The 11am coffee break


There is a well-established link between Paris and the many cafés that populate it. Café Culture is most certainly a thing in the French capital. After all, it was where the French Revolution started and the list of French intellectuals who passed their time with a cup of coffee in hand is endless. Without a shadow of a doubt, Parisians are devout café-goers.

As am I.

I have no idea why my father is subscribed to a health magazine (he is certainly not the epitome of a man who looks after himself) but he is. There was an interesting article in the latest issue that suggested that eleven o’clock in the morning was the optimal time for caffeine, as it’s when the body’s cortisol levels drop. Naturally, I laughed and said every time was the optimal time for coffee, before throwing the magazine in the recycling bin.

I fished it out again a couple of days later, when I had set myself goals I wanted to achieve in 2018. I wanted to stop spending so much money on coffee, and limit myself to a maximum of three cups a day (trust me, this is quite the big deal). I also intended to read more, not aimlessly scroll through Instagram and most importantly, not allow my life to revolve around work.

In the UK, we have a working culture that has become toxic. Everything we do revolves around the workplace, from getting there early, to not taking an adequate lunch break, to working overtime and even taking our work home with us. It is draining and stops us living life. And really? What is the point?

It was time for a new challenge, one where I was going to shake up my routine. For the last two or three weeks, I decided on the following:

  1. Do not start working as soon as you get into the Studio. Instead, allow yourself half an hour to get settled and prepare yourself for the day.
  2. Do not rush to the coffee shop as soon as it opens, wait until it is 11:00.
  3. Do not grab a coffee and run back to your desk. Rather, take a seat, open a book and drink your coffee while you read it for half an hour.
  4. Do not skip lunch or eat it at your desk. Allow yourself at least half an hour to enjoy more than just a bland sandwich.
  5. Leave the Studio no later than five o’clock. If you must finish what you are doing, work from home but only until six o’clock.

To be perfectly honest, these are quite ambitious considering I am typically glued to my iPhone and have been known to drink coffee like it is an oasis in the Sahara. Cut down on coffee? How very un-French of me! Spend time sitting in a café? Much more French and therefore better. But, the two cannot work together, surely?

In a surprising turn of events, this challenge has turned out to be one of my better ideas. Since I started, I have fallen into a very good routine and I am much happier. Of course, coffee still owns me, but, not in a possessive, controlling way anymore. Unless I am at bru, I tend to have only two cups of coffee a day, if that. Some days, I only have one, opting for a tea in the evening instead.

Despite the dip in my coffee consumption, my productivity has not wavered. In fact, I think it is slowly getting better. Because I am working for shorter bursts of time, and not constantly coming down from a caffeine high, I feel more motivated to focus on the task at hand. Because I know I am getting regular breaks and finish work at a certain time, I am pushed to complete my goals in a timely fashion. My whole day just flows so much more. Oh, and my family have commented that I actually talk to them now and give them my undivided attention, rather than flapping my hands and screaming “I’m working!”.

Another big change I have noticed is when my barista asks me how I am, I don’t just reply with the usual “I’m so busy”. Now, I tell him that I’m doing well, or I comment on the book in my hands, and we have a real conversation. It’s absurd, isn’t it? The way we feel obliged to tell people how tired we are and how terrible our life is, as if there is some unspoken rule about being as miserable as possible. Why can we not admit that we’re happy? Why can’t we be truthful about how good our lives are?

The best part of it all? I have rediscovered myself. Even it is just for half an hour, it is a breath of fresh air (that, and the beautiful scent of coffee) to ignore Instagram in order to just be in the moment and read something physically printed, not just an email. I feel like I am part of the world again, and I feel like there is more to me than the iPhone glued to my palm. How wonderful to be alive again!


Evening Skin Care Routine


It’s all part of the morning routine, isn’t it? Spending a precious few minutes to put on a healthy dose of moisturiser and sunscreen. Skincare is rather important, but it should equally be part of our night-time routine, too. Our bodies tend to a lot of tasks while we snooze away, which is why a good skincare routine before you curl up under the covers will go a long way.

Simplicity is often the best method when it comes to skincare, so those ten step Korean routines can remain on blog articles, thank you very much. Too much product can be too abrasive on skin, as can rubbing and scrubbing vigorously, so I believe in finding a small number of the products that are right for you. Of course, what I use may be completely unsuitable for the next person, so a little trial and error is always necessary. And while it is certainly true I have a penchant for life’s luxuries, your skin care does not need to break the bank, so by no means are you limited to high-end beauty counters! You simply have to find what works for you!

Without further ado, here is how I take care of my skin at night.

Step 1: Remove make-up

I confess, I do wear make-up every day. How much tends to vary, and I am currently in favour of the natural look most days. My skin is oily and blemish-prone, so I am quite self-conscious about how my face looks without make-up. So, in the interest of balance and good skincare, and believe me, I have learnt this lesson the hard way, under no circumstance should you go to bed with make-up on. It is as every bit terrible for your skin as they say!

I cannot fault Garnier’s Micellar Water when it comes to removing eye make-up and whilst this normal bottle certainly gets the job done, I quite like the Oil Infused variety, too. Yes, I know have oily skin, so, hear me out. The oil in the cleanser helps remove every scrap of eye make-up, including waterproof mascara and Kat Von D’s famous tattoo eyeliner. It’s gentle on skin and the bottle will last you quite some time. Considering its affordable price tag, this is definitely where to budget on your skincare!


Step 2: Cleanse

Garnier’s Micellar Water works just as well with removing foundation and other products likewise, but I have recently been using Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanser. This is a two-part cleanser (in case the name escapes you); one side of the tub being a solid cleansing balm, and the other a cleansing cream. The theory behind this is that the balm removes anything ‘superficial’, whilst the cream then goes in for cleaning your actual skin.

