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Wednesday 23 December 2015

This Week The Mice Have Mostly Been...

With only two more sleeps to go we can hardly contain our festive feelings of excitement!!! 

We thought we'd go out with a Christmassy bang and roll the This Week The Mice Have Mostly blog forward and make this our final blog post of 2015. Where has the year gone Micey pals - scary!

Sadly this year HK Mouse is staying in Hong Kong with her mouse man so there's only one thing for it ... Skype sessions hourly to feel like we're all still together and an Instagram-a-minute so we have a blow-by-blow account of how the London and HK mouseholds are performing on the festive front!

Enough babbling from me, let's get onto the good stuff - This week The Mice Have Mostly been...

Eagerly planning a New Year’s eve of decadence, dancing & disco balls! This year we’ve decided to do it in two parts – keep the early hours laidback and chilled with some serious pub grub in The Albion followed by fun, frolics and copious amount of Patron at The Dead Dolls Club in Islington, who are putting on a black & white masked ball – swoon! 

New Year’s Eve is always a bit of a bigged up flop in my opinion… everyone builds anticipation for a night that is almost always guaranteed to be a tad depressing – am I right or am I right?! Previous years we have fled London and rented a big house in the country with lots of friends and enjoyed a few days away eating and drinking way too much and playing as many games as humanly possible. Every time we’ve done this NYE has been nothing but fantastically super! But with everyone increasingly travelling further afield to celebrate Christmas with friends and family, planning these kind of trips has become more and more taxing hence the lower key route planned out this year. I have no doubt it will be just a fun however – stayed tuned for 3BM Insta-spamming!

If you’re fancying a low key one too why not check out some of the following pubs who are also putting on special events and curated menus to see the new year in…

The Truscott Arms in Maida Vale – will be serving a special tasting menu (£95 per person) with the option to add matching wines at an additional charge of £35 or £55. In the bar there will be music, bubbly and canap├ęs galore! 

The Camberwell Arms in Southwark – are putting on a ticketed dinner (£45 per person) with guaranteed dancing afterwards until 3am. They have two dinner sittings - one between 6-7pm and the other between 8.30-9pm

The Drapers Arms, Islington - are running a normal a la carte menu, with a few more decadent options – fancy! They will be serving up until midnight and raising a glass with fireworks.

Racing to the corner shop to grab this year's Christmas Radio Times - the ultimate sign that the big day is just around the corner!

Every year since we were teeny tiny Mice we've done it as a tradition, HK mouse and I would snuggle up in front of the tree with the Radio Times and a pen and go circle crazy! By the time we were finished there'd be so many rings you'd barely be able to see the page! We'd get straight down to business and begin programming the video player...yes an actual VCR...but despite our intentions we'd barely see half of what we'd planned, as we were far too busy playing games and stuffing our mouse chops with endless delectable treats!

This year HK Mouse can't get time off work to come join us at the London mouse-hold, so instead I thought I'd share my 'circles' with you....

The Snowman & The Snowman and Snowdog - Christmas Eve 4:55pm and 5:25pm, channel 4

To accompany your last minute Christmas wrapping why not get super festive and go back to the ultimate Raymond Briggs Chrimbo tale...

Downtown Abbey - The Finale, Christmas Day 8:45pm, ITV

Christmas day with the Crawleys is unmissable, especially when it's the last ever episode! Settle down for the two hour session with a full turkey tummy and I guarantee by the time the credits roll you'll be right ready for cheese!

Gogglesprogs, Christmas Day 8pm, channel 4

If like us, you're totally obsessed with Gogglebox...who doesn't love Scarlett's witty one liners, Leon's dirty smirks, Steph & Dom's endless drinks cabinet and vicar Kate's lazy dog...then you'll be excited to hear that there's a kid's version making its way to our screens!

Perfect champagne guzzling viewing I would say....!!

And The There Were None, Boxing Day 9pm, BBC1

If you're after something a little more substantial then why not try this Agatha Christie murder mystery adaptation. Set in 1939 on a small island off Devon this three part drama (continuing on 27th & 28th) is sure to have you scratching your heads - a welcome break from thinking soley about when you can fit your next snack/meal/cheese course/pudding in!

Or if all else fails why not dig out all the Chrimble favourites - Love Actually, The Holiday, It's A Wonderful Life, Bridget Jone's Diary, Elf...they never disappoint!!

