Afternoon Tea at Myatt in the V&A

Okay, so the whole Bikini Bod diet isn’t working out so well and I’ve only got myself to blame… well me and le evil Leozette of Greater Than PR. Chica heard about Karisa and my Professional Dessert Tasting service and invited us to a sinfully delish high tea at Myatt Cafe & Chocolatier.

Tea for three!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the spot, Myatt is literally to the left of Woolies on the second level at the V&A. They specialise in gourmet sandwiches, pastries and cakes as well as ultra-fancy little choccies. Myatt also has a nice long list of teas for you to choose from, everything from Earl Grey to Hi Ali Mountain Blend. In fact, the list was so long I couldn’t decide for myself and ended up having our waitress bring me her favourite; strawberry and vanilla-flavoured green rooibos which was absolutely delish.

I usually can't drink tea without milk and sugar, but this was so yummy I merrily sank an entire pot all by myself.

But enough about the tea, let me tell you about the goodies it came with it… If you indulge in Afternoon Tea at the Myatt, you get to build your own three-tiered treat tower for R150 per person. It include a selection of finger sandwiches and mini croissants, a scone with all the trimmings, three macaroons and your choice of two pastries or cake. Just the kind of thing to treat your mother-in-law to after you confess to accidentally scraping her car with yours

Check out our spoilage:

Yum, yum and yum!

Of everything I got to try, I was most impressed with the mini parmesan and sun-dried tomato croissant which melted in my mouth and the yum-tastic banoffee mousse cake. It’s kind of like a moussey/cheese cakey banana-flavoured tart with caramelised banana on top.

Oh, so you thought you could wear sletterig li'l hot pants this summer? Think again missy... Muhwhahahaha...

I’ve tried to spot it on the menu and can’t find it, so if you’d like to try it I suggest you ask the kitchen about it. It’s so good that I’d like to go back and have it on its own one day, along with a big comforting pot of that tea. (This was Karisa’s favourite too and you can go read all about her take on things over here. I also liked the scone ‘cos, well, it’s a scone. There are days when a good scone (with loads of real butter, cream and jam) is all I need to believe that the universe really does love me and would prefer it if I wore a seatbelt and not have a dalliance with something like tik, if only to live a longer, happier scone-filled life.

Happiness is...

Once I’d made a good dent in the tower and thought I couldn’t eat another bite, I popped a chocolate croissant into a take-away box for my boyfriend, Mike. Still, my waistline wasn’t getting off that easy – as we were about to walk out the door, Douw, the manager tempted us back inside with the cafe’s piece de resistance, a luxurious hand-crafted choccie.

Oh yeah... now we're talking...

Myatt’s chocolates are called MARY Chocolates and are imported all the way from Belgium. They have almost FORTY different types to choose from and as KP and I stood before the counter, transfixed, I had a total flash back. All of a sudden I was seven or eight years old and standing in our local cafe with a fancy new two rand coin. I felt like the king of the world and was faced with the awesome dilema of not knowing which ‘sweeties’ to choose. (Still, I’ll bet my loot would’ve included Perky Nana choccies, marshmallow fish, Count Dracula sherbet, fire balls and apricot sweets.) But ja, getting back to MARY… I eventually opted for a ‘Truffe Tiramisu’, a white chocolate truffle with a coffee butter filling. In a word? Heaven!

No, no... I couldn't... Oh, you insist? Well, in that case... don't mind me while I fill up my wheelbarrow...

Thank you Leo, Greater Than and Myatt – this was a truly decadent mid-week treat.

Love, love

Leigh

P.S. Mike, who’s never impressed with anything, was particularly taken with his chocolate croissant. He ate it with his eyes closed and swayed a bit in his chair, while making embarrassing ‘sex noises’. Clearly we have a winner…

Enough about you, lets talk about me…

Lisa chanelling Sofia earrings I haven't worn since college and a scrap of purple satin I bought from a fabric store an hour before the shoot.

Last month I did a li’l beauty editing for YOU and Drum magazine, putting together a celeb-inspired make-over story as well as a piece on how to copy Keri Hilson’s look, regardless of your budget. Of the two pieces, I’m most proud of the celeb make-over – showing peeps how to get glam like Sofia Vergara – ‘cos I used my gorgeous spray-tan pro, Lisa, as the model. Check it out:

Please forgive the shitness of the piccie. Lisa had to send me a snap of it as I’d completely forgotten that the mag came out last week so I don’t have a copy to scan. (The downside of writing for so many different mags; you can never keep up with what’s coming out when…)

Still, don’t you think she looks gorgeous? In fact, the ed commented that they might have an issue with using her ‘cos she didn’t look crap enough in her ‘before’ shot, thus making the transformation ever so slightly less dramatic. Heheheh…

Big thanks Lisa for being the most fabulous ‘Sofia’, Eloise Dreyer for doing the make-up and photographer Peet (who also happens to be a male model – bonus!) for making the shoot all too easy.

