The Yauatcha City Summer Tasting Menu is Hot!

Yauatcha CityYauatcha City | Dim Sum Teahouse | Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street | Map

Working right next to Yauatcha City used to be oh-so convenient. Anytime I fancied one of the most beautiful desserts in London, I’d just skip on over. So when my office moved, I was almost certain that was the end of my love affair with the dim sum teahouse. But it was just my luck that I was invited back to try their new Summer Tasting Menu last week, which I dragged my friend Zarna along to (spoiler: she wasn’t unhappy).

And so rather than being petty and keeping all the good food in London to myself, I decided to let you all know about it too.

Yauatcha City Summer Tasting Menu

The Yauatcha City Summer Tasting Menu comes in two varieties: meat or vegetarian. We both chose the meat option, however Zarna can’t eat beef, and Yauatcha were very kind and replaced her venison puff (incl. beef gelatin) with a duck spring roll. I like to mention these little gestures as customer service is very important to me, and all these little things add up to an even better experience.

But of course I’m here to talk about what we ate…or more accurately, what we devoured:

  • Cocktails
    • Asian Daiquiri
    • Thea Martini
  • Steamed Dim Sum
    • Champagne scallop & prawn dumpling
    • Wild mushroom dumpling
    • Crystal dumpling wrap with pumpkin
  • Fried Dim Sum
    • Venison puff
    • Mushroom spring roll
  • Mains (1pp)
    • Stir-fry sliced beef
    • Stir-fry pepper chilli seafood with asparagus
  • Sides
    • Chinese vegatables
    • Jasmine steamed rice
    • Macarons (2pp)
  • Tea (1pp)
    • Classical beauty
  • Desserts (not included in tasting menu)
    • Fromage Frais
    • Tropical Dome
    • Chocolat Mint Delice

How hot is the Summer menu?

My favourites from the menu were: Venison Puff (the pastry & filling is to die for!), Stir-fry Sliced Beef (melted in the mouth), Thea Martini (sweet & fruity), Fromage Frais (beautiful & tangy), and the Chocolat Mint Delice (rich, indulgent…with popping candy!).

The Yauatcha City Summer Tasting Menu is £34 per person (min. 2 people), which includes a glass of wine/cocktail, macarons (2pp) and tea. For such a generous menu, I think the price is more than fair. We were pretty much full by the time our main course came round, but of course we couldn’t let good food go to waste so we devoured everything.

Check out more: Where to Eat in London

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5 Inspirational Instagram Accounts You Should Be Following

It’s been a rough time for Instagram. There have been scandals, controversy and people have generally lost their interest. But us long-term plans have stuck by it, and so I thought it was time to bring back my ‘Instagram 5′ series, and this time I’ve picked out 5 of my favourite inspirational Instagram accounts, to keep us all motivated.

Inspirational Instagram Accounts

Who? @asiyami_gold
Where? Worldwide
Why? Asiyami is a lady of many talents. As an art director and visual storyteller, her Instagram boasts beautiful images from her travels across the globe. However my love of her Instagram comes from her authentic, heartfelt messages, and inspirational designs.

Inspirational Instagram Accounts

Who? @streetview.portraits
Where? Worldwide
Why? I was first introduced to Streetview Portraits by Worshipblues. The account is run by someone with agoraphobia and anxiety, which limits them from travelling. Therefore they decided to see the world digitally, via Google Streetview. There’s something very inspirational about understanding where this account is coming from, not to mention travelling the world through someone else’s eyes.

Inspirational Instagram Accounts

Who? @vikkeview
Where? Copenhagen, Denmark
Why? 
Karen’s account is centred around ‘urban minimalism’. Her unique take on architecture, Danish lifestyle, and people is incredibly refreshing. Not to mention it’s extremely colourful and fun. I really love how she interprets ‘everyday’ things, and creates something beautiful from the ‘mundane’.

Inspirational Instagram Accounts

Who? @mikkoputtonen 
Where? London, UK
Why? You won’t find a more stylish guy than Mikko. His Instagram account effortlessly blends fashion, architecture and design. So much so that it reads like an editorial feature in a lifestyle magazine. I’m constantly inspired by Mikko’s dedication and individual photo style. Not to mention, he’s a great guy.

Inspirational Instagram Accounts

Who? @colorpalette.cinema
Where? n/a
Why? If you’re a photography/cinematography geek like me, then you’ll find inspiration in Colorpalette Cinema. The account takes stills from iconic movies, and combines them with their colour palettes. Design aficionados will find the Instagram useful, as well as an inspiration for their own work.

Do you have any favourite inspirational Instagram accounts?
Let me know in the comments!

Source: Please see the individual Instagram accounts listed above.

XU London – Authentic Taiwanese Food Worth Waiting For!

