If you’re on the hunt for a super sexy, Italian inspired scent for summer, Tom Ford’s Private Blends will knock your nose off.
Whilst Neroli Portofino is heavy and perfect for a hot summers evening, Sole Di Positano is the ultimate day time spritz with citrus notes and perfectly paired with a glass of rosé, and for those travelling light and in pairs, Costa Azzurra is the most incredible light and refreshing unisex scent that changes its notes with skin tone.
Lanzorote has received some bad rep over time, but do not be deceived by the prospect of grotty nightclubs and cheap eats. It might surprise you, but Lanzarote in the Canary Islands is turning into a rather upmarket destination. The black-beach island, with all-year round sun is the perfect spot for a family get away or an adults only relaxing week in the heat. Playa Blanca, a 20 minute drive from the airport has it all on offer; authentic restaurants, boat life, shops, black beaches and cocktail bars for the party-goers. For an adults only boutique hotel experience, book in at H10 White Suites, with an Ibizan inspired pool area, cocktails on tap and a great selection of cuisine...
Salmon always has the affiliation of being rather fancy and saved for dinner party purposes or special occasions. However, pre-judgement to one side, salmon is super healthy and BigFish Brand have made it so simple to cook. You store their salmon portions frozen, and simply place in the microwave fro 3-4 minutes until cooked through, poach or bake in the oven. It really is that simple. This pasta dish is perfect for any mid-week family dinner and makes the most of springs seasonal asparagus, which is currently available in pretty much any supermarket or at any Farmers Market. With very few processes, there's even little mess to clean up once you've finished slurping your pappardelle from your plate...
There are many misconceptions about Madeira cake. The first is that it originates from the Portuguese island of Madeira, and the second is that it contains Madeira wine. Neither of these statements are true. In fact, Madeira cake is very British, although it does have a strong connection to both Madeira and its wine. While it’s unclear exactly how long it’s been around for, one of its earliest known recipes was published in an English cookery book back in 1845
A victoria sponge has to be one of the first recipes I remember my mum teaching me. It was always a basic mix of the same amount of sugar, butter and flour and double the amount of eggs of the first numeric number in the g's of butter, sugar and flour. In recent years, I've always opted for a splash of milk to help to moisten the sponge and a dash of flavouring to add some depth to this mix. This recipe is the basic formula for any sponge cake and can played around with until your hearts content...
Three scrubs for perfect summer skin that won't break the bank!
Pulpe De Vie Tickle Me £14
Designed to "knockout your dead skin cells" this yellow tube of scrubby goodness is made from 5% fresh tomato & 17% blackcurrant leaf waters, 4% apricot kernels, 10% organic sunflower & 10% glycerine all sourced from and made in France.
This has to be one of my favourite dishes to whip up on a hot day. Anything with seafood reminds me of trips to the Balearic's as a child and trying fresh fish for the first time. I'm going to keep this post short and sweet as it's not a dish to mess around with.
I use one of two ways to rustle this dish up, pretty much depending on how much patience I have to cook, and also what we have in the kitchen. The most authentic way is to cook this obviously from scratch and I'll share my go-to recipe below, but the alternative is buy one of the packets of modules marinière that you pretty much empty into a sauce pan and heat up, or ping in the microwave for a few minutes, and then ladle of the top of a bowl of pasta.
Dinner where only the rich and famous go….
Water, water everywhere provides some of the best seafood in Europe. Indulge in a seven course tasting menu, paired with fine wines at Belmond Hotel Cipriani’s resident restaurant, Oro. Located at the tip of the Giudecca Island, the restaurant is just a short spectacular boat ride from St. Marks Square. With it’s calm atmosphere and sense of seclusion, the service is attentive and the food is some of the worlds best. The wine menu is somewhat overwhelming and replicates a catalogue, but with a sommelier on hand to help choose your wines, you’ll be sipping away on fine wines to match your food in no time. With a cocktail giving a nod to some of George Clooney’s favourites, make time before dinner to sit by their saltwater pool and sip on fizz with fresh fruit purees and a Moscow Mule that leaves you wanting more.
Women's Prize for Fiction celebrates outstanding fiction written by women from all over the world. To celebrate the shortlist, Bailey's has teamed up with the Biscuiteers who have recreated the book jackets of each of the six finalists novels in a sweet biscuit form, which look too good to eat.
It’s a known fact that if I don’t get my coffee first thing in the morning, I’m a grump. Steve’s not so fussed and will drink it if it’s made, but definitely won’t jump out of bed to make me one. For the past few years, my go to has to be an Italian Blend, strong but not too bitter. If needs must, I’m all over a cup of Nescafe’s Alta Rica, if instant coffee is the only thing in the cupboard - it’s our emergency back up.
