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Monday 30 April 2012

Chic, Sophisticated & Highly Covetable: Zara's Big Sister -Uterqüe

Every Sunday I wake up super excited that it's Sunday Times day.  I open my eyes, spring straight out of bed, immediately regret doing so as the night before's hangover kicks in and then remember what all the springing was about and dash to grab my iPad.  I then spend a bit of time downloading the various sections - the main paper, Culture, Travel, the News Review...  Oh, I'm going to be honest, the only section I really care about is Style.  I do a cursory flick through some other more newsy bits so that I can maintain some semblance of intelligent conversation throughout the week, but its Style that causes the springing and the hyper over-excitement.  I've only had a little peek at this week's Style (I try to eek it out over the week so I have something to look forward to on my commute in the mornings) but the Barometer tipped me off about a couple of new exciting things - Pic Nic Pants (a pair of trousers that double up as a table...hmmmm), Lot 18 (a hip online wine club) and my favourite, Uterqüe.

Uterqüe is part of the Inditex group which includes Massimo Dutti and Zara.  Apparently Zara's big sister has been around in Europe since July 2008 but it has now supplemented its 85 stores across 16 countries with a new online store available in nine European countries including the UK.  Unfortunately my Hong Kong buds, Uterqüe doesn't yet ship here, so I'm afraid we're going to have to read this and drool for now.  Unless of course you have a Mum/sister/best friend in the UK who you can send all your Uterqüe booty to and then persuade them to do the HK leg of the shipping for you...

Uterqüe's focus is accessories but I am having palpitations over virtually everything on the website.  Its 28C outside but I'm obsessing over the blush studded leather jacket and the caramel suede wrap coat.  Prices are higher than Zara but not dissimilar to Massimo Dutti and the pieces look like quality wardrobe staples. I say Zara for the catwalk inspired, seasonal updates and Uterqüe for those old favourites that will underpin the trend led accents season after season.








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Sunday 29 April 2012

Sunday Blues

It's Sunday evening in Hong Kong - having a slight attack of the Sunday blues but they're not quite as bad as usual because Tuesday is a public holiday here this week so it's really just a one day week... 

It's been a lovely weekend full of dinners, laughing with people I haven't caught up with for ages and yesterday night some very competitive team games... Today we headed up to the races at Sha Tin and I finished HK$300 up - noticed on the way home that my Mulberry Lily has a little horseshoe charm attached to it, I put my winning streak entirely down to that!

The London Mice have spent the weekend glamping for a hen weekend so very much looking forward to tales of Hunter boots, L Plates and champagne in muddy fields.

If you're also feeling a little sad and jaded after the weekend's fun, here's a Sunday evening tune to cheer you up...

Albama Shakes - Hold On  

Saturday 28 April 2012

Fashionistas that...are Secret Piglets!

Last weekend as a treat for my friend, Nikki's Birthday, we thought what better way to spend our Saturday than a shopping spree followed by a Fashionista's Afternoon Tea at the Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge! And I can confirm that my new favourite hobby, eating as many cakes and miniature sandwiches as humanly possible, all washed down by several glasses of Laurent Perrier, is something I'm very good at! YUM YUM YUM!

As you enter the hotel, you walk straight into a plush reception area with an immediate air of luxury and traditional style. Big comfy chairs, lots of marble and most impressively an ornate fire place framed either side by two gorgeous blossom trees. Our shopping bags were whisked away and we were taken straight to our table despite being fifteen minutes early for our reservation.

Berkeley Hotel Reception

We were greeted by our impeccably dressed waiter for the afternoon who took his time explaining the delicious banquet we were about to devour and making sure that everything was perfect. We opted for the Champagne Pret-a-Portea, a SERIOUS treat! As soon as I was presented with the mint green menu setting out a delectable list of fashion related cakes and treats, I became thoroughly overexcited about the afternoon ahead!

After picking our type of tea (you could opt for the standard Pret-a-Portea which comes with a selection of different teas, the champagne option that we enjoyed or the Couture Champagne version!!) our waiter explained each section...first up finger sandwiches! You each get a plate with the following...a traditional Egg and Cress roll, Cucumber and Cream Cheese in Tomato bread, Smoked Salmon and Butter in Wholemeal Bread, Tuna, Hummus, Salad wrap and my favourite on our baby platter Coronation Chicken in Tomato Bread!! We both ate every last crumb....SO DELISH!  And then our waiter immediately asked if we would like our plates replenished, we politely declined as the cake stand and our champagne had just arrived!!!

