29 November 2015

One Day. The Seven Guys You’ll Find on Dating Apps

If you hadn’t already heard, I had some pretty exciting news to share a couple of weeks ago! No I’ve not found my future husband and gotten engaged… nor have I won the lottery… but when you’re a writer this achievement comes pretty close to those milestones!...

I got published on The Huffington Post.

A humorous little article I wrote about the world of dating in the age of apps is now out there for all to see. I thought I’d post it here as well for your reading pleasure…

The Seven Guys You'll Find On Dating Apps

As a single woman living in London I have come to discover that navigating the wilderness of online dating is a skilful art that requires an objective eye and plenty of gut instinct. With apps like Tinder, Happn and Inner Circle, the entire dating landscape has been transformed. Where once we used to rely on 'meet-cutes' out in the big wide world, now it's all about a mutual right swipe. It has become obvious to me that certain apps have certain reputations and whilst many are claiming their users are seeking meaningful relationships, I find this hard to believe judging by the types of guys I come across time and time again. Here are the seven stereotypical male profiles you are likely to find on dating apps!

Often combined with topless guy (see number four), the serial selfie-taker is a master of posing. These guys usually fall into one of two categories: completely self-absorbed or simply trying to please with a close-up smiling pic. Backdrops usually include a gym or a [messy] bathroom. Whether his intentions are genuine or not, I believe nothing good will ever come from a guy who snaps his own picture.

Very strategic and very smart because what girl doesn't love a cute dog? Yes if there's a pooch in your picture I'm probably 50% more likely to swipe right if only just for the chance to cuddle your pup. This happened to me recently; ok looking guy, gorgeous dog so I agree to a date and he actually brought the dog along. You can guess where my attention lay the whole night. Dog 1. Guy 0.

This guy is the worst. If I can't figure out which one you are I simply can't be bothered. A group shot is annoying yet sneakily strategic because from a distance a group may look attractive enough, perhaps they're at the polo in suits, but when you actually look a little closer at each individual you'll see you've been played the fool.

In other words, it's a way to show off his 6, 8 or 10 pack. I love a good body just as much as the next girl but there's something a bit too 'showy' about a shirtless guy. My only exception is if it's a faraway shot in an exotic beach location, then I'm just excited by the potential holidays he might take me on.

Again this one is totally sneaky. First photo you think "Ooh the one on the right is cute... Is he the one on the right?". You then proceed to scroll through all the images trying to match faces, and nine times out of ten I find you decipher that he's never the hot one. Shame.

I swear 95% of the London male population works in finance which explains why there are so many photos of corporate guys in suits doing shots in the VIP area of a club. Yes you look sharp in your tux but unless you're at a wedding or the races, you don't need to go overboard with how much you like to splash your cash.

This guy obviously thinks women like to be intimidated by superior beauty, but I've got to say the fact that you've surrounded yourself with babin' models doesn't make me want to impress you, it makes me think you're shallow. Fail.

It's official. Dating in this day and age is exhausting. I've seen too many examples of guys one through seven and all I've ended up with is RSI from swiping left and right. I'm tired of sifting through sand looking for a nugget of gold, so please guys pick up your game. Let's put down the iPhones and work on some kind of 'meet-cute' bar sitchu. It's much more my style.

This article appeared first on The Huffington Post.

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26 November 2015

Style It. November Celeb Street Style

The cold snap has certainly hit London (it was 0 last weekend!) and it’s hit the street style squad as well. Check out these sassy and sleek winter-ready looks. It’s all about monochrome for grey dull days and sophisticated styles. With so many coats and boots to covet my wishlist is maxxing out my card…

Alessandra Ambrosio, street style, fashion, style, celeb, monochrome, OOTD

Check out the Victoria’s Secret queen herself, Alessandra Ambrosio. This is how she arrived for the catwalk show’s rehearsals! Such a babe. The snake trim fedora and the detailed boots only add to the fashion cred'. Damn girl.

Jennifer Lawrence, red carpet, street style, style, fashion, black, formal, exclusive
Blouse / Lace Bra / Skirt / Double Necklace / Single Necklace / Rings / Lipstick (this Illamasqua is literally the best)

At least she didn’t trip over in this one! Jennifer Lawrence looks sultry and sensational in this outfit. Love the sexy sheer blouse and the soft pleats of the skirt. A wine red is also my lip colour of choice for winter.

Millie McIntosh, Made In Chelsea, street style, monochrome, style, fashion

A little understated but so perfect for winter, I think Millie McIntosh’s outfit should be the go-to for a shopping day or dinner with the girls. You can’t go wrong with all black and those Stuart Weitzman boots are currently top of my wishlist.

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Photo by Krissie via retailers.

22 November 2015

Eat Me. Coya, Mayfair London

Cast your mind back a few weeks... Halloween weekend was a busy little shindig for me. When I wasn't dressed up as either Catwoman or a vampire queen I was out for lunch. Coya was the highlight. But before I tell you all about it, here's a quick snapshot of my costumes. Friday night I broke the cardinal rule and didn't go as anything scary, naughty me. But I think I made up for it with Saturday's costume, there was plenty of fake blood.

