Heroine In Heels is a top 10 London lifestyle blog aimed at the modern day woman. Covering things to do in London, restaurant reviews, hotels as well as where to go in the world when you want to escape London

Heroine In Heels is a top 10 London lifestyle blog aimed at the modern day woman. Covering things to do in London, restaurant reviews, hotels as well as where to go in the world when you want to escape London

As my blog name would suggest I’m a big high heel lover. I just adore the way they make me feel- tall, sexy, sophisticated. However being a student at university again, kind of renders me to put them aside for a trusty old pair of flats. Nobody wears heels in the day on campus; they’re hardly the logical pairing to a pair of track pants and a hoodie!

I couldn’t stoop that low though, I love fashion too much, yet my basic white loafers were seriously hammering my style cred. I needed to up my game, flats style!

So say hello to these bad boys!

They’ve got some serious bling on them. Or as my friend said- weaponry! Surprisingly they are really comfy, although yes, they do catch on the corners of chairs, tables...

I bought mine from a little boutique in town, however Missguided do a similar pair here.

Another reason why flats are an essential around campus is that people just walk so slow here. If you were in heels your feet would be majorly burning by mid day. And another thing, people just seem to walk right at you! Although I suppose with these beauties on my feet, if they did get too close, they’d soon learn their lesson...

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I have a confession to make. I am probably going to draw gasps from beauty bloggers everywhere, but I use a male cleanser.

I was catching up with my friend the other day, when she returned from my bathroom with a look of puzzlement on her face.

‘Why do you have L’Oreal Men Expert in your bathroom? 
Is there someone you’re not mentioning?’

Sadly the truth was far less juicy. However it did make me think that I’ve been holding out on you as honestly it sounds so odd, but this is my ultimate cleansing product and I think L’Oreal are missing a trick here with the women’s market.

L'Oreal charcoal face wash

N.B – You can learn how to do my Checkered Nails here

Last year I live with a guy who worked in marketing at L’Oreal- suffice to say I loved the fact that new products constantly drifted into my life. One day he came home and asked me to try this soon to be new product- L'Oreal Men Expert Extreme Charcoal Wash

Apparently the trial panel had found it too extreme, making their faces too tight and ‘squeaky’, so  he wanted some outsider perspective, however living with all girls meant we’d have to do.

Now sadly I’m no natural beauty, every morning will admit, I apply quite a lot of makeup, which means come bed time, it’s an effort to cleanse away, and I struggle to find products that are hard core enough for my war like paint. Also I'm a bit lazy, so I splashed my make up’d face with water, loosened my makeup a tad, and proceeded to apply the cleanser! After giving my face a scrub, I washed it off, looked in the mirror and- well! My face was honestly clean and makeup free! It had succeeded where other dedicated makeup removal cleansers had failed.
L'Oreal charcoal face wash

I do agree that the cleanser is quite strong, and my skin does feel a little tight afterwards, but nothing a good dose of night cream won’t fix. While the cleanser does come out black, which isn’t the most appealing to girls, it foams up white and doesn’t leave any ‘man’ smells.

I swear L’Oreal would have a killer product if they repacked and rebranded this for girls, as I swear by it now. So yes, it’s probably not convention, but honestly girls, it’s good! 

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After last week having to sport ‘work appropriate’ nails, I was in dire need to get back to normal- which for me means some crazy nail art. I’ve wanted to step up my game for a while, so I got reacquainted with eBay and bought some nail art tape for 99p! You just can't go wrong with that! For anyone not familiar with it, it’s basically very very very thin Sellotape. You can use it as decoration, as it comes in a multitude of colours, or you can use it to create straight edges and other shapes.

I thought while I get used to it I would keep it simple, so I decided on a simple checkered effect.

To recreate you will need:
  • Maybelline Express Finish- 865 Turquoise Green
  • 17 Supreme Shine Nail Polish- Sphinx
  • No7 Stay Perfect Nail Colour- Milan
  • NYC Expert Last Nail Polish- 134 Pinstripe White
  • Jessica Custom Nail Colour- 395 Gelle
  • Nail art tape - Link to seller I used

First paint all over your nails with NYC White and let it completely dry.

Next, cut strips of your nail tape and place a strip end to end down the centre and then 2 strips horizontal creating a grid effect.

Using the varying colours, paint each section a different colour, if the colour goes slightly onto the tape that’s OK, that’s the point!

Once all sections are dry, very carefully pull off the tape.

Top coat it and admire. 

The tape was really easy to use, although a little fiddly if you lost the end of the roll! Anyone got any cool suggestions of what else I could do with the tape?

