whatever, whenever, wherever

12 December 2014

Last week, my two friends & I went to Paris for two days! We've all been there before so we thought we'd cut out the sightseeing and spend a day at Disneyland. The other day was spent wandering around and eating (of course)! I apologise in advance for the length of this post...

We stayed at Hotel Choiseul Opera which we got for a pretty decent price. The hotel is in a great location and there are loads of Metro stations within a 10minute walk. We got it for the same price as hotels that were further out. We didn't actually realise what a great location it was in until we actually got there. It was close to Gare du Nord and there was a direct train to Disneyland from Auber (metro), which was a short walk away. The hotel itself was small but our room was the perfect size for the 3 of us. It was clean, cozy &... noisy (but we all slept like babies haha). I’d defo stay here again & would recommend it for a short stay in Paris. 

As soon as we arrived we dropped our bags off at the hotel and headed straight for Disneyland Paris. None of us were too fussed about the rides, we just loved being there! We did go on a few rides though, my fav was Space Mountain: Mission 2. I fell in love with the Tsum Tsum plushies and had to get myself a Mickey one. 
After we got back and had dinner, we just walked to the Louvre and to Galeries Lafayette to see the lights. We did plan to go up the Eiffel Tower but were just too tired and cold!
The next day, we went back to Galeries Lafayette to go up the terrace and to also see the humongous upside down Christmas tree. Whilst we were there, we grabbed some breakfast before it was time to check out of the hotel. We spent the rest of the day browsing around, eating and made a quick trip to Trocadero. We made one  last trip back to the terrace at Galeries Lafayette to see the view at night. We then rushed back to the hotel to pick up our bags & took an Uber to the train station to go home. I have been loving Uber btw, I’ve taken 3 journeys with them now & I defo recommend the app. Use my promo code (julieh664) & get your first ride (under £10) for free!

Giant hot dogs at Casey’s Corner, Disneyland Paris
Korean dinner at Seoul Opera 
Eclairs at L’eclair de Genie (THE BEST eclairs, ever!)
Sweet treats at Sadaharu Aoki 
French lunch at Cafe du Cadran (cheap and cheerful)
Banh Mi at Thieng Heng 

So we didn’t get up to much whilst we were there but I had such a good time with the girls. It’s a lovely city to be in during the Christmas season. It was absolutely freezing though & I actually wore all the clothes I had with me on the second day! 

Will you be going on a winter getaway?

17 November 2014

On my boyfriend's birthday, we went to Duck & Waffle for breakfast! He hadn't been there before so I thought I'd make it a little extra special and book a table for breakfast during sunrise. So there we were, 6:30am in the morning, still half asleep. It was too early in the morning to have a proper breakfast, but being the people that we are... we went for one anyway! 

I opted for the Ox Cheek Benedict, and David opted for the classic Duck & Waffle. We armed our options with sausages and hash browns for sides, and washed it all down with some tea. Mine was the tastiest eggs benedict that I've ever had! Perfectly poached eggs combined with the ox cheek was a great combo. The sriracha sauce makes all the difference too! David wasn't too wowed by his duck & waffle but I think he just expected too much from it. I've tried it before and I thought it was just as tasty as the first time. Those hash browns were amazing though, mmm!

The atmosphere in there is so lovely and calm in the morning and the views are amazing. It's nice to see the city wake up from high up there. Well, that's one ticked off the bucket list :).

Food: 4/5
Atmosphere: 5/5
Service: 5/5
Value: 4/5

Duck & Waffle
Heron Tower
110 Bishopsgate

15 October 2014

Essie Vested Interest

So autumn has come so I’ve brought out the autumn shades for my nails. My current favourite is this lovely grey-toned green from Essie called vested interest. I love grey-toned polishes all year round but particularly in autumn & this shade makes green so wearable. 

What nail polishes are you loving at the moment? 

10 September 2014

Sorry for the iPhone photo but I just wanted to share some things I got today. I haven't really shopped in a while so I was happy to get some things which I really love!

