Restaurant Review: Nipa Thai, Lancaster London

nipa thai lancaster london

Located inside Lancaster London, a luxury hotel in Kensington, Nipa Thai is a 2 AA Rosettes, fine dining restaurant on the first floor of the hotel that serves authentic and traditional Thai cuisine. Sanguan Parr, the head chef of the restaurant has been working there since 16 years and has created some of the classics from North Thailand. 


Location & Parking:

The parking is available right opposite Lancaster London and is free, 6:00 pm onward. We went on a Saturday evening and easily found a spot after which we simply had to cross the road and walk towards the hotel that hardly took a minute. The train station is also nearby, in case you choose to travel by that mode. The nearest Underground Station is Lancaster Gate, and the hotel is directly above the underground. You just need to go out of the station, turn left and keep walking around the island until you reach the entrance of Lancaster London. 

Seating & Interior: 

Our seats had already been reserved so we didn't have to wait to get seated. On entering the restaurant, the first thing that came to my mind after smelling the aroma was that of a Thai massage salon. It was probably the candles or the air freshener that had been used to create the effect. The dim lights, comfortable Victorian chairs and a good sized table worked perfectly well for us. However, they do not have high-chairs for children. 

nipa thai lancaster london

nipa thai lancaster london

The Dining Experience:

As usual, I had already gone through the menu before going to Nipa Thai so it didn't take long to order the food. The food ordered was from their a la carte menu. We were first served complimentary crackers that came along with a sweet chili dip. The flavour was quite strong but was enjoyable. Then followed the drinks - Virgin Colada (I had to order it as it was on the drinks menu), Red Berry Fizz, Luscious Lancaster Punch and Cucumber Cooler (£5 each). 

The Red Berry Fizz was a melding of cranberry juice, peach, grenadine & bitter lemon so it wasn't sweet but tasted slightly bitter. I really liked the Cucumber cooler which was prepared using the natural and simple ingredients such as cucumber, lime, mint & lemonade but was really refreshing. The Luscious Lancaster Punch, a mocktail prepared with orange juice, pineapple and grapefruit juice was on the slight sweeter side and was enjoyable. My husband had ordered Virgin Colada and we decided we will share but I ended up finishing the whole glass so ended up ordering another one for him. 

For the starters, we ordered Tom Kha Kai (£12), a Thai prawn soup for my husband and Toong Ngern Yuang (£12) for myself. The soup had a generous filling of prawns, mushrooms, lime leaf, galangal and lemongrasand was more or less like a clear coconut soup. It tasted was a bit on the sweeter side and actually reminded me of a packet soup I had purchased earlier from a store. I liked my starter, it was crisp and the fried prawn dumplings tasted irresistible with the homemade sauce that was served with it. I did not finish all of that comfort food alone but shared it with my husband and he enjoyed having them too. 

nipa thai lancaster london

For the mains, we ordered Phad Kra Prao Koong (£22), Koong Tod Kra Tiem Prig Tai (£22) and Kao Phad Koong (£14), fried rice with prawns. All the food was served together. The first dish was prawns stir-fried with chilies and basil leaves. Although it says the word 'chili' here, it did taste flavoursome but wasn't spicy at all, so don't be swayed by reading that. I paired it with fried prawn rice which was actually a taste sensation. The other dish was stir-fried prawns with pepper and coriander which were then fried to perfection. 

That was a very prawn-y night for us and very pleasing to my palate but we both were extremely full so we just ended up ordering one dessert that we shared. 

nipa thai lancaster london

nipa thai lancaster london

After we finished with the mains, we were provided hot towels, presented beautifully on the table after which our dessert arrived. Ice Tim Tod (£9), a Thai deep-fried ice cream dessert was topped with chocolate sauce. I personally love fried ice cream and the combination of warm and cold was second to none. We had a mini-celebration and sung a birthday song for BabyN' and that's the reason why you can see a candle flickering there. Oh, and because of that, I even forgot taking photos of the ice-cream while it made it's way out after we had cut this beauty. I do have a video which I might upload on my Instagram for you guys to devour, with your eyes. So don't forget to follow me on Instagram

nipa thai lancaster london

End Notes:

I would definitely recommend Nipa Thai if you're a fan of authentic Thai food and it's a really nice place to spend an evening with a loved one or for a celebration. You can check out their menu, here. Dining at Nipa Thai was a tasty vacation for us and the service was excellent. 

Rating: 7.5/10

Have you ever tried Thai food? What's your favourite dish?


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Disclaimer: I was invited to the restaurant to sample the food, but this is an honest review and all the opinions are my own.

Christmas Gift Ideas & Stocking Fillers

Christmas Gift Ideas


I believe everyone has their wish-list when it comes to purchasing something for themselves to add a little something to their collection. If I talk about myself, I often have something or the other that I want to buy for myself or for BabyN' and sometimes I do tend to buy it immediately while sometimes it gets delayed for no good reasons. 


Rose gold is really an 'in' colour nowadays and I think it has gained more popularity because of the iPhone selling in that colour. Am I right? Below I have complied a list of Christmas gift ideas that you would want to buy for yourself or for your loved ones. 

Rose Gold Dandelions (£9.99)


I have a huge collection of scarfs, but still I keep buying more and more. The very first time I saw this gorgeous Rose Gold Dandelions scarf, I fell in love with it's beauty and the richness of it's colour because of tthe luxurious look it gives. I have recently purchased a dress from Marks & Spencer and I am sure this pretty scarf would look fabulous on my dress. 

