A Glimpse of Some Beautiful Chocolate Squares…

…seconds before I took some out and ate it. My sister and I went to the annual Chocolate Festival today, where there was some serious chocolatey talent on display, which we managed to tasted in abundance.

It was an event for serious chocoholics (like myself!) and there were plenty of chocolate pieces, brownies, cookies, cheeses, fudges and even chocolate samosas to be sampled and bought!

I’ll be posting more pictures soon, but this was one of my favourite, there’s something about these square delicacies neatly lined up in rows, waiting to be picked up and savoured. Perfect for a relaxing evening (and you can bet we bought more to take home!)

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A Chocolatey Time at Choccywoccydoodah

Whenever I tell people about Choccywoccydoodah, some of them accuse me of making the name up. I’m not of course, it’s an amazing chocolate-and-cake shop off Carnarby Street, in Central London, and definitely somewhere to go if you love eye candy and mouth-watering treats.

My best friend and I decided to reward ourselves by taking a visit there, we’d never been and decided to live up to our chocoholic natures and indulge for the day. It took us a while to get in (there was a 40 minutes queue on a busy Saturday afternoon) but this just gave us an opportunity to browse cakes, chocolate slabs and basically have a good look at the store below, while we waited to get into the eaterie on the first floor.

I’ll let you feast your eyes on the pictures, they’ll do a  better job of showing the amazing talent at Choccywoccydoodah and the beautiful (and edible!) things we saw than I can decribe. The theme at the moment is spring and florals, we were going to go a few months ago during the winter months, and look at the Halloween themed cakes, but I’m glad we didn’t now becaues the floral theme was so beautifully done.

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On the first floor is a cafe, where an afternoon tea is available, there’s a huge selection of cakes, treats, drinks and beautiful decorations, and there’s a very bohemian, arty feel for the whole place which is a delight to sit in.

We ordered a slice of cake with drinks (I had a pink lemonade, naturally), with me choosing chocolate praline cake and my friend going for a chocolate gateux. Each cake slice was huge, with about five layers of icing, buttercream, sponge and cream, encased in solid chocolate and drizzled in three different sauces. Sadly to say, it was an amazing slice but neither of ours barely managed to finish, which put a stop to us asking for a second slice.

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Harlequin Pics www.harlequinteaset.wordpress.com

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There’s plenty of beautiful decorations all over the store and the cafe, paper hearts cut out and hung on walls, embellished mirrors and crown motifs, and greenery everywhere. The seating area is just as electic and mixed, but goes with the decor and huge cake decor brilliantly.

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I loved the style and luxury of Choccywoccydoodah, there’s beautiful creations everywhere you look, complete with plush armchairs, belljars with cake, handpainted signs and some seriously beautiful edible stuff – when gonig up the stairs I even saw a chocolate snail hidden in a crack in a wall! I loved the attention to detail, and the cafe itself was surprisingly reasonable priced. The cakes on display (which are the main focus of the tv show Choccywoccydoodah) are probably a different matter, and I can imagine seeing one of these beauties at a wedding (I remember saying to my friend that it would have been amazing to have a towering six-layered floral cake like this for mine!).

For anyone in the area, I’d definitely recommend a visit, even if it’s just to browse and look at the beautiful cakes and chocolate creations on display.

Throwback Thursday: Potions & Cauldrons in Harry Potter Studio Tour

I went to the wonderful Harry Potter Studio Tour a while back, and thought some of the sets, costumes and details were amazing – I’ve said before that I won’t post too many photos so I don’t ruin the experience for anyone who wants to go, but I thought I’d do a quick post of a shot I took of the Potions room, which was beautifully laid out with bottles, glasses, beakers, potions and of course, cauldrons.

I love the atmosphere of this photograph, there wasn’t a lot of light so it was almost a night-time view, but it worked because of the soft glow of the lamps and the blue shades in the shadows – you can almost imagine a student creeping through the room trying to steal ingredients or hide from Snape!

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Weekend Pretty…A Rainbow Wardrobe

It’s not often I get to have a tidy, pretty wardrobe, and moving into a new house means that I get to re-organise everything I have! I’ve ended up letting the girly-girl interior decorator in my take over my wardrobe this week, and organised all of my dressy Asian outfits into rainbow order. I’m not completely done yet, but here’s an idea of how it’s looking – lots of greens and blue and no yellows!

Yellow sunflower print dress, maybe?

