Guess Connect Smartwatch *
I love technology. Whenever something new and innovative comes out I’m the first one to jump on the bandwagon. As geeky as it may sound, wearable tech has found it’s way into our everyday lives. The smart watch is no longer something you’d only see in a James Bond movie. It’s a reality. In fact it’s so common now that it’s become a part of people’s personal style. The future is here!
The Guess Connect Smartwatch: Review
As much as I love smart watches I have never actually invested in one. Why? Well I already carry a ton of tech products on me, and I like to switch my watches depending on my outfit. There wasn’t much choice either, and I like to have my pick of the best tech out there. So when I was recently sent the Guess Connect smartwatch I was eager to try it out, and see what the fuss was all about.
This smart watch is the perfect combination of old and new, with a 41mm analog face. You can find it in 4 colours, one of which is a striking blue and rose gold. Personally the black and gold combo was right up my style alley. It’s definitely something I’d look for in a regular watch. That said, the watch itself is quite chunky for my taste. But this is a general problem for me with my oddly tiny hands and wrists. However my friends told me that as chunky as it was, it didn’t look out of place, which was a relief to hear.
Tech-wise, this has all the basics you’d expect from a smart watch: connected via bluetooth, call and voice command, the ability to receive notifications, camera and music control, as well as other features. I tested the watch out and it synced up with my phone easily; I was receiving notifications in no time. I personally like the scrolling text and email feature. It allows me to preview my messages before checking them on my phone later. Not to mention the weather, music and camera functions, which are great. You can’t download apps onto the watch, but then this smartwatch isn’t about that.
As an introduction to the world of smart watches, this is perfect for any style driven person. At £250 it may seem expensive, but if you’re after a smart watch then this one certainly won’t break the bank. Plus it does pretty much everything you’d expect a fashion forward smart watch to do. It’s interesting that Guess have been one of the first designers to jump on the smart watch bandwagon. And I don’t think they’ve done too bad a job. Think along the lines of style-meets-tech, that’s when you’ll start to understand what the Guess Connect smartwatch is all about.
You can buy the Guess Connect smart watch at Debenhams.
155 Bar and Kitchen | European | Website
155 Farringdon Road, Clerkenwell, EC1 3AD
Weekend brunch is almost a ritual for the typical Londoner. Whether it’s with your significant other, your friend group, or even a quiet one by yourself, it’s the perfect way to spend a morning…or afternoon. I’ll admit, I’m a serial bruncher. I do it at least once a week, so you know I’m seriously knowledgable. I just love it.
Where to Eat in London: 155 Bar and Kitchen
I like brunch even more though when I can pair it with window shopping. That’s why 155 Bar and Kitchen was the perfect location for me. Attached to trendy lifestyle store Clerkenwell London, 155 Bar and Kitchen offers up European food from breakfast to dinner. The stylish interior blends perfectly with the vibe of the restaurant. I’m such a sucker for a good looking restaurant.
Of course I was there to brunch, and what better way to do it than with a bottle of prosecco? Ok so we didn’t just dine on bubbly. In fact we tried a couple of dishes and shared them:
- 155 Waffles
At 155 your Belgian (the best in my opinion) waffles come with a choice; bacon & scrambled egg, or berries and cream. Savoury and sweet is my jam, so I went for bacon and egg. The waffles here are homemade, and are the perfect mixture of crunchy outer, and soft inner. Whilst the bacon and egg help even out the sweetness of the waffle. It’s truly a match made in heaven.
- Classic English Breakfast
This has to be the prettiest English breakfast I’ve ever seen. And that’s definitely the weirdest sentence I’ve written for a while. There wasn’t too much food, nor was it greasy – two of the main sins of a full English. In summary, not only did it look good, but it tasted pretty damn good too.
- The coffee
As always, a brunch spot is nothing without good coffee. If you fancy a bit of caffeine alongside your prosecco – coz you should totally get prosecco too – then don’t fear, 155 does not disappoint on this either.
