Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Spotlight on | Leahlani

When I find myself exceptionally stressed out I close my eyes, take a few breaths and imagine myself chilling on some sort of tropical island, with a huge coconut cocktail in my hand. While I have never personally been to Hawaii, there seems to be some sort of consensus that it is an absolutely beautiful destination. From the craziness of London, island leaving comes across like an escapist fantasy of gorgeous sunsets and easy going days (ok I'm sure life is never that easy anywhere, but you can't take away the scenery). While unfortunately I can't jump on a plane and be on the shores of Kauai, I sure can get at little Aloha in my skincare rituals.

Leahlani skincare range comes across deceptively simple: honey based masks, infused coconut oil, serums, body butters, island inspired perfumes. A closer look at ingredients and you realise that this is no simple DIY that anyone could whip up in their own kitchen, perfume blends in particular take both skill and talent. This Hawaiian gem of a brand is pretty popular amongst many bloggers, so I've been taking my time to see how I truly feel about the products. For the past year I have been slowly trying things out, growing my Leahlani stash one or two items at a time.

The mermaid mask. This was the very first product that I tried, and I'm not ashamed to admit that the reason why I got it was the name (yeah of course good reviews and the ingredients were also a factor but it was the name that made me want to get it). The jar itself is not that big 2oz (approximately 60ml and retails for around £15 depending on exchange rates), however the product is pretty concentrated and you need to use it up within 8 months of purchase (the shelf life is the same across all of the Leahlani skincare and bodycare items). As this is not the only mask that I use, I'm finding that it takes me pretty much full 8 months to finish a pot (however, Nic from Organic obsessions uses it 1-2 a week, and a pot lasts her about 3 months). As I ordered my Leahlani mask during colder months the contents of the pot were pretty solid on arrival, also a little warning be prepared for some strength exercises in jar opening, to make sure nothing spills in transit these babies have been closed up pretty tight (as on Hawaii the honey base would be pretty liquid). I would strongly suggest using a spatula to scoop some of the mask out, when it is on a more of a solid side add a little water to the mix before spreading on your face. Look in the mirror and enjoy pretending that you are a some sort of green goblin, or princess Fiona, sorry I mean mermaid.

This mask doesn't dry out because of the honey, so you need to time yourself, the suggestion is to leave it on for 3-5 minutes or longer. I normally have it on for about 5-10 minutes before jumping in the shower and letting water do its thing. I like doing it this way, because I'm pretty messy with most mask applications and while I love the wizard of Oz emerald green colour of this creation, it does inevitably end up in my hair and on my clothes, don't ask me how. It's just safer if I use it one the days that I'm washing my hair, plus since I'm applying this mask in the buff, I get an extra incentive to use my body brush, instead of randomly wondering around the flat creeping out Mr RF.

My skin is left feeling and looking pretty amazing, skin tone is even, pores look less noticeable and serums sink in like a dream after using it. I tend to buy more dry masks, there only 5 "wet" masks that I actually really like and would repurchase, mermaid is easily in the top 3. The scent is pretty unique, to me spirulina and sea buckthorn come across strongest, with a sweet hint of honey, the overall effect is a cross of  a tangy fruit jam and freshness of fennel (although there is no fennel in the blend).

Hawaiian raw organic honey, pure hawaiian spirulina, chlorella, luminess algae, sea buckthorn fruit, organic orange, chamomile, roman blue chamomile, bee balm (this is a name of a plant, not made from bees), geranium, palmarosa, lavender, ylang ylang, rose, white lotus, vanilla absolute, beeswax, coriander seed oil.

Honey love 3-in-1 cleanser, mask & exfoliator. The fact that I bought this at all is a testament to the power of samples, because if it wasn't included in with a previous order I would never have picked up the full size (I just wasn't interested in a microdermabrasion type product). The honey base is mixed with powdered hibiscus, lavender and chamomile flowers, and microdermabrasion effect is from corundum crystals. This is not the same as getting a microdermabrasion treatment in a salon, think of it as a physical scrub with very fine crystals instead of beads or nut shells. In a warm climate honey love is more liquid, so the crystals would naturally form a sediment at the bottom, making it easy to use as cleanser by scooping a little product from the top, or as a scrub by mixing it all up and scooping up an even mixture of ingredients. Which ever way you use it, you need to apply it to wet skin, you could also leave it on for a few minutes as a mask.

On the British isles the weather is rarely that warm, so instead this product seems so solidify with various pockets having more or less crystals. It turns out that the lighter areas have most of the crystals and the darker veins of the product have hardly any. I mostly use this a scrub, occasionally as a mask in the shower. The shower mask is especially great towards the bottom of the jar, when there are too many crystals left, I mix a bit of the product with water, applying to damp face making sure not to rub, the shower water completely removes the mask without any scrubbing happening. I generally find that physical scrubs work well with my skin, my pores are prone to blackheads and this product is pretty amazing at dealing with that particular problem. You do need to be careful when using it though, as you could easily end up with way more scrubbing action than you expected. Still for a while I thought this product was better than the Mermaid mask, but honestly can't decide between the two, which ever one I'm using at the time seems to be the better one! Maybe I should have had mermaid on half of the face and honey love on the other to test! Typical, only just thought of this when I run out so I can't do the comparison, how annoying. This mask comes in two sizes, the 2oz is about £12.

Unfortunately I have recycled my empty pot prematurely, so I can't give you guys the exact list of ingredients that I had, but there have been some changes. Here is the current ingredient list:

Hawaiian raw honey, organic hibiscus flowers, organic chamomile flowers, organic lavender flowers, leahlani balancing essential oil blend, organic vegetable glycerine, rosewater, rosemary antioxidant complex, organic jojoba oil, vitamin e, vitamin c, corundum crystal powder.

Coco Infusion Pua Lei. I love coconut infusions, my absolute favourite is monoi de tahiti with frangipani (which I unfortunately can't find since I've started being more selective with brands and ingredients). They make a brilliant multipurpose product for hair and body. Leahlani's in particular is a mixture of:  coconut oil, kukui oil, macadamia nut oil, seabuckthorn fruit, vitamin E and a blend of organic fragrances. Pua lei is a mix of puakenikini flowers and tuberose. The scent is intoxicating, it is what I would call a girly floral. It is feminine but not like a femme fatale, but a youthful playful fragrance, reminiscent of exotic holidays and summer romance, flirty, sexy, but not dangerous.

While the scent is strongest when first applied, it does linger for several hours, so if someone is close enough to kiss you on the cheek, they will notice it, but you are not walking around in the cloud of fragrance. My skin drinks this up, yet a little goes along way. I find that I need to be careful not to have too much product out all at once. As with most coconut oil based products it is practically solid at room temperature, however as it comes in a plastic bottle, I can easily squeeze some out (or you can always run the bottle under a hot tap to make it melt a bit more). It works beautifully as a hair treatment oil too, personally I don't use it as such because I have a few others, but I do like rubbing the tiniest bit between my hands and smoothing it through my hair to tame flyaways and for the scent. It comes in two varieties, plain or kula version which has sparkles (there is also another scent, Mahana, coconut and vanilla).

Mango Body butter. From the start I did not get on with this product. First of all I would not describe it as a butter, the consistency, look and feel is that of a yogurt. As I was expecting a solid butter, I wasn't very careful when opening the pot, so almost a quarter of the butter did end up on my bed, due to the way I was holding the jar. Now obviously there is nothing wrong with a cream consistency if that is what you are looking for, it can feel very soothing and refreshing, however I prefer balms and oils. There are only two body creams/lotions that I repurchase, and both are because I love the scent. I do not love this scent, at all. I have had mango body butters in the past and just adored them, this to me smells a bit like bubble gum (I'm not sure if something went wrong with my batch, but I really don't smell mango and I did ask Mr RF to sniff test it, we both seem to smell the same thing). Generally speaking the consistency is fab, it sinks in really well and moisturises wonderfully, so if you like lotions it is a lovely one, however this particular scent is really not working for me. In the light of the fact that I loved the coco infusions, and all the scents of other Leahlani products, I am really surprised that I disliked the body butter quiet this much.

