Tuesday, 29 December 2009

FOOD - My Festive Food in Pictures

Oh dear, oh dear. Another Christmas has passed and I am ashamed to say I ate my way through the whole week. We all do it... we stock the cupboards to capacity with treats and goodies and then wish we hadn't been quite such a piglet. Here is what I've been munching on over the past week. What about you?

Hersheys kissables
Roast gammon
Turkey ready for the oven
Samosa time
Sausage rolls fresh from the oven
Banana cake with cherries

And everyone loves the leftovers are Christmas right? Well my mum sent me off home with an enormous turkey leg which I whipped up a delicious curry with. I didn't have any fresh food in the house, so the vegetable content consisted of sweetcorn and onion - hardly hitting my 5-a-day but ho hum. That's the true spirit of Christmas... getting fat. And then feeling guilty in January and doing everything you can think of to try and stay motivated to avoid the chocolate, pastry and booze.Or maybe those are just my vices...

A rather large turkey leg
Turkey curry (in progress)
Turkey curry

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

CONTEST - Win a Christmas Hamper - CLOSED

Merry Christmas From Your Milkman - Britain’s milkmen have gone online with over 250 daily essentials, which can be delivered to your home at the click of a mouse.

milk&more is a new online service brought to you by Dairy Crest. The milkman now delivers much more than just milk including everyday essentials from bread to kitchen roll. Plus your milkman can keep you topped up on cream and daily essentials when you need them during this festive time.

Simply log on at www.milkandmore.co.uk and place an order before 9pm the night before your next delivery and your local milkman will then deliver the order direct to your doorstep. With up to six deliveries a week, your first order could be with you as early as tomorrow morning. There's no need to book a delivery slot, no minimum order value and delivery won’t cost you a penny.

Win a Hamper*

To celebrate the new service, milk&more is giving away a Luxury Christmas Hamper to two of my lucky readers. The hampers include a range of Christmas treats such as shortbread, jams, nuts, Christmas cake, red and white wine plus much more.

Just answer this simple question:

Q. What colour is the milkman’s scarf currently seen on the milk&more homepage?

Please email your answer to jenny@thestylepa.com - you must include your name, address and contact number so your prize can reach you before Christmas if you are a lucky winner. HURRY, contest closes at 2pm today (22 Dec).

* The competition is open to UK entrants only. Winners will be picked at random.

Monday, 21 December 2009

SALE - Laura Ashley Slash Prices

Good news for those looking to give their home a bit of  makeover this Christmas. Laura Ashley have slashed prices by up to 50% in their end of season sale.

Top of my shopping list would be the Arabella Bedspread, reduced from £200 to £160 and the Ditta Mirror which was orginally £275 and is now being sold for £192.50 (While the sale lasts of course). At this time of year, anything that reflects light is a design must-have to keep the dreariness of winter away.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

RESTAURANT - Cocoon in London

I was treated to at the modern Asian restaurant Cocoon off Regent Street earlier in the week and I have to say the food is delicious.

We started off in the bar with a couple of cocktails - don't expect to get one for much under £10 though. My first one was a Millers Bouquet: Millers gin shaken with fresh lime, rose and acacia honey then garnished with rose petals. It was absolutely delicious, fresh and not too sweet. Then I had a Miyabi Cocoon: Swedish pear cognac liqueur Xante & Santa Teresa Gran Reserve mixed with organic apple juice, pear puree and vanilla syrup, then garnished with fresh pears and cinnamon - again I enjoyed every sip.

The d├ęcor is really nice, a little dark which makes it perfect for intimate occasions like dates or anniversary dinners. The chairs take a little getting used to as they are quite laid back and it's quite difficult to get really close to the table.     

The music throughout dinner was simple background music, but come 11pm this turned into the likes of Whitney Houston's 'I wanna dance with somebody' and Cameo's 'Word up'. Definitely gets more like a bar as the night goes on.


For food, our party all chose the set menu which is priced at £50. For me that's a special occasion price, but as I wasn't paying it didn't seem so bad. I chose the tiger prawn sesame toasts (which are actually little balls) to start, followed by lemon sole and caviar inside-out rolls which were nice enough. The highlight of the meal though was the fillet of beef with portabello mushrooms which was cooked to perfection and perfectly seasoned. I just wish there had been more of the gorgeous peppercorn raita on the side. It all went in the first couple of mouthfuls.

The only reason I couldn't give this restaurant 5 stars is because the quality of the service tailed off towards the end of the meal. We waited more than 25 minutes for our dessert of chocolate fondant and ice cream and with the time already 11.45 we were starting to get worried about catching our last tube home.

Tip: Try and get seated in front of the sushi chefs. These pros, with a lifetime of experience, are fascinating to watch.

Friday, 18 December 2009

HOME - What Your Habitat Smells Like

What do you get when you mix 22% toast, 17% perfume, 10% turkey dinner, 34% washing powder, 12% flowers and 5% damp?  The smell of  Eau De British habitat – the average British home -  according to a new survey conducted by Habitat of over 4,000 home owners to find out why smells make a house a home. I've never really thought about what my house smells like but I do love a nice scented candle to make it more inviting.

As a nation, we appear to be very sensitive about the smell of home and the survey also revealed the following:
  • A third of people have tried to recreate a certain smell to make them feel more at home
  • 77% of people believe you can tell a lot about someone from the smell of their home
  • Four in 10 people have avoided visiting someone because the stench of their home is such a turn off!
Habitat's survey was part of a new campaign that celebrates the small things that make a house a home, including the fragrances within it. Helena Christensen is the face of Habitat's this is my Habitat campaign and for the chance to follow in Helena's footsteps and become the next face of Habitat, simply visit www.thisismyhabitat.co.uk

Saturday, 12 December 2009

CONTEST - Christmas Goodie Bag Giveaway

 Goodie bag contents

It's nearly Christmas which means it's time to think about others and spread a little festive cheer. That's why I've been collecting bits and bobs for a cool goodie bag to give away to one of my lucky readers. The swag includes:
The contest will run till Christmas Eve when I'll pick a winner - if I find any more goodies before then I'll throw those in too. All you need to do is become a fan of The Style PA on Facebook and then post a message on the wall that starts:
'I've been good this year by...'

Existing fans and new fans can enter but I am only able to post within the UK for this one... sorry. As I'll be back home for Christmas, I'll give my mum the honour of picking the most deserving entrant and the winner will be notified with a message via Facebook.

Good luck everyone.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

DESIGN - Which Marmite Jar is Best?

So as you may already know, I am a fully initiated member of the first circle of the Marmarati. Sounds posh right? Anyway, I need your feedback on which jar design you think is best. One of these designs will be used on the 200 commemorative jars of extra strong marmite given to the first and second circle of the Marmarati. (find out how to get involved here)

So, share your views in the poll below. Which jar is up to the job? You've got until Monday 7th Dec to have your say.

jar design vote