Thursday, 24 July 2014

The Scent of Summer...

The humid weather has hit resulting in horrific tube journeys and restless nights, but we can't complain...it's just London's version of a summer!


I'm almost getting used to my make-up sliding off my face by the end of my morning commute and feeling the need for a cold shower after making any type of energetic movement! However moaning aside, there are a few things that make all of the above slightly more bearable...

Firstly the thought that at least it isn't raining and we can enjoy everything al fresco in London...why not bask in the evening sun at Camden beach...



....and secondly an amazing fresh new summer perfume!

I love a new perfume at any time of the year, but there's seriously nothing better for quelling your high heat bad mood than a spritz of a fresh, light perfume - instantly cooler, calmer and brighter! Well it works for me anyway and especially with the newbie I've been lusting after that Middle Mouse surprised me with a few weeks ago! 


The Acqua Di Parma  Blu Mediterraneo range comprises of six different fragrances all aiming to evoke senses of the Italian Mediterranean. This I believe they do very well indeed! I actually fell for the beautiful azure bottle before I even smelt it - I know, I know never judge a book by it's cover - however this time it was spot on! 

It reminded me of picturesque Sardinian sea, a deep crystal blue shimmering with sunlight and with one smell you're transported to balmy holiday evenings, freshly showered after a tiresome day sunbathing and revitalised for the evening ahead! Every morning whilst I spritz away, I have a miniature daydream and then of course come crashing down to reality! 


I fell for the beautiful Mirto Di Panarea with fresh notes of lemon and basil, highlights of rose and jasmine and all underpinned by a deep cedar wood and amber base. It makes for a perfect everyday fragrance but also one I have been wearing for summer evenings sipping on a chilled glass of sauvignon -heaven! 

I'm now totally and unashamedly hooked and already eyeing up the matching shower gel and body lotion...! 



Wednesday, 23 July 2014

A-Grade Art: The Aestate

We got thoroughly overexcited about the recent Mara Hoffman x Anthropologie home collaboration. At the weekend we found ourselves choosing to read Elle Decor and Vogue Living over the stack of glossy fashion magazines at the hairdressers. And we have several hundred pins on our 3BM Home Inspiration Board on Pinterest.

In fact, we'd go as far as to say that we're almost as obsessed with interior design as we are with shoes. Big statement! Does that mean we're getting old and boring? Very probably! But if it leads to a chicer, more stylish home, who cares?!

One of our big guilty pleasures is scouring home blogs and interior design websites while eating our lunches al desko. If you have to eat your sandwich in front of your computer, you may as well be plotting your dream home while you do it... On a recent midday surfing session, we were browsing one of our fav home websites, Domaine (little sister site to Who, What, Wear and Byrdie), which lead us to an absolute gem of a home decor discovery - The Aestate.

The Aestate, brainchild of artist, Jessica Rowe, is a company selling super-chic prints of Rowe's fashiony watercolours.

Just look at these Aestate prints looking totally delicious in a variety of very stylish homes below...




Image via: Erika Brechtel

Image via: Mimosa Lane

Instagram Images via: @theaestate Instagram
So now you're probably wondering how extortionate the price tag is and how hard it is to get your hands on a slice of this Aestate awesome. Well, we're delighted to tell you that the answers to those questions are both blissfully great. Prints start from as little as US$10 and go up to a still ridiculously reasonable US$61. And, you can get your paws on a print via the Aestate eShop. Oh, and it's free shipping on all orders over US$75...!
We're particularly in love with a series of four tropical banana leaf prints which are inspired by the iconic wallpaper of the Beverly Hills Hotel.
US$61

US$61


US$61



US$61

Also coveting all of these fash-tastic prints...
US$25



US$29


US$29


Snap up your favs now for the very best-dressed walls of the season!



Tuesday, 22 July 2014

3BM Kitchen : Summer Frittata

Summer calls for light dinners loaded with tonnes of goodness and lots of colour. Look no further than my latest obsession ... this colour-popping vegetable frittata! I stumbled upon the Eat Yourself Skinny recipe a few weeks back and have been hooked ever since. It's takes minutes to cook and is seriously tasty!

