Life’s about balance.

Well it’s about time I started writing another blog post! In fact, it’s well over due.

What spurred me on is being sat in the living room with my flat mate, guzzling a bottle of wine, proudly purchased from Lidl, (nothing wrong it Lidl!) as we chatted about life and how far we’ve come. I proceeded to bring up a previous blog post I wrote a year ago. Titled, ‘It’s okay to fail multiple times.’

We started too well up reading it, as we glared at each other in amazement, we’d really come a very long way since then!

So that leads me onto now, right here, currently just word vomiting up into the notes section of my IPhone at 23:00 at night.

I’ve just been at an event one of my best friends hosted. I felt so proud to stand there cheering her on at how hard she’d worked and how far she’d come.

Now half on my bed, still in my shoes, I thought, “Fuck it”, let’s write a blog post!

The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. I’ve spent evenings crying, pulling my hair out, drinking endless bottles… Keep it professional Lauren!

It’s been tough.

To summarise, I was moving 100 steps forward before I’d even began to take the first step.

I thought to myself, I’m not good enough. I’m failing. And every day I’d tell myself that I must work 24/7 in order to succeed and follow my dreams.

I was wrong.

I crashed…

In fact I completely and utterly threw myself under the car (Not literally, just the saying)

A few weeks back, on a Friday night, I felt exhausted, deflated and unwell.

I said to my boyfriend at half 8 that it was time for bed. I switched my phone to flight mode, took a swig of night nurse, lathered myself in fake tan, ready for the weekend and, headed straight into a very deep sleep…

Knock, knock, knock

Why on Earth was someone be knocking on my window at stupid hour O clock on a Saturday morning…

I got up immediately to answer the door, ready for an argument of course. It was Harry, looking rather confused, flustered and panicked!

“Lauren… IT’S 2 IN THE AFTERNOON!!!”

Oh shit…

Of course, my immediate thought was, fuck I’ve slept in my fake tan for 16 hours, not the fact I’d been asleep for that long and I was supposed to be at the pub over an hour ago…

So thank you to my amazing boyfriend who cares as much to drive 40 minutes into London to check if I was still alive!

Moral of that story is, self care is so so important. I’d tried to move forward 1000 steps before taking the first 100 and I’d simply, crashed.

Now I’m sat here, in my bed actually having a lie in, writing this of post with a clear head. (Yes I’m writing this section on a different day, I got tired)

It feels good.

Be sure to split your work time from your own personal life. No matter what career you’re in, at some point, you’ll crash if you’ve got no time to yourself.

I feel like we’re growing up in a generation where all we do is compare each others success stories and feel we put pressure on ourselves if someone else has “made it” or is at a different part of their lives to us.

It doesn’t mean we’ve failed one single bit.

Notes to myself from this blog post and the last few months: (take what you wish)

1. Always keep your weekends free for friends and family.

2. Get plenty of sleep!

3. Set yourself hours in the day for your working life so when that final hour comes you can switch off, read a book, have a bath or even just enjoy your dinner.

4. Relax! You’re doing amazing. Think back to last year when you would have only dreamt of being were you are today.

5. You’re amazing. Tell yourself that every day. Tell yourself it’s not a race, enjoy the process of growing up. Because, we only live once.

I hope you all have an amazing Sunday!

Although I can’t promise you a blog post every week, i’m pleased to be back writing again.

Lots of Love

L

Xxx

The most instagrammable boutique cafe in London

Hello to you! You may have wondered what I got up to last weekend especially if you have been snooping around on my instagram page as it’s very pink to say the least.

On Saturday morning, representing Luxuria Lifestyle, I headed over to the most instagrammable cafe everyone has been talking about. Elan Cafe shouldn’t just be renown for its iconic flower wall and it’s picturesque and flowery decor but also for its unique and elegant menu. So let me tell you about Elan.

About Elan:

Elan Cafe was founded Alexandra Miller only recently. Her love and passion for Elan is truly visible and it is embedded within the petals on the wall. Alexandra’s attention to detail is visible from the moment you step through Elan Cafes doors. From its Blossom trees to the elegantly laid cupcakes and slices of mouth-watering goodness across white marble tops- you really get a sense of Home coming. The smell of fresh pastry fills the air with sweet aromas.

