Wednesday, 26 July 2017

The Ivy - Chelsea Garden, London









 Famously known for filling the bellies of some very well known names, it has been on my list to visit for many years, so I finally booked a visit to The Ivy, Chelsea Garden!
Upon arrival we were greeted by a lovely lady who showed us to our table, I personally love the idea of being greeted at the door and shown to your designated table, its touches like this that make you feel as if they go the extra mile for your visit. 

Myself and Sarah both perused the menus, some beautiful treats were laid out before our eyes and I truly found it hard to choose what to go for, ever the cake connoisseur, I of course settled on the 'Ivy, Afternoon Tea".
Priced at £19.75, I thought this was absolutely incredible, especially for the area in which the restaurant is situated, and in comparison to other places I have eaten at, however it is only served between 3-5pm so do bear that in mind if you are planning a trip there and have a time frame! 

Served upon perfectly quaint silverware, the afternoon tea offers some delectable little savouries, namely the truffled chicken brioche, which was absolutely incredible and I could have devoured many of these, the smoked salmon, cream and chive on rye bread was also heavenly, however a very strong flavour so 100% pack some breath mints in your handbag that day ;) 
Onto the sweet treats, the warm fruited scones were literally pure heaven, they came with fresh strawberries, cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserve, you could tell they were freshly baked with each person ordering, as they were still warm when I finally got around to eating them.
Among the scones we were served a fresh raspberry cheesecake, a chocolate and salted caramel mousse, also heavenly and incredibly lightweight (these would be dangerous if placed in my fridge as you almost feel as if you are eating delicate chocolate air.. calorific, delicate chocolate air mind).
Lastly, a creme brûlée doughnut, again very lightweight and easy on the lips! 

Served with a selection of teas, infusions and coffees you are spoilt for choice, however a downfall is that you only had one choice of hot drink with the food, a shame as I felt like I could've sampled many different flavours and admittedly I have never come across this within other restaurants serving afternoon tea, namely the Sanderson, here you can choose from an array of teas and are unlimited to your hearts tea drinking content.
That being said, The Ivy Afternoon Blend was absolutely delicious, I would've just preferred slightly a little more.

Upon writing this review I felt impelled to explain something, the food at The Ivy is absolutely beautiful, you cannot possibly fault it, and if I was writing a review solely on the food I would rate it highly.
However, my recollection of the visit was left with a sour taste, the restaurant service is incredibly slow and poor, I felt as if the tables were overbooked and the staff over worked. 
It seemingly has a very relaxed vibe as you walk through the doors and this is very quickly diminished by the wait time to finally be served from your tables, don't get me wrong the staff weren't in anyway rude, just inattentive.

For the food alone, this place is definitely worth a try, just bare in mind if you are there for a relaxed casual dining setting then this will be perfect for you as the ambience is very relaxed, however if you are there for a lunch meeting, or to simply dine and leave then you may be there for a little longer than you bargained for!
I would definitely reconsider visiting again, however this time I think I would order a meal from the dining selection of the menu as I did find myself eyeing up many of the other tables around me, the steaks looked absolutely divine so I may give it one more shot in the future, however for now I would be happy to try out somewhere slightly different in London for more afternoon tea style lunches, than The Ivy. 

Frankie xo



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Saturday, 8 July 2017

Current Home Decor Lust List


 L I V I N G  R O O M
If you couldn't tell from these overly pastel heavy images that I'm currently digging blush pink and eucalyptus green then I'm telling you right now.. I'm obsessed, throw in a few gold elements and you've pretty much got my dream home decor in a nutshell! 

The blush velvet cushion from Tom Dixon is just so beautiful to pair with our grey chaise in our living room & with the Oliver Bonas lamp they're just the match to go with some lovely little copper side tables too, that I've had my eye on, this whole little set up just goes so perfectly together in my head, I could just imagine myself chilling here in the evenings with the cats, Samuel & a cup of tea.. 
Also just how beautiful is this Perch and Parrow mirror, I spotted it on Suzie's blog and have been obsessed ever since.

