A Much Needed Spa Afternoon at ESPA at The Corinthia

I got a voucher for some treatments at ESPA at The Corinthia from a very dear friend just after I gave birth to A back in November 2014, I had a great experience and today I went back for the 3rd time. There are times in life, especially in a working mum’s life, when you need to treat yourself and escape. For me, the ideal way is to go here:

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The spa is on the first floor of the beautiful hotel, just walking in to the impressive lobby puts a smile on my face:

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I was greeted very nicely and enthusiastically by the lady at the reception desk and offered a drink (chamomile and mint tea, it wasn’t very warm and I’m not sure if that’s how it’s supposed to be or not…))whilst I filled in a medical questionnaire (I should have asked why I was doing this as I had done this before). There is a café next to the reception area where all the products are shown, I didn’t use the café. There is complimentary water, fruit and nuts in the actual spa area in the floors below.

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You are then taken to the changing rooms, where everything you could ever need is provided (slippers, robes, hairdryers, magazines, all sorts of products, showers, sauna etc).

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I had about an hour and a half before my massage and mini facial, which I spent very happily sitting in the massive Jacuzzi, which is next to the pool on the thermal floor, which is 2 floors down from the ladies changing rooms:

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I also had a lie down in a “sleep pod” and then finally sat down to read on the heated beds by the fire in the changing rooms, despite the lack of privacy, this was my favourite bit as it was so warm and cozy. Honestly just reading Marie Claire in peace was such a treat, I’d pay just for that.

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I probably came across 10 other guests in total, it was really nice and quiet.

I was then taken to a really nice treatment room (one of 17) for my massage and express facial. The therapist was seriously good, she listened to me and gave me the exact massage I needed. She focused on my shoulders and upper back and told me at the end that indeed I had a LOT of tension and knots in that area and that I need to have massages more often, well if she says so 🙂

All the ESPA products they use are natural and ethically sourced and smell and feel lovely!

I actually enjoyed the facial a lot more than usual, I don’t know if its because the products smelt so nice or because I was already super relaxed but it was really enjoyable, apparently I need to drink more water, quelle surprise!

Anyway, here I am “glowing” afterwards:img_0109

It’s amazing what 4 hours in a Spa, far away from reality can do! It’s definitely a luxury spa with high quality treatements and facilities but if you want a treat, you can go wrong by choosing the Corinthia.

And guess who was very happy to see me when I got home?

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The Langham’s Children’s Afternoon Tea

I love the Langham, I love afternoon tea and now I’m a mum so I was really excited to be invited by The Langham hotel to the preview of their soon to be launched (August 1st) children’s afternoon tea in partnership with Hamleys based down the road on Regent Street.

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I’ve been to the Palm Court for afternoon tea a few times before, the location is great and the room is beautiful as you can see here:

You can take children for afternoon tea in other hotels but as far as I know there aren’t many places that cater to children in particular so The Langham is definitely leading the way! They should also probably lead the way with some chair covers because I fear for their beautiful chairs once little people get their hands on cake! In partnership with Hamleys, the Afternoon Tea is part of a series of initiatives aimed at making sure families have a great time at the hotel, whether staying guests (they are starting some new family rooms and family getaway packages.) or not.

I was the only mum not brave enough to bring their child along (I was also really looking forward to some peace!), the children got to try out the children’s tea and us mums had their Wedgwood Afternoon Tea, which was as delicious as I remembered! It is created by award winning Pastry Chef Cherish Finden, you may know her from “Crème de la Crème”

I mean look at those cakes!!!! I forgot to take a picture of the delicious scones, some of which I was lucky enough to take home (A devoured them!)

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Anyway back to the Children’s Tea, here is a copy of the menu:

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It was as cute as it sounds on paper, cookie monster went down particularly well!

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In The Langham’s own words “For the pastry, Cherish was inspired by the array of characters and storytelling within the Hamleys flagship Regent Street store to offer children a chance to emerge into an alternative reality of carefree fun” .

They have thought of everything including cutlery and the obligatory pens and paper!

All the children seemed to really enjoy it, one little girl even said it was “the best tea party ever!”. I definitely think it would be a great idea for a birthday or just a special treat! The tea is available every day at 1pm, 3.15pm and 5pm during the summer holidays, it costs 27.50 pounds and includes a complimentary Hamleys bear. I hope they keep it going afterwards because I would love to take A for her second birthday or at Christmas.

I will leave you with one last picture of the amazing cakes and I seriously recommend the Children’s Tea if you’re planning on treating your children this summer! Thanks again Langham, parents and children alike are in for a treat! And Aly (http://allmumstalk.com), Tushna (Marylebone mums) and Mia (@Miakulla), your children were all well behaved and very cute, lovely to meet you all!

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I was invited by The Langham and the Afternoon Tea was complimentary but all opinions are my own.

I Have Found The Perfect Work Dress

Dresses are my go-to outfit for work because you don’t have to think about more than one thing (just add tights in the winter)! I work in the City and have to look professional  but don’t have to wear a suit so smart dresses are perfect. Now, finding a dress that fits all my criteria (comfort, style and durable) and doesn’t blow the budget isn’t always easy. Over the years, I’ve found some great bargains at TK Maxx, had some great Isabella Oliver dresses when I was pregnant and also have some really nice ones from LK Bennett, however recently I’ve found one that tops them all!

