lashesoflifestyle

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February means one thing for me. Pancake day. Forget valentines day…its all about those thick, fluffy American pancakes piled high with all your favourite toppings. Ok crepes will sometimes cut it too. But when else do you have the PERFECT excuse to just go all out?

Making them at home is great, but let’s face it. Effort after work. And pressure. Especially if you’re cooking for others it feels like because it’s pancake day, they have to be amazing.

Eating out might be busy, but get a good spot and you won’t regret facing the crowds. Or maybe celebrate a day early ha. 

Last week we popped along to try the limited edition pancake menu at Polo 24 Hour Bar, just opposite Liverpool Street Station. Polo has collaborated with Jude’s ice cream (my absolute fave) on an insane menu of stacks. Like crazy. It’s already launched and runs right through to pancake day, which is perfect!

Polo 24 hour bar pancake day 2018 menu

The menu features seven options, including Streaky Bacon & Maple, Salted Caramel & Popcorn and Apple Crumble & Custard.

The Red Velvet Pancake Stack, with cream, glace cherries and strawberry sauce, comes complete with a whole slice of red velvet cake on top and a side pot of cherry ripple ice cream.

Polo 24 hour bar pancake day 2018 menu

The pancakes themselves are huge and dense rather than light and fluffy. They’re sweet and really filling.

The toppings pretty much made this what it is though – seriously epic. The big slice of red velvet donning the top of the stack was moist and delicious. The Judes Cherry ripple icecream was indulgent and creamy, and a much better accompaniment than cream (I’m not a huge cream fan!).

This was by far my favourite, but I couldn’t have devoured this solo. A partner in crime is most definitely required for this.

The Apple Crumble & Custard Pancake Stack came a close second in our rankings. Four of the same huge pancakes topped with custard flavoured Jude’s Icecream, custard and a piece of Apple Crumble pie, these were drizzled in chocolate sauce.

Polo 24 hour bar pancake day 2018 menu

The Icecream was literally like frozen custard. So creamy. The only downside being that the Apple crumble was served cold, otherwise, this would be the ULTIMATE dessert – ok let’s forget about the fact that if it was hot the ice cream would melt super fast. We can all dream. It was still pretty fab.

Polo 24 hour bar pancake day 2018 menu

The Tropical Froyo Yoghurt Pancakes, sure looked pretty but were just a little too citrus for me. Again, with four big pancakes, this stack came complete with fresh mango and passionfruit, pomegranate seeds, tropical frozen yoghurt and a drizzle of strawberry sauce.

Polo 24 hour bar pancake day 2018 menu

I heard a few rate this as top choice – but for me it just couldn’t compete with the red velvet one, even though the sorbet was really juicy and almost a bit creamy.

Polo 24 hour bar pancake day 2018 menu

For anyone who thinks these aren’t quite big enough (not sure who this would address but anywho), Polo also brought out ‘The Challenge’ which would be the choice for you!

Polo 24 hour bar pancake day 2018 menu

12 pancakes, cream, fresh blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, and drizzled of strawberry and chocolate sauce, this one is a monster. Named ‘The Challenge’ as if you can finish it by yourself you get a free bottle of prosecco. I mean, no one has to date. And I wish anyone who dares the best of luck…I’ll be praying for your heart.

Polo 24 hour bar pancake day 2018 menu

There are plenty of drinks to wash your stacks down with too. The Berry Blast juice was a little foamy, but refreshing and fruit nonetheless. The Oreo Hard Shake however went down a treat. It’s not overly thick (winner!), had a distinct oreo flavour with the alcohol coming through and was the perfect size. So many times we’ve been out and I haven’t ordered a shake because they’re too filling and too big – not any more!

Polo 24 hour bar pancake day 2018 menu

Summary:

  • Price: With pancake stacks between £9 and £12, it’s the same price as a reasonable meal out. I’d definitely go in for sharing one of these though.
  • Food: The toppings make these pancakes what they are – EPIC. Worth a visit even just for the picture 😉
  • Drinks: Go for a shake! Hard if you fancy a splash of alcohol.
  • Atmosphere: Diner-like across all three floors. Service pretty standard.
  • Wait: n/a – we went to an event

If you’re looking a spot for pancake day, this might just be the one.

What are your pancake day plans?

Chloe xx

*I was invited along to try some of the exclusive menu in collaboration with Jude’s. All views my own. 

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I get it. You read energy drinks and you think about all the bad. Sugar. Calories.

But they’re not all like that and I’m just starting to learn this.

There are actually a few ‘green-er’ energy drinks out there at the moment. I was at first a little dubious to try them, but struggling with energy before gym, and occasionally having a major mid-day slump (often feeling a little light-headed/dizzy/faint), I thought I should give them a go.

So first up, Flyte, a new natural green energy drink on the market got in touch to see if we wanted to give them a go – perfect timing!

