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Monday 29 June 2015

Angelica Hicks

Because it's Monday and that means we all need a little cheering up (unless like me, you happen to be on holiiiiiday! But more on that another time...), here's a little bit of fabulous to brighten up your day.

I stumbled across Angelica Hicks' awesome Instagram feed last week courtesy of someone else who had posted her Hen Party illustration. I clicked through to her profile, got sucked down the Insta-rabbit warren, and spent the next hour scrolling through all her beautiful and incredibly witty creations.

Angelica's work is like 3BM fav, Simon Drew for Voguettes. A little bit of fashion and a sprinkle of celebrity seen through the eyes of a super sharp, pun-tastic master of bold illustration. The fact she turned out to be a creative genius is hardly surprising though given that her mother's Italian fashion and textiles designer, Allegra Hicks, and her father is author, architect and interior designer, Ashely Hicks... We're expecting equally huge things from Angelica in the very near future.

Here are just a couple of my favs for your Monday viewing pleasure...

Rather excitingly, Angelica's website says that there's an e-shop launching soon, and having Insta-stalked her, it seems that she's selling her prints via London pop-up, rail_store which looks as though it's only popping-up til 30th June. So, marks get set, race you to snap up a little piece of fashion fabulousness....

Friday 26 June 2015

This Week The Mice Have Mostly Been...

Yes it is and we've got that Fri-yay feeling! Bring on the fun...

This week we've been on countdown mode BECAUSE Hong Kong mouse is coming home to us next week! Don't get too excited .. she's not coming back for good just a flying visit. We're looking forward to plenty of sissy time, catch ups over cocktails and lots and lots of fun! 

Butttttttttttt putting our forthcoming sister reunion to one side, This Week The Mice Have Mostly Been...

Majorly crushing over the hot and steamy TV series 'The Affair'. If you've been meaning to watch it and haven't I urge you to act now!! I had heard great things from a few friends and work colleagues but just needed a window of weekend sofa time to snuggle up, settle down and get stuck into the series. 

Word of warning up front, it's a little bit of a slow burner but once in you're well and truly in! For starters the lead actor Dominic West is outrageously handsome. The acting is superb with the series already bagging two Golden Globes and the plotline is seriously seductive and oh-so-addictive. I don't want to give too much away for those that haven't seen it but essentially the show follows a married father of four, Noah and a married waitress, Alison and their summer love affair together behind their partners and families backs. Each episode is split into two halves following the same scenerios but through Noah and Alison's different perspectives. 

Oh and did I mention Joshua Jackson, my childhood crush from Dawson's Creek is also in the stellar cast line-up - swoon! I'm already looking ahead to season two - which by the way is confirmed ... yay! I dare you not to fall for the show... hard!

When my bum hasn't firmly been planted on the sofa because i've been engrossed by The Affair, i've been getting my fit on! There's nothing quite like a gym gear spree to give me a new fitness lease of life. 

And in my personal opinion, no one does it better that the big boys over at Adidas! I'm already a proud wearer of a few colour popping Stella McCartney pieces from a while back but most recently I snapped up a piece from the Originals Rita Ora Collection - basically her bold dress sense injected into classic sporting styles. I opted for a pair of cool black & white smoke design leggings but couldn't control myself enough to just buy one thing and so I also ended up getting a marble-look Stella M sports top as well. Check me, checking myself in the mirror below...!

Run Print tank top - half price at the mo at £32.50

Playing the spine-tingling 'Are You' from Francesca Belmonte on repeat. I challenge you not to be hooked the first time you listen to this. Moody beats mashed up with hauntingly beautiful vocals - every time I listen to the track it sends me into a dream-like state or to another planet altogether! 

It would seem Britain really does have talent because the lovely Francesca is from the UK - hooray! 


And that brings me onto my parting image for you! Life is like a bowl of strawberries, tasty and oh so sweet...

Have a super weekend all! 

Lots of love,

The Mice 

Wednesday 24 June 2015

HK Mouse: My Hong Kong

Six and a half years ago I flew 5,995 around the world to do a two year stint on a skyscrapered rock in the middle of the South China Sea. With just a couple of suitcases and virtually no idea of what my new life would be like, I was more than a little apprehensive. 

