It's one of those sad facts of life that girls' nights out get fewer and far between the older you get. At first it's work pressures that make random catch ups difficult to co-ordinate, then it's significant others, then husbands and then children. Sure, we've all got facebook and twitter to keep up with the latest but social media can never replace that indescribable feeling of sitting down and having a proper face to face, real time and in person chat with old girlfriends and new.
It was my dear friend D's hen's extravaganza yesterday. The fun officially started at 3.30pm but I started the day a little earlier. Bear with me as I've saturated this post with photos and chit chat and all around girly behaviour. Seriously, there were times yesterday when I forgot that I was married, 37 and 8 months pregnant. In my mind I was my 27 year old self.....
|Dress - Isabella Oliver Maternity, denim jacket - Zara.|
Firstly, with the getting of Good Hair. I love my Korean hairdresser. He's a genius with henna hair colouring, scalp massage and killer blow dries with curl. How could I not bounce down George Street, taking self indulgent selflies as testament to his skill?
The pendulum has swung again and the big 4-0 is really not as far as I thought it was. With the dawning of a new decade comes the need for the dreaded C word in makeup. Coverage. I'm happy to report that MAC's Studio Sculpt delivers. It lasts all day (and night) without streaking and delivers a soft matte finish. I've been dusting Studio Fix over the top.
My tip is to use a stippling brush. I picked up this one by Real Techniques from Priceline (I love you, Priceline Club card holder cash back coupon). It cost $22.99 and is small enough to be used all over the face. It's much easier to control the amount of foundation you apply using this kind of brush as opposed to the flat foundation brushes I was using.
My other awesome Priceline purchase was this Mirinesse mascara set. It's the Instant Lash Transplant Volumising version (there is an alternate set for length issues) and cost $49.99. It's basically a black mascara that provides a false lash effect for those of us too lazy to front up to the Shu Uemura counter the afternoon before a big night out and are also too clumsy to apply real lash inserts / implants to ourselves.
It's so easy, it works and I would highly recommend giving this a go. The instructions are printed clearly both on the back of the box and also inside the lid. It's goof proof and the set lasts as long as a normal tube of mascara would, so it works out to be pretty cost effective.
All you need to do is curl your lashes if you want then apply tube 1, then tube 2 in quick succession. Use the provided lash brush to separate your lashes and repeat if you want more. I was very impressed with the difference this made compared to normal mascara. I used 2 applications and slicked my usual mascara over the top (just because). My lashes lasted all afternoon and night and were also soft rather than spidery (the big issues). Everything was easily removed with my Shu cleansing oil.
Okay, we're finally getting to the actual hen's related activities of the day. May I just say that any function involving an outfit change is destined to be a brilliant one? We met for afternoon tea at a suite in the Shangri-La. For which I wore my heavily discounted Camilla (via the DJ's ladies designer fashion floor) kaftan worn with gold ballet flats.
We ate the famed watermelon cake from Black Star in Newtown.
As well as lots of other good things.
D looked amazing (as usual) in Camilla. She and V were such generous hostesses. Those of us present got to know D at different points in her life and the afternoon was a perfect way for to all get to know each other and find that we all shared a common love of food, fashion, fun and laughter.
Much Moet was uncorked and sipped.
Sipping sparkling water in a champagne flute almost hit the spot for me....
whilst I took in the view from the suite. It's a tough life I lead, isn't it?
There was a brief break for an outfit change for dinner.
|Dress- Camilla, horn bangle - Mai Tai collection, watch - Cartier, cuff - Hermes.|
For the record, Holster jelly flats are the most comfortable sandals ever and I want more!!!!!!
Dinner was at Spice Temple - Neil Perry's subterranean, very dark and almost cave like Chinese restaurant on Bligh Street. If my memory serves me correctly, Spice Temple opened in 2009 and paved the way for the likes of Mr Wong in the upmarket Chinese cuisine served in funky CBD surrounds movement.
This is the second time I've visited Spice Temple and I'd forgotten just how dark it is in the dining room. The bar area that greets you after descending the stairs is well lit but you'll find yourself needing to pay very close attention to where you're going once you reach your table. My normal camera refused to cooperate in the darkness so we're going to have to make do with these instagram shots instead.
We dined on a set menu banquet and the staff did an amazing job in serving the 20 of us attentively and promptly. The food also surpassed my expectations, it can be hard serving such numbers at speed but the kitchen delivered. Our meal worked out to be $75 per head including wine. It was impressive value considering the quality and amount of food we were served.
|Left - cabbage and radish, right - cucumbers with smashed garlic and ginger.|
|White cut chicken salad with salted chilli and cucumber.|
|Crisp chow mein "American Style"|
|Fried squid with whole five spice and dark chilli paste.|
I didn't have time to photograph the next dish (the conversation at the table was a critical juncture) but it was steamed flathead served Jiangxi style (pickled mustard green and turnip with chilli). It was a bolder, spicier way of serving steamed fish than the usual ginger and shallots of many Chinese households and again, I was won over by the contrast to what I was more familiar with.
|Chairman Mao's red braised pork.|
|Stir fried Wagyu brisket with baby eggplant and chilli.|
|Lychee granita with dried strawberry and hazelnut praline.|
There were little touches that made dining at Spice Temple such a delight. Ample amounts of rice were served to the table for each set of main dishes. The team also went out of their way to assist diners with food allergies. To be on the safe side for one guest, they catered her meal from the menu at Rockpool upstairs. It was cooked in that restaurant's kitchen before being delivered downstairs to our table. It was a gesture that was deeply appreciated.
Okay then, another epic post done and dusted! Have a lovely Sunday, everyone!