TSM Travel Diary: Tapas @ Ticketsbar, Barcelona – Pt 1.

As you know from my previous post, we had a quick two day surprise trip to Barcelona last week and having travelled there twice in the past two years, (three times in my bf’s case!) we now consider ourselves Barca locals (ignoring the fact that we still walk around with a cameras snapping away at almost everything). Locals moreso in the sense that we can confidently navigate the the streets of old town without a map, handle public transport with complete ease (a very efficient train system doesn’t hurt!) and having frequented the Gaudi sites multiple times, we decided this trip would be all about indulgence and decadence. All we did was shop and fill our bellies at our favourite tapas bars and despite best intentions, I still ended up with way too many photos (mostly of food!) so have split this post into two entires: Pt. 1 food, Pt. 2 fashion.

A beautiful specimen of a travel bag if I don’t say so myself :) A b’day present for my bf on a significant birthday milestone and in memory or all our travels together over the past few years. 

Tickets Tapas bar: a tapas bar like none other. Owned by the famous Ardria brothers (of former no.1 restaurant in the world, elBulli) a reservation used to require booking 3 months in advance for their sizeably small restaurant. The waiting time has now been cut down to two months and I spent a good hour back in October on the website pressing the refresh button until an opening popped up for the date I wanted!

Tickets is located in the theatre district of Barcelona and the bright decor and carnival atmosphere reminded me a lot of Heston’s inventive concepts back ‘home’ in London. You could tell only the freshest of ingredients were used and that all the staff were highly skilled and passionate about food and the vision of fun and inventive Spanish tapas.

Pictured above are the famous elBulli time-consuming reconstituted olives that were placed on the menu to appease constant demand for them. When you place one of these olives in your mouth, it bursts in your mouth with a intense oily olive flavour. It was pretty amazing and the Joselito’s Grand Reserva Iberian ham and Joselito’s Coppa pictured above with the traditional tomato bread was my absolute favourite dish of the night. I completely ignored my bf whilst gobbling up the ham on bread and zoned off into that place my mind goes to when I’m indulging in decadent tasty comfort food in front of the tv. I call it food lala land. The aged meat and fat dissolved on my tastebuds with such dry and intense flavours… Continue reading

T-Styled Me’s Insta Tumblr Round up: Shopping for Presents

You’d think being a shopaholic would make it easier to figure what Christmas presents to buy everyone but sadly this is not the case for me. I spend a ridiculous amount of time umm-ing and ahhh-ing over who to buy Christmas gifts for and more importantly what to get them. Will they like it? Will they think I didn’t spend enough money or time on them and do people truly remember that it’s the thought that counts? Honestly, my head is sometimes my worst enemy! Second guessing aside, I absolutely love GIVING presents to people; I don’t expect anything in return, except for, fingers crossed, joy in their faces to signify I’ve chosen a gift perfect for them. That is what I find most personally rewarding!

My bf’s birthday also happens to be very close to Christmas and as much as I wanted to post about buying his gift and getting your opinion, I couldn’t do that knowing that there was a chance he would read my blog and ruin the surprise trip to Barcelona I had planned months in advance. I bought him a Mulberry travel bag and was lucky enough to secure a booking at a famous Tapas Bar in Barcelona for his birthday, so I hid the travel details in the bag and the look on his face when I gave him the bag the night before left was priceless :) I love it when a good present is delivered. Yesss!

We had a fantastic time in Barcelona which I’ll post about this week but all I have to say is that I’m pleased that my Christmas shopping is officially complete. (Yay! No more wondering around for hours in the department stores leaving empty handed) and I can relax and look forward to all the Christmas festivities.

Other than that, I’ve just been eating my way into silly season. No joke, if it’s not a Christmas party or attempting to tick off another ‘Must try London Restaurant’ then I’m cooking up a storm at home to clear the fridge. I know this is a shopping and style blog but indulge me while I share another love of mine: Food, glorious food :)

@tstyledme Instagram: As the weather plummeted to sub zero temperatures last week, the only solution was to find hot hearty steaming bowls of soup or in this case, Japanese Ramen at ‘Bone Daddies’ in Soho. Perfect for the miserable weather …

@tstyledme Instagram: I love going out for breakfast with friends but lately, the Sunday ritual in our household has now become a big English breakfast or ‘Get rid of everything in the fridge omelettes’.

Dinner tonight at Duck & Waffles … Both the Duck and the Waffles were cooked to absolute perfection. Such an odd yet tasty combination. The views of London are in my opinion the best (think Empire State building views for London). We will definitely be back!

Hope you guys had a lovely weekend and got your Christmas shopping done as well. If you haven’t, no fear … most retailers are open super late leading up to Christmas :)

Tien xo

TSM Outfit post: A Heston Dinner Date in Printed Silk Trousers

They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and I’m inclined to think this certainly is the case with my boyfriend. While I’d prefer to spend discretionary funds on clothes and jewellery, my boyfriend’s preference would be to spend it on trialling different restaurants and dining at Michelin starred restaurants so when our anniversary reared its head a few weeks ago, I knew that the usual photo collages, cufflinks and scrapbooks that worked in previous years wouldn’t really bring that sparkle to his eyes the way that a surprise dining experience at Heston’s second Michelin starred restaurant, Dinner at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, would so I booked in date night a few months in advance.

