Update: Last Days Of London (And The English Countryside)

Well, this update place is not really mainly about London, as I have been living in the countryside since March, but it sounded good so thats why it got to be the post title! So, this time next week I will be heading to the airport and catching a flight out to Los Angeles for 10 months – hasn’t time gone fast since I made the announcement that I was moving? I thought I’d just put together a little roundup of my last few months on British soil (I have not done a post like this since the end of April, so we’ll take it from there!) full of some of the things I’ve been up to and some posts from here, and my beauty blog you may have missed!

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1. I have been obsessed with blue and white Breton stripes this Summer. | 2. I finally found confidence wearing prints with this fantastic Whistles skirt. | 3. I’ve practically lived in this blue Volcom shirt this Summer, photo taken at Somerset House, which I think is one of the best outfit post locations in London. | 4. I teamed up with Vestiaire Collective and got my hands on this beautiful See by Chloe bag I first spotted at London Fashion Week. | 5. I found my casual Summer style with some fringed aztec prints. | 6. Speaking of prints, the first outing of my favourite sundress this year, which an awesome palm tree print.

As a boarding school girl, this year has been the first year I’ve ever had to think about what to wear every day (hello school uniform!), and this Summer while I’ve been carefully editing my wardrobe to work out what to take with me, I’ve seen that I’ve really started to define my own style with my wardrobe choices; lots of basics, stripes, and either neutral colours or blues. I’ve also started to learn to accessorise properly! 

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1. Inspired by an incredible fresh topped pizza I used to order in Pizza Express but it got discontinued, I experimented with pizzas with fresh toppings, and found an incredibly perfect recipe for pizza dough. | 2. A recipe from my French kitchen, one of my all time favourite lunches; king prawns in lashings of delicious garlic butter, served with a glass of ice cold rose and some fresh crusty French bread. | 3. I investigated the incredible effects of what happens if you sandwich my favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe together with marshmallow fluff. | 4. The most refreshing and simple iced tea recipe you’ll ever need. | 5. I decided my lunches could do with jazzing up a bit this Summer, so I experimented with open topped bagels. | 6. I discovered what happened if you mixed Innocent Smoothie and alcohol and froze them to make ice lollies. The best adult frozen treat of the Summer, thats what!

While I did put some of my preferred recipes on the blog while I was at university, I really started posting and creating my own recipes in earnest this Summer. I can also note that while I still have a long way to go, and I have no idea what sort of set up I’ll have in my kitchen when I get to Los Angeles, my food photography has improved somewhat too, which can only be a good thing! I’ve started to learn a few tricks that have helped.
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1. Label M’s Organic Moisturising Lemongrass Shampoo and Conditioner are great for reviving your hair after you have got out of the swimming pool. | 2. For the first time ever I’ve started wearing bronzer this Summer; I’ve found The Body Shop’s Honey Bronze Bronzer is perfect for my really pale skin. | 3. I’ve been loving lots of things from L’Occitane’s Peony range, but this shower gel has really provided a floral burst every time I shower. | 4. I’ve been using it for years, but recently Nars’ ‘Orgasm’ Illuminator has been my complexion, but in a bottle. | 5. I picked up this bottle of NUXE oil with gold particles in in France, and I’ve found that rubbing it into my arms and legs really highlights my tan. | 6. L’Occitane’s brand new Angelica Exfoliating Gel has really cleaned down deep and refreshed my face, one of my brand new go to products!

It has been an amazing Summer for my beauty blog, The Glossy Guide, with a nomination in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2012 for ‘Best New Beauty Blog’ coming soon after The Glossy Guide’s first birthday. (Incidentally, voting closes today, so if you still not casted your vote, I’d really appreciate it!) I had no idea when I launched it last Summer it would be such a great hit, and I’ve even surprised myself how much I really love writing about makeup and beauty, and I can’t wait to discover some amazing new American products!

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1. Authentic Mexican at Taqueria on Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill, London. | 2. I took an early Summer holiday to my home in Brittany, Northern France where I gorged myself on some of my favourite seafood. This starter was from a fantastic restaurant on the seafront in Cancal called Le Cancalais that I have visited several times. | 3. If you’re visiting Canterbury and you want to drive out to a country pub, visit The Rose Inn in Wickhambreaux; I’ve had several totally delicious meals there this Summer. | 4. I found Williams & Brown, a fantastic seafood Tapas bar in the seaside town of Whitstable, their paella was the best I had this Summer. | 5. I’ve been big on cooking Brazilian Barbecue at home, inspired by Cabana, a wonderful Brazilian Barbecue in London where I enjoyed these delicious ribs at their restaurant in Westfield, Stratford. | 6. Another country pub, if you’re ever wandering East Kent, stop off at the Hare & Hounds in the little village of Northbourne, the food is better than I have eaten in some acclaimed London restaurants!

The thing I love writing about the most in the world is food. I love writing about it just a little bit more than I love cooking it, and almost as much as I love eating it. Yes, my jeans may be a little tighter than I had intended at the beginning of the Summer, but while I may not have been in London with so many fantastic restaurants to sample, I’ve still managed to have some pretty incredible meals out in the sticks. I hope my Californian readers like to discover new foodie hang outs, because I’m really excited about starting my ‘Places To Eat In Los Angeles’ feature in the Fall (it’s LA, not London, so I can say Fall not Autumn, right?)

So, that was my Summer! What have your favourite posts on Rachel Phipps and The Glossy Guide been this Summer? ‘Weekly Love’ will be back next Friday with a new post hopefully just before I leave for the airport! 

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