Leonard Street Car Park and the alleyway Blackall Street, next to Leonard Street, are currently being regenerated. The old buildings are being torn down at the moment, and there are plans to build new offices or apartments (or something) in the ever-popular Shoreditch area. I am sad to see Leonard Street Car Park and Blackall Street disappear as they have been very popular with street artists and many great works of street art have been produced here. I suppose that is the way with the ever-changing area that is east London as it gains in popularity due to its location near the City and the gentrification of its streets, attracting top prices and pricing everyone out of the area unless they are very well off.

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Over the past couple of months, since the cranes came in to tear down the buildings, I have been photographing the wide range of street art that has popped up on the scaffolding around the construction site. Artista, Pure Evil, 616, Amara Por Dios, Captain Kris, Inkfetish, Untay, Tizer, Pang, Bill Dill, Sian Storey, Hunto, ALSO, Spzero, Squrl, Kaes, Lost Souls, Cardboard Skeleton, Mr. Sable, and Dan Kitchener are a few of the artists who have left their marks on the new scaffolding.

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I am sad to see Blackall Street and the Leonard Street car park disappear. I wonder what the new area will bring in the way of street art or if it will just become another 'boring' place with grey buildings on the fringe of the City.

Don "Paul" Smith, also known as "the Banker", is one of the most active London-based street artists. I've covered his work here, here, and here. I've seen the artist hard at work many times around Brick Lane and have had a chat with him, and I even got a spray-painted "banker" image to take away once. He uses stencils to create his work, which is primarily portraits of people, with famous people seemingly a favourite of the artist.

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The artist has been busy regularly with some work on Hanbury Street in some of his favourite places, featuring Elvis and also Mad Max in another place on the same street.

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 Some additions to Mad Max over a few days were made to this image over the past week to include lizards.

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Other places in east London were also canvases...

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He also painted the canvases opposite the Village Underground recently, which was a collaboration with a few other artists who owned the other three panels.

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Bob Marley also featured in January, adding some brightness to a dull winter Brick Lane.

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The Hulk was painted on Hanbury Street at the end of last year, but he did not last too long.

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Marilyn Monroe was painted on Hanbury Street last summer.

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Near Christmas and into the new year, many "banker" images with "banker and the Mrs" were painted in various places. The above one had "Merry Banker" written on it, and it appeared a couple of weeks before Christmas. 

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Sadly, the world lost actor and comedian Robin Williams last summer, and a tribute was created.

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I'm not sure who "Huggy Bear" is, but perhaps this is a friend of the artist.

Hopefully I will be able to get any new photographs of Don "Paul" Smith's work soon, as long as it is not painted over too quickly.

UK 2015 Glossybox Review: February

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Glossybox is a monthly subscription box that sends approximately five samples (or full size) makeup and skincare products. I've been reviewing my items in Glossybox since last summer. This month's theme is "LOVE", and four of the products this month are full size. This is a great box, certainly much better than Birchbox's this month, and it may even be my favourite box from them.

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Each box came with a LOVE HEARTS candy/sweets to suit the theme for this month. On to the reviews...

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So Susan Rose Quartet Lip & Cheek Palette: This is a cute product, and I love the packaging design for this. There's also a selection of four colours, which can be used on lips or cheeks. A little goes a long way, and the colours are quite bright when applied.

Royal Apothic Tinties (in coral): This product is a tinted moisturising lip balm. I received the coral colour, and I applied a little on my lips and was impressed with the colour. I have very dry lips at the moment as I've been suffering with flu, but I think this is a subtle moisturiser. This also comes in the cutest little pot and the packaging is also designed well. I like this product, and it may be one that I stick with and would purchase. 

B. Cosmetics Mascara: This mascara promises to lengthen, define, and volumise lashes. It can also be used to curl lashes by pushing the lash up with the wand and allowing to dry. The mascara is waterproof. The product also dried well and did not create too much clumping of product on my lashes, like some brands. I like it.

Marsk Mineral Eyeshadow in 'Fifty Shades': I received Marsk eyeshadow in a previous LoveMeBeauty box, before they changed their format. This shade is inspired by the film "Fifty Shades of Grey" and is a shimmery dark grey colour. The colour can be built up by using a wet brush. I like the product. 

