What’s your plan for Halloween this year? Will you be donning a fancy dress outfit and heading to the nearest party? Getting drunk with your mates and seeing who can carve the best pumpkin face? Or will you be taking your little ones trick or treating in your neighbourhood?

One way to get into the Halloween spirit is to indulge in the finer things in life with a spooky twist. From now until 31st October 2013, the Michelin-starred Chinese dim sum tea-house Yauatcha will be offering an exclusive range of seasonal macarons and chocolates available both à la carte and from the front-of-house patisserie.

They include Pear and Liquorice macarons; Pumpkin Spiced macarons and Halloween Toffee-Apple Eyeball Chocolates (white and dark chocolate eyeballs filled with green apple paté du fruit and salted caramel).

Halloween Afternoon Tea

Macarons are available from £1.60 each, £9 for 6 pieces or £18 for 12 pieces. The chocolate eyeballs are available for £3.50 for 40g; £8.50 for 100g. So you could pick up a gift-wrapped box and take it to a party or treat some lucky kid who knocks on your door.

If you want to sit down and savour each morsel for yourself at the restaurant, there is also Yauatcha’s Chilli Martini to wash the sweet treats down with. Yauatcha’s Chilli Martini which includes Belvedere vodka, Aperol Barbieri, chilli syrup, orange juice and Champagne is the perfect way to add a touch of sophisticated indulgence to this fun evening.

Happy Halloween!

Yauatcha, 15-17 Broadwick St, London W1F 0DL,

Who else can’t believe it’s May already? Where has the time flown? Well, it goes without saying that this is one of my favourite months of the year. With two bank holiday weekends, how can it not be? So here are my suggestions of what to do locally this month …

1. Why not kick off May with a Cinco De Mayo party at Barts this weekend?


2. And later this month, there’s of course Chelsea’s event of the year, The Chelsea Flower Show which will be running from 21st until 25th May. Here are some photos from two years ago and last year. Also, don’t forget that there is also Chelsea in Bloom (more photos) and Chelsea Fringe also happening this month.

3. And whilst The Chelsea Flower show is on, from Wednesday 22nd until Saturday 25th May (12pm – 8pm every day), The Botanist will be running an Oyster and Joseph Perrier Champagne Bar in Sloane Square, complete with daily performances from a string quartet. You can enjoy champagne by the glass, by the bottle, or as a cocktail.

4. The Great Gatsby will open at Curzon Chelsea on 16th May but you can buy tickets from 3rd May. I cannot wait for this film to be released and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it represents Baz Lurhmann’s return to form. Check out my post with a video interview of the director himself.

5. If you’re an aspiring designer, fashionista or budding entrepreneur, Jean Queen Donna Ida Thornton is set to hold a Careers Day on 3rd May. Donna will be available all day from 10am – 4pm to answer questions at Donna Ida Head Office near Notting Hill. Donna will be joined by a host of Donna Ida girls who will also be happy to answer any questions (including Online Content Editor Amelia Kanaris and Graphic Designer Kate Gorbunova). To join Donna and the Donna Ida girls you can visit their Head Office on Friday 3rd May from 10am – 4pm at Phoenix Brewery, 13 Bramley Road, London W10 6SP. Nearest tube is Latimer Road.

Finally, just to warn you, my posts this month will be a little thin on the ground. This month is going to be craaazzzzy. Well, maybe not that mad but enough to occupy a large chunk of my blogging time. But whilst posts trickle through in May, they will return to normal by mid-June. So keep your eyes peeled for updates on new posts on my Twitter feed or Facebook page. Enjoy May and have two awesome Bank Holidays!

Last week, I was invited to a Champagne tasting at Flute Bar to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Our hostess was Champagne expert Jayne Powell who also goes by the name of Champagne Jayne. And as we listened to Jayne telling us the stories behind each glass we tasted, it became very clear that International Women’s Day and Champagne were indeed perfectly matched.

Did you know that the Houses of Pommery and Veuve were established by women? Widows in fact? Jayne’s stories were both awe-inspiring and compelling!

So how did the night go?

We were initially greeted with a glass of  Heidsieck …

Which was accompanied by servings of mushroom crostini …


And as Jayne regaled us with tales of  ‘The Woman Behind The Bubbles’, we tried the Champagne Philippe Gonet Belemnita 2004 (Le Mesnil) …

Champagne Paul Bara Grand Rose (Bouzy) …


And Champagne Pommery Cuvee Louise 1999 Petrossian, which was served alongside Smoked Salmon with creme fraiche.

The night ended with the Armand de Brignac (Gold) – aka Ace of Spades – which has been voted number one Champagne in the world. This treat of a Champagne arrived with Flute Fries seasoned with Truffle Salt – a wonderful accompaniment.

The whole night was a real delight and the selection of Champagne, sublime. Each tasting had its own idiosyncrasy so it was difficult to choose a clear favourite.

The evening was further enriched by Champagne Jayne guiding us through the evening and I’m excited to congratulate her on her Best French Wine (Australia) Award by the Gourmand World Wine Book Awards for her first authored book Champagnes: Behind The Bubbles.


Thanks Jayne for a fabulous night! See you in May!

True, I’m abstaining from booze for as long as my system can handle it. But this doesn’t mean I have to stop writing about my favourite subject. And perhaps the next couple of weeks will give me a chance to catch up on my champagne and cocktails posts!

Before Christmas and after a delicious time at Burger and Lobster, I popped into Sushinho for a glass of champagne using my Champagne For Life card.

I was with the bf who opted for a beer. Ha! It does make sense why this membership is for women only. *wink*

After my glass of champers, I moved onto cocktails and ordered a Lychee Martini! This martini wasn’t on the menu but as I searched for it, the barman asked me what I fancied. I replied, “a lychee martini” but said I couldn’t find it. The barman then said it didn’t matter and that he could make it. He spoke with such confidence, I trusted him and the result was very delicious! I’ll definitely be going back for more.

Since the place opened, I’d never really bothered popping into Sushinho for drinks before. But I’m glad my Champagne For Life card led me there. Their iPhone app is so cool. It determines your location and pinpoints all the Champagne For Life bars, clubs and hotels nearby. It makes deciding where to go so much easier. So roll on 2012 and plenty more bubbles! Let’s make this a delicious year!

*UPDATE: Since receiving a Champagne For Life card as a gift from the brand, I have had a couple of problems with bars accepting my card and I have also had to explain what the card is to venues who are on Champagne For Life’s. Before signing up for the membership, it may be worth hanging out with someone who already has one to see how it works and to see if it is for you.*

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