20 December 2013

Best Mulled Wine In London

Winter brings with it the joys of abandoning ice-cold drinks and consuming drinks that warm your soul. As the evenings draw in, nights get cooler, the tree stands tall in the living room and the gifts are wrapped, warm beverages await to be cupped in your hands.

For a little trip down memory lane, here's some trivia, 'ice' didn't become available in London until the 1840s, and even then it was only for those luxurious society parties and gatherings. So these ice-cold drinks that we drink on such a regular basis now, were a substance of luxury back in the 19th century. Before then, Londoners were all hailing hot drinks - from egg nogs, ciders, mulled wine, wassails, possets and blazers - you name it and British people knew how to whip up the best beverage, way before central heating was introduced in the houses.

These days, mulled wine is more of a festive beverage, but it's still as much of an epitome of Christmas, festivity and tradition, as is Santa Clause.

Here are the top five places in London where you can go warm your heart and soul; plus give a little something exciting to the tastebuds:

  1. The Garden Gate, Hampstead Heath: This dog-friendly gem serves the most festive and cheerful mulled wine, one that will convert all the grinches in the house. Come here on a Sunday afternoon for a grandma-style roast and sip this spiced, cinnamon drink with a Christmas hat on! 
  2. Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch: As part of their winter special, this happy-go-lucky pub has set up a tipi on their rooftop with the name 'WigWamBam'. Enter its vicinity and expect to be enthralled by an aroma of fresh roast, jacket potatoes, spiced cider, hot chocolate and fiery bonfire. Get some marshmallows to roast, choose a cider or mulled wine from their weekly specials and feel the warmth of this holiday season under a tipi in London's party district. 
  3. The Rake, Borough Markets: Nestled in the heart of this buzzing food market, this bar is for beer lovers who like a blend of light and dark ale with spices. There serving style is what makes their drink so special: think metal mugs that have been warmed up by placing on a piece of hot iron rod heated on actual fire. You might feel like you've gone back to the primitive times - in a good way, of course.
  4. Ship Tavern, Holborn: For one hundred percent authentic British experience, venture off to this backstreet tavern in central London during the cooler months. It's a very charming pub, with a very good looking crowd (bonus!), and they claim to be serving the 'best mulled wine in London right now'. Big call, we say. But you make the decision. 
  5. The Windsor Castle, Notting Hill: This West London pub is as cozy as your living room with panelled corners, hardwood decks with heating, all overlooking a beautiful herb garden. The mulled wine here isn't the speciality, it's more the food menu and the atmosphere that makes this English pub a shortlist into our top five.
What's your favourite winter beverage? 

19 December 2013

Last Minute Christmas Gift Guide

One week. Only seven days. Ladies, do we have a panic button on? It's only six more sleeps to Christmas and if you haven't already wrapped and filled all the stockings in the mantle, we hate to break it to you, but this calls for shopping SOS.

This *last minute* gift guide is for the uncles, aunties, cousins, grandpa, grandma, mums, dads, sisters, brothers and pets of the house... basically everyone who resides under that roof.

Fingers at the go, credit card out, hair tied up in a ponytail... are you ready?

And GO!
  1. Breaking Bad: The Fifth Final Season DVD: It's been a few months since the series finale, but this Vince Gilligan's series is still sitting fresh in our minds. And there's more joy re-watching old series than watching new episodes - for us, anyway! 
  2. Audio Technica ATH-M35: We suggest you buy this for your mum who can block out all that house noise when she's having her 'me' time, but your brother might appreciate this pair of headphones with a solid sound and strong base. 
  3. Ernest Alexander Tucker British Tan Wash Shave Kit: A bag that will hold all your dad's shaving and grooming essentials - plus look stylish at the same time. we look this waterproof pouch a little too much. 
  4. Gruffalo plasters: This collection of beautifully, colourful plasters feature your little sister's favourite cartoon characters. We guarantee it'll wipe all tears off her face in a snap. 
  5. Fuzzy cat ring: Your cat-loving grandma will love you for this one. It's all her favourite things in one - a black cat on a piece of jewellery. Double whammy! They also come in three other designs. 
  6. Make-your-own cookie dough jar: Don't have time to bake or buy a present for a loved one? Pop in these ingredients in a store-bought jar, wrap a ribbon around it and voila! 
  7. Iconemesis' Autumn/Winter 2013 Leopard Print collection: Bring out the animal in any member of your family with this super cool and trendy phone cover. It's brand new in the shop - buy it here! 

18 December 2013

Ultimate Beauty Tips for the Office Christmas Party

Remember that scene from Bridget Jones Diary where our lovely Bridget is on a table top, karaoking in the most melodious tone while all her colleagues glare at her in awe?

While we do love our Bridget, we strongly recommend not being that girl at your Christmas party this year. Whether you're going to a formal seven-course meal, or a bowling session with your office mates, we have you covered with this beauty guide for the upcoming Christmas party. All you need to do now is find that Mary Poppins' bag that will fit all the below in... we're still trying to find one.