The jar is around £14 for 8oz.

shea butter, veg glycerin, sunflower and olive oil, vit e, coconut oil, caprylyl glycol from coconut, glycine derivative preservative, fragrance and essential oil blend, rose ether

Perfume oils. At present I have three Leahlani perfumes: Pua Lei, Pikake, and Lychee. While I like all three it is probably obvious that Pua Lei is the favourite, since I have the coco infusion in the same scent. It is just absolutely gorgeous, the roll on is a little more intense than the body oil in terms of fragrance, but otherwise they smell the same. Pikake is a sharp floral that sort of reminds me of carnations a little, it comes of a bit stronger than the others originally, and settles down after a few minutes. I think of it as a floral for people who like to stay active, the fragrance is sort of bouncy and spirited, like a quick step dancer. Lychee is an odd one, while it doesn't smell like the fruit, and generally makes me think of vanilla when I sniff the bottle, on my skin it smells like a summer berry jam, but not nearly as sweet as it does in the bottle. There is an undeniable powdery note which I normally don't like in perfumes, but it somehow works here.

The perfumes need to be used within 9 months of purchase and are around £16. Some of the blends use fragrance oils, but they are alcohol and phthalate free.


As I was looking at the Leahlani etsy store to link up products for this review, I noticed that some of the ingredient lists are missing entirely and others are different from the listings on the pots. After asking Leah, it appears that there are lots of changes happening at once so things will be getting updated in the near future. As a rule of thumb I don't purchase from brands that don't list ingredients online. I have pretty strong feelings on the subject, and I really dislike it when brands don't have this information, due to personal skin sensitivities and in general, like many green consumers, I tend to make my purchasing decisions based on the ingredients list, so lack of them normally would loose me as a customer. In this particular instant I already tried and fell in love with the products, so I am just waiting for the updates to happen (if you don't want to wait and are happy to email, Leah is not keeping secrets she will send you all the info you need).

There are some exciting changes taking place with Leahlani, new packaging and products, that I am personally looking forward to. A lot of thought goes into creating this range and the products are made to order. Leah, the formulator and the belle behind the brand, is a trained esthetician who also went through a lot with her own skin, the range grew from a personal journey, and I think that is one of the reason why so many people are loving the products. For me both masks and the coco infusion are the winners. The masks especially stand out from the sea of facial care products as something that delivers wonderful results while still being very gentle with your skin.

Have you tried anything from the Leahlani range? Any favourites? Anything on the wish list?

Friday, 2 October 2015

Bodhi & Birch | Flora Paradiso

Generally speaking beauty products are all about self care, taking time out from your busy day to take care of the one and only, it is time when you get to be very selfish and concentrate completely on yourself. It is what I like about having my little pamper rituals, for those 15-20 minutes (ok maybe an hour once in a blue moon), I really am the centre of the universe, letting my products make me feel like a princess from the Arabian Nights. Massage oils on the other hand are not really a part of this story, instead of focusing on self, massage oils let you focus on your intimate relationship. Just imagine lighting up some candles, opening up a fragrant bottle of oil to use on your loved one, the intimacy that this ritual creates is an incredibly seductive way to show your other half how much you care about them.

I could go on, but at the risk of this post becoming a Danielle Steel novel, I think it's time for Flora Paradiso* to take centre stage. As with any good massage oil, you are looking for a combination of carrier oils, that would give a good slip but are also not too heavy or they won't be properly absorbed by the skin. The base in this blend is a mix of caprilyc/capric triglyceride fraction of coconut oil, and apricot kernel oil, making it light and easily absorbed by the skin, yet still perfect for a massage that incorporates light strokes. Flora Paradiso* is actually inspired by traditional massage techniques from South-East Asia, which are guided by energy flow and balances within the body. If that is all a little too Zen for you, what makes any massage oil truly special is the choice of essential oils.

Essential oils have both topical and aromatherapeutic properties, while your skin and muscles are enjoying the physical benefits of a massage that the chosen oil complements, your mind is soothed by inhaling the scent. In this blend you will find: Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Atlas cedarwood, Chamomile, High altitude lavender, Patchouli, Petigrain, Bergamot, Damascan rose. There are a lot of different essential oils so you are advised to patch test 24 hours before use, Bodhi and Birch only uses bergaptene free bergamot in all their products which isn't photosensitising. The blend includes both relaxing and uplifting essential oils, with ylang ylang also boasting some aphrodisiac qualities. There is nothing stopping you from using it as a regular body oil to moisturise your skin. The scent isn't overpowering and does disappear within an hour, or maybe a little less, leaving you in good spirits with wonderfully soft skin. I do like using it in this capacity, but frankly I feel a little guilty not sharing all this goodness, so more often than not it is utilised as massage blend.

