Thursday, 20 September 2018

THEATRE | FOXFINDER STARRING IWAN RHEON & HEIDA REED


I remember being really into dystopian novels when I was in high school, something about a strange and dangerous alternate world really fascinated me, along with the relatability of the suffering of human characters (kind of grim when I think back on it, but it's true). Unfortunately I've lost quite a bit of my reading mojo since then and it took a new play announcement lead by Game of Throne's Iwan Rheon and the promise of a dark dystopian tale to jog my memory back to school libraries and pique my interest to book tickets to see Foxfinder


Ambassadors Theatre was one of the few play venues in London that I'd never set foot in beforehand though I'd always walk past it on the way to the Donmar. On first inspection, it's built much like your traditional West End theatres, only fractionally smaller. When the curtain first opened to reveal the stage, my breath was stolen by how beautiful I found the design, a perfect bleed of a rustic house interior into a dark forest with trees bursting from the floor and reaching towards the high ceilings. Unfortunately, I soon learnt that there wouldn't be much else for me to praise beyond the set design. Foxfinder tells the story of a farmer couple, the Coveys (Heida Reed and Paul Nicchols) who fear they will not make their annual harvest quota. A "foxfinder" named William Bloor (Iwan Rheon), trained by a seemingly authoritarian government institute from a young age, has been elected to stay with them to find out if the reason behind their failed produce are "foxes". Soon after realising they've never actually even seen any of these so-called "foxes" in their lives, they start to ponder whether it's all just a government conspiracy to keep the citizens in check and also whether it has anything to do with the death of their son. 


I don't know about you, but I found the sound of that plot absolutely riveting. If that were the synopsis of a novel or film, I'd go read/see it in a heartbeat. This production however, doesn't seem to be able to execute this story to it's full potential. I found the acting rather wooden and bland across all fronts (gosh I feel terrible admitting that in writing but it's my honest opinion). Even Iwan, who I think did such a great job in GoT and Misfits, seems a little out of place as the young, brainwashed Bloor, and the gradual lead up to the questioning of his beliefs or loss of innocence doesn't pack the punch that I'd hoped for in the end. Both Iwan and Heida noticeably stumbled over their lines at least once during the play too, though it should be noted that it was still in previews when I watched it. Then again, I watch many plays whilst they are still in previews so I personally don't think this is a valid excuse. In my humble opinion, Paul Nicholls gave the most believable performance of the lot, his anguish and rage for his lost son conflicting with his logic, but it just wasn't enough to pull this production together, which is a shame as I think the story had real potential. Several times during the seemingly dragged out two hours I found myself almost nodding off and wishing it would pick up in pace and atmosphere only to finally reach a severely anti-climatic ending. 


I'm sorry for being a negative nancy but I honestly can't recommend this play however much I want to say otherwise. Maybe if you're a die-hard fan of one of the actors you could justify seeing it and on the other hand, Iwan, Heida, and Paul were all exceptionally lovely when I met them at stage door afterwards.


Foxfinder is at Ambassadors Theatre until the 5th of January 2019 and you can find tickets here.

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Sunday, 16 September 2018

YOUTUBE | MY MICROBLADING EXPERIENCE + VLOG

I got my brows microbladed and I filmed the process! Did it hurt? Do I regret it? I also answer these questions and talk about my experience and healing process.

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Sunday, 9 September 2018

MY TOP 15 PLACES TO INSTAGRAM IN LONDON

There's nowhere else I'd rather be living in this world than London. Such a diverse and beautiful city full of creativity, but sometimes it can be all to easy to fall into the humdrum of every day routine, and bow your head down as you breeze walk, especially when your commute takes you past the same high-rise apartment blocks and familiar streets.  I'm definitely guilty of this, but things do take on a completely different perspective if you merely just look up, and much more recently I have gone out of my way to take different routes and discover new places. I also find a lot of inspiration from following London travel and food accounts on instagram, plus my best friend is equal parts an avid foodie and photographer so I'm grateful that she often drags me to visit new locations. I've had a couple of questions from you guys about how I find cute locations in London to photograph and what my top places to instagram would be if you were planning on visiting and I can't believe it's taken me this long to compile this list together. I've narrowed it down to 15 spots and categorised them so hopefully it will be easier for you to plan for your next visit to the city. Without further adieu, these are my top 15 places to instagram in London:

THE CUTE CAFES AND FLORAL DISPLAYS

1. Saint Aymes | 59 Connaught St, London W2 2BB
There's not much a blogger loves more than a pretty coffee and cake situation to take a flatlay of and a gorgeous flower wall to pose in front of so Saint Aymes have very kindly catered to our needs. This cafe looks like a place Wes Anderson dreamt up and will tickle your sweet tooth with their trademark Unicorn Lattes and plenty of edible art that's almost too beautiful to eat.

2. Peggy Porschen Cakes | 116 Ebury St, Belgravia, London SW1W 9QQ
Possibly the most well known of the instagrammable cafes at the moment, Peggy's is a pink dream that not only serves cute cakes but also switches up their gorgeous floral displays every season. It does tend to get busy throughout the day and on the weekends, so best to come on a weekday and if you want a completely people free shot, be an early bird arrive five minutes before it opens.

3. Les Senteurs | 1 Elizabeth St, Belgravia, London SW1W 9PJ
Not a cafe but whilst you're at it, Peggy Porchen sits right in the corner of Ebury St and Elizabeth St, the latter being an instagrammer's dream street lined with adjacent cafes and shops, each with their own different floral decorations. Les Senteurs perfumery is one of my particular favourites with a magnificent tree (changes every season as well) that spans across their pretty blue shopfront.

