Senor Ceviche - restaurant review

It's always so nice to discover a new restaurant, especially one that's in such a convenient location and has a great sharing menu. After checking into Amba Hotel we both wanted to make the most of being so central and as Carnaby Street is just 20 minutes away it seemed the perfect time to give Senor Ceviche a try: 

 Senor Ceviche - Carnaby Street

  Senor Ceviche - Carnaby Street
 Senor Ceviche cocktails

The food and cocktails at Senor Ceviche are Peruvian inspired and after reading several reviews I had high expectations. Located on the first floor of Kingly Court, the restaurant has an urban industrial  feel with a great atmosphere, neon decor and vibrant music. We both opted for some cocktails and after hearing so much about their Pisco sours I couldn't resist trying the strawberry one.

 Senor Ceviche


Whilst the cocktails were nice enough the real star of the show was the food. With lots of small dishes it's very much designed to be shared (always a plus for me) and each one more delicious than the last!

Starting with the Clasico ceviche which was probably my favourite dish of the night. Bite size chunks of seabream in a sharp lemony sauce, flavoured with sweet potato puree, corn, red onion and coriander. You could really taste the freshness of the fish and the plantain chip provided just the right amount of texture. The Spaniard was also delicious although with more of a creamy tomato base.

 Alitas con tamarindo

It's no secret that we both love chicken wings and the ones at Senor Ceviche were so tender and smothered in the most delicious savoury sweet tamarind sauce.

 Nikkei Greens

I wasn't such a fan of the crispy corn but the vegetables themselves were very moreish and crunchy, the perfect accompaniment to all the meat.

Pachamanca pork ribs

By this point we were getting pretty full but the slightly larger pork ribs were so good. Brushed with BBQ sauce and sprinkled with peanuts, the slow cooked meat literally fell off the bone and was so juicy and tender.

Needless to say we were both really impressed with Senor Ceviche and will definitely be back to sample more of their Peruvian cuisine. With such a large variety of dishes there's something for everyone and it's the ideal location for dinner either after a long day of shopping or before a night out.

Senor Ceviche, Kingly Court, W1B 5PW

Have you ever been to Senor Ceviche? What are your favourite Peruvian restaurants?

Essie Ballet Slippers

I'm really getting into Essie nail polishes at the moment and one of my favourite shades has to be the gorgeous pinky-nude Ballet Slippers:

It's actually been in my collection for a while but was previously overlooked for the equally gorgeous Vanity Fairest (review and swatches here). It wasn't until a recent manicure that I realised just how pretty Ballet Slippers is! Compared to Vanity Fairest, Ballet Slippers is more nude and opaque with a creme gel like finishes. Light colours can sometimes be difficult to build up but a trick I've learnt is to use Essie protein base coat underneath which adds just a tiny hint of colour and gives a more opaque even finish.

Usually in Winter I'm all about the deep reds and purples but this is such a beautiful alternative and going into Spring I can see myself getting a lot of use out of both shades. Ballet Slippers would also be a really pretty colour for weddings and I can certainly see why it's one of Essie's best sellers! 

Have you tried Ballet Slippers or Vanity Fairest? What's your favourite Essie nail colour?

Amba Hotel, Marble Arch

One of my goals last year was to explore and make the most of what London has to offer and just before Christmas we had the loveliest overnight stay at the newly opened Amba Hotel in Marble Arch:

 Amba Hotel, Marble Arch

 Amba Hotel, Marble Arch

I actually live not too far away but we'd been to visit a friend in Leicester the night before so checking into the hotel it really did feel like we were on holiday! Being the week before Christmas there were decorations everywhere and Oxford Street looked beautiful with all the lights twinkling away.

Amba Hotel restaurant

Having stayed in some amazing hotels over the years I had high expectations and Amba Hotel didn't disappoint. The room were spacious with the comfiest double bed, a sofa, desk and ensuite bathroom, which was totally gorgeous by the way and I'm now seriously lusting after a walk in overhead shower for my flat. 

 Amba Hotel bathroom

 Amba Hotel bathroom toiletries

What really made it 4 star though was all the little extras which were thoughtfully included in the room. There's an complimentary mini bar with snacks and soft drinks, a selection of teas and hot chocolates, as well as a Nespresso machine and iPad to order room service on. For us bloggers there are also USB charging points and free unlimited wifi and even the boyfriend commented on how impressed he was with the speed! 

