LDNshopaholic

Fashion and Lifestyle Blog based in London Town

Travels: Hastings

Hi all! Following some technical difficulties, ready to share is a fabulous trip which the OH and I went on to the coast to enjoy the sea air and recommended antique shops earlier this year.

We stayed in a lovely Victorian styled Bed and Breakfast called St Benedicts in St Leonards town. The decor was incredibly true to the time as you may have discovered following my Instagram feed and the breakfast was a lush spread including traditional Victorian kedgeree (not to be missed!).

victorian bath

victorian attic room

Victorian Breakfast

victorian orangery

st benedicts

Then there’s the lovely pebble beaches of the South-East; the sun came out and it was absolutely beautiful!

st leonards beach

Now it’s time to get down to business with the shopping on offer! As mentioned, Hastings is renowned for it’s numerous antique, vintage and junk shops.

Firstly, A.G. Hendy Home Store, 36 High Street, Old Hastings. This is an incredible three storey shop. Full of either vintage or vintage style items, it looks like a museum but almost every thing is available to purchase! A little pricey compared to other shops in Hastings as everything is so beautifully displayed with no need to rummage. They also offer lunches in their unique kitchen and courtyard on Saturday’s – definitely worth a look and do book in advance in the busy holiday season!

Home Store Hastings 4

Home Store Hastings 3

Home Store Hastings 2

Home Store Hastings 1
I found this amazing vintage leather jacket in Courthouse Street’s The Yard, a real emporium of goodies with multiple sellers where you can find almost anything, from a garden bench to gorgeous antique jewels. Obviously – my OH Geoff couldn’t understand my fascination with this 80′s batwing brown number, but I love it and got it for a bargain £20!

brown leather OOTDOOTD: Shoes – Russell and Bromley, Jeans – Topshop Jamie, Jumper – Primark Men’s, Bag Mulberry, Jacket – Vintage (as mentioned above)

For some real jumbling, we stumbled upon the Spring sale at Old Hastings Village Hall. This was mainly junk – but there were some great Indian silk pyjamas and old books floating around. The best part was the 70p tea and Victoria sponge cake, being a Londoner I literally can’t remember the last time I got anything that cheap!

village hallIn St Leonards, check out Norman Road for some great antiques as well as tea rooms (particularly Michala’s Cute Cakes!). For more great shopping in Hastings check out this blog post from Take Courage, such beautiful photos and I happened to visit every shop on the list!

What did you do for the bank holiday? Tweet me @LDNshopaholic or leave me a comment below!

Pancake Party

Happy Pancake Day everyone! It’s my favourite day of the year and to celebrate our housewarming and engagement – we threw a bit of a #PancakeParty! It was bring your own toppings with a few specials provided by us.

Here’s some pancake inspiration for you:Pancake MenuThe Menu

Giant Nutella Fun!

The Giant 5kg Nutella

Nutella again!

The Reactions – AH!

Wow!

Oh!

Nutella PancakeSimply Yum!

How will you be celebrating pancake day? And what’s your favourite pancake topping?! Expect more pancake photos on my Instagram later today!

Lots of pancake love,

LDNshopaholic xx

London Fashion Week A/W ’14

Shopaholics, another London Fashion Week has been and gone! What a fabulous few days it has been and to round up here are my #fashweekfavourites:

Neon Brights at Pilotto: What’s not to love about a splash of colour for Autumn/Winter, we’ll be ditching the navy and grey for the occasional neon flash.lfw pilotto

Reveal and Conceal at Burberry:  It was all about the layering at Burberry, we saw painted macs alongside piles of scarves. Hidden underneath, a simple but beautiful sheath of lace. Climaxing with that monogrammed blanket on Cara herself – who hasn’t got a Burberry blanket on their wishlist? What a show!Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 22.56.45 Burberry Prorsum: Runway - London Fashion Week AW14

Dainty Ladies at Erdem: It was all very lady like at Erdem with a real focus on detailing from intricate cut outs to delicate embellishment. A dainty delight.erdem lfw

Macho Tailoring at Paul Smith: From the dressing gown, to long oversized coat – the androgynous look is timeless, wearable and stylish. I’m predicting this look will be a real hit on the high street this Autumn/Winter.lfw paul smith