The balm is excellent at removing general grime from your face, sadly, I found it to be rather ineffective on eye make-up. You apply it on dry skin, rubbing it and then washing it off. Then, in steps the cream which again you, wash off. The end result is a face that is as clean as a whistle, and prepped for any further steps in your routine, but, no tight or dry skin in sight.


Step 3: Moisturise

The final part of the process is to lock in moisture for your skin to reap the rewards of while you drift off. This is probably the most expensive part of my routine, but, there is a good explanation for this- these products work.

Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Eye Rescue has become a firm favourite of mine and whilst it may not make your purse strings sing, it will stop you spending millions on concealers and various under-eye solutions. This is the only product you will need from now on! All it takes is the tiniest amount of product (and I do mean tiny) dabbed gently under your eyes. I saw results in a mere few days. My dark circles were diminished and the whole area just looked lighter and brighter. And, if we are to be basic bloggers here, not only will it make your eyes sparkle, but your vanity, too. So, it’s an investment.

For my skin, I like to use another treat from Pixi; the Overnight Glow Serum. Squeeze a couple of drops on your face and massage in. In the morning, your skin will look radiant and healthy! I only do this a couple of days a week- active ingredients should certainly not be used every day.

A good moisturiser is a must and currently, I’m enjoying Effaclar Duo by La Roche-Posay. Any beauty blogger worth her buck knows that French pharmacy brands are belle du jour simply because they are fabulous. La Roche-Posay is my favourite because the products are made for sensitive skin and my oily, acne-prone skin has always responded well to this brand. I normally this on after the serum, if I’m using both.

It must be said; good skincare starts from within. You can slap on La Mer (which costs an absolute bomb at £120) and slather yourself in heavy-duty foundation, but, your routine is only as good as your skin. We all suffer from problems, whether it be acne, dry patches, or uneven skin tone. All the products in the world won’t make a difference if you do not take care of yourself. Here is some parting skincare advice of my own.

Drink your water and eat your vegetables

Early to bed and early to rise; that is to say, allow yourself 6-8 hours of sleep at night

Switch off from mobile and television screens at least forty-five minutes before turning in

Take vitamin supplements if necessary

Consult a skincare specialist if you think something is wrong




The Year Ahead


2018 is here at last, so I suppose it’s the time for phrases such as new year, new me and new year’s resolutions. How I hate both those terms. In my experience, these sorts of things never work out. People set themselves ridiculously strict rules, try to achieve too much far too quickly, and after much denial, they turn out exactly the same as they always have been.

2017 was a whirlwind of a year, and not always in the best of ways. For me, it was marked by a great number of changes, some wonderfully positive and some rather saddening. I have always believed in fate, in the sense that our lives are somewhat pre-destined. Each of our lives are markedly different, and no two will ever be the same. However, my belief in the power of our actions has always been stronger.

I want 2018 to be different, but what’s more, I will make it different. Now, I know what I said about resolutions. These are not resolutions. From my personal experience, I know that if I set myself a military regime, I am setting myself up for failure. Instead, I have identified a set of goals; after reflecting on the previous year. These are areas of my life that I want to change and better in the long-term, not just for the first few weeks of January. And if I succeed, well, there’ll be a nice post in three hundred and something days, won’t there?


This year, I want to be consistent in my blogging.

I started this blog back in the year 2014 and because I dedicated myself to writing, photographing, editing, posting and promoting, it was successful. Over the years, reality has tended to get in the way and my blog has taken the back seat. Posts have been sporadic, I haven’t always been entirely happy with my content and inspiration has been a struggle.

I am aiming to produce more consistent good quality posts that fit my theme of Living Like a Parisienne. Whether it’s about Parisian beauty, or the Parisian lifestyle, or perhaps just some Parisian advice I have picked up along the way, I am going to plan posts so they are executed in a much better fashion.


This year, I want to save money by budgeting.

I think I have always struggled with my finances, in the sense that I am quite stingy with the purse strings until I have saved a fair bit, and then all hell breaks loose and I buy everything. I have also become quite accustomed to buying a coffee (or two) every day, as well as lunch. Whilst I have certainly never got myself into a sticky situation, I understand this isn’t the best use of my self-employed pay cheques!

I am going to create a budget for myself, so that I am saving more than spending. As part of this budget, I’m going to add incentives, such as a new iPhone or an iconic handbag. I don’t just want to save for the unknown future, being a miser never got anyone anywhere. These incentives also mean I’ll be less inclined to spend frivolously, as I’ll have a clear goal in mind.


This year, I am going to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Back in 2015, I was inspired and motivated to be healthy. Surprisingly, I found that I did indeed to stick to my plan and by the time I went to Paris two months later, I was quite pleased to hear my friends comment on how toned I looked. Since then, well, rather like my blog posts, it’s been sporadic. It’s not easy being healthy when part of your job involves Menu Development for a coffee-slash-dessert shop, and living between Warwick, Leicester and London didn’t help either.

I am aiming to make a healthy lifestyle change, instead of focusing on my body looking a specific way. This means controlling my caffeine intake, eating breakfast every day, and making exercise a regular part of my week- not just going for a 5k run here and there!


This year, I want to manage my anger and patience better.

Yes, I stand at a mere five foot one (barely) and yes, on the whole, I think I am well-mannered and kind. However, we all have our flaws, and one of mine is certainly my temperament. My emotions can cloud my judgement and most notably, where my family is concerned, my patience wears thin.

I am going to learn to manage my temper better, and work on being more patient. Flying off the handle isn’t a good look, and I seldom take angry people seriously myself. Maybe a spot of meditation will do the trick, or maybe it’s as simple as removing myself from an emotional situation, this is a personal something I am prioritising.

This year, I want to live my life in reality and not on Instagram.

Ah, yes. This is a case I have been battling with for some time now. Social Media is difficult to escape, especially when it’s the field you work in. Recently, I feel like it has taken over and as a result, it’s all too easy to compare my life with someone else’s. I have fallen into the trap of lusting after what so-and-so’s life looks like, what they have, who they are with and what they are wearing. It’s a terrible way to live life, really.

