Friday, 23 January 2015

This Week The Mice Have Mostly Been...

Listen up, it's only the...

So the big question ... what have we been up to this week? Well we've mostly been bloody frio, blocking out the cold with as much cashmere as we can get our mits on! When our teeth haven't been chattering, we've been exercising it up at the gym or bikini fitting it, working our little socks off to shed as much of the festive chocolate and bread sauce as possible! With Dubai for the London mice fast approaching, we have just 6 weeks to turn our bodies into Rosie Huntington Whiteley doubles! 

We have also managed to fit some fun and retail therapy in mind. With out further ado, This Week The Mice Have Mostly Been...

Blinging the everyday up with our latest jewellery label obsessions, Melanie Auld and Lucky Eyes. After being dazzled daily by diamond encrusted Instagram posts, I just had to grab myself a piece of the gold plated action…

Over Christmas I went a bit credit card coo coo and snapped up five rings and in a mixture of gold and rose gold. A tad over the top I admit it but believe me when I say that was me curbing my spending, as there are so many oh-so-pretty designs to choose from. Here's me modelling the beauties…

First up Mealnie Auld rings:

And Lucky Eyes:

Frustratingly, Melanie Auld is an Aussie brand so the bulk of the range you can only buy online which comes with the added annoyance of being stung import tax - grrrrrrrrr! Fenwicks does however stock a limited few styles on Bond Street so worth checking out. Lucky Eyes is London based – hooray – and is also stocked in Fenwicks, so kill two birds with one stone and head there first.

Treating my skin to an extra dose of moisture this dry January with Le Couvent des Minims’ new loving care body balm (£13) and Melvita’s face care oil Argan+ (£32). After a hectic day at work and battling for a space on a packed tube full of commuters, the first thing I want to do when I close my flat door is get into comfy clothes, take every scrap of make-up off my face and slather on lotions and potions to make me feel semi-human again! Both of the following products tick that box... 

Melvita’s product is a great night time oil – giving it enough time to sink in and work its magic is key! Packed full of fatty acids, it works hard to improve the skins natural moisture barrier leaving my face feeling silky smooth and super hydrated. It smells super gorgeous too...

Le Couvent des Minims all over body balm also feels insanely nourishing and for sensitive souls with sensitive skin apparently this is the best of the best as it soothes as well...

Being social Little Social style with mini and honorary mouse, Kitty. I've been wanting to check out Little Social and her big sister, Pollen Street Social for some time now so what better opportunity than a lazy Saturday afternoon. I needed to psych myself up on the money front before trialling the super swish Pollen Street so Little Social it was. 

We'd heard about the uber reasonable 2 or 3 course set menu at £21 / £24 so we all went for that, opting for the same starter and main! So first up, a creamy pumpkin soup, slow-cooked egg, pepper cured bacon, parmesan, wild mushrooms and crunchy croutons to start. We all loved the drama the dish bought with it! We were firstly presented with a deep white bowl cradling a ridiculously orange egg yolk, bacon bits, mushrooms and croutons…

A different waiter then swooped in with a silver sauce boat and slowly transferred it’s pumpkin goodness contents in circular movements so not to cover up the eggy inner heart of the dish…

One word – D-I-V-I-N-E!

And for main we ordered up a beasting great aged Scottish beef burger with bacon, cheese, caramelised onions, pickles and chips…

Again really tasty but the starter definitely had the edge – the burger was good and cooked perfectly pink but how does the saying go … ‘call a spade a spade’ or ‘a burger a burger’ … a chef really can’t go far wrong when it comes to whipping one up can they?!

All of that talk has made me ravenous for ... the weekend! Have a good one you gorgeous lot.

Lots of love

The Mice 

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Surf & Turf: New Hong Kong Restaurants

A New Year means a new diary just itching to be filled with exciting plans.

As luck would have it, the Hong Kong food scene is currently ablaze with hot openings, so much so, that it's only the 21st of January, and we already have a long, long list of new eateries to munch our way through (a couple may be late-2014 launches that we missed in the blur of mulled wine and mince pies that consumed December, but still...).

