Tag Archive | "London"

Interview with Elvira Vintage Founders – London


elvira_1Elvira Vintage is an online vintage boutique that offers a carefully edited collection of internationally sourced vintage clothing and accessories by high end designers including Celine, Dior, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent, to name a few. Founders of Elvira Vintage, Tori Steinberg and Sophie Scrimgeour, noticed that vintage clothing shops in London are scarcely edited, and decided to fill the gap with carefully selected vintage available to a broader market. Here’s an interview with the founders:

Can you give a brief introduction about your shop, Elvira Vintage?
Elvira Vintage is a travelling pop- up and online boutique. We source our pieces from around the globe and carefully edit our collection to suit the current fashion culture. This makes Elvira vintage a contemporary vintage brand, which is not just about vintage but also more about fashion.

Is there any particular decade that is the specialty of Elvira?
The 1930’s, 70’s, and 80’s. The name Elvira is based upon a fictional character in the 80’s who was hugely influential to us.

What are the biggest challenges with running a vintage boutique?
There is only one of each piece!

What are future plans for the store?
Our vintage collection will continue to pop- up at events, as well as be online. We also have exciting collaborations in the pipelne. We will be launching our RTW label ‘ROMA RIVERA’, very soon. This will be a small collection of pieces that have been inspired by vintage designs but altered to suit the requirements of the current fashion market. Roma Rivera is all about luxurious fabric and complimentary silhouettes.

How would you describe your personal styles?
Tori- my style changes from day to day but I would say it ranges from classic, and feminine, to quite eclectic- I love statement pieces
Sophie- My style is quite consistent and classic. I love modern shapes but I also love quirky details, which gives something an identity.

Name your favourite Autumn vintage piece of clothing:
Tori- our 1970s woven chequered cape, beautiful
Sophie- I would have to say our burgundy, woollen Celine coat with fur trimmed hood.

What’s your favourite decade or era for vintage?

Where are some of the primary places you go to source clothing for the store?
Around the United States, and Paris.


Skylon Restaurant – London


Located within the Royal Festival Hall, Skylon offers impressive panoramic views of London’s skyline with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the River Thames. The good times don’t end there -the food at Skylon offers beautiful views alongside delectable dishes including a fantastic tasting menu with items that look simple such as “Salmon”, “Duck” or “Monkfish” but are actually much more complex than what their names suggest. For instance the “Monkfish” is actually a dish of roast monkfish tail with smoked bacon, hash, peas and lettuce.

Skylon took its name from the original structure of the Festival of Britain and has been designed to echo the style while still keeping in step with modern décor. Skylon’s Executive Chef Adam Gray previously held the reigns at a Michelin starred restaurant for over a decade.  Gray based the Skylon menu around the absolute best seasonal ingredients with his signature British Modern dishes.

A carefully selected wine list spans the globe and includes some amazing British bottles, as well as a few 1950s reserve wines, inspired by Southbank Centre’s postwar origins. So come in and rediscover the South Bank, take in the views and enjoy the amazing menu at Skylon.

Royal Festival Hall
The South Bank Centre, Belvedere Rd,
London, SE1 8XX, United Kingdom
020 7654 7800

K10 Sushi – London


interior-appold-jpegIt’s not always easy to find the freshest, authentically made sushi in London, however K10 offers a no-frills and authentic Sushi experience.  K10 opened its second location in London after the success of the first flagship location.  One of the highlight’s of the restaurant is its famous ‘kaiten’ (conveyor belt) which serves up delicious, homemade modern Japanese food. Prix-fixe menus along with à la carte choices of sushi, sashimi and hand rolls, plus saké, beer and wine.  Reservations are not taken, and you will be seated on a first come, first served basis. There is not a central kitchen and there are no microwaves in K10. All of the food is prepared and cooked to serve. Chefs use the freshest ingredients to create a traditional Japanese menu with a modern twist. Produce is delivered fresh daily. Superior quality Scottish salmon from Scotland. 100% Grade “A” Red Tractor Farm Assured Chicken from Suffolk and 100% British beef. Great ingredients make great food. You can also get your order to-go and the restaurant offers corporate delivery service.