 This faux fur coat is my new fave, it goes everywhere with me!

Now back to Coya. Until I moved to London I wasn’t all that familiar with Peruvian cooking. Then I heard the word go round about some amazing restaurants featuring the cuisine here in the city, one of which is Coya. Now I consider myself a connoisseur.

For those who’ve never tasted it I would describe Peruvian food as the love child of Japanese and Spanish cooking. Think raw fish, flavour-filled nibbly dishes, herbs, spices and grilled meat. It’s a delightful combination.

Smack bang in Mayfair yet on a quiet stretch of Piccadilly across from Green Park, Coya is tucked away under a gorgeous Georgian building. With multiple dining areas and funky-authentic d├ęcor that greets you as soon as you enter, you quickly realise this place is anything but ordinary. It feels like somewhere that cult foodies go.

When it came to ordering lunch, we opted for a little bit of this and a little bit of that. The best way to go if you ask me… Let’s see, there was a spectacular beef carpaccio to start. Paper thin and subtle in flavour, the best I’ve had.

Then a little taste of sashimi with some delicate sea bass.

Next we moved onto the ceviches; sea bream, yellowfin tuna and salmon which all melted in the mouth.

Salads were up next, both roasted corn and quinoa, which were accompanied by some delectable chicken skewers. Sorry no photo of them, we devoured them too quickly.

I think my highlight was this Arroz Nikkei, a rice risotto-style dish with 72hr-cooked cod. Melt. In. The. Mouth.

Then just when we thought we couldn’t stuff in anymore we headed for the final round. Lamb chops with roasted tamarillo and the most tender spicy beef fillet. Yum. Yum. Yum.

We rolled out of the restaurant several hours later and several pounds heavier but with smiling faces that’s for sure. 5/5

Where: 118 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7NW
Phone: 020 7042 7118
Bookings: Necessary

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Coya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Photos by Krissie.

19 November 2015

Plate Up. Apple Cinnamon Caramel Puffs

I've done a lot of food posts lately which only means one thing - it's getting cold here. When the weather is blustery, raining and freezing, you'll usually find me in the kitchen, because a warm oven and, in this case, the scent of cinnamon apples baking is a much nicer alternative to getting drenched outside.

My mum has always loved apple turnovers, in fact she loves anything with cooked apple. I was a little slower to the party, it never seemed to take my fancy when I was young, something about the mushy fruit texture. Now however, I love baked apple things just as much as her.

This little recipe is the perfect thing to whip up for morning or afternoon tea. It will have guests smiling and, well if it's just you eating them, then you'll be grinning from ear to ear.

What you'll need
1 sheet puff pastry
1 apple
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon demerara sugar
1/2 lime
Rock salt
1 egg, beaten

What to do
Preheat your oven to 180degrees Celsius. Roll out your pastry and cut as many circular disks from it as you can using a cookie cutter or a glass. Make sure you end up with an even number. I managed to get 18 out of mine which will make 9 delicious puffs.

Peel your apple and cut it into small cubes and place in a bowl. Squeeze over the lime juice.

Add the cinnamon and sugar and toss to coat.

Line a baking tray and place half of your discs on it.

Top with a little apple but make sure you leave a space at the edge.

Next, plop a little caramel on each one.

Then sprinkle with a little sea salt. Just a couple of flakes will do.

Top with the rest of the pastry and close using a fork.

Brush with egg and bang them in the oven for about 15minutes. Be sure to keep a close eye so they don't burn.

While they're baking, if you happen to have any leftover apple that didn't fit, pop it on the stove with a dash of water and cook it down for 5-10minutes. It makes a delicious snack all on its own.

When your puffs are looking golden, whip them out and serve on a wooden board with your favourite cuppa tea.

The bonus is your house will smell delectable for the rest of the day too!

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Photos by Krissie.

15 November 2015

Eat Me. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Covent Garden London

The food scene in London really is incredible. I have a dedicated list of places that I want to dine at on my phone and I cross them off as I visit. But would you believe every week my list gets longer, not shorter because I’m forever discovering more and more hotspots and hidden gems that are just waiting for me to sample their menu. Honestly I think I could dine out for three meals a day, every day of the week and still not cover them all. It’s a daunting but delicious task.

Last night it was time to try L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon a whispered hotspot whose food has begun to shout from the laneways of Covent Garden. I made a quick stop by my friend’s apartment on the way (gorgeous isn’t it) and then it was time for our reservation so we set off, with my new Kate Spade tote in tow of course.

Love this deep berry hue, it’s a nice way to brighten a winter outfit. My design is sold out now but here are two similar choices here and here

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon screams “hotspot” as soon as you open the door. Efficient staff greeted us and whipped us over to our table where we were poured champagne and proffered menus. The interior is very Adam & Eve with sleek black, bursts of apple red and a vertical garden along one wall. Even better, the kitchen sits front and centre; let’s call it dinner and a show, with a clear view of the chefs working away.

Innovative French dishes with a modern twist line the pages of the menu and I was salivating at the sight of so many delightful seafood choices.

