Sunday, 30 April 2017

Weekend in London featuring Sweetheart Cupcakes and Caffe Concerto

       The other weekend I went to London to see friends, as I usually only see my London friends when I'm working. Since I didn't have any work events this month, I decided to take a trip just for good food, good friends and good times.

On Friday I met my good friend Looi for tea and cake, as usual haha! We love to try new places so this time we tried Sweetheart Cupcakes in Covent Garden. Naturally everything is homemade, they sell cake by the slices (you can also order full cakes for special occasions), cupcakes, brownies, cookies, mini tarts, tea and preserves to name a few things. Mine and Looi's tastes are so similar it's scary, and we both ended up having Kinder Bueno cake and pink lemonade!

Sweetheart Cupcakes, Covent Garden
Source: Tripadvisor

Inside of Sweetheart Cupcakes, Covent Garden
Source: Tripadvisor

Cakes in Sweetheart Cupcakes, Covent Garden

Cakes in Sweetheart Cupcakes, Covent Garden

Tea and jam available to buy at Sweetheart Cupcakes, Covent Garden

Cake and lemonade in Sweetheart Cupcakes, Covent Garden

Unit 34, The Piazza
Covent Garden Market, (Lower Ground Floor)
London WC2E 8RE

Location: 5/5, in the heart of Covent Garden but can get busy during peak times and weekends.

Atmosphere: 4/5, relatively quiet and relaxed for a central London cafe and you can hear the performers such as opera singers and classical musicians which, depending on your personal preference, can add or detract from the atmosphere.
Decor: 5/5, it has a vintage shabby chic feel with grey stone floors, white brick walls and pastel vintage decorations throughout, including chair covers and tableware.
Service: 4/5, there are usually only 2-3 staff working at one time and though there weren't any other customers at the counter, it took us a little while to get served.
Price: 4/5, relatively reasonably priced for London cafes but the quality was definitely worth it.
Quality: 5/5, the sponge was so moist and fluffy and not overly sweet. The frosting was light, fluffy, complimented the sponge perfectly and wasn't gritty at all. The pink lemonade was sweet, crisp and refreshing. The cake is some of the best I've had in London so far.
Unique selling point: Tastefully decorated shabby chic cafe with very nice food and drink. Would definitely visit again!

Afterwards we had a mooch around shops and parted ways. I did a little more shopping, hung around Chinatown for a bit and then had dinner at La Porchetta Pollo Bar, a small Italian restaurant in Soho. My Japanese friend took me there once and said it's his favourite restaurant in London, and was included in a Japanese guidebook about London.

On Saturday my friend was holding a resin craft workshop at a participant's house, so I went there that day. There were around 10 participants and we all got to make our own UV resin charms and get to know each other if we didn't already! First of all we did a spot of scrapbooking, had lunch then got started on our charms. We then got to take them home to make into jewellery. It was a super fun workshop with friends and I love to add new crafts to my arsenal.

Everyday Gothic makeup
My look for Saturday! Necklace and earrings made by myself for my brand 8th Sin!

Scrapbooking

After the workshop, I met a Japanese friend at King's Cross and we went for dinner. This was my friend's first time in the UK and our first time meeting; we met on a language exchange group a few months back. He wanted to eat wherever local Londoners eat, and although I'm not a local, I do like to travel like a local so I took him to a restaurant on my recommended London Pinterest board, Bistro1 in Soho.

Afterwards we still wanted to chat and have a drink so we went to the nearest open cafe around - Caffe Concerto on Regent Street. We both had a Concerto Hot Chocolate with whipped cream.

Caffe Concerto exterior
Source: Caffe Concerto

Caffe Concerto interior
Source: Caffe Concerto

Caffe Concerto hot chocolate
Caffe Concerto hot chocolate

Caffe Concerto (Regent Street branch)
79-81 Regent Street, Mayfair
London W1B 4EG

Location: 5/5, very central to Piccadilly Circus and Mayfair.
Atmosphere: 4/5, relatively quiet at 10pm at night.
Decor: 3/5, it's supposed to look fancy but you can kind of tell it's like fake-fancy as it's a chain.
Service: 4/5, we were served pretty quickly.
Price: 4/5, pricey for the quality that I personally felt.
Quality: 2/5, the hot chocolate was alright, nothing special and not actually that chocolatey. I make a better Options Belgian Hot Chocolate at home for fewer calories!
Unique selling point: At this point in time, it was the fact it was open late. I wouldn't visit Caffe Concerto again as it likes to look fancy and attract tourists but there's nothing past the look. I've heard from friends that their food items are bland as well.