Wilkinson Sword Hydro Silk: I am impressed to receive a new razor in my monthly box. This is perfect because I was actually planning to buy a new one. There's also an offer to buy refill blades and receive an extra free razor too, which I did!

What did you think of this month's box? It was a winner for me.

I love history and art, and the large terraced houses belonging to the Huguenot silk weavers have always impressed me; while I was working on Brick Lane and walked by these houses, I often wondered what the lives were like for those who lived there in the 1800s. (I know that tours can be taken at Dennis Severs' house at various times throughout the year, and although I worked on Brick Lane for just over two years, I never got around to booking a tour.) When I saw a display of textile designs was opening in Rodney Archer's house on Fournier Street, I just had to make a reservation during my lunch break on opening day (last Thursday, February 19).

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Rodney Archer's house has been left with much of the original interior. He actually purchased the house in the 1980s, before Spitalfields and Shoreditch became the place to be seen, and lived there. The beautiful fireplace, photographed below, is from Oscar Wilde's house. He saw decorators removing it from the house and paid a small amount for it. It's beautiful.

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More about Rodney Archer and the house on Fournier Street can be read on Spitalfields Life blog here: http://spitalfieldslife.com/2010/03/06/rodney-archer-aesthete/

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The textile patterns on display are from the Antooine Donat Lyons factory, and they were created between 1840 and 1865. The curator, Trevor Newton, discovered the patterns in an abandoned silk mill, and they are so well-preserved and not faded because they had just been forgotten about.

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The patterns have instructions on the back about how to create them on the looms, and they are dated. Some have pencil marks on them for corrections or annotations, showing that they were used in the factory. All of them are for sale. 

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When I visited on the opening day at noon, the house was busy with people, and many of the textile designs had already been sold. Some of the visitors were extremely enthusiastic about them and bought several of them. The house was busy with people in all of the rooms and hallways, so getting photographs without them was impossible.

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Donat's textile patterns were actually on display at the Great Exhibition in 1851.

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The setting for this display is perfect in an actual silk weaver's house, and each pattern is shown without a frame and hanging on the walls, framed by the architecture and the interior design of the house.

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The display is available to view until March 19, and an appointment must be made in order to see the pieces. The days open are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. For those of you who are interested, head to http://spitalfieldslife.com/2015/02/03/textile-designs-at-rodney-archers-house/ for contact information.

A month ago, I went to Forge & Co in Shoreditch (located on Shoreditch High Street) for lunch and cocktails. Although I have walked past this restaurant hundreds of times in the past two years, I have never been inside it. I kept thinking "I have to try this place", and I finally decided to put this to reality on the spur of the moment. I liked it so much that I intend to go back!

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The Columbia Road Spring

In addition to a classic cocktail menu, I noted a special cocktail menu available at Forge & Co. The special cocktail menu included cocktails inspired after places in east London. Options included "The Columbia Road Spring", "Silk Weave Sour", "Docks on the Rocks", "Bethnal Green Blitz" and "Belle of Whitechapel". I choose "The Columbia Road Spring", which sounded like it may be a fragrant and sweet cocktail instead of a strong one. I confirmed with the waitress that it was sweet and not too strong.

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Forge & Co menu

"The Columbia Road Spring" is named after the famous east London flower market, of course. It contains rose liquer, lime, cucumber, and Green Chartreuse. This was one of the most delicious cocktails that I have ever had, and it's so easy-going. It came with a petal on top.

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Forge & Co

The interior of Forge & Co is modern with a large open plan floor and a bar in one corner. The restaurant was busy for a Thursday lunch time.

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Forge & Co

I ordered the corn and herb-fed chicken, which came with sweet potato and coriander. The sweet potato is cubed and roasted. The chicken was tender and came with tasty gravy. I also loved the sweet potato cubes, which were perfect, and I have never been a big fan of sweet potato.

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The waitress recommended a side and mentioned the buttered sprouts with bacon, so I ordered those. (The smoked mash is also meant to be good, but I already had sweet potato.)

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The food was delicious, and this has become one of my favourite restaurants now and one that I certainly want to visit again.

As the cocktail was nice, I wanted to order another. I was recommended "The Clover Club", which contained Tanqueray, raspberries, lemon and egg white. This was another sweet and fruity cocktail. After finishing that one, I enquired after the other special east London-inspired cocktails on the menu and decided to try either "Docks on the Rocks" or "Silk House Weave", asking her to judge whichever is the less strong-tasting. They brought "Silk House Weave", and it was a little strong for my taste but still enjoyable. 

