Personal style and fashion blog

Monday, 30 November 2015

What to Buy on Cyber Monday


Black Friday may be over but that doesn't mean there aren't still deals to be had. Today, I'll be taking advantage of the ASOS and Topshop Cyber Monday sales and here's what I'm buying...

Topshop




ASOS




When it comes to big discount days, I look to those investment pieces that I'll get the biggest deals on; the chunky knit that will see me through winter, the classic ankle boots, or the mannish statement-making coat. Enjoy 20% off everything at ASOS with code CYBER and up to 50% off at Topshop. Thank me later.

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Sunday, 29 November 2015

Where to Eat and Drink in Liverpool



Bold Street Coffee 

At the beginning of 2015, new job opportunities got me leaving London and heading back up to the city I call home: Liverpool. I hadn't lived there for almost seven years and absence certainly made the heart grow fonder because over the past year, I've completely fallen back in love with the place that I know so well.

On my travels across the world and in the UK, I've never come across a city quite like Liverpool. It's rich with culture and history, and its people are fiercely loyal. The shopping is great and you're spoiled for choice when it comes to restaurants, museums and art galleries, but for me it's the small places full of character that make Liverpool what it is. The foodie scene has massively improved over the past few years, and I've spent much of the past year exploring everything the city now has to offer.

You'll find all the chains - Jamie's Italian, Pizza Express, Gourmet Burger Kitchen etc. - in the main shopping area Liverpool One, but give them a miss if you want a real taste of the city. Just a short walk from here you'll find Bold Street - the independent street of Liverpool - full of incredible little restaurants, bars and cafes. Use this as your anchor to the equally as good streets around it; Seel Street, Berry Street and Hope Street, and you won't go wrong.

Bold Street

Just off Liverpool Central station you'll find Bold Street. Ignore the shops towards the bottom (unless you have a massive urge to visit Home Bargains) and walk up towards the top. You'll find everything from independent book shops to award-winning hairdressers and gorgeous interiors shops (a trip to Utility is a must), but it's the selection of eateries that makes it a must-visit for me.

Mowgli - This only opened this year but it has queues out of the door most evenings. The whole concept is small plates of Indian food - Indian tapas if you will - and it serves some of the best Indian food I've ever tried. It's also contemporary and stylish; definitely not your average curry house. They currently don't take bookings so go and put your name down (whenever I've been, it's been about an hour wait) and go next door to Leaf for a drink while you wait.

The Italian Club - Authentic, fresh Italian food that's cheap and cheerful but definitely doesn't sacrifice quality. This is a good place for a hearty meal or a slice of cake and a coffee after a day of shopping. If you're into seafood, head up the road to their sister restaurant - The Italian Club Fish.

East Avenue Bakehouse - Another newbie, East Avenue Bakehouse is great for brunch, Afternoon Tea or a slice of cake. They serve bigger meals and dinner too, with a British-based menu that I'm yet to try but it always looks good. Everything's fresh, homemade and locally-sourced too.

Bold Street Coffee - A must for anyone who loves coffee. Bold Street Coffee serves up fresh, specialty brews and will give you a much better cup than anything you'll find in Starbucks. They offer up cheap breakfasts and lunches too if you want a bit of food to go alongside your latte.

Bakchich - A fast food-type joint serving up very generous Lebanese food. This is a good place to go if you want a quick bite but don't want to compromise on good food; it's popular though, so you may have to wait a bit if you go at a busy time. Word of warning - if you want a glass of red with your chicken shish go elsewhere; Bakchich doesn't serve alcohol.

Seel Street

Seel Street is lined with bars and it's the place I always head to for a night of drinks and dancing. There are some good places for food here too though (just maybe don't go on a Saturday night!)

Alma de Cuba - This place is a restored old 18th century church so the inside is gorgeous. It's a really popular bar at the weekend (if you go, make sure you're there at 11pm when rose petals fall down from the ceiling) so I'd say avoid it then if you want to go for a meal. The menu has South American and Caribbean influences and the food is incredible; they serve up a mean Sunday roast too.

Arts Club - Another building dating back to the 18th century, the Arts Club re-opened in 2014, becoming one of the best gig venues and art spaces in the city. Even if you're not going for an event, the Bar & Kitchen is a great place to go for a drink or a bite of American-influenced food.

Berry Street

The gateway to Liverpool's China Town, Berry Street is a whole other side to the city. To be honest, I haven't tried many places along here but there's one place that's definitely a must-visit.

Roja Pinchos - Nope, not Chinese, but a small restaurant serving northern Spain-style pinchos in a totally relaxed setting. You can eat (and spend) as much or as little as you want so it's great if you want a full-on meal or a quick bite. They don't take bookings for less than six people so head downstairs to sister bar Abajo for gin and cava if you find yourself having to wait.

