With so much of our shopping done online these days, I truly value a person-to-person shopping experience. Especially at places like Duo Boots.
When browsing the interwebs to find a great pair of Autumn boots, I kept coming back to Duo. With up to 21 calf sizes and 3 widths available, they offer the kind of customisation capabilities that makes a woman trust her footwear. I knew their flagship store would be worth a visit.
As you can see, my expectations were met. And then some. The flagship fitting room is – in fact – part shop, part tailor, and has a kind of ‘secret shoe room’ appeal thanks to its hidden spot in Slingsby Place.
After enjoying the kind of customer service that employee handbooks dream of, you even end up with a brand new pair of boots…or five. Ahem.
21 Slingsby Place, St Martins Courtyard, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9AB.
I’m caving in, guys. My ever-present craving for Thai food is going nowhere anytime soon. I have accepted it: I’m am going to eat my way through every Thai restaurant in London.
No, I know, it’s not exactly a cruel fate. Especially when you’re dining at restaurants like Suda.
Boasting a beautiful interior layout, the kind of ‘beautiful meets casual’ that works both day and night, Suda has become one of my favourite places to grab a nibble and drink.
Having recently invited my spice-loving vegetarian friend to spend the night with me at Suda, I looked forward to seeing a few of the vegetarian options – of which there is a comprehensive list – in person (I have a strange aversion to ordering vegetarian food when dining out).
Having Suda’s skilled mixologists start us off with a Mango & papaya drop (vodka shaken with mango puree and fresh papaya, hint of coriander and fresh lime leaf finished with sugar rim) and Lemongrass bellini (fresh lemongrass with Thai ginger, lemon juice charged with prosecco), we decided to kick things off with a classic and faultless bowl of tom yum goong and guay teow lui suan (their signature fresh rice wrap with tofu and Thai herbs – expertly seasoned).
Though my veggie accomplice’s main of tofu pad thai failed to earn anything more than a three-star rating, my nua yang som tum (grilled beef with Thai style dressing & som tum) knocked my socks off and earned itself a spot as one of my all-time favourite Thai dishes.
As she wrapped things up with a lick-your-plate-clean order of kao tom mud sai chocolate (a sticky rice roll with bitter chocolate filling), I hastily ordered kao niew i-tim ka-ti (sticky rice and homemade coconut ice cream with condiments) when informed that they had run out of fresh mango on this particular day (mango sticky rice fan for life, hello). To my pleasure, as it turned out, being that the homemade ice cream introduced a delightful mix of texture and temperature to the dessert.
As if you needed any other excuse to spend your days in St Martins Courtyard, eh?
It seems that – with the countdown to Christmas officially in its stride – London is really begging for an excuse to add a little bit of fun to our (typically cold and wet) gift shopping experience. Thankfully, Covent Garden’s Seven Dials and St. Martin’s Courtyard have teamed up with MasterCard Priceless London to bring us a night of shopping, merriment, and Vintage Tricycles serving complimentary mulled wine (WOO!). On November 29th, you will be able to shop and be merry for less with over 120 stores participating in a 20% Off Christmas Shopping Night between 5 and 9pm.
The fun doesn’t end there, either!
Along with complimentary festive manicures provided by the infamous WAH Nails team 15 Shorts Gardens for the first 75 shoppers who spend over £50 during the Shopping Night, festivities include:
– £50 luxury goodie bag for the first 200 shoppers to spend £100 on their MasterCard in conjunction with their shopping ticket. Claim from 5.30pm onwards at 15 Shorts Gardens.
– Show your ticket and enjoy a complimentary Courvoisier cocktail in the St Martin’s Courtyard’s Pop-Up Bar.
– Christmas will come early for 150 shoppers who will be selected at random and presented with a Golden Ticket for a lucky dip for prizes worth up to £150.
– Look out for our Black Cab photo booth in which you can capture a fun snap of you and your shopping friends.
– Get a helping hand choosing your Christmas gifts with our inspiration window at 15 Shorts Garden. Shoppers will also have the chance to win the entire £1000 Christmas Gift Window on the Seven Dials’ Facebook page.
– A host of in-store activity including DJ The Dressing Parlour at Urban Outfitters, a Bombay Sapphire pop-up cocktail bar and tarot card reader at Diesel’s Flagship Store, Beauty Ambassador makeovers and a ‘gift’ balloon launch at Bare Escentuals, Kopapa’s Peter Gordon and head chef Selin serving warming snacks and Kopapa & Sipsmith’s Hot Gin Punch from their pop-up stall, DJ Sets from Breton and Kiwi and complimentary Asahi beer at TopMan General Store, free consultations and complimentary fringe trims from the hair-care experts at Sassoon Salon, plus savour hot pork belly sandwiches and mulled wine from the Jamie’s Italian stall in St Martin’s Courtyard.
– Exclusive MasterCard deals available until the 31st of December.
For all the details, see SevenDials.co.uk!
Which events catch your eye?