The fragrance is very soothing, a soft chamomile note works with the overall floral sweetness of the blend, making it more unisex rather than feminine (although let's face it, the lines of what is and isn't girly are more than a little blurred, so who cares as long as you find the scent appealing). In general I find massage is one of those amazing things that can make you feel like a million dollars, take away all the tension and out a smile on your face, it just feels so good to be on the receiving end. However, I'm also one of those people, if I don't feel completely comfortable with the masseuse, I just can't relax and get the benefit of it. It is just such a vulnerable position to be in, in the hands of a complete stranger. So while Mr RF is far from a professional, I always feel very safe in his hands, and when it comes to swapping places, it is my way of saying thank you and showing my love and appreciation for the fact that he is in my life. It wouldn't be right to use a product that didn't complement the sentiment. Flora Paradiso* has a scent and feel that is really conducive to romance, the rest is up to the participants.

*PR sample, all opinions expressed are my own, based on my personal experience with the product. No one spoon feeds me information, honesty and integrity are not things I take lightly. No amount of pressure (real or imaginary) would make me post something that wasn't authentic.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Organic September | The End

I am not normally terribly excited about autumn, but there is no denying that this Organic September has been an amazing month. It was both challenging and exciting, I have a new found respect for anyone who posts on their blog every day. The amount of personal discoveries I made were a bit of a surprise. I guess that my focus on green beauty was becoming a little all consuming, and I was neglecting other parts of why I started on the organic journey in the first place. So I guess the question is what now? Well I'm just going to carry on the same way as I did this September, constantly learning and trying to focus on quality versus quantity.

I thought I would compile a list of posts that I did through out this month, they range from the reasons that I choose organic, to reviews of different certified products (food, beauty, fashion). In order of posting:
24. Seaweed

Have you guys made new discoveries this September? Any switches that you are deciding to stick to? Let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

H+H | Avocado cheesecake


This year's organic beauty week came with a message, campaign for clarity, and Soil Association found itself some ambassadors to represent the cause in the shape of the Hemsley sisters. It was a pleasure to have a chat with the girls at the Campaign for clarity event. Jasmine and Melissa are so vibrant and passionate about food that nourishes your beauty from the inside, and organic skincare that takes care of your skin from the outside. If you follow these enterprising ladies on social media you might already know that they are huge fans of Pai (rose hip oil in particular, which happens to be my old time favourite too). Melissa, it turns out, also loves nail varnishes, and while I really hope someone is working on a formula for a certified organic version, for the time being she really likes Intensae and Kure Bazaar (truly a girl after my own heart).


The Girls have been kind enough to share their amazing vegan avocado cheesecake for me to share with you guys. Avocado really is an incredible fruit (but I think we tend to consider it a vegetable), it is actually a type of pair, and it is high in monounsaturated fats and fibre. Avocados can help improve circulation and really are pretty wonderful for your skin (obviously it doesn't mean that you should gorge yourself on the stuff, just make it part of your diet).



Avocados are a great source of healthy fats and Vitamin E, which boosts the vitality and luminosity of skin. Try them in one of our most popular desserts, Avocado Lime Cheesecake. This New York- style cheesecake is packed full of goodness. The smooth creamy lime sits atop a nutty, chocolate base with a hint of coconut. Free from flour and refined sugar as with all our recipes, this Hemsley take on a classic is also dairy free. Simple to make, it’s the perfect pud that’ll keep everyone guessing.




