Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Opening of the Jimmy Choo Townhouse

I've been lucky enough to get some lovely event and venue invitations thanks to this blog. I'm not quite sure how that happened but I appreciate every single one of them. Every now and again, though, there's a special one that arrives in the form of an email or a letter through the door. One that makes my tummy flip a little.

 Just like when I received an event invitation from Jimmy Choo!

Jimmy Choo; my favourite shoe designer. The beautiful white sandals I got married in. The Swarovski jewelled ankle boots I jumped for joy at finding in Bicester Village. The brand I named my dog after!

Sunday was the opening of the expanded and renovated store on New Bond Street. With three whole floors full of dreamy shoes and luxury bags, the event promised its guests champagne and afternoon tea. 

What was not to love?

As I walked over the JC threshold, the first display I saw was the limited edition Candy bags. With a red phone box design, they were specially created to celebrate the opening of the new store. They're certainly a bold and patriotic statement piece. I often wish I could buy clutch bags that cute and small but to be honest, I always have far too much stuff! Where on earth would I put my camera?

I was offered a glass of champagne and presented with a selection of divine canapés.

You may recognise the cake designs and plates from the Berkeley Hotel Fashionista Afternoon Tea

They were truly delicious; as good as they look. The scones were fabulous too! Jimmy Choo officially do great afternoon tea.

The invitation to the event had no plus one so I arrived alone, initially feeling a little out of place amongst all the trendy fashion bloggers. These uneasy feelings were short-lived though and before long I was mingling and we were lusting together over the stunning shoes and bags surrounding us.

Here are a few of my personal favourites...

I so rarely see any creations in Jimmy Choo I wouldn't be over the moon to own. They get the combination of glamour and elegance just right.

Of course, I wore a pair of my own Choos for the occasion. It was only right!

As a proud Essex girl, I always feel very at home in white stilettos!

On the ground floor there were three girls from Nars providing complimentary manicures. I had to get involved! I chose a colour that perfectly matched my jacket. 

Shoes, bags, cakes and champagne - a few of my favourite things all in one place! Inevitably, I had a fantastic time and was so pleased to have been invited along.

And as if I hadn't been spoilt enough, on my way out I was handed a Jimmy Choo goodie bag. Sunglasses, perfume, Nars make-up and a few more of those wonderful biscuits. 

I returned home that night one happy and very spoilt lady!

Do you own a fabulous pair of Jimmy Choos? Any above that took your fancy? 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

When Only Bar Snacks Will Do

It's 6pm. You had a big lunch earlier on and you just can't muster the appetite for a full meal before you head out on the town. It's Saturday night and it could be a big one. You really should get a bit of food inside you to line the stomach.

This is where bar snacks are the answer!

I was meeting Edita for a drink before we went onwards to a birthday celebration. Next to Trafalgar Square, almost hidden away under an arch, you can find The Strand Dining Rooms. It's a relaxed space of grand elegance, whisking you away from the hustle and bustle of the streets outside. I'd been recommended the cocktails and the bar snacks - small dishes that included scones (winning!), Welsh rarebit and black pudding. Well, it makes a change from the usual nachos and guacamole!

We perched at the bar in front of the seemingly endless row of spices and cocktail making condiments. I decided to begin my evening with a Rhubarb Mezcal Margarita. I do love a margarita. The obligatory salt round the rim of the glass was rhubarb sherbet salt; a nice touch, I thought.

Edita's choice was the refreshing Strawberry Cobbler with rum, Aperol, English strawberry puree, turbinado sugar syrup and Proscecco.

The bar snacks were very good indeed. I liked that the menu deviated away from the norm. We enjoyed the cheese and chive scones with smoked fish, bacon scones with smoked cream cheese (they like it smoked here), triple cooked chips, a pork croquette and I couldn't not try those spice black pudding balls. 

It was the perfect amount of food to set us up nicely for our night ahead. Also, it's great to catch up with a friend in a quieter more chilled out atmosphere like the Strand Dining Rooms before you hit the louder bars. 

Do you think pigs blood as a cocktail accompaniment could catch on?

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

A Visit To Chinatown

I love Chinese food. I always have and always will. From the delicious crispy duck to the egg fried rice, I can eat it 'til it comes out my ears. Last Friday, Mary and I decided to hit London's Chinatown, pre-theatre. You're spoilt for choice as you walk down Gerrard Street and it can be difficult to know where to choose. Over time, I have come to have my personal favourites; HK Diner, New World, Wong Kei and our choice for today, Imperial China.

You can find it on Lisle Street. Despite the 'm' hanging precariously from the sign outside, Imperial China is a little more 'posh' than a few of the other places on offer. This is mainly down to the fact that they have actually made a decent effort with their décor. The restaurant is set back from the street and you have to cross over a lovely little bridge to get inside.

I was excited. I have visited a few times now and the food is consistently good.

Mary and I decided to do as we always do; we kicked things off with the crispy duck pancakes.

Then - and with a half effort at being 'low carb' - we chose the steamed sea bass in black bean sauce, deep fried king prawns (which were amazing), Chinese broccoli and stewed mixed mushrooms. 

Oh yes, and some sesame toast!

Delicious, full of flavour and satisfying to the core. It's not the cheapest restaurant in Chinatown but the prices are still reasonable and the quality is high...something definitely not guaranteed at all the eateries in the area!

It was then onwards to the Noel Coward Theatre to see Shakespeare In Love.

It was a great show which you'd probably enjoy whether you've seen the movie or not. It's funny, romantic and energetic; brilliantly cast with the excellent lead actor - Tom Bateman as Shakespeare - rather easy on the eyes. Plus there was a dog in it! Hurrah! Yes, I was somewhat disappointed that Ben Affleck didn't make a special guest appearance but you can't win 'em all.

After the show, Mary and I decided to have a quick drink before heading home. We went to a bar at which you can grab a table right next to the stage door and watched as each of the actors we'd just got to know and love as wonderful Shakespearean characters, exited the theatre in jeans and t-shirts. Seeing our hero Shakespeare arrive with his hair scraped back into two ponytails, a cigarette dangling from his mouth and clasping a can of lager was a little disappointing. But, hey - he was still pretty.