It is rare these days I get to enjoy a date night but when I do boy do I enjoy it and boy does it take preparation. What used to be popping along to the latest restaurant friends are raving about post work, has now become at least a weeks worth of researching and planning in a vague attempt not to make a fatal mistake resulting in major restaurant envy over the place/s we chose not to dine at. So in case this is of help to anyone else planning their date nights in London here are my current favourites and highly recommended staple date nights haunts….

Dean Street Townhouse – safe staple

Well established,  unpretentious, easy going and part of the Soho House group – Dean Street Townhouse offers tasty food in a special setting and in the middle of Soho so you can grab a few drinks afterwards and relive pre-baby days! Ask for a table in the back room which used to be private dining, or by the fire for a more intimate quieter setting.

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https://www.deanstreettownhouse.com

Chicken Shop – budget date

Starting back in 2012 Chicken Shop is not your average chicken joint – it offers free-range spit chicken with a whole range of flavourings and sides. Good for the figure and the bank balance!!! And all that protein surely means you can indulge on those date-night cocktails.

p.s. They also do take-out if you’d rather finish the date at home!

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http://www.chickenshop.com/

Chiltern Firehouse – Celebrity / VIP haunt

This place was everywhere last year, every celebrity under the sun was pictured leaving here and it helped that all the big designers held their parties here post fashion weeks. It is much easier to get a table now, still not the easiest mind so book in advance. The food is divine and you never know who’ll you spot on your date. The room everyone wants to get into – the Ladder Shed. This is where Poppy Delevingne took her wedding party after she married and where Bill Clinton got behind the custom-made wooden decks and played a set, kicking off with Billie Holiday! It is a sumptuous bar resembling a slice of Palm Beach seen through a Hollywood lens. Officially it’s only possible to step inside here (once you’ve announced yourself and signed the black leather guest book) if you’re a hotel resident or their friend. Officially. Winners of the Ladder Shed lottery are given a tongue-in-cheek token, a coloured gambling chip or a playing card of a certain suit, to show if they wish to re-enter after leaving. (It used to be a red chip, until people started arriving ready-loaded with their own.)

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http://chilternfirehouse.com

Berners Tavern – Fashionista heaven

The stunning room of Berners Tavern has to be one of the most instagrammed restaurants of London with its huge high ceilings and walls full of glitzy framed art. This is the restaurant of The London Edition, the hotel which during LFW is packed to rafters of designers, VIP’s and fashionistas from all over the world. The food is fab, not too pricey, and cocktails are immense!!! Worth a date night just for the instagram post!

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http://www.bernerstavern.com

Randall and Aubin – first come first served

I was actually taken here as a birthday surprise and it was wonderful. Cool soulful house music plays over a very relaxed setting complete with chandeliers and disco balls, whilst you chow down on the most succulent sea food and other culinary delights! Perfectly placed in Soho you can enjoy a fun night on the town with simple delicious food and well priced champagne. Whats not to like?! This is not the latest coolest restaurant but its high quality and high fun. Plus it is always full and as you cannot book so make sure you arrive before you’re too hungry to wait!

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http://www.randallandaubin.com

Bob Bob Ricard – For Champagne Lovers

Another Instagram favourite famous for its ‘Press for Champagne’ bells at every table… this place describes itself as having an electric clientele and as being London’s most glamorous all booth restaurant. Being all booths it is perfect if you’re looking for privacy on you date night. Food is pricey as is the Champagne ordered by private bell so it is one for special evenings. Decor is over the top ’20s and the menu is European, but not your average Euro! Definitely somewhere to impress your date!

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http://www.bobbobricard.com

Have fun and let me know if you have anywhere you’d recommend – love to hear!

Thanks,

Vx

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Date night – something I cringe at hearing but oh so important for my husband and I. We have always cherished date night, even before having a child, it’s an event in the week/month… year even, that provides the perfect excuse to dress up and make an effort! We actually try to do it once a month, we like it to ship our baby away for the night so we can enjoy a lazy morning too. Helps with the hangover!

I have a penchant for small lacy pieces of underwear and in the spirit of oversharing I wanted to let you know my top picks for underwear shopping and give you some racy inspo… these beauties are also perfect to be spotted peeping out from a casual t-shirt or unbuttoned shirt. All of the below can be bought right now at Free People and For Love and Lemons, find the links at the bottom…

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http://www.forloveandlemons.com

http://www.freepeople.com

Happy shopping and enjoy those date nights!

Love,

Vx

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It’s September!

