Monday, 30 December 2013

Tipped for the Top 2014

As hotly tipped acts such as Haim, Jake Bugg and CHVRCHES dominated our radio stations and Spotify playlists, you could say 2013 has been quite the year for emerging talent. Well, you’ll be pleased to know, it’s that time again. Where we pick out our eclectic mix of the top 5 bands we’ll be watching out for in 2014. 


Jungle
Secrecy is definitely this bands forte, where their unknown identity has enthralled and fascinated listeners since their track Platoon first went viral overnight. With their absorbing urban disco feel and anticipated 2014 tour, we expect to hear a lot more from the West London hailing vigilantes. 
 Listen to: Platoon, Heat


Chloe Howl 
 Spunky enough for the indie crowds and polished enough to appeal to the masses, Chloe Howl certainly seems like she’s got it sussed. With a similar sound and quirky appeal as Kate Nash and Lilly Allen, it’s definitely expected that Howl will be packing a feisty punch to make sure she appears in the 2014 charts. 
 Listen to: No Strings, Paper Heart


Wolf Alice 
 Who said Grunge is dead? Well underground alternative four-piece Wolf Alice don’t seem to think so. Imploding resonances of indie-folk-grunge, pieced together with Ellie Rowsell’s haunting vocals, the band have made way for an enthusing new sound. 
 Listen to: She, Blush


Moko
 In 2014 we expect pigtails to have another fashion moment, and why may you ask? Well that’s because there’s a new superstar on the block called Moko. So far her trendy South-London vibe hasn’t gone unnoticed, however we expect much bigger things from the urban/garage/soul singer next year. 
Listen to: Hand on Heart, Honey Cocaine 



 Wet 
 Stunningly simple, yet oh so charming, Wet deserve every accolade they obtain. Not since Daughter have we heard such motivationally pleasant sounds. Where the Brooklyn based three-piece have so far received rave reviews from across the pond. Let’s hope in 2014 they cross international waters and cast the UK under their graceful spell. 
 Listen to: Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl, Dreams

By Amy Gravelle

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Last Minute Gift Guide


Christmas is just around the corner, waiting excitedly in all its sparkly glory on the other side of the weekend. It’s going to be a packed weekend of last minute Christmas shopping, catch-ups and travelling for most. With this taken into consideration, it seemed more appropriate to share some gift ideas, in this week’s edit, for those of you who are also doing the last minute thing or are stuck on what to buy for that last tricky person…


For the kookier nineties child in your life why not get them these attention grabbing Home Alone earrings from Kushtea. Merry Christmas you filthy animals... 


Kinfolk is a Montreal based magazine that emphasises the relationships that are strengthened through the process of eating together. Their new Kinfolk Table book tells the story of different creative across the globe through the sharing of food and recipes. Who doesn’t want to eat well and in good company.  




The crazy cat person in your life will definitely appreciate this trippier than Zappa sweatshirt. There are some absolute gems on this awesome site so have a peruse.


The Fujifilm 90 is a step up instax that’s fun but also takes pretty decent pics. Great for outfit checks, memory preserving at parties and the impatient amongst us.

Marc Jacobs gorgeous pooch has its own Instagram account. Now you or your gift recipient can wear the world’s most fashionable hound in the form of this super cute brooch.


Sufjan Stevens does Christmas music like no other and this is one of the best Christmas albums. Listening to Sister Winter makes the heart melt.



Finally it just wouldn’t be Christmas without watching this cinematic gem. It’s a Wonderful life is the quintessential Christmas movie so why not share it this Christmas. 

By Kerry Flint

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Christmas Nibbles

Tis the season for entertaining, but time can be a little hard to come by at this time of year. If you’re expecting guests, or throwing a Christmas party we’ve got some simple but stylish recipes to really impress your guests. All of these nibbles can be made in under an hour from things you’ve got in the store cupboard so get baking and be prepared for your guests to be impressed!



Goat’s Cheese and Red Onion Palmiers 
These look really impressive but are so easy to make – we won’t tell if you don’t!

 Ingredients
250g puff pastry 
100g goats cheese 
3-4tbsp red onion chutney
Makes 20 

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll your pastry out into a large rectangle about ½ cm thick. Sprinkle over the goats cheese and then the red onion chutney. Starting at one side, tightly roll into the middle, then brush the rolled edge with a little milk. Do the same with the opposite side, rolling into the middle then pressing the two sides together – the milk will help them stick. Cut into 20 even slices, place on a lined baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the palmiers are fully risen and a lovely golden colour. Leave to cool on the tray, then serve. 

