The Edit: Faux Fur

Fashion trends come and go, but we couldn’t be more delighted that this year, faux fur seems to have really come into its own. Not too long ago, it looked like we were heralding the return of real fur, but thankfully with faux fur coats, gilets and scarves looking ever more stylish for Autumn/Winter 2016, there’s even less excuse for mink, fox and all the other non-PETA-approved fabrics. From leopard to stripes and high street to high end, staying warm and stylish has never been easier. Here’s our edit of the best faux fur coats to buy right now…

mango faux fur coats

Mango Leopard faux-fur coat          Mango Faux Fur Jacket

Mango Leopard Faux-Fur Coat

faux-fur-coats-missguided

Missguided Blue Oversized Collar Faux Fur Coat          Missguided Collarless Short Faux Fur Coat

Missguided Navy Bubble Faux Fur Coat

mango-faux-fur-coats

Mango Faux Fur Coat        Mango Faux Fur Coat

Mango Faux Fur Jacket

missguided-pink-faux-fur-coats

Missguided Pink Bubble Faux Fur Bomber Jacket          Missguided Pink Pressed Faux Fur Coat

Missguided Pink Longline Faux Fur Bomber Jacket

revolve-faux-fur-coats

X Revolve Bonita Faux Fur Jacket          Unreal Fur Dream Faux Fur Jacket

Milly Faux Fur Jacket

shrimps-faux-fur-coats-matchesfashion

Shrimps Fifi Leopard Print Faux Fur Coat          Shrimps Jean Striped Faux Fur Coat

Shrimps Claude Leopard Print Faux Fur Coat

reiss-faux-fur-coats

Reiss Alexia Faux Fur Coat           Reiss Meyer Faux Fur Gilet

Reiss Alexia Faux Fur Coat

whistles-faux-fur-coats

Whistles Faux Fur Cocoon Coat          Whistles Jacquard Faux Fur Coat

Whistles Duvall Faux Fur Jacket

luxury-faux-fur-coats

Karl Lagerfeld Faux Fur Coat         Elizabeth & James Balin leopard-print faux fur coat

Alice + Olivia Kinsley oversized striped faux fur coat

asos-faux-fur-coats

Lazy Oaf X Disney 101 Dalmatians Faux Fur Coat          ASOS Faux Fur Cropped Jacket

ASOS Faux Fur Coat in Leopard Print with Contrast Collar

zara-faux-fur-coats

Zara Short Faux Fur Jacket          Zara Faux Fur Bomber Jacket

Zara Animal Print Faux Fur Coat

faux-fur-coats-net-a-porter

J.Crew Madison Faux Fur Coat          Michael by Michael Kors Leopard-print faux fur wrap coat

J.Crew Madison Geo Striped Faux Fur Coat

SJP’s Must-Have Shoes

When you think of Sex and the City, New York streets, the girls’ epic dating antics and Carrie’s pondering voiceovers are probably what come to mind. And then there was that shoe collection. Yes, when we weren’t lusting over Smith Jarrod et al, it was Sarah Jessica Parker’s incredible footwear that lit up the screen. She might not have invested in property, or done any of those Serious, Important Things, but boy, did Carrie have an amazing collection of shoes. So the news that SJP has created a capsule range of shoes for Net-A-Porter is sweet, sweet music to our ears.

sjp-by-sarah-jessica-parker-westminster-metallic-leather-sandals

SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Westminster Metallic Leather Sandals

Launched just in time for the festive season, the collection of party shoes includes heels and flats – all as opulent and eye-catching as you might have hoped! Think jewel-encrusted satin pumps, shimmering metallic leather sandals and bow-adorned heels plus elegant flats and pretty Mary Janes. These are classics, with a twist – SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker’s shoes are timeless pieces to wear this season and next too. Add these show-off shoes to any LBD and you’re good to go. And party dressing made easy is something we think Carrie would definitely approve of!

sjp-shoes

SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Windsor Crystal-Embellished Satin Pumps

SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Carrie Metallic Leather Pumps

sjp-shoes-by-sarah-jessica-parker

SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Carrie Satin Point-Toe Flats

SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Tartt Crystal-Embellished Satin Pumps

sjp-shoes-net-a-porter

SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Lucille bow-embellished satin pumps

sjp-shoe-collection-netaporter

SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Windsor Crystal-Embellished Satin Pumps

SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Fugue Glittered Leather Sandals

sjp-sarah-jessica-parker-shoes

SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Carrie Satin Pumps

sjp-shoe-collection

For more information, and to shop the SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker collection, head to Net-A-Porter. Prices range from £245 to £400.

