Tea and cake middle-eastern style

Del’Aziz in Fulham is my fail-safe local for first dates or low key coffee with friends.

It’s a Moroccan themed café and the perfect place to experience relaxed middle-eastern cuisine or European front room style dining.  They make a variety of delicious breads, tarts and pastries each day.  And if you have a sweet tooth, like me, you will find the rows of cakes, flapjacks and rich chocolate brownies laid out in the huge window hard to resist.  The cappuccinos are good but I like to go there for baklava and mint tea.  It seems the thing to do.

Del’Aziz, 24 – 32 Vanston Place, London SW6 1AX.


Al fresco screening of Moulin Rouge, Saturday 30 June

Experience Baz Luhrmann’s stunning Moulin Rouge, at a cool, pop-up outdoor cinema this Saturday at one of London’s hippest new venues, the magical gardens of the House of Barnabas.

Ticket prices include a cocktail and canapés on arrival.  Proceeds go towards helping the homeless.   Don’t you just love summer in London?

Nomad Magical Cinema, 8pm, Saturday 30 June 2012, The House of St. Barnabas, 1 Greek Street  Soho, W1D 4NQ.  £25


Hand poured enamel bangles make a statement

Lindsay bangle stack, hand poured enamel with clover medallion clasps

Gorgeous New York jewellery company, Stella & Dot, has arrived in London.  Known amongst in-the-know fashionistas for its stylish designs and affordable price tags, each piece is  made from hypo-allergenic metals and semi-precious stones.  The range includes a selection of beautiful statement earrings, cocktail rings, bangles and cuffs and is available online or through a private stylist.

To book a personal styling session or arrange a Trunk Show party for you and your friends contact Emily on 0779 353 3774.

Lindsay bangles available in white/silver, turquoise/silver, fuchsia/gold, and orange/gold, £45 each.

One of a kind armchairs, reupholstered with love

I spotted a gorgeous armchair on Monday night’s episode of Revenge in Madeleine Stowe’s character’s living room.  As if by magic, a selection popped into my inbox this morning available on special promotion from Achica until tomorrow.  The armchairs are sourced and individually reupholstered by designer, Kelly Swallow.  Fabrics range from vintage to designer, each with its own story.  I have fallen in love with the Flour Sack Claw & Ball Chair shown here.

Available from Achica 27-28 June 2012, starting from £1,299 (usual RRP £1,900).

Top to toe repairing oil

Everyone is going crazy for Argan oil at the moment to treat dry hair.  The problem is many of the products on the market contain low levels of oil from the Argan tree.

Huile d’Argan from Melvita is different.  It is 100% organic Argan oil.  What is great about this oil is it can be used on nails, skin and hair as well as for massaging stiff joints.  It is rich but non-sticky.  Just be careful not to use too much on your hair otherwise it will look greasy.  I tried it first on my hands and couldn’t believe how soft they were the next day.  I now use it on my hair after each wash and rub the residue into my hands and cuticles to keep them soft.

As a hair treatment, apply to dry hair before or after styling.

Available at Whole Foods from £18.

Want a hot yoga body?

I went for a session of Hot Bikram Yoga yesterday.  For those who haven’t heard about it, you essentially do one and half hour’s of yoga… in a sauna.  The heat helps your muscles stretch so you are naturally more flexible, releases toxins from the whole body, clears your pores and helps burn calories.  It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago and the centre in Parsons kindly sent me a gift voucher.  It has taken a while for me to summon the spirit to go back since my last visit a year ago.  To state the obvious, it really is hot but I thought it was about time to give it another go to reap some of those benefits!

So often instructors are technically gifted but not able to articulate how to correct postures in a way that is easy to understand.  Not here.   If you want to improve your technique, this is the place to go.  My instructor, Heidi, had a way of getting us all into difficult positions but using  straightforward language.  And she really helped a big rugby lad who was there with some kind of sports injury.  So, good for remedial work too.

Before the session my back was stiff and achy and I was feeling quite stressed in general.   The session went by really quickly and the heat was manageable this time.  My cheat’s tip is to grab a spot near the door.  The instructors frequently open the door to circulate fresh air – giving welcome relief, albeit for just a minute or so.  Afterwards I was completely relaxed, all the knots in my back and neck had loosened and I had the best night’s sleep I’ve had for ages.

Hot Bikram Yoga isn’t for everyone.  For me, it’s a hair thing.   I whacked on a mask to help protect it from heat damage before I went in.  This is fine for one-off sessions but not enough if I were to do this on a regular basis.  But I will definitely go back every few months or so as I felt so good afterwards.

Hot Bikram Yoga, Parsons Green is running a special offer at the moment. 20 consecutive days for £35.

The perfect nude for your nails

A recurrent theme in the designers’ collections, Dolce & Gabbana have just released the Lace Collection in the make-up range which comes in beautiful lace packaging.  The nail varnishes are gorgeous, last for at least three days before chipping and come in lots of different nude shades so there will be a perfect one for everyone.  Mine is ‘Nude’…

Available in Pink, Nude and Perfection at Harrods, £19.25.