Balanced bling || Jewellery with meaning from Daisy London

For my sister, Natalia, and ALL the sisters…

I don’t know about you, but I am really enjoying the chill in the air at the moment…

…Don’t get me wrong, I am the ultimate sun-worshipper, but after a good dose of vitamin D in Portugal earlier this month, I’m totally happy to slip into Autumn’s amber and gold leaf-strewn landscape, and feel the fresh frosty air kiss my nose and fingertips as canal walks from Hackney through to Islington become the order of the day.

Everything is crisp and cosy. And as it should be. And these familiar chills in the air, and return of pumpkin lattes listed on coffee shop blackboards, has turned my mind to Christmas, and how quickly the last year has flown by.

 Last Christmas….

I have a huge family, as does Jamie; so thoughts of Christmas inevitably evolve to thoughts of Christmas shopping, which for the pair of us is no mean feat – but no matter what, my priority is always to ensure I have the most thoughtful treats sorted for my mum and sister.

It’s been just the three of us for most of my life. This spiritual duo are my lifeline and while Christmas is not about the gifts, it is about the giving; making the festive season the time to spoil and thank them for errrrrthang.

My sister and I haven’t seen that much of each other in recent years, so last Christmas I particularly wanted to give her a gift that showed her how much I love her – I was thinking a necklace – striking the balance between being a beautiful piece of jewellery, with heart and soul behind it.

Cue the discovery of Daisy London – Designer of the iconic Chakra bracelet, Daisy London is known for its wellness focused jewellery and contemporary designs.

With collections inspired by Eastern philosophy, good karma, and of course classic British daisies, as well as limited edition designs from celebrity collaborators, Daisy London is a range of meaningful pieces that add a personalised touch to your style. – Each in silver, gold and rose gold.

I went straight for the Chakra collection. My sister (Natalia) and I have grown up under our mum’s spiritual guidance, so books on the Chakra’s, Reiki sessions on the sofa and crystal healing for everything* are part of our make up – so it felt natural and right to honour our upbringing in a significant way. 

*To note, I definitely didn’t appreciated how amazing it is to have a mum like ours enough until the last couple of years when I began delving into the chakras, as part of my yoga training…

I chose the 18ct rose gold Heart Chakra (Anahata) necklace for Natalia, and opted for an 18” chain so that it sat right at the heart centre.

Just like Natalia, the heart Chakra stands for love, compassion and altruism, emotionally connected with love, self-control and forgiveness – and striving towards acceptance of self and others.

And I suppose I want her to know that I have nothing but unconditional love, forgiveness and acceptance towards her, so as well as being a beautiful necklave, it seemed like a fitting gift.

Needless to say she loved it as much as I loved giving it to her…

This year…

…I’ve been eyeing up Daisy’s Chakra range ever since, wondering when I would justify treating myself to a few pieces – namely the Throat Chakra necklace (Vishuddi); a choice I had somehow managed to convince my was nothing more than based on the design, rather than being especially connected to Vishuddi Chakra.

However, the further I dive into my yoga practice, I’ve come to learn that Vishuddi is a chakra I’m totally connected with.

Vishuddi is the blue wheel of energy at our throat, connected with communication and truth.

When I’m happy I sing non-stop, tell the people I love just how much I love them, talk to strangers and really find my voice when teaching a class.

Anyone who has taken one of my classes or seen my practice will know it’s a feminine, fluid flow with a lots of movement and space created in the hips – the physical body part associated with Vishuddi (as well as the throat of course – but there aren’t many pose that work the throat) and the element water.

I’m a total water baby, seeking out the sea and craving being by the waves when I need to heal and when I ‘m having fun (Vishuddi is the blue wheel of energy – like water) so perhaps there is more in my choice piece of jewellery than I first thought…

Since treating myself to the rose gold Vishuddi necklace, I have been in touch with the lovely ladies at Daisy London, who (amazingly!) interviewed me for their Blog

It’s been amazing to work with a brand that I love so much so head over to their site, a read if you fancy, and maybe make a Christmas wish list while you’re there – or pick a pressie for someone you love…. It’s not really that long until 25th December after all…..

n a m a s t e

 

Prepare for Takeoff: Pilot’s Bar and Restaurant

They say food is synonymous with travel, and if you’re lucky enough to be jetting off from London Heathrow to pastures more tropical, why not start your culinary experience in its very own Terminal 5.

