Why you need to spend your next date night at the Icebar London ❄️🍸

Icebar London review and dining experience with Stephmulz -The-LDN-Gal

An Icebar London experience review

Icebar London satisfies the most difficult to please, a venue offering a plush ‘warm’ bar with delectable cocktails, a restaurant with a charming interior and décor and a sensory experience like no other, a bar crafted from 40 tonnes of Swedish ice from the Torne River.

When it comes to date nights, we are always looking for something unique, an experience that goes beyond the traditional dinner or cinema venture – something that leaves a lasting impression.

Start your evening in the restaurant downstairs, where you will discover a warm and rustic interior. Surrounded by low lit lights with zig-zag filaments, red-brick ceilings and cosy leather seats tucked beneath hardwood tables. The perfect start to date night in London.

Add in Autumnal tones and a relaxed mood, alongside television screens evoking warmth with open log cabin fire videos playing on loop, and you have a beautiful setting and ambience for a romantic evening meal. Serious thought went into the décor, which is complimented by smooth jazz music.

Icebar London review and dining experience tofu starter -The-LDN-Gal

So, what did I think of the Icebar London resturant?

The menu is concise but varied, with European cuisine to suit all tastes and three courses available if desired. The best bit? Vegetarian options are also readily available too.

Starters presented crispy tofu, cooked in breadcrumbs and garnished with pickled cucumber, toasted peanuts and spiced honey. A delicious tangy affair. Although, the tofu was delicious in its own right, its soft interior delicately coated made for something special.

For the main, stuffed peppers brimming with ricotta and a touch of spice (I somehow managed), alongside pistachio pesto and lightly fried quinoa. A variety of sides were also on offer to compliment, and I opted for the corn grilled in husks, a medley of sweetcorn, sour cream and spice once more.

Icebar London review and dining experience ricotta main - The-LDN-GalIcebar London review and dining experience brownie dessert -The-LDN-Gal

Finally, an indulgent triple chocolate brownie, decorated with toasted marshmallow, salted caramel and ice cream with a crunchy twist. It’s safe to say, we were very full and satisfied.

Top this spectacular dining with a variety of premium cocktails and you are on to a winner. The crumble was a delicious fruit medley, embellished with crumble detailing.  My partner, opting for the Rum Blazer and was also drawn in by his fruity concoction, served warm with a rum kick to finish.

The restaurant is truly exquisite in its own right, a warm and luxurious environment that should be recognised in addition to the physical Icebar experience. The food is a varied affair, with lots of quirky touches.

Icebar London review and experience ice cocktails -The-LDN-GalIcebar London review and experience octopus ice sculpture -The-LDN-GalIcebar London review and experience London Eye ice sculpture -The-LDN-Gal

So, what did I think?

Warm and full, we prepared ourselves for the Icebar, sitting in the warm bar upstairs and unwinding beforehand. Once our allocated time came, we were ushered towards the room, faux-fur lined capes placed over heads and our gloves swinging to and fro as we shuffled like Arctic penguins into the bar.

Walking in, I must admit, I was very impressed. The latest instillation presents a Wild in the City theme. Discover an abundance of safari and aquatic animals embracing the walls, sculptures and screens around the room. These are all brought to life as part of an exciting light show – it is a wonderful spectacle.

Icebar London review and experience with zebra ice sculpture - The LDN GalIcebar London review and experience and designers - The LDN GalIcebar London review and experience - The LDN Gal

Although a little smaller than expected, this intimate venue was fabulous. It was fun, different and exciting. Making our way to the actual ice bar, we were presented with champagne cocktails in glasses made of ice.

Essentially, there’s nothing quite like drinking bubbles from an ice glass! The colourful cocktails on offer make for some very pretty pictures indeed.

This sensory experience is simply incredible, thrusting you into a -5°C bar that is brought to life by artistic prowess. There is something quite extraordinary about sitting in a room of solid ice, bopping along to good music and a fabulous light show.

I would thoroughly recommend the entire experience for a date night or special occasion. You can take a peek at Instagram for Icebar London images.

What do you think of the Icebar London? Where is your favourite place for date night?

