Friday, 31 May 2013

Hot Tub Cinema

40 degree water, champagne and good movies, all on a rooftop in central London as the sun sets – what’s not to like?

One of my friends found out about hot tub cinema a couple of weeks ago and I can't wait to check it out over summer but I couldn't resist sharing it in the meantime! Hot tubs are great at the best of times but this experience sounds incredible. Classic British film, views across the city and a hot tub filled with friends sounds fairly perfect to me! The company was only established last year, evolving from a private party. It appears to retain an element of exclusivity and is certainly a novel idea! A unique and immersive cinema experience by all accounts, just check out the pics below!

You can find out more, and check out the next events here.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Francis Leon

I would never have known about Francis Leon were it not for my local charity shop and being home to try and motivate myself to revise with the promise of mummy food and a full fridge!!

Francis Leon was founded in Australia in 2009 and produces exquisite leather jackets, following a nonchalant yet signature style, combining unlikely mixes of high quality leather and sportswear fabrics in feminine, elegant cuts. The styling is bold and inspiration is found in the pages of old superhero comic books, in the manifesto of the Italian Futurists and in the systematic strength of the urban landscape, taking form in dynamic panelling and detailing. Soft Italian leather makes each piece feel exceptional and the cuts are gorgeous.

Stocked in the UK at Liberty and Harvey Nicks, I'd never even heard of the brand until I popped into the charity shop for a revision break. Hanging up right by the door was a gorgeous charcoal and black leather, priced at £12.50. I couldn't resist trying it on and it fitted perfectly! I googled the label and found a whole range of beautiful jackets and the one I had found, in pretty much perfect condition, was priced at $680AD. Wow. Talk about an incredible find! Perfect with jeans and boots in winter and to throw on when the evenings get chilly in summer the leather, and perhaps also the brand, is definitely my best charity shop find so far! I love luxury and designer pieces but my taste doesn't combine so well with my student budget; a good eye and incredible charity shops in the countryside are definitely okay for the time being!!

My jacket is BUCK, from the current collection and is described as the naughty kid of the collection, always up to no good! Charcoal leather and Japanese cotton knit and pretty gorgeous if I say so myself!

You can check out the rest of the collection and international stockists here and the jackets seem to pop up on eBay from time to time as well!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013


Pottering around the Brighton Lanes this week I came across HIPANEMA, the new brand to be stocked in one of my favourite boutiques, Lavender Room.

The brand came about after two Parisian girls met in Rio and were inspired by colours found on ther travels. They endeavoured to bring the colours home in their suitcases and the company has certainly done just that! A collection of bracelets and bikins in bold and striking  colours that are perfect to accessorise the summer season. The bracelets are a great concept for those, like myself, that always have a wrist full of trinkets, especially in the warmer months of adventures!

The very chic magnetized clasp offers a great alternative to the holiday bracelets. Souvenir bracelets go from being a post-holiday drag, that have to be tied and untied, to being a real ethnic fashion accessory which livens up summer wardrobes.
Made from pearls, seashells and multicolored thread, the HIPANEMA bracelets come in a variety of different styles, colours and themes. The ribbons from Bahia mix with the legendary Copacabana bracelets and quartz stones with various seashells.
These cuffs can be worn double or triple. The more the merrier! At €65 a piece they are not the average high street buy but for me that's what makes them special. Not everyone will be wearing them and they are the perfect day to night accessory- shorts, little white dress or summer florals straight to a party dress!

I thought I'd share some of my favourites with you, which is your fave? I'm hoping that I can treat myself to one over the summer months if I manage to find a job and get a little bit of a break from the student lifestyle/bank account!!

Image of Massilia

Image of Saint-Tropez

Image of Biarritz

Image of Cannes

Image of Boavista

Image of Alesia

The bracelets, and the rest of the range of bikinis, can be found here. Happy shopping!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Macaroons & Afternoon Tea

My one bit of chill out time over the last couple of weeks was at the end of last week when Sarah, one of my closest friends from school (I can't quite believe I left 4 years ago!!) came down to Brighton for a couple of days. She'd never been before so we spend Friday, in the rain, typically, wandering around the delights of Brighton. This mainly involved eating. And drinking. But mainly lots of eating! The day coincided with my housemates birthday which gave us even more of an excuse for sugary treats if ever we needed one!! Sarah reminded me that it was only a couple of years ago that she ate so many sweets that she made herself physically sick... I don't ever want to have to properly grow up!