Amba Hotel room refreshments

We'd originally planned to take advantage of the good location to do some shopping but unfortunately arriving late on a Sunday all the shops had shut by the time we checked in. It worked out quite well though as tired from travelling we were both happy to relax for a bit before the most delicious dinner at Senor Cerviche in Carnaby Street, a mere 20minutes walk away.

Amba Hotel breakfast

Breakfast is included and the next morning we were both pleased to see that the buffet offered a hot selection along with the usual fruit, cereal and pastries. With it being a cold day in December the full English breakfast and hot tea was a real treat and just what I needed for a day of shopping and exploring!

 Amba Hotel reception lobby

Overall we both really enjoyed our overnight stay and check out was so easy as you literally just have to hand your room card back to reception. This year we've already got a big trip planned to India but having had a year of staycations I can now fully appreciate the restorative powers of even just a night away and if you're ever looking for somewhere new to stay in central, then I would definitely recommend giving Amba Hotel Marble Arch a try.

Have you ever stayed at Amba Hotel? What are your favourite London hotels? 

New in - Spring skincare launches

I think Spring has to be one of my favourite times of the year. The sun starts to come out more, there's the promise of holidays and warmer weather ahead and with that there are always lots of gorgeous new fragrances, innovative skincare formulas and exciting new make up launches:

With Valentine's just around the corner, Melvita's new nectar de roses range couldn't be more perfectly timed. I always find rose fragrances quite hit and miss which is why I'm so pleased that Melvita's offering is more fresh and floral than old fashioned and powdery. It combines three different hand picked wild roses for a light romantic scent and in particular I'm really liking the hydrating body veil which is perfect for Spring and the multi purpose balm which is great for dry lips and cuticles.

Other than the cleansing oil I've not heard much about DHC but at a recent launch the new Beauty lift range definitely caught my eye. Now that I'm approaching the end of my twenties, anti-ageing has become more of a concern and this range promises to both lift and hydrate the skin. There's a toning lotion, beauty essence, hydrating milk and nourishing cream, all of which feel lightweight and gentle on the skin. Asian skincare has become increasingly popular in recent years and with their simple yet premium packaging these very much remind me of the high end beauty brands from Japan and China.

Finally a new launch for those who struggle with spots or oily skin. Very much like a BB or CC cream, these offer a hint of colour whilst at the same time helping to clear up spots with salicylic acid. The formula's very light weight and oil free and with two shades it covers a good range of skintones. It's very sheer but I like that it has a matte finish without being drying on the skin and as a tinted moisturiser for the gym or on holiday I can see these being very popular. 

Did any of these new launches catch your eye? What are your current skincare favourites?

January empties and favourites

Seven years in and I think it's safe to say this is my longest running series on Peonies and lilies. It originally started as a way of motivating myself to use up products before trying something new and now it's become second nature and I always find it really interesting to look back and see what I've enjoyed using throughout the year. With the recent cold weather I've tried to make more effort to moisturise and as a result have managed to get through quite a few creams and oils:

January empties and favourites
January empties and favourites

January empties and favourites
 January empties and favourites

Bliss grapefruit and aloe is one of my favourite scents and I'm really sad to have finished the body butter. It was so rich and moisturising and the scent never failed to uplift. Dove Dermaspa is a good budget alternative and it did a great job of keeping my skin soft and supple this winter. Another favourite is Neal's Yard garden mint and bergamot hand lotion. Partly because it smelt amazing and partly because the cream was so light weight and quick absorbing so great to use during the day. The pump dispenser came in really handy too and I definitely need to get another bottle asap! 

For the face I really liked Olay 3 point regenerist night cream. It felt so soothing and nourishing on the skin and I always woke up looking well rested and hydrated. Elemis make up remover was another skincare staple and although it wasn't as effective as Bioderma it was very gentle and a good alternative if you have more sensitive skin. I only managed to get through one make up item but Maxfactor remains my favourite high street brand for mascaras and it's one of the few that manages to stay put all day without smudging. 

How did you on with empties this month? What were your January favourites?
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