Prepare to drool...

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Minced 1 small onion
  • Chopped 1/2 red pepper
  • Chopped 1/2 green pepper
  • Grated 1/2 courgette
  • Shredded 1/2 cup broccoli florets 
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • Chopped 2 eggs 5 egg whites 
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano 
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes 
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper 
  • Pinch of sea salt

Cooking Steps:

1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Grab a large pan and whack the hob up to a medium heat, drizzle olive oil and saute onion and garlic for about 4 minutes until soft and lightly golden. 


2. Add in the peppers, courgette, broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes and then set aside.
 



3. Take a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Parmesan cheese, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Continue whisking until light and foamy.

4. Place sauteed veg in a deep dish lightly brushed with oil and pour egg mixture over top, making sure to evenly coat all the veg. Cover loosely with foil and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes.
 

5. Reduce heat slightly and continue baking for 25 minutes. Check it's ready by inserting a knife into the centre and pulling it out - if it's clean then you're good to go, if it's not then pop it back in to cook for a bit longer...
 
6. Enjoy!



Monday, 21 July 2014

Hong Kong's Hangover Hang-Out: The Diner

Picture the scene - it's Saturday morning, you've just cracked open your right eyelid sending sunlight splintering through your eyeball and into your skull triggering the first jackhammer of what's sure to be the king of headaches. Peeling open the other eye only rachets the pain up a notch and means that you catch sight of the tangle of debris scattered from the door to your bed including a half-eaten kebab and a pair of neon flashing glasses. Last night was clearly awesome, if only you could see past the haze and remember what happened beyond that tray of vodka jellies...
 
 
While it's unlikely that anything is going to completely cure you, there are approximately seven hours until you need to be shimmying back into your stilettos ready to do it all again, so what's a girl to do? Well, if your bed happens to be not too far from Arbuthnot Road in Hong Kong, we'd say you should peel yourself out of your pyjamas and into something with a stretchy waistband, it's time to head on down to The Diner, and show that hangover who's boss.
 
This all-American beauty has just thrown open it's doors and is serving up a menu stuffed with burgers, milkshakes and ice-cream sundaes - comfort food guaranteed to kick your hangover to the curb. 


Decked out with a checkered floor, vintage jukeboxes, red booths and even a 1958 Cadillac converted into a couch, the only thing missing is Danny Zuko...

 

Very soon the Diner will also be serving up brunch. We had a peek at the menu, and let's just say it's the stuff of a brunch piglet's dreams, think: blueberry buttermilk pancakes, breakfast burritos and Fat Elvis Waffles (waffles with banana, bacon, maple syrup and peanut butter butter - yeah that's a thing...).  

Right now, you'll have to content itself with staple diner fare - good old burgers and milkshakes, which let us tell you, are pretty damn amazing! 

We took a couple of A-grade hangovers down there yesterday, ordered up a couple of Malted Malteaser milkshakes (heaven in a glass), a Diner burger (two 3oz patties, Monterey Jack cheese, caramelised onions, gherkins, mustard and special Diner sauce) and it's big sister, the Double D (basically just a super-sized Diner burger), and we rolled out an hour or so later, good for nothing but a snoozy afternoon with the papers. 


The Diner burgers are made from 100% USDA Angus beef, are grilled to a juicy, smoky medium (unless you ask for it to be cooked otherwise) and come stuffed with whatever other delicious things you've ordered, inside a squidgy, soft brioche bun. Completely and utterly lipsmackingly swoonsome.


Fries are shoestring and handout - crispy, salty and unlikely to hang around for long.


All in all, this is Diner dynamite. Especially given that it's just a hop, skip and a stumble from Mouse Towers HK, it may just become a regular weekend haunt...
 
G/F 4-8 Arbuthnot Road
Central
Hong Kong
 
No reservations

Friday, 18 July 2014

This Week The Mice Have Mostly Been...

