Wellcome Kitchen afternoon tea at the Wellcome Collection, Euston

A Wellcome Kitchen Afternoon TEA REVIEW

I have to admit, I was rather excited for my visit to the Wellcome Kitchen. Not only because it looked exquisite, but also because I was very eager to take a peek around the Wellcome Collection. Known as being the ‘free destination for the incurably curious.’

The Wellcome Collection is a truly spectacular and unique museum. Located near Euston Station, it’s brimming with intriguing exhibits and collections on science, health and life. It blurs the line between technology and art.

As curious as I was, I soon dashed to take our summer-inspired afternoon tea in the Wellcome Kitchen.

Located on the second floor, this boutique venue is divine. It’s bright and elegant and includes a focal display of the celebrated Pill Dress by artist, Susie Freeman.

What is included in the Welcome Kitchen Afternoon Tea?

So, what did we get in our Wellcome Kitchen afternoon tea for two at the Wellcome Collection? Check out the menu below:

  • A selection of finger sandwiches including cucumber and cream cheese, smoked salmon and coronation chicken
  • A selection of mini cakes including 2 raspberry and cream tarts, 2 nutty brownies, 2 lemon mouse macarons and 2 red berry cakes
  • Two fruit scones, Cornish clotted cream and Tiptree strawberry jam
  • A pot of loose leaf tea (a variety of flavours) or a hot drink each

So, what did I think of the Wellcome Kitchen Afternoon Tea?

In all honesty, I loved this afternoon tea experience. The venue is beautiful and the food divine.

The afternoon tea included a fabulous mix of sandwiches and cakes.

Everything was well presented, with lovely floral china and welcoming staff who graced you with big smiles.

All the food is freshly prepared on site and they even made our sandwiches to order (I cannot have butter, it makes me feel very unwell – odd I know, but, alas) which was a wonderfully helpful touch. 

The food is locally-sourced and tends to be seasonal produce, you can even indulge in a glass of sparkling pink Moscato if you feel inclined!

It is the perfect venue to unwind and get lost in great company or even solo. The Wellcome Kitchen is so quiet and calm, away from the vibrancy and bustle of the intrigued visitors of the Wellcome Collection downstairs.

Once you have finished your delicious afternoon tea, you will discover the spectacular Reading Room adjacent, which allows you to unwind with a copy or two and take a peek at an eccentric collection of sculptures, paintings and artefacts.

Overall, a perfect mini-day out wrapped up with lots of technology, culture and food – what’s not to love? 

Have you tried the Wellcome Kitchen Afternoon Tea? 

Stephanie xox

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King Lear at Shakespeare’s Globe, London

Shakespeare's Globe exterior, LondonKing Lear Review, Shakespeare’s Globe

The story of King Lear is a classic tale of familial love, betrayal and madness – a true tragedy in all its elements that will have you questioning humanity.

Shakespeare’s Globe theatre is currently running the show as a highlight of their Summer of Love 2017 season – and it is a play that should not be missed.

A production of Nancy Meckler, this tumultuous performance is a true work of magic, in the midst of tragedy you are presented also with a night of incredible and sometimes crude comedy, quick retorts and clever wit. The crowd bellowing with hearty laughter and the sound and light effects encouraging wonderful chaos.

It makes for an eclectic atmosphere on a darkening summer evening and is presented by a stellar cast of skilled and fascinating actors. Kevin McNally, who plays King Lear makes for fantastic viewing, emulating the deteriorating King in such a way it makes you feel as if he was an older relative slowly descending into madness.

The King is propped up by his loyal Fool (played by the incredible Loren O’Dair) throughout, who appears far wiser with jibes, clever tricks and incredible humour and sorrow as you make your way through the story.

The acting brings to the forefront an array of emotions, as you relate with the erratic King, pitying him, willing for it not to end in tragedy. Alas, this is Shakespeare and we all know the end to this tale.

Shakespeare's Globe interior, London

Summer of Love season 2017, London

The performance is a well-rounded affair of joy and sorrow, tragedy remains at its core and this comes to a head, as expected, during the second half. The entire cast are passionate, some doting and others truly villainous, presenting themselves in role as perfect examples of their at times questionable traits.

I must say, my only vice was the costuming, which was presented in a half-hearted combination of period costumes and modern sportswear shoes. Quite peculiar to say the least but the show must go on.

King Lear is the perfect date night treat, suited for a more adult audience. I would thoroughly recommend the evening performance to experience the full spectacle of the accompanying light and sound effects. I would also recommend standing for a truly authentic experience.

King Lear is running until the 14th October, 2017. For a sneak preview of the themes within the play, take a look here.

