Monday, October 31, 2016

My Big Fat Korean Snack Haul

After the sombre(ish) tone of the previous post, I thought I'd change gears and bring you a totally unrelated and fun one – I finally got round to taking photos of my Korean snacks (so I can eat them) but here they are curated in a nice pleasing ~aesthetic~ 'cause I can...

I'll walk you through to the best of my ability but my Hangul reading skills are like 2/10 at the moment, so it'll be a guess for me too!

The entire spread that I managed to stuffed into my luggage... 

The Chips 

I like my chips (yes, I say chips not crisps so sue me) to be non-traditional aka not potato sliced, so these are definitely perfect for me. Clockwise from top: honey flavoured and oblong shaped munchies, extra 'spicy' penne looking chip aka Crazy Ddeokbokki which isn't so spicy as I tried it while I was in Seoul, and a pack of itty bitty ones just for fun snacking.

The Biscuits 

Lo and behold, the sweet darlings of the pile. Half of it is Lotte because I went to Lotte Mall, so... an assortment of chocolate chip cookies, chocolate pillows and some green tea biskies. The thing I love about Asian biscuits is that they don't have that jarring sugary taste, even though it's probably 100% chocolate and 200% sugar. If so, that may be the best marketing ploy ever.

The Pepero's 

Well, two of them are Pepero in Blueberry Yogurt and Classic Chocolate. The other is a Pepero special, with a strawberries and cream dip (like d uh why am I pointing out the obvious when all I did was look at the cover). Just FYI, Pepero is the Korean equivalent of Pocky! The last one is actually a vanilla wafer, and it brings back so many fond memories because I used to snack on Loacker strawberry wafers as a child. Anyone else?

The Miscellaneous 

Here we have the un-categorisable items... An extra adorable Moomin special green tea flavored sponge cake (yum), some Oreo's thins (oh-ri-yo ssin-ji) and a seemingly explosive chocolate rice krispies. I mean I don't even like normal rice crispies here because they are too sweet but I have faith these will actually be good.

And that was short and sweet, wasn't it? Let me know if you've tried any of these and what else are nice and your favourite snacks?!?! SNEKKERS UNITE!

Other Korea-related posts:

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Burberry Makers House & Why I Struggle to Love Fashion

Let me begin by saying I know absolutely nothing about fashion and whatever my thoughts continue to be below is based on an 'outsider' view, and as someone interested in the business of it all. Now that the tiresome pre-emption is done, we'll get right to it...

A couple of weeks ago Burberry set up shop in the former Foyles HQ in Soho for LFW, and was open to public for a week to showcase the new collection. Burberry Makers House featured ready-to-wear garments and very expensive bags (more on this below), and also played host to designers and craftors in recognition of the different talent and skills which goes into making as well as producing a single piece of object.

Admittedly, the exhibition is housed in an extremely picturesque location: secret garden, faux (presumably?) marble statues, complete with overgrown foliage and sandalwood incense burning. A totally Renaissance presentation, if you ask me... So while the bloggah in me marvelled at the detail and effort put into the creative direction of this project, I couldn't help but feel like I did not belong to 'that' world: high fashion, the rush and the adrenaline, the pure and plain glamour of it all. It was, in my mind, unnecessary and ostentatious.

I have no doubt that these individuals in the workshops are talented, otherwise they wouldn't be there. Just look at concentration on the embroidery, hand-made and all that jazz. And here I am going crazy when my computer processor doesn't automate a function properly. Maybe I'm the bad person here.

Nonetheless, as I stood there at the side, amidst the snaking queues and crowd, I still felt the distinctness and dare I say, arrogance of it all - this heritage of a brand coupled with a self-righteous grandeur, and finally coming to a realisation that the entire fashion industry is something that I could never ever fathom in my mundane life of NB trainers and off-season dresses. Precision and quality are gloriously paraded, and the uniqueness of craftmenship is applauded and cheered, but I know nothing about it.

I do not relate to any of this.

What both amazed and troubled me was the sheer amount of people there – either in admiration or curiosity, were they here because they truly felt and possessed a connection to the very art that these creator were immersed in? Or was it crowdhype, because it was simply just the stylish thing to do. Go to a Burberry exhibition, upon exit I must feel like I have achieved something equivalent of a fashion designer too.

