shakshuka recipe
Business – and life in general – has been manic over the last few months and I haven’t had as much time to share my favourite restaurant discoveries as I normally do.

Nonetheless, I have still been eating behind the scenes and happening upon foodie favourites of alternative varieties.

Which brings us to this; my current food favourites. Just not before shouting about my super low-cost (but delicious) Shakshuka and soda bread recipe being featured in this free recipe book! I am such a supporter of all the contributors – it simply can’t go without sharing.

Gousto
I have tried a number of meal delivery companies over the years without great success. While I love to cook, I often find the recipes offered too simple, too bland or too carby (which is just not my thing). Gousto is different. Gousto’s recipes are innovative (everything I’ve “ordered” to cook has been something I haven’t made before), fresh, and restaurant-quality (with novice chef-friendly instructions). You simply choose the pre-portioned recipes you want delivered, the date you’d like to receive them, and cook them at your convenience in the week that follows.

My healthy favourites include the Harissa Chorizo With White Bean Mash and Mediterranean Fish Stew & Sunny Aioli (but the Sticky Pomegranate Persian Halloumi is currently tickling my fancy).

The great news? If you’re interested in trying it out, the code FRESH4 will give you ยฃ22 off a 2 people box and ยฃ25 off on a 4 people box. Total no-brainer

The new menu at Sushi Shop

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I have been a massive fan of Sushi Shop’s French-Californian sushi menu for quite some time. It is the only place I frequent for sushi in London and meets all my creative and quality-led expectations for the Japanese cuisine.

When they announced they would be partnering with the haute cuisine genius of Kei Kobayashi, I knew I was in for a treat.

The result is a four-piece collection of aesthetic glory. I would be ashamed to reveal I’ve had at least one Gyu Special Roll a week since it launched (Beef, Avocado, Carrot, Red Pepper, Rocket, Coriander, Chives, Fried Onions, Chili, Sesame Oil Mayonnaise, Teriyaki Sauce, and Lime) if it wasn’t so utterly perfect.

Chocolate Cards from Candy Mechanics
This might just beat every other kind of card in existence, babe. This card is not only edible (and rich milk chocolate-ly so) but completely customizable. I received one with my name, a unicorn, and some sparkles – I love it so much I’ve only been able to take one bite from it.

The creators – Candy Mechanics – also make 3D chocolate lollipops of your/your partner’s face, to boot. Ingenious.

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nme awards presenter
Returning to the NME Awards (this time with ID&C – the kings of fabric wristbands) was one hundred percentย as thrilling as my first time.

I have spent the last few years as a red carpet presenter, broadcast journalist, blogger, et al, but these events never fail to fill my inner child with immeasurable gratitude.

For the NME Awards 2017, I was fortunate enough to see Bastille perform live again (they were the best band I saw live last year), swoon as Skepta and Wiley’s bromance played out on stage, and watch girl power reign supreme with MIA winning Best British Female (alongside similar awards for the rising stars of Christine & The Queens and Dua Lipa).

What I Wore:
Galveston Cutout skater dress from JOY The Store
Butterfly Twists Amber Glitter Pointed Fold Up Pump from JOY The Store (in the bag for pre-show running around!)
Sargossa Nappa heels

Hair – The geniuses at Duck & Dry. In fact, I loved their new Oxford Circus blow dry bar so much I used it to shoot these pre-awards photos!
Face Of The Day – Essentially exactly the same as The 90s Brunch Cher from Clueless makeup look (without the strobe cream).

nme awards presenter 6

Given the finger. Classic NME.

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ID&C fabric wristbands
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the chapel candle
I have a confession to make. Though I been doing the “feminist as f*ck” thing for a number of years – all “Girl Power!”, “Love yourself!”, “Equality and kindness for women!” – I am very rarely kind to myself.

Do I believe I deserve as much as anyone else? Sure. Believe I’m a good person? Absolutely. Ever take time out for myself? Uh…no.

And it wasn’t until I went to the launch event of The Chapel‘s new incredible product range that I realized as such.

Rather than inviting 300 members of the press to take Snapchats of her new products and shove as many overpriced canapes as possible down our throats, Amanda (Dicker, The Chapel Founder) asked a handful of us ’round to her Islington Salon, fed us from fresh sharing platters on her own china, poured us her favourite tipples, and led an all-empowering feminist pow-wow.

The entire logic behind expanding her award-winning hair, beauty and lifestyle business was to encourage people to take the brand’s renowned “haven” status home with them. To reclaim time outside of the salon (the only place most of us allow ourselves “me time”) and put themselves first.

“Too often these days we mistake a hectic schedule for a full life, yet the time thattruly belongs to us is the moment when we pause…” – Amanda Dicker, Founder of The Chapel and all-round Wonderwoman

It was a much needed wake-up call for me. As our makeshift circle of trust shared personal stories, I related with patterns my own sacrifice, insecurity, and societal pressure. “Me Time” is long overdue. And The Chapel’s products are the perfect gateway drug.

The three products – candles, hand cream & pulse point fragrances – come in three fragrances; Oparus (Bergamot, Geranium, Sandalwood, etc), Mellifera (Apple, Tuberose, Vanilla, etc), and Noctula (my favourite – Mandarin, Violet, Patchouli, etc).

Though I fell in lust with all three scents I, naturally, went for the “hot red lips” (Noctula) scented candle as when you complete the 80 hour burn time you can use the exquisite ceramic candle holder as a home accessory.

That has “me” written all over it.

cheers

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tank and paddle london
There is something bittersweet about promoting restaurants I love. Especially when they’re hidden gems. But Tank & Paddle is a little too brilliant to keep secret.

It lives up to (and yet somehow defies) every expectation of a “pizza and beer” place. Though it is situated in the centre of The City, it is virtually impossible to “stumble upon” (below ground in Minster Court) and is significantly more affordable than its surrounding banker-seducing restaurant alternatives.

Yet the food is just as good.

With an absence of the postcode’s notorious white tablecloths and sommeliers, you get bar service (perfect for large groups), cosy corners, killer cocktails, and outright feasts at the cost of a dessert somewhere else.

After a round of Porn Star Martinis (my #sorrynotsorry pizza companion of choice), my dinner date and I split a Billy Goat’s Stuffed pizza (Rosary Goat’s Cheese, spinach & red onion chutney), pepperoni & chilli filled mac and cheese (a gooey-as-they-come delight called “The Hot One”), a gargantuan Greek salad, and savoury dough sticks with Garlic & Herb Butter and Chilli Butter (they also do a Nutella-filled option for dessert – your skinny jeans are forewarned).

It was a banquet that took us all the way through our Martinis, a bottle of bubbles, and more than a handful of dance breaks.

For its location, food, drinks (everyone around me was cooing over their beers), pricing, vibes, and deals (ie “Any regular pizza for ยฃ5 on Mondays”!), Tank & Paddle might just be the City’s greatest hideout.

tank and paddle london
tank and paddle london
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youtube mukbang eating show
Before visiting her family back in Italy, my beloved Alice and I got into a conversation about the ‘norms’ of our upbringings (in Italy and America, respectively) and – more specifically – their sweet treats.

Realising neither of us had tried any sweets across the seas that once separated us, we met up back in London and mukbanged them all on camera for your viewing pleasure.

From Warheads Extreme Sour Candy to Pocket Coffee, this fail of ‘Italian vs American Candy‘ is everything you could expect and so much more…watch here!