I am going to stop Instagramming every single moment in life, after all, mystery is part of the Parisian’s arsenal. Although, this is more to put life back into perspective. People only share the highlights of their live on Instagram, so why should I resign myself to envying profiles as perfectly curated as the Louvre? That, and I would like to eat a hot dinner for once.


This year, I want to be proud of being Muslim.

Growing up British is a funny thing. I am not the first person to have an identity crisis and I will not be the last. The ever-changing political climate has not been an ally, or perhaps I never considered it could be one. Over the last few years, I did as much as I could do to hide the fact that I am of South Asian heritage and that I come from a Muslim family. I only ever mentioned it when it seemed appropriate to do so. I feel inherently more British than I do Indian or Pakistani, but I was under the impression that you couldn’t be both British and Muslim. How wrong I was.

I am going to learn more about my cultural and religious heritage, with the aim to immerse myself in it as much as I can. There’s a strong chance I will never wear a headscarf, and I will always feel like somewhat of a tourist when I visit ‘the motherland’. And I have come to accept that. Instead, I want to embrace all aspects of my identity and I want to prove to myself that I can be both British and a Muslim. I can be modern and still religious.

That’s a small snippet into my plans for 2018. What goals do you have for the year ahead?

The Autumn Tag


Happy Autumn! It is my favourite season, so you can only imagine my joy at being tagged in this by the lovely Emily! (She also tagged me in her Harry Potter post– she clearly knows all the good tags!) I think I am borderline Winter now, so this may now be somewhat irrelevant… scratch that, Autumn is still relevant. At least to me, anyway. And hopefully to you, if you are reading this.

What signifies Autumn to you?

When the cold weather begins to settle in, and the days get shorter as the leaves begin to change colour… there’s just something different about the way London looks when Autumn arrives! Dear old Phil Collins was certainly correct when he said there was something in the air tonight.

What is the best way to spend a rainy day?

I suppose this one is rather subjective, but, as odd as it may seem, I hate to be at home on rainy days! I much prefer being tucked away in a cosy coffee shop, with a pot of tea and a good read.

Perhaps it’s a little odd, and I’m certainly not one for dramatics, but, I rather enjoy watching the rain from the window. No, not with a moody soundtrack, I find it soothing, almost therapeutic in a way. Does anyone else do this or am I the odd one out?

What is your most fond autumn memory?

Before I embarked on an adventure with Bru Coffee & Gelato, I was a Costa Coffee faithful. That is to say, a franchisee (yes, I know, can you believe it?). One of our locations was in Oakham; a quaint little English village just outside of Leicester.

Oakham is a beautiful place, and the store itself was definitely my favourite out of the twelve or thirteen that we owned. It was almost like a decent sized cottage, with a wide wooden door and old-fashioned window framed. A couple of years ago, I remember spending the day there to do some HR work with the Store Manager. On my lunch break, I went for a little wonder around the village; through the church courtyard and around the grounds of the private school to a charming little bakery where I bought iced buns.

Later that day, when the sun began to set and the chill began to rise, there was a warmth in the store as I sipped my Gingerbread Latte, and the windows frosted over. In that moment, I genuinely appreciated the beauty of Autumn in England.

What is your favourite autumn scent?

Oh dear, this is where I am going to sound quite boring and maybe even like a cliché! It must be said, whilst I now despise Gingerbread Lattes, they smell like Autumn to me!

Coffee has become such a huge part of my life over the last ten years or so, and the scent of it always takes me back to fond memories. Back when the smell of coffee at home meant Papa was back from work; when my best friend Jessica and I used to keep ourselves warm with mochas in our hands; when weekends were spent in Northampton because a store was short staffed.

Recently, as I’ve spent quite a lot of time working in Central London and dashing up and down Oxford Street, the smell of freshly roasted chestnuts has become a firm favourite, too. Nothing warms you up mid-shopping like roasted chestnuts from a street vendor!

What are you most excited about this Autumn?

Without meaning to be emotional, I am actually looking forward to spending Autumn with my family for the first time in a long time! Having spent the last few years either at university or working in London, I have only spent the odd holidays here and there with my parents and younger siblings. I always associate the colder months as a time of togetherness, so it’s lovely to be able to do that this time around!

What is your favourite Autumn song?

Confession, I didn’t think there were any Autumn songs! However, for me, the real songs of Autumn are the sounds of this lovely season. The crunch of leaves; the rustle of trees; the wind blowing; the rain hammering down; and the cries of “it’s cold today”.

What is your favourite Autumn movie?

It has been a long time since I saw this film, so, excuse me if I’m wrong! I can’t explain why, when I read this question, When Harry Met Sally immediately sprung to mind.

What TV show are you most looking forward to this Autumn?

The Apprentice, without a shadow of a doubt! Yes, the candidates get considerably worse each and every year, but, this is a tradition in the Dadabhoy household! Every Wednesday, Papa and I religiously watch this programme together! And I do mean religiously.

Last year, I was staying with my grandparents in London. Halfway through an episode, my grandad opened the bathroom window to smoke, thus cutting the Sky signal (don’t ask how this works). Papa actually FaceTimed me with the television, just so I could watch!


What is your favourite Autumn colour?

Oh, I love orange and red. I know some people associate Christmas with red, and I do, too. Yet, I believe red lipstick was definitely made for Autumn! And the orange bru cups match wonderfully with the changing leaves!

What is your most loved outdoor Autumn activity?

Talking a stroll through the park. It really is as simple as that. All you need is a hot chocolate and good company in a nice, big park. Preferably one with plenty of leaves to crunch through and adorable dogs to pet.

What is your favourite Autumn fashion trend?

My inner Parisienne is screaming about leather jackets, and whilst I have been known to try and attempt them in summer, it must be said that Autumn and leather jackets are a match made in heaven! Throw a white shirt underneath, swipe on some red lipstick and voila!

