New Nails

The shades to nail for Autumn/Winter 2014? As we move into a cooler colour palettes, look to soft wintry nudes and jewel tones from deep dramatic scarlets to sophisticated sapphires and violets…

nail trends autumn winter 2014

 

 

new nail colours autumn winter 2014

 

nude nail colours 2014

Chic Chocolate

In the past decade, artisan chocolate has really come into its own – it’s fair to say that the days when Milk Tray and Ferrero Rocher were considered posh chocolate are long gone. Phew.

vioko chocolate
One of our favourite places to find delicious new brands doing scrumptious and exciting things with chocolate has to be Selfridges, which stocks an amazing range of artisan chocolate bars. Our latest discovery is Vioko: a small Barceloneta-based company making insanely moreish chocolate with the finest ingredients sourced from only the best producers: “pistachios from Iran, flowers from France and hazelnuts from Piedmont in Italy”. Yes, please to all that!

vioko

But it’s with the marvellous flavours that Vioko really comes into its own. Something sweet yet slightly different? Try the white chocolate with tonka beans and sea salt. It’s an absolute flavour revelation. Or fancy something with a sexy, sensual edge to challenge that gourmet palate of yours? Go for the black chocolate with cayenne pepper. A classic with a twist? Gotta be the dark chocolate with pistachios. Maybe not actually a massive chocolate fan at all? We recommend the white chocolate with yoghurt and raspberry. The crystallised violets bar and the blond chocolate also come with our stamp of approval. Try them all, love them all. Moderation recommended…. If you can.

For more information, see the Vioko website, or shop the range online at Selfridges here.

Privet – London

It’s only been open for four months but the verdict from the beauty cognoscenti is in: for all forms of body topiary, plus knot-busting massages and immaculate manicures, put Privet on your speed dial immediately. Set back from Portobello Road, Privet already has a devoted clientele, won over by the fantastic treatments and unique interiors. Created to be gender-neutral, the feel of the London salon is rustic chic.

privet

There’s an indoor manicure garden surrounded by pages from old books featuring flowers which colour co-ordinate with nail polish shades, while each of the treatment rooms is kitted out like a cabin with cool flea market finds from work benches and old radios to terracotta pots and typewriters. Aspiring authors can request the Writing Room, the green-fingered can try the Potting Shed or book into the Orangery for a speedy spray tan.

privet writers room

While strip and hot wax cover all your de-fuzzing requirements as quickly and painlessly as possible, the branded treatments themselves have been cherry-picked to offer the best from professional ranges. Nail colours come from Essie, tans courtesy of St Tropez and facials from leading US dermatologist range Murad. Add to that exceptional Swedish and deep tissue massages and it’s easy to see why Privet is becoming a much-loved one-stop-shop.

log  cabin privet

For a taster – or a post-work, pre-date emergency – book in for a Bonsai Makeover. The 60 or 90 minute sessions mix mini massages, fast nail maintenance, glow-inducing facials and waxing. My fabulous therapist Erinah treated me to a perfect mani and pedi, luxurious lash tint and virtually painless leg wax in record time and with the added bonus of her lovely company. It may be garden-themed, but garden variety Privet certainly is not.

For more information and booking, see the Privet website. Privet – 214 Kensington Park Road, London W11. Tel: 0207 221 5674

Dining in Style

If we had to choose one word to sum up The Goring? Actually we’d choose two: just so. From the charming staff and faultless concierges to the beautifully manicured gardens and elegant suites, it’s all quite, quite lovely.

The goring hotel

And while you’ll no doubt have heard tell of the luxury hotel’s legendary afternoon tea, you might not be au fait with The Goring’s restaurant. After all, hotel restaurants can be tricky things; it’s rare that one makes sense within the context of the other. You’ve had the Best Night’s Sleep Ever in a dream of a luxurious suite, only to find that the scanty excuse for continental breakfast doesn’t quite measure up. Or there’s a jarring misbrand: the slick, modern restaurant doesn’t really match the quaint charm of the hotel’s sleeping quarters. Of course, this is absolutely not the case at The Goring.