Festive Feasts Help the Homeless

Christmas? If you love the fizz-fuelled, gift-buying, sequin-clad occasion, it’s quite probably the most wonderful time of the year. But if you’re homeless or living in temporary accommodation, it’s likely to be one of the worst. Cold, dark, lonely; most of us can only imagine what it must be like to sleep rough on the streets, fairy lights twinkling cruelly over our heads and on the other side of shop windows.

fat-macys-supperclub

“We really want to challenge the stigma surrounding homelessness”, says Meg Doherty, Founder and CEO of Fat Macy’s: the supper club project that gives the homeless a helping hand. “The people we work with just need a chance” and by training homeless young Londoners to run supper club events so they can save money for a rental deposit, Fat Macy’s does just that. It allows people who have become homeless “to get on with rebuilding their lives, rather than getting stuck in a benefits trap”.

fat-macys-menu-2016

But as well as being a great social enterprise, at Fat Macy’s you’ll also eat one of the best meals you’re likely to get this December. A velvety roasted garlic and potato soup, hearty turkey pie with smashed cranberry sauce and boozy quince trifle make up a menu you’d never guess was cooked up by newly trained twenty-somethings, recently down on their luck.

fat-macys-christmas-menu

Fat Macy’s are hosting twelve evenings throughout December at Clerkenwell’s Printworks Kitchen (a short walk away from Farringdon Tube and a hop and a skip from Exmouth Market). With long sharing tables the sociable atmosphere is electric and it’s a great way to meet new people (what supper clubs are famous for), as well as helping those in need.

fat-macys-helping-the-homeless

Buy your tickets for Fat Macy’s here for £30, including three courses and a welcome cocktail (bargain).  It’s honestly the best night out you’ll have this Christmas and leave you feeling all fuzzy inside. #WIN

How To Write A Bestseller

Writing a bestselling novel is definitely #lifegoals for many of us. However, the hard reality of putting pen to paper, finding time to write, wrestling with characterisation and plot – not to mention the pitfalls of eventually finding a publisher – have left plenty of great stories off the shelf. But don’t be daunted. The dream of headlining the Hay Festival or topping the Amazon books chart can happen – and Cecelia Ahern is a woman who should know. Best known for her debut novel, P.S I Love You, which was written when she was just 21, she’s turned out to be quite the prolific author. Thirteen books later including a YA novel and a rumoured erotic TV screenplay under her belt (yes, you read that right) she’s just released her latest novel, Lyrebird. Here, Ahern shares her secrets for how to turn that story you’re itching to tell into a literary smash.

cecelia-ahern

Discover your most effective way of writing

 
Find what works for you. Because I have children, I’m a very structured writer. I sit down from 9-5, four days a week and write a chapter in each sitting. I’ll walk into my office and light a Jo Malone candle, such as Blackberry & Bay or Grapefruit; it’s the moment I can go ‘aah’ and be creative. I write longhand first so I can see how ideas develop and then I type it up. I edit as I go along so I immediately have a second draft. I start writing in January, edit in the summer and it’s published in autumn. That’s my routine. You might think that it doesn’t sound very creative but it’s about setting out a time and sticking to it.

writing-tips

Creative writing courses aren’t for everyone

 
If you’re a person who needs structure and motivation, then great. But I did creative writing classes at college and I found it was forced creativity. To be given a topic to write about was too restricting and was frustrated I couldn’t write the things I wanted to. I’m a lone ranger. I work best alone.

writing-course

Sharing your work is good – but only once you’ve finished

 
Even now sharing my work is daunting. My mother was the first person who read my work and I remember giving it to her and hiding behind my hands. Which I still do to be honest! What’s needed at this point is encouragement. For me, it’s not about pointing out spelling mistakes or repetitions. It’s all about motivation. Writing a novel is a long process. Sometimes I think, ‘can I finish this?’ So encouragement and praise is important to help you complete your story. Then you can be critical.

writing-feedback

Ideas first. Character second.