Flyte Energy Drinks Review

Flyte is a clean energy drink which gives you a boost of energy for under 40 kcal per bottle (less than an apple). Powered by organic caffeine (from green coffee), it’s made from 100% naturally sourced, non-GMO ingredients. The drinks also include no artificial sweeteners, with all sugar coming from natural juices and stevia leaf – there’s only roughly 3g sugar per bottle…that’s less than a teaspoon!

The bottle itself, glass, is pretty cool and a great size for popping in your handbag or gym kit. It chills pretty quickly in the fridge too.

Flyte Energy Drinks Review

Taste wise, it does have that standard energy drink undertone. It’s sparkling like many others, with a subtle flavour shining through, yet it’s not too sweet.

There are currently four flavours in the range; red berries, citrus lemon, green mango and orange clementine. I wasn’t sold on the Green Mango option, as I think I was expecting a slightly sweeter drink. However the Citrus Lemon was pretty tasty, as far as energy drinks go.

Flyte Energy Drinks Review

As for the energy aspect, they sure are packed with caffeine. The first one sent me a bit fluttery and buzzy, drinking it in the office late afternoon to give me more energy ahead of a gym class. The second kept me going during an afternoon shopping spree – managing to keep me energised until late lunch. Shopping always makes me go a bit funny and slightly faint, like I’m lacking energy. So this was fab.

Flyte Energy Drinks Review

For those days when you’re struggling with energy, and yet still dying to gym, or if you suffer like I do when shopping, these are a little savior. As they’re clean and natural, I don’t feel bad drinking it either which is great.

Do you fall back on something like this? When do you most feel the need for a little boost of energy?

Chloe xx

*I was supplied samples of Flyte drinks for review. All views my own. 

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Cleaning is one of those things no one really wants to do right?

At the end of a busy week, who has time to spend three hours plus cleaning an entire flat properly? Hoovering puts your back out. Your hands smell of bleach. And you most probably have to give up social time, your time for relaxing, or your gym class.

On top of this, cleaning is the one thing which is bound to cause disagreements in a shared house. Rotas are great, but do they really work? What if the other person doesn’t clean to the same standard? What if they take over a week to actually get their butt into gear and you have friends popping over?

Fantastic Services, cleaning, London

I used to think that getting a cleaner was an expense I didn’t need. I also worried what people would think – snobby? That I think I’m upper class when I’m not? Lazy?

Well recently, I completely changed my mind and it’s changed my life already.

I’d been looking for a cleaner for a few weeks, and recently found Fantastic Services. Fantastic Services is a company which offers a range of home services, from cleaning to pest control.

Setting up a first clean for last Saturday morning, I could be there when they arrived and left so I wouldn’t need to give anyone keys. Three people arrived at 9am on the dot (I was awake but not completely with it after a night on prosecco), armed with everything needed to give the flat a good spruce.

Fantastic Services, cleaning, London

We’ve actually got a pretty big flat for London. With a main bathroom and second toilet, as well as large living room, kitchen and a lot of stairs, I left them to it. Roughly two and a half hours later I emerged from my room, in response to a knock on my door.

I loved the fact the person who’d come up to say they’d finished made us do a walk-round to ensure I was happy. The others were laughing (happy laughs) as I walked around in awe – and said ‘WOW’ quite loudly when they opened the oven!

Fantastic Services, cleaning, London

Once they knew I was happy, they left me to it and I re-walked round the flat, so happy.

The Fantastic Services team had not only managed to get everything sparkling and clean, they’d worked wonders. The oven door was completely clean (there was cooked on grease covering the front door, from before we moved in, as it’s such an old oven and I didn’t have much hope it’d come off as I’d tried so hard before), the grout in between the tiles in the bathrooom was as white as when it was first decorated, and they’d even moved the sofas to clean!

Honestly, it’s amazing how good it can feel afterwards, and I didn’t even have to give up many plans as I could still work in my bedroom!

Fantastic Services, cleaning, London

I think this is definitely the start of something – with just wiping over the flat briefly in between, and a quick whizz round with the hoover, I think we won’t need to do much cleaning anymore ourselves. Good bye flat disagreements about cleaning, good bye rotas, hello more free time.

I was honestly extremely happy with the clean Fantastic Services provided. Now just to organise for them to come by regularly!

Do you have a cleaner? If so, how often do they come? Or does a rota work for you?

Chloe xx

*I was provided with a clean by Fantastic Services for trial. All views my own. I will be setting up an account to continue booking with Fantastic Services at the usual rate. 

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A fab new little Tastecard spot I found, nestled on Camden High street, Cafe Mexicana is a small, cosy Mexican restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The interior, decked out with dark woods, vibrant colours and prints, is pretty minimalist but still radiates that South American feel.

Cafe Mexicana, Camden, Tastecard

Tastecard is accepted on all of the Mexican dishes (basically lunch and dinner) so I popped along with Kim a few weeks ago one lunchtime to check it out.

It was pretty bustling for a small cafe restaurant, which was a good sign, and the staff were attentive and efficient – perfect for a timed lunch when Kim had to get back to the office.

