Sunday, 28 January 2018

Brunching Babes - RASCALS

Goal number 8: Be more sociable and meet up with friends. Happily I can say, so far so good with this goal. On Friday I met up with an old school friend of mine, Annabelle. Because of uni I haven't seen her in over a year and what a great time we had; lots of laughter, gossiping and food and cocktails, typical girl stuff. We planned to go to Rascals, a cool place I spotted on my way to a photoshoot, we met up around 1pm and after a long session of taking photos we headed to Rascals for 4. Super hungry and ready to eat we arrived at the restaurant, only to find out they didn't open until 6pm. Having not eaten all day there was no way we could leave our stomachs empty any longer, so we walked to Shoryu where I had my first experience of a Ramen bowl, not something I'd usually order but still good nevertheless. 


Located on Curtain Road in the heart of buzzing Shoreditch, you'll find Rascals - East London's most Instagramable restaurant if there ever was to be one. If the dark mysterious exterior doesn't make you want to find out more about whats going on inside, then the neon pink lights definitely will. 

As soon as you enter you're welcomed by the friendliest team, smiles and laughter all round. You'll want your camera ready from the get-go, tropical plants filling the entry wall, vibrant wallpaper, projections on every pillar that change colours and shape, chic booths and LOTS OF PINK - it's a dream. You'll find a section of the restaurant hidden behind a curtain, I spent a lot of time trying to work out what it was. I knew it would be a private dining area, but I didn't know why everyone had taken such an interest to it. Behind the curtain is the very first wet room, no not wet room as in what you have in your house dedicated to your shower, this is a wet room that changes your whole dining experience. The whole room is waterproof and provides you and your diners with water guns, allowing you to have a water fight in that area of the restaurant. As if that wasn't fun enough, the restaurant is directly joint with Ballie Ballerson - the neon ballpit/bar that allows you to release your inner child, while sipping on cocktails, could Shoreditch bring us anything more?

Opening from the hours of 12am-12pm and 6pm-12am, in the day the restaurant allows you to escape your usual workspace and have a complete change of scenery while snacking and sipping on coffee. In the evening it transforms into perfect night out location for you and all of your friends to let your hair down and have a great time. 

We started with cocktails, the hardest decision for me as there's always so many amazing options. To make my chose easier I asked the waiter which one would be the sweetest, and the best to photograph, he responded with 'Kiss From A Rose' this refreshing Gin cocktail mixed with cucumber, lemon, whites and bitters was just what I imagine a kiss from a rose would be like: sweet, but sharp. 

Because we had both just eaten a big bowl of Ramen we weren't very hungry, but this didn't stop us from ordering the Lobster Mac & Cheese, we knew we wouldn't have space for one each so got it to share. 

After putting in our order, to our surprise the lovely Head Chef Heritier Nsemi sent us the signature Rascals Bread 'n' Butter. The bread rolls were house made, sprinkled with sea salt and baked to perfection, the butter was topped with a delicate flower and also salted. If you've ever had the bread and butter at Gaucho's it's very similar to that - delicious and nothing like your usual Warburtons and Flora. 

When our Lobster Mac & Cheese arrived we were definitely glad we ordered to share. Although it would be the right amount for one on a normal day, for two girls that were stuffed with ramen, bao buns and now bread rolls, one pan was definitely enough. 

I'm a Big Mac & Cheese fan, add Lobster and I love it even more! There was the right amount of Lobster, the parmesan wasn't too over powering and the sauce was great. The only thing I would say is the macaroni shells were a bit small so it made it hard to pick up, I prefer when bigger macaroni is used but that's just personal preference. 

Once we had finished eating, we sat for a while to take some more photographs and continue our catch up. We had some more cocktails from the Head Chef, another Kiss from a Rose for Annabelle and this time round I got a Yuzu Pretty: White Brandy, White Rum, Yuzu, Matcha, Lime and Whites, safe to say this cocktail was a lot stronger than the other but still sweet. 

We had another lovely surprise when the waitress brought over a dessert plate sent from the Head Chef. I've always wanted to see one of those melting chocolate balls in action, I see them on Instagram but have never ordered one myself. At Rascals I got to have my very first one, we got to experience the melting chocolate ball live (Calm down Alika, it's not a concert! Haha). Inside was a sponge cake, and what I think was an orange jelly. It was a really fancy, separated Jaffa cake, a cake/biscuit I'm not a huge fan of, however Annabelle enjoyed it and it was a lovely gesture. 

The atmosphere in the restaurant was great, the staff were super cool, checking in on us throughout the meal and having a good chat, we also had several dry ice displays carried out by our table. The music was fun but not too loud and all of the other guests were friendly, there's a super great vibe where everyone can just have a good time. 