 
I always know the beginning and ending of my books. As with Lyrebird, I knew it was about a girl with an ability to mimic sounds. From there, my characters grew. Writing is very visual; basically, I write what I see. It’s like a movie: I watch and write. I’ll have conversations with the characters in my head. Then sometimes an idea will just strike from nowhere. The other day my brother-in-law made a comment and suddenly ‘bam!’ I could see my next book – the story, characters, everything!

writing

Write what you feel, not what you know

 
I have a love/hate relationship with the phrase ‘write what you know’. I think you should write how you feel. Sometimes what you know isn’t that interesting. I love my allotment, but as the basis of a story it might not work. But how you feel about your allotment could work as part of a story.

writing-ideas

Find an agent before pitching to publishers

 
I wouldn’t have had a clue how to go directly to a publisher, even now. My advice would be to pick up the Writers’ Handbook. I was recommended to my agent by a family friend, and was told to send in three chapters and a synopsis. After that I was asked for more chapters, so I was writing on demand. After ten chapters, she asked to meet me and two weeks after that I had secured a deal with Harper Collins. I was so encouraged that someone liked my first ten chapters it gave me faith to go on and finish the book.

Cecelia Ahern’s Lyrebird is out now, published by Harper Collins. For more information on Cecelia Ahern, head to her website, follow on Twitter or find her on Facebook.

Having It All

How peaceful life would be if we really could have it all. Everything you ever wanted landing straight into your lap through a click of the fingers. It would be amazing, wouldn’t it?

multi-tasking

Many people often think that way. So why do we constantly read stories of the rich, famous and successful, who have fallen into the depths of anxiety, stress and addiction? Typically, the main reason is because – in their scramble to ‘have it all’ – they succumb to the short term pleasures in life rather than focusing on the long term gains. So what can we do today, to reap a more rewarding and fulfilling life tomorrow?

having-it-all

CLARITY

 
Uncertainty is the biggest stress that most of us face in life. We should remind ourselves that we are animals and therefore need the same feeling of safety and security that animals do. Stress is there for a reason. It is a red flag that warns us that all is not well, and that there are areas of our lives we need to pay attention to.

no-stress

SEPARATE YOUR ‘NEEDS’ FROM YOUR ‘WANTS’

 
Animals will feel stressed unless they are in a safe environment where they do not have to worry about predators. Such an environment would include a safe place to stay, food, water and other animals of the same species around them for protection – the necessities in life. In the same way, order for us humans to feel safe and secure, we need to first focus on obtaining the things that bring us safety and security; a home, financial security, a strong and healthy body, a long term partner and good friends.

take-note

So, write down all the things you want out of life so you can see them clearly in front of you. Divide them into two lists, “needs” and “wants”. “Needs” are long term goals such as financial security, a home, a car, savings etc. Wants are short term pleasures such as material possessions, nights out and weekends away.

prioritise-needs-and-wants

PRIORITISE

 
Ultimately, it’s crucial to prioritise our “needs” before our “wants” if we wish to attain peace of mind. Many people tend to feed their short term “wants” before their long term “needs”, which leads to insecurity and stress. There is nothing wrong with having the latest mobile phone, seasonal fashions, or a spa weekend away, but make sure your long term plans are in place first. “Wants” are fine in moderation, but keep them under control.

travelling

STAY IN CREDIT

 
Avoid getting into debt through buying unnecessary things. “Wants” will only ever provide you with short term pleasure and these tend to be your material possessions or emotional pleasures which, although are exciting in the moment, lose their appeal very quickly. If you are spending too much time and money on your “wants”, then in the long term, your “needs” will not be met, leaving you insecure and anxious about the future. Only spend what you have. Once you get into debt, you will find that rather than owning your possessions, your possessions start to own you.

