My September Restaurant Picks

Emilias Pasta

Right on the water at St Katherines Dock, this hidden gem is the perfect restaurant for small groups or a party of two. Producing homemade, Italian pasta, the food is absolutely delicious and very reasonably priced! Not only that, but St Katherines Dock is the prettiest location, hidden away in the heart of central London. You can also book this restaurant, however seats outside/by the water are served on a first come first served basis.

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Plot

Amongst the chaos of Tooting Market is Plot, a British restaurant focused on small plates served in a small, clean-lined setting. This small restaurant is not to go unnoticed, as the food is stunning and super unusual! The menu is small but you can choose from a variety of plates.

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NAC

I came across NAC’s famous Dulce de Leche pancakes on Instagram, and knew I had to go and try them. This French bistro does brunch, lunch and dinner, serving a mixture of modern plates. I tried the restaurant for brunch and cocktails one Saturday afternoon, and would definitely go back to try another menu! The service was great, the food was delicious, and needless to say those pancakes were sensational! As NAC is in Mayfair, dishes are on the pricier side, but it is definitely worth the visit!

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Boqueria in Brixton

My love for tapas never seems to end, and Boqueria in Brixton and Battresea is no exception. This restaurant is perfect for larger groups, who love to share delicious tapas. The menu consists of traditional Spanish tapas and the food is yummy – another restaurant I will be returning too in the future.

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Via Instagram: @boqueria_tapas

September Beauty Favourites

 

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 30ml:

This product is amazing for hydration! Hyaluronic Acid (HA) can attract up to 1,000 times its weight in water and can be applied either in the morning or evening before your other face creams. This product also contains Vitamin B5 which also enhances surface hydration. If you have dry skin in any way, I would highly recommend this product! The Ordinary products are also so cheap for what they are, given their concentrated formulas. Available on ASOS.com, beautybay.com and feelunique.com.

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Wetbrush:

Similar to the Tangle Teaser, the Wetbrush was created to be used on both wet and dry hair. Hair is weakest when wet, and pulling at it can snap it like a rubber band. This is why you should brush with a tool that gently loosens knots without pulling or breaking hair. I cannot get over how great this product is, and have really found a difference in the condition of my hair. I have also recommended it to friends who have said they love it! The standard brush is £12 but I recently found them in TK Maxx for £3.99! Also available on cultbeauty.com, beautybay.com and boots.com

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The Ordinary Retinol 0.5% in Squalane 30ml £4.90:

This water-free solution contains 0.5% pure Retinol, an ingredient that can reduce the appearances of fine lines, of photo damage and of general skin ageing.

Retinol not only works by stimulating the production of newer cells, and thus has great anti-ageing properties, but also works to reduce dark spots, hyperpigmentation, skin effects from hormonal changes and blemish/acne scarring. By putting the product in squalene it means it is less abrasive on the skin. The brand recommends putting this product on at night and it always use SPF if you are in solar exposure after use. Available on ASOS.com, beautybay.com and feelunique.com.

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Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder foundation 40 ml:

Over the past year and a half, I have stopped wearing foundation during weekdays, as I like letting my skin breathe Monday to Friday. However, for weekends and events, I like to wear foundation for fuller coverage. Overall, my skin is quite good and tends to not take too well to heavy, matte foundations. So I began my search for a light-weight foundation, that doesn’t dry my skin and provides me with long lasting coverage.

I had always heard great reviews about CT foundations, so I decided to try their Light Wonder foundation, and I have honestly not looked back. Finally I have found a foundation with light coverage, a dewy finish and a product that blends into my skin rather than sitting on top of the surface. I wear shade 5, as I would always wear fake tan at weekends. Available on CT website or feelunique.com.
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Brunch, Brush and Bubbles

Last Saturday I spent a wonderful day in London’s Notting Hill. The day started off with brunch at The Dayrooms Café. A tiny café, 5 minutes walk from Ladbroke Grove station, this little gem is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. The menu is a mix of traditional brunch food, with a few alternative dishes thrown in there too. The service was excellent and the food was delicious, although if you go at peak times, I would imagine you will have to queue. We went slightly after midday, and managed to get a table immediately.

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From there, we walked 10 minutes to The Eagle pub, where the Brush and Bubbles afternoon was being held. Brush and Bubbles is a project for people of all creative abilities, to be able to create something wonderful (whilst sipping a glass of bubbly!) The founders love the idea of bringing people together and encouraging them to be creative.

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Their classes are not about being ‘good’ at painting, but more about people coming together to chat, paint, drink and enjoy. I went along with two of my girlfriends and we had such a fun afternoon! The class is super relaxing, and the artists are there to guide you, regardless of your ability. At the end of the class, you walk away with your own masterpiece, on canvas, that you can bring home!
The class is £35 to do and I would definitely recommend it to anyone living in London or paying it a visit anytime soon! You can buy tickets online on their website http://www.brushandbubbles.com/londontickets.

My August Restaurant Picks

I am always trying to explore new and exciting restaurants in London and the list seems to never end. Here are my favourite restaurants I have tried in the last month:

Hispania: Spanish Tapas

I absolutely adore tapas, and London is bursting with great Spanish tapas restaurants! I came across Hispania through an old work colleague of mine, who I was meeting for dinner one evening. Directly beside Exit 6 at Bank Station, the building alone is spectacular! With beautiful, high ceilings and fantastic service, Hispania ticks all the boxes before you have even tried the food! The menu is a mix of tapas and main dishes, ranging from traditional tapas, to tapas with a more exotic twist. The menu is fairly standard in terms of pricing – it isn’t cheap, but it isn’t extortionate either. It also takes bookings!

