Sunday, 27 May 2012

Ciao Vacanze


Ciao da Italia!

I shall be quiet this week as I am in Italia, the country of pizza, pasta, ice cream, wine and sunshine!

Arrivederci
XX
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Saturday, 26 May 2012

Barbecoa


Post Pitt cue we are on a mission to find the best meat/pulled pork in London. Last night our quest took us to Barbecoa, the Jamie Oliver / Alan Perry Lang love child that specialises in meat...pure and simple.

Pre cocktails were had at Madison on the roof of One New Change it was a gorgeous sunny evening and the crowd was a sophisticated post work affair with a buzz of the first proper summer night of the year.


Come reservation time we headed to Barbecoa literally mouths watering from the amazing smells of Madison tapas lingering in the air. We didn't have far to go as the restaurant takes up a hefty space on the ground/1st floor of the Shopping complex.

We opted for arrival cocktails on recommendation of the waitress...who unfortunately then immediately came over to ask if we were ready to order. After perusing the menu pretending we were going to order anything other than pulled pork and melt in the mouth beef we opted for the pit pulled pork and pit beef, served with coleslaw and beans respectively.


I had heard the pork scratchings were amazing so we ordered these as a cocktail aperitif, they were extremely satisfyingly crunchy and a bit mushy in the right places. The portion was also enormous and we couldn't stop eating them. Unfortunately we would later come to regret this.


Longest bit of crackling I've ever seen
The food arrived really fast (arrival cocktails weren't even finished and we aren't slow drinkers...), good news is it all looked great. We split the two meals between us and I tucked into beef. It looked like a steak consistency but as soon as you touched it it fell apart deliciously. My actual phrasing was "this beef is ridiculous", and it was. I'm not a huge fan of kidney beans but these complimented the beef and were delish.
Pulled pork, waffles and coleslaw
Pit beef, smoked kidney beans
After this I was really looking forward to the pork with high expectations. I went for a huge mouthful (ladylike) and although it was good I was a bit disappointed. My expectations were too high. It was very sticky sweet honey BBQ delicious as it should be, but just not as roll your eyes back into your head and let out a little groan as Pitt Cue was. The coleslaw wasn't even on the same plane. The pork was also accompanied by a waffle, strange combo that kind of worked but I would have preferred a more delicious coleslaw that stood on it's own right needing no requirement for waffles.

We were stuffed pretty quickly as the portions were huge so we opted for a breather and another cocktail. The waitress came over one too many times to ask if we were finished even though our cutlery wasn't in the 'finished' position. She got the hint eventually. There were hundreds of staff milling about and although the restaurant is big there were potentially too many for this time in the evening (8-9ish)

Overall not as good as Pitt Cue in terms of food, atmosphere or value for money, but still a bloody good bit of meat.

Atmosphere: 2.5/5
Food: 3.5/5
Drink: 3.5/5
Overall: 3/5

If it was better value for money the overall would go up, the view alone deserves an extra half of a point.
This is actually the view from Madison

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Thursday, 24 May 2012

Glossybox - 1st Anniversary Edition

I had high expectations with this months Glossybox having been pleasantly delighted with April's edition. My anticipation reached peak level when my box arrived on the same day it was dispatched (amazing) and was HEAVY, this thrilled me - a-lot.

It was my first one that had the trademark pink box...and the wrapping inside was delicious (by this time peopole have crowded around my desk, anticipation is at unbearable levels - especially because usually I don't read the card but look at the products first so it's a surprise!)

On opening the box it looked stuffed full, which I was happy with. So here's what happened next...

The Noble Isle shower gel smells amazing, I prefer it to the recent Molton Brown one. So far so good. These don't last long however but are great for travelling. It's also the first product of it's kind I've seen to incorporate a QR code - how exciting for nerds.


Next up were the falsh lashes, not something I would usually wear due to being a serial glasses wearer, the length of them doesn't really convey due to my bins getting in the way. These are super cute/over the top with the diamant√© on them so I may trim them down and wear them for a laugh at some extravagant night out. I hadn't heard of the brand before and the cost of these wasn't significant (last month I was spoiled with lots of full/large size high quality goods). The value of these is £3.90, for eye lashes this is at the lower end.

