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The Gilbert Scott, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

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Elderflower blended with raspberry, tarragon and lemon

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To start, brown and Forrest smoked salmon on a platter

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Chicken schnitzel

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Lake District sirloin steak with brandy mushroom sauce

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Chocolate mousse, marshmallow, walnut ice cream

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Wearing: Blouse – Zara. Wide-leg trousers – ASOS (similar ASOS). Heels – Lucy Choi. Bag – Couronne. Glasses – YesStyle.

If I may interrupt the fashion week service – not that there has been much of a ‘service’ going on (this blog is becoming a bit like MTV… no Music, just other random stuff) – I’d like to show you where I had a wee lunch the other week.

I must admit, there are still some ‘public’ places that I’m frightened to enter in London, after nearly seven years of snooping around town. Not in a lone-light-basement type of frightened, but a sort of intimidation you feel in a completely ‘non-you’ surrounding – a Cartier boutique, for instance, or anywhere I ask for a pedicure, really. The St. Pancras Renaissance hotel was one of those few, until I had lunch at the Gilbert Scott with Kit the other week, and realized I will have no use for the couture gown I stuffed in my purse. It does look like a palace, doesn’t it? And get this, you don’t need to step out of a Porsche (so I had to return that the next day…) I’ve obviously played this through in my head a few too many times – soundtrack from a Bond movie, Bond girl that needs a diet…etc. In actual fact, the hotel is one of the Gothic beauties designed by architect Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1866 who also designed the Albert Memorial and the Victoria & Albert museum. I sure don’t have problems entering the V&A, heck, I’m regularly kicked out for hopping around taking photos. Despite the size and grandeur, the interior is welcoming, what with all the elaborate lines of Victorian decor and the gold leafing, all casting a warm glow in the corridors. The Gilbert Scott restaurant does a surprisingly down-to-earth, hearty fine-dining, championed by Marcus Wareing, and although the price bracket still puts it into a special occasion, the whole package is there. Ask for a custom mocktail that would wake your appetite, and you must end with the chocolate mousse, toasted marshmallows and walnut ice cream dessert. Forget the diet, just do a couple of zig-ah-zig-ah‘s* before you leave.

*Spice Girls’ Wannabe music video was filmed in the hotel in the year 1996.

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Wearing: Sweater – Topshop. Skirt – Zara. Heels – Valentino. Bag – Nina Ricci ‘Ballet‘.

For those kind, brave-hearted folks who follow me on Instagram will know that I’ve recently taken on a 6-week beginners’ ballet course at the City Academy, all part of a personal ‘spring clean’ campaign brought on by a sudden onset of severe eczema a couple months back. It’s still a bit of a battle, although the flare-ups are much less aggressive nowadays… I’m still trying to adjust my lifestyle and work towards curbing it, accepting it can’t be completely cured. A spot of ballet every week seemed like a gentle, manageable solution to get myself back to being a little physical, while revisiting something I loved doing imitating when I was a kid. Coincidentally, a week into the course, I got an email  from Nina Ricci to work on a video to coincide the launch of their new bag, named Ballet. It felt natural, so I accepted. We shot the video in Frame, my preferred dance-studio in Shoreditch (long time-followers will also remember this particular Black Swan-inspired barré class 2 year ago), and while I was hoping to explain the connection to my personal initiative, we decided to keep it light and frothy (+ squeaky). Thankfully, the bag isn’t all that fluffy and airy in character, it’s actually a very solid construction of beautiful, supple leather met with suede; golden metallic detailing that hint on a bit of maturity and luxuriousness. If anything, it”s the size of the bag that gives away the personality of the owner, carrying a little more than what’s necessary, perhaps hiding a secret or two it the interior. Hope you enjoy the video!

Collaborative post with Nina Ricci.

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Sweater – COS. Leather trousers – Topshop. Bag – Couronne. Watch – GUESS. Glasses – YesStyle. Star necklace – MyFlashTrash. Heels – Christian Louboutin. Thank you Niek for helping with the photos!