20 Copthall Ave, London EC2R 7DN
020 7562 8510

Min Jiang – London


So you’re not in the mood for fish and chips you say? How about Chinese? Not just any Chinese, Min Jiang Chinese (traditional dishes from China’s gastronomic provinces). It’s on 10th floor of the Kensington’s Royal Garden Hotel. Before dinner we enjoyed cocktails in the restaurants’ bar. The classic, muted furnishings really stood out, as did the Lichitini (vodka, lychee liqueur, and fresh lime). Talk about refreshing! OMG!
As we were escorted to our table for dinner, I noticed that all of tables potentially have an amazing view. A view of what I wasn’t sure. Unfortunately, it was dark outside so the view consisted of my reflection in the window, which, well, wasn’t half bad that night since I was having a good hair day, and my new dinner jacket – d’gorgeous! I’m just sayin’! I’m looking at the man in the mirror, gonna make a difference, gonna maaaake it right. My star gazing however was cut short as the theatrics of eating was about to begin.

We started with an assortment of Min Jiang’s signature dim sum, and fried squid topped with sea salt. There was something very special about the steamed pumpkin dumplings. OH, so good! I never know what to order as I tend to order what I’m familiar with, and what’s the fun in that? So I simply asked the chef to bring me what he felt I should try. Maybe I should have put some guidelines on my request because the food just continued to arrive. From braised pork belly in a scrumptious rich sauce to beef with lemon grass to stir fried King Prawns with Macadamia nuts. But the real reason one comes to Min Jiang’s is for their legendary wood-fired duck. One of the chefs brings the duck to your table and carves it in front of you.

First comes the choice crisp skin near the neck of the bird, which we dipped in fine white sugar. Um, it was alright. Skin really isn’t part of my diet plan anyway. But the finest cuts of the duck were so flavorful and juicy. Ultra thin homemade (I’m still a little unclear at who’s home though…) pancakes were served with accompaniments of shredded spring onions, cucumber, hoisin sauce, minced garlic paste, pickled radish, and zesty pickled cabbage, which was a refreshing foil for the duck. We enjoyed every bite. I was so completely stuffed but a meal could not be complete without a dessert. Fresh mango cream with Sago pearls and pomelo and Min Jiang Sichuan pancake with Cornish vanilla ice cream. Absolutely sinful.
The next time I come here I will come for lunch or for an early dinner before dark, so I can see the spectacular view of Hyde Park and Kensington Palace.

Min Jiang
2-24 Kensington High Street
London W8 4PT

Perkin Reveller – London


900121705Named after “The Cooks Tale” by Chaucer, The Perkin Reveller is situated within the glorious shadow of the Tower of London, its certainly easy to understand why its such a hit, with views you would imagine only accessible to the most elite of people. The service is very attentive yet relaxed making you feel at ease and comfortable with your surrounds and service, which I find to be a very important aspect to enjoying the whole experience.

The restaurant celebrates London’s rich and extensive history and cultural heritage smearing both historical and contemporary tailored interior together, allowing it to sit correctly in its historical setting yet still relating to the world outside. The food was fast out of the kitchen and on to the table, all the dishes where splashed with a delicate display and exhibit, making the food the even more appetizing. To break the ice, I chose a creamy, filling and speculative mushroom risotto, which I felt was cooked to perfection, tasting every single element of the dish in a succulent and overly expressive way, I can only highly recommend this dish.

Typically, for the main, I convincingly ordered the ribeye steak with béarnaise sauce, which I have to say exceeded my expectation for their grilled dishes, it felt very light to eat because the béarnaise aftertaste was utterly incredible It went down without a single push, the way it should go. Finally, to end the rollercoaster I sent my taste buds on, I ordered a selection of sorbets which, I’m I was dubious of thinking at the time, but it was probably my favourite sorbet I’ve had in a long time. Very sour and rich in fruity flavor.

