Saturday, 12 December 2009

All Dressed Up With Nowhere To Go?

So today, I have managed a two hour bar shift at the theatre, and an epic queue in Borders, and not much else... Post-term lethargic FUG-time. Joys.

But to cheer me up was a dress I'd been sent by the lovely people at Covert Candy, a great site dedicated to both vintage shopping and swapping! It revolves around a "credit-based system" where if someone wants an item of clothing you no longer need, you can send it to them in return for credits you can then spend on someone else's lovely stuff! They also have a section of the site dedicated to a small, but well selected Vintage Emporium run by the site owners, and there, sitting in the Clearance section, was this adorable dress. It has such a cute print and perfect colours... It's definitely about to enter my day dress collection!

Ok, so it's not remotely wintery, but WHO CARES?!

My room is lacking in any accoutrements with which to dress up this little number, as I'm halfway through moving out, and have no high heels due to a bottom-of-the-foot injury a few weeks ago. Thus the outfit photos with bare feet or Converse!

This was my attempt to play with the length... Thoughts?

So, I should really be packing... Instead I was just distracted by boy, then started watching Angel, then started organising holiday theatre... Might leave Cam by 1am. Maybe. Oops!

Night guys! London tomorrow! Woop!


Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Pretty, Sparkly Things

I Love Christmas... Seriously... I love the cake baking and big wooly jumpers and jangling bells and midnight mass SO DARN MUCH! Christmas present shopping is also AWESOME. There's something so satisfying about finding that present, or baking something that will make someone smile. And best of all, I love the excuse to dress up and wear sparkly jewellery; something I don't really do at any other time of the year!

So, as part of the altruistic urge to gift, and the mahooosively irresistible urge to look at sparkly things I can't really have, I ended up jewellery browsing online. Noooooooooooooooooo! So much I want! (I have a feeling there are going to be quite a few posts like this... No money, no photographer, LOTS OF YEARNING!!!)

How cute is this?!

A reindeer pendant from Astley Clarke, purveyor of all things fine and designer jewellery ish. I think this range is just so adorable... Shame I don't have £225 quid to spare as it's SO GORGEOUS!

Now who wants a pair of ludicrously expensive diamond snowflake earrings to see out the Winter season?! I have to say, I probably wouldn't say no to a man who bought me these for Christmas, but it might seem like selling my soul for Tiffany's...

And how adorable are these Links of London charms?! I DEFINITELY want the mitten one... At £45 each, they're slightly more attainable, but not really on my current budget. Recession bites, eh!

Ok, so I can't afford any of these very very pretty things, so I think I might make my own Christmas earrings instead...

WOOP! CRAFT PROJECT! I'm very excited now...

Jewellery is one of those things for me which only really comes up when I find something really special. I have my watches (woo, bright orange bit of plastic on my wrist!!!) and my name necklace, and a few bits of vintage painted goodness, but most of the time I find jewellery a faff. My ears are pierced, but they rarely see a bit of dangly metal, mainly as I'm far too lazy to coordinate! Do you girlies have any bits of jewellery you always wear? I get a bit panicky if I'm not wearing a watch, but otherwise I tend to find it all just a bit of a nuisance! Except at Christmas...

Right, now, I must be off to perfect my christmas cupcakes! ;-D



Friday, 4 December 2009


As some of you may have noted, I do love a sample sale, and browsing Fashion Confidential for them has always been a favourite part of my London-based weeks. Remember the Eley Kishimoto shoes???

When I’m in Cambridge, I tend to avoid it and all mentions of shiny shiny designer clothes I can't afford, for fear my heart may be broken by the news of a Kane or Kirkwood extravaganza happening just near enough to be possible yet just far away to be prohibited by the next impending deadline.

