Tuesday, 31 January 2012

TOWIB February 11th

I think the below says it all.  Who else is venturing along?  

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Philosophy's Marshmallows for Toasting Lipgloss

Does anybody else go weak at the knees with just one sultry sniff of maple syrup?  Well I'm carrying the next best thing around with me in my handbag.  Philosophy's Marshmallow's for Toasting lipgloss.  Doesn't smell or taste *clears throat* I mean just smell, anything like toasted marshmallows.  Instead it's an enticing poem of pancakes on a sunday morning, drowned in syrup.  Super way to start your day and far less calorific.

On a serious note, well a MORE serious note as I actually am genuinely serious above, it's a lovely subtle neutral shade for when you're wanting to rock the au naturelle look.  Or you could wear it the To Elle and Back way, over Dior Addict 763 Pink Lust, for a candy floss-esque spin on the gloss.

Part of a Marshmallows for Toasting Christmas gift set you will most likely have to act fast to get your hands on one.   Stockists of Philosophy include Boots and Selfridges.

ps-It is so good I will cry when I run out, which FYI, I am well on the way to doing.

*Image taken from polyvore.com

Saturday, 21 January 2012

My Commuting Song

I'm already obsessed with James Vincent McMorrow's We Don't Eat, since I discovered the year in New York video that is so evocative.  It's now my commuting song.  Especially atmospheric whilst listening to it, either as your train appears, or as you are entering the London Underground/Subway/Metro, dependent on your country location.  I appreciate I sound odd but I'm a very visual person, which probably roots from my acting training and I use music to determine my moods and to summon emotions and memories.

I stumbled across Gabrielle Aplin's version of the song.  No need to say any more, just listen. 

Monday, 16 January 2012

Movie Monday: The Descendants

Golden Globe Best Picture Drama winner The Descendants is released January 27th, in the UK.  I saw the trailer yesterday for the first time and was immediately moved by it.  If this movie hasn't caught your eye yet, then check it out below.  I can imagine it may very well be adorning your "must watch" list too.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

One Night in Jail: Dinner at Barbutis

Here's my mug shot!
Gravesend, Kent is by far a grey cloud of ugliness and sadness.  FYI I'm allowed to say that because I was born there and still live just a stones throw away.  It's not always been this way though and there are, on occasions a glimpse of sophistication and rejuvenation once more.  Mostly along the heritage walk, aka the old high street.  One of these glimpses can now be found in oddly placed restaurant Barbutis.  A locally sourced, a la carte restaurant, positioned within the entrance of a now pitifully pointless market (I'm hoping Mary Portas might be able to sort that one out for us!)

We were first introduced to the restaurant via a review in a National newspaper and almost couldn't believe our eyes.  A high end restaurant in Gravesend???  I've not seen any other marketing for it, so assume it must all be from word of mouth and I'm desperate for little establishments like this to survive, not only in the current economic climate but also in places near me that are left to fall into disrepair.  So here's me doing my bit.  

Situated in the the old police station, Barbutis has an extra quirky factor to it and you know I love quirky! Although most of the tables are within the main dining area there are the odd few that have their very own cells. My sister and mother once visited for a sneak peek during the day, when it first opened, and they were quick to tell me it was rather eerie in those cells.  You'll be pleased to read that with the warm welcome of the lighting and friendly staff in the evening it wasn't anywhere near spooky, although I did get a chill whilst visiting the bathrooms. 

I'm a sucker for history, so the images of the old police officers all through the decades placed around the rooms was a nice little touch.  We were in Cell 1 for my sisters birthday and although not surrounded by lots of other tables and guests the cell still managed to accommodate it's own little atmosphere.

You can look to spend around £40 per person, without drink, so it doesn't come cheap (although it's not heinously expensive either), which is why it's even more surprising it's residence is Gravesend.

We began with complimentary tomato and basil soup which I have to admit I didn't love and would have been disappointed if I'd ordered, however the presentation was cute.

I began with chicken liver parfait with truffle butter, a red onion marmalade and brioche.  The sweetness against the savoury was sublime and I'm obsessed with truffles at the moment so this definitely hit the spot.

One of my sister's and I followed that with the Roast "Aylesbury" Duck, served with a confit leg croquette, braised red cabbage, wilted baby gem, in a red wine jus.

Despite loving that, I wish I'd ordered this...

Venison in a dark chocolate jus with parsnip crisps and a summer fruits pudding.  Divine!

We followed up with desserts, in which I tried the sticky toffee pudding which was satisfactory.

The meal was definitely worth the money but the mains were the most outstanding of the three courses we all tried.  If you're based near Gravesend in Kent I hope you may show your support and venture here for some good food in an unusual setting.

Barbutis is open Thursdays through to Sundays.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Speaking as your Starbucks connoisseur: The Vanilla Spice Latte

The above image has been staring at me from across the barista's in Starbucks.   Seducing me.  Two of my favourite combinations, vanilla and spices.  This evening, after leaving work at gone seven, I thought I definitely deserved a treat for the journey home, so I took the plunge.  I opted for the iced version and am officially hooked.  With a hint of cardamom ( I hate cardamom) to the taste I would have thought I'd despise it but it's refreshingly delightful.  Opt for the hot version tomorrow morning for a steamy dreamy start to, what is predicted as, a brrrr-utally cold day.  Or if you live/d in Massachusetts then you may want this the To Elle and Back way, over ice.  Just 152 calories with skimmed milk and no whipped cream as well means that it's virtually diet proof too!

I'm so pleased that Starbucks are finally treating the UK like family and introducing seasonal coffees, as they do in the US.  If you recall, autumn saw the arrival of the Creme Brulee Macchiatto and now we have the Vanilla Spice Latte.  Are they paving the way for the Pumpkin Spiced Latte for autumn 2012 *Louisa promises to hold breath and risk death until Starbucks say "YES!"*

Monday, 9 January 2012

Louisa in the Sky with Sequins...

Firstly please forgive, the quite frankly, hacked off facial expression I seem to be pulling above.  Secondly, remember that sequin top from Off-Beat, well here it is being used in it's correct form.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

I was here. I lived, I loved.

This floated around on twitter a lot on New Years Day and I think it's just perfect.  We spend such a great deal of time in January setting ourselves unreachable goals, that by February 1st are either long forgotten, or guiltily dwelled upon.   This says it all.  Whilst I would never advocate, in such hard times, quitting your job merely because you don't like it, I still appreciate the essence of the statement.  THINK BIG.

I was here has been on repeat on my ipod this week as well and definitely goes hand in hand with the powerful words above.

Although a week after the New Year has begun I hope these inspire you for 2012 as much as they have me.

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