It’s no secret I love a good cocktail, so I was delighted to be invited to the preview event for Cocktails In The City in the plush Apartment at The Hoxton Hotel in Shoreditch.

cahoots cocktails in the city

If you aren’t familiar with it, Cocktails In The City is a three day celebration of Londons internationally renowned bar scene which is held across two weekends in 2016 – 10th to 12th March and 29th to 31st July. The March event will be held at One Mayfair, a beautiful Grade 1 listed building, formerly St Marks Church (you can see some pics of the venue from when I was there for Bulmers Live Colourful Live last year).

Cocktails In The City will showcase twenty London bars across three floors, as well as a few from other European cities including Little Red Door from Paris, Door 74 from Amsterdam and Ruby from Copenhagen.

It’s designed to be an immersive experience – guests will be able to try drinks from top bartenders, many of which will feature some more unusual and rare ingredients. As well as the cocktails on offer, there will be tastings, interactive demonstrations and entertainment.

I love how they’re planning to layout the event. In the Crypt (and obviously I’m dying to visit the crypt!) you’ll find some of Londons hottest newly opened establishments for concept cocktails. The Grand Hall (where Live Colourful Live was held) will house world famous cocktail bars serving classic drinks as well as creative cocktail themed dining at the feasting table. The aforementioned international guest bars can be found on the mezzanine level, and at the rooftop bar (which apparently has a spectacular view) you can enjoy a barbecue.

At the preview we had the chance to try some of the concept cocktails and watch how they were made. It was great fun!cahoots cocktails in the city

Cahoots in Soho, a bar which I’m yet to visit (and which features on my bucket list) was obviously my first stop. They’d teamed up with Martin Miller’s Gin and Fentimans (a bit off topic but I love Fentimans soft drinks in cocktails after trying a few at their Greenhouse pop up bar in L’Escargot last year) to create The Mayfair Miller, a cocktail which also included lychee, elderflower and spiced berries.

This one was delicious, way too easy to drink! And it was beautifully presented.

cahoots cocktails in the city

Next up I tried The Rhubarb Radler from The Whip in Mayfair, a drink they’d created with Chase Rhubarb Vodka. As soon as I hear rhubarb I’m there, I love anything rhubarb!

the whip cocktails in the city

This was quite an interesting drink – it looked as though it would be citrus based rather than rhubarb. As well as lemon juice, sugar and bitters it included Wild Goose Chase pale gooseberry ale from The Wild Beer Co. I am desperate to try this ale by itself and will be hunting it down!

wild beer co

I’ve never been to The Whip, now it’s on my must go list!

chase vodka cocktails in the city

I went for another gin cocktail next, this time The Root Gimlet from Powder Keg Diplomacy in Wandsworth, using Plymouth Gin. This is another bar which wasn’t yet on my radar, but I’m told it’s Victorian themed and now I really want to go!

As well as Plymouth gin, The Root Gimlet contained lemon  juice and something a bit more unusual – carrot and horseradish cordial! Sounds disgusting, but tasted delicious!

powder keg diplomacy cocktails in the city

To round up the evening I visited the station where Sophie Bratt of OXO Tower on South Bank was creating a cocktail using Patron Tequila (mmm, Patron…). Sophie actually was a contestant in the Patron Perfectionists Cocktail Competition, so it was a natural partnership!

patron cocktails in the city

I loved how pretty Sophie’s creation, Love Buzz, was. It was perfectly named for its ingredients – as well as Patron it included Yuzu, vermouth infused with strawberries and a dash of rose syrup. Beautiful. And potent.

oxo tower cocktails in the city

I had a little chat with Sophie after her presentation, and found out she had a lot to do with one of my favourite afternoon teas in London, the slightly boozy Not Quite Afternoon Tea at OXO Tower Brasserie (if you’re sweet toothed you have to try it, it’s awesome and changes seasonally so you can go time and time again…). Anyway, that’s a little off topic!

Other bars which are confirmed to be at the March event include Coq D’Argent, Reverend JW Simpson, Dishoom, Looking Glass Cocktail Club and Hush.

Perfect for everyone, from cocktail connoisseurs to someone who just likes a nice fruity drink, Cocktails In The City will be a super fun experience which I’m excited for!

