11 December 2016

Some Beauty Favourites I've Been Keeping a Secret....

"I have a confession to make..."

I have a confession to make, I have been hiding some great beauty products from you all for quite some time now. Put it down to my workload, hectic social-life (I wish! ha!) or just finding some good natural daylight to shoot some blog photos in (near impossible in this dreary UK weather!). 

So less of the chit-chat, I'm now ready to reveal them to you! 

bareMinerals Skinlongevity Vital Power Infusion

I am using this twice a day. Every. Damn. Day.  And let's just say I'll be buying another one when it finishes! The blurb says it's supposed to 'empower, replenish, renew and fortify' your skin making it appear vibrant and healthy and I'd be inclined to whole-heartedly agree with this.  It's made my dull post Summer skin appear brighter and definitely makes skin look more 'glowy' when used before applying makeup.  (Hint - leave it to settle in a couple of minutes before you apply your moisturiser to avoid a shiny face!)  

"...makes skin look more 'glowy'..."

If you haven't tried bareMinerals skincare, I strongly recommend you that you look into it.  I've been extremely impressed with everything I've tried so far and I've been coupling this product with their True Oasis Oil Free Moisturiser of the daytime and it's a wonderful combination. 

bareMinerals Prime Time BB Primer-Cream

If there's one thing I like, it's an innovative product and this product ticks that box in a major way!

I pop a bit of this into my hands then distribute it evenly around my face and it does wonders for the texture of my skin. If you're having a minimal makeup day you could just leave it at that then add a little concealer in places where you need a bit more help or if you're wanting a little more coverage apply your favourite foundation over the top (personally I find it works really well with the barePro foundation below). It feels lightweight and undetectable on the skin.

A great primer with lots of extras! (SPF 30 also being one of them!)

bareMinerals Blemish Remedy Primer
bareMinerals BAREPRO Performance Wear Powder Foundation

I switch to this primer instead of the BB one featured above when I'm having a bit of a 'spotty' skin day or it's that 'time' of the month! A great product for treating spots and keeping your foundation on all day.  I've almost finished this now and a couple of months ago when my skin was bad, this was a god-send!

Now, let's talk powder foundation.

I've always been intrigued but never thought I would get the same finish / coverage as I would with a liquid foundation and hence the reason I've never strayed...

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong!

To apply this finely milled magical 'wizardry', I used a large, dense brush and watched in amazement as it transformed my skin, making it appear flawless with very little effort!

"Finely milled, magical 'wizardry'..."

But what really surprised me was the finish after a few minutes, I didn't think it was possible to achieve a glowy finish with a powder foundation but once this has settled in a bit that's exactly what you're left with and the staying power is impressive too.


Blank Canvas Cosmetics - Pippa Palette 

I took one look at this and immediately knew I was going to fall for it.  Let's just say it was love at first sight!

Matte bronzer without that awful 'orange' tone - check, peachy blush - check, subtle highlight - check and warm eyeshadows including a black one to line - check. 

People...I can honestly say I have used this every day since I've had it, bar one evening when I strayed and used a Dior palette for my eyes!  

The quality of the face and eye products are both fantastic and I just can't get enough of the eyeshadows, it's easy to create something really really natural or something more smoky and dramatic. 

If you're looking for an inexpensive 'does it all' palette then this is the one for you.  A little more difficult to get hold of but if you google it you should be able to find a stockist and I urge you to do so, you won't be disappointed!

Pixi Lower Lash Mascara


YSL Vinyl Couture Mascara 

I am a big fan of lower lash mascara and up until now have always used the Clinique one, however, there has been a game-changer..... Enter the new Pixi Lower Lash Mascara with it's incredibly innovative new wand! This is a new release from Pixi and I can't tell you how excited I was when it turned up on my doorstep (pathetic I know - it's mascara Elisabeth...pull yourself together would you?!) 

"there has been a game-changer..."

Seriously though, the wand makes coating your lower lashes evenly an absolute cinch and I know I will be buying this again and again

Now to those boring top lashes! ha! 

I debated including this favourite because since I started using it I've discovered that the product has been recalled due to a faulty wand (although mine has had no faults - bring it back now!!) and will be released again soon. 