Boho Chic at Temperley: It was all romance on Temperley’s catwalk. The show took us around the world from Pacific tribal prints to Hungarian style embroidery.LFW temperley

Sparkly dresses at Julien Macdonald: Fashion week got a touch of glamour with Macdonald’s show featuring one sparkling gown after another. Edgy no, classic yes!lfw julien macdonald

70′s vibes at Lucas Nascimento: Nascimento combined our favourite Christmas colours into a suitable collection for A/W ’14. Contrasting long loose trouser pieces with oversized but sharply tailored jackets for a beautifully balanced partnership.Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 22.38.37

Do you see yourself wearing any of these trends this Autumn/Winter? And what were your favourite fashion week looks?

LDNshopaholic xxx

Trendwatch: Serengeti Style

Hello Shopaholics,

I was absolutely enamoured with this photo shoot in The Evening Standard Magazine and simply had to share! It’s my dream to go on Safari as I’m a bit of a nature buff (and look at these safari chic outfits!) but the closest I’ve got is The Lion Park (see my South Africa blog post here).

When stumbling across these photos on my tube journey home, I felt like I had been swept away to the plains of Africa. It all came to a sudden stop when I stepped in a puddle of reality.Kenya-fashion-4-2 Kenya-fashion-5-2

Kenya-fashion-3

Kenya-fashion-1

What’s your dream destination and would you style your outfits to match?

LDNshopaholic xxx

Shop: Best of the Sales!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope the #UKStorm hasn’t taken too much of a toll on your day. I’ve spent my first proper Christmas with my boyfriend’s family and we’ve had a great time! From present unwrapping to turkey dinner right up to the Downton Abbey Christmas Special with leftover turkey sandwiches!

Christmas Tree

After spoiling my loved ones I feel like it’s time to spoil myself – so I’ve had a bit of a sale shopping spree!

From Topshop… topshop sale 2013

Embellished Skater Dress (was £85 now £40), Fluffy Crop Jumper (was £34 now £20), Mohair Overcoat (was £200 now £90) and Venus Ballet Shoes (was £18 now £8)

From ASOS…asos sale 2013 Leather Look Gold Tee (was £40 now £20) and City Print Shift Dress (was £40 now £20)

And in my little dream world I’m on the look out for a work bag as I’m starting a new job in the New Year… and I’ve been eyeing up these Marc Jacobs beauties:Marc Jacobs Wishlist(L-R) Goodbye Colombus (was £518 now £362), The 1984 Leather Satchel (was £1,065 now £745) and Too Hot to Handle (was £430 now £301) – which would you choose?! It’s my birthday coming up so I’m dropping some hints to the other half!

What have you got your eye on in the sales?

LDNshopaholic xxx

Restaurant: Tozi, Victoria

Like anyone else out there, I’m a sucker for a good Italian restaurant. Ashamedly on my tight London budget (where food comes fourth to clothes, make up and the now mortgage!) I tend to visit Pizza Express or Zizzi using the lovely VoucherCodes app to find 2 for 1 bargains!

However this weekend,  I visited a real Italian in the form of Tozi Restaurant in Victoria for friend and fellow blogger Jo‘s birthday bash:

tozi outside

The Venetian-Italian restaurant specialises in Cicchetti (imagine Italian tapas!), and we had no less than 15 different dishes arrive at our table throughout the party.

It all began with bread baskets alongside cheese and meat boards:tozi meat and cheese board

This was followed by a range of salads, courgette fries, pizza breads, Calamari, Goats Cheese, a selection of pastas, pork belly, roast chicken and swordfish…. too many to list!tozi salad

Jo had booked us the 18 seater table, and there was quite the turn out:tozi party

As everyone got to try a bit of everything it made for a fabulous group experience. My favourite had to be the ravioli, which was melt in my mouth scrumptious!

tozi ravioli

The restaurant doubles up as a bar and serves all kinds of lovely wines and cocktails, which only added to the party atmosphere.

tozi interior

The service, was also impeccable with our water glasses as well topped up as our wine (always a good sign in my eyes!). The menu is great value considering the quality and experience, so I’d definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a nice Italian restaurant in Central London.

