Monday, 30 November 2009

This Christmas, Cozy Up By the Fire Place With Sexy Lace & Silk

You must be thinking to yourself...enough with the Holiday cheer already! Well, prepare yourselves, cuz I'm just getting started. I am just too excited about the Holiday season coming up. So I'm gonna cheer on, cheer on til Santa swoops into London town. So yeah, get used to it. And from the look of that title, it's gonna be a raunchy post.

The great thing about today's entry is that while everyone is telling you to bundle up and stay warm with loads of layers, wools and cashmere for the winter, I'm telling to get naked. That's right, you heard me, show some skin. Throw some logs into the fireplace, make yourself a warm cuppa tea, bake some Christmas cookies! And get naked! If that's what it takes to stay warm and cozy when it's unbearably frosty outside, then that's the way it's gotta be. So go ahead, dress down to your underwear and bra, and embrace the yummy silk and the sexy lace.

The lovely and talented British lingerie designers Alice & Astrid have created a series of exquisite, feminine, sexy and winter-friendly undergarment collections for us ladies who like to keep it hot & sexy in the winter time. 

The friendly and inviting boutique on Artesian Road, right off of Ledbury Road, in Notting Hill will take care of all those wintery chills. Just pop in for a visit and you will leave feeling warm, happy and ready to loose those extra layers!

Alice & Astrid, Artesian Road, Notting Hill

ps: Valentine's Day is around the corner...just keep that in mind;)

Friday, 27 November 2009

3 Things You Must Try This Holiday Season At Borough Market

There's something quite special and unique about Borough Market. First of all, there's breathing in all the wonderful scents of cheeses, baked breads and freshly roasted coffee and getting your nostrils all confused and perked up. Snacking and picking off sample trays from a random food stand when you're not even hungry. Standing in a mile-long queue for a sandwich containing some mysterious bird meat with lukewarm gravy and chunks of black pepper inside of it. Yeah, there's something quite special about Borough Market. No kidding though. I really love it. It's got some crazy quirks, and that's why it's in my good books.

Let me tell you this, though. Borough Market at Christmas time, is even special-er. Here are 3 things that make Borough Market a must-go-to destination during the Holiday season. So bundle up, time to go on an exotic Holiday field trip!  

Holiday treat # 1: The Thai Green and Red Curries. There's nothing like a little spice to make your Christmas extra exotic. Biiiig buckets o' curry, yummy yummy yummy!

Borough Market Green Curry

Borough Market Red Curry

Holiday treat # 2: The Ostrich Sandwich. The queue takes forever, but this is a delicacy you'll want to try at least once in your lifetime. So be patient, wait for your turn.

Borough Market Ostrich Sandwich

Holiday treat # 3: The mulled wine at BM is sweet and vicious. Again, this heavenly beverage is just the right amount of spices, cinnamon and alcohol. You'll sing hallelujas and hail marys all the way back home. Enjoy it with a brownie from the stand next door. If you're feeling particularly kooky, you might want to go for the good ol' dunk & eat combo. Brownie and warm wine! Yummmmmmy!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

And Also...For My American Readers

A Happy Turkey day to all of you!!! Enjoy the family, the friends, the food and let the good times roll!

xxx LZ

This Winter, Ecclecticize!

I've sort of been obsessed with fun bright pieces of jewelry lately, as you've probably noticed. Again, I guess I've probably been craving a little bit of colour in my life.

It's time for you to meet the latest addition to the jewelry scene, Spaniard jewelry and design sensation, Monica Vinader, whose majestic rings and other jewels alike are not only befitting of "Victorian" queens of Spain and England, but also bring the flavours of Mexico, Argentina and Marrakesh right to your fingertips thanks to a splashy selection of candy-coloured stones and perfectly-cut semi-precious drops of personality. 

When it's cold and snowy (more like rainy, yuck) outside, I say, it's all about the colours.

The above and below pieces are available now at the beautifully Christmas-decorated South Kensington Conran Shop, an always enjoyable Liberty's and at its much anticipated launch location (and for that keep your eyes peeled real wide!), the Harrods' Stone Bar!

I've recently been given a ring of hers as a present, and I must say that I'm having trouble putting it to rest at night. 

So enjoy it daytime and nighttime, with a pair of jeans or a dressy outfit! Mix and match and have fun with her pieces! The point is, ecclecticize!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Don't Grumble, Go to Whistles!

Below are some lyrics that can really make a gray London sky feel like a bright blue Caribbean one...Ring a bell, anyone?

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best...hey! 

Always look on the bright side of life, (pfhh, pfhh, pfhh, pfhh...that's supposed to be a whistle!) I watched the movie the other day. I was literally laughing my ass off. I was, how do you say in cool teen blog/fbook lingo...? ROTFLMAO...oh yeah.

And speaking of Whistles!!!!! is a picture snippet of the Suzie Herringbone Biker Coat (what a great name for a coat, really) I so long for from my favourite London shop, Whistles...Santa Claus, hear my wish, Santa Claus, hear my wish...

How cool is it, zesties??? I think it's goooorgeous. And it's perfect for a non-fashioney fashionista like myself. I love it. Well I love anything at Whistles, but I love this coat so so much, I might just go take a little peak at it this weekend...just one more time, for the hell of it.

And while I'm at there, I'd love to get my hands on that adorable little black dress that puts all the other LBDs to shame, and better yet, makes all the morning wardrobe troubles go away. Ah, Whistles LBD, you had me at "hello."

This latest obsession of mine, the Mesh Black Dress from Whistles, goes superbly well with the above coat, some opaque tights and ankle high patent leather booties as displayed above. The look is magnificent! And the fantastic thing can find Whistles in any Whistles shop obviously, at Selfridges and at Harrods! My go-to Whistles store is on Westbourne Grove, right next to the amazing Tom's Deli, surprise surprise.

Monday, 23 November 2009

It's a Wapper not a Whopper

No I'm not referring to the fast food sandwich we all know too well.

Haha, ew, gross

And no, I'm not referring to anything remotely close to anything relating to fast food either. I'm talking about a restaurant. Not a fast food restaurant (if that's not an oxymoron right there) just a restaurant. Well, not exactly just a restaurant...

The Wapping Project, Wapping, London

Ever been to a place that's a restaurant/gallery/bar/former hydraulic power plant all in one? No? Didn't think so...(ok fine, the Tate modern is also an abandoned power plant, but let's not talk about that today)...that's because the place I'm about to write about is an original _ meaning there is no place like it- not in London, not in the UK, not anywhere really.

The Wapping Project is a dramatic and compelling restaurant/gallery/bar/former hydraulic power plant in Wapping, East London. And if you've never heard of Wapping, it's probably because it's a land far far away...well far way from my land at least. For people working (ahem I mean living) in The City, or Shoreditchers and...Aldgaters (hey, that's a word, ok?), it's just a stone throw away really. Keep in mind that the fact that the word project is a part of the name doesn't necessarily mean that the work is unfinished, though some parts of it, including the gallery space, are a continuous work in progress. If you ask me, this wonderfully odd-looking industrial venue is a perfect work of art. The beauty of it is, you walk in, you soak in the beauty of the place with all its twisted water pipes, tall ceilings and gigantic columns, you sit down, you order from a fantastic looking menu, then you walk around, then you sit down again, then you eat something spectacular, then you gander around again to go somewhere dark, cool and mysterious to see some dark, cool and mysterious art, and then you stroll back to your table to eat some even more spectacular dessert. All in all, it's a pretty special experience.

You may be incredibly confused by my incredibly convoluted description, so I recommend you just check out the place. Each room is more surprising than the next, and each dish is more exciting than the other. Go on, live a little! Get out of your London shell! Go to Wapping! Click here to book a table via OpenTable.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Kabiri, Time For Some Christmas Cheery!

Kabiri, Marylebone High Street

Meet my new crush in the the jewelry department, Kabiri, the coolest jewellery store on the planet. Well in London at least. This gem of a place, located on Marylebone High Street, features some of the hottest new emerging jewelry designers in the UK. Most of them are indeed British and that's why this, my dear friends, is a truly zesty post. 

Check out these uniquely inventive pieces. You'll salivate over them, you'll die to get your paws on them, you won't even be able to shake them!

This Marni-esque necklace is a great accessory to go with a deep plunging neckline!