SERVES 12​​​


125g pecans (preferably ‘crispy’ activated - soaked in water for 24 hours and then dried until crispy - this promotes better digestion and reduces phytates)

45g desiccated coconut​​

70g cacao nibs​​

185g pitted dates​​

3 tbsp coconut oil, melted and at room temperature




560g avocado flesh (from about 5 medium-large avocados)

200ml lime juice (roughly 8–10 limes)​

1 tsp lime zest (avoid the bitter white pith)​​

190g raw honey​​

175ml coconut oil, melted and at room temperature​​

a few drops of stevia, to sweeten (optional)




1 Preheat the oven to fan 150°C/Gas mark 3. Line the base and sides of a springform or loose-bottomed 18 cm round cake tin with baking paper.


2 Toast the pecans and desiccated coconut on a lined baking tray in the oven for 7–8 minutes, until golden.


3 Transfer the pecans and coconut to a food processor and add the rest of the base ingredients. Blend until the mixture is crumbly and holds together when pinched (don’t let it go completely smooth).


4 Tip the base mixture into the prepared tin.Press it down firmly and evenly with the back of a spoon, ensuring it is neat and flat where it meets the sides of tin. Transfer to the fridge while you prepare the filling.


5 Place all of the ingredients for the filling into a food processor and blend until the mixture is completely smooth and silky. Check for taste and add more lime juice, zest or sweeten with a little more honey or stevia according to preference, but it’s best to keep this deliciously tangy.


6 Remove the cake tin from the fridge and pour the filling over the base. Cover the tin, using a plate, and return it to the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight, if possible, to set.


7 To serve, run a knife around the inner edge of the tin and carefully push the base up from the bottom. Transfer to a plate and serve immediately.



*recipe and photo courtesy of the Hemsley and Hemsley.

Monday, 28 September 2015


We are living in the strangest of times. Most of my possessions are made in countries that I have never had the privilege of visiting, by people who I will never meet, using skills that I have no knowledge about. When it comes to skincare, you can imagine how many steps your bottle of oil, or face cream has to go through. Someone has to grow the plants, someone else makes the oils, yet another person mixes is it all together and puts into a bottle (that also had to go through a similar process). "Farm to bottle" is a term used to describe a brand that grows their ingredients and creates their products on the farm, you can imagine how hard and rare that is, especially in skincare.

What always attracted me to organic skincare is the fact that formulas tend to be more concentrated, especially if we are talking about face oils and balms. The potency of the products however does directly depend on the quality and freshness of the ingredients. You can't get much fresher herbs if you are growing your own. Paul Richards, started growing herbs on his farm over 30 years ago, the range of skincare has been designed and created together with his wife Carol and their team. Some of my best cooking tips have come from farmers who grow those vegetables, and I'm inclined to believe that people who grow herbs know a thing or two about how best to use them. Herbfarmacy products are made in small batches in a converted former Goat shed, right their on the farm, all the herbs are handpicked. The farm itself is certified organic, and the beauty range is certified with Soil Association.

Lip Conditioner with Marshmallow & Vanilla*. I'm a huge lip balm hoarder, but if I'm honest I can count my favourites on one hand. Skin on the lips is really thin, so if you are laking hydration it is the first place to show signs. Obviously drinking enough water, and making sure your diet includes healthy fats is what will keep your smoochers soft, yet lipstick can be drying, and the dynamic duo sun+wind are also know to cause some damage, now this is a job for the lip balm. So what makes a great lip balm? For me it has to feel lovely on, be good under lipstick, soothe my lips if they got to the point when they are dry, and smell nice. Scent is pretty important because Lips are right under the nose, so you are forced to be sniffing the product for quiet some time, can't escape from it.

The list of ingredients is short and sweet: sunflower oil, beeswax, cocoa butter, marshmallow extract, vanilla extract, rosemary extract. When we are talking marshmallows in this lip balm, we are not talking sweet treats promoted by the Marshmallow man in Ghost Busters, we are talking about a plant, with furry leaves and delicate pinc flowers. The part used for this extract is the root, it contains soft mucilages which attract and hold moisture in the surface of the skin. The balm feels really silky on my lips, I don't have to use much to get the benefit, and if I'm using it under lipstick I make sure to use it sparingly (otherwise the colour will just slide off). However if I'm using it on its own, I tend to apply liberally. The tube is wider in diameter then most balms in the same type of packaging, so one swipe is all that is needed, I use more to make my lips extra shiny, to give an illusion that I'm wearing lip gloss. It actually stays on the lips for a long time applied this way, so if you need something to protect your kissers from the wind it is a great choice. The scent is very unusual, it is sweet with a smoky woodsy note, I believe this is from rosemary. When it comes to bringing my lips back on form, it does it admirably. Overall I think this lip balm deserves a gold star.