 Sausage and Stuffing Rolls 
Everyone’s favourite party food has been given a new twist for the festive season 

Ingredients
250g shortcrust pastry 
200g pork sausagemeat 
 1 box stuffing mix, made to the instructions – we went for sage and onion, but choose whichever flavour you prefer 
1 egg, beaten

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll you pastry out into a large rectangle, about ½ cm thick. Place a line of sausagemeat down the middle of the pastry, then top with a layer of stuffing. Tightly roll the pastry around the sauagemeat and stuffing and brush the ends with beaten egg to secure. Cut into 10 equal slices and place fold down on a lined baking tray. Brush the top of each sausage roll with a little more beaten egg and cook for 20-15 minutes, until the pastry is golden and sauagemeat cooked through. Serve whilst still warm. 

 Baked Pitta Chips 
The latest snack craze is so easy to make at home – you’ll never want to buy them again! Perfect when loaded with a scoop of your favourite dip 

Ingredients
4 pitta breads 
1tbsp olive oil 
Salt and pepper, to season 

Preheat oven to 180°C. Cut each pitta bread into 8 pieces, then hold horizontally and carefully slice each piece in half again, until you’ve got a pile of thin pitta pieces. Mix together the olive oil and salt and pepper to flavour the chips – you really can go nuts here and use whatever flavours you fancy, paprika and cayenne pepper would be good to give the chips a kick, or try using some oregano and thyme for a herby flavour. Brush the pitta pieces with the oil and seasoning mixture and place on a baking tray. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the chips are light and crispy. Leave to cool and serve with a selection of hummus and dips.

By Millie Norton

Monday, 16 December 2013

Lily Kamper

Inspired by an array of items including LED lights and abandoned Miami swimming pools, Lily Kamper’s SS14 jewelry collection is anything but ordinary. We love her latest collection of hand crafted and dip dyed pieces, all with distinctive architectural quality.The latest collection include chunky pendants, statement rings and delicate bangles with a mix of precious stones and fine metals, which pay homage to her distinguishing signature combination of hard and soft materials - and the outcome is nothing short of visually stimulating. We know what we'll be pairing with our Spring wardrobes...








Friday, 13 December 2013

Weekly Round Up

Unless you’ve been stranded on an oil rig in the Pacific with no form of communication or trapped in outer space for the last six months you can’t have helped but be made more than aware that it’s Christmas time. It’s happening folks and even the most Grinch like amongst us cannot escape it, so let’s embrace it. Here’s how to this weekend… 



GET FESTIVE at more of the many humble Christmas markets happening across London this weekend because you can never have too many mince pies. Visit the £3 Christmas Bazaar in Nunhead London this Saturday (14th December). It promises to be ‘part art, part Christmas fete and there’s even going to be a choir and white elephant stall – proper old school Christmassy! Peckham appears to be London’s pinnacle of Christmas with The Crafty Fox market be taking place at the Bussey building and Pexmas market on Sunday (15th December) at the Liberal Club both offering a range of stall and festive food and beverages to make merry with. 

PREPARE for next year’s first big cinematic release by watching the trailer for Spike Jonze’s latest film ‘Her’. It stars the magnificent Joaquin Phoenix who plays a heartbroken man called Theodore, who falls in love with a computer system called “Samantha”. Quirky, touching, visually stunning, provocative and heartfelt, Jonze is back on form with this latest offering, due out on January 10th. What a great start to 2014! 




INTRODUCE some graphics and colourful into your wardrobe combat those dark night winter blues. Tinned Bananas do a range of items from easy to wear t-shirts to bold jump suits in some super eye-catching patterns that are guaranteed to not just put a smile on your face but everybody else’s to boot.

LISTEN to French duo Velour Modular, whose latest track Sudden Motion is a nice old dose of spacey ethereal electronica reminiscent of The Knife and the video’s wonderfully barking. Influenced by the likes of Kuedo, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and Mount Kimbie they’re bound to make waves in 2014 stay one step ahead and give this track a play (probably over and over). 


WATCH queen Bey, who’s blown everyone’s mind this morning by releasing an entire album over night. 17 bootylicious videos no less, and yes BeyoncĂ© we’re definitely ready. 



BUY a watch, but not just any watch. With so much happening you’ll need to keep track of the time and HyperGrand’s made its debut with a range that have a NATO straps, designed by the military. Yes we’re talking top quality but these watches are far from utilitarian with a range of 12 interchangeable patterned straps (we love the Garden Skirmish) to choose from they’ll guarantee you’ll be fashionably on time.

