Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Good Friends and Dirty Martini's

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Life can be so dramatic sometimes. Trouble with housing (story of my life right now), meeting work deadlines, boys, and all the hoo-ha that surrounds London. Don't get me wrong, I love my life, but it can be tiring and sometimes I just want to curl up in my duvet with a big mug of tea and Corrie (What? I'm northern).

However friends don't let friends wallow in tea on their own- they let them wallow over cocktails. I might have missed Corrie, but then our gossiping could give Norris a run for his money. 

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Me, Caroline and Helen decided on Dirty Martini for some cheeky afternoon tipples, and were joined by the lovely Teffy. Although God knows what she thought of our ridiculous banter. We are sane, promise. 

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Dirty Martini have a ridiculously good Happy Hour. In the week its until 10pm! And Saturday until 8pm, so it would be rude to pass up their good grace.

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The Cherry Blossom Martini full of Gin and Cherry Herring liqueur with raspberries, lemon juice and gomme syrup... and a cute little cherry blossom on top. So so good, I could drink a couple of these back to back.

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The Blood Orange and Vanilla Martini with its Absolut Vanilla Vodka shaken with blood orange syrup, Crème de Cassis, lemon juice and orange juice. Tangy yet sweet.

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For the adventurer that was Teffy, the Mango and Chilli Martini. An Absolut Mandarin Vodka shaken with mango liqueur, fresh mango juice, lemon juice and a hint of chilli.

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Dirty Martini is quite a small bar, so if you can, ring up before and ask for a table. Even at 3pm when we went, they were playing good old dance tunes, and the place was packed, which made for a trouble forgetting afternoon.

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Apricot and Grapefruit Martini with  Peach Vodka, apricot liqueur, pink grapefruit juice and a dash of Peychaud’s Bitters. 

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Passion Fruit Martini. Gin with Passoa and fresh passion fruit juice, my kind of drink. 

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Helen had the Espresso Martini. Vodka, Kahlua, Butterscotch Schnapps and espresso. I shudder at the thought of this. Sorry, but can it actually be nice? It is a well known fact that I like my girly drinks.

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We gossiped about our love lives, the pros and cons of taxi's (me and Caroline had made a London faux par by getting a taxi approximately 100 meters down the road- we swear we didn't know it was that close!) and we tried to show off our new found Cheese and Champagne knowledge. We may have stumbled when we our descriptions hit 'It tasted... cheesy'. 

Right now I am on top of the world in life. I feel like I have really achieved something, and made a life for myself down here in London. I have a fantastic job, I've been exploring the hell out of London, and have got to experience some amazing things, but it is my friends who keep me grounded and sane. 

Well you can't tell your fancy Mayfair bartender your life woes can you? Well, you can try after a couple of drinks...

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Monday, 28 October 2013

High Street Halloween

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A misty chill in the air, creeps silently over the English Streets. Worried parents rush inside as something terrible looms towards them. Monsters! ... with candy buckets?

It can mean one thing- its Halloween.

Gory and devilishly fun, I love Halloween, a rare opportunity now that I'm no longer a student to dress up and dust off the face paint.

Halloween can be an expensive time though, an outfit that we are going to wear once, and no there literally is nowhere else you can wear those ridiculous glow in the dark headbands too. So VoucherCodes* challenged me to do Halloween for under £50 this year, with a few savvy codes, bobs your uncle, Halloween on a budget and no one would be any the wiser. Follow me. 

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You really don't need to splash out on expensive face paint for Halloween, instead utilise what you already have. Liquid and pencil eye-liner are a god send. For my face slashes, I drew 2 lines down my face with my liquid liner, then went over with my pencil liner, and smudged it with my finger. 

The only thing I would invest in, is good old Fake Blood. I got mine from Claire's, which I found through Voucher Codes as there are some great online discount codes right now for Claire's. 

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I wanted to go as something a little bit glam this year, but still with the ghoulish twist, so I decided to go as a horror masquerade. Think decadent party, debauchery and sophisticated, only suddenly for a hideous creature of the night to crash through and rip the beauties to shreds. Yeah, that kind of thing...

Accessorize has some gorgeous pieces, including this utterly fabulous mask and fan. I know I said Halloween outfits you never wear again, well I might revoke that for the fan. Is it too pretentious to carry it around London with me?

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Last year at a Halloween party I ended up covered in blood. Down my front, up my back, on my legs. Hugging, dancing, fake blood gets everywhere, so for me, there really is no need to splash out on that expensive dress- save that for actual normal wear. Trust me that's when people will care. 

I picked up this little slip dress from H&M at a steal for £17.99. On its own though it is a bit... meh, so again in Claire's, I found a mullet tutu, so added that underneath to give it volume and extra detail.

Mask- Accessorize- £12
Fan- Accessorize- £8
Fake Blood- Claires- £3
Tutu- Claires- £16
Dress- H&M- £17.99
Total= £53.99

However... woah slow down, I know the challenge was to do it under £50 and it would seem I failed but, I actually got this dress for, drum roll please, £13.50! As I found a voucher online which if you sign up to H&M's newsletter you get 25% off! Bargain!

Now excuse me while I go scare some parents. Mwahhah


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Friday, 25 October 2013

Kensington Roof Gardens

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I moved to London 8 weeks ago for work. My job means everything to me, and I work extremely hard. However, in true London spirit I have embraced the Work Hard, Play Hard culture. Burning the candle at both ends? Maybe, but its London baby!

However I have a dirty little secret, while its no news that I have been making my presence known around the bars of London, I haven't been clubbing yet. How is this possible when London has such an infamous night life? Caroline agreed, and so spur of the moment we headed out into London- after hours.

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Caroline pinged over a quickly email to London Lux, the most credible, exclusive guest list organisers in London and they were on it in a flash, and got us a last minute table at Kensington Roof Gardens- No queues, our own area, no messing. 

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We even were given our very own host for the night.  If you want to part, you party with these guys it seems! My first London night life lesson learnt.

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We were even treated to a watering can of cocktail- now there's a sentence I never thought I'd say.

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By the way, you may recognise my dress from my previous post- I told you I could make it night time worthy.

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Now as a London clubbing newbie, Caroline chose the venue. We shimmied up to the 3rd floor to dance the night away. However its what's on the outside that counts with Roof Gardens. 

A secret garden awaits, of tropical plants, Spanish terraces, and exotic flare. It was truly magical. 

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Glamorous, sexy, and that little bit different. We shimmied and wiggled until the earlier hours. Then when my moves got like this, we decided it was taxi time. 

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Until the next time London, I'll be back.

Disclaimer: London Lux invited us to join them for the night. In no way does this affect my post- as you can see I was clearly loving life.

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Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Pinafores and Lace Ups

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Do you remember back when us 90's kids were young, Pinafores were the school fashion to have? Suddenly, they became deeply uncool, and I'd huff and puff in the uniform shop when my mum would hold up said incriminating garment and coo 'Oh its so cute!'. Cute?! I was going into year 6, there will be non of this cute business!

Roll on 12 years and there still wont be any of this cute business; Pinafore, meet lace up heels, your anti cute hero.

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Pinafore- Zara
Crop Top- H&M
Necklace- Independent Boutique
Tights- Pretty Polly from Tights Please
Heels- Zara

Some girls crave chocolate, I crave heels, so I was practically incoherent with withdrawal syndrome when I found these saviours in Zara.  I'm a huge fan of Aquazzura, and I think these a pretty good replacements for pre- pay day cravings. 

The Pinafore definitely requires a top underneath (Or does it? Watch this space) however to keep this out of the cute zone, a frisky little crop top, restored balance. This is also a great way to re-wear your summer crop tops in less than summer conditions.

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If only my 10 year old self could see me now. I wonder what she would think to me actively buying a pinafore? Probably shudder. Oh I was such pain as a child!
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