So of course I was delighted when they got in touch with me to see if I liked their new magazine-like format and revamped other-than-sample-sales content, which I'd never really paid much attention to before... So after I had finished my last supervision essay yesterday afternoon, and after today’s actual supervision (during which I had a very satisfactory argument about Foucault – woo panopticon!!! ;-D) I have spent a good hour or so compiling a couple of fantasy wish-lists and reading their articles (like this quick interview with a very chic Parisienne). Oh gawd, something else to keep an eye on. Not sure how I’m going to cope!

Also, normally, I also ignore any shopping emails that arrive in my inbox. Net-a-porter, Browns, Cocosa... GO AWAY I HAVE NO MONEY!!! (Possibly my own fault due to impending theatrical extravaganza and a trip to Stockholm in January...) Yet I have to admit to having loved the cute, purple-themed "stocking fillers" feature that popped up this afternoon. It's not really the products themselves - though I quite fancy a copy of the Camilla Morton book and that Aubin and Wills purple top... It's the adorable way it's all been put together. I'm really one for a slick piece of graphic design, and FC have, of late, been producing some rather good layout-porn!

Fashion Confidential has always, for me, been part of the pleasure of physical shopping, as it has pointed me towards some of my best sample-sale scrummages. Yet now it tempts me with yet another avenue of internet shopping: the best of the sales online. Arrrrrrrrrgh! Who could resist a page filled with those crossed through ridiculous prices, followed by red massively reduced ones...

Shame I'm "economising"... But doesn't mean I can't look!!!

Aren't these pretty... (Can you tell I'm procrastinating from academic work again? ;-D)

(Philip Lim and Roland Mouret from TheOutnet)

(Marc by Marc Jacobs from Matches)
(Aubin and Wills and Elle McPherson Intimates at Net-A-Porter)

If only I had money... Sigh. Silly recession.


Sunday, 29 November 2009

Artistic Leanings

Yes, I'm still a very peripatetic blogger... Dropping in now and then, scattering whimsical thoughts in my wake! ;-)

Lots has happened lately; lots of ups, a few downs, but at the end of the day, I appear to be Very Happy. Right Now. Which is what matters!

I have just waved goodbye to the wonderful Claire of The View From Here, who was up visiting for the weekend post-her law exams!

Awesome times.

We baked.

We went to jazz.
We wandered.
We had coffee.

We talked boys.
We talked clothes.
We watched Star Wars.
We dressed up as Bears.

It was excellent!

In other news, I also have a dress to (very belatedly) review... The lovely Ceri from Blue Inc sent me this hot little number:

(Wearing: Blue Inc. dress, Eley Kishimoto shoes, M&S cardigan, ToyWatch.)

I absolutely ADORE the painterly pattern, and considering it's only £19.99, it's really well made and a good length for going out - though I will be wearing it with thick black tights!!!! (I just didn't have any to hand at the time, and thus we get my awesomely large and white thighs on show... SORRY!!! ;0D)

I would say that the top bit has a tendency to fall down, but that may be because my boobs are a little large so fall out at every opportunity. A bit of tit tape or the sewing in of straps or a strapless bra will easily solve the problem!

Hopefully I'll be going out a few times in the upcoming weeks, and this dress is a perfect addition to my party outfits!

Right... I must be off. Tonnes of admin to do and parentals turning up in about half an hour. Woop!

More soon. Xxxc

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Into the Labrinth of Maze

A couple of weeks ago, my brother treated me, my girlfriend and his girlfriend to a meal at Maze, as a 21st birthday present (Never mind that I'm 22).

Maze is a restaurant in the Ramsey Empire which does menus which are half way between tapas and a tasting menu, suggesting 4 to 6 courses ,at least, when ordering. Obviously we went for 6 courses each with a flight of wines to accompany.

Because I waited so long though, I've kind of waited too late to grab the menu off the website, so it's going to be mostly from memory. Although of the 10 choices, we hit all of them. I'm going to be a bit brief describing the courses because a) there were so many and b) by the end we had had quite a bit of wine so they're a little bit...hazy...shall we say.