X x x

The Queen’s Plate is coming

Good heavens, is it really that time again? Just been sent a little reminder to save the date from a PR co for the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate.

What do you mean it's 'not appropriate'? It's blue! It's got frills...

Next year it’s on the 7th of January so be sure to mark your calendar, keep an eye out for a zexy (yet classy) blue or white rokkie and don’t pack on five kgs over Christmas… (especially if you’re me and are going to have to smile and grin for the cameras next to hotties like Lieschen Botes…)

See you there?

X x x

Filorga Neocica review

A relatively new brand to SA, Filorga comes from Paris and has been inspired by cosmetic procedures like peels and injectables. It prides itself on its Cosmesotherapie line which makes use of a whopping 55 active ingredients including a ‘high molecular weight’ hyaluronic acid. (To be honest, I have no clue as to why the ‘molecular’ thing makes their hyaluronic acid better than other types, they didn’t go on to say why…)

To learn more about the brand itself, go check out the site, but be warned, they like to use fancy pants words like ‘biosynthetic hexapeptide’ and ‘nanospheres’. In fact, I suspect the person who wrote their copy ran it through a thesaurus so as to swap out every word for its most perplexing synonym to beat home the point that they’re a super-scientific brand developed by really, really smart people.

Despite all that, I do like their Neocica cream. It’s ingredients list* is too long to scrutinise, but it does live up to its long-winded promise:  ‘intensive reconstruction of the tissues and inhibition of severe irritation’. In essence, its a super-soothing skin treatment that also helps in speeding up your skin’s healing process.

Filorga Neocica, R465 for 20mls. (Don't worry, you only use a teensy bit at a time, it'll last for yonks.)

According to Dominique, the PR peep, it’s ideal to use an an after-sun to soothe skin that’s gotten a little sunburned. However, the website likes to punt the more post-aesthetic procedure angle and tell you how it’s great to pamper your skin after any kind of laser treatment, skin peel or cosmetic injection. As I’m likely to get laser treatment for a spot of pigmentation in the next few months, I’m thrilled to have this baby in my beauty artillery. As it’s quite expensive, I’d be far more inclined to reserve it for use on my face as opposed to slathering it on my bod after a long day on the beach. Still, I’ve found yet another use for it – blitzing the evidence of a post-picking session…

Despite knowing better, if I find so much as a suggestion of a pimple on my face, I can’t leave it alone and will poke, prod and pick at the bugger until it rears its ugly head, literally. Afterwards, I’m always awash with remorse because, as a seriously pale peep, the angry red mark that ensues tends to stand out on my face like a sore thumb. I then end up having to wear either a liquid bronzer or self-tan to minimise the constrast and roll around with industrial strength concealer. All this while beating myself up for having had a good pick/dig/scratch when I know – KNOW – how it always ends so badly.

Merrily, this is the bit where Neocica steps in and helps me out. You see, I’ve taken to dabbing it onto the site of my latest squeeze the moment I’m done as I’ve noticed it goes a long way to reducing the resultant redness. It definitely doesn’t stop the mark from appearing altogether, but it does minimise the ammount of inflammation that I’m used to. Before this, I’d use The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Blemish Fade night lotion to do pretty much the same thing, but I now prefer Neocica, mostly because the latter doesn’t have a horrendous tea tree smell that, according to my boyfriend, is a a lot like pee. In fact, Neocica’s got a soft, pretty floral scent. On top of this, I also like Neocica’s lovely creme-gel texture that simply melts into your skin without you having to massage it in. Great for if you’ve had something eina like a peel (or my upcoming date with the laser) and don’t want to handle the area too much.

Want to try it? Look out for Filorga products at selected Edgars and Red Square stores as well as selected salons.

Love, love

Leigh

*Neocica’s ingredients:
Aqua (water), zea mays, biosaccharide gum-2, glycerin, sorbitol, hydroxyethyl urea, octyldodecanol, cyclopentasiloxane, sodium polyacrylate, caprylic / capric triglyceride, butylene glycol, mimosa tenuiflora extract, sodium methyl lauroyl taurate, C13-14 isoparaffin, laureth-7, laminaria ochroleuca extract, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, isobutylparaben butylene glycol, artemia extract, hexapeptide-9, sucrose palmitate, glyceryl linoleate, prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, sodium hyaluronate, tocopherol, calcium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium sulfate, sodium acetate, sodium chloride, sodium phosphate, amino but acid, glucosamine, glucose, glucuronolactone, glucuronic acid, glutathione, 5-methyl 2′ deoxycytidine, thiamine pyrophosphate, coenzyme A, sodium flavin adenine dinucleotide, nicotinamide adénine dinucléotide , sodium nicotinamide adénine dinucléotide phosphate, sodium Uridine triphosphate, alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cystine, glutamine, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, hydroxyproline, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, ornithine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, taurine, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine, valine, ascorbic acid, PABA, biotin, calcium pantothenate, folic acid, inositol, niacin, niacinamide, pyridoxal, pyridoxine, riboflavine, thiamine HCL, tocopherol phosphate, tocopheryl acetate, cobalamine, desoxyadenosine, desoxycytodine, desoxyguanosine, desoxythymidine, acrylates / C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, disodium EDTA, allantoin, sodium hydroxide, aluminium sucrose octasulfate, parfum (fragrance).

