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Friday 30 November 2012

This Week The Mice have Mostly Been..

Well we've had one mice down this week due to a nasty virus ... poor Middle Mouse but she's pretty much back fitting fit again now and just in time for the weekend too! Aside from illness, the London Mice have been bearing the cold and wrapping up in lots of warm knits. The bitter weather is miserable yes, but we can't help feeling more and more Christmas excited the colder it gets! The countdown for the return of Hong Kong mouse is a daily talking point too - only 23 days now - SQUEAKKKKKK! 

Anyway lets get on with it - this week the Mice have mostly been....

Getting ready with much anticipation to open our first little advent calendar door tomorrow morning! If you read out previous post highlighting our top of the pops calendars for Christmas 2012 then you may be intrigued to know which one HK mouse decided to send to London Mice Towers! Well, that naughty Hong Konger only went and bought us each a YOU magazine beauty one! We cannot wait to spring out of bed and start every day with a brand new beauty pressie, we need all the help we can get to make us look Christmas ready in time for the big day! Watch out for daily advent updates on Twitter divulging our latest treats. 

Scoffing our greedy mice chops at Nopi! As ever we always have our eyes on the prize when it comes to super duper restaurants, bars and pop-ups to recommend. Last Sunday was no different and Nopi was our brunch spot of choice - we can confidently say it's a goodie! It's owned by the same people as a Robbo firm favourite, Ottolenghi, so no wonder really! Perfectly located for a pre, post or mid-shopping pitstop it's just a brisk 30 second walk from Regents Street and it's super close to Zara, Wholefoods and Marks Bar ... what more could you want! 

The decor is smart and minimalistic, little fuss but beautiful finishes and features. We were seated downstairs on an authentic wooden communal table with more than enough room for everyone plus sharing a table seemed to make it more cosy and more brunch like! 

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The menu is great, really different without being too out there and still providing crowd pleasers for the most important meal of the day. I opted for a skinny cappuccino, focaccia bread with tarragon cream cheese, the most yellow scrambled egg ever and thick slices of salmon. Other options were welsh rarebit with italien egg (two of the girls had this and loved it) and French toast with star anise sugar, berry compote and orange yoghurt. Everyone loved their choices with no food envy to report (which doesn't often happen with us) and I really liked the way we were left in peace to catch up and gossip without any pressure to up and leave as soon as we were done. Top points all round! One word of warning - don't visit the mirrored toilets drunk you'll never get out alive! I struggled to enter, keep my balance and exit and I'd only had a coffee! 

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21-22 Warwick Street

020 7494 9584

Getting Pie-Faced at the Secret Ingredient dessert tasting! Over in Hong Kong, HK Mouse had a night off from the Bikini Fit diet (hmmm there do seem to have been a few of those recently...) and got stuck into Secret Ingredient's new line of desserts. It's no secret that HK Mouse is a bit of a fan of the Hong Kong based home cooking service (more on the what and how of Secret Ingredient here), ordering from them at least a couple of times a week so the announcement of Secret Ingredient's collaboration with pie specialists, Tai Tai Pie Pie, had her more than a little excited. 

Last night she trotted down to Secret Ingredient HQ in Sheung Wan where the SI boys whipped up roast turkey and mashed potatoes followed by slice after slice of delicious pie...oh and a little bit of carrot cake! Because she's a very devoted Mouse, she sampled a piece of every pie on the menu just to make sure that she could report back in full to us all... And the verdict? Pie Perfection! Her top pick was the pecan pie but the drunken apple (regular apple pie spiked with Jack Daniels) came in a very close second! Individual pumpkin pies are currently available to add to your SI order and a full range of pies and cake will be added to the site very soon!

That's your lot! We're going to start taking a little down time at the weekends so that we can try out even more fun and fabulous places to report back on every week! Have a great Friday and weekend - yippee! See you on Monday!

The Mice xxx

Thursday 29 November 2012

Swoonworthy Sustainable Shopping: A Boy Named Sue

If I told you I was into eco fashion you'd probably think of sludgy brown, shapeless sacks; itchy, scratchy hemp pieces; cheap looking, plasticky shoes and maybe a bit of tie dye...