It’s a bloggers dream. Yes I said it. If you fancy taking a few snaps you aren’t short of choice for a backdrop. We were very lucky to sit against the iconic flower wall but other back drops such as hundreds of takeaway coffee cups with little quotes across the front of them were just as dreamy.

Food:

Elan isn’t short for food choice as it caters for gluten free and also those who are vegan. A big tick if you ask me. Each dish is styled beautifully with a contemporary finish. There is an art to the final piece as Edible flowers are sprinkled over the top and intricate patterns are intertwined within the froth of Ruby Lattes.

I opted for a sweet and savoury dish to maximise my palettes taste buds and to really get a feel of the chefs style.

  • Avocado on toasted Sour dough bread, flaked hot smoked salmon and poach eggs.

The avocado was fresh creamy, perfectly ripe and unlike other cafes, they weren’t afraid to layer it into the freshly toasted sough dough. The poached eggs were show offs as they oozed richness with a bright orange yolk. The smoked salmon seemed as if a river run out the back of the cafe and was cut and smoked right on he door step.

  • Açai bowl with banana, passion fruit, pomegranates and gluten free coconut and granola.

Presented like no other, this Bali themed breakfast desert was made of dreams. The banana complimented the granola and coconut flakes so well it flooded a beaming smile across my face with each scoop that entered my mouth. The red berry smoothie was a perfectly blended sauce. I have a craving for anything sweet so this was just divine.

Both dishes were faultless and each was presented with a unique and chic style.

Other food choices: A range of Açai bowls, hot breakfasts, roasts, flat breads, sweets, sharing platters, bites, soups, plates and desserts.

Drink:

The drinks were something out of Charlie and the chocolate factory.

  • Hot Chocolate:

There is a selection of hot chcolate you can chose from. Praline, Nutella, Chilli, dark, milk and white.

My choice was recommended to me by the waitress and an exquisite choice she made! Nutella hot chocolate. This has to be the best hot chocolate I have encountered. Ever. I’d like to think that I can have a go at making this at home but I don’t think it will live up to the sweet and creamy taste set in my memory. Kind of fancy one now actually…

  • Raspberry and Blackcurrant smoothie:

A heavenly sweet concoction which tasted like it should give you a guilt trip once drinking but it’s safe to say I could have tried the whole smoothie menu. Hats of to the chefs downstairs.

Other drinks include a range of: Ice teas, Smoothies, Fresh coffees, alternative Lattes, Frappes and freshly squeezed juices.

Service:

This was an absolute 10/10. With the queue building up fast at the front door the whole team at Brompton Road were on their feet and all hands on deck at all times. They kept the elegant and relaxing ethos stable throughout the room which in turn made our time having brunch at Elan Cafe one of the most enjoyable experiences to date.

Tips is you are planning a visit:

  • If you can, visit Elan during the week when it doesn’t get as busy. Its popularity already makes getting a table over the weekend very difficult. If you are visiting over the weekend, early morning from 8am is best where we skipped the queues outside. Queues vary but when we arrived it started getting busy at 10:30am.
  • Nearest tubes South Kensington is about an 8 minute walk.

Best photo spots:

  • The blossom tree
  • The flower wall located to the very back
  • The Coffee cup wall located at the middle/back
  • The white marble tops are perfect for table lays and great when taking shots of the food.
  • The green and pink velvet sofas positioned out the back
  • The Elan Cafe canvassing at the shops front

Let me guess, I now have you at the edge of your seats wanting to book your train ticket for the next possible opportunity to step through the doors of Elan Cafe. So I’ll see you there next week?

Elan Cafe: http://www.elancafe.co.uk

Join us for more Luxury at: https://www.luxurialifestyle.co.uk

  • Lastly don’t forget to purchase your tickets for the Luxuria Lifestyle Bloggers event February 25th. You can purchase your tickets here but hurry as only the last few remaining!

Love Sheps x

More photos to come…

‘GET THE GLOW GLYCOLIC PEEL’

Hey you, what a lovely surprise to see you back at the Lovelace diary again!

A few of you have commented on my Instagram about my skin being pretty glowy recently so I thought I would share with you one of my little secrets as to how I keep my skin appearing so fresh in all this groggy London air.