I'm a sucker for scarves and I got a couple of new ones although it is still warm here in the UK. I've been wanting a light tartan scarf for a while and it's so hard to find one with the right colours, I love the one I got from Zara! I also got another snuggly scarf from Pull & Bear which looks really nice on. I can't wait for autumn to come so I can start wearing scarves again.

Shoes are one of the most difficult things for me to buy because I have size 2 feet. Zara have a select few that come in size 2 on their website. I bought a pair of flats and a pair of heels, the heels were too big to get away with though so I had to return those. However, the Zara Kids shoes are a better fit when it comes to size 2 so I got another pair of shoes which I really love. I wish I had bigger feet!

I love shopping for home goods! I always make sure to browse the H&M home section when I'm there. I could have come out with a lot more but I had to limit myself (ahh I still really want that wooden tray!) My wire-basket  theme continued in Tiger (another favourite!), the lovely geometric wire basket/bowl was only £4!

What have you purchased recently?

9 September 2014

So a couple of weeks ago, me & my boyfriend spent our bank holiday Monday at Longleat Safari & Adventure Park. We actually spent the day before in Bath and Bristol so it was only an hour drive away. As expected, the weather was horrible, it rained all day but we wanted to go and so we went! 

When we collected our tickets, we were also given a map and a CD which we had to play throughout the safari. Everyone starts off with the safari and then you get to explore the adventure park and see the Longleat House after. We got out of our car for the first part of the safari, here we saw lemurs, wallabies, zebras and giraffes! 

You have to stay in your car for the rest of the safari. Most of the time you have to keep your windows closed too but you can have them open for some parts, for example, when feeding the deer!
One of the best (and worst) parts of the safari, is the monkey drive-thru. This is actually optional and there is a warning sign saying the monkey will take parts off your car! We decided to go in anyway, it was actually quite enjoyable but we came out with missing parking sensors! 

They have loads of animals there that you get to see, we saw flamingoes, wolves and tigers too!

(The photo of the lions was taken by my boyfriend who demanded credit for it & wouldn't let me claim it as mine, haha)

We were pretty tired after the safari & weren't willing to walk in the rain anymore so we skipped the adventure park. We did go and see the Longleat House though which was so beautiful! I couldn't stop staring at the ceilings in there.

There was some horrible traffic on the way home which almost doubled our journey time but at least we got to see some nice scenery on the way. We also caught a glimpse of Stonehenge! 

What did everyone else get up to on the Bank holiday weekend? 

25 July 2014

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
I actually read this book a few months ago, I actually finished in during uni because I based one of my projects on the story. It's about a guy who has a low IQ and goes through an experimental operation to become smarter. It's a really touching story and it's about so much more than just someone becoming smarter, I loved all the themes in this book and I'd defo recommend it to everyone. It's an easy read too!

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
I opted for Kafka on the Shore as my first Murakami read. I've heard a lot about his books before but I wasn't sure if it would be my thing but it defo is my thing! So different to anything I have read before but so gripping. I just love the way he writes and the characters in the story. The chapters alternate between two characters whose stories eventually intertwine and I found myself reading through so quickly to see how they would connect. If you haven't read any Murakami books before then I'd defo recommend this as a first.

Paper Towns by John Green
I chose Paper Towns as an easier read to tone down the Murakami craziness. I've never actually read The Fault in Our Stars before but I was gifted this at Christmas so I thought I would read this first. This was a quick and fun read, I was a bit unsure at first but I really did enjoy it after. The ending was a bit of a let down for me though!

Have you read any great books recently?

9 July 2014

I think I have quite possibly found the best smelling body products ever! 
Last week I was having a browse around & other stories on Regent street when I came across a scent I couldn't forget. I love the beauty section in there, especially their bath and body range and I own the Shinjuku Bloom body lotion which smells lovely. 

Anyway, as I was browsing I sampled the Méditerranéen body soufflé which smelt amazing! I then thought I'd test out the body scrub from the same scent range (they have a sink there) on my hands. After rinsing them, I applied the body soufflé and on the way home I couldn't stop smelling my hands! It just made me feel like I was on a beach somewhere sipping on fruit mocktails, I can't find another way to describe it really. I was with my boyfriend and I made him try too, he also agreed that it smelt amazing!

