It's all about the food

28 February 2011

So we all love a good food post right? Then surely throwing in some gummy sweets and bloggers can only mean we're onto a winner. So moving on from the knitted pigs in the last post to yet more kitshy pig themed goodies in the shape of Percy Pigs from M&S.
Percy Pigs
These are my youngest sister's first ever non-supervised baking efforts. Not too bad for her first ever project in the kitchen!
Becky's Gingerbread men
Yesterday, I popped down to London as the lovely Lujain was visiting which meant that the Save Our Shoes girls were reunited! Lujain has spent the past year in New York and is now living back in Kuwait (she's such a jet-setter!) and it was awesome and so much fun to finally meet her. We stopped off at Ping Pong Dim Sum (a contemporary take on dim sum) where a few of us gathered for some lunch.
Bloggers lunch
L-R Katie, Moi, LJ, Reena, Lucy, Fi and Sarah
Before we get onto the dim sum, I copied Reena and ordered the flowering hand-tied Jasmine tea. (£2.39) I'm so glad I did because it's so pretty! The tea was a lot weaker than I'm used to but I guess the Jasmine bloom is meant to be pretty rather than fragrant.
Jasmine tea at Ping Pong
Flowering Jasmine Tea at Ping Pong
So the food? I'm no Hollow Legs but I'll give reviewing a quick go in this post! I'm quite biased towards traditional dim sum as I've eaten it weekly since I can remember but fusion food isn't always that bad. Wagamama and Yo! Sushi are places I visit on occasion even though they don't compare to the real deal.

I ordered the Ping Pong collection (£9.99) which you tick off a sheet, much you like would get at traditional Chinese restaurants. This included a starter, a main dim sum collection and a dessert. This in itself is unusual as with dim sum traditionally, there is no set meal like this. My starter featured a spring roll, prawn ball, mini sesame prawn toast and a char siu pastry which were a nice start to the meal. Tasty but quite obviously show where the restaurant's targeted demographics lie especially with the lack of 'locals' in the restaurant.
Ping Pong Collection
So the dim sum itself? I have to say that the dim sum was the most colourful I'd ever seen it, with purple and green dumplings galore, something I'd only ever previously seen from photos of dim sum from Hong Kong Disney land's Dim Sum and not exactly what you would call traditional. I really liked the idea of the dim sum collection with lots of bits for you to try and which was all served in one large bamboo steamer. They looked pretty cute and fun presented like that. The majority of the dumplings were prawn based and the glutinous rice parcel wrapped in the lotus leaf (a sort of variation of Lo mai gai) was filled with vegetables.

The dessert was the most surprising of all. Usually steamed buns made in this style are filled with pork but imagine my surprise when I was handed a spoon! Inside was filled with dark chocolate. I think this is an extreme example of Fusion food! I know I have a few Chinese readers so this will no doubt make you laugh (like my dad when I told him) or scratch your head in confusion. It's a bit like asking for a Balti if you were in South Asia. It simply doesn't exist and concieved just for the western palette.
Ping Pong Dessert
Overall, I'd say the food was tasty and a really lovely restaurant to hang out with friends but when you're used to authentic Cantonese dim sum like me, it falls a little short. However, it doesn't claim to be authentic and as the chocolate bun shows, it's the epitome of fusion food. I do think that it's a great place to try dim sum for the first time and then go and sample the real thing which is cheaper too. Although that in itself would be a whole different kind of dining experience. Chinese dim sum restaurants are noisier and more crowded than the calm surroundings at Ping Pong, so I suppose it depends what you want to get out of it.

Review over! So after leaving with very full stomachs, we walked around Brick Lane where we bumped into Jazz randomly and it was amazing to meet her finally! She is of course, the lovely illustrator behind the drawings in my header! After a mooch around the Sunday Upmarket where I witnessed Lujain buy a gorgeous tulle dress, we headed to Leon where we sipped on lemonade, had a good old chat before we all dashed off home!
Blogger break
Until the next time ladies!
Right, less food and more outfits in the next post!


