Last week I popped into a Dermalogica event at Solaria beauty and tanning salon along the King’s Road. This place has been here for years and I don’t know how many times I’ve walked past it without taking much notice.

Located right by Royal Avenue, or to be specific McD’s, Solaria can be easily missed because you have to step through the door and climb a flight of stairs before you can see what it has to offer.

From the outside, it is also easy to assume that Solaria is only a tanning salon but it obviously isn’t – as I discovered.

At the event, I had my face scrutinised by this wonderful gadget that pointed out which areas needed more SPF protection, were dry or greasy.

The therapist carried out a face mapping exercise on me and recommended a few products. This was helpful because normally with Dermalogica, I buy the skin prep scrub but for my skin type the therapist suggested that I give the multivitamin thermafoliant a try.

I did and I absolutely love it! My skin looks so radiant every time I use it that I feel like I need to contain myself and hold back from using it everyday. I am supposed to use it once or twice a week. I’m going to go for twice. 😉

I also bought a large Derma Clay Cleanser. As Salma Hayek has said, her beauty secret is to make sure her skin is clean at night – like really clean. And this cleanser does the job for me. It suits my skin perfectly.

Over the years my relationship with Dermalogica has been hit and miss, simply because it’s not always easy to buy. I got tired of stepping into salons and asking for products, which they didn’t have – even though the boxes were in the window.

But now, I have somewhere to go on the King’s Road and I am very excited about this!

Another reason why Solaria must have skipped my radar is because I’m not really a tanning salon kinda girl. But I know quite a few of my readers are and if you are, this place seems worth checking out.

The tanning beds look high tech and are apparently big enough to wave your arms around in. If you prefer spray tans, Solaria offers them too. In fact, this place definitely seems like Chelsea’s best kept tanning secret and I guess that’s why some of Chelsea’s more recognisable residents come here.

Eyebrow threading at Strip Wax Bar.

Loving the new spin studio at my gym!

I also love my new eyelash extensions by Boudoir Lashes!

Tommy’s Margarita at 86.

The Wellesley Hotel opens in Hyde Park later this year. The building used to be the legendary jazz club Pizza on the Park – and its jazz legacy is set to continue with this stunning art deco boutique hotel, which will also be a massive draw for cigar fans. Watch out!

Street art in Clerkenwell.

Saturday morning cupcakes from Storm in a Cupcake, Chelsea’s latest cupcake shop.

The John Williams’ 80th Birthday Concert was amazing. The concert kicked off with Superman’s theme tune and ended with Stars Wars. In between, there was a string of Williams’ classics. Schindler’s List was hauntingly beautiful whilst E.T., magical.

Last night, I returned to Barbarella after the launch party, for dinner. The food was fantastic and the atmosphere was yet again buzzing, so there was no way we were leaving after the food. We stayed and danced the night away instead!

And right now, Sleepless In Seattle is on in the background. Love!

A couple of weeks ago I popped into Ross X Bute on the King’s Road to meet its new creative director Madeleine Press. Formerly known as Anonymous, this Chelsea boutique seems to be heading in an exciting direction under Press’s guidance.

Here are just a few of my favourite picks from her current collection …

Madeleine is very hands on with her creations and the store even has its own workshop/studio downstairs. Ross X Bute’s team includes a pattern cutter and seamstress: attention to detail as well as a boutique service is very much at the heart of their work.

So to give you a chance to get to know Madeleine properly, I asked her a few questions …

CG: What is your vision for Ross X Bute?

MP: My husband is the MD of ROSS X BUTE and he asked me to come in and consult on the AW12 collection. The chance then came to become partners in the business, which we saw as a wonderful opportunity – the wonderful heritage of the brand and the Bute Family combine to make for a very potent story. Many brands invent this kind of backstory, but ROSS X BUTE has it naturally, which is rare. I just want to make beautiful, wearable clothes that people find essential.

CG: Who are your creative inspirations?

MP: I don’t really have a favourite designer, clothing or accessory brand – these things change and evolve all the time. I am inspired by everyday things – if you open your eyes a little wider and look closely you can find inspiration in everything.

