Young Ladies About Town

The girls living and laughing their way around London, meeting lots of fascinating folk along the way...

Do keep an eye out for Toni &Guy

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 28 August 2015
This week I went to the launch of Toni & Guy's newest innovation- the Fluid Metal Styler, a product aimed to keep tresses sleek and chic with its salon quality technology. The event, hosted not far from The Lady Towers, hosted a range of beauty writers and hair enthusiasts drinking champagne and getting their hair done by an on site Toni & Guy stylist.

I was greeted by two representatives of the brand who talked me through their latest product. Its glossy exterior is matched by its iridescent plates, and it even came in a shiny bag with a heat proof mat. The titanium plates of the straightener ensure heat transfer while protecting hair follicles, and at 25mm, they go much beyond straightening. The styler also doesn't snag or irritatingly get caught when you go to curl your hair, as I later found out.

Sipping prosecco and munching on mini quiches, we were entertained by a contortionist who bent herself into unthinkable shapes. In between ogling at the spine-aching poses of the acrobat, I chatted to the girls around the room about where they worked and what they came along for. The space was lit up with purple and blue hues, and bubbles were rampantly bursting out of a tiny machine.

I was then swiftly ushered into a stylist chair where a trendy lady in heels asked me what kind of hairstyle I wanted. I pointed at the girl that was in the chair before me, who had emerged with loose, effortless waves. Within seconds, the stylist was spraying my head with heat protector and parting sections of my hair. As she glided the straightener around my hair she started to tell me a little about her styling career, and all the crazy behind the scenes stories of chaotic events like London Fashion Week. Ten minutes later and a little tussling, my hair was bouncy and full of texture.

Goody bag in hand, I left the event (albeit only staying an hour) feeling like I had just had a spa day.

Afternoon Tea Week

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Monday, 10 August 2015
Afternoon tea. Possibly the most quintessentially British thing about Britain; the scones, the cakes, the finger sandwiches, the tea (of course) all placed delicately on beautiful china and extravagant tiered cake plates, what could be more perfect? I absolutely love afternoon tea, the whole experience I find not only relaxing, but also charming and culturally fabulous.

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You can imagine my utter delight, therefore, when I discovered there was a whole week dedicated to celebrating afternoon tea, let alone that I was invited to Afternoon Tea.co.uk's Afternoon Tea Week Launch. We arrived at St. Ermin's Hotel promptly at 6:00 to be ushered up the sweeping staircase and onto the terrace, already laid with beautiful pink and blue china. After taking our seats, the food promptly arrived on impressive square blocks, almost mimicking windows as we peered through to see what treats we could discover.

Although there was some discrepancy on our table that the tea didn't arrive quick enough, for me, food comes before everything, and the majority of it was delectable. I do highly recommend the chocolate and raspberry tea cake while the strawberry macaroon was questionable as it seemed to be more like a marshmallow. The waiters then came and took our tea orders, where I chose the 'Rooibos Orange', a soothing, fragrant drink which is also warming and comforting – perfect as it started to drizzle with rain and we huddled under the umbrellas. This, of course, did not spoil the atmosphere and we continued to nibble, sip and socialise.

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Afternoon Tea.co.uk is an online booking site for afternoon teas all over the country in a variety of large hotels and restaurants. It is, if you will, rather like a 'go compare' site for afternoon teas, allowing you to compare the best deals, menus and locations and then going on to book the afternoon tea that you would like.

Afternoon Tea Week is from the 10th to the 16th of August 2015. www.afternoontea.co.uk

Oysters and Gin

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 06 August 2015
Have spent my childhood growing up in a seaside town, there isn't much, if any, seafood I don't love. And oysters are most certainly up their amongst my favourites.

So getting to spend the evening at Shuck in Borough Market, eating oysters and drinking specially paired gin cocktails (gin just so happens to be my favourite tipple!), well it doesn't get much better than that.

oysters-2

On arrival we enjoyed a G&T to cleanse the palate, before getting the chance to taste a variety of fresh natural oysters from around the British Isles, each paired with a different Gin Mare cocktail.

The menu included naked oysters, dressed oysters, with individual sauces created using each of Gin Mare's four botanicals of Thyme, Basil, Olive and Rosemary, and tasty (and super impressive to watch being prepared!) blown oysters. My favourite cocktail and oyster of the evening was definitely the Hotter than July cocktail (see all of the recipes below) served with the naked oysters.

oysters-3The blown oysters made for rather impressive viewing...and tasting!

After we were treated to a mini masterclass learning how to shuck an oyster, with a short talk by Shuck's Simon Lamont about oyster tasting and how the taste differs depending on where in the UK it has come from.
All in all, gin in one hand and delicious oyster in the other makes this Young Lady About Town very happy!

Make the cocktails at home...