"Inspired from the blooming Mediterranean coast, this fragrance has a scent of sweet rhubarb that melts into a jasminey-mimosa and rounds off with a woody base." - www.stories.com

A few days later I went back into there after lunch with a friend to persuade her to try it too. We both gave in and ended up buying a scrub and body lotion for each other. I prefer the lotion because it is really light although not as moisturising as the soufflé. I used both of these all over my body yesterday and I was still amazed at how nice it smelt. If you're ever by Regent Street then definitely pop in and give the scrub and lotion a try, it's important to scrub then moisturise as the layering really makes a difference. I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't love the smell and they leave your skin feeling so soft too. I don't moisturise my body regularly because I'm always too lazy to but I feel like I want to slather this on everyday haha.

Sorry for the rambles but this stuff seriously smells so good! If you don't live in London then they are also available to buy online here (you'll just have to trust my judgement). Think light floral, tropical fruits and a summer's beachy breeze. 

What are your favourite body products?

4 July 2014

It was my birthday on Monday and I've been constantly spoilt, I've been out for a few meals and no one has let me pay for anything (yes i am complaining)! On my actual birthday my boyfriend took me to Wright Brothers in Soho for Dinner. I've been wanting to go for a while so I was really excited!

Oysters: Colchester Rocks, UK // £8 & Gillardeau Speciales, FR // £12.50
Dressed Oysters: Soya & flying fish roe // £8.25 & Chilli Jam // £8.25
Shellfish: Shell-on Atlantic prawns // £5, Winkles // £4, Whelks // £4 & Razor clams // £2 each

To start, we decided to go with a seafood platter! You have the option to order one of their platters or to build your own selection. We mostly wanted oysters so we went with building our own. The oysters were so fresh and delicious, all 4 were amazing! I really loved the dressed oysters but my favourite out of the two were the chilli jam ones (must try!). If you love oysters, you won't be disappointed. 

However, the shellfish were very standard and nothing was particularly special. We're used to having shellfish freshly cooked and still hot/warm so having them cold was a little strange and didn't really do anything for us. It was nice to have something else to nibble on between the oysters though and I'd recommend the prawns if anything. 

Dressed Oysters - Chilli Jam // £8.25 & The Wright Peachy // £5 
Dressed Oysters - Soya & flying fish roe // £8.25

250g Chilean wagyu bavette steak - fries & fennel salad // £26.50
Our tummies were craving for some hot food so we browsed the menu again and both opted for steak. I'm pretty sure we were drawn to this dish because we've never tried a wagyu steak before (only topped on sushi, which was great btw). We both went for medium rare and I took the less rarer of the two which was perfect for me. I'm not sure what I was supposed to expect with this steak but I can say that it was amazinggg. A teeny bit crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. It would have been better if there was some peppercorn sauce offered with this but there weren't, not a big deal though because the meat was really good that it didn't matter so much. 

We were pretty full at this point so we shared a chocolate fondant with ricotta icecream for dessert. Not bad but not the best I've had either, it did come with a candle and singing though so that was nice haha. 

Overall, we had a great meal and would definitely recommend it to any seafood lovers. The service is really good too, everyone was really polite, friendly and attentive. It is expensive but not ridiculously so it makes a great treat! I believe the menus at atmospheres vary slightly between the 3 london locations so do check out their site beforehand if you are looking to visit. 

Do you have a favourite seafood restaurant in London? Let me know! 

Food: 3.5 / 5
Atmosphere: 4 / 5
Service: 4 / 5
Value: 3.5 / 5

Wright Brothers (Soho)
13 Kingly Street & G7/G8 Kingly Court

2 July 2014

I love Lancome's Bi-Facil (£21) and I have gone through numerous bottles of the stuff, I have even found the perfect cotton pads to use with it. I use waterproof mascara so anything without oil will have a hard time getting it off. 