Jo Malone Candle: Peony & Blush Suede / Mirror: Perch and Parrow / Palm Photo Holder: Oliver Bonas / Blush Mohair Velvet Cushion: Tom Dixon / Pink Lamp: Oliver Bonas / Greenery Print: Oliver Bonas / Ecelctic Candle Trio: Tom Dixon

K I T C H E N 
In the kitchen there is no exception to the colour palette I'm coveting, this time I'm incorporating touches of blue with this gorgeous Zara Home Vase, and my literal fave dream homeware item; the SagexHestonBlumenthal coffee machine, we have a Delonghi machine currently, and its been something I've always said we would upgrade on in the future years & I'm feeling like that time might be nearing, ever the coffee lovers in this household our current machine doesn't quite deliver the right shot .. get it ;) but seriously this one by Sage is just so goddamn perfect & those clear espresso glasses heart eye emoji drool.
Another item I've been thinking of switching up for a while now is our dining table, we bought a really lovely large wooden one from a family friend a few years ago, shabby chic'd it up & I loved it for so long, but my style has evolved and the romantic white wood phase has gone with it, I'm loving the idea of more industrial style furniture and the style of the one below from Next is more up my street, I just need to think of what style chairs I would mix it with, or if I would go for benches, what would you go for? 

Double Wall Espresso Glasses: Bodom / Love You More Mugs: H&M Home / Hardwick Metal Dining Table: Next Home / Gold Metal Trivet: H&M Home / Blue Blown Glass Vase: Zara Home / Coffee Machine: SagexHestonBlumenthal / Palm Print Plate: Bloomingville / Jade & Gold Cup: H&M Home / Blush Place Mats: H&M Home 

B E D R O O M
Lastly, we have the bedroom, now this has to be the most unloved room out in our little flat, which is surprising for me.
Having always favoured the bedroom as one of my personal favourite rooms in our homes, since we moved to our current property I just don't feel like I've ever connected to it.
Its a pretty pokey room with a bedside table, bed and a built in wardrobe at the end of it, so were talking a tiny room to make 'pretty' but I'm making it my summer mission to beautify our small space and make me fall in love with it before we part ways onto something bigger & better.
As the room is painted white I thought adding some colour on the few walls we have with this gorgeous palm print would really liven the space up and adding some texture with the most perfect pink wool knit throw from Saint Wools, would make the room feel cosy and lived in.
One furniture peice I definitely want to replace at some point is the bedside table, as we have space for just the one I though making it a statement piece would be the right thing to do and I absolutely love this gold and marble version from Oliver Bonas! 

Blush Mohair Cushion: Oliver Bonas / Gold and Pink Heart Print: Oliver Bonas / Palm Print: Wayfair / Gold Triangle Hanging Mirror: Marks & Spencer / Pink Chunky Knit Throw: Saint Wools / 
Grey Velvet Love Seat: Oliver Bonas / Gold & Marble Side Table: Oliver Bonas / Spa Reed Diffuser: The White Company / Marble Trinket Box: Marks & Spencer
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Saturday, 1 July 2017

Let's Go Through My Wedding Pinterest Boards!


                                  
      

                              

Going through my Pinterest wedding boards has been something i've been wanting to do for a while now,  and seeing as it is under a year until our big day, I thought now would be the best time to start sharing some wedding content with you over on here on this little corner of the big www.

To say I'm obsessed with wedding decor would be a huge understatement, blush tones are for sure creeping their way into the mix of beautiful clean crisp whites and greenery of foliage!
Im also loving adding subtle gold tones, especially in dining accessories, I just feel like it adds a really expensive element to the decor without being over the top or too tacky (I hope)!



              

        

Pinning wedding dresses with literally the first thing I did as soon as we got engaged, it's funny, if you go through the board from the beginning of our engagement and scroll to the top you can see the transitions of dress styles that I thought I would've gone for and pretty much everything I pinned is completely different to the style of dress i've actually ended up with! 

I absolutely adore the top dress in this post, the most beautiful Sarah Seven 2 Piece, the embellished crop top with the soft A-line bridal skirt is just the absolute dream, but unfortunately my world consists of far too many slices of cake and Starbucks frappe's so crop was definitely not the way forward in this girls world, therefore I started to broaden my outlook on styles and absolutely obsessed over more floaty feminine styles, tulle and lace are just perfect wedding dreaminess and this is something I will forever miss trying on.. gone are the days of swishing around bridal boutiques swooning over dresses, however I am very excited for the day I get to wear my chosen dress, can you tell? 


