Discover kawaii heaven at ARTBOX Covent Garden, London

Have you ever felt like you have died and gone to kawaii heaven? As you enter ARTBOX Covent Garden in London, those feelings will come to life. 

The ARTBOX Covent Garden shop is home to the cutest animated characters. Most importantly, it hosts a wall-to-wall Pusheen the Cat area. Now, if you a Pusheen and super adorable merchandise fan, you’re going to be pretty psyched. 

Upon entering this specialist kawaii retailer, you will meet animated characters and goods galore. Luckily, there’s plenty of plush grey cats!

ARTBOX Covent Garden specialises in kawaii Japanese items. Inside, there are unique wall-to-wall displays.  Expect to find plushies, stationary, clothing and sweet treats. 

ARTBOX Covent Garden is a specialist Japanese kawaii retailer 

As you explore, discover Pusheen’s friends and lots of familiar Sanrio faces. These include Hello Kitty, Gudetama, Rillakuma, Moomin, Sumikko Gurashi, Tokidoki and My Melody.  

Basically, when it comes to Pusheen, you will find plushies, stationary, pin badges and homeware galore! 

In addition, you’ll find the beloved Tofu Cute with their own concession stand within. Not to mention their selection of Amuse plushies, Japanese sweets and drinks! 

Therefore, if you are into all things cute, ARTBOX Covent Garden is the place to be. Surprisingly, the Pusheen craving doesn’t have to end there. Thankfully, it will next be fulfilled at the ARTBOX Cafe in Brighton! 

Which is your favourite kawaii character?

Stephanie xox

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Shoryu Ramen Oxford Exterior - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018

Gudetama X Shoryu Autumn set menu review

When Shoryu Ramen announced a Gudetama X Shoryu Autumn set menu, it was safe to say, I was pretty excited over it. I love Gudetama. Gudetama is probably the best thing to happen to Sanrio after Hello Kitty herself.

The new Gudetama themed Autumn set menu offers a delicious three course meal, drink and a limited edition Gudetama coaster to take home with you. There is vegetarian, meat and even a vegan main option.

Your drink arrives in a Gudetama cup with a choice between Mango Iced Tea and Calpico. Calpico is a milk based beverage with a sweet taste – which reminded me of Yakult in a lot of ways.

Gudetama menu exterior - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018Shoryu Ramen Oxford Sake Decor - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018Gudetama tote bag - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018

 

So, what did I think of the Gudetama X Shoryu Autumn set menu?

To start, you will devour steamed buns with a choice between BBQ Pork and Pumpkin Croquette. These are plentiful, embellished with lettuce and cucumber, finished with a dash of Japanese mayonnaise and hirata sauce.

I found the pumpkin croquette to be utterly sublime, something I would buy again and again, be it as a lunch or delicious snack. I have to say, I preferred it to my main. The hirata sauce really brought the bun to life, alongside the crispy coating on the pumpkin croquette with its deliciously soft and fragrant interior.

Ramen came along next for the mains, naturally. You could choose between the famed Shoryu Gatsu Tonkotsu with pork or the vegan White Natural (it can be requested with an egg on the side, if desired).

The White Natural broth is made from a combination of soy milk, miso, konbu and shiitake mushrooms. It is then decorated with ramen noodles, atsuage tofu, spring onions, menma bamboo shoots, nori seaweed and kikurage mushrooms.

Gudetama Steamed Buns - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018Gudetama Ramen Noodle Mains - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018

The ramen was nice, but without the added kikurage mushrooms (at my request – I am not a fan of mushrooms), it felt a little weak. Saying this, what I did really like, was the condiments available alongside your dishes.

These allowed you to get creative with your ramen. With a sprinkling of sesame seeds, soy and garlic, you can really customise to your taste. It proved a nice touch and made the dishes very flavoursome.

For dessert, a mini mochi icecream in a moody Gudetama paper cup. you can choose between matcha and yuki and both were lovely. Be warned, if you haven’t had mochi before, you may find the texture a little odd. It’s almost like the skin of fruit, with a vibrant ball of flavoured icecream inside.

Gudetama cups - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018

So, would I recommend the Gudetama X Shoryu Autumn set menu?

Overall, the themed menu was fabulous and oh so fun. Flavour is big at Shoryu Ramen and the selection of condiments really added to the dishes, allowing for a more personal experience. Once your food is devoured, there is even cute Gudetama merchandise to buy instore or online!

The Gudetama X Shoryu Autumn set menu is available exclusively at Shoryu New Oxford Street, Shoryu Manchester and Shoryu Oxford from October 1 – 14, 2018. You can take a bite with Gudetama for ÂŁ22.

Have you been to Shoryu Ramen before? Would you like to try the new Gudetama X Shoryu set menu?

Stephanie xox

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This post is in collaboration with Shoryu Ramen 

Hokusai The Great Wave Exhibition, British Museum, London

Hokusai exhibition, London

The Hokusai Beyond the Great Wave exhibition at the British Museum is a spectacular affair of oriental art, colour and history. The exhibition illustrates the work of one of Japan’s most famed artists, Kasushika Hokusai.

Hokusai (1760-1849), lived and worked in Japan throughout his lifetime, producing some of his most famed artwork in his later life, a firm believer that with age would come artistic excellence.

During his 90 years, he produced a spectacular creative spectrum of beautiful art, including famed print collections, illustrated books and a variety of intricate paintings.

The Hokusai Beyond the Great Wave exhibition illustrates the last 30 years of the extraordinary artists life and showcases many of his masterpieces, including the celebrated Great Wave (an iconic highlight for many).

Hokusai The Great Wave Exhibition, British Museum, London

Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave exhibition

In his later life, Hokusai became to become influenced by European techniques and artforms, integrating this knowledge into developed art styles, perfectly illustrated throughout the exhibition.

Discover works depicting enchanting landscapes, wonderful portraits, vibrant communal scenes, mystical creatures and delicate illustrations of nature.

The exhibition is open until the 13th August, 2017 and offers a rare oppurtunity to see these great works collectively, as well as the oppurtunity to explore the context of influence for one of Japan’s most exceptional artists. I can highly recommend it for any fan of Japanese culture or art.

For a sneak preview of the event, take a look here.

Are you a fan of Hokusai? Which piece of artwork is your favourite?

Stephanie xox

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