Heroine in Heels

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Le Chalet on the roof

Q Grill Le Chalet (6)

Some people go Skiing in January. High up in the mountains, drinking mulled cocktails in between hitting the slopes. Sadly for me no such holiday was on the cards.

However just because I am not high up on a mountain, doesn't mean I can't indulge in a little apres ski.

Instead of a mountain, I went up high onto the roof of Selfridges.

Q Grill Le Chalet (5)

Up on the 5th floor terrace, the entrance is a thing of beauty.A little tunnel of fairy lights. I don't often like cute things, but I'd happily decorate my hallways like this.

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The restaurant is Selfridges converted terrace. Decked out like a European Chalet, complete with fire and lanterns, it is the perfect way to escape the cold.

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Which leads me nicely onto this thing of beauty. If your feeling a little bit chilly, you have to take a look at their Choctail menu. Hot chocolate mixed with alcohol, if that doesn't warm your cockles I don't know what will.

I'd recommend the Chocolate Orange. A very indulgent mix with cointreau. I was starting to feel my toes again.

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Just try and pace yourself, as I promise you, you'll just want to down that thing.

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I've only been skiing once, when I was 14 as part of a school trip. I don't remember much about it, but I do no being that young there was no parties or indulging in authentic foods.

So I just have to pretend I know what it's like. I'd hope that it would be lots of hot fondue and crusty buttery bread. If not then that's my dream shattered.

Q Grill Le Chalet (12)

For mains it was Slow roast Gressingham duck, white bean & sausage stew for Ness, and Buttermilk chicken schnitzel, blue cheese fondue for me. Again in my head, everyone who skis eats schnitzels.

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With left over cheese fondue, it was only right to have chips to dip.

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And of course to balance out the bad, we had chilli broccoli. I mean everyone knows that healthy cancels out the unhealthy. Therefore no calories consumed. 

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Le Chalet is the perfect mid-shopping stop over being in Selfridge's, however I would recommend booking as it does get pretty packed at peak times.

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But I promise you it will be worth the booking, even if it is just to escape the cold for an hour, and huddle up under one of their blankets.

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Or if you're like me you can play silly games with them, covering your face, and playing peek-a-boo. 

I've told you before, you really can't take me anywhere.

Q Grill Le Chalet (20)

Whilst I may be silly, the desserts certainly aren't. 

You need to find room for these. Just look at them. 

Q Grill Le Chalet (1)

I think this fruit and nut deserves another close up.

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There is one good thing about not going apres skiing up a mountain. You can wear heels and a skirt here. Probably not a good idea in the snow, I'd blend in wearing my gorgeous new Celeb Boutique skirt, and I don't fancy being trampled on by big foot.

Le Chalet at Q Grill
Selfridges & Co
400 Oxford Street
London
W1A 1AB

Monday, 26 January 2015

6 Friends Theory

Mercure Hotel London Bridge (23)

Friday just gone, I headed over to London Bridge to play a game. 

I was kindly invited by Mercure Hotels to join them at their London Bridge hotel to find out all about their current international competition; Six Friend Theory. It's all very exciting, trust me, but I promise I'll get to that. 

First though, it was time to check in and dump my ridiculously heavy bags. I really do need to invest in a new, light weight laptop. Although least I'm getting a mini workout lugging it around. 

Mercure Hotel London Bridge (17)

The hotel has a great modern, but homely vibe. A mixture of clean lines, and chrome, along with brightly coloured soft fabrics and books that are meant to be picked up and read whilst you drink a morning coffee

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On my way to my room, I had a little wander- I'm curious, what can I say? Everywhere is made for you to just feel completely at home. They even have cookies and granola bakes dotted about the place, which magically get topped up when you take one... or three. It's a bit like Grandma's house, you never are without a cookie or a piece of cake.

Mercure Hotel London Bridge (6)

I had a bit of a photographer's moment with these lights. They just made the most beautiful of pictures, so bare with me here. 

Mercure Hotel London Bridge (5) Mercure Hotel London Bridge (18)

Parting from my lights, I stepped into my room for the night. a quirky, funky little room.

Mercure Hotel London Bridge (3)

I absolutely loved the shower art.

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But not as much as the Nespresso machine. How did they know coffee is the second love of my life? Oh wait, don't make me choose between heels and coffee for 1st place!

