Recent Reads

I have have never been a big reader. Even as a child, reading was a chore and I envied all of the other kids, who enjoyed spending hours delving into different books.

However with age, I have pushed myself to read more, and more importantly to read books I am genuinely interested in. I am definitely one of those people who is glued to her phone, so taking time to remove myself from screen time is very important. 

To start my journey, last Christmas I invested in a kindle! For those who have either long or tedious commutes, I would highly recommend investing in one of these. They are so handy and slip into your handbag, without the bulk of a normal book. 

So here are the books I have either read or am reading at the moment and would recommend:

 

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morries & The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz by Denis Avey:

Okay I have a slight fascination with the Holocaust (bizarre I know) but both of these books are a great read and based on true stories. I think I prefer for the former to the latter, in terms of the storyline and the way it is written. It reads a lot more like a novel than ‘The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz.’

 

 

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck by Sarah Knight:

So I havnt finished this book just yet, but if you are in the mood for a bit of life inspiration, and self-reflection then this is the book for you. Warning: it says ‘fuck’ a lot! This hilarious and practical book explains how to rid yourself of unwanted obligations, shame and guilt – and give your f**ks to people and things that make you happy instead!

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Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg:

This woman is my new favourite, leading lady! COO of Facebook, Sheryl draws on the realities of women in the workplace and how altough we are making progress, we still have a long way to go! Sherly highlights situations and attitudes in the workplace, that not only do we take for granted, but that we don’t even realise are situations of ineuality. This is an important read for both men and women, so that we can begin the move forwards towards equality! An eye-opening read I would highly recommend! 

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A lighter read! Sleeping Arrangements by Sophie Kinsella

I love Sophie Kinsella for a light, holiday read! Her books are easy reads with a light storyline. ‘Sleeping Arrangements’ is one of the most recent book of hers I have read, but overall her books are a great go-to for an easy, holiday read!

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March & April London Restaurant Picks

Because of 3 weeks of travel in March, I have decided to combine my March and April London Restaurant Picks! Looking back there has actually been quite a few new spots I have tried over the last number of weeks! Here are my top picks:

 

The Locals Café

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Lina Stores:

A pasta haven in Leicester Square

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MilkTeeth in Tooting Broadway

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José on Bermondsey Street

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Mud in Tooting Broadway

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Mugen in Farringdon

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MUD (oldie but a goodie) in Tooting Broadway
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Brew in Clapham Junction

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Artusi in Peckham

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Maltby Street Market near London Bridge

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Sea Salt & Dark Chocolate covered Dates

Whilst being off sweet things for lent, I have been trying to find a healthy alternative to sweets/cakes and chocolate covered dates are my absolute favourite! Filled with coconut almond butter and sprinkled with sea salt, these treats are to die for!

Ingredients:
  • Dates (any kind but the bigger the dates the better -bejouled dates)
  • Coconut Almond Butter (Pip&Nut) or any almond butter will do
  • 70% Dark chocolate
  • Sea Salt
Method:
1. Line a tray with parchment paper

2. Pit and open the dates half way so they are easy to fill

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3. Spoon in almond butter into each date

 

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4. Melt the dark chocolate and using a spoon, pour over each date

 

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5. Sprinkle sea salt over each of the dates whilst the chocolate is still wet

 

6. Place in fridge for a minimum of 25 minutes so they chocolate cools

Cowshed Spa: Primrose Hill

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Earlier this week I spent a glorious afternoon at one of the Cowshed spas in Primrose Hill.

Their biggest branch in London, the Cowshed spa in Primrose Hill is only a 4 minute walk from Chalk Farm station.

A café and spa in one, the experience is simply delightful. With a range of different services available, there is a treatment for everyone. On this occasion I went for a 60 minute deep tissue massage (price: £110.) I also decided to head there an hour and a half early to try their delicious food and coffee. Each treatment comes with a free tea or coffee, that you can have pre or post treatment depending on what you want. The whole environment is super chilled and zen and the staff are really helpful and nice.

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My treatment was amazing and they only use their own Cowshed products which are available to purchase both in the spa and online!  Vouchers can also be bought in store or online and are a great gift to give! I would recommend booking as far in advance as possible however as appointments can get booked up very quickly.

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So if you’re feeling like pampering yourself or a friend/family member, then I would definitely recommend checking out Cowshed.

March Haul

Boohoo

Leopard Print Sweetheart Neckline Crop Top

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Satin Button Through Blouse

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River Island

 

ZARA

GATHERED SLEEVE DRESS

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FADED-EFFECT T-SHIRT (in black and white)

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Polka-dot jacquard dress

Handy for work with tights and boots or casual with trainers.