I’m rarely seen without my black one I bought from Hugo Boss. I did pay a few hundred pounds for it, but I have worn it for over three years and so often, it was worth every penny and I refuse to part with it- ever!

If you could have a familiar/ spirit animal, what would it be?

I do love a good cat, but otters are my new and favourite animal obsession. Mainly because they spend half their time looking for food, and the other half eating. That sounds about right, don’t you think?

Name one place you wish you could visit during Autumn?

It is my life ambition to see as many major European cities in their Autumn glory. I don’t know if this is just in my head, but Autumn feels like a very European thing to me. Paris, Munich, Prague… you name it, I want to visit it during Autumn! (Sorry, American friends, but, I am not a fan of anything pumpkin related so I don’t think I’d fare well over the pond!)

What is your favourite photo you took last Autumn?

I took a photo (and uploaded it to Instagram, of course) of St. James’ Park in London last Autumn, on my twenty-third birthday, now that I think of it. It was just a lovely and serene Sunday, and I was walking around London with a friend after we enjoyed a spot of birthday brunch. Quite honestly, there’s nothing quite like London in the months leading up to Christmas.

What are you being this Halloween?

Stressed and coffee obsessed! I didn’t share my chocolate, but, I did bring in these adorable bat shaped sprinkles to bru!

Now, let’s spread that Autumn cheer before Christmas arrives! I would like to tag the following lovely people, but, if you want to do this, too, drop me a message and I will tag you, too:

Corinne & Kirsty, Emmie, Freya, Imaan, Lois, Sinead

Here are some Autumn questions for you:

  1. Where does Autumn rank amongst the other seasons for you?
  2. Why will this Autumn be different to all other Autumns?
  3. What are your favourite Autumn flavours?
  4. Pumpkin Spice Latte: love or hate?
  5. What are your wardrobe staples for Autumn?
  6. Is there one thing you would change about Autumn?
  7. If you were in charge of Autumn, what one tradition would you bring about?
  8. Which books or films are best enjoyed in Autumn?
  9. Would you rather spent Autumn at home or abroad?
  10. Finish this sentence: Autumn is …




It’s a rather strange notion, that for someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas, it’s my favourite time of year. Well, when I say don’t celebrate it, I mean religiously. When you grow up in England, Christmas is an important part of the year. It grips the country in its magical grasp until everyone is belting Bublé or crooning like Carey. The festivities started rather early this year for me, no thanks to work, so without any more delay… it’s brumas!

Work hard, play hard. It’s true what they say. Crafting the perfect Christmas menu is bittersweet; of course, tasting and testing potential menu items is always fun. On the other hand, and this for all of you who ask me what entails running a coffee shop, there are ingredients to source and recipes to cost up. A photography session must be booked in (would you believe that this can take a whole day?) and promotional material needs to be designed. It’s oddly frustrating that despite this being our biggest campaign, it’s also the shortest, running for just under two months! There is a lot of work that goes in behind the scenes, so, when customers share Instagram photographs and tell me how much they enjoyed their bru, it is far more rewarding than you can imagine!

Behind the scenes

Now, what is there instore this year, I hear you cry! Sit down and prepare for a festive, indulgent treat!


Cookies & Cream Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate

Christmas at bru is rather neatly summed up with the return of ho-ho-hot chocolate, all in festive flavours! Two have returned by popular demand.

Cookies & Cream is a sure-fire winner. Classic hot chocolate is mixed with a chocolate cookie flavour and topped luxuriously with whipped cream and an Oreo cookie. It’s all the deliciousness of chocolate and cookies in one jar!

Tis the season for Terry’s and the Orange Hot Chocolate is infused with orange syrup, and once again, topped off with whipped cream and of course, a piece of Terry’s Chocolate Orange. There is no doubt as to why this is a firm favourite!

My personal favourite is the Black Forest Hot Chocolate! I wanted this one to be perfect, as it is one of my all-time favourite Christmas specials! I particularly love the red sugar pearls and chocolate pieces we’re topping this hot chocolate with! Fruit and chocolate really does get you in the festive spirit!


Gingerbread Latte


Now, it is no secret that I live on a healthy diet of Flat Whites. Quite a contrast to the lattes I used to drink like water, once upon a time! But, it must be said, Gingerbread Lattes are a season staple. How adorable are the mini gingerbread men sprinkles?

Coffee and chocolate do make a great pairing. Throw some frosted mint in there and a Matchmaker on top and voila, you have the Mint Mocha! I have a feeling this would be the ideal drink to have before embarking upon Christmas shopping…


Festive Waffle Pops

Waffle Pops

Oh, now I had a lot of fun with these little delights! Waffle Pops are a signature dessert at bru, and with Christmas around the corner, it seemed only fitting to throw some festivities at them! If you look closely, you’ll see they pair up perfectly with our hot drinks…

Cookies & Cream is filled with warm milk chocolate and even drenched in it! Crumbled Oreo cookie is sprinkled on top and to add a bit of decadence, it’s served with a scoop of Cookies and Cream Gelato!

ChocOrange oozes melted orange Matchmakers and is topped with milk chocolate. It comes with a piece of Terry’s Chocolate Orange and a scoop of Double Chocolate Gelato! I may or may not have made this one several times… just to get the ratio of Matchmakers right, I assure you…

Full Minty (yes, I credit myself as a genius for coming up with this name) boasts a mint Matchmaker filling and crumbled mint Aero pieces as a topping. And yes, this comes with Double Chocolate Gelato too!

Behind the scenes

Cakes & Gelato

I could describe each cake and each new Gelato, but, I won’t. All I will say is… Caramel Biscoff Gelato; Chocolate Orange Brownie; Black Forest Gâteau; Mint Chocolate Torte… have I piqued your interest yet?