  • Always carry a highlighter of some sort in your clutch. What these bad boys do is they highlight the high points of your face - cheekbones, jawline, centre of your nose - without making the look too harsh. They are subtle and don't look too shimmery (like the stockings hanging off the fireplace). These highlighters will bounce light off from under the eye area and stop you from looking like a Kardashian sister. 
  • Stick to making the eyes the most emotive feature on your face - almost like the statement look of your face. Load up on the mascara and opt for false lashes, if you want to go the extra mile. 
  • Wear a nude or pinkish lippy if you're planning on having a big night at the pub. This will make you not want to retouch your lippy every half hour. 
  • Want to wear some colour on your face? Blend a beautiful, creamy cheek tint on the high points of your cheek. Pick a bright pink or a deep coral if you have a duskier complexion. 


  • Don't wear a bold lipstick, for this party, at least. Yes, holiday season is all about making a statement in all shades of crimson, pink, maroon and coral, but if consuming a lot of food and beverage is your idea of a perfect Christmas rendezvous, we recommend you stay away from a bright lipstick. Reason being, you'll either spend the entire night in worry of how perfect your pucker needs to look or you will have smudged (horrible) lips all night - take your pick! 
  • Don't overdose on the shimmer eyeshadow. A little bit of va-va-voom in the form of a glittery shadow is acceptable, but don't act like you're a fairytale character out of Cinderella. Want to add some shimmer to your look? Then paint your digits in a glittery shade of silver of golden. 
  • Don't be afraid to play with your hairstyle and make it your 'it' look. If you're afraid to attack any other beauty trend of the season, then go wild with the hairstyle you pick for the event. What's hot at the moment - fishtail braids, high topknots and messy beach-kissed hair - the hair world is your oyster, ladies. 

Tell us, what beauty look are you opting for this Christmas? 

13 December 2013

Iconemesis' 2013 Lifestyle Gift Guide

You have the mascara and the muffler in your shopping bag, but what about that uncle who doesn't like a Christmas jumper or that colleague at work who doesn't wear any makeup?

Yep, we understand your conundrum. Hence why, this Christmas gift guide is for every literature-loving, stationary-addict and appliances-hog in your life.

Start shopping, why don't you?

  1. Leopard Hottie Body Warmer£8, topshop.com: Winter = a cuddling buddy. If someone you know doesn't have a human-size cuddle partner, give them this leopard. It heats in the microwave and stays warm for hours. 
  2. Leon Little Cookery Books£5.99 each, shop.leonrestaurants.co.uk: That university mate of yours who is struggling to create her own Masterchef dish in her cube-sized kitchen - yeah, her. She needs these miniature Leon cooking books in her kitchen. Make sure you ask for a dinner invite. 
  3. Manifesto Pencils£6.95, bloomsburystore.com: What's better than stationary that talks to you? These pencils are etched with mottos to live by and they come in a very festive tin box too. Some mottos include: Live the life you imagined, Make hay while the sun shines
  4. Colour Me Good Ryan Gosling£7.50, bigcartel.com: This Hollywood's hunk du jour is now colourable. Who said colour books are only for kids? This 15-page colouring book is dedicated to the handsome man, all you have to do is stay in between the lines. 
  5. Lonely Planet's Best Ever Photography Tips Books£4.99, urbanoutfitters.co.uk: For the cousin with the travel bug, this pocket-sized book will transform her Instagram shots into Pulitzer-worthy masterpieces. The author's award-winning expertise advice cannot be taken casually. 
  6. Floral Round Storage Box, £15.99, zarahome.com: These will look pretty on your nanna's dressing table and in the study of the house. You can't have enough storage boxes in the house, anyway. 
  7. Feather Cheese Knives - set of four, £22, oliverbonas.com: What's Christmas without cheese, right? These gorgeous high shine, silver cheese knives with golden feather tops will match the Christmas decoration and we predict your mum will love. 
  8. Sunnyside Fried Egg Mould£7.95, hunkydoryhome.co.uk: Christmas day breakfast just got a whole new level of amazing. Just look at the photo and judge for yourself; we are in love!
  9. Downton Abbey Season 1-4 Box Set£28, amazon.co.uk: An English-classic that's got the best of us addicted to our TV sets. Aiding to that addiction even further, get this DVD set for the entire family, and spend the day at home near the fire... Mmm! 
  10. Dancing Elephant by Karin Soderquist iPhone 5/5s case£24.99, iconemesis.co.uk: It's the holidays, and we wish to dance just like this cute little elephant. A perfect gift idea for anyone with an iPhone 5 or 5s, this artistic cover is made with Sorona - an eco-friendly material. Pssst, we have 20% offer on at our online store right now... in case you need any more temptation. 

12 December 2013

Instagram Diary: London does Christmas

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, there's no challenging or doubting this. What better city to celebrate this joyous season than in the land of the Queen. Every street corner, shopfront, and underground tube station is beaming in shades of green, red, silver and golden. 

And to capture this holiday spirit for you, our Online Editor, Shitika Anand, ventured out with her iPhone 4s in hand (with her favourite Iconemesis case on display, obviously) to snap the best Christmas lights of this city for your visual pleasure. 