Sustainable fashion gets a very bad rap, which is a shame given that almost 10,000 items of clothing go to landfill every five minutes (that's about 1 billion items of clothing every year). And then there's the huge volumes of pesticides used to grow non-organic cotton and the enormous carbon footprint of the many millions of items of clothing flown halfway around the world to fill our wardrobes... Don't get me wrong, I'm as guilty of binging on disposable fashion as anyone else. I love a little H&M fix and there's nowhere that churns out budget friendly, catwalk inspired must-haves better than Zara and Topshop. 

However, I've been thinking for a while that I'd actually be much better off investing wisely in a few better quality, more classic pieces than buying bagfuls of cheap clothes that I get bored of about as fast as they fall apart. So with 2013 and New Year's Resolution time fast approaching, I'm thinking that next year I'll be making an effort to shop more consciously where I can. I'm sure they'll be some Zara impulse buys, but for the main part I want to be spending my hard earned cash on things that I won't be chucking in the bin before the year's out. 

Which brings us onto the next issue, where do we buy clothes that will have our little fashionista hearts fluttering just as fast as that sparkly sub-fifty pound Topshop trophy jacket? Step up brand new online boutique, A Boy Named Sue

The boutique's story begins with two Hong Kong fashion bloggers, Tania Reinert and Sam Wong, who decided on a whim to see whether there were any stylish eco-designers out there and who ended up finding a wealth of awesome sustainable fashion that they wanted to share with the world. The pair centre their designer selections around a self-created sustainability triangle seeking to ensure that each brand that they curate ticks at least one of three boxes - eco; social and local. 

So that's the eco-credentials sorted, but what about the aesthetic side? Another mega tick! I can confirm that each and every piece that the girls have selected is swoonworthy to levels far beyond any eco item I've ever encountered before. From super soft organic cotton tees to buttery leather jackets these are wardrobe essentials that you'd lust over irrespective of their sustainability.

I popped into the boutique's launch party a couple of weeks ago to check out all the lines that the online boutique carries while sipping on hot mulled cider and nibbling on carrot cake cookies. Despite having a minuscule timeframe to fit my browsing into, the super lovely Tania found the time to talk me through each of the designers and I even managed to snaffle myself a dove grey Groceries Apparel t-shirt (quite possibly the most flattering fit t-shirt I've ever owned). 

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I've heard rumours of some very exciting A Boy Named Sue projects on the horizon including a Hong Kong/ China produced local line. In the meantime, hop double quick over to the website for a fab fashion fix that guarantees to leave you fuller for longer... All shopped out? Stick around to have a nose around the gorgeous website which is packed with interesting info on eco-fashion and a very cool 'Paperback' section which includes interviews with designers and city guides (the Paris one is forming the basis of our NYE trip itinerary...). The girls ship internationally for free so we can all get a slice of sustainable shopping, no matter which far flung corner of the world we call home. 

If you need any help whittling down your wish list, my current top A Boy Named Sue Crushes are...

Isabell de Hillerin Mosaic Jacket

Isabell de Hillerin works with local craftswomen in Romania & Moldova supporting the dying art of handcrafted textiles. All garments are sourced and produced in Europe.

White Tent Peplum Dress

White Tent is produced in a family-owned factory in Portugal which uses only organic and recycled yarns to produce each item.

Hien Le Cashmere Blend Shell Top

Hien Le uses Vegan-friendly Alcantara (a suede substitute). All garments are produced in Berlin.

Isabell de Hillerin Tux Jumpsuit

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Wednesday 28 November 2012

Country Bumpkin Weekend Away...

It's always a whirlwind getting out of work on time, especially on a Friday when you have a train waiting to whisk you off for a much needed country weekend away with your favourite girls! A handful of stops and a couple of changes on the tube, one train journey and a taxi ride down some seriously winding lanes and we finally arrived at Elm cottage in the beautiful countryside of Flaunden, Hertfordshire. Picture Kate Winslet's cottage in the Christmas film 'The Holiday' and you'll be marginally close to how perfect this little weekend getaway is! 

Cue lots of girly squeals, running about the character cottage exploring every nook and cranny and cracking open the first of many bottles of Pinot to celebrate the weekend finally arriving! There we were met by our good school friend Kimberly Rose who invited us to her mum's beautiful Grade II listed cottage for the weekend. Hours and hours of time must have been put into doing the country pad up ... from gorgeous floral bedding, wooden vintage trunks, wellies lined up by the door, Le Creusot kitchen pots and pans to a charming rocking chair nestled beside the fireplace. Literally every little need that you may have during your stay has been thought through and catered for. A love for cockerels is evident throughout the cottage too! 