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Cocktails

For dessert, I had the chocolate fondant with chestnut ice cream. Well, it was meant to be chestnut ice cream (I was looking forward to trying a new flavour), but it was actually vanilla. I love good vanilla ice cream, and this hit the spot and went well together. It was not too rich as the outside of the chocolate fondant is a light chocolate sponge cake, and the interior is a liquid chocolate syrup.

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Chocolate fondant and vanilla ice cream

Overall, I am very impressed with Forge & Co, and this is one of the best restaurants that I have visited in awhile. I will return, and I recommend it to my readers. 

Forge & Co is located at 154-158 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6HU. The closest station is Shoreditch High Street on London overground. Their website is: http://www.forgeandco.co.uk/

Like all of my previous reviews, I have not been endorsed to write this review and the views are my own.

Recent Street Art by the Rolling People

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The Rolling People and Cept, a collective group of street artists, were particularly busy painting up London's walls last year. Sclater Street was a particular favourite spot for them with new work appearing quite regularly over the summer and autumn months. You can see more of their work in my blog entries here and here. They also painted on the large Village Underground wall a couple of years ago.

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Their work uses bright colours and superheroes and characters that do not look out of place in science fiction comics. 

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A large mural was painted onto the wall of the Leonard Street car park.

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Here's another shot of it with Mysterious Al's green Frankenstein.

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Sclater Street was the canvas for a lot of their recent work.

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I also captured some of their older work which I have not shown yet, and the older work is below.

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Hopefully, the Rolling People will continue painting up the streets of London. Enjoy.

After our visit to Londonderry, we drove up to the Inishowen Peninsula, north of Londonderry and in the Republic of Ireland. The weather was sunny until we got further into the Peninsula, and then we had clouds and a few drops of rain. Inishowen is the most northern part of Ireland and it has a lot of history and some amazing views. Today's plan was mainly to serve as a road trip and to stop off at a few points along the way, including Mamore Gap, Malin Head, Glenvin Waterfall, and Grianan Aileach.

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Driving north on the southern part of Inishowen, near Buncrana

We stopped at the tourist information point in Buncrana first, and I realised that there's actually a bit more to do on the Peninsula than what I read in any of the guide books before arriving. There's a fort (Fort Dunree) and a famine centre with reconstructed houses of the period that seems to be interesting, but we did not visit these. I would be interested in visiting these if I ever do find myself in this part of the world again. 

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Coast driving north near Buncrana

The scenery along our drive was beautiful, and we caught glimpses of the sea as it opened into the Atlantic ocean. It was only a pity that the sun was not shining on the peninsula as it was in Derry when we left.

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Sheep on a small road

We passed the fort mentioned earlier and followed the navigation toward Mamore Gap, toward Clonmany. These were some narrow dirt roads, and we had the roads to ourselves, at least in places. The roads also contained small flocks of sheep in places!

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Amazing Grace Country

Finally, we got closer to the mountains and the Mamore Gap road. A sign along the road read "Thank you for visiting Amazing Grace country." This land is famous for the popular song "Amazing Grace", which is often sung in churches. Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin and even Susan Boyle have sang the popular song.

The song was written by John Newton, who was a foul-mouthed sailor who worked on the ships for a slave-trading company. Newton ridiculed religion. On a trip back from Africa, a storm off the coast of Donegal nearly claimed the lives of everyone on board the ship, and the captain blamed Newton for the storm. The crew had to repair the ship and stay on Inishowen, and the storm incident and near loss of life caused Newton to change his ways. 

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Mamore Gap

We drove further along and finally found our way to the top of the mountain with beautiful views of the sea in front of us. Visibility was not perfect, but we could still see and enjoy the views. 

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Shrine and St. Eigne's Well

At the top of the mountain are a couple of little ancient shrines and a religious well, known as St. Eigne's Well. These still function as pilgrimage sites today, and the well is visited in August.

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Sheep at Mamore Gap

Of course, sheep were on the mountains at Mamore Gap. I watched this mother sheep with her older lamb. They did not want to hang around us. We admired the views for a few moments and got some photgraphs.

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Views from Mamore Gap

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View of the mountain

After our visit to Mamore Gap, we drove down the mountain to heard toward Clonmany in order to visit Glenvin Waterfall, which is located on the outskirts of the village at Glen House hotel and tearooms.   

