On our recent trip to Venice we made a trip to Burano, one of the Venice islands and definitely in my opinion the prettiest. When planning our trip to Venice I had come across pictures of Burano and I had to make sure we visited on our break. All the buildings are painted in bright colours and on a sunny day which it was when we visited it just absolutely shone in the sunshine, with the green water of the canals glistening. If you love your Instagram it is the perfect place to get the best Instagram pictures, a colourful paradise if you will.
We visited on a Friday early afternoon in May and it was pretty quiet, not too busy and a great way to spend the day. It’s a super relaxing island and a joy to see.
How To Get To Burano From Venice
We took the water bus vaporetto (Line 12 ) from Fondamente Nove to Burano. It takes about 45 mins and you can buy a ticket at the ticket stand before you board. If you want to visit Murano island also, then it is a couple of stops before Burano. I’d advise picking up a daily travel card and you can pop on the water bus throughout the day as you please and visit the islands. These were 20 Euro per person, otherwise you can buy single tickets for the water bus. Check out the water bus timetable here.
Places To See In Burano
Burano’s colourful houses are the main attractions and if you love taking photographs, you will be in your element. Burano is well known for it’s hand-crafted lace, as you will see from all the shops selling lace. There is also a lace museum you can visit, which tells the history of lace making in Burano, a craft kept alive by centuries by the wives of the fishermen waiting for their husbands to return from sea.
Each woman specialises in a single stitch, since there are seven stitches each piece is passed from woman to woman to finish. Groups of women work for days to produce items such as trims fror dresses, accessories and tablecloths. It’s the attention to detail that has lasted for centuries. There are plenty shops selling all sorts of things from masquerade masks to cute colourful Burano magnets and clothes.
Try The Bussolà Buranello Cookies
There are numerous bakeries on the island selling the Bussolà Buranello Cookies, which are made in Burano. In Venice you may see packs of these but in Burano if they aren’t packaged then you known they’ve made them fresh in the bakery. The cookies are easy to spot as they come in an ‘S’ shape. ‘Bussolà Buranello’ translates to ‘compass of Burano’ and goes back to when the women of the village would make these cookies for their husbands who would be out fishing at sea.
Burano is a fishing village and old tale suggests that’s why the houses were painted bright colours, so due to the fog they could see them from a long distance when they went out fishing. Each colour corresponded to a family, to their house and to their address. I tried one with chocolate chip, it has a thick butter like texture but is sweet too. Definitely worth a try.
Lunch At The Black Cat
There are plenty restaurants on Burano but one of the most famous is Trattoria Al Gatto Nero which serves up the best seafood on the island. We reserved a table for lunch and I am so glad we did as it was fully booked for the day. They had saved us a table outside and inside in case it was a nice day or we didn’t want to sit outside, which I thought was so lovely of them. The restaurant was very busy, but the food was worth the wait.
I ordered the sea bass which is one of the best I’d tasted and Danny (who is allergic to seafood) had the Spaghetti Bolognese which is the only none fish dish on the menu. I’d definitely recommend reserving a table here for lunch in Burano.
My current go-to hairstyle is beachy waves, it’s easy to achieve, quick to do and also perfect for summer. My hair is coloured and so when it comes to styling my hair I have to not only protect the colour but stop it from drying out from products or heat from my styling tools. Remember when salt spray was all the rage? I mean it’s still quite heavily used but it really had its phase at one point. I was victim to it, spraying it all over, little did I realise it was drying out my hair the more I used and was actually making my hair in worse condition.
Now I’ve put down the salt spray and I’ve recently discovered Paul Mitchell’s Neuro Liquid range which has been designed to withstand the heat (prevents thermal damage up to 86%) and protect the hair when styling. This range has really impressed me, my hair feels and looks in much better condition just from one use.
The science behind it? It’s formulated with HeatCTRL™ technology, a proven blend of proteins and silicones that activate with heat to help create a protective barrier against damage caused by daily styling, blow-drying and smoothing. I blow-dry my hair, straighten it and wave it, so I am more than guilty of subjecting it to heat damage. Without heat protection your hair can become dehydrated, which can make it appear dry, frizzy and unmanageable. I spend so much time trying to rehydrate my skin, that I genuinely don’t consider my hair and the damage I could be causing.
