Friday 29 July 2016


Sarah Crossan and Jenny McLachlan YA panel at Foyles

I loved the Storybox Festival launch at Foyles last week and so of course I had to jump on the chance to attend one of the panels running throughout the festival. The event I ended up choosing was held on Tuesday and was the only young adult panel at the London Charing Cross Road branch during Storybox (there are other YA events at other branches). It featured Sarah Crossan (author of my favourite book of 2015, One) and Jenny McLachlan (author of Flirty Dancing). They spoke about their writing process, gender perceptions and favourite fictional characters, answering questions not only from books journalist Anna James, but from the audience members as well.

Thursday 28 July 2016


Summer en Provence Launch Party at Aubaine

Usually when I go to the theatre in the evening I kill the time before the start of a show by working longer hours, but last week I enjoyed a much nicer past-time when I was invited to Aubaine's launch of their delicious new Summer en Provence set menu. The event was held at their gorgeous Marylebone restaurant (one of nine locations in London) and was the perfect pre-theatre treat.

Wednesday 27 July 2016


Highlights From the Big Blogger Expo 2016

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Big Blogger Expo at the Danubius Hotel Regents Park, organised impeccably by Lauren from LDNmeetup. Last year's Big Blogger Conference was one of the first blogging events I went to unrelated to books or theatre and made me keen to write more about lifestyle again (which I used to do as the digital editor of Woman's World). I absolutely loved the event last year and so of course I had to attend again, not only to discover even more fabulous brands to write about, but also to meet fellow bloggers in the lifestyle space and be inspired by their photos, content and enthusiasm for the industry.

Tuesday 26 July 2016


Book review: The Plumberry School of Comfort Food by Cathy Bramley

The Plumberry School of Comfort Food is Cathy Bramley's fifth novel, following on from Conditional Love, Ivy Lane, Appleby Farm and Wickham Hall. It's crazy to realise that her first book was published only in 2013 and she's written so many more since. And they get bigger too, so every time there are a few more pages for her readers to relish and enjoy. Her latest release is jam-packed with heartwarming and heartbreaking moments, like we've come to know and love from Cathy, with some sweet surprises woven in as well.

Monday 25 July 2016


Dinner at Heliot Steakhouse in the Hippodrome

The Hippodrome Casino in Leicester Square is an institution. Most recently I visited for my work's Christmas party and it's the perfect location for indulgence. But did you know that the venue also holds a theatre and a variety of restaurants? I've been to one of their late night West End performances before (which was really fun) and last weekend I had the chance to try out their award-winning steak restaurant Heliot Steakhouse.

Friday 22 July 2016


Pink Parcel July Unboxing

At The Bloggers Summer Hangout a few weeks ago I met some lovely ladies from Pink Parcel subscription box and I instantly fell in love with the concept. The brand provides subscribers with a box delivered in their mail box each month that contains everything they might need to make periods as comfortable as possible; tampons and pads, of course, but also beauty and pampering treats as well as tea and snacks. Sounds pretty great, right? I was shown a sneak peek of some of the products in the July box, which looked incredible, and so of course I had to order it to try this subscription brand for myself.

Thursday 21 July 2016


Storybox 2016 Festival Launch at Foyles

It's no secret that I love a good book event, and Foyles does some of the best ones around; from panels such as the Bloomsbury New Writers' Evening and Quick Reads 10th Anniversary Event to author specific events with the likes of Rachel Caine, Maggie Stiefvater and Matt Haig. This summer, on top of their standalone activities, Foyles is organising the Storybox Festival, which is packed full of children's and young adult fun across the UK and I was kindly invited to the bloggers and press launch in London. 

Wednesday 20 July 2016


Book review: After Alice by Gregory Maguire

Alice in Wonderland is one of my all-time favourite stories. Despite its countless adaptation – in literature, on screen and on stage – each time I rediscover the cat who talks in riddles and the playing cards hunting down the perfect roses for their Red Queen, I'm in awe with the imaginative world of Wonderland. So whenever a new incarnation (or even a straight-forward retelling of the original) pops onto my radar I must check in out, and the latest version is by Wicked-author Gregory Maguire.

Monday 18 July 2016


Book Nostalgia: A Journey Trough My Childhood Collections

Last month I visited my parents in the Netherlands and started my looooong overdue clear-out of the 1,000+ childhood books that are still stored at their house, not an easy task! While there are many I'll keep and will slowly bring back to the UK, it just isn't doable with all of them so I've made a start by clearing away six big boxes of books my parents will sell/give away, with the rest left to be tackled when I go back at Christmas. Rather than just packing these books away, destined for flee markets and charity shops, I took photos of each of the books I'm parting with so I can remember them. Warning: If you're an 80s/90s kid too, you'll be hit with a bout of nostalgia, for sure.

Friday 15 July 2016


Book review: On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher

Carrie Hope Fletcher is well-known among teens and young adults. Not only for being the sister of McFly's Tom Fletcher and sister-in-law to author Giovanna Fletcher, but also for her inspirational YouTube channel filled with positive messages, videos and songs, which has over 600,000 subscribers. Not to mention that Carrie has graced the West End boards more than once, most recently in Les Miserables in which she was wonderful. She's multi-talented, that one. However, writing a book is something quite different to performing on stage (or on YouTube), so how does her first venture into the world of fiction fare?

Wednesday 13 July 2016


Book review: The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

I don't often read children's novels nowadays, unless I'm hit by a bout of nostalgia and seek out a childhood favourite (I'm currently rereading: A Series of Unfortunate Events, soon to be followed by Harry Potter). It's not that I don't enjoy them, on contrary, but more so that they aren't on my radar anymore since my younger siblings have hit their teens. And that is a shame, as there are still many fantastic children's books being published, case in point the stunning The Girl of Ink and Stars. This is a future classic, I'm sure.

Monday 11 July 2016


Highlights from Chapter 5's Proof Party

Last week my lovely friend Laura invited me to join her for the proof party of Chapter 5 (Hodder & Stoughton's YA list), which was a brilliant break from what was a very stressful week at work. In the days leading up to the event I'd been stalking eyeing the Chapter 5 social media channels for any hints as to what books and surprises would be at the Proof Party, and from it I'd made a wishlist of top 3 books I loved to see. And lo and behold, all three books were at the event and I managed to pick up a copy of each! You can find out more about them below.

Wednesday 6 July 2016


Book review: Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Chicken House came on my radar recently as they've published critically acclaimed novels such as The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Faceless by Alyssa Sheinmel. They stand apart from so many other young adult and middle grade publishers because their books have kick-ass female protagonists and tackle difficult subjects. Though rather than the topic (mental health in Under Rose-Tainted Skies) taking centre stage, it is the characters that do and the subject just happens to be something that is a part of them.

Monday 4 July 2016


My Month in Favourites – June 2016

June was a crazy busy month. I was in the Netherlands for part of it yet I still managed to pick up a new TV-show and watch the entirety of it (hi Brooklyn Nine-Nine obsessions, hi), I started rereading A Series of Unfortunate of Events in anticipation of the Netflix adaptation, I went to events such as West End Live, the London Musical Theatre Orchestra launch gala, and The Bloggers Summer Hangout, and I still managed to do lots of shopping (new favourites include stationery brand Kiki-K and two new handbags I bought) and finish all my end of quarter reports at work. It was a full-on but productive month.

Friday 1 July 2016


London Musical Theatre Orchestra Launch Gala

As a avid musical theatre fan I was thrilled to hear about the launch of the London Musical Theatre Orchestra's (LMTO) first public season later this year, and honoured to attend their gala evening in the beautiful The Great Hall at the Bishopgate Institute earlier this week. We had the chance to hear a sneak peek of the orchestra's marvellous musical theatre repertoire as they were accompanied by West End stars such as Ramin Karimloo, Ashleigh Gray and Hadley Fraser.