Peter Pan Disney Bounding!💚

Oh I did it, I dabbled in the dark arts of Disney Bounding… ok it’s not dark arts at all, it’s actually super fun!

M&MCASTLECKC

I’m heading back to DLP this year and my troupe of lost boys suddenly expressed a desire to have a go at Disney Bounding. What is Disney Bounding I hear you cry? Well, I’m not actually sure.

Oh helpful Kate, well done.

In my opinion, Disney bounding is subtly dressing as a character without wearing a costume. You compile a look inspired by your favourite characters, which can give the illusion of the character, without infringing upon the ‘NO COSTUMES FOR ADULTS’ rule. I guess that’s about right?

 On my trip to Disneyland Paris last year, I decided to have a go at Disney Bounding. It looked fun and gave me a little bit of a challenge.  I wasn’t brilliant at it, but I cobbled together what I had to give ode to one of my favourite characters: Peter Pan. The boy who never grew up.

PANBOOTSCKC

The basic outfit was… well… basic. A plain, forest green, v neck tee and some ripped black jeans. Now, I get it, the kid wears tights/leggings but a) tights are revealing at the best of times and are uncomfortable little buggers and b) I fail to believe that a kid who flies, lives in a forest and sword fights for fun has never ripped, snagged or put a hole in his flaming leggings. So for comfort, coverage and realness… ripped jeans ftw. I also tried it with some green jeans too, but I kinda looked like a big booger, so I stepped away from the green trousers.

I paired these with a pair of brown, ankle boots, not suede or with upturned toes, but with a sweet, brogue-esque, later cut design and thick soles for all that walking (and rain.) Now for his other clothing necessity; his green cap with a red feather in it. Ngl, I wasn’t feeling a cap. So instead of wearing a hat on my head, I found a gorgeous, little bow from OnceUponABowtiqueUK. I pulled my hair into a high pony, ready for adventuring, and tucked this little clip on the front to hide the band.

PANBOWCKC

I still felt like I was missing something. Something tinkling in my ear and spreading pixie dust about the place. TINKERBELLE, OF COURSE! I picked up an enamel Tink pin in the park, as they have many pins, widely available (especially of our favourite Pixie) and popped her on my shirt so she could hover over my shoulder. Even when she is sent away, Tink is always looking out for Peter (may I remind you of the poisoned medicine incident 💀.) So if you’re dressing as Peter Pan, you’ve got to include his trusty sidekick!

TINKPINCKC

Now for the nods to ya boy which aren’t exactly in character but added elements of the story to give it that little extra. Firstly, I found a pair of cameo styled earrings, one of Peter’s profile and one of Wendy. I wore them facing inwards, as if they were looking towards each other. Creepy but cute. The other was another enamel pin that simply says: “Think Happy Thoughts.” A statement we should consider all year around, but in this case you have to “…think happy thoughts, and they lift you up into the air!” Both of these pieces are from HouseOfWonderland. They are both gorgeous, detailed and well made and I still wear them on the regs.

PANPINCKC

The other little nod was my necklace. I took a few Pan themed necklaces with me, however the chosen one for this look was one that would possibly be found upon Peter Pan’s person. I wore my little thimble and acorn around my neck, just like Wendy and Peter wear theirs. Keep your kisses close, they could save your life!

I did get around to wearing all of them though! Both the gold resin flight necklace and the acorn and thimble one were gifted to me, but the last I bought on Etsy. It’s sad but I believe that the shop has since closed down, which sucks pixie dust!

PANNECKCKC

So, not as far as some go but a step further than everyone else I went with! It’s all about getting creative and feeling that Disney magic! You do you and have fun with it! I wanted to have a go, did it and didn’t feel silly or out of place, in fact the characters will usually clock if you’ve dressed like them or have something relating to them on you. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet Peter the day I was wearing my Pan garb, so I met him in one of my Alice themed outfits… he still managed to pick up on the anchor on my shirt and accuse me of piracy!

