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Monday 31 August 2015

Lace Up Love...

Lace-up fashion is seriously hot right now. Snaking its way through entire wardrobes the crisscross craze doesn't just stop at sneaker inspired sandals, we're talking lattice shirt dresses, plunging bodies and sultry underwear. 

Lace-up love featured heavily in Dior's AW14 collection and made another strong appearance again on Gucci's SS15 catwalk. Everyone who knows their style sh*t is tied up in this trend right now, working it and owning it. 

I for one am hooked! Reformation is up there with the Guccis and Diors knocking laced-up beauties out of the park. Their bodies (pic one & two above) are selling like hot cakes and every influencer worth knowing - Chiara Ferragni and Amy Song to name a just a couple - is wearing them paired with torn off Levis or leather minis.  

I've jumped on the lace up love train and have purchased a few staples to keep me going through the summer. I find it's a trend that offers the perfect day to night solution - sassy, sexy and sophisticated if done right! Check out my finds below...

Topshop lacey sandals - £62

Reformation charcoal crop top - £68  

Melissa Odabash leopard swimmer - was £216 now £151

Now... what are you waiting for - lace up & live life to the max!

Friday 28 August 2015

This Week The Mice Have Mostly Been...

Lately, the Mice have been hard at it so, Mr HK Mouse has stepped in at the end of what has been rather a long week, and is pleased to announce, it’s here. Hello, Bonjour, Kia Ora, Sit on my Face: it’s Friday!

On Monday, my wife to be (again) took one look at me upon returning from an arduous stag party touring round the rural islands of Thailand and announced that I had better start getting ‘wedding ready.’ Clearly, the weekend's adventures had taken their toll because she went on and made her point even clearer, illustrating my role at the wedding with a paraphrased quote from another chap who enjoyed a lively weekend, Oscar Wilde;

‘Looking good is a necessity, having a purpose is not’

Clearly something needed to be done, and fast. The only real cure for a weekend drinking Thai Red Bull and the local petrol they call rum is exercise, good food and a bit of self love (no - not that you rascals!), so off I went...

My first stop on the path to Gandy-glory was Dr Ursus, Hong Kong’s newest Strongman gym. If you haven’t tried Strongman, you should imagine a full body workout that refines all the skills you’d need for saving some puppies from a burning building (this, I’m told, is a vital trait if you expect any kind of right swipe on Tinder these days). Amongst a host of other things, you’ll flip tyres, drag weights, lift beers kegs filled with water (really not easy as it sloshes about the place), smash things up with sledge hammers and run. A lot. In short, it’s considerably more interesting than going to a regular gym and just pumping ze iron.  And, you’ll utilise far more functional movement which, I’m told, is key to delivering a body that you’ll want to show off at the beach (and at a wedding).

Strongman is obviously hard work but, if you haven’t flipped a 300kg tyre end on end in front of a gang of Chinese dog walkers, you really haven’t experienced Hong Kong in all it’s glory. I felt like Hercules….

For now, Dr Ursus conduct all their training on the waterfront at Cyberport, but inside the next month they'll be moving to a newly refurbished 4,500 sqft facility in Sai Ying Pun. Once opened, as well as Strongman training, they'll offer HIIT, Olympic & power lifting and a whole host of boxing disciplines.

Once my training was done, I got chatting to one of the other boys who repeated to me an adage I've heard many times before; 'abs are made in the kitchen.' However, as I have the willpower of Stizza in front of a bucket of paint Elvis in front of a burger, in order to fulfil my brief of 'look good at the wedding,' I was going to need some help. All too often, that means chewing down a floury protein shake or dry bar, most of which are loaded with unhealthy refined sugars, artificial flavourings and chemicals. They also taste awful. It was a joy then to be pointed in the direction of Ice n Lean, Hong Kong's first protein ice-cream manufacturer. 

I had to admit, to start with I was dubious - surely ice-cream is something you have on the sofa on a Sunday afternoon, sat in your pyjamas, with your mates paranoia and regret after crawling in sheepishly from Dusk till Dawn at 6am? 

However, the Choco-Muscle pots I've been eating are loaded with with a whopping 20g of protein, a considerable improvement in terms of health and shame.  Ladies don't despair, they also produce a more female-friendly Choco-Lite pot with 10g of protein. They taste so good that they have revolutionised my training to the point where I'm now happier to go and train knowing I have a treat at the end of my workout. Ice n Lean's makers are also rightfully proud of the provenance of all their ingredients with New Zealand grass fed whey protein, low GI raw coconut sugar and cancer-fighting raw cacao all combining to form a delicious ice cream that tastes as good as, if not better, than the real deal.

Ice n Lean's ice cream as well as their delicious snack size paeleo pieces are coming soon to gyms, shops and health food stores across Hong Kong.

