August Reading


I’ve read some great books this month see here  and  here and another of my faves was Maggie O’Farrell’s Instructions for a Heatwave.  

The story is set in the British heatwave of 1976 and is based around the Riordarn family, a family about to be plunged into crisis.

One morning Gretta Riordan wakes up to discover her husband her husband of 40 years has gone to get a paper – but hasn’t come back.

She calls her three grow-up children for help. Michael Francis is battling with a failing marriage, Monica has step-daughters that hate her and a complicated past which means she no longer speaks to the youngest of the family, Aoife. Aoife now lives in New York and his is hiding a huge secret…

As the family are thrown together in search of their husband and father, more secrets are revealed. Will this family get a happy ending?

This book is excellently written and you can’t help but sympathise with each character as you discover their deep secrets.

Great book that I devoured in days, and had me feeling optimistic that there still might be time for a heatwave….

The Lauriston pub - possibly the best pizza in east London...


I've eaten so much pizza this month, I may turn into a pizza (this is not a bad thing, especially as all the pizza I've eaten this month has been pretty amazing.)

After the sad discovery that my fave local pizza place Fire & Stone in Spitafields had closed down, I needed to find somewhere else ASAP. The Lauriston Pub on Victoria Park Road in Hackney, more than filled the void. 

I went there one Tuesday night with my friend Shauna who loves pizza (almost) as much as me. She is on team 'buy two pizzas and share them between two' NOT team 'buy one pizza and share between two'. No one wants to be on that team. 

After ordering a bottle of Prosecco (obvs) we browsed the menu and after much deliberation went for the Cotta Ham with chorizo and salami and controversially the Baby Octopus which involved squid, tiger prawns and lemon. 

I say controversially because I never normally go for seafood on pizza. And after having this one, I'm not really sure why not. 

It was DELICIOUS. Really fresh ingredients and very tasty. The Cotta Ham was also good - as was the token salad we ordered to make us feel healthy. They really were exceptional stone baked pizzas. 

I left very happy indeed that I had a new have pizza place less than a 15-minute walk away. 

Oh AND they deliver to Victoria Park! There staff cycle round the park on a specially designed deli bike taking orders… This is something I'll definitely be taking advantage of. You know how I feel about eating pizza al fresco… 

Check The Lauriston pub out here and on twitter here

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick


I read a lot of books. The ones I'm not fussed about are never mentioned. The ones I really enjoy, I blog about. Then are the ones that I REALLY love. They're the books I don't just blog about, but I feel the need to tell everyone in my vicinity to buy this book NOW

Forgive me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick was this book.  

My friend Elaine told me: 'I just had to read it' and I am so glad she flagged it up to me. To say it's amazing would be an understatement. To say it's flown into my list of top ten books of all time would be more accurate. THAT'S how good it is and Matthew Quick has become one of my favourite authors (read my Silver Linings Playlist review here).

Why it's so brilliant I can't really go into as I don't like spoilers, but the book takes us inside gifted teenager Leonard Peacock's head on his 18th birthday - which he also wants to be his last. 

Most of the time he believes he is weird and sad, as do the majority of the people around him, apart from his four friends. So he wants to thank them and hand over some special presents before he says goodbye and shoots himself -  and his best friend. 

You really go on a journey with Leonard as you discover why, and how, life really got so out of control for him that he can't consider going on. Funny and heartbreaking, Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock will leave a lasting impression. 

So if you only read one more book for the rest of this year, make it this one. 

The day I got naked in front of a load of strangers…..*


*OK. That's not quite true. BUT that's what I thought was going to happen when I was signed up for a burlesque class, which I then immediately regretted saying yes too…  

You see, I am a 'YES' kinda girl. People always say this is a good thing, but not so much when you say yes before you've even really realised what you're saying yes too which is what happened here. 

I've always been intrigued by burlesque and have always wanted to give it a try, after all, who doesn't want to be Dita Von Teese? 

But as the night approached I started to get nervous, just like I had done with the Blow Job MasterclassI had no idea what to expect. Well, I had a rough idea which is what scared me. Nipple tassels… nothing to protect your dignity apart from a feather boa. Was I ready for this? Not really… 

I was told to pack a pair of heels and a dress I felt 'sexy' in and then on a Wednesday night I turned up at the Battersea Mess & Music Hall in Clapham. It was a pub. I was struck again with more fear - were we going to performing to a an audience?!

Luckily though the class was being held upstairs in the Music Hall. There I was greeted by our host and teacher for the evening Emily, or should I say Little Lady Luscious, who runs The Little Mistress Burlesque course. 

