Friday, 29 May 2015

Le Chandelier Cafe & Bar in Dulwich, London

Shopfront outside Le Chandelier CafeLe chandelier interior inside

UPDATE: As of April 2017 Le Chandelier is Permanently Closed

I find that south London often gets ignored by tourists and Londoners who often favour central or north London instead, so I wanted to write a post on this beautiful café/restaurant/bar in Dulwich. I've been a few times and spent the recent Bank Holiday having a family lunch here. It's on Lordship lane, a high street that runs straight through East Dulwich to Dulwich common connecting it to Sydenham hill.

Stepping inside you notice that the ceiling is covered in lots of chandeliers which adds a sophisticated glamour without being intimidating or in the least bit pretensions, so you feel at ease and at home. The chandeliers, mirrors and the conservatory let lots of light in, making the place feel bright and airy. The main room leads to a conservatory and upstairs there is a smaller Moroccan styled lounge room called the 'Lumiere cocktail bar.'

Le chandelier cafe interior London

Le Chandelier has an extensive range of 34 teas chosen by the tea master Edward Esler while their coffee is supplied by Monmouth. They always have a lovely selection of cakes in the window and many more sitting on a table at the front of the café. There is also a set menu for Afternoon Tea that includes sandwiches, scones and pastries for £18, Champagne Tea for £24 and a hot Tea with a choice of Eggs Royal, Croque monsieur and creamed mushrooms on toast as well as an extra two cakes for £24. Afternoon Teas are served between 3-6pm and need to be booked in advance (they prefer 3 days notice.)

Le Chandelier Cafe Restaurant Types of tea

Cakes in the window 
table of cakes


This place is perfect for brunch where you can choose from a full English breakfast, Kedgeree, American waffles or pastries. For lunch and dinner they serve a mixture of English and Moroccan food from eggs Benedict, steak and burgers to tagines, borek and falafel. For vegetarians they have risottos, falafel, salad and soup. For lunch I chose the sea bass with garlic chive mash and basil dressing which was really nice and surprisingly filling. For dessert I had a chocolate mousse cake with a raspberry centre, really rich and delicious (the chocolate cube in the first picture.) My aunt had a lemon meringue pie (second picture) which are pretty huge! The cakes are homemade and always taste fresh and are never dry. You can choose cakes to be boxed up as a present or to enjoy later. And if you feel that you couldn't finish any more cake at your meal they will box it up for you to take home.(Can you tell I like cake?!) They also serve wine, spirits, beer and wine at any time of the day.
(conservatory left and Moroccan style arch & hallway Right)
Upstairs is the Lumiere Bar styled in Moroccan décor, which is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays evenings. It is cool, intimate space, great for chilling out with a group of friends or a partner. They serve alcohol infused tea cocktails such as the Hammer gin infused with Jasmine pearls and Calle Blanco Tequila infused with White Darjeeling. This room seats about 30 people.

Upstairs Lumiere Bar
(Upstairs Moroccan room 'Lumiere Bar' )

If you fall in love with any of chandeliers they can be bought and fitted for you and if there's a chair you like, they can arrange Angel upholsterers who work with the shop, to make something similar for you.
I've been to Le Chandelier quite a few times now, the service has always been brilliant, prompt and courteous. There's enough space for prams and they also provide high chairs (although limited to two.) On bank holidays they do get very busy with fewer staff than usual so I would definitely recommend booking a table on these days. It's a good place to go if you want to impress friends or family (mums, fussy in laws etc.) I've only been in the daytime but the Lumiere bar looks like a wonderful place to sip cocktails in. If you're in the area definitely drop by, if you're not in the area it's worth the trip!
Le Chandelier in open on all bank holidays
Sunday-Wednesday 9.30am-6pm
Thursday-Saturday 9.30am till late

Le Chandelier
161 Lordship Lane
SE22 8HX  

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Finish 5 By Cinco De Mayo Challenge- The Finish

Well here's the final instalment of my Finish 5 by Cinco de Mayo Challenge! I've been late photographing and posting this due to my laptop crashing twice and having to be sent to PC World to be fixed, as well as a long bout of RSI (Repetitive strain injury in my hands) which is why I was forced on a blogging break these past 3 weeks. So here in the photos are the five products I chose to use up and my progress.