If you want to check out my last escapade to Disney, find out more about my character interactions (including the pirate controversy) or the time I got spooned by a clown at DLP them I shall leave the links below (bonus, I went overboard with the photos again) :

>>Disneyland Paris 25th Anniversary 💙<<

>> Meeting Peter Pan, Mickey Mouse, Jack Sparrow and the Mad Hatter at Disneyland Paris ✨<<

>>Being spoonfed by a clown at Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show! 🙀<<

 

“Just think of the happiest things, it’s the same as having wings!”

Until next time, off to Neverland!

ckcsignoff

 

P.S. None of this sponsored, I just love what I found!

 

Advertisements

In a World Full of a Regina’s, Be a Janis.

“I wish I could bake a cake made out of rainbows and smiles and we’d all eat it and be happy.” – Crying girl that doesn’t even go here out of Mean Girls 💋

In a world full of Reginas’, be a Janis.

I, for one, am a Janis. Pegged to be the weird one and the target for all the jokes bullies, or in actual fact just literal, IRL mean girls, that can make school kinda unbearable. But what even is weird? Some people say weird like it is a bad thing. If being quick witted and confident enough to slam dunk a come back like “your mom’s chest hair”, being strong enough to stand alone or march as part of a crowd to the beat of my own drum, to withstand hurt time and time again and still wake up and face each day as myself without bowing to peer pressure or societal/community norms, then I think I’d rather be a weirdo, be like Janis.anigif_enhanced-buzz-7961-1383248660-42Being “weird” or specifically a “weirdo” or even an “outsider” or “non-conformist” doesn’t mean you can’t wear pink on a Wednesday. It does mean, however, you can wear sweats or joggers when ever you like! Wear the jeans, g’wannnn! You can most definitely wear your hair in a ponytail whenever you want to. White gold hoops are you thing, their thing, everyone’s thing if they want it to be. Wear the hoops. Dammit, you can even make fetch happen. Yes, you can!

Don’t worry about comparing yourself to other people, because their standards, their bars and their goals are set in a different place to yours. They have different ideas and ideals. It’s ok to say no. It’s ok to walk away. It’s ok to step back. It’s ok to want to take things slow. It’s ok to want a change. It’s ok to want to stay exactly where you are. You do not need to be someone else, or live someone else’s life, when you could be you and live your life the way you want to, not how someone else wants it to go or be done.

It’s easier said than done, I know that, but remember two things:

1) “The world doesn’t end, it just feels like it does. – Janis, ‘I’d Rather Be Me’, Mean Girls the musical.

2) There’s only one of you… and that’s so fetch!

Yes. Yes this was almost a love note to Mean Girls. I was a 00s teen and, other than it being one of the most quoteable films ever made, it was basically my biopic. I mean I could totally relate… and I was most certainly a Janis.

Also, very excited that this is now a musical.

V. V. excited!

ckcsignoff

 

 

GIF Credit: Buzzfeed/sammywinchester|tumblr

Prancing Around Like I’m Mary Lennox🌻 | Somerleyton Hall & Gardens.

I recently went on a little escapade and found myself getting lost in the sprawling 5000 acre estate of Someleyton Hall in Lowestoft, UK. Honestly, there were moments when I was on my own, surrounded by trees twisted into odd shapes, with three different exits that all look the same and the odd statue peeking out from behind a bush that you swear wasn’t there before, it was like being in a beautiful episode of ‘Tales of the Unexpected.’

PERGOLACKC copy

Literally… the place was used in ‘Tales of the Unexpected’… and as a stand in for Sandringham (y’know, QEII’s house.) This place is beyond beautiful. Not to mention they have one of those great big hedge mazes like in Harry Potter. I didn’t go in it just because I was too hot to adventure and I had a super savage summer cold (like, I should have done a She’s the Man and shoved tampons up my nose like Viola to stop the snot river that was a flowin’.) Also, I was scared I would get lost and then Voldemort would just be in there all nose-less and snake like, poking people in the forehead, screaming ‘KILL THE SPARE!’ No thanks, Barbara.

GROUNDSCKC copy

But anyway, anyway, all references aside, Somerleyton is absolutely gorgeous and there is a sweet little tea room and gift shop too. There are tours over the course of the day which run at around 45 minutes each. This is the only way to see inside the hall itself, as Lord and Lady Somerleyton and their family still reside there. Check the website for availability, because opening days and times vary season to season. One adult ticket for entrance into both the hall & gardens comes in at around £11.45, with deals for groups, concessions and RHS members. You can get a ticket for just the gardens too at a reduced price, which is just as worth it if you love the great outdoors and a bit of artistic landscaping. Honestly, it was a beautiful way to spend an afternoon, mooching around in the sunshine without a cloud in the sky. If they ever remake The Secret Garden… this would be the place to shoot those exteriors! It’s a nature photographers dream!

SECRETCKC copy

ckcsignoff

Pretending to be Shania Twain with Ice Cream.

I’m pretty much a quarter of the way to death. At my age, by all kinds of unspoken societal law, in my position I should be a fully fledged adult doing adult things… and I am… sometimes.

The thing is, there are times when life gets too much. The universe is catapulting hideous demogorgon-esque scenarios your way, everyone is breathing down your neck, opinions and judgements are pushing you from pillar to post like a mental bully circle and everywhere you turn looks real bleak. In moments like those you just have to relent. Being a strong, adult figure doesn’t mean being crippled with anxiety and carrying the world on your shoulders 24/7. You are human after all. Here’s a tested, tried and true method of mine that I put into practice again just recently and oh my life! It was like hitting the reset button on your tamagotchi and bringing it back from the dead. You ready? Pretend you’re 14 again and do the things you used to do, let loose a little and allow yourself to have no responsibilities for an hour or so. Maybe just one night.

One of my best gals came over, we both got into our PJs and ordered enough pizza to feed a family of four. Whilst waiting we decided to go full tween movie, pyjama party realness and put on my 90s playlist. There we are, hair brush microphones in hands, high kicking, full on emoting, singing along to Shania Twain together before collapsing onto the floor in a heap of giggles. After laying on the carpet and stuffing ourself with pizza straight out of the box and bacon and cheese wedges, (yes, you heard me… BACON AND CHEESE WEDGES,) we settled ourselves with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s and two spoons and binge watched an entire series of Drag Race (because I banged on about it so much that my friend finally caved, watched it and fell in love with it too.)

We had a heart to heart and talked about more adult things, which is what friends do, and when things got a little heavy on the heart, we decided to go heavy on the face too. I pulled out my entire make up collection and proceeded to give my pal a make over. It wasn’t the most attractive look but we weren’t going for attractive, we were going for laugh-until-we-cry fabulousness. It worked. I cried. It was hilarious. She looked fabulous.

It felt so good to laugh until our stomaches’ ached and our faces hurt. From the outside looking in our behaviour was completely enrobed by a brazen immaturity. Yes, yes it was. Best thing? We didn’t even care, and that’s the clincher to having the most wonderful time. Just. Don’t. Care. Nothing is going to be as fun as frivolity, as just letting go, being crazy. When the fear of judgement is removed we find our safety net. When we feel like no one will care to condemn us, we feel free to take that leap of faith, to free fall a little, to get things off of our chest and be our true selves. If it’s not hurting anyone, why is it so wrong?

That’s all we want isn’t it? To feel free, safe and supported? I know that when I let go of the idea of others judgement, opinions and failing in their eyes, things seem a little brighter and my anxieties drop away at least just a smidge. That’s when true happiness appears and strength will soon follow it.

High Tea with… Cats?! 🐱| Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium

“In my world you wouldn’t say “meow,” you’d say “yes Miss Alice.” – Alice, Alice in Wonderland.

Source >> https://giphy.com/gifs/alice-in-wonderland-disney-tToDBg9i7Ol3i/embed

You know what’s not a good idea? Acknowledging the almost 30c temperature and still refusing to wear anything other than all black garb, docs and my hair in a down do. I was sweating like a Goth at a Hot Topic closing down sale but deal with it Linda. I spent last Friday wandering the streets of Shoreditch with my best gal, looking for our purrrrfect lunch spot. After 40 minutes of searching, (hello, my name is directionally dysfunctional) we finally found the inconspicuous little cafe where our reservation was held: Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, better known as the ‘Cat Cafe’.