Christmas has landed in all bru cafes across the nation as of 7 November 2017! Now you have read all about it, all that is left for you to go and try these tasty treats all for yourself! Don’t forget to share your snaps with me, so I can see you enjoy your bru! Simply tag bru and use the hashtag #itsbrumas !

Behind the scenes

Happy Brumas!


Biscoff Gelato


Orange Hot Chocolate


Chocolate Orange Brownie


Mint Mocha

To learn more about Bru Coffee & Gelato, request a Press release, or to book an interview, contact Fazelah Dadabhoy at

Find bru online, on Instagram, on Facebook, and on Twitter!

The Harry Potter Tag


Swish and flick! I wish I could say writing this post was as easy as that spell, (I’m sure Ron Weasley would beg to differ), but these questions really made me sit down and think! Like many of my generation, I grew up with Harry Potter.

I was six years old and had managed to somehow read all of the books in my school (I was well on track to be Hermione Granger before I even knew who she was). One night, after bitterly complaining for days, my father handed me a book called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. From then on, it became a tradition that we would sit down and read it together every night. He let me mispronounce ‘Hermione’ until the film was released…

Earlier this year, I finally went to the Studio Tour with him. With Autumn here, I am well and truly in the Harry Potter spirit. So, when Emily tagged me, I was over the moon that I get to relive the magic all over again!

What house are you in?
I am a proud Gryffindor! I promise, I didn’t cheat the Sorting Hat… Although, having been told I can be quite reckless and just go head first into things, I suppose I can see why this is the case!

What is your Patronus?
A Scops Owl. Unfortunately, I know very little about these animals. I was rather hoping for a cat or an otter…

What is your wand?
My wand is made of maple wood, is ten and a half inches in length, and contains the hair of a unicorn. Not to sound boastful, but I think the maple certainly does represent my ambition to be a high-achiever; I love a good challenge! Unicorn hair simply sounds magical and as someone who has never seen the allure of the Dark Side, I feel my wand rather does reflect me! If it only it were real…

What would your boggart be?
I am Ron Weasley in this respect because I am so morbidly terrified of spiders it’s embarrassing! Last year, I was living with my grandparents whilst on my internship and I had to wake my grandad up in the middle of the night because there was an enormous spider in my room. My boggart would be a spider and I would probably run in the opposite direction.

Failing that, a destroyed CHANEL Timeless bag would do it, too.

What position would you play in Quidditch?
Chaser, without a shadow of a doubt! Chasers see all the action and I’ve always loved those positions in muggle sports (no, that is most definitely not an innuendo). There’s something thrilling about scoring a goal, so being a Chaser would be the next best thing!

Would you be a pure blood, half-blood, or muggle born?
I can confidently say half-blood, seeing as my father introduced me to the magical world of Harry Potter, whereas my mother is neither here nor there.

What job would you want to have after graduating from Hogwarts?
I would love to run the wizard equivalent of a hipster coffee shop! Maybe it would have things like Organic Butterbeer or Hand-Crafted Fire Whiskey. I’m not sure, but it sounds like it would be a lot of fun to create! I’d do a better job of running it than Aberforth, for sure; no stray goats here!

Which of the Deathly Hallows would you choose?
Would I be a cliché if I chose the Invisibility Cloak? Yes, but, I would choose it time and time again. I think playing with death is nasty business, and the Elder Wand is far too much power for little 5”1 me. But, with the Cloak of Invisibility, there’s much more potential! I could sneak into Fashion Week and slip out of awkward situations… oh, and spying on the staff to make sure they are indeed doing their job would always be useful, wouldn’t it?

Favourite book?
Ooh, now that is asking like a mother to choose between her children! Two stand out the most, and that is book three and book seven. I’m going to say The Prisoner of Azkaban, as it’s the most dog-eared out of my collection. I have reread that particular book so often and whilst I know it’s not many people’s favourite, I love it because that’s when the danger really starts to build. The story takes a darker turn and J.K. Rowling has captured both love and betrayal so well in it.

Least favourite book?
This one is shamefully easy! The Chamber of Secrets just never really tickled my fancy. I suppose it has something to do with those pesky spiders…

Favourite film?
The Goblet of Fire is a vastly underrated film in my opinion! Yes, of course I am annoyed that Dumbledore is not calm in this film (you all know which scene I am referring to), but visually, this is a beautiful film! The locations, the effects, the way the story is told is stunning! I particularly love the scene where Voldemort is reborn- the way they brought this to the screen is amazing and the casting is perfect.

Favourite character?
Hermione Granger was a role model to me growing up; I most definitely identified with her love of books and her frizzy hair. I still consider her as a role model. She is so strong and resilient, unabashedly herself and if we are being honest here, Harry and Ron would not have made it half as far as they did without her!

I think I fell in love with Hermione because Harry Potter was the first ‘grown-up’ book I read. And to see a smart, strong girl at the centre of it made me believe I could be that, too.

Least favourite/ most-hated character?
Alright, now, I know Umbridge is awful, but Bellatrix Lestrange is the character I hate the most. Reading about how she tortured the Longbottoms was what did it for me, but then she killed Sirius Black and well, that was the nail in the coffin. Umbridge is awful, but Bellatrix is disgusting. She goes above and beyond the realm of evil. I despise the way she simpers after Voldemort, and how gleeful she is about her actions.

Favourite teacher at Hogwarts?
There will never be anyone better than Professor Minerva McGonagall. Her no-nonsense approach and the way she is so protective over the students is simply wonderful. My McGonagall highlights include her duelling Severus Snape and giving the Dudleys a stern look in her cat form.

Least favourite teacher at Hogwarts?
I refuse to count Umbridge as a teacher because apart from serious self-control, she did not teach the students a thing. So, I suppose it will be Slughorn, because apart from the information he gave Tom Riddle about Horcruxes he doesn’t really serve any purpose. He’s a bumbling buffoon who thinks far too highly of himself and his penchant for parties with ‘important people’ makes him ridiculous. That’s not too harsh, is it?

Do you have any unpopular opinions about the series?
With regards to the films, of course, like any fan, I have my grievances about the things they changed from the books. Equally, I think The Prisoner of Azkaban does not get enough credit- it is massively underrated in my opinion.

If you could save one character from the finale battle who would you save?
This is possibly one of the most terrible questions I have ever had to answer because it’s difficult to pick just one! But, I would choose between Tonks and Lupin. Having been a part of Harry’s journey, there’s some tragedy in Teddy Lupin growing up an orphan, and having Harry as his godfather; J.K. Rowling, did you do this on purpose?








Now, over to you! I would like to tag:


Of course, I would love to tag more people- I’m just not sure who is a Potterhead and who isn’t! If you would like to be tagged, do let me know!

My questions to you are as follows:

  1. Do you prefer the books or the films?
  2. Is there a scene from the books that you think they executed well on the big screen?
  3. What is your favourite quote from the series?
  4. Which character is underrated?
  5. How did you fall in love with Harry Potter?
  6. What food or drink from the wizarding world would you like to try?
  7. If you could be cast as a character, who would you play?
  8. What object would you choose to turn into a Horcrux?
  9. Who would you slip a Love Potion to?
  10. Which one of the Marauders are you most like?

Just the essentials


It’s rather fascinating, isn’t it? Having a nosy and seeing what someone else carries in their bag; picking through the different things each of us needs on a day-to-day basis. Of course, my bag tends to change as often as my bank balance will allow. But, the ever changing-nature of my job, now that plays by a different rulebook altogether. As the Director of a Branding and Marketing business, these are just the essentials.

Business cards

If there’s zips and slots in my handbag you can guarantee there are business cards tucked away in there. Some are mine, but most are accumulated in my day-to-day life. I cannot emphasise just how crucial a business card is. Even if you think you do not need one, there is a strong likelihood that you actually do. It’s a neat little way to leave people with something to remember you by, something that isn’t your name and email hastily scribbled on a napkin. And there are so many wonderful designs- how quirky are these bru ones?


One of my favourite things about the Olympus EPL-7 is how compact it is for the stunning photographs you can snap with it. I tend to use this most of the time, even for Instagram, because, well, I suppose that’s what life is like when you specialise in Social Media. Currently, it houses a range of photographs from Flat Whites to a Bridal Shower to flatlays. Naturally, I used it to take this photo so here’s my old Canon instead.


For confidence and courage, of course. There’s just something je ne sais quoi about CHANEL No5, and I cannot think of a single situation that hasn’t been vastly improved with a bit of CHANEL.


Or rather, lipsticks. Emphasis on the plural. I seem to accumulate a new lipstick every time I go shopping, and they start off in a neat row on my bedside table before eventually ending up in depths of my handbag. There are two that can be found without fail, however; Pillowtalk by Charlotte Tilbury and Gabrielle by CHANEL.


Continue d’avancer – keep going. A little motivation never goes amiss, and being the self-proclaimed Parisienne that I am, these few words lend a helping hand when I need it most.

Notebook & Pen

Despite the technological world we live in, it’s surprising how often I find myself reaching for my notebook and pen, especially when it comes to meetings. As a self-professed stationery addict, I’ve been stockpiling this bullet variety from Monograph. It’s such a beautiful design and sleek enough to fit in my bag.


Although, let’s be honest for just a minute here. This usually starts off in my pocket before migrating to my hand for the rest of the day.


If we’re being pedantic, this is just my little one that I use most days. It was a present and quite honestly, it’s perfect! Ted Baker is one of my favourites when it comes to British fashion, and I love the classic design of this purse. I tend to keep just the essentials in it and save my big purse with my one million loyalty cards in for shopping trips!


Small confession, I am definitely one of those people that wears sunglasses at every opportunity I can. I do find that my eyes are very sensitive to light, but I feel like this rose gold pair just add a touch of glamour to my outfit… and hide my tired eyes before I’ve had my morning coffee! They are a bit battered now, so ignore the many marks…


I think I must have one of these tubs everywhere! In my make-up bag, in my bathroom, in the glove compartment… but this limited edition Lulu Guinness Doll Face variety is too cute to leave behind!


If I had a choice between my phone and my watch… I would probably have a nervous breakdown. The few times I have forgotten my watch at home seem to end in disastrous days, especially as it’s still my instinct to check my wrist for the time. Fossil is undoubtedly my favourite brand when it comes to watches; the design and quality is unparalleled. I bought this Q Wander last time- I decided it was high time to say goodbye to my previous Fossil watch that I had worn for ten years! It’s one of those fancy smart watches, but I love that it resembles a classic analogue watch. Nothing beats the classics!

And on a final note… has anyone seen my earphones? I can’t seem to find them anywhere!





Street Eats Fest


“Food, glorious food.”

Ah yes, that famous number from Oliver that seems to perfectly describe the meaning of life, in my humble opinion at least. Perhaps you can’t tell because I stand at a mere 5’1, but food is a particular passion and pastime of mine. Naturally, the promise of Streets Eats Fest was just too good to resist.

Old Spitalfields Market is a favourite haunt of the Dadabhoys, having spent a large proportion of my childhood holidays with dear old Papa there (this was back when he used to work for the banks that line Liverpool Street). It was actually a very nostalgic trip for him, as he pointed out the various buildings he remembered from his banking days. So, it was rather fitting that the trip down memory lane ended in food. Some fathers and daughters bond over cars, some over sports. Papa and I? Well, we bond over those things too, but food is the holy grail for us.

Streets Eats Fest was organised by Halal Gems, a nifty little website (and now app!) that points you in the right direction of, you guessed it, halal food. It was a welcome sight, knowing there was so much food on offer, all of it halal. The winning factor? It wasn’t just the stereotypical Indian cuisine. And the halal factor wasn’t in your face.