Salt Marsh Lamb

For the first time in 15 years, there’s a new chef in situ, making The Goring’s dining room as much of a draw as an overnight stay. And – ahem – a slightly more economical way of testing out the hotel’s hospitality too… Michelin-pedigree chef Shay Cooper joins The Goring from The Bingham, having cut his teeth at The Vineyard at Stockcross and worked as Head Chef at Olga Polizzi’s Endsleigh House. And Cooper won’t be allowing himself – or The Goring – to rest on their laurels: “I am here to make a mark, we want a kitchen that is ambitious, rather than content.   We are cooking modern British food with personality – as befits The Goring – but food that is rooted in sensibility.  It’s all about restraint.”

Eggs Drumkilbo

Cooper’s deft touch has resulted in an elegant, imaginative and refined menu – it’s the very best of British, with the sophistication you’d expect from The Goring. Signature dishes include the famous Eggs Drumkilbo (the Queen Mum’s favourite, if you please) and the classic lobster omelette, served with moreish chips triple-cooked in duck fat. As well as the restaurant’s classic roasts, hand-carved at your table, there are daily specials such as Salt Marsh lamb with rosemary jus, fish pie served with English peas and fennel, and the quintessentially British steak and kidney pudding. Classic dishes, yes, but prepared, cooked and served with finesse. Just so, if you like…

Plaice Fillet

For more information and to book, see The Goring’s website or telephone +44 (0) 20 7396 9000.

The Fashion Finds

Don’t get us wrong, we love Net-A-Porter as much as the next credit-card-flexing fashionista. But sometimes, shopping the etailer’s gigantic selection of stylish goodies can be a little bit overwhelming. There’s just SO MUCH amazing stuff on there. So we are really quite delighted with N-A-P’s new Finds section:

Je M'En Fous Bikinis

“A unique curation of ever changing pieces – discovered by our buyers on their travels across the globe. Gems that you won’t want to miss – bags to tote, dresses to dance in, jewelry that everyone will want and much more. These are buy now, treasure forever finds and we can’t promise they will be here for long.”All Things Fabulous

Exciting eh? We’ll be checking back regularly to explore the buying team’s latest finds… Right now we’re in lust with these fantastic printed shorts from All Things Fabulous.… And then there’s the vintage-inspired rock and roll tees from MadeWorn – perfect styled with a tailored blazers or worn as weekend wear with denim cut-offs…. Other new labels not to be missed: Muzungu Sisters‘ statement embellished totes, Italian brand Je M’En Fous‘ super sexy bikinis, Shore Projects‘ slick watches and Finnish designer Minna Parikka‘s adorable bunny ear sneakers.

MadeWorn

Shop Net-A-Porter’s Finds selection online here.

The Scent of Summer

Pretty packaging – check. Deeply hydrating ingredients – check. Summery scent – check. Since it launched ten years ago, Elemis’ Frangipani Monoi Oil has carried off awards too numerous to name and become a staple of beauty editors everywhere. In celebration of the anniversary, Elemis unveiled another exotic bodycare treat: Frangipani Monoi Body Cream.

Elemis Frangipani Monoi Body Cream

Generally we find body moisturising about as interesting as trying to understand cricket or watching paint dry, but anointing oneself with Frangipani Monoi Body Cream is actually rather lovely. Made with Tahitian monoi oil, the delicate fragrance is what we imagine might be the scent of a tropical island at dusk, the sun setting over the ocean – and it lingers on the skin too. Easily absorbed, it’s enriched with nourishing macadamia and rich sesame oil, leaving skin supple, smooth and moisturised. Warning: this may cause you to smell yourself repeatedly – this is completely normal, and no cause for concern.

Elemis Frangipani Monoi Body Cream is available to buy online here.

Jewellery & Justice

We’ve long been fans of Finchittida Finch‘s exquisite jewellery, but with their latest collection the talented design duo are taking things one step further. Not content with creating their signature ornate statement pieces, Finchittida Finch have teamed up with MAG (Mines Advisory Group): a global humanitarian charity which clears live weapons, explosives and bombs left by conflict. Via the long-term partnership with MAG, every purchase helps bring safety to places affected by war. So far, so political.

