Anything that I feel like contributing two cents to. Fashion and beauty reviews.

In Review: Bone Daddies, London

bone daddies london

Mushroom ramen, Bone Daddies

As far as London’s foodie staples go, Bone Daddies deserves more than a mention. Unfortunately, I have been visiting for over two years and have somehow forgotten to give it some well-deserved blog lovin’.

Time to get into the spotlight, baby ramen joint.

Bone Daddies is reliant for four things. Four things that can become pros or cons, depending on your attitude and planning:
1. The best ramen in town. Since Bone Daddies’ launch, the number of ramen restaurants in London have multiplied with bunnies. Bone Daddies still offer the tastiest versions around.
2. The worst queues in town. Perhaps second only to The Breakfast Club, the queues here have been thirty minutes long, even in freezing weather on a weekday evening. Plan for lunches at 11:30 and dinners around 5:00 for immediate entry.
3. The most intimate seating plan in town. The barstooled wooden tables keep the restaurant cozy, but would be a dire environment for anyone with social anxiety.
4. The most generous portion sizes in town. This is not a spot for the salad eaters of Soho. Bone Daddies’ unavoidably sloppy bowls of ramen will feed you for days.

Almost every time I’ve gone for a bite, I end up ordering the Tonkotsu Ramen. I am not normally a creature of habit, but this gargantuan bowl is filled with a flavourful 20-hour pork bone broth, chashu pork, clarence court egg, bamboo, spring onion, bean sprouts, and mouth-melting noodles.

Nothing gets better for me, but Bone Daddies cover all bases nonetheless.

For the ramen-hesitant Manfriend? The ‘T22‘, which features a chicken bone broth, soy ramen, chicken, and cock scratchings in addition to the veggie ramen staples. And for my new vegetarian friend? The Mushroom Ramen (mushrooms, tofu, garlic, thyme, egg, and a vegetarian mushroom broth) alongside a moreish plate of homemade pickles.

(They get bonus points for cocktails and sides, but I figure you’re probably here to weigh up the ramen wars…)

bone daddies london

Tonkotsu Ramen, Bone Daddies

bone daddies london

Homemade pickles, Bone Daddies

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Illamasqua Leeds (and my new BFF, Charlixo)

illamasqua makeup
Fact one: I have a love affair with Illamasqua. Fact two: I haven’t worn makeup for over a month (while recovering from eye surgery).

With the all clear on cosmetic application and a birthday party rolling ’round, it only seemed sensible to pop into the Victoria Quarter’s Illamasqua store in Leeds for a play.

After being taken upstairs to their ever-so-glamorous makeover room, my appointed MUA – Charli Butterfield (Charlixo, to fellow Instagrammers) – got straight on to stealing my heart with ‘holy grail’ recommendations and her general loveliness.

Over the hour, we harped on about tattoos, the magic of Illamasqua’s Furore pigment (used in the finished look), our shared girlcrush on Alex Box, and the woes of looking ten years younger than you actually are.

When the final look was revealed, I made a personal vow to return to her chair for every and any big event ahead. Then took an unreasonable number of selfies.

Every time, Illamasqua. Every time. :’)

illamasqua makeup
illamasqua makeup
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In Review: The Ford Fiesta Zetec S Black Edition (+ Video!)

ford fiesta black
With or without the accidental Marilyn moment, the Ford Fiesta Zetec S Black Edition makes for one beautiful photo (or three).

I spent the last week playing ‘Top Gear’ with one and it was an absolute treat. At the end of last year, Ford released two new editions – black and red – to add to their Fiesta Zetec S catalogue. For your viewing pleasure, I have reviewed the gorgeous little eco racer on video (so click that red play button below!).

This might be the most financially-threatening blog hobby to date.

ford fiesta black
ford fiesta black

In Review: Amba Hotel Charing Cross, London

amba hotel charing cross
I can’t even deal with The Amba Hotel (in the expressively grateful Valley Girl sense, of course).