Fast forward a few years,and I'm now settled, happy and very nearly a Hong Kong permanent resident. I still love London and miss friends, family, decent TV and of course, Middle & Mini, but Hong Kong holds a very special place in my heart and is, right now, most definitely home. 
So much so in fact, that when Expat Living asked me some questions about my favourite things about my adopted neighbourhood they could barely shut me up. Here's a snippet of what I had to say...
What street do you live on?
Chancery Lane.
Closest MTR station?
How long have you lived here?
Just over two years.
Why here?
I first walked along Chancery Lane just after I moved to Hong Kong, around six years ago. I was on my way to Pure Yoga and decided that this would be my ideal place to live in the city – a peaceful little pedestrian street, slap bang in the middle of Central. A few years later after spending three months looking for a new flat, my estate agent (Naomi at Nest Property) called to say she had the perfect flat for me; when I discovered it was on Chancery Lane, I knew it was meant to be!
When you walk out of your place, the first thing you see is:
Cranes and scaffolding peeking above the brick wall that used to surround Victoria Prison. The former Central Police Headquarters just in front of Chancery Lane is in the process of being converted into an arts and retail complex which should finally open next year.

The closest store to your front door is:
Lok Man Rare Books – a tranquil bookworm’s paradise crammed full of first editions and an eclectic collection of rare and unusual tomes on any and every subject imaginable.
If a celebrity moves in next door, it will most likely be:
Someone tiny (the flats are all shoebox-sized walk-ups along the street) who likes yoga just as much as spinning around a dance floor in a minute pair of gold hotpants. I guess it’s got to be Kylie.
You’d swap houses in a second with:
One of the owners of one of the stunning properties on the Shek O headland.
Your hands-down favourite neighbourhood joints are:
Too many to mention, but numbering among my current faves are:
On Caine, for day-to-day essentials: Pacific Gourmet for organic fish and meat; Il Bel Paese for Italian wines, cheeses and cured meats; and Eric Keyser for the best French bread in the city plus my nemesis, freshly baked cherry and pistachio financiers.

For a long lazy brunch, Posto Pubblico on Elgin, or if it’s cool enough for a Bloody Mary or two alfresco, the terrace at Aberdeen Street Social.
Places that make my credit card weep: Edit (67 Hollywood Road), Christian Louboutin (10-12 Wyndham Street) and Joyce Beauty (Queen’s Road Central).
Come nightfall, I love informal dinners and strong cocktails at Yardbird on Bridges Street and 121BC on Peel Street, late night drinks at Wyndham The 4th, Stockton and Salon Number 10. If you’re up for further debauchery, head for a midnight feast at notoriously tricky-to-find 001, tucked behind an anonymous black door in the wet market; believe me, their grilled cheese sandwich washed down with the perfect Earl Grey martini more than compensates for managing to hunt this speakeasy down.

The guiltiest pleasure in your area is:
The Diner on Arbuthnot Road, dangerously just a hop, skip and jump from my front door, and which serves up the best burgers in town and a sinfully enormous American breakfasts (think buttermilk bacon pancakes, breakfast burritos and Fat Elvis Waffles). And don’t get me started on the milkshakes – hello, Malted Malteser Milkshake; delicious in a cup and truly worth every last calorie!
Why should your neighborhood be featured in a guidebook?
It generally does feature in guidebooks in some way or another, though I think people should focus less on following the well-trodden tourist route around Central, and instead just wander down random alleyways and windy back streets keeping their eyes peeled. In Hong Kong, you’re just as likely to stumble upon a creaky old antique shop selling priceless relics, as you are to uncover a day old molecular mixology joint that even the most in-the-know HKers haven’t cottoned on to yet.
Read the rest of the piece over on Expat Living!
Monday 22 June 2015

Magical Mallorca : Son Julia Country House Hotel...

I'm still longingly day dreaming back to a few weeks ago when Middle Mouse and I whiled away a long weekend of sleepy Spanish days packed full of cocktails, sun and snoozing ... Mallorca really was the perfect host! 

When we were teeny tiny Mice we holidayed ever summer in neighbouring Balearic island, Menorca. Each year we would return to a sweet little fishing village called Macaret. The three of us were inseparable, spending hours on the beach building sandcastles and of course collecting shells so we could set up a beachside shell shop - yes we actually tried to sell locals the shells from their own beach! At lunchtime we'd scurry across to our villa to devour big plates of parma ham, chorizo and hunks of fresh bread, have a siesta and then go back to do it all over again! 

