Brighton On The Beach (A Date with Steve Coogan)

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Last weekend, On The Beach invited me down to Brighton to hang out with some fellow British bloggers, have a little pampering sesh, and rub shoulders with Steve Coogan (or Alan Partridge, to the majority of us).

But more on the Alpha Papa later.

Arriving at the hotel a few hours early, I quite literally walked into Kristabel and Laura as I headed through the doors. Having been up and working since 5am, I decided to take a real break and join the ladies for a mini tour of Brighton.

It has been a good ten years since I had last visited and it was an absolutely joy to see the town through Laura’s native eyes. From stopping at coffee shops in phone booths, meandering the hidden backstreets, oogling the sale-priced Sophia Webster kicks at ODE (Our Daily Edit), and learning about Brighton’s nighttime beach hippies (people making art of pebbles in their spare time), it was a glorious afternoon.

A few hours and a lot of work later, I met Kristabel and Olivia in the lobby and we high-tailed it down to Brighton Beach to meet the rest of the bloggers, get our MeatWagon on, and finally say hello the man of the hour.

With Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa scheduled to be screened on the beach that evening, we were very kindly invited along to interview Steve Coogan before he surprised his flood of fans (many wearing masks with his face on them) for a little pre-film Q&A action.

#LETMETAKEASELFIE

After lols galore with a gaggle of new girlfriends, we returned to my new girlcrush’s hotel room for champagne, face masks, cupcakes, and the kind of chat that only happens in hotel rooms after midnight (minus Steve Coogan, to be clear).

Waking up with something of a cupcake hangover, I took a few measly bites of breakfast before downing a gallon of water and walking down to get artistic at Painting Pottery Cafe.

I won’t show you what I’ve made just yet (it’s a present!), but will do so once my handiwork has been gifted.

Thank you to the ladies below and On The Beach for showing me a great 24 hours in the South!

Sleepover shoutouts:
Fizzy Peaches
Belle Du Brighton
Cider With Sophie
Lola and Behold
Lilla Loves
Carrie Brighton
Lemonaid Lies
What Olivia Did
Fifi McGee
Daisy Butter
Georgina Does
A Rosy Day
I Want You To Know


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Travel Blog: Palma, Mallorca

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Having most of the day to kill before boarding our early evening flight from Palma to the UK, we decided to drive over the mountainous roads and death-defying curves from Puerto Pollensa straight into Palma.

If you have a competent driver with you, I would say it’s a must-do. If you don’t, I imagine you’d rather stay as close to sea level as possible. I was in panic sweats every time something bigger than a bicycle drove towards us.

In all its beauty and terror, the drive into Palma was nothing compared to the city itself. Palma is an interesting one; as the capital city of the autonomous Balearic Islands, it is equal parts historical and tourism-crazed. As you enter the city, you are welcomed by the gargantuan gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma (commonly referred to as La Seu), only to turn a corner filled with street musicians and souvenir shops.

Palma is…rampant. And gorgeous. But mostly rampant.

After quelling all short-lived tourism desires, we spent the rest of our day be-bopping around the backstreets, consuming as much sobrassada and espresso as our bodies could handle, and getting harassed by persistent ‘designer’ bag street salesmen.

It’s been a beautiful journey, Mallorca.

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In Review: Takeaway Afternoon Tea, The Park Tower Knightsbridge

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My last trip to The Park Tower Knightsbridge was almost five years ago. 2009 – and The Park Tower – mark my first-ever business meeting with a designer brand.

Having had so much change, bewilder and humble me since that meeting, The Park Tower holds a very special place in my heart. When welcoming one of my close friends and recent London transfers to the city, it seemed more than appropriate to take a pit stop at the hotel and take away their afternoon tea for a picnic in Hyde Park.

Their ‘Take Away Strawberry Afternoon Tea‘ – as you can see – is beautifully ingenious.