After tending to the interior, it was time for a much needed polish and buff to the exterior. I've been told by a couple of chaps who've done it before that it's important to head to the barber and work out what your hair and beard is going to look like on the big day. Many a wedding has been ruined by a husband deciding the week before that highlights will definitely get a thumb up from the bridesmaids (I was also advised never to ask for a thumb up from the bridesmaids). 

As it's an important day, I wanted to go somewhere with an traditional feel, a proper barber's shop but without some mad old lunatic with a razor blade who might try and recreate THAT scene from Reservoir Dogs.... 

Thankfully, I've recently discovered Fox and the Barber which opened its doors a couple of months ago on Graham Street. Offering a full selection of grooming services for men, including straight-razor shaves and beard trimming as well haircuts, this is the place to come if you want to relax, have some quiet time and get yourself presentable prior to standing up in front of all your friends and family.

The vibe on arriving is a cross between a traditional barbershop and your favourite pub, a theme that's continued as soon as you sit down and you're offered a drink. Cold beer and and a trim? Sounds good. Sarah McGlynn and her staff have worked at some of London and Hong Kong's finest barbers so know their way round a pair of scissors and (much more importantly) the dreaded cut throat razor. 

The theatrics that come with having a shave with a straight razor are something that everyman should experience at least once in his life - hot towels wrapped around your head, a razor sharp blade pressed against your neck, and it's surprisingly, intensely relaxing. So much so that you won't realise an hour has passed and it's time to have your hair done.

Having your hair cut in Hong Kong can be hit and miss with, quite often, the language barrier working against you - edgy undercut's aren't cool if you're over 20. At Fox and the Barber, I felt confident enough to just say: "Let's try something new." And with all that experience, they aced it - my wife loved it and I've had more than a couple of mates asking me where I got it done. 

Fox and the Barber
41 - 44 Graham Street, Central, Hong Kong
+852 2405 6880

So, I'm now tamed changed man, so much so that my wife has convinced me to finish this post with a picture of a girl in martini glass as opposed to the photos I'd planned to post of some of the ladyboys we met in Thailand last weekend.

Wednesday 26 August 2015

Songs of Summer...

Music is undoubtably one of the top things that keeps me happy in life ... alongside gin, holidays and shoes #obvs 

Ahead of Ibiza I dedicated hours of music prep to get my playlists tip top to fit the bill for numerous scenarios ... lounger face palm hungover times = vertical & chilled ... 1am pep us up occasions = upbeat and go go go. Never mind last night a DJ saved my life, this summer serious tunes got me through! 

It's only fair to share my favs with you all after neglecting you for a few weeks so here we go... 

For when you're feeling reflective & deep:

For when you need a new lease of life:

For when you just need a hangover hug:

To make you feel alive

Monday 24 August 2015

Eivissa Essentials...

Panic over, we're back...

We had every intention of just a week's break, however after eight days in Ibiza, we needed a few more to recover! We're clearly not 18 anymore with the ability to function on a handful of zzzz's and still maintain a fun and friendly exterior! Oh noooo...going back to work was task enough, without the added brain power to piece together a coherent blog for all of you lovely lot.

However long story short, here we are!

We had one cracking holiday which we'd do anything to start from scratch but we made sure we enjoyed every last minute! Nothing was done by halves, we spent the team kitty like monopoly bills, drank Gin Mare like it was water, ate manchego cheese and Jamon like it was going out of fashion and danced as if our life's depended on it. No wonder we needed a week's recovery hey?!

If we had one tip to share for a killer trip to the White Isle, it would be book ahead. There're so many amazing places in Ibiza but they all require a reservation, so it's key to plan before you go to avoid missing out. We were desperate to try La Oliva but as we hadn't pre-booked we couldn't get a table for love nor money...we therefore need to plan to go back pronto!

So to avoid sorely missing out here are 3BM's top 5 Eivissa essentials to hit up on your next trip to ensure its one to remember...

Experimental Beach - one of my favourite discoveries on the beautiful White Isle and officially my new happy place! Think a boho chic beach club located down a very long, windy dirt track, sat on top of a rock!

From the wonders behind the Experimental Cocktail Club, this is perfect combination...sun, cocktails shaken to perfection, chill out background music (we were loving the reggae!) and awesome food! I thoroughly enjoyed a bowl piled high with humongous mussels cooked in the most delicious Thai coconut sauce...yum yum yum!

To top it all off the sunset view is incredible and that kicks-off party time...not to be missed. However book both beds and a table for lunch / dinner ahead, when we were there people were turned away as they were fully booked for over a week!! 