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NEW LOOK

New Look is my new favourite place for jewellery so picked up these earrings for less than £4!

 

Gold Reticulated Midi Hoop Earrings

 

London: My February Restaurant Picks

Bar Douro:

As far as I can remember, I don’t think I have ever been to a Portuguese restaurant before in the UK, let alone a Portuguese tapas restaurant. Located at Flat Iron Square, Bar Duoro did not disappoint. Small in size, this place is the perfect spot for a couple or small group, who enjoy great wine and sharing plates.

$$$: It isn’t cheap, but also is not overly expensive – would definitely recommend this place going forward!

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Gunpowder:

I’ll be honest, I rarely eat Indian food, and I don’t remember the last time I was in an Indian restaurant. However, after visiting Gunpowder, my thoughts have completely changed! The food was simply delicious! Indian small plates, with a modern twist, this restaurant is suitable for both meat lovers and vegetarians alike. You can’t book so be prepared to queue/put your name down and wait, particularly in the Spitalfields branch. However, it is all worth the wait.
$$: The food is reasonable priced and not overly expensive.

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MILK (Brunch Spot)

I have been to MILK several times, as I live in Balham, and yet I don’t think I have really mentioned it in my blog before. This is definitely one of my local favourites, however on weekends be prepared to queue. Due to popularity this place regularly has queues out the door! It’s the perfect spot for coffee, breakfast, lunch or brunch!

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Senior Ceviche:

Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get pictures when I visited this restaurant, but I will definitely be returning in the future. A Peruvian restaurant, this place also focuses on small plates and is absolutely delicious! Meat and fish focused, the vibe is very causal, encouraging sharing and Peruvian beers. It is also in the super cool spot that is Kingly Court on Carnaby Street.

$$: Mid-range prices

Good Egg

Also in Kingly Court is Good Egg, a cool brunch spot in the heart of central London. (They also have other locations) This place does not take bookings so be prepared to queue, although the venue is big enough that you shouldn’t be waiting too long. The food is delicious and given the name is egg focused, but includes other dishes too! The restaurant serves Jewish-inspired breakfast, brunch, lunch + dinner, plus craft beers, natural wines + cocktails.

$$: Mid-range prices

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Other:

Flotsam and Jetsam (Wandsworth Common): Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch spot

Les Petits Gourmets (near Warwick Avenue): Gorgeous French restaurant

 

 

The Cotswolds

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Earlier this week I spent 2 nights in the beautiful, English countryside. The Cotswolds is notoriously famous for being one of the most ‘quintessentially English’ and unspoiled areas in England. The area is known for its river valleys, beautiful brickwork and sleepy towns.

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How to get there:

You can drive to the Cotswolds, however on this occasion we were not in the mood to take on that challenge! Instead, we got the train straight from Paddington Station to Honeybourne. The hotel is about a 10-15 minute drive from there and the hotel can book a taxi for you. We booked our tickets well in advance and got them for £10 return on trainline.com! The taxi will be about £18 each way from the station to the hotel.

 

The Hotel:

We stayed in The Lygon Arms Hotel in Broadway. Broadway is one of the most quaint and beautiful towns I have ever seen, and looks like it is fresh out of the movie ‘The Holiday!’ This Mr & Mrs Smith hotel was the perfect location for us, as the premises are located right on the high street, in the centre of town. Friendly staff, an old school look and feel and good food, I would definitely recommend this hotel going forward.

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Food/Restaurants:
  • Russels: Main restaurant/fish and chips
  • Tea Rooms & Cafes: The Bakehouse, Market Pantry, The Tea Set Broadway, Hunter’s of Broadway.
  • No. 32: Nice spot for fresh juices/smoothies, coffees, sandwiches and cakes. This is definitely more modern than the other traditional, Tea Rooms
  • Lygon Arms Wine Bar

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  • Lygon Arms Bar & Grill
  • Broadway Hotel restaurant (photos below)

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Things to do in Broadway:

The Cotswolds/Broadway is a very sleepy town, so prepare to seriously relax!

1. Walk to the Tower (Broadway Tower, Worcestershire) This is a 45 minute walk up and back and boasts great views of the town of Broadway.

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2. Swim/Sauna/Spa at the hotel
3. Try the local tea/cake shops and restaurants

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4. Browse the shops for local products and gifts

I would recommend stocking up on books, movies and board games that you can use whilst relaxing in the hotel.

 

Couple of things to note:

1. Book the spa in advance (month or so in advance) as it was fully booked a week before we arrived.
2. For walks, bring shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Some hotels provide wellies but its good to have a pair just in case.
3. Book your train ticket and any restaurants you want to visit in advance.