Yesterday afternoon I went with a friend (who was too shy to be on my blog, hence no pictures) to The Ivy Garden in Chelsea for scones, catch ups and lots of tea. The weather was somewhat deceiving - it was beautifully sunny, but not very warm! I had looked out of the window and optimistically thought 'yay! I don't need a jacket!' and then instantly regretted not taking one when I walked out of the door and felt the chill in the air. However, as soon as we walked into the garden, a lovely man (our waiter, not just a random lovely man haha) sat us by the fire and handed us blankets, which we happily snuggled up in whilst sipping our tea and giggling away as my friend filled me in on all her dating gossip!
I've been wanting to go to The Ivy Garden ever since it opened a couple of weeks ago as I'd heard great things and it seriously exceeded my expectations. It was just so pretty and had such a relaxing atmosphere with the sound of the water fountain, oh and the scones with jam and cream were AMAZING...which was obviously the most important thing! Here are some photos, I hope I don't make you guys too hungry ;)
I've only been home for 3 days and I miss New York already, which is why I've spent all day today watching Gossip Girl! There's no real story to this sequence of photos, I just thought they were pretty and had happy memories so I wanted to post them. Here's a little context for the photos for you guys: happiness in Central Park, tea, Jim through a window, breakfast at Gemma's, an independent book store I fell in love with, cupcakes, Fifth Avenue, The West Village, breakfast in bed in The Mondrian and more pics from around the hotel...
This is the last of my New York content for you guys. I hope you enjoyed my New York vlogs and my Where To Eat In New York blog post!
As you guys will know if you follow me on twitter/instagram/snapchat - I have spent the last 3 days in New York! I had the most incredible trip. New York just gives me this happy feeling and - without sounding too cheesy - a skip in my step! The food in Manhattan is pretty unbeatable, but knowing where to go is very useful, so, I really wanted to do this foodie post to help out any of you guys that might be going to New York soon. I stayed in Soho (Lower Manhattan) this trip and since Jim was working lots and we had never spent time in Soho before, we ended up eating in the area most of the time. Therefore, all but one of the places I'm recommending are in Soho. Next time I go back, I'll probably stay in a different neighbourhood, or just have time to explore the city some more, so I'll do another foodie blog post with more recommendations! Although, if you are heading to New York soon, Soho is a great place to stay and hang out. It doesn't feel touristy like Midtown and the shopping is excellent. Anyway, let's get on with the food! There were definitely a couple of places I went to that aren't making this blog post. The ones in this post are the places that made an impression on me and that I would 100% return to. Be prepared to drool...
Best Breakfast or Brunch:
Gemma (355 Bowery St)
Not only does this place do the best French Toast I have ever eaten, but they also have PG Tips on the menu! As a typical British tea-loving person, this brought me great joy. Good tea is difficult to find stateside, so it was lovely to be able to order a home comfort. Gemma is part of the Bowery hotel, which is a celebrity favourite (Alexa Chung was there recently)! There's lots of great options on the menu, but if you go, please order the French Toast.
Bluestone Lane (55 Greenwich Ave)
This cute little Australian owned café was recommended to me by one of my good friends, Ingrid. It is now a firm favourite of mine! The food is so fresh and healthy. Jim had an amazing homemade granola with poached pear and I had smashed avocado on toast with a poached egg on top. We also ordered the banana bread to share as you can't go to an Aussie place without ordering the banana bread! And although it was made with healthier ingredients than regular banana bread, it was one of the best I've tried. Can't remember what the white stuff on top was, but it was good!
The Butcher's Daughter (19 Kenmare St)
This is the place to go if you are really into your healthy eating or you have specific dietary requirements. Everything on the menu is vegetarian and dairy-free. The staff are so warm and friendly (my brunch date was about 15 minutes late and they chatted to me and made me feel at home). Their menu is bursting with fresh, local produce and the juices taste incredible - I had orange and carrot! I loved what I ordered (oats soaked in almond milk with homemade muesli and fresh fruit).
Jack's Wife Freda (224 Lafayette St)
I fell in love with this spot because it has such a lively and friendly vibe. It looks really cute inside and the food is yummy. I had a tuna and avocado salad which was great, but there was so much food passing by our table that looked delicious! I'd love to try the brunch menu here as I've heard lots of good things about it.
Magnolia Bakery (There are a few of these around Manhattan)
Magnolia Bakery is kind of a tourist spot, but it's also really popular with locals too as the cupcakes are to die for! It was on my list of places to go when I first went to New York a couple of years ago and now I go every time I'm in the city, I think it's become a tradition for me.
