hello may
May feels kind of like a ‘nothing’ month, doesn’t it? While the UK gears up for festival season, sunshine holidays and weddings galore, May just kind of sits there…looking pretty. With your varied interests in mind, I thought I’d drum up a little list of UK-wide (and slightly special) things to do over the month of May…

1. Eat at City Social
On the 1st, Jason Atherton finally crashed into The City by taking over top of Tower 42 (‘the National Westminster Tower’, to some of us). As well as hosting something of a jazz club on Saturday afternoons, the menu reads better than any Atherton restaurant to date; theCumbrian beef tartare, with sour dough crouton, goat’s curd, truffle dressing, and dried vinegar sounds absolutely unreal.

2. Experience West Side Story in Leeds
The Leeds Grands Theatre is being taken over by the gangs of New York’s Upper West Side from the 20th to 31st of May. While I’m obviously talking about West Side Story, the UK revival of what I only know as a very American musical (based on the Bard’s Romeo and Juliet) is too intriguing to pass up.

3. Rock out with Nine Inch Nails
Following the release of Hesitation Marks, Nine Inch Nails are going to be melting faces at The O2 on May 23rd. Literally recording music longer than I’ve been alive, the band’s 30-million-plus album sales say it all: this concert is going to be larger than life.

4. Visit The House of Peroni
The House of Peroni is back again – this time showcasing four floors, three bars, one temporary restaurant and a laundry list of amazing small workshops in an unassuming Holborn townhouse over the month of May. As well as a mix of street food, music, Peroni (obvs), and more, one of the most sold-out events is a recurring fashion workshop that teaches you to own designer-esque silk scarf. Book in while you can!

5. Do al fresco cinema at Spinningfields
Thursday nights at Manchester’s Spinningfields have gone all Hollywood on us. Each week until August 21st, patrons are welcome to pull up a deckchair (provided) and enjoy a classic cinematic experience on The Lawns. Only costing £3 (and surrounded by plenty of food and drink options), Spinningfields have just become date night perfected.

popcorn handbag
Though the promise of sunshine had me wanting to run around Primrose Hill in stilettos and sundresses, I had quite a bit of ‘running around’ to do in London at the tail end of the week. Forgoing my ankle-breakers for a pair of sensible booties, this comfy/lazy outfit won me a few unexpected smiles from strangers. That, or everyone was juiced on sunshine.

(I hacked the handbag into a long strap instead of its ‘popcorn strap’ and it was the wisest decision of the weekend. #handsfree)

What I Wore:
Popcorn handbag from Kate Spade (DIY by me)
Floral jumper from Zara
Striped shirt from TM Lewin
Zipped skinnies from Zara
Cashmere socks (similar here)
Boots from Even & Odd (similar here)
Steampunk necklace (handmade gift)

popcorn handbag
popcorn handbag

facial at liberty london
Just over a week ago I sidled my way into Liberty London‘s super secret Queen Mary Room (as in, she actually used to use the room to try her jewels on) for a revitalising Red Carpet Facial with QMS.

If the room alone doesn’t have one feeling like a royal, the treatment is set to do so. QMS Medicosmetics is – as the name suggests – medical grade skincare. With all products based on research-led and collagen-enhancing technology, the facial itself is as regenerative as it is luxurious.

Or, at least from what I remember before being cleansed, exfoliated, and masked into a deep, deep sleep. Gentle enough to keep me kipping but strong enough to give me the glow of J Lo, this one-hour treatment is now a must-do for every trip I make back to my hometown.

It is worth mentioning that leaving with a few samples has burnt quite the hole in my pocket. I have since fallen in lust with QMS’ Sport Active Cream. Though I practically choked on the £66 price tag, I think I am going to have to bite the bullet; it is a legitimately perfect tinted moisturiser. Go try, go try!

covent garden
On Friday I found myself in Covent Garden with thirty minutes of free time between a meeting and a lunch date (poor me, right?). Thankfully, I love playing tourist. Creatively, I find it very cathartic to visit the places I take for granted (whether it be Laduree in London or freaking International House of Pancakes in Indianapolis) with my camera in tow.

Covent Garden is most frequently associated with the former fruit and vegetable market in the central square of the ‘Garden’ but is also one of the most popular tourist hotspots of my beloved home town. With a crowd-producing pin point on the Royal Opera House in the corner of the square, the district is actually divided by the main thoroughfare of Long Acre and – potentially my favourite overall area of London – Seven Dials and Neal’s Yard.

In the grand scheme of things I believe that you can have an incredible time almost anywhere if you secure a secret spot and people watch. Covent Garden is no exception. Though there are 13 theatres in the Covent Garden locale, the street performers and the tourists they attract are entertainment all of their own. While the courtyard space is dedicated strictly to classical music, the outer street performers typically perform one 30-minute show each hour and, on rare occasions, draw a lot of future Dynamos and David Blaines to the area.

From the London Transport Museum to Drury Lane to the high-low mix of markets and boutiques, Covent Garden is absolutely enchanting.

covent garden
covent garden
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fenwick affogato
For all the times I have visited Bond & Brook I am rather ashamed to say that, until this week, I had no idea Fenwick also had an Affogato Bar under it’s designer wings.

A best kept secret by any fashionista’s standards, The Affogato Bar is tucked away in a quiet corner on the third floor at Fenwick Bond Street and conveniently overlooks designer favourites including Orla Kiely. Modelled on an original Milanese coffee bar, their celebrated namesake are their Affogatos (espresso poured onto a scoop of vanilla ice cream) though their fresh mint teas, juices (apple and ginger, in particular), and light bites are what happened to beckon me up a floor from Bond & Brook.

H Forman’s and Son smoked salmon plate was the catch of the day for me and included sliced smoked Scottish salmon with herb cream cheese and capers, lemon cheeks and toasted soldiers. When paired with a few glasses of champagne, a girly catch-up, and a slice of rich chocolate cake to finish, both the salmon plate and my dining partner’s ‘salad of the day’ offered wonderfully simple and light sustenance among our naughtier lunch choices. Molto buono.

fenwick affogato
fenwick affogato
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