Recently, I picked up L'oreal's Absolute Make-up remover (£5.49) which is just as good as the Bi-Facil but for the fraction of the price. It does have more of an oily residue but I always cleanse my whole face after so it doesn't bother me anyway. The packaging isn't as nice and you do have to be careful with this one because the product does pour out much faster (I learnt the hard way), but you really can't complain for the price. The product itself is almost identical so it's definitely worth trying out L'oreal's one. Even when Bi-Facil is sold as a duo pack for £28; it is still more expensive! 

If you do pick up L'oreal's Absolute Make-up remover then make sure you get the right one. I believe there is a gentle version which looks almost identical, however, that one will be a pain to use for waterproof makeup.

What is your favourite eye-makeup remover?

30 June 2014

It is the last day of June so I though I'd give out a little freebie! I have a small planner that I keep with me but I have been wanting some sort of monthly desk planner that I can keep at my desk to see an overall view on deadlines and plans for the month! I had a look online and there were quite a few monthly desk pads but there was nothing I really wanted so I thought why not just design my own! It saves me some £££ too! 

I wanted something undated so I just had to print the same file and I could use it for any month. I also wanted it to have 6 weeks, this was a problem I found with other planners, they always had 5 weeks and some months just awkwardly fall into 6 in a Monday-Sunday format! Simplicity is a must, I'm all about simplicity. & most importantly it had to have a grid, there is just something about gridded paper!

So I went into illustrator and designed my perfect monthly desk planner and I used it this month & I really love it. I thought I'd share it to you guys & hopefully at least one person will find it useful! 

The download link is here. Enjoy & let me know if you do download it! 

29 June 2014

Another ramen post! The last time me and my boyfriend went to Shoryu was sometime last summer and at the time we didn't think it was anything special. Ever since then we have been having our ramen fix at Bone Daddies so a couple weeks ago we thought we'd give Shoryu another try (just to make sure). This time we visited the Soho branch...

The first thing I usually take notice of at a restaurant is the menu, not the actual food but the design of the menu. Being a design student makes me take notice of these things and usually a well designed menu gets me pumped up and somehow gives me big expectations for the food! I have to admit it is a little silly but I do tend to judge a restaurant by its visual identity, sometimes when I'm looking for places to eat you'll hear me say "hmm, the food looks good but I don't really like the logo" haha. 

Anyway I think Shoryu's visual identity is great so I instantly gave them some brownie points for that!

The restaurant itself is lovely, comfortable seating (we're not too fond of the high stools at Bone Daddies), lots of wood (always a plus) and the right kind of lighting. 

The post-ramen stretch.
We both went for the Shoryu Ganso Tonkotsu, mine with the original hosomen and his with the matcha hosomen. We were expecting them to taste different but they tasted exactly the same to us, the only difference was the colour. 

The first thing I noticed was the noodles, there was something unusual about them and I think it was because they were noticeably harder than the ones at Bone Daddies? I weren't a fan of them though and the whole bowl of ramen itself was just... "blah". Everything just tasted bland which is a shame because it looks delicious! 

Shoryu Ganso Tonkotsu // £11
We also ordered a side and a sushi roll. I found it strange that our ramen came out in about 5 minutes and these didn't come out until we were about halfway through our bowl of ramen. The Gyozas were surprisingly tasty but the "Dragon Roll" was no Dragon Roll. I've never actually seen a Dragon Roll like this before, for the price I was expecting a bigger stuffed roll topped with avocado? This was pretty much a very standard sushi roll and the worse Dragon Roll I've ever had. The texture was also all wrong & it just stuck to the insides of my mouth! The best part about this dish was the ginger, at least there was a best part?

Hakata Tetsunabe Gyoza // £4 & Dragon Roll // £13.50

I was really hoping to like Shoryu but I was left quite disappointed by the food which is a shame because everything else is great. The best part of our entire meal was probably the drinks (any of the Calpico drinks are tasty!). A lot of people do love Shoryu though so maybe we just chose the wrong dishes or maybe it just isn't suited to our tastes but I won't be going back anytime soon. 