Halal food can seem so limited and restrictive, particularly in the Western world. There’s a misconception about halal food, and it was great to see a food festival shift that perspective. It was good, wholesome food that everyone could enjoy, and I do mean everyone. There were meat options, veggie options and vegan options. Not once did I hear the fated question; “is it halal?” I’ve never seen such a mix of people and cultures come together to simply enjoy food.

Now, I would say the queuing time was terrible, but it was a Saturday in London, so really, did I expect anything less? It did mean strategizing the queues I wanted to join, however.


Rola Walla

A sourdough naan filled with chicken tikka, coriander, pickles and sev (an indian savoury snack). I would never think to add sev to a wrap, but it made all the difference! It’s all in the crunch! Sev aside, the chicken itself was marinated beautifully and was so tender. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a wrap so fast!

Papa tried the combo wrap, so his chicken tikka had the addition of beetroot dhal. I have to be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of beetroot to begin with, so I wasn’t particularly taken by it, but I will say it provided a nice contrast to the chicken.



Alright, alright, I am aware that I am biased, so I will try my best to be as fair as I can. I love the concept! A waffle on a stick, piled with delicious toppings… it looks heavenly and will of course, be instagrammed. I absolutely love the branding, it’s so cute and quirky. And I love the way it’s served too.

As for the waffle itself, I unfortunately just wasn’t wowed by it. I ordered the Biscoff variety, but I couldn’t taste any Biscoff at all! I was expecting a healthy dose of the stuff… My waffle was covered in white chocolate, half a Speculoos biscuit and some fudge pieces. I probably could have done with more toppings, because the waffle was very doughy and needed flavours to balance that out.

Papa, with his peanut butter addiction, went for the Reese’s combination. He concurred about the waffle, and also the toppings- the ratio of Reese’s cups to the size of the waffle just wasn’t quite right.

Perhaps these guys can be forgiven as they were rushed off their feet, but I was a little underwhelmed, especially as they have a great concept going!


Chit Chaat Chai

I just want to start by saying I adore the name! It’s a great pun, it has alliteration and contains two very important aspects of Indian street food.

I did sample the Chaat, and it was lovely! I certainly didn’t look attractive with Tamarind sauce dripping down my chin, but the yoghurt puris were delicious! They were perfectly crispy and generously filled to the brim.

Karak Chai is certainly more up my street than Masala Chai, which is why I probably didn’t enjoy the Masala Chai as much as I would have liked. But, I cannot deny you could taste all of the spices- it was exactly the kick we needed to head back out in the rain. Next time, I’d love to give the Keema Pau and the Samosas a try, because they did look very tempting.

Ah, the ones that got away. I had a train to catch, so I only got to sample the above three vendors. I’m gutted Oli Baba’s was closed for business- I had been craving halloumi fries all week! If there had been more time, I would have definitely gone for the Korean fried chicken wings at Bintang (see what I mean about not just Indian cuisine?). The Dutch pancakes smelt heavenly and there was Persian ice cream too, which looked almost too pretty to eat.

Streets Eats Fest was most definitely the right way to spend a Saturday! It’s a shame the insane queues put a dampener on the day, but I’ll be looking forward to the next one!


London Coffee Festival



The simplest of exchanges and yet the very mention of caffeine is enough to spark a little excitement. Having been in the coffee business for more years than I can count, I thought it was about time I popped down to the Old Truman Brewery.

Coffee culture has taken the world by storm. Gone are the days where a cup of coffee is just that- a cup of coffee. Cappuccinos are the new cosmopolitans and latte art is a must have. Costa and Starbucks, whilst both popular in their own respective rights, don’t always hit the spot for the coffee connoisseurs (or snobs, whatever you prefer to call us) and as a happy result, independent brewers are the belle de jour.

In retrospect, Costa Coffee was my first foray. My teenage tastebuds had a penchant for their gingerbread lattes, and as dear old Papa was a franchisee, this sickly-sweet goodness was practically on tap. Naturally, they were my first port of call for a job, and I was whipping out my own hand-crafted coffees in no time. Not long after, I progressed into the Head Office before joining the high-stakes game and becoming a franchisee myself. It was short-lived, as last year we dusted our hands of the business altogether.

More recently, I became the latest recruit at Bru Coffee and Gelato, bringing my Social Media expertise to the table. Independent and local, this coffee joint is far more me than your average high street chain.

Have you ever been to the London Coffee Festival? It certainly draws in the London locals. From traders to sellers, drinkers to baristas, it’s so fascinating to see the humble cup of coffee bring so many individuals together under one roof. The conversations are certainly a talking point (no pun intended), purely because of the passion that these curators have for their art. Whether they’re explaining their various blends, or telling you the history behind the brand, it’s incredible that a cup of coffee is elevated beyond morning fuel.


Ah, the photogenic bottle of Cold Brew Coffee that wouldn’t look out of place during the prohibition period. It’s a very refreshing drink, and the lovely folks at Sandows got the caffeine buzz through the queue.

What exactly is it? Cold Brew differs to Iced Coffee, in the way that it’s extracted. With Iced Coffee, the espresso is extracted in the traditional way- hot water pushed through compacted, ground coffee. With Cold Brew, the coffee granules are left to soak in water over a period of time.

The difference is evident in taste. Cold Brew is very light, and doesn’t have that bitter taste that’s so prevalent in Iced Coffee. If you’re looking to dabble in Cold Brew, Sandows is the perfect place to start and stocked by most coffee connoisseurs.


One can hardly discuss coffee without mentioning Grind. With an expanse across the city of London, Grind serves everything from freshly crafted coffee to cocktails. A gritty, city aesthetic, they’re fast becoming a fan favourite in London’s coffee scene.

It was no surprise that their pop-up at London Coffee Festival was buzzing with activity all throughout the day, as they served flat whites to the masses. This is a coffee shop that has truly cracked the code. No detail is too small, and they display a great commercial awareness with great tasting coffee and instagrammable locations. From a business perspective, what Grind has managed to tap into so well is the late-night market. Coffee is no longer reserved for the morning.