May 5th The Finish


January 21st The Beginning


Sleek Oil Free Crème to Powder Foundation

Since I don't wear make up everyday anymore, foundations lasts me a long time (which is great for my bank balance!) As I was applying Sleek's foundation with a damp Real Techniques Expert face brush and later a damp Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge I used less product that I would have if I'd used the provided dry sponge in the compact. The Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge actually used more product that the expert face brush and also gave a better, even finish. This is almost pretty much done- with only a few more applications left.

No 7 Eye shadow Palette Gold eye shadow

I've almost used up most of the gold eye shadow. I found as the pan got bigger the eye shadow became more fragile and would crumble and move so that it got trapped in the hinges of the palette, which is why there is a lot less than in April's finish 5 update. I love wearing the gold as my no makeup make up look. Although I didn't finish the eye shadow by May 5th, I'm almost done and will keep going.


E.L.F Cream Blush and bronzer Duo (Blusher)

Although it looks like it's hardly been used, I've actually been wearing this a lot and there's hardly a dent in it! I've been using my finger tips to apply this, I guess if I used a brush I'd use up more, but it would just get wasted with excess left on the brush. I find that my fingertips the easiest way of applying cream blush. After throwing out a beloved Bobbi Brown Cream Pot Rouge blusher as it got rancid I'm going to try to get much more use out of my cream blushers. This has a nice colour and you do get a lot of product for your money but unfortunately it doesn't last throughout the day and needs reapplying or locked in with a layer of powder blusher on the top.

Revlon Super lustrous lip gloss

I have been using this but not as often as I wanted to since it's quite sticky which is off-putting to wear in hot weather. It has a nice peach glossiness and some sparkle to it. It's hard to see how much I've used up. Stood on it's end I've used about a finger- probably just over 1cm. Apart from matte lip lacquer I've decided to stop buying any more lip glosses as I have loads that I don't wear anymore since I've been getting  into lipstick.


No 7 Stay Perfect Eye Mousse in Fudge

This is something I was confident I'd finish, but I was concentrating using up the gold eye shadow  (as well as road testing other eye shadow for the blog) and I forgot about this!  It is small enough that I can use it up over the next couple of months.

So I pretty much failed on my Finish 5 by Cinco de Mayo Challenge but I have enjoyed it and found it useful and fairly satisfying. It's been useful to actually have a go at finishing products and having an idea of how long things take to finish (which was longer than I expected.)

What I've learnt

Start small! I think if you don't wear make up everyday products will take longer to use up. I overestimated how much I would use and I think if it's your first time doing such a challenge I'd use smaller sized products such as samples or mini sizes.

Choose just a few products to use up. Since this was Finish 5 by Cinco de Mayo I had to choose five products, but again as I don't wear make up every day, I'm going to choose fewer products in the the future such as three or four. I'm glad I didn't choose Finish 7 by spring as there's no way I would have completed it!

The type of Products. Think about the type of product that you use a lot and let that guide you. Obviously if you have loads of eye liner that you never wear but want to use up then go for it. Some products do seem to take ages though- such as lip gloss. I've never actually finished a lip gloss (only thrown it out after having the flu or if it smells odd ) and I think wand applicator ones have more product and are so much harder to finish than lip glosses in squeeze tubes.

Are Deadlines useful?
Deadlines give you motivation and push you to keep using products and if you plan to reward yourself at the end (by perhaps buying more make up!) then they can be useful as there's an end in sight. By documenting your progress publicly (such as posting on a blog, instagram etc) you feel bound to your word and that you must see it through.

The Project Pan community
Although Finish 5 by Cinco de Mayo wasn't one of the most popular project pan projects (I think because Cinco De Mayo isn't a well known festival over in the UK at least compared to the USA/Spain) I did manage to find about 8 or so people doing the project on instagram which was great as they were doing the same thing to the same deadline and I also found a couple of other long term project panners who are very supportive and nice. I think instagram is the best way to show your progress, get encouragement and find other project panners because it's so visual and supportive rather than listing stuff on a no picture feed on reddit.

Would I do this again?
Yes. My makeup collection has expanded since I started blogging and I've become aware of using up liquid and cream products (that have a shorter shelf life than powder) much more often so that they don't go to waste and you get the most use and enjoyment out of them. I also think Finish projects are better than Project pan as you don't actually end up finishing products if you just stop as soon as you hit pan. The gold eye shadow took years to hit pan and its taken me months to finish the whole thing. Finishing products mean you actually use it up rather than have loads of half filled products everywhere.

I do want to do this again so that I actually start using up products but I'd probably do it without a set time limit and will probably post my progress on instagram.

How are your experiences with project pan type challenges? Let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Sleek Creme to Powder Foundation: A dupe for Bobbi Brown's Oil Free Compact Foundation?

