Friday, 15 April 2016

FFG Eats: Bottomless Brunch at Hix Mayfair

Bottomless Brunch London
Bottomless Brunch London
"What do you mean by 'bottomless,' exactly?" asked my friend down from Scotland. How do I accurately describe this weekend tradition without sounding like a lush? The correct description of a Bottomless Brunch in my twenties would have been, "it's a challenge to see how much you can drink in a two hour seating." I like to think in my thirties I've matured into a person who believes this is less of a challenge and more of an opportunity to enjoy more than your average number of cocktails as you catch up with friends and family over a glorious meal. In Los Angeles and New York, I've sat for more bottomless brunches than I could possibly recall. And yes, I'm proud to say I can actually recall them all. I'm not sure I can say the same for all of my friends. But, in London the Bottomless Brunch almost seems an oddity. There have been a few, scattered here and there with good champagne and light eats. But, I have yet to come across an establishment that had me wishing to make a regular reservation. Well, that was until I stepped into Hix Mayfair to experience their version of the Bottomless Brunch

Last Saturday, the man and I slid into our green leather booth at Hix Mayfair, with a view of one of my favorite Tracey Emin neons, and we ordered our first Bloody Mary of the morning. The "jolly" cart was rolled over to our table and we were presented with a cocktail making show and an introduction to our first sip of pure milk vodka. I kid you not. It was incredible and Hix Mayfair have most definitely showcased their talents at mixing a fantastic cocktail. 

Now, here's the nitty gritty. You have two hours at your table for Bottomless Brunch at Hix Mayfair. During that time you can choose to either have Bloody Marys or a champagne cocktail (ours was made with rhubarb syrup... delicious). You can even mix the two should you choose. But, there's more. This isn't just a cocktail fueled morning. One may choose from a three course menu featuring supreme specialities from the kitchen of uber chef Mark Hix. From sweet to savory, there's something here for everyone. 

My recommendation is to get a great big group of people together for such an occasion. In my experience, six or more is the magic number. This is not to say that going as a couple isn't a great event in itself, but bottomless brunches are meant for crowds of people who are friends or family. Hix Mayfair has only just begun this tradition of Bottomless Brunch, but mark my words - this will become a near impossible table to book in the very near future. It's already decided it will become a regular event in this household. Maybe I'll see you there next weekend?

Bottomless Brunch at Hix Mayfair takes place every Saturday from 12-3pm. Your group may not exceed 12 people and each table setting is set for a limit of two hours. The brunch is three courses and is £50 per person. 

Bottomless Brunch London
Bottomless Brunch London
Bottomless Brunch London
Bottomless Brunch London
Bottomless Brunch London
Bottomless Brunch London
Bottomless Brunch London
Bottomless Brunch London
Bottomless Brunch London
Bottomless Brunch London
Bottomless Brunch London
Bottomless Brunch London
Fashion Foie Gras was a guest of Hix Mayfair. 

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Thursday, 14 April 2016

Reader Questions Answered: Blogging as a career? Time Management? Freebies?

So we thought we'd turn things a bit around for the latest segment of "Are we relevant yet?" and take a question or two from you guys. I mean it isn't so fun preaching all the time. Sometimes it's better to know that you're actually answering a question you might genuinely have, right? Queue the agony aunts of blogging. Mademoiselle Robot and I both took on the following questions and answered them in completely different ways. 

1. How do your organize your time?
The simple answer is an iPhone. Ok, that's more the technical answer. But it's really the only way in which I organize my time. I organize meetings, put them in the calendar and that's as organized as I get. Some people plan intensively - I just throw meetings in until I don't have any meeting times left. Sleep is for the weak. Kidding, kidding. Seriously, sleep is important. It's just that I don't get too much of it because I'm so disorganized with my time. That didn't help anyone did it? Or maybe it helps you feel better about being disorganized with your time as well and knowing it's all ok? There you go...

2. How do you deal with gifts/product to be reviewed? 
Well, here's a good question, and one that I seem to be asked a lot. Being honest, more than anything I get asked about how much free stuff I get, rather than how I deal with the reviews. The simple truth is that I firmly believe you are only as good a blogger as the items you recommend to your readers. If I tell you guys to buy something and you hate it, there goes your trust for me. I'd say about 1 in 12 items that are "suggested" to me are actually featured on the blog. And for those of you wondering - I still buy most of my clothes. My ass isn't easy to dress from a sample closet. So the American Express still gets a good workout. I'd actually go as far to say that about 85% of the clothes you see on FFG are purchased, not gifted at all. I'm not sure if that makes me seem cooler or more like a loser for having that percentage, knowing what I do for a living, but there you go - the truth will set you free.

3. Do you have an editorial calendar? Do you plan content in advance or is it more a spur of the moment thing?
Never have had a content calendar, never will. Are you starting to see a pattern here? I HATE planning. I find that the fun things in life happen to other people while you're sitting around planning. That also probably means I'll be living in a gutter when I retire because I have no forward thinking. But, I believe in the power of now. Preaching finished.

The real reason I don't have a content calendar is because of the fact that my life itself doesn't lend itself to a content calendar. Things pop up all the time - trips, launches, day to day life experiences - and they shift any cement calendar all out of whack. I'm a list person instead - a priority list person. I keep a word document open on my computer at all times and I add and subtract to it as posts go live. I definitely always need a reminder of what I need to write about - but I'm totally flexible with dates. You never know what might happen next!

4. How do you manage to keep your blog active while traveling?
I bring my laptop. No lie here, folks. I actually work better when I am not in London. You'd be amazed at what you can achieve when you are stuck on a plane with nothing better to do for 14 hours. Thousands of emails get cleared, blog posts for weeks in advance get considered and new creative concepts are born. I also love being able to write from wherever I am in the world. I ALWAYS create my posts the night before they go live. There isn't really any exception to that. And I find my pieces are all the more interesting if they are written from a place with an amazing view. 