shopping-kate-moss

GRATITUDE

 
Finally, be grateful for what you have. There will always be others with more than you, so don’t compare yourself to them. Instead contemplate all the things that you do have, as you will start begin to appreciate how good your life already is.

simplicity

Toby Maguire is founder and CEO of Working in Balance, which runs retreats and workshops specialising in corporate wellness, and wellbeing in the workplace. From January 2017, Working In Balance is hosting a series of unique and rebalancing retreats in the spectacular setting of Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal. Working in Balance aims to educate individuals and organisations on the negative effects of stress, how to reduce it and how to improve physical and psychological well-being. Guests at the retreats will receive a range of tips on how to work more productively and efficiently, and the retreat also includes an individual wellness assessment, two hours of daily themed workshops and seminars, Tai Chi, meditation and yoga classes, as well as fitness activities and a relaxing daily massage. For more information and to book, see the Working in Balance website.

Taking Stock Of Time

Imagine you could divide the time you’re not asleep into 100 blocks of ten minutes each. And then decide what to do with those 100 blocks. That’s exactly what you can do every single day. Time to sit down and take stock of time?

time

Most people sleep about seven or eight hours a night. That leaves 16 or 17 hours awake each day. Or about 1,000 minutes. Let’s think about those 1,000 minutes as 100 10-minute blocks. That’s what you wake up with every day. Read more: Wait But Why.

Workwear 101

Let’s face it, office-appropriate dressing can be something of a minefield. What is “appropriate” varies enormously from workplace to workplace. Strutting past the water cooler in a silk pyjama suit and statement heels might earn you sartorial points of a Monday morning in a creative office, but leave the cleaners sweeping up the entire third floor’s dropped jaws in the corporate world. Part of the joy of working in a creative industry is the workwear freedom that comes with it. So, this time around, our advice is aimed at the white-collar world, where getting it right is key, and getting it wrong can be a bit of a disaster.

workwear-fashion

First up, it really pays off to build your working wardrobe around some hardworking classic staples. Think of these foundations as an exercise in utter simplicity, Clare Underwood-level simplicity, because it is from here that all the good stuff can follow (prints, colour and personality), without undermining office acceptability. Having a handle on the staples lets you amp up the volume on days when you feel like it, and keep things sober and appropriate when the type of work day demands it.

claire-underwood-fashion

Time and time again, simple staples and accessories will finish your conservative looks neatly – and also appropriately anchor your more adventurous outfits. They offer up conservative, corporate touch points, and allow you to play with prints and textures. Arm yourself with fine block-colour merino or cashmere knits in charcoal or heather grey, navy, black and camel (every season, Cos line their rails with simple knits in a variety of necklines), and crisp white and light blue shirts. Choose a structured, subtle bag with clean lines in navy, berry, forest green, black or camel. If you’re feeling adventurous, a leather backpack with simple, clean lines can be a chic and practical option.

workwear-knits

Discover the game-changer that is owning a pair each of black, nude and navy courts. (This may sound a tad dull, but these shoes will be interchangeable with everything you own and bring your more adventurous outfits down to earth). For classic heels, the best of the bunch can be found at Gianvitto Rossi and Manolo Blahnik, with high streeters LK Bennett and Zara offering up some great options too.

workwear-shoes-courts

Make some space in your wardrobe for a selection of “no-brainer” dresses. When paired with heels (simple or fun) or chic super flats, the no-brainer dress can be reached for in the morning with no extra engagement of your pre-coffee brain, and relied upon 100% to make you look like you know exactly what you’re doing. Focus on the cut and shape first – if these are classic, nearly any colour or pattern will work.

workwear-dresses

For the best examples of these hero-dresses, look no further than J.Crew and Boden. Here, classic shapes (crucial) are combined with fun prints and interesting textures. They are also fully lined and made from fabrics that hold their shape. Pop over a tailored (see below) long line or box-cut boucle jacket and you’re good to go.

boucle-jackets-workwear

For a corporate wardrobe, there is just no getting away from the fact that tailoring is a must. It has transformative powers in both boardrooms and meeting rooms, particularly if your base outfit is more casual. It does so much of the hard work on the rest of your wardrobe’s behalf, pulling together your whole look.