Not to mention we were prompted to try their cocktail lounge after we had eaten to relax and soak up the views and taste some sophisticated and elegant cocktails, from the special cocktail menu and bar.  Fantastic experience, cant recommend it highly enough.

-James Mistry

Perkin Reveller
The Wharf at The Tower of London,
London EC3N 4AB

Les Deux Salons – London


final095Parisian dining with touches of modern British cuisine is what defines Les Deux Salons. The balance is seamless — Hand Chopped Beef Tartare, Snail and Bacon Pie as well as Artisinal Black Pudding find their place in executive chef Anthony Demetre’s repertoire, but in a comfortable and integrated manner.  Pre and Post Theatre menus include the ultimate comfort food indulgence for a perfect after or pre-show dinner and a 12-course dinner. Duck Confit or Cod Fillet are just a few of the options, flash-seared to finish, is as desirous a bite of fish as you’ll find. Lapin a la moutarde delivers beauty and an homage to the molecular.  Young chicken with lemon & garlic is toothsome and elegant. Select items repeat throughout the seasons, such as the Calf’s liver, smoked bacon & sage, while most are based on what’s fresh now. Seasonality drives the Niçoise salad, wherein Snail & bacon pie elevates the simple construct with artful presentation. The wine list is substantive and pairings thoughtful and at times creative: a Blandy’s Colheita Malmsey Madiera surprised us midway through our experience and proved an excellent choice. Sweets favor Pastry’s, Cake’s and Brulee’s— profiteroles appeared as sweet as can be without being overbearing, intense Gâteau Opéra with chocolate, hazelnut & coffee. Pacing is more realistic for modern dining than the eternal timing of other high-end dining rooms. The restaurant’s beautiful façade and French Brasserie mahogany and forest green with rusted mirrors in the décor offer a good hint to the cuisine that awaits; atmosphere is achieved simply with thick drapery that creates secluded areas with clusters of tables in the two story restaurant. For diners serious about a French comfort food in London, this is the go-to spot.

Les Deux Salons
40 – 42 William IV Street
Covent Garden London WC2N 4DD

Holiday Taxis – Airport Transfers and Beyond

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holiday_taxisIn a world filled with uncertainties, one thing that needs to be reliable and efficient is getting from Point A to Point B, as well as any stops in between. When it comes to transportation, Holiday Taxis has all of your travel needs and desires covered! With a fleet of luxury vehicles ranging in size and class, from Economy, Luxury, VIP, to SUVs, Limos and Vans, no passenger request is too big or too small.

Holiday Taxis also takes the guesswork out of travel. As a private car service, it has many advantages over traditional taxi travel. First and foremost, with Holiday Taxis you will have full knowledge of your charges in advance of order placement. Tip and tax are already included in the price presented to you, so you can rest assured that there are no hidden costs. Easy payment options include by phone or online.

With the ‘Tailor Made’ option, not only will the driver be summoned to your location for pickup, you will also be able to track your driver in real time via the 24 hour customer service line… it doesn’t get any cooler than that! Simply select your “pickup” and “drop off” destinations, date and time, as well as your car-class preference, and you are ready to go!

The ‘Ride Later’ service allows you to schedule pickup within an hour anywhere around the globe. With service available in over 5000 cities and 110 countries, peace of mind is never more than a few miles away.

Holiday Taxis is the world’s best online private car service…Travel has never been so easy, and right at your fingertips!


Roux at Parliament Square – London


Roux ParliamentRoux at Parliament Square, an elegant restaurant in Westminster, is an exclusive dining destination – popular with London’s politicians, socialites and high-powered business barons who love to linger over lunch. The brain-child of Michelin starred chef Michel Roux Junior – of Le Gavroche in Mayfair – Roux at Parliament Square boasts not only a luxurious and iconic location, but a light and inspired modern European menu that compliments the tasteful interior. With period features and modern furniture, the dining room at Roux at Parliament Square is a light-filled space perfect for business dining, and the restaurant’s chic Pembury Bar is suitable for pre-dinner drinks and discreet cocktail dates.