We had the fortune of eating at Heston’s 3 Michelin starred restaurant ‘Fat Duck’ earlier in the year and were keen to compare it to ‘Dinner’ ever since it’s highly anticipated opening in 2011. Dinner’s menu is based on Heston’s ‘Feast’ series with each dish on the menu was referenced to a historic time period and was inspired by cooking methods and recipes found from the archives of the British Library.

While the mains missed the wow factor for me (we chose steak and the fish), we both agreed that meat fruit and the tipsy pineapple cake (that I kept incorrectly calling the Tipple cake) were the main stars of the ‘Dinner’ Show:

Looks like a real mandarin doesn’t it? The meat fruit (chicken parfait)’s resemblance to the fruit was extremely impressive and we were equally satisfied with the light, creamy feathery texture once we cut into it and I loved the slightly citric tang from the mandarin jelly exterior with the grilled sourdough toast.

I was advised by a work colleague to order the signature pineapple tipsy cake well in advance (it takes 40 mins to prepare) and to definitely share it with someone because of it’s rich texture. Sharing? Biggest mistake of my night. I loved loved loved the rich cream filled brioche that had be baked and basted in sugar syrup that I really could have easily finished it off by myself. It can only be described as heaven in your mouth sprinkled with just the right amount of sweetness. The side pineapple slice spit roasted to provide a fruity grilled contrast and was the perfect accompaniment to the cake. One of the best desserts I have ever tasted! Continue reading

TSM wants your feedback – ‘Ask me Anything …’

My post Melbourne Detox begins …

You know when you’ve been in a relationship for a while and it was easy in the beginning ? It provided everything you wanted but then you outgrew it and knew that you wanted more than what was currently on offer but were worried about risking the familiarity by ending it?

Well I’ve been feeling that for a while now so I’ve taken the plunge to leave the safe, reliable, easy ‘wordpress.com’- a perfect publishing tool when I started out but now that I want to grow and implement new ideas, it no longer supports me the way I need – So I’ve moved on to my own domain: http://tstyledme.com (bookmark me)

If you’re reading this now, I’ve successfully redirected you to my new domain and yes I’m posting about this because I need to whinge about spending days altering plugins, changing code and more time on confusing support forums and YouTube then sleeping! If you’re a blogger, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about and it’s harder when you’re not tech savy like me!

Ask me Anything!

I am, however, really excited about the ‘Ask me anything’ box on the side bar (It only took oh 6 hrs to figure out how to do it!) so if you have any questions for me – about anything – Styling, Shopping, Life in general – please send them through! (ask anonymously if you wish). I’d love to hear your feedback including suggestions for topics of future posts too.

One more thing I need a huge favour …

If you’ve been following my blog via email or ‘Bloglovin’ (firstly thank you!) you’ll need to resubscribe to keep up to date with my posts from this domain by:

  • Entering your email on the side bar to resubscribe via email
  • Clicking or on the bloglovin button on the right hand side bar to resubscribe
  • You can also keep up to date by liking my if that’s easier too

Thank you xoxo

FYI - Detox lasted less then 12 hours as I bought way too many Aussie favourites back to London 

 - They’re my bf’s favourite so I brought them back err… for him. We both love the choc berries (below) and the peppermint frogs which we used to buy for each other back in university.

Cadbury Caramelo Koalas are mini chocolate koalas with a gooey caramel belly …

Thanks for your patience and resubscribing ! I’m curious, what’s your favourite chocolate bar ?

TSM Outfit Post: Melbourne’s BRIGHT day out – feat. Zara’s Piped Fantasy Cardigan

Melbourne makes the best coffee in the world; I know, BIG call but I stand by that statement having lived in London, travelled Europe and tasted ‘coffee’ in the US. We are spoilt by our Melbournian baristas who breathe coffee-making as an art form and my favourite place for a take-away cappuccino is a small yet busy coffee bar opposite the bookstore in Collins Place (name escapes me now). They are by no means fancy or know my name and order but I can always rely on them to make consistently good coffee.

I also miss the breakfast culture taken for granted here in Melbourne so I was super excited when my friend Kaz dragged me out of the house to start our shopping day with a creamy mocha (my fave!) and the house special baked eggs from Birdman’s Eating, a casual and unassuming cafe in Fitzroy.

The coffee was standard and good but the main star was Breakfast. We started off with the Brioche french toast with marmalade glazed kaiserfleisch, orange pekoe & maple syrup and finished off with house special Baked Eggs. Kaz and I refused to think about whether that was a dollop of cream, butter, fat or mascarpone that was melting on the bacon but we both agreed that it was DELICIOUS regardless – Calories and all !

The baked eggs were equally appetizing; we tried the beef, potato and pea baked eggs option from the four specials and tasting them for the first time, we were both pleasantly surprised. I’d describe them as ’yummy’ (hence why I’m not a food blogger) or I suppose, like baked Shepherd’s pie without the pastry and with egg instead. Perfect hearty hangover food.

We ventured into the city to do a spot of shopping and while resting outside the Melbourne State library, took a few photos for this outfit post. I’d purchased this cardigan in Zara during a mini shopping spree in Valencia a few months back where the weather was hot and the city was alive with festivities so I’ve forgotten that Melbourne, like New York, loves dressing in black so by the number of stares I received today, I’m not sure if Melbourne’s ready for this jelly this brightness so you may need your sunnies !

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