Last week, I booked in for an evening sandwiched between late events and early meetings and was truly overwhelmed by the whole experience.

First things first: the building. During my review searches, I had seen a number of previous guests coo over its proximity to the tube, but didn’t realise just how close it was. Amba Hotel Charing Cross is literally attached to the rail station and a 180-degree turn to face the front door as you emerge from the Underground. It is also rather majestic (yet unassuming) on the inside; I’m not sure anything could make a Londoner’s heart pitter patter much more.

And then, the service. From the second I went to check in, I was welcomed by a handful of staff that were not only pleasant and professional but genuinely friendly and considerate. I almost felt like a was about to stay in a friend’s (exceptionally enormous) home.

Climbing the grand wraparound starcases to the fifth floor, I entered the room and immediately wanted to cancel all the evening’s plans. The view (adjacent to Trafalgar Square)! The complimentary minibar (with a mini-sized Prosecco bottle)! The walk-in shower (and two-person tub)! The bed (adjacent to a large desk, but much more fun to do work in*)! The free iPad (hello, room service of the future)! The wi-fi (excellent, compared to generic ‘free wifi’)!

While I was Lady Boringpants and spent most of my afternoon having Nespressos over my laptop, its tourist’s dream of a location was not lost on my cold London heart; I opened all the windows to play peeping tom on the tourists and tourism on The Strand below.

After a tiresome evening of events and luxurious night of catching Zzzs, I played ‘Queen of The Amazon’ in the rain shower and sashayed down to The Terrace for a bit of Eggs Royale. Every single part of this scenario was perfection.

It was only checking out that burst the bubble. This hotel has the potential to become quite an expensive hobby.

* (I was recently interviewed for the Gumtree blog about the interior design in the Celebrity Big Brother house and I have to say I have never been anywhere so comfortable while ‘doing work’.)

amba hotel charing cross
amba hotel charing cross
amba hotel charing cross
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In Review: Afternoon Tea at The Lancaster, London

lancaster london afternoon tea
If you’ve been clicking around my blog for any longer than a week (thank you, superbabe!), you’ll know I love to pepper my work days with as much adventure as possible. Though I tend to work from dawn to dusk, I know I need to step away from the grind when schedules and clients allow.

When you’re in London, there’s no better escape than afternoon tea.

When a slot in Wednesday’s schedule opened up, I made a date with the Lancaster London‘s Ben Purton and his signature afternoon tea.

In August, Purton took over the hotel’s two restaurants (Island Grill and Nipa Thai), banqueting for up to 3,000 guests, room service, the Lounge Bar, and the Lounge Bar’s Afternoon Tea as Executive Chef.

All that and the man still manages to knock the scones – and then some – out of the park.

Kicking things off with a glass of Laurent Perrier, I decided to go for a pot of organic darjeeling (champagne of teas to follow the champagne of champagnes, naturally) while my tea buddy chose his favourite – a classic pot of English breakfast tea (a full-bodied version blended with three different Assam leaves).

While the tea timer did our dirty work, we began to plate up our savouries; a Lancaster London smoked salmon sandwich, an egg & wild cress sandwich, a cucumber sandwich, a wild mushroom, chicken and tarragon tartlet, and a roast beef-filled Yorkshire pudding with horseradish cream (the cake-taker, by far).

With excellent timing, our waitress then approached us to ask if we would like any more sandwiches (not with scones coming!) and if we were ready for our scones (YES, ALWAYS YES!). The warm plain and raisin carb clouds were then served to us with homemade strawberry jam and Cornish clotted cream, making all our dreams come true.

Making a push for the sweets tier, I took small bites of everything to ensure no sugared stone went unturned. From favourite to could-still-be-a-favourite, the final plate featured white chocolate and raspberry lollipops, apple and honey cupcakes, lemon fruit tarts, caramel and hazelnut tranches, and passion fruit and raspberry macarons.

When a macaron comes ‘last’, you know you’re dealing with a pro.

lancaster london afternoon tea
lancaster london afternoon tea
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