…but to the UK, so it’s never much of a holiday! This SELF catering malarkey and staying in other people’s houses is always a bit tricky in my book; for one you can never find anything (but thank you at the same time for putting up with us!). Oh and the hubby got struck down by a mystery virus where he was bed-bound and couldn’t move… if nothing else it reaffirmed what I already knew – single parenting in the UK is not for me!
To celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, world famous Hamley’s toy shop on London’s Regent Street has revealed a 158,000 Lego mosaic of the Queen in one of its windows. Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, narrowly won the mayoral election while we were in the UK, and he has introduced a revamped, and very swish version of the iconic London Routemaster Double Decker… a good thing I think, I used to love jumping on and off those buses and I’m amazed that health and safety conscious Britain is up for jumping out of moving vehicles again! Yay!
So, yes the UK has really gone Diamond Jubilee and Olympics mad. In case it has escaped you (and it could well have done not living in the UK), the Queen is celebrating 60 years on the throne. You can’t move for Union Jacks and it’s a mandatory red, white and blue in the shops whether you’re buying God Save The Queen strawberry jam or a union jack sequined bikini by Geri Halliwell of Spice Girls fame (and no I won’t be donning this but I might have some jam).
Geri Halliwell is on board at UK High Street favourite Next harping back to the days of her Union Jack Dress worn when she was in the Spice Girls. So if you want a Union Jack maxi, mini, shorts, t-shirt or bikini, Geri has it covered… or you could just head down to Pottinger.
Great to see that even good old Bonne Maman, a French brand, is ready to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee too!
Olympic Events – Plan your Journey – Arrive on Time
Olympics crazy… flashing signs on the M25 telling us to prepare ahead and leave in good time for Olympic events… it’s May! I know the M25 is often one large car park, but is it really necessary to leave 3 months before your allotted Olympic event?!
So, with all this madness and total red, white and blue indoctrination, this week’s blog has to be Best of British!
What Kate did next…
On the subject of royalty, it would be wrong not to mention the new UK style queen Kate Middleton, and the UK public’s love affair with her continues… the press was full of her in this stunning Matthew Williamson number for the preview of African Cats, and I was rather pleased with myself for tracking down a lovely lookie-likey from Warehouse on ASOS for a mere £75 (HKD$940) shown in white here but also available in navy and watermelon.
But fastest finger on the mouse, as normally anything High Street resembling a KM outfit sells out nationwide in the space of 3 days… tedious, I know. But looking on the bright side, ASOS offer free international shipping!
Another favourite UK Kate is Ms Winslet, and I was keen to track down another lookie likey, this time of the Stella McCartney optical illusion dress that she wore oh so very well, which I found in the shape of this Lipsy hourglass panel dress on ASOS (left) for £45.
There’s also this Next Colour Block Dress £45 quid (HKD$565, centre); unfortunately they don’t ship to HK so it’s time to tap up those UK friends to post it on to you, also available in blue with black contrast side panels, note the knee length more like the original “Stella”. Finally, there’s this Illusion Crossback Dress by Love at Topshop £28 (HKD$350, right); Topshop offer free international shipping to Hong Kong on orders over £100 (HKD$1250).
Jenny Packham at Debenhams
The UK fash mags were also loving Jenny Packham for Debenhams, a soon to be launched affordable line of evening and occasion wear. Unfortunately, although Debenhams ship internationally, they don’t to HK (yawn), so once again it’s time to give that old UK friend a call… the dresses are affordable so worth the extra on postage.
These are my favourites:
Short gold dress approx £90 (HKD$1130), red dress £135 GBP (HKD$1695), sparkly dress so hot off the press that I couldn’t find the price!