We started off with cocktails; An apple and sage martini, a strawberry and balsamic vinegar cooler, a raspberry and champagne mix and a final one I kind of forget. But after taking a sip of each and passing them round, we came to the conclusion that they were all awesome. A good start to a meal that would only get better.

After the bread came out and was pounced upon by the 4 of us, getting hungry after we all forgot breakfast, came the first course;

(The photos are before the Veloute was poured onto the duck) This was a Jerusalem Artichoke Veloute over Duck Confit with a Field mushroom on toast on the side. It was an amazing combination of silky veloute hiding some amazingly fatty and flavourful duck, both incredibly smooth and unctuous, and the crisp toast with earthy mushroom on top. To start a theme that will no doubt frequently recur, I could eat this course for every meal, ever.

Next was Beetroot with Goats Cheese Curds and a Cabernet Sauvignon sauce. Probably the least interesting of the courses, but still very good. Interestingly the beetroot was raw and so very crisp which gave a good textural comparison with the cheese.
Third course, and one of the most interesting, was the Osso Buco with Pumpkin Risotto. The risotto was creamy and delicious, and the Osso Buco pretty much melted as you ate it. An ethereal kind of meat.

Note the intense concentration on Becky's face, contemplating the interplay of flavours and textures.

Compared to my brother, just powering in, not wanting to waste a single second he could be eating the tasty food...
We then diverged in our courses, because my brother and his girlfriend has opted for two desserts, while Becky and I went for one of the fish courses each

I had Cod with Baby carrots, which was one of the best pieces of fish I've had this year. But Becky seemed to win this round with her French Fish Soup with Aioli

This soup was one of the best fish-related things I've put in my mouth. That includes fish shaped things like those bright pink sweets shaped like prawns...

Around here we had a much needed break, as they slightly messed up the order of our food, but it was welcomed as it gave us a chance to digest the last 4 courses before we had more on our plates to deal with. (We also got the cocktails free because of it, fantastic service!)

The course which my brother and his lady had while we had the fish arrived next; Pork Cheeks with Mashed Potatoes
It didn't last long.

This is the course I could eat forever. I'd be tempted to go again and get 6 courses of just this. It was that good. So good that I think I may have given each bite a little hug before I ate it. So good I'd be tempted to create an aftershave out of it, just so I could have it's smell around me. So good I'd be tempted to start a pig farm just to have more.

But as with all good things, it was transient. Then came the puddings.

I'll deal with these as a batch because there were some duplicates, but there were Rice Pudding with Ice cream, Apple Pie and Chocolate Three Ways. All were very good, but I think the consensus was that the Rice Pudding was the best thing the other three had ever eaten that had sugar in it. Which I suppose is a compliment...

To celebrate my birthday there was even a little cake. An amazing little brownie that vanished very quickly, even with a stomach full of so many delicious courses.

To top off a fantastic Saturday lunchtime spent eating fine food, because of my brother's chatting to the waiter about his time working in a restaurant, we got a tour of the kitchen. A very impressive operation with a huge wood burning stove and a troop of chefs working intensely. But alas I got no pictures.

So overall, Maze turned out to beat even my high expectations and has fuelled my new desire to spend more Saturday lunchtimes at fine restaurants (such as Hix which I'll write about sometime soon...)

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Tea and Vintage...

Although I am now back in Cambridge, not in London, I thought that today's post could concentrate on the wonder that is Kingly Court, just off Carnaby Street...

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it before, as it is home to my favourite physical vintage store in the world, ever, and it's great for a stop off in a peaceful place amidst the craziness of Oxford Street and Carnaby Street.

The best stops, starting from the top:

Camellia's Teas: Great tea, lovely proprietress, immense foods (the salads and soups are Always interesting - uber-win!) and pretty awesome gift-type items.

T-B + tiny cup = hilarity!