Hope Street

Last but not least, Hope Street. Up in the gorgeous Georgian Quarter (worth a visit for looking at the old houses alone), Hope Street is flagged by both of the cathedrals, has the Everyman theatre, Philharmonic Hall, and some of the best restaurants in the city. Don't miss the Philharmonic Dining Rooms either; it's a real old-school pub dating back to 1900 and is a Grade II listed building - plus the inside is incredibly ornate (people visit just to see the gents' which is full of roseate marble - honestly).

London Carriage Works - Slightly pricier than the other places I've mentioned, but this place does incredible food and wine and is definitely a good place to go for an occasion. A lot of the produce is locally-sourced, with the menu being a mixture of British and Mediterranean-inspired food.

Host - A pan-Asian restaurant with a really relaxed vibe, this is one of my favourite places to go pre- or post-theatre. The food is incredible and completely effortless; essentially, it's a much better version of Wagamama.

The Quarter - Technically not on Hope Street but as good as (you'll find it on the corner of Falkner Street), The Quarter comes from the same people behind Host, with a similar easy vibe. The food is contemporary and Italian-inspired, plus they serve up a great breakfast.

Want to see how Liverpool has changed over the years? Check out Travelodge's piece on Evolving Cities - Liverpool, covering everything from the Albert Dock and the Liver Building, to The Beatles and modern-day hidden gems.

There are new places popping up in the city all the time so I could go on forever but for now, this is my definitive list. A big thanks to Travelodge for asking me to write this post and finally getting me down to putting this guide together; if you visit Liverpool and try any of these places, please let me know!

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Friday, 27 November 2015

The Best of the Black Friday Sales



Image via Pinterest

Black Friday is upon us once again, and it seems after the madness of last year, this once American-only day of crazy sales is bigger than ever in the UK. Today is the day I'll be getting all of my Christmas shopping done (plus a few treats for myself), since Black Friday is set to be an even bigger day sales-wise than the traditional Boxing Day Sales. I'll be sticking to purely online though (no black eyes or elbow fights for me), so I've rounded up all of my favourite shops - plus discounts - I'll be visiting on the day.

Topshop - Up to 50% off selected lines

Whistles - 20% off everything

Anthropologie - 20% off everything

River Island - 20% off everything from 11am - 3pm with code BFRIDAY15

Coggles - 30% off everything with code BLACKFRIDAY

ASOS - 20% off everything with code CYBER 

MyBag - 30% off everything with code BLACKFRIDAY

AllSole - 30% off everything with code BLACKFRIDAY





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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Outfit: Emerald Jumper and Cropped Jeans






Jumper: Y.A.S at Coggles
Jeans: Weekday 
Shoes: Topshop

When it comes to colours, I definitely play it safe and tend to go for those neutral shades - black, grey, camel, navy or white - but every now and then I like to inject something a bit different into my look. Granted, this jumper isn't exactly eccentric but that rich jewel tone is a gorgeous alternative to my usual choices. 

For a casual look, I've been wearing it with my favourite cropped Weekday jeans (do you ever buy something and wonder how you got dressed without them before? Well, these jeans have that status for me) and new Topshop shoes. Seriously, these shoes are amazing - they're so comfy, go with everything, and really lift an outfit. 


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Monday, 23 November 2015

Lust of the Week: Just Female Belted Dress




At the moment I'm really loving those pieces that are essentially smartened-up pyjamas and lounge wear; the long dressing gown-inspired coat, the slouchy trousers with matching shirt, or the oversized maxi dress that isn't too far off something your grandma might wear. 

This belted dress from Just Female is the prime example; its shape is that of a belted kimono but the silky, tailored fabric makes it appropriate for times other than a Sunday morning.

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Sunday, 22 November 2015

The Sunday Pamper Session



Jumper: Zara
Mug: HAY c/o Amara

There's nothing I love better than a Sunday with absolutely no plans; getting up late, having a lazy breakfast with the Sunday papers and a much-needed pamper session. My current skincare obsession comes from Mio - the 'fit' skincare range designed to firm, moisturise, banish cellulite, and everything in between. Fortunately for my sensitive skin, too, the products are free from all the rubbish and chemicals found in most.


Recently, I've been using the Liquid Yoga to wind down - pop it in a warm bath and it does exactly what it says on the tin; it's instantly calming and relaxing. Before getting in the bath (or shower), I use the Double Buff exfoliator. It goes on dry skin which isn't something I'm used to but boy does it work - even after the first use my skin was so smooth and silky. Finally, The A Cream comes out. Super moisturising, it also firms and strengthens, making this a product I can't live without.

Once that's done, the rest of my lazy Sunday is spent catching up on blogs or magazines with a good cup of tea or coffee. This gorgeously minimalist cup is from HAY (one of my must-visit shops in Copenhagen - click here to read more) via the equally lovely Amara. If you're as obsessed with interiors as I am (seriously, just look at my Pinterest board) you'll spend hours racking up a wishlist from this site - it's perfect for Christmas gifts too. 