Final thoughts? 155 Bar and Kitchen is a ridiculously cool and sleek restaurant, perfect for any foodie. Because guess what? It’s all style, and a hell of a lot of substance. If you’re in Clerkenwell, this seriously needs to be on your list of go-to places. And if you don’t? Then get off your sofa and head there straight away!
Check out more: Where to Eat in London
Soft Serve Society* | Ice Cream, Tea & Freakshakes | Website
UNIT 35 BOXPARK, 2-10 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6GY
Last year one unique, insane, ginormous, sweet sweet dish, broke the internet. The freakshake. Piled high with cake, cookies, chocolate and more. People were going crazy for this milkshake on steroids. However at the time, they weren’t available in the UK. Luckily for me, I live in London – undoubtedly the food capital of England. And of course it was only a matter of time before London picked up on the trend…and made it their own.
Get Your London Freakshake On
So where do you get your London freakshake on? At Soft Serve Society of course! The new eatery has opened in one of Shoreditch’s favourite retail destinations, Boxpark. Offering up soft serve ice cream, cotton candy cones, sundaes, freakshakes, tea and more. If that wasn’t all, there are nods to the owner’s favourites, such as matcha and chiffon cake (homemade by the way).
Luckily I was invited down to try some of their menu, with my friend Vanessa. As concise as the menu is, it’s still pretty tough to choose just one thing. So of course Vanessa and I went for a few. And shared, coz clearly we’re not animals. We chose:
- Matcha Freakshake
I was so eager to finally try a freakshake, so when I saw my favourite flavour on the menu, I knew I had to have it. You’d be surprised at just how devourable this really is. Most people would suggest eating it between 2, I say go all out and keep it for yourself. It’s that good! The chiffon cake is airy, and the pocky/cookie and cream are the perfect dipping companions. The milkshake itself carries the perfect hint of green tea; sweet and surprisingly light.
- Matcha Madness | Soft Serve Sundae
A must for any matcha/green tea fan, especially if you want something slightly more portable than the freakshake. The sweet azuki beans are the perfect compliment to the slightly bitter (but not too much) matcha. Whilst the mochi adds texture alongside the soft serve. Basically it’s got flavour, it’s got texture. It’s the perfect sundae.
- Espresso Yourself | Soft Serve Sundae
I loved the sprinkle of coffee on top of the sundae. It added a slight crunch, and a shot of flavour. Any coffee fan (aka me) will adore this sundae. Out of all of the sundaes we tried, this is the one I can see myself buying on a regular basis.
- Where’s My Honey | Soft Serve Sundae
This one is for the sweet toothed out there. The oats and waffle add some extra oomph, but personally I would prefer something with a slightly bitter or salty topping, as the honey and soft serve are pretty sweet. But I know not everyone is down for that. If you love sweet stuff, this is for you.
Overall I loved Soft Serve Society. The draw may be the freakshakes, or the cotton candy ice cream, but it’s a lot more than that. This is the perfect addition to any foodie’s Summer.
Check out more: Where to Eat in London
Good and Proper Tea* | Brunch/Afternoon Tea in London – Cafe | Nearest Tube: Chancery Lane | Website
One of my favourite anecdotes from my time in Japan is the afternoon tea tale. Whenever I met someone for the first time (who had not been to the UK/had any British friends), they would without fail ask me “what time is afternoon tea?” This question came up again and again, and I quickly realised that people genuinely see afternoon tea as a part of everyday life in the UK. Unfortunately most of us Brits know this isn’t the case, but I do love to indulge a little every now and again.
The New Afternoon Tea in London
For me, brunch is the new afternoon tea, in London anyway. I love to spend a weekend morning – or a weekday if I’m feeling particularly luxurious – just relaxing with a cup of coffee, and a decent selection of hot food and pastries. In fact I enjoy it so much, I’m constantly searching for new brunch places. Luckily for me, I was invited along to the launch of Good and Proper Tea‘s new Leather Lane store.
Crumpets and Tea!
