Monday, August 31, 2015

Ben & Jerry's NEW Core Range


Even before I moved into my own home there was many Saturday nights when I would pop to the supermarket and return home with a DVD and tub of Ben & Jerry's. It's quite common now for us to sit with a tub and a spoon, I love it when I'm sharing with friends and we pass the tub back and forth between spoonfuls but I remember the old days when this style of ice cream eating was 'very American' and us Brits would take a scoop from a large tub and serve in a bowl or cone.

Ben & Jerry recently got in touch about the launch of the sequel to their Core range, the Cookie Core and asked if I'd like to sample some of the new flavours. The answer was a swift 'yes please'. You may have spotted these new flavours in your local stores, What-a-lotta Chocolate, Utter Peanut Butter Clutter and Speculoos? Specu-Love.

I dived straight into the freezer aisle and came home with What-a-lotta Chocolate* a must for chocolate lovers. Strange fact, despite not being the biggest chocolate lover I do love chocolate ice cream. What-a-lotta Chocolate has a core of crushed chocolate cookie surrounded by chocolate ice cream - amazing. Ben & Jerry's say 'they cannot accept responsibility for the level of chocolate euphoria reached with this flavour'.

My other choice was Speculoos? Specu-Love* which was definitely my favourite. Ginger, cinnamon, spicy, caramelized biscuits are crumbled into caramel ice cream and it's biscuit core. It reminded me of eating popcorn without those annoying bits that get stuck in the teeth. This was the tub I may, and only may have eating in one day.

If you're a big Ben & Jerry's fan and fancy getting a little envious, take a look at the US site which lists the flavours available there. When I went to Florida a few years ago we all had to pick one flavour we couldn't get at home and spent an evening trying them.

What ice cream are you treating yourself to this Bank Holiday Monday?

*This post contains press samples.


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Saturday, August 29, 2015

LEGO Fun #1


LEGO holds many nostalgic memories for me from my childhood. I can remember the massive playsets my brother would get for birthdays and Christmas and in particular the night before as my dad would sit down to set them up for him ready the next morning. More often than note impatience would get the better of my dad and then I would jump in and loved the process of putting them together.


It's no surprises the LEGO gene has been passed onto my nephew Brody and encouraged by my brother and I he is amassing quite a collection.

That hasn't stopped my brother joining in and recently he has been sending me some fantastic photos, all taken with his mobile phone, a Samsung GT 19505. I've shared with a colleague at work who is a LEGO collector and he was particularly impressed as was I so I thought why not share with my readers.


With Jurassic Park and snowy themes I think they're pretty good - don't you? And if any one is wondering what he used for snow, flour, self-raising to be specific.

Are you a Lego fan?


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Friday, August 28, 2015

Book Review | Farfetch Curates: Design coffee table book


For those of you with a penchant for the designer handbag like me you may have already found yourself over at the Farfetch website. Farfetch is where hundreds of designer boutiques gather in one online community to allow access to all the best fashion whether to decorate you or your home,

There is a rather decadent section on Farfetch with Art Books and Fashion Magazines for all your Pinterest desires featuring notebooks from Lavin Notebooks, The Big Book of Chic and many others including their own series, Farfetch Curates*. The second book in a series of three (the first on food) is on Design exploring the relationship between interior design and fashion.


I am currently in the midst of redecorating my living room so I'm absorbing any ideas I can and the Farfetch Curates Design book is a perfect addition to this project. With beautiful imagery throughout the book from all over the world it's enough to spark anyone with inspiration.

You can find the book online at Farfetch or in any of their stores priced at £16

*This post contains press samples.


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Book Review | Farfetch Curates: Design coffee table book


For those of you with a penchant for the designer handbag like me you may have already found yourself over at the Farfetch website. Farfetch is where hundreds of designer boutiques gather in one online community to allow access to all the best fashion whether to decorate you or your home,

There is a rather decadent section on Farfetch with Art Books and Fashion Magazines for all your Pinterest desires featuring notebooks from Lavin Notebooks, The Big Book of Chic and many others including their own series, Farfetch Curates*. The second book in a series of three (the first on food) is on Design exploring the relationship between interior design and fashion.