5. How do you balance the blog as a creative outlet vs the blog as a business?
My business is creativity. Plan and simple, right? Well, not so much. The blog as a business of course has a role to play in my creativity, and vice versa. Since this is my full time job, the way I pay the rent, I have to make sure that business stays good and good business comes from great creativity. And we all know that nothing feeds creativity like pressure, right? Ok, nothing could be further from the truth. Pressure absolutely kills creativity. But, I do have a solution and it goes a little something like this... try to stick with me as I think this may come out as a bit longwinded.

There are times that blogging is VERY difficult, especially when it comes to finances. I made no money for the first couple of years- none. Then, as times started to change, I became a full time blogger who knew nothing about the idea of working freelance and leaving the comforts of an annual and dependable salary behind. But, I wholeheartedly believe that you are never ever thrown something you can't handle and that the risks we take in striking out to pursue something we love can only ever reap rewards - whether they be financially or emotionally fulfilling, or both. Never ever give up on this as a career if it's what you love, if it fulfills you and if it makes you feel like you are doing something in the world everyday that brings joy to yourself and others at the same time. That's a pretty special gift to be given - to be able to play that role in life - and it's one that I absolutely cherish for each day that I'm allowed to see it play out. I never take any of it for granted. And that's how I balance the blog as a creative outlet vs the blog as a business. I never let the business side rule. It's always, always, about the creative first and foremost. When times are tough and the jobs are few and far between, my creativity craves attention more than ever, and from that the business comes.

6. How do you blog if you have a full time job?
I feel like a real expert on this topic as I did it for four years. I worked 12 hour days and spent six hours a night writing on the blog - no lie - but, I've already told you that. The thing I haven't told you, perhaps, is that none of it felt like work at all. I came home every night and I put on a new hat. I continued to do my day job with pride and then I came home and got to have fun. And hey, that fun decided it wanted to take over my whole life.

If you are working full time and then coming home and sitting in front of your computer and feeling as if you are sitting down to a second job, you haven't found your life's passion just yet. Maybe blogging isn't your thing, or maybe the topic you're trying to cover isn't the right fit. Truly, I believe that if you are working a full time job and blogging on the side, the blogging should be as fun to you as a night out with friends. Seriously. This is no joke. I felt alive the first few years of blogging. I wasn't ever sleeping but I felt like I had more energy in life than I'd ever had before. You know it's right - just like you know when you've found the man you're going to marry or the place you are meant to live forever.

Feel like you just received a sermon? Ha! Sorry about that. In closing, I'll just leave you with a little video of quotes from a pretty amazing commencement speech that has always been a reminder for me of how important chasing your dreams really is... Don't let fear rule. Go after what you love with every ounce of who you are. What do you have to lose?

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Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Five mid block heels to buy on the high street now

block heel

For tall ladies everywhere, this is the year that the footwear Gods have shined down on us. This is the summer of the midi-heel and it's all about a great block cut. They're sturdy, they still have the capability of making your bum and legs look amazing and they won't leave you with feet that wish they could detach from your body after a day of being out and about. In short, midi block heels are just about the best thing trend going this season. Rather then pointing you in the direction of Chloe, Tod's or Celine (who all offer great options to cover this trend), I thought I'd save you a pretty penny or two and point you in the direction of the deals and steals on the great British high street. 

So, from online shopping with ASOS to the newbies at New Look, here are five styles that are not only reasonable priced and well heeled, they're style statements that will get you attention on any sidewalk you wander. 

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Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Gone Girl


H&M hat

Greetings from a journey I embarked on to find some inner piece, mindfulness and basically meaning to life. Nothing more, nothing less. Bare with me while I sort through a world of new exciting photos and excuse a throwback images from last year. Time fucking flies.
Photos by Anoushka

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Outfit du Jour: Stripes for days

Outfit du Jour
Shop the look:

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Monday, 11 April 2016

Best dining in Marbella: Bibo by Dani Garcia

Since starting FFG years ago, I cannot tell you the number of restaurants I have had the pleasure of dining in and, ultimately, reviewing. However, I can tell you that there are only a handful, at best, of restaurants where I have left thinking I wouldn't change a thing... ever. Well, last month that list got a little bigger with my introduction to Dani Garcia's Bibo at Puente Romano Resort in Marbella, Spain. Of course one would expect to be greeted by perfection from a two star Michelin chef, but this casual dining experience simply took my breath away. Sure, they do burgers (like nothing you've ever seen), but even I wasn't missing the carnivore's favorite meal when it came time to see the goodies Garcia had placed before us. 

From whole marinated seabass to Iberico pork shoulder loin, this was a meal that did not scrimp on flavour nor presentation. Bibo is a culinary arts' paradise. Every single one of the senses is tickled as you dine here. Guests are greeted by what looks like a large octopus attempting to overcome the dining area as they approach their tables - the decor is outstanding. And when they arrive at their playground for the meal, they are given Tarot cards that seem to match personalities with cocktails. Yes, you must order a cocktail here, no matter the hour you are dining. They are meals in themselves. The atmosphere here is jovial, unpretentious and truly a celebration of fabulous ingredients and an incredible imagination. 

If I had a rating system, this gem of a find would be scoring off the charts. It is one to add to your list of must dine restaurants for Marbella, Spain. Make your reservations now, however, as this isn't so much a secret anymore. Dani Garcia - you have left me wanting more!

Fashion Foie Gras was a guest of Bibo for lunch.

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Sunday, 10 April 2016

Come Shopping with Me!

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