If you’re not one of us spoilt for choice Londoners, Cocktails In The City will also take place across two days in three other cities; Leeds on 7th and 8th April, Manchester on 19th and 20th May and Edinburgh on 27th and 28th October.

Tickets can be bought from Design My Night or YPlan, priced at £15 for the London event which includes one cocktail, multiple sensory experiences and a cocktail booklet. Psst… If you haven’t used YPlan before you can use my code LEVANS88 to get £5 off!cocktails in the city

Hopefully I’ll see you there!

L xx

All photos my own.

On Monday I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend the Bloggers Love Fashion Week, organised by The Bloggers Hangout (formerly known as Bloggers Love, hence the name of the event!) with some of my favourite blogger friends; Lauren of Saharasplash, Luisa-Christie of Eat Sleep Luisa Repeat, Sadie of Life and Rags and Tessa of Holly Sparkle, as well as my beautiful plus one, SJ.

Photo credit: Lauren Attwood

Photo credit: Lauren Attwood

Now I’d love to have done a detailed, picture heavy post about the day, but I was mugged on my way home and lost all my photos! So my content is limited to images I had already uploaded to social media, and instead I’ll focus on my favourites of the brands I saw on the day. The event was all about discovering and getting to know the brands after all!

Before I start, I will say a little bit about the event for anyone who may be curious. This time it was held at OXO2, a lovely South of the River event space with a beautiful view of the Thames. Seriously, look at this gorgeous sunset that we were treated to!

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Photo credit: Luisa-Christie Walton-Stoev

There were two sessions; 12-3 and 6-9, across which brands showcased their products, with some giving out samples (or in some cases full sized products!) and other goodies. It’s a chance, as a blogger, to discover some brands you may not have previously been aware of, and to network with the brands and other bloggers. There were also beauty treatments, catwalk shows and cocktails from Crush Cocktail Bars. It was great fun, and I’d definitely recommend attending future events if you can.

There was a dress code – all black everything! Despite black really being my thing, I still typically couldn’t pick an outfit and ended up throwing something together at the last minute! I went for my Unif x Urban Outfitters Congregation dress, Black Milk Clothing Dem Lines hosiery and Unif Hellraiser shoes with my trusty Vivienne Westwood Frilly Snake heart bag and Helter Skelter Metalheads Lie With Me necklace. I felt like a baby witch!

An Instagram pic obscuring my outfit with my favourite Motel Rocks dress from their selection is the closest I can get to showing you what I wore! But I think you get the idea.

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True Brit London

The first stand I saw was the manicure table for True Brit London, where I had a lovely manicure (on my terrible short nails!) in a beautiful periwinkle blue shade called Georgie Boy. Definitely one I’ll be purchasing, especially as it hasn’t chipped yet, four days later! If you knew how awful I am for chipping polish, you’d find this pretty impressive!

As well as offering free manicures, True Brit had a stand in the gifting lounge, where I was lucky enough to pick up polishes in my three favourite shades; Shoreditch, Chelsea and Racing Green. The polish bottles are beautifully understated and classy – they definitely look like an expensive product. And I love the names of the polishes, it all sticks with the British theme without being tacky.

I’ll definitely be purchasing from True Brit soon – top of my wishlist (as well as Georgie Boy!) are To The Manor Born and Country Tweed. And I really want to invest in their Caviar Base Coat.

Priced at £12.50 per polish, they aren’t cheap but the quality is high and the colours are beautiful. Personally I prefer to have a few stand out polishes than a load of cheap ones, so this really is a brand for me! A little note on the formula – they’re 6-free and contain Vitamin E, elderflower and rose extract.

Their website is worth a browse even if you don’t plan on purchasing – they have a fab social section and blog all of their own!

My True Brit polishes are taking pride of place on my bookshelf currently, as well as my Maison Ves candle (more on that in a moment!).

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Maison Ves

Now, I’m fussy with candles. So for me to be posting about candles really says something! Maison Ves is a luxury scented candle brand, elegant in design and luxuriously packaged, fragranced with bespoke oils such as Black Fig, Tuberose, Cinnamon and Orange. I’d consider them in the same ballpark as a brand like Diptyque, or Jo Malone.