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Flour & Grape: Cheap and cheerful homemade, Italian pasta

Bermondsey Street strikes again! It seems, when it comes to food, that Bermondsey Street can do no wrong! Flour and Grape is located about an 8-10 minute walk from London Bridge station, and is every pasta lover’s heaven! All their pasta is made from scratch and has a range of dishes from prawn linguine, to tomato and aubergine rigatoni. The food is amazing value and they take reservations for lunch, but dinner is walk-in only.

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Cinnamon Bazaar: Twist on Indian Food

I actually came across Cinnamon Bazaar by chance, while in Covent Garden one evening and I will definitely be returning! An Indian based menu, the food was absolutely fantastic and ranged from both small to large dishes. The food is very reasonable and not too heavy, like traditional Indian food. I would definitely recommend getting a few of the small plates and trying different dishes from the menu!

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German Gymnasium:

I am not going to lie, when I heard I was going to a German restaurant recently I wasn’t entirely convinced, as I am not the biggest fan of German food. However, having been to this restaurant, my opinions have completely changed. A converted Gymnasium beside Kings Cross station, the building is simply stunning. The food is quite unusual but absolutely delicious! Prices are on the higher end of the scale, but if you are making an evening out of it, it is definitely worth it! You can enjoy this Mittel-European inspired menu for breakfast lunch or dinner, and late night glamour at the chic Meister Bar.

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London’s Prettiest Cafés

Let’s be honest, we are all suckers for a pretty, floral café, and London is just bursting with them! Here are my favourite, most Instagrammable spots in London…

 

FEYA CAFE

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PEGGY PORSCHEN

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DOMINIQUE ANSEL

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SAINT AYMES

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ELAN CAFÉ

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BISCUITEERS

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AUBAINE SELFRIDGES

 

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DALLOWAY TERRACE

 

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Villefranche

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I have had the pleasure of being invited to the beautiful French town of Villefranche for the past two years, by one of my oldest friends. About 10-15 minutes outside of Nice, this town allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of Nice whilst boasting the most incredible views of the French Riviera.

One of the most amazing things about the South of France is how easily accessible each of the towns are. From Villefranche you can get trains/buses to Monaco, Nice, Eze, Saint Tropez, Cannes, Antilles and Italy.

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How to get there?

The easiest airport to get to Villefranche from is Nice airport. From there, you can get an Uber which takes about 20 minutes, and is about 22/23 euro in price. The cheaper option is to get the bus. During the day the 98 leaves directly from the airport and brings you straight into Nice. From Nice, you can get either the 100/81 bus to Villefranche.  The cost for the first bus is 6 euro and the second bus to Villefrance is only 1.50 euro. If you are flying into Nice later in the evening, there is a late night bus you can get straight from the airport (100,) however this service only runs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. There is an information point at the airport should you have any further questions when you arrive.

 

Restaurants I would recommend:

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La Mère Germaine  (high end restaurant)

La Belle Etoile

La Grignotiere

Les Garçons

Cosmo

Bistrot du Creux

For ice cream: Soléa Gelateria Di Corsica

 

Day trips:

For coffee: There is a beautiful coastal walk to Beaulieu (French town next to Villefranche.) Le Gran Caffe is a great spot for a morning coffee, if you fancy spending the morning outside Villefranche.

Italy: Ospedaletti is easily accessible from Villefranche and has a beautiful, cycle track, converted from a railway line. To get there, take the train to Ventimiglia from Villefranche, followed by the Sanremo (Line 2) bus to Ospedaletti. The track is flat and very easy to cycle on. Afterwards, I would definitely recommend stopping off for pizza at Baixarico on the seafront.

France: A lot of other French towns across the South of France are easily accessible via train or bus from Villefranche, and are perfect for day trips. You can use trainline.eu for timetables and bookings.

 

NICE

With Nice being only 10-12 minutes away, we visited a few nice restaurants in both the new and old towns. The bestofniceblog.com is a definite go-to for restaurants and things to do, so definitely check that out for more information. The main shopping street is Jean Médecin and has a number of high street stores including Galleries Lafayette, Zara, Zara Home, H&M, Mango etc.

Restaurants I would recommend in Nice:

Le Neuf Cinquante (950) 

Badaboom

Jaks

Chez Palmyre (Traditional French food in Old Town)

Bistrot d’Antoine (Old Town)

Lac (gorgeous Chocolate shop)

For ice cream I would recommend Fenochio in the Old Town

Things to do in London

Often it can be hard to think of non-traditional/non-tourist activities to do in London, so I have complied a list of fun and different things to do in London, whilst also including some of the more traditional, tourist attractions.

 

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London Activities:
Day trip to Brighton (check out my blog post on this)
Day trip to Oxford (check out my blog post on this)
Luxury cinemas (Electric Cinema, Curzon at Mondrian Hotel, Everyman Belsize Park, Olympia Cinema Barnes)
Shopping (Oxford Street, Sloane Square/Kings Road, Covent Garden, Canary Wharf, Westfield)
Afternoon Tea (Check out my Ultimate Brunch List post for the list of afternoon tea spots)
Food markets (Check out my Ultimate Brunch List post for the list of markets)
Bottomless Brunch (Check out my Ultimate Brunch List post for the list of bottomless brunch places)

 

Tourist Activities:
 London Eye
 Tower of London
 Buckingham Palace
  Kensington Palace
 Hyde Park
  Big Ben
Covent Garden
The Shard
Camden Town
Westminster Abbey
  Hampton court

The Churchill War Rooms. They were used or recreated in the movie the Darkest Hour.

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Galleries and Museums
Saatchi Gallery
Imperial War Museum
Victoria and Albert museum

The British Museum

The Tate Modern

The Portrait Gallery