Friday, 28 February 2014

On Monday evening I was invited down to the #vcswapshop14 event for bloggers at The Gallery Soho (still don't feel totally comfortable calling myself a blogger...feels a bit wanky, but I blog so hey ho!)
It was a novel way to encourage us to tackle our wardrobe waste and a chance to meet other bloggers while we did some thrifty, no free shopping!

The idea was we had a bit of a clear out of our wardrobes, which wasn't easy in itself as I'm a notorious hoarder, and selected 5 items that were a bit unloved/underused to bring along - either clothes, shoes or accessories. I brought along my good friend Nataly who has recently started her own sweet blog Sand and Sugar and upon our arrival we handed in our items in exchange for a card which was stamped, we even got an extra stamp for having promoted the event on our social networks.

We did a bit of mingling and I bumped into Michelle from Virgos and Kisses who I actually know from the film world, with her being my favourite runner on Victim, a film I did a few years back alongside Ashley Madekwe of Ring My Bell.
We grabbed some cocktails and sweets (Nataly and I are not too posh to drink mojitos out of wine glasses if you are to ever run out of tall glasses.)

We also checked out the tights customisation corner from Pinned It! Made It! and manicure areas although sadly I didn't end up doing either! Glitter, crystals and even multi-coloured pom poms...they so woulda gone with my Crown Love vest that I'm wearing here.

Did a bit of posing in my lovely new Blanc lather Palladium boots that I was gifted the other week.

But the real action was upstairs. So that's where we headed for some serious rail rummaging, with the rails divided into items worth 1, 2 or 3 stamps.

We did a couple of rounds of the rails but it was pretty crowded and they were constantly bringing up new items as more people arrived, so we took a quick photo booth break...I love photo booths at events, they always allow you to capture the moment and this particular booth from Say Fromage was cool in that you could Tweet or Facebook the pictures straight from the booth and you could also print multi-shot prints or select a single photo. Also Andre the guy who was helping with the booth was lovely.

Michelle is defo a pouter haha!

We did a bit more mooching around the rails then peeled off to a corner to see what we had found. I hadn't done too badly actually and Natters and I kept running over to each other with items saying "Babe, I think you'd look great in this!"

Drank some more cocktails...

By this point we definitely needed to soak up some of the alcohol a bit..

We basically waited by the door for the food to come out we were that craven...chicken strips for Nat and Cajun fries for me with hot sauce and lime mayo by Mother Clucker. Very nice!
We had a chat with a few other bloggers about what bits they had snapped up and got chatting to the the lovely Sharon from Thrift My Style and Lucy of Lucy J Loves about how long they had been blogging and the importance of finding your own voice online.

We all managed to come away with some good bits, highlights for me were some polka-dot joggers, a sheer white top, a red vintage dress and a gorgeous River Island T...and one booby prize, some leather leggings that I should have tried on but didn't and they are teeeny! I will be donating them to a local charity shop, just like any remaining items from the event, which were sent to Oxfam in the morning.

Food: FISHBone

Thursday, 27 February 2014

I met Kirsty and Hannah at college 10 years ago (OMG I'm old). Now while Kirsty and I stayed close, Hannah went to uni outside of London and then had a job that took her abroad a lot, so our trios meet ups are few and far between. We tend to meet as a 3 once a year, always promising to meet up more; hopefully this year we will.

Anyway, I was left to arrange this years get together so I chose somewhere I'd been dying to try since seeing it on As a pescetarian, Fish Bone, a pop-up restaurant in Notting Hill that offers a fast food take on fish, was right up my street. Housed in the private dining room of Kensington Place fish brasserie, the menu was specially created by head chef Dan Loftin, inspired by the successful summer menu.
They've crammed in a few metal tables and chairs as well as a central bench for larger parties as the pop-up only seats 36, crammed in pretty close actually, there were a few 'Excuse me's as new diners tucked into their tables around us. We were there quite a while you see. They're going for an upmarket Hamptons beach shack vibe, complete with neon signs on the wall and they hit the mark. Service was warm and helpful, the waiters even frequently closed the door that let in a draft every time someone left, the only design flaw.

The food. We ordered every main on the brief menu after being reassured that this was quite normal - phew!

Prawnish Pasty: delish, crumbly pastry with a delicately spiced prawn filling. Very yum.
Crab Bhajis with yoghurt, cucumber and dill: I attacked these, Hannah and Kirsty weren't so keen.
Fried Wings with spiced pepper mayonnaise: perfect bites of tender skate fish. The sauce was great.
Battered Haddock with tartare sauce: no better or different to something you could get anywhere but the tartare sauce was nice, not too overpowering.
Tuna Burger with sesame, soy and radish: a little undercooked for my taste and went cold quickly but a lovely soft bun and easy to divide up.
Salmon Doner: basically a smoked salmon kebab. I thought I'd hate it but it was light and tasty.
Scallopdog: a hotdog made from scallop meat with brown shrimp and cucumber vierge. Don't really think the texture of the shrimp and scallop worked together but worth a try because when else will you eat a scallopdog?!
Triple-cooked chips and Onion rings: Moreish!

We thought about dessert. This could be our only meet up of the year! We went for it.

Sticky toffee cheesecake sundae: light whipped layers of cream and ice-cream, chunks of soft brownie, crumbly toffee biscuity bits. So, sooo good.

Shanika Says: Fish Bone is only open until 31st March, Tuesday to Saturday. Get down there!

Playing With Big Cats

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Top: c/o Crown Love
Jeans: c/o Lee
Shoes: Zara

Photos by B.A.Tman

I love everything about this top from Crown Love, I mean there are actually muulti-coloured pom poms on it! Allowing me to indulge my inner child even while wearing heels. They are an ethically sourced brand too so you can feel good while you look good.