So that's it from us for 2015 BUT we'll be back next year with lashings of new year love for you all!

Until then...

Wishing you all a merry Christmas,

All our love

The Mice 

Monday 21 December 2015

Cut-Price Christmas Day Dressing

And in the twinkle of a fairylight, it's Christmas week! 

If like me, you feel that this year seems to have crept up on you even more stealthily than usual, you're probably also lacking a suitably stylish outfit to don on the big day. The good news? Because the Christmas sales start earlier and earlier every year, you can now bag your yuletide threads at a snip of the price. Disorganisation has never looked so smart!

If you're in need of a little Christmas Day dressing inspiration, here's our pick of the best bargains all with that all-important dash of festive sparkle!

Zara Embroidered Dress Was-HK$899 Now-HK$499
J.Crew Adele Suede Ankle Boot Was-£295 Now-£207 

Zara Velvet Dress Was-£499 Now-£299

Was-£1250 Now-£875
2. J.Crew Navy Perfect Cable Knit Sweater Was-HK$980 Now-HK$650
3. Zara Block Heel Satin Sandal Was-HK$599 Now-HK$399
4. Kenneth J Lane Rhodium Plated Earrings Was-£120.83 Now-£60.41
Friday 18 December 2015

Cosy Christmas Cinema Club...

Last weekend us London mice got well and truly into the festive spirit - we put up our sweet little Christmas tree and decorated her with twinkling lights and  then once that was done we trotted off to The Underground Film Club to snuggle up and watch a very festive screening of Bridget Jones, one of my top guilty pleasures!

Mini mouse came up with this festive plan of action after reading an underground cinema round-up article in TimeOut. The vaults nestled under Waterloo station faired well and so we decided spending our Sunday there on a rainy afternoon sounded pretty splendid! 

We walked in and were met with a booze fuelled, crazy golf scenario laid before us ... how very east London! 

We walked on rather quickly through to the next vault where the Christmassy cinema awaited - eek! Two banks of red velvet tiered seating, Chesterfields for the keen beans at the front and headphones waiting for everyone - the trains overhead are too loud you see so headphones are oh-so-necessary and fun too! 

It was the lovely lazy, feel good afternoon and the perfect way to kick-start our 3BadMice festivities. 

There are still a few screenings in the lead up to Christmas so my advice to you is book now and bag your spot! There are several showings that have now sold out, mostly the slots showing Elf, no surprises there -

Check out the below list for the screenings that still have availability: 

Miracle on 34th Street - Saturday 19th December
Edward Scissorhands - Saturday 19th December
The Muppet Christmas Carol - Sunday 20th December
It's a Wonderful Life - Sunday 20th December
Shakespeare in Love - Monday 21st December
Love Actually - Tuesday 22nd December
It's a Wonderful Life - Wednesday 23rd December

Wednesday 16 December 2015

HK Mouse: Christmas Wish List

The number of shopping days left are dwindling fast but the bottom of my tree is still worryingly bare... If like me you've left your Christmas shopping somewhat to the last minute, here's a little gift-spiration made up of the beautiful pieces currently topping my wish list...

Monday 14 December 2015

Cracking Crackers 2015...

In just 11 days all that will lay ahead is 24 hours of champagne, presents and a copious amount of food. Lunch isn't a meal I particularly savour, I'm usually on the run, in a meeting or manically working to a deadline. And in any case, how interesting can quinoa and grilled chicken really be?! However Christmas lunch is the ultimate exception...all my favourite people together, slightly rosy, wearing paper crowns and squeezing in as much bread sauce and brussels sprouts as humanly possible!

I only ever have two - my outfit is never expandable enough to reach my full eating capacity and secondly, I just wish the gifts in the crackers were slightly more exciting than a bottle opener or a teeny tiny notepad!

Problem one is harder to resolve - either opt for comfort and resemble Waynetta Slob from Harry Enfield & Chums, or stick with the mid-lunch outfit change that inevitably occurs each year! 

However problem number two is much easier....this year I've spied the perfect solution to make everyone happy....

Clarins Christmas Crackers, £49 for 6...

Molton Brown for Men, £20 each...

Guaranteed to put a smile on any girl's face, Jo Malone, £32 each...

Satisfy that sweet tooth with the best treat in the world, Charbonnel et Walker Cracker, £7.50...