LDCKC 2_Fotor

The cafe is tucked away on Bethnal Green road, and if you’re not watching you could easily miss it (as we did!) It is what I like to describe as a T.A.R.D.I.S building, much bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. The theme you ask: Alice in Wonderland. Why? Because, for those not down with Wonderland, Dinah is the name of Alice’s pet cat. Honestly, even the lighting fixture was a giant top hat like the Mad Hatter’s with a chandelier pouring from the centre. It was so, so utterly fab.

HATCKC 2

You first enter a small cafe that looks like a galley kitchen. Once your reservation rolls around you are asked to come through into a cross over room, where you are reminded of the cafe rules and asked to wash your hands, before being escorted through into the main cafe and to your seats. Upstairs is far more modern and chic, all white with light wood and chrome fixings, downstairs is a mystical wonderland. The staircase is decorated like a rabbit hole and it leads to a room covered with red roses, playing card and fairy lights, with all the chairs centred around a giant fairy tree (which of course is actually a playground for cats with lots of beds, tunnels and bridges.)

Lady Dinah’s is, first and foremost, home to 14 cats (currently). Whilst you sip your tea and eat your sandwiches the cats are free roaming (this is basically their house so y’know, they would be.) They can and will climb around you, above you, next to you and maybe even cuddle up to the chosen few. There are beds and food bowls scattered around the cafe and a selection of brushes and cat toys so you can interact with them too. There are strict rules, as I mentioned earlier, which are made very clear and you must agree to abide by, such as; don’t feed them, don’t pick them up, don’t disturb them if they are eating or sleeping, if they look irritated then leave them alone… basically the rules I would like to apply to other humans when approaching me.

CATCKC 2

Now, don’t get your health and safety knickers in a twist. There is no food or drink stored or prepared in the same area as the cats as far as I could see. Everything was sectioned off by either one or two heavy fire doors and the staff are constantly sweeping, cleaning and disinfecting the tables. Most cats didn’t climb on the tables, except for one: Dorian. He was following what looked like his favourite waiter, clambering over the tables and chairs to stay by his side. Dorian is only a baby and seemed to be relatively friendly and exceptionally cheeky, already used to humans being around all the time. He also fell asleep on a chair that a customer later came to sit it. The staff just got the customer a new chair. Honestly, the cats rule the roost.

DORIANCKC 2

Speaking of the staff, they are super friendly and totally fab, but with not only looking after two rooms full of guests, the extra cleaning and 14 cats to contend with, sometimes they are a little pre occupied, but they are more than happy to help if you ask for any extra drinks or have any questions (even if they are just about the cats.) There is a time limit on each reservation, at around 1hr 30 per session, and it is imperative you book in advance because this place fills up quick! You can also add things, like birthday gift bags, to be waiting on your table when you arrive, how cute is that?!

At £25pp for a full afternoon tea service including unlimited hot and cold drinks, with alcoholic and unlimited food upgrades available, as well as options for the majority of dietary requirements, it is not to be sniffed at. 5 stars, three thumbs up, tens across the board, I will be back.

ckcsignoff

 

 

 

GIF Credit: Giphy.com/rapunzellls.tumblr.com

Vegan Vanilla & Oreo Cupcakes!

OreoVeCakeCKC HEADER

I often dabble in a bit of acting, and last week in the U.K it was the Easter half term, meaning all the children were off school for two weeks and the time had come to open a production of George’s Marvellous Medicine to sell out audiences.

Now, as is tradition, baked goods were to be supplied for opening night… however this time there was a twist, one of the guys I was working with is vegan. I had never actually baked vegan cupcakes before. I made a vegan brownie once, my first foray into free-from cooking, but I kinda hated it. So, I looked up some recipes and found one that consisted mostly of things I had in the cupboard already, I just needed a couple of vegan alternatives, such as almond milk and a plant based butter, then I was ready to rock.

VeBakeCKC copy

The recipe I followed was this one >> Vegan cupcakes << by cornfairy, which I found on the all recipes website. As I am a novice vegan cook, I followed the recipe to the letter at first, not knowing what the colour or consistency should be like. I baked two cupcakes to start, to see how it turned out, but they were completely raw in the middle weren’t quite right, so I made a couple of adjustments. I also should note that these were almost more like vanilla and coconut cupcakes, due to the coconut oil used in them, however, that might just be the oil I have that gave it that coconutty flavour. It was delish anyway.