      

      


Flowers are a hard one, theres just so many styles to choose from & you have to then co-ordinate that with your wedding decor, dress, bridesmaid dress etc etc the list is literally endless and getting it right is what I've been trying to perfect over the last few months & I'm feeling like I'm potentially failing on this one right now, I really love the idea of tying the blush tones into the boquets using soft roses, peonies, carnations & mixing them with white tones and keeping everything minimal and delicate!

Another idea I've toyed around with is all white flowers which I just think looks so crisp and fresh, with just a little greenery on show from the stems, however I think its about time I bit the bullet and made an appointment with a florist to discuss my options rather than swooning over pinterest photos all day. 

        
... And finally, Bridesmaid dresses, how beautiful are the sequin gold dresses, I would absolutely love to have gone with something like this, but I feel like they don't sit right with the look of our day, however,  I still love them & looking through Pinterest my eye literally constantly gravitates to blush tones.
I love the look of blush with the soft white bridal tones and feel like everything will tie so perfectly together with this shade, however it is a pretty popular colouring right now and I'm always someone who likes to stray from the norm so this whole palette could change drastically overnight ahh! 

I really hope you enjoyed having a little look through my Wedding Day Pinterest boards, it feels so nice to share with you all some of the details of what our day might look like & if anyone else is currently planning their big day, leave me a comment so we can chat everything weddings as I feel like Sam may get sick of me before the day arrives haha! 

There is also a video version of this blog post up on my YouTube channel if you would like to see some more content like this..


Frankie x 






       



       


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Sunday, 12 February 2017

mask sundays

 





Mask Sundays is something that i've been doing for the past few weeks without even intending too, every weekend I go to my beauty stash and pull out the latest addition to my collection and slather it all over my face until I'm contempt that you can no longer see any actual part of my real face!

This week was a treat from the Lush Kitchen, the Oatifix fresh face mask, first things first, it smells absolutely delicious, you genuinely feel like you could pick this up and scrape it out as your sunday breakfast (post hangover?) and feel pretty damn happy with how good it tastes!
In all seriousness though DO NOT EAT IT!

Oatifix contains all the fresh goodness you would expect from Lush and is packed full of amazing skincare benefits including illipe butter which reduces redness, a HUGE problem I suffer with so this is straight up my street. along with bananas, crushed almonds and of course oats, these all combined allow you to have super soft and nourished skin.

The ingredients are also great if you are a dry skin sufferer i.e: myself, As many of you may know if you've read my blog or watched my YouTube videos for a while now, I suffer from really dry/flaky & dehydrated skin, something that I battle with on a daily basis and this was the main reason I picked up Oatifix & I can confirm it really does nourish and replump my lack lustre face, however I would say be very careful with how much you exfoliate this off after use as it did make my face a little sore as the almonds can be quite abrasive, especially if you suffer from sensitive/dry skin.

The actual feel of my face after using this was soft and supple, you could really see and feel the difference in my skin, after the initial soreness of over exfoliating this off had calmed down, you could really see and feel that the mask had done its work, my skin was much brighter and significantly soothed and less aggravated, makeup went on so much easier and lasted longer throughout the day too!

I would definitely recommend trying Oatifix out if you have similar skin to mine or if you are just looking for a great weekly mask that can be doubled up as an exfoliator too & the best part of it is the price, at £6.75 it is such an affordable product that its so worth heading to your local lush for!

Frankie xo
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Tuesday, 7 February 2017

so, its time to plan your wedding




Myself & my Fiancé Samuel have been engaged now for a little over a year and a half, some may think this is quite a while, some may be thinking its way too soon to start planning a wedding, but hey were doing it and we have a little over a year left until the big day!

Once you have been engaged for a while the fuzzy warm feeling soon passes and the realisation that you have A LOT to plan, make, organise, do etc becomes very overwhelming and you may catch yourself in a huge ball of WTF, so before you find yourself drowning in taffetta and confetti, grab yourself a cup of tea, glass of wine, maybe even grab the bottle and have a read through my advice & tips for brides to be.. 

