We’re in the midst of Movember and most men’s upper lip grooming must be at an impressive stage by now.

But if you’d rather not step out donning a sculptured moustache to impress the boss with, something us Chelsea Girls obviously don’t have any inkling in doing, there is also a delicious way to contribute to the Movember spirit.

The Botanist has introduced the Handlebar Hero cocktail, which will be on offer until 30th November 2012. Its ingredients include Hendrick’s Gin that is shaken with Galia melon, fresh mint and lemon juice, and is topped off with a handlebar Mo shape specially created from pomegranate powder.

The cocktail costs £8.50 of which 50p will be donated to help raise money to support vital research into men’s health and specifically prostate cancer.

As you might have known from my previous cocktail post, I am now getting into the swing of matching fashion outfits to the featured cocktail of the week. After all, it is also about looking the part.

So if you are going to head to Sloane Square to enjoy the Handlebar Hero, here is a suggestion of what you can wear.

Happy sipping! *CLINK* xox

1. Miu Miu Goat Hair Stole from Net a Porter

2. Current/Elliott Crimson Ankle Skinny Jean from Donna Ida

3. Moustache Necklace from Not On The High Street

4. Prey Vest from All Saints

5. Sinner Boots from Kurt Geiger (These are currently on Sale!)

When Peter Jones switches on its Christmas lights, there seems to be a sudden charm to the cold bite of winter. I could even say that this is one of my favourite times of the year and not just because I love lights, which I do. Did you see how many photos I uploaded from the Battersea Park Fireworks?

I also love winter menus and indulging in heartwarming cocktails to nourish the soul.

Last night, I popped into The Botanist to try their new bar menu which had piqued my interest. Bar menus are a fascinating concept because most of the time, they’re really not that good. Yet, we excuse their subpar quality because they’re not supposed to be proper meals. They’re just a bit on the side.

However, like anything in life, when we do come across something decent – it stands out.

When I tried The Botanist’s new bar menu, one particular dish stood out for me: the soft shell crab burger with smoked chilli salt.

Want a closer look?

I love soft shell crab anyway. It’s one of my favourite dishes but I’d never had it in a bun, which totally worked. For the bf, this burger reminded him of Barbados: has anyone else tried the fried flying fish in a roll over there?

The breaded oyster slider with lime and chilli aioli also tickled my tastebuds. I had forgotten that it was on the menu and was both confused and intrigued by what I was enjoying. Again, this was a new experience for me because I had never tried oysters cooked. In fact, I remember frowning upon a bunch of Sydneysiders in Australia who were telling  me about one of their favourite dishes: oyster mornay. How dare they ruin a perfectly good experience by placing the oysters under a grill and covering them with breadcrumbs and cheese? Why would anyone do that? But now I take those thoughts back. Well, perhaps not the cheese bit. But I totally get how cooked oysters can taste delicious – and in a bun.

The other two sliders that accompanied the breaded oysters were a cheeseburger and pulled pork with jalapeno relish.

But if burgers aren’t you’re thing, there are also chilli beef and chicken satay skewers on the bar menu.

I would say that my preference out of these two would be the chicken satay, which was more succulent.

The bf and I also sipped a few cocktails between us. To start with, the bf picked one of the Winter Warmers: the Winter Fairytale, which consisted of Courvoisier, Goldschläger cinnamon liqueur, cranberry, lemon juice and rose petal marmalade – served hot.

And whilst this cocktail tastes nothing like a Hot Toddy, it has a similar soothing effect to it. It’s ideal for the cold winter months ahead and it also tastes very good.

My first cocktail was the King’s Road Buccanner – but of course. And the ingredients included Diplomático Reserva Rum, Grand Marnier, chocolate and orange bitters.

If you like rum and cocktails with depth of flavour, then you might want to try this one. I really loved it.

Other cocktails consumed last night included the Sloane Ranger, which is very refreshing.

The Honey and Fig Collins – ideal for cocktail lovers with a sweet tooth.

And the Autumn Cobbler, which includes Ioyr Old Tawny Port, Somerset Brandy, Cointreau, apple and orange. Admittedly, I’m still getting my head around this one but the bf said he enjoyed it.

There were plenty more cocktails to try, including the Tinkerbell which is made of Tanqueray gin, kummel and a splash of absinthe. So if you get to try any of them out, I’d love to hear your recommendations.