Rose and Willard are a British premium workwear brand that creates modern, stylish and feminine clothes. I came across them on Twitter, noticed they had a 50% sale on and got browsing. I chose 2 dresses, the Helix Central Drape Dress and the Hiera Diagonal Panel Dress. So far I’ve only worn the first one and it’s PERFECT! The only downside is that it is dry clean only, I will just have to be really careful so it doesn’t have to be cleaned too often.
Here’s why this is one of my favourite dresses ever:
-the material is super luxurious, it’s soft and you can feel the quality. It’s made of soft Italian luxury jersey, designed and made in the UK.
-the cut is amazing, it’s definitely perfect for me. It’s tight and the top and then sits just right below.


-the V neck top is super flattering and as its right and lined, it gives a polished look

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-the colour is beautiful
– it’s super comfortable to wear and sit in for 8 hours straight!
-it’s super light
-it’s the right mix of modern/chic/feminine
– it was 50% off!

I haven’t worn the other one yet but will do soon and will report back! I’m also very tempted to buy it in black too.
Get shopping ladies!

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So As Not to Forget What My Daughter is Like At 19 Months Old

Time is flying! A will be 2 in November and when I see pictures of a year ago, I realise how much children change and you can easily forget what they were like. This blog is a great way to make sure I don’t forget. I’m not sure I could forget such cheekiness and craziness. Here are some photos from the past 4 days that sum my monster up pretty well, I wouldn’t change her for the world!

  
Thursday night post nursery snack wearing sunglasses, she loves to “accesorize” with bags, hats, glasses, my jewellery etc. She usually puts something on her arm, says “bye bye” and walks off!

   
 
Friday morning playing with mummy’s hair, this caused much laughter and I lost a few hairs in the process! Later that day, I took her for a haircut, she has very straight hair and the minute her fringe gets a bit long she literally can’t see! Here is the result:

  
A likes to give orders and on Saturday it was “off” as in we have to both take our clothes off (I was allowed to keep my underwear on!)

  
A also likes to throw and empty things and say “uh ho” as if some mysterious ghost was to blame

   
 
She loves baby but baby ended up in the bin and was “sad”, poor baby having A for a mummy!

  
Sunday night story reading was accompanied by sunglasses of course, daddy then proceeded to “help” by putting on some relevant music at 7PM

   
 
Needless to say things can get quite tiring but we’re never bored even if we both get frustrated (I’ve missed out any pictures of tantrums and moaning!), she’s my cheeks and I love her. She’s just got my crazy family’s genes!

Anyway Allez Les Bleus!

My Usual Post Girl’s Weekend in France Soul-Searching…

I grew up in France and left when I was 18 in the summer of 2000 after passing the infamous “Baccalaureat”, Bac S nonetheless… At “lycee” from 1997 to 2000 I became great friends with E and P and spent this weekend with them. The same thing happened 3 years ago last time we met up, the minute I step on the plane to go back to London, I question EVERYTHING! These are the thoughts that go through my head (some rational, some not, some philosophy 101, some ridiculous but none a reflexion of my friends’ lives…):

  • Could I ever live in the same place for ever?
  • Could I live in a small town?
  • Will I ever be happy?
  • Is London the right place for me?
  • Why don’t I live in France and have 40 days holiday?
  • Why do I feel the need for so many “things”?
  • Why don’t I do more cultural things?
  • Why don’t I make the most of living in London?
  • Isn’t it incredible how much your life can change in a few years?
  • Is my life how I imagined it to be when we were at school together?
  • Should I not do a job I am more passionate about?
  • What else do I want in life?
  • What is wrong with me? Maybe I just need a holiday?
  • Why didn’t I bet more money on Brexit and Iceland to beat England then I bet I wouldn’t be feeling like this, would I?!
  • Why am I listening to sad music on the train home, this is only making things worse…

I guess seeing them makes me think about my childhood and the different paths people take but every time it really disturbs me, it’s really weird. I miss my friends and I am super happy we are still friends nearly 20 years later and I hope our daughters all get to meet one day. In the meantime, it’s back to reality and enough with the questions!

Out of interest, anybody else ask themselves these questions?

Days Out in London Maps by East Midland Trains

This is not a sponsored post.

I’ve lived in London for 16 years so I’m pretty familiar with most landmarks, museums etc. but what if you’re not and are just coming down for the day? Well East Midland Trains have put together some very handy and fun maps in conjunction with A Mummy Too that you can print off and download before you come down to London. They cover lots of different options such as the Tate Modern and also boat journeys (which reminds me I really must take A on one of those!). There are 3 different ones: Seeing London for Less, Rainy Day in the Capital and First Time Tourist. I think the rainy day one is probably a good one to print off as lets be honest there is always a chance of rain! Here is a preview of it:

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You can find them here: http://www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk/summer

London deserves its own blog post, there are so many great places to go including ones I appreciate more now I’m a mum and also new places I have discovered since becoming a parent such as the V&A Childhood Museum in Bethnal Green. You also realise how great the parks are once you have kids and quickly figure out which tube stations are buggy friendly!

However, you still have to get to London (and travelling can be “fun” with children) so the page also includes a cute children’s activity sheet you can download and print off to keep them occupied on the train:http://www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk/Global/Documents/EMT%20London%20Activity%20Sheet.pdf

Enjoy London!