Well that’s all about to change, here is how I create my signature beach waves style using the Paul Mitchell Neuro Liquid range.
Firstly I wash my hair with the Neuro Liquid Shampoo and Conditioner. These are both lightweight and start the heat protection process. It’s safe for coloured hair and I personally find it leaves my hair feeling lovely and clean and smells nice too. The conditioner made my hair less tangled and easier to brush through before drying. There is also a conditioning treatment product which is an intensive repair for stressed out strands. The rich formula helps to smooth and condition dehydrated hair and the HEATCTRL™ technology reduces the rate of heat transfer when using styling tools. You can leave this on for anywhere between 5-10 minutes and then rinse off. One thing I noticed was my hair was incredibly shiny after using these.
Before drying the hair and to help add volume to the roots I add a pump of the Neuro Liquid Volume Foam. This unlike a mousse is so light to the touch and won’t weigh down the roots. I have fine hair so I hate anything sticky or heavy. This is perfect and helps add body, volume and a medium hold. You can apply this from roots to ends, I tend to apply it from roots to about mid-way as for the ends I use the Blowout Primer, which helps to protect the hair again from heat damage whilst blow-drying and keeps the hair smooth and glossy. I really liked this combination before drying my hair, it doesn’t feel weighed down and was easy to blow-dry quickly too.
After drying it’s time to get those beachy waves. I have naturally wavy hair but I always use a styler as I prefer the finish. The range pairs perfectly with the Paul Mitchell Neuro Unclipped Styling Rod. It has a long barrel rod which is helpful for longer hair like mine and heats up to 230 degrees in seconds. I do like my styling tool heat up high, I always feel I get a better result with my hair, so to protect it from this I spray the Paul Mitchell Neuro Liquid Hairspray on my hair in sections before I wave it. Don’t let the name hairspray put you off, this is a much lighter spray without any stickiness. It’s a fine mist and is great for holding in the waves, it also helps reduce humidity and blocks out frizz.
To set the style I use the Neuro Liquid Style Spray which helps set the waves. This really helped keep them in and they were still going well into the next day. To be honest I never really use a whole regime of the same products, but with these it really does benefit to use them all together. After styling Danny said my hair looked more volumised and healthy and I definitely agreed, it felt great running my hands through it and not dried out which it can often feel like after using heated tools.
Do you awe over bloggers Instagrams? Wonder how some influencers always get that perfect shot? Well sometimes it’s a great photo and sometimes it’s just a really good editing app.
If you fancy jazzing up your Instagram profile a little, I thought I’d share my favourite photo editing apps and how I use them to edit my images on Instagram and enhance my stories.
VSCO stands for Visual Supply Co, which doesn’t really mean anything but I thought I’d fill you in. This is probably my favourite photo editing app for Instagram and I sometimes use it for my blog images also. You can import your pictures from you camera roll or album and add filters (you can choose how much filter so a little to a lot) and also edit the picture, adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation (to make the colours pop), straighten it, crop it and go into more detail with shadows and highlights.
Its simple to have a play around with and you can also copy your edits you have made and paste them onto another picture if you liked the effect you done on the first. You can also save presets, which lets you save your edits quickly so you can use them again on new images. Personally for me every photo is so different so I tend to just edit them one by one. It also lets you create a profile and you can discover other creators images.
Facetune was designed for selfies, smoothing skin, whitening the eyes etc, but I actually use it for just normal images and mainly flatlays. How often have I took a picture on a white background and then it’s came out yellow toned. So I use the whiten tool on Facetune to whiten the background, it’s a game changer.
There is also a details tool which is great for any small details I want to bring out in the image and then the filters tool where I use the lighting option loads, it lets you make an image lighter, cooler, darker, there are so many options. If you do want to smooth skin or remove any blemishes then it’s great for that too, personally I do prefer the Photoshop Fix app for any skin smoothing as it looks much more natural.
Remember when Kim Kardashian kept sharing images on her stories of her dresses, but they were glittering in the light that it looked like diamonds? Well it took me awhile to jump on this bandwagon, mainly as I couldn’t work out what the app was! Finally I was in the club and I use it sometimes to make my sparkly items even sparklier.
It’s really easy to use, just take a picture or take one in the app and you can choose on the right hand top corner how much of a sparkle effect you want to add. It works for videos and photos and is a fun element for Instagram stories.
