In the space of five minutes around 10 people stopped by to take photos on our recent visit to Shozo Coffee Store. It’s true, the cafe itself is incredibly Instagram-worthy, but the aesthetic doesn’t feel out of place in the neighbourhood (Cafe Kitsune is just down the road). In short, this coffee shop feels genuine. Which makes it a real shame that only 2 out of the 10 people who took photos actually stopped to grab a coffee/food. Because in a time where cafes are designed ‘for the gram’, Shozo is a breath of fresh air.
Shozo Coffee Store
Located in the stylish neighbourhood of Aoyama, Shozo Coffee Store is just off the main road – yet it feels worlds away from the trendy cafes and fashion houses of Omotesando. The rustic, natural look of the cafe has a uniquely Japanese style inside and out. Oddly it’s a style I’ve not found to be popular in Europe.
Shozo’s ‘branding’ isn’t restricted to the outside though. Step inside and you’ll find an array of baked goods (they’re known for their scones), branded items, and of course high quality coffee. All compacted around two very small seating areas (there’s more outside), albeit it rather stylishly. We tried the cinnamon buns and coffee and bought some coffee jam to take home). The pastries were delicious and the coffee went down a treat, the two together making the perfect combo. With the light filtering through the linen curtains, and the friendly staff smiling and chatting away alongside some gentle background music, we felt a moment of serenity in the midst of busy Tokyo.
If you fancy finding out more, check out Shozo Coffee Store’s Instagram to see their food offerings, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the Tokyo coffee scene.
See more: Tokyo Coffee Guide
The Christmas Beauty Gift Guide
If you’re anything like me you’ve probably spent the last few weeks window shopping – both physical and online – for potential Christmas gifts. I don’t like to make it easy for myself though. I enjoy visiting as many shops as possible, so I can make sure I get a good idea of what’s on offer this year. But that’s time consuming and if I can help anyone save time, or recommend something they haven’t thought of, then my blog’s work has been done. So without further ado, here is 2018’s ‘The Christmas Beauty Gift Guide’. And I’ve made sure to pack it full of my favourite products from the year. Enjoy!
The Christmas Beauty Gift Guide
As you can see I’ve focused on brands and products from a range of price points. I’ve included some of my trusted go-tos (Dermalogica & The Ordinary), as well as some new favourites (NIOD & Nails Inc). I’ve also added in a couple of gift sets for good measure. Why? Well I happen to think that they’re perfect for this time of year. Gift sets often feature a variety of complimentary products – sometimes limited edition – that are generally priced lower then they would be when bought separately (e.g. the Gatineau set is worth £276). If we’re being honest, we all know how much we enjoy spoiling our loved ones at Christmas. And if anything can make the gift giving season easier, and cheaper, you may as well make the most of it, right?
If you enjoyed The Christmas Beauty Gift Guide, check out the rest of my Christmas Gift Guide series.
My top 5 Korean skin care brands
South Korean skin care has been making waves across the globe. From 12-step skin care regimes, to innovative products that you won’t find anywhere else. I properly introduced Korean beauty products into my regime a few years ago, and I haven’t looked back since. So much so that I wanted to share some of my favourite brands and products with everyone. Here are my…
Top 5 Korean skin care brands
- Innisfree are a brand with a mission – their aim is to contribute towards lowering carbon emissions, and all of their products are made with at least 70% natural ingredients. They may not have as many ranges as other brand, but what they do have is packed full of quality products.
- Favourite products: My Real Squeeze Green Tea Mask and Green Tea Balancing Skin care EX
- You’ve probably spotted TONYMOLY‘s products before – they come in packaging of all shapes and sizes, including fruits and adorable animals. The brand is so iconic it has made it’s way overseas, and you’ll often find them in TK Maxx and on Cult Beauty.
- Favourite products: Tomatox Magic Massage Pack and Pureness 100 Sheet Mask.
- Etude House
- Probably my favourite brand on the list, Etude House offer a wide range of products for every skincare need – from body, to face, hair and nails. Their packaging is simple but cute, and always on-brand. Plus they have a make-up line that compliments their skincare perfectly.
- Favourite products: AC Clean Up Spot Patch and Green Tea Nose Patch.
- Secret Key
Check out more of my beauty must-haves now!
As Summer inevitably comes to an end, and colder weather approaches, the same question is on every Londoners mind; where do [I] go to drink when the rooftops close? I’m someone who doesn’t like to be out in the sun much, so I’m constantly on the look out for places I can impress my sun-worshiping friends with come Autumn. Being a blogger I’m lucky enough to get press releases and invites to new openings, which makes this process much easier. That said, I can be quite picky and I don’t take every opportunity offered to me. But when I received an invite to Death + Victory cocktail bar at Smiths of Smithfields, it sounded right up my street, so of course I accepted.
Would you care for a cocktail?
D+V’s menu comes in 5 chapters – each of which span a time period from 1100 to present day – with an emphasis on five spirits: whisky, tequila, gin, vodka and rum. As you may have noticed from my Instagram, I’m a gin fan, but I was eager to try something different. Luckily the talented bartenders at Death + Victory were on hand to help. I tried…
- Smooth Fields
- Jameson Caskmates, Amaro, egg white, lemon, sugar syrup. An ode to the grassy knoll that Smith eld market was originally built on, this cocktail blends the grassy overtones of Amaro with stout-seasoned Jameson Caskmates for the smoothest of nishes.
- Bull in a China Shop
- Beefeater 24, Lillet Rouge, Aperol, Campari, green tea. A wonderfully quintessential tea serve blending Beefeater 24 with refreshing green tea. Served in high-tea fashion. Just be careful of the rowdy cattle.