Roux at Parliament Square
11 Great George Street
London, SW1P 3AD

The Lauren Berger Collection – Holiday Rentals

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p17bb91pfm3411i2ggf72bk3l4With sleek décor masterfully executed by the home owners and Lauren Berger herself, guests at Lauren Berger’s full service luxury rental apartments will feel as though they are staying in the chicest, most buzzed about hotel of the moment, but with all of the essential conveniences of home. High-speed internet, fully equipped modern kitchens, upscale yet comfortable furnishings, efficient housekeeping service, proximity to grocery stores, markets and public transportation, as well as reasonable pricing for short or long term stays, make LBC an absolute no-brainer when booking accommodations in NYC, London, Paris and beyond.

The apartments are exceptionally spacious; yet still manage to provide a comfortable sense of warmth and intimacy. This coupled with the warmth, caring and professionalism of LBC owner, Lauren, serves to create the ultimate experience of living in the lap of luxury. The apartments are also ideally and centrally located in each city.

Other services that can be expertly arranged to improve your stay include concierge services, restaurant bookings, transportation services, early/late arrivals and departures, and that is just the shortlist! No task is too big or too small for LBC. With over 25 years of experience in the industry, your stay will run as fluidly and effortless is a well-oiled machine, so that as a traveler you can fully enjoy the things that really matter… experiencing all that the city has to offer. The Lauren Berger Collection truly provides the duality of home and hotel, in which neither of the perks of either are sacrificed. A walk into your own full service apartment in New York City will give you all of the satisfaction of turning your key into your front door… and more!



Tom Aikens – Chelsea


tom-aikens_david-griffen-photography-1591-6515Tom Aiken’s Michelin starred restaurant in Chelsea charms guests with its creatively delicate dishes that mix new and old traditions, presenting a thoughtful cuisine that simultaneously put an emphasis on style and ingredients. The décor and the mainly black and white, minimally decorated dining room allude to putting the biggest focus on the food. Diners should be sure not to miss the poached beef short rib, poached turbot with sorrel emulsion, and the piglet belly with baked aubergine and smoked apple. There’s a sommelier on hand to help with the excellent wine list and patrons can either choose from A La Carte or the set lunch or dinner menus.

Tom Aikens
43 Elystan St,
London SW3 3NT
020 7584 2003

Adamina Spa – London


ADAMINIALocated on the corner of Kensington High Street, behind the doors of a former bank lies Adamina Spa, a gorgeous, light and airy boutique spa with an array of fabulous treatments.
My back was in dire need of some TLC, and a full body massage was definitely what the doctor ordered. After being greeted by a serene receptionist behind a gorgeous big purple desk, I was led down a hallway featuring intimate lighting, coloured lanterns and pebbles adorning the walkway to a women’s locker room and offered a steam before my treatment – an unexpected and welcome extra touch.
My masseuse, the extremely talented Valeria, quickly got to work on my aching back in the treatment room – a gorgeous space that featured whitewashed, pebbled walls and flooring, juxtaposing with a turquoise and gold baroque feature wall; I felt instantly transported a million miles away from the busy London street that I had just been on mere moments before.
Erasing all of the knots and tension in my lower back, Valeria left me to relax with an array of pukka teas in a serene waiting room, before my next treatment – a manicure.
Usually I must admit, I am not the biggest fan of manicures, as I tend to get restless and fidget – a manicurist’s nightmare! However Adamina completely changed my mind. I was led to an intimate room featuring more of the baroque style décor, in monochrome for a modern update.
Sex and the City played on a large plasma TV, inspiring me to leap out of my comfort zone and plump for neon pink Essie polish rather than my usual deep red. Polly, my manicurist, went to great lengths to ensure my comfort and left me with a gorgeous set of nails – and the SATC episodes ensured I didn’t fidget once!
276-280 Kensington High Street
London W8 6ND
Tel: 0207 7511 611