She was so friendly I was immediately put at ease. Minutes later some more women filed in. They were obviously not new to this game as they all were clutching glasses of wine. I cursed myself for not being as clever as them and having a glass to calm my ever increasing nerves…

I was already wearing my LBD and I slipped on my heels as the class was about to start. 

The music started and from the first warm up shimmy, I was sold.
I must admit I did feel a little self conscious at first. Far from feeling sexy I actually felt a little clumsy.  But I soon realised that no one was looking in my direction as they were too busy making sure they got it right themselves. After that I got into the swing of things and as I relaxed the moves came naturally. 

After the warm up Little Lady Luscious popped on Fever and we grabbed our long gloves and feather boas and we were off. It was a simple enough routine. Lots of feather boa throwing and shimmying of the hips. I actually did feel a little bit sexy! 

Part of the routine was to lean down and pull your glove off with the tip of your shoe though which would have been very seductive, but I haven't been able to touch my toes since I was eight-years-old so had to seriously improvise by yanking the glove off as sensuously as I could muster… 

Before I knew it, time was up and I was amazed by how much I'd learnt and how confident I felt after just one hour. And even though I hadn’t broke a sweat, because I’d been dancing in heels, I did feel like I’d had a serious workout. Bonus!

I headed to the tube with a serious swagger going on, excited at the prospect of my new found hobby. 

So if you want to try burlesque but are simply putting it off because you're nervous, don't be. It's loads of fun and there are no nipples tassel's in sight! This time anyway…

For more information about Little Lady Luscious's classes head here

Weekend Read: Precious Thing by Colette McBeth


To me a good book has several twists and turns and leaves you thinking 'what the….' at the end. Precious Thing by Colette McBeth is exactly that book. 

At the start we meet Rachel, a news reporter who is called back to her hometown to report on the disappearance of a young woman. 

The missing young woman turns out to be Rachel's best friend Clara… As Rachel goes about finding her missing friend, she discovers things which makes her question whether they were actually real friends at all. There a lot of questions to be answered - but until Clara is found, who will answer them?

This is an addictive read which I devoured in just a few hours, desperate to know how it was going to end. The ending is a real: 'Nooooooooo!' moment. You just don't see it coming. 

If you liked Gone Girl, then you'll really love this. Though it may leave you questioning your best friend… 

Pizza, Pals, Prosecco = Perfect


My favourite thing in the world to do is eating alfresco, with friends, drinking Prosecco and eating pizza. 

Last Sunday my friend Alex invited us to her private little garden by her house in Borough which you needed a key to enter. VERY The Secret Garden… 

Alex, Shauna, Kate and I spent the day reading magazines, chatting and eating crisps and houmous. Amazing.

But then the day got more perfect.

Alex suggested ordering pizza from Pizza Lupa, a pizza chain with two restaurants and a delivery service only in the London Bridge area.

I had never heard of them, but how I don’t know. I love pizza. Everyone knows I love pizza. And this pizza is award winning for God’s sake!

We decided to eat it in the garden as the sun was still warm. I love eating al fresco and will do it whenever I get the chance. Eating award winning pizza al fresco however was a new one on me…

Alex was adamant that we had to order the Funghi di Bosco – tomatao and mozerella base with truffle paste, roasted field and porcini mushrooms, taleggio cheese finished off with a drizzle of truffle oil. It sounded incredible so I certainly wasn’t going to argue with her.

We also order the Diavola – hot pepperoni and fresh chillies – the Parma – porcini mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, finished with Parma ham, wild rocket and Parmesan cheese and the Venicio – tomato, mozzarella and green pesto base, roasted chicken breast, goat’s cheese, caramelised onions and basil oil.

Sounds amazing? It was.

We put in our order and less than 45 minutes later the delivery man arrived at the gate. To say we were excited would be an understatement. 

The boxes were HUGE and the smell was amazing. All the pizzas were done half and half and we had some homemade coleslaw to have with them. 

The pizza slice was possibly the biggest I’ve ever had. It was definitely bigger than my head! 


The ingredients on them all were so fresh and rich tasting without being too full on. It put every take-away pizza I’ve had to shame.

My favourite was without a doubt the Diavola as I love spice and the Funghi do Bosco. The truffle oil really made it  – good work Alex on recommending.

The pizzas were all eaten very quickly and washed down with lots of Prosecco. Could a Sunday evening get any better? I don’t think so. 

So, if you live in London I urge you to check out Lupa ASAP. You will not regret it. I’m reaching for the menu to order more as I type… 

Check out Pizza Lupa here and follow them on twitter here.