Trend Report: The rise of Instagrammable cafes

It seems like every other week there’s a new cafe or cake shop opening in London that gets everyone excited to visit. I love finding new places to try and there is a real trend at the moment for these Instagrammable hot spots.

Pretty Interior desings

The interior design of these places is what grabs the attention of visitors from friends, mums and daughters to influencers and bloggers, all looking to get that perfect Instagram shot whilst indulging in gorgeous treats. The interior design of these places are getting more and more extravagant too. It’s not just neon signs and flower walls anymore – its moved onto walls covered in love hearts, flower swings and even flying unicorns!

For today’s blog post, I’ve put together a list of some of the most Instagrammabe cafes in London that I love at the moment for you to try out.

Plan your visit before you go

The most important thing to remember before you go to one of these places is to plan your visit. I would aim to go on a week day when it’s a bit quieter rather than at the weekend. They are not always the largest of venues and they can tend to get a bit mobbed, especially on a Saturday. I would advise to go quite early too. Nine times out of ten, you cannot book a table so if you go during lunchtime hours you will have to wait and queue and there’s nothing fun about that.

1. Peggy Porschen Cakes

Peggy Porschen is one of the original famous cake shops in London, as well as being the most recognisable on Instagram. She certainly draws in a crowd! The pretty pink store is always decorated with flowers around the doorway and they change the displays throughout the year. For example Halloween last year they had a pink crystal flower skull, and for Valentines day they had a huge floral heart display.

The cakes are really good and its the perfect place to sit outside on their cute pink tables and watch the world go by. Due to how popular this place is, there is a time restriction on your stay but it’s definitely one of my favourite places to visit. They have also just opened a brand new store in Kings Road which I’m excited to try out soon. You can read about when I first visited the original store in a previous blog post HERE

2. Elan Cafe

Elan Cafe is one of the more recent places to rise to Insta fame and they are expanding at a rapid rate! There are now several branches to try and they are the most boujee cafes in London. Each branch is decorated differently so you will want to try them all. They all have a pretty pink theme throughout and are covered in stunning florals and fun displays such as the love heart wall and hanging unicorns. These cafes are literally every girls dream venue. They offer a lovely selection of lunches and pastries too. You can see the photos of my recent visit in a previous blog post here.

3. Knot Churros

If you have a sweet tooth then you will absolutely love this place. Choose from one of their signature churros with cinnamon, or one that’s dipped with Belgian or white chocolate. Or if you are really feeling extra, you can go all out and have a churro served with ice cream, topped with candy floss. I had to try this option of course!

It’s quite a small venue with cute booths and the tables have decorations on them as well as the beautiful swing which is decorated with hanging flowers in a sort of jungle chic setting.

4. Maitre Choux

From leopard print, to rainbow striped, to covered in sparkly gems, Maitre Choux pastries have it all. I love the pretty designs and when you see their decorated choux pastry fingers all lined up in the counter looking beautiful, you will just fall in love with them! I didn’t realise that these fingers actually have a chilled cream centre and I’ll be honest and admit that I don’t actually like the taste of them which is such a shame. But, they do have other styles that are non-cream filled options if that’s not your thing either. However, I love the Kensington store and it’s definitely worth a visit!

Saint Aymes

This place is on my to-do list of Instgrammable cafe places that I need to visit. It always looks so beautiful and the window is of course, always dressed to impress with gorgeous flowers. They are well known for their pretty pastel coloured unicorn lattes and 24 ct gold milkshakes. Watch out for future Instagram posts as I cannot wait to try this place out!

What’s your favourite Insta worthy cafe or restaurant at the moment? 

Have you tried any of the places in today’s blog post? Let me know your thoughts if you have!

5 simple tips to make your bathroom feel like a Spa

We all live busy lifestyles and one of the best ways to relax is by going to the Spa. I personally love spending an afternoon in a Spa and I’m always searching online for new ones to try! There is something so nice about turning your phone off and getting away from it all, sitting in a peaceful environment whilst being pampered. Heaven. So why not have the same experience at home in your own bathroom!