I am currently in the midst of redecorating my living room so I'm absorbing any ideas I can and the Farfetch Curates Design book is a perfect addition to this project. With beautiful imagery throughout the book from all over the world it's enough to spark anyone with inspiration.

You can find the book online at Farfetch or in any of their stores priced at £16

*This post contains press samples.


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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Sure Motionsense Creamfields Essentials


Last week I posted my festival essentials and the eagle eyed might have spotted something rather important I omitted, deodorant. If you're heading to Creamfields this weekend and dancing around in a field whether the sun is shining or not things have a chance of getting a little sweaty. And if you're avoiding using the communal showers, well things might also get a little smelly.

As regular readers will know by deodorant of choice is Sure Maximum Protection but it's not the most friendly for on the go applications due to it's cream formula and I prefer a spray such as the Sure Compressed range. You'll always find a can of Sure Compressed* in my desk drawer and it was certainly put to work last Friday as I danced around like a crazy loon in a nightclub.

The compressed cans will last as long as a full size without taking up to much space if you decide to throw in your handbag so their the perfect thing for festival travel. The Sure Motionsense technology activates as it detects movement therefore keeping you dry and sweat free - perfect for a weekend of dance,

It's not just us women that need Sure's Motionsense technology and my brother was pleased with the can I gave him last weekend. As a fireman he certainly finds himself in hot and sweaty situations and the last thing he wants to worry about his kit becoming unpleasant. So far far he has reported back how impressed he is with it.

Don't forget to pack Sure Compressed if you're heading to Creamfields this weekend.

*This post contains press samples



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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

NEW Collection Contour Kit

Collection Contour Kit
Contouring might be 'so last year' and we all should be all about the strobing now but I for one did not spend all that time on learning some (very) basic contouring skills to cast them aside just like. And especially since Collection have joined the ranks with their new Contour Kit which is released in Superdrug stores today.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on the Collection Contour Kit* a few weeks ago and have been testing with enjoyment since. For £4.19 you are receiving basic but sturdy and inoffensive packaging which contains a contour powder and highlighter. Sticking with the packaging in the first instance I like that theres a clear window so you can see the product. I'm sure I spend more time opening and closing palettes to decipher which product I want than it takes to apply. The palette does contain a mirror although it's fairly pointless for my use as it is so slim and personally I think when contouring you want to see all of your face at once.


As for the product you receive a matte contour powder and a shimmering highlighter. Unfortunately there is only one shade in this range and it is rather dark so I think this is one for pale girls to fear but if you're enjoying a Summer tan then definitely look this contour kit up.

Highly pigmented and a dark warm tone means you will need to use a light hand to avoid make up mishaps. I've used with my Real Techniques Contour and Nars ITA brushes and found the powder to blend nicely and I've been pleased with my amateur contour skills at an affordable price.

The highlighter is a subtle shimmer and no fear of too much glitter or sparkle we can often associate from the drugstore. By day I'm using a light hand to catch the light in the office but it's easy to build up if you want to make more of a dramatic effect for the evening.

I think Collection have another hit on their hands for warmer toned girls out there.

Pick up the NEW COLLECTION Contour Kit for £4.19 from Superdrug today or your local branch of Boots

EDIT: I have just popped on the Superdrug website to link up the kit and it's currently on offer for £2.79 - what a bargain!

*This post contact press samples

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Book Review | July - August 2015


I feel like I'm slowly getting back into enjoying reading again since my holidays and my latest reads couldn't be more different. After finishing The Girl on the Train I decided to go for something more lighthearted with the latest in the Shopaholic series from Sophie Kinsella, Shopaholic to the Stars.

I've long loved the Shopaholic series and have something of an affinity for Becky Bloomwood. When I read the first book, Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic it particularly resonated with me as I once sold a lot of my belongings on eBay when I found myself to have got carried away with store cards when I turned 18. My mum also enjoyed reading them and we used to have a long running joke whenever we went shopping and saw something we liked and would use Becky's justification 'they'll call me the girl with the insert object of desire here'.