Finchittida Finch empress collection

However, look a little closer at the campaign images for Finchittida Finch’s A/W 2014 collection and you might just notice something about the model. Aside from the fact that she’s absolutely, show-stoppingly beautiful, she’s actually got what the fashion industry would consider a fairly substantial imperfection. But rather than covering up Li-Ann‘s scar, the designers chose to make this the moment to make another statement, really accepting and embracing her imperfection.

Finchittida Finch

“Li-Ann had no qualms about her scar but asked if it would be a problem for us. Our automatic reaction was to say “don’t worry, we can airbrush it out.” Then it hit us how damaging those words were, no one should be made to feel ashamed over their ‘imperfections’. We decided to make a feature of Li-Ann’s scar, to show that there’s nothing wrong with ‘imperfections’. The whole team including Li-Ann felt it would be a great message.”

Finchittida Finch AW 2014

Pow! The world needs more brave, courageous designers like the Finchittida Finch twins.

For more information, see the Finchittida Finch website

RIH Eats

Best-selling cookery writer Anjum Anand certainly knows her stuff when it comes to Indian food; her breakthrough book (Indian Food Made Easy) actually knocked Harry Potter off the top spot! From her latest title – Anjum’s Quick and Easy Indian – this recipe for Indian stir-fried spring veg vermicelli with peanuts is a made-in-minutes supper staple. And it’s super healthy to boot!

Vermicelli and rice noodles feature on Indian menus, the former in desserts in North India as well as in quick stir-fries in many regions, the latter mostly in the South. This recipe is inspired by those northern vegetable stir-fries. If you make the recipe with fine vermicelli (available in Indian stores), you will produce a softer, more unctuous dish. Rice noodles, used here, are more textured but also more widely available. Both work well. Add edamame beans for a little protein, but you can use broad beans or peas for a burst of sweetness if you prefer.

stir-fried spring veg vermicelli with

  • 2–3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp chana dal
  • 14 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 15g root ginger, peeled weight, finely shredded
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1⁄4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 large carrot, cut into 7.5cm matchsticks
  • 12 asparagus spears, tips cut whole on the diagonal, stalks finely sliced
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal
  • 2 handfuls of edamame beans
  • 300g packet fine rice noodles
  • 2–3 tbsp lemon juice, to taste
  • small handful of finely chopped mint or coriander leaves
  • small handful of roasted salted peanuts, lightly crushed

 

noodles

Heat the oil in a large non-stick sauté pan. Add the chillies and mustard seeds and, once the popping dies down, the chana dal and curry leaves. Once the lentils start to colour, add the red onion, ginger and seasoning and sauté for three to four minutes before adding the turmeric. Fry for 20 seconds, stirring to mix well, then add the rest of the vegetables.

Stir-fry for two minutes, then add the rice noodles and lemon juice and continue to cook for another two minutes, or until the noodles are soft but the vegetables are still crunchy. Stir in the herbs and peanuts and serve hot or warm.

100 Years, 100 Legacies

It can’t have escaped your notice that this year marks 100 years since the outbreak of World War One; a conflict which truly shaped society, politics and the world we live in today. Commemorating the anniversary, the Wall Street Journal has launched an inspired and absolutely fascinating resource: the 100 Years, 100 Legacies microsite.

100 Years 100 Legacies

“Wall Street Journal editors from around the world have selected 100 legacies that still shape our lives today. History is always open to interpretation, but as the war to end all wars retreats from living history, it feels more important than ever to remember its impact. It is everywhere you look.”

From drinking hours to Dada, passports to Pilates and wristwatches to the women’s vote,  100 Years, 100 Legacies is an interactive site that will keep you occupied for hours….

New Nails

Banish black and get rid of grey! Summer is the season to embrace bright colours, which are scientifically proven to make you 87.5% happier too. From award-winning four-free nail colour brand Nailberry, the Summer Collection features a range of six bold, bright colours perfect for fingers and toes.

nailberry summer 204

Our favourites? The punchy Rio (canary yellow) and De Janeiro (mint green) colours look fantastic on fingertips, while A Smart Cookie (deep raspberry pink) is chic pedicure choice. While we’re aware that nail colour won’t change your life, it is rather nice isn’t it?

Nailberry’s Summer Collection is available to buy online here.