Snapseed is quite similar to VSCO in what it offers, but it has some extra features I really like. One is the selective tool, this lets you choose just a part of a photo you’d like to edit. So say I wanted the background to stay the same but an object to be brighter, I can select the object and then alter the brightness of just that object whilst the background remains the same.
With Snapseed you can play around with filters, brightness, colours, tints, warmth the list goes on. I like the drama tool, which has some great filters to alter an image. The best thing with Snapseed is just to have a practice with it, I’m still finding new things I never knew that it did.
Instagram now lets you resize an image on your stories, but if it’s landscape I don’t like the colour background it sometimes provides, if anyone knows how to change that let me know? So I like to use Resize For Story, it lets you resize any image so it fits for stories and you can choose what colour you want the background to be.
Tip – if you hold down on a photo on your Instagram stories whilst choosing the draw icon, you can choose what colour you want a background to be if you want to add text on the screen.
Have you got any great phone editing apps you use? You can follow me on Instagram @theldndiaries.
I’m all about creating a make-up base that glows, especially because I have dehydrated skin and therefore it can look dull and lack that glow. Ultimately creating a real skin glow comes down to being healthy and having a good skincare routine, but if like me you want to have an extra helping hand and to faux your glow, then I have two products just for you.
Paul & Joe have two illuminating products this Spring that I am loving using to achieve my glow.
The first is an illuminating foundation primer which is formulated with lavender pearl, lavender has a purple tinge to it and this comes out I’d say more pink. Now pink in colour correction is great for brightening skin and so this primer helps to give the skin a brightness and correct any dullness. It’s also lovely and moisturising and has Jojoba Seed Oil and Hyaluronic Acid to keep skin looking plumped.
Even though it’s moisturising and gives a glow, it weirdly has more of a matte feel on the skin, which is great as a make-up base. Something like Burberry Fresh Glow creates a similar glow, but is more radiant in the glow stakes so if you have oiler skin you could end up looking a little sweaty, whereas this I think would work for the majority of skin types. For me it works especially well, counter acting the dullness and keeping my skin moisturised at the same time.
It made my foundation stay on really well, especially when combined with the powder and was easy to apply with a beauty blender.
Secondly is the matching illuminating loose powder. If I use a powder, I love a translucent one and this really has converted me. I loved the way it set my face after foundation and worked so well alongside the primer. The powder isn’t heavy, it’s lovely and natural and you only need a small amount. It is infused with lavender pearls and pearl powder which reflect light to brighten the skins appearance. I often find powders can be quite dulling and this is the exact opposite, it gives my skin a brightened complexion. The puff is easy to use so that it blends into the skin, but I prefer just to use a brush with my powder. What’s great is you can buy a refill of the powder so you can save yourself £10 from not buying a new powder and just picking up a refill.
I really enjoyed using both of these and they gave my skin such a beautiful glow, plus I love the beautiful packaging.
Paul & joe Illuminating Foundation Primer £27 and Loose Powder £28 are available now at Beauty Bay & Feel Unique.
Redken Brews is the new one stop shop for men’s grooming. Coming off the back of the grooming boom and the increased popularity in men’s barbering Redken have created a dedicated line of products inspired by New York and classic barber shops.
It’s a huge range with three different categories; cleansers, styling and skincare. As you would expect from Redken the styling range is packed full of products, including two different pomades and a work hard styling paste, which is similar to my favourite Redken product, the 12 texture rough paste.
Here are my top picks from the Redken Brews Range.
Redken Brews Cleansers
Daily Shampoo £12.50 – Buy Now
The daily shampoo is one of those products that is great for men who use heavy-duty hair styling products. It’s definitely following the trend of the daily shampoos that many other brands have released over the last six months. It’s mid weight and smells quite nice and cleanses the hair well. It suggests it works on all hair types and I was test driving it before I went much shorter and worked well on mid length hair too.
Decent men’s barbers have been using mint shampoo’s for as long as I can remember going to barbers. Like the daily shampoo it’s designed for regular usage and cleans well but smells a little nicer. I can imagine quite a few guys picking this over the daily shampoo and an odd girlfriend stealing it as it cleans slightly better and importantly smells nicer.