So, apparently a work-out bench is a very different thing than of a normal bench. For example, it is not possible to pass out on a work-out bench clutching a beer can and half-eaten kebab. I have tried this. A few weeks ago, just as our holiday in Sardinia was coming to a close, hubby and I happened to weigh ourselves on the hotel spa scale and both did a double take. We threw away the pizza crusts we smuggled into the pool, raced back to the room; he ordered a work-out bench off Amazon, I Googled female sumo-wrestler blogs, then ordered a yoga mat and some macaron-coloured dumbbells, finding none. We had a steak for dinner, telling each other it would be our last, and then the next day we had our ‘last ever’ steak again. That was weeks ago, and only this past weekend we managed to sit down and plan a exercise pattern, and put together the work-out bench that was already gathering dust. I spent three hours exercising my Polish swearwords volcabulary on 2kg (4.4lbs) weights, and hubby picked up from his pre-wedding fitness and pumped 25kgs (55lbs)… all the while grunting and advertising to our neighbours that we’re having a merry time as married couple. I don’t need no bikini body, but I’d really like my boyfriend jeans NOT to fit like skinny jeans. Losing 2kg I got as a Christmas gift + 3kg I brought home as souvenir from Italy would be a definite plus.

Bah, THE PAIN though! It feels like I’m turning into Pinocchio, and apparently I walk like Forrest Gump. Louboutins ain’t the shoes to wear for post-workout, that I know now.

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Jumpsuit – Topshop. Heels – Zara. Rose-gold star necklace – MyFlashTrash. Sunglasses & Bag – c/o Couronne. Watch – Sekonda. Gold bangles – ASOS. Friendship Bracelet – DIY (similar here). Belt - Marni (via the Outnet); Ring – Michelle Oh; Thank you Charlie for helping with the photos.

Let this be my humble attempt at inquiring what ze heck is up with this weather by going into the boiler room with a wrench. Apparently, according to practice, the most appropriate attire to such assignment is either a boiler suit or a beer company t-shirt + paint-stained khakis combo, and since I’m off beer for, like, THE REST OF MY LIFE after spilling it all over my laptop the other day, I’m going with the jumpsuit option. It’s surprisingly comfortable! But I won’t speak for the poor man who missed his chance to overtake me in a narrow street and could not help but to witness the series of wedgie un-doing.  As for the weather, I’m really not too sure what’s wrong – my theory is that the thermostat plastic melted onto a permanent state of 32°C (90°F). The manuals were clear though, on claiming I am just one ungrateful bastard for complaining about this beautiful summer weather. I do apologize. Alas, I did do some good banging around with the wrench (The stud-embossed Couronne bag does a fantastic tool-bag make) and now there’s a thunderstorm outside, which means I may have either fixed it or broken it further. We shall see.

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T-shirt – Who What Wear. Jeans – Topshop Boutique. Tartan shirt - Motel Rocks. Bag – JinYoo103684. Boots – Thakoon. Watch – Guess.

Ever since we started having this amazing weather every weekend was a gamble of either risking lasagna-degrees at home or trying to find somewhere that’s not gurgling with people – cool people, especially – because now I feel uncomfortable lying in the park with wild hair and no make-up, clutching a beer generally looking like a hobo. Everyone’s out dressed in beautiful sun dresses and Miss Universe make-up, and is it just me or British boys look hotter in the sun?* I guess they technically are in 31 degrees compared to 12, but that rule clearly doesn’t apply to everyone (me). Some weekends I’d come home after spending a afternoon in Shoreditch or the flower market, wailing EVERYBODY IS COOLER THAN MEEEEE to the hubby. Eventually I’d fall asleep on the sofa to the sound of his ‘there there…’, where occasionally I’d dream that I’m a moose in the middle of a field of shiny horses all wearing horn-rimmed glasses. I run back bawling to my moose husband in the dream too (I’m seeing a pattern here…). So last weekend I tested out an ingenious idea of re-visiting** Canary Wharf, London financial district in the East and satisfyingly void of ‘cool’. Well, that’s not entirely true, because how the river and the concrete meet in this hypermodern-Venice like setting is the coolest, coldest treat in the heat, and the fact that there’s basically no one around is pure bliss. Don’t tell anyone I hang around there though, wouldn’t want to be evicted from Hackney for ‘lack of hip’ and all.

* Sorry for looking, husband, maybe we should sprinkle water on our bellies and go lie in the sun a little to see if we can grow a six-pack by next weekend.

** Used to live there for two years if you can believe it, it was the most NYC I could go without leaving Europe, okay?!