UK Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

July 19, 2015

July Non Beauty Favourites (Part One)

My Non Beauty Favourites is a new blog series that I began last month with my June Non Beauty Favourites post. I really enjoyed putting it together and it was very well recieved so over the last couple of weeks I've continued to collect my favourites from throughout the month for July. However, we're only just over half way through the month and I already have so many things that I want to share. To save you from one massive blog post at the end of the month, I thought I'd just split the post into two parts. If you live in London - or just love to read about non-beauty bits and bobs - then these posts will hopefully appeal to you, and all your feedback is really appreciated! I do know that the photos in these posts aren't as good as my normal blog photography, and this is because I like to take these favourites photos as-and-when on my iPhone. Unlike my normal blog photographs, these photos aren't staged and they're completely candid - they're the sorts of photos I take to share with my friends on whatsapp and I'm very happy to now be sharing them with you too. I hope you enjoy today's post, and I'm sorry it's so food-heavy - I promise they won't all just be about restaurants!

one little vice lifestyle blog: sushi in clapham

My birthday dinner at Tsunami in Clapham

Let's begin at the beginning! It was my birthday right at the beginning of the month (July 3rd, if you're nosey) and as part of the celebration I went to dinner with my dad and brother. One of my favourite restaurants for sushi - and other delicious Japanese food - is Tsunami in Clapham. I've been there for dinner a couple of times and the food never disappoints. Notably delicious dishes are the Kataifi Prawns (we actually ordered a second plate of these!) and the Salt and Pepper Chilli Squid. Tsunami gets pretty busy so it's definitely a good idea to book a table in advance, we were sat right in the heart of the restaurant and the atmosphere was wonderfully lively. If you live locally then I'd highly recommend paying Tsunami a visit.

one little vice lifestyle blog: american cream soda

When I was younger - much, much younger - I didn't drink many soft drinks but I did always try to share sips of my mum's favourite drink, Cream Soda. It's definitely an acquired taste as Cream Soda is incredibly sweet with a distinct vanilla overtone, but it's actually incredibly difficult to find good Cream Soda here in the UK. My favourite has always been from Schweppes but I haven't seen it in mainstream shops for a really long time. At the beginning of the month I made a trip to Wing Yip, a big Chinese supermarket, where I spotted Schweppes Cream Soda on the shelves. I only picked up two cans but I've them to be incredibly nostalgic. I miss my mum more than I admit, so being reminded of even the little things that we used to do together always feels rather wonderful.

My new lust-worthy handbags (bargain hunting pays off!)

I'm embarassed to say that in just two weeks I've acquired two new handbags - a Tula shoulder bag in black leather and a vintage Loewe black leather clutch. Personally, I think they're both unbelievably swoon-worthy, but the best part is that they were both tremendous bargains. I've been an avid eBay enthusiast for a long time and I'd highly recommend sussing out if you can find your favourite luxury brands on there. Tula (one of Radley's more affordable off-shoots) make some of my favourite handbags and eBay is quite frankly awash with them! After my Tula handbag success (pictured above on the left) I would normally have left things there, but I recently visited Chiswick Auctions to pick up a clock (that's another story!) where I spotted the most beautiful vintage Loewe clutch (pictured above on the right). I didn't initially plan on purchasing the bag, but I decided to follow the auction online and when I saw that no-one else was bidding, well, I just couldn't help myself. The whole process was so fun and easy and it's really turned me on to following auctions. If you're already into eBay then I'd definitely recommend taking the next step and shadowing online auctions to see if you can nab yourself a bargain. For now I'm going to put a halt on my expenditure and wait patiently for my beautiful new bag to make it's way into my hands.

Would anyone be interested in a blog post on eBay and online auctions? Or are any of you handbag enthusiasts yourselves? I'm considering doing a blogpost on my handbags, if you'd be interested in reading about them!

one little vice lifestyle blog: affordable restaurants in balham

Phó Café - Vietnamese food at affordable prices

If you're looking for an affordable place to grab a meal then I'd highly recommend Phó! I usually pay it a visit at leasy once a month because I am completely obsessed with their soups and vietnamese summer rolls (pictured above on the far left). My local restaurant is in Balham and my last visit with a friend of mine turned into a bit of a blow-out where we also tried the spring rolls (pictured on the far right). I've never been disappointed my any of the dishes I've tried so far and I think that Phó offers fantastic value for money. Don't be surprised if end up taking leftovers home with you, I nearly always do - and later on in the day they make for a tremendously tasty snack, or an indulgent breakfast the next morning...

one little vice lifestyle blog: july non beauty favourites

 Bao London - Taiwanese Street Food in Soho

Unlike the other eateries mentioned in today's post, Bao is more of a one-off as this month was the first time I paid the café/restaurant a visit. I've heard so much hype about Bao London but after visiting myself I can see where it's all come from. Bao has a pretty small frontage but with room for approximately thirty people to sit inside, and more than enough waiting staff offering excellent customer service. The menu is wide ranging, and very enticing, and once ordered it arrives very quickly. I stopped by for lunch so I didn't go too crazy and decided to just try out two of Bao's taiwanese buns - the Original Pork Bun (pictured above on the left) and the Fried Chicken Bun (pictured above on the right). I was really impressed with the textures and flavours of both dishes, but the Fried Chicken Bun was an undeliable favourite. Whilst I really enjoyed the food, the service and the vibe of Bao London, I also had to queue for half an hour to get a table. Is it worth it? Maybe once or twice, for the experience, but I couldn't see myself making this a regular haunt. The food might be top-notch but it is a little bit overhyped and despite being delicious this left me just a tad disappointed. The best way to "do" Bao is to take a friend, expect to queue and then once you're there try everything on the menu. If I pay Bao another visit then that's going to be my game plan.

What have you been loving so far this month?
Have been out anywhere fun? Or bought anything exciting that you'd recommend?



  1. All of those restaurants look incredible! I am obsessed with asian food and my stomach is now growling. x

  2. I love your restaurant reviews - we took a vacation to London earlier this year and loved it, and hope to go back soon. These are the kinds of places tourists just don't find, so I've already started a list for next trip!


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