It was going to be hard to top my Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara but I think this YSL Vinyl Couture Mascara has actually done this! It separates but adds HEAPS of volume as well as retaining a bit of curl in the lash without budging all day.  It's a good one people, so keep an eye on it's re-release! 

I've had this for a while but for some reason hadn't got around to using it and now I'm obsessed with it! This Autumn and Winter I've been opting for a nude lip and making more of a feature of my eyes and this is the perfect nude lip liner.  I've been pairing it with MAC 'Honey Love', MAC 'Velvet Teddy', Rimmel Kate Moss Lipstick in No.42 and Charlotte Tilbury 'Penelope Pink' lipstick but it pretty much goes with any nude and makes lips appear a little 'fuller. 

"I'm obsessed with it..."

It's an essential as far as I'm concerned! 

And here I am in all my unfiltered, untouched glory wearing all of the above products! 

You will have noticed that a lot of them are bareMinerals and that's because at the moment I'm really having a moment with this brand, everything I've tried I've loved so much and I keep discovering more little gems within their range.  If you haven't visited a counter for a while I'd really recommend you check them out.  Since incorporating their skincare and bases into my routine I've noticed a vast improvement in my skin. 

Thank you for reading x

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5 December 2016

The Perfect Christmas Gift for the Luxury Product Lover...

MINTD BOX  - The Christmas Edition

Ok.....so if ever there was proof that throughout the month of November I was an incredibly bad blogger this is it! (hangs head in shame!) My last post was a review of the November Mintd Box and here we are a month later and I'm reviewing December's! However, you can never have too much of a good thing right?! And this month's Christmas Edition Mintd Box is no exception! If it's possible I think they've actually topped last month's! 

I've been using all these goodies over the last couple of weeks and whether you're planning on perhaps getting this for yourself or as a present for someone I thought I'd give you a little insight into some of the products contained in this special 'Christmas Edition' box.

So here goes....

"Only premium brand products stocked in the likes of Net-a-Porter, Selfridges, Liberty and Harrods..."

So those of you who perhaps are not familiar with Mintd Box  they are a relatively new beauty subscription box with a bit of a difference to your 'run of the mill' beauty boxes.  They offer only premium brand products stocked in the likes of Net-a-Porter, Selfridges, Liberty and Harrods and the products are mostly full size with the exception usually of one Deluxe Size Sample.  So I guess what I'm trying to say is, there are no useless small samples in these boxes which in my opinion don't allow you to full try a product out properly.

The best part about the Mintd Box is the money saving to be made.  For example, this month's box is worth £175 and you can get it for just £65 (and with additional 10% off if you use the code 10OFF1ST )

It's the perfect no-brainer gift for the skincare / beauty lover!

Ioma - Fresh Gel Eye Makeup Remover (Full Size Product in Box - £20 available from www.beautyexpert.com) 

Hands down, I have the most sensitive eyes in the world, so much so I'm scared to stray away from my usual eye makeup remover!  However, for the purpose of this post I gave this a go and have to say I am really impressed! The gel texture is unusual but strangely satisfying and it removes eye makeup (including waterproof make up) in a flash. What I'm really keen on though is the fact that it conditions lashes and with regular use claims to increase volume, length and strength of lashes....and I'm ALL over that!!! :) 

"Regular use claims to increase volume, length and strength of lashes... "

Ellis Faas - Milky Lips L202 (Full Size Product in Box - £23 available from Selfridges) 

I've often thought about picking up some products from Ellis Faas but never got around to it.  After trying this lovely gloss / lipstick hybrid I'm keen to try more products from the range (I've heard their mascara is also very good!).  This is a rich, Christmassy Red and feels comfortable on the lips and hellooo....would you look at that packaging?! :) 

Anne Semonin - Cream Mask and Face Mask Brush - (Full Size Product in Box -  Mask £42 / Brush £20 from www.beautyexpert.com)

"One of the best soothing and moisturising masks I've ever used"

I was absolutely delighted to find an Anne Semonin mask in this month's Mintd Box having seen her products all over my social media lately.  I will boldly say that this is one of the best soothing and moisturising masks I've ever used. The brush also makes it an absolute cinch to apply (and I've been using it for all my other masks too - I will never use my fingers to apply a mask ever again - there is something so satisfying about 'painting' a face mask onto your face!) 