Each evening we'd head to our favourite local restaurant just steps from our casa and gobble down the most delicious feasts! It must have been an unusual sight to see three little blonde girls tucking into great bowls of baby squid, mussels and paella - our tastes for good food were born right there in Macaret! After dinner we would run around with all the children from the village eating sweets and playing for hours until we literally fell into our beds - I'm not entirely sure how we sustained these friendships seeing as the only Spanish we knew was counting from one to ten, but somehow it worked! Despite visiting for over ten years, we loved it just as much every time and would cry as the plane zoomed down the runaway back to London! 

Baby Mice, Menorca c.1989

Friday 19 June 2015

This Week The Mice Have Mostly Been...

We're delighted to report that we've all got through five whole days of early starts and working far too hard and now it's very, very nearly the...

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Summer Supper - Seared Wasabi & Sesame Salmon...

Although summer hasn't quite made it to London just yet, it's only got to be a matter of days (we hope!) until our weekends are whiled away in beer gardens and lazing in parks with picnics and BBQs. Bliss! 

Monday 15 June 2015

Magnificent Mallorca : Portals Hills Boutique

As I sit here pondering how to start this blog post, I can't help but think was it really only a few weeks ago that Mini Mouse and I returned from our lusher than lush trip to Mallorca?! Sadly it seems like a lifetime ago and I'm itching to go back pronto! If you follow us on Instagram You no doubt saw our smoasts whilst we were there … #sorrynotsorry … we did lots of cocktail drinking, plenty of lazing in the sun, a whole heap of sleeping and generally spent the rest of the day laughing til our faces hurt. Holiday essentials right?! 

Friday 12 June 2015

This Week The Mice Have Mostly Been...

Another week, another barrage of long hours, early mornings and too many cups of coffee! However fear not the weekend is here...
This week, when we haven't been buzzing on caffeine highs, yawning continually and wishing we could just be Harper Beckham, the Mice have mostly been...
Wednesday 10 June 2015

The Daily Juice : Raw Press Vs. Detox Kitchen

So by now you'll all be more than aware of our green mantra...

Monday 8 June 2015

Ten Unmissable Hong Kong Meals

From slurping noodles at gutterside cha cha tengs to nibbling haute cuisine at chandelier be-decked fine dining establishments, if there’s one thing Hong Kong diners have in common, it’s that they’re serious about their food. You may think that feeding the rumbling stomachs of seven million foodies would be enough of a challenge for Hong Kong’s restaurants, but that’s just the half of it. In a city that burns the candle at both ends and then sets fire to the middle too, hungry Hong Kongers expect to be able to sate their appetite wherever, whenever and however they choose. Add to that the fact that approximately a seventh of the population are expats, which makes for an awful lot of homesick tummies to comfort with dishes from their multitude of home countries.

It’s safe to say that trying to pick the top ten places to eat in the city is a near impossible task (but one that nevertheless, every Hong Konger has a strong opinion on). So, while we may not be able to promise that our top ten nosh spots cover all of the very best places to eat in the city, we can guarantee that a meal at any one of these will be a stellar addition to your culinary itinerary.

Tim Ho Wan
If Michelin-starred restaurants put you in mind of penguin-suited waiters and starched white tablecloths, reset your expectations before you visit Tim Ho Wan. To say that the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant in the world looks unassuming is a bit of an understatement. Set in a neighbourhood more known for hardware stores and oil-streaked garages, you may only notice you’ve reached your destination when you spot the queue snaking round the block. Come well before hunger strikes, as a wait of an hour or more is pretty much guaranteed, but dim sum of this caliber is more than worth the wait. Once inside, expect to be seated elbow to elbow with local pensioners, lunchbreaking construction workers and perhaps a tourist or two (Tim Ho Wan’s reputation has always preceded it, but its Michelin accolade has taken things stratospheric). Décor is basic, service is surly and the menu’s a green piece of paper that you score your selections on, just be sure that one of those selections is the iconic Cha Sui Bao. Buttery golden, flaky baked buns that melt in your mouth to give way to a generous splodge of sticky, sweet BBQ pork – little parcels of heaven.

Tim Ho Wan, G/F, 9-11 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po.