I don’t quite want to admit that Summer is nearly over as I am a through and through Summer girl at heart, I just love being able to run out the house in slides, a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and not have to worry about layering up. But… I have already started working on my AW15 wardrobe, including two beautiful Bella Freud jumpers, several Zara buys, and some very special boots by Chloe.

AW15 is looking like another season of relaxed boho and rock chick classics, my favourite combination! So in a bid to cheer myself up, and you I hope, I have compiled my Autumn inspiration here… making me seriously excited to hit the highstreet again, in fact I have tomorrow pencilled in for some shopping time!


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Any AW15 high-street tips let me know!!! Thanks guys…

Love Vx

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Emmanuelle Alt, editor-in-chief of French Vogue and my style crush for at least six years.

Why?

Because she nails that effortless chic rock n roll Parisian style. She has an I don’t care attitude towards her dressing (when obviously she does care – very much) but she wears next to no make-up, her hair is hassle free, she sticks to a uniform dress code and she looks so good… to women and men.

Knowing what you like and what looks good on your body is the key to nonchalant dressing, not going with every trend the highstreet adopts from the seasons catwalks and creating a wardrobe of key pieces you can call on year on year. If you love something, find it really beautiful, then you know come the following Winter/Summer you will want to wear it again. It’s not a trend its beautiful. And if it makes you feel beautiful chances are you look beautiful in it as really it all boils down to self confidence and that is something Emmanuelle Alt has in bucket loads!!!

As Summer is getting ready to say farewell (trying to ignore the cold) I am taking style inspiration from this amazing woman in planning my AW15 wardrobe. Here are some of my favourite looks….

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Any tips from your style icons? Love to hear whose style you admire so I can style stalk them too!

Thanks & love,

Vx

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Following my holiday dreaming, and now that my Italian tan has faded (sobs), I have turned to the bottle, the fake tan bottle! I remember my first dabble at fake tan, I must have been about ten and my own mother had an old bottle of Sainsburys something in the bathroom cupboard, I remember it smelt like cleaning fluid and was a dark red colour, mahogany almost. I wanted to see how it worked so smeared some on my forearm and the next morning I was left with an orange/red giant patch of skin. I had to tell everyone at school my mums hair dye had fallen on my arm as I was too embarrassed to say I had experimented with tan! Many things have changed since then, fake tan isn’t a filthy subject, it no longer smells filthy and it certainly looks a hell of a lot better!

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I have tried a lot of tanning products over the past five years but it was only this year I found my one true tanning love – Vita Liberata 2-3 week tan. This beauty is amazing!!! I use Medium and after two applications it is the perfect tan shade for me, looks just like the real thing, fades over time like the real thing, no smells, easy to apply and no streaks what so ever. It is not the cheapest on the market but I go on applications per month and this bottle lasts as you needn’t top-up as often. Price per wear for beauty! Also – look out for Boots deals on this as they often have it on offer and that’s when I tend to stock up.

Here are my top tips for application… if you get a chance to try it out don’t forget to let me know your thoughts!

  1. This tan is unusual in that they actually say not to use any moisturiser before tanning, exfoliating is essential though – elbows and knees – but then the skin should be completely dry and clean.
  2. Use your tanning mitt – it dries in an instant so don’t risk it with bare hands and any stray drops wash off straight away.
  3. Squirt two to three pumps onto the mitt and squish it around.
  4. Go in circular movements starting at your thigh then down to your calf.
  5. When the legs are done and it looks like there is no more on the mitt, squeeze it and more will come out, use this for your feet.
  6. Think beach feet – only put tan where the sun would naturally hit – the tops of your feet not the sides!
  7. Do your toes very lightly, dark toes are a massive giveaway – and just the tops, then go across on the back of the ankle, not up and down.
  8. Next is your arms, starting at the top and working down to your forearm, long circular movements.
  9. Then the hand – each finger lightly up and down but not the insides – again think beach hands.
  10. Then chest and stomach, long circular strokes.
  11. Finally its the face – apply in the middle, t-zone, hairline and finally chin.
  12. Don’t forget a bit behind the ears for when your hair is up.
  13. Finishing touches make all the difference to the natural look – use a cloth to dab your nose creases, upper lip and eyebrows.
  14. Then a damp cloth on your elbows, knees and the back of your ankles.
  15. Final bit – damp cloth between each finger.
  16. Ta-da you are one hot bronze goddess mama!

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…and if you want to increase the colour wait 3-24 hours before showering and doing it again. A few faux freckles look super cute too – use an eyebrow pencil to dab them on where the sun would naturally fall on your face.

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Let me know if you have any other tanning favourites or tips I’d love to hear from you….

Thanks,

V x

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