Food: 2 / 5
Atmosphere: 4 / 5
Service: 3.5 / 5
Value: 3 / 5

Shoryu Ramen (Soho)
3 Denman Street

4 June 2014

I love Korean food and over the past year I have learnt to make a few of my favourite Korean dishes. I thought I'd share my easy Korean Spicy Rice Cakes recipe today which is great as a snack or starter. 

This recipe has been adapted from a mixture of different recipes that I have looked at over the year. I don't cook regularly so I like to keep things simple, after trial and error this is the one that I have come up with that is both easy and tasty! (Most recipes use anchovy stock but I just use a chicken stock cube instead because it is easier.)

Serves 1-2 people.


You will also need:

+ Water (I used about 300ml) 
+ Oil (I used sesame oil)


1. Prepare your ingredients according to the photo above.

2. Add some oil to your pan and fry the onions, garlic and carrots until they are lightly browned.

3. Add in your water, stock cube, sugar, gochujang and stir until everything has dissolved nicely. 

4. Add in your rice cakes and fish cakes and cook until the rice cakes become soft and spongey and the liquid has thickened. This should take about 6-10 minutes. Remember to keep stirring!

5. Add in your ramen and 3/4 of your spring onions. Stir for another minute or two until the onions have wilted.

6. Transfer to a bowl, top off with your egg and garnish with the rest of your spring onions!

7. Enjoy! They taste best when eaten right away!


I. You can use more or less Gochujang, I recommend starting with a little at first then adding more as you taste.

II. You can use more water if you like to have more sauce. I recommend adding in about 100ml and then adding more after you add your rice cakes and fish cakes in. (Remember the water will reduce and thicken).

III. I use demerara sugar, use whichever you prefer.

IV. You can also garnish with sesame seeds too. Unfortunately I ran out :(

I hope you enjoy this recipe & let me know if you do try it out!

Extra notes:

You can find rice cakes, fish cakes and Gochujang at Korean food stores and some oriental stores. Buy fresh rice cakes if possible as these will taste the best. If you are using frozen ones make sure you soak them before cooking & use 12 rather than 6 halved as those tend to be cut to size already.

I buy my rice cakes and fish cakes at Centre Point Food Store in London, which is a great store for Korean ingredients. They have now moved to New Oxford St which is just around the corner from their old location. They also have Gochujang but I usually buy mine from Tesco.

2 June 2014

Two weekends ago me & my family went to Brighton for a little trip. We stayed in a lovely little apartment just across the road from the beach. 

Before we went I did some research on places to eat, the list ended up being really long and we were only there for one full day and night. In the end I decided for us to go to The Creperie for breakfast/lunch and then to The Coal Shed for dinner, however The Coal Shed had no tables left by the time I called to book so we decided to go to Smokeys as it was just a short walk from us. 

I loveee the Creperie's interior, especially the screen prints on the walls!

Most of us had galettes, my sister had a crepe and I ordered the waffle. Everyone's food was fine but my waffle was pretty bad. The waffle itself was overcooked so it was just really dry and made me feel like I was eating cardboard but I still ate most of it anyway.. I just wasn't happy. 
After we ate we headed to the pier for some fun and games with the kids then spent the rest of the afternoon checking out our apartment and just chilling on the beach .

We ordered two platters to share for dinner which came with fries and coleslaw. My favourite was the pork ribs and the sausage, we couldn't finish everything so we took some back to the apartment and made pulled pork sandwiches the next morning. mmm!
After dinner we headed back to the apartment and me & my boyfriend popped out later to catch the sunset. I love beach sunsets! 

It rained the next day so we just walked around the lanes for a little bit and had some smoothies before heading back to London. It was a short trip but it's just nice to be away from the city every now and then. Next time I go to Brighton I definitely want to The Coal Shed and 64 Degrees! 

Copyright © + whatsupjub | Powered by Blogger
Premade Blogger Template by Atelier 21