After a potter around the vintage shops and a necessary trawl of Primark, we headed to top chef Julien Plumart's newest venture, Boutique et Salon de The in Duke Street. On the ground floor is what can only be described as a macaroon showroom - heaven! The multi-coloured display of macaroons is incredibly inviting and your faced with some difficult choices - salted caramel, vanilla, triple chocolate, raspberry, the list goes on! We decided to head upstairs to make the flavour decisions to a very minimal space, dominated by two huge glass chandeliers and delicate fresh flowers on every table.

The macaroons lived up to their expectations and the vanilla was definitely top of my list. Real vanilla pods and sumptuous ganache. Signs around the room in both French and English suggest that 'savouring a macaroon is like eating a whole cake by yourself whilst sitting on a cloud' and I would be the first to agree!!

Next, we decided that one lot of delicious sugary treats simply wasn't enough and headed out for afternoon tea for Yasmin's birthday. After walking past it on numerous occasions we decided to try the Blackbird Tearoom, also on Duke Street. Described as 'the best tearoom in Brighton' it wasn't hard to see why: quaint, traditional yet with a little twist on modern and great service from the waitresses, the tearoom was perfect for the occasion. 

Sarah and I decided to share a savoury and a sweet scone and both were delicious - onion marmalade, cheese and cress followed by thick clotted cream and raspberry jam. So delicious! 

Camilla went for the asparagus and poached egg, Yasmin the speciality Bluebird cake and Morgan and Helen couldn't resist the cream teas. Everything was gorgeously presented on vintage china and so reasonably priced there is simply no option but to go back soon for seconds!!

We ended our Brighton day of food and drink with some celebratory bubbly and a visit to the Mesmerist for swing night, where the birthday girl danced the night away and we all spend some time chatting and catching up, relishing the much needed break from revision and essays!

Revision Playlist

I have two exams in the next two weeks and then I'm done with second year - whoooo!! Only 100 images, visual and critical analysis and theory to learn first, oh the joys of an Art History degree! Music has been the only thing getting me through so thought I'd share just a few of my summery chilled revision songs...
The Lumineers - Flowers in Your Hair 

Penguin Cafe Orchestra - Perpetual Mobile 
I first heard these guys play live at BT River of Music last summer and they are really really incredible, this is one of my summer favourites!

The Macabees - Grew up at Midnight

The 1975 - Chocolate

Bastille - Pompeii 

Alaska Campus - To The New Year 

Sam Smith - Lay Me Down

What are your revision songs and new summer finds? I'd love to have a listen!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Needle & Thread

I've been looking for the perfect wedding outfit for a family wedding at the end of June and am really struggling to find the right thing - not white, not too short but not floorlength, versatile if its a bit chilly on the day, summery but not too much - you get the picture!! Its bloody difficult let me tell you! On my hunt I came across Needle & Thread, one of the new brands being stocked at Asos this season. Gorgeous dresses which while aren't quite right for my wedding brief are definitely worth a mention and I couldn't resist sharing a few of my faves with you! Not being able to find the perfect dress isn't the end of the world at the moment as its the perfect way to procrastinate from my endless amounts of revision but if you have any recommendations of places to check out please let me know!!
With its first season exclusive to Asos, Needle & Thread presents a beautiful hand-embellished summer collection with a fun, eclectic beach to bar feel. Under the creative direction of Hanna Coffin, SS13 takes Aztec art as inspiration, mixing in bespoke beading, fluoro colour, and luxurious silk to create a standout debut collection.

Image 1 of Needle & Thread Zylet Silk Mini Dress
Needle & Thread Zylet Silk Mini Dress, £145
Image 1 of Needle & Thread Contour Mini Dress
Needle & Thread Contour Mini Dress, £175
Image 1 of Needle & Thread Arizuma Silk Mini Dress
Needle & Thread Arizumi Silk Mini Dress, £125
Image 1 of Needle & Thread Vivid Silk Mini Dress
Needle & Thread Vivid Silk Mini Dress, £125
You can check out more from this incredible brand here.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Angels on Bare Skin

'...As gentle and beautiful as being kissed by angels...'

I popped into Lush the other day for the first time in a while and it was all to grab a sample of Angels on Bare Skin, a cleanser based on an age old formula that uses pure ingredients to great effect. My sister is a fan of the cleanser but I've always taken after my mum with the very odd idea that you shouldn't wash your face with water - who knows why?!! - so have never been a huge fan but on my last try I was converted and decided to try it out for a couple of days.