These are my top 5 tips on how to bring that gorgeous spa feeling into your home.

De-clutter..

This is the first place to start when creating the ultimate relaxing space. It’s a well known fact that being surrounded by clutter can add to you feeling stressed out. So, try to avoid having lots of things being on display. Straw or metal style baskets are great and make brilliant storage ideas for a bathroom.  Arrange a stylish display of the main beauty products that you will be using for an evening of pampering.

Introduce some nature..

Adding some plants or flowers into your bathroom is a really easy and affordable way to add that Spa like touch. This will enhance the peaceful and comfortable feel that you are going for. Try filling a vase with some chic white flowers, or displaying a fresh green plant in a wicker, basket style base. You could even try hanging potted plants on the wall. ASOS have a really cool selection of hanging plants HERE

Update your towels.. 

It’s time to get rid of any towels that have seen better days and treat yourself to fresh new ones. Indulge yourself in getting fluffy, comforting bath towels and look for the larger sized bath sheets for that luxurious spa feeling! It’s also a nice touch to get hand towels that are in a matching colour or design. If you are feeling extra boujee, add a gorgeous new dressing gown into your bathroom that you can also relax in.

Add calming scents..

Aromatherapy will add that little something extra into your home spa and will boost the relaxing environment. Candles, reed diffusers, soaps and lotions are the easiest ways to set the mood and will all help to add scents into the bathroom. Try fragrances like lavender, jasmine or vanilla which will help to create that calming effect.

Set the lighting..

Avoiding harsh lights is one of the key things in setting the scene for a spa like feel. Think soft glows and mood lighting. You can get bathroom cabinets that have LED lights to soften the lighting or you can have a dimmer light switch installed so you can adjust the lighting to how you want it. This can change the whole atmosphere in the room and can transport you instantly into relaxation mode!

I hope you enjoyed my tips on how to create a home Spa experience for yourself. Let me know if you try any of these! 

How to beat the dreaded January Blues

January has always had a bad name for itself. There was a huge build up to Christmas and that is now sadly all over and done with. Your bank account is looking in a sorry state and you are feeling like an actual pig in blanket from over doing it over the holiday period. Is this sounding familiar right about now?

To avoid the January blues, here are some of my top tips and 5 simple ways to help boost your mood for the first month of the year.

1. Get out more

At Christmas we tend to spend most of the time relaxing at home and after a while you start to feel a bit lazy and restless. Now is the perfect time to get out of that sluggish vibe and get out exploring! Go to that new coffee shop that you have been wanting to try out, go out of town and have a mooch around a different one for a change. Plan something fun that you will look forward to such as a London west end show or go and watch a new movie that’s come out at the cinema. I want to go and watch the new Mary Poppins so I am excited for that this month.

I have also been to visit the beautiful new Elan branch that recently opened in London as you will see from the images in today’s post!

2. Meet up with family and friends

Arrange to go and have a coffee with a friend you haven’t seen recently,  spend a day shopping with your mum or sister and even plan a relaxing spa day with your boyfriend. Not only will it cheer you up, but it will help them out with the depressing side of January too! If both you and family/friends are trying to be healthy for the new year you could go to an exercise class together.

3. Have a Spring clean

There’s something about the start of the new year that makes me want to have a really good clean up of my home. I like to go through my cupboards and get rid of anything that I haven’t used for a while. I will start in the bathroom and go through old products and the medicine cabinet and get it all organised. I’ll then move onto other areas such as the kitchen (we all have one of those messy kitchen drawers) and work my way through the rest of the house.

A wardrobe spring clean is also really therapeutic and one of my favourite things to get in order. You can read about how I do this on a previous blog post HERE.

