meli melo Autumn Winter 2016

The Information Overload

We’ve never been so connected, thanks to endless social networks and constant content sharing. So why does it feel so meaningless? Endlessly absorbed in our phones, forgetting to look up, to actually interact with each other. What have we become? And where on earth are we going? Andrew Sullivan’s powerful personal account isn’t a quick read – but it’s a necessary one. Make time to read this – and take time to have a think.

information-overload

I Used to Be a Human Being. An endless bombardment of news and gossip and images has rendered us manic information addicts. It broke me. It might break you, too. Read more: New York Magazine.

Roaldspiration!

Today would have been Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday.  A master storyteller, true creative wordsmith and a man with a boundless imagination, what better way to celebrate his centenary than with a look at some of his most magical quotes from those books you read and read again as a child. They’re every bit as powerful and inspiring now as they were then… 

roald-dahl-100

12 quotes from Roald Dahl books to live your adult life by. There’s a whole lot of wisdom in those treasured childhood tales… Read more: Radio Times.

RIH Eats

It’s the restaurant that’s been raved about by foodies and restaurant critics, and won an impressive number of awards despite only having opened in 2014. We’re talking about – of course – The Palomar. If you’ve been, you’ll know all about the spectacular “food of modern day Jerusalem” it serves, the buzzing ambiance and the chefs knocking back shots of arak at the kitchen bar. And now, just a couple of years on, comes the Soho eatery’s much-anticipated cookbook. According to sources, even Ms Natalie Portman has been itching to get her hands on a copy of The Palomar Cookbook

shakshuka the palomar

And it’s no surprise. After all, the team describe their recipes as “easy, fun, quick and simple to create, always beautiful to look at and utterly delicious to eat”. Who doesn’t want some of that? Plus it’s a true reflection of the experience you’ll have dining at The Palomar, in fact. In The Palomar Cookbookyou’ll find restaurant favourites like Polenta Jerusalem-Style, Octo-Hummus and Shakshukit, alongside simple recipes for the beautiful mezze – the “meal before the meal”, as they so aptly describe it! The Palomar is all about “heritage with a twist; modernity with lasting style,” according to its creative director, Layo Paskin. So we’re delighted to publish an absolutely delicious recipe from the book right along those lines: the New-Style Shakshuka. Enjoy!

  • salt
  • 1 small cauliflower, broken into 3–5cm evenly sized florets
  • 50ml (2fl oz) olive oil
  • 1 aubergine, cut into 2cm cubes
  • pepper
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp toasted and ground cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp toasted and ground coriander seeds (optional)
  • 2–3 garlic cloves, sliced, or very finely chopped
  • handful of fresh oregano leaves
  • 200ml (7fl oz) or water
  • 1 courgette, shaved into ribbons with a peeler
  • 8 eggs
  • handful of chopped parsley to garnish

 

 

new style shakshuka palomar

Start by placing a large pan of water on the hob with 2 tablespoons salt added and bring to the boil. Blanch the cauliflower florets for 2–3 minutes, then drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a large pan over a medium-high heat, add the oil and then the aubergine cubes. Now this is important: make sure you season every ingredient that goes in the pan with some salt and pepper and a little of the chilli flakes, cumin and coriander (if using) to ensure that your shakshuka bursts with flavour — you can mix the dried spices (but not the salt) together to make them easier to add each time.

shakshuka recipe the palomar

Cook the aubergines for about 5–7 minutes until they have a nice golden colour. Then add the cauliflower florets, garlic and oregano, season as before and cook, stirring, for 3–4 minutes.

Crank up the heat, add the stock or water and scrape the base of the pan with a wooden spoon (that’s where all the flavour is) to deglaze. Leave the stock to boil for 30 seconds, then add the courgette shavings and the rest of the spices. Break the eggs gently into the sauce and drag the egg whites.

the palomar cookbook

Lower the heat and cook for about 10–15 minutes until the whites have set but the yolks are still runny. Season the yolks with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the chopped parsley and rock on.

From the Octopus Publishing Group, The Palomar Cookbook is available to buy online here. For more information and to book at the restaurant, see The Palomar’s website.

The Anti-Ageing Essentials

Sometimes it can feel like you need to be a beauty expert when you’re buying skin products. Sure, you want to choose skincare with anti-ageing benefits, but as a normal person – not a facialist or a beauty journalist – how on earth are you meant to choose between peptides and collagen, retinoids and vitamins? ICYMI, this round-up of the best anti-ageing skincare essentials from Dr Sam Bunting is a great place to start.

antiageing skincare

8 anti-ageing ingredients that actually work …and two that don’t. We asked a dermatologist to blow the lids off of our skincare regimes. Read more: Get The Gloss.

