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Gigi’s Mayfair – Review



English Version only

Last weekend we visited Gigi’s, a new Mayfair restaurant, for a late lunch.

The restaurant is tucked away in a quiet corner just off Bond Street station, it serves Italian food with a modern twist under the direction of Head Chef Ivan Simeoli. Ivan is a world class Chef that worked with some of the best like Massimo Bottura at the Osteria Francescana in Modena, just to name one. Since last December you can enjoy Ivan’s cooking at Gigi’s.

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We were welcomed at our table with a bread basket, salt baked root vegetables and 2 glasses of Pinot Gris, then we went straight for the à la carte winter menu. This is what we had:



  • 62 degree egg with girolles, green tomatoes and crispy Parma ham
  • Roasted octopus with borlotti beans and flamed onion broth



The first dish is a clever tribute to the traditional English breakfast. The egg, cooked at 62 degrees for an hour, remains soft and melts on the girolles, its delicate flavour joined pleasantly by the salty sweetness of the Parma ham.

The octopus is stunning, butter tender, it conveys the broth and the beans. You are reminded of an earthy meal cooked on an open fire, the flavours are bold without being heavy. We were expecting something not too far from the classic Italian octopus recipes, and were surprised.


  • Ravioli with Amalfi lemon and buffalo ricotta
  • Flamed leeks tortelli with vegetable charcoal – from the vegetarian menu

The Ravioli is one of Ivan’s signature dishes. It may sound like a cliché, but the delicate lemon flavour gave me an instant flashback of a Vespa ride I had years ago, while on holiday near Sorrento. If Ivan wanted us to experience some sensory memories of his childhood, he definitely succeeded.




  • South coast turbot with savoy cabbage, charcoal oil and sorrel
  • Salt marsh lamb with heritage carrots, sheep’s milk and crunchy shallots

Salt marsh lambs graze on pastures that are regularly covered by the sea, eating grasses that confer a light saline flavour to the meat. The dish itself is delicious, without that sometimes overpowering character of lamb. Gigi’s source their lambs locally, which is always commendable.




  • Gigi’s signature tiramisu
  • Chocolate Mondrian, a tribute to the Dutch painter



I believe the photos speak for themselves. :-)

In addition to the great food, Gigi’s has a large selection of wines and cocktails and there’s a live DJ at night, from Thursday to Saturday.

Having lunch at Gigi’s has been a great experience for us. We were surprised multiple times and had fun trying to trace our Italian culinary roots very well disguised in a world class and modern menu. It’s also worth mentioning that none of the dishes felt pretentious or overdone. Chef Ivan experience and technique is apparent, but always put to the service of his cooking.

Top treat: for Sonia was the ravioli, for Giuliano the octopus.
Address: 22 Woodstock St, London W1C 2AR www.gigismayfair.com
Cost: based on our choices above around £60 per person
The wow factor: the central location, the dessert presentation and the design books available around the restaurant.

Disclaimer: we were guests of Gigi’s, but hopefully you’ll trust this post is about an honestly enjoyable afternoon.



Paprika, Lentil & Tomato soup – Zuppa piccante di lenticchie e pomodoro



English Version below


Qui al Paese ormai si cucinano solo zuppe, ma che ci volete fare, complice il freddo e la voglia di mangiare meglio, le zuppe sono un’ottima soluzione.

Poi ve l’ho già detto che la preparo la domenica e ci vado avanti fino al martedì vero? Adoro risparmiare tempo e arrivare a casa con la cena già pronta. :-)

Questa zuppa prende ispirazione da una ricetta delle Hemsley & Hemsley, le sorelle che hanno conquistano l’Inghilterra con il loro libro The art of eating well.

Fatemi sapere cosa ne pensate e se non ne potete più di zuppe. ;-)

Ingredienti per 8 persone

  • 1 cucchiaio di olio extra vergine di oliva
  • 2 cipolle grandi, tritate grossolanamente
  • 4 spicchi d’aglio, tritati grossolanamente
  • 750g di lenticchie rosse (le mie non avevano bisogno di ammollo)
  • 1 lattina da 400gr. di pomodori pelati
  • 1 cucchiaio di timo fresco
  • 1 cucchiaio di paprica dolce
  • 1 cucchiaio di cumino macinato
  • 2-2,5 litri di brodo vegetale, a seconda di come preferite la consistenza
  • sale, pepe nero, semi di sesamo
  • opzionale: peperoncino


In una pentola di ghisa, soffriggere la cipolla nell’olio per 5 minuti o fino a quando è ammorbidita.

Aggiungere l’aglio, il timo, il cumino e la paprika (più il peperoncino se volete utilizzarlo) e continuare a soffriggere per altri 30 secondi, facendo attenzione a non lasciare  bruciare le spezie.

Sciacquare le lenticchie e aggiungerle nella pentola con i pomodori e il brodo.

Coprire con un coperchio e cuocere la zuppa per circa 30 minuti o fino a quando le lenticchie sono tenere.

