world according to sam

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. Mark Twain

Month: August, 2014

Gorgeous Gifting …. Drinks baskets

Ever stuck for an original idea for a wedding gift or moving in gift or just something nice to take to a friend when visiting? Well after sampling a few gin cocktails at Maltby Street Market‘s Little Bird Gin stall I fell in love with the handled jam jar’s used for their gin based Bloody Mary so as soon as I got home I searched t’internet to purchase my very own …. you can find them here on Amazon at £9.99 for 4.  I have a stash of them now  but have gifted to friends for birthdays/moving in etc along with a bottle of booze to suitably theme my gift

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For a Bloody Mary Box I add a bottle of Vodka, Big Tom tomato juice, celery salt, tabasco, lemon and a big bunch of celery …. try to buy this from a greengrocer or market as the supermarket ones tend to have been trimmed and so don’t look as pretty …. and finish off with a recipe written on tracing paper and a packet of retro looking paper straws.  This one was presented in a fruit crate (picked up from our lovely local greengrocer) and finish with some raffia

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The Pimms Box includes a bottle of Pimms (obvs!), lemonade (I prefer the beautifully packaged artisan lemonades but on this occasion I had to make do with Schweppes), lemons, strawberries, cucumber, apples and paper straws.  I used an old Fortnum & Mason Hamper for this one finished again with raffia.

Other drinks baskets I have done are the new Blackberry Pimms, presented with all of the above but replacing the strawberries with blackberries …. you can even pick these yourself if its the right time of year.  You can adapt the gift basket to suit your favourite cocktail but remember these are quite large glasses so suit long cocktails and coolers …… you can even make a non-alcoholic version with elderflower cordial and sparkling water … or forget the vodka and give a Virgin Mary basket … the options are endless

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Have a great weekend!

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Bobbi Brown Longwear Eye Base

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Channeling my inner Vesuvius, namely the hot flushes that abound, erupting with little or no warning (or warming for that matter …. straight to the heat of Hades!), I am increasingly finding keeping my make up intact a real issue …. Now my make up routine, as I may have mentioned before is scant although I love all things new and cosmetic and often purchase with no intention of using the items but rather like a magpie I must gather these beauty finds nonetheless and line my nest (bathroom cabinet) with them and each day when I reach for my eye-shadow (used as a liner), mascara (lashings of) and observe my jewel like acquisitions , feel them, smell them, sometimes try a little lip or cheek colour before I climb into my bath to remove it again before I start my day. Its an odd thing to do I know but something I have indulged in since I was a child when I would steal into my gorgeously cool aunt’s bedroom, where I would sit on the upper level of her kidney-shaped G plan dressing table and avail myself of her top-notch make up finds (its in the genes, that as a family we all love those shiny, golden compacts, phials, pots and lipsticks of the luxury cosmetic market). There I would sit for hours dabbing a little Elizabeth Arden Blue Grass behind my ears, perfecting a cat flick with a Lancome stylo eyeliner and then a swathe of All Day Roselit Beige, a highly scented creamy nude by Estee Lauder on my lips before sweeping my hair to the side in a Lana Turneresque side pony and using every blonde Kirby grip I could get my hands on to make sure it never strayed back to my nape. There I would sit for hours chatting to myself in the double width mirror, discussing the merits of the beauty booty I had discovered there. And then as a final parting gift, lest she may not realize that I had been kind enough to test on her behalf all her new make up and skincare, I would peel out, one by one every Kleenex tissue from the lacey covered tissue cube and create tissue flowers as a little thank you – though frankly she should have thanked her 6-year-old niece for taking it upon herself to quality test every item in her boudoir on her behalf. I would wait hopefully sitting at the breakfast table on a Sunday morning (as this was the morning after a sleepover at my grandparents) awaiting everyone (anyone, please?) to notice how simply gorgeous I now looked and really how unreasonable they all were to not allow me to wear this look all the time. Looking back now, how my long-suffering aunt didn’t commit blue murder is beyond me ….. her cosmetic stash was worth a king’s ransom, then and now – and I have to confess I still enjoy a rifle through her still well stocked make up bag with its many pockets, organised brushes and currently Giorgio Armani and Laura Mercier swag.