A gorgeous ring to complement that tanned skin of yours on your December getaway to...St Barths? Yeah, wishful thinking...


The adorable Mini Girl by Ginette NY!

This bear ring is my favourite! It is so masculine and fantastic! It even has a paw imprint on this inside!

The itsy bitsy spider is crawling up your chest!

If you're still drumming your fingernails on your desk and wondering what on earth you'll be getting your mum, your girlfriend or even your boyfriend for Christmas (yes, yes you read right, Kabiri sells men's stuff as well!), you know where to go for your holiday shopping! Prices range from £80 to £2000. There is something there for everyone. This is a special spot on a special street in a special neighborhood. Time for some Christmas shopping! Hint hint, my special friends, you know who you are, if you're feeling particularly generous this season, and want to give your special blogger friend a special present, the present gods will smile back at you!

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Fancy a Snog?

No I'm not trying to come on to you whoever you are...though I'm sure you're very a fine looking person. And yes, I know, the title of my post is a bit misleading. But let me make this clear I'm not talking about snogging in the way that the urban dictionary would: "Verb: to interface passionately with another being, creating a field of physical obsession and focused arousal, and centered on the lips, mouth and tongue." What the hell are they talking about???? Are the writers of this site on crack? How on earth did they come up with this absurd definition? "creating a field of physical obsession and focused arousal?" What? What the hell is focused arousal anyhow? Who says that?

Anyways, no, my entry is not about sex, sorry kids. I am referring to food, yet again. More specifically frozen yoghurt, a trend well-known to my fellow Americans but not as much by my newly acquired friends here in London. By Snog, I am referring to the delicious and uber-trendy frozen yoghurt place in South Kensington, Soho and Westfield.
Snog is a delightful place, selling delightful "healthy" (we'll see) frozen yoghurt made from all-good  and delightful stuff, with almost no calories. Just like a tic-tac! Grab some green tea or original flavoured yoghurt, and top it off with some Nestle choc chips, fresh fruits or granola! Don't mock the tone. Instead, check out the health benefits below.

I think it says it all. Pinkberry started it all in the States. Snog is just another "Healthy" Frozen Yoghurt chain trying to make it in the UK. But it's good. It's really good. Give it a go, give it a snog, it's truly sensational!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Here Kitty Kitty...

If you're on to keep your eyes open when you're walking down the street, or one to check others out in a bar (I do it...come on now, I know you do too), or simply one to enjoy flipping through the pages of a fashion magazine, you'll probably have noticed this incredible crush London women, myself included (and thousands more) have developed on leopard prints. I find it incredibly odd and a bit disconcerting how a trend can appear out of nowhere to become an uber-"it" item only to disappear shortly after, leaving the fashion spotlight almost as fast as it arrived. 

Grrr, sexy kitty

Unfortunately (and fortunately, depends on how you see it) I happen to be exactly that person described above. Guilty as charged. Give me any opportunity to wear something today that I used to dress up in as a little girl, and I'm game. Hey, why the hell not? My point of view is this: Leopard prints can look incredibly, well, slutty. You just have to make sure you pair up anything leopard with something sweet and demure. Something simple and classy. And that's no easy task, trust me. Here's an example of what not to do...

Miss Paris, there are too many things going on here. Leave the "slogan t-shirts"  and the animal-skin bags at home if you're gonna be sporting the leopard.

Here are 3 leopard print items that I've either acquired or dreamed of acquiring that I'm pretty sure will be earning you some winks, and not stare-downs.

Number 1: My fave gloves of all time, given to me as a present, straight off the shelves of H&M. A perfect accessory to an all-black outfit. Side note: please go easy on mixing leopard prints with other crowded pieces of clothing like our friend Paris above. If you do feel like mixing and matching, stripes tend to work quite well. Most important rule of all, make sure the gloves make the outfit and not the other way around.

Number 2: dear Christopher Kane, you are an evil man. An evil evil man. Why would do this to me? Give me a break, £400 for a scarf???! This one an only scarf by the cool new British designer Christopher Kane, available in orange and yellow as well as in brown and yellow at the awesome and absurdly unaffordable Matches (Notting Hill, South Molton Street etc.), is the biggest and most cruel object of my desire. I will not linger on the subject as I get furiously angry at the thought of never being able to make it mine. Well, at least, let me show it to you...