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Sea views

Glenvin Waterfall is a fifteen-minute walk away on a well-marked and maintained trail through forest land. Sheep also have use of this land, and there are picnic benches near the beginning of the trail. When we arrived, the rain was coming down really hard. We quickly got our umbrellas out of the back of the car and decided to make the best of it. Had it been nicer weather, a picnic here would have been nice. Luckily, the rain ceased toward the end of the trail, and the sun came out a little. The trail followed a small stream and crossed it with bridges at some points.

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Trail to Glenvin Waterfall

At the end of the trail, we saw the beautiful waterfall and took several photographs of it. We then had to make the 15-minute walk back, and I got some photographs of the trail and plants as the rain had stopped by this time.

We stopped at the small shop at the guest house when we returned to the car. The lady told us about the weekend's wash-out strawberry festival that she had the previous day. I wished I had asked for some strawberries and scones and clotted cream to take away!

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Trail from Glenvin Waterfall

After the waterfall, we drove up the road to Carndonagh to see Carndonagh Cross. This location was one of the main centres of the early church in Donegal and is meant to have been founded by St. Patrick. This St. Patrick's cross has a drawing of Christ on its east side. The two pillars have carved David the Warior and David the Harpist. The crosses may have been constructed in the 7th century.

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Carndonagh Cross

After the quick stop at the cross, we drove up the coast to Malin Head. Malin Head is used in daily shipping forecasts. In 1805, the British built watch towers here to guard against invasions from France in the Napoloeonic Wars. Later on, thest towers were used to communicate with ships offshore and Marconi Wireless Company set up a station in the tower. The concrete bunkers here date from World War II.

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Bunkers at Malin Head

Sharks and different types of birds can be seen here, but it was extremely windy at Malin Head, and we did not see any bird or sea life. Someone had gone down toward the coast area and had placed a lot of stones around to form different words, which we thought was clever and must have taken some skill.

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Malin Head

We just admired the views for a few minutes because it was so windy and a little chilly.

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Malin Head

On the drive back out of Malin Head, we stopped in a small antinques shop along the road with views over the sea. 

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View from Malin Head

A few of the cottages along this road were much older and looked picturesque. They reminded me of the cottages we saw in the folk village. I think these cottages would be dark inside, though, as there are not many windows. I imagine that they are quite warm inside as they do not have windows on the front side that is facing the sea.

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Traditional cottage in Ireland on Malin Head

We stopped at a small cafe on the way out of Malin Head and had a quick lunch of toasted sandwiches before we continued on our journey. It was time to leave Inishowen Peninsula with one last stop off at Grianan Ailigh (Grianan of Aileach), an ancient stone fort on top of a hill at the southern edge of Inishowen. To get there, we had to drive up another large hill, but we were rewarded with excellent views. Of course, the weather just off the main part of the peninsula was sunny and warm. 

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View over hills from Grianan of Aileach fort

Grianan Ailligh is an ancient and large stone fort built on a hillside on the southern side of Inishowen, though technically not really on the main part of the peninsula. This fort was probably built around the time of the birth of Christ, and it was probably built here because nearby there is a sacred monument of a Neolithic burial mound (3,000BC). The fort is a very short walk from the car parking, so we walked up to it.

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Grianan of Aileach

The walls of Grianan Ailigh are 4.5 meters thick. Two passages exist inside the wall and are 5meters high. An ancient roadway leads to the fort, and earlier forts also existed in this location.

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Grianan Ailligh

I found the fortress fascinating. Climbing around the steps and seeing the views from this fortress was fun, and I could see for miles.

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The stones are so thick, and I was impressed by the size of this stone above the door and how huge this stone is and how much it must weigh to have been maneouvered into this position.

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Grianan Aileach doorway

Just to the south of the fortress is St. Patrick's well. These water features were probably well-regarded before Christianity but then taken over as important places by the early Christains to help the spread their religion.

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Grianan Aileach and flowers

On the walk down the hill, I got some photographs of some pretty late spring flowers. After our visit to the hill fort, we got back into the car and headed toward Glenveagh National Park. Unfortunately, the traffic was very bad around on the way to and in the town of Letterkenny, so we were a little bit pushed for time and had to rush our next tour. By this time, the weather was perfect. We had sun, and the temperature was warm. Come back to read my post of Glenveagh Castle.