There is also a 3 in 1 shampoo, conditioner and body wash. Yes a 3 in 1 for the ultimate lazy man, actually probably perfect for gym goers and if you are always in a rush. I tested it out a few times and it worked well in my hair, definitely won’t be replacing my shower gel but if you’re a busy person pretty sure you’d love it.
The wax pomade is really a hybrid for today’s hair styles. As it would suggest wax pomade is more of a classic pomade with the higher shine and stronger hold than just a wax. It’s strong and heavy-duty so a good shampoo is highly recommended, I have used the product a handful of times on shorter hair and I would say it’s something suited to mid length to longer length hair styles. I can see this product being popular with the longer men’s styles in currently.
Probably my favourite product out of the range. Although it suggests it’s a clay pomade, it’s texture and hold is more like a lighter clay which is a good thing. I tend to stay away from pomades and clays as I am thinning and they often tear your hair, especially when styling and washing. This Redken Clay Pomade is easy to come out and gives you re-workable hair throughout the day. Something I like about the Clay Pomade is the texture it gives to your hair without a pre styler and the hold it gives with a small amount of the product. I would buy this when I run out especially with my current messy textured hair style.
Work Hard is definitely a rework of the Redken 12 Rough Styling Paste, which is one of my favourite hair styling products. The difference appears to be how wet the Work Hard comes out of the container and how much hair product comes out. The Work Hard Paste is good for all types and lengths of hair, as it is a paste it is easy to use, it gives good texture to your hair and you can style many classic styles without it looking overly shiny or greasy. One thing that the Work Hard has in it’s favour is that it is durable and allows you to rework without losing it’s hold too much. Redken have suggested this is one of the most popular products and I am not surprised, I would probably still pick the Redken 12 Paste if to buy again but worth buying if you are getting any of the Redken Brews range.
Redken Brews Skincare
Shave Cream £15.00 – Buy Now
Redken Brews Shave Cream is one of the products I was most interested in test driving as I have sensitive skin and it is also suggested it is great for a close shave. The shave cream is a mix between a transparent cream and a shaving gel, it’s actually far more transparent than I was expecting and as a bearded man you can see where you are shaving and does provide a very clean shave and did reduce shaving friction and redness that I sometimes get from newer creams. This is actually similar to my favourite Kiehl’s Smooth Glider Precision Shave Lotion.
All in all if you are looking for good products at the mid-price range then Redken Brews is most likely for you.
We have all said it right? Is there anything easier than jeans a nice top. Whether you have to dress down for work, go out for a night out or just dinner with friends, there is always a need for jeans and a nice top.
This weather is more up and down than Brexit at the moment, so it’s the perfect time to opt for a nice top and a pair of your favourite jeans. Here are 15 of my picks for Spring/Summer.
1. River Island Yellow Cape Top £32 – Buy Now
2. MANGO Bow Tshirt £5.99 – Buy Now
If you are a regular follower of the blog you will know I love my afternoon tea and this month Harvey Nichols have launched Theatre Not Afternoon Tea, a new type of themed afternoon tea at the OXO Tower. The afternoon tea is an array of sweet treats and cocktails carefully paired with a theatrical theme, taking inspiration from some of London’s top West End productions.
I popped down or is that up to try out the new afternoon tea. The OXO Tower restaurant, bar and brasserie is located on the eighth floor of the OXO Tower on the Southbank, which gives you an ample view across the river. It’s lovely and light inside and has a great vibe, we went on a Sunday afternoon and there was a female singer performing. Theatre Not Afternoon Tea as it suggests is not your usual afternoon tea. There are no sandwiches and no savoury options, this is all about the sweetness and the alcohol, so if either of those are for you then you will love it.
The tea starts off with the Hamlet’s skkull and poison which is inspired by the Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, just a short walk away on the Southbank. This came out beautifully presented, it was definitely a wow moment. Served on a slate is a skull shot glass filled with a white chocolate skull and sour cherry parfait. I’m not a big fan of cherry but this actually didn’t have the usual obvious cherry taste and I really loved it. It was a light way to start the tea. Paired with the skull was a goblet of cider which I’m pretty sure had vodka in it, a strong way to start the afternoon.
I hadn’t finished my first cocktail before the main event arrived, again beautifully presented and they looked amazing. It was easy to see which musicals had inspired each design. You had Wicked which was a mint parfait and chocolate crisp in a witches hat design, Phantom of The Opera a rose and raspberry meringue tart, The Lion King a coconut and mango mousse and Matilda a honey and chocolate cake.
With each sweet was a mini cocktail which complimented it, the brandy espresso worked well with the chocolate cake and the passion fruit rum really made the passionfruit of the mousse flavours heightened. It was hard to choose a favourite but the chocolate cake was just so delicious, I actually wish I’d gone right to left and had the lighter cakes first as I was completely stuffed by the end of it. You can really see how much thought had gone into each design.
However I made room as to finish we had a pot of tea each, I went for fresh mint and also homemade gingerbread biscuits. We had the red heeled shoe and a bat, can you guess what they were from?
The experience doesn’t end there as you will also be given a box of chocolates to take home, six theatre treats, including Rum Truffle Tart inspired by the Rocky Horror Show and a Swan Macaroon inspired by Billy Elliot.
We had such a great afternoon trying this tea at the OXO Tower. The service was brilliant and the tea really is something a little bit special and so different from the usual afternoon teas. If you love cake and the theatre then you will love this. It could also be a great way to start a theatre break in London.
Theatre Not Afternoon Tea at the OXO Tower Brasserie is priced at £38 per person and £18 for the children’s menu. It’ s available Monday to Friday 3pm – 5pm and Saturday to Sunday 2pm – 4.30pm. Click here to book.
I haven’t done a hair update in a little while. It seems like there is a new hair launch every day of the week right now and I’ve been trying out lots of products over the past few months. I feel like I now have some my absolute favourites, the ones I reach to every time I do my hair and the ones I know work for my hair type, that don’t overload my thin hair and really do make a difference to my blow-drying and styling.
Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer
I dived into the world of the Dyson hairdryer last summer and I haven’t looked back. I use it all the time and my other hairdryers are just collecting dust somewhere. This one really is a game changer and when I done my Dyson hairdryer review it was still quite new to me but now after having it all this time, I really couldn’t do without it. My hair drying time is dramatically shorter, my hair is thin but I have lots of it so my hair take ages to dry, but not now. It’s in better condition than ever before, the dryer helps to prevent heat damage and I love how light it is so my hand doesn’t get heavy holding it up. It’s an expensive purchase but one I now can’t recommend enough.
label.m Boar Bristle Brush
Ever since I started using a boar bristle brush I have seen a massive change in the way I blow-dry my hair, it seems to grip easier and style smoother. I previously had a Richard Ward one and more recently I’ve been using label.m’s new brushes. The brushes combine 100% natural boar bristles with nylon bristles, which makes it feel so much nicer. I often find some bristles can feel plastic like and really tug at the hair, so the combination is much better. They also help to promote shiny and anti-static hair. The brushes come in various sizes, for me I use the large and also the extra-large if I want to try a create a bouncier blow-dry. I’m not the best at blow-drying my hair at all, but these brushes have made it so much easier and my hair has a better finish.
I’ve tried numerous oils for hair and I always go back to Moroccan Oil. I apply 1-2 pumps on my lengths and ends before I blow-dry. It helps to keep it smooth, look healthy and keep any stray aways at bay. I’ve had numerous small samples, but this bigger bottle is great as it has a pump so makes it easier to get the right amount without me using too much product which can weigh down my hair. The key ingredient to Moroccan Oil is Argan Oil which helps to hydrate and nourish the hair and linseed extract is a fatty acid and helps to improve the condition of the hair. I just love it.
label.m Dimond Dust Leave-In Conditioner
If I’m not using the oil, I tend to reach for label.m’s diamond dust leave-in conditioner. I was so intrigued by this product, like does it really contain diamond dust? Am I being really bouji every time I do my hair? Well according to label.m, yes it really does. It has a micro-diamond complex of real black diamonds and white diamonds, pearl dust, champagne and white rose petal and coconut oil. I apply this before I blow-dry and it makes it really easy to blow-dry, very manageable and feeling soft afterwards.
Cool Girl Hair By Sam McKnight
I first saw this product when my hairdresser James at George Northwood was using it on me to finish my style. It firstly smells amazing and then I was intrigued by the product line as I hadn’t heard of it before. Sam McKnight of course is a legendary hair stylist so to see he had a line of products was exciting. I decided to splurge on this and try it for myself at home. It’s ultimately a texturising spray and great for when I wear my hair wavy which is all the time at the moment. There are a few other products in the line, so one worth checking out.