Whilst I did enjoy this latest installment I did find myself a little frustrated with Becky and actually liked her a little less than I had before. I'm not without my questionable spending habits to this day but as I was reading the way Becky behaved in this book I found myself frustrated and it had stopped been so endearing as it once was.

That aside I still enjoyed reading the book and couldn't believe the cliffhanger it was left on. I think I may have actually said 'WTF' on the train. As such Ms Kinsella has certainly ensured I'll be grabbing the follow up.

I'm clearly late to the party with Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and if you're further behind than me and haven't yet read the book it might be worth you skipping to the end of this post to avoid any potential spoilers.

As a train commuter, and admittedly less so in today's e-reader society, it's amusing to see what is the 'book du jour'. Gone Girl was that book many moons ago now and you couldn't get into a train carriage without at least one person sitting with their head in a copy. For whatever reason it had passed me by.

On the film release I was still in the dark about anything out than the basics and any revealing spoilers had not made my ears so I went along with mum but was disappointed. I found the film rather dark, slow and both the main characters so unlikable it didn't allow for enough sympathy. Of course one of the characters believes particularly appalling that left me in some state of shock but I walked out feeling rather 'blah' about the whole thing.

Despite my opinions on the film I was keen to read the book for comparison, particularly as there were so many varied opinions on which was better or preferred. Having read the book I wish I'd done so before seeing the film. In my opinion it's far more superior and my only, and minimal at that, lack of enjoyment reading came from what knowledge I had from the film.

I have subsequently watched the film again and did view it with different eyes. I still had little sympathy with the main characters but at least whilst reading the book I found I had a more rounded view of the characters, whether pleasant or not.

I have moved on once again to a more lighter read but I'm keen to try out more of Gillian Flynn's books. As alluded to in my thoughts on the Shopaholic book I think as I've got older my tastes require a bit more variety from the usual chick lit.

Have you read either of these books?


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What I've Been Reading July - August 2015


I feel like I'm slowly getting back into enjoying reading again since my holidays and my latest reads couldn't be more different. After finishing The Girl on the Train I decided to go for something more lighthearted with the latest in the Shopaholic series from Sophie Kinsella, Shopaholic to the Stars.

I've long loved the Shopaholic series and have something of an affinity for Becky Bloomwood. When I read the first book, Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic it particularly resonated with me as I once sold a lot of my belongings on eBay when I found myself to have got carried away with store cards when I turned 18. My mum also enjoyed reading them and we used to have a long running joke whenever we went shopping and saw something we liked and would use Becky's justification 'they'll call me the girl with the insert object of desire here'.

Whilst I did enjoy this latest installment I did find myself a little frustrated with Becky and actually liked her a little less than I had before. I'm not without my questionable spending habits to this day but as I was reading the way Becky behaved in this book I found myself frustrated and it had stopped been so endearing as it once was.

That aside I still enjoyed reading the book and couldn't believe the cliffhanger it was left on. I think I may have actually said 'WTF' on the train. As such Ms Kinsella has certainly ensured I'll be grabbing the follow up.

I'm clearly late to the party with Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and if you're further behind than me and haven't yet read the book it might be worth you skipping to the end of this post to avoid any potential spoilers.

As a train commuter, and admittedly less so in today's e-reader society, it's amusing to see what is the 'book du jour'. Gone Girl was that book many moons ago now and you couldn't get into a train carriage without at least one person sitting with their head in a copy. For whatever reason it had passed me by.

On the film release I was still in the dark about anything out than the basics and any revealing spoilers had not made my ears so I went along with mum but was disappointed. I found the film rather dark, slow and both the main characters so unlikable it didn't allow for enough sympathy. Of course one of the characters believes particularly appalling that left me in some state of shock but I walked out feeling rather 'blah' about the whole thing.

Despite my opinions on the film I was keen to read the book for comparison, particularly as there were so many varied opinions on which was better or preferred. Having read the book I wish I'd done so before seeing the film. In my opinion it's far more superior and my only, and minimal at that, lack of enjoyment reading came from what knowledge I had from the film.