Best Spot To 'Grab A Slice':
Prince St Pizza (27 Prince Street)
When I instagrammed this photo it caused quite a stir! 'Why is the sauce on top of the cheese?' people asked. Well, I don't know the answer to that question, but it tasted amazing! Prince St Pizza are famous for their perfectly baked square slices, so I decided to go for the spicy salami one, although they did have regular shaped pizza slices too! The pizza guy was so friendly as you can see from the photo I got of him - so sweet! This is a little hole in the wall style pizza place with very limited seating, I'd recommend taking a stroll through Soho with your slice.
The Mercer Kitchen (99 Prince Street)
This has got to be one of my favourite dinner spots in the world. It is perfect for so many occasions, it could be a fun night out with friends, a romantic dinner for two or a place to take your parents. The atmosphere is hip and stylish and the food is excellent. There are communal tables (which you can see in the photos below), as well as singular ones. The restaurant is dimly lit with candles and the ambience is amazing, maybe due to the fact it's inside a beautiful historical building. I had this salmon sashimi starter which was definitely one of the best things i've ever eaten. The same goes for the scallops! Ooo and my Mojito was great too!
That's it for my New York foodie recommendations, I can't wait to go back and add more to this post! Let me know in the comments where I should try next time I go! Also, tweet me if you go and check out any of these places, I'd love to know what you ordered and if you loved it!
It's the middle of the month, yet I feel compelled to do a 'February Favourites' video. Since I traditionally film these videos at the end of each month, I thought I would keep the tradition and wait to film my February Favourites (as there's still 14 more days to make new favourites!) However, in the mean time I thought it would be nice to take some photos of the things I'm loving at the moment and show you guys here on my blog.
I love that I take completely different photos with my Fujifilm Instax Mini camera to any other cameras I use, whether it's my iphone, DSLR or vlog camera. I feel like I take photos that mean more to me and really capture the moment when I use this camera. It's also quite wonderful to be able to have an instant photograph you can actually hold in your hand.
I bought this sparkly bracelet a long time ago from J Crew (I think it was when I was in LA and my friend Ingrid had just introduced me to the shop). I've recently been reaching for this bracelet almost every day to add a little sparkle to my typical daily attire - cashmere jumper, leather leggings and ankle boots. It just makes me happy every time I wear it!
I'm currently a quarter of the way through The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and I think it's incredible. I can't review it properly until I finish it (maybe it'll be in my Feb Faves video where I can talk about it in more depth!) but I will say that it's extremely gripping and I'm really enjoying seeing the characters evolve and wondering what will happen next.
Oh my goodness I am obsessed with these doughnuts! If it's time for a sweet treat then these are exactly what I will go for at the moment. I first discovered Dum Dum Donutterie back in October last year when Jim got me some to say well done on my lash launch for my makeup line, I had the creme brulee and was amazed at the yumminess. The other day I popped in and got these beauties for a meeting - how cute is the little 'I <3 U' one?!
I bought these Helmut Lang boots in the sale in New York. I'm one of those people who is terrible at shopping as I can never be bothered to try anything on! However, I was in New York with the shopping King and Queens (yes, multiple Queens) Jim and his two sisters Sam and Nic, and his mum, Judy. We had spent an hour in Helmut Lang already and just as we were leaving Nic tried these boots on in grey and we all oohed and ahhed at how great they looked. Sam proceeded to find them in my size in black (as I had said I was after a black heeled pair of ankle boots) and suddenly I was walking out of the door with the most perfect boots I've ever owned. I've probably worn them 99% of the time since being back from New York and they just look so cool with everything. LOVE.
I could look at this underwear set all day it's just too beautiful. I treated myself to my first ever designer underwear the other day and decided Agent Provocateur was the brand I wanted to go for as I've dreamed about owning something from them for years. I chose this nude set (as nude goes under any colour) with beautiful floral details. There's something about wearing an incredible underwear set underneath your clothes that just makes you go about your day with more confidence.
How did I only just discover this NARS Velvet Lip Pencil in Cruella?! It's the most perfect red lip colour, such a true and deep beautiful shade. I wore it out to a party the other night where I was drinking and eating and I got home, looked in the mirror and it hadn't budged. The staying power is unbeatable. I rarely wear a red lip as I always find it too much effort to reapply throughout the day/evening, I also struggle to find a shade of red I actually like on me - but now I have one I'm going to wear red lips all the time! (Copious amount of instagrams and a tutorial using Cruella to follow).
I hope you guys enjoyed this post, I forget how much I enjoy blogging and I've vowed to make more time for it this year. Leave me a comment telling me what you're loving at the moment :)
The signings are ticketed for health and safety reasons and the exact location will only be given out to those who have tickets a couple of days before the event. I don't want anyone to be disappointed, so if you don't manage to get a ticket please don't make a big effort to come as I might not be able to meet you and would feel really bad. The ticket price covers the cost of one book and a free exclusive poster, nothing extra is added on top. I CAN'T WAIT TO MEET LOTS OF YOU - IT'S GOING TO BE SO MUCH FUN!
Here are some frequently asked questions that Penguin, my publishers, have created: