Thursday, 24 March 2011

HOLIDAY - February Weekend Break in Paris

Weekend in Paris 2011

There are lots of things I love about Paris (and a few things I don't). Having been a couple of times before and knowing my way around enough to get by, I decided to take the boyf there for a birthday treat last month so we hopped on Eurostar and in no time we were there. helped me out with the hotel, we stayed in Hotel Aiglon in Raspail, just South of the centre and a short walk away from the Catacombs which we really wanted to go to.

Day 1. We headed to the hotel and were able to check into our room early which was nice of the hotel. After throwing down or bags we walked to the catacombs and after seeing the queue decided to come back later... would have been stood there for an hour! We instead went North to Notre Dame. I had been inside before, but not up to the top so we paid our 8 Euro (every tourist attraction seems to cost 8 Euro) and started the hike up the spiral staircases. The views are amazing from the top and after snapping away with the camera and visiting the largest bell in the tower we descended. After a walk via some other pretty buildings it was back to the hotel for a rest and to get dolled up for dinner.

We went to what we thought was quite a nice restaurant in the Marais for dinner, but the meal was quite disappointing. The garlic snails were amazing - yum yum - but the rest of the meal and the service was pretty bad. God knows what was in my sausage but all I can say is there was a distinct element of cheese and nowhere near enough mustard sauce to take the iffy taste away. We walked off dinner by the river and had a drink in a cute cafe by the river which restored our faith in French waiter service.

Day 2. We woke up and decided to indulge in room service, a tray of delectable goodies was delivered to our room including pastries, fresh French bread, butters, jams, tea and orange juice. It was just the fuel we needed for our day in Paris. We headed straight to the catacombs and the wait luckily wasn't quite so bad. You walk for ages under the streets of Paris before coming to the area which houses the bones of around 6 million people. It goes on and on with bones stacked up in a decorative way - unlike anything else I've ever seen and definitely worth going. They limit the number of people inside at any one time so it's quiet but quite eerie.
You can't go to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower so we hopped on a boat and went on a tour up and down the river. Then it was back for a scrummy and well-earned dinner at Indiana's back near our hotel.

It was a short stay, but I had a nice time and am sure I'll be back there soon. This weekend it's a trip to Somerset and then the countdown begins for New York. I literally can't wait. Let me know if you've any tips on what to do and where to go... 

Weekend in Paris 2011
Weekend in Paris 2011
Weekend in Paris 2011
Weekend in Paris 2011

DRINK - An Innocent Way to Wake Up

I was very lucky to be sent a special healthy breakfast package last week at work. The occasion? The new Innocent fruit juices that were recently released in big carafe bottles. I tried the orange juice with juicy bits and the apple juice. The apple juice was lovely and sweet, just up my street! I liked the orange juice too, although I'm not sure it would replace my usual favourite OJ.

The best thing is that these are not from concentrate, at least 9 pieces of scrummy fruit go into each and every bottle which means it's a healthy way to give your body a boost in the mornings.

Top tip: To make your juice go further, try the apple juice dilluted with water. About half and half is a good mix, and you'll be closer to both your 5-a-day and your 8 glasses of water too. Hurrah!

Visit the Innocent Drinks website for more details.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

NEWS - Natuzzi Furniture Store on Tottenham Court Road

Last week I was invited to the brand new Natuzzi store on Tottenham Court Road for their Italian takeover. Canap├ęs, Prosecco and gorgeous luxury furnishing to ogle... what's not to like?! I made sure I sat on as many sofas as possible to check the comfort factor - all passed with flying colours. In fact, I'd have quite liked to park myself there for the evening. 

Each piece of furniture is made to order and crafted in Italy so you might have a little bit of a wait until, it arrives. That said though, if you're investing in these items, you'll be expecting the finest craftsmanship anyway.

Take a look at my pics below and be sure to check out the spanking new store if you are in the area. Read more of my interior design articles over on

Natuzzi's Italian Takeover
Natuzzi's Italian Takeover
Natuzzi's Italian Takeover
Natuzzi's Italian Takeover
Natuzzi's Italian Takeover

Monday, 7 March 2011

COMPETITION - Tell Your Street's Story and Win

Hastings Old Town Street Party

My Street is a nationwide documentary-making competition kicking off this month and concluding in June. The tutorial will be available online from 11 March. There'll also be online editing software to help you create your masterpiece.

So are you an aspiring filmmaker? To enter the MyStreet competition simply make a short film between 90 seconds to 9 minutes about your street. The style and format are open, the brief just asks that you think about your street and represent it on film. The films are going to be published on an online channel where they can be viewed by the public, creating a web of stories about the nation's streets.

The best films can be in with the chance of winning a first prize of £3000. The top films uploaded to will be shown at OPEN CITY London Documentary Festival and viewed by an international jury where the best of the best will be selected and one will be awarded the £3000 prize.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

NOVELTY - Hannah Turner Owl Egg Cups

How cute are these! Ceramic owl egg cups by Hannah Turner who has been creating ceramics from her studio since 1991.You can buy them online or other parts of the delightful yet quirky range are available at department store Liberty. 

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

DRINK - Cocktail Ideas for Spring

TUACA Steak Dinner
1 1/2 oz TUACA
1/2 oz lime juice
Lemon wedge
Worcestershire sauce

Crystal Head Vodka Brain Freeze
1 1/2 oz. Crystal Head Vodka
1 1/2 to 2 oz. Pure lime juice
1oz. Simple syrup

Combine all the ingredients with ice in a blender.  Blend until ice is well
crushed.  Serve in a sugar rimed rocks glass garnished with a slice of lime.

Crystal Head Vodka Cranium
1 1/2 oz. Crystal Head Vodka
Cranberry juice

 Pour Crystal Head vodka and Cranberry juice over ice in a tall glass.  Add
splash of Grenadine (unstirred) on the top.  Garnish with blood orange

2 oz. Conjure Cognac
1 1/2 oz. energy drink
Serve on the rocks.