Stephanie xox

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This experience was exchanged for an honest review

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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Keeping the party going at Everywhere Festival, Nottingham

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Everywhere Festival, Nottingham review

An indoor playground for electronic enthusiasts, Everywhere Festival, the largest multi-venue dance event in the East Midlands returned to Nottingham clubs for its third successive year.

On May 3rd, an eclectic selection of artists and DJs catered for many tastes. Dollop presented acts to satisfy the most passionate electronic, house, techno, grime and garage lovers.

Alongside hardened veterans of the electronic and dance scene such as chart-topper Route 94 and Leeds’ Hot Since 82 performing at Forum, came newcomers such as garage and grime goddess Flava D adding a sense of rhythmic bass to Rescue Rooms.

International talent in Nottingham

International talent came from Cyril Hahn at Rock City and Motor City Drum Ensemble at Stealth.

Rescue Rooms set off Everywhere 2015 with a day party from 2pm. Finally switching at night to a line-up with an urban edge. Melé concluded the evening with a bass-fuelled set, contrasting the infectious house and techno pumping throughout the other venues.

Rock City’s main hall attracted the largest crowds of the evening, as the masses crammed themselves onto the dance floor and along the balcony.

Anthemic beats throughout the night

Redlight gave a sterling performance with anthemic beats. Popular hits such as Gold Teeth & 9TS ensured the crowd continued to beat the air throughout his set.

“Notts was sick,” he said, posting a picture of the audience post-set on Instagram.

Hannah Wants steals the show

Finally, the highlight of the evening, Hannah Wants. She kept the masses of 20-somethings shuffling on their feet with a cleverly driven DJ set. In essence, a seamless mix of renowned original work such as Rhymes alongside clever remixes of old-school classics such as Renegade Master. Her bold determination towards the end of the night left many a sweltering and heaving mess.

Aggravated bar staff and bouncers tried to stay optimistic as dawn approached and sweat began to drip from the booming speakers upon the waning crowds.

Stealth offered a wind down from the smoke machines, flashing lights and visuals. Survivors swayed to the calm beats of Chunky, Paleman and Loefah.

A night to remember

With bass pumping through the mind, bodies and souls of revellers for eight hours straight, most will still have a ringing in their ears today.

Finally, for the partygoers of the Midlands, it’s a good thing it’s a bank holiday weekend.

As seen originally for the Nottingham Post in print, and online for the Summer Festival Guide.
 

Beauty: Hello Kitty Graffiti Lipsticks ~ Urban Punk, Baby Doll and Hittin the Block

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When shopping around TK Maxx for makeup and clothes the other day I could not resist this cute trio of Hello Kitty lipsticks (there were more shades available in store but I could not justify the entire collection) alongside my now beloved Measurable Difference Face & Body Bronzer.

My Hello Kitty obsession has led to me purchasing an abundance of themed stationary, plush toys and crockery, so when I found Hello Kitty cosmetics I was very pleased with myself indeed.

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Considering the relatively low cost (from fifty pence to two pounds on sale), I found the lipsticks to be of a rather good quality and I selected a pink, brown and peach shade to take home with me.

The pink shade Baby Doll gives a lovely subtle shimmer, nice on its own or over a more bold lipstick. The brown shade Hittin The Block proves itself to be extremely bold, not really my colour as I am rather fair skinned but lovely on friends with a less pink skin tone (boo). Unfortunately, I found that the peach shade Urban Punk washed me out and proved to match my pale skin tone and hide my natural lip colour entirely!

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Some may find it tacky but I find the graffiti print packaging very cute (an infantile word but very appropriate). However, as these lipsticks are cheaper than other high street brand cosmetics the casing is a bit flimsy.

The iconic and adorable Hello Kitty faces atop the lipsticks really make them stand out from my other lipsticks upon my makeup organiser, a serious cute overload amidst the Mac, Soap & Glory and Rimmel.

Have you ever tried any Hello Kitty cosmetics? Which shade would you choose from the trio? 

Stephanie xox

Why Black Swan is a fantastic psychological thriller

Black Swan Film Review | The LDN Gal

Darron Aronofsky’s Black Swan Film REVIEW

Darren Aronofsky has created something truly special. The gripping and striking Black Swan is art in its best form. Mixing the mediums of dance and film, he has produced a movie with mass appeal.