Temple Balm*. I use some sort of aromatherapy products pretty much everyday, mostly to help with releaving stress and staying focused. I do a lot of reading, so certain scents really help when your mind starts wondering off to what's for dinner and not concentrating on the contents of the book. This particular balm contains: spearmint used in aromatherapy to treat fatigue and headaches, hops used to calm the mind, lavender again is meant to be relaxing, ylang ylang is supposed to be helpful with stress and anxiety, chamomile is also calming, and rosemary is supposed to help with memory retantion, staying focused and alert.

The blend overall has a mild sweet fragrance with spearmint giving a fresh but dominant top note. The scent is different to any other aromatherapy balm that I have, it is quiet mild and I find it soothing. My nose is quiet sensitive, so if something is strongly fragranced I don't always enjoy using it, even if it is a pleasant scent. I have been using this temble balm for the past few weeks, and I find a quick temple massage with it is a great help in getting me back on track. I also tend to rub it on pulse points not just temples, it's a great balm to have around when I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.

I have a few skincare products from Herbfamacy that I'm testing now, but I'm not quiet ready to review. Are you guys familiar with this brand? Any favourites? Let me know in the comments.

PR samples, opinion is my own, based on my personal experience with the products. I give these disclaimers for transparency, because honesty and integrity are things that I take seriously. No one writes or researches these posts for me, I never pretend to like something when I don't, what would be the point?

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Time for a cup of tea...

With Organic September coming to an end, I think it is time to revisit my tea cupboard. Weather is changing and I'm definitely feeling the effects, it is becoming a little harder to wake up in the mornings. Luckily the past few days have been full of sunshine, which generally makes me feel more upbeat, but when it is hiding behind the clouds herbal teas are a huge help.

Higher Living Good mood tea comes in biodegradable teapees, allowing for dry herbs to be encased without having to be ground into powder, this gives a better quality infusion. It is a blend of apple mint, raspberry leaves, blackberry leaves, sunflower petals, marigold flowers, blueberries, strawberry leaves, and chamomile. You infuse it in freshly boiled water, allowing to brew for 4-5 minutes. The flavour is very fresh and predominantly minty, however it tastes more like a fresh mint infusion rather than usual peppermint tea bags. The overall infusion is mild and delicate, with a hint of sweetness. Everyone who likes mint tea would enjoy this, and I am in better spirits after I have a cup.

However I think this blend is pretty special because of the herbs that are in it, sure the tea is tasty and it does make me feel a little more cheerful, but let's have a closer look at what is inside. Apple mint can be useful when you are just starting to get a headache, it's also soothing for the digestive tract, and like the rest of the mint family it can help with feverish conditions. Blackberry leaves are rich in antioxidants. Sunflower petals as far as I can tell are used for the taste, without any extra health properties. Marigold flowers are rich in beta carotene. Blueberries keep the gut clean and healthy, they also help fight infection. Strawberry leaves contain trace minerals and vitamins, and are supposed be high in vitamin C. Chamomile is probably the most well known herb for its calming effects and helping with insomnia ( it is often used in bed time blends). So while this tea isn't a herbal remedy, and is not designed to treat any illness, the overall blend is a great addition to give your body and mind a little boost (as always everything in moderation, and there definitely is such a thing as having too much herbal tea).

While I do drink this tea whenever, I find that I tend to reach for this blend specifically when I feel stressed out, or when everything seems to irritate me. Drinking a nice tea and rubbing aome aromatherapy balm on my temples makes me feel more like my normal self. This isn't a magic potion, it doesn't make an awful day better, but I find that the herbs in the blend combined with the scent and the time that it takes to drink a cuppa helps me get my thoughts back on track and let's me get on with things that I would rather not deal with. Good mood tea has earned its place in my cupboard.

Do you guys turn to herbal teas when you are feeling down? Let me know in the comments.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Duke of Cambridge organic pub.

