Friday, 29 January 2016

Lifestyle // House of GODO Restaurant Review

One of the main reasons I love going to Italy is because you know you're going to get some absolutely incredible food. Me + Pasta = 5eva. But what if you didn't have to trek all the way to Italy just for some amazingly authentic food, and instead you could grab some Michelin star pasta dishes right in the heart of London, or better yet have them delivered to your door?! Hello House of GODO! House of GODO is the pop up restaurant from the GODO team, transforming the way Londoners are eating lunch right now - bringing delicious, healthy and home cooked meals of astonishing quality all the way from Italy right to you. And each dish is under £12! Read on pasta lovers....


Amin and Simone, GODO's founders, grew tired of eating the same old dull and boring food in the city and craved affordable yet quality dishes which would bring the excitement back to lunchtimes. Their thinking is "If you only have 15 minutes to eat, we want GODO to make those the best 15 minutes of your day". And so GODO was born - their answer to bringing delicious Italian comfort food cooked with the best artisan produce by a Michelin star chef to the masses. Their slogan "We cook, you order, we deliver, you enjoy" sums up just how easy and accessible their food is, allowing Londoners to simply order what they want from the small menu and have it delivered by Vespa shortly after, still at temperature and served in a lovely glass jar, emphasising the quality ingredients inside. No cheap plastic cartons here! 




The company is very new - only launched  in December 2015 - and delivers to clients in Canary Wharf and Mayfair but Simone and Amin have big plans for expansion. One way to help get them on the map is their pop up restaurant House of GODO, just next to Green Park station (the perfect location for such a venue in my opinion) which is where I went to sample their tasty tasty food. The space is cosy, simple and very welcoming which pretty much sums up the kind of food you can expect!




Their menu currently consists of five pasta dishes and eight traditional Italian soft drinks. It may seem small but everything sounds so delicious it will still take you ages to decide what you want! I went for the Rigatoni with Zeri Lamb Ragu - authentic Gragnano pasta made from organic flour and drawn in the traditional "Al Bronzo" way (Trafilato Al Bronzo), finely sliced leg of organic Zeri lamb gently cooked sous vide for three hours, sautéed with Alpeggio butter, thyme, oregano, carrots, blonde onions and 24-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano. Tony chose the Mezzi Paccheri with Fassine Beef Ragu with San Marzano tomatoes, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, 24-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano and Alpeggio butter. YUM!




Our meals were served in cardboard boxes in the signature fresh lime green colour, and inside were nestled our glass jars filled with pasta - just as they would be served had they been delivered to us at home or work. The food was absolutely incredible - just as tasty as dishes I've had in Rome and Lake Garda! The pasta was slightly al dente and tasted so fresh. The meat was so well seasoned and was very tender with just the right amount of sauce and I loved that you really could taste each individual herb used. Tony loved his Beef Ragu and his only complaint was that he ate it too quickly! It was my complaint too as I only managed to nab a small bite before it had all gone...! After dinner we ordered a coffee and feasted on yet more traditional Italian food - light, fluffy panettone which was absolutely amazing, and so buttery and moreish! The candied orange lifted the flavours and made it the perfect after dinner treat - refreshing as well as sweet. Excitingly GODO will also be adding panettone to their menu, so you can order slices to be delivered to you with your pasta.


We really enjoyed our trip to House of GODO and I definitely want to head back before the end of their residency at the end of March 2016. I'm so glad that their food will be available after they close too via their GODO delivery service. The food was so rich and delicious and it is nice to know that there are fresh, healthy and affordable delivery options available in London. Simone and Amin are clearly so passionate about the vision for their brand and enjoy sourcing and importing authentic Italian produce to be used in their food. I also really like that they run a recycling scheme for their glass jars - customers are welcome to keep and reuse them or if they return 10 they get their next meal free. Good for you, and the environment!


I definitely think GODO will be one to watch this year and I can't wait to see how their business and menu expands!


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*Thanks so much to House of GODO for inviting us to try out their delicious pasta dishes. All thoughts are honest and my own. For more information please see my Disclaimer Page.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Fashion // Winter Warmers Wishlist

I've just got back from a week skiingI'll have a post about my adventures on the slopes soon - and I have never ever been so cold in my life (seriously, I thought I was going to lose a finger at one point!) It's been a lot warmer back in London than on the slopes - obviously - but with Storm Jonas on its way,  it sounds like the temperature is about to drop again pretty soon. I thought I'd put together a wishlist of the winter warmers I'm lusting over to keep me cosy for the rest of the winter months.



