Switching Off For A Night In

We are a generation in danger of burning out and with ultra early starts and longer working hours than ever before, we really need to find the time to 'switch off' and escape the pulls of social media and Gmail for an evening on the sofa.

There's something about a relaxed 'night in' that fills me with excitement, as sad as that may sound! An evening in front of the TV, with Netflix or a good film and ideally my two favourite people alongside - Dexter & Josie (in no particular order...!)

Both Josie and I have fairly hectic schedules and Weekend's are often filled with working, so it's more important than ever that we set aside some time to recuperate and relax, put our phones to one side and have a bit of a pamper.  I play rugby on Saturdays, so typically Friday night's for us are always pencilled in for a chilled pamper night and some indulgence.

A great movie and some serious treats are just two of the crucial ingredients for the perfect night in.  Film wise Netflix is always our first port of call before checking out my DVD collection - there's something about a physical DVD that just feels that much better and I genuinely miss the Friday night trip to the local Blockbuster to peruse the aisles of new releases.

For this particular night in it was all about Harry Potter and reliving childhood memories of excitedly visiting the cinema to see the books brought to life.  You simply can't go wrong with a Harry Potter marathon!

We eat fairly healthily in the week and so when Friday evening comes around it's time to treat ourselves and call in the big guns for the ultimate indulgence. 

Ice cream has always been one of our go-to snacks and ice cream + a movie = pure happiness.

When stood at an ice cream truck, Magnum has forever been my favourite brand and in particular the Almond or White Chocolate sticks of joy.  So having seen the recent release of the Magnum Tubs we had to give them a test run! 

The tubs are designed to be 'cracked' with the ice cream wrapped in a shell of delicious chocolate, creating shard-like pieces of chocolate amongst the creamy vanilla base ice cream.  After 10 minutes out of the freezer to warm up, it's time to activate the dessert by squeezing the sides of the tub and cracking the chocolate casing.  

It's safe to say the Magnum Tubs are the ultimate indulgence and the perfect accompaniment to a night putting your feet up and switching off.

Ice cream has the power to turn around even the gloomiest of days and there's something quite special about tucking into a tub with your loved one and sharing - although it's unlikely you'll want to share these!

Despite our best efforts, Dexter got in on the action too....

What's your ideal 'night in'?


*This post was written in collaboration with Magnum, but my sheer love of Ice Cream is all my own!

Styling Up For The Daily Commute

With things heating up here in London there's the growing temptation to avoid the hot sweaty tube and hop on a bike for the commute into the office.

Commuting by bike is a big deal these days with many of us feeling inspired by messrs Froome and Wiggins, and consequently come 7am the London roads are crawling with wannabe Tour de France participants and a swarm of pricey road bikes.

Actually looking good on our commute is another matter entirely and fashionable cycling attire can be hard to come by.  I think we can all agree that the lycra look may work for the olympians but it really isn't a great when walking into a busy office.

GANT have been tapping into their Swedish heritage in recent months with innovative new ranges fusing technical features and classic clothing.  Their new Active Range is designed for people who value an active and healthy lifestyle - but still want to look stylish. 

Ultimately it's all about being comfortable and practical when cycling - GANT's new active range offers the practicality without compromising on style and looking good.

Stand Out From The Crowd

For many of us, a shirt is a necessity for a day at work, but there's no worse feeling than arriving drenched from a hot tube or cycle into the office.  

This slim-cut shirt with button-down collar is crafted in stretch cotton to maximise comfort, with stretch jersey side panels to increase breathability and keep you cool when on the move.

The shirt includes high visibility, reflective detailing to keep you looking good whilst also safe on those hectic London roads.

Another cool addition is a hidden pocket at the back of the shirt, perfect for storing any valuables on the journey in.

Also available in Capri Blue and Bright Pink, there's a few options available to keep you looking smart, stylish and most importantly, fresh on the go.

Be Visible, Keep Dry: 

Cycling can of course create all sorts of issues when it comes to what to wear on your bottom half, with bike chains posing a real threat to any trousers or jeans.  GANT's slim fit durable jeans are nicely fitted, with enough stretch for movement when cycling and a tough denim to protect against accidents. 

The jeans are made with water-repellent fabric to keep you dry and fresh and  
reflective detailing to keep you seen.  

Rolling up the bottoms not only adds to the overall look, but reveals further reflective detailing and of course keeps the jeans tucked away from any potential chain snags.

Another handy addition is the above removable 'reflector tag' sown into the back pocket, ready to be 'deployed' on those darker evenings to keep you safe.

Always Prepare For The Inevitable:

With the unpredictability of the British weather, particularly this time of year, it's important to prepare for any possible downpours.  

A lightweight waterproof is an essential for any commuter and this breathable waterproof bomber is the epitome of style on the go and the perfect fusion of form and function.

The sporty bomber look is very popular at the mo and aside from the commute to and from work this jacket would be well suited on a casual night out with friends.  I particularly like the ribbed neck and detailing, giving a clean look.

The inclusion of laser-cut vents to improve ventilation and reflective detailing for safety after dark are both welcome additions.

Wrap Up Warm:

For those much loved dryer weather days, what better than a wool jumper for the morning dash into the office?  A blend of extra-fine merino wool and polyester that wicks away body moisture and enhances drying to keep the wearer cool and comfortable.