blazer-workwear

For an ode to the power of tailoring, look no further than Olivia Palermo. When asked about the secret of her flawless style, she repeatedly highlights the importance of tailoring as a cornerstone of her personal style successes. The best fit on the high street comes courtesy of Reiss (an OP favourite, natch). What’s more, their already brilliantly well-cut pieces can also be altered to suit your body shape.

olivia-palermo-work-style

Massimo Dutti have the confidence to offer up colourful tailoring options, bringing much welcomed variety (and femininity) into the typically navy or black suiting arena. Their current collection also features a beautiful dark grey cinched-in wrap suit jacket that will add something fresh to your jacket collection.

massimo-dutti-blazers

Now, nothing injects more joy into workwear than a dash of something a bit more unexpected. Prints can absolutely work in the office when paired with your classic courts, simple knit or a crisp, collared shirt. H&M and Zara have cornered the market lately in affordable, printed cigarette trousers. Courts in a fun print or a punchy shade can add an unexpected touch to your classic dresses or tailoring. Love a collarless cropped jacket? Why not try it in metallic bouclé instead? Out of the ordinary, printed or colourful pieces may only last you a couple of seasons, but with your classics close at hand, this shouldn’t be a cause for concern.

bright-workwear7

Put simply, the best way to approach your working wardrobe is with one eye always on the classics. When you’ve mastered these, prints, trends, colours, shapes can be embraced and then moved on from when the time is right – allowing you to have fun with your workwear, show your personality, and keep your wardrobe ever-evolving, whilst always striking just the right tone.

cos-jumper-office

Cos Round Neck Wool Jumper          Cos Round Neck Wool Jumper

nude-pink-leather-bags-workwear

Whistles Regent Soft Leather Tote          Jigsaw Blake Leather Backpack

Mansur Gavriel Sun Leather Crossbody Bag

j-crew-workwear-dresses

J.Crew A-Line Dress          J.Crew Bracelet Sleeve Dress

J.Crew Monday Dress          J.Crew Cap Sleeve Dress

workwear-shoes-zara

Zara Mid-Heel Shoes          Zara Contrast Mid-Heel Shoes

boden-workwear-day-dresses

Boden Aurelia Ottoman Dress          Boden Sixties Jacquard Dress

Boden Marisa Dress

cos-knitwear

Cos Twisted Detail Jumper          Cos Long-Sleeve Cashmere Jumper

leather-handbags-work

Launer Judi Leather Tote          Saint Laurent Cabas Rive Gauche Leather Tote

3.1 Phillip Lim Ink Leather Pashli Tote

hm-cigarette-trousersH&M Spotted Cigarette Trousers          H&M Patterned Cigarette Trousers

H&M Cigarette Trousers

courts-shoes-office

LK Bennett Fauna Metallic Leather Courts          LK Bennett Fern Monochrome Printed Courts

massimo-dutti-workwear-blazers

Massimo Dutti Navy Blue Suit Jacket          Massimo Dutti Boiled Wool Blazer

Massimo Dutti Blazer With Tie

court-shoes-workwear

Manolo Blahnik Fawn Suede Pumps          Manolo Blahnik Black Suede Pumps

boucle-chanel-style-jackets-workwear

Massimo Dutti Short Ecru Jacket          Zara Tweed Jacket

Zara Metallic Fabric Blazer

reiss-womens-tailoringReiss Murphy Jacket          Reiss Hanako Jacket

Seasonal Showering

We know it’s essential to do the whole daily top to toe moisturising thing, but EVEN if you’ve got your central heating on full blast, it’s pretty nippy (ahem) at this time of year. So what to do? Sure, you want smooth, soft supple skin, but slathering on moisturiser post-shower is something only people with dubious sanity or a serious insensitivity to chilly temperatures would do over the colder months. Brrrrr! The solution? We love a bit of multi-tasking, so it’s all about finding a supercharged body wash which does the hard work for you.

shower

Pick something rich and nourishing, packed with skin-loving ingredients, and take a little extra time to really work it into your skin. Scented shower oils work well as they’re amazing for deep hydration, while indulgent shower creams will soften and leave skin feeling velvety smooth. Save the money on heating and spend it in the shower instead. Now there’s maths that makes sense!