Lee Stafford Chocolocks Gloss Boss
I’ve always been a fan of Lee Stafford products, aside from the fun packaging they constantly deliver. The Chocolocks range is similar to the coconut Coco Loco range, only this time it’s all about chocolate. The products actually smell like chocolate. I love the shampoo and conditioner in the range too, they always leave my hair feeling smooth and clean, however my favourite has been the Gloss Boss. I use this to finish my hair and add a spritz or two to the ends or spray it in the air and swish my hair through it. It adds a shine, a gorgeous chocolate smell and also stops it from looking a little dry if it is. It’s very lightweight and you don’t feel it in your hair at all. I hate being able to feel product in my hair, which is why I tend to use products before I dry my hair but with this I don’t need to worry about that at all.
Despite what some people say, we are incredibly blessed for restaurants in London, especially for carnivores like me. We have access to cuts and types of meats that we have never before and there are always new restaurants opening with a focus on steak, for instance butcher and restaurant Boxcar in Marylebone.
Here are my personal favourite steak restaurants in London that I always recommend.
MASH is a popular Danish steakhouse, yes the Danes know their meat, based in the Piccadilly area of Soho in London. The restaurant is based two floors down with a large bar as you enter and a classic American interior. Something else you might notice is the huge cuts of beef hanging in their display fridges between the bar and restaurant area, MASH always has the large cuts hanging there to entice you.
This is Paula and I’s favourite central spot for steak, they offer great sharing steaks, the Porterhouse is 1.3kg and you will always see groups ordering it. The steaks are served by weight and by different cuts so there usually is a steak for anyone. Something that makes MASH stand above others is they offer Paula’s favourite type of steak, the Japanese Wagyu and I’d say it is also a great choice for special occasions. I really enjoy the Uruguayan cuts and if you go there and are overwhelmed by choice the waiting staff are great at spending time and making recommendations. Look out for the sharing bread with the salted crust and the burger is definitely in my top burgers in London. Mash also pride themselves on their wine and cocktail selections.
Mark Hix has a good mix of restaurants in London. You will find HIX in Soho right opposite MASH Steak, so it is a good one if either is full. At HIX Soho you will find a mixture of dishes, seafood to steak and also a great cocktail bar downstairs, Mark’s Bar. Hixter Bankside again is a strong contender for a great steak but also the ‘cock’n’ bull’, a half chicken, half steak sandwich, which is a great lunchtime alternative to a steak and one of my favourites at lunchtime.
You might recognise Tramshed in Shoreditch from the giant Damien Hirst cow hanging from the ceiling. It has a similar menu to Hixter and offers either steak or chicken. Steaks are served in various cuts and just how you like it. A great place to go for the steak fans and chicken fans in one restaurant. If you like your roast dinner, a bit more steak like then also check out Hix Pharmacy 2 restaurant.
Smith and Wollensky
Based just off The Strand, Smith and Wollensky is definitely a go to if you like American sized portions, strong cocktails and sharing steaks. I would be incredibly impressed if you can finish two courses there, let alone a third. They offer a lucky dog bag if you would like to take your leftovers home (I know not very British). This is your American style steakhouse in London, so portions sizes are large, think 14oz and 21oz steaks. There are plenty of sides to choose from including my favourite the baked potato. Dessert is no lesser an alternative, with extremely giant cake sizes. All in all you really should come here hungry.
I’ve heard their weekend brunch is also supposed to be equally as impressive, so I will have to try that next.
The Grill At The Dorchester Hotel
Probably not somewhere that you would think about straight away for a steak however it is one of the best steaks I’ve had in London. The Grill has incredible service and is somewhere you will be impressed by. The hotel is very grand and the restaurant is a little way in the hotel opposite the main bar. The Grill restaurant has a classic decor from when it was open in 1931 and something The Grill is proud of is their heritage, they also have an open kitchen which you will find yourself mesmerised by.
