Soho

La Bodega Negra, Soho

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Last week, I rekindled an old love of mine. Mexican Food. Following a long stint working for Las Iguanas where I had fajitas, tacos and churros at my fingertips for hours at a time, it lost its appeal. Yes, even churros can become old news. But after some reflection, its about time I came back around. So I set La Bodega Negra in my sights after hearing some good things from some foodies at work.

Based just off of Shaftesbury Avenue in the heart of Soho, La Bodega Negra boasts two locations. One being a kooky cafe/bar with most of the main menu to order and no reservations required. The other being a basement restaurant which you apparently enter through a sex shop. Well, it is Soho – what do you expect.  With no reservations to our name we visited the former location, which actually turned out to be pretty cool.

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Vibrant and eclectic, this dim lit, late night cafe is charming and inviting. Taken aback by the atmosphere, I did that embarrassing dawdle that people do when they don’t know where to look and just scan the perimeter for the host hopelessly. Eventually she saw me and saved me, and was much friendlier than I’d expected. She guided my friend and I to a table at the front, with a window view of the Palace Theatre.

It was a day when I’d been feeling the toll of burgers on the old midriff and was craving something light. Yes, I am human and do have to watch what I’m eating every now and then as my love of food and clothes is about on par. This was an exceptionally tough time for me as there were literally tacos flying out of the kitchen every two seconds and rushing around the tables beside us like freaking Niagra Falls.

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For starters, dishes like the Tuna Tostada (Chipotle, avocado & serrano) £6 and Mushroom Quesadilla (Mushroom, spinach, corn, cheese & crema) £7 are up for grabs. A popular dish that I spotted on most tables were the tacos, which come served in a fancy tray with specialised holders – soon to feature in my dream kitchen. You have to order three with this and one of each is £13. Taco fillers include Pork al Pastor (Pineapple & Salsa Verde), Chicken (Crema Mexicana) and Pulled Lamb (Salsa Borracha).

As I was feeling particularly porky, I just went for a main on this occasion. I decided on the Oven Baked Sea Bass, which was served with a salsa and black olive quinoa. My friend ordered the Pollo Al Sarten (half roasted chicken, freekah salad & anticucho sauce) for £13.

Now I love seafood, whether it’s deep fried shrimp at TGI’s, fresh fish and chips on a British seaside or lobster if I’m generally just feeling like a splurge. But I can appreciate sometimes it can be done badly, and this sea bass just exceeded all of my expectations. Soft, light and full of flavour, this fish had me fall silent and wish there were five more plates of it to devour. The only downside was that I was still hungry when I’d finished, this is definitely a place to order multiple courses.

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On top of their great food, they have some wicked cocktails on their menu which will take you right back to your girls holiday in Cancun. I ordered the Aztiki, the perfect mix of Havana Blanco Rum, Lemon, Lime, Pineapple, Passion Fruit Syrup and Goslings Black Seal Rum. Downed in seconds. La Bodega Negra decor is shabby retro with a tropical vibe, the walls covered in cool event posters and some fun hip hop and RnB playing in the background.

100% my kind of place and I’ll definitely be back there again for the tacos and churros when I’m feeling a little more indulgent. Basically the way I feel about La Bodega Negra is how Cartman felt about Casa Bonita.

 

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LDN FASHION WEEK SS16 HIGHLIGHTS [1]

London Fashion Week is upon us once again. But this time it has a brand new look, and I’m not talking about the new collections but the new location. The British Fashion Council have moved the event to Brewer Street Car Park in Soho rather than Somerset House – LFW’s humble abode for the last five years. BFC’s CEO Caroline Rush explains that, “It ticks all the boxes of being walking distance to many of the magazines and department store head offices; it’s really connected to Oxford Street and the high-street stores that the UK is so well known for; and it’s not far from Mount Street, where we have all the stars of fashion week starting to open their stores”.

Passing by Soho yesterday there was definitely a new vibe in the area. A place that is usually buzzing with tourists was silent and serious. You could literally feel the suspense in the air around LFW’s new venue. A flurry of photographers and handful of incredibly well dressed individuals propped against the street corners of central Soho, generating a mild murmur in anticipation of the day ahead.

Unfortunately, I was only passing through on a shopping trip – treating myself, as per. So I’ve only been watching from the outside – which thanks to digital media – doesn’t really feel like the outside anymore.

Here’s my favourites from Friday 18th September:

J J.S LEE

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Jackie Lee was born in Seoul, Korea and spent five years working as a Senior Pattern Cutter in Seoul and two years at KISA London as Master Pattern Cutter. In March 2010, she launched her label, J. JS LEE. For her first collection after college, she received NEWGEN sponsorship for SS11 in the exhibition space alongside many established London labels.

Stripes are timeless and these pieces are flawless. I’ve always turned to this pattern for a more dressed down look but J J.S Lee has demonstrated a light and effortless elegance in her collection.

BORA AKSU

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London based Turkish designer Bora Aksu graduated from Central St Martin’s MA in 2002. Aksu was hailed as ‘the star of the show’ by The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and The Independent, and also attracted the eye of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabanna who purchased pieces to use as inspiration.

These two dresses alone exemplify why Bora Aksu held such high recognition amongst national papers and other designs. The detail and structure of these pieces are to die for and exude strength and power.

Eudon Choi

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Before moving to London to attend the Royal College of Arts, Eudon Choi was trained as a menswear designer in Seoul, Korea where he acquired an in-depth knowledge of tailoring techniques and a great eye for detail. Eudon worked as a womenswear designer for a few years before setting up his eponymous label in 2009
Simplicity is key. I’m not really into busy patterns and much prefer soft palettes and loose silhouettes – unless I’m going to a big event, then a loud colour is more than acceptable. These ensembles pictured above are city chic, office ready and a bit of me. I wish these items were in my wardrobe, right now, please and thank you.

 FYODOR GOLAN

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Fyodor Podgorny & Golan Frydman come from a fine arts background. Their SS16 collection is bold and beautiful, experimenting with geometrical silhouettes and sportswear aesthetics creating striking modern womenswear.

I love this collection, it’s so playful and unapologetic. The collaboration of fabrics, loud prints and manipulated 3D structures brings the clothes to life and epitomises the crossover from adolescence to adulthood. Described perfectly in the LFW website’s bio as ‘seductive, fragile and fearless’.