Last weekend dawned warm and sunny and after a week of carb-dodging and generally being very, very good, we decided that it was high time that we made a start on that list of must-trys and headed out for a few bowls of deliciousness courtesy of the freshest chefs around town.

First up, it was round to the South side of the island for a sunny lunch overlooking the sea...

Pinning fingers at the ready, Maximal Concepts' latest restaurant is just like stepping straight into a 'Dream Beach House' Pinterest board.

Can you imagine a more dreamy spot to snuggle into with a gaggle of your best girlfriends and round or six of very strong cocktails...?

Crazy interiors gushing over, and mental iPhone photo snapping done, we settled into a window-seat overlooking the beach to peruse the menu while people watching and soaking up some wintery rays.

The restaurant tagline is Seafood.BBQ.Margaritas. which pretty perfectly sums up what's on offer while also massively understating what Limewood's all about. This is no beach shack serving up the catch of the day alongside plastic cups of margarita. The menu may offer a veritable aquarium of seafood options, but there's also a whole host of meat and vegetarian dishes each spiked with a carnival of South-Asian flavours. And those margaritas? Not your ordinary run of the mill margaritas and just the very tip of the cocktail iceberg here. If a cucumber, mint and jalapeƱo Margarita doesn't grab your fancy, how about a Barbecued Pineapple Cuban Mojito or a Charred Coconut Pina Colada instead?

When it came to our lunch, we overordered (as always) and had a couple of mishaps where forks were quicker than cameras (as always), but the dishes that managed to get snapped before being devoured included, Vietnamese Fish Tacos with lime aioli and Asian slaw...

...Spicy Yellow Fin Tuna Ceviche with Cucumber Relish and Yuzu Aioli...

... and the scary looking but mind-alteringly awesome, fresh oysters with calamansi, ponzu, scallion and quail egg...

Limewood is a huge dose of scrumptious sunshine and most definitely the best breezy, beach restaurant in Hong Kong. Come early for a laid-back, sun-soaked recovery brunch or bowl up here for sundowners after a day burning your nose on the beach where cocktail-fuelled moonlit skinny-dipping is pretty much guaranteed to ensue...

Shop 103/104 The Pulse,
28 Beach Road
Repulse Bay
Hong Kong
+852 2866 8668

The Butcher's Club Steak Frites
Heading back inland as the sun set, we'd somehow managed to while away the day with enough wandering and shopping to have worked up an appetite again. As lunch had made the very most of the best the ocean has to offer, we figured dinner should be a carnivore's dream, and an indecisive carnivore at that.

Over the last couple of years Hong Kong has seen steak frites joints springing up left, right and centre around town. Each offers a menu with a single solo star - the steak - with a little supporting role played by the chips. A year ago La Vache kicked the trend off with it's red neon cow fronted joint in Soho. Hot on its hooves were L'Entrecote de Paris and Le Relais de L'Entrecote (rather too confusingly similarly named for this English girl).

Next on the Steak Frites runaway train? The Butcher's Club - the group that knows beef like no one else in the city - not only the go-to dry-aged meat specialists but also creators of what may just be the world's best burger, the Butcher's Club Burger's Double Happiness... 

We love steak, we've loved everything the Butcher's Club boys have done before, so to say we had sky high hopes for dinner, was an understatement.

Perched right above PMQ, at the top of a flight of blackboard-flanked stairs the petite Butcher's Club Steak Frites, is a cosy space with shuttered windows and a rosy glow courtesy of dozens of wet market red lamps strung from the ceiling.

The menu is short, sweet and to the point with offering just one option - a steak and salad set. Or so it seems. In typical Butcher's Club style, a bar code lurking at the bottom of the page can be scanned to reveal a secret menu that changes regularly. With a flick of our iPhones, we discovered a surf and turf option and a jumbo cut of rib-eye big enough for two-people. Licking our lips, we placed our orders. 

The salad starter arrived and was draped in enough thick slices of maple-glazed bacon and drenched in enough blue cheese dressing not to really qualify as a salad at all. It was also so enormous that gluttons should be warned that finishing the lot may be quite capable of rendering you defeated before the main event has even been unveiled.