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When I’m stressed I bake.  Some people go the gym, some people listen to music. I bake. I’m like the anti gym goers really.

This week has been pretty stressful. I’ll say my stress levels at times have gone through the roof and off into outer space sometimes. I’ve probably never cried so much in my life, which has led to some very awkward moments including many lecturers having to pass the tissues! So to give my lecturer a break, I decided I needed to get reacquainted with my spatula and wooden spoon.

This recipe is a win win situation in my view- baking being a great stress relief, but maybe more importantly, the indulging in chocolate. It can only have positive effects on the mind. However times like this call for a little more than simple Dairy Milk.

My Chocolate and caramel syrup blondies are the ultimate in feel good food. Soft yet sticky, chewy and chocolatey. I’m feeling less stressed just thinking about them!

To make 12 you will need:
  • 250g plain flour 
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 300g soft light brown sugar 
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 egg yolk 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • Pinch of salt 
  • 350g Galaxy Caramel chocolate
  • 60ml Maple Syrup
  • A preheated oven at Gas Mark 5/ 190 C 
In a mixing bowl, sift in the flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.

In a saucepan, slowly melt your butter. Once done, pour in your maple syrup and stir in the sugar, until fully combined.

Take off the heat, and add in your egg and egg white and mix. Once it is looking all brown and gooey, pour into the flour mix.

This part will take good arm strength to stir- or a hunky muscley man’s effort. After all your effort, you will end up with a thick, heavy dough. Maybe test it with a spoon full… or 3. Well it would be wrong not to?

Finally chop/ smash your chocolate and roughly mix into the dough.

Once satisfied, pour into a greased baking dish and level. Put them in the oven for 20- 25 minutes depending on your liking. 20 minutes will be soft and fluffy, 25 minutes will be crisp and more chewy like.

Once they are done, transfer them onto a cooling rack… or you know eat them fresh out the oven. They say it gives you indigestion to eat too hot food, but forget that, these babies are too good to wait!

 My perfect way of eating them is hot, with a mug of thick hot chocolate, wrapped up in bed watching Homeland or Corrie... what, I’m northern?

If you are feeling stressed though, please don’t suffer on your own. Honestly, I feel so much better just having unloaded onto someone. Whether that is friends or family- or in my case my poor lecturer, it will be so good for you. I realize now that what I was stressing about just wasn’t that bad and things are actually pretty good in my life.

So if you are, bake some of my blondies, and invite girls over for a good chat.

For anyone at University, you may have heard of SIFE- Students In Free Enterprise. It is an international non-profit organisation that works with business leaders, to help university students  create community empowerment projects, by developing business models to improve the quality of life for people in need, all while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders ourselves. However, late last year, it rebranded to Enactus, to highlight the emphasis on using entrepreneurial action as a method for world progression and bettering the lives of others. To celebrate this, on Tuesday, me and my friend N attended the Enactus rebrand dinner.

As you know I’ve never previously done an outfit post, however fashion is actually such a significant part of my life that it seems wrong not to have done so already.

Outfit wise I wore:

Manoush Pleated wool-blend skirt
Basic white tee
Kurt Geiger Dolly pumps
H&M Necklace
Topshop belt

For starters I had Chargrilled Garlic Loaf with Cherry Tomato Bruschetta & Basil Oil Dressing and for my main I tucked into Smoked Haddock Fillet with Black Pudding Mash, Green Beans, Carrots & a Grain Mustard Cream. Both were delicious, but I have to say the smoked haddock was beautifully matched with the black pudding mash- defiantly something I may have to look up and try myself. Of course, all was accompanied by wine.

The very lovely N.

Every Enactus organisation is compromised of various different projects. I belong to Raise up Rio, which operates in Rio, Brazil. As we all know the 2016 Olympics are being hosted in Rio, and as London did, they are trying to clean up the city. However, Rio is home to millions of people living in poverty stricken favellas, which are rife with gangs and drugs. One of the governments initiatives is try and pacify the favellas, with one methods being to shut down and non official businesses- in case they are conducting illegal activities. However many of these businesses are honest people’s livelihoods. Therefore our aim is to set up a consultancy service where business owners can go and get the information they need in order to formalise their business officially.

It was a great event, and really good to catch up with other projects to see how they were doing- obviously ours is the best! But if that wasn’t enough, we had R to errr... 'sing' us a tune. 

If you are a university student, and you wish to find out more about getting involved, check out the Enactus website.