Regolare di sale e pepe nero.

Spegnere il fuoco, spargere una manciata di semi di sesamo sulla zuppa e servire.

Ricetta in collaborazione con Le Creuset.


English Version


Ingredients serves 8 people

  • 1 tablespoon of Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 750g packs of split red lentils
  • 1 can – 400gr. of tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves (pull them off the stalks)
  • 1 tablespoon of ground sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 2-2.5 litres of vegetable stock, depending on how you like the consistency
  • sea salt, black pepper, sesame seeds
  • Optional: chilli


In a large saucepan, gently fry the onions in the oil for 5 minutes until softened.

Add the garlic, thyme, cumin and paprika (plus chilli if using) and continue to fry for a further 30 seconds, being careful not to let the spices burn.

Rinse the lentils and add to the pan with the tomatoes.

Cover and bring to a medium simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

Add the sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Turn off the heat, sprinkle some sesame seeds on top and serve.

This soup is inspired by a Hemsley & Hemsley recipe.

5 tips for healthy skin



English post only

December was about fun, January is #aboutface.

This is the message from the Simple Skincare invite I got last week.

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December was a fun month, but also very stressful for our skin: party all night long, lots of drinks and sweets, up until late, cold weather and maybe we went to bed without removing any party make-up. Does this scenario sounds familiar to you? It certainly does to me.

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At the #aboutface apartment party, Simple Skincare recreated the situations we lived in December and gave us tips on how to take care of our skin. Simple Skincare products could be found in any of the rooms, to help remind you about the best ways to combat stress and make the skin healthy and bright again.

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Here are 5 tips to get your glow back! 

  1. Water.
    Drinking enough water makes a huge difference for your skin.The daily requirement of water varies from person to person and depends on the weather, the amount of excercise and the general condition of the organism. In general for an adult woman it is suggested to drink 1.5lt per day.
  2. Cleansing.
    Taking the make-up off properly is very important, don’t be lazy like me, and always remove your make-up before going to bed. – This will also save your nice bed sheets. :) – Spend about one minute massaging your cleanser into your face. Put in a bit of extra time at the T-zone. If you wear make-up, remove all make-up before cleansing. If your cleanser doubles as make-up remover, use it at least twice, particularly if you’re inclined to wear heavy make-up.
  3. Choose the right products.
    Avoid buying products with harsh chemicals in them. These can be triggers for sensitive skin and using gentler products can give you HUGE benefits. I used to use an alcoholic toner and it was a bad mistake for my sensitive skin.
  4. Eating yummy, healthy, skin-loving foods!
    Fruits and vegetables are great for our skin and for our bodies too. Remember to include fruit in your breakfast and lunch and fill your dinners full of veggies too!
  5. Sun.
    Wear an SPF every day of the year, ensure your day cream contains sun protection and that way you won’t forget!

Here is the masterpiece that I have created during the art attack moment. :-)


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What’s your favourite TV show of the year?


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English post only.

During the Christmas holidays, I love spending time on the sofa watching tv series with my parents (this time of the year is also known as “blanket days”).

I am a big fan of this kind of show, to name a few of my favourites: Sex and the City, Lost, Desperate Housewives, Friends and more recently Big Bang Theory, 2 Broke Girls, Game of Thrones and my first British television drama: Sherlock.


When I moved to London, I read many the Sherlock novels trying to improve my English. I learnt to love the logical reasoning mind that characterises the detective.

The TV show is an adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories, but our protagonist lives in a contemporary London and I have to admit that watching him walk near The Shard, on the Millennium Bridge or catching the same tube I use every week, is quite thrilling. :-)

I am completely in love with Benedict Cumberbatch, the English actor who performs Sherlock. Not that I am the only one, if you ask around pretty much the entire female population of London loves him and he won more than one “award” as Sexiest Man Alive 2014.

Apart Benedict/Sherlock, I love the show for the following three reasons

  • The plot: I never know what to expect from the next episode
  • Martin Freeman, who portrays an intense Dr. John Watson. Freeman moved me more than once, actually it’s better to say that I cried my heart out, especially during one episode, can you guess which one?
  • Professor James Moriarty, Sherlock mortal enemy. The character is based on Adam Worth, a real-life criminal mastermind who lived in America. Moriarty is the classic, old-fashioned villain: good birth, excellent education, incredibly smart brain and… a real psycho!

If you missed the first series, you can easily find the DVD on Amazon.


What’s your favourite TV show of the year?

I have been invited by Curry’s to attend their competition #Currysfiresidefiction to win an amazing Amazon Tech Bundle that can be seen here. This post is my entry.



Christmas in London – photo post




English Post only.

London looks beautiful any day of the year, but during Christmas I am obsessed about taking pictures of her (because London is a cool girl, right?! :)). It’s hard not to be.

Here are some photos I’ve recently taken that I wanted to share with you. The magic atmosphere of Christmas, I hope you can feel it!






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