In Review: Duck and Dry, London

duck and dry london
As small luxuries go, nothing beats a blow dry. Especially when your schedule barely leaves time for a morning shower and you’re still trying to figure out the long-hair-to-short-hair styling changes.

Thankfully, I’ve stumbled across Chelsea’s beautiful little hair haven, Duck and Dry.

Launched only a few months ago, the powder blue boutique is home to a new-age hair salon with a twist. Instead of cuts and colours, Duck and Dry specialises in blowdries, updos, and the social aspect of being preened to perfection.

Yulia Rorstrom – Duck and Dry’s gorgeous brainchild – is so passionate about the idea of glamorous accessibility that she walked away from a successful career in finance to launch the brand.

The passion shows. From the second you walk in to the salon, you feel the difference; Prosecco glasses clinking, women curled up in their seats chatting to friends while flicking through catalogues of hair styles…it is not a normal hair salon.

For my first visit, I wanted to give them a challenge: two styles in one. Loving the look of both ‘Low Tide Waves’ and ‘Grecian Chic’, I requested a tailored half-up half-down hairdo and was given exactly that – a hair magazine-worthy look that lasted me all of three days.

This lazy-tressed woman is a total convert.

duck and dry london
duck and dry london
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Spending Ban 101: Giving Up Your Daily Latte

giving up daily latte
In the spirit of saving some of my hard-earned pennies, TSB got in touch to see if I was interested in going on a spending ban.

First thought? No. Second thought? About 90% of my bank statements list coffee shop names…

I decided to give up my daily latte for a week. ‘Daily latte’ meaning any purchase from a coffee shop.

Did I do it? Spoiler alert: yes! My success was down to the methodology of the tips, below, and has made an impactful change on my bean addiction!

How to Give Up Your Daily Latte

– Identify your inspiration. Whether you realise you’re losing your fashion budget to flat whites or you simply want to cut down on caffeine, keep it in your head!
– Do a swap. Personally, I found using my in-home coffee machine a lifesaver. The lattes cost less than £1 per cup (versus £3+) and because the process is more labour-intensive than saying a few words to a barista, I had less ‘just because’ coffees. If you’re cutting down on caffeine, I would opt for herbal teas.
– Resist temptation. Don’t meet friends in coffee places or pass your favourite street espresso on your way to work. If you fail to plan, you might as well plan to fail.
– Put the money you save somewhere. Seeing how much money I hadn’t spent – almost unconsciously – made the biggest impact. A few habit changes meant my so-called ‘pocket money’ went to an amazing dinner, instead.

In Review: Vapiano, London

vapiano london
I have been to Vapiano for lunch more times than I care to admit, but never to Vapiano Fitzrovia. When I heard the restaurants were launching free gigs, I thought it was reason enough to head off to the East.

Stopping by the bar counter before taking our table, we swiped a bottle of Prosecco onto a card and settled close to the stage to peruse the menus. While The Manfriend was looking for some homemade Italian carby goodness, I was looking for fresh flavours in abundance – thankfully, Vapiano is the kind of place you can get great versions of both.

While one of London’s gorgeous unsigned artists crooned over us, we made our way through finely sliced beef fillet (with cipriani sauce, Grana Padano D.O.P, mushrooms and rocket) and the Piatto Antipasti (Proscuitto tipo Parma, salami, pepperoni, roasted vegetables, homemade pesto, Grana Padano D.O.P, buffalo mozzarella, and bruschetta).

With the songstress pausing between sets, we made a run for our mains. This was altogether a much more longwinded process than ordering a typical lunch, but I have since realised that’s the price you pay you multiple courses over counter service.

Eventually, we carried my beloved strawberry and spinach salad (fresh spinach, strawberries, goats’ cheese, red onions, pine nuts and homemade raspberry maple dressing) and his steeped Estiva pasta plate (chicken breast, ginger, chilli, mint, sundried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and rocket) back to our table.

Capping things off with a few more songs and two creamy desserts (the panna cotta and crema di fragola), we sailed away on a river of ballads and bubbles. A wonderful evening, all things considered.

vapiano london
vapiano london
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Salone del Mobile with Ford

salone del mobile 8
As you will have seen from my earlier blog, I spent the start of this week in Milan with Ford.

The main calling card? The company’s takeover of the gargantuan home to Milan Design Week, Salone del Mobile.

Over the week, a lot of the activities that Ford put together were a design-influenced homage to the upcoming 2016 Ford GT. The supercar – set to rival the best of Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren – is a car and design lover’s fantasy come to life. In fact, Amko Leenarts – Global Interiors Design Director for Ford – said it was his own”dream car…the ultimate accomplishment”.

As Ford wasn’t actually allowed to show the vehicle at what is wholly and completely a design convention, the tops of the latter challenged all of their international designers to pitch creative designs – anything they wished – to display at the show, as long as it followed the company’s design ethos.

The results (a foodball table, guitar, sofa, and one designer’s ideal sailboat model) were as sleek and patriotic as the brand itself.

Though I had less than half a day to sink my teeth into the res of Salone, a whirlwind run around interactive breathing lights, baby blue petal-accented sofas, towering mirrors and more made me feel as interiorly-challenged as ever.

I did, however, leave with the urge to add both the aforementioned sofa and a brand new Ford GT to my home. They’re doing something right.

salone del mobile 2
salone del mobile 4
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