What makes Maison Ves a little bit different is their gift appeal. If you look closely at the labels, you can see cheeky hashtags relevant to each occasion. The lemongrass and verbena scented Engagement Candle (£78), for example, features hashtags such as #GAMEOVER and #LASTDAYSOFFREEDOM.

Bloggers were kindly gifted bespoke candles for the occasion, scented with vanilla and coconut (my favourites!) with the hashtags #BLOGGERSRULE #SAYITWITHHASHTAGS and #MAISONVES. Thank you Dee!

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Little Ondine

Remember I mentioned how awful I am for chipped polish? I have a terrible habit of not bothering to remove it and just picking it off – all very bad for my nails. So I was interested in checking out Little Ondine.  Remember that peel off nail polish you had as a kid? That was a bit rubbish? Well Little Ondine is a grown up, functional version of that!

I haven’t tried the product yet (I’m not ruining my True Brit manicure!) but I was kindly given a polish to try in shade Back To Black so if I like it, no doubt you’ll see a post about it soon!

Little Ondine polishes are priced from £8.40 to £11, and you can also buy ‘Twin’ mini bottles at £13 for the pair. The polishes are free from any harmful ingredients, according to the packaging.

They have some beautiful holographic shades coming out soon, so keep an eye out!

ondine

Nadia Minkoff

Nadia Minkoff wasn’t a new discovery for me, I’d been lusting after the Cut Glass Skull earrings (£49.50) for ages. But having previously had my ears stretched to 12mm, stud style earrings aren’t ideal for me. I did have a lovely chat with Nadia at the event though, and I’m hoping to get a customised pair made to make them wearable for me. Fingers crossed!

The skull range is absolute perfection in my opinion, and it fits my personal style perfectly – a grown up, more polished version of an emo kid! Winter 2015 has brought similar crystal skulls to the range. I want all the pieces in every colour!

Nadia also offers more classic styles, as well as beautiful bags.

Nadia was very generous at the event, gifting bloggers beautiful drop earrings and cute, quirky necklaces. Thank you Nadia!

nadia

Halo Hair Extensions

I’ve been wanting to try extensions for a while now, and Halo are a company that I had looked at for their innovative design. So when I saw them in the gifting lounge I was very excited, and was overjoyed to be able to take away with me my very own 16″ Halo in shade Light Blonde (RRP £99.99).

If you aren’t familiar with the Halo, it’s an easy to apply set of 100% Indian Remy human hair extensions attached to an invisible wire, headband style. You simply pop it on the crown of your head, cover the wire and join by arranging your natural hair on top and that’s it! After seeing them in real life I was so impressed, and my long hair made me feel like a princess!

Since I tone my hair, I have to do the same with my Halo before putting it to proper use, so expect a proper post on it very soon!

Here’s a very blurry selfie of myself and SJ from the night in Halo hair. Please bear in mind my extensions aren’t yet an exact match colourwise!

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Gallardo & Blaine Designs

I am so glad that I had the opportunity to view Gallardo & Blaine hand crafted pieces in real life, as they are so much more beautiful than they appear online! The jewellery is handmade in the UK, using a mixture of silver and gold plate, and stones handpicked by Madelaine Gallardo from her travels.

I was particularly captivated by the rings. On my hand you can see (left to right) a Heartbeat Ring (from £32 dependent on stone), a Whirlpool Ring (from £85 dependent on stone – mine is Mystic Topaz) and a Tempest Ring (from £56 dependent on stone).

Gallardo & Blaine very kindly gifted jewellery to bloggers, for which I am very grateful! Now I’m seriously lusting after the £230 Whirlpool Ring in Opal!

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As you can tell, a lot of the brands were very generous, and I picked up a lot of items which I will be trying out. I’ll be sure to post about the things I love! What I enjoyed most about the event though wasn’t the gifting, it was the opportunity to meet and network with other bloggers.

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Photo credit: Sadie Jones

I’d love to hear from other bloggers who attended. If anyone posted about the event please feel free to link it in the comments, as I’d love to have a read!

L xx

All photos my own unless otherwise credited.