Are you a fan of King Lear? Have you ever been to Shakespeare’s Globe?

Stephanie xox

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Hokusai Beyond the Great Wave exhibition, British Museum 🌊

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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Quick and easy homemade healthy fruit and nut bars 😋

Quick and easy homemade healthy fruit and nut bars 😋

How to make healthy nut and fruit bars at home

Looking for an easy to make go to snack? You’ll want to try your hand at creating these healthy fruit and nut bars at home!

  • 90g of cashew nuts
  • 90g of dates
  • A drop of vanilla essence
  • 30g of cranberries
  • 30g of raisins

Preparation time: 5 mins

so, how am i making these delicious chewy bars?

These delicious Nakd inspired fruit and nut bars are a healthy, easy and cheap alternative to store-bought products. All you need are a few simple natural ingredients and a food processor – it can’t get any easier than that!

Firstly, whizz up your cashew nuts in your food processor till they have a thoroughly chopped texture.

Secondly, add the dates to the mix and blend till you have what resembles an almost rubble like mixture (as illustrated in the picture below).

Quick and easy homemade healthy fruit and nut bars mixture

Thirdly, add the vanilla essence (opt out if you prefer) and whizz in the 30g of cranberries and raisins.

What’s more, without the additional fruit, you have the perfect Nakd Cashew Cookie replica! By now, you should have a squidgy mixture, clumping together when squished by hand.

Next, line a dish with cling film and spoon in  and press down the mixture.

Finally, leave your dish in the fridge for a few hours to set and you are good to go!

Quick and easy homemade healthy fruit and nut bars mixture in tin

This recipe creates around four Nakd sized bars. For more, just double up the ingredients. These can even be frozen to enjoy later, it’s a win win really!

To sum up, these homemade fruit and nut bars are just perfect for on the go or to enjoy as a healthy snack to compliment your lunch. Additionally, they’re calories friendly and packed full of delicious nutrients!

What do you think of these homemade bars? Which ingredients would you experiment with?

Stephanie xox

Why not check out The LDN Gal’s other food and drink recipes and reviews?

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Beauty: Urban Decay x Jean-Michel Basquiat Tenant Eyeshadow Palette Review

Jean-Michel Basquiat Tenant Eyeshadow Palette Review

Jean-Michel Basquiat Tenant Eyeshadow palette review, photos and swatches

The Urban Decay Jean-Michel Basquiat Tenant eyeshadow palette is a little something special. Known for his neo-expressionist paintings and drawings, Jean Michel Basquiat has inspired Urban Decay to create a vibrant collection of eyeliner pencils, lipsticks, eyeshadow palettes, blush palettes and more.

The tantilising Tenant eyeshadow palette features a bursting selection of eight matte and some glittery shades, complimented with a good quality metal double-ended brush and mirror, housed in eccentric casing.

Jean-Michel Basquiat Tenant Eyeshadow Palette Swatches

Jean-Michel Basquiat tenant eyeshadow palette swatches

Here is a closer look at the Jean-Michel Basquiat Tenant eyeshadow’s, the above swatches were done without primer and in natural light. Here is what I thought:

  • Studio: Studio is the perfect pale (almost nude) matte pink shade for subtle day wear and to compliment bolder night time looks.
  • 1960: Neo is a matte shade and bright candy pink in colour, its buildable, lasting and very fun to play with.
  • Neo: On first glance, Neo is a bold regal purple shade. However, when swatched, it dissapoints a little in comparison to the rest of the collection. It’s dubbed micro-shimmer didn’t seem so apparent either, so it is a no from me.
  • Les: Les is a charcoal black number, piercing and perfect for smokey eye. Its a matte shade, buildable with a great forumla for those exaggerated looks.
  • Graffiti: Graffiti is a metallic forest green coloured gem, reminiscent of cpuntryside walks in the woods, its fabulous standalone of when used to create a smokey eye if Les is a little too intimidating.
  • Exu: This is my favourite shade in the collection without a doubt. Exu is a shimmery  bright green shade, just perfect for those nighttime looks where you are wanting something a little different and special. It has a wonderful sheen to it.
  • Boom: Boom is a teal Queen’s dream. This bright yet cool matte shade is perfect for mermaid-esque and daring looks. Who doesn’t like mermaid eyeshadow? It’s bright and fun, much like Exu.
  • Untitled: Untitled is a rich blue mate shade and rather daring to boot. It is certainy vibrant and poses the question, can anyone truly pull of blue eyeshadow?

SO, WHAT DO I THINK OF THE JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT TENANT EYESHADOW PALETTE?