The menu offers two different cuts, the Angus cross ribeye steak aged for 35 days and a Black Angus beef fillet. They often also have a guest steak or sharing steak on the specials menu. The ribeye was one of the best steaks I have had and as someone who likes my steak medium it came out perfectly pink and was particularly juicy. On every occasion I have visited I have left thinking how great the steaks were. If you are looking to indulge in a side the mac ‘n’ cheese is a must order. Book to avoid disappointment and save room for the Soufflé collection, Paula has it in her top desserts in London, the Ron Diplomatico soufflé is a must order for rum and dessert fans.
The Bull Steak Expert
Holborn is not always known for its restaurants however it is home to one of my favourites in The Bull Steak. If you are looking for the authentic Argentinian steak experience this is a must visit. If you like Sirloin steak order the Corona de angosto, it’s a butterfly cut and is finished with a fried egg on the top.
As you would expect they offer some great new world Red Wines, their Malbec selection is fantastic and The Bull Steak also has the best chimichurri sauce I have had. A great one off the beaten track and if you love a real Argentinian experience.
Hawksmoor has become the go-to recommendation by many Londoners and rightly so. Hawksmoor has six restaurants in London alone and pride themselves on British cuts of beef and supporting British farmers. Hawksmoor’s all tend to have slightly different menus so I recommend taking a look before you reserve your table.
The newest restaurant in Borough Market is very good and offers some great sharing steaks including T-bone, Porterhouse and Chateaubriand. Paula and I tend to go for the Chateaubriand as you get the best flavours and mix of two very good cuts. You might also notice Hawksmoor offer a number of sides, very different to your typical steak places which tend to offer the same three or four sides. Air Street is known for it’s Sunday Roasts but also offers very good steaks.
My tip would be to go earlier in the evening away from the rush and look at their special boards as the smaller sharing steaks tend to go early.
When I first moved to London about ten years ago, to be honest I didn’t really get out and see the city, it was just work and nights out and I loved it.
It wasn’t until I started the blog, that I actually decided to start exploring more, taking opportunity of everything on my doorstep, from museums and exhibitions to trying some of the best restaurants in the world.
Whether it’s your first visit to London, your tenth or you live in the City, I’ve compiled 21 things you must do.
The Tate Modern has always been a great place to take a wander around. It’s free to visit and you can roam about the space and enjoy the art. There is usually some additional ticketed exhibitions on, currently I think they are showing Picasso. There is also a new addition to the Tate building, which has even more to see and at the top of the building it has a 360 look out point.
2. Have A Cocktail At American Bar
If you love cocktails American Bar is a must. It’s located within the Savoy Hotel and it’s definitely on the pricer side, but even if you just go for one drink it’s worth it. The bar has some of the best cocktails I’ve ever had and the menu changes seasonally with some creative ideas. The waiters are always helpful in helping you choose your drink. In the evenings you can often find a pianist tinkering away on the piano and singing for some evening entertainment. It is one of my favourite cocktail bars in London.
3. Visit Hampton Court Palace
I can’t believe Hampton Court Palace is even in London, because it is so beautiful and it feels like your escaping to the countryside. You can go inside the palace and also explore the gorgeous gardens. There is a restaurant to have lunch, dinner or afternoon tea and they often hold concerts in Summer here from some of the best artists. Don’t miss the fun garden maze, which is much, much harder than you’d think. It’s a really fun day out, so get yourself on a train to Kingston Upon Thames. Read more about my visit to Hampton Court Palace.
4. Cafe Catch Ups
London is full of cafes. Whether you are looking for pretty cakes and flowers to up your Instagram game in one of London’s most Instagrammed spots or just a simple good sandwich and pastry then there are plenty boutique cafes to do this across London. Nothing better than a spot of tea and a scone over a catch-up. Some favourites include Elan Cafe, Bonne Bouche and Dominique Ansel.
If you are a sports fan or even if you aren’t the Afternoon Tea at Lord’s Cricket Ground is a fun way to spend an afternoon. Sip tea overlooking the grounds and then after afternoon tea enjoy a tour around the cricket ground and into the players dressing rooms and museum.
7. Try The Chocolate Glory At Bob Bob Ricard
Have you really been to London if you haven’t tried Bob Bob Ricard. One of my favourite restaurants in London and one of my favourite desserts. The Signature Chocolate Glory is not only tasty but looks amazing too. The waiter will pour hot chocolate sauce over it and watch as it cracks open to reveal chocolate jivara mousse, chocolate brownie, berries and a passionfruit and orange jelly. It’s definitely one to try if you love chocolate desserts. If chocolate isn’t your thing then check out some of my other favourite best desserts in London.