My personal favourite is Soho Grind, mainly because of the bright red neon sign that reads French lessons given downstairs; but Shoreditch comes in at a close second with its witty slogans. Feeling fancy? Royal Exchange is right up your street.

Minor Figures

There was a time when the coffee scene was all about the chai. Purebred or dirty (with a shot of espresso), it was a guarantee that at least one person in the Starbucks queue was going to order a chai latte. Powder trumps syrup, but Minor Figures have an even better option.

A concentrate that goes back to the basics of chai. A quick whiff perfectly details every single spice, and it’s straight from the leaf- no added ingredients, whatsoever. It leaves you with the most beautiful flavour that warms your heart.

The Minor Figures gang were generous enough with their samples, and I’ve been frothing up my own chai lattes with their organic concentrate since. While you’re at it, pop open a can of their Nitro.

Brass Monkeys

As cold coffee peaks in popularity, one of its many forms is Nitro. For the uninitiated amongst us, this is Cold Brew filled in a keg and poured on tap. The most common way to describe it is describing the look and pour akin to a Guinness.

Brass Monkeys were a friendly bunch, eager to share the story behind the bottle and tap. London locals who pride themselves on the bold flavour thanks to the way they brew the stuff. Their Nitro is bursting with flavour and slips down easy as anything.


Fear not! It might be called the London Coffee Festival, but it extends far beyond into the realms of tea and hot chocolate. One that certainly stood out was Mörk. Still relatively new to the UK, Mörk are chocolate artisans originating from Down Under.

The gentleman was kind enough to concoct up their Original Dark 70% blend, and it was beautifully velvety and rich with flavour, without being a gimmicky, sweet hot chocolate. The minimalist packaging and Scandi vibes are sure to attract a hipster or two, but these fellows are the premium of all hot chocolates.

I suppose it goes without saying, doesn’t it? Spending the day with an ever-changing espresso in my hand, learning about the origins of different beans and just being in such a highly caffeinated environment rather made my day.









“If you’re such a football fan, name a player who’s scored one hundred goals and played for both Aston Villa and Liverpool.”

It’s astounding, isn’t it? That we are in the twenty-first century and there are still men who think having boobs and possessing a passion for sports simply cannot co-exist within the same person. It’s a tale as old time, and a battle I have been fighting for as long as my memory can recall. Supposedly an all-inclusive field (no pun intended), why has sexism not been given the red card?

I can distinctly remember the first time I faced abuse as a female obsessed with the beautiful game. I must have been fifteen-years-old and absolutely smitten with Liverpool’s latest hotshot number nine- Fernando Torres. Despite El Niño’s swishy blonde mane and sharp cheekbones, it was his nifty footwork and sensational scoring partnership with Steven Gerrard that rekindled my Liverpool love. I was perfectly aware that the other girls in my year preferred skin-tight Superdry t-shirts over football jerseys. They wore foundation and expensive perfume when all I had in my make-up bag was a tube of mascara and old eyeliner. It never bothered me, until a double period of Chemistry where two boys threw my Liverpool backpack around the lab and reduced me to tears with their harsh words and hurtful jeers. They showed no sign of remorse and I hardly expect them to now.

Undeterred, I decided that the best counter measure I could take was to start a blog about football, and naturally, being the determined individual that I am, I did. I wrote about the Liverpool games I watched, before progressing to YouTube, where I once again bore the stung of discrimination. I was seventeen-years-old and terrified, as I read the threats of anonymous male viewers. Viewers who threatened to rape me because of the football team I supported. Viewers who warned me they would kill me because of my brown skin. I was a seventeen-year-old girl.

Now, at twenty-three-years-old, I find myself still trapped by the archaic belief that as a female, I can never truly understand the offside rule. To which I’d like to say; of course I understand the offside rule; I’m not a referee!

Something that has bothered me for much longer than I care to admit is the perception of myself as a football fan. It’s almost embarrassing, how I sat and thought about how men would see me. Would I forever be labelled as ‘the tomboy’; the chill girl who’s cool because she can talk transfer windows and league tables; but never attractive because she’s ‘one of the boys’? Perhaps I was intimidating because I knew far too much about footballers and not regular guys? Or maybe guys just thought I was a football phony; a pretty little princess who was trying too hard as a way of flirting with them? If I was so into sports, why was I taking the perfect selfie for Instagram and enjoying shopping for the perfect pair of heels? Worse, what if all they did was objectify me as that girl, the kind who can be found on The Lad Bible, with a cropped sports jersey and a thong, sexily nibbling on a slice of pizza?

A quick scour of the internet only seemed to aggravate the situation, with ridiculous articles such as How to watch football with your boyfriend and 15 reasons why you should date a girl that loves football populating Google’s pages. Apparently, a female football fan can only be either one extreme or the other. After all, having a vagina makes it biologically impossible to enjoy football. God forbid sports is actually appealing to women!


Pardon my French, it’s very rare I resort to a curse word but quite frankly, this little essay is all about defying stereotypes, is it not? To put it simply, I am frustrated at how accessible sports is for men and not for women. Society has a nasty habit of labelling every activity with a gender and football is no different. How many times have we girls doubted ourselves? Whether it’s our opinion on the government or the football team’s colours we sport, there is always someone who will stand up and tell you that you simply don’t understand, but it’s alright, it’s not your fault, you’re a woman.


You can kiss my rose gold Nike Airs. After years of feeling inadequate and uncomfortable in my own skin, it’s about time I left my inhibitions at the Shankly Gates, don’t you think? Whether I’m in a dress or a pair of jeans, you can count on my winged eyeliner and love of Liverpool combined being sharp enough to cut you to pieces. It’s 2017; stop judging women as girls who like football and start respecting them as football fans.

Oh, and to answer the original question; Emile Heskey, Peter Crouch and Robbie Keane.