Siskyn - Night Facial Oil (Full Size Product in Box - £58 from www.siskyn.com)

It's Winter, my skin is dry and I'm wanting to give it as much help as possible! This fantastic night facial oil can be used every evening after cleansing and helps to increase collagen production.  I love how plump it makes my skin look when I wake up in the morning! I'm ploughing through this stuff like nobodies business at the moment! 

Wildheart Organics - Sanctuary Travel Candle (Travel Size Product in Box - £12 from www.wildheartorganics.com) 

If you know me, you'll know I love a candle! So it's not surprise that after I'd photographed these products for my blog I couldn't wait to light this!  Perfect for this time of year when things get a bit stressful, this aromatherapy candle assists with relaxation and anxiety and smells absolutely divine! The heart of the fragrance is jasmine, chamomile and geranium with calming rosewood and patchouli.  I will be sad when this is finished! I've also managed to get about 30 hours burn time out of it so far and it's nowhere near finished! 

Grab one while you can! 

December's Christmas Edition Mintd Box is still available to purchase now for just £65 (with 10% off!) Pop across to www.mintdbox.com to place your order on and find out more! (FYI - they ship to UK, W.Europe, North America and Australia)  

Let me know if you get one! and thanks for reading x 


9 November 2016

Winter Skincare Hydration with 'Mintd Box'

"Winter is creeping upon us...."

Temperatures are now plummeting and Winter is creeping upon us!  It's that time of year when the cold weather and central heating starts to take heed on our skin, leaving it dry and irritated and longing for the sunny weather again (us Brits are never happy are we?!). 

So now is the time to prepare, prevent and hydrate your skin like there's no tomorrow! Slather your body from head to toe in lotions and potions that are going to keep you protected, brighten that dull Winter skin, exfoliate and also repair what nature throws at you! Fortunately, there are lots of clever ways of doing this and I have the perfect beauty box idea for you to accomplish this! 

November Mintd Box - Winter Skincare Hydration

Mintd Box are a relatively new beauty subscription box with a bit of a difference.  They offer only premium brands stocked in the likes of Harrods, Selfridges, Net-a-Porter and Liberty and usually in full-size (no poxy little samples in here!) For me this is a perfect way to try some really gorgeous products at a fraction of the full retail price. 

For more about the different subscription plans on offer I recommend checking out the website HERE and there's a code to get 10% off your first box also - 10OFF1STPP 

This months box could also make the perfect Christmas gift for someone, but I guarantee you're going to want to keep it for yourself! Some of these products are already firm favourites of mine!

Soooo, I know you're dying to all know what is inside!.......

...The Reveal! 

Evidens Mini Rich Cream (Deluxe Size) worth £47 (Full size £235 available from Harrods) 

I used this for the first time a few evenings ago, my skin was looking really parched because my home and office now has heating blasting all day (hello fine lines!) and just a small amount of this rich cream sorted it out quite considerably.  The following morning my skin looked plump and radiant.  After a few more evening applications I've also noticed that my skin feels firmer with less dehydration lines.  

African Botanics Plantes D'Afrique Shower Cream - (Full size product in box  £41 available from Net-a-Porter) 

"When this runs out I'll be tempted to buy another!"

Who doesn't love an expensive shower product?! and this one feels so luxurious, moisturising and smells like heaven in a tube! It contains lots of natural ingredients and I can assure you, you'll definitely feel like a rich bitch using it! haha! When this one runs out I'll be very tempted to buy another.  Fantastic product and one of my favourites in the box. 

Patchology Trio Flash Masques (Hydrate, Exfoliate and Iluminate) (Full size product in box £21 available from www.patchology.com) 

These are the Queen of all sheet masks and I was bowled over with the results of the 'Exfoliate' Flash Masque. (I'm saving the other two for when the weather gets really bad!)   Compared to other sheet masks I've tried these felt as though they were actually doing something and they seemed to fit the contours of my face with ease and stayed in place perfectly.   

Aromatherapy Associates - Moisturising & Hydrating Lip Balm (Full Size Product in Box £16 available from Liberty) 

"In short, I love this!" 

Aromatherapy Associates is one of my favourite brands (I love their bath oils) and this little pot has been a life saver in the last couple of weeks.  The first thing I notice when the weather starts to turn is that my lips feel dry so I've been slathering this on during the day and before bed and it feels so soothing.  

Magicstripes - Hand Repairing Gloves (Full Size Product in Box - £28 from Selfridges) 

Hands are another part of the body that suffer badly in the Winter and even having hand cream close by sometimes isn't enough! These hand repairing gloves are an intensive treatment for your paws and they make such a difference! I'm worried I might get addicted to these! 

Fancy one?

November's Winter Skincare Hydration is still available to purchase now for just £65 (with 10% off!) Pop across to www.mintdbox.com to pop an order on and find out more! (FYI - they ship to UK, W.Europe, North America and Australia)  

I'm looking forward to next month's box already! Let me know if you get one!

Thanks for reading x


6 November 2016

Bright, radiant, gorgeous skin this Winter

Earlier on this year I was sent a PR sample of the Goldfaden MD Doctor's Scrub to try and I'll hold my hand up and say that this was the first time I'd come across this brand and I was intrigued.

After promptly opening the box and unscrewing the top, the first thing that I noticed was a gorgeous smell and I popped a bit on the back of my hand a rubbed it in.  I couldn't get over how smooth it made that little patch on skin on my hand and could not wait to pop this onto my face!

I love it when a product provides immediate results and the Goldfaden MD Doctor's Scrub certainly delivers.   It gets rid of dead skin cells (yuck!) and visibly improves skin texture by using very fine ruby crystals and also contains seaweed extract and hyaluronic acid.  I find it leaves my skin smooth but also hydrated and this is important with an exfoliator because more often than not they leave your skin feeling tight and irritated.  Since receiving this product in the Summer I've been using this around twice a week and still have lots left.  I can see this also being particularly useful in the Winter months too.

"A bit about Goldfaden MD..."

After being so impressed with the Doctor's Scrub, I was thrilled to get the chance to meet with one of the founders of the brand, Lisa, last month. 

She explained that they are a 'results focused' brand who are actually the first physician strength, dermatologist developed, natural skincare line in the industry.  They use state-of-the-art technologies with active plant cells and antioxidant rich botanicals to develop products that target a range of specific skin concerns.

"Physician strength naturally inspired"

I absolutely adore the concept of the brand and after meeting with Lisa it was apparent how passionate they are about their products, and rightly so! 

Okay, so the price point of the Goldfaden MD products is quite high, but what I will say is that the products do last a long time and everything I've tried subsequently has been extremely effective so you're getting what you pay for.  You can buy the range in both Space NK and also online at Cult Beauty and I've popped all the links at the end of the post.  However... 

"Now for the best bit...."

For Christmas, Goldfaden MD have brought out a special Brightening Transformation Kit for just £40 and this includes 

Doctors Scrub Exfoliator - 50ml
Pure Start Facial Cleanser - 30ml
Bright Eyes Dark Circle Radiance Concentrate - 5ml

The perfect gift to give someone (although if it were me, I'd be buying this for myself!!!) and it's suitable for all skin types, even very sensitive.  It's also suitable for all age ranges.  When used in conjunction with each other the kit reveals a healthy, glowing complexion and I can honestly say that it's transformed my spotty skin quite dramatically (coupled with the next sneak peak product I'm about to show you!) It's also a fantastic way to trial some of their best products for a fraction of the price. 

"A sneak peak...pop this on your January shopping list!"

I couldn't introduce you to the Goldfaden brand and not include this product that will be available to buy in January 2017 because I've been bowled over with how great it is!! 

Every single product I've tried from the Goldfaden range in the past couple of months has been outstanding but this product couldn't have been given to me to trial at a better time.

August and September were troublesome months for me skin wise, my face was plastered in large cystic acne style spots and I was getting really down about it.  

Since using the Goldfaden Facial Detox mask weekly, it's really made a huge difference to my skin (which is now clear - thank god!!!).  The product treats affected areas, heals the skin and then also prevents from future breakouts.  

In addition to being a mask,  Facial Detox can also be used as a spot treatment and I found this very effective when applied to isolated spots overnight (although you will look like a bit of of a prat - be warned!) 

So if you didn't get it by now,  I'm pretty impressed with Goldfaden and I'm excited to try more products from their range (let me know if you've tried any?)

I think the Brightening Transformation Kit would make a great Christmas present for someone or if you're looking to try some of the products without breaking the bank (especially at this time of year!) it's a good way of doing it!





5 November 2016


Who doesn't love being a little bit nosy from time to time?

Well, my hand is firmly up in the air for sure (and if we're all honest with ourselves and get off our moral high horses we can probably all admit this! ha!)

Now don't get me wrong, I love sharing my latest must-have fashion, beauty and everyday favourites with you lovely lot, but to make things a little more interesting and for you to get to know me a little better I thought it would be interesting to share some random facts about myself with you!

"So here goes..."

1. I'm actually quite shy really! - When I was younger I used to be exceptionally shy when  around new people and even with some of my friends.  I used to get embarrassed very easily and clammed up in situations where there were a lot of people.  To some extent, I still find situations where I am the centre of attention very difficult to deal with, but my career in sales and then subsequently recruitment has meant that as I've got older I've become increasingly more confident and I'm not afraid now to meet new people, strike up a conversation or speak my mind when need be! In fact, I'm now quite the opposite of my former self!  

2. I'm obsessively neat and tidy.  To the point where I cannot go to sleep at night if every thing is not 'in it's place'! 'Bits' on the carpet make me feel anxious and I can't work unless my desk is clear and tidy.  Oh and I also have to have everything in my fridge and kitchen cupboards with the labels pointing outwards so I can read them. I know, I'm weird!  Sometimes this is a great trait to have - sometimes it's just plain annoying!! 

3. I love music - music is such a huge part of my life and always has been since I started getting into it at an early age.  I remember recording the 'Top 40' on my cassette player (ok, so now I'm showing my age!) and then playing my favourite tracks over and over, much to the annoyance of my parents! I am never without a pair of ear-phones and find music such a great way to lift my mood, relax or gear myself up for something.  I enjoy many genres (far too many to list!) but some of my favourites include various types of house music, drum n' bass and some pop / R n'B - it really depends on my mood and what I'm doing! 

"I'm not a morning person!"

4. I hate the morning - I am at my absolute worst first thing in the morning and if I haven't had my coffee yet then don't bother talking to me because I'm seriously lacking in personality until I've glugged down at least one cup of coffee and I'm not even joking here! In contrast to this, I'm probably at my most productive late afternoon and early evening and I'm one of those odd people who just loves the night time! 

5. I don't sleep enough - this goes hand in hand with the previous fact! I'm often awake early because I have work or I naturally wake up,  but I struggle to actually get to sleep at night unless I've exhausted myself by staying awake as long as I can.  This isn't healthy and I'm well aware that I need to address this, although I've being doing this from such a young age! I remember reading my book with a torch in my bedroom when I was little because my Mum used to shout at me for having my light on if it was late! 

6. I don't have a Degree - I was incredibly studious and academic until I reached the 6th Form and then after that I kind of lost interest! I've always worked hard though and that's got me where I am today.  

7. My first job was a waitress - I remember my friend Kaete getting me to go to an open evening for new silver service staff at the Celtic Manor Resort when I was 17 and still in the 6th Form.  I got a job there and used to work some evenings and weekends whilst I was studying. I still love the fact that I can carry three plates with one hand and know how to pour champagne properly! I'm also very 'judgy' when it comes to service in a restaurant as a consequence of being on the other side of the fence in the past! 

8. My favourite food is Italian - this was hard to narrow down, because I absolutely adore food and cooking but if I had to pick one cuisine it would be Italian for sure! 

9. I hate mushrooms, celery and dill - a random selection, but these are foods that make me go "eughhhhh!"

10. I have a tendency to over-analyse things - and let's add over-complicate things here too shall we?!  Although this is something I'm definitely trying to work on to improve, it does sometimes hinder me in all aspects of my life and can be a real pain for me.  I also have the natural ability to create problems where there aren't really any! One piece of advice I received a few years ago is to not care too much what other people think and this, I think, is a very powerful message and is certainly helping me moving forward. 

"One piece of advice I received a few years ago is not to care too much what other people think..."

11. I grew up in the countryside - I live in the centre of Cardiff now and as much as I love city life and it has many plus points, sometimes I long for the peace and quiet I grew up in! I feel grateful that I got to grow up in such a gorgeous place (although at the time I definitely didn't appreciate it as much as I should!) So thank you Mum and Dad, and I'm sorry for all the teenage moaning! 

12. I've had the same hairstyle all my life - except for two moments of madness I had in 1990 and 2001 where I cut it really short and vowed never to do it again.  Short hair does not suit me! 

13. I always wanted to be a journalist - before I picked my A' Levels I had a strong desire to get into journalism.  But, the fact I didn't particularly like English at school though totally put me off this path and it's one of my biggest regrets.  However, my blogging now feeds that creative desire and I'm really happy I'm able to do this. 

14. My surname is actually of German origin - and so are some of my family if you go back far enough through the generations! sidenote - nobody can ever spell or say my surname - 'Rilatt' is actually pronounced 'Ry-lut' - so now you know! 

"'Rilatt' is actually pronounced 'Ry-lut' - so now you know!"

15. I'd love to be able to play the piano - one of my other biggest regrets is never learning to play an instrument and I've always, always, always wanted to be able to play the piano.  It's never too late though I guess! 

16. I have a short attention span - I find it very hard (and increasingly so as I get older strangely!), to be able to focus my attention on one thing for long periods of time.  I get bored so quickly and therefore prefer doing or watching things in short spurts.  I actually struggle to watch a whole film these days! 

17. I'm addicted to buying and selling on eBay - some of my best designer bargains have been found here and I also find it a great place to sell designer items when I'm having a wardrobe clearout.  I'm actually planning to do a blogpost on this soon with my hints and tips. 

18. I'm late - a lot! - I always have such good intentions to be on time but it rarely happens! My best friend Sian is forever waiting for me because I'm nearly always half an hour later than I say I'll be.   In order to be on time I have to allow myself at least a half an hour buffer time! There's no excuse unfortunately other than I just faff around! I hate being like this and wish I could be one of those people who is on time for everything!

19. I'm always cold - although I love the Winter, it's the season where I do my most 'whinging about being cold'! I don't know what it is, I'm just one of those people who constantly feels the cold unless it's 30 degrees and I'm on a beach somewhere! Blankets and slippers are never far away from me when I'm in the house and I love to snuggle up in a hoodie!

20. I like time to myself - I enjoy my own company and I'm not afraid to admit it.  Having lived alone for almost 7 years in the past it not only made me fiercely independent and self-sufficient (and teeny bit of a control freak - although that side of me has mellowed!) it also taught me how to enjoy spending time alone.  That's not to say I don't enjoy spending time with other people though, because this is equally as important to me.  I couldn't live without all the special people in my life and enjoy the time I spend with them just as much but I do need time to myself in order to 'balance' if that makes sense!

I hope you enjoyed reading these facts, I actually found it quite an enjoyable post to write!

As always, thank you for reading x








30 October 2016

Eating and Drinking in NYC - My Five TOP PICKS!

"New York is ALWAYS a good idea..."

I've been to New York a few times now and having done all the 'touristy' things in the past I prefer to see a more 'chilled' and 'authentic' side to Manhattan when I go there now.   In my opinion the best parts of New York City are those that are not swarming with tourists and where you actually get to experience a real bit of New York City life.  

I stayed at a hotel situated on the border of Tribeca and SoHo this time.  An absolutely fantastic location that I can highly recommend if you're looking for a 'cool' place to stay in NYC where you are surrounded by outstanding restaurants, cafes and bars and places to walk around and take in the culture. 

Of course, there is also shopping - something that New York is renowned for! But with the exchange rate for sterling dying of death at the moment, everything was actually more expensive to buy over there which left me only really buying a few little things in the American drugstores (just as well really, since I blew most of my spending money in Chanel at Heathrow on the way out!) If you are interested doing a spot of shopping in this area you aren't far from all the designer shops in SoHo (head to Spring Street or Broadway!) 

So, with shopping on the back burner for me on this trip it meant that it was pretty much a eating and drinking fest! I've put together a list of a few great cafes, restaurants and bars I enjoyed while I was out there just in case you might be making a trip soon and want some recommendations! 


Situated in Tribeca (and conveniently just around the corner from the hotel I was staying in!) Gotan was hands down, my favourite place to go to for breakfast or that 'early lunch' (for when you are jet lagged and get up too late for breakfast!) Although I enjoy the more 'traditional' style of American breakfast, my tastebuds really do sway more towards something that's equally as tasty but offers more on the nutritional and healthy side of things too.  

"GOTAN pays tribute to an infinite and evolving coffee Culture"

 I enjoyed Gotan so much I actually went there twice and ordered the Avocado and Feta on sourdough toast....twice! It was that good!!! 

Gotan pride themselves on their menu being light and seasonal, placing an emphasis on fresh vegetables and excellent coffee.  What's not to like?! 

It has the ultimate trendy, 'uber' cool NYC vibe with many locals sat alone accompanied by a coffee, some breakfast and their MacBooks! And if you fancy a bit of 'people watching' grab a coffee and  a table outside, then watch the world go by!


I've been wanting to visit this Soho restaurant for so long!  It's featured in countless restaurant reviews of New York and to be honest I really didn't know quite what to expect.  I was a little dubious, mainly because from the photographs it doesn't look like anything special at all (The outside makes it look like some dodgy American diner!) 

"How wrong could I be..."

On arrival at 'La Esquina' you are met by a doorman who announces your reservation on a walkie-talkie and then ushers you down some very dark stairs to the restaurant reception area.  From here you are then instructed to walk through the restaurant kitchen (where the chefs are all busy cooking!) and enter into one of the coolest bars I've ever been in! 

It's a mixed crowd ('model' types, businessmen, a few birthday parties, couples) but everyone looks effortlessly chic.  The ceilings are low and it's very dark.  It has a somewhat 'funky' vibe.  Oh and if you're not a fan of loud music then I wouldn't recommend picking this restaurant! They have a live DJ playing at a relatively high volume, fine for me because I'm a huge fan of house music!  

The cuisine is classic Mexican street food using fresh ingredients and bold flavours and my food did not disappoint! The one thing I will say though is that you MUST book and ensure you do it far in advance. Being a favourite of the likes of Kate Hudson, George Clooney and Julia Roberts...it's a popular spot! 


"The perfect pitstop!"

Situated on Hudson Street, the Sweet Corner Bakeshop was a great little 'accidental' find in a moment where I was desperate for some coffee and something sweet after a lot of walking! 

The coffee was fantastic and if you're planning on going there I urge you try one of their Oatmeal and Raisin cookies because mine was absolutely divine! (Check out the menu here

And shortly afterwards I made a quick little visit to Carrie Bradshaw's flat from Sex And The City (because last time I visited New York they were doing building work on it!)


Whilst waiting to get a table at The Spotted Pig in the West Village, the 'Orient Express'  was recommended for some top-notch cocktails!  You are transported back in time to what feels like a 'old-school' American cocktail bar modelled on an old-fashioned railway carriage. 

"Loved by cocktail enthusiasts"

I ordered the 'From Russia with Love' which is expertly mixed concoction of Russian Standard Vodka, Ginger, Lime and Rosewater rinse and it was so so good!  


"It was originally a wholesale coffee establishment.  Different blends of coffee were brewed and tasted by perspective customers.  This act of blending and tasting different coffees is called cupping- hence the name The Cupping Room Cafe"

The 'Cupping Room Cafe' in SoHo is located in a gorgeous old building and has a very 'New York' vibe to it.  With bare brickwork and gorgeous artwork hanging throughout, it has an almost 'homely' feel to it.   Full of locals grabbing a quick bite to eat for breakfast in the morning, this place is equally as busy in the evening apparently with live Jazz bands on Friday and Saturday.  When I go back to New York again I'd definitely like to go here again for dinner on one of those evenings! 

Back to the food though, I had the Shakshuka skillet with Home Fries - and I've gotta say it, this was on a par with the Avocado and Feta on toast from Gotan - I loved it!  A great little spot for breakfast, brunch or dinner and a spot of Jazz!


"Until next time New York...."

© Elisabeth Rilatt

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