Afternoon tea is one of my favourite things to do. Now, there’s a lot of people who would look at it as being super posh but I genuinely think that anyone and everyone can go to Afternoon Tea and really love it.
Being amongst 2 Filapinos, an Aussie and 2 American guys, sharing this classic British tradition with them on a beautiful Sunday afternoon was a must.
I enjoy it because it’s nice being able to see my friends, talk and have a proper catchup. Anyone with any kind of girl squad or team knows how hard it can be to sink everyone’s schedules, especially since two of the girls are working crazy hard on their show, Hamilton.
Normally 1 afternoon tea tray tower is for 2 people but we didn’t really want much sweets so the waitress suggested that we ordered 2 instead of 3 to share between the 6 of us. We did just that and it was plenty of food! Some savoury and some sweet, the waitress also gave us the option to swap to have more savoury instead of sweet or vice versa, but we thought we’d try everything and sick to the norm.
The savoury options were not to my taste. I expect finger sandwiches and was ready for a bit of coronation chicken! Instead we had some kind of crackers, a salmon one, aubergine paste type of thing that just didn’t bang. Tbh no one can do aubergine like the Turkish & Greeks so I don’t know why they bothered.
I’m quite careful with sweets, diabetes runs in my family and I’m paranoid about getting it so if I eat sweets it really needs to be worth it! Although they were nice and everyone else loved them, I didn’t think they were worth it. The scones on the other hand were absolutely amazing! A bit crumbly on the outside and so soft and warm on the inside and with the jam and clotted cream, it was heavenly! So much so that me and Paulo ordered an extra plate of them. They were 100% the best scones I have ever had.
From beginning to end, we were met with the most impeccable service, from putting our coats in the cloakroom, a presentation and explanation of our food, all the way until the end with a nice goodbye.
The staff were attentive and professional but still warm and friendly. One thing I hate about going to nice restaurants is boujee impersonable staff, just feels cold or like if you’re not carrying an Hermes bag and wearing £500,000 worth of jewellery than you shouldn’t be there. I may be poor but I have chosen to be rich for the day, can’t you just go along with it and play pretend with me?
Oh and speaking of expensive jewellery take a look at this bad boy! Curtesy of Rachelle’s fiancé…
All you guys out their proposing to girls in their DMs need to take notes from Rachelle’s boo. Send me a picture of a ring like this and we might have to talk wedding bells 😉
Price wise was really good. They charge £19 for afternoon tea for 2 people which is the best value upscale afternoon tea I have been to. They usually range from £19-£25, excluding the more famous ones like The Ritz, Dorchester and Landmark Hotel’s go up to £50 each.
So in summary, the food was okay, the scones incredible and the service was amazing. The decor was beautiful, low light, very old English James Bondy. Actually reminded me of a small version of The Ned Hotel’s Millie’s Lounge (definitely a must go!). However, the very best part was the amazing company. Actually no it was the scones but the company was a very close second.
Would I recommend this place? Absolutely! If you are just by yourself and simply just want some amazing cakes, there is better out there. But if you are with a group and want to have a fabulous afternoon in general with the best scones ever, this is definitely a shout.
Although I have an extra large and over priced Virgin TV package with a bunch of cool fancy TV channels, I spend my days off watching my guilty pleasure, really awkward basic British TV.
Some of my favourites include, Take Me Out (for the cheese), Dinner Date (for the seriously awkward blind dates where they never actually see each other again) and weird This Morning interviews with Holly and Philip trying to keep straight faces, act like they care and pretending to be impartial.
Last week I came across the above video of a Black former model and presenter, AJ Odudu taking about skin bleaching. Please watch!
…After a good 10mins of laughing after the woman’s “big reveal”, I rewinded to actually listen to the rest of the conversation.
Does this woman have a point or is skin bleaching (the use of creams, chemicals and/or pills to lighten/whiten your skin colour) wrong? Lightening skin is most common in Asian cultures. In India, it roots from a representation of class, in East Asian cultures it’s less about class and more of a popular beauty trend.
I am not sure how it is seen in Asian cultures but it is controversial in the black community. Many people see it as going against your heritage, culture and sometimes in some cases, self-hatred. It also contains extremely harmful chemicals that can burn, bruise and scar black skin permanently. Others, say it is nothing more than a beauty choice. Like tanning or dying your hair.
I put the question to the people. I asked 166 people of different ages, nationalities and ethnicities, do you think skin lightening/bleaching wrong or should be people’s own personal choice. These are the results…
The result were so incredible close but “wrong” won by 1% of votes. I voted for personal choice. Here are some comments that a few voters shared.