I think it would be particularly good for any Christmas parties, a fabulous collective dining experience, something a little different (but those who want one could order the roast chicken or rib of beef!). For parties of 10+ there’s an option from £29 per head, and they’ve even got a Festive menu which includes roasted Venison and selection of deserts for £40 per head.

What’s your favourite London Italian restaurant?

LDNshopaholic xxx

N.B. Photos taken from Tozi website gallery 

Salon: Ministry of Waxing, Islington

Hello fellow Shopaholics,

I was lucky enough to be invited down to the launch of the snazzy new Ministry of Waxing salon in Islington. My prior experience has been at their stunning Covent Garden salon, where I have an eyelash package with their sister brand BrowHaus (also a must visit).

It must be the most outrageous salon I’ve ever encountered… inspired by the likes of Doctor Who with a Laser Quest twist…. wondering what on earth I’m talking about? Check out the photos below:

ministry of waxing islington

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ministry of waxing beauty roomMinistry of Waxing really pride themselves on their innovative waxes which are as close to pain-free as possible, whilst being extremely hygienic with no double dipping. Every waxee (did I just coin the term?!) also gets their own hygiene pack to use before their experience begins.

There were some fabulous cocktails which morphed the salon into a pop up bar for the night:cocktails ministry of waxingministry of waxing launch

I also had the pleasure of being interviewed by the lovely Ashley James for Clothes Show TV (I was a little starstruck!), you can check out the video here.

ldnshopaholic ashley james

You can find the Islington branch of Ministry of Waxing at 271 Upper Street Islington London.

To make an appointment contact: 02072261225 or via Twitter @ministrywaxing.

Have you visited Ministry of Waxing before? What’s your favourite wax flavour?

LDNshopaholic xxx

N.B. Images taken from Ministry of Waxing Facebook page

Shop: Twinings (and a Parliamentary Afternoon Tea)

For those of you that know me well, you don’t want to see me on a morning when I haven’t had a cuppa. My favourite tea has to be the one and only Twinings English Breakfast, and whilst I was partaking in Open House London a couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon THE Twinings Shop!

twinings mosaic entrance

Cue ridiculous amounts of excitement and photo taking…. So much so that I forgot to take a photo of my OOTD in the Twinings shop! #firstworldproblems

Twinings London entrance

It’s been around since 1706, when the trend of drinking tea was just beginning and over the years they’ve developed an incredible range. Lady Grey is another favourite of mine, with hint of citrus; it’s the perfect black tea.

twinings tea selection

You can also book in for a tea tasting at their beautiful tea bar – I feel like it almost has a Japanese feel with the tiny cups and loose leaves.

twinings tea tasting

The Other Half and I had Afternoon Tea at the Houses of Parliament booked that afternoon. The tour was fascinating (£16.50) and the afternoon tea (£25) was scrumptious. Tea was served in the Pugin Room with a beautiful view of the river. The service was absolutely flawless, and yes they served Twinings English Breakfast Tea!

afternoon tea parliament

My Outfit accessorised by Big Ben:

big ben and me

Topshop Grey Tweed Jacket

Charity Shop Print Scarf

Vintage Beaded Necklace

Topshop Black Shoulder Pad Jumper

Topshop Jamie Jeans

Office Victoriana Boots

What’s your favourite London tea haunt? I’d love to know as my passion for tea is a close second to my love for shopping!

LDNshopaholic

xxx

 

Nails: Ciaté Colourfoil

Hello shopaholics,

Today I’ve got a review for you in the form of Ciaté’s Very Colourfoil Manicure in Wonderland (£18):IMG_4994

Inside the box you get: One Ciaté Paint Pot in Cream Soda , a little pot of Ciaté Glue with Brush and a range of colourfoils. My favourite has to be the gold holographic glitter…IMG_4986

The process is fairly simple: coat your nails in 2 coats of the Paint Pot (or any colour polish you fancy), wait for this to dry, then paint small sections of your nail with the glue provided – give it a few seconds to go from white to clear, place colourfoil colour side up on to nail and peel away leaving the metallic finish on your nail! Repeat the glue and foil process until your nails are covering in different coloured foil sections.