Food photography is not the most beautiful when taken in a room with slightly Bordello-toned lighting, but even this pathetically poor attempt to capture my supper can't disguise a pretty epic slab of meat and several juicy lobster tails (two people ate that little lot ok?!?!)

The frites were thick-cut, fried in duck fat and worth a trip back all on their own. The meat however was not quite up to our very lofty expectations. It was served a little lukewarm and chewing was at times fairly hard work. This could have been down to us asking for our meat to be cooked rare (when it should perhaps have been cooked medium-rare) and may be a peril of opting to supersize your hunk of a meal.

All in all, we'd say that Butcher's Club Steak Frites is a great addition to the roll call of steak frites spots in town, but isn't quite so scene-stealingly awesome as it's little brother, Butcher's Club Burgers (did we mention the Double Happiness....?)

Butcher's Club Steak Frites
UG/F 52-56 Staunton Street
(the entrance is tucked just round the corner on Aberdeen Street though)
Hong Kong
+852 2858 9800

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Barber & Parlour - 3BM Brunch Heaven...

My favourite time of the week has to be brunch o'clock. Anything that follows a sleep in and my eyes opening naturally has my attention, but a lazy couple of hours, gossipping about the night before with a perfect dippy egg, has my whole heart! You just can't beat it, and even better when it's accompanied by great friends and a Bellini or two!

Over the years of living in London we've managed to sample a fair few but there are still a number still on my list that I'm dying to try...Kopapa, Honey & Co and Hubbard & Bell to name a couple. We're not too hard to please, as long there's good coffee, avocado and a relaxed atmosphere we're happy!

This weekend I decided to try a newbie with one of my besties for a good post Christmas catch up. However this isn't your standard brunch place...oh no, it's MUCH more!

A few months ago middle mouse and I were dying to see the new Hunger Games film however, as I officially hate the big complex cinemas that charge a fortune for a scratchy seat and the world's most expensive water, I went on the hunt for an independent near to London Towers. I didn't have to look too far as the new Shoreditch Electric came up top of my search - BOOM I'd made a weekend altering discovery!

Located on Redchurch street (just opposite Loungelover) it doesn't look much from the outside...however a whole host of gems await for inside! Just look look out for the monochrome Barber & Parlour sign and you're there...we're talking a coffee bar, an all day restaurant, comfy sofas, a home and lifestyle store, a barbers, a beauty parlour, Josh Wood hair salon oh and finally a luxe cinema! Pretty much everything we need to keep us amused for ever about a one stop shop!

On this particular occasion I was stopping by for a much needed brunch for an extremely hungover Mini Mouse! The decor is everything we love...comfy, chilled and quirky in a shabby chic way. The building has a great feel to it with super high ceilings and huge windows letting the natural light stream in, I could while away many hours here! 

The atmosphere is buzzing with the bar, barista, juice stop, shop and barbers all in one room. A great spot for people watching and if you're heading out for a solo brunch this is definitely a place you'll feel comfortable by yourself. Every space is filled with something fun and interesting...floor to ceiling shelves crammed full of books, cushions, candles, hats - you name it they have it! 

First thing first, I ordered one of their House Press juices in an attempt to suppress my pounding head and churning stomach. I opted for the Ginger - ginger, green apple and lemon - delicious! 

Whilst my brunching companion went for the Green Man smoothie...yum cakes...

With some goodness now restored, we hit up the brunch menu and ordered some eggs of course!

What I love is how they haven't tried to overcomplicate anything and in doing so they've hit the nail on the head - super tasty food and juices, great value and the perfect weekend atmosphere. Definitely a top hangout for 2015 for 3BM.

The Electric cinema itself is a dream. In my eyes you can't beat sinking into a sofa, snuggling under a blanket, feet atop a cushioned foot stool with a glass of Prosecco and peanut butter chocolate in hand! Bliss!!!

I'm yet to explore the full extent of Barber & Parlour, however I think a brunch plus beauty appointments outing is in order super soon, topped off by a cosy comfy film! Watch this space my friends...!

