Friday, 23 September 2016

FFG Eats: Peyote, London's modern Mexican

Give me a margarita and a bowl of guac and I'm a woman who is content with her situation in life. No, really, it's that easy. We're not talking too much effort here, folks. Just a simple great mixed drinks and a ramped up avocado. I think you'll find I'm not alone here, yet it seems so hard for folks these days to get these simple pleasures right. But, never fear, last week I was introduced to an establishment that did turn my head. And yes, I must admit that it was the neon sign that read "Soup of the Day: Tequila" that told me I was in the right place at the right time. Down Cork Street I walked, straight into Peyote London

In fairness, I booked a table at Peyote having heard nothing of the brilliant life's quote in neon. I had, in fact, discovered this South of the Border perfection via the Velocity App. Surprised? Nah, didn't think so. I'm pretty much using them to book all dinners these days (download, I promise you won't regret it). They describe themselves as Eclectic Modern Mexican and I would say that's a pretty accurate description. The venue is impossibly posh and in my experience, great Mexican food is usually served in the least posh establishments, but I was taking a gamble. We walked in through a  heavy velvet curtain, and I did momentarily question my selection. Was there really a killer crab and avocado taco waiting for me behind this curtain or was I about to enter a provocative night club? Never fear, dear reader, is was an eatery! 

Our first order of business was in requesting a drink. I asked what was good and I was told I absolutely had to have the house margarita. After hearing the description, I wasn't sure it was right for me, so I asked for the strawberry margarita instead (don't judge... sometimes a girl just needs a fruity moment). However, my Peyote waiter seemed to know me better than I knew myself. He brought me, and my guest, the house margarita. I was briefly annoyed. When you order something, you do so for a reason, right? But, here's where things take a surprising turn. I was glad my waiter completely ignored my preference. The margarita was simply divine and came with an additional shot of very special tequila. I wish I could now remember what it was, but three drinks in, and me being a totally amateur, I forgot to take note. I will just tell you to let the wait staff take the lead. They seem to have a pretty good eye for what's really needed rather than what you think you need.

As the drinks order went down so well, we thought we'd hand over the reigns completely and asked Peyote to hit us with their best shot. This started with guac, naturally, and calamari. Both were delicious, perfectly flavourful and totally satisfying. I could have stopped there, but that would have ruined the beautiful line up of tacos that were hurled our way over the next half hour. We had the renowned crab and avocado tacos (just as good as everyone says they are), the beef short rib tacos, ceviche, patatas bravas and another round of drinks. We could have kept going, both with the drinks and the tacos, but we had big days that required early mornings ahead. So, with great reluctancy, we stood from the table (without wobbling), thanked the staff for allowing us to take annoying pictures with a flash, and made our way to the door.

On the way home, we discussed the night. Yes, the Velocity App had provided us with a place we would have never otherwise thought of venturing out to experience (as we found it in the "hustle and bustle" section of the app for London), and yes we were momentarily knocked for six when our waiter decided to disregard our own favorites and follow his own path. But, at the end of the night, we were excited for what we had come across and enthusiastic in our pledge to share our discovery with the world. And, well, that leads us where we are today - me telling you to try a posh Mexican joint in Cork Street, just behind Ralph Lauren in central London. Yeah, convenient that it's just outside a shop I tend to live in these days. This certainly won't be my first and last time eating at Peyote!

13 Cork Street
London W1S

Written in collaboration with Velocity. 

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Thursday, 22 September 2016

Style Update: A bit of southwestern prep

Here's the thing about a certain collection of mine... it's ever expanding and the pieces stay with me forever. Yes, I'm speaking about the special Ralph Lauren closet. This is the place where items date back to before I was born - thank you, momma. The hangers contain items that are new in stores as well as new to me, via vintage stores. I am a collector that has accumulated a closet collection that is beyond comprehension. Say that fast five times. 

Last week I decided to take out an older Polo Ralph Lauren knit dress and repurpose it altogether. This was originally a knit dress, and I've worn it as such on FFG here before. But, there was something about the cut of the piece that made me think it would make for a killer floor length statement skirt. And Voila, a concept was signed, sealed and delivered right before your very eyes. Paired with a Uniqlo button down shirt, some new in J Crew earrings, a Lands End Trench and a beautiful Baraboux Bag - this is the style update for today.

