M'interessant

Life and loves in London.

I blog, you judge.

Pitt Queue Co.

I am slightly addicted to the food-van-turned-restaurant craze.

I am NOT however, pleased by this ridiculous trend of making people queue outside for hours to eat.

It’s fine if a restaurant wants to keep things simple with a no reservations policy, but precedents suggest that standing outside with a grumbling belly for upwards of 20 minutes is not good for business.

A clipboard, a list, and a chirpy hostess to SMS you when your table is ready would do the world of good.

After 10 minutes standing outside for Pitt Cue, we found out that we were in fact queueing for the queue at the bar… that’s right. Queueing to queue.

No. No. No.

My boyfriend, who lived in New Orleans as a child, went on an enormous rant about how the point of Southern BBQ is that it shouldn’t have hype. It should be served by an obese man with a dirty apron

Went to Chinatown for Yum Cha instead.

I’ll take your 8 hour smoked beef ribs, and raise you steamed dumplings and salt and pepper tentacles.

MEATLiquor

Went to MeatLiquor with the boyfriend on Saturday night.

Probably not the best idea I have had as it was Baltic outside and he had recently been sick, so I felt very guilty taking him to a hotspot with the possibility of a queue.

On the plus side, the limited outdoor heat-lamps for those queueing seemed to define the queue length - few wanted to stand in the outright cold. I also noticed that the people lining up were not ‘cool’. My date suggested the location was to blame, and being just off Oxford St he’s probably right - the tourists and commercial-ness of it all was sure to ward off the trendy and discerning East London set who refuse to queue for anything. Shoreditch hipsters probably wouldn’t be caught dead here.

Zoe Williams of the Telegraph gave this review - and holy crap, she waited 90 minutes. Hell no.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/restaurants/9064568/Meat-Liquor-London-W1-restaurant-review.html

A frosty 30 minutes later (and let me tell you, 30 minutes was too long) we were inside. Now I love a food blog as much as the next person, but I can’t bear taking pictures inside restaurants or of my dinner - it’s bad manners! I have borrowed (and credited) found pictures from other sites.

The interior. When you go in it’s dark, humming with activity, and smells incredible.

Sourced from http://images.foodepedia.co.uk/restaurants/mtot/meat_liquor

A ‘Dead Hippie’ Burger. Sourced from http://thefoodieat.org/2011/11/30/meat-liquor/

The tables are littered with paper towel, ketchup, mayo, and american mustard. Your food comes altogether on trays, which I advise you lean over. It’s a drippy and messy business.

Give the fries a miss, they are standard issue and unexciting. The onion rings are big and generous - go for them instead. Our neighbours had the ‘wedge salad’ which is essentially wedges smothered in onions and blue cheese sauce… it didn’t look that appetising, standalone wedges with a side of blue cheese would be better and avoid sogginess.

The burgers are genuinely incredible, so succulent and full of flavour with squashy, steamy buns. I wouldn’t set foot in the place after 6pm if I could avoid it, though. The queue is just unbearable. It all seems like an exercise in hype generation - they could hand out tickets/take Twitter @names and give an approximate wait time - then send off happy and warm customers to the pub.

If you want to go, do it at lunchtime. They open at 12, and while there may be a short queue and less of the atmosphere - you’ll get a nice table and food in your belly sooner without the risk of hypothermia.

For £7 the burgers are definitely something, but nothing’s worth losing your toes to frostbite.

Niamh SS12

Since I discovered Pinterest (online moodboards/bookmarking service), aka THE BEST WEBSITE EVER, I have been curating my aspirational life. Imaginary life sounds pathetic, whereas aspirational makes me feel like I could get it if I work hard enough.

It is particularly amazing if you are a foodie or Nigella aficionado, or even trying to look for ways to eat a bit healthier. All your favourite online recipes can be organised in a little album and kept at your fingertips at all times.

Source: lindawagner.net via Niamh on Pinterest

Green smoothie. Don’t be alarmed. Have faith and prepare for saint-like smugness as you slurp this super-healthy beverage.

I discovered both Green smoothies (surprisingly delicious smoothies with fruit and blended spinach) and a confectionary wonder aptly named Slutty Brownies.

Source: thelondoner.me via Rose on Pinterest

So filthy.

I haven’t done enough exercise yet to merit an award of a 3 layered cookie-cookie-brownie combo that would make even the, albeit now diabetic, Paula Deen screech at its obscene decadence. I hate the filling in Oreos so I might substitute a different cookie instead.

When not drooling over food porn I should be skyping my friends, stalking acquaintances on Facebook, or trawling for cats to LOL at, but I spent a chunk of my time tonight getting my Spring/Summer online shopping priorities in order.