Couture Cocktails

From now onwards, there’s only one way we want to test out new perfumes. Trying scent at the beauty counter is all well and good, but the Hotel Café Royal has come up with something really rather special. The decadent London hotel has partnered with Parfums Givenchy to create a capsule collection of cocktails – inspired by the iconic French brand’s super luxe L’Atelier de Givenchy scents. Do we love perfume? Bien sur. Are we partial to cocktails? Do you really need to ask…

cocktails givenchy

Served in the Hotel Café Royal’s sophisticated Green Bar – all marble tables and glossy deep emerald tiles – the collection of cocktails includes ten creations inspired by Givenchy’s chicest fine fragrances. It’s a unique adventure, a different way of experiencing cocktails and perfume – and a must-try for scent aficionados and mixology enthusiasts alike.

hotel cafe royal green bar

Of course, we’re aware of the connection between the senses, but the magical link between how we experience aromas and flavours is really brought to life in this unusual experience. It’s all thanks to Derren King – the Hotel Café Royal’s resident Bar Manager – and a man who’s truly passionate about mixology. Working closely with Givenchy, King has poured hours of research, expertise and creativity into replicating the French label’s luxurious fine fragrances in beautifully-crafted, thoughtfully-prepared cocktails.

Parfums Givenchy Cocktails

Don’t expect to look through a menu, you’ll choose your cocktail once you’ve explored the ten glass jars placed in front of you – all filled with brightly-coloured scented buttons. Nope, this isn’t your average cocktail bar! Will you choose a woody, oriental-inspired Gaiac Mystique – with rich notes of amaretto and almond contrasting with a sharp-sour hit of pomegranate and lime? Or perhaps a light, floral Chypre Caresse; light, bright citrus scents blending with Peychauds Bitters and aromatic maraschino concluded with a flourish of Prosecco? We’ll have both, please.

hotel cafe royal givenchy cocktails

Sometimes it’s hard to remember where the scent begins and the cocktails ends as the two really are so similar that senses are almost instantly muddled. We didn’t manage to work our way through all ten, but suffice to say that – in the name of good journalism – we’ve road-tested enough to assure that whatever your usual scent of choice, there’s a cocktail you’ll love here. And sometimes the perfumes that you definitely wouldn’t choose to wear, actually result in the most delicious cocktails.

givenchy cocktails hotel cafe royal

The velvety, sensual, smoke-tinged Oud Flamboyant, for example, is a delicious mélange of Coconut Noir iced tea, whiskey, honey, flash-flamed cinnamon and kumquat. Not a scent you might ever opt for – and certainly a curious blend of ingredients, but a complex, extremely moreish cocktail. There’s ten of them to try – and you’ve got until the end of September to enjoy the experience. Whether you love perfume, cocktails – or just want to do something new and different, this is an unmissable treat.

For more information and to book, please contact the team directly on +44 (0)207 406 3310 or via email restaurants@hotelcaferoyal.com. You can also find out more on the Hotel Café Royal’s website.

The Best Beach Reads Of All Time

We’re not always fans of these Best Reads OF All Time lists, but this one? If you’ve been desperately trying to find the perfect book to take to the beach/on holiday, well you’ve come to the right place. The best beach books of all time? Sure, there’s trashy (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Prep, Jackie Collins), but there’s also some page-turning, must-read classics (Bonjour Tristesse, Edith Wharton, Brighton Rock) that are just exactly what you want to read on the beach. Just remember to apply suncream before you get too engrossed!

best beach books of all time

Whether mass-market candy or high literature, a beach read needs narrative momentum, a transporting sense of place, and, ideally, a touch of the sordid. Even a book that takes a little work shouldn’t feel that way in the hot sun, and you’ll hardly break a sweat with any of the 100 greats listed here, in chronological order. Read more: Vulture.

Exhaustion: A Status Symbol

Endless emails, relentless deadlines and the constant pressure to keep up with social media, the news, life, the universe and everything – not to mention friends and family. It’s easy to imagine that feeling exhausted by it all is a typically 21st century concept. Not so – if we told you exhaustion was nothing new, well, would you feel quite so exhausted?

exhaustion

Exhaustion is a vague and forgiving concept. Celebrities say they’re suffering from it when they go to rehab and don’t want to admit to depression or addiction. You can attribute your low mood or your short temper to exhaustion, and it can mean anything from “had a couple of bad nights’ sleep” to “about to have a nervous breakdown.” It also seems like a peculiarly modern affliction. From sloth to burnout, each age remakes exhaustion in its own image. Read more: New Republic.

