Anti-Aging Rapid Response Booster 50ml

Let’s just put it out there, this is the most expensive serum I have probably ever used/tried in my life. At £195 a bottle it’s definitely in the luxury end of the scale. The serum comes in a shiny silver bottle, with a really easy to use pump. La Prairie say that the serum is their ‘most accelerated wrinkle interceptor yet’ and claim that within two weeks you will notice a visible difference in lines and wrinkles and also a brighter complexion. It does this by delivering anti-wrinkle peptides where needed to reduce wrinkle depth, helps hydration of the skin and also exfoliates to minimise pores. Application is twice daily AM/PM after cleansing and toning so it’s really easy to fit into your skincare routine.

La Prairie Rapid Response Boosting Serum

For me I have a few light wrinkles on my forehead so it’s hard to gauge the difference, but I guess this is why you should start using anti-aging now for prevention rather than cure. It has a slight orange tint to it, but goes on the face clear. I wasn’t too keen on the smell of it to be honest, pretty floral and a bit ‘granny’. The application was easy however and felt quite hydrating on the skin, not sticky and dried in quickly. I put this to the test for two weeks and I was hoping for some miraculous results, but I haven’t really noticed any. Any fine lines are still there and the radiance, nothing to write home about. Maybe you would need to use this over a long period of time as I did think two weeks was a bit of a big claim, but for me I wouldn’t be adding it to my repurchase list. La Prairie Anti-Aging Rapid Response Booster is £195 available from John lewis.

Rodial Dragons Blood & Super Acids Serum review

Rodial Dragon’s Blood XXL Advanced Sculpting Serum & Super Acids Daily Azelaic Acid Serum 30ml

Rodial have added two serums to the popular Dragon’s Blood and Super Acid ranges. The Dragon’s Blood XXL £125 is a sculpting serum, you may have seen me use it in my how to contour video. This is great for hydrating the face as it is pumped full of hyaluronic acid, I basically just look for any product with this ingredient for my skin type. The idea behind this one is to sculpt the face, picture a Kim Kardashian vampire facelift, without the needles or the pain. It has a combination of ingredients including wheat proteins for firmer skin, red snow algae to improve skin’s resistance against external stress factors and hema’Tite™ optimizes skin’s youthful appearance for a more ‘plumped up’ look. I am a big fan of Rodial’s Dragon Blood range and this is another great addition that I could definitely see myself adding into my daily routine, it felt lovely on and I noticed an improvement in the hydration side of things.

Rodial Super Serum Review

Alongside the Dragon’s Blood serum, Rodial have also just added the Super Acids Daily Azelaic Serum £78. This one is designed to refine pores, even skin tone and purify skin. The liquorice extract helps even skin tone and brighten complexion, probiotics help strengthen and protect skin from external aggressions and also boost hydration, whilst azelaic acid refines pores. This one is more white in colour as the Dragon’s Blood has an orange formula. They both go on clear however and sink into the skin straight away. You can apply the serums one after the other too, to get the benefits of both, so no need to just decide on one. I really enjoyed using both of these and the layering technique worked well, plus I definitely saw my skin looking less dull after these. Both serums are available from Space NK.

Beauty Lab Black Diamond Serum Review

Beauty Lab Black Diamond Energizing Serum 30ml

When I said earlier I could swap out a moisturiser for a serum, I would probably be choosing this one. The texture of Beauty Lab’s Black Diamond serum actually feels more on the moisturiser side of things. It felt absolutely lovely on and straight away from just putting it on my skin, I noticed it had a slight glow, a bit like using a moisturiser designed for under make-up. I’m not sure if it’s even meant to do this but I was pretty excited. Long term benefits, this serum is to reduce lines and wrinkles and again bring back radiance to the skin. This little bottle is packed with black diamond, hexapeptide, copper peptide and sea algae which is great for skin and helps to hydrate and soften. I really loved using Beauty Lab’s skin perfecting moisturise cream and this was no exception a truly fantastic serum. Beauty Lab Black Diamond serum is £90 available from Harvey Nichols.