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My New Favourite Italian Restaurant in London


Hi babes – how’s it going?

Firstly I’m soooooo sorrrrrrry that my blog posts are way more sporadic than they used to be. I’ve been crazy busy at work recently and just haven’t had the time or drive to blog which is annoying as I’ve got LOADS of places to tell you about, some dating back as far as summer last year. I know right, my bad!

Anyway, I’m back, I’m here and I’m telling you about a restaurant I recently went to and ticked off my ‘must visit and eat all the food’ list that I shared in this blog post HERE.

And boy was it a goody. It totally lived up to expectation and will now be my go to Italian hot-spot in London. Yeah it’s a gooddun.

So everyone say HEY THERE to Padella.

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I went on a Saturday evening around 8.30pm after an unsuccessful attempt to get into the bar at the Shard which was devastating because the sunset that day was amazing and doing that thing where it demands I take a picture of it.

But sadly it wasn’t meant to be because the man on the door at the Shard (aka the dream ruiner) said nah soz guys you’re not coming in, because my man was wearing trainers (obviously! My guy loves himself a sneaker) – and I wouldn’t have really minded but he spent a ridiculous amount of money on some smart ‘date’ shoes last year for a wedding so y’know he probably could have worn them?

Alas instead of putting these shoes on that he bought as a result of naively wandering into a ridiculously posh & expensive city-boy shoe shop in Canary Wharf and then feeling too awkwardly British not to buy them after the sales-assistant lovingly laced them up on his feet; he  threw on some converse and kept us on the wrong side of the threshold to Instagram and sunset heaven.

I honestly toyed with the idea of leaving him outside (I really don’t like to miss a good sunset, especially from 30-odd floors up.) but had an attack of conscious and decided that spending time with him was probably more important than a few pictures of the London skyline and a killer sunset. Of course I totally regret this life choice. joke! sort of. (I reaaaaallly like a good sunset).

Anyway, moving on from expensive shoes, sunsets and our access denied situation; we headed straight to Padella to console ourselves with platefuls of the freshest and most delicious pasta in London (IMO). We rolled in sans reservation but despite this I’m pleased to report we were shown to a couple of seats up at the bar within a matter of minutes.

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The ‘bar’ I speak of is wrapped around the kitchen so if you’re sat here then lucky old you can see right into the chef’s work space and see exactly what is going down with your food. Perfect for those a little OCD and also perfect for those who can’t stand the sight of their other half.

I’m kidding!!

(not holding a grudge at all about that trainer / sunset situ)

But seriously I love seeing into the kitchen of a restaurant ’cause it’s where a lot of the action happens and it can be quite exciting. It also adds a little summit extra to your dining experience. Plus six years in, my man and I are a little over gazing lovingly into each others eyes – instead we prefer to concentrate on the food – y’see we love eating, we were hungry and were out for food, so that is our focus. (And the fact that we both think like this is probably the reason we’ve been together as long as we have.)

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So there we were perched up at the bar, oggling dishes being made right in front of our faces and trying to stop rivers of salvia escaping our mouths. When we finally tore our eyes away from the real life masterchef taking place in the kitchen we got down to ordering some cocktails.

Coz of course along with platefuls of pasta, what better way to take the edge off our earlier rejection at the Shard and nurse our poor hurt egos (DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?) than with some good, strong, alcoholic cocktails – WE DON’T NEED YOUR STINKING 30TH FLOOR VIEW!!!

Naturally being in an Italian restaurant we ordered a couple of Aperol Spritzers. We had these in Sardinia last year (read those blog posts HERE) and totally fell in love with them so were hoping to be transported back with every sip. We were, and at £6 a spritz it was a much cheaper alternative to a return trip…although I will be going back one day!

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Now let’s get onto the food shall we?

As I’ve mentioned, Padella is a fresh pasta bar and in fact, if you’re a bit of a nosey neighbour, you can watch them rolling out said pasta in the window of the restaurant every morning (check out their instagram here).

This fresh pasta is then fashioned into a very straightforward and simple menu. There are six options for mains and five different starters. You don’t have any of the classics like Carbonara & Spag Bol but you do have lots of very easy to understand dishes that won’t require lots of googling.

For starters we kept it light and went for bread, oil and buratta – that super creamy and delicious type of mozzarella.

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And this ^^^ is a picture of one of chefs preparing OUR actual buratta. See!! You have proper front row seats and can therefore be sure that your dishes are prepared with some serious love and affection and not a side of phlegm in sight. (not that I’m insinuating any restaurant actually does that of course!!! Sneeze muffin?)