I am not someone who was born in circumstances to understand such riches (of the industry), and neither are so many others. We obsess with the runway trends, and the models, and the makeup, and the theatrics of high fashion and for what? I'm sorry but I generally find the entire fashion industry to be elitist, overexclusive and overdramatic.

And it is this self-perpetuation of holier-than-thou attitude that brings out the worst in the entire industry: model #squads, photographers with a 'creative vision' (which often feels meaningless) which ultimately translate into the hypernormalisation of such despicable behaviour. They act how they act because they believe it is the normal thing to do, and they do it.

And for me, that is the struggle of someone who enjoys trying new styles, and outfits, and colours. But it's difficult where everyone who's someone is just a big fat bully, and telling us that this season you must have Gucci loafers... or die. Glossing over the fashion magazines, it feels like clothes are usually pictorial fairytales with the personality a snobby princess.

I also struggled to find meaning in the inspirational context behind this collection and exhibition – drawing heavily from Virginia Woof's Orlando and hence Elizabethan themes, ruffles were predominant in the collection, as were oversized lapels and naval embroidery. That sounds great, but when I overheard the price for a handbag for £60000 I nearly cried with laughter. 

Who are these people and why do they exist to buy 60k handbags?! 

I do not have the privilege for this. 

(Said handbag. Or maybe not. They all look equally unaffordable.)

Why is the entire business of fashion so jealousy guarded with its upper echelons, the Gigi and Bella Hadids of our time? (To be honest I didn't even know who they were until blogging lol) And why would I aspire to be a millionaire in a society that's unbelievably far from reach for so many others who can barely work to survive? These are some of the questions I ask myself sometimes.

With Christopher Bailey's initial move to CEO in 2014 consisting of a £1.1m pay deal, and almost £4m in shares I think to myself – who are these people and why is there so much money involved?

Fashion shows are such an exclusive event which radiates envy for those less fortunate, but would you really want to be part of a society that cares only about itself, and those who they have the power to deem worthy?

I suppose the worst thing and the final thing I'd like to say is that tragically, this seems like the end-goal for many bloggers (but not all, /cough/ just pre-empting again before I cause a scandal y'all). The façade of perfection and ~vibes~, and the invites to shows and trips and endless champagne... We were having a conversation with our friend and she mentioned she used to know a now pretty big/well-known blogger who can't write to save her life. Her only redeeming quality was that she looks pretty. I agreed, and sadly this seems to ring true for so many others.

Originality is now encapsulated in tick-boxes of marble backgrounds, rose gold accents, and coffee table books. No, I have not read #girlboss or Hygge books, or any of the self-published books by pseudo-authors (I am neither using this word in a positive or negative manner). And why would I spend money on a How-to-be-Hygge book which ironically details that the best things in life are free?!

This business of fashion is exciting but also simultaneously bewildering, and at best, fantastically horrific. I realise this may not be the wisest move – writing a post on fashion as a 'fashion blogger' but I can't help it, this is how I feel and how I feel is not all great.

While I love the designs and the creativity of this industry, the culture of high fashion will always be something unattainable and a distant mirage for most of us.

Regretfully, I still look at Valentino shows and find myself gawking over it but realise that that my love will just be a lifelong one-sided crush... maybe one day I will wake up to understand the magic of the fashion business and its self-fulfilling prophecy.

I know this isn't my 'usual' post but I thought it would be fun to write and get something going... let me know what you think!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Afternoon Tea at Dalloway Terrace

Morning all! As promised, this post is a treat - an afternoon tea review and wonderful time at Dalloway Terrace.

An oasis of sorts

Nestled just behind the busy Tottenham Court Road, I found it by chance when I was busy buying kimbap/김밥 (lol) on the corner of the street... After some researching at home at the intriguing yet inviting façade that is Dalloway Terrace, we made ourselves a reservation!

It was a special treat since we don't usually go cray cray for Afternoon Tea (I mean, it is just sandwiches, scones and tea right?!) so we were crossing our fingers that this better be worth it. And it was!

Clearly a namesake for Virginia Woolf's eponymous character, it reunites old-time British heritage with renewed modernity, a place of oasis and 21st century relaxation. It's not a secret member's club, and more like a long-lost friend you're eager to meet.