Amidst a food court of high street chain favourites stands out Pilots Bar & Kitchen, a relaxed and classy eatery reminiscent of the 1950s MadMen era – think Pan AM airlines in Spielberg’s ‘Catch Me If You Can,’ or the low-sunken leather chairs and mood lighting of Don Draper’s office.

image

From its aviation inspired interior and the distinctly retro font running through Pilot’s menus, everything about dining here will take you to back that Pan AM era where pilots were royalty and stewardess enjoyed the most glamorous job in the world – slinking into a low slung sofa and perusing the cocktail menu as you watch flights take off and anticipate your trip.

image

Having finally booked our one-way tickets to India, there was definitely a celebratory feel in the air on Sunday evening, perfect for a restaurant offering everything from Dom Perignon to pilot-twists on classic cocktails, such as the raspberry muddled mojitos.

image

The menu is smart and succinct – perfect for dining on a deadline – boasting classic fare such as Fish n Chips, Mac n Cheese, Chicken Caesar Salads and a Best of British Burger. ‘Pilot serves up gastro favourites done well, exactly what you might hanker for ahead of flying to flung destinations where unknown street food is the order of the day.

The Fish n Chips, served on a sweet minty pea purée, comes up trumps with the fish perfect battered and accompanied by Cajun spiced chips. The Caesar salad is lightly dressed, definitely preferable to those drowning in dressing, with bite sized tender chicken and anchovies.

image

For those ordering salad (Nicoïse is also available) but not feeling entirely virtuous, additional portions of Chips or Mac n Cheese can be ordered to accompany, along with Steamed Spinach and a Buttered New Potatoes.

If you’re pressed for time, as so many at the airport are, you can opt for serving boards complemented by speedy, attentive and speedy service. If you’ve smugly allowed yourself 3 hours in the terminal, the cocktail and sumptuous dessert lists will keep you amused – and boarding your flight feeling satisfied.

image

Not one for falling into the latter category we missed out on the likes of Apple Crumble and. Espresso Martinis, but I’ve no doubt they’d be to sky high standard.

Next time you’re heading off from Heathrow and want to make the airport experience part of your culinary guide, opt to dine at Pilots and start the holiday early. Open for hearty breakfasts, continental brunches, lunches, light bites and dinners, Pilot’s Bar and Restaurant is the perfect place to see you off on your travels.

image

The Green Room Restaurant Review, Southbank London
The Green Room Restaurant Review as written for Mi Business Mag
A garden-like oasis in SE1 may sound like a paradox, but new neighbourhood restaurant, bar and garden, The Green Room, a uniquely ethical and culinary collaboration with local social enterprise Coin Street Community Builders, is just that.

This urban dining retreat, with its own stylish and sustainable garden, is housed in a beautiful, glass-walled green house, tucked behind The National Theatre on London’s Southbank.
Bringing a welcome, delicious and grassroots offering to an area too well-known for its high street restaurant chain offering, The Green Room serves up ethically-sourced British diner food in a spacious and contemporary setting.
GreenRoomInteriorBanner - Copy
Mirroring the refreshingly sustainable approach to its menu, The Green Room’s eclectic, up-cycled interior makes for a stylish, eye-catching setting, featuring props and scenery recycled from National Theatre shows; in which you will enjoy good, honest food, executed well at reasonable prices.
Expect well-informed, friendly staff to guide you through a four part menu comprising, “Pick It Up,” “Knife and Fork,” “On The Side,” and “The Big Finish,” patiently on hand to take your food order as you pick on everything from paprika popcorn, through to Salt cod croquettes and Spiced salami sticks.
greenroom10
Main courses include classic fanfare such as cheeseburgers with Montgomery Jack cheese, BBQ Pork Ribs and Peppercorn Steak with chunky chips. There’s also a few innovative vegetarian/vegan dishes worth trying, such as the mouth-wateringly piquant Spicy vegan sloppy Joe, rich with black beans and brought alive with jalapeños and chipotle; or the Grilled calamari with pesto and slow cooked winter vegetables.
2
Accompany your mains with side dishes such as chunky chips rustling in the bowl, thus cooked to perfection, guiltily dunked in creamy coleslaw; and light, zingy English wines like Three Choirs ‘Winchcombe Downs’ from Gloucestershire’s vineyards.
If you can squeeze in dessert make it a honey sponge and cream layer cake topped with honeycomb with coffee cream. Delectable, and of course lovingly made with locally supplied National Theatre Honey; or a classic Creme Brûlée, arguably the dish any and every restaurant should be judged on…
greenroom22
If the tasty and ambitious menu doesn’t leave you warm inside, then perhaps knowing that all profits from this restaurant support the National Theatre and local communities; Double the reason to both check this place out, and return again and again.
This creative, ethical and culinary hub was designed by the recently graduated architect Benjamin Marks and maintained by the Bankside Open Spaces Trust with volunteers from the theatre and local area.
greenroom5

The Green Room is already gaining momentum in popularity, likely to increase over the summer when the Southbank spills with weekend visitors and guests will be able to dine alfresco on the lawn; therefore although booking ahead isn’t essential, it’s recommended to avoid disappointment.

 

 

The Jugged Hare Restaurant Review, London

The Jugged Hare Restaurant Review

The Jugged Hare’s Bar area is the first room you are greeted with when you visit, which is everything you’d expect from a traditional old English pub; eclectic liquor selections sit next to to a fine choice of locally crafted Beers, including their very own Jugged Hare ales.