Following our pink bubbles, next we went for a fruity cocktail, then it was onto the serious stuff. The food.

Opting for four courses we started off with a delightfully light dish of King Crab with citrus jelly. As soon as I saw the menu it caught my eye and it didn’t disappoint. Yum.

Next was langoustine (cousin of the prawn) and truffle ravioli in a butter sauce which was heavenly. I polished off the whole lot.

For the main course we had lamb fillet with roast mushroom and jalapenos which was baaaa-rilliant. (Did you get that one? How could I resist?!)

Then we finished with Le Mont Blanc for desert; a chestnut cream dome, blackcurrant coulis and yuzu meringue.

Told you. Hotspot. Everything was a flavour sensation. If you fancy tantalising your taste buds this place is a real treat. Be sure to book in advance. 5/5

Where: 13-15 West St Covent Garden, London WC2H 9NE
Phone: 020 7010 8600
Bookings: Necessary

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Photos by Krissie.

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

12 November 2015

Suitcase. Seville, Spain - Travel Guide

To be honest, I knew very little about Seville prior to this trip, in fact I hadn’t even heard of it until the start of the year. It wasn’t until a friend of mine, who was there for work, told me of the magic of the place that I dug a little deeper and found it to be more than just a city of oranges. So much more.


Yes the streets are lined with citrus trees, but it’s not just oranges that are blossoming in this place. It is full of striking Arabian culture and design, intriguing history, smiling locals and truly incredible food. After all, it is known as the gastronomical capital of Spain.

[In case you’re wondering, the gastronomy trilogy in Europe is Lyon for France, Seville for Spain and Florence for Italy. Having now been wowed by the former two I know Florence will hold a treat when I do visit.]

The medieval quarter of the city is Santa Cruz. Centrally located, it makes a great place to base yourself. Petit Palace was my home away from home with charming staff, a gorgeous bay window, a historic columned foyer and a quaint courtyard for aperitivo hour.

Book your stay here or here.

Simply wandering the streets of this ancient city is a treat in itself. Buskers’ music wafts up from the laneways and the smell of roasting chestnuts floats by in waves. After attempting to navigate the myriad of alleys in Santa Cruz and getting increasingly lost, I abandoned my phone and simply walked in whatever direction felt right. I was greeted by charming people, beautiful architecture and, of course, plenty of orange trees.

Once you’ve soaked up this little neighbourhood, I suggest you make your way out of the maze and head south for Plaza Des Espana which needs no introduction. Just look at it. An incredible building and forecourt with its own waterway, multiple bridges and some stunning tilework. It took my breath away.

And from one grand building to another, my number one must see for Seville is The Alcazaar. Do not miss it. A Moorish Palace built for the king, this building is one of the few Alcazaars still used for an official purpose today.

With so many gardens, courtyards, hallways and forecourts you could easily loose half a day here soaking up the sights and the history. You can even access the old underground bathing chamber.

And for those who aren’t such history-buffs, I’m sure they’d be interested to know that Game Of Thrones was filmed here. Look familiar?

Seville was made for walking. Literally. It’s a great city to get around on foot. However, if you are looking for a lift you can hire one of the city’s many horse-drawn carriages. I must say they’re very charming.

Seville’s airport is located not too far from the city centre and a taxi will cost you a fix priced of €23-€25 depending on the day and time.

The food of Seville. A weekend of truly tantalised tastebuds. (See, I’m so excited I have to overuse my alliteration.) Where do I begin? I suppose the beginning is as good a place as any. Saturday’s lunch was had at Sahumo who are known for their exclusive fine-dining take on tapas dishes. We enjoyed an incredible coronation chicken salad and some white fish ceviche which was super fresh, pretty as a picture and tasted incredible.

Dinner that night was at Vineria San Telmo recommended by my friend. A wise choice. From squid ink pasta with scallops to a vegetarian stack with goats cheese, I was in food heaven.

Lunch on Sunday topped them all at La Brunilda which TripAdvisor ranks as the best tapas in the city. They’re not wrong. Be sure to arrive early before they open at 1pm and be prepared to queue for a little while but I guarantee it is so unbelievably worth it. Their croquettes were THE BEST of my life. I wish I could get them shipped here to London. We also had octopus, scallops with cauliflower and confit duck leg with carrot puree. It was all simply heavenly.

The other great thing about dining in Seville is the price. It’s incredibly inexpensive. If you share 3-4 dishes between two people you’re looking at about €8/person. Dear old London, by comparison you truly are criminal.

Be sure to wash your meals down with plenty of tinto con limons. It’s a refreshing blend of red wine and lemon, similar to sangria, but I think even better. The roof top at Hotel Dona Maria is a great place for a sunset drink overlooking the church.

I’m so very glad I made the trip to this exotic little place. Escaping the chill of London to get some much-needed sunshine was a delight, made even more enjoyable by the beautiful food, beautiful people and inspiring sights. I may be biased but if you can only visit one place in Spain, forget Barcelona and come here. Grazias Sevilla – te amo.

Flights to Seville from London are available from just £50 return. Book now.

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Photos by Krissie