Knitted Elephants and Pigs in Bikinis

24 February 2011

Possibly my favourite ever blog title but today, it's all about Yang Du. A graduate from CSM, she has been on my radar ever since I read a post on Susie's blog way back in 2008 and also when she wore an amazing Zebra knit of hers. Yang Du has the most colourful, vibrant, attention grabbing designs with animal motifs but most of all, it's all about fun. When you're amidst so many designers that celebrating more minimalist designs, discovering an eccentric stall with glove-puppet gloves and bright over-sized knitwear at the LFW exhibition was really refreshing. I spoke briefly with the lovely lady herself and she was bursting with enthusiasm which made it all the more difficult leaving her stall!
Yang Du Top
Yang Du Stall
glove puppet gloves
Yangdu Scarf A Yangdu Scarf B
I was quite taken with this scarf and Yang Du insisted I try it on! Cute is an understatement, the elephant's trunk is a full circle which hooks onto your wrists. Amazing. My only regret is not trying on the elephant hat in the background. Maybe I'll just imagine that I have a small elephant perched on my head judging from Kristabel's camera skillz!
Yang Du scarf
Photo by Kristabel
So while I might not brave wearing the scarf in Birmingham, I can definitely see myself in the over-sized knits/tops/dresses. I absolutely adored the over-sized superman motif top that Yang Du was wearing which was from the current SS11 'He is a superman' collection.

You may have noticed in the previous post that I took my Fuji Instax along for the ride. In the snaps, another brilliant scarf can be seen in the form of the pink-pig-in-a-bikini as well as her knitted eye dresses that I was lusting after. Also in the snaps are a BFC Newgen scarf installation, Holly Fulton illustrations and dress.
A random snapshot of my desk from when I returned home. Vitamin water, notebooks, Aussie take the heat hair protector, make up (the K-palette eyeliner is the best I've ever tried!) and business cards of various designers I liked which of course, includes Yang Du's one.
Over and out!


Back to Somerset House

20 February 2011

So as we all know, it's the midst of London Fashion Week and on Friday, I popped down for the day to be reunited with those cobbles at Somerset House.
Jacket (c/o Vera Moda) Dress (Zara) Bag (c/o Next) Tights & Shoes (Topshop)
Photos taken by Hannah and Kristabel
On the agenda for the day was backstage at Sass & Bide but unfortunately, we didn't quite make it there on time as my partner in crime, Kristabel and I lost track of time, hilariously arrived at the wrong place and then it was far too full for us to make it backstage. Better luck next time hey?

However I did make it to Jasper Garvida where I waited in the cold along with Carrie and Harriet but it was definitely worth it. Garvida was one of the first ever shows I went to when I first attended fashion week so it's always a special experience. The collection which is named 'Le Baiser' was inspired by the novel 'Soie' by Alessandro Barricco. The story tells of a man who becomes enchanted with the 'far east' and Garvida's collection certainly has elements of eastern influence, especially in the silhouettes and shapes of the dresses. I could never do the collection justice with my words (or my camera skills) so I'll let the pictures do the talking!
Jasper Garvida 1
Jasper Garvida 2
Jasper Garvida 3
The show-stealing pieces!
Jasper Garvida 4
Even better, I recorded this video of the finale...

It was a fantastic show and it reminds me that I really do need to get back into the routine of staying for longer at LFW. Not only to check out more shows but also just to catch up with all the bloggers. There seemed to be more around than ever this year, every time I turned a corner, there was a familiar face! I couldn't possibly name everyone, for fear of missing people out but there were lots of comedy run/hug moments involved when we all spotted each other. You never know who you may bump into, so a special mention to the lovely Swedish blogger Ediot who I met just before she rushed off to a show!

I've got to hand it over to the guys that have packed schedules throughout fashion week. Even just one day is pretty tiring!

>>Update: If you fancy checking out my handwriting, Clare from Tweet has a side project that I've contributed to over at Handwritten!


Colour overload...

16 February 2011

As a blogger, I constantly find myself making mental notes when I come across something that I want to share on here. So when I came across the 'Pop Your Colour' editorial in the March 2011 issue of Glamour, I knew it was destined to meet my scanner. After hungrily devouring the pages of colour blocked goodness, I've come to the conclusion that I totally need to stock up on brightly coloured skinny belts, clothes in neon and primary hues from the high street.

As much as I adore editorials and know that I would never ever be able to afford the clothes modeled, the prices that are sometimes printed alongside always shock me. Can you even imagine spending £520 on a pink cotton t-shirt?? I apologise if you've just choked on your tea and made a mess of your laptops, but yes that's one insane price point for the average joe (but I still love you Jil Sander!). Anyway, here are my favourites from the editorial, enjoy!
Glamour March 2011 Pop your colour editorial 3Glamour March 2011 Pop your colour editorial 4
Glamour March 2011 Pop your colour editorial 2Glamour March 2011 Pop your colour editorial
I should probably mention that a certain blogger does colour blocking incredibly well and the Jil Sander trews featured in the editorial remind me of this awesome post by Kit of Style Slicker. Amazing.

