Food, London food discoveries, restaurants

London food discovery: Maitre Choux, South Kensington

September 24, 2015
Maitre Choux - South Kensington

Maitre Choux – South Kensington

I haven’t written one of these posts for a while but after visiting Maitre Choux I felt COMPELLED to tell my readers that they pay homage to this little patisserie in South Kensington. What I’ve always loved to do when I have visited Paris is to visit all the lovely patisseries. The French have a dedication to pastry making that has made it an art. I’m sure if I lived there I would soon be very, very, fat and probably wouldn’t care.

Maitre Choux is leading the popularity of eclairs in London and is fast gaining recognition. After discovering them on instagram I made a visit to their shop during the week. Now I have to warn you they sell out fast so get there early or order online beforehand.

Maitre Choux Eclairs

At the helm of Maitre Choux is 3 Michelin Star Pastry Chef Joakim Prat, who came to London to take on the role of Joël Robuchon’s Head Pastry Chef at L’Atelier, before moving on to Mayfair’s The Greenhouse.

I opted for a box of four eclairs, and I admit it I ate them all! My favourite eclair was the Persian pistachio cream with an intense yet not overpowering flavour. It has ground pistachios sprinkled on the glazing for texture and undertones of roasted nuts.

Maitre choux pastry eclairs

Eclairs make great gifts for friends and the ones at Maitre Choux are pure food porn.



Hotels, Travel

Short breaks in the UK: Things to do and see in Devon

September 24, 2015

Devon much like its neighbour Cornwall has a lot to offer those looking to take a short break in the UK. Its diversity of landscapes and activities on offer draws people from far and wide. If you haven’t been thinking of visiting Devon then hopefully this guide of things to do and see in Devon will inspire you to go and visit.

Part of the English Rivera, Devon is made up of picturesque south-coast harbour villages. It encompasses sandy beaches, fossil cliffs, medieval towns and moorland national parks.

Devon has something to offer every interest and it really was hard to narrow down all the things on offer but in this guide you will find some great ideas to build into you trip.

Devon for beach bunnies

Things to do in Devon - salcombe beach

Salcombe, Devon

Did you know that Devon has some of the best beaches in the country? If you love golden sandy beaches and great restaurants then you must include Salcombe in South Devon as part of your list of things to see and do in Devon. When you’re not sunning yourself to a tan on East Portlemouth beach (accessible by ferry) you can take a walk along the South West Coast Path and discover hidden coves which are revealed at low tide.

Bigbury-on-sea Devon


Bigbury-on-sea also in South Devon, is popular with families due to its shallow waters and rock pools (perfect for finding crabs). Its sandy beaches also draw those who love water sports with windsurfing and kite-surfing the most popular activities to get involved with.

Devon for foodies

Cream Teas in Topsham, Devon

Cream Teas in Topsham, Devon

As a bit of a foodie myself, this is what excites me the most about visiting Devon, the plethora of good food! If you visit the county then you have to make sure to enjoy a Devonshire cream tea. One of the best cream teas in Devon is served at the award wining Georgian Tea Room in Topsham.


Darts Farm Shop, Topsham


Ilfracombe ice cream 


Alpacas at Darts Farm, Topsham

Darts Farm in Topsham is a haven for foodies and equally children will love it too. The farmshop offers all manner of delights produced on the farm. Fill up your shopping basket with the freshest organic vegetables and cut meats. Devonshire lamb and beef is highly recommended. Enjoy the creamiest ice cream from Ilfracombe dairy and take the children to have a look at the lovely fields of sunflowers and to pick their own fruit and vegetables. Children will also enjoy a visit to the animal corner which has resident pigs and during the summer months Alpacas come to the farm.

Devon for walkers and hikers


Dartmoor National Park, Devon

If getting out and exercising those legs and lungs are high on your reasons for visiting Devon then a visit to Dartmoor National Park should be high on your list. It’s made up of 954 square kilometres of granite tors, deep wooded valleys with fast flowing rivers, and rugged, wide open spaces much of is available to the public to access. There are plenty of places to stay nearby if you wish to spend your time discovering this area.