4. Dry January

Drinking has a huge impact with your mood and can make you feel fed up. We all like to indulge at Christmas and January is a great time to have a bit of a detox. Last year I only bothered for a couple of days and was annoyed with myself for not seeing it through. Not this year! I am one week in and feeling a lot fresher already.  Not only will your mood improve, but having a break from the alcohol is a great way to lose a few of those extra Christmas pounds.

5. Set yourself a goal

Now is a fab time to plan for the year ahead. Have you had your eye on a Gucci handbag or new piece of furniture but not had the funds to buy it? Set yourself a goal and save some money each month and when you finally have enough to buy it, it will feel like such a great achievement. Obviously don’t save more than you can realistically afford each month. Your bills will always need to come first!

Get planning a holiday. You might have always wanted to go to New York at Christmas time or for a couple of weeks somewhere in the Caribbean. If you start planning early on in the year you can work towards that end goal.

I have a few goals in mind for myself this year which I plan to stick to and will continue to work towards. I have been using the MiGoals planner which I featured in one of my Christmas gift guides HERE and I am loving it so far! It is a great way to keep track of your goals.

What do you usually do to combat the January Blues?

Let me know if you try any of my tips and if they work for you!

Thanks for reading xx

8 things that have made my 2018 amazing


2018 is coming to an end and I don’t know about you but I feel like this year has really whizzed by. I personally have had a great year and looking back, I have achieved some amazing things which have all contributed to making it a good one. Here are 8 highlights that have made it so special.

New Car

Although I finally passed my driving test last year, this Summer my boyfriend and I finally got round to getting a car. When I lived in London, I didn’t really need one as I only really used public transport to get around but there are certain things which having a car have really helped with such as food shopping. There is nothing worse than having to juggle a load of carrier bags of food shopping on the bus.

I love how much freedom having a car has given us and we are now able to drive to visit family easily and to be able to go away for the weekend. For my birthday in October we drove up to Oxford to stay in a spa hotel which was so much fun. Next year we plan to go on many more weekend trips away and explore further areas in the UK. 

Career

In January I started my new job at Ralph Lauren. Just call me Rachel from friends! Although it has been hard work and pretty stressful at times, I was promoted in September which was a great achievement. Since then, I’ve taken on new challenges and I have been learning new things every day. I have also been loving working in the Mayfair are of London. It is a fashionista’s paradise being surrounded by the biggest names in the fashion industry. I love the window displays and if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I often post pictures of these!

Amsterdam

I have wanted to go to Amsterdam for years and this year I was able to visit for a few days. I love the unique style of houses lined up along the pretty canals and we went on a canal boat trip which was so much fun. It’s a great way to get a feel for the city so I recommend booking one of these. Of course we did all of the usual tourist spots like the red light district, and various famous “coffee” shops but our favourite place that we went to was the Foodhallen which was a large indoor food market. We stayed there the whole day eating loads of gorgeous dishes! Amsterdam is quite expensive but it is definitely worth a visit. We stayed in Citizin M which is one of my favourite hotels to stay in Europe.

Summer Heat

This summer was the hottest one since, well I cant actually remember when! I haven’t been on a beach holiday this year but with weather that good it really didn’t matter. The sun always puts everyone in such a good mood and with the football world cup taking place over this Summer, it was such a fun time. The only thing that I wish I had done was to have bought a fan. Literally every local store and online had sold out and at one point it was over 34 degrees at night! I am going to buy one in the new year to avoid missing out next time.

Festivals

I love a good festival and this year I went to Made in Birmingham and Boundary in my home town Brighton. I have been to so many events in Birmingham over the years but this this was my first Made festival. The field they hosted this on was miles away from anywhere and was a bit of a mission to get to. There were around 20 of us travelling there together and it was fun going in a large group. The only downside was the weather. It literally poured with rain all day!