There's only one way to start this post, and that's...
 

So another week of being cooped up in the office whilst the sun shines on proudly...punishment yes, but at least it held out so we got to enjoy a few early evening rays! (HK Mouse: ahem - at least you have sun over there, we're currently being battered by a Typhoon...).
 
In not so great news, the weekend doesn't look so cheery - boo hiss - but let's look on the bright side, whatever the weather, you have two luxurious sleep-ins ahead with 48 hours of pure YOU time! 
 
When we haven't been itching to wriggle into a bikini rather than work wear, this week the Mice have mostly been...
 
Springing out of bed and into our early morning makeup routine just so we can use our new Naked Urban Decay eye palette! There's nothing quite like opening a brand new piece of make up especially when it's a beautiful array of bronze hues. 

 
 
I've been on the hunt for the perfect eye palette for a while now, one that I can use for everyday and jazz up a little more from office to cocktails. Well this bad boy is your answer - with 12 shades to pick from it ranges from a milky cream base to gentle golden tones, almond essentials and deep chocolates with a sprinkle of pizazz. A mix of matte and metallic shades gives you the option of day to evening and it comes with a double ended brush to make application a smooth operation. 

 
At £37, the palette's a little bit more than your Rimmel trios (remember those?!) but with 12 shadows in one neat box it works out at a mere £3.08 a colour - bargain!! Pretty perfect I'd say! 
 
Ummm'ing and Ahhh'ing with every lip smacking mouthful on our recent trip to Raw Duck
 
I often stroll past the bustling Duck Soup in Soho and always make a mental note to get it in the diary ASAP. However, whenever I've tried, the booking policy always seems to be my barrier, requiring a minimum number of diners for bookings (which my table for two never meets). As a result, the walk-in tables are my only option...a tasty restaurant in the heart of Soho = constantly packed...so it's still firmly on my to-do list! 
 
However the sister restaurant, Raw Duck, is a different story all together. You can make a booking for any party size easy peasy, so on that basis this is now my favourite sibling! Having said that, it's not the easiest location to get to. The nearest station is Hackney overground however, located just a trot from London Fields, it's a great brunch / lunch option to pair with a day nosing around Broadway market. 
 
Once you spot the neon raw duck sign, you've reached your destination and there are only good things ahead! 
 
 
Decor is simple yet quirky with blackboard walls for wine lists, bookcases crammed full of knick- knacks and long sharing tables divided by a line of pot plants to give you a little more privacy! 
 
 
 
Recommendation number 1 - order cocktails they are immense! We opted for the Sparking Shrub (A fizzy fresh rhubarb and vanilla party in your mouth) and a Provence 75 (a light citrus lavender gin delight). So far so good...
 
The menu is a mixture of small and large plates from all over the world to share with your dining companion - they advise 3 small and 2 large which was the perfect amount for two hungry tummies! We were a little daunted by the menu so to avoid missing out we asked for recommendations. 
 
First up a simple dish but oh so delicious - basically a Greek yogurt dip with a punch of amazing flavour from Israeli spices...
 
 
We went for a few trusty favs ,super creamy mozzarella and thick authentic prosciutto - both delicious with the homemade sourdough bread...every scrap was devoured...
 
 
 
For the large plates we went for the rare hanger steak, shaved radish, salted ricotta and cicorino leaves...delicately flavoured meat cooked amazingly rare paired perfectly with the creamy ricotta and crunchy radishes...


And finally, after a rave review from our waitress we went for the buttermilk chicken...unfortunately this is where the experience fell down a little, our drinks took twenty minutes to come and arrived with our small plates - not ideal when you've had the day from hell in the office and are gasping for anything stronger than water! However, once we took our first sip all moaning was soon forgotten...that was until we noticed the chicken dish was missing. Fifteen minutes after finishing all our plates we enquired and were informed that the kitchen was very busy but it would be on it's way shortly. At this point we were already late for our next date so cancelled our order of the much hyped buttermilk chicken booo

Despite the slightly slack service I would venture back again in the hope that it was an off Wednesday at Raw Duck...everything we got to taste was super, bursting full of flavour evidently using the best quality ingredients. And besides, the brunch menu looks pretty tasty and I'm all for second chances...!
 