Anyway, as usual I digress …. My recent find and one that I am using more frequently is the Bobbi Brown Long Wear Eye Base in Medium, a creamy textured base in a biscuit colour that provides the perfect even toned, slightly glossy but non-greasy underpinning for eye make-up – the wand like applicator is soft on the eyelid and gives just enough colour to neutralise pink tones and create the perfect platform for any shadow or liner. Personally I prefer a shadow to a liner because the colour and line is a little diffused and less harsh. I still can’t quite get to grips with smudging a pencil line, not sure if I am too heavy-handed, but I tend to apply, smudge and then remove all but a dirty smear. Also I have lash extensions so have to be careful using any pencils or liners that are too liquid or wax based and require heavy-duty removers.

 

So how long is Longwear? After recently dancing into the early hours on a steamy evening at a friends garden party, imbibing one too many Tom Collins and falling into bed in sloooothenly slut mode (ie no make up removal whatsoever, the trail of clothes from the bathroom to the bedroom testament to a the mmol/L of alcohol levels in my blood ) my eye make up was still pretty much intact at lunchtime the next day. I know the make up removal police will be baulking at the very idea of nearly 24 hours in the same make up but I actually LOVE my make up the next day, that slightly slept in, perfect smokey eye is actually what I aspire to when applying my make up, in fact if I could master the art of power napping (I can’t, I need to be in bed mostly, with my clothes off!) I may well build this into my occasion make up routine, though now when I sleep I tend to fall asleep with my hands tucked around my face which leaves an imprint for three or four hours after waking – gone are the days of my youth when I would wake up with a gentle flush to my cheeks and sexy bed head hair – now it is more akin to having had a bit of a run in with Freddie Kruger

 

So try the Bobbi Brown Longwear Base, (£19)  it really does keep your make up looking fresh and prevents slippage during those hot and sticky days and night, especially if like me you are heading off for a September holiday AFTER the kid’s school holidays!! Or with the deluge of rain that has just swept in over the weekend this will help to keep make up there for a little longer if you get caught in a downpour!

 

 

You Say Ibiza …. I say Eivissa Part III

And some more super finds on the Island of Ibiza

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CALA XUCLAR

A turquoise cove, perfect for snorkeling with a cool little bar serving healthy snacks and drinks (drinks less healthy but perfect for an Ibizan summer’s day!)  … culinary fare here is more sophisticated than the Bimbo bread and plastic cheese toasties of my childhood visits to Spain! Salads, Iberian ham, olives …. delicious and healthy  snacking.

This beach and bar is on the road to Portinatx in the Northern part of the island and even in the height of summer remains an enclave to the locals and in-the-know local ex-pats

 

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CAMI DE BALAFIA  Carretera Sant Joan, Camino Santa Eulalia

If, like me you have strong carniverous tendencies then don’t miss Cami de Balafia on the Sant Joan road favoured by the locals as well as visitors to the island.  This is not chi-chi or glamorous but Balafia does serve up succulent open wood-fire grilled steaks, lamb and local chicken.  The quality of meat and chips is incredible which offsets the brisk and brusque service.   Another Ibiza establishment that does not accept credit cards!

 

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ES MOLI DE SAL Formentera

Across to Formentera and ES Moli de Sal is set up on the rocks, the most fun way to arrive is by boat and ‘moor up in the bay and then hail don the water taxi service to the jetty…. Though getting back on to a boat after imbibing mucho vino collapso is always precarious/hilarious *delete where applicable – for me who finds the whole disembarking/embarking process traumatising to say the least, my brain tells me to jump and scrabble aboard as quickly as possible. Usually resulting in me nearly bouncing my other co-mariners into said briny turquoise waters . Here try the mixed fried fish, a combination of anchovies,prawn,  small calamari (chipirones) and white fish all served in individual wooden crates, delicious salads of black tomatoes, burrata and a courgette and pecorino tartar followed by the lobster pasta. Great, friendly service with a mixed clientele of bright young things and a sophisticated older crowd. In high season it’s a bit of a squish but that can be said for most eateries on the island during July and August. September is a calmer month to sample all these great places with out the summer melee .

