October 11th, 2013 | Comments Off | permalink
Inspired by the enchanting scents of the Middle East, Crabtree & Evelyn’s Night Garden fragrance collection has the power to let your mind drift to distant shores and pastures. Test your senses further by exploring the aromatic flavours of the East with our London restaurant guide…
Mixing rustic sun-drenched flavours from Spain with exotic spices of Northern Africa and the Middle East, the food at Moro is wholesome yet tantalizing. The mezze dishes are fun to share on a ‘date night’. Be sure to order the Moroccan bread salad with Argan oil – and for desert, the rosewater and cardamom ice cream is dreamy. Moro is located in Exmouth Market in North London, which is a lovely area to explore for independent fashion and lifestyle boutiques. For more info see: www.moro.co.uk
Wear… Ottoman Rose is like dancing in a storm of rose petals on a dusky exotic evening.
This fresh, modern brassiere is the brainchild of the team behind cult eatery Ottolenghi. The menu is inspired by both Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine and split into fish, meat and vegetarian options. Stand-out dishes are the spiced chickpea pasties, coconut and leaf curry sauce and for desert, the sticky rice, brown coconut jam and caramelised banana. Situated on 21-22 Warwick Street in Soho, NOPI is the perfect place to pick up a pre-theatre bite to eat.
For more info visit: www.nopi-restaurant.com
Wear… Assam Oudh proves opposites attract with a blend of citrus and smoky notes for an eclectic air of elegance.
Inspired by an Indian ‘thieves market’, Chor Bizarre romantically twinkles with coloured glass lanterns, and is choc-a-bloc with interesting antiques. The menu has an emphasis on Kashmiri cuisine and is said to be the only restaurant outside Kashmir offering the legendary 36-course feast ‘Wazwan’. There’s also a tea bar, which serves 30 types of tea from Assam to Kasmiri Kehwa. Located on Albemarie Street in Mayfair, Chor Bizarre is a fabulous establishment to refuel and relax after a hard day shopping. For more info visit: www.chorbizarre.com
Wear… Kashmir Musk is as luxurious as being wrapped up in the finest cashmere jumper on a breezy Arabian night.
If you’re on a mission to sample some of the best Persian cuisine in London, check out the authentic dishes at Alounak. The food is reasonably priced at around £25 per person for a meal, and you can also bring your own bottle. There are branches of the restaurant at 44 Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill and 10 Russell Gardens in Kensington. Alounak is a great place to go for a mid-week treat with a group of friends.
Wear… Persian Thé is like drinking a smoky cup of tea at the top of a cool misty mountain, and watching the clouds float by.
July 26th, 2013 | Comments Off | permalink
“In Lydia’s imagination a visit to Brighton comprised of every possibility of earthly happiness. ” Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.
As British seaside escapes go, Brighton offers far more than kitsch ‘Kiss me quick’ hats and sticks of rock in every shade of the rainbow. Do you fancy eating oysters on the beachfront? Shopping in bohemian style in The Lanes? Or do you love the idea of relaxing in a bubble-filled bathtub while soaking up stunning ocean views?
With our store in the heart of Brighton we like to think we know it pretty well. Read on for our travel guide to Brighton…
Where to stay?
Brighton is known for its chic boutique hotels, and Drakes offers laidback luxury with lovely sea views. Located on the seafront, the Georgian town house boasts period features teamed with eclectic décor. You can enjoy a soak in a heavenly freestanding bathtub while gazing at the beach sunset and sipping master cocktails ordered on room service. Woody Allen dined at the Drakes’ restaurant after filming Cassandra’s Dream on Brighton Pier, and Kylie Minogue is a regular guest – steal her style by booking room 301.
Cost: £115-345, per room per night
For more info visit: www.drakesofbrighton.com
Where to eat?