(wow did I just write that?)

I was a bit nervous because I have had varied experience with 'fancier' places where I feel out of place because everyone dining or serving make a big deal out of everything, but thank goodness this was nothing like that! It was filled with diners coming in for casual lunch, popping in after their shopping... a very laidback affair and if you're anything like me (aka supah chill) then you'll love it.

Service was great – friendly and not intrusive, and accommodated my many attempts of photo-taking. A big A++ for them was my request for a non-dairy Afternoon Tea set (if you read my Yorica post you know what I'm on about tl;dr I'm lactose intolerant) on the spot! I was very impressed they were able to provide substitute scones which tasted as good! ;-)

A hidden gem and delicious treats

We started off with the savoury: the traditional fare of smoked salmon, ham, cucumber... bread was good and not too dry, always a plus in the books. Equally, the best thing and the highlight of the tea were the warm and melt-in-your-mouth scones! Like I said, my dairy-free ones tasted like the real deal without compromising taste. One raisin and one plain, plenty to go round in your tummy I'd say!

We paired our food with a wide selection of teas: I went for a nice white tea, and Matt stayed loyal to British tradition (black tea) which were both brewed very nicely, not too heavy to taste nor bitter at all.


A dreamy garden

Dalloway Terrace is the secret garden terrace you wished you could afford if London has more square footage to give out – beautiful rattan chairs and cushions against an overgrown leafy brick wall is its signature charm. The light floods in overhead and from everywhere, and in late summer everyone was sporting a healthy summer glow. One of those Gatsby evenings you know?! The awnings were a blend of modern and reminiscent of the 1930s (or I could be making it up idk guys) which were a dream to sit under...

To finish, our desserts were a mix selection of chocolate cake, panna cotta and cheesecake. We loved them all but couldn't finish them so took them away for later that day...

In all, a fantabulous time and we enjoyed every bit of it! It's worth visiting for a special treat, date or ~cool~ place with friends :-) They also do Weekend Brunch, lunch and dinner so go wild my friends! Let me what you think of these photos, they were so fun to photograph!

Dalloway Terrace
16-22 Great Russell St
(Book online here)

Also help on what I should write about next: fashion and its perils or a travel post?!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

An Ode to Late Summer: Three Floor Love Affair

Hiya folks! It's been a while hasn't it? Work is supremely busy at the moment, and I am usually exhausted on the weekdays and the weekends are spent finishing up chores I couldn't do in the week. Hey ho, this is a ode to the truly over summer (wipes tears) and before everything starts plummeting into chaotic and blustery autumn-winter.

Enter Three Floor – I've had this awesome little number for over 2 years now, never photographed properly but every time I wear it it gives me happy feelings. I nabbed this one in the winter sale on ASOS (gem!) and it's just everything I love in a fabric: pleats (#1 fave duh), scalloped hem for a feminine touch, the deep blue for the deep thrusting neckline ;-) and of course their signature flesh-coloured panelling...

You can tell my love for this brand: hence I wore it out to Dalloway Terrace for afternoon tea, in celebration of our very belated two years of being together. Some pictures for your and my viewing pleasure, in reminiscent of late summer.

The leaves were almost-turning, but not quite yet - fighting for the last bits of green lush. It was drizzly too, and the weather was a confused pot of warmth, stickly and romantic. The thing about late summer is that the afternoon light is never predictable, always darting between lovers' hands, footsteps, or the eyes of a crowd. 

Everything remains a wistful silent, and if your love sticks around this long, I hope it shall last. 

{My shoes were a blogger cult craze: the Zara heels circa 2014 and it was sold out everywhere. But I bought it before that happened. So I guess I was always ahead of the curve... My string choker were 50p from Aliexpress because I would never fork out £7 for one from Topshop (I'm sorry but I also really dislike Arcadia Group). The look is always finished by a demure bag and mine is from Coach, a gift from my mama when she was in North 'Murica where Coach is significantly cheaper.}

(Dress - Three Floor / Shoes - Zara / Bag - Coach / Choker - Aliexpress)

Next post up is hopefully what I thought about the afternoon tea at Dalloway Terrace ^___^ how are your weekends looking, let's catch up! 
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