An Evening in Covent Garden

Saturday, 22 February 2014 ·

My parents love an excuse to come and visit me in London so I thought what better Christmas present than some theatre tickets. However, I didn't quite think through the logistics of buying tickets as a gift - getting the date right, what show etc etc, so in the end I chose to make them a homemade gift voucher entitling them to tickets of their choice making things far simpler.

So, Valentine's weekend my parents came down to the big city to go to the theatre and generally explore a little more of London - they lived here when they were younger but you've never seen it all right?! The show they chose was War Horse at the New London Theatre which I have to admit I have been wanting to see for months and months so it couldn't have been a better choice!

After a day of mooching about West London we headed over to Covent Garden at around 5pm so that we could grab a bite to eat before the show. As it was the night before the BAFTA awards at The Royal Opera House Covent Garden was buzzing - believe it or not, even more than usual - as they were setting up the red carpet etc which I have to admit was very exciting - closest I've ever gotten to a red carpet! After wandering around for  a little while we decided to go to Brasserie Blanc which is above the covered market. The food was incredible, so good in fact that I totally forgot to take any pictures, sorry!

By the end of dinner, I was beside myself with excitement for War Horse and I wasn't wrong. I love the theatre so it's very rare that I go and see something and don't enjoy it (in fact I can't think of anything I really haven't enjoyed) but this was a whole new level. It was utterly incredible! I was a little sceptical, thinking I'd be distracted by the puppeteers and so wouldn't be able to fully immerse myself in the story but I couldn't be more wrong. Clearly for the first 10/15 minutes you watch the puppeteers, which in itself is fascinating, but after that you literally don't notice them. I cannot recommend this show highly enough, it is a must see - although take some tissues as does tug at your heart strings!

Has anyone else been to see War Horse, or anything else for that matter, at the theatre recently? What did you guys think?

EXPLORE | Columbia Road Flower Market

Saturday, 8 February 2014 ·

I'm not usually one for making New Year's resolutions for the same reasons I don't give anything up for Lent - I never manage to make them last! But this year I decided to try to do more in London and truly appreciate this fantastic city. I've only been living down here for about 6 months now but I don't really feel like I've been making the most of living in such a great city! Therefore this is going to be the first of (hopefully) many posts about my adventures in London this year.

I heard about Columbia Road flower market a few months ago through EssieButton and it's been on my list of things to do ever since, but as it's on a Sunday, my lazy day, and it's up in Shoreditch, I've been putting it off each week. But last weekend my boyfriend and I finally made our way up there and my gosh was it worth it! 
The weather had been awful all of Friday and Saturday but I woke up on Sunday morning to be greeted by clear blue skies and I couldn't have been happier. We jumped on the bus up to Shoreditch, it took an hour but it was a nice relaxed start to the day (unlike the tube)! I thought the market was going to be MUCH bigger than it was in reality. It's located on quite a narrow, quaint street lined with a number of independent shops. 

I was literally blown away by the variety of flowers and plants (and the reasonable prices), you can buy everything from tulips to potted bedding plants, and cacti to bay trees. I was very spoilt for choice and had to keep reminding myself that I only have 2 vases at home! In the end I settled for some coral pink and yellow tulips to add a pop of colour to my room and some gypsophila to fill it out a little bit.

I can't recommend this market enough, and I love my markets, it might be a little out of the way (at least from Clapham) but it's well worth the journey. It's one of the few London markets that hasn't been taken over by the touristy vibe. You can see all of the locals there buying their flowers for the week and there is always some banter going on between the stall holders. All of whom are absolutely lovely and more than happy to give advice / opinions should you need them. 

If you have any recommendations of other things  I should incorporate into my adventures in London write me a comment below.

P.s. If you've never checked out Essiebutton make sure to head over there now as her posts are fantastic and her personality really shines through!

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The Holy Grail of Base Coats

Saturday, 1 February 2014 ·

I’m known for having a minor obsession with nail varnish…I simply cannot have enough. Painting my nails makes my outfit feel complete and without it, quite frankly, I feel naked. Having said this, there is nothing I loathe more than chipped nail varnish – it drives me crazy! I’m one of those people if my nails start to chip when I’m out I’ll do everything I can to get the rest of the varnish off. For this reason, I have been on the hunt for that Holy Grail base coat – it’s all very well buying beautiful colours but that seems pointless if they chip within a day! I've tried everything out there, or at least so I thought until recently.

I saw the ORLY Bonder Base Coat By Orly (18Ml) recommended online and ordered it straight away - at £8.30 it's more than I would usually want to spend but it is definitely worth it. Surprise surprise the day it was delivered I couldn't wait until I got home to try it so instead spent my lunch break painting my nails!

I've seen a few bloggers complaining about the size of the brush but I have to say that I really like it. I agree that it is very narrow for  a nail polish brush and this is typically a huge no no to me but with this one it just works. It glides on effortlessly, the brush holds a lot of product so you don't have to dip it back in the bottle for every nail. It dries SUPER fast which is important with me as I tend to be a little impatient...

I've been wearing the polish for 5 days now and usually by day 2/3 my nails would be horrendously chipped and I'd have to start all over again but not this time. So far, I have one tiny (and I mean tiny) chip but that's it! 

So far I've only used it with pastel shades (trying to get into that Spring feeling) so I can't comment on the claims that it doesn't prevent staining of your nails if using a darker shade but I'll make sure to give an update when I use something darker! 

This is most definitely my new go to nail varnish base coat and I can see it staying that way for the foreseeable future. If anyone has any other recommendations leave me a comment as I'm always looking for new products to try! 

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