High Street Beauty Buys

Can you get radiant, flawless skin for less than a tenner? Banish even the trickiest imperfections for under £5? How about creating the perfect eyeliner flick for the same price as a glass of wine? Done, done and done. From the foundation that makeup artists swear by to the lipstick that gives luxury brands a run for their money, these are the high street beauty products that really work – and don’t involve flashing a credit card. The best budget makeup? Right this way…

best budget makeup

Best Concealer

 
Easily blendable, highly-pigmented and long-lasting – if you’re concealing blemishes or covering up imperfections, you want a concealer that does the job. Collection’s Lasting Perfection Concealer ticks all the boxes – plus it’s water-resistant and transfer-proof too. One of these award-winning concealers sells every every 58 seconds in the UK, and costing less than a fiver – it’s absolute steal.

collection lasting perfection concealer

Best Highlighter

 
We’re big fans of the high street favourite’s brightly-hued lipsticks, but it’s Topshop’s Glow Highlighter that’s really competition for the luxe labels. Highly-pigmented, glitter-free and long lasting, this imparts a subtle glow wherever you apply it – think eyes, cheekbones and decolletage. The soft rose gold colour flatters all complexions, with a gentle swipe leaving skin looking radiant and beautifully glowing.

topshop glow highlighter

Best Mascara

 
From False Lash Effect and Masterpiece to the iconic 2000 Calorie, when it comes to mascara, Max Factor is the brand that impresses again and again. For OTT volumised glamour, we love the award-winning False Lash Effect, and you’ll find 2000 Calorie in many a makeup artist’s kit bag, although with a super-precise brush to really define lashes, Masterpiece gives a professional look with a non-spendy price-tag.

best max factor mascara

Best Foundation

 
Beauty editors, bloggers, make-up artists – ask any of them for a glowy, flawless foundation on the cheap, and Bourjois Healthy Mix is the name you’ll hear again and again. It’s the ‘your skin, but better’ foundation that really looks natural, healthy and radiant while evening the complexion and banishing blemishes. This also feels fresh not heavy – and lasts amazingly too. You’ll wonder why you ever spent more on foundation.

 bourjois healthy mix foundation

Best Lipstick

 
Can you have too many lipsticks? Definitely not when it comes to Rimmel London’s Kate Moss collection. The range of colours is impressive as the price, with something to suit everyone – whether you love a traditional red, oh-so-now plum tones (107), an eye-catching fuschia or wear-everywhere nude. Long-wearing, satisfyingly hydrating and with real colour depth – if they’re good enough for Kate…

Kate Moss Rimmel lipsticks

Best Eyeliner

 
L’Oréal Paris Super Liner Perfect Slim. This is just so good – it does everything you want an eyeliner to do, and nothing that you don’t! It’s easy to use – even if you’re shaky of hand – meaning that precise lines or flicks are perfectly achievable, no need to be a makeup pro. This is a deep, intense, pigmented black, so you only need one line, once. And once in place, it stays put until you remove it, with no smudging, flaking or drying.

L'Oréal Paris Super Liner Perfect Slim

Best Powder

 
If you’ve not come across ELF’s eye-wateringly cheap cosmetics, you’ve been missing out. Their prices are almost too good to be believed, but the brand gets rave reviews from bloggers, editors and make-up artists with stunning regularity. From ELF’s Studio line, both the compact Studio Perfect Finish HD Powder and the loose High Definition Powder give truly professional results, banishing shine, setting makeup and giving skin a “soft focus” HD finish.

ELF studio definition powder

Best Primer

 
Minimising pores, fine lines and blemishes, evening skin and helping your foundation to last longer, Revlon’s PhotoReady Perfecting Primer has a silky-soft texture that leaves the complexion looking velvety-smooth. If you don’t usually use a primer, try this once and you’ll be hooked – it really does give skin an air-brushed look.

revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer

Best Brows

 
We’ve been known to snap up basketfuls of Sleek Makeup’s products on the regular, and there’s honestly pretty much next-to-nothing that disappoints. And the brand’s multifunctional Brow Kit get unanimously good reviews whether you’re someone who likes a bold brow or prefers to keep things au naturale. Pigmented wax and powder allow you to create shape and set brows, while tweezers, brushes and a mirror make this kit ideal on the go. Kudos for the impressive range of colours too.

sleek eyebrow kit

Best Eyeshadow

 
Brilliant staying power, saturated colour and a decent range of shades, when it comes to top-rated budget eyeshadows, we love Maybelline’s EyeStudio Color Tattoo 24hr Cream Gel Eyeshadow. From neutrals to brights to all you need for a sexy, smoky eye, these are fantastic value for money. Sweep on with your fingertips and blend out with a brush – the cream-gel formula is totally foolproof, and it really does last and last.