“Nothing wrong with doing stuff to smooth the tone of your skin, maybe some small skin lightning, skin correction is fine but bleaching is another level. There’s some self hate involved with that I’m sorry” – Black male, 25, USA
“I guess it’s just as bad damage as me sunbathing to tan. I personally don’t see why anyone would want to do it but own choice I guess” – Caucasian female, 19
“It’s a shame that people allow themselves to adhere to the western standards of beauty and to completely reject their DNA as a means of getting approval.” – Black female, 23
Writing this did make me looked in the mirror and really asked myself, why not. If what Matthew Knowles says in his interview with Ebony magazine is true, and Beyonce is successful because of her light skin why don’t I bleach my skin to look lighter? Would I be more successful?
I thought back to an episode of “The Real” talk show, when Asian host Jeannie Mai discussed being told that as an Asian woman in the public eye she should undergo eyelid surgery to become success. (Skip to 1:00).
I believe bleaching, eye lid surgery etc. are personal beauty choices, I just choose not to. When I was younger I was picked on by some black boys for the dark colour of my skin but as a got older and had my “glow up”, those same guys were the ones asking for my number and liking my pictures on Facebook (back when Facebook was hot).
When I was a teenager I was dating this one light skinned black guy. I thought he was so cool because he was tall and older and at the time I had a thing for guys with dreads and tattoos. I slowly began to realise although he was older, he was immature and stupid. After avoiding him for months, one day he called me going on and on about how sexy he was and how I must miss him and fantasize about him all the time. It was annoying so I responded telling him straight that he was unattractive and immature. He replied saying, “F*** you, I would never wife a dark skin girl anyway!” and hung up the phone. I called one of my girl friends and we laughed all night at his 1-Dimensional brain
I think if you are beautiful, you are beautiful. If you are talented, you are talented. Regardless of your skin colour, eye shape or any other feature that is connected to your heritage. Infact, those features are usually the thing that makes you more beautiful. Jeannie proved that she didn’t need to have eyelid surgery to be successful. Duckie’s dark skin is what makes her such a stand out beauty, Lucy Liu’s striking Asian features is what put her on the map. I think light skinned people are gorgeous. Beyonce and Cassie are stunning but Naomi Campbell and Nikki Perkins aren’t any less beautiful because their skin is darker.
For me personally though, I think my dark skin is a big part of my culture, my amazing African heritage and ultimately my identity. If I changed it I would feel like I was not be being true to myself. I am a very confident person and happy with the way I look.
I have also always been put off by it because I am from a country that are known in Africa for skin bleaching. I am not sure if there are less damaging versions of bleaching than others, but I see from older relatives and family friends who have done it and have terrible skin. Although it can look good with makeup, or it may look great in selfies, I have seen the way it can ruin people’s skin and after long term use the skin never goes back to the same colour or quality it was.
However, we live in a world of waist-trainers, bum injections, steroids. People do a lot of things to enhance themselves into what they see as “beautiful”. Bleaching is technically just one of them.
I think as long as you aren’t harming anyone and you are not doing it for someone else or for the approval of others, then you should be able to do whatever you want with your body. Just do your research and don’t go so far that you lose yourself in the process. Never ever forget to embrace the beautiful unique things that make you, you ❤️.
Additional Note: I think that colourism is something that stems from within our cultures. I don’t think it’s pushed by western media/culture but more of a trend within certain countries and cultures. I even noticed in the poll that the younger people, 1st and 2nd generation Britons voted more for “wrong” where as more older people who would have immigrated to the UK voted more for “personal choice”.
One of the best things about this time of year is creating memories and spending time with close friends and family. As most who work in fashion, I was pretty much off for December so I went for a curry at a local pub in North West London with close friend and fellow model, Saffron Vadher.
After the death of her grandmother, Saffron and her family travelled to India to scatter her ashes along side her late husband in the village where she was from that leads to the Ganges. She was a very sweet woman with a warm smile.
JADE: What was the whole ceremony like?
SAFFRON: We had a big ceremony in the river, with my close family from England and my family in India. It was really heart warming to see how many people were there for my grandma and to see how many people loved and cared for her. The ceremony itself was really beautiful and once it was over we all went to this gorgeous temple to say our final prayers to her to help her on her next journey.
JADE: What is like being with your family there?
