Go nude for the wedding

It’s that time of year again – wedding season!

Whether you love it, hate it, are taking part in it or are indeed – the bride, there is always the question of what to wear on ones feet. Too high and you’ll be cursing come evening when the dancing begins. Too low and you’ll feel frumpy. Equally, how fancy does one go? To match the shoes to the dress or not? So many questions – eeeek!

Violet leather court shoes in peach metallic, £65, Office

So, there really are no hard and fast rules, but I think the following tips will help. Go down the neutral or metallic route when the summer season hits. You have probably been wearing black for the rest of the year so this is your chance to wear a lighter colour and even brave a bare leg – oooerrrr! (NB. This may be optimistic based on the current climate.)

Darling D soft rose leather courts, £85, Dune 

Steer away from satin or suede as you’re bound to destroy them if your wedding involves any of the following; drunk people, outdoor dining and excessive dancing. (That’s most weddings right?!) All the shoes I have picked have potential for wearing past wedding season and will hopefully carry you through the summer. Viva la nude shoe!

Faith nude leather patent bow courts, £50, Debenhams

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Gatsby-inspired cocktails

This year is set to be the year of Gatsby! With the movie due out in December in the UK, the arts and fashion scenes are gearing up for 1920s mania and what better excuse to don your finest drop-waist gown and head out for some prohibition-esque activities!

I went to see the stage version of The Great Gatsby on Friday. Hosted at Wilton’s Music Hall, you could not have found yourself in a more authentic location. Located in east London near Tower Hill, Wilton’s Music Hall is all crumbling plaster with a genuine historical charm dating back to around 1743. Now grade 2 listed, it is one of London’s last remaining concert halls. It was as though we had genuinely stepped back in time.

We queued up at the bar while the sounds of Al Johlson and the Charleston set the scene. From Side Cars (brandy, cointreau & lemon juice) to Mint Juleps (bourbon, mint & soda), all the original cokctails were there to choose from. My favourite however, was the punch with gin, maraschino liqueur and elderflower with plenty of berries to top it off.

As we settled into the play, we were all transported to another era and by the end were all wishing this moment in history was something we had somehow been part of. This may have partly been down to numerous cocktails consumed, but there was equally something very exciting about living in these times – especially if we had been lucky enough to have attended one of Jay Gatsby’s house parties!

The Great Gatsby
20th April 2012 – 19th May 2012, Wilton’s Music Hall.

Stay classy with Mint Velvet

Today, I want to share with you a brand I love which has been on the scene since 2009, but which (in my opinion) still remains rather an undiscovered secret for the 20-something market. Mint Velvet markets itself as ‘relaxed glamour’, and with a collection comprised of elegant pieces in neutral tones with quality lace, bead and button detailing, it does just that.

Stone embellished top, £69 and mink battered sequin skirt, £149

Set up by three ex-Arcadia employees with backgrounds in establishing Principles and Topshop as leading brands, it is evident that these ladies know their target market inside-out and with highly desirable butter-soft leather jackets and on-trend shell tops, they tick all the boxes.

Foundation lace dress, £129 and Caitlyn print dress, £89

Available both online, at a number of standalone stores as well as being stocked at John Lewis and House of Fraser, Mint Velvet is slowly taking over the world. Prices start from a very reasonable £29 for a silk-front top and top off at around £249 for a leather jacket, so get involved and get classy now!

Mink sequin, £89 and bead top and sorbet cropped jeans, £59

Visit the Mint Velvet website.

Chow down in Chelsea

On one (extraordinarily) sunny evening last week, I went to The Phene. A beautiful hidden gem in the heart of Chelsea, The Phene is gastro-pub-tastic in super-civilised surroundings – they even have their own-brand candles!

We were seated in the restaurant area at the back which is bright and airy thanks to the generous skylight. The food was good, but not exceptional. It’s above-average pub fare. My steak was disappointing and for me, that’s always going to be a bit of a sticking point. Still, we worked our way through 2 bottles of delicious Manent Colchagua valley Sauvignon Blanc from Chile which certainly made up for any disappointments we had with the cuisine!

The puddings were, however another matter. We couldn’t decide whether the earl grey and dark chocolate creme brulee or the chocolate fondant was the more tempting of puddings so we opted for a platter of them all to share! (A genius invention.) The earl grey flavours were rife in the creme brulee and as you’d imagine the fondant was suitably oozy. Highly recommended!

Expect the odd red-trousered type or wannabe cast members of Made in Chelsea, but if that doesn’t put you off, it’s well worth a trip! PS. There’s a superb glamorous pub garden – all fairy-lights and large white umbrelles as well as (now-obligatory) patio heaters thanks to extreme UK weather conditions! Go forth and make like it’s Ibiza.

The Phene, 9 Phene Street  London SW3 5NY

Be the ice cream

This weekend, I decided to get my pastel groove on.

Having purchased yet another mint-coloured item of clothing – (the 3rd in as many months – read my post from March), I decided that instead of using them to brighten up my usual black or navy jeans, I would pair them with my new sugar-pink jeans.

And just like that, ice-cream heaven was born!

The reception from my friends was generally positive, but with some inquisitive looks, scratching of heads and finally some practical questions. How can one virtually dress like an ice-cream? The answer is – like this..

Peach + Lemon

Peach Topshop Blouse and Carven Lemon TrousersPeach & white striped casual shirt, £28, Topshop
Carven yellow casual skinny chino, £160, Farfetch

Mint + Choc Chip

Mint Dorothy Perkins blouse and Mole spot skirt H&MMole spotted skirt, £19.99, H&M
Mint sleeveless blouse, £24, Dorothy Perkins

Raspberry ripple!

Spot cami, £25, Topshop
Pink jeans, £30,  River Island

And finally, if you can’t find a combo which works, you can always take things literally and wear it as a print! Eat me.

Sugarhill Boutique Shirt Dress in Ice Cream Print, £50, ASOS

Devastatingly Dabbous

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There’s a new bar in town and it means business! Hidden down a side street in trendy Noho, is Dabbous – the new venture from michelin-starred Ollie Dabbous and cocktail impressario Oskar Kinberg. The fusion of low-lit, fine dining with an industrial-chic basement cocktail bar is the work of these two master craftsmen and as such, is receiving rave reviews around town at present!

The unassuming exterior at first looks as though it’s a stylish lighting shop or gallery. Indeed those of us working nearby, never really clicked it was a restaurant at all. But this is half of the charm and in some ways very au courant – take Spuntino or 10 Greek Street as current examples of this.

Upon entering the dimly lit restaurant, you are met with industrial cantina styling serving up modern british cuisine. However, skip that and head straight to the basement which is a concrete playground with exposed brickwork, wooden trestles and plenty of swagger (the barmen that is!) Cocktails are good – and as you’d expect, there are a number of ‘game changers‘ to get excited about. Take one of the ‘beer-based’ cocktails, such as Giddy Up which contains tequila, elderflower, honey and is topped off with Sierra Navada IPA – impressive!

The bathrooms are unisex and discreetly labelled – in fact it’s almost luck if you can see them at all in the almost pitch-black interior! All in all a good place for cocktails – suitable for impressing clients, entertaining your friends or just a great date. Word of warning though, booking a table is virtually impossible at present due to the popularity of this place, so you may have to settle with a trip to the bar this time! You won’t be disappointed..

Dabbous, 39 Whitfield Street, London, W1T 2SF.