Dunedin Cashmere Cable Gloves 3-Ply Cashmere* - £28

A good pair of gloves is essential during a cold snap. This charcoal cable knit pair will go with any coat and the luxurious cashmere will be super soft and cosy.


New Look Navy Check Herringbone Scarf - £11.24 

New Look do really lovely blanket scarves and this navy check patterned one is a really classic print that will last for several seasons. It's reversible too, with a monochrome herringbone on the other side to make it even more versatile.

Next Oatmeal Cashmere Wrap - £125 

I love a comfy wrap to layer up under, and the classic oatmeal colour of this Next number is gorgeous and so chic. This would be perfect for dressing up or down too and be a nice, warm alternative to a blazer at work.


New Look White Colour Block Slouch Jumper - £17.99 

I am obsessed with this jumper! I love the neutral colours and simple design and its oversized fit makes it really comfy to wear whilst still looking pretty.


ASOS Daisy Street Black Flat Over the Knee Boots - £39.99 

Boots are so necessary in cold weather and these over the knee style ones would look great with jeans or a dress / skirt, keeping you warm whatever you're wearing.

Boohoo Victoria Pom Pom Knitted Beanie Hat - £6 

How cute is this hat?! The little black pom poms are adorable and ensure you look super cute whilst still staying warm. Win!

ASOS Parka with Animal Faux Fur Liner - £85 

I love a classic parka and really like the khaki colour of this one. It's made of heavy weight material and fully lined with this animal print faux fur so will be really toasty. The hood means you can keep your hair dry too even if you're not wearing a hat.


What's on your winter warmer wishlist?


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*Sponsored post. All thoughts are honest and my own. For more information please see my Disclaimer Page.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Beauty // Sole of London Medical Pedicure

Just before Christmas I was invited to experience the new Sole of London Medical Pedicure* treatment at DG Podiatrist in Mayfair. It was just what I needed after a long December hitting the gym and pounding the streets of London to pick out presents for my loved ones, and it got my Christmas period off to a very luxurious start indeed. It meant I could start the festivities with newly invigorated and tended-to tootsies, and more importantly, a greater knowledge of how important it is to keep your feet healthy.



DG Podiatrist is a luxury podiatry company founded in 2014 by Dina Gohil, who carries out all procedures at the South Molton Street treatment rooms. The clinic is absolutely gorgeous - very bright, airy and spacious and Dina explained that she ensures to leave plenty of space between her clients so that each person feels special and unique and is not left sitting in a busy waiting room. Dina is so passionate about foot care and believes that a quick fix and change of nail polish is not enough to satisfy modern women, and Dina's Medical Pedicures are intended to be longer lasting, revitalising and age defying, serving to improve the exterior of the body and also benefit and improve your health overall.



I was treated to the Sole Of London Medical Pedicure which brings together the best of East and West therapy, combining the traditional DG Podiatrist Medi Pedi with Tri-Dosha skincare treatments to create an Ayurvedic holistic treatment. Dina started with a few health questions then I was up on the treatment bed ready to have my tootsies revitalised! Dina continued to ask me questions about my lifestyle and was able to guess most of my answers based on the state of my feet! For example, Dina recognised that I wear mostly flat shoes with little shape or support (I live in trainer pumps!) by the areas of my feet which had most hard skin. Dina really gently removed all hard skin from my feet and reshaped my nails to look better and also help prevent any ingrown nails. Dina talked me through step by step explaining what she was doing and why, and also told me about the importance of keeping your feet in good condition. 


Whilst my feet were in pretty good condition, Dina explained that should patients have any corns or other conditions she will treat them there and then if able to. If not she will refer them for further treatment either at her clinic or at a doctor / hospital if necessary. Dina did recommend I start to use a CCS Cream to keep my feet moisturised and prevent cracked heels and told me to try and incorporate this into my nightly routine. After all, I always cleanse and moisturise my face before bed, why shouldn't my feet get the same treatment? Dina also recommended I treat my feet to a weekly saline soak to give them a good deep clean and again encourage smooth skin. And I have to say that so far I have been very good at keeping up with both treatments!



It was then time to move onto the six stages of nourishing Tri-Dosha treatments and Dina invited me to lay back flat on the bed to help me fully relax. Perfect! Dina started by cleansing my feet and then used a light foot scrub to encourage and improve circulation before moving on to using a support oil, compress and massage, heated foot wrap and then finishing off with an invigorating lotion. AMAZING! Dina talked me through every step and let me know all of the key ingredients / fragrances in the products which was great as I'm one of those people who always likes as much information as possible when having treatments so I can try and remember which scents I like most and incorporate those into my products and routine at home. Everything smelt absolutely gorgeous with lots of lavender to create a really lovely soothing atmosphere and I felt so so relaxed I was gutted when my hour and 15 minute treatment was over!