At the opposite end of the scale is Amber. Set your Michelin-starred expectations back to fine wines, foams and emulsions, this two-starred temple to French haute cuisine flawlessly executes multi-course menus of culinary art.   Interiors are modern and understated in warm walnut and bronze; an elegant backdrop against which the food plays the starring role. Culinary Director, Richard Ekkebus describes his menu as classic French cooking kept light and fresh with an inventive twist. The sort of food that dazzles and amazes, yet allows you to “get up from the table and still be able to dance”. And dancing’s exactly what you’ll want to do as you sample course after course of unspeakable deliciousness from the amuse bouche foie gras lollipops (an Amber signature dish) right through to petit fours almost too beautiful to eat. We said almost…

Amber, 7/F, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 15 Queen’s Road Central.

Perched at the edge of Soho, this laidback no-reservations Izakaya is the ideal spot for a low key dinner and a couple of seriously strong cocktails. Yardbird’s USP is nose-to-tail chicken yakatori which means that along with the familiar breast and thigh cuts, you can sample more adventurous skewers from tail and knee to heart and gizzard. Polished concrete floors and a stainless steel bartop lend the perma-buzzy space an industrial feel, while the very knowledgeable, uber-cool staff are always happy to have a chat while they shake up a mean Shochu cocktail. 

Yardbird, 33-35 Bridges Street, Sheung Wan.

The New York outpost of American-Italian restaurant, Carbone, is an A-list favourite with the likes of Lady Gaga and Beyonce shimmying to Greenwich Village for a bowl of Carbone’s legendary meatballs and a slice of the pizza-sized veal parm. So it’s hardly a surprise that since it’s opening late last summer, Carbone has been the hottest table in town. With Godfather-esque interiors and a fleet of attentive Captains decked out in maroon velvet tuxedos, the New York export manages to make even a casual lunch feel like a special occasion. Come hungry as portions are generous, and be sure not to skip dessert – the banana flambé, which is cooked up tableside, is not only a culinary spectacle but also quite possibly the most deliciously naughty dessert in the city.

Carbone, 9th Floor, 33 Wyndham Street, Central.

Sushi Shin
For the best sushi outside of Tokyo, nab yourself a reservation at Sushi Shin. Sit at the counter and order Omakase - Japanese for “I’ll leave you to it” and the key to the trio of white uniformed counter-front sushi chefs whipping you up a feast of dishes you’d never know to order. While the décor is standard issue sushi joint - all zen, blonde woods and overly bright lighting – it’s the sublime, ocean-fresh fish and the precision skill of the chefs that the droves of sushi aficionadas flock for.

Sushi Shin, Shop 1-2 Ground Floor Wing Hing Court, 110-114 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang.

Some like it hot? Chachawan serves it hotter. Wander past the antique stores and temples of Hollywood Road until you reach a giant pair of emerald green sliding doors, behind which is Hong Kong’s hippest Thai restaurant and home of the city’s most fiery, chili-spiked cooking. Chachawan works a strict no reservations policy, but propping up the bar with a cocktail or a Singah Beer is hardly a hardship and gives the chance to take in the restaurants décor – a riot of beautiful Thai murals, vintage floor tiles and a giant poster of a dinosaur cleaning his teeth. Don’t expect Pad Thai and creamy curries though. Chachawan draws on the cuisine of the North-Eastern Issan region of Thailand with a menu focused on charcoal-grilled meats and seafood, as well as plenty of colourful, fragrant salads with that all important spicy kick.

Chachawan, 206 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan.

The Chinnery
In lieu of a time machine to whisk you back to colonial Hong Kong, a dinner at the Chinnery, preceded by a gin & tonic in the Captain’s Bar downstairs, is the next best thing. With a clubby atmosphere and one of the world’s most extensive whiskey libraries (we’re talking a collection of over 100 single malts), little has changed since the days when the Union Jack flew over the harbour and the only method of transport up and down the Peak was a rickshaw. The menu features a host of staunch British favourites from Pork Pies to Arctic Roll with an array of comfort food and the city’s best curries in between.

The Chinnery, 5 Connaught Road, Central.

121 BC
It’s hard to imagine a better start to an evening than sitting perched at the low-lit bar of this petite Soho gem sipping on a Negroni while perusing the array of scrumptiousness chalked on the blackboard menu hanging on the wall – think gnocchi with braised beef cheeks and crispy sage leaves, and ravioli fritti stuffed with homemade buffalo ricotta. Dishes change weekly to make the very most of the best produce available and many breads, pastas and cheeses are made in-house. The menu is fresh, inventive and served in tapas-like portions ideal for sharing. Service is charming and the cheerful staff are always on hand to help pair your food with one of 121 BC’s impressive selection of Italian biodynamic wines.