The story is about to get even better! The cottage is a mere 5 minutes walk from the most amazing multi-award winning gastro pub, The Bricklayers Arms, family run and owned by Alvin, Sally and Adam Michaels. 

We decided to start our weekend with a hearty 3-course feast and were warmly welcomed with open arms and roaring log fires! The pub is set in a beautiful grade II listed, 18th century building and boasts Michelin trained Chef, Claude Paillet. Once settled in with the Pinot flowing, we set about deciding on what to eat, a tough call believe me, with a menu fit for a king! I opted for the Cornish king scallops pan fried with parsnip puree, smoked bacon and hazelnut oil drizzle to start. WOWee...

I followed that up with a duo of venison haunch steak and slowly cooked shoulder with a cranberry jus. If that wasn't enough we then selected three puddings to get stuck into ... bourbon vanilla Crème brûlée, hot sticky toffee pudding and a chocolate pud to die for. After demolishing the lot, we then polished off a few more bottles of Pinot for good measure before stumbling back to our darling little cottage. 

The rest of the weekend followed in a fairly similar suit, with a country walk accompanied by flasks of homemade mulled wine, a cosy night in with food, food and of course booze aplenty, lots of general girly chit chat and a smidgen of Movember fun...

If an escape to the country is sounding pretty appealing, then I can't recommend anywhere more lovely and a mere 15 minute journey from London, means that you won't spend all weekend travelling either. Prices start from £450-600 per week and the cottage sleeps four. For further enquiries or to make a booking contact 

Well what are you waiting for?!

Tuesday 27 November 2012

John's A'salt'ing Our Senses...

There's a new restaurant in Islington town and its small-plate menu is winning in every way! Dubbed as a new 'neighbourhood bar, with good beer' John Salt is its name. Formerly Keston Lodge and from the same people behind The Owl & Pussycat in Shoreditch and The Fellow in King's Cross, we were certainly excited to try it out and did so last Saturday. In summary ... OH MY GOD I thought only food in heaven could taste that good!

The main 26-seater restaurant upstairs is booked right through to Feb next year now so we settled on dining at the bar downstairs AKA the chef's table which works on a first come first serve basis. You can either cherry pick from the menu or put your trust in the incredible chefs and hope for the best. We opted for the latter and chose to go with the 6 course taster-menu for £34. A bargain in my opinion and you'll be sure to agree when you hear the feast we were treated to! All was prepared at an open cooking station at the end of our table so every small dish was whipped up live before our very eyes. 

First up ... the greasy chicken skin sandwich. Don't be put off by the 'greasy' part of this sarnie it's pure genius I promise! Ok picture this ... so boring bread was swapped for two wafer thin crisp sheets of chicken skin. Between the sheets sits red onion jam, paprika mayo, sliced cucumber and blow-torched baby gem lettuce. De-lish! 

Next up heavenly pumpkin soup with smoked cream cheese and bread and butter to die for. This was no ordinary soup, not even M&S soup! You have to taste it to believe it! 

A particular favourite of ours was the baguette with buttery mash, BBQ sauce and winter truffle sprinkles. Enough said...

Fried Machiavelli egg was also a firm fav with smoked watermelon, aromatic ketchup & golden crumbs - like a super duper posh fried breakfast...

Last but by all means least, we finished off with the warm chocolate pud or as us girls called it sex in a bowl! Once described you'll be racing on over to Islington to try it out trust me ... rich Original Bean choco mousse sits on top of salty cubes of baked pineapple finished off with a generous dollop of Jersey milk sorbet and a sprinkling of nuts! The chef actually said to us as he plonked our plates down 'I think this is when I get your numbers' if he hadn't have walked away at that point I would have gladly obliged! Seriously out of this world amazing. 

We didn't get to try the famous 'chicken on a brick' which we were intriged by, let me explain more ... a London house brick is taken and smothered in a caramel glaze. Next super-smooth chicken liver mousse is layered on with sweetcorn and lingonberries. All that topped with crispy chicken skin crumbs. Once demolished guests are encourage to, wait for it ... lick the brick! Yes you read correctly, how wonderfully ill-mannered! 