I love traveling, it's the discovery of new and unexplored (by me naturally) that never seizes to loose its appeal. However, I don't necessarily need to go very far to find new things. Let's face it, most of the time I stay in my little quarter of London, do my weekly shop, walk around the park and back to the house I go. In honour of Organic September, Duke of Cambridge organic pub was hosting a fete, involving some of my favourite green companies: People tree, Planet Organic and Riverford. Ethical fashion sample sale, organic beauty and cocktails, seriously how could I possibly miss that?! And the pub itself has been long on the list of 'must visit' places, this is what I would call fate if I was trying to be a little dramatic.

The pub is situated in Islington, a little bit away from the main hustle and bustle, the building does look a pretty picture. As usually I got there a few minutes before the official start, my priority was the People Tree rail, so I could try and get the first pick (although this was the last day of their sample sale, so a lot of the things were gone already). I found some lovely things, but as they are for pressies I don't want to post them on the blog just in case.

Straight after getting my bag of people tree goodies I was given a complementary organic cucumber cocktail, which was absolutely delicious (Mr RF got his hands on a carrot one, which might have been even better, I can't make up my mind). My next stop was the Planet Organic beauty table, they were doing mini beauty treatments with certified organic skincare, and had some delicious juices, smoothies and chocolate to try. You could also enter your name to win a goodie bag.

Even though I already use Riverford, it felt rude not to stop for a chat, and I'm glad I did. They were selling delicious romanesco, and it turns out that it is only in season for 6 weeks out of the year (it's absolutely scrumptious and I definitely prefer it to normal cauliflower). They also just had their first crop of edamame beans, which I'm very excited about. I left with the spring/summer veg book, I have been eyeing it up for some time, and after flicking through it, plus a discount, well you know the rest...

Since we already made the trip to the Duke of Cambridge, it would have been simply rude not to stay for lunch. We picked a table with handy hooks to hang your bags on, and patiently waited for the lunch menu to be written out on the board. The menus are seasonal and differ everyday, they start serving lunch at 12:30 (but I'm pretty sure we ordered ten/fifteen minutes before that and no one made a fuss). The menu consisted of 6 starters, 6 mains, 4 sides, 4 puddings, and 7 bar snacks. While I'm not a vegetarian (nor is Mr RF), I like to keep my eye on how many veggie options a restaurant offers, and in general we only have meat/fish a few times a week (less quantity better quality, is what I try to do). So 3 out the 6 starters were veggie (I think only one would qualify as vegan), 2 out of the 6 mains were vegetarian (one vegan), and all the sides were veggie, plus most of the bar snacks were vegetarian. Overall I felt there was a good variety, taking into account the overall number of dishes, but if you have specific dietary needs I think that it's best to give them a call due to the changing nature of the menus (everyone seemed generally very helpful and I think the quality of the food is definitely worth the trouble).

Both of us opted for the veggie mains. I chose the roasted peppers stuffed with cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, capers, on the bed of sweet potatoe pure and green leaves (I believe it was a variety of lettuce). Mr RF chose medetiranean vegetable spaghetti with parmesan cheese (I'm sure they would happily hold off on the cheese for those who wouldn't want it/couldn't have it). As is normal, I tried some of the spaghetti and it was nice, but it had nothing on my dish. My stuffed peppers were amazing. I kid you not, some of the best food I've had in London, everything was right. They were cooked to perfection, dressing on the salad was just right, all the flavours worked together so well, and the temperature of the food was spot on (yep I have been called Goldilocks on a few occasions, how hot/cold a dish is does make a huge difference). To my absolute delight they also had complementary cucumber & mint water (also plain water) at the bar, you just go up and poor yourself a glass when you fancy. I'm not sure how things are during non event days, but on this particular Saturday you made your order at the bar, and when the food was ready it was brought over to your table. Surprisingly you could have a tab open, and that's not something most pubs do anymore (well definitely not for the first time customers).

I loved the overall atmosphere, some people were just having coffee served in an Italian style cafetière, and making use of the free wifi on their laptops. The space had big windows so it was very bright and airy. I will be making a point of coming back, after all it is the only certified organic pub in UK.