kai by gaye straza – bringing you back to the tropics

Oh my gosh, there is just one word now and that is kai.

I was given a little bottle of kai’s body lotion and I was keeping it for one of my holidays, but now, no way. This body lotion literally brings you back on the beach sipping a cocktail and looking at the calm waves, with light wind blowing through your hair.

The scent makes you feel like instead of a computer screen at work you’re looking at something like this:

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It creates the vision of jasmines, gardenias and Tahitian tiare. Be it in French Polynesia or Mauritius or anywhere else you wish you could be (just ignore the pouring rain outside, or hey, it must be tropical!)

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Reading a bit more about the brand itself, it turns out that is it in fact enormously popular amongst ladies on the screen starting with Pamela Anderson and ending with Oprah Winfrey. I do not blame them. So far I’ve been keeping my eyes on Gardenia Petale by Van Cleef & Arpels, however now I might just go get myself that kai perfume, particularly as it saves me a sweet £56!

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So what actually is the kai scent? It is an infusion of flowers like gardenia, jasmine, tuberose and lily. The cucumber essential oil adds a greenness to balance the floral bouquet. Welcome to the tropics..

If you feel like you long for the tropical scents from your previous holiday, I’d definitely recommend kai’s products. Especially the body lotion as honestly, think I’ve never seen such a rich, but easily absorbing body lotion.  Obviously, it’s also parabens and preservative free.

If you want to read more about kai’s philosophy, go here.

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Les Trois Garcons – One Last Week in East London

Les Trois Garcons is a restaurant in East London, in fact it has been there for 15 years pioneering fine dining in the East. I’d heard about this restaurant before, mainly from French I must say, but never got around to going there. Sadly in life all good things come to an end as such Les Trois Garcons is closing their doors on 28th February, already in 5 days’ time. If you wanted to have one last bite, better get there fast as it’s definitely worth it.

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The highlight of the restaurant is definitely the décor – taxidermy, handbags in the ceiling, statues of monkeys and tigers, heart-shaped mirrors and a painting of the Les Trois Garcons overlooking the dining room. Turns out that some of the decorations will be actioned off at Christie’s. There’s a little article about it in the Telegraph here.

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We started the meal with a complementary lobster bisque and fantastic freshly made focaccia with tomato. Our choice of mains, sea bass and veal, were memorable. Particularly the veal have to say. The glass of Slovenian wine, which sounded exciting, but this one didn’t taste as wonderful to meet my expectations. However, as a sweet tooth, the nougat glace a la noix de coco was simply superb. I washed it down with a glass of Marc de Gewurztraminer to prepare myself for a walk back to Liverpool street in the February cold. The bill arrived with some petits fours of white chocolate and biscuit. We ended the evening chatting with the manager, who told entertained us with some stories about his time at Les Trois Garcons and how the restaurant world is developing in London.

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Les Trois Garcons felt very comfortable and understated and the staff effortlessly created a relaxed atmosphere. I’m sure this restaurant will be a place to be missed amongst all the trendy burger and pizza parlours now opening up in the East.
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Evening with Michelin Star Chefs

Having a Michelin-star dinner is a special treat, ever so often. Well, not really that often. So it’s pretty amazing to have attended a charity dinner with not one, but five Michelin star studded chefs.

Obviously in these occasions, expectations are pretty high, and aesthetically none of the chefs failed to impress.

The starter was by Tom Seller from restaurant Story.

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The second course by James ‘Jocky’ Petrie was probably one of my favourites, but mostly because I heart scallops. The sauce perhaps didn’t allow the flavour of scallops come through as well, but very satisfying dish anyhow to push through the pastry and find the gorgeous scallops there in the sauce waiting to be eaten.

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The third course by Adam Simmonds of Danesfield House was rather complicated one, suppose the correct word to describe it would be ‘refined’. Each of the ingredients were something special and slightly unknown. I think it took the chef about 5 minutes to go through each ingredient one by one.

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The main course by Richard Bainbridge of Morston Hall was probably the most memorable one. Largely because of the way the Chef described his food. ‘I’ve prepared something hearty and I would like you to eat some yum yum food and have a little giggle’. How sweet is that?

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And then there is the dessert by Simon Hulstone of The Elephant. I love desserts and this one was pretty amazing. Rhubarb is one of my favourites and reminds me of home, so my dessert didn’t last more than a few minutes.

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Have to say that it’s not the same having to cook for hundreds of people, I would think that the Chefs would even do a better job cooking for only a small amount of people. When I asked the Chefs at the end of the evening, which restaurants they’d recommend to go, I was pretty happy to hear that they suggested to restaurants I’ve already been to – The Ledbury,my absolute favourite, and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.

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Any other recommendations from you out there?

Youbeauty Discovery Box – February

Few months ago I signed up for Youbeauty discovery boxes, just because I like the idea that I can receive a box by post each month. Apart from making me wish that more people were sending little presents and letters by mail these days, it does only cost £6.95 and gives me something to look forward to. I naturally lean towards exploring new products and always wonder what else could I be missing.
imageYoubeauty gives you the option to choose two products out of six that they have each month. This month the choice was between Proto-col moisturising facial gel, L’Occitane en Provence almond hand cream, Kiss the Moon bath oil and facial oil, Josh Wood colour blending wands, In.Fused body scrub and Green People Age Defy+ moisturiser.

I went for the moisturiser options, just because I’ve been running out of mine and they seemed pretty adventurous. Green People’s Age Defy has a gentle herbal like scent and is completely natural and organic with 33 special ingredients to keep my skin looking young. Considering that the 30ml tube sells for £34.95, getting a 12ml tube in the box is generous and good value. Really happy with this moisturiser.

The Proto-col facial gel that I got has a lot of vitamins in it, however also includes various types of parabens, which I normally try to avoid in my lotions, so may not be too keen to use that. However, will give it a little go.

And last but not least, the fabulous Lindt Lindor chocolates were added in the box too, chocolate being one of my biggest vice, I am not complaining

So, then half a month left until the next box.

 

 

Catching snow in Morzine

Skiing is one my country’s national sports, more crosscountry skiing, as there are no proper mountains in Estonia. Hence seeing the Alps reveal themselves around the corner is always such a powerful experience. Our recent trip took us to Morzine, a picturesque village in France, acting as the perfect gateway to the Alps being part of Portes de Soleil. The snow conditions we’re something like below.imageIt snowed for three days out of the three days we were there. We stayed at Les Airelles, which was perfectly located to walk to the gondola, saving us a long awkward walk with ski boots. The hotel also had a Finnish sauna and a hammam. Also some ‘power’ showers for massage, however I didn’t see a person who could figure out how they work. Did I also mention the pool right next to the breakfast area?

imageThe food we had both at the slopes and in the village involved a lot of cheese as expected. However, the quality in general was superb. Above, a Parmentier of duck (to which I added a bit of fondue I have to admit) at La Grange. We were all offered a rum like spirit on the house at the end of the dinner, which was very sweet.

My favourite restaurant at the slopes was Le Vaffieu.  I already noticed it on the first day, but as it was super busy, there was no way for us to get a table. However, next day booking it 11am for 2pm lunch, we were fine. Excellent service, duck hotpot, amazingly memorable strawberry cake and some complimentary vin chaud gave us some energy to continue skiing in the thick snow.

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For something ‘different’ for the evening, a trip on the luge or sledging downhill with flash lights is both a fun and thrilling experience. Otherwise, just join the many Brits at Coyote Bar for après-ski. Viva Morzine!