Definitely one for next time...!

131 Upper Street
N1 1QP

020 7704 8955

Monday 26 November 2012

3BM Top Ten Chrimbo Films

It's Monday again.

It's rainy and grey in Hong Kong and I'm willing to bet it's rainier and greyer and much, much colder over in London. UGH! But it's also just under a month until Christmas Day and that means it's time to get festive! 

We know there's lots of Christmin to be done - planning your Christmas feast, buying all those presents, then wrapping all those presents, filling your diary with all those Christmas party invites, shopping for your yuletide wardrobe and writing all those Christmas cards... But we say why not make it as stress free as possible, pull on your cosiest outfit (hello cashmere tracksuit), grab your laptop and do as much as you possibly can from the comfort of your sofa while drinking a huge mug of hot chocolate and munching on mince pies. We're talking, surfing recipe sites for the perfect Chrsitmas lunch, pre-ordering all your Christmas food from one of the supermarkets' websites and bagging all your Christmas presents, Christmas jumpers and party dresses online (much easier to compare prices and get unusual things for those hard to buy for people and some stores will even do your wrapping - double whammy!). 

Best of all though, doing all your chores from home means that you can get started on making your way through all your Christmas film essential viewing while you shop and plan...

Need some help compiling your Christmas download list? Here's the 3BM Top Ten Christmas films (in no particular order) to get you started... 

1.  Father Christmas 

2.  Home Alone

3.  Nativity

4.  Arthur Christmas

5.  The Holiday

6.  Miracle on 34th Street

7.  Elf

8.  It's A Wonderful Life

9.  The Snowman

10.  Love Actually

Saturday 24 November 2012

To Make You Smile...

A little something to make you smile on this miserable grey Saturday. Pictures of Walls is one of those simple pleasures in life that is what it is. People all over the world have come together to share pictures that make them chuckle. It's not rocket science, life changing or thought provoking instead just plain silly...

Friday 23 November 2012

This Week the Mice Have Mostly Been...

Wow! We have been a bunch of very busy little Mice this week! While I spent last weekend breaking my Bikini Fit diet in style in Shanghai (more to come on that very soon), the London Mice were zipping out of London for a weekend in the country full of wellies, long walks and hipflasks of mulled wine. Back to our desks with a bang on Monday but not for long for Middle Mouse who unpacked her Barbour only to replace it with her Viking hat (jokes) to head off to Oslo with work. Meanwhile Mini Mouse has been working her little socks off all week but somehow also finding the time for a few cocktail-fuelled evenings with the girls...And in Hong Kong I've been consumed with all things Birthday - party planning and present opening, champagne supping (yup, I fell off the wagon - ooops!) and cake chomping (well if you're going to mess up your diet, do it well...). A huge thank you to Mini and Middle for my amazo Birthday Blog Post (and to Daddy Mouse for spending hours in the loft at home digging out the baby photos) - I absolutely loved it!

Seems impossible that we could possibly manage to cram anything else into seven little days doesn't it? Pah, what do you think we are? Men? We're Mice remember... This week the Mice have mostly been....

Blissing Out at brand new foot massage hot spot, Kiwi. In anticipation of a busy Birthday weekend, I decided that on my Birthday eve on Wednesday, a little bit of pampering was in order. I've been meaning to try out this newbie since it opened at the start of the month and after my heavenly foot massage, I only wished I'd tried it out sooner. 

Tucked away on the 14th floor of Century Square Building in Lang Kwai Fong, Kiwi is a small but perfectly formed spa space with a cluster of sleek space-age like foot massage chairs and two little body massage rooms. Kiwi has iPads available to loan you so that you can internet shop or blog hop while all your troubles are kneaded away or you could opt, as I did, to catch up on all the details of Justine Timberlake and Jessica Biel's wedding from one of the stack of glossy magazines. Top Tip: ask for Tom, a genuine foot magician who will leave you feeling like you're walking on clouds.