If cuff links and cashmere socks are more like it, oh and money is no object...then Harrods is your answer, £499 for 6...

All that's left to do is plan a beautiful table setting, i'm dreaming of something along these lines....

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Rip-roaring Roast : Blacklock...

A while back we bought you a rave restaurant review on the meaty delight that is Blacklock. See it here if you missed it. Well we went back for seconds last Sunday to taste test their rip-roaring roast and may I just say... roast I've had in yearsssssss! 

We opted for the 'all in' which offered up beautiful cuts of beef, pork and lamb alongside the crispiest roasted potatoes and the biggest Yorkshire puds I've ever seen - they put Aunt Bessies to absolute shame! You then get to pick three side dishes of which we opted for a helping of moreishly good cauliflower cheese, buttery roots and broccoli. The piglets that we are, we actually ended up ordering ANOTHER cauliflower as it was just too damn tasty! The feast also came with an array of sauces to complement the meat - Apple mayo (strange sounding combo but surprisingly scrummy), mint sauce and horseradish. All washed down with a few alcoholic beverages – three very happy Sunday roast campers! 

You would think after all of that we would be ready to pop. Well, yes we were but that still didn’t deter us from ordering up a giant helping of the famous white chocolate cheesecake. It’s served up as you would do so at home, in a sizeable white porcelain dish. They bring the pudding dish to your table with a hefty spoon and dollop a large helping onto your plate. They don’t scrimp where portions are concerned so my advice to you is get one serving and share… It comes with a beautiful bowl of stewed rhubarb – there was mixed feelings from the group about this addition but I personally thought it’s tang complimented the sweet dessert perfectly!

A few hours later, we had to quite literally be rolled out of there but it was totally worth it. You can't beat a cracking Sunday roast now you can and this one guarantees meat sweats – you’ve been warned!

24 Great Windmill St, 
0203 441 6996

Serves roasts every Sunday from 12 - 5pm

Monday 7 December 2015

The Only Travel Talisman You Need - Saint Luke

It's hard to believe that this time three weeks ago I was on a beach in Mozambique lolling under a parasol, lazily beckoning my private butler so that I could request my third gin & tonic of the afternoon...

One day soon I'll get around to editing the 3,000+ photos I snapped during my two week honeymoon, not least so that I can relay tales of safaris and sand dune picnics right here for your reading pleasure. Until then, an ode to the luggage that kept my stash of bikinis and camera kit safe while I whizzed around Botswana and Mozambique - The Saint Luke

During our two weeks in Africa we took eleven flights, including three in a teeny turboprop plane and two in a helicopter, which meant the need for a bag that was light, squishy and tough enough to chuck from plan to plane without spilling it's contents on the runway. 

My bulky old suitcases weren't going to cut it so I went on the hunt for a new holdall. It had to be sturdy, good looking and capable of whisking me around the world for many years to come (pretty much the same qualities I look for in a man...). So when I discovered Saint Luke, it was love at first sight. All those boxes checked and a very decent price tag to boot, with a short haul bag coming in at £125 and the frankly huge long haul version only a little more expensive at £185.  

Available in three different colourways, the red and white St Anton...


The navy and chocolate, St Ives...

And the jazzy, citrus-bright St Barts...

The trickiest part is working out which bag to bag... And just as I thought I couldn't love Saint Luke sacks anymore, I discovered what lay behind the reassuringly substantial zip... 


Yup! Pineapples!

Even if you're not sold by that totally tropical interior (but if you're not, you're really, really quite strange and probably shouldn't be allowed a Saint Luke anyway...) then the fact that Saint Luke packs some serious philanthropic punch should definitely seal the deal. For every bag sold, Saint Luke donates enough funds to Waves4Water to provide clean water to 40 people in underdeveloped parts of the world for 5 years. Pretty impressive stuff.

After much deliberation, I went for the St Ives. He really is as delicious in the flesh as he looks on the screen and served me incredibly well on my African adventures. 

Now I'm back and even the sight of a gaggle of pineapples can't ease the gloom of the post-holiday unpacking. I've decided the only thing for it is to get booking my next overseas jaunt. It's not my fault, it would be cruel to keep Saint Luke cooped up too long, he made me do it...  
Friday 4 December 2015

This Week The Mice Have Mostly Been...

