But I’ll tell you more about that, below…
Skin Tailor Tailor Made Moisturiser –
This London-based company makes natural and organic moisturisers (free from parabens, silicones and mineral oils) tailored to your skincare needs and housed in pretty little glass jars. My “prescription” was the organic Lavender and Carrot Seed Moisturiser with Aloe; specifically aimed at “normal” skin, the blend nourishes with regenerative carrot seed (which also helps keep skin tight) and stimulates circulation with lavender, which is also proven to improve skin tone.
Clarins: Clarins Instant Light Comfort Lip Oil and Ombre Iridescente in Silver Taupe –
Clarins have been releasing success after success lately. My first love – the lip oil – has become a daily obsession; though it is a tad heavier than a lipstick lip, it is the most nourishing and glossy lip treatment I have ever used and all three shades taste like raspberry.
Their Ombre Iridescente cream-to-powder eye shadow has also launched with four new permanent shades that blend like butter and stay put like superglue. The most universally flattering, in my opinion, is the Silver Taupe which is a slightly smoky departure from your typical ‘nude’ shades.
BetterYou Magnesium Flakes –
Because magnesium is crucial for skeletal strength, normalised muscle function, energy production and the body’s ability to detox, it seemed like the right thing to try when my body was approaching a state of permanent jetlag. And it truly was. Every 100g of Magnesium Flakes delivers 12g of elemental magnesium, meaning spending twenty minutes soaking in a magnesium bath easily counteracts the magnesium you may have lost through lifestyle, diet, et al. It also makes your skin feel infinitely healthier.
The Gents Pack –
In a pinch, I have often found myself nabbing boyfriends’ grooming products and typically find myself surprised at just how good (or even how much better) they are than my own female-targeted counterparts. With this in mind, I ordered The Gents Pack – a brand new men’s subscription box service – for The Boy and eagerly awaited its arrival. While the monthly box delivers unique underwear and socks each month (tailored to the box recipient’s style preferences), it also comes with high-end grooming products that I have enjoyed using just as much as my gentleman friend. If not more.
Nugg Face Masks –
Nugg’s naturally-derived face masks are contained in small pods – meaning they are the perfect size for single use – and range in speciality from anti-ageing to cleansing, exfoliating, soothing, and more. I have taken them on many recent trips (they are an ideal travel size, even for carry-on luggage) and find the Exfoliating Face Mask (with jojoba beads and glycerin) makes skin beautifully hydrated and smooth in as little as five minutes.
I bought new shoes for my inaugural trip to Chai Wu.
I did. I really did.
The entire day prior to our dinner reservation, The Boy and I endured a ten-(plus)-mile hike from Brighton to Eastbourne and, even though I had carried a dinner dress in my bag the whole way, I forgot to pack anything but trainers.
Chai Wu deserves much more than trainers.
As you may remember from their Ladies Lunch, the restaurant – hidden in the upper decks of Harrods‘ golden labyrinth – serves faultlessly modern Chinese cuisine with service and prices to match.
Slipping on and kicking off all at once, we cheers’d our day’s effort with a bottle of Dopff Au Moulin’s 2013 Riesling before launching into a savoury feast unlike any other.
We’re talking lobster dumplings (topped with beluga caviar), a cocktail glass of gargantuan prawn spring rolls (served with sesame seeds and tomato salsa), the most delicate and flavourful Wagyu puffs I’ve ever come across, the Harrods special roll (fresh snow crab, avocado & spicy mayonnaise roll topped with chopped scallops, orange & black caviar & spring onion – a stunning meal on its own), and a plate of coconut prawns so unbelievably sauced they trumped my personal “unbeatable” Floridian heritage prawns.
And this was all prior to the main event.
The aforementioned – the Beijing Duck – was ceremoniously carved at our tableside, then served with fresh pancakes, Mantou buns, cucumber, spring onions, and a surfeit of sauces (hoi sin, pickled radish, cucumber, plum, et al – any sauce you could possibly desire). Even without the ‘trimmings’, the duck was flawless – tender on the inside and perfectly crispy on the outside.
Naturally, we licked our plates clean.
Though we couldn’t bear the idea of dessert after such a gluttonous affair, our espressos arrived alongside a trio of handmade chocolate truffles that were simply too beautiful to refuse.
The whole evening was a sensory delight and one I intend on repeating for many years to come.
Here in London, the skies have been going through something of a mood swing. One minute you’ll be master-cheffing a Summer barbecue in your slinkiest maxi dress and shivering under your boyfriend’s spare coat the next.
It makes investing in a ‘Summer wardrobe’ less than enticing.
These pretty things below, however, make up my personal season-spanning favourites that work in almost every temperature (simply add or remove a layer or two!).
Shop The Post:
Pastel tweed kilt by Dunedin Cashmere
Arbella Platform Sandals by Loeffler Randall
tarte Cheek Stain in Blushing Bride
Star-Print Skinny Boyfriend Jeans by Stella McCartney
Sunforgettable Loose Mineral Sunscreen Brush by Colorescience
Stripe Knit Top with Cap Sleeve by Claire Andrew
My first visit to Ben’s Canteen felt long overdue. Almost five years prior, I panted past their then-new Battersea flagship at the end of an unusually long run and made a mental note to pop in later that week.
A lot has changed since that run and – to the restaurant’s potential peril – so have my tastebuds.
My long-awaited introduction took place after I caught wind of their brand new burger menu – all of which had been paired with a unique wine suggestion. Many of which came from New Zealand. Brining my best Kiwi girl along, we ended our work week with two glasses of sparkling Syrah from The Naturalist (her home country’s most celebrated vineyard) alongside an indulgent serving of spiced duck nuggets.
I would return to Ben’s for those tender little masterpieces alone.
The clock struck nom on burger time with the arrival of three burgers and two glasses of each’s individual pairing. The first, The Hawaiian (pulled pork, pineapple fritter, slaw, mustard, pickle & BC BBQ sauce) came with a with a French Gamay (Du Gappin 2016). The second – my personal favourite – paired Mumm’s Brut Cordon Rouge champagne with their Posh Fried Chicken burger. And the third, a classic cheeseburger, arrived on the back of a 2013 Te Pa Pinot Gris (also from New Zealand, and a surprising delight) with a side of thick-cut sweet potato chips.
From just £10.50 a burger and £3.75 a glass, burgers and wine have never made as much sense as they do at Ben’s Canteen.