121 BC, 42-44 Peel Street, Central.

Sitting in the fading rays of a sun-soaked day, cucumber and jalepeno margarita in hand, curled up in the cushion be-decked aquamarine snug of Limewood, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in Tulum or the Caribbean or at the very least, Sydney. The menu draws influence from a melting pot of cuisines with a focus on fresh, bold flavours and barbequed meats. The spicy tiger prawn roll and charred corn fritters are the perfect snacks to help soak up those eye-wateringly awesome margaritas, before moving on to BBQ lamb rack with peanut coconut sauce or ginger, orange and pineapple-glazed Hawaiian roasted baby pig leg. Leave a corner of room for dessert though, you haven’t lived until you’ve devoured every last crumb of the house-made churros with salted caramel dipping sauce and coconut ice-cream.

Limewood, Shop 103 & 104, Ground Floor, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay.

Yung Kee
No culinary tour of Hong Kong is complete without a Cantonese feast of epic proportions served up in a brightly lit dining room to a soundtrack of the clatter of dishes and high-decibel chatter. Safe in the knowledge that Yung Kee has been sating Hong Kongers’ appetites for almost eighty years, you can settle in around your Lazy Susan and let the Cantonese fare flow. The glossy, bronzed roast gooses strung up in the restaurant’s streetside windows, gives diners a preview of the evening’s main event before they’ve even crossed Yung Kee’s threshold. Just one bite of the juicy, succulent bird encased in crisp, honey-glazed, smoky skin and we’ll wager you’ll be booking a return trip back to the city before you’ve pushed your chopsticks together in satisfied defeat.

32-40 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong.

Friday 5 June 2015

This Week The Mice Have Mostly Been...

High fives all round people ... we made it through five whole working days and now we can drink ourselves silly to celebrate the weekend beginning!

Myself and Mini do need to put our hands up and confess one thing though ... this week has been somewhat easier for us than it has for all of you due to the fact that we spent the beginning half of this week sunning ourselves here...

Yes we can't complain! We flew out to Majorca after work last Friday and spent a long weekender there. Four blissfully sunny days being pampered, sipping cocktails poolside and breaking every clean eating rule in the book. Heavenly! We'll be bringing you hotel reviews and travel must dos over the next few weeks so keep your Mice eyes peeled!

So asides for our holidaying antics. This Week The Mice Have Mostly Been...

Crushing hard over these ridiculously cute Valentino sandals...

So much so we just had to have them!

Firstly, with trips to Ibiza, Marrakech and Hong Kong still to come this year it would be madness not to! Secondly, another major factor that made us splurge was how freakin' hard it is to find pretty, long lasting flippers that will put a spring in your step all summer long. We had a bit of flip flop flip out before jetting of to Majorca as we just couldn't find any worth spending money on. We scampered from Topshop to Zara to Mango to Office and hand on heart found zero styles that made us excited. 

Sooooo the moral of the story is ... if you find a pair that make your heart flutter like these Valentino's did for me then BUY BUY BUY!

Spritzing like crazy thanks to the moreishly divine Le Couvent Des Minimes 'Recipe of Minims' cologne we took on holiday with us. With the hot weather rolling in, now is the time to select your summer scent and this one is a corker! It must be said, we're major fans of the French brand - everything from their gorgeous lotions to their lush soaps BUT their range of colognes are in a different realm. Zingy, fresher than fresh and uber energising...

On holiday I would spring out of bed after at least 9 hours of refreshing gorgeous sleep and my morning beauty regime would go like this... brush my teeth, cleanse my face, bikini on, swimwear cover up in place and the pièce de résistance - a good spritz of cologne! As a child, we holidayed in Menorca every year and cologne always takes me instantly back to those days as all the local children in the little fishing village we used to stay in would wear it. This smell always reminds me of happy times! 

The Le Couvent Des Minimes cologne boasts notes of lemon, blood orange and grapefruit - beautifully fruity and has the ability to make you instantly feel alive and ready for anything! And at £19 for 100ml you can't go far wrong can you? 

That brings me nicely onto my parting picture to you all - party your way through the weekend with popsicle power ... 

Huge love!

The Mice