Topsham, Devon

Topsham is also worth a visit if you enjoy the outdoors. Rent a bicycle and go for a gentle cycle down the country lanes surrounded by beautiful fields.

Devon for shoppers

Tavistock Farmers Market

Tavistock Farmers Market

Tavistock Farmers Market is held in Bedford Square, at the heart of the bustling historic market town. The markets take place on the 2nd, 4th and 5th Saturdays of each month, from 9.00am to 2.00pm. The market has been voted the best farmers market in the South West and stalls sell a wide variety of bread, cakes, pies and pasties as well as dairy products, homemade preserves, traditional handmade pates, organic and home grown meat and poultry, flowers and tasty takeaway meals.

The shops in Tavistock also offer many opportunities for those who love boutique shops. Buy gifts to take home from the gifts shops selling Devonshire souvenirs and browse the art on offer at the Mayflower Art Gallery.

Ashburton, Devon

Ashburton, Devon

Those of you who love antiques should head to Ashburton in South Devon, a hot spot for antique dealers for a great number of years. It is now well known for its high number, and high standard of antiques and fine collectables outlets.

So there you have it a snapshot of things to do and see in Devon. Hopefully I’ve inspired you to make Devon your next short break in the UK.



Things to do in london

Tootopia Festival – Friday 25 – Sunday 27 September 2015

September 22, 2015

Tootopia-Online Banner

This weekend, Tooting hosts it own festival called Tootopia.

Now in its fourth year, 20 of the neighborhood’s hottest hangouts team up  for a three-day extravaganza, saluting all things Tooting.

Spread across 25-27th September, Tootopia promises a jammed packed line-up of food, drink, live entertainment and family friendly events, hosted by the area’s cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants.

Essential festival must-dos include a Rugby World Cup ‘Screen on the Pitch’ at Tooting Tram & Social, Street Food Take-Over at Graveney & Meadow, Foodie Trail offering one-off specials and foodie events from 12 of Tooting’s top eateries, historical walking tour led by Councilor Rex Osborn, free bike check-up sessions at the Pedal Bike Café and a pop-up cinema at Tooting Market.

For more information please visit:


Beating Cancer Sooner – one race at a time – Race for life 10k -Thank YOU!

September 21, 2015

11226198_10153056310132621_7700559241399399045_oThis post is overdue and I want to start by thanking everyone who supported me to not only train but also all who donated money for the Race for life 10K that I completed back in July. As I said in my previous post, I took part to raise money in memory of my beloved stepmother who passed away from breast cancer in early February.

Cancer is a disease that now affects 1 in 3 of us, I used to think that it was a disease that would happen to everyone else, but then my dad was diagnosed back when I was in my second year of university. I’m not telling you this to draw tears, I’m very matter of fact about these things now. It really can happen to anyone, at any stage in their lives. Go to any chemotherapy ward and you will see people from all walks of life, it’s a disease that doesn’t discriminate.

Tragedy breeds Adversity.

I do still believe that one day, cancer will become a disease of the past but until then I’m going to do my bit to help support the people who are trying to help beat cancer sooner and so can you.

Training for the 10k was pretty tough at first, those 6am early morning runs really hurt at times, but after a few weeks of running, it got easier and for those of you who hate running there were plenty of people who walked on the day of the event.


On the day of the 10k I was running late as usual. I made it to the starting line just as it was starting and it was really encouraging to see hundreds of women out in their pink running gear ready to do battle to raise money for Cancer Research UK. The heat was a bit intense but the cheers from the crowd and the free bottles of water helped to keep us going. I’m not the fastest runner but on my last lap I made a sprint for it (Christine Ohuruogu  ain’t got nothing on me) hah!

I want to thank all my friends, family and colleagues who supported me.

I’ve raised the tidy sum of 490 pounds – only ten pounds off my original target which is awesome!

