I have been a very bad blogger and not written anything about London for weeks!! For this, I am very sorry – but I have a good excuse. I have a fun new job that has kept me very busy indeed. Fear not though, I promise to remedy this as of now and will once more be keeping you up to date on all my favourite new hangouts – and there are loads of them! 2013 has been an exciting year for London so far and I can’t wait to share.
While it’s been a brilliant start to the year for me, the new job has also meant that I have not had much time to spend with my family so recently I took a day to hang out with my mum and do girly things.
Chelsea has always been one of my favourite parts of town. Even before we were old enough to hit the clubs and bars, weekends with my school friends were often spent on the Kings Road drinking coffee, trying on amazing cowboy boots in RSoles, looking for trinkets and cool t-shirts in Ad Hoc and munching on BBQ Ribs at the Big Easy. We used to blag our way into London Fashion Weekend, try on all the Philip Treacy hats and dream of one day going to all the shows at London Fashion Week. I now do a few shows every season and I got my very own Philip Treacy last year so I suppose dreams do come true… but every time I wear it, I still remember being that 13 year old dressing up.
Fast forward a few years and to more recently when many, many weekends were spent dancing away in Kitts (RIP) until the early hours after lazy afternoons exploring the Saatchi Gallery.
I live in North (ish) London now so don’t spend as much time in Chelsea as I used to, but couldn’t think of a better place to spend the day with my mum. We met for a coffee at The Botanist which is a gorgeous little restaurant right in Sloane Square and escaped the rain along with the yummy mummies of SW3 catching up on gossip after their morning pilates classes.
My mum is running off to Greece in a couple of weeks, so it seemed like a trip to Heidi Klein round the corner was in order. Heidi Klein makes the most amazing beachwear and guaranteed, if you read Mail Online*, you will have seen every celebrity conceivable wearing one of her bikinis. It’s no surprise to be honest – the cuts are incredibly flattering so if I was going to be papped on holiday, I would make sure I was in one of her amazing creations as well. Since they opened their doors in 2002, they have expanded the range to include glamorous kaftans and boho beach dresses as well as accessories that included an amazing wide brimmed straw hat that I fell just a bit in love with (always the hats with me….).
After trying on our ideal summer wardrobes and forgetting the rain outside, it was definitely time for lunch. We ran up the road to the Gallery Mess restaurant which is attached to the Saatchi Gallery. The menu is the creation of Rhubarb Food Design who have catered to the stars and their parties for years, and you can sip champagne surrounded by incredible works of modern art that adorn the exposed brick walls. To start with, we shared the warm squid salad with a lime and chilli dressing. I love squid and if it’s done well, it always makes me feel like I’m back in the Mediterranean. Luckily this did not disappoint and was juicy and cooked to perfection. Next up I went for chicken breast fricassee with gnocchi, artichokes, spinach and mushroom sauce. My mum went for smoked haddock with poached eggs, spinach and mustard butter sauce. Both of our mains were excellent and exactly what was needed to warm us up after being caught in the miserable weather outside. We laughed and gossiped and finished our delicious meal by sharing an amazingly indulgent, but still light, steamed rhubarb pudding.
After lunch (and wine), we made our way into Duke of York Square and headed to Liz Earle for some beauty therapy. You walk in the smell of spa wafts over you making you instantly relaxed. One of the lovely beauty therapists offered us a cup of herbal tea and we wandered around the store testing all the gorgeous potions and lotions available. Liz Earle’s philosophy is all about naturally active ingredients being used to create effective, but natural products, so you don’t have to worry about vast quantities of chemicals being slathered on your skin. They source high quality, mostly organic or locally sourced ingredients, which makes them green too so you can indulge in guilt free pampering knowing you’re technically doing your bit for the environment (thank goodness for that!). I have a little bit of an addiction to red lipstick so bought a lovely sheer cranberry coloured lippy that will be good for work as it’s not as bold as the party lips I normally sport.
However, I happened to be off to a party that night, so party lips were an essential. Our last stop of the day was Space NK for a trip to their incredible make up artists. My mum went for a more natural look using lots of coppery brown tones that suited her skin tone perfectly. I, on the other hand, opted for full-on Marilyn Monroe make up with matt red lips and flicky liquid eyeliner. These girls are not called artists for no reason. It’s amazing to watch them quietly at work, selecting the appropriate brush, product, colour, and create something with such expertise and intuition in the same way a painter would on a canvas. I learned a whole host of tricks from contouring to getting the perfect outline for you lips and how to get a gorgeous glow to your skin while making it look like you’ve got nothing on it (to the untrained eye).
I left feeling a little bit Marilyn myself and completely obsessed with the NARS Red Lizard lipstick I had on. Luckily for me, my make up artist gave me a list of all the products that she’d used on me so I could recreate the look myself another day. We parted ways after air kissing (so as not to ruin our faces daahling) and I skipped off into the night to meet my friends. Mother’s day may have been and gone, but we had the absolute perfect Mum and daughter afternoon, and with no excuse at all.
What could be better than that?
*Come on – who doesn’t? It’s a guilty pleasure!