8. London Zoo
You can spend hours at London Zoo, it is so big and there are so many animals to see here. Some of my favourites are penguin beach where you can watch the penguins feeding times, the lemur enclosure which lets you walk amongst them and also the tiger area. But my favourite has to be the tropical jungle section with the sloths, you can really get close and they climb all over the place. Theres a cafe, a shop and lots of fun activities for kids and grown ups too. You can even stay a night at the Zoo in one of the Lions Lodges, don’t worry you don’t have to share the lion’s den, you will get your own very cool lodge.
The London Aquarium is located on the Southbank and is a fun day out where you will see everything from sea horses to sharks. As you enter you can walk over the shark walk, a glass panel to see all the creatures below you. Just like the Zoo there is talks and feeding times to join in on. It’s situated right next to the London Eye.
10. London Eye
Which brings me to the London Eye of course. I personally haven’t been on the London Eye for a really long time. I think I did it when I moved to London and haven’t since, so I am more than overdue a trip. It’s a great way to see over London and you can even do a champagne experience in your capsule.
11. Try One Of The Best Pizzas
London has some of the best pizza places, offering wood fire pizzas (the best kind in my personal opinion). There is also a pretty special Nutella pizza for dessert at Mayfair Pizza Co. So definitely one to go and try. Find out where to find the best pizzas in London here.
12. Design Museum
Spend an afternoon or morning at the Design Museum in High Street Kensington. It’s free to visit and there is plenty to see, as well as some paid for exhibitions, so worth checking what’s on before you go. There is a cafe and restaurant area to pick up a bite to eat or you can just watch passers-by on the steps. A great place to find some inspiration and the building itself is pretty impressive. Read more about the Design Museum here.
13. Treat Yourself To A Facial
Before I started blogging, I’d never been for a facial in my life. Now I’ve had numerous and it’s one of the best experiences. It helps to get your skin glowing and looking itself again, if not ten times better and it’s so relaxing. Some facials I’ve been for have even had back massages included too. London has some of the best spas and salons so you are in good hands. I’ve compiled my best facials in London, so pick one and go and treat yourself!
14. Sun Yourself At A Rooftop Bar
Summer is just around the corner, fingers crossed and what better way to enjoy it is at one of the best rooftop bars in London. All of these bars have a great view over London and serve up tasty cocktails and food too.
15. Take In The View At The Shard
The Shard is the tallest building in Europe at over 300m high. Pop to the viewing platform for a view over the London skyline or head to GONG bar in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel which is located in The Shard, for a cocktail and a view to remember.
I think I tell everyone visiting London to go to SkyGarden. You can have a view over London, see the skyline, including The Shard and also enjoy a drink in the cafe or a full on meal in one of the restaurants. It’s free to visit, make sure to book tickets in advance, unless you are visiting the restaurants in which I don’t think you need a ticket.
17. Natural History Museum
One of my favourite museum’s in London is the Natural History Museum. I could spend hours here. In the great hall is now a giant whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling. Explore dinosaurs and hidden gems, there is so much to see here.
18. Rotisserie Chicken at Cocotte
Rotisserie chicken restaurants are few and far between and when I discovered Cocotte in Notting Hill, I fell in love with it instantly. The best rotisserie chicken with some beautiful sides of mac ‘n’ cheese, mashed potatoes and roasted baby potatoes. I’m drooling just now thinking about it. Definitely try it.
19. Have Tea With Alice In Wonderland
Who knew you could have a Mad Hatter’s Tea party in London? The Sanderson Hotel do a themed afternoon tea that has an Alice in Wonderland theme. Enjoy sweet and savoury treats like Tweedle Dee’s lemon and curd financier and Alice’s cinnamon, apple and peach Drink Me potion. It’s one of the most popular afternoon teas in London and you will leave absolutely stuffed.
Off the beaten track in Walthamstow is God’s Own Junkyard. If you love neon signs, you need to pay it a visit. It’s a shrine to the late artist Chris Bracey’s neon work and it’s amazing. There is also a cute little cafe inside, with tea and cake.
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