(A-star if you got that friends ref there.)

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So yeah, buratta and bread. Always a winner in my book, erm, hello! It’s carbs & cheese and it’s easy to share with your dinner date.

(read: I ordered the buratta and Nicky ordered the bread and he had to share his bread with me because lol. I need a ship for this sweet, sweet buratta to sail into my mouth on.)

Time for our mains –

Now choosing these was a toughie and as such I thought it would be a brilliant idea to get three plates of pasta between us but SOMEONE made me feel like this was completely unnecessary and so we chose a main each and left it at that. Now you can imagine the look on my face when three plates of pasta arrived in front of the sat couple next to us. Cue some serious food ordering envy and another round of death stares in the direction of my boyf. (two strikes babe. two.)

But anyway – enough about other peoples food, what about ours?

Well, I ordered the nduja and parsley tagliatelle and it arrived under a cover of parmesan. It seems that Padella have a bit of a thing for the ‘ole parmejaaaaan…which is totes cool with me because I too am a big fan.

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…As is my man who’s dinner also came covered in a very healthy layer of cheese. And underneath the more is more sprinkling of parmesan was his parpadelle with 8-hour Dexter beef shin ragu.

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Just an FYI for you folks it does actually say on the menu to let them know if you’re not cray cray about parmesan so be sure to tell them if you don’t like it as all the dishes come out snowed under it…there’s no ‘say when’ in this establishment!

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The portions are a nice size but not huge. I definitely think we could have managed a third between us and will definitely go for this option on my next visit – because why the heck not.

And also, because the main are between £5 and £10 each it feels like they’re cheap enough to warrant ordering more than you need.

I mean, YOLO!

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The tagliatelle was delicioso, although I did have to follow each of my mouthfuls with a water chaser as my dish was hot as hell. Now I knew Nduja was a spicy little sausage but previous to Padella I’d actually only had it on a pizza, meaning it was a little less concentrated. Mixed in with pasta is packed a bit of a more consistent hot punch so if you’re not a fan of spice maybe give this dish a swerve.

As for the beef shin ragu well this was blaaady lovely and a must have for any spag bol fans out there. I was a little annoyed that this dish was sat in front of my boyfriend instead of me but when my ever-thoughtful feller (love you boo) offered to swap dishes I had to politely decline because too often I’m a bit of a princess in these situations and I really need to stop behaving like the queen of everything. After six years I think it may be wearing a bit thin.

Next time though I’m going in for the beef shin ragu parpadelle.

Plates thoroughly cleared we toyed with the idea of ordering another plate of pasta to share (#couplegoals); I was really, really, desperate to try the ravioli and the Pici cacio e pepe (pasta with cheese and pepper) AND the Tagliarini in a slow cooked tomato sauce, so yeah basically all of the remaining dishes on the menu.

Somehow we resisted the temptation to add to our food baby bellies with more pasta and instead checked out the dessert menu.

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We went for the chocolate tart to share even though Nicky isn’t a fan of super chocolate-y stuff (I know, what a weirdo and oh, there’s that princess personality I was talking about). It came with a dollop of really bitter cream on the side, too bitter for me but the tart itself was dreamy.

And that was us done. We paid the bill, which was definitely on the cheap side compared to a lot of other London restaurants and drove home over the bridge to a beautiful summery evening sky – that I consequently tried to take a picture of because OH LOOK AT THE SKY BABE!!!! HOW PRETTY!

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So there we go guys, my new favourite Italian restaurant in London. It’s a really cool, casual little spot that serves up some of the best, freshest pasta in town. On top of that it won’t break the bank and they serve Aperol spritzers sweetie.

The guys that run Padella are also responsible for Trullo which is another Italian restaurant in Islington. It’s a slightly more up-market place than Padella with a more extensive and more expensive menu but I’m sure it would be just as good if not better than Padella and it’s taken the empty spot on my ‘restaurant list’ – so maybe see you there!

http://padella.co

Thanks for reading!

Harry x

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Bargain Beauty Haul and some of My Current Beauty Faves.


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Hey hens how was your weekend?

Mine could have been better tbh – I mean I had a cracking start to it on Friday with champagne drinks and a helluva view of London at Vertigo (check out my instagram pic here – jealouuuus!) but things quickly escalated and I eventually found myself convincing strangers (read: new BFFs) I’d met in the smoking area (I don’t even smoke!) of another bar that we should all go to a nightclub at 4am.