Beachouse - if you have a Sunday in Ibiza, there is no other place to spend it! Either head down before 11am to get one of the loungers on the public part of the beach (just in front of the restaurant) so you can see all the action unfold right before your eyes from the comfort of your bed, or head down a little later when the fun has started - the party starts to get raucous from 6pm onwards!

By day it's a serene place to be - a long stretch of golden beach, comfy loungers and drink service to your bed - what more could you ask for?! Make sure you ring ahead and get a lunch reservation, the food is scrumptious especially the linguine with an ice cold glass of rose - I'm weeping at the memory!

By night the DJ ramps the party up, the tables and chairs are moved away and the Beachouse is transformed into one killer beach party!! Don't miss it! 

Pacha - obviously an Ibizan institution and my favourite club on the island. Laid back, fun, not an ounce of pretentiousness and awesome pretty much every night! If a club can open in 1973 and still be rated one of the best, need I say anymore? Just GO! 

Lio - one to add to the POA to totally mix it up. Firstly...girls you can dress up, mainly the Ibiza uniform consists of beachwear or ripped shorts and flip flops, however Lio is another story. It's all about glamour and heels - if you can hack it!!

Lio is predominately a restaurant and bar with performers, you have to see it to believe it. The dining tables are arranged around a platform which has an open wall behind it with the marina and yachts as a back drop - pretty incredible in itself. From 10pm to 1am around every ten minutes an act will come on, from acrobats to burlesque, group dances to a man doing incredible things with just his body and a you can tell by this point the gin was taking over...but I wouldn't want to spoil it anyway!!!

It's expensive, even for Ibiza, so expect to pay around 23 euros for a gin but well worth it. If you don't want to eat, you can head down from 10pm and pay 70 euros entry which includes your first drink. Be prepared to be bamboozled and amazed! 

El Chiringuito - finally my favourite place for a relaxed boozy long lunch has to be this beauty. Owned by the same team behind Beachouse, you still have that cool beachy vibe but on a larger scale, with a bigger (and better!) menu and a more chilled atmosphere.

Again get there before 11am to bag one of the public loungers which still gets you El Chiringuito sunbed service, and kick back and relax!

It's the perfect location for a hungover hazy beach day followed by a delectable feast and your first cocktail of the day to wash the hangover away! Make sure you try the steak tartar and buratta - we gobbled the whole lot up in seconds!!!! 

Get all these gems on your Ibiza POA and if you don't enjoy yourself I'll eat my Melissa odabash Fedora - oh no, wait we lost that whilst stumbling around drunk on day 1!


Friday 7 August 2015

This Week The Mice Have Mostly Been...

This week has provoked mixed emotions - unhealthy obsession over the new box set I've just started watching, Suits - #iheartharvey, to tube strike drama with lots of pushing and cross mutterings! It's been a rollercoaster of a week BUT it has to be said through all of that i've been dreaming of...

Wednesday 5 August 2015

Gonna Party Like It's MY Birthday...

As promised I took lots of snaps of my 30th Birthday celebrations, which of course I managed to string out for days! Despite feeling like an old maid, I definitely started as I mean to go on...basically with mountains of delicious food, plenty of sipping killer cocktails in the sun, lots of giggling with the girls and a whole lot of spoiling!

I managed to cross a few hot spots off my thirties to-do list and it's only week one...I feel like this is the start of good things!!!

Here goes....

There was of course a morning birthday card opening ceremony with a cup of tea and a bowl of oats, strawberries and almond butter... 

Followed by some ripping open of fact Middle Mouse ran out of time so a couple of presents were wrapped in face cloths - my new favourite type of wrapping!!!!

The ultimate clue that something super special is coming your way is definitely shaped like this... 

Has layer one looking a bit like this...

Taaaa dahhh - she has yet to leave my side...

After a long day at work which consisted pretty much of...

The real celebrating began with a scrumptious 7 course tasting menu at Croft Kitchen - a pop up at the back of a Vagabond coffee shop that will blow your mind and all for £30?! The cocktails were so delicious we were well on our way by course 3, which is why I only snapped plate one and two...whoopsy! Don't worry I'll be going back to write a full review for you all...

And then of course some late night Clove Club, shots and generally being stupidly crazy for a school night at Dead Dolls...

Somehow with a super sore head and puffy sleepy eyes, I dragged myself to work and did a full day slaving away. How you ask...well Middle Mouse planned a surprise dinner at Kitty Fisher's which she announced en route to work - the perfect light at the end of a very long dark tunnel!!!! 

And boy was it worth it - a full post is winging its way this Friday but in the meantime think luxurious cosy interior, chilled champagne (courtesy of naughty HK Mouse), melt in your mouth ribeye with side dishes I will forever dream about consuming with every meal! Not to mention plate lickingingly good (is that even a word?!) desserts! I went to bed one truly happy 30 year old.... 

Cheers to an even better decade my friends...