Overall, I am delighted with this palette. It is the perfect selection of bright and bold statement shades, adding a pop of colour to your day. All the swatches came out perfectly (minus a little resentment to Neo), boldly lasting the day or the night when tested – be sure to use them with eyeshadow primer and finishing spray for a smooth application and lasting finish.

The palette casing is firm and wildly decorated with the late Jean-Michel Basquiat’s fabulous artwork, embellished with a mirror with crown decal and even has a hanger so you can display the used case on your wall should you see fit. The decor of the entire Jean-Michel Basquiat collection is truly something special, as well as the products within it.

You can buy your own Urban Decay x Jean-Michel Basquiat eyeshadow palette here.

What do you think of the Urban Decay x Jean-Michel Basquiat eyeshadow palette? Which is your favourite colour in the collection?

Stephanie xox

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How to make Creme Egg Brownies this Easter Sunday

How to make creme egg brownies

Creme Egg brownies ingredients and recipe

Creme Egg brownies have kind of been dominating my Instagram feed for the last few weeks now. So, with Easter fast approaching, I had to have some of the delicious treats for myself. Saying this, my boyfriend beat me to it and whipped up this incredible batch of brownies for me last week.

Take a peek at our quick and easy Creme Egg brownie recipe, here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 300g of milk and white chocolate (chocolate chips or pieces)
  • 300g unsalted butter
  • 300g soft brown sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • Four eggs
  • 175g plain flour
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 3 Cadbury Creme Egg’s

How to make creme egg brownies

Method: How to make Creme Egg Brownies

  1. Add the chocolate, butter, sugar and salt to a large pan
  2. Heat the mixture on a low heat until it is melted and smooth
  3. Place this aside and beat the four eggs into the mixture, following with the flour and cocoa powder
  4. Add the mixture to a lined and greased baking tin
  5. Cut your Creme Eggs in half and place them ‘sunny side up’ within the mixture
  6. Bake in the centre of a preheated 180C oven for approximately 20-25 minutes depending on your preference
  7. Allow to cool slightly before devouring these delicious easter treats

We’re naughty so add a combination to white and milk chocolate chips, put it is entirely up to you how you adapt this recipe. Do be warned, the Creme Eggs will melt during baking, and this gives a wonderful fondant flavour to the brownies.

What do you think of this recipe? What are your favourtie types of brownies? 

Stephanie xox

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Why the Revolution Beauty London Blush Queen palette is a beauty staple 💖

Makeup Revolution Blush Queen palette The LDN Gal 1

Revolution BEAUTY london Blush Queen blush palette review

The Revolution Beauty London Blush Queen palette is my favourite affordable high street blush palette, for all the right reasons.

The appeal of Revolution Beauty London is not only its low price low price point, but its variety and quality of its beauty products. I am a little obsessed with their blush and eye shadow palettes to say the least.

The Blush Queen palette features eight highly pigmented and baked shades of blush and highlighter, which offer the perfect shimmery collection.

It’s fantastic variety is great for transitioning from an every day glow to a more defined evening look.

Four shades are more neutral natural tones alongside more vivid and pigmented shades. Although the shades are not named, it features an array of velvety and marbled nude, peach, pink and rouge shades.

Makeup Revolution Blush Queen palette The LDN Gal 4

So, what do I think of the Revolution BEAUTY LONDON Blush Queen palette?

What I love about this palette is its simplistic design, it is lightweight, portable and bright. However, it doesn’t include a mirror which some may find disappointing.

These shades offer a wonderful subtle glow that is buildable. I simply adore the fact that the palette features both highlight and blush shades. You can use the highlight to define your cheekbones and the blush upon your cheeks to define your look.

It is slightly unfortunate that this palette does not feature some matte shades, but hey, it can’t have everything! For me, it is a winning combination and well worth adding to your makeup collection.

Have you tried any Revolution Beauty London products? What do you think of this blush palette?

Stephanie xox

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Beauty: The new MAC Betty Boop Red Lipstick isn’t themed, surely she deserves better? 💄

Betty Boop

MAC Betty Boop RED Lipstick 

It would appear that the new MAC and Betty Boot collaboration has landed – for lovers of the thirties jazz-inspired flapper girl, this is very exciting news indeed. However, some disappointment may ensue on discovering that this lovable icon and her dazzling Pantone red lipstick has not been themed very well.

Although the exterior packaging has that Betty Boop flair, the actual MAC Betty Boop red lipstick casing is classic MAC, a combination of black, embossing and silver. Now, this only saddens because of how often MAC spices up their packaging with these rather frequent and exciting collaborations.