It’s only recently that I found out about this sensational skin peel that my skin feels as if it has a new shed of life (pardon the pun). Dr Krystyna is to thank for this.

Cosmetic Dentist & Facial Aesthetician.

What is a Glycolic skin peel?

Now this is no facial, don’t get me wrong, when I lay down on the treatment bed I initially thought it would be your typical bog standard face massage, room scents and facial oils, so I was in for a treat when I found out what was really install.

The peel works by gradually peeling old/dead skin cells away from the top layer of your skin. All those commuting days you spend on the tube and in Londons polluted streets you can kiss goodbye. Gradually, you feel the Glycolic peel working it’s magic as it tingles your skin and fizzes away all the bad skin cells and in return helps stimulate the growth of new skin cells. But don’t worry! The tingling on your face is skin friendly. I have super sensitive skin so naturally I was a little nervous to try the peel but it has worked wonders.

But what’s the point of this peel you ask?Well In glad you have because I did to and I was so shocked at how much healthier my skin felt afterwards. The peel gently exfoliates a thin layer of your skin off which, as mentioned above, stimulates the growth of new skin cells and prevents sun damage and aging… Yes please I’ll take that! Even if your skin is spot and blemish prone this peel can work away the dirt and leave your skin and you feeling fresh as a daisy.

Dr Krystyna is based in Blush + Blow Fulham. Booking is super easy and I promise you’ll feel refreshed after a visit with her expertise. By clicking here you can book an appointment.

“Treatments take place at Blush and Blow – Fulham’s newest blow dry and beauty bar, located in Parsons Green. It’s a relaxed, luxurious and fun environment where you’ll be looked after you from the moment you walk in. Plus, if you’re a busy mum, there’s a safe, fun and friendly place for your children to play, free of charge, while you’re being treated.”

Daniel Galvin – London’s go-to hairstylist sensation

December the 6th marked a life changing event for my hair to say the least. As a VIP international ambassador for Luxuria Lifestyle I attended London’s top hair salon in Mayfair for a cut, colour and blow dry. I entered the salon feeling a little embarrassed about the abysmal situation that was hiding under my hat…

To show how truly amazing the team behind the salon really is. And to give you an idea on how ghastly my Barnet was… Here it is:

The team welcomed me in, took my coat and hat (reluctantly I removed my hat from my frizzy hair/ dull looking hair) and sat myself down in front of a very shiny mirror.

I was lucky enough to have the fabulous Ellie who has been styling and colouring hair for 10 years, so it was safe to say, that I was in good hands. She talked me through my colour consultation and got me excited for my new hairdo.

The whole process was very relaxing; the staff were exceptionally organised. In total, my hair was done and I was looking glamorous in the space of three hours, which flew by thanks for the all hands on deck team.

Ellie and I opted for my hair back to blonde which I was super excited about. She used a technique called ‘brick work’ which meant the colour was naturally blended into my usual hair colour.

A toner was then used to calm the brightness down, along with a gloss, to shine my once gloomy hair. Washed, massaged and treated by the lovely Callum I was finally ready for the last chapter. Stephanie chopped and styled my hair back to a healthy length after 3 months split ends and disastrous roots the girls saved me.

I have never walked into a salon and felt so welcomed and I have never walked out of a salon feeling so confident and knowledgeable about my hair.

Facts that you should know about your shampoo by Daniel himself:

Most products will have three nasty ingredients most of us wash our hair with on a daily basis. I was shocked to hear that these three horrible chemicals are in most everyday hair “care” brands.

SLS – Commonly found in oven cleaner.

Propylene Glycol – Commonly found in antifreeze

Parabens – Preservatives known to be carcinogenic

No thank you!

The good news is Daniel has eliminated these chemicals from his new Highlighted hair range.

“Highlighted hair needs customised products that nourish the more absorbent highlights. I have formulated my products to be kind to hair; we use the mildest ingredients possible to achieve the simplest effect for your ultimate beaut asset.”

It was an absolute pleasure to finish my evening by meeting the man himself. He is a true inspiration to his team, all trained through his own personalised academy. It was lovely to see every one of his team so passionate about their job at the salon and every client that strolled passed me had smiles beaming across their faces.

And that was that! You can book an appointment via the contact details below… My hair is finally friends with me again.