DOWNLOAD the app we’ve all been waiting for. We can finally put an end to our eighteen years of jealousy over Cher’s virtual closet because the lovely folks at FaceCake have finally made it. It being an app where you can put together items from your wardrobe, share outfits and even do a little turn on the catwalk. Yep, mind is blown. 

By Kerry Flint

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Apricot and Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls

The smell of baked cinnamon rolls wafting through the house is the ultimate in festive comfort at this time of year. Added cranberries and apricots give these a seasonal twist – the perfect thing to enjoy on a cold winters morning. 



Ingredients
For the rolls
450g strong white flour
75g dried cranberries
1tsp fast acting dried yeast
1tsp salt
1 ½ tbsp caster sugar
150ml hot milk and 150ml hot water mixed together – hot but not boiling!
For the filling
25g butter, melted
50g light brown sugar
2tbsp ground cinnamon
75g dried apricots, cut into small pieces
Makes 8 rolls

Method
- Place the flour, cranberries, yeast, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl and stir together. Now add the hot milk and water and mix together using an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment for 5 minutes – if you don’t have an electric mixer that’s fine, you can just use your hands and mix and knead for about 10 minutes. Once the dough has been mixed and kneaded, cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for 1 ½ hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.

- Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for another 5 minutes. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle about 1 cm thick, spread the surface with the melted butter and scatter over the sugar, cinnamon and apricot pieces in an even layer, making sure you reach the edges. Now roll the dough into a tight sausage shape, slice into 8 even pieces and place these, swirl side up on a lightly oiled baking tray.

- Leave in a warm place for a further 30 minutes, or if you want to make these for breakfast next day you can leave them in the fridge overnight (although if you do this, you will need to take the rolls out of the fridge and leave for 30 minutes to come up to room temperature before baking).

- When you are ready to bake the rolls, preheat the oven to 180°C and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the rolls are well risen and a lovely golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly. You can eat the rolls as they are, but for an extra delicious twist make up some icing using 3tbsp icing sugar, 1tbsp water and 1tsp vanilla extract and drizzle over the top of the hot rolls. Tear off and eat warm – heavenly!

By Millie Norton


Friday, 29 November 2013

Weekly Round Up

This week we’re still feeling festive, and there’s an overwhelming abundance to see, hear and sample. From art and crafts to vinyl and beer. Go be merry… 



VISIT the London Illustration Fair at Hoxton Arches, London, from today until Sunday (29th-30th November). A range of illustrators will be selling their work so go along to meet some talented people including Cassandra Yap (above), gather some inspiration and maybe even purchase some special Christmas presents.

LISTEN & DRINK at the only place to be this Saturday, 30th November. At Spitalfields, London, there will be an abundance of beer and records on offer. What a combination! The London Brewers Market includes a range of London’s breweries and, as if that wasn’t exciting enough, the renowned The Independent Label market, which will have over 80 independent labels present, is taking place. This is a unique opportunity to discover and support new independent artists and beers. Get down and try and purchase limited edition vinyl and craft beer for yourself, or as a fantastic Christmas present.

WATCH the gripping new UK film, In Fear. Lost on their way to an Irish music festival Tom (Iain de Caestecker) and Lucy (Alice Englert) encounter some very creepy happenings. Interesting set-ups, a sparse plot and good acting make this new offering from director Jeremy Lovering a much wanted indicator of hope for the UK film industry. 



LISTEN to Manchester female foursome Pins, Christmas song. Even the most festive tune hating amongst you will be mesmerised by this jingle. These northerners are definitely ones to watch in 2014 and you can download this track from UrbanOutfitters.

BUY some silly fun knitwear now the temperatures are set to drop. Bedroom Factory Knits offer a range of fun accessories, from dinosaur bobble hats to flamingo scarfs, that are bound to make the gloomiest gloomster smile, no matter how gloomy the weather. They will be at the Brighton Craftaganza this weekend so go along and say hi. The Craftaganza will be held on Sat 30th Nov / Sun 1st Dec and Sat 7th Dec / Sun 8th Dec

By Kerry Flint

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Chocolate and Raspberry Fondant

Chocolate fondants look so impressive but are secretly really easy to make! These make a lovely dessert to follow a winter supper and can be made a couple of hours ahead of baking.