MAC Betty Boop Red Lipstick

Boop-Oop-a-Doop

Just take a peek at a few of their latest collaborations, the James Kaliardos lipstick got a regal gold font embellished with signature and stars and Caitlyn Jenner mixed up the original silver lipstick shaft with gold casing and personalisation once more. Pretty much every MAC lipstick collaboration has its casing jazzed up one way or another.

I’m pretty disappointed that there is no sign of Betty Boop on the actual lipstick casing, only the packaging (which we all throw away eventually). Why theme it so heavily when marketing, when the casing looks no different? Maybe I am being overly fussy, but it seems a shame to those that invest and collect these themed beauty products.

The new lipstick is available exclusively online and has been developed by Pantone to recreate Betty Boop’s signature red lip.

What do you think of the new Betty Boop lipstick? Does the packaging bother you at are you not as fussy? 

Stephanie xox

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Enjoying the Patisserie Valerie Afternoon Tea 🍰

Scones at Patisserie Valerie Oxford, Afternoon Tea at Patisserie Valerie review

A Patisserie Valerie Afternoon Tea review

Afternoon tea is one of the numerous pastimes that makes me rather proud to be British – it is a fabulous tradition. After a busy week at work, what better way to unwind than with good company, deliciously quaint sandwiches, and a selection of delicious treats?

The best thing about Patisserie Valerie is that it offers quality afternoon tea for two, nationwide – they are literally everywhere. Being my thrifty self, I indulged in a Groupon voucher (please, stop presenting me with so many good offers) and saved myself over 20% off the original price!

What is included in the Patisserie Valerie Afternoon Tea?

So, what did we get in our Patisserie Valerie afternoon tea for two? Check out the menu below:

  • A selection of finger sandwiches: cucumber, smoked salmon and cream cheese, egg mayonnaise and cress, ham, spinach and mustard and chicken, pesto and sunblazed tomatoes
  • Two mini vegetable quiches
  • A selection of mini cakes: mini Victoria sponge, 2 mini chocolate éclairs, mini carrot and walnut cake, mini mixed berry mousse slice and mini chocolate mousse slice
  • Four homemade scones (two plain and two fruit), clotted cream and a selection of preserves
  • A pot of tea or two hot drinks of your choice

Cakes at Patisserie Valerie Oxford, Afternoon Tea at Patisserie Valerie review(1)

So, what did I think of the Patisserie Valerie Afternoon Tea?

My initial reaction was how wonderfully it was all presented, there is such an array of food on offer so it is all pretty indulgent. A nice touch is that sandwiches are made to order and there is also vegetarian options available.

However, I will truly be impressed if you manage to finish it all. There was far too much there for us to eat, and our lovely selection of mini pastries were beautifully packaged and taken home with us to indulge in later.

I found the staff to be a little brash, but this may have just been the Oxford branch. Some venues even cater to bubbly-fanatics and offer a glass of prosecco alongside your afternoon tea – go on, treat yourself.

Have you tried the Patisserie Valerie Afternoon Tea? Where is your favourite place to have afternoon tea?

Stephanie xox

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Beauty: Introducing Sabai Soaps ~ Green Seaweed Soap

Sabai Soaps, Green seaweed soap bar

Sabai Soaps review

A few weeks ago, I was introduced to Sabai Soaps. An ethical and family run soap business based in the UK. Their aim is to present the beautiful beauty products of Asia to the European market.

All Sabai Soaps products are organic, natural and vegan-friendly, handmade in Thailand from exquisite natural ingredients before being lovingly packed back to the UK to be sent out to their new owners across the world.

I was very lucky indeed to be gifted the Green Seaweed Soap*, this lavish soap arrived beautifully packaged in printed Thai paper and emitted the most wonderfully subtle peppermint scent – and this was before I had even opened it!

Sabai Soaps, Green seaweed soap bar

So, what did I think of the Green seaweed soap?

This refreshing soap bar is rich in essential vitamins and oils, and left my skin feeling clean and soft with its fabulous combination of ingredients – who doesn’t adore smelling fresh and having really soft hands and skin? 

It contains a wonderful array of 100 per cent natural and cruelty-free ingredients, including coconut oil to soften and treat the skin, peppermint oil to leave it glowing, and the addition of seaweed to exfoliate, dragging out excess oil in order to leave the skin feeling revitalised.

If that isn’t fabulous enough, 20 per cent of all Sabai Soaps company profits are donated to local charities within the communities in which they work with to produce these beautiful soaps.

Having used the Green Seaweed Soap for over a week now, I am utterly delighted with the results, it has worked wonders on my dry skin and has proved to be lasting too! You can shop the rest of Sabai Soaps natural soap collection here.

What do you think of Sabai Soaps? Which handmade soap is your favourite?

Stephanie xox

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