Still want more colour? These stunning tulips belong to my sister, Hailey who turned 22 recently. So pretty!
H's Birthday tulips
Hailey's Cake
It's OK, I've recovered from the shock of the price of that t-shirt with some much needed cakey goodness. Phew.


Black and Beige can be interesting too...

11 February 2011

Maybe I'll dig out a picture one day but I used to wear a brown and beige uniform to primary school. Brown blazer, beige blouse, brown and gold tie, brown tights and the pièce de résistance, a brown felt hat. Yup, that's a whole lotta brown, it's therefore unsurprising that I wear very little brown these days. So despite being adverse to my old school uniform colours, I noticed to my surprise that if I swapped the black for brown in this outfit, it would be my exact school uniform colour palette. To top it all off, I noticed that this striped shirt I'm wearing is scarily close to the striped dress that was my uniform in the summer (with a straw boater and brown ribbon no less!). Still, there definitely isn't any brown in this outfit.

Not that my primary school life was particularly scarring but I've consciously stayed away from these colour combinations in the past because no one likes to feel like they're wearing school uniform. I'm sure I'm not the only one who makes these kind of colour connections, so are there any colours that you guys usually avoid too?
Black and Beige can be interesting too
Black&Beige and Scarf
Black&Beige detail
Blouse (H&M) Striped top, Skirt, Scarf (Topshop) Boots (Blowfish)
I always seem to end posts like these with random pictures but I'm loving glittery nail polishes at the moment and this Accessorize colour in Aztec (£4) is no exception. It's not quite as glittery as some of my other polishes but I'm pretty keen on this shade. It reminds me of oil because of it's two tone quality.
Accessorize nail polish


How many bloggers can you fit into a photobooth?

07 February 2011

Last Tuesday was a pretty good day in my books. I hopped on the train bright and early to catch the Future Beauty : 30 years of Japanese Fashion exhibition in it's last week. It was completely amazing and I'm expecting the Exhibition Catalogue any day now and I'm really looking forward to scanning some of the images to share on here. So stay tuned!

Later on, I met Kristabel, Michelle and Lana for some bagels and coffee on Brick Lane before we eventually made our way to the Fashion Revolution Party organised by the lovely people over at Voucher Codes. The party was held at the super swanky and luxurious Soho Hotel where I found myself in the midst of lots of familiar faces! There were cupcakes (standard), canapés and a photo booth complete with props. The ultimate blogger combination!
blogger photobooth3

blogger photobooth3-2

blogger photobooth3-1
The very last photo cracks me up every time! In these photos: Reena, Frankie, Kristabel, Jazmine Fi, Lucy, Gem, Michelle and Lana.

There were so many other bloggers and I couldn't possibly name every single person on here but they did include the lovely Alice, Fritha, Harriet, MJ, Amy, Sherin, Kit, Frances, Elizabeth and Christina! As ever with such big events, it's impossible to talk to everyone, so I'm definitely up for a big summer reunion where we can all catch up properly. It's so strange/crazy to think that I've made some lovely friends through the internet!

Anyway moving on to another lovely blogger! Jazz has sent me another lovely illustration and I took the opportunity to give the blog a mini make over. I absolutely adore it!
Lucky Red illustration
Thank you Jasmine!


Happy CNY!

03 February 2011

I still have a lot of love for my Fuji Instax. I meant to only be very selective and take a FEW photos of things that represent Chinese New Year in my household but behold, a crazy 5 photos for you.

So OK, it's not really that crazy but when a box of 20 films costs you £17...
CNY snapshots
Sweet Box CNY
So all these things are pretty much traditional in my house. From the door decorations wishing good fortune, red envelopes with money (called Laisee in Cantonese), crates of clementines which are symbolic for good health, burning joss paper for Buddhist rituals and our round sweet box filled with candied fruits. It's the same every year which made me think twice about putting this post together at all but obviously, there was no stopping me with the instant camera.

Right, I'm off for a meal at my grandma's restaurant tonight for more food and festivities!

Happy Chinese New Year!
新年快樂, 恭喜發財!
(sun lin fai lok, gung hei fat choi: Happy new year, be healthy and prosperous)

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