Ingredients
Raspberry Sauce
100g raspberries, lightly crushed 
2tbsp water 
1tbsp caster sugar 

Chocolate Fondant
50g butter, plus extra for greasing 
50g dark chocolate 
50g caster sugar 
1 egg 
50g self-raising flour 
1tsp cocoa powder 
You will also need 2 ramekins or pudding moulds 

Start by making the raspberry sauce; Place the raspberries, sugar and water into a pan and gently heat, until the raspberries are soft and the mixture is syrupy. Remove from the heat and take 4 tablespoons of the sauce and pass through a sieve to remove any seeds. Leave to cool.

For the chocolate fondant, prepare the ramekins by brushing them with butter followed by a dusting of cocoa powder. Place the butter, chocolate and sugar into a microwaveable bowl and microwave on a medium heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until the chocolate has just melted. Give the mixture a really good stir until it’s completely smooth, then whisk in the egg and then add the flour. Stir through 2 tablespoons of the smooth raspberry sauce and give the whole mix a really good whisk until everything is fully combined.

Spoon the mixture into the ramekins, cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, although they can be left for a good few hours before baking.

When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200°C, remove the fondants from the fridge, take off the clingfilm and bake for 14 minutes exactly. The timing is really important here; over-baking with result in a fondant without a gooey middle and under-baking will leave you with a chocolatey mess!
Take the fondants out of the oven and leave for one minute to rest. Turn them out onto a plate, spoon some more raspberry sauce over the top, add a dusting of icing sugar and a couple of raspberries for decoration and serve immediately.

Recipe by Millie Norton


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Meet... Girl in the Lens

Our next instalment of Meet the Blogger comes from Natasha at Girl in the Lens, which she runs with her boyfriend alongside her full time job and being an author... phew! We caught up with the girl behind the blog, and found out how she manages to fit it all in!




Ok, first up who is 'Girl in The Lens' for those that don't already know? 
 I'm a 23 year-old, half-Chinese half-English girl from a town near London who studied Geography at uni but somehow ended up working in fashion and social media! 

How long have you been blogging, and what made you want start it in the first place?
I run Girl in the Lens with my boyfriend, Callum (I guess you could call him the Boy Behind the Lens!). We started it just over two years ago as a creative project between the two of us - me writing and styling, Callum doing all the photography and design - and it's since grown into something much larger and more wonderful than we ever anticipated! We still have the same ethos behind it though as we did when we first started - the blog is a space to explore our creativity and have fun with photography. That will never change. 


What inspires your blog posts? 
 We tend to shoot outside, as we love natural light and the changing colours of the season. Sometimes we keep to our local areas, and sometimes we find somewhere special to take a more creative shoot. We're actually in the process of redesigning the blog and will be focusing more on lifestyle posts in the future. Not that I'm bored of fashion! But Callum has so much more to offer as a photographer, and it'll push us to have more adventures and try new things to share with our readers. 

How would you describe your style? 
 Casual but polished, preppy, non-committed. It's still evolving day by day. 



You're also a YA author. How did that come about... and how do you fit it all in!
I never stop! I actually juggle three jobs (alongside blogging and being an author, I am a freelance social media consultant and writer), and it is always a little crazy trying to keep on top of everything. But you only live once, so I'd rather always be busy and make the most of the time I have! Being an author is what I've always wanted to do though. Ever since young, it was a dream of mine to have a novel published, and I was always writing. I got my publishing deal the traditional way - I wrote a novel, submitted it to agents, who then submitted it to publishers ... and then we were lucky enough to get a wonderful two-book deal! It's a dream, being able to see my words out there in the world. 

What do you get up to when you're not blogging? 
 Most of the time I'm writing (or thinking about writing), but I also love reading, having long baths, watching marathon runs of old shows I love like The OC, going for walks, nights in Callum, doing yoga, exercising, playing video games, travelling, seeing friends and family ... oh, and eating. Lots of eating. 



 What three items can you not live without? 
 A ring Callum gave me for my 23rd birthday with a line from my novel engraved on the inside, my Kindle (and all the books on it), and my new MacBook Air. 




Tell us something no one else knows about you... 
 The crazy stuff that goes in my brain. Stories are writing themselves in there all day, every day. I can't keep up! 

And lastly, as we're releasing our travel issue, we want to know your favourite holiday destination?
 Pangkor Laut in Malaysia. I grew up in Malaysia - it's one of my favourite places on earth. While it has a lot of gorgeous coastal resorts and islands, Pangkor Laut is special. My mum took me, my dad and Callum there a few years ago as a treat. We were only there a few days, but I could have stayed for weeks.