SAFFRON: Well this was the first time that I met my family and close family friends. They were so lovely and cared for you so much. My family out there did not have any materialistic items and lived very simple lives.
JADE: That’s something I noticed went I travelled to certain parts of Africa. Although there are those that are genuinely poor, there are others that just live different than we do in the western world. There are a lot of people who’ll think that because people in the country may not have all the latest tech or superficial belongings that they are “poor”. But that’s not the case, they just live differently.
SAFFRON: Exactly, they didn’t have materialistic things but they were a very happy family and spent most of their time together. The whole trip was life changing. It was so heart warming to see people that had nothing but still living a very happy life. I realised that I need to spend more time focusing on all the good that I have in my life and not worry about the little things.
JADE: You are lucky enough to be close to both the Indian side of your family and the English side too. You seem to know a lot about both cultures but do you you think you learned more about your culture while being there?
SAFFRON: I had never been to a proper traditional Indian wedding before. It was really fun to attend all of the different events before the wedding. I really enjoyed getting henna done and also really loved gerber!
JADE: I feel a bit embarrassed eating my pub grub curry infront of you right now, this must be absolute rubbish compared to the food out there.
SAF: The food was amazing! My family out there are vegetarian so we didn’t eat meat for the two weeks we were out there, but the food was so delicious we didn’t even notice until the end of the trip!
JADE: Did you bring anything cool back?
SAF: My family gave us some of their sari’s which were lovely. They gave us them originally to wear them to a wedding and then ended up giving them to us a present! They also gave us some lovely beauty products which they said were really natural and would be really good for our hair and skin.
JADE: What was it like being there as a mixed girl?
SAF: Most people were very shocked when they realised that me and my sister were mixed. Most people thought we were English. Some people in the villages had never actually seen English people before. Families would come out from their balconies and houses to come see us and even take photos with us. They were always telling us to have a good time there and welcoming us to India.
JADE: My cousin is half English, half Congolese. When he went to Congo he said he got the same kind of thing. He wasn’t a fan of the special attention, people kept calling him “white”.
SAF: They just seemed very excited to meet us. They loved feeding us and also giving us chai
JADE: How did it feel to be out in India when your editorial for Vogue India got published?
SAF: Well unfortunately I wasn’t! I originally thought I was going to be there but it came out a couple of days after I landed back in England. Luckily my dad and sister stayed out a week longer than I did so was able to bring back a couple of magazines for us! They were also able to show my family out there and they were so incredibly proud of me and messaged me immediately to say congratulations!
JADE: So amazing! Your pictures were gorgeous. You’re representing and your family must be so proud.
I found the death of Saffron’s grandmother deeply saddening. She was a lovely sweet woman who smiled and loved to knit. Although I had only met her once, Saffron always talked about her.
Saffron: My grandma loved cooking. She loved to teach me and my sister all of her recipes. I could never cook them as nice as her but at least we both tried. She used to knit all the time in spare time. She once knitted me the nicest light green jumper!
I have always admired Saffron’s closeness to both sides of her grandparents. My father was orphaned before he came to Britain as a teenage refugee, however I have always grown up with my mother’s mother. Despite the fact that she only lives a couple streets down from me, as I got older I stopped making an effort with her.
Seeing Saffron’s close relationship with her grandparents inspired me to put more effort into spending time with my grandmother and I see how happy it makes her. I thank Saffron for that.
Rest in Peace to the very lovely and very loved, Ganga Sadher
The best thing about the Christmas holidays is being home. It’s probably obvious by now that I enjoy travelling, trying new things, exploring different cultures (hence why I even created Beauty in Diversity) but like the saying goes, “there’s no place like home”. That being said, I think it’s probably about time that I shared some things about my own home and what I love about Camden.
A walk through Camden market is one of my favourite things to do. The market is always so vibrant, full of all different types of people, laughter and excitement.
I go pretty often and even if I’m not going to buy something in particular, I love feeling the energy, bumping into friends and seeing what’s new.
There’s always a new store popping up, someone giving out free samples of something or a great street performer to watch.
My favourite part of the market is the food market. It has the widest variety of any street food market I have been to.
Fallellel salads, Thai curries, calamari, macaroni & cheese, burritos, halloumi fries, Belgium waffles and so soo much more.
So if your sister is in the mood for something fresh and healthy, like a Vietnamese pho soup and you’re being bad for Christmas and want a hot dog with everything, Camden Market can cater to both of your needs.
The market in The Stables is great too, my friends and I used to go there every Friday after school, looking at all the cool nik-naks, antiques, vintage clothes.