As you can tell I’m a girl who know’s what’s important in life. For the next 5 months, it is important that I own the following:

Sandal from Zara. You may or may not notice a striking resemblance to the Fabiana Cape Shoe by Alexander Wang.

Source: zara.com via Niamh on Pinterest

Source: topshop.com via Niamh on Pinterest

Topshop Bikini. Summer swimsuit selection is incredibly important. I’m going to Ibiza and I must look and feel cute while repelling the attention of disgusting chavs. Enter strategic Eye-of-Ra placement and granny-knickers. I think I’m onto a winner.

Source: net-a-porter.com via Niamh on Pinterest

Neon resin clutch, by Stella McCartney.

Let’s be honest, I will never buy this. It’s so expensive and I have but little purse strings. I have put it here because I am hunting for an adequate substitute. Any suggestions?

Source: topshop.com via Niamh on Pinterest

A perfect basic for layering, and for pairing with on-trend pastels and neons

Source: hm.com via Niamh on Pinterest

If I don’t own this I will literally cry. This neon H&M Blazer is the same colour as offerings by Stella McCartney and Comme des Garcons. Need I say more?

Source: topshop.com via Niamh on Pinterest

I worship at the altar of Miz Liz.
This is so this season Alexander Wang, but how the hell do I wear it without looking like a raver? Not that it’s a bad thing.

Source: topshop.com via Niamh on Pinterest

I have needed a navy blazer forever, but I currently have a sweet spot for how a navy blazer pairs with neon accessories and a simple outfit.

Pale grey jeans are firmly on my shopping list in light of the trend for Spring Pastels. Pastel jeans are impossibly cute but who knows how you’ll feel about them in four months. Grey is a safe option and can be worn with your mint, sorbet, and candyfloss colourblocking accessories without detracting from the look.

Source: topshop.com via Niamh on Pinterest

I am loving this summer jacket. Pastel, 90s, with Christopher Kane transparent panels. Gimme.

Source: zara.com via Niamh on Pinterest

Celine, Isabel Marant, and A Wang are all offering variations on the perfection vibed out by this shoe. A must have that’s sure to carry into next Autumn. I have no idea when labour day is anyway.

Source: topshop.com via Niamh on Pinterest

This bag is so perfect. And very Celine.

Source: topshop.com via Niamh on Pinterest

No summer wardrobe is complete without a floaty white dress.

Source: topshop.com via Niamh on Pinterest

I know I said no pastel jeans, but these are precious.

Source: topshop.com via Niamh on Pinterest

Adorable.

Source: asos.com via Niamh on Pinterest

Cute mint sandals. I bought a matching envelope clutch and a pink and grey shift but they seems to be sold out on Asos now. Lucky I found it first!

Cute little River Island top!

Housemate Hunting

This post has come about after a long, long, long day of showing my house to prospective cohabitants. It’s one of the perils of living in shared housing, yet so important as taking the process lightly can result in an uncomfortable living situation and stress later.

To illustrate my point, may I direct your attention to a little website, www.passiveaggressivenotes.com

Now I’ll confess to being guilty of writing a PA note or two in my lifetime, but I once received an email from an old housemate with accusations of eating one of her chocolate chip muffins, and demanding payment from whomsoever was the culprit.

The below is one of my favourites from the site… hehe.

One of my lovely housemates Ivana is leaving to live with some of her Croatian friends and I’m gutted! She is adorable and will be missed!

My other housemates, whom I am incredibly lucky to have found as they are tidy, charming, and all-round loveable, do not have the same approach to me when shortlisting candidates… the word ‘ruthless’ was thrown around, but come on, I’m going to be living with this person and first impressions are important!

So I have arrived at the Top 5 ways of NOT being selected as my housemate, a blog post which I’m fairly sure already exists and has been read by everyone who visited my house today.

1. Don’t make an effort

First impressions? Pffft. Just show up in whatever you find lying around that smells clean. Don’t smile, make eye contact or conversation, or appropriately greet the people you meet in the house.

2. It’s OK to be rude

Snide comments. Go right ahead, they’ll go down a treat.

3. Bring a toddler to the viewing, and don’t acknowledge the obvious.

It’s a single room available in a house of four under 25-year-old girls. I’m sure they would just LOVE a little bundle of joy and poop to come screaming into their lives without their consent. Maybe if you don’t say anything they won’t notice.

4. Bring your mum, and let her do the talking.

Really, you ask? Yep. She does know best, after all.

5. Talk about your pet rats

Who doesn’t love rodents?? Talk about how you give them cuddles and how you taught them to follow you around the house. 

I really wish I was making this up. Sadly not.

