Better Sleep With Leesa

Discovering #BetterSleep with The Leesa Mattress, an affordable luxury in a convenient and innovative package.

Move over, Uber: I've found a better ride to Dreamland thanks to my new bedfellow and she doesn't even turn up the Magic FM to drown out my primeval grunts and gargles. 
You see, I suffer enjoy this sleeping disorder I call 'car-colepsy' which takes me from 0 to zZz in under 90 seconds - and before you ask, only as a passenger, never as the driver. You can leave your house now. For years, my lack of license to party with REM (of the dreaming variety, not the band) outside of the backseats of taxis was pegged to the factor that despite being born a whole 2 weeks late I'm still not ready to leave the womb for its white noise and gentle rocking delights. Short of installing Magic Fingers (I can't decide which side of the 'creepy or decadent?' line it shuffles over) I've tried everything - the sophomoric droning of Brian Cox, glasses of warm milk, anti-allergy bedding covers, heck, even redecorating my bedroom.
When Leesa got in touch with me with the promise of #BetterSleep I was at best curious, at worst, skeptical. What could their mattresses, as widely-lauded as they are in the US, do for me that my previous bed slabs have failed to achieve? Will I, despite their best of intentions, be condemned to a life of getting my shuteye in moving cars and hotel rooms? My fears were unfounded: after a week of testing The Leesa Mattress + an uninterrupted run of 7-8 hour sleeps, the blame for my once-chronic insomnia was shifted as quickly as it (my previous mattress) was shuffled into a removal van.
 IN COLLABORATION WITH LEESA
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March 29, 2016

Better Sleep With Leesa

Move over, Uber:  I've found a better ride to Dreamland thanks to my new bedfellow and she doesn't even turn up the Magic...

Japanese Canteen, Bethnal Green




FROM THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN
TO THE CITY WHERE THERE'S BARELY SOME*

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Q: What do you call 3 days of rain?
A: Bank Holiday weekend.

Seriously though, what are our chances of sunshine over London this Easter? The weather forecast for today, Sunday, suggests sporadic sunshine, but I'm not Bank-ing on it. Of things certain in life - or at least life in East London - the only constant we can be sure of is that the fastest way to become public enemy Number 1 is to drive down Brick Lane during the Sunday market.
So it's reassuring for this Asian transplant to know that there's at least one local joint where I can get my fix of all food Japanese. My latest favourite haunt - Japanese Canteen in Bethnal Green - is only a hop & skip away from my shop and a little bit more from home, making 'hangin' out under the railway arches on a Friday night' a world of respectability and warmth away from my raver days of yore. Here's to the comfort food we know & love in a distant & unpredictable new city so far away from the country we once called home. 

JAPANESE CANTEEN
Arch 255 Paradise Row London E2 9LE 

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*except for those two freak days a year in summer, when yours truly makes an air-conditioner out of a bowl of frozen carrots and a table fan.



March 27, 2016

Japanese Canteen, Bethnal Green

FROM THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN TO THE CITY WHERE THERE'S BARELY SOME* _______________________ Q: What ...

Edinburgh Express: What To See & Do In 48 Hours (Pt. 2)

Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours



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Rested and ready? Excellent. Despair not at the impending end of your Edinburgh trip for there's time still to see many of the city's sights including another hilly ascent, shopping, restaurants and pubs, and then some.  If you were astute enough to time your flight/train back for the afternoon, you'll even have ample time for wildlife-spotting before the end of your city break. Incroyable, no? I mean business when I say 'Edinburgh Express'.
So strap on your boots, grab that camera, bag some pipes, and let's get crackin'...




March 25, 2016

Edinburgh Express: What To See & Do In 48 Hours (Pt. 2)

PART 2 OF  EDINBURGH EXPRESS: WHAT TO SEE & DO IN 48 HOURS ______________ Rested and ready? Excellent. Despair no...

Tropical Toxic


March 23, 2016

Tropical Toxic

Edinburgh Express: What To See & Do In 48 Hours (Pt. 1)


Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours


Make like a Flying Scotsman and

EXPERIENCE EDINBURGH IN 48 HOURS

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Scotland may seem like a landscape of mountains and magic - monsters in the Lochs and Hogwarts castle, for starts - but don't let the mystique surrounding the country intimidate you. Unless you're heading for the Highlands - in which case, pack your walking stick, hip flask, and buddy up with Hagrid. Scotland's cities are very much accessible by foot and their sights easily reached even for prissy urbanites such as yours truly. Case in point: Edinburgh. Though Scotland's capital may be built on different levels - giving this UNESCO site the dreamy appearance of a floating city of clouds - I managed to visit most of Edinburgh's great attractions in just over two days, with little difficulty. That said, all the hill-ascending, close-climbing, and stair-stomping does burn off a great deal of calories - all the better to stuff one's haggis hole with no post-holiday overindulgence-regret-self-flagellation.

 So now you know, there really is no excuse for you to ignore Edinburgh if you are in the immediate vicinity of, um, Europe, especially if - like I am - you're based in London. Getting to Edinburgh has never been easier what with direct trains from Platform 9¾ Kings Cross, although it's actually cheaper to fly there via Easyjet or Ryanair. Either way, you've no reason not to pack your bags and haul ass to Edinburgh for at least a city break, not when I've laid out a guide to seeing the sights and stuffing your haggis hole - all of it easily done in 48 hours. Walking shoes at the ready...

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PHOTOS 14 & 17 BY HENRY RIDLEY-COOK, 25 BY MERCAT TOURS


March 20, 2016

Edinburgh Express: What To See & Do In 48 Hours (Pt. 1)

Make like a Flying Scotsman and EXPERIENCE EDINBURGH IN 48 HOURS _________ Scotland may seem like a landscape of mo...