If these look like something you fancy having a whack at then give the recipe I used a try, as in the end they got two thumbs up from the entire cast and crew. For ease, I’ve listed the ingredients and method below and have put changes I made in brackets:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 330ml almond milk
  • 250g plain flour  (+ an extra 20g to thicken the mixture slightly.)
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda  (I used Bicarbonate of soda.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 120ml melted coconut oil   (I melted it first, in the jar, and measured it in it’s liquid state, rather than measuring it solid and melting it after.)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract   (+ extra 1 3/4 teaspoons.)

 

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Line two muffin tins with 18 paper cases. (I preheated my fan oven to 160 C)
  2. Pour the apple cider vinegar into a measuring jug. Fill with almond milk to make 350ml. Let stand until curdled, about 5 minutes. (I measured 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar into a bowl and then added 330ml of almond milk as per the ingredients list. All together it came to around 340ml, and I left it at that.)
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond milk mixture, coconut oil and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cases, dividing evenly.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in the tin set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter. Ice with your favourite icing, if liked. (Originally, I baked them for 20 minutes at 180 C, as suggested, but the tops were brown and the middles raw. This is why I dropped the temperature to 160 C and baked them for around 30 – 40 minutes, checking them every so often. At first, I left them in the tins to cool and popped put them on a wire rack to finish them off.)

VeSwirlCKC copy

I have to say they still turned out the teeniest bit stodgy in the middle, but that texture was 👌. Overly wet or mushy foods make me gag (I mean soup is a nightmare) but these were on point. Not raw but not super firm, just moist and melty. Mmmm. I’m salivating writing this, not going to lie.

I topped them with a vegan buttercream, the recipe for which I have linked here >> Vegan Buttercream<<. I found this on Holly’s blog, ‘The Little Blog of Vegan’, after searching for a while for a recipe that wouldn’t melt, would pipe and didn’t have a million ingredients I would have to go out and buy. Common sense told me just to substitute the butter for vegan butter, but having a recipe was a little more reassuring the first time I had made it. I have to say I’m absolutely pants at making buttercream, I don’t think I have ever got it right… up until now. Honestly, this was the best buttercream I’ve ever made.

To make it an Oreo buttercream, I used a 154g pack of Original Oreos and scraped the cream from the middle of each biscuit into the buttercream, putting the biscuits to one side. Once the oreo cream was mixed in to the topping, I piped it onto each cake using a star nozzle. I crushed the oreo biscuits pieces in a bag and then sprinkled them on top. It added a lovely crunch to the end product… and Oreos are just yummy.

VeOreo copy

So there you have it Vanilla, Oreo and kind of coconut vegan cupcakes! Moist, sweet and totally moreish! I have definitely put these recipes in my makeshift cook book!

P.S. I have heard people question how vegan friendly Oreos really are, however the guys I was making these for are 100% OK with Oreos. If you are dubious, you can make them without… it’s only the topping after all!

ckcsignoff

A Brush with the Death Eaters 🐍| Warner Bros. Studio Tour After Hours Event!

Any Harry Potter fans in the house? Can a get a Swish and Flick up in here? Ok my magical brethren and muggle allies, are you ready for this? I went back to Hogwarts, but this time it got fancy… ish. Fancyish. Like, not Yule Ball fancy, but kinda like, Halloween fancy. You get me?

Now, if you’ve read any of my other blog posts you’ll come to realise this was not my first time at the rodeo. I’ll leave links to my other adventures to the HP Studio Tour at the end of the post. Each of them give you a little bit more insight on a different exhibit or experience, so if you’re interested in the Hogwarts express, the Forbidden Forest or Hogwarts at Christmas, then the links will be down below. This was, however, my first trip to a special event.RAVENCKC copyLast month, The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter, alongside Groupon, hosted a Harry Potter after hours event, in which fans could enjoy the studio tour in it’s full glory once it had closed to the public as well as experience a few extras hidden along the way, and girl, trust me when I say it was worth it.