Friday, 16 January 2015

This Week The Mice Have Mostly Been...

I think we all deserve a bit of...

We made it through work week number two of 2015 and we're still standing... just!

This end we're still being ridiculously healthy with gym sessions in serious swing leaving us yelping with every move we make! At least it's taking our mind off the fact there are only two Mice in London now...come back HK Mouse we miss you!!!

When we haven't been avoiding bread, pumping iron (trying to!) or weeping every time we stand up or walk down stairs, this week the Mice have mostly been...

Going zoodle crazy with our new spiralizer obsession! I mentioned last week it was all part of our new beach goddess fitness drive and some inspiralization would be winging its way to you asap...well here's recipe number one!

If you checked out Middle Mouses' post this week you'll already be up to date on our weekend shenanigans, however if not,  a couple of my best girls come over for a night out 2008-style! As we were the first to get a place up in London, back in the good old days, every Saturday the girls would pile up to the flat early on Saturday evening where a feast would be laid on and copious cocktails would flow as we all got ready together for a big night out. After too many shots and dancing until our heels were kicked off, we'd weave home for drunken scrambled eggs and a sleep over all topped off the morning after by a hungover brunch! We decided it had been far too long since our last one, so we thought we'd kick off 2015 how we mean to go, fun and more fun!

However beach goddesses do not eat slice after slice of pizza so some habits had to be kicked! Carb-laden pre-boozng feast kicked, and instead I spiralized some zoodles of course (zucinni noodles!). Once you try this gem of a recipe you'll seriously think you've died and gone to heaven...a lip smacker of a dish which in my eyes kills the need for carbs any day!

You Need (serves 2)...

For the sauce:

1 lime squeezed
Salt and pepper
1 avocado
1/4 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
12 basil leaves
1 medium clove of garlic, minced

For the rest:
3 courgettes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pack of king prawns
1 whole lime
1 corn on the cob
Coconut oil

Here's how...

1. If you managed to get corn on the cob then whack these on a baking tray and preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Season with salt and paper and bake for 10 mins. Once done remove, scrape off the kernels and set aside. Our local store didn't have fresh corn so we made do with the green giant kind instead, however this still worked and was just as delicious! 

2. Set up your spiralizer and carve those courgettes into spirals of joy! 

3. Meanwhile chop your avo...

...pile all your sauce ingredients into a Blender... 

and whizz up into a thick sauce...

4. I'm not the biggest fan of raw garlic so instead of putting in the sauce I cooked the prawn up with it in a little coconut oil. 

5. The recipe say to serve to zoodles up raw however I chucked them into the garlic and prawn to soften and warm through!

6. Just before serving add the sauce to the zoodles and prawns, mix through and sprinkle with the baked corn...yum! 

Slathering ourselves every night before bed in prickly pear oil! Ok now that's a sentence I never imaged to come out of my mouth, unless I was going through a mid-life Jungle Book crisis! 

Sorry back to the facts, so during the winter months I often - like most - struggle with dry dull skin which doesn't look great even under my new amazing Charlotte Tilbury foundation! I have to be super careful with what I use as my skin is quite sensitive and I hate using heavy moisturisers. Not hard to please I know, but somehow there is a miracle answer...Prickly Pear Oil.

My lovely friend, Andrea, the creator of NYK1 initially brought it to my attention and kindly sent me some to try. It's transformed my end of day skin routine, either apply it concentrated or mix a few drops into your normal moisturiser before bed (I prefer to do the last option) It's super nourishing, sorts out any dry patches and I definitely feel it has brightened my complexion.

Officially this oil's benefits are endless: moisturises, softens, tightens pores to improve the skin's texture, prevents premature ageing and wrinkle formation, brightens dark spots and under-eye shadows, restores elasticity and brightens complexion. See I told you....a MIRACLE worker! 

You can pick yourself up a bottle here, and i'd do it quick smart if I were you as it's currently priced at £44.95 instead of the normal £75!

Right now I've got your weekend meal plan and beauty regime sorted, I'm off to drink, dance and make the most of the next 48 hours of FREEDOM! 


The Mice x

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