On that note I am now ridiculously hungry and must go and kick this weekend off in style...with some delicious food, a strong cocktail and of course some fun!!!
 




Thursday, 17 July 2014

Call 999 : Chiltern Firehouse is Ablaze...

Feeling a bit hazy today? Thumping head with a craving for bacon sandwiches and full fat Coke?

Well, I'm guessing you're fully on board with the whole Wednesday's the new Thursday thing then... As my friends, am I... And one particular Wednesday a couple of weeks ago, I decided to go the whole hog with Berners Tavern in the diary for a client lunch...


 
...followed by Chiltern Firehouse that evening for dinner with the girls...




Talk about spoilt princess with a capital 'S' and 'P' - I almost felt embarrassed telling people it sounded that over the top!

Everyone who’s anyone is flocking to celebrity hot spot, Chiltern Firehouse, right now, and us Mice are no exception to the rule! We'd had the table bagged for months and had been counting down the days, hours and minutes until our reservation. Lindsay Lohan, Kate Moss and Lily Allen were all fireman lifted off the premises the night before so we arrived eagerly anticipating the A-list Wednesday turnout.  
 
We were greeted by a super fancy top-hat wearing doorman and welcomed into an oh-so-pretty courtyard flickering with candelight. So far, so fab! We stepped into the hotel restaurant dining room - part French brasserie, part industrial chic - and were shown to out table. Formerly one of London's first fire stations, owner and genius, AndrĂ© Balazs of The Standard and The Mecer NYC hotels has truly outdone himself in the rebuilding of the Grade II-listed fire brigade building. 



Poser snaps captured, we very quickly turned to the perfectly formed menu popped under our noses signed by none other than chef Nuno Mendes himself...

 
To start, we opted for small plates to share. We had heard fantastic things about the slider-like signature crab filled doughnuts which we can report were crazy tasty and the cauliflower head-down florets in spicy truffle sauce which quite literally made us weak at the knees... 



For main course, two of us ordered spring lamb with minted broad beans, radishes and goat's curd and the other pair monkfish cooked over pine, puffed barley and fennel with a side of mind blowing maple-bourbon sweet potatoes - glorious flavours and presentation...



You would think that after that feast, we'd be bursting at the seams and in need of a lie down and while that was partly true, when the food is this good, it would be criminal to turn down a pud. So we didn't. Instead we ordered up two! So it was double strawberry sundae with milk ice cream and caramel to share - delish...

 
We polished both portions off in record speed and were then very quickly asked to vacate the table by our waitress and ushered towards the toilets to finish our wine! Woah woah woah - was my first reaction but very quickly I understood why... A. we were getting shooed away and B. why the loos were the place to be. First things first the shooing - James Corden, Michael Mcintyre and their wives were waiting to be seated at our table! Understood. Then the toilet hot spot was all to do with the basement bar being located down the stairs and through the loos! Understood again. So off we trotted, wine in hand and satisfied with both explanations...
 
We couldn't resist a few bathroom snaps en route to the outside terrace - you know us...!



The door to the boozy terrace - I couldn't agree more with the lipstick scrawled note on the mirror!


 
And we were in...!




A few rounds of Champagne, St. Germain liqueur with a twist of lemon later we were happy, giddy and ready for our beds. We left the Firehouse to find a pack of rowdy paps waiting - I took one look at them and announced 'I'm here - snap away' and was greeted with the response of 'we're waiting for Lily Allen love, walk on' ... oh dear!!! 
 
What a night. Chiltern = class in every sense and the hype shows no sign of slowing with rumours that the next available reservation is now October! I'd say book it, or regret it, but that doesn't seem fair or realistic so instead I'll say ... call the reservation line on the first day of every month and keep your fingers and toes crossed for an opening - it really is worth the wait and every penny.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...