Lyle's London

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Not to be confused with the golden syrup manufacturers, Tate & Lyle (or maybe that was just me that thought of that one), Lyle's is a lovely new restaurant in Shoreditch that I've been itching to visit since its opening, and since a friend told me her housemate, James was opening a new restaurant. (I've also just written about it for Trotter Mag's London restaurant guide that's soon to go up). I went whilst in London last week with said friend, Sophie, for lunch (the best time to go), along with Toast editor, Miranda to celebrate the launch of her new magazine, catch up and eat our way through the delicious menu. So delicious that I didn't take any decent photos of the food, so you'll have to be satisfied with the iPhone snap I took for my Instagram...

The new space is just off Shoreditch highstreet, nestled in between Shoreditch House and Pizza East on the ground floor of the Tea Building. It's big, airy and bright with light flooding in through the large, loft-style windows. The interior is minimal, with scandi-style tables and chairs, white walls, high ceilings, concrete flooring, grey industrial lighting and an open kitchen and bar. The mix could have easily created a cold atmosphere, but instead it feels welcoming. I like these kind of interiors and the light makes a big difference. We ordered a mix of tapas-style plates, such as Game Liver Toast, Cured Ling and Crab and Artichoke, each as tasty as the next, but there are also larger mains available, which I'm sure I'll be tucking into next time. And one of the best things about the place (as someone living in Paris, who has waited in far too many lines to be seated), is that you can book and take as long as you want. There's no one trying to jostle you out so they can seat the next customer, like so many new hot-spots that have popped up in Paris recently. So we had a nice leisurely lunch. Perhaps a little too leisurely, but I left feeling satisfied and content.

Tea Building,56 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JJ
+44 20 3011 5911
Opening hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 - 23:00 & Saturday 18:00 - 23:00 

J'ai Crew

Monday, 17 November 2014

See what they did there? J'ai cru in French means 'I believed' - it's the hashtag they're using. Clever. Pretty much sums the brand up, since the ever-inspiring Jenna Lyons took hold of the reins. I discovered J.Crew about five or six years ago whilst on a trip to LA to visit a friend and have been a fan ever since. It's a brand you can wear for every occasion - office, evening, party, wedding - and there is something for everyone. I popped along to their presentation last Thursday to check out the new SS/2015 collection that will be launching in Paris in March. Yes, we are getting a shop in le Marais. I am très excited. 

I don't do a lot of fuss when it comes to clothes, opting for a palette of mainly black, navy, grey and white, but as I walked around the beautiful Parisian apartment with the lovely Carin (always good to have a partner in crime at these events), with a view of the Arch de Triomphe, I was picturing myself wearing almost every (colourful) look. Well, truth be told Carin was picturing me in various outfits: 'oh, I can so see you in this outfit come spring.' Am I that predictable? Clearly being 'normcore', as it's been dubbed in the fashion industry, has its disadvantages. I obviously need to shake things up a bit and up the ante in my wardrobe - luckily J.Crew has some lovely colourful and embellished pieces that would fit right into my various shades of grey and do the job of making what I currently wear a little more interesting. 

First Impressions

Monday, 10 November 2014

When I moved to Paris, I was admittedly desperate to live in a traditional Parisian building, complete with wooden floors and original character features. Nearly two years later and my dream has come true. We fought for a good week for this flat (which included bugging the estate agent on a daily basis), but it was worth the stress. One of my main criteria for finding a new apartment in Paris was light, not something that is easy to find living in Paris. This apartment has oodles of it. The light streams in through the three large windows in salon and there's not one, but two floor to ceiling windows in the bedroom. We had to sacrifice a few things - we live above a busy boulevard, so often hear sirens roaring by, but luckily there's double glazing that drowns out a lot of the noise. It's also a little rough around the edges with a dated bathroom and kitchen, but the marble fireplace, cornices, parquet flooring and of course the view more than make up for it. And best of all it's almost unfurnished - not so easy now (we only have two chairs and a bed), but it means we can put our personal stamp on it. The sofa will arrive in three weeks and we'll be adding to it over the coming weeks, so expect many more posts! But here are a few first impressions. 

An Italian Affair

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

After a warm bout over the weekend, the weather in Paris has suddenly turned colder. (Luckily I bought these, much to the amusement of the boy). Winter is certainly coming, which has had me reminiscing about our summer holiday that feels like an age away. So rather belatedly, here's another post from my travels. 

Now I'm no wedding photographer, I leave that up to experts like my dear friend Katie (if you need a great wedding photographer, she's your woman), but I couldn't help but document this beautiful Italian wedding in Abruzzo of our friends Catherine and Georgio. It was everything you might imagine an Italian wedding to be and more. 

The ceremony took place in a charming medieval church in a little village in the hills, with the most incredible stone flooring and crumbling wall paintings. Catherine wore a beautiful Grecian style, draped, but very modern one-shouldered dress, paired with bronze gold sandals and just a simple bouquet of baby's breath - the epitome of elegance. 

For the reception we drove through the winding roads to Georgio's sister Giulia's house, Casale Centurione - a guest house and restaurant, where Giulia also runs cookery courses - located on a hill in the countryside, surrounded by vines and olive trees. It's set amongst the most beautiful scenery - truly an Italian dream. And at the edge of the property you can look down into the valley below and catch incredible sun sets. Visiting places like this, reminds me that there's a big wide world outside of city living. I think I'll always be an urbanite, but it does make me think how amazing it would be to live in a house in the countryside, Mimi Thorisson style. The food was unsurprisingly amazing. Just look at that buffet spread! Have you ever seen anything so delicious? And that was just the warm-up (which muggins here didn't realise so stuffed her face, leaving less room for the mains.) Post buffet, came pasta, lots of it. I lost count after the third dish.. then there was focaccia, hog roast, beef, cold meats, cheese, fresh figs, oh and of course the obligatory wedding cake. I think I must have put on 3 kilos in one evening. And felt happier for it. 

Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground