make fragrance london
Because I am a little bored of the discounted blow dries and ‘sexy photo shoot’ offers mailed to me by daily deal sites, the offer of creating my own fragrance (plus afternoon tea) on Buyagift really caught my attention.

Though I work as a beauty editor in part, the last time I experienced anything comparable to designing my own fragrance was a behind the scenes trip I took to the Fragonard factory with my father. I was eleven.

This was a world apart and an experience that even my testosterone-filled Manfriend enjoyed. The course took place yesterday morning in the Hilton Hyde Park Hotel, where a group of 20-25 strangers of all ages were welcomed with champagne. The company which hosts the event, The Perfume Studio, are professional, friendly, and deliver everything you need to know to create your fragrance in an enjoyable and accessible way. Over two hours, everyone gets to sample eighteen blends of (mostly) beautiful scents to blend together an individual perfume or cologne.

You are encouraged to create three piles: blotters that you dislike on the left, blotters that you may want to include in the middle, and blotters you love on the right. I was surprised that I enjoyed a few of the floral blends because I usually find florals to be very – what’s the word – aged.

After smelling lots of coffee beans (to clear the nose) and switching my blotters back and forth, I settled on a blend of:
Base notes – balsamic (a sweet – not sugary/vinegaresque – blend, in a double dose)
Middle notes – gentle floral and heady floral
Top notes – green, citrus (double dosed), and fruity

Sealed in a white bottle with a scented feather, “Spritz, Rattle and Roll” (the champagne wit wasn’t exactly working for me) was born.

After the session we walked up to the Hilton’s gorgeous bar area and indulged in an unusual – but delicious – afternoon tea of finger sandwiches, a scone, a cake, an eclair, and green tea. Far different than my typical experience of afternoon tea in the UK and not a bad excursion on the hottest day of the year.

make fragrance london afternoon tea

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afternoon tea
Because Monday seems like an incredibly strange day for a ‘date‘, The Manfriend and I thought we would test it out. By working all of Sunday, we sedated our workaholic guilt and booked yesterday out for each other.

Living on the edge of London, it is pretty hard to find local date spots that offer more than a greasy spoon. Deciding we would work our way into Central London throughout the day, however, we created a mini adventure. Gluttons for afternoon tea, we originally planned to head towards Eaton for Doll’s House on The Hill (a hidden gem) only to discover they are closed on Mondays. In a Metropolitan Line state of mind (and hunger), we made the quick choice to head towards Uxbridge for a little pop-up shop called “The Forties Tea Room” (no website). Located in a shopping centre and boasting a strong over-50s clientele, expectations were ravenous but low.

We were pleasantly surprised. With mismatched cutlery and delicious home-made treats, the Forties Tea Room was charming as could be. Because the cafe was set up to raise money for the RAF Bomber Command Memorial and Maintenance Appeal, you have an excuse to break the diet, to boot.

After filling ourselves to the brim, The Manfriend and I headed up to Oxford Street for a spot of shopping (Jigsaw purchases revealed soon!), traipsing, and drinks.

Drinks of epic proportions. Blog readers and loved ones…let me introduce you to Adventure Bar. We escaped from the perpetual drizzle in the Covent Garden branch, but I am positive that they are all as fabulous. Happy hour is 5-7 (two for one), music is on point, staff are high on life, and drunkenness doubles as dessert. You simply must go.

afternoon tea

afternoon tea


adventure bar covent garden

adventure bar covent garden

vintage tea party
Recently, I was given The Vintage Tea Party Book. Though I hadn’t heard of it before, I did the unthinkable (!) and judged a book by its beautifully illustrated cover. I knew I was going to love it.

Thankfully, I’m not eating my words! Written by vintage goddess Angel Adoree (of Dragon’s Den and Vintage Patisserie fame), this book covers everything from tea party recipes, to vintage styling, to invitations, to vintage hair – from brunch to dinner time. The book is a visual treat in itself. I have yet to try a recipe but – from what the internet has been telling me – all of the results are as delicious as the photos.

To share the love, I’ve got a copy of The Vintage Tea Party Book to give away to one lucky reader!

To enter:

– Leave a comment below and tell me your favourite tea-time treat!
Like Lela London on Facebook.
Follow Lela London on Twitter.

The contest is open worldwide. You have until June 31st, 2012 to enter. The winner will be chosen at random.

Good luck! xo

vintage tea party
vintage tea party
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