The deal cost £50.00 per person and included entrance to the tour once it had closed to the general public (for a standard adult (16+) it usually costs between £39.00 – £41.00pp alone), a souvenir guide book, a hot meal and drink (including limited hot drinks and alcoholic beverages for the 18+ wizards among us) and a Butterbeer served in a souvenir tankard to take home. Super good value for what you get and an absolute ball for die hard Potterheads like Nerdy Mcgerdy over here 🙋.BOOKCKC copyNow, aside from the fabulous tour itself, there were a few extra bits and bobs on offer that evening. The staff were friendly and fabulous, as ever, giving a few insightful little talks and tidbits on some of the larger sets they were stationed at, such as Dumbledore’s Office (and if you don’t walk past the giant eagle on your way in and obnoxiously shout ‘Sherbet Lemon’ before taking a shameless selfie, then are you even a Hogwarts alum?) They gave you an insight into Michael Gambon’s performance as Dumbledore and his ode to Richard Harris and which piece of set on the whole tour was the most expensive… that you never get to see!DUMBIECKC copyAs well as this, two of the prop makers from the film series, who were at the helm of all the wand making, were there showing you how they made each and every wand with live demonstrations. They let you in on a few inside secrets about anything from the wands, prop making in general or the film industry itself and how to get started. They were wonderfully insightful, chatty and incredible artists.WANDCOLLAGECKCThe next little extra was a brush with the dark arts: a chance to meet the Death Eaters. These guys were fab… and kinda scary, ngl. There were three Death Eaters to meet (or maybe two and one moved, I dunno. Numbers and geography aren’t my forte); one guarding the Malfoy Manor set, standing still as a statue and jumping out on unsuspecting victims… a.k.a me and my friend. One was prowling outside the Ministry of Magic and swooping across the entrance to the Forbidden Forest and the third was skulking about the dark alleyways of Diagon Alley, ready for a duel. I legit saw a kid pull a wand out of his pocket and start a fake duel and the Death Eater dude played along so well, dodging pretend curses and throwing all kinds of magic shapes. DEATHCKC copyIt was such great fun, as always, and the staff always do their upmost to make it special, from showing off their wand waving skills as we queued to pick up our tickets and guidebooks, to a simple, whispered “welcome to Hogwarts” as we entered the final room (cue the goosebumps. It gets me every time! Y’know how some people cry when they see the Disney Castle? That’s how I feel when I see Hogwarts.)

If you time it right, there is always something new to look at, with new props, costumes, displays and exhibits being added to keep it fresh. I honestly love this place. It really is magic and definitely something to add to the Potter pilgrimage if you want to visit a few of the sights from the films.

 

As mentioned, if you fancy a gander at a few of the other exhibits at the HP studio tour, then check out my posts from a few of my other visits. Click the links below:

>>Summer at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter ⚡️<<

>>Hogwarts in the snow ❄️<<

>>Platform 9 3/4 and the Hogwarts Express 🚂<<

>>The Forbidden Forest 🌳<<

 

And as a Brucey Bonus: Here’s my post on >>The Cursed Child London<< (dw no spoilers #keepthesecrets)

Nox.

 

ckcsignoff

 

Slow Down You Crazy Child.

Y’know, sometimes I wonder if I’m moving too slowly or if it’s this urge to move faster that causes me to collapse inwardly. Where I am in life is where I am. Comparing myself to others makes me advanced but also behind. There’s no answer in that. There’s no answers that come from comparing yourself to others or judging yourself by others standards. That attitude is a real problem sometimes brain, did you know that? Yeah in amongst all the Drag Race catch phrases, noughties pop lyrics and useless Harry Potter trivia, could you dig out the self destruction file, staple it shut and stick STOP IT in neon post-its across the front please (pink post-its preferable)?

I mean when I hear the phrase “guess who back, back again?” I would love the answer to be Slim Shady just once… it’s usually crippling self doubt, anxiety or a steaming hot bowl of irrational fear and overthinking to keep me cosy during those long winter nights. No, no, I have discovered that being plagued by low self esteem is not conducive with adulting successfully.