NEVER A GOOD IDEA.

I then had the painful realisation on Saturday afternoon that I’d lost my debit card and had to call my bank and confirm that it was in fact me buying a round of drinks at 6am in Egg rather than some other absolute rascal card-thief. I was also too hungover to go to Gay Pride (boo!) and then dropped and smashed my phone on the way to the tube. FML.

I spent the rest of the weekend in the foetal position on the sofa watching Love Island and Big Brother eating beige food and wondering why my selfish boyfriend wasn’t immediately on the first plane back from Vegas to take care of his poor hungover little hunny. I mean really – since when is a lads holiday more important than me?

So yeah – my weekend could have been better. I mean, it wasn’t that bad reaaaallly but having to wait five days for a new bank card is a bit of a bloody inconvenience – like, who the hell carries cash anymore?!

Anyway…this post isn’t about the ridiculous, irresponsible behaviour of an almost 29 year old, it’s about beauty products and some bargain beauty products at that.

Y’see well before my wild Friday night antics (back when my head was still on my shoulders and I wasn’t trying to re-enact the London version of the hangover) I found myself moseying around the shops thanks to the mid-season sale and inadvertently ended buying a shit-tonne of beauty products.

Some were things I’d needed / been hunting for, for a while and some were spur of the moment why the heck not buys (see, being impulsive can sometimes be a good thing?). And I as I haven’t blogged in what feels like a decade I thought I would pull my finger out, take some pics of the products and throw them into a post for y’all to enjoy in a kinda beauty haul / current beauty favourites mash up.

So let’s get to it shall we?

Mane ’n Tail Shampoo & Conditioner

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Starting with Mane ’n Tail – my shampoo & conditioner brand of choice at the moment. I came across them somewhere on the internet – YouTube or a blog or something like that, and everyone was basically hailing it as the hair growth shampoo / conditioner du jour.

And OBVIOUSLY I was like…eww ma ghaaad I need this shampoo / conditioner combo in my life because FFS my hair does not effing grow and oh woe is me will I have ever have hair like Rapunzel or nah?

Then I forgot all about getting my hands on them (probably got distracted by a sequin catsuit tbh) until I randomly came across the bottles in Urban Outfitters and bought a shampoo and conditioner for £10 each which turned out to be daylight fucking robbery because Liberty’s sells them for a mere £7 a bottle.

Yup, if you can bloody well believe it, Liberty’s was the cheaper option than Urban Outfitters and on top of that you also get the sassy purple Liberty’s bag to carry them around in which in turn allows you to pretend you bought something much more expensive like an Alexander McQueen scarf for £350 rather than just shampoo & conditioner. Double win.

Anyway…the products themselves are, in my opinion, bloody marvellous! I swear my hair has grown so much since I’ve been using this brand and I feel like they’ve kept it in pretty good nick too despite the lashings of bleach I recently had put through it.

Of course it’s a *bit* weird that Mane ’n Tail was originally created to use on horses but then let’s be honest horse manes are the ultimate #hairgoals. Long, thick, shiny – who doesn’t want hair like that?

Scent wise, neither the shampoo nor the conditioner really smell of anything much but that’s not to say it’s a bad thing; it’s just a subtle clean smell rather than an overwhelming stench of dragon fruit and lavender from the outta Hebrides. The shampoo is very lather-y which I really like however the conditioner always feels a bit like I haven’t used enough but then I do have really thick hair so I need a lot of product to cover it.

Anyway, smelly or not smelly, lather-y or not lather-y; I am totally sold on the brand because my hair was almost down to my boobs (the longest my hair has ever been) the last time I had it cut and that is the ultimate mermaid hair dream.

I should probably add that as well as using Mane ’n Tail shampoo and conditioner I’ve also laid off blow-drying and straightening my hair a lot which is prob another big reason my hair has grown BUT still this shampoo & conditioner is THE ONE and this is the fourth time I’ve bought it so obviously it’s a gudden.

Get yours HERE.

& Other Stories Eyeshadows

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I don’t think I’ve bought an eye-shadow since 2002 but something came over me when I was in & Other Stories last week and I ended up heading to the till with not one but TWO green eyeshadows in hand.

Okay so one of the eyeshadows in the picture above looks gold but I can assure you it’s actually a pale light green.

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See?