I so enjoyed my Sole of London treatment at DG Podiatrist. Dina was so friendly and welcoming and I learnt so much about the importance of looking after my feet and the ways in which to do so. Whilst it is a very high end treatment (£205) it is extremely luxurious and a real treat, as well as being good for your health and well being. It would make a fabulous gift to spoil someone you love, and Valentine's Day is right around the corner - start dropping hints now ladies!


Have you had a medical pedicure before?


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*Thanks so much to DG Podiatrist for inviting me to try out their Sole of London Medical Pedicure. All thoughts are honest and my own. For more information please see my Disclaimer Page.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Lifestyle // Holidaying in Europe

I love to travel and have been lucky enough to visit some amazing places around the world. I think holidays really are so important - they give you something to look forward to, allow you to spend quality time with your friends and family, and experience and learn about new cultures and places. I always think we're so lucky in the UK to have Europe right on our doorsteps - 50 countries so readily accessible to us both in terms of distance and affordability (gotta love those budget airlines!) I've spent some amazing times exploring Europe with my friends and family, so when Yelloh Village (who offer luxury campsites in Europe) asked me about my favourite European holiday memories I thought it'd be fun to share them here with you too. Who knows, it might give you some ideas of places to visit this year and help banish those January blues!



Camping holidays in the south of France


When I was younger we'd spend our holidays camping in the south of France at large holiday camps. It was so fun to spend our days together enjoying the great outdoors and my brother and I loved running around doing all sorts of activities with other kids our own age and our parents no doubt enjoyed having a bit of relaxation! I still maintain that one of the nicest things my brother has ever done for me is give me his cuddly toy Larry the Lamb when our parents had gone out for the evening and left us with the site baby sitter only for me to discover my beloved Blanky was still on the back seat of the car!



Fun and frollicks at Disneyland Paris


One of my favourite ever holidays was spending 5 days at Disneyland Paris with 3 of my best friends at school. We literally had the best time ever watching the parades, meeting characters and going on all the rides. My boyfriend and I went back to DLP in February last year to celebrate my birthday and, whilst he wasn't quite as enthralled by the magic as the girls and I were, we also had a great few days in Paris itself. The Eiffel Tower lit up at night is so stunning and we loved walking around the city soaking up the atmosphere, marvelling at the beautiful architecture and drinking gallons of Angelica's famous hot chocolate!


Romantic weekend in Bruges


The most romantic break I've ever had was when my boyfriend surprised me with a weekend away to Bruges to celebrate our first anniversary. What a babe! We stayed in a gorgeous boutique hotel and loved exploring the quaint town, (especially as we're both huge fans of the film In Bruges) and we definitely had more than our fair of Belgian chocolates!

Hiking in Crete


Tony and I also love to explore more rural areas and one of my favourite experiences ever was walking the Samaria Gorge in Crete which at 16 km is the longest gorge in Europe. We began the hike at 8 am to beat the midday sun and were finished exhausted but exhilarated by 2 pm. It's all down hill and you get to see some really beautiful scenery and even end up walking along a river bed towards the end, climbing over boulders and splashing through the water. The hike finishes at a beach and we devoured some very hard earned spanakopita - traditional Greek pastry filled with spinach and feta cheese. Yum!




Winter sun in Spain


Spain is another incredible place to visit and I'm dying to go back and explore Madrid. We went with a group of friends last October and stayed in a big villa in the remote hills of Casarabonela. Think hiking, swimming, lounging and A LOT of red wine and chorizo. It was absolutely brilliant (and you can read my full post of what we got up to here).



There's still so many amazing places I'd like to visit in Europe. Top of the list are Iceland and Norway - I'm dying to see the Northern lights and would love to go killer whale spotting too. I'm also love to spend long weekends in Prague and Budapest and do a cycling tour of Italy and its many vineyards!


Where are your favourite places to holiday in Europe?
Where's top of your wanderlust list?


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*This post is written in collaboration with Yelloh Village. All thoughts are honest and my own. For more information please see my Disclaimer Page.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Beauty // Sale haul

This year I was adamant I wasn't going to buy lots in the Christmas sales. My little flat has no more space for stuff I don't need and I'm desperately trying to save money this year for holidays and to buy a house. The only thing I planned on buying was a decent new frying pan as my old Ikea one is knackered. I blame the excessive amount of bacon sandwiches it made in 2015! I managed to get a great value Tefal pan in my local Sainsburys but couldn't just stop there could I?! Nope, I also hit Lush, Boots, Superdrug and Marks and Spencer's. Oh dear.....!

january-sales-haul-beauty-haul-superdrug-boots-marks-and-spencers-lush-tanya-burr

Lush


I'm a new convert to Lush baths, having only had my first one over the Christmas period (I know, what kind of blogger am I?! Oh me oh my aren't they fab?! I have mega sensitive skin so was always a bit wary of sitting in a bath full of fragrances and coloured water but the Lush Butterbear Bath Bombs are divine! Actually designed to be gentle enough for babies and children, it has the least amount of ingredients of the Lush products and is basically just Shea butter and vanilla. It smells lovely and leaves your skin feeling silky smooth for days afterwards. The Butterbear gift set was half price - only £7.95 - and contains 6 bears, and the tin will be really nice to keep my future Lush purchases in (I've got a feeling I'm going to get hooked!)

lush-haul-butterbear-christmas-gifts-bath-bomb-beauty
lush-haul-butterbear-christmas-gifts-bath-bomb-beauty

This was recommended to my by my friend Gemma who swears by a Lush bubble bath. I haven't used it yet but can't wait for a relaxing soak in the candy floss smelling bubbles!

Santa Baby Lip Tint

I've never tried any of the Lush make up before either but thought this red lip tint looked like a really beautiful colour and also a really easy way to wear a red lip. I always find red lips quite high maintenance but thought this lip tint would be a great, moisturising way of rocking the trend in 2016.
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Boots


Seventeen's Falsifeye HD Mascara is absolutely AMAZING! Definitely my pick of the drug store mascaras, and I included it in my November favourites post last year (though to be honest it's probably my fave product EVER of 2015!) It's super affordable at just £6.99 so when I saw this kit in the half price sale I knew I had to have it. For the same price as the mascaras usual sale price I've also nabbed myself the Tattoo Me eyeliner, Make Your Mark felt eyeliner and two limited edition eyeshadows. BARGAIN! 

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beauty-haul-january-sales-seventeen-falsifeye-hd-mascara-tattoo-me-eyeliner-make-your-mark-eyeliner

Marks & Spencer's 


Marks &Spencer's always has an amazing sale and I wish I could have bought ALL THE HANDBAGS! Seriously there were some right bargain bangers! I restrained myself - just - and went for these two beauties. The larger black one is a great size and fits all my everyday crap essentials and fits my Olympus PEN camera too. I wasn't too keen on the canvas style strap at first but it's growing on me! And for £17 it was a steal.

marks-and-spencer-handbag

I love the second bag I bought, and think it looks so much more chic than its £17 price point. I love the burnt out gold effect and large tassel and can't wait to wear this on a night out.

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marks-and-spencer-handbag

Superdrug


Tanya Burr Merry Kissmas Gift Set

I was really hoping to pick up some of the Tanya Burr Christmas gift sets in the sale and was thrilled to find this gold make up bag set for half price - just £3.99. I don't really like the pattern of the case too much but inside it contains a loose eyeshadow pigment and two of Tanya's amazing lip glosses. I'm a huge fan of the formula of these glosses and am excited to have a silvery clear one and new pink toned one to add to my collection. 

beauty-haul-january-sales-tanya-burr-cosmetics-gift-set-lipgloss-superdrug


Did you buy much in the sales? 

I love reading these posts so please leave me the link to yours if you've blogged your bargains!


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Monday, 4 January 2016

Favourites // December 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I can't quite believe it's 2016 and that Christmas has come and gone. I was going to be so productive over the last 2 weeks...! I hope you all had a good time celebrating with friends and family and are all recharged and ready to make 2016 the best yet! I was planning to post my 2015 Favourites but I still don't feel quite ready to reflect back on 2015 yet so here are the things I loved most in December instead!

Monthly-favourites-december-asos-sale-zoella-beauty-lipgloss-home-alone-soundtrack-i-heart-makeup-lip-lava-shockwave-too-faced-melted-lipstick-vera-wang-night-princess-love-layyanah-gold-jewellery

Vera Wang Princess Night

This has got to be one of my all time favourite perfumes. I've loved it for so many years and my mum really kindly gave me a bottle for my birthday in February. It's very floral and fruity but with a woody / musky base, making it perfect to wear on a night out, and I had plenty of those in December!