There is so much I want to do and my life motto flip flops from, “Why me?” to “Why not me?” on a minute by minute basis. I’m pushing forwards so hard that I can’t be present in the day. I can’t wait for something to arrive and then, once it arrives, I can’t wait for it to be over. I think I just need my mind to slow down and take in everything in the present before it can rush on to the future. I need to do what all good I.T technicians recommend when a hard drive is bugging out: turn it off and on again.

Maybe I’ll do what Billy Joel says, “Slow down, you crazy child, and take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while. It’s all right, you can afford to lose a day or two…”

Ugh, I got more waffle that a waffle iron…

…a Mickey Mouse one though.

A pink Mickey Mouse one.

With Glitter.

 

Look, what I’m getting at is it’s OK to not be OK at times I guess. Just work on being OK, that’s all anyone can ask.

ckcsignoff

Try the Grey Stuff, It’s Delicious! |Beauty & the Beast Afternoon Tea.

Y’know whats great? Cake. Y’know whats better than cake? Disney themed cake, specifically from one of the most iconic Disney dinner parties ever: Beauty and the Beast. Yeah, I went there. I finally managed to get my arse down to the Kensington Hotel in London for their Tale as Old as Time afternoon tea. I munched my way through yet another three tiers of British tradition with a twist and enjoyed every second. Be prepared for Disney fangirling and an onslaught of quotes from one of my favourite Disney films.

So pull up a chair, as the dining room proudly presents: your dinner.

https://media.giphy.com/media/l4EoVNDp9K5Vl0NAk/giphy.gif

Now first and foremost, before I start to fangirl, I have to give a special mention to the staff. Honestly, best service I have ever had. I’ve been to a few fancy places and had my fair share of afternoon teas by now, but these guys take the cake (pun wasn’t intended but after re-reading it, pun fully intended.) Now, I need to point out that it was, like, 8 degrees outside and my pal has a penchant for turning up an hour early for appointments. So we went in and asked if there was somewhere we could wait inside, even though we were mega early and expected to be turned away:

Maitre d’: “Yes, yes ladies of course have a seat in our lounge, I’ll check and see if we can move your booking forwards for you.”

Us: “Oh no it’s ok, we can wait, it’s our fault. We just appreciate being in the warm!”

-*15 minutes later*-

Maitre d’: “Hello Ladies, I have your table ready if you would like to eat now. It’s all prepared and waiting for you, so you can wait until your booking time or we can seat you now, it’s no problem.”

Ummm, just wow. At other afternoon teas, we have been told to wait outside and we weren’t even allowed in the building before our allocated slot. However, the Kensington Hotel clearly know what customer service is… and that it’s bloody expensive so good service is key 👌.

Not only this but the menu was explained to us fully, and they checked any special dietary requirements, even offering to switch out any dishes we simply didn’t like, because they wanted all their guests to enjoy their experience, down to the very last sandwich 😱. I mean, who does that?! I was so darn impressed. First and only time that has happened and it made our experience sky rocket tenfold. We didn’t even swap anything out, but we were so grateful that it had been offered.

 I’m also a difficult lass who doesn’t drink tea, but was offered not just ‘coffee’ but refillable cups of any specialty coffee I would like (plus the coffee cups matched the tea cups… it wasn’t a cheap IKEA mug and a pot of filter coffee like a few other places I’ve visited.)

Now let’s get to the good bit, the food!

wearymadgelada-size_restricted


On arrival you are presented with the option of a glass of champagne and each guest receives a biscuit in the shape of Belle’s iconic ball gown, wrapped up in cellophane and tied with a ribbon for you to take home. The biscuit is All Spice/Speculoos and Marzipan, with a gold lustre and red roses piped on.

CHAMPAGNECKC

Once you are seated they ask you to unfold your menu, take a glance and then you’ll be their guest. This is the time to chop and change the menu and order drinks (as I mentioned before.) Then you are brought your first course, the hot savouries. Yep, this tea has HOT SAVOURIES. I know, drool worthy or what? These were inspired by the food mentioned by Lumière in the song that inspired the whole thing: “...beef ragu, cheese soufflé, pie and pudding en flambé!” It consists of beef ragu arancini (a deep fried rice ball filled with the ragu, kinda like a mozzarella stick without the mozzarella), mini Venison pie and an individual cheese soufflé, delicately decorated with some rose petals.