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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Outfit: The Suede Biker Jacket





Jacket: c/o SheIn
Jumper: ASOS (similar)
Jeans: ASOS
Boots: Zara (similar)

The suede biker jacket is probably one of the easiest pieces to wear this season; you can throw it on over a dress or jeans and a jumper and it instantly adds a stylish element to your look - plus, it puts a different spin on the ubiquitous leather biker. This jacket is faux suede but it's still incredibly soft, and at only £20 it's an absolute bargain. 

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Monday, 16 November 2015

Lust of the Week: Finery London Whitmore Dress




With party season coming up, I'm spending most of time planning what I'm going to wear to various Christmas parties, drinks and dinners. Finding a good outfit isn't as easy as it sounds - especially when you've got to take various dress codes into account. This Finery dress has topped my list for those occasions that are smart but not black tie; I love the simple but interesting shape, and the gorgeous fabric gives it a real luxe feel. 

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Sunday, 15 November 2015

Outfit: The Flared Sleeve Shirt






Jeans: Weekday
Shoes: ASOS (similar)

A crisp shirt and a pair of jeans is one of those classic, failsafe outfits that will always be one of my go-tos. Sometimes it can get a bit boring though, so I look for pieces that have an interesting element to them, much like this shirt from Front Row Shop. Not the most practical (hoiking up my sleeves to type isn't the most glamorous of actions), but these flared sleeves give another meaning to oversized and create a more interesting silhouette to the normal shirt-and-jeans combination.  

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Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Outfit: Hermès Scarf and Skinny Jeans






Scarf: Hermès
Shirt: Mango (similar)
Jeans: Topshop
Boots: Zara (similar)

Firstly, I'd like to apologise for my chronic bitch face in these photos...it's a serious problem and one I seemingly can't control. 

There's something about a silk scarf that instantly lifts and outfit and adds a touch of luxury to it (this one's Hermès but you can find a more purse-friendly version at Topshop). Suddenly your classic black skinnies and white shirt are that much more chic and interesting, and all it takes is that one simple accessory.

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Monday, 9 November 2015

Lust of the Week: ASOS Herringbone Jumpsuit




A jumpsuit is one of the most incredible pieces you can have in your wardrobe; it's one of those things that you can just throw on and go, but it will always super stylish. For Autumn/Winter, I'm loving this herringbone number from ASOS for a more season-appropriate jumpsuit - I'd wear it with a contrasting knit underneath to keep those arms warm. 

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Sunday, 8 November 2015

Outfit: Black Cut-Out Top






Coat: Zara (similar)
Top: COS
Trousers: Zara
Flats: Zara (similar)

A bit dark, yes, but just look at that beautiful sky! I wore this outfit for a little shopping and Spectre trip last weekend (worth a watch) and couldn't resist getting some snaps with that as a backdrop. 

I bought this COS top in the sale (man they do a good sale) and while it may not be the most practical for winter, I bloody love how it cuts out at the back and shows what you're wearing underneath - in this case, those cropped trousers I wore during London Fashion Week. I'm glad it's cold enough to bring my grey Zara coat back out too; it's a piece that will always make a statement. It's from last winter, but you can find similar here

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Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Outfit: Tunic, Roll Neck and Flares






Jumper: ASOS (similar)
Jeans: ASOS

Layering is quite possibly my favourite way to put outfits together, especially at this time of year when we could all do with a bit of extra warmth. These flares are from last winter but they're still relevant now; leg lengthening and easy to wear, they make a great alternative to skinny jeans. This season I'm updating them with a roll neck jumper layered underneath this slim fitting burgundy tunic. 

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Monday, 2 November 2015

Lust of the Week: Topshop Chevron Sweatshirt




I've never been skiing, mainly because when I go away I want either a city break or a week on a beach doing nothing but reading a good book and topping up my sun cream. Exercise in the cold? No thanks. But every now and then I feel like I want to go on a ski trip - purely for the après-ski and cute knitwear rather than the actual skiing bit. I can imagine wearing this Topshop jumper in an alpine lodge, curled up next to a log fire and indulging in a spot of fondue, and that thought makes me happy. In reality, I'll be wearing this with cropped black jeans or a leather midi skirt to the office. 

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Sunday, 1 November 2015

Outfit: The Classic LBD





All c/o Wallis

November has just arrived (I know, I can't believe it either) which means party season is just around the corner. With that in mind, Wallis recently got in touch with me to style a dress around 'feminine elegance' and this is what I came up with. To me, being feminine doesn't necessarily equate to being girly and being someone who naturally gravitates towards dark colours, I went for this simple black dress. 

An LBD will always be elegant to me and one that is clean and minimal with just an asymmetric neckline only adds to that. An oversized clutch and statement ring give the outfit those finishing touches that make it party-ready.   

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