I thought the results I achieved were similar to on the packaging so I was pretty pleased:IMG_4972

It was a little bit hit and miss at first but overall quite a fun, easy process and I think it’s supposed to be a little messy in a grungy kind of way. Next time I’ll use a metallic polish to really set it off and perhaps use the same colour across all nails and see what kind of result that gives.

I think the look would be great for a night out as it’s pretty bold:

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Ciaté do a great job in creating some innovative nail products from the Caviar manicure to the Suede manicure. Find their website here.

What’s your favourite nail trend at the moment? And where do you find your inspiration?

LDNshopaholic xxx

Travels: Florence, Italy

A few weeks ago, I went on my jollies to the cultural capital, Florence so I thought I’d do another travels post, this time with a few in depth recommendations!

If you decide to visit, definitely get a guide book as there is so much to see – a good map is also a necessity as it’s easy to get lost! I’d recommend Lonely Planet Florence and Tuscany as I enjoy reading a bit about the surrounding areas and having the extra sections for some day trips.

The Sights

Florence Duomo (Cathedral)

duomo florence

Superb architecture all round and it’s definitely worth climbing the tower. Climbing the Duomo itself is also an experience, and a little higher. The view is much the same but you get a great view of the ceiling fresco.The Baptistery is a must see (below). €10

florence baptistery

Palazzo Vecchio

:palazzo vecchiochapel palazzo vecchio

Amazing De Medici house with architecture, art and frescos aplenty. Also check out the tower and battlements if you like climbing stairs! €10

Uffizi gallery:

uffizi gallery

Best gallery in Italy (and potentially Europe) for Renaissance Art. Do book in advance either on the website or by phone. We booked one day in advance after waiting in the queue for a while! Phone number: 055 294 883. Maybe save this for the end as nothing else is as good in comparison!! Allow 4-5 hours. Open late until 9.30 on Tuesdays. €15

Galileo Museum:

galileo museum

If you like science history and scientific objects. Quite fascinating – would be good for kids €9

Gucci Museum:

gucci museum

If you like fashion. Only €6 and has some quirky art too. Otherwise just hit the coffee shop for a nice cup of tea or coffee (with Gucci shaped sugar!) and some arty books.

Ponte Vecchio bridge:

ponte vecchio

ponte vecchio shops

cameo brooches

You will probably stumble upon this old picturesque bridge nr. Palazzo Vecchio. There are plenty of jewellery shops along the bridge selling all sorts from gemstones, antique pieces and cameo brooches.

Boboli gardens and Palazzo Pitti:

boboli gardens

Grand gardens but not as well kept as we expected so keep this as an optional extra. Would be nice for a picnic. They are in the grounds of florentine mansion Palazzo Pitti which also has lots of exhibits too. €10

For Food

Caffe Gilli:

canneloniPiazza della Republica. Nice for an evening drink we had a primo (first course) only as it was fairly pricey but very tasty and romantic too! Nice view of the square.

Best gelato ever at Vivoli:

gelato Via Isola delle Stinche (5 mins from Palazzo Vecchio) – we would have visited every day if we had found it earlier!

Best pizza at Gusta Pizza:gustapizzaVia Maggio #46 – very popular with tourists and locals. May have to queue to get in but well worth it. Dinner for two for €15! We went twice!

If you have time… then why not stop by the Tuscan hill town of Siena:

siena city tower

siena duomo

Here there’s is a seriously over the top Duomo. The Old Town Hall and horse racing square are also worth a visit. About 1 hr for Florence – makes a good day trip. (allow €20 per person for sightseeing)

Other tips: We didn’t have wifi in our cottage so I bought a €15 SIM card from phone network TIM which came in useful (to send you this email haha!) and have 3G/maps on the move. Just make sure they activate it and you have an unlocked phone!

Bring insect repellent and after bite cream as there were loads of hungry mosquitoes. Also bring waterproofs/umbrella for afternoon downpours. Lots of walking, so comfy shoes are also a must.

Have you been to Italy? Drop me any recommendations in a comment below – I love discovering new places to visit.

If you enjoyed this post you might like my other Travels posts: Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangkok, Johannesburg, Zanzibar and America.

LDNshopaholic xxx