Next floor down is the wonderful Sam Greenberg which is my absolute favourite physical vintage store. Every time I go into the store I find some beautiful dress that exactly fits the occasion I went in there to buy for... It has a lovely mix of pattern and plain, all colours of the rainbow and all eras. Has anyone else been in? They have a great range of eras represented, though a predominance of 80s and 60s shapes. It really is awesome. Small, but perfectly formed! My favourite buys include my Ferragamos (now, sadly deceased due to one too many rainy days...) and my "Flamenco dress" - black, calf length, with big red and white flowers - an adored, well-worn dress, but funnily enough one that's not yet surfaced on here... Perhaps soon!

Anyway, moving on... There are three other vintage stores in Kingly Court: Stromboli's Circus is next to Sam Greenberg, and while I enjoy nothing more than strolling around, and in particular looking at their vintage fabrics and magazines, I've not yet found a piece of clothing in there I really love. It's possibly due to the higher prices and higher incidence of fancy-dress-vintage, but I think it might be awesome for boy-wear. My partridge scarf was bought in here, so I do have a certain amount of affection for it...

Fur Coat No Knickers is on the top floor, near Camelia's Teas. This place is a wonderland, albeit an expensive one... They have really, truly, first class vintage, beautiful hats, amazing though fragile bags, and more jewelled, magpie-happy-making stash than one can bear! It's worth checking out for the intake-of-breath factor!

Finally, Marshmallow Mountain on the ground floor has a good selection of wearable vintage, and an awesome selection of accessories. I always like to rummage in their shoes and scarves, but haven't yet plunged in and bought anything. Possibly because I'm usually expecting to find something more exciting upstairs, and thus I always hold back on the affection-giving!

Aside from vintage, I'd say other highlights have to be Lazy Oaf and Traffic People on the ground floor... Always good fun to be had. Food-wise, I'd say that C'est Ici is pretty nice. Especially if you're a cake fiend. Their chocolate fondant is yummy-scrummy, and the candy cakes are immense; but have them with a big drink of water as they get very sickly very quickly. I'd recommend the blueberry ones. Also, the Ferrero Rocher milkshakes are gooooooood! (Can anyone tell I fell off the gluten-dairy-free bandwagon a few times this summer; much to the detriment of my digestive tract which is still punishing me for my misbehaviour, seeing as I'm actually allergic... Sigh.)

So, all in all, definitely worth checking out if you're Oxford Street way... Carnaby Street is just behind Liberty too, so you must also spend time in their haberdashery department; just in case you don't already, which obviously anyone with an ounce of sense must do on a regular basis... Right?! ;-D

Apologies, seriously, for remaining crap on the blogosphere front. Same excuses as ever. Work, course being horribly hard, etc. etc. Sorry! Will try to get better again soon! I have a few bits and pieces up my sleeve for this week and beyond, so... Woop! ;-D

Finally, a couple of outfit pictures from T-B and I's Kingly day...

Gosh, I really was wearing a lot of black and grey over the summer... Hmmmmm. Anyway. I was wearing: Hobbs grey nubby tweed jacket (borrowed from mother), grey Primark strappy top, black Motel lace back dress (turned around), Luella bag, grey Acne jeans (now sadly deceased...) and M&S sandals... Funnily enough, also swinging a Sam Greenberg bag containing an awesome turquoise 80s dress. Good times.

Right. Must go write essay.

Hugs! Xxxc

Friday, 16 October 2009

Puss in (Chelsea) Boots

Ok, so I've got an eensy weensy teeny weeny little bit behind on posting... Not that you haven't been well looked after by T-B! But he has a job, and therefore can't spend all of his life taking photos anymore. Sad times. I have been absent due to the fish-out-of-water feeling that comes with starting afresh on a completely new subject, in a completely new department, though admittedly at the same university. I am now at business school, and this is a far cry from the boat burials and church roofs of previous thought processes. Today's lecture was on Fordism and Scientific management. Yesterday's was on luck and risk. I'm enjoying it, but golly, by brain's getting a bit of a workout!