Tucking into fish and chips on Brighton seafront is a must. But for a luxurious treat, splash out on seafood delights at Riddle & Finns Champagne & Oyster bar on Meeting House Lane. We can highly recommend the Lobster Fruits De Mer Platter, which offers a majestic selection of shellfish. For those who prefer a knife and fork to grappling with crab crackers and lobster picks, try the locally caught mackerel with apple & gooseberry chutney. As well as the restaurant in The Lanes, Riddle & Finns II recently opened on the beachfront, and there’s outdoor seating – prefect for sunny days or balmy evenings.
For more info visit: www.riddleandfinns.co.uk
Where to explore?
It would be rude to visit Brighton and not take a stroll along the Pier, and enjoy a fairground ride if you’re feeling daring. However, there’s also plenty to see at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, which is set in the stunning grounds 0f The Royal Pavilion gardens. Make sure you check out the fun and playful Jeff Koons exhibition (11 May- 8 Sept) – if you have little ones it’s sure to capture their imaginations, too.
Also… Brighton Festival runs from 4-26 May and is one of the biggest arts events in England – from circus acts to classical music, there’s something for everyone.
Where to shop?
The Lanes is a shopping Mecca for those in search of unique buys, whether you’re after gifts, wardrobe updates or homeware. Browse the trove of treasures at Brighton Lanes Antiques Centre, snap up some homegrown art Castle Galleries, and pick up some retro finds in the plethora of vintage shops. Before heading for a wander along the beachfront, stop by the Crabtree & Evelyn store on East Street and stock up on pampering goodies.
Where are your favourite hotspots in Brighton? Tell us in the comments box below or on our Facebook page.
June 18th, 2013 | Comments Off | permalink
It’s time to practice your backhand and stock up on strawberries and cream, because tennis season is here. Whether you’ll be watching The Wimbledon Championships (24 June – 7 July) from centre court or from your sofa, the London suburb of Wimbledon is well worth a visit. Take a look at our top 5 suggestions of things to see and do in the area…
Visit the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum
Even if you weren’t lucky enough to get tickets to the Wimbledon Championships this year, there’s always the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum. The latest exhibition Tennis on the Riviera features memorabilia depicting tennis on the French Riviera from 1890s – 1930s. The main collection boasts 15,000 tennis related objects from toys to teapots – the oldest artefact dates from 1555.
For further info visit: www.wimbledon.com
Go horse riding
Ditch the tube and saddle up at the Wimbledon Village Stables, which has been a horse riding school for over 100 years.
While Wimbledon is only a short journey from the city, there are more than 3,000 acres of countryside in the surrounding commons and nearby Richmond Park to explore on horseback. The perfect way to make the most of the green space London has to offer.
For further info visit: www.wvstables.com
Go to the theatre
If you’re after a relaxing evening of entertainment away from the hustle and bustle of the city, check out The New Wimbledon Theatre. The Edwardian building is stunning, and it’s only a short walk from Wimbledon Station. Dreamboats and Petticoats the musical will be running from 29 July – 3 August, and promises to be a fun-filled show.
For further info visit: www.agttickets.com
Visit the Windmill Museum
Wimbledon Common isn’t just a great spot for a picnic or taking the dog for a walk, it’s also home to the fascinating Windmill Museum. Built in 1871, the windmill was fully operational until 1864 and the building now houses a museum of windmills and exhibits on local history and the Scouting movement. Look out for the Womble memorabilia in the gift shop.
For further info visit: www.wimbledinwindmill.org
Shop until you drop
If you’re after unusual gifts, explore the delights of Wimbledon Village, from eclectic homeware to unique dresses there’s something for everyone. Every Saturday from 9am-1pm you can pick up fresh fruit and veg at Wimbledon Farmers’ Market at Wimbledon Park Primary School. Also, pop into the Crabtree & Evelyn store at the Centre Court Shopping Centre to stock up on goodies. Our Strawberry & Cream biscuits are a must-try!
What are your favourite Wimbledon hot spots? Tell us in the comments box below…