The menu itself has everything you expect from a Mexican, from burritos to enchiladas and chilli, as well as a few different options from the grill, including Honey Barbecue Ribs, Lemon Peppered Salmon and Sizzling Chicken Breast.

Cafe Mexicana, Camden, Tastecard

The Enchiladas, chosen with chicken, arrived well presented as a pair, with a mound of rice, beans, guacamole, sour cream and fresh salsa. Plentiful, the plate didn’t stay this neat and separate for long – the fresh salsa chunky yet light, the beans rich and almost meaty, and the enchiladas themselves soft, with tender chicken and a generous topping of tomato sauce and cheese. All together, one fab dish – I really need to start getting guac for my homemade ones.

Cafe Mexicana, Camden, Tastecard

The chilli con carne got a great review from Kim too, and looked pretty impressive arriving with nachos, and well as dips and of course the rice. I would have suffered more food envy had mine have not been so good.

Cafe Mexicana, Camden, Tastecard

There are plenty of drinks options on the menu too, including cocktails which would have gone down a treat if it had been an evening occasion, fresh juices and sparkling numbers. The pineapple juice and sparkling elderflower were perfect for lunchtime dining.

Cafe Mexicana, Camden, Tastecard

With 50% off with my Tastecard, the bill came to under £15 before service, which is pretty great! For delicious food and friendly, quick service it’s well worth it. It would have come to just under £25 without my Tastecard which isn’t too bad either! Being a fan of Mexican, and with this place so convenient, I might have to go back to take Alex!

Do you have a Tastecard? Where’s your fave place right now?

Chloe  xx

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I look forward to girl’s night as much as I do date night. A night full of giggles and gossip with the girls is good for the soul!

Recently, I and about 18 other female bloggers gathered for the ULTIMATE girl’s night at Mondrian hotel – drinks, sharing plates and a private screening of Mean Girls. Yeah, you heard right. A. Private. Screening. Of. Mean. Girls. The No. 1 Chick Flick.

Mondrian Hotel, Girl's Night, Film Screening, Cocktails and sharing plates, London

We had drinks and dinner first, up in the Rumpus Room, the roof bar at Mondrian. The interior is gorgeous – purples and turquoise, soft benches and big comfy arm chairs, black leather stools, marble tables, green leafy foliage and the most incredible lighting, consisting of spherical clusters of lights of different sizes in the centre of the seating area. The view from the outside deck was amazing too, even in the miserable weather, and although it was a chilly evening we still made the most and took our drinks outside for a short while.

Mondrian Hotel, Girl's Night, Film Screening, Cocktails and sharing plates, London

In the back corner, by the doors to the balcony, there’s even a mirrored gif booth – super fun and so cool. It was nice to have something a little different, so of course I had to give it a go…it only took four attempts to get a good gif haha.

 

As for the drinks – the champagne was deliciously crisp and refreshing, and the cocktails were sweet and almost a little too easy to drink. The waiter even brought over a recommended gin cocktail, which was slightly tart, but sweet and moreish. I might have forgotten how many I had…whooops.

Mondrian Hotel, Girl's Night, Film Screening, Cocktails and sharing plates, London

The sharing plates were a great idea for a big group. The mini burgers were juicy and flavoursome, the chicken goujon bites tender and perfectly paired with the accompanying dip, the truffle fries crispy and rich topped with parmesan, and the bruschetta were piled with tasty combinations of ingredients and flavours.

Mondrian Hotel, Girl's Night, Film Screening, Cocktails and sharing plates, London Mondrian Hotel, Girl's Night, Film Screening, Cocktails and sharing plates, London Mondrian Hotel, Girl's Night, Film Screening, Cocktails and sharing plates, London Mondrian Hotel, Girl's Night, Film Screening, Cocktails and sharing plates, London

It was so cosy and comfy relaxed in the big arm chairs, catching up with some of my faves, and getting to know some lovely new blogging faces too!

Once ready, we headed down to level -1 to the cinema. The smell of fresh popcorn filled the air in the lobby downstairs – a cool, room with a huge lightbox, prints on the walls and retro videos. With a box of freshly popped popcorn and our drinks, we settled into the screen (which was relatively small, but a great size for under a hotel) ready for Mean Girls to start.

Mondrian Hotel, Girl's Night, Film Screening, Cocktails and sharing plates, London Mondrian Hotel, Girl's Night, Film Screening, Cocktails and sharing plates, London

The girls alongside me recited the film line for line to start, and in true girl fashion, we mostly talked through the film, continuing to catch-up, gossip and laugh.

At the end, I couldn’t believe how late it was – time really does fly when you’re having fun!

This really was one of the best girl’s nights ever! Delicious food, great cocktails and fizz, amazing company and the private group screening was insane. If I could do this every week, I totally would! Mondrian made for one beautiful location for it.

What’s the best girl’s night you’ve been to or organised? Do you have a fave film which is a must-watch for any girl’s night?

Chloe xx

*I was invited along to girl’s night at Mondrian, along with a number of other bloggers. All views my own. 

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