Boundary festival though was AMAZING. I will definitely be going again next year. It was great to have this event on my own doorstep and the music was so good. It was also packed with people all day and had an all round fab atmosphere. I had my hair done for the event by the brilliant Braid Babes in Brighton. I really recommend them as they can do literally any braid style out there and they are such lovely girls. Their website details are HERE.

Teeth

Blog & Events

Last but not least, of course I have to mention this blog! I started blogging around June and for the last 6 months I have really enjoyed posting weekly reviews and blog posts. I have been so fortunate to have been gifted some beautiful items and I have been able to try out products from new brands that I have discovered. I have also collaborated with various brands which has been so much fun.

I have also been invited to some really great events including a new launch by Lola make up, an invitation to London Fashion week and trying out local events in Brighton such as afternoon tea on a Routemaster bus which you can read all about HERE.

My blog is still in really early days and I have so many ideas and plans in the pipeline. I am really excited to continue with my blogging journey into next year and who knows where it will lead and what other opportunites will come my way.

Here’s to an amazing 2019 and wishing you all a fab New Years eve celebration! xx

A fun evening spent with Fizzbox events!

Recently I was invited by the fabulous Fizzbox team to try out two of their events in my home town in Brighton. If you haven’t already heard of Fizzbox, they are an online company where you can book fun activities and experiences in loads of locations around the UK as well as in Europe. I wish I had known about this service sooner. I have been on weekend trips away this year and this would have been the perfect way to find out about local events available nearby.

Whether you are a foodie, someone who likes a day at the spa, or even someone who is a thrill seeker that enjoys adventure – there is literally an event for everyone.

Afternoon Tea with a retro Twist

The first part of the evening was a beautiful afternoon tea on a traditional London Routemaster bus. I have seen this tour around town before so I was so excited to get to try this out. The upstairs of the bus was arranged into groups of tables to fit 4 people and the windows were all decorated with velvet curtains which really added to the luxury styling of the bus. We were greeted with a glass of prosecco and given a menu to have a look at the treats that were about to be served!

There was a lovely selection of sandwiches with fillings ranging from cream cheese to smoked salmon, as well as a huge selection of sweet treats including macaroons, a gorgeous mousse and slice of carrot cake. There were several teas to try and I went for a classic breakfast tea which came in a spill proof mug so there is no risk of burning yourself!

After the first setting, we were served gorgeous scones with pots of cream and jam – perfection!

All aboard! We were all given these cute tickets as we got onto the bus!

The tour lasted for around an hour and a half and was a fab way to view the City, covering all of the sites including the Palace Pier, Royal Pavilion, Brighton Marina and shopping heaven, the Lanes. The service was fantastic and I absolutely loved this tour. This afternoon tea would be the perfect girlie trip with friends for a hen weekend, or just as a lovely day out with your mum, sister, or nan. I really recommend it!

 A cocktail making master class

The next part of the evening was spent at  Las Iguanas in Brighton which is a restaurant with a cocktail bar area. We were greeted by our bartender for the evening and she taught us how to make a selection of cocktails. It was so much fun and it has made me want to host my own little cocktail party at home now! We covered all kinds of drinks from Pina coladas to mojitos – all of the cult classic favourites. We were also served a selection of tasty Tapas food which was a lovely little extra treat along with the drinks.

This event would be so much fun as part of a hen night again, or a girlie trip into Brighton for the weekend. We tried so many different drinks that t would be a good way to start the evening off!

Overall experience

I had such a fun night and really enjoyed both experiences. I highly recommend checking out the Fizzbox website HERE at all of the fab events that you can book through them. If you are looking for a last minute Christmas present why not book a day out that someone can look forward to in the new year. That would make such a lovely gift.

Thank you to the Fizzbox team for inviting me, I had an amazing evening and I will definitely be booking more events with you in the future. There are so many that I cannot wait to try!

Have you ever tried a cocktail making class before? What is the best afternoon tea you have ever had? Leave me a comment below! x

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