Theme

This might not seem like the obvious choice for where to begin your planning but it can actually help more so than you think!
We wanted a 'rustic barn theme' so that whittled a lot of potential venues down and made the start of planning a whole lot easier once we had decided a theme!
There are a lot of different choices and styles for wedding themes, personally we kept our choice true to our personalities, but if you are struggling for ideas, Pinterest is the best place for a whole ton of theme inspo! 

Venue

You've chosen your theme, this is where the fun happens and you can finally go and visit your potential venues!
We settled on the first and only venue we saw purely because it just felt right, but you may be a very indecisive person and struggle with choosing the 'perfect' venue, have a look at local venues to you, fitting within your theme: i.e 'rustic barn weddings in Kent'..
I suggest whittling the list down to your favourite 3-5 venues and view those only to begin with, just to not over complicate things.
Liase as much as you can with the wedding planners that are dedicated to those venues and search for someone who is helpful, yet assertive as you know she/he will get shit done on your big day! 

How you gonna do it?

Now this relates purely to how you are as a person, are you someone who loves being crafty? 
Are you a super organised person who has to have every single things absolutely perfect and wont have it any other way? 
Maybe you're super relaxed, yet know what you want and will happily hand everything over to a wedding co-ordinator? 
Having your decision on how your going to go forward with the whole experience is invaluable, personally I have struggled to decide how much control I want over the day, i'm a complete perfectionist & also very crafty, but how much homemade is too much homemade.. 

Budget

This is one of the most important aspects of the entire day, and will also help you decide the last section, do you have an unlimited budget and money is no object when it comes to your big day or are you a budget bride and saving every month to have the wedding of your dreams (yep I'm the latter)!
Sit down with your fiancé and grab a notebook and draft out every single thing you want to be a part of your wedding day and a rough estimate of how much you want to spend on each of those things, total them up and work out if that is an achievable amount for you to spend on the day itself, this is more for the bride who has a budget but it helps either way as it will just set you out for exactly where you need to be savings wise! 
Once you have totalled everything up divide this out over the number of months before your big day (minus the month before as most vendors expect payment upfront around 3-4 weeks before the wedding date) and this will be the amount you need to put aside every month! e.g £5670 ÷ 15 months = £378 per month!
With our estimation's we made them slightly more expensive then we would expect to be paying, therefore allowing us to save extra and then use anything left over to go towards our honeymoon, savings, houses etc etc!

Don't sweat the small stuff

I know this probably sounds so much easier said than done, so I went to Facebook and asked fellow brides and brides to be, the all important question, what advice do you have for us wedding planners?
The feedback I had back was invaluable and the majority of ladies said "not to worry so much over the day at hand & to enjoy it!
Don't worry about others expectations, who to invite (it really is who YOU both want there, not who is expected to be invited), who will and wont sit with who and all the other little niggly things we know and expect that come with wedding planning!
Instead celebrate the enjoyment of the build up, cherish the engagement photos with your partner, have girly evenings with a bottle of wine making table decorations, invites and bouquets, browse pinterest and dream up your perfect wedding day and then take all the inspo you can and turn it into your own take on those beautifully edited photos!

Wedding planning is hard, and hell i'm a long way off of even being close to the finish line yet, but i'm definitely taking as much advice and help along the way I can and I hope that i've helped you in the process too! 

Let me know about your own wedding plans, ideas & what you have in place already, i'd love to hear all about your stories and make some fellow wedding planning friends! 

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Sunday, 5 February 2017

the life of a twenty-something millenial



Did you ever hear your parents say "I wish I could go back to school, I wish id done enough" and think NAH, no you don't, and then hobble back to your bedroom with MSN nudges chiming in the background with a little giggle under your breath?

Well fast forward about 13 years later, sitting in living room of the flat I share with my wonderful fiancé & life partner of 9 years, the world at my feet & here I am saying those exact words my Mum mentioned to me when I was that aggy teenager and think "DAMN GIRL you were fucking right"!

My twenties have been a constant slur of feeling like *that girl* who's on a constant merry go round, waking up in the morning feeling like i'm going to own the world & be the next #GIRLBOSS, to then crying into my bubble bath, being a complete sap of life.
Its been a constant slur of emotions of negativity, positivity, frustration and pure un-adultness and not knowing exactly where I want to take my life, I have career aspirations, personal life goals and also the odd occasion of wanting to divulge an entire galaxy caramel bar and ngaf!

