15.08.2018- Road Testing: The Duchess Gin & Tonic

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

With the arrival of summer, longer evenings and plenty of opportunities to make the most of the balmier weather, navigating a seemingly neverending series of drinks invites is one of the trickier aspects of this time of the year. For me, as a teetotaler, it can also be difficult to find non-alcoholic options which are fresh and fun- especially in terms of flavours. I’ve never really been into alcohol, and with a personality so heavily weighted towards becoming easily addicted to things, I’ve always been mindful of keeping my consumption balanced. To top it off, I’m really not a fan of how most alcohol tastes, which makes it even easier to not partake- win win really! With a firmly sober stance, I’ll often plump for a juice or lemonade, but recently I’ve encountered a new botanical blend which I’m well and truly converted to:

The Duchess is a uniquely blended virgin gin (made with re-distilled juniper berries) and tonic, created with aromatic botanic extracts including orange peel, all spice, cloves and cardamom, all of which combine to create a perfectly balanced palette pleaser. Crisp and refreshing, it’s full of flavour, and is ideal for getting experimental with too- whether that’s blending with some of your favourite fruit, cordials or flavoured molasses. For me, it’s been lovely to encounter something so versatile which doesn’t compromise on taste, and which lends itself wonderfully to any context too. Also, it probably goes without saying that I’m in love with the branding too, as well as the opportunity which it offers to get creative with my combinations- here I mixed it with lots of different fruit but can’t wait to try it with some other flavours (particularly blackberry!), as we ease into autumn. Whether you’re a teetotaler looking for a fresh fix of flavour, are the designated driver or looking for an easy all in one alternative to your regular drink of choice, I’d definitely recommend The Duchess as a fantastic, fuss-free option. 

What have you been road-testing recently?

*I was kindly provided with a product sample to review, but my opinions and impressions are 100% honest, as always. 

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

13.08.2018- Beauty Buys: Diptyque Florabellio Eau de Toilette

Monday, 13 August 2018

It's never really something which I've thought all that much about before, but this summer I've been switching up my daily perfumes, steering away from the classics which I would normally wear on a daily basis in favour of some more seasonally appropriate scents. Whilst my favourites from Chanel are ideal for the autumn and winter, they always feel a little bit heavy for this time of the year, especially with the temperatures having been so extreme of late. Step forward, a new favourite from Diptyque:

I sampled this Florabellio Eau de Toilette in store a little while ago, and went back to snap up a full sized bottle after payday last month- having been turned into a complete convert! I've been wearing it everyday since I picked it up, and the blend of fresh notes makes it ideal for the summer, including apple blossom and wild sea fennel. With apricot tones adding to the delicate blend, it's wonderfully light and fresh, as well as being brilliantly long-lasting- which has been much appreciated during the recent hot spell! As well as that, the bottle is absolutely beautiful, and so far I'm finding that a little spritz here and there goes a really long way, making it an ideal investment addition.

Have you switched up your signature scents this summer?

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

10.08.2018- On the Menu: Bao, Fitzrovia

Friday, 10 August 2018

It feels like it’s been ages since I’ve posted a foodie roundup on these pages, but a few weeks ago the perfect opportunity to try somewhere new cropped up. With Elodie in town, Hannah, Sophie, Michelle and I decamped after a sweltering day to Bao in Fitzrovia, a destination which well and truly ticked all of the right boxes, both in terms of the delicious dishes on offer, and the chance to have a good old natter amongst ourselves:

With so much good eating on the menu, it was tricky to narrow down what to have, but I opted for three freshly prepared buns: classic, confit and beef shortrib. Expertly prepared, each was a flavour sensation in its own right, melting in the mouth and leaving me wondering if I could order another round of the same! Other highlights on the table included chili langoustines and a fried bao (heaven!), as well as bone marrow rice. All in all, a dining destination which I’ve bookmarked for a return visit already. 

Have you eaten out anywhere exciting recently? 

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)
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