Monday, 30 January 2012

Shop n Sushi

Saturday wasn't all doom and gloom. I did manage a nice browse and some lovely lunch. Probably my favourite food and definitely one of my favourite ways of waiting, everything right in front of you, a help button in case you need a top up of anything. Bliss. It is also a very acceptable way of eating alone. The belt can hide a multitude of sins...

Soy, wasabi, help, water. chop sticks...tip. of. fingers.
Come. to. me
Off belt - hot chicken yaki soba (probably the only disappoint thing I ate...too oily)
Salmon and avocado hand roll. Get. in. my. mouth
This little magic wand turns red when you press  for help
The food, isn't actually going THAT fast
 Yo! Done
 I couldn't resist taking these as they struck me from inside the shop when walking by, not sure I'd be brave enough to rock a pair though...

 Percy was looking very swish in these shorts - I'm also a bit unsure what 'percy pig flavour' chocolate will taste like
We may be seeing this bag again in the blog...It was hard to not buy it and I have yet to rule out the purchase. I'm oh so tempted. If only they had the zipped one in stock. Oh how my day could have been different.
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#Fail #EPICFail

So, I had a pretty much train wreck of a day on Saturday. I decided to go to Westfield (west, not east) to collect my Michael Kors bag that has been held captive at the repair unit since mid December. It started off OK, I picked up a couple of pieces in the French Connection sale (although I did try on 12 items and only two were deemed worthy of a purchase). I then went to collect my bag.

The girl I have dealt with over email and phone was on holiday, however the other lady in the shop was very helpful and immediately pranced backstage (to the store room) to collect my estranged love one. An uncomfortable amount of time later she reappeared with a carrier bag, out of it...not my bag. So, back she went this time less of an uncomfortable amount she reappeared, this time with the correct bag. Phew. I was however slightly disappointed with the service, it took over a month (granted it was over Christmas), but I thought maybe the bag would have been cleaned/polished/buffed to a pristine condition for my troubles, it wasn't. Still worse was to come...

I may be completely overreacting here, but since when haven't you been able to pay for goods in Boots with part Advantage card points, part cash/card? I had a couple of smaller items and a 3 for 2 offer on haircare. I also have almost £15 in points (around the same amount of the two hair products). My items were scanned and I entered my Advantage Card. I then stated I wanted to pay with points and was told I didn't have enough, so I said I'd pay the rest on card. This is when the trouble started.

I literally said it was the strangest thing I've ever heard, why couldn't I part pay? He didn't know. His genius answer was to pay for two of the haircare products on card then the rest with my points....errrr slight's a 3 for 2 deal! WHY would I want to pay for something that would be free should I buy it together? He said if I purchased the other smaller items on card I would have enough points to pay for my 3 for 2. So that's what I did. When it came to buy the rest I was 8 points short and he refused for me to make up the 8p in cash. So stupid. When I pointed out you always could pay part and part another clerk butted in to say 'yeah about 10-15 years ago'. I was so enraged I didn't buy the things. Seriously, that is such a stupid rule.

I then continued shopping and was pretty knarked off. I even went as far as to pull Boots a dirty look as I walked by (mature). I decided to go into Debenhams to look for a camera case. The camera I got for Christmas really isn't in the best 'hands' residing in one of my running gloves acting as a make shift case. When in here there were some nice gifty bits...I thought this would be a pretty good pressie for a relative named Bill.

This is the moment where I turned around and felt my bag of French connection goodies be blocked in it's path by something...a vase. It teetered while all I could do was look in despair. My reflex was to block it's fall with my shoe. It did actually cushion it a bit. Not enough. It then swayed joyfully on the floor as it smashed into a million pieces. Great. I am 'that' person, thank god I wasn't out shopping with my Mum, she always used to say 'careful you don't smash anything' and my personal favourite...'you'll have to pay for that.'

I looked around helplessly as no store workers rushed over to assist. There were however some children running around (no, I didn't think about blaming them) and a parent who looked at me with a 'Judgey von Holier than thou' face. I was therefore reluctant to step away from my mess in case a) a child got hurt or b) Judgey thought I was bolting. Eventually I had to leave the mess. I picked up the two biggest bits of glass and took them to a nearby till point where three cashiers were having a merry old chat and not serving any customers. I presented them with my smashed produce and asked for a brush. One of the young attendees said he didn't have one but walked off. I followed him and retreated back to my mess. As I was trailing in his wake I asked if I should pay for the vase. Thankfully the answer was a casual 'no' as if this happens all the time. And here was me with the fear of god in me I was going to banned/penniless/shamed.

I thought I should take my sorry arse home after this, but I wanted some nice dinner and a bottle of champagne having just received a bonus at work. I went to M&S first as they usually have a decent selection, but no. Nothing that tickled my fancy. I then deduced in Morrisons they would be very reasonably priced. After trawling the wine aisle three times I couldn't see any champagne. My eyes were literally deceiving me. I asked an attendant and champagne is actually kept, in this particular Shepherds Bush branch of Morrisons...behind the cigarette counter. Classy. I went over there, the selection was tiny and the queue was enormous. Cue my leaving. Tesco Express on the way home would have to do.

Somehow on the way home from the station I managed to MISS Tesco express. How? I have no idea. It has surely been moved. Thus concludes my epic fail of a day.
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Friday, 27 January 2012

Oxo Bar and Brasserie

Although being in London for many years now there are a number of landmarks I have yet to get round to visiting. One of these was rectified yesterday when I went to the Oxo Tower for lunch. The bar and brasserie appears to be a part of Harvey Nichols, the champagne on arrival certainly didn't disappoint.

We were led through to the Brasserie, by some amazing force of nature the sun was gazing down through the floor to ceiling glass - end of January in London, amazing. Having a hankering for a good burger for days I was extremely happy to see a bacon, cheese, onion - all the lashings burger on the menu with triple cooked chips, you absolutely can't go wrong. What threw me however was the site of fish and chips with wasabi mayonnaise. It was the wasabi that made it so appealing.

The pull of the burger was all too much, luckily a dining companion opted for the fish and chips so I was able to lather my chips in the wasabi mayonnaise, which was likely the only disappointment - by far not enough heat for me. It really was a great way to spend a Thursday afternoon, with all the sun and enjoying the wine I couldn't resist a chocolate tart with nougatine ice cream and candied pears. The nougatine ice cream was better than the tart. I left in a very, very stuffed way.

Highly recommended for a late lunch when they have just gone past the rush, before the early evening drinkers arrive.
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Monday, 23 January 2012

Almost too good to eat...

The last of my Christmas chocolates (apart from the sneaky box of Lindor I found last night, it was my 'emergency' present in case I received something unexpectedly I had something to return the favour - but should I not receive anything unexpected it is mine all to enjoy...clever eh?)

I saved the best for last completely. Charbonnel et Walker is absolute heaven. I also had a dark truffle bar which barely saw it into the new year. These however I am savouring. 8 little bits of pure deliciousness I am going to try and ration to two a day.

They are almost too good to eat, gorgeous presentation box...

I said almost too good to eat right (gulp).

Oh and for ref, the nail polish is O.P.I dulce de leche.
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Sunday, 22 January 2012

Superhero by day, Superhero by night

Last night was Superhero fancy dress for a 30th birthday. Fancy dress is not something I've done aside from Halloween since leaving University, it has somewhat lost it's appeal (not that it had much then). However the bar in Covent Garden was a good one (classic 80's tunes and free flowing champagne) and I decided on a subtle outfit that could be easily covered up with a coat.

My secret identity? Clark Kent. Not superman, but his daytime guise. I already have the glasses so shirt on top of Superman top (technically pyjamas I already own...) and bright blue skinnes with knee high boots. Effortless, classy (as far as fancy dress goes) and season appropriate.

Luckily others made significantly more effort than me. It was a veritable wash of poly-blend acrylic and over shoe material boots...

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Not very Common

On Friday I was lucky enough to be invited to the House of Commons - I have never been inside any of Parliament before (I certainly haven't been invited to Lords...) and in all honesty I've only ever appreciated the building from a far - well maybe as close as Big Ben.

On walking in, the building is extremely cavernous. Almost a bit more how I would expect to see the Abbey, but not decked out. There is also an intricate stained glass window on the far wall. Unfortunately I am still getting to grips with my new camera...stain glass is not easy to shoot.

We were there for the passing of the Live Music Bill (making it easier for smaller more intimate venues to host live music without a lot of red tape - better for the fans, better for local business and better for nurturing up and coming British talent). We were treated to some live music by Daytona Lights and also a great spread of sandwiches and wine...House of Commons wine no less.

There was some serious wallpaper in the room, as well as a picture showing the room when in full swing.

After Commons we popped into the Red Lion, a gorgeous proper English pub with a very random crowd of after work drinkers, tourists and complete randoms. I even managed to acquire a bottle of Commons Sauvignon Blanc to take home...
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Wednesday, 18 January 2012


I hang my head in shame. I am a terrible slacker - no posts in two months = bad form. I am blaming Christmas and general December craziness. I am also by no means going to try and catch up on what's gone on. A couple of photo highlights will suffice.

On a high note a got a brand spanking mew amazing camera for Christmas. I did however think this would instantly make me into photographic did not. I'm trying my best at getting to grips with the settings however I have become strangely addicted to fish eye...Another revolution in my life is Instagram. Yes I may be late in adopting, but what I lose in speed I've made up for in commitment! It has replaced my regular camera on the new iPhone 4.

Not a believer in new years resolutions but I am intending to do better and keeping my life in order and blog up to date (two very separate things you understand.)

Cliff Richard is a standard feature in our household at Christmas time, who can resist a bit of Mistletoe and Wine

The duck to accompany the turkey...

One of my first forays into the world of Instagram! This is taken from inside Bafta

My amazing advent calendar, Lindor, bunnies and one the last day a chocolate Santa

Not a fan of Christmas pudding but THIS I love

Enjoying the unseasonably mild weather we were having in December

Ice skating in Brighton

Utilising the fish eye effect...badly

Organisation in the Carrie household for dinner

My presents all wrapped for the family with little critters poking out the top, who wouldn't want one of these?

It was love at first site, Jimmy Choo, sequins, peep toe everything about this is right.

Day trip to Brighton, the sun desperately trying to poke through the clouds

The family tree, fire on, it doesn't get cosier
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