You can find anything from belly dancing outfits and Japanese Daruma to shisha places and a Cuban bar. It’s where I bought my first pair of vintage Levi’s and also my first legal drink.
Although the high street area is mainly where all the tourist markets are, it is also where you feel the Camden vibe the most, the 3D art on all the shops, the hustle and bustle of the streets, the bold fashion of all the goths, hipsters and Camdeners.
The people of Camden are what make it what it is, the people from here and living here. The stall owners, the goths, and even the people I normally avoid, like slow walking tourists.
Or guys near the station who try to sell their music …after buying one once and going home to find out it was a blank disc, I personally avoid making transactions on street corners.
One day after landing in London, I was whisked away to attend the exciting Premiere of West End’s, Hamilton.
It was a wonderful evening where I watched the incredible story of Alexander Hamilton. US immigrant, turned fighter for the American revolution, turned political power and eventually one of the greatest forefathers of the United States.
Although in actuality all the founding fathers were white, the cast of Hamilton consisted of a variety of different races and ethnicities. In fact, in the US production of Hamilton there is only one white actor.
There is great beauty in the fact that although, historically many of these characters were white, Hamilton has created a cast which represents and celebrates the diversity we see in America and Britain today.
This cast was so spectacular, such beautiful singing, slick rap and a wonderful story, filled with the most amazing talent from all over, different nationalities and races. Jamaicans, Americans, British, Black people, Asians, white people, mixed and more. The show uses Asian and Black women to portray the beautiful Schulyer sisters. The girls were absolutely stunning, on top of being such great performers.
I had met some of the original cast of Hamilton Broadway before, during a stay at the W Times Square earlier this year, and have also modelled for Bryan T Clark’s (Hamilton’s George Washington) clothing brand Indefined.
It was great to see their roles being played on stage and matching them up to their characters in the musical.
The very best thing about the show was watching my best friend and Filipino firecracker, Christine Allado.
There is no better feeling than watching someone you love doing what they love and absolutely smashing it!
Christine and I met on my first job since returning to the UK from the US in 2015. In these few years we’ve been able grow in or careers together, cheering each other on through everything we do. It was great to sit in the audience and play cheerleader as she stood centre stage at the Victoria Palace Theatre to play Peggy in the West End’s most anticipated show of the year.
Like so many people, in this country and all over the world, she is proof of the very message of the show, “Immigrants, they get the job done!”
The show was followed by an amazing after party with lots of great people, celebrities and amazing individuals who had come to enjoy the show, the cast and creators of the show were also letting loose. There was great food at different food stations, cheeseboards, meats, salmon, prawns, amazing little canapés and wonderful drinks. We had Champagne all night and partied away.
Thank you Christine for always being there for me and being my cheerleader, best friend, soul sister and role model. Love you.
Out of all the Christmas Markets I’ve explored this winter time Cologne has got to be the best and here is why…
Variety of food
They had all the Christmas market norms, Bratwurst, waffles smothered in chocolate, crepes with strawberries and Nutella, chips, etc. But they also had other great treats I was delighted to be able to try.
FleischspieB, which is a skewer of pork that’s half a meter long. Very messy to eat but so good, tender and full of flavour. Puts a 2am kebab in London to shame!
Obazter, a garlicy cream cheese and Camembert type of spread on some soft German toast. It was cheesy and delicious!
Käsespätzle, which is the German’s answer to a British mac & cheese. It’s a type of egg noodle which they add lots and lots of Swiss cheese to. My favourite cheese of all, Gruyere.
The beauty and tradition
The Christmas trees, twinkling lights, cottages, Christmas art and the most amazing view of one of Germany’s oldest Cathedrals and most popular landmarks, Kölner Dom. Built in 1248-1473.
More than one!
London also has several Christmas markets all over the city however, in Cologne they were just a few streets away from each other, all decorated differently, with lots of different food and different themes.
One was more traditional, with statues of Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus, while another had a lot of cottages/pubs and the others had their own themes.
On top of having the usual mulled wine (or in German, Gluhwein) they also had a white mulled wine instead of a red. It was really nice but surprisingly a bit sweet. I prefer the normal red but if you like sweet drinks you’d love the white!
You could choose to add a shot of Amaretto, Rum or Bailey’s. Amaretto sounded like it was the most appropriate combo for me, which it definitely was!
They also had a special traditional German Christmas drink called Feuerzangenbowle. They lit some kind of rum infused sugar rock on top of the mulled wine which dripped into the mug.
