Sunday, 30 June 2013

Housekeeping | To ELLE and Back... Google Reader's bye bye so come find me on Bloglovin

Just a small matter of housekeeping guys.  If you happen to get updates from me via Google Reader and would still like to hear from me from time to time then, as you may already know as the blogosphere is alive with these posts, Google Reader goes bye bye tomorrow, 1st July.  Bloglovin seems to be the replacement of choice so I'm going to let these guys explain it better to you.

I look forward to reaching you via bloglovin, thanks for reading and your continued support.  Some exciting posts coming up this week so I hope not to lose you to this switch over.

Big love!
Louisa xx

NYC Room Anthems | Lana Del Rey's Radio

View from Starbucks, Newport, Jersey City, NJ

With the sun shining in the UK this morning, already proving it to be a superb day, I couldn't help but be reminded of Lana Del Rey's atmospheric tune, Radio.  This song is synonymous, for me, with sunny mornings waking up in Newport, Jersey City.  Sun streaming through mine and my cool chick Molo's, window.  The water from the Hudson is reflected in the windows in the building opposite, she's sat on my laptop because she still hasn't bought her Mac yet, her ipod blaring the tune whilst I'm forced to go in the bathroom first because that's just how it always is.  A cloud of pink sheets befall both our beds and brightens a pretty sad and tired room.  Throwing on my Victoria's Secret black and white tank top with PINK emblazoned on the front and my Hoboken map ring, Molo dresses herself in that peach pleated skirt and 80's earrings, long small bag draping by her side juxtaposing my huge suitcase of a bag draping by mine.  We make our way out of our building, down the street, the humidity already clasping at our throats.  We enter the icy conditions of the Starbucks by the harbour and with iced caramel macchiato's in hand we're set outside on those metal table and chairs, glancing across at the Financial District, Freedom Tower gradually growing.  Adorned in our ray ban-esque black shades we're now joined by Ang, then Marina (she's always late) chatting animatedly as we are greeted and left by numerous others that we know, stopping by for their caffeine fix or on their way to the PATH.  

And then we're on the L train, disembarking at Bedford Ave, queuing to move through those two cage-like gate contraptions.  And we're single file up the stairs, back out into that glorious sun, hovering by the flower stall next to Bedford Ave station, eyes set on our destination, the Williamsburg Flea.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Luxury Investment | 7 Reasons I HEART Our Hot Tub

1.  It's the only sleep drug you'll ever need.  Forget ambien all you New Yorkers.

2.  Saying that, it's also the best way to start your day.  Invigorating.

3.  When we've had the sunny weather like we have had in the UK recently, it kind of resembles having your own pool.  Without the swimming.

4.  But throw in a dusting of snow and your christmas lights and you're in your ski-in ski-out chalet hot tub in St Moritz.

5.  It's the most effortless entertainment EVER.  Future Channel 4 Come Dine With Me contestants take note.

6.  A daily free massage without having to find a boyfriend.  Sign me up!

7.  It's the perfect accompaniment to a grapefruit margherita.  Tried and tested.

Happy Friday Y'all - You'll be able to find me, as above!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Show Your Support | A Chef's Life

A Chef's Life, a foodie documentary soon to be aired on PBS USA, follows North Carolina chef, Vivian Howard, as she meets with locals, friends, farmers and more to discover and educate the PBS viewers on North Carolina regional delicacies and traditions.  Vivian and her husband Ben have both worked in NYC as chefs previously as well, which in itself is a substantial accolade for their talents.  Now sourcing and supporting local artisan's in their hometown Kinston, NC, with their restaurant, they are helping to regenerate a local economy whilst creating jobs and demand for their communities produce and they want to highlight the importance of this to you.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

LDN: Rooftop Bar | Golden Bee

Rooftop bars are something of the norm in NYC.  Barring Kensington Roof Gardens, I'm not sure I'd been to one previously in London but since my return to the UK I was psyched to check out Shoreditch based, Golden Bee.  Whilst there isn't much of  a skyline view, no Empire State staring back at us with pride, it still ticked a lot of boxes for me and struck me as a "poor-yorker's" version of the NYC rooftop.

With white lights twisting around trees and luxury outdoor furniture it had a cool, fun vibe that is synonymous with it's surroundings.  The atmosphere was buzzing and rumour has it that reservations are required in order to gain entry.  We had a space booked for a friend's birthday downstairs and whilst it was nice to have a base to prop our belongings, if you can get an area on the main rooftop I'd highly advise it.  That's where most of our party headed and camped out for the evening.  The weather was beautiful, which always helps and the entire venue, both inside and out, was packed with Friday night post-work drinkers.  The view that we did have, had a lower east side ambience and with a wall of graffiti art staring back at us, we could be fooled into thinking we were hanging out near 5 Pointz, Long Island City.