MAYBELLINE COLOR TATTOO 24HR CREAM GEL SHADOW

How To Listen

Hands up if you’re a great listener? We all are, right? How hard can it be anyway? Don’t interrupt, give your friend time to speak, and nod or make responses at the appropriate moments. Turns out, listening is a little more nuanced than that. And being a good listener will actually increase your self-esteem, self-confidence and give you a better understanding of yourself too.

how to listen7

Chances are you think you’re a good listener. People’s appraisal of their listening ability is much like their assessment of their driving skills, in that the great bulk of adults think they’re above average. Read more:  Harvard Business Review.

Working with Mindfulness

If you haven’t heard about mindfulness by now then you must have been hiding under a rock. Today, mindfulness is cropping up everywhere from the prison service, the military, education, health care, parenting, sports and business as well as in popular mainstream activities such as mindful gardening, eating, walking and so on. But how can it help you in the workplace? First, a little background on the buzzword of the moment…

how to be mindful

‘Mindfulness’ was first introduced to the West in the late 1950’s and was then secularised into mainstream medical circles in the 1970’s where it was initially trialled – with extreme success – for patients with incurable and/or terminal pain and illness. It was discovered that focusing on the present moment, with open awareness and non-judgemental attention to whatever arises (thoughts, feelings, body sensations), reduces our levels of stress and increases our sense of well-being. A wealth of research supports mindfulness as a highly effective technique for (deep breath): stress reduction, pain management, increased productivity, enhanced creativity, improved memory function, greater self-confidence, better self-awareness and self-care and, above all else, a significant increase in happiness and well-being.

In the workplace, this all translates to being able to get your job done more effectively and with less stress, which is good for you – and for your business, colleagues or company. The major reasons that mindfulness is so beneficial to working smarter are that it increases focus and attention. Most of us tend to rush around under the illusion that trying to do several things at once is an effective strategy. Whilst research consistently indicates that women are better at multi-tasking than men, it still isn’t a smart way to work. In fact, multi-tasking is sometimes dubbed ‘the art of messing several things up at once’ – this is NOT an accolade. With mindfulness, the art is in learning to train your mind to become more focused, to sustain this focus and to get each task you have to do done with clarity and efficiency. The result is that you will become more productive and less stressed – fantastic!

how to be mindful at work

It does often feel counter-intuitive not to rush about haphazardly from one thing to another, even if you know it isn’t really helping, and this is because you may have trained your brain to be heavily distracted – at work, according to research, this can actually mean that for up to 50% of the time your mind may be wandering off task. So it is time to rewire your brain to get focused, effective and really productive using the simple practice of mindfulness.

If you want to try training your mind to become more focused give the following very simple exercise a go, try it frequently (2-3 times a day) for at least a week:

● First begin by noticing that you are breathing. You should find that you are doing this all the time, everywhere you go! This means you can do this exercise anywhere, anytime.

mindfulness at work

● Watch your breath flowing into your body, starting at the nose or mouth, and then follow the course of the breath as it leaves the body. Allow yourself to pay good attention to the physical sensations of breathing.

● If your mind wanders, don’t panic, this is just your habitual distractibility appearing, it is inevitable and normal. Just be gentle but firm in guiding your focus back to the sensations of breathing.

● Any thoughts, emotions or physical sensations that you notice can now be observed, you do not need to engage with them, embellish them or push them away. Just see them appear and come back to the breath.

being mindful at work

● Allow yourself to watch the breath come and go for a few minutes. Doing this keeps you present-moment focused, and every time you notice and are aware of the present moment (in this exercise by watching the breath) you are strengthening concentration.

With time and practice you will see that your distractibility decreases and that you can apply the same technique that you have used here for watching the breath towards any task, so that you learn to work smarter. To find out more about how mindfulness can help you reduce stress, gain confidence and get more done, check out Working with Mindfulness.

Working With Mindfulness

Dr Michael Sinclair and Josie Seydel are the authors of Working with Mindfulness. It is out now, published by Pearson, priced at£13.99. ‘Working with Mindfulness is an engaging and practical guide to reducing stress, transcending setbacks and enhancing performance at work. With more than 50 mindfulness exercises, it’s a perfect introduction to a more fulfilling way of working.’ – Arianna Huffington, Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post.