These photos were photographed at the following destinations: Oxford Street, Regent Street, Carnaby Street, South Bank, Hyde Park, Leicester Square, Shoreditch, Liberty, Selfridges and Covent Garden. 

Happy Holidays! 

11 December 2013

Iconemesis' 2013 Fashion Gift Guide

By: Shitika Anand
In an attempt to make your Christmas shopping stress-free, here's our top eight fashion present picks for your next online-shopping venture.

We have the ultimate stocking fillers, starting from the non-bank breaking range of £10 and going up to a splash of £1000... but it's the happiest time of the year, we're allowed to break the bank a little, right? 

Now, all you need is the wrapping paper... and your credit card, of course.

  1. Rudolf sweater£32, asos.com: Your Christmas day lunch is sorted - team this jumper with skinny black jeans, a pair of booties and a bold red lip. 
  2. Saturn Orbit Earrings£95, Tatty Devine: For your astronomy-loving aunty, these glamourous earrings will add the much-needed bling to the attire. With the semi-precious tiger's eye bead embellished golden chain, these handmade beauties are a must for the holiday season. 
  3. Ain't no Wifey Jumper, £50.40, DimePiece, Coggles.com: Gloat this social message with pride on your chest this Christmas. Because, I ain't your wifey
  4. Triangular Ornate Stud Earrings£10, topshop.com: Glitzy, shiny and full of poise! These el-cheapo present will definitely make your little sister very merry. 
  5. Hand-knitted beanie£10, replay.it: Keep warm this winter with this super cool Norwegian-style beanie. Ideal for those romantic dates around the bonfire. 
  6. Corrie Blouse, £140, shop.riyka.com: No wardrobe is complete without a touch of androgyny and added boy-drama. The classic geometric panelled print of this Riyka shirt is just what your wardrobe needs. 
  7. Pure Camel Coat£990, maxmara.com: OK, we agree, this one is a little bit of a splurge, but look at it this way, once your mum has a Max Mara coat in her wardrobe, you're entitled to 'borrow' it for special occasions as well, right? And who makes a camel wrap-around coat better than Max Mara? No one, that's correct. 
  8. The Fur Coat by Fifi Lapin Cover£19.99, iconemesis.co.ukDress up your phone this Christmas with the most fashionable accessory, i.e. this Fifi Lapin cover at our online store. Surely your iPhones will get a little chilly too? They need this faux-fur coat. 
Tell us, which one of these is going on your Christmas shopping list? 

9 December 2013

Iconemesis’s 2013 Beauty Gift Guide

By: Shitika Anand

Christmas is 15 sleeps away (who’s counting?) and the panic radar is soaring high. The holiday season rush is keeping us far away from venturing out to the shops, and the empty boxes under the Christmas tree are starting to scare us.
If you’re yet to tick off presents for those women in your life who believe in boosting their outer beauty just as much as their inner selves, then this beauty-themed gift guide is for you. We’ll allow you to consider it your bible for the next fortnight.
If you ever wanted to store the Christmas spirit and delight in a bottle, invest in his Limited Edition cologne by Jo Malone. It’s smells like freshly picked rose petals rubbed in with the crimson juices of pomegranate and seduced with a slight touch of oak as the base note. A little secret – you don’t even need to gift-wrap this one, it comes in a beautiful traditional black box.

Who says nail art is only for Beiber-obsessed teenage girls? Popularised by pop artists like Lily Allen and Adele, nail art is this past year’s most talked-about beauty trend and we predict that it’s coming along with us in the New Year. This holiday season, pamper your fashion-conscious aunt with this at-home manicure set that might help her decide her NYE outfit.

Your sister enjoys the bath more than she enjoys spending time with you? Get her this luxurious bath and body set and she might just love you forever. It’s got a beautiful body wash, bath crème, body butter, body polish and hand cream, all fragranced with rose and geranium flowers. This will make the bathroom look and smell rather luxe.

4)    Bev Ridge and Friends Ladies Hip Flask and LipGloss
This is the perfect present for your little sister, who’s just turned 21 and is still holding on tight to her teenage years while battling the dramas of her adult life. This flask and lipgloss combo will not just look beautiful gift-wrapped but is extremely functional for her 21st year. We love it!

5)    MAC Stroke of Midnight Face Palette Warm
A 20-something woman can never have enough eye shadow palettes in her make-up drawer, I think we will all agree to this? Add this Limited Edition holiday special by MAC to the collection and enjoy this beautiful nude palette with a bit of glitter for this party season.

6)    Soap & Glory I’m Your Manicure Gift Set
We can’t expect you to be making all those holiday calls and serving those endless glasses of champagne with ungroomed nails, right? Hence why, you need this manicure companion to solve all cuticle-related dilemmas. It has everything, really, everything you need to groom your digits.

7)    Iconemesis Unicorn phone cover by Gemma Correll
This is an ideal present for someone who has everything; gift it as it is or add as a bonus present with another beauty loot. This phone cover is dreamy, full of holiday spirit and we assure it will make you believe in miracles… a Christmas miracle!