- The Horace
- Absolut Elyx, jasmine tea, Lillet Blanc, lemon juice, chocolate bitters, Champagne. A concoction that pays homage to the revered architect who designed Smith elds. And for whom our sister restaurant is named after. This refreshing Absolut Elyx serve is crafted with jasmine tea and topped with champagne. So raise a glass to the man.
Final thoughts on Death + Victory
I always like to try something new when I visit a cocktail bar, which can be a make or break situation for some. But I was really impressed with the cocktails at Death + Victory. I’m not being cliche when I say there is something for everyone – the concise menu means you’ll find a variety of spirits and flavours. And once you take that all away, what are you left with? A group of knowledgable bartenders and a vast array of cocktails, each with it’s own distinct flavour, made from quality ingredients. Death + Victory is definitely on my ‘must-visit again’ list.
Check out more: Where to Eat in London
5 Independent Wedding Stationery Designers You Should Know
When choosing the wedding stationery we would use as part of our celebrations, we knew the exact kind of style we wanted – minimalistic, with ties to nature. In some cases this was more prevalent than others, such as our place cards by Peach Wolfe Paper Co which feature flower and leaf motifs. And in others there was a looser connection, such as the Lilac and White menu cards, which we chose in a subdued natural tone to match the decorations. With there being so many options out there, it quite literally took us weeks to find something that suited our personal style, and matched the theme of the wedding.
5 Independent Wedding Stationery Designers
Part of what made the task so difficult was that we wanted to choose independent wedding stationery designers. I have to say that the sheer amount of talent out there is astonishing. On top of that, we didn’t quite realise just how important wedding stationery actually is. We knew that we would need Save the Dates and invites…but place cards, menus, ‘will you be my…’ cards?! We really weren’t expecting, or even considering, all of those.
Never the less, with the help of Not on The High Street, we were able to find the perfect wedding stationery for us:
- Peach Wolfe Paper Co.
- Lilac and White
- Jade Fisher
- Rodo Creative
- White Olive Design Studio
As you can see, we ended up with a lot more than we had bargained for. Once you begin looking at wedding stationery, it becomes a bit of a slippery slope. One major problem of finding so many amazing independent wedding stationery designers is that even now – with less than a month to go until our wedding – I find myself wanting to buy more. I think it’s time to go on a wedding stationery detox…
Check out the rest of my Wedding Series now!
This post is in collaboration with Not on The High Street, however all views, photos and words are my own.
My Beauty Must Haves: Dermalogica
I have sensitive skin and I’m not afraid to say it. But sometimes I am afraid to use beauty products on it. My issue with the majority of brands is that they use chemicals and alcohol in their products, and that upsets my skin, a lot. Because of this – and for many other reasons – I chose to turn my beauty cabinet around.
Dermalogica was one of the new brands I introduced into my routine. At the heart of their brand, Dermalogica offers a product line free of common irritants and ingredients that could cause breakouts (including lanolin, SD alcohol, mineral oil, artificial colors and fragrances). Exactly what I wanted. It was a brand that I’d had my eyes on for a few years but never tried. I picked up their Daily Microfoliant and suddenly I understood the buzz.
Beauty Must Haves: Dermalogica
Recently Dermalogica offered to send me some of their hero products. I may or may not have given an audible squeal when I read the message, and I think I typed out ‘yes, I love you’ quicker than when I said the exact same thing to my fiancé when he proposed. I’m joking…kinda. Seriously though, I was so ridiculously happy when I received my parcel, because it included not only my favourite product, but several I had yet to try.
I have already started using the primer, and I’m very excited to try the Precleanse (and everything else, duh)!
If you’re new to Dermalogica, and you can’t invest in a whole new set of products, their skin kits are a great way to introduce some of their top products into your skincare regime. Or you can get one for free if you do fancy a little spree, and spend over £60. Not bad, ey?
Check out more of my beauty must-haves now!
Welcome to my Skincare Regime
My love affair with French skincare started around five years ago. At the time I was travelling to-and-from France on a regular basis, and I was enthralled by the products that lined pharmacy shelves. They promised quality over quantity, unlike a lot of British & American beauty brands that churn out product after product. Not only that but most of the brands had reassuringly been around for years. One of these brands was Gatineau, founded back in 1932 by beauty therapist, Madame Jeanne Gatineau.
Over the years Jeanne Gatineau’s pioneering research and development has resulted in cosmetic breakthroughs that have been stepping stones for the entire beauty industry. Par exemple, Gatineau were the first beauty house in the world to develop an exfoliator and alcohol-free cleansers and toners – I bet you didn’t know that.
Back to 2018, and Gatineau very kindly offered to send me a selection of their products to try, which I was happy to accept. After all I had been longingly staring at them for several years now, and I was dying to try out more than the travel size companions (body lotion, and hand cream) I had in my beauty cabinet.
- Mélatogénine AOX Probiotics
- Perfection Ultime
- Collagene Experte
I’m currently using the Perfection Ultime Beauty Cream, and I’m completely in love with the texture and scent of the product. I recently had a bad breakout and this has helped bring back some luminosity to my skin. Alongside this I tried the Collagene Experte Eye Pads in my bi-weekly routine., which have been freshening up my tired eyes. I’ve yet to try the other items I received, but if this experience is anything to go by then I can’t wait. Gatineau’s products look, feel and ooze quality – exactly what I’d expect from a luxury skincare brand.
Check out more of my beauty must-haves now!