Ok let’s get to the food! VA and I shared a selection of G&P’s famous handmade crumpets and cakes:
- Egg, Mustard, Ham and Cheese Crumpet – Subtle flavours on top of a pillowy crumpet. A unique take on the Croque Madame!
- Marmite & Cheese Crumpet – Melted cheese oozes over a soft crumpet, whilst everyone’s favourite yes-no condiment adds a tangy edge.
- Blood Orange & Poppy Seed Cake (vegan friendly) – Sweet and a little tart. Stodgy, but in a good way. I could eat this everyday.
- Honey and Orange Madelines – These were so delectable and flavoursome. They are definitely my favourite sweet treat at G&P.
Alongside our food I tried the Dragonwell Tea and a Chai Latte, both are personal favourites of mine. Dragonwell tea (aka Longjing) is a roasted green tea. It went extremely well with my breakfast, as it isn’t too bitter or strong a flavour. My Chai Latte was made using milk, however dairy-free versions are available, which I do appreciate. It was a little spicy, and very creamy. Just the way I like it.
Let’s round it up
First things first, I’m the realest… Wait no, that’s not right. The decor! The decor is insanely gorgeous – there are some definite #interiorgoals going on here. Luckily Good and Proper Tea are as much about substance as they are style; as is reflected in their food and tea offerings. We may have gone for brunch, but you could easily while away an afternoon here chatting with friends, “working”, or of course, for afternoon tea.
You can visit Good and Proper Tea in Clerkenwell, Old Street and Brockley Market (find them here).
Read more: Where to Eat in London | A London Life
The Fabulous Adventures of 698b | London Supper Club
A London Supper Club…
You may remember me listing The Fabulous Adventures of 698b as my top London supper club to attend in 2016. And that was only based on their canapés! Of course I had to remedy this, and luckily for me I was invited only a few days after meeting the lovely people behind the supper club. It’s fair to say that I was ridiculously excited. You all know how much I love food, and this was one food event I could not wait to attend.
The food. Oh the food. Where do I begin? How about the fabulous amuse bouche? As delicious as they are beautiful, these paired perfectly with the seasonal prosecco bellini. The starter of Asparagus with quail eggs and yoghurt was light and fresh; the caramelised yogurt was the star here. The fish course: Steamed Halibut with barley samphire and sea purslane, was again light, and carried subtle flavours throughout the dish. My favourite course of the night was the Rib of Beef with wild garlic; tender high quality beef was accompanied by wonderfully fresh seasonal produce.
The dessert. I don’t want to say much, as this is something you really need to experience yourself. I will say though that it involves an awesome soundtrack, a variety of delicious desserts, and a completely immersive experience. It’s not to be missed!
We were sat next to two couples, both go whom were absolutely lovely. We laughed and joked, and exchanged stories. Some people might say we were lucky, but I believe that the kind of people who attend supper clubs tend to be more outgoing and social. So you’re basically guaranteed a night of good food and socialising. There was a general atmosphere of good cheer all around. Four of us attended, but it’s fair to say we left with more friends that evening.
Final thoughts on The Fabulous Adventures of 698b
From the warm welcome, to the plating in front of the guests, and the adventurous dessert, The Fabulous Adventures of 698b is one of London’s best supper clubs right now. The accomplished Guillame and Maja – what a power couple – are using high quality ingredients, seasonal produce and innovative ideas. I genuinely felt like I was dining with close friends. Close friends who are extremely talented in the kitchen. At £44 per person, this is one treat I would gladly partake in again. This isn’t just good food. This is The Fabulous Adventures of 698b.
You can book tickets to The Fabulous Adventures of 698b at Grub Club and Tabl.
clueQuest Live Escape Game London – Revenge of the Sheep 169 – 171 Caledonian Road, N1 0SL | Nearest Tube: Kings Cross
Team 12 Minutes. That’s what they called us. Legends who will go down in clueQuest history… Ok I may be exaggerating slightly, but we certainly did leave our mark when we recently took on clueQuest’s new Revenge of the Sheep (RoS) live escape game.