 

AMANTE  Sol Den Serra  C/Fuera SN  07849 St Eulalia

A beautiful setting for a romantic dinner, as you approach the club through the town of Cala Llonga, don’t be put off by the Anglicised gift shops and bars. Amante has a cool vibe with out the outrageous price tag of some of the the other beach clubs, set high up on the rock face above its own private beach, you are greeted by welcoming staff.  Equally if you want a day at the beach with everything on hand this is a great place to be

 

TOP TIP : Sundays in September at Amante seem to be reserved for Island Weddings …. three times we arrived and the restaurant and beach were being prepared for a wedding with the names of the bride and groom spelled out in pebbles on the beach below, cannot imagine a more idyllic spot for a wedding or celebration on the island

 

Other places to note

THE BEACH HOUSE, Playa D’en Bossa

Cool crowd with out the affectation of the bigger more exclusive clubs, you may well see the odd imperfect body here, (hallelujah!!). Food was delicious rustic Italian with healthy salads, oven fired pizzas and fresh pasta. Sweet little beach boutique and …. Wait for this …. A BLOW DRY BAR, ON THE BEACH •screams with sheer delight … I did not avail myself of this service but I love that you can have a blow dry before heading for dinner

TOP TIP : Book a table overlooking the beach for an early supper

 

IBIZA DELIVERS  +34 971 100 757

Like Ocado – only better …. a home delivery service, why spend valuable holiday time in the supermarket when you you can order online or call up this super chic service and the Ibiza Delivers team can source pretty much everything you may need for your stay – perfect if you are self catering and need a welcome pack delivered for your arrival  or don’t want to schlep baby milk, toiletries or teabags in your luggage!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Say Ibiza … I say Eivissa Part II

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More top picks from the White Isle

EL BIGOTE

It is rumoured that even the King of Spain was refused a table at El Bigote, as he did not have a reservation. But making a reservation is quite a performance in itself as you have to drive to the restaurant to book a table a few days beforehand, you are then required to call on the day by 11am to confirm your reservation at 2pm (the telephone is a relatively new addition to the El Bigote set-up but we were unable to make reservations by phone last year and I believe the same is applicable this year) You can also make a reservation for 12 noon to have grilled fish but will need to be finished before the second sitting arrives ….

 

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There is a steep incline down to the car park and restaurant but as you make your way from the dusty parking under the pine trees, the view with the tumbledown fisherman huts to one side and a small pontoon with a resident seagull and buoy atop, this stunning bay bathed in sunlight looks as if it has been created as a movie set. As you are greeted by your waiter ask for a table by the sea if possible as sharing your bread with the fish that swim to you is perfect entertainment whilst you wait for your food.  Lunch from 2pm is one choice only, Bullit de Peix. A typical Ibizan dish of assorted locally caught fish including monkfish, grouper and rock fish and potatoes cooked in a saffron broth. A huge platter is served at the table after a salad, bread, alioli and olive starter and then when you think you are finished they bring the second part of your meal, a paella style rice that has been cooked in the saffron juices left from your potato and fish course.   There are even ‘seconds’ on offer for anyone still able to squeeze in yet more food.   All washed down with a cold Rosado. I think for me this is probably my favourite Ibiza experience for both location and food , wines are reasonably priced and the Bullit de Peix is a very reasonable €17 per head. Well worth the extra effort to book a day or two before!

TOP TIP : Request a table on the water’s edge but make sure you have your sunscreen and sunnies with you!

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