The psychological thriller is innovative, based on a subject matter that many would shun away from. Ignorance is not so blissful in this case; to make a judgment on the quality of the film merely on the facts that it is an exploration of ballet would be a rather abrupt decision to make.

The film is based on young Nina (Natalie Portman) , a secretive and vulnerable woman who’s a little too dependent on her mother for comfort. The plot is based upon a production of Swan Lake.

The prestigious New York City ballet company requires a ballerina to be cast as both sides of the Swan Queen. There is a theme of contrast, the pure and delicate white swan in comparison to the seductive black swan.

Nina an adamant and skilled ballerina is desperate for the role. She’s put many years of hard work into the company and needs her break. She conflicts with the confident and whimsical Lily (Mila Kunis), who also wishes to claim the role.

Both girls represent the different personalities required to play the Swan Queen. Nina in graceful desperation is perfect for the white swan and Lily fierce and hard-edged an image of the black swan.

Fierce competition in bLack Swan

Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel), the director of the production is a sexual deviant. He presents himself to Nina and makes it evident she must compete and open up to the role of the black swan if she wished to succeed. After a passionate confrontation with Nina, he attempts to tarnish her virtue. On failure to do so, he tells her to explore herself. This is the awakening for Nina and she begins to find a darker side to her personality.

The movie makes an apparent and real reflection of the trails of being a competent ballerina. The film opens us up to a world full of gruelling and painful training sessions, where women’s feet appear distorted and crushed. A world that demands one must be of perfection in body, mind and performance. There is an exploration into eating disorders, self-harm and mental instability. Reflecting that to make it in such a world, you must give everything of yourself.

exploring mental health in Black Swan

We see Nina in her home environment and begin to understand why she is in such a frail state. She is mollycoddled by an overbearing mother. This over protective nature has left Nina in a state of flux. She is expected of highly by her mother, a failed ballerina due to her pregnancy of Nina. As Nina begins to find herself we soon see numerous domestic tensions of what appears to be the behaviours of something expected from a young teenager.

On the succession of achieving the role, Nina is presented to her new glitzy world. This is much to the distress of her predecessor Beth (Winona Ryder), who in turn strikes fears into the vulnerable Nina and is a living example of how both girls are just tools of the trade.

As Nina progresses it becomes apparent that she is a wavering psychotic state. She presents numerous delusions and hallucinates episodes. Her paranoia progresses at the bold Lily. The retorts of Thomas play in her mind, she begins to change and let go of her perfectionist attitude.

a dark coming of age story

As the plot progresses, Lily visits Nina at home, much to the dismay of Nina’s mother. The duo enjoy a drug fuelled and intimate night together. On returning, Nina argues with her mother and the girls lock themselves in Nina’s room.

Later, Nina wakes and Lily is gone. She rushes to the company and is furious to see Lily performing her role. Afterward, Lily picks fun at Nina for what she says was a fantasy sexual engagement.

The night before the first performance, Nina vigorously continues to perfect her routine. In reality, her mentality worsens and faced with severe hallucinations, she flees.

As she arrives home, her body begins to distort and she begins to form as an animalistic swan. On fear of her delusions, she knocks herself out upon her bedpost.

Eventually, Nina wakes to her mother’s controlling nature. She states that she has contacted the company and that Nina will not be at the opening performance. Nina is enraged. She violently removes herself from the home, rushing to the performance and immediately begins preparations.

‘perfect. i was perfect.’

The four acts of the production details the great changes of the Swan Queen. Nina’s hallucinations continue to play tricks on her with drastic consequences. These remaining minutes are Nina’s epiphany. She concludes whispering softly, “I felt it. Perfect. I was perfect.”

Black Swan surprises down to the penultimate few seconds. It’s a marvel to watch, surreal and haunting. The actresses dedication to their  roles is evident and it appears Portman and Kunis are professionals of the artform.

The film grips throughout, presenting many moralistic dilemmas. In essence, be who you are, for if you dare to stray from your true self, the results may not be to your liking.

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