Changes and Goodbyes

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On Friday, I said goodbye to my colleagues and clients as I embark on new challenges. I became a web development contractor a little over two years ago, and the design and media agency that I have been working for was the first contract that I have had. I have been there for just over two years and was hired for a large-scale project for a global car/motorcycle brand. I spent my first month on maintanance for an oil company's website before joining the large project that I was hired for.

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Welcome to Shoreditch; please don't laugh at the locals

Before Christmas, they wanted to extend my contract six months, but I was worried about the "two year rule" (in contracting terms, this means that the government assumes you are permanent and will not allow you to claim expenses). The negotiation happened before Christmas break-up, so we hurriedly put through one month with the idea to extend in the new year when we had time and everyone was back from the holidays. However, the company decided to cut costs by cutting contractors at the time that my contract was up for renewal. They managed to hold on to me for one more month as otherwise they had no replacements ready, and I have been super-busy on that project. The past eighteen months have been particularly busy, and we've been under-staffed and promised another developer with the same skills, but that never materialised.

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Brick Lane from the meeting room

I agreed to stay for one month and also received another position right after I renewed my one-month extension. I'll be starting my new position immediately, and that's exciting. However, this means that I will no longer be working on Brick Lane in London or in London for the next few months. The new company is based in the midlands, and I will be working from home after the initial first two weeks. I am happy that I do not have the long nearly-four hour daily commute to Brick Lane, which was slowly killing me. I will, of course, return to London on the weekends every now and again to get photographs of new street art and visit other interesting places. (I have noticed the progression of a new mural on the Village Underground wall, which I was disappointed to see was not going to be finished before Friday, so I will have to return to London one weekend in mid-March to get a photograph.)

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Commute work, commute die

Last week was extremely busy and also sad as I'd been working with the same group of people for so long, and we made a really good team. I finally managed to get a couple of developers to hand over the past two years' worth of work to, but they only had three days with me and were thrown into the deep end a little bit.

The majority of the websites for the different European countries and divisions are now live, and we actually had two new websites launch this week. I will be adding some information about the websites soon. Hurrah! I hope it continues to go well. On to the next challenge for me...

Ampersand Hotel's Science Afternoon Tea

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At the end of January, we went to Ampersand Hotel in South Kensington in order to indulge in our first afternoon tea of the year. Afternoon tea at the Ampersand Hotel begins at 2:30 in the afternoon in The Drawing Rooms. When we arrived at South Kensington, we had nearly two hours, which I envisioned would be spent walking around the Natural History Museum and the National Science Museum, befitting of our science-themed afternoon tea to follow. However, both of these museums had horrendous queues, and everyone (with children in tow) seemed to decide to visit. (The Natural History Museum was in the news a couple of days prior to our visit for informing that the dinosaur in the entrance of the museum would be replaced with the skeleton of a whale, so this may have increased the popularity of the museums that weekend.)

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We had a quick look around the Victoria and Albert Museum, which did not have any queues. It was also busy, and we wandered around and found a room showing films with old footage. There was a documentary about the Crystal Palace that we watched. I've always been fascinated by the Crystal Palace. When we exited the museum, we had some rain but we soon arrived at the hotel, which is almost opposite the South Kensington tube station.

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The Ampersand Hotel is a botique hotel. The interior of the Drawing Rooms and the lunch room next door look vintage but chic. The lunch room area is much larger and has pastries and desserts out on display. The Drawing Rooms is a smaller area at the entrance of the hotel. Blue carpets and chairs, stylish lights and wallpaper were the design of the room. Canvases decorated with animals in wine glasses were scattered around the room, and I liked the blue parrot-in-a-wine-glass.

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The hotel seemed short-staffed when we visited. We were seated and given the menus, but they forgot about the champagne that I'd ordered and I had to ask them again for it. We were finally given it in the middle of our sandwiches. 

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I ordered the Darjeeling black tea, and my partner ordered a jasmine tea. The tea is loose leaf and the ceramic tea kettle can be topped up with more water throughout. 

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The sandwiches for the Science Afternoon Tea are a little different to other afternoon teas; they are savoury gougeres (flakey pastry similar to a croissant instead of bread). The fillings included Gloucester old spot ham, smoked salmon and cream cheese, coronation chicken, and cheese with fruit chutney. These were alright, but I am not too fond of the type of pastry.

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The second tier up contained the scones, and these are absolutely delicious. The scones are white chocolate and served with clotted cream and strawberry jam. They were among the best that I have ever had. 

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Last but not least were the pastries. The waitress poured dry ice in a bowl around one of the pastries so that they would 'smoke' and look like a science experiment. This was amazing, and I took a lot of photographs of it as it smoked away.

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The pastries included a Hazelnut, walnut and chocolate cake with mango mousse 'volcano' and meringue 'rocks'. I thought this tasted like salted caramel and could not really finish it as I am not a big fan of salted caramel. This tasted a little too salty for my liking, and I could not even taste the mango. This included a chocolate dinosaur on top. Each afternoon tea contained two chocolate dinosaurs - one white and one dark.

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Next up was a pistachio macaroon with cherry sauce in a little plastic 'pipe' beaker.

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Following that, we each had a  raspberry cake planet, made with raspberry sponge. White chocolate made the planet's ring. 

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Last but not least was a green citrus cocktail provided in a beaker. This tasted nice. The dinosaurs seemed almost too 'cute' to eat, and we saved them to last. 

My favourite part of this afternoon tea were the delicious scones and the dry ice being added to the plate to produce smoke to make this afternoon tea feel extra special. Service was friendly enough, but they did seem to be short-staffed, and I kept having to ask whenever I needed something; we were not asked throughout our tea how things were or if we needed more water for the tea. At the end, they accidentally overcharged me, and I had to sort out with the manager following my visit for a refund on the overcharged amount. Fixing the issues with the service would have made a better experience for us.

At the end of January, the bloke and I visited Le Chalet, a pop-up restaurant on the roof of Selfridges on Oxford Street, run by "Q Grill" and branded "Le Chalet". The restaurant has a winter and alpine ski lodge theme with cocktails and food inspired by the winter months.

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I wanted to visit "Le Chalet" in December, but we just ran out of time as December was busy for us, and the restaurant was extremely popular with everyone who decided to head to Oxford Street to shop for gifts. As a result, I resorted to booking a table in January on the last Friday in January after work. I'd previously gone to the pub for lunch with colleagues earlier that day and I was feeling worn down as the week had been a stressful one. By the time we arrived at our 6:30 booking, I was feeling exhausted and drained of all energy.

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We were seated by the window, but we could not really see the view outside as it was dark. I would like to see what the restaurant looks like in the light. The window area was chilly, though, so each seat had a woolen blanket, which I used to drape around my arms.

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We ordered our cocktails first. I ordered "Winter Orchard", which contained Beefeater, Poire William, apple juice, and Fireball. The bloke ordered Honeycomb Old Fashioned, which is a whisky cocktail with honeycomb.

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The interior is decorated with fairy lights and pine trees and wintery decorations. 

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For starters, we ordered the "toasted ancient loaf with salted butter". This came with separate butter and salt to dip the bread in. The bread tasted nice with both the butter and the salt.

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I ordered the buttermilk chicken schnitzl with blue cheese fondue. The food was delicious.

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We ordered two sides: a side of broccoli with chili and garlic and a side of tartiflette potatoes. My partner ordered the coal charred Suffolk pork chop.

lechalet08.jpg

For desserts, we ordered ice cream and sorbet. My partner had lemon sorbet and vanilla ice cream. I ordered a lemon sorbet on its own. I tried a bite of the vanilla ice cream, and it was delicious.

I was so full that I almost missed dessert; I would have loved to have tried one of the other desserts, but I could not even finish my chicken. 

lechalet09.jpg

Overall, the food was delicious. This is certainly one of the better restaurants that I have been to. The cocktails were perhaps a little too strong for my taste, but I would have liked to have tried a hot chocolate cocktail as they are quite popular. By the middle of the meal, I was actually extremely exhausted and just wanted to be at home and could not stop yawning. Yes, it had been a stressful week at work and I received some unfortunate news the evening before my visit.

I would visit again to try a chocolate cocktail and a dessert and admire the decor during the day, but I am unlikely to get the opportunity to do this now. "Le Chalet" are open and serving on the rooftop of Selfridges department store on Oxford Street (London) until the end of March if I have inspired you to go. Make sure that you make a reservation in advance to avoid disappointment. 

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