The prices are great, for the quality of food, the atmosphere and decor I would expect everything to be super expensive, however it's a pleasant surprise to see that the meals cost around £7/£8 and similar prices for the cocktails. 

Overall, it was a great experience and the perfect place to go to for some drinks and a catch up with a friend. We thanked chef and promised we'd be back very soon, I'm the kinda girl that sticks to her word, especially when good food is involved. So I can't wait to return! 


Sunday, 21 January 2018

Brunching babes - Élan cafe, Instagrams hotspot

If you don't already know, you're all probably wondering what this place is that is taking over your Instagram feed - It's floral, it's pink, it's Élan Cafe. 'Distinctive and stylish elegance, impulsive, confident ardour' everything this cafe delivers. 

I've decided to do a feature on my blog called 'Brunching babes'. I'll visit some of the hottest brunching spots and share with you guys my experiences, what I had to eat and of course a cheeky outfit post! 

I'm the girliest girl, so anything involving pink and florals, I'm there! Jess and I were constantly sending photos of the cafe to one another. So on Sunday 14th January, we took a drive down to the Élan on Park Lane, right next to The Dorchester, the first Élan that popped up in London.

A lot smaller than the new one that's recently opened on Brompton Road, next to Harrods it meant it was super packed. As soon as you enter, there's a buzzing atmosphere, everyones taking photos of themselves and the amazing cakes, it's a bloggers heaven. 
Photo taken by Jessy Miller 
The outside seating was the most popular area, and with not many seats, in comparison to the ratio of people waiting, everyone was given numbers of when their seat would be ready. Despite it being a cold Sunday afternoon, not only were we there for the brunch - we were there for the photos! So we were also added to the list of people waiting to be seated outside. We used the wait time to have a mini photoshoot by the flower wall and a browse at the menu. Luckily, because there was only two of us we got seated fairly quickly and that's when the Brunching began. 

To start off we got some drinks: Jess opted for a freshly squeezed OJ, while I got the Spanish Latte - the most popular of them all according to the lovely waitress. Safe to say, it was the best Latte I have ever tasted! Labelled as one of their Alternative Latte's instead of using normal cows milk and sugar they use coconut and condensed milk, giving it a sweet, but not sickly taste. 
When it came to ordering our food I was torn between the beautifully coloured Acai bowl or a classic poached egg with hollandaise sauce. After debating for a good 5 minutes, I went for the more filling and somewhat safe option of the eggs - because i've heard Acai bowls can sometimes be sour. Jess got the simple Burford Brown poached eggs, on an English muffin and hollandaise sauce, I got the same, however jazzed it up a notch. Along with the Burford Brown poached eggs also on an English muffin with hollandaise sauce, I added Fennel and dill smoked salmon and some crushed avocado. A brunch meal I often make myself, this did not disappoint and was most definitely 100x better than the one I make! 

The salmon was arranged in a cute rose style and the amount of hollandaise sauce to accommodate the rest of the meal was perfect. The fennel and dill was a nice addition to give some extra flavour. I like my poached eggs with a runny yolk but quite firm egg whites and that's how they came. I have a thing about cold sauce and cold toast, I can't eat toast if it's cold and I don't enjoy a sauce cold, if I usually eat it hot. When I've had hollandaise sauce in the past its always been warmed over a stove. However, this one at Élan was Luke warm and so was the English muffin, this I would say was a downfall. 


After this we got some pudding (silly me, I have some how deleted the photo of it). There was so much choice, I didn't know whether I wanted a warm cookie, a classic cheesecake or a fruit option. Jess went for a warm brownie, while I opted for the nutty dulce de leche cheesecake. The portions were more than generous, which resulted in me not being able to finish it all.

The bill came to £48, which is quite expensive for a Brunch. However, this is Mayfair and it's not the type of place many people will go for a casual brunch everyday! Overall, it was a great experience, the food was yummy and I can't wait to go back!


Thursday, 11 January 2018

How I survived the first week of 2018

Walking into 2018 like... 

We're just over a week into 2018 and isn't it going fast! I know, I know, we spend most of our time in disbelief as to how fast time is flying and how cold it is in the UK, I myself am guilty of this. I had to put my blog posts on hold due to the fact I was swamped in uni work, and super busy with family and friends over the Christmas period. However I'm back, and I'm back for good! I have some really exciting things lined up for the up coming weeks so fingers crossed I'll have some great content to share! Because of my busy schedule I've been unable to do any shoots, the photos I'll be posting are some I shot last year and have previously shared on my Instagram. However, I haven't shared them with the Blog so here they are! 

I've never been the type to do the whole 'New Year New Me' 'This year is my year' sort of thing until now. Previously, I never had anything I was passionate about, I never had anything I truly cared about, but now I've started my blog I have a focus. I have a real fear of failure, I've always been embarrassed or too scared to put something out there, in case it doesn't do well, or incase I fail - This is what held me back for years from creating a blog. Usually, I don't care what people think of me, I'll go out shopping rollers in my hair, go to the local supermarket in my pyjamas, socks and slides, I truly don't care what people think. However, when it comes to putting myself out there and sharing content I've created, it's always been something thats scared me. I've decided to make 2018 the year I'm not afraid of failure, I've learnt no fail is a bad thing, but instead a learning kerb. 

I have goals and dreams bigger than these amazing LASULA sleeves. As organised as I am, I'm not good at sticking to plans or goals but I've made it my mission to do so this year! My friend Jess got me a 2018 DIARY and a PLANNER for Christmas and on the front page of the planner I've decided to write down my goals and resolutions. 

2018 GOALS:

  1. Travel more - I believe life was not made to be lived in one place. I don't see the amazement everyone else sees by London, of course it's a great place filled with amazing opportunities and is so diverse. However, I feel like there's so much more out there - I plan to visit as many places as I can while young, so when I'm older it's a lot easier for me to decide where I want to settle down, and call my forever home. I'm thinking Hawaii, a modern beach house surrounded by palm trees and the sea. Maybe even LA - I always saw myself as a Beverly Hills, 90210 kinda girl. 
  2. Book more photoshoots - Currently, all of my photos have been taken by my lovely little sister Mya. She studies photography in college, however it's not a passion of hers as she wants to get into architecture so she's getting tired of me harassing her for photos. For 2018 I'd like to branch out and book photographers to shoot my looks, I feel by working with an actual photographer,I will be able to find out what poses and locations work well for me. I'll be able to work out what editing I like, and discover my own style for my blog/instagram. 
  3. Grow a bigger following for my blog - I would love for my content to reach more people, I plan to work out what fellow bloggers/blog readers enjoy reading and seeing so I can find a way to incorporate these things into my work and create a great following.
  4. Be more confident and believe in myself - A lot of people will probably always think I'm quite confident because I don't tend to come across shy, I create content for my blog and for my YouTube channel, which a lot of people would find hard to do. However, I am actually really shy, I get embarrassed really easily especially when having my picture taking (weird I know, maybe I shouldn't have started a blog! haha). Which may be the main reason I didn't get anyone other than my sister to take pictures of me sooner. I'm allowed to be awkward and shy in front of her, because she's family - But when it's professional, it's completely different. It's super easy for me to scrutinise work I do and photos I take, finding faults other people would otherwise be oblivious to. For 2018 my aim is for this to stop, I want to grow more confident in front of the camera, more confident in myself and believing I can do whatever I put my mind to. 
  5. Be more sociable/Meet new people - It's so easy for me to hide away in my room and engage with people through my phone, believing this is a way of being sociable. Instead of just speaking in the group chat with my friends I'd like to make more of an effort to do things with them and speak in person! I love meeting cool new people, I love learning from them and finding someone I can truly click with, someone that gets all the banter! I met some great people in 2017 and hope to meet loads more this year! 


  1. Stick to a schedule - Because I'm quite forgetful, i've tried to give myself a daily schedule. I forget what I have planned or what it was I was going to do so by having a schedule it'll be a great way to remember. 
  2. Meditate and Take up Yoga - I've recently started meditating and I wish I had started earlier! Taking some time at either the start or the end of the day to reflect and focus on my breathing really helps me. As someone that tends to worry and stress about small things, since I've started meditating I feel a lot less stressed and a lot happier. I'm also quite tense, I always have been and I don't know why, so I hope by starting Yoga my body will be a lot more relaxed. 
  3. SAVE - This is a big one for me, I have a savings account but I tend to dip into it, here and there. As I'm getting older I'm getting scared about all things adult, so I would like to put a healthy amount of money away into a savings account that I cannot dip into!

I got this selection of incense from G.BALDWIN and I try to burn one once a week, while I meditate or just before I go to sleep. I got the Amber incense as it's supposed to help with self-finding, strength and confidence - It has a deep but sweet smell when it is burnt. The frankincense is good for releasing stress and helping with anxiety, it's also good to help cleanse any bad spirits which is great because no one wants any bad vibes! The Ylang-Ylang and Vanilla I bought simply because I like the smell of both, and thought they'd be great to burn together, it has a light smell but still smokey. Finally, I got the Nag Champa incense because it's one I've heard great things about - it smells amazing! I've always loved the smell of talcum powder and this is what Nag Champa smells like to me! 

Here's to surviving the rest of 2018, Make 2018 your year! 
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