For those of you who follow my blog, you'll maybe also know that I make YouTube videos & this is something that is a HUGE passion of mine, I absolutely love it, but that also doesn't go without saying that is really bloody hard to feel a part of a community that you are equally so distant from, having a conversation with my mum the other day made me realise how much we have come to depend on instant gratification from the likes of social media 'influencers' alike and how we thrive off of a world we have absolutely no true understanding of!

I lay awake till sometimes 3am at night, scrolling my feeds & pulling my screen down numerous times every ten minutes, with the hopes of a new subscriber, a few more instagram followers and tweets in my notification box, realising i don't quite live the life of the other girls on my feeds, a holiday to the Maldives? YEP hand me the ticket please, Gucci Dionysus, i'll have one of those to make my outfit posts trend!

Life as a Millennial is a constant battle of trying to live your normal life and do you, whilst living your life through a lens of other peoples and constantly measuring yourself up with the hopes of living that life one day!
Now I'm totally not knocking this life, its the life I want, of course it is, I'm blogging for fun and I make videos for the love of doing so, but u wanna hand me a paycheque for that too so I can go shopping for some new Haul content, sure!

Its a constant battle of fear of never being good enough, even re-reading this blog post right now, I'm worrying is this content good enough?
Never matching up to those you aspire and follow every day of your life, never feeling quite like your content reaches that level like those bloggers you see in the hammocks on beaches on insta, but thats ok! thats really fucking ok!

We are human, we are normal everyday people, who live everyday normal lives and thats ok!
I want this post to be motivation for your day, motivation to get up and hug your partners, hug your cats/dogs, tell your parents you love them & love your damn self, love yourself so hard.
You are good enough, you will always be good enough, have your dreams & push them, push those boundaries so hard they might break, but know when to take a back seat and chill with that galaxy bar, in the bath if you really fancy and realise there is more to life then relishing in the lives of others achievements!
Realise how far you've come in life and how much more potential you have,  do you & do it well!




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Friday, 3 February 2017

an affordable amazing cleanser?





If, like me, you are someone who spends a considerable amount of money on skincare and it all runs out at the same time, leaving your bank card sighing at the thought of yet another contactless payment being run through the till - sound familiar? 

Yep, well that was my life & I knew something had to give as my penchant for Space NK was definitely wearing thin! 

Being a 26 year old with limited funds, yet a love for high-end products left me wondering where exactly I could've taken myself and then one day I stumbled across a Liz Earle counter, now i've seen Cleanse & Polish many a time before, its a product you've probably heard every female and their mother mention atleast once in your lifetime, and you may have even own a bottle or 2 aswell, but me, nope, i'd never even considered trying it.

I have this thing where, if something is too 'hyped' up I just wont buy it, am I the only person who does this?

But something this time caught my eye, maybe it was the very significantly lower price tag or the huge bright flash of aqua running in columns along its counter, either way I picked up my bottle and headed over to the till with my bank card squealing with a happy face and brought my first ever bottle.

Now fast forward about 5/6 months and I've gone through around 3 bottles or so now & still loving it, however i'd been really wanting to go on a skincare splurge, but my ever relenting anxious stomach told me I couldn't, so off I trailed down to boots to pick up a fresh bottle of c&p, this time I thought, seeing as I fancied a change, to go for the Rose & Lavender and very excited by the prospect of feeling like I was trying a new product even though, really it was exactly the same just with a fancy new scent! 

Anyway, I'm totally digressing from the actual reason why you clicked on this post, are you bored yet? If not heres a snippet on the actual cleanser at hand.. 

For a start, the bottle is absolute genius, you literally pump it straight into your hands which makes it so easy and mess free to use, also no wastage which is a win win imo, the cleanser is then dispersed straight into your fingers and onto dry skin you massage the creamy cleanser all over your face, even on the eye area which is amazing for me, as, even though I luuvvvv my skincare, i'm also incredibly bloody lazy and I need a product that removes everything in one go, none of this extra eye makeup remover thanks, so, yes it works wonders with removing all traces of makeup/dirt in one cleanse, however I always like to go in with a second.