best-shower-oils

Neom Real Luxury™ Bath & Shower Oil

Aromatherapy Associates Inner Strength Bath & Shower Oil

Diptyque Do Son Shower Oil

L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil

luxury-shower-oils

Espa Lemon, Ylang Ylang & Tonka Bean Body Wash

Le Labo Neroli 36 Shower Gel

Aesop A Rose by Any Other Name Body Cleanser

Jo Malone Peony Blush Suede Shower Oil

best-shower-creams

Elemis Sweet Orchid Shower Cream

Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris Shower Oil

Rituals Sakura Shower Oil

Roger & Gallet Rose Gentle Shower Cream

indulgent-shower-creams

Laura Mercier Crème Body Wash Ambre Vanillé

Maison Francis Kurkdjian À La Rose Scented Shower Cream

Kiehl’s Fig Leaf and Sage Skin-Softening Body Cleanser

Aerin Tangier Vanille Body Wash

shower-moisturisers

Ameliorate Skin Smoothing Shower Cream

Clarins Eau Ressourçante Bath and Shower Milk

Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser

Derma Remedy Intense Dry Skin Therapy Body Wash

Nostalgic Delights

What Mr William Curley doesn’t know about chocolate, cakes and desserts probably isn’t worth knowing. The prodigious Scottish chef has been named Britain’s Best Chocolatier no less than four times. He’s also a member of the Relais Desserts: an elite association of the world’s best pastry chefs. Suffice to say, Curley knows his stuff. His latest book – Nostalgic Delights – is an ode to “classic confections and timeless treats,” and it’s a must-read for Bake Off fans and sweet-toothed foodies alike. From walnut whips and curley wurlies to fudge doughnuts, Hobnobs and even Jaffa Cakes, Nostalgic Delights offers a haute patisserie take on some of our favourite childhood flavours.

william-curley

Curley ensures that every single recipe is clearly explained and illustrated, making Nostalgic Delights an accessible pleasure for even novice pastry chefs, keen to create something to wow friends and family. And recipe-wise there’s everything from the must luxurious take on Bounties and Snickers to biscuits, ice cream, cakes, marshmallows, desserts…. We could go on, and on! There are also simple, easy-to-follow recipes for ‘basics’ such as salted caramel, choux pastry and praline paste – alongside explanations of how to temper chocolate and create showstopping chocolate decorations. This is a book to linger over – with nostalgia – before taking the plunge and trying one of the recipes out for yourself. So we’re delighted to get you started with this Nostalgic Delights recipe to tantalise your tastebuds – for the Ambassador’s favourite, no less: hazelnut rochers….

chocolate-rochers

This evokes memories of a tower of gold-wrapped chocolates, reserved only for special occasions. I can picture my mother presenting a plate of these on Christmas day, for them only to be devoured within minutes; it really was a luxurious treat. I have used Amedei Gianduja in the ganache for this recipe, which is made with the best Piedmont hazelnuts, giving the chocolates a lasting creaminess. This recipe makes 80 chocolates.

For the Praline Ganache:

 
320ml (11fl oz/1⅓ cups) whipping (pouring) cream
1 vanilla pod (bean), split and scraped
40g (1½ oz) invert sugar
300g (10½oz) Gianduja chocolate, finely chopped
160g (5½oz) dark (bittersweet) chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
55g (1¾ oz/3½ tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

rochers

For the Nutty Chocolate:

 
500g (1lb 2oz) tempered milk chocolate
250g (9oz) roasted nibbed almonds

rochers-recipe

To finish:

 
100g (3½oz/⅔ cup) whole roasted hazelnuts
200g (7oz) feuillantine wafer, crushed
Edible gold leaf

You will also need:

 
A piping (pastry) bag
12mm (½ inch) nozzle (tip)
A dipping fork

chocolate

Make the Praline Ganache…

 
Put the cream in a saucepan and scrape in the seeds from the split vanilla pod (bean). Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. Strain the infused cream into a clean saucepan, add the invert sugar and bring to the boil.