Our flights threw our first few hours in Italy into limbo, and our first afternoon was a bit of a blur spent mostly catching up on the days sleep that we'd lost. The following morning, we open then balcony doors, and we're in Tuscan paradise, nothing but the rolling green hills of Italy and the villa used as Maximus's home in Ridley Scott's Gladiator in the far distance. The prospect of spending 4 days doing nothing more than relaxing in our soft robes, provided by Adler, slippers and swimwear is pretty welcoming...
The Caribbean islands are famous for their delicious rum based sponge cakes, rich in flavour and super moist. However, they're not one for the faint hearted, as they pack some rum and a half! I find this recipe creates a little too much syrup, but serve it on the side as you slice away the cake, as it adds an extra kick of rum and sweetness. Alternatively, save in a glass jar and serve with ice cream!...
Self named, but completely deserved, Clean Beauty Co have titled their new Babe Balm as their Hero product. This orange pot of vegan-friendly kokum butter, monoi, squalene, hibiscus, calendula and Brazilian pequi oil is designed to fix a multitude of sins. From dry elbows and ankles through to sun-damaged lips and dehydrated cuticles, Baby Balm is your one pot wonder skin emergency fixer, which also doubles up as a makeup remover and all over body moisturiser!
Something that I did learn from my peers, was the importance of looking after your skin, body and insides no matter how old you are. Whilst I'm not a massive gym-goer, I'm an advocate of living a well balanced life, and hitting the big 3-0 in a few months, this is definitely a mentality I'll to be taking forward.
It literally takes no energy other than a little research to get your skincare game into check. I have a few boxes to be ticked when it comes to what goes on my face, and ultimately it's down to texture and finish. My skin falls into the normal - oily category and moving into this time of the year it's definitely more oily/ shiny than normal, but can still feel a little dry, especially after a night of heavy makeup and powerful makeup removers before going to bed.
Here's another recipe I created for the most incredible foodie brand, BigFish Brand. They source and fillet beautiful salmon and trout form Scotland and Norway which is then delivered fresh to Grimsby. The brand boasts a wide range of flavours and products which you store in the freezer, ready for dinner.
The beauty with these delicious fillets of fish, is the fact that you can throw them in the microwave and they're ready in under 4 minutes, or you can bake and combine into your favourite recipe. This super simple Thai curry boasts a traditional recipe that just swaps out the chicken for salmon or trout!
I have no shame in telling you how much I love Charlotte Tilbury. Every product I've tried, I've loved and I'm sure every product I haven't tried, I'll love!
My first introduction to the brand was through my friend Dan, who at the time was working at Net-A-Porter. It had just come into stock - I think we're going back to around 2013 and he'd sent home Charlotte's K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Penelope Pink and a matching lip gloss, and this was only the beginning for my love of this brand...
With free golf lessons and etiquette golf classes for guests under the age of 12, this is the sophisticated Swiss destination for the whole family.
The hotel’s desire to encourage young golfers stems from a long association with golf: the Engadine, where the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz is located, is known as “The Golf Centre of the Alps” thanks, in part, to the creation of the hotel’s own 9-hole golf course in 1891, making it one of the oldest golf courses in Switzerland - and one of the highest in Europe at an altitude of almost 2000 metres...
The quest to find a recipe for the perfect gluten free sponge is an ongoing challenge for anyone living a gluten free diet or life with celiac disease. Adding as much moisture to the sponge as you can, with out letting it fall to pieces is the key to a great bake, and whilst this coffee and walnut cake recipe calls for all of the traditional ingredients needed for gluten free sponge, the addition of rapeseed oil ensures it's beautiful moist whilst holding it's form under the lashings of buttercream.
After arriving in my late 20's a couple of years back, my drive towards certain scents has changed, and the same can be said for my attention to skincare. I've always been a sucker for roses, they're the closest flower I can get to a peony all year round, but adding a little rose into your beauty regime is the perfect treat for your skin and even your senses!
I'll put my hands up and admit that I still don't put any moisturiser anywhere other than my face and hair, (supped up hair masks and coconut oil counts right?) unless I'm travelling somewhere at either end of the temperature scale. My work days are 16-hours-a-day and 7 days a week, so it's all of the essentials which make their way onto my beauty shelf. This post features just a few of my favourite beauty buys of the moment, that will help transform your skin ready for spring.
I have vague memories of a family holiday to the island before I’d even hit 10, we’d stayed in an all-inclusive, and I remember very little than being grumpy over sunburn and being forced into a children’s club that was 5 years below my age. 20 or so years later, I find myself laid on a bed somewhere in Sant Jose drinking champagne under the sun with friends celebrating their consecutive 30th’s after a night in Space. From club hopping and parties on the beach, through to hunting for jewels in Ibiza Old Town and yoga retreats dotted in the hills, this Island with a name for itself has to be hands down my favourite.