4. Dominique Ansel Bakery | 17-21 Elizabeth St,  Belgravia, London SW1W 9RP
Down the street is my favourite place for desserts (though they also serve savoury food). Their menu changes seasonally but every single time I've been there, I've been blown away by the presentation and taste of their dishes. Definitely try their Blooming Hot Chocolate (permanent menu) which is fun to watch as the flower shaped marshmallow on top opens up quite like those flowering tea balls, and if you visit on a warmer day, I'm totally obsessed with their watermelon soft serve (served in a real watermelon wedge with dark chocolate seeds, need I say more?) Of course there's a vast floral display over the entrance and also a flower wall inside.

5. Moyses Stevens Flowers | 53 Elizabeth St, Belgravia, London SW1W 9PP
Right next to Les Senteurs is my favourite florist. You'll probably see me running around with a bouquet of flowers in hand most of the time and when I get them from Moyses, it would just be rude not to take a snap inside with the floral ceiling as well.

THE RAINBOW HOUSES OF NOTTING HILL

6. Hillgate Place, London W8
Basically every other street in the Notting Hill area is full of houses in a rainbow spectrum of different colours so pick your fancy but one of my particular favourite is Hillgate Place. In the springtime, most of the ones with foliage on their front will transform into clouds of purple wisteria.

7.  Sézane | 233 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill W11 2SE
French clothing brand Sézane (I'm wearing their blouse here) have recently opened their first London store and it's located in Notting Hill. There's just such a lovely contrast between their crisp white storefront and flower lined square windows so whether you're out shopping or just window shopping, be sure to grab a quick snap outside their store.

8. Wild at Heart | 222 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill W11 2SE
Right opposite Sézane is another beautiful florist. Admittedly I've never bought a bouquet from them before but only because they're a bit further away from where I live and I always fear they will wilt on my tube commute. Their arrangements are so aesthetically pleasing though and I love their turquoise bricks.


THE TYPICAL TOURIST SPOTS FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE

9. One New Change | 1 New Change, London EC4M 9AF
The elevator to the top floor of One New Change shopping centre takes you to a lovely viewing platform for St Paul's cathedral if you've previously struggled to get that dome roof into your frame.

10. St Pancras Renaissance Hotel | Euston Road, London NW1 2AR
Right next to St Pancras International is this hotel that bears a striking resemblance to Hogwarts. You might also be able to sneak in and grab a photo on their grand carpeted staircase inside.

11. Red telephone boxes | Broad Court, Covent Garden WC2B
Of course there are plenty of these iconic London telephone boxes scattered all over the city but there are five of them sitting neatly in a row in a rather secluded alley in Covent Garden and you know what that means, less people in the shot!

THE COOL GRAFFITI WALLS

12. Shoreditch | London E1 
Shoreditch is home to many awesome graffiti walls, some spanning several stories high. They get painted over regularly so do take a walk around and keep your eye out for any particular ones you may like. I'm gonna cheat a little and give you two addresses of permanent ones here, the first one being the rainbow facade of the Doughnut Time just outside Old St tube station (233a Old St, EC1V 9HE), and the second one are the infamous angel wings outside Redemption Bar (I really rate the raw vegan food this bar does too) on 320 Old St, EC1V 9DR.

JUNGLE WITHIN A CONCRETE JUNGLE

13. St Dunstan-in-the-East | St Dunstan's Hill, London EC3R 5DD
There's no aesthetic I love more than abandoned places overgrown with greenery so St Dunstan-in-the-East is possibly my ultimate favourite out of all these locations. It was once a church that got destroyed in WWII so now the ruins encase a public garden. I feel like not many people know this spot because it's in the centre of a business area and entirely hidden from the main road but it's the most beautiful surprise when you stumble upon it.

14. Kew Gardens | Richmond TW9 3AE
This is the largest botanical garden in London and currently houses over 30 000 living plants. It's a little further from the city centre but if you catch the tube, only a train line away so there's really no excuse not to visit. You'll definitely need an entire day to see everything as the gardens are so vast with many different areas inside. My favourites are the Palm House, the water lilies and the rose garden.

15. Greenwich park | London SE10 8XJ
Greenwich is quite a popular tourist location what with the GMT and the filming location for a number of famous movies but the park comes alive in the springtime and is the best place to photograph cherry blossoms in London.

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Sunday, 2 September 2018

SAYONARA SUMMER!


Totally confused by all the people saying, "Those of you who wished the sun away, hope you're happy now!" I am indeed, thank you very much. What did you expect? This is actually what I'd been wishing for all along. I've been feeling 99% more productive and awake in the cooler weather and I'm not even sad about packing away all my summer dresses whilst looking back at these photos. Rainbow dresses are going to be swapped with rainbow jumpers and I'm so excited to layer again, I'm truly in my element during autumn. Before that though, a look at one of my favourite summer dresses this year. It boasts vertical rainbow stripes that are super flattering against the body and a bardot neckline that has thick straps so you can still wear a regular bra! Round of applause please. ASOS have come out with so many different prints in this style of dress (remember my lemon one?) and the price point is so great that you don't feel guilty about owning more than one. Perfect if you're going on holiday soon and I've seen that it's still quite warm in other parts of Europe too. These photos were taken at Crossrail Place Roof Garden in Canary Wharf, admittedly an office district that I don't venture out to all that often except when visiting a friend, but this roof garden is such an oasis and many business men and women come to eat and take a breather on their lunch break. The open air area is filled with real birdsong during the day and it's also home to two public pianos that you might've seen me tinker on in my instagram stories. Definitely one of my favourite places to hang out and photograph in London. 

ASOS dress / Valentino shoes / Cult Gaia bag / Lucy Williams x Missoma necklace

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