Good Housekeeping magazine SA hits the shelves

Good Housekeeping magazine has finally hit the shelves and you can get your mitts on the very first issue for just R24,95.

Her polka dot shoes are infinitely cute, but I'd like to see her attempt to vacuum in them...

I gave it a quick read during my lunch break yesterday and most enjoyed the cover story on Heidi Klum. I think it’s awesome that she’s popped out FOUR kids but still looks ridiculously shaggable. It gives me hope for my not so far away fourties. I also loved spotting my friend Leanne Feris(wheel) who brightens up page 67 with a vox prop on a few of her favourite things. I actually flicked passed it a few times ‘cos I mistook her for a model.

Looking good chica!

Product-wise, I’m now in lust with this gorgeous pale blue Le Creuset set…

Visit the 'Win' section of their website and enter to nab the whole set! Or not. Less competition for me...

It totally won’t go with the blondewood, black and rooi colour-scheme I have going in my kitchen, but my soul, like, totally needs them. They’ve got that Mediterrenean/beach house vibe that makes me wish I had a porch to hold sangria-soaked outdoor dinner parties on hot summer nights.

I also really enjoyed the GH 101 Wonders section; it featured a whole bunch of ‘clever buys’ to help save you time and effort around the house. Check these out: 

Silicone pot mittens, R45 each at @home. Come on, who doesn't want a T Rex in the kitchen?

I’m also totally feeling this ruby-esque egg timer, R24,99, Pick n’ Pay:

Is is sad that I'm now old enough to consider this a totally rocking stocking stuffer?

You simply pop it in the pot and somehow it tells you when your eggs are done just the way you like them. As I like mine slightly runny on the inside, (perfect for dipping toast fingers!) I always take them out too early and end up in icky runsville.

So ja, if you like pretty things and have an interest in running your home like a mooi-looking well-oiled machine (as do I), I reckon you’ll dig Good Housekeeping. Reckon Woman & Home now have some serious competition…

X x x

And there goes my salary; Crabtree & Evelyn’s online outlet store

Wooooosh! That’s the sound of all my hard-earned cash as it flies out of bank account, straight into the coffers of Crabtree & Evelyn. In a cruel twist of fate, they’ve decided to launch an online outlet store right about the time my retrenchment package runs dry. Nice guys… real nice…

Right now, I’m v. tempted to buy this 3-piece hand therapy sampler for only R224.

Because everyone knows that all the best shizz comes in threes...

It makes for the perfect gift, but I’m holding back (only just) due to the fact that I already have two of them stuffed into the bottom drawer of my nightstand thanks to a particularly awesome C&E sale earlier on this year.

If you’re a C&E freak like me, go take a look, but do it quick. Everything seems to be selling out fast.

Love, love

Leigh

X x x

New Lip Ice Candy Gloss

If you grew up in the 80’s like me, you’ll know how big of a deal Lip Ice used to be. I remember loving their Bubblegum, Musk and Spearmint variants and feeling like the king of the world when I had all three rolling around in my blazer pocket.

It’s been a while since I’ve hooked up with the brand, so I was swept off on a wave of nostalgia when a new Lip Ice product landed on my desk; Lip Ice Candy Gloss.

Lip Ice Candy Gloss is available in two variants, Raving Raspberry and Party Plum.

Despite the misleading sparkly-looking pots, the balms don’t contain a hint of glitter. (Sjoe!) Instead, they’re a sheer, moisturising tints that remind me a bit of The Body Shop’s Born Lippy lip balm. Check it out:

Despite being the darkest-looking in the pot, Party Plum (on the left) is actually the sheerest of the two.

And here’s what they look like on skin:

Raving Raspberry on left, Party Plum on the right.

I like that they leave your lips feeling nicely moisturised with just the slightest hint of colour so that if you were in school, you wouldn’t get a klap from some bitch-ass prefect for ‘wearing make-up’. They also have a lovely sweet, fruity smell and a slight, inobtrusive sweet taste. Did any of you ever get so desp in school that you’d resort to eating a bit of Lip Ice? Shamefully, this is something I’d resort to when my childhood nanny/2nd mom packed a particularly uninspired lunch. (Really Gogo? Dry Ryvitas? Again? Why’d you do me like that? I know we’ve got Jolly Jammer’s tucked away somewhere… )

Anyway, if you’re looking for a easy to wear lip balm to add a gleaming dollop of shine and leetle dab o’ colour, you won’t go wrong with Lip Ice Candy Gloss. At R23,95, it’s a veritable steal. Especially since it’s small enough to shoplift. Jokes, jokes… I totes didn’t say that. Off to detension for evil li’l me…

Mwah,

Leigh

X x x