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Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Fragrances, flowers and flying: Every reason to visit Heathrow this week

Get ready for the latest selfie opportunity to take London by storm. Yesterday, Heathrow airport revealed a giant art installation dedicated to fragrance and it's all made of flowers. Heathrow have worked with world renowned florist Larry Walsh to create a giant floral map of the world. Over 2,000 flowers, and other curiosities such as raw amber stones and sandalwood, make up the 11 x 18 structure, which finds its home at Terminal 5 at Heathrow from now until the 24th of September. Pretty epic for a celebration of the new season of fragrances, right? 

For those of you that don't know, or haven't already shopped, Heathrow sells 2.6 million bottles of perfume every year. That's about five bottles every minute. Yowsers! Starting to see why there's such a celebration in place? This is the place to go for people looking to purchase scents galore. And of course Heathrow are sitting on a wealth of knowledge when it comes to knowing what their customers like to purchase. They've released a new global fragrance report that showcases which countries tend to lean in certain directions when it comes to scents, and all is revealed in the massive floral map of the world. Each country on the map depicts the scents that feature most in the most beloved fragrances of different nations. Of course this all centers around the four key fragrance notes for Autumn Winter: woody, fresh, oriental and floral.
Now a few random factoids here, that I picked up from the fragrance report that I thought you might find interesting:
  • The most popular scents around the glove are jasmine, lavender, rose, vanilla and sandalwood.
  • Germans are the most likely to buy a fragrance based on scent, while people from India are more concerned with the brand name when choosing a fragrance with more than 22 percent of those asked admitting that they would choose a fragrance based on the name of bottle. 
  • Proud to report that Brits are least likely to be influenced by celebrities (no Britney Spears in a bottle for us, thank you very much) as only 2% admitted they would buy a fragrance based on celeb endorsements. On a sidetone, 22 percent of Brits admitted that certain fragrances evoke memories of a past lover and one in five British men stated they wear fragrance to feel more desirable. Meanwhile, 34% of women in Britain say they wear fragrances to boost their confidence and feel more happy. Amen, sisters. 
  • More perfume is sold in Heathrow Airport than any other location in the UK. Say what?!

Now, not to blow your mind of anything here, but there are 3,405 fragrances available to purchase at Heathrow right now. This is the fragrance floor that dreams are made of. Heathrow are regularly getting exclusives, they have all the latest launches and they've got people "in the know" and on the floor ready to assist you. Although, after reading through the facts stated above, I think you'll agree that we are a nation that is very opinionated and educated on our scents! Show us the offering and point us to the tills!

Speaking of tills, for the rest of September, World Duty Free will also offer a limited edition gift wrap inspired by the fragrance installation, available for all passengers purchasing a fragrance this month. You have to love last minute gifts on the fly, or just before you fly as the case may be here. 

Head over to Heathrow this week. This is a short installation period, but don't worry... the fragrances will remain! Happy pre-flight shopping! 

Written in collaboration with Heathrow Airport. 

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Monday, 19 September 2016

Style Update: Red, White, Blue and Turquoise

Alright, admittedly I am pushing the boundaries here with summer dresses and layering. I'm experimenting and seeing what works. How far can I drag out the warmer weather clothing? Basically, I'm just trying to stretch the summer favorites into autumn by adding a piece here or there. Some are working, some are falling flat, but I'll continue to share in an effort to showcase the attempts. Feel free to judge. 

For today's layering episode, I'm pairing a few old favorites with a summer Mango dress. I've mixed in a Whistles off-the-shoulder striped shirt with a Ralph Lauren western belt and Next suede tassel boots. Accessorized with a Boden Leopard print bag and vintage Ralph Lauren turquoise earrings, I'm starting to think this might as well be called the "everything in my closet but the hangers" ensemble. All my favorites, all in one place, all in one time. Aw, but does it work?

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Sunday, 18 September 2016

7 Days of Style: Shoes & Skirts

As much as I hate to write it, autumn is officially upon us. The weather is turning colder, the days are getting shorter and I'm finding comfort through this trying time the only way that I know possible - with shoe shopping. Yes, it's the little things in life that can improve our outlook, right? Mine's shopping. While we prepare ourselves for the return of heavy knits and big boots, I thought I'd take a look at the transitional period of present, Pre-fall if you will. This season Marks & Spencer, in particular, is killing it with their footwear, providing us all with comfortable and fashion forward shoes in every style imaginable. So I gave myself a bit of a challenge in pairing seven shoes with seven skirts for seven days. The weather varied throughout, some days chilly and other days feeling somewhat summer revival and this was the end result. All pairs saw me through the days in style and with grace. Read that as no blisters, no trip ups and more compliments than I get with my regular shoe wardrobe. Here's a breakdown of the seven shoes, seven skirts, all in seven days....

FFG worked in collaboration with Marks & Spencer

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