I have subsequently watched the film again and did view it with different eyes. I still had little sympathy with the main characters but at least whilst reading the book I found I had a more rounded view of the characters, whether pleasant or not.

I have moved on once again to a more lighter read but I'm keen to try out more of Gillian Flynn's books. As alluded to in my thoughts on the Shopaholic book I think as I've got older my tastes require a bit more variety from the usual chick lit.

Have you read either of these books?


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Monday, August 24, 2015

Soap & Glory Body Scrub Haul



Soap & Glory body scrubs are pretty well renowned in the beauty blogging world and I'm firmly on the bandwagon. Since I first tried The Breakfast Scrub about two years ago it has become a staple in my bathroom and repurchased on many occasions.

With a 3 for 2 offer on Soap & Glory products I decided to stock up my cupboards and here's what I can home with.

Orangeasm Exfoliating Body Polish
Whilst I'm not offended by names of a sexual nature I do find them unnecessary and I'm not a fan of the name Orangeasm. Name aside this was my first foray into the Orange scented range from Soap & Glory and my first experience of one of their body polishes as opposed to my usual choice of scrub.

Recommended for use in the mornings and formulated to stimulate and revive the skin this has been a favourite of mine during the Summer. Frequent exposure of legs out, faux tans and the like mean I've been more diligent than usual at my exfoliating regime but I'm keen not to overdo it with the harsher scrubs.

I do love a zesty scent and this hits the spot perfectly. Slightly thinner than the traditional scrubs and in a handier tube this has been great to use. Whist I love scooping a handful of body scrub and going to work I find I waste less squeezing into my hand and going to work and it's a shower favourite.

Another plus is I find it's less cement like in the bath after use!

Sugar Crush Body Scrub
A recent favourite following my use of a travel size whilst on holiday I did to stock up for Summer on the full size. This is most definitely an overwhelming sweet scent of brown sugar and lime. It won't be to everyone's tastes and even myself I find it's not something I always want to reach for but sometimes you just want to get a little fruity.

Found in the familar tub which sits handily in the corner around my bath I'm more likely to reach for this body scrub at the weekends when I'm going into full on pamper routine. As alluded to I can find the scoop method satisfying but a little messy and always seem to find some cemented to the side of the bath not matter how diligently I thought I cleaned the bath.

If I had to choose where I would lay my sweeter scented hat it would be the Orangeasm but that's not to say Sugar Crush has a place in my life.

Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub 
Finally its the scrub that started it all and is frequently sold out whenever I want to repurchase. This is my ultimate favourite without a doubt. Bananas, honey and a maple fragrance I like nothing better than using this ultra thick, even compared to Sugar Crush, body scrub.

This is the Autumn Winter must have and is definitely a comforting treat despite it's rough intentions. All Soap & Glory's scrubs, even the harsher are not gritty nor rough to the skin yet working effectively to exfoliate as necessary.

Like Sugar Crush it too lingers longer than I would like in my bathtub but I'll forgive it.

Overall you can't go wrong for price point nor effectiveness of the Soap & Glory range and there's something for everyone whether you want a sweet or savoury scent from a polish to a scrub. Sometimes I think they are priced a little high individual but when purchased on one of the 3 for 2 offers I think they're worth every penny.

Are you a fan of the Soap & Glory Body Scrub range?


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Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Perfume Society Review & Giveaway


Perfumes are more significant to my upbringing than beauty and skincare. From admiring the bottles of perfume that sat on my mum's dressing table to my introductions via Charlie and LouLou in my younger years to today's preference for Chanel many perfumes evoke memories both good and bad. Cerrutti 1881 I no longer wear due to it being an ex-boyfriends favourite or Jean Paul Gautier's fragrance which reminds me of the former friend he left me for. More positive reminders are, Chanel No 5 for my mum or Vivienne Westwood Boudoir which reminds me of my twenties and many fun nights out and is still the scent I still wear today.