The two Lolita Lempicka perfume samples got my attention next, mainly for the wrong reasons. The Narcisso perfume in my first box was gorgeous but they are so small they only really last a couple of sprays so the value doesn't feel as much. I have so many perfumes that I like I tend to not to be in the market for others. I may change my preferences to see if I can avoid getting perfume samples.

Not even last is the Aptiva masks 'express beauty with cucumber'. These are apparently £3.50 per sachet which feels a lot, so hopefully these will be lavishly decadent. I will take them on holiday to repair my sunned skin.

I thought I had been swizzed as I couldn't see the hair treatment one of my friends was excited about after reading the card, the little sneaky pot had camouflaged itself in the black packing paper. The retail price is £19.99 for this aragon oil hair treatment. The size of the sample is only 10ml, so £2 worth. This smells so good I almost wanted to eat it. Ideas mused around the desk were it smells of Haribo or it smells of Red Bull..common denominator? Sugar. My hair is in for a sweet treat. I cannot wait to use probably the whole thing in one sitting. Again, this will be a holiday treat one evening to repair my sun bleached hair.

Overall this month's box isn't as much value as the previous ones and the products aren't necessarily things I'd buy. I will try them however - and it may be fun to be cucumber face masked up with diamant√© eye lashes on...

The ''birthday treats' were a welcome surprise, compact mirrors are always useful but the balloon caused some confusion around the office, it was a nice touch!

Happy Birthday Glossybox - see you next month x
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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Stylistpick



Although coming onto my radar a while back (no thanks to Cheryl Cole) I wasn't sold into Stylistpick. If I was in the market for shoes (their main forte) I would shop for shoes, simple.

It just so happened I have been looking for some new summer wedges. I had perused the shops and online outlets to no avail, then a work friend alerted me to a 2 for £40 offer Stylistpick were doing...it would be rude not to really.

I had to complete my profile even though I would have preferred to browse all and choose what I actually liked rather than what a computer thinks I'm going to like based on 20 fashion related questions. I came out as Classic, sure I'll take that.

I had already seen a pair of wedges I liked in my friends showroom that didn't appear on mine. You can however browse and shop the full collection, which is what I did.

I ordered on Tuesday they arrived the following Monday, not the fastest service and at a cost of £3.50. Free shipping is available but only of you sign up to be a VIP. They don't make the costs associated with this very easy to find. I opted to not do it, as I said I prefer to shop on a requirement basis not just monthly because new styles have been released.

The packaging is excessive But nice and feels like you are buying into quality. To get an idea of size here is my two pairs of packaged shoes compared to the shoes I had on beforehand...

Initially I put one of each on to gauge comfort/which pair would rub. I almost convinced myself I was going to pick a pair and send the others back...who was I kidding for £20 a pair?!

When I had to actually leave the office, I opted to wear these for the day. For c.6 inches they were pretty comfy although I am used to wearing heels most of the time. When I took them off at the end of the day the soles were pretty worn, which is fast as I only popped out at lunchtime and aside from that was in a carpeted office, so they will only likely do a season.






 Here are my second pair...a bit more sophisticated for summer evenings.




So what do you think? Tempted to sign up? If you do I would advise not buying when the showroom comes out but wait for deals like this later on in the month.

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Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Seaside Shenanigans



Being out and about on a Saturday morning by 9am is a rarity and not to be recommended however this particular Saturday we were in Brighton and it was a lovely sunny day.







Usually I stick to the ‘Brighton’ end rather than Hove so have not really been able to appreciate the gorgeous beach huts that align the seafront looking oh so quaint and gorgeous.




We were also treated so a fantastic spread on arrival...it went from this

To this:

Homemade brownie cupcakes, yorkshire puds with a horseradish and beef filling
Smoked salmon blinis, tomato basil and mozzarella goodness


Following a day of wandering around the shoreline and having a lazy lunch it was time to get glam for an evening of cocktails and dancing the night away...what else??
Excellent camera work from S, and some seriously high shoes
Beaut


We somehow ended up crashing the cast of 'Take Me Out's' table 

From the ridiculous shoes I am wearing above are nothing compared to these bad boys! Probably the most awful shoes I've ever seen in my life.

A far more gorgeous pair were the ones S was wearing. I tried them on for a while. It's good being in a group of friends where we are all the same size.

Since shoes are a theme here...here are some gorgeous looking treats in Choccywoccydooda, a fantastic chocolate sculpting shop. They also produce some serious looking cakes.


Ahh I just love Brighton, until next time my old friend...

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