Number 3: Thank you thank you Maje Paris for opening a store on Sloane Street (right next to Sandro Paris ) and continuing to offer rock n' chic combinations of outfits and styles for us gals who can't afford the high end stuff but need to feel special by avoiding the high street look. If you haven't gone already, go have a look, it's a great addition to the fashion scene in London. The store offers a sumptuous leopard print coat that you'll drool all over once you set eyes on it. Enjoy the leopards girls! Cuz if you don't don't go for them now, they will pounce before you know it!

ps: just for cute is this fur hat form Topshop???

Friday, 13 November 2009

Sit Down, Relax, Enjoy Your Chair

I never thought I'd say this but I want to thank the London Bus Company for making my life a lot more enjoyable. Also, I want to thank them for taking me places and showing me London in a way I never thought I could. Believe it or not I've discovered a multitude of places, just by sitting on the top tier of that big red bus, sometimes at the very front, my nose stuck to the front window, taking in all sorts of awesome new sights. I love the bus. There I said it. No shame in that, it's not like I've got the luxury of a car, a vespa or a least not yet. So I take what I'm given. I guess you could say I've been blessed with the numerous possibilities of public transport and I am embracing them with arms wide open. Except for the always tardy circle line, the never reliable district line and the occasionally annoying central line (have I covered them all?), I happen to be relatively accepting of the underground system. But yes, I do prefer the bus, now an increasingly important tool in my blogging research.

The Cupcake Company, Kensington Church Street

The other day, on the bus, I was delighted to let my eyes wonder towards the latest addition to the cupcake
trend in London, right there, 5 minutes away from my flat, on the adorable Kensington Church Street, the one and only Cupcake Company. This little jewel-like cupcake shop releases amazing American scents and flavors of frosting, sugar, creamy vanillas and chocolates all the way down to Notting Hill Gate station. You can smell it from a mile away. Eventhough all I can smell is danger...trying to stay away, trying to stay away.

Much to my delight, a fantastic furniture and chair shop also located on Kensington Church Street has made its way onto my blogging radar. Jimmie Martin's crazy, kooky, rock n' roll Union Jack chairs, and delirious and extravagant sofas are to die for and must not be missed. His unique and playful collection of chairs and sofas plays on antique 18th century royal designs mixed with Brit pop culture imagery, such as the Queen of England's famous portrait, an english Bulldog and dachsund, or the most popular one of all, the splendid Union Jack- making for an eclectic, modern and original selection of upolstered furniture. Not that this concept is at all revolutionary, but it shows no pretense of conveying anything else either. His gallery is worth checking out for it is a true London gem!

Jimmie Martin's Famous Union Jack Chair

Thursday, 12 November 2009

A Little Bit of Poetry in My Life

I was an English Major in college, studying everything from Shakespeare, Austen and Faulkner, to Hemingway, Melville and Roth. I loved reading English and American authors back then. And I still do. My first class at my American university, and most detested class at that, was a mandatory requirement taught by this stringent witch-like old lady who made Yeats, Keats and Lord Byron sound like grumpy frumpy mathematicians- taking apart every verse and paragraph like a calculator.

Haha, seriously???
Now let me make this clear: I hate maths. Absolutely loathe maths. Never been good at them, and never will. So when the first course I took from my English curriculum made me make a double-take at my class schedule, I started to wonder why I'd ever taken up English as my major, especially when it was, back then, a huge handicap for me language-wise.

John Keats, 1795-1821

Then after a while, I understood why. These authors enabled me to escape from my American yet Euro-centric college experience. They made me fantasize about what it would have been like to live in these times. 19th Century England with Austen, 16th Century England with Shakes, 20th Century war-times in America, France and Spain with Hemingway...I could go on. They made me love the English language. After a while, I grew more and more curious of American literature and eventually, my love and admiration for English literature ensued.

Now, I am able to say with assurance that my move to London was in big part due to my curiosity for the English Albion and the romanticized and poetic England that I had come to grow so fond of through English literature studies. I was in need of a little poetry in my life I suppose. A little bit of Europeanness without reverting back to my European French roots.