Alright so now it looks silver and I might need a bit of practise on my swatching but you’re just gonna have to trust me on this one. Both eyeshadows are green and this isn’t turning into another blue / gold dress internet melt down – k?

Anyway the reason I ended up buying these little rascals was two fold.

One they were 50% off so only £3 each and two because I got me some beautiful (if I do say so myself) green eyes and heck, girl, you should make more of them.

So I figured if these little huns came home with me then I could get a bit creative with my eye makeup and dab a bit of the dark green colour on the outside of my eye and along the top AND bottom parts of my lash line and then dab the light green colour on the inner part of my eye to y’know open them babies up. (<<< that’s right isn’t it? Makeup artists can you confirm that I’ve got this the right way around????) and then everyone will be like daaayyyyum girl – yo eyes be looking so fly! Or something less American that that because lol we’re not in a movie.

Or y’know my eyes will be so enchanting that I’ll be able to hypnotise people into doing stuff for me or getting me cool free shit etc etc.

Anyway I gave the ‘look’ a quick go a couple of Friday’s ago before heading out to a theatre show in a cemetery with the bf (we know how to pardddaaaay!) and he basically lol’d in my face when he saw my eyes like haha what on earth have you done that for. Thanks boo, not exactly the reaction I was looking for.

I think he was just a bit shocked to see me looking so beautiful and so I’m gonna ignore his reaction and wear this combo again although probably in Bali (I’m going in September) when I’ve got a shexy tan and my freckles have made their annual appearance because I reckon I’ll look just dandy.

Also how chic is & Other Stories branding and packaging. So Scandi cool.

Check out their beauty range HERE.

& Other Stories Botany Tangelo Lipstick

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Another thing that found itself on the way to the tills with me in & Other Stories was this beautifully bright lipstick.

Y’see about a year ago I really got into my lipstick. It started when Hannah Gale mentioned that a make-up artist told her that orangey / red lippys suited green eyed girls and so of course ole’ green eyes over here thought she’d give it a whirl a bought a red lipstick from Topshop in shade Infrared.

And I love it. Well sort of. I love it when my lips are nicely moisturised and lipstick ready. Not when they’re dry and chapped and the lipstick looks gross.

ENTER this darling 50% off & Other Stories lipstick in shade: Botany Tangelo.

It’s pretty much the exact same shade as Infrared only it’s almost like a lip-balm as opposed to a lipstick. This means it’s hella moisturising and you don’t have to have perfectly hydrated lips to wear it which is like, ideal for me because oh hey there cracked planes of the sahara desert, oh no wait, that’s just my flakey feckin’ lips.

I’ve not worn it ‘officially’ yet – only when I was doing some tidying up the other weekend but instead of tidying up I was just picking things up to put them away and then putting them on instead. So there I was in a skanky old t-shirt & leggings with no make up on bar a slick of this lipstick (might have had a bindi on too) and once again my boyfriend laughing at me, honestly that guy.  – but I’m looking forward to sassy summer nights wearing this bad boy on a rooftop somewhere in London with cocktails OBVS.

Here’s another link to the & Other Stories beauty section in case you can’t remember how to get there using the link above  HERE.

Lush Buffy Body Butter

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So, somewhere between the ages of 18 and 28 the skin on my arms and legs just decided to stop playing ball.

I used to have the SMOOTHEST skin known to man and then at some point it all went to shit and I noticed these horrible little skin bobbles on the upper part of my arm and the top of my calves and I was like FFS as if it isn’t enough that I’m now dealing with back fat and cellulite, now, NOW you want to give me bumpy arm skin too. Cheer body.

So I did a bit of online research and self-diagnosed the bumps as Keratosis Pilaris and this time I think my diagnosis is spot on. Unlike the 23343 times I’ve had mumps, appendicitis, glandular fever and that one time I thought I was developing motor neurone disease and had to leave the office because I was this close to bursting into tears (turns out my thumb was *probably* just twitching because I was just wildly hungover and had been using my phone too much).

For the lucky gits out there who haven’t heard of Keratosis Pilaris before then it’s basically when your body produces too much keratin and this blocks the hair follicles all over your skin which in turn produces those adorable little bumps…see my diagnosis is definitely correct!!

So anyways, I did a bit more looking around on the internet and came across several blogs, articles and the like saying that this Lush Buffy Body Butter was the ONE for smoothing your skin, particularly if you suffer from the dreaded KP.