CG: What are your three essential items when going on holiday?

MP: My family, my Havianas and Lancaster Oil Free suntan lotion.

CG: What is your favourite item of clothing in your wardrobe and why?

MP: I have many wardrobe favourites. I have an obsession with knitwear and coats and am in need of a bigger space to store my clothes. My favourite item is my Madeleine Press hand knit drape cardigan.

CG: The King’s Road is constantly evolving. What would you like to bring to its identity?

MP: In the 60s and 70s the King’s Road had a great edge – it was the centre of world, changing fashion movements. The King’s Road is known worldwide, it still has that vibe, and the lower part where our store is has a huge opportunity to reinvent that creative energy. The more quality, independent stores that move into the area the more it will grow into a really exciting district. I’d like ROSS X BUTE to be a vital part of that.

*Madeleine is also currently Consulting Creative Director of the leading domestic Japanese brand, Anayi, part of the Sazaby Group. Madeleine has worked as a Creative Director in the Japanese market for the last 20 years, starting with fashion powerhouse Onward Kashiyama designing the BLV147 range. The Japanese fashion market is renowned as the most competitive and challenging in the world, with a legendary attention to detail and design.*

www.rossandbute.com

I was saddened when news of Oriel closing down had broke. It was a Sloane Square brasserie, a Chelsea institution, expected to be on the corner of Sloane Square forever.

My memories of Oriel started with my first cappuccino experience at 14 years old and with my best friend as we revised for our geography GCSE. Gosh, that sounds so pretentious now but back then it was an experience, an adventure, a taste of something local and yet different. A world of its own.

So when Oriel finally closed down, I didn’t think anything could ever take its place. No one would be able to live up to the nostalgia I had for the location. But I was wrong – thanks to Jeremy King and Chris Corbin’s Cobert. As soon as I learned that the guys behind The Wolseley were behind Oriel’s replacement, I felt reassured.

So yesterday afternoon I popped into Colbert for lunch to finally give it a go. I’d been waiting all week!

When you arrive at Colbert and step through the front door, you have the choice of being led into the bar area or the dining section. Oriel too was spilt into two different sections but with Colbert, more space seems to have been given to the dining area, which is a great thing.

The tables don’t seem so crammed together anymore. There is a sense of space which allows you to take in the ambiance and décor, which could easily transport you to Paris without letting your imagination work too hard.

As for the food, the bf and I started off with Fines de Claire oysters – like we usually do at The Wolseley.

And had a steak sandwich and fries each to follow.

For drinks, I started off with a glass of wine …

But when I saw a table order their second martini during lunch, I decided to follow suit and order one with a lemon twist.

… whilst the bf enjoyed a couple of beers.

Colbert Chelsea officially opens today and the place is already buzzing. And whilst there were admittedly some teething problems with the service and the matter of the lost peppercorns, I have no doubt that they’ll be smoothed over quickly.

When diners arrived at the next table, they were very happy to see a member of staff. He had been transferred from The Wolseley which has impeccable service and which is a great sign!

So all in all, I think Colbert could be a great win for Sloane Square. I for one can’t wait to return and next time, I think I’ll try the bar. 😉

 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Care’s website has a mini guide on ‘Taking Care of Your Breasts’ available for download here.

For this month, Bottlegreen cordial has also gone pink with their limited edition Pomegranate and Elderflower Bottlepink cordial: 10% of sales will be donated to charity.

Bottlegreen was the cordial used at the Grey Goose Taste By Appointment, which I attended at Bread Street Kitchen and which you can read about here. They have also created a Red Cooler cocktail recipe which you can use the Pomegranate and Elderflower for.

Here it is!

Red Cooler

Ingredients:

  • 25ml bottlegreen pomegranate and Elderflower cordial
  • 25ml orange juice
  • Top with soda

Glass: Highball

Decoration: Orange twirl

 Method:

  • Shake with ice,
  • Strain into highball
  • Add lime whirl

Do you know of other Breast Cancer Awareness Month activities or events? Feel free to leave a comment below to help spread the word.

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