Happy Friday you lovely lot! Only three more to go until we can all clock off and drown ourselves in red wine of the mulled variety...

This week has mostly been about getting in the Chrsitmassy spirit. Buying gifts galore following Black Friday madness and springing out of bed like a Jack in a box eager to see what Diptique gift awaits behind that day's advent calendar door. It's been a pretty good week come to think of it.

So without further ado... This Week The Mice Have Mostly Been...

Snapping up gifts left, right and centre and crying at the sight of our barely there overdraft limits - I know we've only just been paid but pay day feels seriously long overdue! We can't give away too much on here because our friends and family will see what we've bought them for Christmas but a few of our favourite finds this year have got to be...

L’Occitane Pierre Herme scents
If you haven’t heard of or smelt the new L’Occitane collaboration perfumes with Pierre Herme you’ll want to. On face value, yes it might seem like a strange partnership but it soooooo works! Pierre Herme is known for producing some of the best colour-popping macarons around and so the perfume packaging is spectacular. The first one is as light as a feather and a great day scent - Jasmin-Immertelle-Neroli - very girly boasting notes of citrus, pink pepper, jasmine, immortelle and orange blossom. The second one however without doubt stole the show for me - the Pamplemousse Rhubarbe - zingy and fresh rhubarb and grapefruit with musk and lavender. £46 for the pleasure…

Melvita Nectar de Rose range 
Us London mice popped along to the launch of this new collection about a month ago now and loved every single item from the shower gel, lip balm, body lotion to the fragrance. Rose scented beauty products can sometimes be over perfumed and smell a bit granny-ish but not this range - subtle and ultra-gentle. 

Dr Jackson Coconut Melt lip balm 

An oldie fav of ours but a firm Christmas stocking goodie. The balm melts at your touch and is seriously one of the most moreish beauty products I’ve ever used. A snip too at £10… 

Aesop Post Poo Drops 
Perfect for naughty brothers, boyfriends, husbands and dads! Enough said... £20 

Jo Malone Roasted Chestnut candle
I am a HUGE Jo M fan! Buy me anything from this brand and I’ll be a happy camper! This festive candle however is on a whole other level of amazingness – it’s a beast firstly with three wicks, it smells divine and oh-so-festive and it’s limited edition. It’s spenny at £120 but cost per burn makes it all OK…

L'Occitane oil cleanser 
So spoiling it's rude! Pump a small puddle of the shea oily goodness into your hands and gently massage into your face. The oil will transform before your eyes into a milky lotion removing the day's remains of make up and Tube dirt. Matching shea cleansing lotion and toner also come in the same range so if like me, you get obsessed with beauty products that smell good enough to eat you should buy the lot! £17 a pop… 

The Liberty colouring book 
Who doesn’t enjoy a good colouring in session??? It was a great love of mine as a child and that love is still very much alive today despite the fact that I’m now cracking on a bit! Charmingly, it’s packed full of gorgeous patterns from the Liberty archive. Cheap and cheerful at £9.98 – you can’t go far wrong… 

True Grace tin candles
Inject a little festive cheer into your home with these beautiful scented candles. Christmas in a tin if ever I smelt it – favourites have to be ‘Village Christmas’ – fresh pine, cedar and amber and the ‘Manor Christmas’ – cinnamon and oranges. Divine! £16 each…

Tom Ford lipstick 
I have ‘Nude Vanille’ and am obsessed with it. They're spenny at £38 for a large and £27 for a miniature but totally worth it as they glide on like a dream and have TF emblazed into the lipstick itself. The little things eh?!

Squealing with excitement on 1st December when we leapt out of bed to open our first Diptique advent calendar window! The morning excitement continued on Wednesday, Thursday and this morning when each day we're treated to another Diptique delight - so far we have three mini candles - Amber, Vanille & Feu Bois and a fig perfume. If that wasn't enough HK mouse also treated us both to a Lindt chocolate advent too so a sugary start to the day to boot!

5,995 miles away, HK mouse has been starting her days with a Charlotte Tilbury treat - this particular calendar boasts just 12 windows so she has had to pace herself and open one every other day to spread the joy across the month. So far she has the Goddess Skin Clay Mask & Charlotte's Magic Cream. What lucky Mice we are!

That’s it for another week Micettes! Have a super duper weekend…

Lots of love

The Mice