28 December 2014

merry feastmas


It's a little belated but I hope you all had a wonderful holiday period. I ended up heading over to good old Bristol to spend Christmas with pops. If I'm honest, I wasn't really feeling very Christmassy in the lead up [very odd as I usually get super excited] but when the actual day hit it was all sparkle sparkle.

Christmas breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs, Canadian smoked salmon, toast, some good java and a happy glass of bubbles. The theme of course had to be red. 

It was a beautiful sunny day so of course a walk was compulsory. We opted for a little wander up to the Clifton bridge and then around Clifton Village. 

We weren't alone - the sunshine had lured everyone out and it was all very cheery. Lots of smiles, dog walking, football playing… and in pop's case taking a million pictures with his new selfie-stick [apparently the world's favourite purchase this year!].

wearing || dress & shades by +H&M, boots by +River Island, shirt by +Urban Outfitters & pudding hat by +Next 

This resulted in many on-purpose as well as accidental selfies. I also wanted to show you all my full christmas outfit so froze my bum off for a few minutes on the Royal York crescent promenade - luckily it was swimming in the sun's warmth so I didn't suffer too much [anything for a fun snap eh].

After having an ice cream on our walk ["you can do anything you like on Christmas day" according to pops], we decided it was time we retreated back into the warmth of the Christmas cave to make some proper grub. I don't think I'm the greatest cook but I really enjoy it and managed to pull together this mini-beast of a Christmas lunch.

chrismas lunch || roast leg of lamb, roast potatoes, parsnips, carrots, buttery sprouts, mint sauce, bread sauce & cheesy leeks

Of course, the food didn't stop there. The Christmas cave also housed a host of snacks - panettone, fruit, nuts, Christmas cake, mince pies, the whole shebang - which also included [my favourite] the cheese platter and my homemade christmas cookies.

cheeses || goat's cheese, brie, shropshire blue & mature cheddar
christmas cookies || lemon and vanilla biscuits with icing, dried figs, dried apricots & [sliced] jelly babies

Our day also involved lots of [competitive] game playing - we really got into Tri-Ominos and Mahjong this year. Even got a visit from the lovely Nicole and Alastair who were staying nearby. All in all, it was a pretty excellent Christmas chill. Thanks pops!

Hope you guys had a great time with your family and friends too. 


24 December 2014

the christmas monster

D I S H Y #13 ||

Over the last few years, I have noticed a big boom in two things: novelty Christmas jumpers and Christmas dinner being incorporated into anything and everything. For the latter, first there were sandwiches. Then I discovered Christmas dinner pizzas. This year, the new thing seems to be Christmas themed burgers. At brunch last week, Adrian and I decided to face-front-on the monster burger that was the Three Kings. A majestic creation by the folks at the Blues Kitchen in Shoreditch. This burger of the month was made up of: buttermilk fried turkey, sausage apricot stuffing patty, cranberry sauce, gravy-soaked cornbread, brussel sprouts and sweetcure bacon. Couldn't have been more epic-ly design if it tried.

The Blues Kitchen itself is full of character - I much preferred this venue to it's sister in Camden. It's a big open room with a lot going on without being overwhelming. Lots of colour, textures, styles pulled together into a subtle and warm collage. The inventiveness even stretched to the ceiling which the waitress said was made from the old toilet floor tiles (cleaned of course). I also loved how the bar was made the centre piece of the room, the lighting making it look almost evangelistic and surrounded by cosy booths, a live music stage (for when it really gets down) and a caravan for parties at the back. The alcoves of famous musicians was a lovely touch too.

Even after such a mammoth meal, I still had room for a little something sweet. Most of the desserts looked like more mountains to climb so I asked for a bespoke salted caramel ice cream (two scoops) with some peacans - and the guys made it for me! Perfect end to a Christmassy themed catch up.

Oh, and I decided to run around Shoreditch with elf antlers afterwards. Anything for that Christmassy feeling!

Photo below by the lovely Alexander Fabulous aka +Adrian Burton.

21 December 2014

eye candy *

D E S I G N E R S || Warby Parker

Fellow specs-wearers beware, I have recently been pointed in the direction of rebellious eyewear designers Warby Parker. Their philosophy is simple: glasses should be high-quality but still affordable. Plus they believe that we should giving specs-access to the one billion in need around the world. 

Something I think they're missing from their mission is real choice. I usually get pretty bored when I'm faced with choosing a new pair of specs - the 'walls of choice' I usually face aren't that exciting because the choice is either cheap and bland or designer and unnecessarily expensive. These guys have come up with something just right in between.

d a y || [top row] Edgeworth in sage, Keene in beach glass, Topper in striped olive [middle row] Upton in sea smoke tortoise, Kimball in marzipan tortoise, Fillmore in redwood ash [bottom row] Durand in saddle russet, Duckworth in marine slate, Watts in blue sapphire

Another thing I think these guys are missing in their philosophy is personality. Every pair of their collection has a distinct personality which to me makes them so easy to identify with. If these ranges have really been created direct from their customers' feedback then they have some pretty interesting and creative clients. Picking just nine favourites [from each of the collection] to feature in this post was a task [not helped by the fact I'm super indecisive]. I just want to lift them all off the site and try on!

s u n || [top row] Downing in walnut tortoise, Winston in old fashioned fade, Ellison in marbles sandstone [middle row] Quimby in absinthe, Teddy in petal tortoise, Banks in sea smoke tortoise [bottom row] Raglan in pearled tortoise, Neville in redwood ash, Everly in windswept

Both the Optical and Suncare ranges are playful yet wearable. Starting from $95 there is no reason why you wouldn't invest. Unfortunately for us UK / outside-of-the-USA lot, there are no stores for us nearby to get the Warby Parker experience. Shall we sign a petition or something?! I want to.

Nethertheless, it's really refreshing to see something so practical be so fun. If I'm honest, from the day I was told I had to wear glasses I tried to avoid wearing them. I now mainly sport contacts due to practicality [can't be dealing with constantly steamed glasses when I cook] but I have to admit that if I owned a pair of these I may rethink my glasses:contacts wearing scenario. Will definitely be paying these guys a visit next time my glasses are up for renewal, that's for sure…

The team have also recently launched a couple of new collections; one of which I am loving: the Concentric Collection [modelled by the lovely man below], which I agree has a "nice ring to it". 

C o n c e n t r i c C o l l e c t i o n || [left to right] Murphy in crystal, Everly in whistler grey, Benchley in oak barrel

* This post is sponsored by Warby Parker.
Thanks for opening my eyes up to the alternative [no pun intended].

Find out more about Warby Parker here.
The full girls Optical range is here and for Sunwear here.
And don't feel left out boys because your Optical range is here and Sunwear here.