XU LondonXU London | Taiwanese | Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus | Map

My inner friend circle is pretty much made up entirely of foodies. When I think about it, food is actually the thing that brought a lot of me and my close friends together in the first place. Which means it’s not odd to see us getting excited about new restaurant openings, or the latest street food craze. One of said friends is Joe, who first introduced me to Taiwanese food. And we’ve been on a mission to find the best Taiwanese food London has to offer ever since. So when Joe messaged me about XU London (the team behind Bao) opening, we agreed to make a reservation straight away.

My first impressions of XU came from their Instagram. I was pretty much sold straight away, but part of me wondered if it could live up to such a perfect image. Little did I know, it would be even better than I expected.

Xu London

As soon as you enter, you’ll notice the restaurant is sharp and sleek. It really does feel like you’ve been transported back to 1930s Taiwan, with nods to the era in the dark wood and art deco stylings. The menu – in the shape of a newspaper – also mirrors the feel of the restaurant.

But what did we order? Well we decided to go for a selection of smaller plates, to share…

  • XU’s House Blend Tea (for the table)
  • Selection of Bak Kwa (Taiwanese jerky)
  • Xiao Tsai (
    • Lotus Crisps – chilli, peanut, wintermelon syrup
    • Tomato & Smoked Eel – dried soy daikon
  • Mian Shi
    • 2x Xian Bing (2pc) – pan fried aged pork pancake, vinegar & chilli oil
    • Taro Dumpling (3pc) – taro stuffed with Taiwanese sausage, kow choi oil dressing
  • Cocktails
    • Lo Tsui Ke – Hong Yu tea, gin, white miso, apple
    • Takkiri – 10 Year oolong, Kavalan Single Malt, curdled milk soda

Our total came to £64.13 (with 12.5% service charge). Not overly pricey when you consider we had cocktails, but it certainly isn’t a cheap lunch. However I should point out that whilst the menu does include some pricier dishes, it also has it’s fair share of cheaper ones too.

Does it live up to the hype?

Quite frankly…yes. Taiwanese food really doesn’t get enough love in London, so XU is a welcomed breath of fresh air. Right from the service (exemplary), down to the dishes. Authentic flavours and ingredients are scattered across the menu, and presented elegantly. My personal favourites from our visit were the Tomato & Smoked Eel (refreshing, unique flavours), XU’s House Blend Tea (light & thirst quenching), and the Xian Bing (juicy, soup laden dumplings made with quality meat). The Xian Bing were so good we ordered another portion. In fact everything was so good I would have ordered it twice. I can’t wait to go back to XU – numerous times – and work my way through the menu.

Check out more: Where to Eat in London

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How To Make A Small Apartment Look Bigger | Interior

Small Apartment Look BiggerHow To Make A Small Apartment Look Bigger

I recently decided to do a big overhaul in our apartment. Over the years I’ve become pretty good at making the most of the space I have. And gradually with that has come the ability to make a space look bigger than it actually is. It’s something I have naturally picked up living in big cities with small apartments – oh hey Tokyo and London!

But one of my biggest challenges to date has been trying to add new pieces to our home. Well, without chucking out a bunch of stuff I’d really like to keep that is. The items in question? Trinkets we picked up on our travels, as well as gifts from friends. Small items that can so quickly make a small room look cluttered. So after taking on this challenge, I decided to share a few of my own personal tips on how to make a small apartment look bigger.

How To Make A Small Apartment Look Bigger

  1. Colour Scheme/Theme
    • White walls will help make a room look bigger
    • Sticking with a colour/theme will make the room look more put together (i.e not cluttered)
  2.  Storage
    • Make sure you have plenty
    • Built-in storage is heaven sent
    • Storage that doubles as decorative is even better
  3. Lighting
    • Natural lighting is primary – big windows, skylights etc
    • But if you don’t have it, try recessed lighting
  4. Buy a rug
    • Place it under your coffee table/chair to make the room look wider
    • The size of the rug should be based on how big your furniture is/size of your room
    • Light colours and basic patterns will work in most rooms
  5. Be Practical
    • Go minimal with chairs and tables
    • Choose furniture that has several purposes (e.g. hidden storage)

Items in this post:

Don’t forget to check out more of my interior posts.

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Danish Design Heaven at Aarhus City Hall | Denmark Guide

aarhus city hallAarhus City Hall | Rådhuspladsen 2, 8000 Aarhus C | Map

You know you’re an architecture geek when you base your holiday around a building. Ok well I didn’t base my whole holiday around seeing Aarhus City Hall. But it was definitely number one on my to-see list!

Aarhus City Hall

Stepping inside, I felt like I was walking into a film. Or perhaps an episode of a classic tv show. That’s the only way I can try to get across how magnificent the interior is in Aarhus City Hall. Every single detail of the building has been thought out meticulously. Right down from the gleaming gold of the banisters, to the delicate flowers adorning the walls of the marriage ceremony room. It was like stepping into Danish design heaven.