HOTSTARTERSCKC

Then you are bought your traditional cake stand alongside Mrs Potts, who adds a little magic to one of the desserts and either a working Lumiere or Cogsworth (or, if you ask really, really nicely, they might let you have both of them on your table). The staff also offered to set up the table and take photos for us, which was so lovely of them to do! Honestly, world class service. I even noticed a waiter show a Belle obsessed little girl around the dining room, which was made up to look a little like Gaston’s tavern, pointing out the fire place and the art on the walls.

Instead of the traditional scones with cream and jam, this afternoon tea serves up Marie’s sweet baguettes (“…Marie! The Baguettes! Hurry up!”) with chocolate spread and apricot jam, which is delish. Then, you have your more traditional finger sandwiches: Cucumber and cream cheese, smoked salmon (which was not a strong fishy taste at all. It wasn’t just fish plonked on bread, they had mixed it with crème fraîche to make it more of a sandwich filling, which was different and delightful), chicken and cranberry and egg mayonnaise and cress. All of which were so, so yummy, and we were also offered a refill to boot!

STANDCKC

Then the final plate, the plate we’ve all be waiting for; the desserts. This is where the fangirling happened. I almost didn’t want to eat it. In fact we didn’t at first because we couldn’t face destroying it. Firstly, yes, you do get to try THE GREY STUFF!!! And yes, it’s delicious. I even had to ask the dishes, as Chip, who is carrying the precious cargo comes with a little note asking you to try it! The grey stuff is actually a gorgeous white chocolate mousse.

You also get a little edible Cogsworth, which is a little tart filled with chocolate ganache and decorated with marzipan, a snowball macaron, which is a coconut macaron with a chocolate filling and a clear vanilla jelly in a glass dome with  rose petal suspended in it.  Mrs Potts who holds a vanilla cream to go with it.

DESSERTCKC

 

Honestly, it was not only the tastiest afternoon tea I have had, where I honestly enjoyed every single item on the menu but the over all experience was incredible. The staff and service were wonderful, the set up was fabulous and both my friend and I had an absolute ball being treated like Princesses. This is one I would highly recommend… that is if you can get booked in, as it proves incredibly popular, but you can see why! I would pay the almost £40.00 again and again (£50 for the champers, but I didn’t have that one.)

ckcsignoff

New Year, Stronger You.

Hello 2018

Oh hey there 2018, look at you girl! Storming your way in, both literally and metaphorically (come on Storm Eleanor). Almost a month in and the weather is topsy turvy. I’m just waiting for those leather jacket days to come back because I’ve got some fabulous new pins to add onto my somewhat already crowded lapels.

So it’s a new year. A new chapter. A new beginning, and we all know what that means. It’s time to reinvent ourselves and start the new year off with a new you… again. I mean, it’s always a work in progress in my books so let’s put up those construction signs and learn how to work them. I say, don’t bother trying to be a new you, instead be a stronger you and be it unapologetically. Find yourself, find your passions, find your people and live your life authentically and y’know, all that jazz. Just be yourself and don’t compromise your happiness so that light can shine on someone else. OK? OK.

I usually enter a new year, no not purse first, but following my gut. I usually have some sort of feelings, one way or another, about the year, however 2018 has got me feeling numb. I have no idea. New Year’s Eve I felt like a lost eyelash on the nightclub floor. Sometimes I have a feeling of exploration, like I am going to travel somewhere or be exposed to somewhere or something new. Sometimes I have sudden wave of patience, as if the universe is telling me to be calm and wait. To prep for something that is coming. Sometimes I get a wind of motivation that catapults me forwards and I become inspired by new ideas or different things, as if there’s something telling me to persevere, to carry on creating. This year, I have no idea. No inkling from my psychic colon. I’m going into it blind, but who knows.

So this year, I’m going to live. Just live and let live. Go on adventures, do new things, expand my horizons. A year to tie up loose ends, strengthen my weaknesses and become a better, more authentic version of myself, who I love dearly.

Let’s make 2018 a year of love and happiness. Fill it with smiles.

ckcsignoff