bang bang chicken 2

It’s Shrove Tuesday this week and, although traditional pancakes are eaten because they were once a quick, easy and extremely delicious way to use up all the eggs and butter before the Lenten fast, in these days of plenty it  really doesn’t matter what kind of pancakes we eat to mark the day.

I first made this recipe for a pancake-themed Shrove Tuesday supper party which I didn’t want to feel like a one note meal, so I used a different kind of pancake for each course. 

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Travel: A week on the West Coast. California or bust

by Sasha Wilkins on February 7, 2016 · 9 comments

hotel del coronado beach
(The beach at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego on Saturday.)

I arrived at LAX from Heathrow last Sunday evening around 7pm. It was dark, bloody freezing and extremely windy. Turned out I’d caught the tail end of an El Nino storm: as I drove my tiny rental car towards Los Feliz, I could see palm fronds in the gutters, and small trees broken and collapsed across cars, sidewalks and front yards.

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Sasha wilkins Santa Monica

I try to pare down my hair and make up to the absolute bare essentials when I am travelling. I’ve got a separate skin care post coming up, but these are the basic hero products that I’ve been using everyday on my current trip to California. My entire make up routine takes under four minutes now: a heavy look doesn’t work in the sun, and I’m forever slathering sunblock over the top anyway.

The full list with stockist links is at the end of this post.
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A Day in the Life: Vaishaly Patel, Facialist

by Sasha Wilkins on February 4, 2016 · 1 comment


When I received an email suggesting super facilaist Vaishaly Patel for A Day in the Life, I was thrilled.

I’ve had tricky skin since my twenties. I think it’s karmic payback for having absolutely perfect skin as a teenager. No breakouts, no acne…then, in my first proper job in the late 90s it all started to go wrong. I saw a smart dermatologist on my Conde Nast health insurance, who diagnosed seborrheic dermatitis and rosacea. I tried various pharmaceutical options for the continuous clusters of breakouts on my temples and chin, but nothing much worked.

Then I started seeing Vaishaly in her then rooms at the Mayfair hairdressing salon Martyn Maxey. I’d read about her incredible eyebrow shaping, using the then novel threading process, in The Sunday Times, and made an appointment. She gave me goddess eyebrows and, more importantly, suggested she could help with my problem skin. 

And help, she did. Using micro-dermabrasion, massage and various unguents my skin cleared up completely over six months, and I’ve not had a problem with breakouts since. (Other than rosacea-linked ones.)

Over to you Vaishaly!

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Paris: Celebrating Diptyque Eau de Sens in Style

January 28, 2016 LLG Plays & Stays

A new Diptyque scent is always something to look forward to: I like most of them (particularly the divine Ombre Dans L’Eau, with its Bulgarian rose and blackcurrant leaf notes) but am always drawn towards citrus notes in my scent, something which hasn’t been prominent in the collection previously. So the news that the new scent, Eau […]

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London Hotel: The Berkeley Hotel’s Girls’ Night In (or heaven in a hotel room)

January 27, 2016 Hotels

When you travel as much as I do, or have a demanding job – or both, making time to see your friends isn’t always simple. There are crazy schedules to align, children and dogs to consider, and work and husbands and boyfriends and all of the things that demand our attention and time. So, sometimes […]

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Recipe: Courgette (zucchini) & feta fritters

January 18, 2016 LLG Fashion

Fritters are one of my favourite things: there’s a recipe for sweetcorn ones in my cookbook Friends, Food, Family that is, frankly, utterly delicious, and I wrote a courgette (zucchini) version with a tomato relish for The Pool last year. Packed with protein, they’re also such a good way to eat lots of vegetables, and they […]

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LLG Digest: December 2015 – Jan 2016

January 16, 2016 Digest

(A meal I cooked at Polpier-Penpol in Cornwall) All my Christmas-related blogs are in a digest here, from afternoon tea at The Ritz, to what we got up to on Christmas Day, but below are the non-tinselly stories from the past few weeks. Happy reading! (And thank you for the brilliant comments, both here and […]

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Saving the best for now: why I’ve stopped stashing for the day that never comes

January 13, 2016 LLG Fashion

These 1930s silver-plated knives, forks and spoons used to live in a beautiful wooden canteen, a lovely piece of workmanship that bore testament to the expense of buying a whole set of cutlery. I bought that canteen from eBay a few years ago, astonished at the near perfect condition of the contents after decades: I […]

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New Year’s Eve 2015: The Cart Lodge in East Sussex

January 10, 2016 LLG Plays & Stays

Thailand – East Sussex: not much difference there. Oh apart from the rain and the mud and and the gales and the woolly sweaters…Although, as it turned out, this was a lovely second option. After my Thailand trip was cancelled, I cast around urgently for a place to go in England instead. Because of the […]

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