“The thing about growing up with Fred and George,” said Ginny thoughtfully, “is that you sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
It has been two years since my last visit to Morocco.
2013 took me on a journey through Mazagan, Casablanca and Rabat that made me fall in lust with Morocco. When I found out the likes of J Lo, Pharrell, Avicii and Maroon 5 were set to hit the stage of Mawazine – one of the world’s biggest festivals – it seemed as good a time as any to return…
You see why I used quotations.
Door to door, Stansted takes me over two hours to get to (ironically, I’m about 15 minutes to my beloved Heathrow). Though I had never been to the airport, I didn’t have great expectations so started looking for Stansted’s silver lining.
I found it in World Duty Free.
After discovering Stansted boasts the largest Duty Free area in the UK, I booked some time in with the concierge team and arrived three hours before flight time to take full consumer advantage.
Once welcomed with a glass of pink champage, the lovely ladies of the concierge team tailored my walkthrough to my interests and made it truly experiential.
– A stop at Jo Malone featured a perfectly-scented hand and arm massage.
– A stop at MAC turned into an hour-long beauty gossip, a mini makeover, and a new obsession with the Wash and Dry collection’s Steam Heat lipstick and brand new Ruby Woo lipliner (finally! – worn below).
– A stop at the World of Whiskies offered up an impromptu whiskey tasting and a newfound love of Glenmorangie.
– A stop at Chanel introduced me to my new signature fragrance, Beige.
– And, finally, a stop at Sisley made me broke for life by introducing me to the rather incredible Black Rose Precious Face Oil. Not only did it keep my skin hydrated through my flight, but I have woken up with perfect skin every day I have used it since.
If you have any sort of travel anxiety or find yourself generally bored in airports, the World Duty Free area is your irrefutable cure-all.
Obviously, I’m talking about brunch.
The second I entered St James’ Park, I fell in love. Somehow, I’ve spent over ten years walking and commuting around the park but never through it. I am forever grateful to Inn The Park for creating a breakfast menu enticing enough to take me there.
In fact, the food is as stellar as the park it’s served in. Somewhere between Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square, Inn The Park serves up a bevy of incredible breakfast delights. Kicking things off with a freshly squeezed kale, cucumber, spinach and apple juice, my lady friend and I toyed over our orders for an embarrassing amount of time.
Eventually, we placed our orders. Watching the park wake up, she cut through a black-sausageless Full English (Maple cured bacon, Cumberland sausage, spiced beans, mushrooms and eggs) while I filled up on their glorious superfood pancakes (topped with cottage cheese, avocado, spinach and pomegranate seeds).
Savouring a flat white and pot of tea as long as we possibly could, we managed to force ourselves out of our seats near lunchtime. As al fresco breakfasts go, I have yet to experience anything that rivals Inn The Park.
I have never been a big fan of my eyebrows. In adult recollection, they have always been slightly sparse and my displeasure with countless numbers of waxers and threaders means that the coveted ‘dream brow’ is only attainable through brow pencils.
After hearing an abundance of praise for Sylvia at Nails & Brows, I booked a hopeful appointment.
After letting them grow out a few weeks, I entered the tiny boutique and started off downstairs with a manicure. Though manicures are always pretty straightforward, Kicia and I bonded instantly over tales of Tinder, blogger don’ts, and the impressively long-lasting Vinylux polishes (I went for Powder My Nose – a creamy nude).
In no time at all, I was then whisked upstairs for my brow makeover. Sylvia – who I had wrongly imagined as an intimidating and wax-wielding German wunderkind – was one of the nicest and courteous people I imagine I’ll ever meet. After talking through what I liked and disliked about my bare brows, she went on to thread them to perfection.
After revealing that my natural shape had been contorted by years of improper brow maintenance, she advised me to use castor oil as a natural hair growth aid and proceeded to pencil in my #browgoals with Damone Roberts products.
By using a slightly lighter colour, I was really able to see what I needed to grow back and how I needed to shape my eyebrows.
This may only be the beginning but I finally feel like my dream brows can become a reality. All hail Nails & Brows!