Beauty, Face, Skincare, Videos

Cleansing Brushes Review

April 5, 2015

Another Sunday equals another video, I am now uploading every Sunday woohoo! Finally I have a YouTube schedule, so do make sure to subscribe for all the latest videos. You can do so by clicking here. On YouTube you will find me doing make-up tutorials including my latest Ibiza look, GRWM – Get Ready With Me videos, for those not in the know. Check out me getting ready for a Habitat & Birchbox blogger dinner and also shopping hauls, my latest is the Forever 21. Plus lots more in between!

I am still pretty new to YouTube so I am still learning along the way, but I am finding it fun and I hope you enjoy watching! If there is anything you would like to see do let me know.

My latest video is all about cleansing brushes. I have been trying out these three, they are sort of one for each budget, including the Silk’n Dual Cleanser, Braun 2 in 1 Epilator and Cleansing Brush and also the much talked about Foreo Luna. If you fancy finding out a bit more about each then do watch on in the video below!

Events, Lifestyle

A Day At Ascot Races

April 4, 2015

Last Sunday Danny and I were invited down to Ascot by Appletiser, to enjoy a day at the races and also dabble in the art of mocktails with a mocktail making class to celebrate the fact that Appletiser are now the official soft drink of Ascot races. It was a very wet Sunday for the Prince’s Countryside Fund Raceday, but there was plenty of activities going on at Ascot for this family day. Not only were Prince Charles and Camilla there but also Ant & Dec had joined in the fun, that included the lamb grand national, yes this was sheep jumping over fences!

Appletiser

We started off the day with a mocktail class with Appletiser and Katherine Larsen who is the 2014 UK Sommelier of the Year. In our pairs we each had our own table, decked out so beautifully with Spring flowers, apple place settings with names (this would be such a nice idea for a party) and everything we would need for the class, including the three Appletiser flavours and some fruit to start us off with the pairing of the drinks with food. During the class we learnt the best pairings for food for the Apple flavour Appletiser, the Apple & Pomegranate and also the Apple & Blackcurrant. It was interesting to learn about what paired well with each flavour and also learn a bit more about seasonal fruits.

Appletiser mocktail class

Apple Place Name Table

Appletiser mocktail class

Cocktail Kit

Fruit Bowl

For the Apple flavour it is floral and fruity and is best paired with foods like pork, to counteract the saltiness with the sweetness, also try it with black pudding and something like nuts. Pomegranate is more rich in flavour, its woody, earthy, sweet and a little musty. This then in turn works best with food like pheasant and duck, chicken curry dishes and salads with feta cheese as ii provides freshness to these heavy flavours. Lastly the blackcurrant is fruity, herby and has musky flavouring. This works well with sweet desserts like cheesecake, yoghurt and sorbet.

Pairing Appletiser

Fruit

We also put together our own mocktail, using the Apple & Pomegranate, mint, maple syrup and lime. It was a really refreshing mix, although I maybe would have used the blackcurrant just as a personal preference as I’m not such a big fan of pomegranate.

Mocktail Appletiser

Mocktail with Appletiser

After our mocktail class, we headed to the Appletiser box to watch the racing, where were treated to plenty of drinks and a buffet lunch. There is such a good view from the box that it would be amazing to come back in Summer, when the weather would be better.

Appletiser box at Ascot

Roast Beef

View from Ascot race box

I also headed down to the parade ring to take a look at some of the horses, my tip – look for the one that is smiling, I swear!

Ascot parade ring

Ascot racecourse parade ring

Danny and I placed our bets on a few horses and hoped for the best. After losing the first few, there wasn’t much hope, but we then managed to pick two of the winning horses in the end. Although I won’t be quitting the day job just yet.

Ascot race gif

Events, Lifestyle

The Moët Academy

April 3, 2015

Moët and Chandon this April will be bringing their expertise from the much-loved Champagne house to London, as they introduce the Moët Academy. The academy will be taking place at the OXO Tower on the Southbank and will take guests on a multi sensory journey from grape to glass, as they are immersed into a re-creation of the iconic vignes and caves before enjoying an in-depth tasting session led by Susie Barrie MW and Peter Richards MW. Peter and Susie are highly respected wine personalities within the wine trade and run their own wine school in Winchester as well as appearing regularly on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen.

Moet Academy

The Academy will invite participants to walk through rows of wines and to touch some grapes alongside original chalk from the vineyards. They will learn more about the region, it’s vine yards and the three distinctive Champagne groups: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier. Guest will then be able to discover how Champagne is made, how base wines are turned into Champagne and how long it takes from vine to glass. As you discover and of course sip some champagne you will be able to enjoy the beautiful views from the OXO Tower onto the river and London.

Moet Academy at OXO Tower

If you fancy brushing up on your Champagne knowledge then the Moët Academy will run from Monday 13th April to Friday 24th April 2015. Tickets for a 90-minute session at the Moët Academy are £40 and are available from  www.moetacademy.co.uk.

Cocktails & Drinks, Mens Lifestyle

Mad Men Cocktails

April 2, 2015

Mad Men returns next week with the final episodes of the series on the 9th of April in the UK on Sky Atlantic and if you are in the US, you lucky lot, then this Sunday the 5th on AMC. So I thought it would be good to knock up a few Mad Men inspired cocktails to get you into the spirit for the last season and raise a toast goodbye to Don, Megan, Betty, Roger, Pete, Peggy and Joan. 