Cold, snowy Saturdays were just made for brunch. London was a couple of inches deep in snow at the weekend, and frankly, cereal just wouldn’t cut it that day. So me and M bundled up, braved the icy roads, and went to All Bar One for Breakfast/ Brunch in Canary Wharf. Only ever been for cocktails at all bar one, I didn’t realise it also was a sort of tapas bar- I spy my next evening meal haunt. 

However, this time called for Eggs and what better than Eggs Royale. In case you are wondering, Eggs Royale is the smoked Salmon version of Eggs Benedict. I will admit the sauce was a little too bland for my taste, but the poached eggs were perfect with a lovely runny centre.

After refueling, we headed to one of London’s great treats. Exhibition road.

Exhibition road houses London’s best and biggest museums. I've been too all of them now, but I could go again and again, especially the V&A, however with male company present we went to the Science Museum.

One of my favourite exhibitions was the Challenge of Materials gallery.

I spy Vivienne Westwood.

I also loved all the automobiles.

Sorry about the blurry photo- blame M. Just can’t get the staff these days!

After we had seen enough, it was just about time for me to catch my train and leave London. It was fantastic to see my friend, and my other bestie- London!

What did you do this weekend?

First and foremost, let me apologise for the lack of material this week. It’s all been rather a little crazy busy, and frankly, not too blog worthy. However, I am finally at my computer, for a little blog love time.

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you’ll know over the weekend I've been visiting my friend in London. We've known each other since high school, and somehow ended up at the same college and university. Our friendship is a funny story really, as during high school we actually hated each other. I believed M was an idiot; liked to play the class clown, always shouting out and as a result spent most of his time outside the head teachers office. He disliked me for my tutting at his behaviour, and frankly, because I was the nerdy kid.

Yet somehow at college, we just seemed to bond over our love of computing, yet hatred of the IT course material. M is a one off, and I’m the only one who will tell it to him straight- is he being an idiot? I’ll tell him and the same applies to me too! He’ll tell me I’m gabbing excessively or flapping too much. Yet he is also such a good friend and that’s why I had to visit him down in Canary Wharf, where he now lives after ditching me! Ok he actually graduated and got a job, but in my head he ditched me!

When I arrived, M suggest going out for dinner at the O2 arena. I was a bit hesitant, as I will admit I’m not a massive fan of chain restaurants. I have nothing against them on principle; I just like to try unique and individual restaurants. I feel like they put more effort in, plus we need to support the little man entrepreneur rather than global corporations. I tried to object but no, M insisted we go there, as ‘He had to show me round the O2’. Well I had never been, so why not?

Well turns out he had a ulterior motive...

The NBA had come to London. I should have known! M is a massive fan of American sport, mainly basketball and American football, and so if he couldn’t get a ticket, then he’d be as close to the action as possible.

On display were some players behind glass doing fancy skills.

After hanging around some bar screens, I managed to drag M for food. We ended up in Fankie & Benny’s as it was pretty busy everywhere, plus the lure of the special menu- 2 courses for £10.95 was too tempting. Of course, all good meals start with cocktails if possible, and F&B have quite a good selection. M made the slightly girly choice of Strawberry Shortcake, although i nicked a bit and it was delicious. It was a mix of Disaronno Amaretto and strawberry liqueur blended with strawberries and cream. So refreshing- not that we needed that when it was so cold in London that day!

For starters I ordered Southern Blue Mushrooms which was baked flat mushrooms filled with mozzarella, garlic and breadcrumbs, served with fresh rocket, Grana Padano and balsamic glaze. And you know what? I was really impressed. I was pleasantly surprised with the presentation, as it looked fancier than I expected. 1 nil to Frankie and Benny’s for effort and presentation. Plus it tasted excellent; had a good combination of flavours, and the mushrooms were cooked just right.

The only problem was my starter didn’t arrive till quite a bit after M had finished his. The was because at first they had brought me the wrong order, and then whether they had forgotten, I’m not sure, however after questioning it, the waiter was really good about it, he apologized, was extra attentive for the rest of the meal and offered to knock off 10 pound from the bill. I can’t fault the staff, they were excellent. 

For mains I had Cajun Chicken Calzone and M had Goats Cheese and Red Onion Pizza.

Of course, more cocktails followed, and we shared a pitcher of Pineapple Mai Tai.

I was a bit of a sport widow though for the meal, as M couldn't resist watching the game on my mobile. I could barely get sentence out of him at parts. 

I was thoroughly impressed with F&B and would go again to the O2 one, however needless to say i was promptly dragged away into a sports bar for the highlights of the game! Men, eh?