Last night, I had the pleasure of bringing Quality Street to life.
In celebration of everyone’s favourite Christmas chocolates, I was invited to ‘switch on’ a slew of lights, snow, and choc-tastic fun as Westfield London let us bring Christmas ad to reality and turn their Southern Terrace into a real-life Quality Street.
Free for everyone to enjoy, our little festive ceremony welcomed a slew of chocolate-loving children and adults for an evening of carols, indulgence, and good ol’ fashioned Christmas cheer.
If Quality Street can’t get you in the holiday spirit, nothing can.
In hot pursuit of the latest and greatest restaurants and watering holes, it is rare that I find myself in the same establishment twice.
Edible commitment issues at their finest.
It has taken almost two years for me to return to The Meat Co in Shepherd’s Bush and it has officially become one of the places that continually surpasses all expectations.
Time for a little blog love.
When the time came for my long overdue return visit, my lady friend and I were completely spoilt for choice. While some serious protein was a given from the get-go, I had forgotten how varied and rich the multipaged menu actually was.
To start, we indulged in some incredibly moreish chocolate & beetroot bread (if you’re going to carb load, there is no other way), curly boerewors-topped polenta, and braised rib meat cigars which melted inside their light mushroom-filled pastry casing.
Completely intoxicated on rib meat, we continued the affair all the way to the mains. For my lady love, a naked rib meat burger served with chips (normally served in brioche) while I opted to tackle sea and land via the rib meat scallop trio.
Aided by some incredible cocktails, we weren’t sure we had the capacity for dessert but the Madiba Charity malva pudding swayed us otherwise. Presumed to be Nelson Mandela’s favourite dessert, the sticky toffee-esque creation felt extraordinarily fluffy, moist, and indulgent all at once.
I would do it all over again without hesitation. And sooner, this time.
I have not ‘been shopping’ in years. Quite literally 90% of my wardrobe additions over the last two or three years have been purchased from our beloved internets.
Of course, even the techiest tech geek (hello!) can’t do it digital all the time.
With three jam-packed days until I flew to Italy and a ‘nothing to wear’ crisis in full force, I had no idea what to pack and even less of an idea when I’d find time to do so. Between meetings, I dashed off to The Fashion Lounge (the Personal Shopping suite) at Westfield London and enlisted the expert help of personal stylist Elin Mai.
As a former fashion stylist, I had no idea what to expect from the experience but was happy to jump in with both time-sensitive legs.
After meeting in the lounge to discuss what I was looking for (colourful dresses!) and the general likes/dislikes I had included in our pre-shopping consultation, Elin took me in and out of shops like she had personally designed every item in them. She had an incredible knack for knowing where to go, what would make me look my best, what would make me feel comfortable, and what would fit my budget.
In no time at all, we wrapped up the session with two new dresses, a necklace, and a pair of heels which would integrate with a few items I already had in my wardrobe.
Without her it would have taken me not only ten times as long (perfectionist) but cost me ten times as much. Personal shopping at Westfield might just be my newest guilty pleasure.
Stay tuned for the full outfits in tomorrow’s blog!
(To book your consultation, please call +44 (0)20 3371 2300 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org)
Last weekend, Westfield London hosted ‘Future Fashion’, a shopping centre-wide event that brought style and technology together in a way never done before. Using virtual reality inventions like the Oculus Rift to immerse the Great British Public right into Spring/Summer 2015, the season’s biggest trends – Florals, Denim, and Future Modern – were truly brought to life.
As part of the event (and another grateful step towards becoming a fully-fledged presenter), I hosted House of Fraser‘s trend talk and interview with their gorgeous womenswear buyer, Talia, in the atrium’s Style Lounge.
As part of the affair, I stopped off at House of Fraser’s Clinique counter beforehand to get my little face painted by their terribly pretty Welsh make-up artist. The results are in: their new Beyond Perfecting Foundation (and concealer!) is all kinds of stellar.
The trend talk and Q&A was a surprisingly inspirational affair – with a real mix of attendees – and rounded off a wonderful day altogether.
After hearing of The Meat & Wine Co’s recent rebranding to The Meat Co, I felt it was time for a return visit to Westfield’s most impressive dining hole.
Dinner at The Meat Co was my most unexpected and flawless meal of the month. This was thanks – in large part – to our South African waiter, Sean, whose passion for the menu and heritage of the dishes is unparalleled by recent memory.
The food ticked some boxes, too.
Coerced (by Sean’s infectious excitement) into ordering the Entree Tasting Platter and Boerewors to start, we were quickly presented with a table-wide spread. The Boerewors – paired with rocket, chakalaka sauce and pap – was perfectly cooked but overshadowed by the platter of chicken wings, salt and pepper calamari (served with homemade Nam Jim sauce), bruschetta (freshly diced tomato, red onion, creamy feta, Parmesan, basil and pesto – drizzled with balsamic glaze) and beef ribs. Genuinely rib-phobic, I could not get over the meaty and succulent results of The Meat Co’s recipe. I may have to start taking lunch meetings here. Messy, delicious lunch meetings.
Then again, their steak alone calls for a Meat Co Confederation. While Wagyu steak is world renowned for superior marbling characteristics and naturally enhanced flavour, tenderness and juiciness, The Meat Co’s basted and flame-grilled cut of the day takes Wagyu to a new level. Dipped lightly in Béarnaise sauce between nibbles of grilled asparagus and hand-cut ‘proper’ chips? The ultimate mouthgasm.
Refusing to deviate from the full-menu plan, my partner and I plumped for dessert. The smart choice? Crème brûlée infused with Madagascan vanilla bean and served with a special spiced sweet pastry and strawberry sorbet. The button-popping choice? A richer than rich peanut butter cheesecake topped with dark chocolate sauce and a sprinkle of regret. Still, both delectable.
10 out of 10 (and that’s not a rating I give lightly).