Saturday, 30 July 2016

♡ Hello Kitty Cafe in London ♡


I was given the opportunity to go to the Hello Kitty Cafe, located at Cutter & Squidge in Soho, with my friend Chewwie. I had been trying to book a place for weeks, as well as trying to find someone to go with - I didn't want to ask Saph, as she was already going to go a few times in August - but alas I couldn't do so?! But swoops in Chewwie with her fabulous-ness and flair, and BOOM. Along we went last Sunday, eager and ready for our afternoon tea.
A little backstory behind Cutter & Squidge - they don't use a lot of sugar and fat contents in their treats, and have quite a selection of gluten free in the Hello Kitty Afternoon tea. On their website they state;

"We make everything from scratch and where possible we use real British ingredients or source from British producers where we can't. Our eggs are always free range and our butter is always British creamery butter (mmm real butttter).
We don't use any margarine or hydro-what-do-you-call-'em fats and certainly no artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives... we really can't see the point!
Our flavourings and colourings are all natural... the hulk green of our green tea biskie is purely from the premium grade matcha green tea we use and our crazy pink raspberry biskie... that's all pure raspberry!
Our decorations are created using our homemade all natural colourings which we make from fruits, vegetables, spices and flowers - we even make our own sprinkles.
We believe in using the best fresh and natural ingredients... full stop!"

I wasn't disappointed with the shop - the layout is clean, with a splash of colour here and there, and at first, it seemed that there wasn't anyone actually in the shop?! Chewwie and I were a little confused, but after seeing a sign, we guessed that the 'secret garden' was actually hiding somewhere else! Very clever in my opinion!
Whilst we waited for our table to be ready, we were given a glass bottle filled with pink lemonade - decorated with a pink straw and a Hello Kitty bow! We were also given wristbands (I'm guessing to help the staff know who were waiting during busy periods?!) and after fifteen minutes (we did arrive early just so you know) we were taken downstairs to the secret garden for our delectable food!
The walls were donned with Hello Kitty decal style wallpaper, and there were vines donned with fruits and flowers that just oozed that secret garden vibe. We were seated at (a very snug) two seat table, that was dressed to impress - and somehow fit all the food onto as well! But they were very clever with how to put everything in front of us, as soon enough, our food arrived in a VERY high pile of wicker steamer baskets (you know, the ones you use for dim sum?) and boy, was there a lot. There were five levels altogether and that is a lot when you think about it, especially when we were told that there were refillables for EVERYTHING - food and drink! Worth it right?
The first two layers are the savoury side of the afternoon tea - the first being Kitty's snack time sandwiches of cucumber & cream cheese, hummus & pepper, cheese & red onion and salmon & chives, whilst the second layer was filled with savoury cheese scones w/ a red pepper relish and cream cheese, and a coronation cracker.
The third layer is full of a strawberry milkshake biskie, blondies and I believe the vanilla cookie - even though the vanilla cookie (the Hello Kitty face one) tasted more like the strawberry milkshake, whilst the other one tasted of vanilla and strawberry... BUT I may be wrong!
The fourth and fifth layers were the ones that were topping us at this point - the fourth layer had the Mimmy's very berry jelly kiss, Mimmy's pink lemonade marshmallow, cake truffle and strawberries and finally, the fifth layer had Kitty's chocolate mud pie and Mama's apple pie mousse.
But it didn't just end with those... ooooooooh no! We were also given ice cream at the end of it all - served up w/ strawberry sauce and in a very cute, small, blue teacup. Full is definitely an understatement at this point of the session.
Oh, I chose an apple pie flavoured fruit tea - which was very nice, lots of cinnamon, and it did have that apple pie flavour, but it was very subtle. I didn't get any other flavoured tea - which you can do throughout the session - but I did drink a bucket load of the pink lemonade, as I was seriously addicted to that stuff. It wasn't too sweet, and had that traditional lemonade sour twang at the end of each sip, which is just perfection for me.
Quite a few pieces of food, throughout the afternoon tea; is gluten free, dairy free and acceptable for vegetarians - and they do offer a full vegetarian option for the savoury side of the meal - and it did all taste delicious, well 95% of it did, as Chewwie and I weren't keen on a couple of pieces, and it was all pretty much gone b the end of our session. We even ordered another third layer - with the biskies and blondies - and was able to box it up, and take it home.
I do think £40 is a fair price for this afternoon tea - especially with the amount of food and drink you are given with at first, followed on by the extras you want afterwards. Chewwie and I, were sooo full though, that even walking back through Chinatown was a little bit of a struggle... I think we almost rolled back! I think, besides a couple of items, and that feel of feeling overfull at the end of the session, I had no problems - the staff were friendly and accommodating, the food was seriously moreish, and the flow of drinks was always there.
I would gladly go back to Cutter & Squidge though, just to try out some of the delicious things they have to offer. There is such a large selection to choose from, heck I would have problems with deciding, but then, that would mean more trips back... right?!

Cutter & Squidge have quite a few social platforms - twitter, instagram and facebook - and I do recommend checking them out, just to see all the delectable goodies they post! I'm seriously drooling already... cries
Thanks for reading!