Mercure Hotel London Bridge (14)

After a quick freshen up, and a coffee, I headed down stairs to join the others for the real reason we were here.

Remember how I mentioned the 6 Friend Theory competition. Well Mercure Hotel's are running a competition based on the 6 degrees of separation theory. The competition winner will travel around the world for 6 weeks, based on their connections and who they meet along the way till they finally end up in Australia to meet an Aborigine. No persons journey would be the same, as the places you visit is based on your connections, or your 6 degrees. It is the most unbelievable trip, and I really do encourage you to enter

However why was I here? You see there is a judging panel for this competition made up of the company directors and leading editors of publications. Yet there is one place left, which they would like a blogger to fill to represent social media. So I was after for this spot. 

Mercure Hotel London Bridge (19)

Us chosen bloggers were to play a game, to prove your social media capabilities and engagement with followers and audiences. It's all well and good having 20,000 followers but if no one is engaged then it doesn't work for a brand. 

After various different tasks, the data would be analysed and a winner chosen. The winner would then fly to Paris to sit on the judging panel. 

I felt like saying:

"Happy Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in your favour"

Mercure Hotel London Bridge (20) Mercure Hotel London Bridge (22)

It was all rather intense and a little like  a school examination to be completely honest.

Mercure Hotel London Bridge (21)

The first task at hand was to get your personal hash tag mentioned as many times as possible within 30 minutes. Now if you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen some strange behaviour from me with the hash tag #LauraH6FT floating around. I do apologise but it was all for this.


A couple of screen grabs to show how much you guys got on board! I can't thank you enough as to how much you helped me and played along. Big Twitter love!

Mercure Hotel London Bridge (1) Mercure Hotel London Bridge (2)

After the 30 minutes were up, who came up on top?

A photo posted by Mercure Hotels UK (@mercurehotelsuk) on

Me! You guys rock!

Now the final task was a little more complicated. We had 45 minutes to perform a set of different tasks to see how good our connections were in the social media space.

They ranged from getting someone to send you a picture with your hashtag written on their face, to finding someone is China and getting them to send you a photo of a bike!

It was all very mad, bizarre and slightly confusing to my friends who were roped in, but people helped which was unbelievable.

At the end I felt shattered, and headed up stairs to lie down before dinner and the big reveal of who had been chosen to go to Paris.

Fish Borough Market (1)

We popped down to Fish! in Borough Market. Well it was Friday after all. Fish Supper Friday duh!

Fish Borough Market (2) Fish Borough Market (3)

I don't remember wine ever being part of my fish suppers growing up though.

Fish Borough Market (4)

Nor Thai fish cakes, but they were a welcomed addition to my tradition.

Fish Borough Market (5)

Ah that looks familiar!

Fish Borough Market (6)

Now I have to say I think it was the sticky toffee pudding that stole the show. It was swimming in toffee sauces. Oh baby!

So as things drew to a close, the winner was announced...


Me!

I can't believe it! I've been chosen to go to Paris and be a judge for the 6 Friends Theory competition.

I am honestly so excited. I've never been to Paris, so it is going to be amazing!

I couldn't have done it without you guys on social media though, so I have one huge great big thank you to say! You guys rock!

Mercure Hotel London Bridge (13)

I think a few celebratory cocktails were rightfully deserved, don't you?

I'll be going to Paris in February, so don't forget to follow my adventure here, and on Twitter and Instagram

Au revoir!

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Thursday, 22 January 2015

Where to go for Burns Night in the Capital

Ah Burns Night, the celebration of Robert Burns, Scotland’s most favored writer and poet. Up until a few years ago, Burns Night passed silently over England. Meh, who is he to us?

However as St Patrick ’s Day has seeming been infused into our calendar, Burns Night is slowly becoming more and more popular.

I’ve found in the past my ‘Round Up’ posts have been pretty popular, as sometimes it’s nice to get a quick snap shot of what’s on, and fast.

So as this year I’m finally embracing the tradition, I thought you might like to know a few gems too.