Everyday Gothic makeup
Sunday's look

On Sunday I was craving Chinese food and went for lunch at a Chinese restaurant on Baker Street called Phoenix Palace.

Later on I made my way to Covent Garden and had a cup of tea in Whittard of Chelsea in the lower courtyard area. I had Petit Macaron tea which was sweet and delicious! Afterwards I met with my aunt who lives in London. We walked past the Freemason's Hall, which I found super interesting and would love to see more of.

Freemason's Hall, London

We sat and chatted in a park for a while, then walked around some more. Afterwards we went to a Japanese restaurant in Chinatown called Tokyo Diner. Afterwards we went to Candy Cafe in Chinatown for bubble tea - I have been to Candy Cafe before for bubble tea and dessert.

Everyday Gothic makeup
Monday's look

On Monday I fancied a pancake breakfast so I went to Jackson and Rye on Wardour Street. I had the bacon, maple syrup and blueberry pancakes and berry tea. It was sooooo good, the pancakes were the buttermilk variety, so soft and fluffy with icing sugar, blueberries and maple syrup. I kind of ate the bacon before the pancakes, but I did try it with the pancakes, as the Americans do. It was alright but I personally prefer the line between sweet and savoury. Bacon with maple syrup pancakes are nothing to write home about to me.

Bacon and maple syrup pancakes at Jackson and Rye, London

Afterwards I met with my Japanese friend Yuki again, and we went to The British Museum as he wanted to visit it and I haven't been in years. I suggested visiting on a Monday instead of the weekend as it would be less crowded. The British Museum was very interesting, I loved seeing the Rosetta Stone, the mummies and a vintage gold cash register from 1920s Tiffany & Co.

Vintage cash register at The British Museum

Roman era body jewellery at The British Museum
I also saw this interesting jewellery piece from...I wanna say the Roman era? Seems body harnesses have always been in style haha!

We stopped for tea and cake in the museum after making our way around it. Afterwards I went back to my hostel to pick up my luggage, then made my way to the coach station for the ride home.

I had a really nice time in London with my friends and got to try lots of nice places to sightsee and eat! I managed to tick off a lot of places on my London Pinterest board. If you're interested about the best and most unusual places in London, feel free to follow the board as I am always adding to it!

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Gyaru Meet in Birmingham

Hi all! Last weekend I attended a Gyaru meet in Birmingham held mostly because an amazing Gyaru was coming to the UK, so we wanted to show them a good time with Gyaru fashion, karaoke and all you can eat Chinese food!

I wore Goshikku Gyaru, of course, featuring a lot of Fernopaa! I love their brand and I end up buying so much from them when I go to Japan haha!

goshikku gyaru make-up
goshikku gyaru eye make-upgoshikku gyaru eye make-upgoshikku gyaru eye make-up
Lashes are Diamond Lash Angel (top) and Princess (bottom) and circle lenses are EOS New Adult Red from Pinky Paradise.

My make-up was inspired by this look of Amihamu's!
Rokku Gyaru - Amihamu

My outfit
Goshikku Gyaru outfit
Goshikku Gyaru outfit featuring Fernopaa
Hoodie, babydoll dress and belt: Fernopaa (doesn't have an online store unfortunately)
Harness and cross necklace: 8th Sin
Underskirt: Bodyline
Over-the-knee socks: Listen Flavor/Okomemugi
Shoes and other accessories: Offbrand

Between taking my make-up and outfit photos, I put some of my hair in little pigtails but it doesn't really show in the outfit photos either haha! I really need to work on my hair for both Lolita and Gyaru... >_>

As the meet was on a Saturday and my friend Rachel was attending too, I stopped at her house on Friday night and we had a Gyaru sleepover with face masks, cake and binging RuPaul's Drag Race, then drove to Birmingham in the morning. When we arrived I met my best babe Looi, we went to the bathroom and ended up meeting another girl attending the meet too! There are huge ceiling to wall mirrors in the bathroom so naturally we took some group photos haha!