What is clueQuest?
Simply put, “clueQuest is a real-life escape game where teams of three to five players have to race against time and escape from a locked room”. Since it’s opening clueQuest has been rated as Tripadvisor’s number one London attraction, been featured in Time Out, and has further expanded rooms. Currently there are 9 rooms, and 3 games available to play: PLAN52, Operation BlackSheep, and the new Revenge of the Sheep (open from March 2016).
How good is Revenge of the Sheep?
It’s pretty damn awesome! My team consisted of myself, Jasiminne, Natasha, Erin, Katie and Amanda. Most of us had experienced live escape room games before, however we were in for a pretty big adventure with RoS. After we arrived we were de-briefed and told about our top secret mission. Professor BlackSheep is back, and he is determined to mutate all of humankind into sheep! We had to enter the room, solve all his puzzles and de-activate his sheep mutator – in only 60 minutes! Did we do it? Well, what do you think Team 12 Minutes stands for? Yes, we made it, and we did it in style too. Unfortunately I can’t share too much with you, as I don’t want to spoil anything. But I can tell you that the room is the most detailed and immersive yet! You’ll need logic, common sense, and a lot of teamwork to beat this game. I would highly recommend visiting, whether it’s with friends, colleagues or family. We had such a great time, and I would head back in an instant. After all, it is down to you now to stop Professor BlackSheep, and his plan to rule the world!
Win clueQuest tickets!
Yes, me and Team 12 Minutes are giving one lucky winner the chance to take on Revenge of the Sheep themselves. All you have to do is enter the giveaway below to be in with your chance!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Prize: 1 x game for 3-5 players
Rules: Follow the Rafflecopter Instructions. UK entrants only!
Closing Date: May 11th
This post is in collaboration with clueQuest however all views, photos and words are my own.
The Canary Hair Salon & Cafe* | Bethnal Green, E2 6QA | Nearest Tube: Bethnal Green | Website
You know I love lifestyle stores. So imagine my joy when I was invited down to The Canary hair salon in Bethnal Green. Now I wasn’t giddy purely because I was getting a hair cut – although I do often feel like that – but because The Canary is a little different to most hair salons in London. Attached to their salon is a cafe. A vegetarian and vegan cafe at that! Good coffee. Good food. Good hair. You can’t ask for more!
I popped by on a Saturday around 12. We grabbed a chair in the well lit space, and ordered a couple of coffees, which I handily paid for with my Drip App. I was introduced to my stylist Emma as I sipped on mine (flat white, no sugar), and I automatically felt relaxed. After my haircut we had a bite to eat. I had a blueberry muffin, and Ben tried a mushroom and tarragon croissant. We both agreed that the food was fresh and delicious. Even better, it tasted homemade.
When I did eventually hop in the seat, we chatted about what I wanted done. I asked whether I should get some layers put in; something I hated years ago but somehow felt might finally suit me. Emma told me that she thought my sharp bob suited me style perfectly, and that layers might ruin what I was going for. She was so right, and I’m glad she said it, because it stopped me getting a hair cut I would have undoubtedly hated afterwards. No one was rushing me, and Emma seemed very professional and easy going. Conversation flowed smoothly throughout, so there were no awkward silences, and I was done in about an hour.
Final thoughts on The Canary hair salon…
As I suspected, Emma was very professional and did a wonderful job on my haircut. My fringe wasn’t exactly how I like it, but I’m pretty fussy about my hair. That said, overall I was happy with my hair cut. The Canary is still a little quiet, but with such friendly staff it comes to life. I have my favourite hair salon (because it’s directly under my apartment), but I would still go back for a coffee and to chill out. Whether you’re after a cut, or some sustenance, The Canary is worth stopping by for sure. Prices for womens cuts start at £56 and mens at £45.
You can visit The Canary at 61 Old Bethnal Green Road, London or online here.
Make sure to check out Drip App for some of London’s best independent coffee shops!