heliot steakhouse london
Two years ago, I found the holy grail – the actual best steak in London.

Yet, thanks to a demanding schedule, I haven’t had time to return to the Hippodrome’s Heliot Steak House since. It is a bit of a culinary tragedy.

The restaurant, named after infamous 1900s lion-loving performer Claire Heliot, is famed for its prime USDA offering but offers a diverse menu as stimulating as the casino which props it up.

That very menu’s new additions (pan-fried champagne salmon, grilled halloumi with orange, et al) seemed the perfect excuse to reserve my long-awaited return.

While the steaks are simply too good to skip, I decided to be an open-minded little food writer and start with some seafood to share. Unsurprisingly, both the theatrically-smoked tuna tartare (bathed in a delectable ponzu sauce & bonito flakes with a somewhat innocuous liquid cucumber sphere) and grilled octopus (perfectly balanced with charcoal mayonnaise & crayfish) were fantastic.

When the plates were cleared, I began to worry that my Surf & Turf would underwhelm me after two years away.

A wildly futile thought, it turns out, as my medley of rare USDA fillet, scallops, and prawns was perfect. At an insane £22, the S&T beats out every other steak at its price point – and double – in London.

Not that I didn’t steal a bite or five of The Mr’s rare rib-eye and lobster tail dipped in dry aged sauce. Or more than a forkful of his satueed field mushrooms. You don’t pass opportunities like that up.

To finish things off we almost literally jumped into a bowl of sugar with a visual spectacle Heliot have dubbed ‘Fairy Land’. The dessert is a bizarre treasure trove of chocolate coffee, raspberry lollipops, liquid gold with Baileys, and more. I didn’t get it, but I didn’t care. I have yet to find a different steak to take Heliot’s crown.

heliot steakhouse london
heliot steakhouse london
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how to set table
It’s no secret I take a lot of pleasure in food blogging my way around the world. I find joy in every little part of it – the unpredictable street stalls, the over-egged white tablecloth service, everything. For me, the experience is as vital as the food.

When we moved into our beautiful stone-walled home, I got incredibly excited to make the dining area something of an experience. To decorate a hella-investment of a reclaimed wood table in rectangular slate mats and a gorgeous arrangement of stainless steel cutlery (from my beloved Robert Welch, natch).

(In related news, I’ve been scouring this new site for affordable art and have to give it a shoutout – they have a delicious selection from emerging artists!)

Now, strap yourself in for some OCD realness:

How to set a table:

Dinner plates should sit in the centre of the place setting. Place your cutlery on the table in the order of use, starting from the outside and working inwards with each course.

Forks should be set to the left of the plate, with knives placed to the right, blade edges facing inwards. Soup spoons should be placed on the right of the knives.

Place the dessert fork and dessert spoon above the plate with the fork prongs facing right and the spoon bowl facing left.

Side plates always go on the left of the dinner plate.

Glassware should be set above and to the right of the dinner plate and should include a red wine glass, a white wine glass and a water glass.

Naturally, do as little or lot with what you have available – even beautiful basics will forgive the rest (and get you a tonne of compliments from dinner guests)!

how to set table
how to set table
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summer beauty favouritesLush Powdered Sunshine
In Croatia, this quite literally saved my skin. Though I wore my beloved Frezyderm sunscreens I mentioned last month every day, the sun was fierce and I wanted to make sure I could top-up my SPF as and when needed. This little powdered sunscreen was ideal. It is all-natural, weighs next to nothing (so is super easy to carry around with a small buffing brush), and smells divine – almost like you’re dusting sweet limoncello across your body. It also doubles as an amazing protective dry shampoo; I didn’t wear a hat a single day for two weeks in the sun and didn’t burn my scalp at all.

Bed Head Beach Bound Protection Spray and Beach Freak
My curly hair becomes something of a temperamental desert in warm weather. While the heat encourages a big bounce, it also seems to zap its moisture within minutes. I knew I needed to pack a strong heat protector and rolled the dice on TIGI’s Bed Head Beach Bound Protection Spray for Coloured Hair. The leave-in heat protection treatment not only protects tresses against the frizz of humidity but creates a barrier against heat styling up to 230 degrees, making it a perfect beachside beauty buddy.