These are really easy to do and perfect to watch along with, so grab your cocktail shaker and away you go!

French 75
French 75 Cocktail Recipe | The LDn Diaries

You will need:
Half shot of sugar syrup / gomme
Half shot of lemon juice
1 single shot of gin
100ml chilled Champagne

Instructions
Stir gomme, lemon juice and gin in an ice filled glass, either a champagne or tall glass, although I decided to use a martini one. Top up with champagne. Garnish with a lemon slice. Enjoy!

Mint Julep

Mint Julep Cocktail Recipe | The LDN Diaries

You will need:
2 shots Bourbon
8 sprigs of mint
1 tsp of sugar

Instructions
Place the mint and sugar with a dash of water into a mixing glass/shaker. Add shaved ice (or smashed ice) and a double shot of bourbon. Shake in your Boston shaker until frosted and then pour it all into a glass. Garnish with a mint sprigs.

Don Drapers Old Fashioned
Don Drapers Old Fashioned Cocktail | The LDN Diaries

You will need:
3 dashes aromatic bitters
2 dashes orange bitters
Barspoon of gomme
Double shot of Bourbon / Rye / Rum
1 orange slice
1 cherry
Twist of orange

This is where so many bar tenders and old-fashioned fans will disagree especially over making the famous cocktail, but here is how I make my own and recommend how to make yours. If you are a huge Mad Men fan like me you will remember the iconic scene (Season 3 Episode 3) where Don jumps behind the bar and makes two old fashioned’s.

Instructions
Fill your glass with ice (pretty much to the top), then add your syrup, both bitters and stir together for 20 rotations.Pour in your choice of spirit (I always make mine with a top quality rum at home) and stir for another twenty of so rotations. I tend to add more ice until the ice is touching the top. Then add dash more of your spirit

Champagne Cocktail
Champagne Cocktail | The LDN Diaries

You will need:
100ml Champagne
6 dashes Angostura bitters
2 sugar cubes

Instructions
Drop the sugar cubes into a champagne glass and add the 6 dashes of bitters on top of the sugar. Then slowly poor the champagne on top. You can dress with a lemon peel and enjoy!

If you do make any, share them with me on Twitter @dannydenhard.

Dinner, Food, Seafood

The Fish & Chip Shop

April 1, 2015

The Fish & Chip shop in Islington, is situated on Upper Street where you will find a whole host of restaurants, bars and shops. Being my local area it is a place I frequent regularly but this was my first visit to the Fish & Chip Shop, which is not what you would expect from the title but actually a very nice fish and seafood restaurant by Des McDonald, ex CEO of Caprice holdings and also the man behind Q Grill at Selfridges.

The Fish & Chip Shop

When my dad was recently down visiting we couldn’t decide where or what to eat. Do you ever have those days when you just aren’t sure what to eat or where to go? That’s when I love websites like Quandoo, you can just type in what type of cuisine you would like and it will give you lots of options of places to go to inspire. After much debating we decided we wanted fish and chips and I had been wanting to try out The Fish & Chip shop for a while so it was the perfect time to go!

The Fish & Chip Shop Islington

Inside the restaurant it has a sort of traditional feel and by that I mean the bar lines the wall, pictures on the wall, chalkboards with the specials and there is friendly and cosy atmosphere and it just generally gave me that feeling.

The Fish & Chip Shop

We started off our meal with some crusty bread and salted butter, I love just starting off with bread it’s just an easy option. There are lots of bigger starters on the menu like oysters, prawns and scotched hen’s eggs, but we were both pretty stuffed from our Afternoon Tea at Fortnum and Masons.

Crusty bread and salted butter

For mains and being with dad, funnily enough we both like the same things and so both ordered the simple cod and chips. The Fish & Chip shop has a very varied menu of seafood from shrimp burgers to cornish monkfish vindaloo, but again we kept it very simple with good old fish & chips, that was of course why we were here. The fish was absolutely huge and was so fresh tasting with the crispy batter. Chips were deliciously tasty and the two went together perfectly.

Fish & Chips

Chips

We were both too stuffed for dessert but to wet your appetite they have chocolate and toffee sundaes, raspberry bakewell tart and a whole collection of sorbets and ice-creams. I was tempted with the sorbet but my belly was just too full!

For more info on The Fish & Chip shop visit their website.

Fashion, Splurge vs Steal

Splurge vs Steal – Lace Up Flats

April 1, 2015

I must admit when I saw these flats on the New Look Instagram and pretty much every other bloggers blog, I had to jump on the bandwagon and buy a pair. I’m sorry but these are a dead ringer for Aquazzura’s flats. My pair arrived today and I am so happy with them, they are insanely comfortable and look fab with skirts, denims or anything! So naturally I thought I’d add them to the splurge vs steals.

A pair of Aquazzura flats will set you back a hefty £460 for these black suede and gold options. Whereas the New Look version will set you back a purse friendly £22.99.

Can you tell which is which? Get yours now before they sell out!

Splurge Vs Steal Aquazzura Lace Ups