This was all in the middle of the main shopping area in Cologne so I was able to pop in and out a few stores while hopping between Christmas markets.
It was not Barvian style so no cute guys in Lederhosen but nonetheless still absolutely beautifully and magically German. There was no crazy rides or rollercoasters, no Backstreet Boys or flashing neon lights. Just a traditional, calm, romantic and beautiful atmosphere infront of the Düsseldorf town hall.
Lovely Christmas lights, Gluhwein (mulled wine) everywhere. I enjoyed listening to the Christmas music playing and the sound of laughter in the air as the snow fell. I also had an amazing classic German twist on a French cheese, which no British Barvian Village could imitate, fried Camembert, served with a beautiful cranberry sauce.
The next day me and my boyfriend woke up to a beautiful view. It was the cherry on top of a romantic and magical Christmas weekend together in Germany.
For any Londoner Winter Wonderland is definitely on the list of things to do during Christmas time. I decided to go within the first week it opened so that it wouldn’t be too cold and this year I could really enjoy it properly, rather than going on a few rides then wanting to go early due to lack of feeling in my fingers and a frozen face.
We didn’t actually go on any rides this year. Instead we decided to put our money towards what we do best, eating and drinking! One of my favourite things about Christmas has got to be a good old cup of mulled wine, nothing better to help warm you up on a cold December evening.
I’ve always thought of the whole thing as quintessentially British. Walking around through Christmas markets, drinking mulled wine, listening to music and relishing in the smell of hot dogs, waffles and warm donuts. However, this year I realised that maybe it’s not so “British” after all.
I noticed that my oddly shaped mug of mulled wine actually had German written on it. It said “Gluhwein”. I went over to get a hot dog, which I get every year but had never noticed that the “hotdog” stools actually were “Bratwurst”.
Maybe it was the freezing cold of very late December that had distracted me or had stopped me from truly exploring this giant Christmas market in the past, but I looked around and realised I had found myself in a great big section of Winter Wonderland that was completely German themed. I had fell down an winter German rabbit hole and landed in a magical place called “The Barvaian Village”.
Complete with German pork roasts, beer in German stein glasses, which hold not 1 but 2 pints.
We sat to eat and all of the waiters were wearing traditional German Lederhosen. I’d have to say I was slightly disappointed that the girls weren’t wearing the cute Barvaian Dirndl outfits with the plaits however, the excellent service made up for it.
There were German bands at the restaurant playing Volksmusik, which is traditional Barvaian folk music. It was very interesting and really fun, I felt like I was in a family friendly version of Munich’s Octoberfest. Later on we headed over to a huge (and heated) tent which played 90s pop music, Backstreet Boys, Spiced Girls. My mother was absolutely loving it.
I love Asian culture, it’s so interesting and beautiful, particularly Asian food. If you want to go to a nice Asian restaurant in London I can point you in the direction of many different places and filter dependent on type of Asian, authenticity, price etc.
However, I never normally recommend buffets. There is something about a Chinese buffet that is so impersonal. I love getting a beautiful hot meal and feeling like it was made especially for me. Buffets always seem a bit unhygienic and I never realise how full I am until I’m being rolled home.
However, for my brother’s 16 birthday I didn’t think he wouldn’t appreciate an authentic Pho soup restaurant in Covent Garden.
But if you’re going to do a buffet you might as well go big or stay home! JRC Global Buffet Ilford is the only way to do it. It’s a little far out from central London but if you like a buffet it’s 100% worth it.
With 11 different food stations from Thai, to Indian and good old Chinese they have pretty much the whole of Asia covered. It’s not exactly the most authentic exploration of Asian cultures but it’s big, it pretty fun place to go and for a buffet the food is really good.
You walk in and it’s like you’ve died and gone to Asian food heaven and all drinks are included (Non-alcoholic drinks). The wine is pretty cheap but I wouldn’t recommend wine at a Chinese place. I tried a glass but quickly regretted it.
I only had one “small” plate of food…
I had a strange mixed of food. The tandoori chicken wasn’t anywhere near as good as the stuff you get at my half Indian mate Saffron’s family BBQs, however was still very yummy! I had some thick Chinese noodles, Thai spicy fried rice and a delicious Thai red chickpea curry …I tried to be healthy too and added some broccoli and aubergine.
Then went straight over to the dessert table.
I ended it with some ice cream topped with chocolate from the chocolate fountain.
A Chinese buffet isn’t a Chinese buffet without a chocolate fountain.