I would spritz it through my hair every time I took a break from the sun and followed up with Bed Head’s Beach Freak Moisturising Detangler Spray – a milky formula that works to soften, nourish and moisturise dry hair – in the evening to reduce breakage before washing my hair.

Intima Ziggy Cup
As far as I’m concerned, period cups are a ridiculous thing to find taboo. They’re simply another part of a woman’s beauty and well-being regime that can make a huge difference. And this one really has. Because it was designed for period sex.

Yes, actual fully-fledged, mess-free sex on your period. Intima’s flat-fit Ziggy Cup is petal-thin, reusable (like all of their period cups), and offers up to twelve hours of protection. As someone who is very passionate about advocating ownership of your womanhood, I cannot recommend it enough.

Flawless Eyeliner from Flawless Lashes by Loreta
This teeny tiny nib makes for the easiest and smoothest eyeliner application ever. Though I wasn’t sure what to expect of the lesser-known brand’s offering, this liquid eyeliner is now my go-to. It doesn’t budge once dried (heatwave or not!) and does so within seconds. When the weather is so hot ‘putting your face on’ feels like a losing game, the Flawless Eyeliner is a godsend.

day break travel blog
Flight delays are one of life’s nasty little inevitabilities and if you’ve never experienced one before, they’re also pretty overwhelming to navigate. Luckily, I’ve had my unfair share of delays, cancellations, and unexpected overnight stays to give you the low-down on how to deal like a sky-flying pro.

Listen up

Keep your cool

You’re not the first and you’re certainly not the last, babe. Delayed and cancelled flights occur every day (knock on wood), so try to stay as calm and proactive as possible. Ask the airline staff about your options kindly and see what protocols they have in place to deal with things like connecting flights, refunds, etc after thinking through your options. Remember – no-one wants you to have a bad experience with their company and most people will do everything they can to help. Most airlines will offer food and drink vouchers or lounge passes if the delay is less than three hours. Take advantage of what you can get and channel all the chill you can.

If their response is not what you’re looking for, call your travel insurance company and see what they can do. Most delays over three hours will turn into compensation, miles, and more.

Do a day break!

My favourite thing to do during an especially long delay is leave the airport and go on a day break. Rather than mulling in chaos, I love to explore a new city a little longer than expected or get a ‘day break hotel’ to work, sleep, eat, and more. Services like DayBreakHotels can offer a day room for around 70% off the full night price and often throw in things like spa access, turning a bit of a nightmare into a dream!

Get your money back

According to European Regulation EC 261/04, a passenger is entitled to a reimbursement of up to 600 euros if a flight is delayed for over three hours. All compensation claims I’ve made have come back to me within a few weeks but there are also plenty of legal options you can pursue if you’re having trouble.

Legal bodies like Bott & Co Solicitors claim a 99% success rate in winning flight delay compensation claims (no win, no fee) and apps like AirHelp even offer options for overbooked flights.

Happy travelling (when you get ’round to it), gang!

evening of meat london
It’s not often I find myself with a half naked woman feeding me pancetta, bent on all fours atop a dining table, but it does happen. Most recently at the literal feast of femininity known as An Evening of Meat.

The Evening, equal parts immersive theatre and supper club, first tickled my tastebuds with promising international reviews of a provocative feminist narrative. A narrative which tackled the concept of “being treated like a piece of meat” with no more than music and dance.

With an indulgent six-course menu, to boot.

As the tabletop dancers struggle to take up space, guests are brought Michelin-quality beef carpaccio, braised mutton, pig cheek, and more.

The choreography was powerful, the food was incredible, and the experience was definitively unique. Leaving a lot up to personal interpretation, the experience handled the complications, vulnerability, instability, power, and sexuality of female existence beautifully.

An Evening of Meat can be seen at The Vaults until June 2nd (Tuesday – Saturday).

evening of meat london
evening of meat london
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