Review: Cats the Musical

Once upon a time I used to write up reviews of pretty much every show I saw but these days I rarely have time. Given that this is a lazy Sunday evening, I thought I’d start to make up for that and write a brief review of the show I saw yesterday: Cats the Musical.


I never saw Cats when it was on for it’s insanely long run which ended a few years ago so this was my first feline experience. Obviously a huge thing with the new run is that the stunning Nicole Scherzinger stars as Grizabella. This was one of those shows which I had just been dying to see for absolutely ages so I was over the moon when a friend decided that seeing this was what she wanted to do for her birthday!


I don’t get it.

I had anticipated myself having many reactions to Cats but none of them were in any way, shape or form negative. Negative might be a harsh word, indifferent might be more accurate. Having seen many West End shows, this was one which just didn’t “wow” me. It didn’t draw me into its world enough to make me switch off. It felt like a series of disconnected songs which were well performed but lacking magic.

Nicole Scherzinger could obviously never look drab in any way because she is just stunning but I really didn’t mind that. What I hadn’t expected was to see so little of her character. My poor understanding of the “plot” led me to believe she’d be on the stage far more. She wasn’t on stage enough for me to gauge her acting ability but her rendition of Memory was so phenomenal that it made the whole show worthwhile. She gave me goosebumps and made my eyes swell with tears. Scherzinger’s voice has an incredible depth to it that you just cannot ignore. You should see the show just to see her.

Another notable performance is Joseph Poulton as Mister Mistoffelees. You’ll barely notice him for most of the performance but when it’s his time to shine, he absolutely owns the stage and showcases his incredible talent. Watch out for his pirouette, it comes out of nowhere and stuns you. Poulton is one fantastic dancer!

So, in essence, it’s worth seeing just to say you have seen it and to check out a couple of stand-out performances but if you haven’t got tickets and you’re struggling to do so, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Perhaps go and check out one of the many other shows in town; I’ve heard Urinetown is worth a watch! x

When the Shoes Make the Outfit

Sometimes in life, you have your mind set on something so much that you just can’t adapt or change, it just has to be the way you imagined it. So what happens when we can’t find what we imagined and there’s no way around it, shoes for example fall into this category. When you dream up your perfect pair and you can’t find them, there’s very little you can do to change it. This happens even more regularly if you are someone like me and have slightly unusually sized feet, either on the short, long, wide or narrow side.

Well I am here to tell you there is a solution and for those of us in the UK, it’s just on our doorstep and it’s sooooooo much fun! Upper Street London is my new best friend…they make shoes, lots of beautiful shoes designed by fabulous women just like us! Here is their website, seriously check this out. If you register you can create designs for your ideal pairs of shoes and save them into your collection and then when you’ve made your mind up, you can go right ahead and order them, even if your feet aren’t quite a standard size.

Now you may wonder what the point is in designing your own shoes if you’re only going to have to pay more for them but let me put it to you like this… you could buy 2 or 3 pairs of high end high street shoes that loads of other people have which you like OR, you could buy 1 pair of custom designed, 1 of a kind shoes that you absolutely love and can’t wait to wear with anything AND you know they’ll fit like a glove because they’ll keep adjusting them until they do 🙂

I went to meet the Upper Street crew yesterday at their studio in London and not only are they lovely people but it meant I got to see some shoes and feel some fabric swatches. Well, the shoes are gorgeous and not a splodge of glue anywhere (Primark and New Look I’m looking at you!) and the fabrics are super luxurious. When they say leather, they mean leather, none of this leather effect malarky, only the real deal. Seriously, have a play on their website and then add your favourites to your Christmas list, I really don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I’m just deciding which ones my wardrobe is most in need of myself!

Here are a couple of the designs I have stored in my collection to get you started off:

Animal Hair with Leather Toe, Back and Heel and Silver Studs

Patent Turquoise and Fuschia Leather with Silver Studs

If you can’t see what you’re looking for, give them a call as some things aren’t on the website. Much love and happy designing! x

Taste Test – Rose Otto Milk Chocolate

Last week when I was having my London mooch, I thought I’d pop into Liberty’s for a mooch and somehow ended up walking straight through to the chocolate shop. I was initially drawn to some “Great British” themed chocolate but after a closer look, I discovered a rose flavoured milk chocolate. Rococo’s Rose Otto set me back £4.50 for a 70g bar so it’s pretty pricey and my expectations were high.

Rose Otto

Excuse my poor quality photo, I promise I am looking at cameras! You can see better pictures on the website through the link I gave earlier. As you can see, the packaging is understated, not the usual garish purple I’m used to having as the wrapping of my chocolate and I have to say, it instantly made me look at this differently and expect something good.

When you open it up, it just looks like any other milk chocolate bar though slightly on the thin side but you cannot miss the smell. It smells like Turkish delight, but really good Turkish delight. The rose smell is so fresh you almost don’t want to taste it because it doesn’t compute that it can taste as good as it smells. It does! The bf and I both tried it and had the same conclusion…this is what we wish Turkish delight tasted like. It’s delicious! In fact, it’s so delicious that I haven’t scoffed the whole bar at once as I want to return to savour it again and again. 

The chocolate itself is smooth and the perfect level of milkiness, not overly sweet as some is. It’s also fairly soft so you don’t get any crunch or crumble; I hate when you bite into milk chocolate and it’s tough, it should start melting immediately in my opinion.

So, the verdict is… buy this! But don’t buy it when you’re depressed and want to munch a whole tub of celebrations, buy it when you feel good and fancy a treat. You can’t waste this by eating it too quickly, it’s far too good for that. It’s expensive and delicious, a bold statement so you should treat it with the respect it commands. Yum! x

P.S. – Yes I just blogged about a chocolate bar right after eating it. That’s how much I love it!!!

Why I Want to be More Successful Than I Am Now…

Yesterday was one of those truly fab. work days. I managed to get a bunch of work done and then head into the city for a really interesting seminar with a lovely colleague. Not only that but the seminar was held in a stunning building with amazing views – Google the St. Botolph building (London)…and we were given wine and delicious canapes!

The photo below shows just part of the amazing view and it’s a bit jumbled up as it was taken with a phone-based camera but essentially we had the Gherkin to our right (out of view), Canary Wharf over the the left and then all of what you can see here:

The Perfect Weather for a Photo - 13 floors up!

This picture literally encapsulates everything I love about London and in all honesty, whether for work or pleasure, I can never remember having a bad day in London. It’s so uplifting! (To me anyway.)

I’d spent an evening a few days prior talking to my bf trying to explain why I don’t feel like I’m successful yet; why my work environment doesn’t feel right even though I work for a large global company. I couldn’t do it and he doesn’t get it but the inside of this building and the surrounding area explain it perfectly without words. The buzz, atmosphere, enormous buildings, statement architecture, pressure, opportunity…the list goes on…none of these quite convey what this said to me and it’s proven that I really do need to push that little bit harder and see if I can land myself in the heart of a city just like I was yesterday.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to get there! x

Spring Has Sprung!

What a glorious weekend we just had here in the UK! It has well and truly got me in the mood for Spring and all of the bright colours and sunshine that come with it.

On Saturday the bf and I helped some friends out at an exhibition at the ExCel in London and as we were practically on its doorstep, I decided that would be a good time to finally get round to visiting the Stratford City Westfield.

We were really lucky actually, we went in the afternoon and it wasn’t too busy, had a great mooch around and then left a little bit poorer and had some dinner at Wahaca. One of the reasons I left a little bit poorer is this fabulous jacket:

Check out the blooms on this bad boy!

This little number is one of Primark’s latest limited collection (which means almost nobody in Reading will have it) and only set me back in the region of £25. I love it! The bf looked a little bit shocked when I honed straight in on it and said I must have it but really and truly, I had to have it! Bold floral prints are one of the key trends for S/S and this is me down to a tee. Love, love, love!

As soon as I wear it, I’ll pop another post up and you can make your minds up then…I fear it’s going to be a bit like Marmite! x

Where to Eat – Ice Cream

Now we all know that my favourite place for ice cream in Reading is Tutti Frutti in Reading station; in fact it still is the best ice cream I have ever tasted! They don’t have a website but you can find their details and a couple of reviews here. They’re open nice and late and serve coffee, etc. as well. The service is great, they do loyalty cards and the ice cream flavours vary and are home made – check it out.

However, on my recent birthday trip to London with the bf, we finally got around to visiting The Icecreamists in Covent Garden. You may remember this place for being in the press earlier this year when they sold breast milk ice cream! Since then I have been dying to go and see just how wild it is and am glad we finally got to it.

The ice cream was just as fresh as that at Tutti Frutti but the selection of flavours appealed to me a bit less. I ended up going for a salted caramel, a white chocolate and a Ferrero Rocher flavour combination whilst the bf went for fresh donuts with a chocolate orange ice cream. It was all delicious and the black decor added to the feeling of naughtiness but the thing that really topped it was the hot chocolate. I was brave and went for a chilli chocolate whilst the bf went for a marzipan flavour and they came in full pints!

The chilli chocolate has quite a kick to it and really hit the back of my throat so only order that if you’re up for a challenge; personally I had to wimp out about a third of the way through. I do think part of that may have been down to how much sugar was in my system though, we’d also been for afternoon tea at The Berkeley Hotel! (More to come on that one.)

So, my recommendation if you’re in Reading, or indeed Berkshire is to get yourself into Reading station and visit Tutti Frutti. However if you are in London, check out The Icecreamists, it’s a pretty good city version 🙂 x