A classy brunch

For my friend’s 30th recently, we treated her to a surprise brunch at Dean Street Townhouse. Part of the Soho House Group, the restaurant (and hotel) is situated in the heart of Soho and as such is a popular choice for those looking for a bit of sophistication and class. It’s classy, yet laid back which is exactly how it should be in my opinion.

We kicked off with compulsory bellinis all round before inspecting the menu which boasted a twice-baked smoked haddock souffle, ham hock hash and eggs cooked in every way possible along with a wide range of croissants, fruit and an all-day breakfast. It was going to be a tough choosing.

The popular choices were the eggs benedict and smokes salmon / scrambled eggs combinations. They were all served with lashings of sour dough toast presented on classic silver toast racks. Everything was delicious! Our only criticism was our skitzophrenic waiter who was one minute telling us off for taking photos (insane!) and the next being overly helpful. Most bizarre! We were in excellent company, discovering half way through the meal that Stanley Tucci the actor was on the next table over. Certain members of our party struggled to maintain composure.

All in all, a hugely enjoyable way to spend your morning and for me, the perfect way to start a day. The meal came to around £25 each which seemed very reasonable. I think brunches are going to soon become a permanent fixture in our weekend routine and I cannot wait!

Dean Street Townhouse
69 – 71 Dean Street  London, Greater London W1D 3SE

Cool in camo

It’s festival season and for those of us who are preparing for a cold weekend of camping in the delightful british countryside, a lot of the preparation for suitably warm, yet stylish clothing is already underway.

I’ve been obsessing over all things khaki / army-themed. Camouflage is back this season with a vengeance, but instead of the 90s multi-coloured monstrosities synonymous with Girls Aloud (the early years) and Tammy Girl, it’s all about authentic gear and so I’ve spent the week hunting down the perfect jacket which will not only be warm, but also look great with my various outfits over the weekend.

Ecote Classic Surplus Jacket, Urban Outfitters, £75

However, if you’re not keen to splurge at Topshop or Urban Outfitters why don’t you try Amazon for something half the price?! I found this very affordable cotton jacket which will be great layered up with a black / grey American Apparel hoodie when the sun goes down.

Surplus Lightweight Military Style BDU Mens Cotton Jacket Washed Woodland Camo, Amazon, £26.99

Alternatively, if none of these are for you – do what I did and hit up eBay. I found a fab vintage Superdry jacket for less than £20 and I’m pretty sure it does the trick.

French bistro finery

Where to go in central Edinburgh for excellent food at ridiculous prices? There is only one answer – Le Sept!

A delightfully authentic bistro just off the Royal Mile on Hunter Square, this cosy restaurant has an excellent range of choices on the menu from £11 for two courses at lunch and £18 for dinner. All high ceilings and retro black and white photos, the light and airy dining room makes for a laid back atmosphere during the day. I can imagine at night, lit with candles, it’s similarly relaxed. Additionally, the staff were super friendly and accommodating and we didn’t have to wait long for the food.

The french onion soup and goats cheese with beetroot puree were our favourite starters. We were equally pleased to discover the main course of moules and coq au vin were both generous and delicious. The only criticism would be the savoury crepes which were very heavy with a cheese overload, even for the most fervent of cheese fans. However, this is hardly worth a mention as everything else was outstanding, especially for £11.

Our final bill came to £20 per head which included a large amount of reasonably-priced wine. This was the perfect way to set us up for exploring the city. I will definitely be returning to Le Sept on my next trip!

Le Sept, 5 Hunter Square, Edinburgh, 0131 225 5428

Sophie Hulme : Bold as brass


Sophie Hulme, double plate tan tote, £535 (Liberty)

If you’re as obsessed with bags as me, then you can’t fail to have already discovered the beautiful creations of Sophie Hulme. A British designer, graduating in 2007, she set up her own label within two months and the rest as they say is history. Now stocked by all the finest retailers – Selfridges, Fenwick and Harvey Nichols to name but a few, this is the result of huge ambition and excellent design.


Sophie Hulme Black Leather Satchel, £255 (Selfridges) 

Sophie’s bags are characterised by the brass plates which adorn both the large totes and smaller satchels. They signify genuine luxury, but with a tough edge. I found myself gawping when coming face to face with one on the tube recently. They really are beautiful up close! And it’s not only the bags which have been given the expensive brass treatment – I’ve fallen for this chip fork necklace..it’s somehow elegant and fun at the same time. Amazing!

ImageSophie Hulme, brass chip fork necklace, £60 (Coggles.com)

So, if you’re in the market for something special, but understated, this is the brand for you.

Visit Sophie’s website – SophieHulme.com

Cocktails at The Metropole

I’m back!!! After a 1 month break from the blog, I decided it would be rude not to share my latest adventures with you. During this time, I have sampled excellent cuisine in Sicily and Edinburgh to name, but a few..so what better way to come back, but with a cocktail recommendation from the 5* Hotel Metropole in Taormina.

I spent a week in Sicily in May eating my body weight in arancini and discovering my new favourite liquer – Vino di Mandorla (Almond Wine.) On the final night in Taormina, I went to the Metropole for cocktails – admittedly not the first time, but it was certainly worth a return visit for the antipasti alone! A vertitable feast of goodies which, in true Italian style came complimentary with the cocktails. We enjoyed a mojito and an incredibly potent margarita!

The hotel itself has an air of exclusivity about it which proves a good deterrant for your average tourist. Upon entering the main atrium, we were met with the soothing tones of the piano which set the mood on the balcony where we took our place overlooking the sea. Situated on the edge of a cliff, the balcony is literally as close as you can get to the water’s edge (bar the infinity pool below) and has a real atmospheric quality to it.

While away an hour or two before dinner here and it will certainly lift your mood or if you are lucky enough to hit sunset, you can enjoy the blue/pink skies evolve and change before you as the fire burners are lit. This place isn’t cheap, but it’s certainly worth every penny for atmosphere!

Hotel Metropole Taormina – Maison d’Hôtes
Corso Umberto, 154 – 98039 Taormina (Messina) Tel. (+39) 0942 625417