However, I decided it was high time I took up the reigns here again... And thus follows a very very late post following on from the one about the Romina Karamanea show from LFW! I thought I'd share with you the photoshoot T-B and I did in the afternoon after Claire left me to go swot up for her lawyer-ing exams! (In fact, t'was the same day as a couple of the photos in T-B's post of Borough were taken!)

We began at the BFI cocktail bar - a regular haunt - and progressed along the South Bank to Sawf-of-the-River and Borough. Enjoy!

Velveteen Rabbit In London

NEW HAIR!!! I had had my hair chopped between the fashion show and meeting up with T-B, so I was a *little bit* excited...

See! I *can* be quiet / sensible... Honest!

Sweet and innocent...

Killing the poor duck with my antics...


Gratuitous *Beautiful London* shot... The light was so amazing on Saturday!

Devil in the Detail... Me and my beeeeyooooooteeeeeeful Luella bag, bought in the sample sale I went to at the beginning of the summer (along with a number of other bloggers).

My favourite shot of the day... Preparing for the day I'll be a proper Sarf Lahndahner - i.e. when I've graduated and have a job and an abode. South of the River. OBV!

I was wearing: H&M lace and ribbon jacket, H&M charcoal tee, vintage belt, H&M skirt, H&M crushed velvet leggings, ToyWatch, vintage (mother-acquired) "Chelsea" boots and Luella black leather bag (just seen) and Slow Food Market (by the Southbank Centre) sack-bag.

I really am on a bit of a velvet kick at the moment... These leggings, some Topshop pieces, the spider on the front of my mother's angora jumper from the 80s I've, erm, borrowed:


Right... I'm supposed to be doing stats work. Oh the joys!

I'll be back soon... PROMISE!!!


Saturday, 10 October 2009

Brick Lane, a surprising outcome from a visit.

It's me, T-B, once more here with food and musings to accompany the lovely Cassie on fashion.

Today, intending to take lovely pictures of the Brick Lane curry festival, which I imagined would be full of Street food and glorious sights, sounds and smells, I set off with girlfriend in one hand and camera in the other. The day did not turn out as expected, but the discoveries more than make up for it.
Discoveries that included a curious skeleton.
And a head on the floor.

I thought it was a good sign that when we got to Brick Lane, this was one of the first streets coming off it that I noticed. Bacon Lane. A good sign for someone there for food

Street food was what I was hunting for, for which Brick Lane has a good reputation. I was specifically looking for a stall selling the special Green curry which was specially created for the Curry festival this year. However, while there were Japanese;

Middle Eastern

and Chinese
Vendors, I couldn't see any curry. This was about the time I realised that this festival may not be on the street but in the restaurants. So it was time to wander and find a Brick and Mortar place to eat.

And then we found something fully unexpected.

We saw this place, Story Deli Pizzas, where my attention was grabbed by the GIANT spinach based salad I saw someone eating, and the beautiful looking pizzas, so, while in London's home of curry, we (and by that I mean I) elected to have pizza.

Looking at the menu, it was one of those situations where you have 20 choices, and you want all 20, at once. But in the end we decided. I got the Chicken, Chorizo and Sweet Potato

While Becks got a 'La Scala', with spicy sausage and various other delights.
(Here I should probably note that they only used certified Organic produce and seemed like a very ethical establishment all around)
These pizzas were some of the thinnest I've ever had, heading more towards Filo than pizza dough. Crisp yet still chewy (Becks tried to eat hers in the New York slice fashion by bending it, sending shards flying). The toppings were also in perfect proportion, instead of Mozarella, I had Taleggio covering my pizza.
The pizzas didn't last long...
But it was one of those places where you came away feeling happily full but not stuffed and definitely keen to come back. Especially since the dinner plate sized pizzas were a steal at £12 each.

If you're around Brick Lane, definitely give this place a shot.
You can find it at Dray Walk off Brick Lane in Shoreditch