For me the ingredients in this product are just so perfect for what I need in a cleanser, the beeswax & cocoa butter help sooth my dehydrated and dry skin & rosemary oil helps repair, especially if I have a flare up of acne, i'm a picker, and this helps massively reduce the healing time and redness of the actual area - another reason I love it!

When removing the product, I like to use the (warm) muslin cloths that come with the product as they are gently exfoliating and great at removing any last traces of debris from my face without stripping it or making me feel as if I've literally rubbed sandpaper on my face, or 2-3 times a week i'll add in my Clarisonic for extra cleansing and the two work REALLY well together, my skin feels absolutely amazing, just like I've had a thoroughly good facial!

Now i'm aware this is a rather rambly post but I feel like this product really deserves all the praise it can get, I really feel like it has transformed my dull, lifeless face into one that is more healthier and radiant, which makes me one chuffed little pea!

I can safely say that I think Cleanse & Polish will remain a firm staple in my bathroom cabinet for a little while longer, maybe I should delve into trying some more from the brand? 
Do you have any recommendations? Not that I need to add anymore products into my home, but a few more can't help surely? 

Frankie xo

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Thursday, 26 January 2017

Soft Grey Luxe

So with beautiful weather impending on us comes beautifullly light soft hued linens and fabrics to adorn our bedrooms this summer.

Soft greys and pale heather tones are the pallete of choice, making these colours sumptous and inviting for the long warm nights ahead of us! 


When choosing the perfect linen for summer make it a higher thread count for maximum luxury and immerse yourself into the soft sheets with a lighter tog duvet, 4.5 is the ideal of this time of year keeping you cool and allowing the body to breathe.

Opting for a lightweight throw, the silk chevron heather throw is the perfect one for adding a touch of colour to the grey tones and is light enough to use as a cover for those warmer nights.


The linen is the perfect soft grey hue, with the jacquard weave accentuating the design and accompanying grey paisley cushions add a touch of design and darker colour to the palette to tie the look together, the linen is a 470 thread count, making the bespoke bedstead really stand out in its shade of soft lilac/grey Zinc. 



The look is neither feminine nor masculine, making it the ideal for couples who love luxury and elegance but with simplicity to there bedroom design! 
Adding the white linen cushions softens the look making it easier to dress up or down, depending on what sort of look you want to go for! 


Adding these beautiful grey and glass lamps, they are the perfect companion for the high headboard of the bedstead, not too outlandish for the design, the soft grey shade looks beautiful lit for a warm tone, or left alone to show the depth of the grey against the bedstead, the glass adds an elegant touch and definitely one of the accessories you would want to show off to welcoming guests! 

What do you think of the soft grey & lilac design, personally I love it! Let me know :) 

Lots of love, Frankie x 

* Paid for post in collaboration with Feather And Black 



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Saturday, 5 November 2016

pretty in pink












Incase you've been living under a rock for the past few years, Sketch seems to be one of those iconic 'insta-famous' places that we all have on our bucket list to visit.

The minute you walk through the curtains along the hop scotch path you played when you were 5, you are instantly hit with Diptyque, like the best smelling cocoon of scent, I genuinely walked in and said "Diptyque" such an iconic scent filling the rooms is so obvious if you know the brand, none the less the candles are hidden away in perfectly placed spots so only those who know, know!

Mostly renowned for its pink room with chairs replicating pink sponge fingers, from which they serve you the most beautifully quaint afternoon tea's, Chai was my flavour of choice along with plentiful sandwiches and decadent little pastries, scones and cakes to fill your belly beyond contempt & the most amazing alcohol free raspberry daiquiris were added to the table.

Of course one of the many wonders of Sketch are those egg shaped toilets, surrounded by disco coloured ceiling and fish eye mirrors, selfies had to take place, the decor is down to a fine art, everything from a simple loo, to the entrance of the building is carefully thought out, staff are casual, and waiters wear boiler suits and converse to add that Sketch twist.

I would definitely re-visit, although I think if I were to go again I would likely choose from the restaurant menus, the tea is amazing but I think once you've been once, you kinda see it all, so a choice from a different menu would be a new experience to try!

Have you been before? Are there any other recommendations of places to eat in London, I love trying  different foods so let me know below..

Frankie xo





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