Three colours: Red, White & Blue
I know I’ve pushed it a bit by including Jenny P above not being available in the Kong, so our very own Polkadot on Hollywood Road stocks some great UK designers including ; I loved the following new arrivals that are bang on theme…
Lucy top HKD$580, Beth cropped pants (available in melon and indigo) HKD$900, Brooke dress HKD$820
Don’t miss Fifi either by UK design duo Fiona Sobek & Josie Holyoak (mentioned last week) for great occasion wear, also available at Polkadot.
Polkadot, 2/F, 29 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2521 0636
Instant Goddess Best of British High Street
And finally a few Best of British High Street picks… all available on ASOS so don’t fret!
Whistles Lisa Dress £110, Oasis Pleated Dippy Hem Dress £55, Oasis striped maxi £55
River Island Floral Halter neck dress £55, Coast Broderie skirt £75 and matching shell top £65, Coast stripe maxi £175
Never one to let us down, favourite make up artist Jaime Smith of Smudge Make Up Artistry is on board with cool Brittania:
In search for a “Beautifully British” make-up tip, I made sure to steer clear of all of the online chatter revolving around the make-up looks of “The Only Way Is Essex” and decided to look to the likes of the real UK style makers.
The coveted “Cat Eye”, is a favourite of this year’s “It” girls, such as Alexa Chung, Adele, Daisy Lowe and the always fashionable Mrs. London Look herself, Kate Moss. It is a classic make-up technique that just might be the hardest to master.
The look can be retro glamour or modern rock star and seems to show up on the catwalks and high streets every season.
It requires a steady hand and some trial and error, but the “flick” is well worth the fuss.
Try these few tips and tricks for easier application of Cat Eye DIY:
– Whether you prefer using gel, liquid or pencil liner, a steady hand is required. Try applying in front of a mirror while resting your elbows on a table.
– Hold your eyelid taught to eliminate any creases.
– Hold pen, brush or pencil on an angle, pointing slightly downward and draw your line from the inner corner to the outer corner using a light hand. Starting out thin and gradually getting thicker to the flick.
– Don’t know how to get the correct angle? Use your bottom lash line as a guide, act as if you are extending your lower lash line upwards towards the end of the brow and then connect back to the upper lash line.
– Sneaky tip: Draw the line with a more forgiving nude pencil first and go over with liquid liner once you have mastered the correct angle.
– My favourite liquid liner is Shu Uemura‘s liquid eyeliner pen. It is jet black, priced great and the cartridge is refillable.
See all Shu Uemura locations in Hong Kong here.
Mid-week meal Inspiration
So while back in the UK, I got talking to my sister-in-law who is a fabulous cook and according to her the nation’s favourite dish in the UK is Chicken Tikka Masala! I was quite taken aback by this revelation, but apparently it’s true! Oh and Britain is getting very FAT according to the UK press. Tell me about it… no exercise at all while on hols… I am going to be positively wobbling back into HK!
So, I did a little bit of google research on Chicken Tikka Masala and came up with this little beauty… it’s a complete cheat but no-one gets anywhere in life without a little cheat or a little white lie here and there, do they?!!
Cheat’s Chicken Tikka Masala
Chef: Antony Worrall Thompson
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
• 2 tbsp sunflower oil
• 1 large onion, sliced
• 3 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
• 2 tbsp Tikka Masala paste (I reckon you can track this down in City Super, 360 somewhere expensive like that)
• 400g can cream of tomato soup (Heinz would be your best bet, probably the best tomato soup in the world)
• 150ml natural yogurt
1) Heat the oil in a medium sized pan and fry the onion for 5 minutes or until tender.
2) Add the chicken and fry for 5-6 minutes until browned.
3) Add the curry paste and soup and simmer for 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through, then stir in the yogurt and heat through.
4) Serve with rice.
BUT if you can’t stand the idea of cheating then you might want to give this recipe a whirl instead.
Yogi tea saying of the week: “Never apologise for something cool”.
Instant Goddess says: “God save the Queen!”
Until next Goddesses and remember you are always, always worth it!
Check out all of Katie’s Instant Goddess columns here.