Monthly-favourites-december-asos-sale-zoella-beauty-lipgloss-home-alone-soundtrack-i-heart-makeup-lip-lava-shockwave-too-faced-melted-lipstick-vera-wang-night-princess-love-layyanah-gold-jewellery

I saw these in Superdrug at the end of November when they started to display all the Christmas gifts and couldn't resist grabbing myself one. I absolutely LOVE THEM! My favourite of the two is coral tinted Vanilla Cream, which is actually really pigmented and a really comfy, moisturising way of adding some colour to my lips. The Sweet Mint one applies practically clear but is great for popping on at night to keep my lips moisturised. The tin packaging is so much nicer than the signature Kissy Missy lipbalm in Zoe's permanent range and much easier to apply as the lid is wider so you can actually get your finger in properly, and the formula is much more moisturising too. I hope more colours and flavours get released this year! 


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Another lip product I've been loving throughout December is the I Heart Makeup Lip Lava in bright purple shade Shockwave. IT'S GORGEOUS! A dupe for the Too Faced Melted Lipsticks, the Lip Lava's are an absolute bargain at £2.99! The colour is a beautiful pinky purple, it lasts on the lips for ages and is very easy to apply and wear. It's been my go-to colour for night and day. I need to get me the other 4 colours in the range too.


Monthly-favourites-december-asos-sale-zoella-beauty-lipgloss-home-alone-soundtrack-i-heart-makeup-lip-lava-shockwave-too-faced-melted-lipstick-vera-wang-night-princess-love-layyanah-gold-jewellery

I love a jazzy trainer and how amazing are these sequin pumps?! I call them my mermaid shoes and love how fun they are, and make me feel like a princess even when slumming it in black skinny jeans and a t shirt. My boyfriend absolutely hates them haha and said they're even worse than my kissing Mickey and Minnie ones but I think they're fab! They're also only £13 in the ASOS sale go go go!

I blogged about these gorgeous pieces from Love Layyanah at the end of November and wore them pretty much everyday through December. Look how gorgeous they are! I love the gold Antler Necklace and it's just the perfect amount of festive - connoting Christmas without screaming it in a tacky way. It's not too Christmassy that I can't continue to wear it now that the festive period is over either. I bought this for so many people this Christmas too! The 18kt plated Arrow bracelet is also stunning and complements the necklace really well. Love Layyanah sell such nice pieces and they're really affordable too, so definitely a brand to watch in 2016.

Monthly-favourites-december-asos-sale-zoella-beauty-lipgloss-home-alone-soundtrack-i-heart-makeup-lip-lava-shockwave-too-faced-melted-lipstick-vera-wang-night-princess-love-layyanah-gold-jewellery

Star Wars

I have become a total and utter Star Wars geek this December! I'd never seen the films before but my friends and I booked tickets to see the new film The Force Awakens at the IMAX on 29th so I thought it was finally time I caught up and  watched the other 6 films. I am now obsessed! Such great story lines and characters and the original 3 films in particular were so well made and shot. I think The Force Awakens is my favourite of all of the films and I can't wait for the next few instalments. I also really want my own little BB8 - so cute! 


Well it wouldn't be December Favourites without some Christmas bits would it?! As well as festive films, I adore Christmas music and this year I've literally been listening to the Home Alone soundtrack non stop! It's so beautiful and I found it really soothing to listen to whilst at work. I think I need to explore some more classical, orchestral music choices in 2016 too. I also loved my little potted glittery Christmas tree I picked up at Waitrose too - perfect size for cheering up my desk! Mission now is to keep it alive for as long as I can into the new year!

Monthly-favourites-december-asos-sale-zoella-beauty-lipgloss-home-alone-soundtrack-i-heart-makeup-lip-lava-shockwave-too-faced-melted-lipstick-vera-wang-night-princess-love-layyanah-gold-jewellery

Family and Friends

My last December Favourite has to be catching up with all my friends and family! I love that Christmas brings everyone together and I had some amazing nights out and lots of festive fun in December. I celebrated my friend's 30th birthday with an Alice in Wonderland themed party, went to a see the Old Dirty Brasstards play, had a riotous night out with some blogging babes, spent quality time with my family and also partied up a storm on New Years Eve and at my friends' annual cheese, wine and vinyl night. Phew! I've been enjoying documenting my adventures on Snapchat too, so don't forget to follow me on there to see what I've been up to - username is pickleemsy 

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best-friends-monthly-favourites


I hope you had a great festive period and are all ready for some new adventures in 2016. 


Are you on Snapchat? 

Please leave me your usernames below, I'd love to stalk see what you get up to!


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*PR samples. All thoughts are honest and my own. For more information please see my Disclaimer Page.
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