Incidentally, if you are 20-29, employed, sane, and looking for a nice female houseshare in Greenwich, let me know!

xx N


 


A decade ago…

10 years ago to the day I started at a new school.

The American International School of Chennai, or AISC, in India.

I was born and raised in Australia - Happy Australia Day! - and while I was well-used to moving house, or even interstate, this was a total shock to the system.

Culture shock was rampant. I went from a very strict private school (where once a boy was asked to leave because his Sikh turban and beard didn’t adhere to dress and uniform codes, yeah.) to a progressive American school where uniforms were only worn by the armed guards that patrolled the grounds.

It was the most incredible, challenging, and defining period of my life so far.

I learned about life and other cultures at such a young age and now have the most wonderful friends dotted all over the globe.

My mother is sadly not computer literate (despite owning a full suite of Apple iProducts), so scanning and emailing the pictures that just predate consumer digital cameras was a bit too much for her.

Pinterest and old Facebook albums to the rescue!

Auto rides around town during our lunch breaks - my mother would kill me if she knew how often I careened around in these.

India Week at school meant traditional dress! Now this photo is OLD. That’s me in cream.

Fisherman’s Cove resort had a gorgeous pool and swim-up bar. It’s a bit of a hike along the ECR out of Chennai, but I lived way out by the beach so it was ideal. If you’re an expat kid, then legal age and ID aren’t really an issue; you are hitting nightclubs from the age of 14.

I came back to Chennai for a visit in ‘06, to see some of my friends graduate.

Aditi (left) and I have an amazing friendship. We still manage to see each other almost every year now that she works in Chicago…

Reunited this summer in London, 5 years later :-)

Aditi trying her first Guinness at my 18th birthday party in Dublin… perhaps it’s an acquired taste.

And here are some pictures that evoke nostalgia and memories… curated from Pinterest and some light Googling:

Don’t even get me started on how much I miss the food.

For my Indian street food fix in London I discovered Roti Chai near Marble Arch tube station, an amazing little place that even sells Kurkure, cinnamon biscuits, and authentic Chai. Tucked behind Oxford St you can skip on Pret-a-blander. I find the Indian food on Brick Lane vile and nothing like real Indian.


http://www.rotichai.com/

It’s really cheap, great for sharing, lighter than a greasy takeaway, and best of all, absolutely no risk of amoebic dysentery!

Now I’m a little homesick for Chennai.

N xx

Wanderlust

I’ve had a little travel itch building up over the last few months.

I love London, and Dublin is like my second home… but my gaze has been extending eastwards lately, to the continent. It’s entirely possible that I bought a day trip to Paris in February.

I am just dotty about Paris, I even learned French for it (Ouais, vraiment). Here are a couple of happy snaps from a previous jaunt…

Yes, I wore heels and a little dress during the day in bitter January. My feet burned, my knees shivered, but it was Fashion Week, so forgive me if I got a little overexcited trying to blend in. Plus, it was worth it for these cute photos! I don’t really understand the whole it’s-OK-to-wear-scruffy-jeans-and-gym-shoes-because-I’m-a-tourist… thing. Or maybe some people dress like that all the time? Quel mystère!

I’m also looking forward to a trip back to Australia for two weeks, and a weekend in Ibiza with my brothers, all before the summer!

So much to look forward to. I need to create a Pinterest moodboard for my holiday outfits and styling… and lose 5 kilos, obviously.

N xx

Hooded

Makeup tutorials, I would be lost without them!

If you have hooded eyes then you need to watch this.

I never get to wear beautiful, dramatic eye makeup because you can never see it when my eyes are open!

I love makeup tutorials from pixiwoo and pixi2woo on YouTube.

I have been watching them for years, and in the past year or so their viewership has just exploded! It’s odd to say that I feel proud of them, but as I have followed them for so long they feel like my internet friends (I’m cool like that).

Most of my makeup decisions and purchases these days are made after watching one of these videos, they are super easy to copy and really informative. Tanya Burr (pixi2woo) is just adorable, not to mention utterly gorgeous…

Both vloggers respond to your requests and comments, so if there’s a look you want to learn to create, just comment saying so! I’m looking forward to a Lana Del Rey tutorial, even though Pixiwoo just explained why it won’t look good on me! Damn hooded lids…

Happy beautifying!

x N

Freshhhh

New blog for a new year.

Already regretting bastardising the French language… my inner grammar freak can’t stand it, but my inner PR nut thinks it’s cute!

Whatever, I definitely need some cathartic respite on cold January days like this!

And now for something completely different, in the form of me playing with my new silly webcam features!

N x



 That last picture is so scary! It really creeps me out.