Before we were allowed to dig in, each tier was explained...first up the Savouries...a Feta Cheese Mousse and Horseradish spoon, Miniature Crab Cake, Peanut Beef Roulade, Sesame Salmon Sashimi and a shot of Green Tomato Gazpacho....Nikki and I literally did paper, scissors, stone for who got what....UNTIL we found out that your plate is replenished as soon as the last heavenly treat is removed from a layer...PIGLET BLISS!!

The next two layers up are where the quirky fashion element comes in...each pastry, mousse, cake and biscuit is based on colours and themes from the latest catwalk collections. The menu is altered every six months to keep up with new creations from our favourite designers! Our waiter explained each work of art with the help of a laminated montage of the designs, shoes and bags that they were all based on. The minute detail the pastry chefs have managed to achieve with such perfection is incredible, you really will be impressed!  

A few of the beautiful fashion fancies that we ate our way through were...

Gucci's Art Deco Grand Marnier & dark Valrhona chocolate mousse embellished with golden beads (these were pieces of popping candy covered in golden icing!).

Nautical Fendi red and white striped vanilla cake filled with fraise des bois cremeur accessorized with oversized yellow button.

Christian Louboutin must-have neon yellow high heeled chocolate biscuit which comes complete with signature red sole!

Dolce & Gabbana light blue Sicilian blueberry sponge cake wicker basket wrapped in chocolate.

Michael Kors safari cake with dark chocolate & mocha filling topped with signature leopard print.

Every Fashionista should experience this Afternoon Tea!  It's not only a chance to swot up on this season's fashion must haves but it was also the most divine few hours of my life! Even better, when you finally roll yourself out of the hotel you're sent away with a sweet little Pret-a-Portea mint green box filled with several pastries and cakes to enjoy when you get home!  I begrudgingly gave mine away to Middle Mouse, watching her every move with green evil eyes as she happily munched away!!!

Go on treat's for fashion after all!

Served Daily from 1pm - 6pm

Pret-aPortea - £39 per person
Champagne Pret-a-Portea - £49 per person (includes a glass of Laurent-Perrier)
Couture Champagne Pret-a Portea - £55 per person (includes a glass of Billecart-Salmon Rose, Laurent Perrier Ultra Brut, Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle).

The Berkeley
Wilton Place
0207 235 6000

Friday 27 April 2012

This Week the Mice Have Mostly Been...

It's Friiiiday!

And this week seems to have flown by!

So without further ado, the run down of how I've filled it, this week I've mostly been...

Celeb spotting without success's been a bit of a starry week in Hong Kong this week.  For anyone who lives any other big city around the world like London or New York it may sound a little ridiculous that I'm excited that celebrities are somewhere in the city that I live.  But somehow the Central district, where I live and where most of the celeb goings on this week have been happening, has a bit of a villagey feel.  On a regular basis I'll pop down to the supermarket and bump into five or six people I know en route (not so great when I'm doing a quick scuttle to pick up breakfast supplies on a Sunday morning make-up-less with the hangover from hell).  Having said that, no luck in bumping into Victoria Beckham who was in town on Wednesday for the launch of her Victoria, Victoria Beckham line at Lane Crawford (and from what I've read, even those who went to the launch were lucky to catch a glimpse of her.  Oh well, clearly need to brush up on my celeb stalking skills.  I have seen photos of the real star of the Beckham show though, Harper who accompanied Victoria on her trip to China.  At Hong Kong airport yesterday she looked every inch the fashionista in the making in her nude coloured tutu dress with very on-trend metallic accents; this season's must have accessory, a hairband; and even miniature tan tasselled sandals - take that Suri!  

And that's not all, more celebs descend on us today as Liberatum, a three day culture and media festival, kicks off in Hong Kong.  The programme looks pretty diverse and includes exclusive screening of interviews filmed by leaving Las Vegas director, Mike Figgis, and this afternoon, a session with Pharrell and William Orbit on contemporary music and design.  What's even better is that it's free entry on a first come first served basis - should make the celeb stalking much simpler...

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Getting over the disappointment of Lana Del Rey's Live Lounge cover of Kasabian's Goodnight Kiss*  with the discovery of Δ (Alt-J).  I tuned into Radio 1 last Friday to hear the Lana Live Lounge and heard Fearne Cotton's record of the week Δ - Breeze Blocks which I haven't been able to get out of my head ever since.  It also happens to be the perfect tune to get you through a draggy Friday afternoon!

* (just to clarify my Del Rey disappointment centred around the song choice.  I don't mind Kasabian, but I'm not a particular fan of this track.  For an artist with such a beautiful voice, I thought it was an odd choice and the performance just did nothing for me.  She said she'd chosen the track because all her boyfriends have been big Kasabian fans but I'd hazard a guess that it was a return favour for Kasabian having covered Video Games last year, a cover that I'm also not a fan of.) 