Angels on Bare Skin evens out skin tone, reduces redness and improves the health and appearance of your skin – giving a natural healthy glow. The ground almonds in this product release their goodness and turn to an almond milk on your hand when you add water. It smells yummy , with Lavender being one of the main ingredients and appears, unlike a lot of other water based cleansers not to try out my sensitive skin. Definite positives.

The cleaner is a solid, that turns to a cleansing milk when added to water. It has no preservatives either which makes it pretty natural to use. I've been experimenting with it for a couple of days now and I'm definitely a fan. At only £6.50 a tub that seems to last for ages I will definitely be investing!! A student budget well utilised I reckon, especially as I have had to cut ties with my Dermalogica habit during term time!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Chia and Tofu Rissoles

Nom nom nom, these babies really are delicious - and I didn't even think I liked Tofu!

This is a recipe inspired from my local wholefood store and requested by my sister when she was home a couple of weeks ago. I'm really not a Tofu fan but hadn't cooked in a while and its such a novelty to cook at home with full fridge and cupboard that I offered up my services. Quick and easy to make, these little rissoles really do pack a punch. I added in a few extra spices and some citrus juice as feel that these babies can take a little bit more! Great served with some green vegies or salad and some crispy potatoes (I cooked mine with some red onion, fresh Rosemary, lots of sea salt, pepper and olive oil - mmmm!). Would love to know your thoughts or adaptations if you do have a go at making them - enjoy!

450g firm tofu
50g almonds
2 tbsp. chia seeds
1 red onion finely chopped
1 egg beaten
1 green chilli finely chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
1-2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. cumin
2cm fresh root ginger finely chopped
1/2 bunch fresh coriander finely chopped
Juice of half a lemon/lime
Sesame seeds to coat

Crumble the tofu into a large mixing bowl and mix with the rest of the ingredients. With clean wet hands divide into 14 rissoles and lightly roll into the seeds to coat. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Gently fry in coconut or olive oil for 3-4 minutes on each side. It really is that simple! Delicious served with some homemade ketchup.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Backstage: Saima Majid SS2013 Lifestyle Shoot

On Wednesday I popped down to Brighton for a photoshoot with the Saima Majid SS collection. I wanted to showcase the collection to demonstrate the versatility of the products. The shoot was based on epitomising the models' individual personalities, with styling focused on their own wardrobes: a LBD, a typically summer outfit and an outfit that would be worn on a country walk! The collection can be worn in so many ways and my aim for the day was to focus on this - the shots look incredible and I'm now eagerly anticipating the final edit! Hair and make up were kept simple and I had an incredible team that really ensured the day went without a hitch, despite the hail storm that rained down on us mid hair and make up and made a mad run to a very welcoming local pub completely essential!!
I thought I'd share a few backstage shots with you of what really was a fantastic shoot, with what I hope will be fabulous results! The models made my job all the easier and worked fantastically to showcase the brand. Final shots to follow!


Scarves -
Producer and Stylist - Ali Moss-Thomas
Shoot Assistant - Liviy Gordon 
Clothes - Model and Stylists Own
Photographer - Pavan Wilder
Hair - Chloe King
Make Up - Conor Reading
Location - Southover Grange, Lewes
Models - Lizzie Griffiths, Emily Bunclark, Sara Soroya Ali, Jade Barker

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Silk shirts and sparkly shoes

Today, I embarked on my first car bootsale of the season and it was a good one! Until a few years ago I was the biggest carboot snob, but then I grew up, learnt how to ignore the inevitable tat and realised how many incredible finds there can be with the right eye!

In fact, I end up buying most of my wardrobe at car bootsales. A fluro pink Hermes clutch remains my best purchase, bought for 20p and while that isn't the most normal find, vintage pieces definitely are, as well as good quality high street for a fraction of the price. I resent paying £40 for something when I can find it for 50p! And the best bit if advice I was given by my sisters when I decided that actually bootsales were quite fun and I stopped being ridiculous about them? Haggle! Sellers can always say no!

Today's buys were fab. 2 silk shirts from Coast and a gorgeous lbd, all for a fiver! A huge floral scarf and some Ralph Lauren bits for my niece topped off my rummaging haul, roll on the summer season of exciting finds!