In their three tier cardboard tea platter, The Park Tower include:
- London smoked salmon and green asparagus (sushi style) with keta caviar on nori bread (IT. IS. UNREAL.)
- Norwich farm chicken caesar with baby gem chiffonade on carrot bread
- Surrey peppered beef pastrami with horseradish cream on malted grain bread
- Silver Hill duck egg mayonnaise and mustard cress on viennoise briochette
- Scones with strawberry and rhubarb marmalade
- Strawberry Valrhona white chocolate truffle
- Strawberry marshmallow
- Whole strawberry dipped in Valrhona milk chocolate and nibbed sugar (
- Strawberry pâté de fruits
- Strawberry and crème chantilly pavlova
- Strawberry Victoria sponge cake tennis court and lemon tennis ball
…and…the most amazing pastry I have ever laid eyes on…
- Strawberry petit choux pastry swans with pistachio cream mousseline.

Truth be told, stretching out in the sunshine, listening to an insane Beatles cover band, and devouring the petite platter between us was the most gratifying way we could have spent an afternoon. Quintessential London luxury.

The takeaway afternoon tea is priced at £19.50 per person or £69 for two with a half bottle of Moët & Chandon Rosé (GO FOR IT) and available through August 31st. I advise booking 24 hours in advance (by online form or phone) to ensure availability.

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take away afternoon tea
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Travel Blog: Alcudia Old Town, Mallorca

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Alcudia was a bit of a running joke between the family over our week in Mallorca. Though I’ve never spent any time on the main strip of Alcudia, driving along it to get to…well…better places clearly relayed its booze and fast food-fuelled lifestyle.

It’s just not the kind of place I want to spend my downtime.

Alcudia Old Town, however, is a different story. The Old Town is as authentic as Alcudia gets – even coming with its own set of 14th century city walls. Though there were not many people around when we arrived, we quickly scouted an unassuming set of stairs which led us to the top of the wall. At that point, I think we were all rather consumed with Game of Thrones feelings and stomped around the entirety of the village below like the Kings and Queens of TouristTown.

When we returned to reality, we were starving and tried our very best to navigate the cobbled streets into some sort of foodie fate. Alas, we ended up letting The Manfriend pick a pizza place (with a waiter from Essex and Disney characters littering the ‘English’ part of the menu). Eek.

Not that Alcudia was a write-off. Definitely not. As we punctuated our mediocre noms with great, cheap wine and even better people-watching games, we noticed a Spanish family close their pharmacy (next to the restaurant), drag a few of the restaurant’s tables over to the pharmacy, and begin to set up something of a street party.

Less than half an hour later, the full family party arrived, started to sing through the streets, and eventually pulled The Manfriend and I over to join their raucous conga line (which he ended up weaving through the backbar’s of neighbouring restaurants and streets).

Alcudia Old Town gets 5/5 from this woman.

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In Review: Trinity Kitchen, July 2014

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As each month of Trinity Kitchen goes by, I think I get more and more judgmental.

I’m still feeling pretty sour about losing Dogtown and The Cheese Truck back to London.

Thankfully, Trinity Leeds keep pulling rabbits out of their proverbial hat. This month? I made a trip to Banh Mi Booth twice in the first week alone. Emily Boothroyd’s ‘booth’ serves what I consider to be the Daddy of Street Food – succulent char siu pork banh mi sandwiches (the only complaint: the bread seemed to change with every visit, meaning my classic soft/crisp expectations weren’t always met).

The Cauldron, however, wins for must-visit food truck of the month. Slightly burnt out on Vietnamese when I finally took The Manfriend for a trial, I read through The Cauldron’s whiteboard menu items and settled on the ‘Pig Out’ – a slow cooked free range pork belly wrap with a fennel, garlic and chilli rub, ‘bang bang’ sauce, salad, and a minted yoghurt dressing.

I couldn’t imagine spending a better £6. It was the most flavourful and filling meal I have ever had.

As I seem to always catch Flavours Found (Shake Maroc and Roll) when they’re on a break (TEAR! I love Moroccan!) and tend to be far too full to indulge in the seductive lassis or crumpets of Indie Ices and Cook It Up, I sincerely hope I have time to visit the other vendors this month.

Then again…look at that wrap!

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The Cauldron

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