Swooning over yet another socially conscious new discovery, jewellery brand, Edge of Ember. Last week we blogged about new additions to the HK eco-scene including Wild Grass (where I'll be having a Birthday dinner this weekend) and new e-boutique, A Boy Named Sue (who I'll be blogging more about soon...). This week we discovered Edge of Ember's beautiful jewellery which is handmade by local artisans in Cambodia, Nepal, Indonesia and Vietnam, supporting self-sustainable employment in small communities struggling on the edge of poverty. As if that wasn't enough, Edge of Ember also reinvests 10% of all proceeds back into these communities funding local charity projects. We're loving absolutely every piece on the website, but this bangle and these earrings are definitely taking top spots on our Christmas wish lists...

The Edge of Ember Chamelli Bangle
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You can get your hands on these and the rest of the Edge of Ember amazingness via the online shop and the best news of all? They ship internationally for free! 

Even better news for Hong Kongers, you can currently pick up an Edge of Ember bargain... The very lovely Sassy Girls are offering a delicious little Sassy Sale Deal on shopping vouchers for jewellery boutique, the 9th Muse which just happens to stock the Edge of Ember! Hop over to the Sassy site, pay HK$200 and get a HK$400 voucher to spend at the 9th Muse - does it get much better than that?!

Becoming Serial Lip-Lickers after getting a box full of super yummy Lip Smacker x Paul Frank lip balms. Mini Mouse has blogged before about loving the Fried Ice-Cream flavour. My current obsession is the Julius' Amaretto Biscotti. It's genuinely so good that I found myself googling "How many calories are there in lip balm"...

Lip Smackers have launched some very sweet little gift packs just in time for Christmas which we think are perfect for any tween nieces or great stocking stuffers for grown-up girls with a penchant for Paul Frank! 

Giving Thanks for Birthdays, brilliant boyfriends and homemade macaroons at one of my favourite restaurants in Hong Kong, TBLS. After a day of being thoroughly spoiled, I ended my day with an epic eight course Thanksgiving feast on the terrace at TBLS. Each course was meticulously prepared, beautifully presented and so incredibly delicious that I wanted to lick the plate. My highlights were the soup & sandwich, make that the ULTIMATE soup and sandwich - pumpkin & sage soup with goats cheese froth and maple glazed ham hock and fig and clove jam sandwich - and the eggnog macaroon sandwich. Having said that the Turducken was pretty mindblowing and the beef pot pie with porcini mushrooms has my mouth watering just typing about it... Any Hong Kongers who haven't been yet, I thoroughly recommend it, anyone planning to visit Hong Kong any time soon, make sure that it's on your agenda (and that you've booked well in advance getting a table requires a couple of months' of forward planning).   

And on that note, I think it's about time to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving weekend full of Black Friday shopping (or Cyber Monday shopping plotting), family fun and most importantly, lots and lots of eating...

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Happy Weekend!
The Mice
Wednesday 21 November 2012


Once again it's birthday time and last but definitely not least it's HK MOUSE'S turn! 

All the way over in HK the cake will be cut, cocktails and champagne glasses will be clinking and presents will be ripped open, all in aid of our favourite Hong Kong Mouse! Well that's if her bikini fit diet will is only one day after all!  

I think now is the right time to pull the baby photos on her don't you?! If there were ever to be an innocent, sweet, good natured little girl Natalie was it - long blonde locks with a halo of fluffy baby hair that she hated but only made her even more sweet! See for yourself...

Being the eldest of the robo trio she has always taken that position with pride...constantly looking after her baby sissys, spoiling us rotten, helping us with Pythagoras' Theorem and introducing us to Topshop skinny jeans! 

When she was titch she always had her little nose in The Faraway Tree, let her imagination run away thinking up the best games for us three and was never too far away from the dressing up box! How times have changed...not! She's always on her kindle, was the brain behind the 3BM concept and uploads HK fancy dress photos most weekends....a mouse never changes its whiskers! 

We miss her very much and it makes us extremely sad that we can't say happy birthday in person but only 29 days and we can have a secondary celebration! In the meantime we leave you with your very own birthday blog post and three big birthday kisses from Minnie Mouse in London, Daddy Mouse in St.Albans and Middle Mouse in Oslo! 

That's it for another year of 3BM birthdays...a year older and most definitely wiser I would say!!

As always and in birthday tradition please join us in wishing HK mouse a massive Happy Birthday and leaving her a celebratory comment...she will seriously LOVE it! 

All that's left to say is...