Where does one take a long-lost lady friend from Indiana when she arrives in London for the first time? To afternoon tea, of course.
Not your typical scones ‘n’ Earl Grey afternoon tea, either. Last week I introduced the aforementioned lady love to both afternoon tea and London street food by taking her to The Arch for their new Street Food Afternoon Tea.
Instead of tiered plates of polite nibbles, The Arch serves up a slew of multicultural slabs. The savouries include mini cheeseburgers with onion marmalade in brioche, mini scotch eggs with piccalilli, chicken satay, mini fish & chips, and little smoked chicken, chilli, avocado and mango tortillas.
Paired with tea-infused cocktails, they went down a storm.
The second slab – the sweet treats – included warm cinnamon & sugar doughnuts filled with apple jam, homemade macarons, mini coffee eclairs, strawberry & pistachio tarts, a mini raspberry victoria sponge cake, and a lemon & mango rice pudding with toasted coconut.
Tucked inside one of the curtained booths of The Arch’s Salon de Champagne lounge, I felt this afternoon tea experience really stood out in a sea of sub-par and overpriced sandwiches.
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Welcome to Chapter 837 of ‘How is this my life?’. Today, I am going to bring you along on my recent adventure to Turin to test drive the brand new Fiat 500.
After hopping a private Fiat-branded flight to Northern Italy (natch), we leapt into a whirlwind 24 hours of cars, cuisine and countryside capers.
Once we were introduced to the new 500s, fellow journo types and I emerged from HQ into a small sea of them (you will have seen this hysteria on my Snapchat story – lelalondob) and sped up the spiral roadway to have dinner on the iconic Italian Job test track.
Naturally, dinner turned into a very long night of shenanigans around Piazza Vittoria. After fueling up on espresso, we faked bright eyes and bushy tails and climbed into a gorgeous new peppermint 500c to explore the city for a few hours.
Since the 500’s revival in 2007 I have considered myself a modern fangirl but the new models blew me away. They have had a few nips and tucks (LED running lights, tilted lights, a new front grille) while keeping hold of all the technical pros that members of the so-called 500 Club have grown to love (for me, the low emissions and supercharged but superlight 900cc engine).
We wound around the city and countryside with the very necessary aid of the new five-inch display/TomTom sat nav. We learned not only that the rumours about Italian drivers are true but that being in a slick retro vehicle with the top down and a polite invisible woman guiding your way makes the aforementioned less of an issue.
For once, it’s okay to judge the book by it’s cover. In fact, Fiat are releasing a ton of ‘Second Skins’/wraps, thirteen body colours, eight alloy rims, and ten different interior configurations with the new 500, to boot.
Needless to say, I think I’ve found my soulmate.
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Zomato is my OCD dream. I use it at least once a week to scope out restaurant menus, so when the team invited me to Villandry to attend a flower arranging masterclass and afternoon tea, I couldn’t refuse.
For an afternoon, a few blogger friends and I were schooled by the ladies of Moyses Stevenes in the fine art before settling in to multiple tiers of sandwiches, scones, and sweets. It is, of course, my duty to pass on the lessons learned:
Flower Arranging for Beginners
– Use a selection of flowers and foliage to act as ‘fillers’. Foliage with strong stems will help support the stems of more delicate flowers.
– Start from the middle and work your way out.
– As you add each new flower, cross the stem over your previous flower’s stem and twist gently. Follow this direction until you get to the very end (you can see an example of this below).
– Keep a strong grip of your stems as they build up and twist it in the direction of the flowers you are placing if the bouquet begins to loosen.
– After tying your finished bouquet (double tie it tightly to ensure the arranging won’t move around), cut the stems on an angle to ensure they can drink from the vase you choose to place them in. Flat cut stems will sit at the bottom and find it hard to drink water.
Of course, if it all seems a bit too tough you can just go have afternoon tea and order some from the experts.
I won’t tell.
peonies, stocks and thistles with nigella, alchemilla, dill, astilbe and mint flower fillers and foliages. – See more at: http://www.moysesflowers.co.uk/strawberry-sundae-peonies-bouquet/#sthash.SMRvqTQh.dpuf
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I have not ‘been shopping’ in years. Quite literally 90% of my wardrobe additions over the last two or three years have been purchased from our beloved internets.
Of course, even the techiest tech geek (hello!) can’t do it digital all the time.
With three jam-packed days until I flew to Italy and a ‘nothing to wear’ crisis in full force, I had no idea what to pack and even less of an idea when I’d find time to do so. Between meetings, I dashed off to The Fashion Lounge (the Personal Shopping suite) at Westfield London and enlisted the expert help of personal stylist Elin Mai.
As a former fashion stylist, I had no idea what to expect from the experience but was happy to jump in with both time-sensitive legs.
After meeting in the lounge to discuss what I was looking for (colourful dresses!) and the general likes/dislikes I had included in our pre-shopping consultation, Elin took me in and out of shops like she had personally designed every item in them. She had an incredible knack for knowing where to go, what would make me look my best, what would make me feel comfortable, and what would fit my budget.
In no time at all, we wrapped up the session with two new dresses, a necklace, and a pair of heels which would integrate with a few items I already had in my wardrobe.
Without her it would have taken me not only ten times as long (perfectionist) but cost me ten times as much. Personal shopping at Westfield might just be my newest guilty pleasure.
Stay tuned for the full outfits in tomorrow’s blog!
(To book your consultation, please call +44 (0)20 3371 2300 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org)
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