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Pub Grub at The Happenstance, London

Chorizo scotch egg with paprika mayonnaise and rocket

When it comes to pub food there's a gap in the market between reheated frozen lasagne and Michelin starred cuisine. You take a risk eating somewhere who, up front, deals predominantly in pints, but it paid off at The Happenstance.

You Don't Always Have to Go Off the Beaten Track

Travel blogger at The Bund, Shanghai

It's very strange but there seems to be a lot of stigma around visiting a country's most well-known sights when abroad. For some reason it's perceived that flocking to where everyone else goes and being a 'tourist' isn't how you should spend your money, but I totally disagree. I'm as guilty as the next travel obsessive for seeking out local haunts and secret gems as they do often show a side of a country that isn't as frequently seen, but there are so many reasons why I love to go to the 'main show'.

Added Extras #43

Weekly round-up from London lifestyle blogger

This last week I've been living the quintessential London yuppie lifestyle. Sushi and brunch and shopping and theatre - I'm basically a Kardashian. Except, all that frivolity means I'm now poor and tired but it was all worth it. I was dreading my birthday this year but my fabulous friends made sure that being away from my family wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. I'm a lucky gal.

Lumos Charity Gala at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Lumos Charity Ambassadors with Evanna Lynch

Sometimes, something amazing will drop into my inbox. Over and above the 15% ASOS discount for my birthday (although let's not lie, I totally used that) and the general newsletter nonsense that I forget I've subscribed to, there is an email to stop me in my tracks, throw down my phone and do a happy dance in my chair. And that's how I began my journey with Lumos.

A Day in the French Concession, Shanghai

French Concession, Shanghai

The French Concession area of Shanghai is a bizarre contrast of traditional Chinese life within a setting that looks distinctly European. Aside from Macau, which used to be Portuguese, I haven't been anywhere in China that actually resembles anything western, so this totally threw me. Interspersed within the characteristic browns and greys I was becoming accustomed to, there were sudden pops of colour, and a whole day of exploring the area revealed so many hidden gems.

Added Extras #42

Weekly round-up by London lifestyle blogger

I have no idea how it's the 20th September AGAIN. The day just seems to roll around quicker every year and insists that I get older with it. Today I turn 28. I don't really have much to say on the subject because as much as I'm still getting my shit together as a fully fledged adult, 27 was a bloody hard year and I'm not all that sorry to say goodbye to it. Plus I have an excuse to eat cake, I get presents just for being alive, and I have a monster bottomless brunch planned in for the weekend. I'm already smashing this shiny new age of mine!

How to Wear a Denim Pinafore Dress

Fashion blogger wearing a denim pinafore dress
I'm wearing:
Pinafore dress - Dorothy Perkins
Tee - H&M
Sandals - Kinki Gerlinki, Melbourne
Bag - Mong Kok Ladies Market, Hong Kong

There's going to be a million things online this week reporting back on the hottest new trends from London Fashion Week. As much as I love reading through all these and pinning every look I love, I don't base my purchases on what is 'in season' and as a result I often end up embracing a trend far too late. Enter: the denim pinafore dress.

An Organic Sunday Roast at The Duke of Cambridge, Islington

Sunday roast dinner at Duke of Cambridge, Islington

I live up to my British heritage when I say unwaveringly that I LOVE a roast dinner. One of those spilling-over-the-plate, all-the-trimmings affairs, with a healthy mix of bad-for-you beige and wonderfully colourful veggies.

The Duke of Cambridge is tucked away in quintessentially quaint Islington; a stone's throw from Camden Passage eateries but with an entirely different vibe.

Added Extras #41

UK London lifestyle blog

I skipped this little instalment last week because the lurgy meant I basically cancelled my life and stayed in, feeling sorry for myself. I thought I was better but I went to the gym yesterday and had to leave my spin class 3/4 way through so I could cough up a lung. Aside from that, there's been some good bits in the last week or so.

Top 10 Tips for Staying in Hostels

Passport, padlock, travel guide

Hostels get a bad rap and sometimes it's completely justified. They are cheap and often for a reason but I have experienced places at both ends of the scale. From gorgeous, clean and polite to grotty, smelly and damn right rude, reviews online often mean nothing so you just have to hope for the best.

Why I Loved My Family's Caravan Camping Holidays

Static caravan

I've never been to Disneyland and it's something that my mum still laments to this day. It's the epitome of a kid's dream holiday (although let's not pretend that I wouldn't pass out from happiness if I went as a 27 year old), but we couldn't go and it was never an issue for me. My childhood certainly wasn't short of holidays, it's just that they weren't all-inclusive beach resorts abroad - instead we headed to UK seasisde towns, where we stayed in static caravans and had the best time.

Steak and Whiskey at The 1515 West Chophouse, Shanghai

Review of The 1515 West Chophouse and Bar in the Shangri-La hotel, Shanghai

I rarely cook steak at home, but then I often feel it's a wasted order in a restaurant too. Very few places do steak perfectly and I certainly didn't expect to find somewhere that would nail such a challenge in Shanghai.
As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review