The half-zip neck offers comfort against any wind and is of course very on-trend this season.  There's a front pocket for your mobile and reflective detailing on the back of the neck making it the perfect hybrid for when cycling and out and about.

It's All About The Backpack:

Backpacks are very much 'back' in fashion in 2017 and there's no better accessory for the cycle into the office.  Whether it's the laptop, iPad, gym gear or house keys, this reflective backpack from GANT has enormous amounts of space and some very useful zip pockets for hiding valuables and securing smaller items.

Manufactured from ballistic nylon it's an very durable bag and the inclusion of padded mesh backing ensures its both comfortable and breathable for exercise.

I love the addition of an external shoe compartment, making the 'shoe swap' when arriving at the office slick and straightforward.

With lots of reflective detailing, this backpack is an absolute staple for any commuter and is undeniably stylish.

Get Into Gear and win a GANT x BikeID Bike:

GANT have teamed up with the Swedish cycling gurus BikeID and are giving away 3 of their limited edition GANT bikes, you can enter the competition here.  Best of luck!

The entire GANT Active Range can be viewed online here.

Are you considering replacing the Oyster card with a shiny new bike?

What are your thoughts on looking fashionable on the commute?


*This post was written in collaboration with GANT, however all views shared are my own.*

Upgrade Your Footwear And Put A Spring In Your Step This Season

With Spring making an appearance and the weather in the UK starting to heat up, it's time to give your footwear a 'spring clean' and invest in some new treads to get you through the warmer months.

The importance of good footwear can never be understated and Dune London have always been one of my 'go-to' brands for quality shoes.  This season they have some fantastic options that won't break the bank and will keep you looking stylish and feeling comfortable.

One major trend this season is rubber soles and the more unconventional and eye-grabbing chunky rubber bottoms feature heavily throughout Dune's new designs.

Rubber soles have some huge plusses over the traditional leather bases, making shoes significantly more durable, wearable and longer lasting and additionally more comforting on those feet.

Aside from comfort and practicality for people on the move, the juxtaposition of white rubber and coloured leather or suede gives off a sleek look.

I've chosen three of my favourites from the new collection that I feel are stylish, comfortable and most importantly, versatile.

The Ultimate Hybrid:

There's been a major increase in the availability of 'hybrid' shoes over the past few seasons and more designs are combining the stylish nature of a classic shoe with the practicality of trainer-like soles.

A 'hybrid' is a subtle blend between a classic footwear design such as the brogue with the traditional trainer sole thus combining both smart and casual for an all round stand out look.

These Bolt design Derby shoes in grey are the ideal mix of smart with practical and turn what is already a very fashionable shoe into something much more.  Gone are those concerns of blisters or tired feet after a long day of meetings, replaced with an extra spring in your step and a modern smart casual look.

No Spring outfit would be complete without a pair of sunnies and these Odyssey design in tortoiseshell are a timeless accessory and ideal finishing touch to any outfit.

I particularly like this shade of grey combined with the bright white rubber, the contrast allows the shoes to do the talking and to stand out effortlessly.

This handsome nylon backpack is one of the many accessories available at Dune London and is ideal for the commute to work and to carry any essentials with clever compartments for keys, mobile phone and any other valuables. 

*Man About Town Tip - use a dusting cloth and very small amount of table polish to add a slight shine to the toe cap*

The Nubuck Chukka:

Chukka boots, originally inspired by polo players of times gone by, are a great shoe to pair with jeans or chinos this Spring/Summer.  A solid mix between smart and casual, the chukka is a versatile addition to the wardrobe and a shoe that will see regular action.

This Carney Navy Chukka  from Dune is possibly my favourite of the three for versatility and comfort.  The combination of the soft nubuck leather and rubber soles make these as comfortable as any pair of regular trainers, yet a whole lot smarter and better suited to the work or evening environment.

A great looking pair of shoes with jeans, these chukkas wouldn't look out of place with a lighter coloured pair of chinos for a slightly smarter look or a darker pair of jeans.

The combination of smart nubuck leather with trainer soles means these chukka boots are ideal for upgrading any smart/casual look and a great go-between for work and evenings out on the town.

*Man About Town Tip - keep the nubuck leather in good shape with a regular spray of a shoe protector and always give the leather a brush down after a wet day.*

The Classic Boat:

A good pair of boat shoes is an essential for any gent going into the warmer months.  Equally at home with a pair of jeans, the classic boat is the perfect shoe for any trip abroad or sunny day out in London.

This pair of Dune Boaters in a light tan are a nice blend of smart casual with good quality suede and thick leather laces providing a high end look.  

They look great with a pair of shorts or chinos, but I particularly like the combination with fitted jeans, rolled up if you feel that way inclined, for the ultimate in smart casual.

*Man About Town Tip - always leave the socks at home when wearing a pair of boaties!*

Shoes are always a worthy investment - you spend more than half your life in your shoes and to me, good footwear is the finishing touch to any stylish outfit.  Shop the new collection at DuneLondon.com

What are you favourites from the Dune SS17 collection?

Do you have a 'go-to' pair of shoes for the warmer months?


*This post was written in collaboration with Dune, however all thoughts and views expressed are my own*

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