James Mistry + Blake LDN



Photography: James Mistry (www.jamesmistry.co.uk)
Model: Shannon
Hair: Frederic Belanger
Makeup: Gloria Peñaranda
Clothing: Blake LDN (www.blake-ldn.com)



The Shed – Notting Hill


the-shed-restaurant-notting-hill-london-1Notting Hill restaurant, The Shed is cozy and gracious with a bar and separate dining area packing in the locals for drinks and nibbles. The cooking is very good indeed, options under the “slow cooking” part of the menu include dishes such as the pigeon with bitter leaf salad, hazelnut and port dressing which are not to be missed. Mains or “fast cooking”, include pork chop with fennel, wild chervil salsa as well as a gorgeous lamb with butternut and sage. “Puds” include a delicious rhubarb lemon curd trifle. The owners, brothers Oliver and Richard Gladwin, set out to create a restaurant as an extension of their own rural lifestyle and upbringing in Nutbourne, West Sussex. Part of the cooking ethos at the shed puts a focus on using the whole animal (nose to tail cooking) so that nothing is wasted. This is completely essential to The Shed kitchen. You can also check on the restaurant’s website frequently for shared recipes from the brothers. Expect the place to be lively, fun and crowded at all times. A great place to visit with a crowd of good friends.

The Shed
122 Palace Gardens Terrace
Notting Hill, London

Bone Daddies – SOHO


081112_bone_daddies_003Those seeking a varied selection of mouth watering Japanese Ramen options will have to make a pit stop at Bone Daddies. Located in the heart of Soho this hip restaurant seems to be styled after an upscale dive bar with communal dining tables, cool Japanese art wall paper and rock music blaring from the speakers.  Constantly buzzing with a hip crowd, Bone Daddies quite possibly offers some of the best Ramen combinations and flavors that London has to offer.

The menu itself includes a variety of small plates to start the meal with such as fried chicken, cabbage and miso or the hearty soft shell crab option. These are great for sharing,  but the salmon sashimi with shiso, lime and soy is so delicious that you might want to just order it for yourself.  For main course Ramen options, Bone Daddies offers the exceptional dipping ramen, complimented with with spring onion, kizami nori, with chashu pork. The more meat-focused diner can try the Sweet 3 Miso Ramen with corn, wakame, butter, chicken (chicken bone broth), or go with the classic Tonkotsu Ramen.  Vegetarians will enjoy the Ramen Salad with mizuna, carrot, wakame, chicken, sesame ponzu, leaving out the bone broth.  The menu also offers many extra toppings so that you can customize your Ramen as you wish.

Bone Daddies
31 Peter St
London W1F 0AR

In Parma – London


DSC_3692In Parma is not your typical Italian restaurant. You won’t find spaghetti bolognese or carbonara or tiramisu on the menu. There are no red and white checkered tablecloths. Instead, this chic, narrow, stucco-walled space is home to nicely executed traditional Parma/Emilia Romagna fare.  In Parma coins this term as “PDO” (protected designation of origin). The restaurant is also unique in how it sets out to advise customers of the traditional ways to consume Italian food through videos, books and their highly knowledgeable staff.

Stick to tradition and start with a selection of “PDO meats” including Prosciutto Crudo di Parma, Salame di Felino and Culatello di Zibello, intermingled with a selection of tender cheeses to balance out the hearty meats. Robiola di Roccaverano, Mozzarella di Bufala Campana and
Taleggioor are fine choices.  Or you can choose from the selection of “one meat and one cheese” and make sure not to overlook the ‘nibbles’, especially delectable pickled stuffed cherry peppers.  On to the hot food main courses Caponata – A traditional stew made of aubergines, courgettes and potatoes, is not to be missed nor is the homemade polenta.  The all-Italian wine list has some names even a novice wine drinker would recognize alongside the delicious fizzy, red dry wine known as Lambrusco.  This delicious wine is sipped out of a bowl, which is the traditional way to drink this sparkling wine.

In Parma
10 Charlotte Place
London W1T 1SH
Area: Fitzrovia