Built by Arne Jacobsen, the city hall represents Danish architecture and design at it’s finest. The building may be over 75 years old, but Aarhus City Hall is timeless.

How? When? Where?

Although the main floor is open to the public, naturally you can’t just wander around the whole of the city hall. Luckily guided tours are offered in both Danish and English, for around £9 (80DKK). These tours take place on Saturday mornings at 10-11:00 and 11:30-12:30. You’ll be able to see rooms and halls that are usually restricted to the public. And if you’re lucky – and there isn’t a wedding scheduled – you’ll be able to go into the beautiful marriage room, which is covered in hand painted flowers (matching every season). Of course some parts of the city hall are still restricted to staff only, however the tour allows you to see a side of the city hall not open to the public. It’s definitely not to be missed, whether you’re an architecture geek or not.

Don’t forget to check out more of my Denmark travel posts.

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3 Reasons Why I’ve Stopped Reading Blogs

Stopped Reading Blogs3 Reasons Why I’ve Stopped Reading Blogs

Well, ok that title is slightly clickbaity. I do still read a few blogs. But whereas I used to have an RSS/Bloglovin full of them, I can now count the number of blogs I read on one hand. And lately I’ve been wondering why that is, and thinking about some of the little things that bug me about the ‘blogosphere’. So I decided to pop them down in a post, and give you ‘3 Reasons Why I’ve Stopped Reading Blogs’.

Bye bye originality

Time after time, I see the same features and campaigns popping up. The same layouts and designs. The same styles. It’s almost as if they’re blending into each other. Now that’s not to say people can’t follow trends, but it gets eerily creepy when a blog or social channel is a carbon copy of another. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it makes for a boring blog.

Blogs are no longer genuine

I’m tired of seeing bloggers doing something purely because they think it will get them more hits, subscribers, likes etc. That’s to say there are some of the people out there who are no longer genuine in their efforts. I’m talking about the people who only hang out with ‘high-profile’ bloggers just to further their own career. Or those that only visit a place because it is Instagram-friendly. I’ve actually seen people say that they care more about how a restaurant dish looks than how it tastes, because if it doesn’t look good they can’t put it on social. It’s all just very sad.

Not disclosing paid for

This is one thing that will automatically put me off a blogger. Paid-for campaigns are not hard to spot, especially for someone like me who works in marketing. I’ve seen bloggers called out for it in the comments of their Instagram post, and then promptly delete said comment, before later adding #SP. No one is going to hate you for making money, it’s only when you’re shady about it that people are going to get mad.

Why I’ve Stopped Reading Blogs…

I’d like to stress that this post does not mean I think every blog is the same. Far from it, there are some amazing blogs out there that are doing their own thing, and working it. And I understand that some people make money from their blogs, and that’s awesome – power to you guys. But I believe that with a saturated market you often lose quality. I just hope that these blogs continue to do an outstanding job, and don’t get lost along the way.

A Rainbow of Art at ARoS | Aarhus Travel Guide

Aarhus Travel GuideA Rainbow of Art at ARoS | Aarhus Travel Guide

I couldn’t decide where to start when it comes to gushing about my recent holiday to Aarhus, Denmark. The city captured my heart, and my camera (duh, I’m a blogger). So after much deliberation, I decided that my Aarhus travel guide should start at the beginning of my trip. And if it also happens to be the most colourful part, well that’s a bonus.

Aarhus Travel Guide

You may ask me “where?” when I mention Aarhus. But for fans of the Danish life, you’ll recognise it as Denmark’s second largest city – after Copenhagen, naturally. And it just so happens to be European Capital of Culture 2017. So after falling in love with Copenhagen, I decided to see what else Denmark had to offer. And with a title like the capital of culture, Aarhus seemed the perfect place.

My first stop in this new city, was the famous ARoS art museum.

ARoS

ARoS is one of the main attractions at Aarhus, and you can understand why when you notice the ‘Your Rainbow Panorama‘ at the heart of the city’s skyline. But it isn’t imposing, nor is it ghastly against the traditional red roofs. In fact it’s beautiful. Of course it’s open to your own interpretation, but to me it felt like it was saying everyone is welcome in Aarhus. However whilst it may be incredibly Instagram friendly, there’s much more to ARoS than Olafur Eliasson’s colourful masterpiece.

The museum really does feature a panorama of art. For a city that isn’t exactly on the top of the art critics list, I personally loved the installations and exhibitions currently on show. The quality of artwork and artists featured is some of the best I’ve seen. ‘No Man is an Island – The Satanic Verses’ features some big big installations, and they are certainly impressive. Yet it was ‘THE GARDEN – End of Times; Beginning of Times’ that won me over. Not only is it incredibly immersive – without becoming a novelty – but it features some thought-provoking messages, such as man’s relationship with nature.

If you’re in Aarhus, the ARoS art museum is a must visit for any culture fans.

Don’t forget to check out more of my travel posts.

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