So I went into the Lush store on Oxford street and an overly enthusiastic but very nice shop assistant directed me to the back of the store where his colleague gave me a demo of not only the Buffy Body Butter but also Rub Rub Rub body scrub which was nice if a bit weird to have a stranger caressing your hand in the middle of a busy shop.

Anyway, as soft as the Rub Rub Rub made my skin feel I still left with a bar of the buffy body butter because it’s also really moisturising and leaves this kind of dewy sheen on your skin. Some of you will HATE that finish, others will love it as it sort of makes feels like you haven’t washed the product off properly.

I’ve been using the buffy every other day (ish) for the last week or so and I’ve definitely noticed an improvement on my arms and legs. I should note though that if you rub the buffy directly onto your skin it is quite harsh but I like feeling like I’m properly scrubbing so for me this is a win. And as I’ve already mentioned it is very moisturising which then also saves you time when you’re out of the shower as I don’t feel like you have to then put a separate body lotion on.

 So yeah great scrub that I’ll definitely be buying again and I reckon I’ll be packing it when I go on a holiday to use daily as it will, no doubt, leave you with a cracking tan thanks to the exfoliation and moisturising element.

Get yours HERE.

Dr Paw Paw Balm

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I got a tester of this product a couple of months back when I attended the It’s in Your Dreams product launch at Shoreditch’s Box Park – I know right, look at me all sassy and London gal about town attending launch events and getting goody bags.

Anyway the girls at It’s In Your Dreams swear by this product as a means to stick glitter on your face and if you don’t know by now, my sister and I are OBSESSED with sticking glitter to our faces. We will literally use any opportunity we can to add some sparkly powder into our lives and mainly on our cheeks but up until the second before we went to the It’s In Your Dreams launch, had been using basic old Vaseline to do this. Cute.

Therefore when I saw these large tubes of Dr Paw Paw on sale in Topshop I HAD to upgrade and snap up a couple. I mean at 50% off I would have been mad not too.

The balm can also be used on cuticles, hands, elbows and heels. Personally though I wouldn’t use this on my hands as a hand cream as it just feels far too oily and bleugh not about that greasy hand life. It is ideal as a lip balm but I get that it’s not-in-the-sale price of £7 is pretty punchy. That said, it is a big tube so it’s kiiiiinda worth it.

Oh and for those of you who hadn’t worked it out yet (me included) Paw Paw is short for Papaya which is obviously found in the product and helps to aid skin repair, provides anti-inflammatory properties and adds moisture. It also has Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice in it which is a desert plant with amazing abilities to absorb and restore moisture. It contains more than 200 different plant constituents that promote glowing, youthful looking skin and hair…and DISCLAIMER I definitely copied and pasted the last two sentences from the Dr Paw Paw website.

Anyway I’ve obviously been mainly using it to stick glitter to my face which it works perfectly for AND I’ve been thinking about doing a tutorial for how I do my festival glitter face…anyone wanna see that or nah?

Get a tube for yourself HERE.

7th Heaven Manuka Honey Peel Off Face Mask

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Last but not least on this list of beauty buys is this peel off 7th Heaven face mask in manuka honey which I picked up for a flippin’ pound and made me feel like I was 13 once more. Not because of what it did to my face but because peel off face masks from Superdrug were THE sleepover must have aged 13 AMIRIGHT?

I don’t know why I went for honey but I think I think I was just looking forward to the peel off aspect of it. Anyway I put this on, on a Saturday afternoon at the same time as my homemade home-mask – bleugh do NOT do the one off pinterest that tells you to combine egg and coconut oil because no matter how shiny it makes your hair that won’t outweigh the fact that it smells like egg…even after 2 washes.

Anyway it was a nice mask, it definitely made my skin feel soft. It was EXCEEDINGLY fun to peel off, although not the bits I accidentally got in my hair line. Fucking hell OUCH. and it was cheap as chips!

I’ve done numerous 7th Heaven face-masks and I think they’re great value for money. They’re also cruelty free and don’t test on animals which is always a bonus.

More info and to see the other masks they do, head over to the website HERE.

So there you have it, my mini beauty haul / beauty favourites mash up. I never really think of myself as someone who’s particularly into beauty products but I guess I am a bit of a typical girl when it comes to these things. I love a little pamper session and I am also easily lured into the hype of a product…coffee scrubs I’m looking at you!!

Have you got any amazing beauty recommendations? Feel free to send them my way, the older I get the more help I could use tbh…

Thanks for reading!

Harry xx