Whilst Golden Bee had quite an interesting cocktail menu, for some reason nothing particularly wowed me and prices were pretty standard.  I spent the evening drinking the cool cucumber martini and mimosa's.

Check it out for summer fun with a party vibe but don't expect an awe-inducing view or jaw-dropping cocktails.  It claims to be the "ultimate in cool" and that's what it delivers.  You're here for the ambience not the mixologists.

*Main Picture from Golden Bee Website

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

NYC: Mack's Back | Macaulay Culkin's iPod Party June

Fear not my friends Mack is back!  Younger bro Rory Culkin has been holding the fort at LPR NYC on their once Thursday a month party but the real deal will be plugging his ipod in this week, on the 13th June, for what's set to be one of his most outrageous parties yet.

Monday, 10 June 2013

LDN: Monday Monday Monday | Tegan & Sara

Tegan and Sara are in town tomorrow for their gig at the Troxy, Shoreditch, so it seemed only apt that we begin the week with their track Monday, Monday, Monday.

I've been a fan of these two indie rock chicks since I went to college in Massachusetts.  They're very rarely in the UK and for very little time and so I managed to finally get to a gig of theirs back in February, in NYC at the Beacon Theater, fearing they'd never make it to UK shores again.  A couple of months down the line and they're bringing that gig to LDN.

Great set and humourous banter from the girls.  Tickets are £25.50 and you can purchase them from Tegan and Sara's site.

So from Tegan, Sara and I, good luck with the rest of your monday, monday, monday. 

Saturday, 8 June 2013

NYC: Cocktail Crushin' | The Wayland

The Wayland, a quirky bar in Alphabet City actually has a very Brooklyn vibe to me and I'm sure it wouldn't be out of place on Bedford Ave in Williamsburg.  But, down on the corner of East 9th and Ave C, sitting silently and unobtrusively is this watering hole.  The simple exterior, with little indication as to what's inside apart from a paper sign letting you know it's cash only, is the perfect cover for what is actually a rustic, candlelit, cosy and atmospheric drinking haven.  You'll often see co-owner Jason Mendenhall behind the bar and if he's the one making your drink, all the better!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Happy Friday Y'all | Girls Just Gotta Have Fun

At just 10 years old, Essex born Sophia Grace has more swag in her little finger than I have in the entire of myself, 18 years her senior.  This girls tune, Girls Just Gotta Have Fun, to coin a phrase, is "Dope.  Mega Dope."  And it's the perfect fun feature for a Friday on To ELLE and Back.  Plus she smashes a cream pie in some boys face around 3:22, and who doesn't have a list of guys they'd like to do that to?!

Props to our girl, Sophie Grace, for this smile inducing, sick video and beat that's sure to get us all ready for a sunny weekend in both LDN and NYC.

Now excuse me, I've got my shades and a pink tutu to find, Sophia style.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Lavender Lullabies | Castle Farm, Kent and Other Purple Stories

Sat outside, awaiting our table at french restaurant, Buvette in NYC 2012, fellow blogger and North Carolina'n friend, Hayley of Tiptoes in the Kitchen, began to regale me with her dream of discovering an endless sea of purple in the form of lavender fields.  She had embarked on a European adventure with her mother the year prior and was adamant that she would be able to cast her eye wistfully on these fields in Provence.  Her search became difficult, I forget the specific reason, but nonetheless, just as she had given up they stumbled upon some purely by accident.  These Provence fragrant fields were everything she had hoped for and more and were made all the sweeter by the fact she was so certain her dream would have to be postponed for another year.  I, in hand, told her about Castle Farm in Eynsford, Kent, England.  This lavender farm is only a half hour journey from my family's home and is an annual visit for us in July amongst peak lavender season!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013


London in comparison to NYC falls fairly short on the pizza front.  So I decided to create a pizza, at home in the UK, that incorporated some of my favourite food experiences of NYC.  Enter my pizza blanco with pulled pork!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

LDN: Hermes Festival des Metiers | Saatchi Gallery

Run your hand across the luxurious leather of the birkin bag, watch as a glimmer of a diamond is set amongst a heavy gold stud, dust your fingers delicately along a rail of printed silk scarfs.  Hermes Festival des Metiers, recently showing at the Saatchi Gallery for just one week, transported you to their work space in Lyons and gave you the opportunity to learn first hand just how magnificently everything is made. 

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