Click here to book into the salon for the perfect pampering session

If you have enjoyed reading this review, head over to https://www.luxurialifestyle.co.uk for more luxury reads on Beauty, Food, Travel and a chance to enter into some exclusive giveaways.

Thank you again to everyone at the salon who was brave enough to tackle my hair!

The Methuen Arms an award winning Great British inn where hospitality meets fabulous food and drink

What did Lauren do next?

Being part of the Luxuria Lifestyle VIP ambassadors team has given me many amazing privileges including our stay in the charming village of Corsham this weekend at The Methuen Arms. And what a treat it was.

The Methuen Arms first opened as a public house in 1608 ( initially known as the Red Lion Inn) and is set in an idyllic chocolate box town just eight miles from the postcode picture worthy city of Bath.

The grounds are somewhat historical and, with a famous past, is well-known for it previous owners. The Methuen Arms finally got its name in 1799 after the Methuen family took it over. The full history of the building can be found online when booking. Home to beautifully designed Georgian architecture, cobbled streets and parkland. The hotel is just one of Corsham’s hidden gems.

With it being my first weekend in Corsham, ever, the Methuen Arms staff and hospitality made us feel right at home.

The Georgian style conversion has a mature garden surrounding its beautiful architecture. Lit with fairy lights at nighttime, it’s cobbled pathway leads you to a very welcoming entrance where you are greeted by staff and handed your individual room key and given a mini tour of the grounds.

The room it’s self was so quaint. Farrow and Ball paint complimented original and exposed wooden beams on the walls. Softly lit, the room had a wholly calm and relaxing atmosphere. The room is equipped with a King Sized bed, comfy arm-chair, a retro Roberts DAB radio, flat screen television, mini fridge and a selection of tea, coffee and scrumptious ginger biscuits if you got a bit peckish. Have I even mentioned the en-suit yet? That was best part! His and hers wash basins, a waterfall shower and a stunning roll top bath centred the room as the main masterpiece. And yes I did opt for both a bath then followed by a shower straight afterwards.

Once exploring the grounds was ticked off our list, we made our way to our dinner reservation. It was an extremely delightful experience. The Methuen Arms’s head Chef, Leigh Evans, is an award-winning cook formerly known from Coombe Grove Manor, The Chequers and The Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath. Knowledge is that he built a team of dedicated individuals. I found the food unique, British but with a personalised twist as each dish catered for all. Whether you fancied pub grub or something more formal it’s all there to choose from. It was superb to have local food prepared and cooked with such care. The staff tastefully picked both of my starter and main course. To start: Seared Scallops – Crispy ham hock, black treacle, lime, cauliflower, granny smith, curry powder (gfo) For my main: Venison Haunch – Smoked garlic dauphinoise, red cabbage, blackberry, onion ash (gf) I must say both dishes were driven with sublime taste and both were presented with such detail.

The ethos of the room was relaxed, modern art and music juxtaposed old tapestries and original features which filled the room with the right ambiance. A very enjoyable mood floated over the guests keeping it civilised throughout the night.

Night time. We slept like babies. 100% Egyptian cotton linen between our toes, deluxe blankets and luxurious feather pillows to rest your head after a long week of work meant I dreamt all through the night. 100 Acre Bath products, and fluffy towels made the morning all the more easier to bath and shower and get ready for breakfast.

Breakfast included the option for a full English, and a selection of homemade granola, cereal, fruits & pastries, juices, jams, yoghurts… and much more.

What could have topped off our stay more than what we had received already? Yep you guessed it! A visit to the Bath Christmas Market. Half an hour out of Corsham is the enchanting City of Bath. The beautiful limestone architecture is topped off with its German style Christmas markets. Churros covered in melted chocolate, hot dogs, pulled pork buns and freshly made waffles filled the air with original Christmas aromas. Mini boutique stalls perfect for Christmas shopping, Carol singers and fake snow only make it more idilic for a pre -Christmas getaway.

If you would like more hotel reviews or have any more questions about The Methuen Arms please leave a comment below or contact The Methuen Arms directly from their site. You can find more reviews on travel, food, fashion and beauty on Luxuria Lifestyles website. Link below.

http://themethuenarms.com

https://www.luxurialifestyle.co.uk

And one last thing… I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas! Trying to cram in all my winter antics now as in 17 days time I’ll be going somewhere hot! Any guesses where?