John Keat's House, Hampstead, London

During a "trip" to Hampstead from my little nook in Notting Hill, I was thrilled to discover my favorite poet's house. An Ode to A Nightingale was by far my most cherished literary discovery back in my college years. By gazing at John Keat's house from a hidden street corner and leaning in gently through the tree branches, I was able to see the little garden gem he wrote this poem in. It is such a lovely sight. And not only is the garden a sight to see, but the adorable rooms inside the house also give you a glimpse of his romantic engagement to his lover and wife Fanny Brawne, as well as the tragic ending to his short life in a fight against tuberculosis. All in all, it is a splendid and memorable visit, one you will keep in your hearts, so long as your poetic side allows it.


Wednesday, 11 November 2009

A Neighborhood of Hidden Yummy Treasures

My Notting Hill and West London friends are gonna kill me once they find out what I'm about to say... but I've gotta lay it out there...I've gotta just come out and say it. I've been falling in love with a different neighborhood than my own lately. It's been a serious crush, really. I'm talking about the cool, short-of-being-as-hip-as-Shoreditch, but raising-the-bar-in- comparison-to-Islington (sorry Islingtonites), awesome indutrial neighborhood of Farringdon. I know I know, most of you are thinking...who is this girl? Is she some sort of alien who's just landed on planet earth or something? Farringdon has been around for the cool kids long before she (I) landed here! Yes, I know, I'm a little late in the game and I guess I kind of am some sort of alien. But hey, at least, I'm psyched.


I'm really psyched about Farringdon, my latest zesty discovery. And that's not only because it houses one of the most delirious and decadent places in all of London called Volupte Lounge (find more info in previous entry), but also because it is the home of 3 of London's most sought out yet underrated restaurants. And as you've probably figured it out by now, I'm pretty obsessed with restaurants... being a closet fat kid and all...

St Johns, Farringdon

The first one of these joints being (its sister restaurant is located in Spittalfields): St Johns . St Johns, on St Johns Street, is a truly cooky place. To prove to you just how cooky it is, I've decided to paste the description they've put up on their site just for giggles: St John Restaurant is a restaurant in London that is a London Restaurant. Saint John Restaurant also has another Restaurant called St John Bread and Wine, you could also call it Saint John Bread and Wine. These are both located in London, i.e. London in the United Kingdom, UK, England, Britain. St John Restaurant and St John Bread and Wine offer good food as they are a restaurant in London. St John Restaurant is located in Smithfield in London, this is next to farringdon, but Londoners call it Smithfield, because it is really Smithfield, not Farringdon. St John Bread and Wine is located in Spitalfields, thats strange - Smithfield and Spitalfields - they both are in London and have restaurants near there and the end in field! 

Anyways it goes on...I could continue, but you'd probably start browsing elsewhere...if you haven't done so already.

The Modern Pantry, London

The second one being: The Modern Pantry. This adorable restaurant will give your mumbling tummy goosebumps you won't even forget. Check them out online and book a table immediately for Saturday or Sunday brunch, dinner with the girls or a romantic date out on the town with the BF. Man, I'm salivating just writing about it. If you're not quite there yet, read this description the guys at Modern Pantry used to excite your palate! Modern comes from the Latin term modernus; pertaining to, or characteristic of the current period. It conjures up the excitement of something new, fresh and original. Pantry comes from the Latin word panis, meaning bread. A pantry is a cupboard or room which house the necessity of life...Together, these two words embody The Modern Pantry's philosophy: the desire to please and excite the palate by fusing everyday cooking with modern ingredients.


The Quality Chop House, Farringdon

The third and last but not least one being: The Quality Chop House: The steak tartare at this quirky restaurant is glorious and so are the other meats, veggies and British pies. And, the decor appears to be straight out of a movie set from a 19th century butcher shop....eery! For a little taste of their motto: The Quality Chop House is one of the rare survivor's of late nineteenth century working-class chop houses. London's literati and epicureans would meet and enjoy a plate of meat, bread and half a pint of ale for the modest sum of six pence. 

So go enjoy Farrgindon's delicious treasures! Then come back here and tell me how much you enjoyed them!