Hotter than July (Serve in a champagne flute)
25ml Gin Mare
15ml fresh lime juice
5ml sugar syrup
Szechuan pepper
Jalapeño pepper
Top with prosecco

Sea & Salad
Muddle 2 cherry tomatoes, 6 basil leaves, sprig rosemary, sprig thyme
50ml Gin Mare
20ml fresh lime juice
10 ml sugar syrup
Top with prosecco

oysters-1

Med Snapper

50ml Gin Mare
25ml spice mix (Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, black pepper, fresh chilli)
25ml fresh lemon juice
10ml sugar syrup
Top up with good quality tomato juice
Serve in a 15oz glass over ice, garnish with a lemon wedge
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A tipple aux toilettes

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Monday, 27 July 2015
It's usually time for the evening to end when you're considering a tipple aux toilettes. Ladies and Gentlemen in Kentish Town, however, has made an art out of lavatory libations. Once a disused underground Victorian loo, the bar was launched in January 2015 and has been attracting a steady stream of curious locals since. Descending the steep steps one Wednesday evening, I am greeted by a crowd of twenty-something hipsters, couples old and young, and what looks like one slightly confused hen party. They gather around marble tables or perch on bar stools, surrounded – inexplicably – by piles of paperback books.

Despite the potential for gimmicks, Ladies and Gentleman is surprisingly free of vestiges of its lavatorial past. The underground space resembles a speakeasy, with low lighting and soft jazz. Some china cisterns and conspicuous piping provide a few nods to the original Ladies and Gents, but the setting is understated and cosy.

The real reason for using the facilities, however, is the bar's innovative cocktail list. The selection is small – no more than ten cocktails – but each is carefully crafted from locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and craft spirits. The enthusiasm of the friendly bar staff testifies to the quality of the drinks; when asked for a recommendation, our waiter replies, "Everything".

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Despite this tempting suggestion, we opt for one cocktail each – the fittingly named Royal Blooded Lady and an Affogato Martini. The drinks are served in beautiful glassware, with the margarita arriving in a cut glass beaker frosted with salt. The Affogato, in its deep martini glass, is garnished with coffee beans, and is more like a meal than a drink. An indulgent twist on the classic espresso martini, it is creamy with vanilla ice cream and rich with bitter coffee. The Lady margarita, meanwhile, is tart and fruity, the sweet hibiscus offsetting the tequila kick. With drinks priced between £8.50 and £10, you'll be spending more than a penny, but the relaxed atmosphere means that you can linger over your cocktail.

With three underground bars all within spitting distance of Kentish Town tube station, you might be forgiven for thinking that Camden Council had recently laid down some 1920s Prohibition law. However, Ladies and Gentleman looks set to withstand the competition. Emerging from the once dilapidated women's entrance, I was struck by the bar's transformation of a dead and derelict space. With its fun concept, intimate atmosphere and cutting edge cocktails, this quirky venue provides a very memorable visit to the Ladies.
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The London Shooting Club partners with Home House

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 17 July 2015
Trying to get that balance of Town / Country living is hard in London, especially if like me you want to get back into shooting but don't want to dedicate your whole weekend to it. Joining the London Shooting Club is a brilliant solution– based at West London Shooting School, located at the end of the central line at Northolt with a quick cab ride, or if you're driving, 20-40 minutes from West London. The school is based on a country house, the setting is low key in traditional way with a large wooden table for guns, cartridge bags and weekend papers when you walk in. Framed prints of country scenes and battered furniture make it a relaxed vibe, and lots of men – and I'm pleased to say an awful lot of women – walking around in tweed and jeans with cups of tea and coffee . There's a few dogs sniffing about – 2 of which I'd brought along, my Jack Russell puppy and his lab pal – both on their first introduction to shooting.

The London Shooting Club was hosting an event for Home House, the private member's club and I had joined them for a refresher day. Some guests had never picked up a gun before, whilst others wanted to recharge their skills. I'd shot a lot in my early twenties but latterly on various clay shoots in the country; for me it's wonderful way to keep my love of country sports but without the killing aspect. The tutors at West London are superb, - you're matched with a gun suitable for your skills, simple but vital. A gun that's too powerful will kick back on your shoulder and can cause serious damage over time. I was matched with a 20 bore – often called a 'ladies gun' it's small and light but does a neat job and is easily to handle . Those who regularly shoot can be snobby about using a 12 bore or particular make, but as some of the boys found out, my 20 bore outshot many of them. The skill lies with the shooter, not the gun!

The tutors at the school are patient in explaining all things to you, and work at your level – making some feel confident in handling the gun, in others correcting bad habits, and with all helping train that coordination so that everyone hit a decent amount of shots. A great trainer makes all the difference, Paul was our expert instructor and the care and appreciation for his sport made a huge impression on us all that day and I could definitely see a marked improvement on my shots as we moved along the different target ranges. The mix of 'rabbit' 'pheasant' and 'woodcock' clays that fly out of traps and behind trees tests all skills and reaction times and is also perfect if you want to use as warm up to game shooting.

By the end of the day the two teams were set head-to-head and the competitive nature ran rampant as the guests engaged in a flurry competition to finish. I'm pleased to say that if you look closely at the picture you'll see me on the right hitting the 'flare' orange clay, with much furore to some of the boys who hadn't even loaded !

If you've never tried clay shooting it's a great way to be sociable and know that you are in safe expert hands too. The London Shooting Club does a variety of shooting days and packages tailored for all skills and prices points; from a ladies day with Purdey to a grouse courses for the more advanced. They link with various estates for the full country experience and are happy to help with large groups. Will I be going back? I love the idea of a 'simulated shoot' they hold where you combine the full on formality of a traditional shoot but with clays. That's an ideal combination for me and the more I've learnt, the more I want to shoot. And my dogs? They haven't stopped talking about it yet !

www.londonshootingclub.com


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