Thank you so much for taking your time out to have a quick read. Now off you pop and enjoy the rest of your day, wherever you may be!

P. S. Here’s a photo of me trying to tackle some Churros at the Christmas market… Photo captured right before chocolate sauce dropped all down my face… I’m a child at heart🤫😜💫

Remember remember the 5th November @ YoSushi 🍣🍱

YO peeps! Its it’s been a little while since something food orientated has made its way onto my blog, so I thought it was probably about time that I tell you about one of my all time favourite food places, and what’s more is I got to venture here with one of my closest friends!

Today we rolled down to Yo Sushi on the Tottenham Court Road for a bit of Sunday Funday therapy, courtesy of Luxuria Lifestyle as one of their brand ambassadors.

October 2017 has marked the 20th anniversary of Yo Sushi. With over 66.7 million customers over the last 20 years enjoying over 533.6 million pieces of sushi, and we were lucky enough to be invited to the Tottenham Court Road restaurant.

Being a bit of a foodie myself, Sushi and Japanese street food has always been my go-to dish. From the age of 8 I would walk up to the end of my street and order 20 prawn nigeris from the local Japanese store. My mother then thought it be best to introduce me to my first sushi restaurant. YO Sushi! So it was so fantastic to be a part of celebrating its 20th birthday.

YO Sushi offers food for a range of occasions; a quick pit stop after a day of shopping, a lunch option at work, taking the children out for something different, or even if you fancy something a bit more sophisticated, YOsushi can cater for all.

Each dish is freshly made and carefully handcrafted. It was great getting to chat with the chef to find out what training goes into working at YOSushi. He’d told us he’d been taking classes for 6 years! I’m thinking of enrolling myself on to a class and giving it a go!

The actual restaurant was spacious both indoor and alfresco. It was a bit chalky today so we opted for the indoor seating!

What brought back memories was the iconic ‘kaiten’ conveyor belt which floated round fresh hand made dishes. These ranged from mini sashimi, sushi rolls, the most gloriously tasty seaweed covered in soya sauce and sesame seeds, Nigeri and other Japanese delicacies.

After finishing our starters we moved our eyes onto the hot food section on the menu. Our waitress Emily recommended some of the street food including the hoisin duck Bao, NEW furikake fries (which by the way I TOTALLY recommend) and lastly the chicken katsu curry.

  • NEW Ferikake fries: Japanese style fries coated in sriracha mayo and sprinkled with yuzu furikake, sesame, aonori and smoky bonito akes. 523 kcal
  • Hoisin duck Bao: Hoisin duck with house pickled cucumber

in a u y bun.

226 kcal

  • Chicken Katsu: Juicy chicken thigh in Japanese panko, drizzled with fruity tonkatsu sauce. 164 kcal

Robin Rowland, CEO of YO sushi said: “20 years after we opened our first location we are thrilled to open our latest restaurant in the heart of central London. Situated on Tottenham Court Road we are bringing something new and fresh to the area, giving nearby businesses and city shoppers a more exciting way to enjoy their meal.”

If you fancy a visit here are the opening times:

YO! Tottenham Court Road serves food from 11:30am – 10pm Monday – Saturday and 11:30am – 9:30pm every Sunday.

You can also click here to view their new scrumptious menu!

For more exclusive reviews and a chance to enter into some amazing competitions head to Luxuria Lifestyles website. I promise you it’s worth it.

Also, if you have time check out https://lovelacediary.com for more of Lauren’s lifestyle!

ACCESS ALL AREAS

So what did Lauren do next you say?

On Tuesday 17th October, Kris and I attended the ACCESS ALL AREAS VIP screening at Proud Camden in support of Teenage Cancer Trust. We attended the premier representing Luxuria Lifestyle.

Starring Edward Bluemel, Ella Purnell, Georgie Henley and Rizzle Kicks’ Jordan Stephens, the film was fantastically British with a happy-go-lucky story line. Without saying too much, the film is a must see. Four teenagers head off to a summer music festival to escape their parents. Fun, free and full of comedic monologue, I recommend this film to anyone who wants to reminisce the days of falling over, dancing in the mud and drinking endless cans of strongbow to your favourite musician in a field with thousands of fellow music lovers. After all, rhythm is a dancer.