Enjoy! x

There is so much going on this month and I’ve had quite a task narrowing down my top 5 recommends, but here goes:

1. Celebrate Chocolate Week with Hotel Chocolat at The Botanist! You can read my post on the amazing hot chocolate cocktails on the menu here.

2. Designer Sales UK (DSUK) returns to the Chelsea Town Hall from 25th until 27th October.

There will be markdowns from 60-90% off retail prices. Labels include See by Chloe, Belstaff, Moschino, Jimmy Choo, Valentino, Missoni, Lanvin, YSL and King’s Road fave Vivienne Westwood. Entry fee is £3/£2 (concs).

3. SACRED returns to Chelsea Theatre on 19th October and will be running until February 2013. Live art events and contemporary performances kick off with So Below, from Chelsea Theatre Associate Artist Karen Christopher, (Formerly part of Chicago’s Goat Island) and Gerard Bell on October 19 and 20 at 7.30pm. For more information on SACRED’s programme, click here.

4. On 4th October, Ross X Bute will be having an in-store event for their customers which includes an informal wine tasting and styling tips from the creative team behind this fabulous King’s Road boutique. See your invitation below!

5. I have yet to pop down to the Hollywood Arms for the Sunday Cinema nights but the screening on 21st October sounds very appealing. Which film is good enough to take me away from the cinema and sway me towards a pub supper and free screening upstairs?

Drive!

I LOVE THIS FILM! (More details)

If you have anything you’d like to add to the list to let folks know, please feel free to leave details in the comment box below because I haven’t even touched upon Halloween. So much going on! x

I am SO excited we’re in September. Hurrah! This is my favourite month in the year and there is plenty to look forward to. Cue Earth, Wind & Fire!

1. If you love classic cars, flash cars, geeking out on cars then Chelsea AutoLegends kicks off tomorrow (Sunday 2nd September) at Royal Hospital Chelsea. The day will begin with a supercar run through the streets of London, so keep an eye out and to find out what other delights will be on offer, click here.

2. I’m counting down to my return to the Olympic Park next week but in the meantime, there is also The Belgravia Games to look forward to. More suitable to my gaming skillset: playing Connect Four and drinking cocktails, these games will be taking place from 7th until 9th September on the terrace of the Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel. To have even more of a reason to celebrate, the first 25 guests will receive a free Gin & Tonic each day. You can download your G&T voucher here.

3. Talking about cocktails, The Botanist will be celebrating London Fashion Week with show-stopping concoctions called Stella McCartney, Victoria Beckham and Vivienne Westwood. Available on the menu from 14th – 18th September, you can find out which ingredients are in each drink here. Happy clinking.

4. And of course there is the much anticipated opening of DUKEBOX which I wrote about here!

5. Finally, Fashion Night Out is back and is on Thursday 6th September. I love the Map Your Night feature on Vogue’s FNO website, which you can check out here!

There is so many other events and openings happening this month, what is in your diary?

So last night, I tried the Black Velvet cupcake at The Botanist. But it wasn’t made of Champagne and Guinness, which you might know is one of my favourite cocktails. This cupcake contained Marmite and cream.

Marmite, you say? I know, I know. I used to love Marmite but haven’t had in the last few years. I think The Botanist’s Jubilee Afternoon Tea idea is genius but I didn’t dare step up to give it a try – until now.

Last night at the Jubilee cocktails tasting, I was curious to taste the Black Velvet cupcake. Admittedly, at first I thought that the cupcake’s ingredients did include Guinness and Champagne but when I found out that it didn’t, I stuck to my guns and tried it anyway.

Hand on heart, I was so pleasantly surprised. It was so delicious. There was someone at our table who didn’t even like let alone love Marmite. But she loved the cupcake, which was actually sweet – not too sweet – and not savoury at all.

That’s the thing about The Botanist, they always tend to surprise me – in a very good way. Did you read my post on their Red Velvet cupcake? Here it is, if you haven’t. It also includes a link to the recipe which was seriously amazing: the best red velvet I’d ever had.

So I’m about to go back on myself and I am going to be trying The Botanist’s Marmite Afternoon Tea over the weekend. If the cupcake is anything to go by, I am very excited! And I’ll be reporting back, of course.

*UPDATE: Unfortunately I didn’t manage to try the Marmite Afternoon Tea this weekend (2nd/3rd June 2012) – but if you do get to have a taste, do let me know what you thought.*

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