Put the chopped chocolate in a mixing bowl. Pour the boiled cream over the chocolate and mix until emulsified and a ganache consistency is formed. Add the softened butter and mix well until fully incorporated. Leave to set at room temperature for about 1–2 hours.

william-curley-chocolate-recipe

To assemble…

 
Put the Praline Ganache in a piping (pastry) bag fitted with a 12mm (½ inch) nozzle (tip). Pipe small bulbs of the ganache onto a silicone-lined tray.

Put a whole roasted hazelnut onto each bulb of ganache.

william-curley-chocolate

Pipe a larger bulb of ganache on top of each hazelnut and leave to set for 1 hour in a cool, dry area.

Make the Nutty Chocolate…

 
Temper the milk chocolate and add the nibbed almonds. If the chocolate thickens, warm it slightly.

To finish…

 
Roll each bulb into a sphere and coat in feuillantine wafer.

william-curley-rochers

Use a dipping fork to dip each prepared chocolate sphere into the Nutty Chocolate. Place each chocolate on a silicone-lined tray to set for 1–2 hours in a cool, dry area. Decorate with gold leaf to finish.

These chocolates will keep for 1 week stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry area.

william-curley-recipe

Recipe and images extracted from Nostalgic Delights by William Curley, photography by Kevin Summers, published by Jacqui Small.

Records & Rebels, Tea & Cake

The combination of culture, cake and a glass of Champagne is one which never fails to win us over. A delicious celebration of one of our favourite decades of the last century, the Jumeirah Carlton Tower’s Swinging Sixties Afternoon Tea is inspired by the Victoria & Albert’s latest major exhibition, You Say You Want A Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970. The museum’s acclaimed show is a fascinating insight into the era-defining significance of the late 1960s, encompassing fashion, film, art and music. And those cakes?  The Jumeirah’s sixties-themed tea provides an excellent excuse for an afternoon of culture and wandering round the V&A. Or perhaps it’s the other way round!

mary-quant-sixties

Opening in 1961, the Carlton Tower was London’s first tower hotel – and one of the places to hang out, with international stars staying, not to mention legendary 1960s designer Mary Quant using the location’s roof as a backdrop for her photoshoots.  Served in the Chinoiserie lounge, the Jumeirah Carlton Tower’s afternoon tea starts off – as all good things should – with a glass of chilled fizz (we like the wonderfully afternoon-appropriate Laurent Perrier rosé) and an elegant dish of fresh strawberries.

swinging-sixties-afternoon-tea

Next up are a trio of savoury delights – the three-tiered prawn cocktail sandwich and duck liver parfait on soft brioche are particular highlights. It’s easy to forget your afternoon tea technique here and overindulge on the sandwiches, but fix your eye on the prize – those spectacular sixties-themed cakes! Our favourite was undoubtedly the Yuzu Really Got Me: an aromatic yuzu curd tart with Italian meringue topping, while the Swiss Rock ‘n’ Roll is sure to please chocoholics, and the sweet Strawberry Cake Forever is a delicate twist on the traditional Victoria Sponge.

swinging-sixties-cakes

Of course, there are freshly-baked scones served with jam and clotted cream – and an ample menu of teas to accompany. The Jumeirah’s staff will be happy to replenish sandwiches, cakes and scones – you need your strength to take in all that culture, right? While you’re there, do make time to visit the hotel’s very own miniature exhibition – organised in collaboration with nearby Harrods. Bringing the fun of the 1960’s to life, the show features photographs snapped at the hotel itself, alongside archive images and even a fantastic sixties minidress.

1960s-fashion-photography

The distance between the Jumeirah Carlton Tower and the Victoria & Albert is just enough to help walk off those sandwiches – just try not to be swayed by the temptation to call in to Harrods on your way there…

Available until 20th November, the Swinging Sixties Afternoon Tea costs £55 which includes a glass of Laurent-Perrier Brut champagne and a ticket to the V&A exhibition (worth £16). For more information or to reserve the Swinging Sixties Afternoon Tea, call +44 (0)20 7858 7185 or email JCTdining@jumeirah.com.