Wednesday, 21 August 2013

We All Scream for Ice-Cream

The mastermind behind Morelli's gelato: Giuseppe Morelli and his ice-cream van
Heat-wave alert! The weather forecast promises another run of sunshine for this week and of course, there’s one tasty treat we all crave on a sweltering summer’s day (it's ice-cream, duh!). Sure, swirly 99’s from a tinkling van hit the spot, but if you haven’t discovered the creamy, perfectly candied genius that is Morelli’s Gelato, you haven’t experienced heaven in a cone (or cup!). Giuseppe Morelli is the Italian mastermind behind this frozen dream, having founded the company in 1907 with his son Mario (they bonded selling their concoctions from a bicycle in the street!) In time, the bicycle got upgraded to the traditional van, and in 1932 the Morelli father-son duo opened their first ice-cream parlour, overlooking the beautiful bay of Broadstairs in Kent. Although Harrods London boasts a slick, contemporary version of this Gelateria, to this day the Broadstairs parlour remains the historic flagship store, and living just several miles from it, I can emphasise first-hand its magnetism!

Broadstairs Seafront
A retro paradise- Morelli's flagship diner in Broadstairs of Kent

A slick Morelli's of Harrods, London
The parlour itself is still reminiscent of a 50’s coffee bar, yet to me it also alludes to the retro American diners that boasted roller-skating waitresses and those trademark squashy leatherette sofas. There’s a novelty indoor soda fountain, a working jukebox and plenty of enchanting vintage photographs decorate the peach-coloured walls. Customers can devour sundaes, complete with an explosion of wafer fans, cocktail umbrellas and glacĂ© cherries, or sip frothy cappuccinos while admiring these framed memories of the British seaside resort. The atmosphere is contagious, the service smooth and the product divine.
 

Take a trip to this time warp of a dessert lover’s paradise to taste flavours such as apple, white chocolate, tiramisu, coconut, caramel and current summer special, fresh mint lemonade. If you do return totally inspired, and I guarantee you will, have a go at this recipe for home-made strawberry meringue ice-cream: blissful served with a glass of Pimm’s in the garden.

You will need:

 
300ml double cream
250g Greek yoghurt
2 level dessert spoons icing sugar
A punnet of strawberries (extra yummy if freshly picked!)
Meringue nests (as many as you like!)
Mmm.
With an electric whisk, whip the cream, along with the yoghurt and icing sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Crush the meringue nests into bite-size pieces and fold gently into the mixture.
Mash the strawberries (destalked!) into a bowl with a fork- mix with several tablespoons of strawberry compote if desired for extra flavour- and add them to the mixture.
Pour the mixture into a lidded container or loaf tin and freeze until set- this could be anything from three hours to overnight.
Defrost for five minutes plus before serving; then dish up with your cutest ice-cream scoop and a sprinkling of extra berries.



Anthropologie Colourblock Ice Cream Scoop £16

Dot Com Giftshop Set of 6 Vintage Party Ice Cream Tubs with Spoons £2.95
Visit the Morelli’s site here: http://www.morellisgelato.com/

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Beauty Product Review: Elemis Gentle Rose Exfoliator

This is new to me- my very first beauty product review, although I have wanted to do it for ages! I recently chatted to Laura from blogger engagement and digital PR agency, Talented Talkers, who kindly sent me a sample size tube of this Elemis exfoliator to test out. I'm pretty disorganised when it comes to a skin regime- indulging in a white chocolate or berry facemask once or twice a month is as far as I really go!- so using this product was a real treat.


    Upon first impression, I noted the sleek simplicity of the tube itself and when I removed the lid, I could smell the beautiful rose scent despite being slightly bunged up! I took off my make-up and then squirted a good amount of product onto my finger ready to rub in. The liquid glistened on my finger and looked like it contained lots of teeny tiny crystals- a nice surprise as I'm a sucker for anything sparkly! In fact, these crystal-like beads, which you can just see in my photo below (!), are micro-spherical Jojoba droplets, which exfoliate the skin without any scratching or irritating whatsoever. The liquid lightly massaged my face when rubbed in in circular motions which felt utterly relaxing! You could barely see the exfoliator once it had dried onto my skin, but for a gorgeous sheen and it felt weightless and refreshing, unlike other skin-based products I have tried.
 

 I'm a great believer in leaving beauty products to do their magic and this trial was no exception. I decided to apply my Boots Essentials Cucumber Eye Gel (this complimented the cucumber extract in the Elemis exfoliator!) and my special edition pink bubbly Vaseline along with the product. I then left the natural anti-oxidant, vitamin C in the exfoliator to soak in and relaxed with a magazine for around ten minutes! I have to emphasise that the scent of the exfoliator is truly delicious and sweet-smelling and if you're a fan of rose-based smells then I'm sure you will agree!
Left to Right: Boots Essentials Cucumber Eye Gel, £1.50, Elemis Gentle Rose Exfoliator, £27 at Time To Spa, Vaseline Limited Edition Pink Bubbly, £3.49 at Superdrug.
    After I'd sat back with my feet up for a bit, I rinsed off the exfoliator liquid quickly and effortlessly, and found my face to have a lovely new glow. My skin can occasionally be sensitive, but I was left with no redness. Having just spent a weekend in the sun, my skin really needed the rejuvenation and now it feels silky-smooth and free of oil or build-up. A plus of this exfoliator is that it states it is anti-aging- what more could you want?!
     Priced at between £20-30 for 50ml, the Gentle Rose Exfoliator is fairly costly, but I can't fault its result. I may invest in the near future but for now, my trial size 15ml is the perfect addition to my travelling cosmetics bag. I'd like to thank Elemis at QVC and Talented Talkers for giving me the opportunity to use and review this fab product! You can follow Talented Talkers for blogging opportunities and discussions at https://twitter.com/TalentedTalkers.

