Friday, 30 January 2015

Alternative Food Delivery Services

Lunchbox London (3)

Growing up, take away wasn't a thing in my house. I had my first take away when I went to university, probably some less than appetising Chinese.

To be completely honest I don't really like takeaways, I mean every so often I do want to devour a big fat Domino's, but when someone says takeaway my mind usually conjurers fatty, Indian sauces and soggy spring rolls. 

However, with last year being the year of health, there are a few new kids on the "takeaway" block. These are the alternative food delivery services that will be your lazy go to, with out the guilt. 

Lunchbox London (8)

Lunch  Box London

Lunch Box London are your new lunch best friend. 

I'll be completely honest, I buy my lunch every day at work. I like going to the shops, for the walk, oh I'm not really sure why, as I always just get a boring packaged sandwich.

Yet there is something that will revolutionise the cross over between home made and bought lunches. 

Lunchbox London (2)

Fresh, healthy and only wholesome ingredients, every day there is a new choice of 2 dishes which changes every single week. 

Plus they even have their own nutritionist make balanced lunches with a protein source, fresh vegetables and a portion of whole grains.

But the best part, they delivery it to your desk (or reception in the case of my stingy office) at lunch time from their eco-friendly push bike.

Lunchbox London (9)

I went for the delicious sounding Surmac molasses beef sirloin strips, with tzatziki, grilled broccoli and herby quinoa. 

It was utterly delicious, so flavoursome and much better than anything I could have bought down at Pret. But then I think you'll agree from these pictures. Just look how beautiful it looks too. 

Lunchbox London (1) Lunchbox London (4) Lunchbox London (6)

It's one lunch box to certainly perk up your day, even if you lunch view is just skyscrapers from your desk. 

Lunchbox London (5)

Oh and did I mention they do little sweet treats too for an afternoon treat? The cutest banana and chocolate loaves were right there at my desk, when that 4pm lull hit.

Lunchbox London (7)

They delivery all over London, so next time you fancy something home made for lunch but just can't be bothered to cook something, I'd pop onto Lunch Box London's website.


Marley Spoon (4)

Marley Spoon

Ah dinner time, you either love it or hate it. The dilemma of first deciding what to cook, and then having to go out and source the ingredients, oh and then actually cook it. Effort.

Whilst I might not be able to solve the cooking part without giving you the number to Domino's, I can take all the leg work out... OK not me exactly, but Marley Spoon can.

Marley Spoon (7)

Like Lunch Box London, there are weekly changing dishes to choose from. Again all healthy, nutritionally balanced. First select your meal of choice, then a few days later a box arrives at your front door, 

Packaged inside is all your ingredients, all measured out, and weighed for you.

Marley Spoon (5) Marley Spoon (6)

Slightly more work than your local Chinese, but with a recipe this simple looking, it really isn't rocket science. 

Marley Spoon (8)

I ordered Devonshire Chicken Supreme with Middle Eastern Rice and a Carrot and Almond Salad. A home cooked dish my mother would be proud of.

Marley Spoon (10)

So when I said fresh ingredients, I really meant it. Carrots, lemons, and 10g of coriander, already weighed for me so no waste.  

Marley Spoon (11)

Even the spices are perfectly measured.

Marley Spoon (12) Marley Spoon (9) Marley Spoon (13)

Just follow the plan, popping the ingredients in the pan and watch as your master chef worthy dinner cooks before you.

Marley Spoon (14)

Ta dah! Is that the best looking "Takeaway" you've seen?

Marley Spoon (2) Marley Spoon (1) Marley Spoon (15)

You can't get a fresher delivery than straight out of the pan. 

The chicken dish really was delicious, and even the boyfriend gave it s big thumbs up, which when it comes to my cooking is high praise indeed.

If you hate having to decide what to cook and having to go get it, then use the time you would have been searching though another Gordon cook book to log onto Marley Spoon.


Seriously guys, we can't eat out all the time, but I realise it can be hectic to put together lunch and dinner, so give yourselves a break once in a while, and get a "Takeaway".

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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.

Q Grill Le Chalet (3)

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.

Q Grill Le Chalet (10) Q Grill Le Chalet (19) Q Grill Le Chalet (7)

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.

Q Grill Le Chalet (8) Q Grill Le Chalet (9)

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

Q Grill Le Chalet (11)

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.

Q Grill Le Chalet (15) Q Grill Le Chalet (13)

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

Q Grill Le Chalet (14)

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. 

Q Grill Le Chalet (18)

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.

Q Grill Le Chalet (17)

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.

Q Grill Le Chalet (16)

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.

Q Grill Le Chalet (2) Q Grill Le Chalet (4)

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
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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

Mercure Hotel London Bridge (15) Mercure Hotel London Bridge (16)

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.

Mercure Hotel London Bridge (4)

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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