Keeping my fingers crossed for another weekend like last weekend.  After a week of horrid weather in Hong Kong, last weekend was beautiful - blue skies and sun - perfect sunbathing weather.  Sunday was particularly nice so we headed up to Snake Bay in the New Territories on a friend's boat.  It was my ideal Sunday, a warm sunny day full of lazing, reading magazines, eating too much and drinking champagne.  I even dipped my toe in the sea but the water's still pretty freezing and I was too much of a wimp to actually get in.  It's currently grey and misty outside but I have high hopes that the sun can pull it out of the bag again this weekend...  

Wondering whether if I make like Dorothy, click my dull, black heels together, and repeat three times, "Giuseppe Zanotti", maybe these ruby red shooties will magically appear on my feet...damn, it doesn't appear to be working...

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Happy Friday!  Have a great weekend!
The Mice

Thursday 26 April 2012

Through the Keyhole: 3BadMice on Little Maison

The very lovely Mandy Forlenza, founder of Little Maison, a home decor, vintage and fashion blog, is one of our brand new blog buds.  Writing 3BadMice has been so much fun so far and one of the great things that we hadn't really expected has been connecting with people all over the world who are obsessed with all the same things as us (shoes, red wine, fab vintage home decor...).  

Mandy has just started a new feature on her blog called My Little Maison which explores the homes of various people she's met through blogging.  And this week we were thrilled to be the subject of our very own My Little Maison Post!  Sneak peak below of a couple of photos from Mouse Towers in London and Mouse Shoebox in Hong Kong - click through to see more....

Thanks so much Mandy, we love the post!

Wednesday 25 April 2012

Heiress vs Penniless: Victoria, Victoria Beckham Style Dresses

In the last week she's celebrated turning 38 with a fruit platter in LA; caused controversy by posing as an air hostess on a Cathay flight en route to China; launched the limited-edition Range Rover Evoque that she's designed (which comes complete with an £80,000 price tag); helped a Starbucks barista whip up a couple of frappuccinos; and presented her Victoria Beckham aw12 collection in Beijing.  

Who is she?  Spice Girl turned WAG turned fashionista and all round super mum, Victoria Beckham of course.  

Today VB arrives in Hong Kong to celebrate the debut of her Victoria by Victoria Beckham ss12 collection at Lane Crawford.  We'll be watching Twitter like hawks for photos of Victoria serving Big Macs in IFC McDonalds or lying roadside on Queen's Road Central with the bag lady (for non-HKers, see photo of one of Hong Kong's most famous landmarks below)...

We have to admit that we were a little sceptical when Victoria Beckham first turned her hand to fashion design back in 2008.  With only two years between the hot pants and hair extensions of Baden-Baden and the launch of her Debut line at New York Fashion Week, VB undoubtedly pulled one of the greatest fashion transformations since Nicole Ritchie have her Zoe-over.  From that very first collection, we've been huge fans of Victoria's dresses.  Razor sharp tailoring and total va va voom sex appeal but with the practical touches that remind us she's a working Mum (hidden corsets and two way zips to adjust to the wearer's stride and prevent hair and make-up malfunctions).  The only minor issue being that her designs always sell out as fast as retailers can restock.  Oh, and the hefty four figure price tags...  

Last autumn at New York Fashion Week with six week old baby Harper on her hip, Victoria launched her diffusion line, Victoria, Victoria Beckham and our VB crushes heightened.  The Victoria line is quirkier, fresher and younger.  The ss12 collection included ruffles and pockets, fun prints (moons, cats and clouds) and colour-blocking in crayon bright hues.  With prices for the line running from £395 to just under £1,000, it's a little more gentle on your pocket but still out of most of our price ranges. 

So what's a girl with a craving for a slice of the VB magic to do?  Well the high street has really stepped up to the challenge and whipped up some fantastic pieces with a healthy pinch of the Victoria line thrown in this season.  We bring you Victoria, Victoria Beckham inspired dresses for less than the cost of one of Harper's socks      

Heiress: Victoria, Victoria Beckham Sequinned Cloud-Print Georgette Dress
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Penniless: Zara Printed Dress with Contrasting Collar

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Heiress: Victoria, Victoria Beckham Catwalk ss12

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Heiress: Victoria, Victoria Beckham Catwalk ss12

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Heiress: Victoria, Victoria Beckham Catwalk ss12

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And to finish this post, a word of warning, no one likes a copycat.  This rip off of VB's cat dress does Towie's Sam Faiers no favours.  It's not big (enough) and it's not clever...

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