Monday, 4 July 2016

♡ The Blogger Hangout Summer Event ♡


I had the opportunity to attend my first ever bloggers event last weekend, and boy, did I enjoy every single moment of it! I was extremely nervous at first, as I was attending all by myself, but after reading such kind-hearted tweets, from lovely bloggers about them going by themselves also, well, I didn't feel so alone and nervous!
I arrived at the Strand Gallery, literally, five minutes before the event opened - thank goodness public transport into London was kind to me that day, especially with Pride happening (literally) next door to Charing Cross station! I was shaking with nerves, but I did it! I went in by myself, and I spoke to all the brand representatives there! Everyone was super friendly, and just so welcoming. I, honestly, cannot fault anyone there. The gallery was narrow, but I managed to squeeze myself between everyone and natter away about things i.e. blog stuff, what we like, what the brand was about and so on, and so forth. It was, just a relaxed atmosphere, and I cannot find anything to complain about!

So the brands. First off, there was Regenerate - a company that specialises in products to help enamel erosion in your teeth - and I enjoyed learning about this company, especially as I have dull, yellow teeth from years of smoking and the amount of caffeine I've consumed. It'll be interesting to test the products I was gifted from them too! The next brand I met was Home Brewtique - a company that specialises in making your own craft beer, in the comfort of your own home - and even though I don't drink myself, I learnt enough information from them to take home to my dad, who is an avid beer 'collector' aka wherever he travels to, he brings home beer from the region.
The next brand was Sass & Belle - the cutest company, that specialises in what is on trend, and turning it into quirky and innovative home-ware and gifts - and what they had on offer that day... well I was in love with a few items! I could have just easily walked out, with everything they had to offer on the table... oops! The next brand along, was the super sweet Dinkibelle - a company who specialises in nail wraps - and after telling her about the awful past I've had with nail wraps (never stayed on, never looked nice blurgh) she managed to convince me about her brand. I haven't tried the nail wraps yet, as I'm trying to grow my nails every so slightly, but she did say that I could just cut the wraps in half, and have double the amount... how cool is that?!
Next in line, was T-Tox - a brand who specialises in matcha powder, and loose leaf tea specialised to help your diet slash become a part of your everyday routine - and I'm not obsessed with matcha, unlike a couple of my friends, who seem to be matcha fiends, but I was intrigued by this, especially as a couple of the matcha products were infused with other items. One had ginger and gingko infused into it, whilst the other had peppermint and nettles - the one with ginger helped boost your energy, whilst the peppermint one helped relax and regenerate you after exercise I believe? I managed to try them both (they had been mixed with coconut water) and omg, absolute delicious. And you can add them to your cooking... hello matcha cupcakes or muffins anyone?!
I had to skip a couple of brands, as it was getting busy at this point, and as it was getting hot, I scooched over to the front door to take a breather, before heading downstairs and meeting Pink Parcel - a brand specialising in THAT time of the month for us ladies. It's a subscription box, that caters to your needs during that particular time, where you feel like absolute shit, and just need a bit of pick me up, to make you feel more human again. I loved chatting away to the ladies there, and spending time picking out my gorgeous goodies, but they seriously sold this subscription box for me... I am signing up on my payday next week.

Finally; I managed to speak to United Beauty - a brand who specialises in gel nails, but the product turns any nail polish into a gel style manicure... if that makes sense?! It came with a portable UV lamp and a gel coat - either clear, or with glitter pieces embedded. I was lucky enough to have a manicure and a lovely natter with the girls there and before I knew it... it was 4.30! I had spent, almost, the entire time the event was on, there!
I did have such a wonderful time, meeting so many new people and just being in a warm, and generous atmosphere. I'm glad it was such a beautiful day for this event, and I really hope that I'll be able to go to more in the future, now that I have a little bit more confidence to go to them by myself! Oh, before I finish off, here are all the amazing goodies I received - I, legit, feel slightly like a spoilt brat because of these! So, a massive thank you to all the brands, who took time out to talk to me and gave me gifts, and a massive thank you to the Blogger Hangout crew for having me!
Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 2 July 2016

♡ WTFood; Puccho Squid + Salty Lemon Flavour ♡

Upon my mass purchase of Sakura Pepsi on ebay - trust me, I frickin' love that stuff - I stumbled across something, that I knew was familiar, but at the same time, made me think "what the actual..." and thus, I give you squid and salty lemon flavoured puccho! A couple of my friends in Japan sent me packages of these items, as I wasn't sure about actually purchasing it at first, but hey - it's nice that people think of me, when they see weird things!
When I first opened up the packet, there was a strong, tangy citrus flavour, which is delightful to someone who loves citrus flavoured items, i.e. ME! Each piece is individually wrapped, and once unwrapped, you cannot tell that there are pieces of dried squid embedded in these delightful sweets. So therefore, you believe you are just simply eating a piece of sweet sweets.

It's an odd taste at first, and it's very hard to describe it in all honesty but it is a nice flavour?! You have to taste it, to believe that it is tasty... because in all honesty, who would have put dried squid in lemon chewit-esque sweets for a daily treat? Not me originally, but now that I have tasted these... I am slightly addicted and would gladly purchase more, but they seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth for now, so I'm guessing that they were a limited edition item - oh well!

Thanks for reading!