Take time to enjoy a pre-dinner drink and admire your surroundings, which will feel as though you are standing in the country manor of a young wealthy eccentric with a  penchant for taxidermy; before being guided through to the gastronomical excess that will await you in the stylish, contemporary dining room, passing fine wine and champagne cabinets on route.

The Jugged Hare Restaurant Review. Bianca Capstick Born To Be A Wildflower

The walls of the restaurant are adorned with various hunting trophies and hunting horns, all which add to the English country ethos of the Jugged Hare.

As we sat down gazing at the vast (more vast than you’d expect from such an elegant dining experience) and mouth watering menu, we ordered a glass of Champagne and a pint of the jugged hares own golden ale as we mulled over what to have for dinner.

The Jugged Hare Restaurant Review. Bianca Capstick Born To Be A Wildflower

After a fair amount of drink sipping, head scratching and general indecisiveness, we opted to go for a few bar snacks as the menu needed a little more mulling before we were confident in making the right choices.

Make the Black Pudding Croquettes with Guinness dip your first choice; perfectly crisp and golden on the outside, soft and rich on the inside, the most mouthwatering concoction of ingredients and a perfect consistency.

The Jugged Hare Restaurant Review. Bianca Capstick Born To Be A Wildflower

And if you’re a die hard fan (like me) of HP sauce then you might find yourself slipping back here for this bar snack alone!

To start Jamie chose the spiced duck liver, Hereford snails and crisp bone marrow. If this dish sounds a little contentious to ones taste, the presentation alone would be enough to make even the most squeamish think twice. The flavours from each carefully selected ingredient complimented each other in their own unique way, making a truly fine start to a delectable meal.

The Jugged Hare Restaurant Review. Bianca Capstick Born To Be A Wildflower

If in a restaurant specializing in meat and game, steak is always a wise choice, so I went for the Rib Eye which was served with chunky chips, peppercorn sauce and mustard. The chips were double fried and perfectly soft in the middle. The peppercorn sauce was creamy and delicious and accompanied the juicy, to-perfection steak down to a T!

The Jugged Hare Restaurant Review. Bianca Capstick Born To Be A Wildflower

Jamie opted for the Roe Deer & Port Sausages served with Garlic & Cheese Mashed Potatoes and a Roasted Onion Gravy. The sausages were rich and gamey, the potato was thick and wholesome and the gravy was as good as the gravy your nan makes (no, seriously!)

The Jugged Hare Restaurant Review. Bianca Capstick Born To Be A Wildflower

Both of these were accompanied by the rich oaky house Rioja. The specialty ingredients used in these classic english meals created a totally flawless eating experience, one which we will remember for a long time after.

The Jugged Hare Restaurant Review. Bianca Capstick Born To Be A Wildflower

Although we tried, there was no room for dessert! It was simply unmanageable, so while I finished the meal with another flute of champagne, Jamie continued his journey into whisky connoisseur-ism with a Dalmore King Alexander III Single Malt.

Upon leaving the restaurant neither of us had felt, in a very long time more satisfied with our food, drink and service as we did with the Jugged Hare, the Martin brothers’ latest venture in EC1. A three course dinner for two with wine and aperitifs is around £175-£200. The nearest tubes are Moorgate, Barbican and Liverpool Street are all very close by as are Old Street and Farringdon. 49 Chiswell St, London EC1Y 4SA

 

 

 

Winter Walks and Wellies

One of the perks of our romantic retreat to Elmley Nature Reserve, Kent, was being able to wrap up warm and don the finest bird-watching attire for a 6k walk through the nature reserve’s wet marshland.

With a vast expanse of land and thousands of wading birds, its hard to believe this walk is actually about 1 hour 1/2 away from central London; but its the perfect place to slip into your Hunter Wellies and get away from it all.

The birds may have flown over to escape the cold of Antarctica but to me it felt like that’s where we were so layers were needed!

IMG_1483.JPG

Not one, but two pairs of tights under my ASOS jeans (worn just this once and now for sale on Depop), a thick pair of cable knit wellie-socks (one of my biggest pleasures in life) under my quilted Sandhurst Savoy Equestrian Hunter Boots.

IMG_4831.JPG

IMG_4840.JPG

IMG_4850.JPG

IMG_4849.JPG

IMG_4837-0.JPG

IMG_4840.JPG

On top there were possibly three ribbed roll necks under my beloved Burgundy Needle Boutique Cable Knit, designed by the loveliest Lizzie Cawthray (this knit is no longer available but there are some gorgeous pieces in the SS15 collection here) topped off with Jamie’s (soon to be mine, but he hasn’t quite realised) Quiksilver snow jacket and my fave chunky beanie, custom made by Gemma of Funi – UK based slouchy, cosy knitwear.

IMG_4845-0.JPG

IMG_1484.JPG

IMG_4869.JPG

IMG_1482.JPG

Elmley Nature Reserve Review Kent www.picapicastyle.com bianca capstick