UK Gyaru girls

Afterwards we met everyone else in Caffe Concerto in Birmingham New Street Station and because the weather was so nice, we decided to get some food and have a picnic together! The original meet plan was to get lunch and do shopping but hey, it's England where nice weather is limited so you're damned right we scrapped shopping to bask in the sun together. Well, everyone else basked in the sun, I tried to grab as much shade as possible, cried over the fact I didn't wear sunscreen on my body and hissed at the sun.

Gyaru picnic in Birmingham

We took outfit photos at this time, and Looi and I teamed up to take literally hundreds for each other - our aesthetic game is strong so we're dedicated to making sure we both slay and get good photos!

Gyaru fashion selfie
Looi and I ♥

After our picnic we went to the Chinese restaurant where we'd hired a karaoke room! The restaurant in question, Ming Moon, has different themed karaoke rooms and we were in the 'Apres' skiing lodge themed room!

Karaoke was absolutely amazing! To be honest, I don't often do karaoke because I'm quite shy and don't know many 'mainstream' songs but there was so much variety and we all sang together for most songs, it was really fun! Someone put The Black Eyed Peas 'My Humps' on, and BEP is my guilty pleasure so I was like 'MY JAM'! Then we all absolutely let loose singing Bloodhound Gang's 'Bad Touch' haha~ The karaoke software had Korean and Japanese songs as well, so I got to sing Namie Amuro's 'Break It', Tommy February6's 'Lonely in Gorgeous' and Perfume's 'Spice'!

Whilst you have the karaoke room, you get an ink stamp on the back of your hand to go to the buffet too, so you can just go whenever you like, come back with platefuls, sing, go back to the buffet and rinse and repeat until your stomach is full and your throat is hoarse.

We had the karaoke room from 5pm-8pm and the hallway had a ceiling to floor mirror so afterwards we took more group photos with the whole group this time!

Gyaru fashion mirror selfie
Everyone looked so so SO amazing, they were all flawless! We all wore a great variety of styles too, including Goshikku, Rokku, Amekaji, Agejo and Onee. Everyone suits their styles so much, especially Andrea and Amber in their super cute Amekaji styles.

The entrance to the karaoke rooms had this big throne-like chair next to it, so naturally we all wanted our photo taken on it haha!

Goshikku Gyaru queen
Planning my next royal affair~

The meet was so much fun and everyone was super nice and sweet. This has been my second Gyaru meet of the year and everyone is making an effort to keep the fashion alive and meet up so I like to think 2017 is the UK Gyaru revival year! I'm already planning my next look so stay tuned for more Gyaru goodness!

She's Baaaaaaaaaaack!



...Hello? Remember me? I used to write a blog named Geisha Baby a while back...I took an unexpected break and said I'd be back, then I disappeared again. Well, I'm hoping I'm back for good now! Before, I didn't think anyone really read my blog but I actually had a few people say they missed my blog and found my posts useful and interesting, especially my recent daily posts about Japan - at least two friends have told me they used my posts to help plan their own trip to Japan, and navigate around when they got there.

That made me really happy and actually want to start blogging again. I have been doing some really interesting and fun things during my hiatus, so thankfully I have quite a lot of blog about. I had a bit of a think about what I'd like to keep blogging about and if there were any new things I'd like to bring to my blog. I still adore alternative fashion, beauty, Asian beauty and making reviews so there'll definitely be a continuation of those posts. Since I've been away, I actually went to Japan for a second time, so I have lots more photos, posts and travel information to post! And since I've been back, I've been continuing with my business. Whilst I have travelled for work, I have also been taking the time to sightsee afterwards, and especially seek out all the alternative, off-the-beaten-path attractions and eateries. Because of this, I thought it would be interesting to share these places and my experiences in blog posts! Not only do I love alternative fashion, beauty, music, entertainment, etc but even alternative travel, so it's natural to just say my blog is 'alternative lifestyle' now! It encompasses everything I love to write about!

I have updated my blog theme and banner to reflect my style more now; I'm really loving grey recently. It's dark and gloomy, but also chic, which is what I aspire to haha~

As I have been doing lots of interesting things and taking lots of photos, I've decided to work backwards in writing all my experiences as it's hard to keep track or pick which to write first! Stay tuned for my next post which is about a Gyaru fashion meet in Birmingham I attended! Thank you all for continuing to read, please let me know you're still here in the comments or by sharing and help me continue my blog!