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Reverend JW Simpson (Don’t worry, I’m not trying to get you into religion, relax, it’s the name of a bar… if slightly odd for a bar) is hosting a series of ‘informative, interactive and irreverent’ Spirited Sermons (See what they did there Spirit… alcohol). Burns Night will mark the first of this new series and will focus on Blended Scotch Whisky. I wouldn’t have thought anything could really be more fitting

If whisky is your poison, then you are in for a treat. The host will join you at your table to discuss all things golden liquid. If you can’t take a full evening of being preached to (Sorry I had to), then don’t fear, Rev JW Simpson’s bartenders will be showing you how to whizz together these flavors to create delicious concoctions. Oh and if you are still steady on your feat, as we all know Burns night can be boozy, you can pop behind the bar and have a go yourself.

Best sermon I bet you’ll ever have.

Tickets, priced at £25, include 2 cocktails and a tasting course of Chivas Deluxe Blended Scotch Whisky

SCOTCH Pop Up Brown's Hotel 1

If you’ve got some dollar to spend, then I think I have the best thing for you in London.

The utterly gorgeous Brown's Hotel is hosting a Burns Night Banquet this Friday 23rd January, hosted by Mark Hix himself, of Hix restaurant and bars. The comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli will also be hosting along with Glemorangie's Dr Bill Lumsden, Head of Distilling and Whisky Creation.

You celebrate the life and poetry of Robbie Burns in an elegant setting whilst eating a traditional Scottish supper with culinary twists from the amazing Hix. Whilst nibbling away, you will be taken through an entertaining tasting of the newly launched Glenmorangie Private Edition VI, by Dr. Bill Lumsden, after which Hix and Hardeep will be flaming the haggis. Yep, a flaming haggis!

Tickets, priced at £110 per person, including matching wines and whiskies.
Reservations can be made on 020 7493 6020 or via email bro-fandb@roccofortehotels.com

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For all you bankers, fear not, you can celebrate Burns Night, even if your working the weekend shift.

Scottish restaurant, Boisdale is having a hootananny in the name of Robert Burns on Saturday 24 January. Think pipers on entrance, poetry reading and the running theme here; haggis. Don't worry there is a three-course Scottish delight that has other treats than just haggis. Oh and some classic Scottish live music all evening.

Tickets start at £52.

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If you looking for something a little more casual, then the Wild Game Co might just be the one for you.

They'll be serving up a different type of haggis every day in the week preceding Burns Night, ending with a grand meat dinner on Jan 24. Don't worry though, there will still be poetry and good ol' a sing-a-long too.

A set £30 menu for the 24th, will include Haggis and Highland venison. Website info here

Scotch, Whisky Bar

Finally, Brown's Hotel is also hosting a SCOTCH pop up bar from 22nd January - 8th February in celebration of Burns Night. SCOTCH is the dedicated whisky bar travelling down to London from its sister hotel The Balmoral in Edinburgh.

It's going to be a haven for all you whisky lovers for a two week period with a stylish display of 40 whiskies that will be available at your drinking disposal. 

So pop down to the pop up quick

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I wanted to end this post on something that didn't come involve heading out. Sometimes you might just want to stay in, and celebrate in your PJ's. So Tom's Kitchen has created a haggis en-croute dish for the Burns Night celebrations; a culinary twist to the traditional Scottish dish.

I've managed to get a copy of the recipe from them, so enjoy.

SERVES 4
INGREDIENTS
  • 4 x 200g Macsween Haggis
  • 4 x 4-5inch (the size of a saucer) squares of Puff Pastry
  • 1 x Egg for egg wash
  • For the neeps & tatties
  • 250g swede, cut into quarters
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp double cream
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 450g potatoes, quartered
METHOD

1. Roll the square of pastry so they are large enough to wrap around the haggis.
2. Place each haggis onto the pastry square, wrap the pastry around the haggis, wash with egg wash and then place in the oven at 180˚C for 25 minutes.
3. For the neeps and tatties, bring a pan of water to the boil, add the swede and cook for 20minutes, or until tender. Drain, then return to the pan, add half of the butter and all of the cream and mash until smooth and season.
4. In a separate pan, bring the water to the boil and add the potatoes. Reduce the heat and then simmer for 20minutes or until tender. Drain well, then return to the pan, add the remaining butter and mash until smooth and season.
5. Once cooked, serve altogether.

What ever you plan to do this weekend, I hope you have lots of whisky and lots of sing alongs. I mean who doesn't love a good tipsy sing song?

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