Since Bobbi Brown discontinued their Long Wear Even Finish Compact Foundation in the Oil Free version (the regular foundation compact is still available) I've been looking for a replacement. I've been wanting to try Sleek's Oil Free Creme to Powder Foundation for awhile as they have a wide selection of skin tones and I'm more of a yellow tone which is harder to find in the drugstore/high street. For the Bobbi Brown foundation review see here.

This is a medium to full coverage foundation that comes in a compact with a mirror and sponge so that you can apply it on the move. This foundation is also not tested on animals. Compared to Bobbi Brown's formula I found this formula to be drier and not as creamy, despite containing Jojoba oil which is supposed to have moisturising properties and I would not recommend this for dry skin.  Sleek claims this is lightweight formula: I didn't really notice this to be any different to Bobbi Brown and that it the only other cream foundation I've used, but I can say it's not especially thick or heavy. I have sensitive skin and I've been using this for around 5 months and haven't experienced any reactions to this foundation. I've included the ingredient list at the end of this post.The foundation also has SPF15 in it, however in the summer months I would advise you to wear sun cream as well because  SPF15 is pretty low. Because of the SPF this foundation will give flashback during photos, so it may be better for wearing everyday rather than for occasions where you'll know you'll be photographed.

Sleek Crème to Powder foundation covers red patches, spots and small light moles or freckles. However it doesn't completely cover big dark moles but if used alongside a good concealer it would probably do the job. It can sometimes cling to dry patches (on the bridge of my nose) but it's nowhere near as bad as Bourjois healthy mix foundation. Well moisturised or primed skin will eliminate this problem. The big difference between Bobbi Brown and Sleek is in the finish, Sleek gives a completely matte look while Bobbi brown is more of semi matte finish which I prefer because it looks more natural. A finishing spray would add some dewiness back to achieve a semi-matte look. This lasts around 8 or 9 hours and I've now got into the habit of using powder (Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder) to set my t-zone. It's fairly dry and matte so it would suit oily skin although you may have to touch up with powder during the day. I've been using a damp Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge which gives an amazingly flawless, even coverage.

swatch in barley
This foundation comes in a whopping 30 shades so there's likely to be a foundation to suit everyone. Many Boots and Superdrug don't carry the full range in the store but if you can't find shades near your skin colour, Sleek Online offers a 5 shade tester for £2.99 (shown in the first picture in this post.) I have the shade Barley (704)  but I think this is actually too dark and yellow for me. But if you have yellow tones in your complexion it's definitely worth checking Sleek's range out. I also have it in a dark brown for bronzing.

To sum up, I wouldn't call this a dupe for Bobbi Brown's oil free compact foundation- mainly because of the difference in finish and drier consistency. However this is a good oil free foundation at a fabulously low price. I would recommend giving it a go if you're looking for a new cream foundation or for a matte foundation.

Sleek Oil Free Creme to Powder Foundation has 9g product for £7.99. Available at Sleek Online, Boots and Superdrug.

Ingredient list:Caprylic / Capric Triglyceride, Poly(methyl methacrylate), Nylon-12, Isononyl Isononanoate, Octyl Strearate, Octyl Palmitate, Bees Wax, Candelilla Wax, Aluminum Starch, Octenyl Succinate, Jojoba Esters, Microcrystalline Wax, Methylparaben, Propylparaben May Contain: [ +/- CI. 77019, CI. 77891, CI. 77492, CI. 77491, CI. 77499]

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The Story Book Edit Chapter 1

Book inspired Edit Chapter 1

A literary and spring pastels inspired fashion edit. This edit is Lady like with a little quirkiness thrown in. If you are interested in buying any of these items then ignore the message that says it's sold out and press continue (seems to be a fault on polyvore.) The literary references are below. 

Coach and horses bag (Cinderella)
Scout Boo feather necklace (To Kill A Mockingbird)
(Emily Dickinson) Hope poem tights
(Moby Dick) pendant necklace
Skirt, book handbag, fan earrings and Austen silhouette earrings (Pride & Prejudice Jane Austen)
Library Due date pashmina 
Shakespeare (Hamlet) necklace 
Corinthians Love is necklace (bible) 

Oasis embellished top

Jane Norman short sleeve top

Elastic skirt
£30 -

Jenny Packham shoes

Black crossbody bag
£36 -

Charm pendant


Charm pendant

Feather necklace

Charmed circle jewelry

Wrap shawl

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