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Tea at The W Hotel

I had the wonderful luck if being spoiled by a few good friends this weekend, who made plans to have ‘Rock Tea’ at the beautiful W Hotel in Soho, London – made even more lovely because of the fact that I hadn’t seen these friends for some time. The hotel was beautiful and the experience even more, particularly as it provided a venue for an enjoyable experience with friends.

Being the typical snap-happy amateur photographer that I am, I took hundreds of pictures, so here are the ones I liked the most. It was a very ‘English’ tea, with about fifty billion (okay, I exaggerate, about 10) different types of tea to start off with, and several yummy goodies which were brought out bit by bit so we could savour them properly : )

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Surprisingly, the sandwiches were a mix of vegetarian, fish and halal chicken, and were honestly the best sandwiches I’ve had at a tea place yet – I could even say I almost enjoyed them more than the cake and nibbles (and I’m a real cake freak!). I also loved the fact that the service was impeccable – the waiters and staff were discreet, friendly and very non-invasive, which made our tea-experience that much more giggly and silly.

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The tea area itself is beautiful, with hundreds of decorative plates lining a huge shelf which partitioned it off from the bar and club area – the plates being printed with various celebrity portraits, icons and art. Perhaps it was the time of day, but the tea area was also pretty quiet, which created a really peaceful atmosphere and also gave us a chance to relax.

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All in all, a lovely day was had (we also didn’t have any pressure to leave after a certain period the way some places only allot you around 90 minutes or two hours before they hustle you to get off their premises!) I’ve been ooh-ing and aahh-ing at the lovely pictures because of how beautiful the set up was, and it’s made me want to go to tea again soon. I’m hoping to try a new place soon – *fingers crossed that someone (heck, anyone) takes the hint and takes me to the Ritz*

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Tea and Cake (and a bottle of Coke) at Caffe Concerto

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a tea-place of any kind, so it was nice to catch with with friends recently while nibbling cake and sipping on tea (or coca-cola in my case,  I’m the only person I know from all of my friends who don’t drink tea. I’m also the only one who doesn’t think that’s weird!)

My friends and I went to the lovley Caffe Concerto, which consisted of some afternoon delight of scones with jam, lots of chocolate cake and some creamy tea (plus a bottle of coke for me). The place itself is beautiful and reassuringly quiet, we were in the middle of a busy shopping centre yet it didn’t feel like it because of how subdued it was inside. So here’s a few pictures of what we ate (I wanted to take more pictures of the surroundings but didn’t get a chance to!) – it’s nice to savour some cake and catch up with friends every now and then, I’m hoping that I get to do it more often!

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Rainbow Mosaic Lantern Mondays

I’m fascinated with lanterns, chandeliers and light hangings which are beautifully crafted and slightly unusual – which is probably why I love going to Middle Eastern restaurants that have luxury decor (must be the magpie in me). I loved this beautiful mosaic-style lantern which I saw in a Turkish restaurant recently, hanging close above my table.

I’d love to buy these and hang them all around the house in random places, but knowing my luck they’d all crash and break onto some unlucky passerby. Still, it’s a good Monday for beautiful things : )

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The Mystery and Magic of Great Stories

“The secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again.

That is their mystery and their magic.”
― Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

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Pink Room Mondays

I visited the Warner Bros Harry Potter studios last year, which was amazing fun because of all of the props, huge sets and detailed little pieces which were all over the studio. After my visit, I decided against posting pictures of the tour and the studio, because I thought it would spoil things for people who wanted to visit, especially as there are plenty of different things to do, sets to see and activities to try out.

I’ve been reading Harry Potter since I was a young top hat, and grew up loving the books without ever knowing what a phenomenon it was and how popular it became – I’m glad I never knew while I first started reading it, because it meant I read with no expecations, and genuinely loved the books. I was 11 when I first started the series (same as Harry Potter was!) and it’s always felt slightly like I grew up with the series, at the same time as the hero did.

Even though I won’t spoil the tours for you, I’ll post one photo from the day, which was one of my favourite sets. This was the set used for the extremely pinky office for Dolores Umbridge in the film, which surprisingly looked a lot more glamorous up close than it did in the film (pink decor wouldn’t exactly be my first choice!) The room is in a little round concave, which looked amazing from the outside looking in, particularly when you see the tea-cups and saucers on the wall.

So here’s to some pinky mondays, not always favoured, but sometimes glamorous.

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