red dress
I need to look after you. No really, I do. I have a crippling compulsion to prioritise others’  needs far above my own and, naturally, put any hope of relaxation on the backburner.

I, thankfully, learned this force majeure is that of an OCD persuasion. And does far more harm than good. After years of running myself ragged, all it takes is a little bit of enforced perspective and I’m half-way unwound.

Nonetheless, I am a work in progress. Over the last few months I have discovered that dedicating at least one hour a day to something indulgent – be it cooking a meal or doing a dance class – keeps me sane. That music at least two decades old will always make me smile. That wearing a killer dress, even when working from home, takes my brain from ‘work mode’ to ‘party mode’ and almost doubles my productivity. That I can better help those in need when I help myself.

As stress is a heavy-handed trigger for acid reflex/heartburn/other such nonsense, I also make sure to physically limit any irritants while I work on my brain game. I avoid eating late (or forgetting to eat altogether), eating spicy or citric food, and drinking alcohol or caffeine (though, cards on the table, I will always be dependent on an espresso or five to run at a normal human pace).

In this age of digital distractions and predominantly demanding days, relaxation has to be a conscious choice. I fully advocate finding out what works best for you.

And listen to a lot of Robert Palmer while you’re at it.

What I Wore:
Red lace dress (almost everything I’ve worn over the last month has been from Mancunian fashion brand LOTD, for all of you who have been asking on Instagram!)


red dress

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dinner time stories london

While I am undoubtedly tech obsessed, the receipt of press release with the words “multisensorial projector-based dinner show” at the top made my combatively anti-millennial instincts flinch to throw my laptop at the wall.

Since when did good food need anything more than a fork? Since when did it need projectors?!

I masochistically read on.

Le Petit Chef was the latest dining concept from the well-received innovators of Dinner Time Story.

This time led by a diminutive 3D animated chef who likes to spend his evenings travelling across tablecloths.

Nonetheless, their London outpost was going to be held in the roof of Shoreditch’s TT Liquor and was safe in the knowledge I could spend an evening drinking some of my favourite whiskeys if all else failed.

I’m also far too curious to ignore anything that would charge £95 for a ‘concept’.

At the start of the dinner, guests were seated around communal tables with a blank storybook in front of them. For the two hours after that, you are thrust into a culinary and augmented reality exploration. While still seated.

And I have to hand it to Dinner Time Story, they took me there. To the Silk Road, Middle East, Western France, sea, and sky. While producing six small homage-yielding courses and cocktail pairings at each stop.

With soundtracks and scents to elevate each imagined destination, that damned “multisensorial projector-based dinner show” really got to me. It heightened what was arguably a mediocre menu to an evening well-worth it’s price tag.

It was whimsical, charming, and full of potential. I simply hope the food (besides the deliciously cumin-heavy tagine croquette) catches up.

(Dinner Time Story is currently running in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Berlin and Belgium, and expansion plans for China and Scandinavia are already underway. Keep an eye out for their next pop-up.)

dinner time stories london
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Just when I thought I knocked all of my train-loving bucket list dreams out of the park,
It has been a number of frenziedSteam Dreams Rail Co came along and carried me through a luxuriously vintage-style tour to the White Cliffs of Dover.

Very little could top such a day for a lover of all things retro. Steam Dreams’ Cathedrals Express is everything my Hitchcock-loving self fantasised about as a little girl.

Murder plots aside.

The steam train – now used by the company for tours and unique dining experience – is every bit the panelled, 1960s beauty you’d expect. And it plays into a the bygone age of train travel without a shred of vulgarity.

We set off with a glass of champagne in hand and hours ahead to put the world to rights.

Most day trips serve pastries with tea or coffee on your outward journey (with delightfully friendly service, to boot), but I advise leaving plenty of room for their culinary coup d’état – a four course mid-journey meal. Though the menus change on each journey, our burrata/beef fillet/champagne tart/English cheese extravaganza far exceeded typical train food standards.

With a comprehensive guide to the sights and stops along the way, we found our way to and from the English Channel in no time at all. Drawing quite a crowd at each water stop, while we were at it!

I can’t wait to see where I can steam my way to next.

steam dreams pullman train

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I’m a proper adult. ?

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Nights out in London don’t get much more memorable than tormenting strangers in an adult ball pit with your loved ones.

Better yet, tormenting them a ball pit bar.

In that and many other senses, Ballie Ballerson is the best answer to nostalgic deviance Shoreditch has to offer.

The bar and their world-famous balls draws a crowd of fun-loving millennials happy to spend their hard-earned cash pretending to be children. And that, my friends, creates one electric atmosphere.

To maximise your time at Ballie, I would advise booking your time slot in the ball pit an hour or so after you arrive. There are plenty of cocktails to try, songs to shake it to, and new friends to make in the interim.

The pit itself was deep enough to swallow all three members of my girl gang at different points of the night. You don’t want to miss out on recovery quests with a buzz, I promise you.

(It was also large enough that a man in a plastic crown was able to crowd-surf into the pit. Before he stuffed a few balls down the back of my bodysuit.. .no, there was literally no better way to phrase that sentence.)

Between trips to the pit, we took advantage of Rascals – Ballie’s adjoining restaurant andthe world’s first waterproof dining room – to fuelled for further frolicks.

Though I have yet to figure out why a restaurant would require precautions for aquatic exploits, Rascals’ food and cocktails surprised me. It came across as the sort of thing Kylie Jenner would serve at a dinner party.

On a Rob Kardashian price tag.

The value of the tapas-style dishes was incredible. £6 Cheeseburger spring rolls (a revelation), £6 burrata with basil pesto & a parmesan crumb, £8 truffled mushroom risotto with parmesan foam…every dish was infallible and perfectly complimented by a small menu of innovative cocktails.

Cactus Margarita £10 Reposado Tequila, Mezcal, Cactus, Lime, Buzz Button Tincture, Szechuan Salt /
Yuzu Pretty £10 White Brandy, White Rum, Yuzu, Matcha, Lime, Whites /

My favourite was Tonka The Plonka (Solera Bourbon, fig, tonka bean, and black walnut) but the Yuzu Pretty (white brandy, white rum, yuzu, matcha, lime, and egg whites) and Cactus Margarita (Reposado Tequila, mezcal, cactus, Lime, buzz button tincture, and szechuan salt) were close seconds.

We spent the rest of the night dancing around Rascals like it was the school disco of collective dreams long after our time in the pit was up.

We had a literal f***ing ball.



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boohooman
Though my Y chromosome-less self swans around town in an unintentionally strict wardrobe of dresses and heeled boots, a huge part of me yearns for the masculine chill of men’s fashion.

While there may be fewer options available, the limitations mean anything from a pair of jeans to a t-shirt can become a power player in a man’s wardrobe.

Nonetheless, I am a die-hard femme and feel like an alien if I try to pull off anything a few swathes of fabric far from a wrap dress. Until I adopt a harem of sartorially-fearless toddlers, my ‘male’ wardrobe choices will have to be nothing more than the “we have another package from boohooMAN?” thrill of my boyfriend.

Shop The Look:
Borg collar varsity jacket with contrast sleeves
Monochrome Disney Mickey Mouse t-shirt
Slim fit charcoal denim jeans
Faux suede Chelsea boots