Friday, 9 August 2013

The Classic Silk Scarf


 
Karlie Kloss wrapped in various Herme's signature silk scarves

A quick and effortless way to add an eye-catching edge to your more-modest wardrobe staples is to add a funky scarf. The neck scarf, which we often say originated in our grandmother's wardrobes and at car-boot sales, has weaved in and out of the style charts and on and off the runway, yet to me it is a timeless accessory. Hermes' reoccurring, vast collections of beautifully sleek squares of fabric to adorn the collarbone prove exactly that. Phoebe Philo's chic AW'12 leather versions of the neckerchief pushed this accessory to bond with the modern style circuit, while this season, Dolce and Gabbana embraced the souvenir scarf as a handy, hot weather cover-up, wrapping their model's updos in multi-coloured silks and satins.
 
Olivia Palermo brightens her jeans and a blazer with her
 emerald Herme's scarf
 
Dolce and Gabbana S/S'13

Kate Bosworth indulges in a silky scarf
   Whether you utilise your neck scarf as a dash of colour, teaming it with a luxe, white tee or blouse and plain jeans, or pair it with another pattern on your bottom half- double paisley is always a commendable clash- this accessory is guaranteed to make a statement. If you're a bit wary of tying your scarf round your neck, or it's simply a bit too warm, then try attaching a pretty swath of fabric to a tote or testing out the bandana trend. Work with tousled hair for the beach and always leave that corner hanging daintily at the side. For more bohemian ways to channel the silk scarf, why not loop one of your favourites around your bike handlebars- I'm thinking a super-cute, retro-look bicycle with a basket: swoon- or pick out your most French looking neckerchief for a trip to the bakery. A larger sized scarf would hold your pastries or boxes of macaroons and quite frankly look adorable. I hope I've persuaded you to up your accessory game and experiment with a truly Parisian-esque piece! Wander vintage boutiques, dress agencies, car boot fairs, market stalls and the like for pre-loved silk scarves, or check out my high-street picks below.


ASOS Codello Paisley Border Silk Scarf £22.50
 
Accessorize Bird in a Tree Silk Classic Scarf £12
Designer Copy: Topshop Butterfly Square Scarf £14
Splurge: Matthew Williamson DNA Butterfly Printed Silk Scarf £210
Joules Bloomfield Yellow Silk Scarf £34.95
Zara Printed Scarf £5.99



Friday, 2 August 2013

Model Minus The Runway: Freja Beha Erichsen

 
I personally find it so intriguing to see a model off-duty and away from the bright lights of the catwalk, with liberty in their appearance and social agenda. Freja Beha Erichsen's naturally textured, Jane Birkin style bangs first captured my attention, yet I then found myself obsessed with her out-of-hours wardrobe.
   Spotted on the streets of Copenhagen at just 15 years old, Danish-born Freja must have sussed her entirely effortless androgynous look mega early. Word has it that she was a tomboy all through her childhood- the majority of which she spent scaling trees and building campfires- picking biker jackets over frills and frocks. Freja has been such a hit outside of her native country, racking up ad campaigns and shows for designers A-Z, that she has single-handedly inspired the Chloe Freja clutch, the Alexander Wang Freja Lace-up Stilettos and the Jill Stuart Freja handbag. Oh, to have but one designer piece named after you, let alone three!

 
 
    Each time she steps out into the real world, Freja rocks a look that could only belong to her, with her choppy fringe and impossibly willowy legs. Her old casting agent, James Scully, once called her "a perfect old-school clothes-hanger", and that is exactly what she is: in the hands of designers. She suits pleated midi skirts, tailored pants and skimpy camis surprisingly well. Nevertheless, her choice of thigh-hugging jeans, Doc Marten-esque boots, monochrome layers and the rare dress (Rick Owens, though she labels these as lengthy tank tops) has the bigger impact. Minimalist in Freja's case is actually more. No-one could doubt her irrevocable dress-sense.
    With quirky crooners The XX featuring heavily on her iPod, a penchant for travelling and a background in horses, Freja's personality stretches further than her charismatic threads. And though it seems her lean frame is helped by plenty of uber-toning pilates, it's not all bad- Freja told Elle UK last year that top of her snack list for the model tour bus (most likely airbus!) is a trusty pot of choccy mousse. My guess is that slumber parties at hers would definitely be a choco-fest.