Edinburgh Eats

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland 
Fuel me up, buttercup. Though our trip in Edinburgh be short, this magical capital offered a myriad of sights and thanks to its many slopes all my pavement pounding meant that I was free to sample the city’s smorgasbord of noms. And nom I did - from deep fried Mars Bars,  gourmet Scottish dishes, and copious amounts of Scotch. Follow me, on my short, sweet, but no less illustrious culinary tour of Edinburgh…
March 17, 2016

Edinburgh Eats

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland   Fuel me up, buttercup. Though our trip in Edinburgh be short, this mag...

North Bridge Brasserie at The Scotsman Hotel, Edinburgh

North Bridge Brasserie at The Scotsman Hotel, Edinburgh


My first haggis at North Bridge Brasserie, Edinburgh

First and last impressions, the opening and the closing act - those are the moments you take away from an event, the souvenirs from a story. The rest is just filler, as some comedians would say. How fortuitous that the standout moments of dinner at North Bridge Brasserie were the alpha and the omega, those winning dishes certainly made for a meal to remember!
March 14, 2016

North Bridge Brasserie at The Scotsman Hotel, Edinburgh

My first haggis at North Bridge Brasserie, Edinburgh First and last impressions, the opening and the closing act - those a...

Arriving in Edinburgh: The Scotsman Hotel

Arriving in Edinburgh: The Scotsman Hotel

Arriving in Edinburgh: The Scotsman Hotel

From history to luxury: a stylish stay at the former headquarters of The Scotsman newspaper 

“The best winters of my childhood were spent in my grandfather’s mansion in The Highlands,” explained my British boyfriend as he puffed his chest with pride, recalling his Scottish ancestry. “I want to show you how beautiful and magical Scotland is, and thought we’d start with Edinburgh.” That’s how I found myself, my hand in Henry’s, standing in the wood panelled lobby of The Scotsman Hotel where we were welcomed by the tantalising smoky scent of the coal fire and beaming staff with the most charming accents. As far as first impressions went, I felt right at home in the capital of Scotland. 
The Scotsman Hotel was no trivial choice - Henry knows how particular I am about where I sleep, having stayed in dozens of lodgings across the world from industrial-chic treehouses to mansions converted into luxury boutique hotels. My Scotsman chose The Scotsman for three very compelling reasons - one: its unbeatable location -positioned on the North Bridge with The Royal Mile on its doorstep, two: the views - it’s the only luxury hotel in the city with views of Edinburgh Castle, the Firth of Forth, Leith, Princes Street and Calton Hill, and three: the history - the century-old building was once The Scotsman newspaper’s offices, with subtle allusions to its heritage found in details like the crossword motif on the hotel teacups. That The Scotsman looked like Hogwarts didn’t hurt, either. In other words - the boy did good.
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March 13, 2016

Arriving in Edinburgh: The Scotsman Hotel

From history to luxury: a stylish stay at the former headquarters of The Scotsman newspaper  “The best winters of my c...

Public Nudity

Taking my latest buy for a spin in Arnold Circus, Shoreditch

It’s sunny! It’s snowy! It’s freezing! It’s balmy! Either the weather is off her meds or London is blessing us with bouts of sunshine to apologise for the sudden balls-cold spell that hit us earlier this week It’s almost as though she realised that winter is nearly over and decided to go all-out before the curtain falls, but still - no snow (the weather will probably go all Arendelle on us this June, just you wait). How the devil are we supposed to dress for this bipolar climate, though? Do we store the furs and bring out the trench coats? Eschew black for sunnier shades? Luckily for me, I’ve already got my spring capsule wardrobe sorted and the answer is: nudes. Nudes are always the answer.
March 06, 2016

Public Nudity

Taking my latest buy for a spin in Arnold Circus, Shoreditch It’s sunny! It’s snowy! It’s freezing! It’s balmy! Either the weat...

Interiors: My Blogging Nook

Navigating the culture of 'Do It Your Damn Self, You’re A Grown*ss Woman'.
MY CONTRIBUTION TO THIS MONTH'S TRAVEL BLOGGER LINK UP



March 04, 2016

Interiors: My Blogging Nook

Navigating the culture of  'Do It Your Damn Self, You’re A Grown*ss Woman' . MY CONTRIBUTION TO THIS MONTH'S TRAVEL B...

A day at the Retired Greyhound Trust in Brentwood, Essex

A day at the Retired Greyhound Trust in Brentwood, Essex

(and they won’t judge you for being unfit either, because they can be lazy too)

GALLYYYYY!!!!” Henry will scream whenever he sees a greyhound, after his late dog ‘Suzy Gally’ - the retired racer his family adopted. I’ve lost count of a) the number of occasions he will drop everything he’s doing to rush over and pat a complete stranger’s greyhound, b) the many times he’s waxed lyrical about greyhounds are the best dogs ever and c) his laments about how these gentle creatures are often abandoned, sometimes abused, by their owners once their track careers are over. Myself, I was never a greyhound enthusiast - until recently I always thought of them as strange, spindly alien-like creatures (albeit ones with killer figures - Wasp waists! Long slender legs!).
My boyfriend is the kind of man who puts his money where his mouth is, so on Monday Henry and I made the trek from London to Brentwood, Essex to volunteer at the local branch of the Retired Greyhounds Trust. It’s a noble cause that is very close to Henry’s heart, and being a dog lover myself I wanted to see for myself why greyhounds are such special, wonderful animals that deserve a second chance when their racing days are over.

March 02, 2016

A day at the Retired Greyhound Trust in Brentwood, Essex

(and they won’t judge you for being unfit either, because they can be lazy too) “ GALLYYYYY!!!! ” Henry will scream whenever he...