Well as far as weeks go this one has been pretty exciting!

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On Tuesday I travelled down to London for quite a fabulous little trip! Some of you might remember that back in December I was featured in Healthy Magazine as their first Healthy Hero. That was amazing enough, but then a little while ago the magazine got back in touch to invite me to come down to London for a proper photo shoot!

LDN day 1

I got the train from a rainy Durham on Tuesday morning and arrived in London mid afternoon. I stayed near Liverpool Street Station so had a walk up to Spitalfields for dinner where I found a Leon Restaurant – I just had to have my favourite Super Food Salad! My gorgeous cousin Beatrice is studying in London so I arranged to meet her for drinks. I had a Salted Caramel Latte from Costa then we went to a bar called B@1 and got happy hour cocktails. On the way back to my hotel I stopped into Planet Organic and decided to treat myself to a mini tub of Booja Booja ice cream as I have always wanted to try it!

I was awake bright and early on Wednesday as I thought it would be nice to walk from my hotel to the studio enjoying some foodie delights for breakfast on the way. I had coffee in Starbucks then this chocolate croissant from a patisserie followed by a mini blueberry and honey porridge and fresh orange juice from Leon and another coffee at a cafe next to the studio – I’ve drank so much coffee!

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The shoot was held at Curtain Road Studios and it was well posh! I really wasn’t sure what to expect but it was a full on fashion style shoot with sample clothes from different brands, loads of shoes and accessories and a stylist, her assistant, make up artists and photographer…

Healthy shoot

We can’t share any photographs of us all done up for the magazine, but here is a sneaky one of me afterwards with the glam make up, in fact the whole shoot has quite a glam theme!

Profile pic LDNI had Madonna’s Vogue playing in my head the whole time ;-)

As if the photo shoot wasn’t exciting enough, it was made all the more brilliant because it also included a blogger meet up with the lovely Philippa from Skinny Latte Strikes Back! I’ve been reading Phil’s blog for ages and it was so good to meet her in person. She was also featured as a Healthy Hero and when we heard about the shoot we made arrangements to have a little blogger date :-)

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Phil looked utterly stunning, as did the other healthy heroes – wait until you see the photographs! After the shoot Phil took me to The London Gin Club:

London Gin Club

I have never been a big gin drinker, but that is no longer the case! The club has an extensive menu of gin all complete with different garnishes to complement the various flavours. I tried a gin with an orange and cardamom garnish and Phil tried a floral gin with a plum garnish then we decided to share a Hendricks gin with cucumber and rose petal garnish. Now that is my kind of drink!

Photo 08-11-2012 08 53 42After enjoying our gin we got the underground to West Kensington to seek out 222 Veggie Vegan Restaurant. It was just a tiny little place and was packed when we arrived but luckily we got a table. We shared a dips and pitta to start:

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This featured a red pepper, hummus and avocado pesto dip. All of them tasted delicious and the pitta was warm and had a great texture. For our main meal we both ended up going for the same option – a Seitan Stroganoff with onions, herbs and peppers in a cashew cream sauce served with brown rice:

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That was to die for! We both licked our plates clean because the sauce was so delicious! For dessert we had the raw chocolate torte to share:

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Oh this was heaven! We think it must have included coconut oil and perhaps banana in there but I couldn’t figure out if it was avocado or cashew base, it was lush!

I had such a fantastic time with Philippa, she is a very inspirational woman. We had a lot in common with us both being around the same age and married and some similar life experiences – I wish I lived closer as I think we would see a lot more of each other if we did :-) I could have talked to her all night long about so many things, not just the ups and downs of blogging!

The photo shoot is going to be featured in the March edition of Healthy Magazine which is also going to be their 100th edition celebration. It will be available from Holland and Barrat stores so check it out! Big thanks to all the Healthy Magazine team, particularly Emily, Orouj and the editor Jane, it was a truly amazing experience that will stay with me forever!

The next day I had a few hours before my train left so I got up early again and jumped on the tube to Piccadilly to pounce on Wholefoods as soon as it opened. I was actually rather pleased that I didn’t end up spending a fortune in there or Planet Organic for that matter – just a couple of little things! Although I did treat myself to breakfast and something to eat on the train home:

wholefoods eats

I had an energizer smoothie with carrot and ginger then totally spoiled any virtuous healthiness by also getting a huge almond croissant and a tub of creamy yoghurt with berries and granola. That pastry was bloody lovely! For lunch it could only be a salad bar box complete with tofu and a pot of Coyo raw chocolate coconut yoghurt. Oh heavens that stuff is good – it actually tastes like the filling of a raw chocolate torte, absolutely incredible!

Of course I did get a couple of treat purchases:

Photo 08-11-2012 15 52 14Raw honey (Wholefoods), burgundy wrap around scarf and leopard print flats (Topshop), gold cube necklace (Monki), Cocomaya New York Salted Pretzel Dark Chocolate (Liberty) and some Pukka Peppermint and Licorice tea (Planet Organic)

I absolutely loved London and I do think I’ll be figuring out how I can make more trips down there especially as I know a few more people in the city. As well as all of the London excitement I moved into my gorgeous new office at work on Monday, this has been a really incredible week! I guess its kind of clear what is on my Love List…

LONDON! // meeting amazing inspirational people // pastries // coffee // decorating my new office // missing James and feeling extra appreciated when I came home // roast kabocha dipped in tahini

I could go on and on! Right now I’m feeling a bit wiped out – I’m sipping on a huge green smoothie as I type, all of the coffee, pastries and gin has taken its toll but my god it was worth it!

How has your week been? What’s on your Love List this week? Have you ever done a photo shoot? It was really interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes at these things!

Hope you have a fabulous weekend!