The event itself had a, laidback, festival-like ambiance. Haystack chairs and sofas covered in hippie styled cushions. Canapes made their way through the event and with every passing waiter I found my hands full. Hopefully I didn’t look too greedy… Mini Burgers, Tomato and Mozzarella Bruschetta, Mac N Cheese, Cocktail sausages with honey sesame glaze and Proud veggie burgers. Yum.

After the film we socialised with the cast and production team with bubbles to hand. Needless to say, we might have had a flute too many. Soft lighting gave the room a chilled vibe making it easy to integrate with the stars of the movie who were more than willing to do so. We were able to briefly converse with the lovely Georgie Henley, who plays Natalie in the film.

Such an amazing night for such an amazing cause, Teenage Cancer Trust. Some of you may be affiliated with certain charities but if any of you are feeling particularly generous, please delve into the depths of your pockets for an online donation for such a worthy charity. You can find directions to do so on the following site https://www.teenagecancertrust.org.

Overall, what a smashing evening. The film will be released this Friday 20th October. So get your Saturday night cinema tickets booked and prepare yourself for a lot of laughter and light-hearted entertainment.

A big thank you to Mia Micozzi and the team behind the event who helped run such a lovely evening.

https://www.luxurialifestyle.co.uk/access-all-areas-the-vip-screening-with-teenage-cancer-trust/

Vienna tourist board event

 

Have you ever done something totally out of your comfort zone? I did this week!

The Vienna tourist board showcased Viennese Modernism at the Somerset House on the 11th October 2017. The event marked the 100th year anniversary of the deaths of historical modernist artists;  Klimpt, Scheile, Wagner and Moser whom broke out in modernism for a brave change to Viennese art.

Toms Kitchen: If you’ve been wading my blog from the start then you’ll know that I’m a lover of anything edible. Culinary delights were served throughout the evening. Starters consisted of warm feta cheese and beetroot hugged by filo pastry, chipolata sausages marinated in sticky maple and honey sauce, floral bowls of pomegranate and pine nut salad garnished with rocket and edible flower petals.

More you say?

Two mains. Haddock and clams with infused saffron risotto rice. The other dish – shredded lamb, creamy mash and hot lamb gravy…. mmm.

Desert anyone? Fine and delicate triangle chocolate brownie with miniature scoops of sorbet topped with pistachio shavings. God I always make myself hungry writing these things.

The event:

Being oh so new to this I had no idea what to expect! So turning up and entering a room full of intellectual people was very overwhelming. Sip… that was me hiding my nerves with some of the Viennese wine they had handed around. Thank you very much! After a glass or two I felt my nerves settle and started to explore what the event had in store for us.

The installation was magnificent. Covering three countries already and seven more to go, it was an honour to be part of the board meeting discussing such great historical artistry.

One artist I had previously crossed prior to the event was Gustav Klimt, famously renowned for his painting of Adele Bloch- Bauer, The Lady in Gold. I had heard the story and later watched the film which clearly modernises the emotional story of the infamous paintings theft, and the law suit filed by Maria Altmann that followed it. A truly emotional story, just one of thousands like it.

After the speech we found ourselves immersed in conversations with some extraordinary people. I got into a deep conversation with a lady who was very informative and gave me some great advice on writing style. At this stage I’d never felt so lucky to be at a place like this. Only a few hours ago I was at my day job, then, at an art event speaking with a lifestyle writer who happened to write for Forbes. I felt honoured to get such great advice.

Being so nervous about what to expect, I never thought I would be in a situation like this. I now always live by, “feel the fear and do it anyway” because I feel that I’ve got something to gain. Imagine if I’d said no to going to such an inspiring event.

I’d love to know what you’ve done recently to step out of your comfort zone, please comment below your thoughts! Or maybe you’d like to subscribe for my next little adventure?

What did Lauren do next…

Gratification:

With thanks to my supportive best friend Zoe who came with me to my first event.

Thank you to Luxuria Lifestyle, who I was honoured to represent at the Vienna tourist board event.

Thank you to Charlotte Fox who made our time at the Vienna Tourist board event all the more special.

Please do head over to their page Luxuria Lifestyle for even more interesting reads. X

Luxuria Lifestyle