I hope this post inspires others to take part in a Race for Life event, maybe I’ll see you there next year.


Hotels, luxury

Pampering in the city – The ultimate staycation at The Rosewood Hotel, London

September 21, 2015

Rosewood Hotel

This post is all about hedonistic abandonment, the ultimate stay-cation in London in collaboration with Rosewood Hotels.

Living in London it can often feel like all you do is wake up, squeeze on to the tube, work, eat, see friends, sleep on repeat but without the cool soundtrack. Weeks fly by and suddenly you realise that you haven’t had a break in months and summer is nearly over.

Send the dog to stay with a friend and indulge yourself in the ultimate staycation. Enjoy the city you live in.

Start your weekend by checking into the Rosewood hotel in Holborn for a quintessential luxury English stay in the capital. Opt for one of their premier suites and enjoy unparalleled views of the city whilst sipping a smooth cup of nesspresso.

Breakfast at Tiffanys

Order up your favourite meal and snuggle into a lovely soft bed made up of Rivolta Carmignani Italian Linens and enjoy watching Breakfast at Tiffanys on your 42 inch screen TV.

Breakfast at The Rosewood Hotel

After a lovely nights sleep you will wake up feeling  refreshed and now it’s time for more me time, after enjoying a sumptuous English breakfast in bed it’s time for your first treatment.

Opt for the Rosewood Face Place Signature Treatment with the relaxing massage elements of a Sense Spa. Kick back and distress with a hand, arm and shoulder pressure point massage, leg reflex-activity pressure point massage and cranial pressure point massage. You will leave the spa with a new glow and all your worries would have melted away.

Rosewood Sense Spa

Leave the hotel and head along Holborn high street towards the Aveda Institute hair salon and enjoy a lovely express blowout to give your hair that va va voom its been missing. You’ll be sure to garner to a phew admiring glances as you head towards Tottenham Court Road.

After a quick bite, it’s time for a bit of retail therapy. Jump on a Boris bike or walk if the weather is nice and bypass the craziness that is Oxford Street. Walk along Tottenham Court Road to Marylebone, a haven of boutique treats.


Root out some vintage treasure at William Vintage. Choose some pretty homeware in Anthropologie and have fun browsing for heels in Author Shoes on South Moulton Street.

Author shoes
Head back to your hotel room for a quick nap and to enjoy a luxurious soak in your large bath.


Channel your inner Audrey and put on your little black dress and heels and head down to the Scarfes Bar to meet your girlfriends for some Martinis, Sex and city style.

scarfes bar

Finish the night with dinner and a little celeb spotting at New York restaurant Balthazar.

It’s a 10 minute cab ride back to the Rosewood hotel. Climb into bed and settle in for a lovely, long lie in.


Art, Things to do in london

Visiting the Summer Exhibition 2015 at the Royal Academy of Arts (closes 16th August)

August 14, 2015

Royal academy of arts - summer exhbition
If you haven’t had the pleasure of attending the Royal of Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition and you do want to go, you still have a chance as the exhibition is going to close on the 16th August. So don’t dawdle! I saw it back in June and was really impressed with the amount of art on offer. For those of you who don’t know every year The Royal Academy of Arts invites artists, amateur and professional to submit work for their annual summer exhibition. They usually receive thousands of entries and those who are successful look forward to having their work on view to potentially hundreds of thousands of visitors over the summer. Each piece on show is also available to buy.

Here are some highlights from my visit:

Jim Lambie’s multicoloured staircase at the Royal Academy
royal academy summer exhibition

One of my favourites, Julian Opie – Walking in the rain in Seoul 

Julian Opie

Matthew Derbyshire – Doryphorus

This piece is made from multiwall polycarbonate and stainless steel.  It makes a powerful statement.
Matthew Darbyshire -doryphorus

Paul Hosking – Mimic
Mimic by Paul Hosking

Bernard Cohen – Place Games Place names Bernard Cohen

Michael Craig Martin – Untitled Watch untitled watch by Michael Craig Martin

David Mach – BuddhaBuddha by David MachTim Head – Fictions 3

This year’s summer exhibition catalogue was designed by Tim Head. Tim Head Fictions 3 printFor more information please visit:


An artful stay at The Cumberland Hotel with artist Gregory Burns

August 14, 2015

image001 (1)

When I think of London, I think of chaos, creativity, diversity, history and the people. I love the city and for me it provides inspiration and education. This is what I felt when I visited the iconic Cumberland Hotel recently to meet Artist in Residence Gregory Burns. Gregory is a champion Paralympian (winner of six gold and silver medals) as well as an artist who has exhibited all over the world. This is the first time The Cumberland Hotel has had an Artist in Residence and I hope this is the beginning of great things to come.

Throughout the month of July between the hours of 2-6pm, Gregory painted in the expansive lobby of The Cumberland Hotel. During the evening we heard from Gregory on what inspired his work and his trips around the city. It became clear that this was not a solo mission, there was lots of input from staff around the hotel and guests which he incorporated into his paintings. The result is a number of paintings that really have captured the essence of London.

I love how Gregory’s vibrant colour choices express the richness of London’s culture and how he has used mixed media to include interesting little details hidden in his paintings.

I love exploring London taking my art pad wherever I go. Thanks to The Cumberland Hotel I have a chance to speak to guests and staff from all over the world and capture what London means to them. My painting is inspired by a collection of people with personal experiences.” Gregory Burns

You can visit The Cumberland Hotel and enjoy viewing some of Gregory’s paintings until the end of August.

To stay at The Cumberland and enjoy the ‘Art-full’ stay experience please visit or quote “Art-full stay” via their phone booking service on 0871 376 9014.

Art, Things to do in london

Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery

July 9, 2015

audrey hepburn at National Portrait gallery

The first few weeks of this are already sold out! so if you want to see Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery book your tickets soon!

I’m heading along for a special viewing next week so keep on eye on the site for my review.

This fascinating photographic exhibition will illustrate the life of the actress and fashion icon, from her early years as a chorus girl in London’s West End through to her philanthropic work in later life, Portraits of an Icon will celebrate one of the world’s most photographed and recognisable stars.


A selection of more than seventy images will define Hepburn’s iconography, including classic and rarely seen prints from leading twentieth-century photographers such as Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Terry O’Neill, Norman Parkinson and Irving Penn. Alongside these, an array of vintage magazine covers, film stills, and extraordinary archival material will complete her captivating story.

For more information visit:

When: Running from 2 July to 18th October 2015

Art, Things to do in london

The London Illustration Fair, Psychedelia – 10th – 12th July 2015

July 9, 2015

The London Illustration FairThis festival is for budding illustrators and art lovers alike. The London Illustration Fair is set to launch its fourth event Summer Festival: Psychedelia and you’re in for one hell of a trip!

Spread across 10th – 12th July, Hoxton Arches will be transformed into a psychedelic inspired cosmic universe, showcasing mind altering artworks from creative agencies, collectives, publications, textile designers, visual artists and print studios from around the UK.

Boasting 14 exhibitor stands, the festival will feature the work of Material Gallery, Belly Kids, Pirrip Press, Brothers of the Stripe, Ben Oakley Gallery, East London Printmakers, Not Another Bill, The Flood Gallery, plus many more.
Additional psychic festivities include a ‘print your own magic mushroom’ screen printing workshop with Hello Print Studio, silent Wes Wilson auction, live 2D verses 3D illustration battle between Brothers of the Stripe and Pen Pushers, The London Illustration Fair print shop, street food vendors, live music, DJs and a fully stocked summer bar.

Friday 10th July, 2pm


How much: £5 General admission / Children under 12 years of age go free
Students get 50% off Friday launch party tickets with promotional code ‘cosmic’

Hoxton Arches | Arch 402 | London | E2 8HD

Friday 10th July, 2pm – 10pm
Saturday 11th July, 12 – 8pm
Sunday 12th July, 12 – 6pm