Nostalgia aside, fragrances are very much big business these days. Perfume price points have always sat in the luxury camp and that's one of the reasons many of us love to pick up a bottle of our favourite scent in Duty Free and now we see brands go beyond those price points with eye watering expensive variations.

That said we've also seen some more affordable options making an appearance. I for one am a fan of the 'cheap' 007 Fragrance for Women and in the past have enjoyed the celebrity endorsed perfumes from Christina Aguilaera and Paris Hilton.


If like me you're a perfume fan than you may be interested to head about The Perfume Society. A website covering everything you might want to know about perfume. Containing all the latest news and quite frankly everything you could possibly want to know about perfume houses, ingredients and the like it's got a wealth of information.

One of my favourite parts of the site is the Fragrance Finder. Type in your preferred scent and it'll list alternatives for you to explore. Excellent if your favourite perfume has been discontinued or like me your sense of smell isn't perfect.

If you're really keen on perfumes then there's also the opportunity to become a VIP subscriber. For £25 a year you'll receive eight copies of their online digital magazine The Scented Letter and invitations to events with key figures in the perfume world, workshops or in store events.

You'll also receive your first Perfume Discovery Fragrance Box which includes samples of eight perfumes for your to try and other treats. Love Penhaligon's perfumes? Then all access all areas subscribers to The Perfume Society receive 15% discount in store.


In addition you'll be first to know about the limited edition Perfume Society Discovery Boxes. At a subscribers price of £15 you'll have access to both new and established perfumes to try at home eight weeks before anyone else.

Extra treats include those such as I received AD Skin Synergy Night Treatment Facial Oil and a travel tube of cult toothpaste, Couto.

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in well the good news is the team at The Perfume Society have offered my readers the opportunity to win one of 5 VIP Subscriptions. All the usual Rafflecopter set up is below and it will run from 4 weeks today. Unfortunately The Perfume Society is currently only available within the UK so many apologies my overseas friends.

Good luck


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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

V Festival Essentials


I'm sure you thought you'd seen the last of bloggers 'festival essentials' posts but I'm afraid you'll have to put up with another from me as. This weekend sees the arrival of V Festival to my neck of the woods and whilst it may not be for the 'purists' and some deem it 'too Essex' as an Essex girl I have no problem with that.

Aside from flash tattoos, floral crowns and channeling your ultimate festival look today's there are some more practical requirements of festival attendance I'm addressing today. Feel free to blame my age!


Firstly it doesn't look like the weather is going to be to be on our side this weekend with rain predicted. The 'Parka in a Pocket' £9 from Primark is fabulous. I picked this up on a whim when I was considering going to Lovebox as I thought it was genius. Lightweight and with a hood to protect from the rain it's perfect - and the design is pretty cool too.I'll also be sure to pack this when I head to DisneyWorld in January as showers are possible.

All that dancing around is sure to leave locks looking a little lackluster so in steps Batiste and the perfect festival variant the Ella Henderson Dry Shampoo*. I know that Batiste do smaller travel friendly sizes but if you're attending with a bunch of girlfriends it might actually take up less room if you were to share one full size can. And with Ella on the bill for V Festival couldn't there be a better time to put to use? An added bonus is that this carries scents of vanilla and coconut which might be just thing after you've spent the night in a tend and your hair is in need of refresh.

femfresh pocket wipes* 
Carrying a toilet roll around Hylands Park might not work but imagine finding yourself in a portaloo without paper. Instead why not throw a pack of the femfresh Limited Edition Festival Wipes*. They'll also come in handy should you be letting your usual bathing routine slide over the weekend. Cute packaging aside they're also biodegradable so what's not to like?

Anatomicals Never Lose Your Cherry Lip Balm*
Anatomicals is a quirky brand I enjoy and have a blog post dedicated to them coming up soon. For now I'm turning my attention to the Never Lose Your Cherry Lip Balm* which will be inside my festival make up kit. As you know I would usually choose a bright red lip but with a lot of eating and drinking planned it wouldn't stand the distance and I'm going to be less interested in reapplying as the evening wears on. Instead I prefer a red tinted lip balm, I still get a hint of the colour I like but from a product that I can apply at whim without the need for a mirror or a sober hand. Also no disrespect to Anatomicals but I'd rather lose this tube of lip balm in a drunken haze and replace than my favourite Tom Ford!

Finally and back to the beginning of the post and the weather. I know rain is predicated but you can never tell so I would personally ensure I had used Riemann P20 Once a Day* so that I have covered all bases. Who wants their festival experience ruined by sunburn? Not me. Grab the spray bottle too, it absorbs easily and a few sprays and you're covered. 

What are your festival essentials?

*This post contains PR samples


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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Nail HQ Base & Gel Top Coat Review

Nail HQ
I would be lying if I said that I didn't have my nail care favourites as you saw in my recent nail kit post but that doesn't mean I'm against trying other brands. Also having such favourites means I'm able to pit them against one another to see if they will sway my allegiance.

Nail HQ are a brand that can you can find on the high street and your local Tesco and there's nothing more I love than a brand I can find in the supermarket. How easy is it to justify or forget the cost of a beauty product when it's lost the for bread and toilet roll.

Using cutting edge ingredients such as Hydrolyzed Collage and formulations which are traditionally associated with hair and skincare such as Argan Oil and Keratin they are certainly a brand worth exploring.

I was sent Nail HQ Gel Top Coat* and Base Coat* to try in my manicure regime and I was pleased with both. Base coats won't really excite me as I tend to put my pressure on top coats to perform but recently whilst testing other products I realised how much of a difference the right base can make.

Nail HQ Base Coat is specifically to assist nail polish adhering to your nails with a sticky cushioned finish. And help adhere it does. As a frequent red nail polish wearer I'm also keen to pay attention to base coats preventing staining to my natural nail and the NQ base coat creates a barrier to do this.

Everyone wants to have glossy gel like nails without the requirement of UV lamps or more importantly the effort of removing them and Nail HQ have just the thing with their Gel Top Coat. A formulation to provide the required glossy finish from optical brighteners. Sealing in your colour this top coat works well against chipping the most important factor for me and I find that unlike Seche Vite or my favourite EyeCandy Top Coat this is not a formula that thickens as time goes on, thus extending its life.

Whilst the price point of Nail HQ products at approx £5.99 is comparable to the EyeCandy Duo the difference is that you can purchase the products individually. Naturally this appeals to me as it avoids you having to buy a set when you only want one or the other product.

Have you spotted Nail HQ in your local supermarket?

*This post contains affiliate links and PR Samples

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Monday, August 17, 2015

AGUA BATHHOUSE AND SPA AT MONDRIAN LONDON

Agua Bathhouse and Spa at Mondrian London link
Way back in November last year Carissa and I headed to the Mondrian London Hotel to visit the new Agua Bathhouse and Spa. We were treated to cocktails and canap├ęs before a panel filled with the people behind the brands to be found in house. 


As a blogger you hear many presentations and talks from brands but I don't believe I've ever heard such a passionate group of people speak about their products. The panel consisted of the likes of Lola from Lola's Apothecary, Charlotte Knight from Ciate and Johanna Livijn from Estelle & Thild.



Following the panel we entered the Agua Bathhouse and Spa which is truly amazing with it's Roman inspired theme. Everything has been done to create a glamourous location for ladies to visit whatever their needs.


The spa looks to offer a modern generation and cover everyones needs  offers parties GLAMGLOW Mud Parties to a Boob Bar treatment to your regular manicures and pedicures. We were lucky enough to experience a Ciate Manicure and I'm rather smitten with the Orange Chocolate nail polish remover.


This was my first experience with Ciate products and what a way to start at Ciate's first experiencing working outside of their own company. This is not your typical spa as you will see from the treatments on offer using niche brands and somewhat quirky treatments. Whether you have a day to relax or simply 15 minutes to spare you will find something to suit your tastes.

I've been lucky enough to return to both the Mondrian and Agua spa since this first visit and would highly recommend you do too. The Rumpus Room is fantastic for after work drinks and the rooftop view is something else. 

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