Christmas Gift Ideas

Rose Gold Bangle (£7.99)


Okay, so I saw this bangle and I thought it would be perfect with my red dress which I was talking about earlier and immediately included it in my wish-list. It is simple, yet stunning and is sure to give to subtle look. It also seems to be perfect when you're in a hurry or don't want to wear a lot of jewellery, which happens with me most of the time ever since I have become a mum. 


Christmas Gift Ideas

Layered Pink Beaded Bracelet (£5.25)


This beaded bracelet not just looks stunning but is one of my favourites especially when I wear jeans. It's cream, light pink and gold and I love to wear such bracelets together rather than wearing them individually. You can also include it as a stocking filler for Christmas. What a fabulous idea, isn't it?


Set of 2 Copper Hammered Effect Tea Light Holders (£9.99)


This comes in a set of two along with candles. YES! So now you won't have to buy the entire pack and just leave it sit on your cabinet for long. I remember purchasing a pack of 30 tea-light candles earlier and have just used a few of them. Candles are perfect to unwind a tiring day and spend some me-time away from all kinds of stressful situations. 

Christmas Gift Ideas


Millie Floral Saddle Bag (£15.99)


This saddle bag is not just beautiful retro and vintage, but it is really cool and an absolutely perfect for a fashion enthusiastic. Wear it over the shoulder or across your body and flaunt it among your friends.The best part is that it is easy to wipe clean and the shoulder strap is adjustable so you don't have to worry about these aspects. 
Christmas Gift Ideas


I hope you liked these Christmas gift ideas. You can check out more of their collection, here and I'm sure you will love it.

How is your Christmas shopping going and what do you have in the wish-list for yourself?

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CHI KITCHEN in Debenhams - BIRMINGHAM & LONDON


On my recent trip to Birmingham, I got the chance to eat at this Halal restaurant called Chi Kitchen inspired by Chinese, Thai, Korean and Malaysian cuisine. I was really excited to try the food at Chi Kitchen because it serves Halal Pan Asian cuisine in Birmingham and my husband is really fond of it.

The diverse and exotic menu of Chi Kitchen has been created by the MasterChef Winner (2014), Ping Coombes and he is also the Executive Chef of the restaurant. Oh, and were you aware that Chi means energy in Chinese and the symbol that you can see in the photo above means fire. 

Location & Parking:

Located inside Debenhams at the Bull Ring Shopping center in Birmingham, Chi Kitchen has a very strategic location because that's the place where loads of locals and the tourists can be seen. Bull Ring has all the known brands and is pretty much a shopper's dream place to be.
There are many car parks in the Birmingham city center but I can't really tell you about the nearest one because we had parked our car next to the hotel we were we staying in, and decided to walk to the Bull Ring, just to see the place around, instead of going there by car. However, the train station is really REALLY near so and it's just like you pop out of there and you can see the Bull Ring right in front of you. 

Seating & Interior: 

I really liked the corner where our seats had been reserved because there was a glass window all over, giving us the magnificent view of the hustling bustling street and the lightning there was great so it was perfect for photographing the food. The overall mood of the place was light and I liked the minimalist approach they had chosen for the interior of the restaurant. Chi Kitchen has an open kitchen and it offers an informal dining experience which is very welcoming. 

The Dining Experience:

All the food we had was solely ordered by my husband while I enjoyed the views with BabyN' instead of doing the hard bit this time since I was a bit tired because of our 4 hour journey from Kent. Chi Kitchen has a lot of things on their menu and all of it is Halal so we had all the options open and we started off with our mocktails, which were Pina Colada (my favourite), Chi Kitchen Paradise and Director’s Special. 

chi kitchen halal london

Our starters were Prawn Tempura (£8.95) which was served with spicy truffle mayonnaise and orange ponzu. The tempura was nice and crispy from the outside and it tasted great with the sauces. We also ordered chicken wings (£7.50) that had been marinated in a Korean BBQ sauce and had been grilled to perfection. They tasted good on their own and no sauce or dips were required to accompany it. 


The third and my favourite starter for the meal was Popcorn Shrimp. These were actually fried tempura shrimps with some smooth wasabi mayonnaise dressing drizzled on it and the creamy consistency complimented quite well with the juicy shrimps. I personally do not like the wasabi sauce so initially, I was a bit apprehensive when it was being ordered but eventually I agreed and I am so glad I did! Pomegranate is one of my favourite fruit and that too complimented well with this starter. 

I really REALLY liked the Popcorn Shrimp and they tasted exactly like the Rock shrimps I've had at a posh Japanese restaurant while I was staying at the Atlantis the Palm, in Dubai. I'm SO lucky that Chi Kitchen is also in London, so I can go there again. Even the first starter was good and was accompanied with some dips and sauces.

chi kitchen halal london
Next up were our soups. Both of us had clear soups. I was having Chicken Tom Yum Soup (£5.50) which was slightly spicy and sour and I did like it but I think it not meant for children. I also tried Chicken and prawn Wonton Soup (£5.25), and it was good but since I tried that after having the taste of my soup, it tasted slightly bland because the flavours in my soup were really overwhelming.

Okay, so for the main course we started off with Szechuan Beef  (£15.95) and Sweet and sour chicken  (£14.95) and both came with steamed jasmine rice. The beef dish was actually sirilon beef, some onion and peppers in Szechuan sauce while the sweet and sour chicken was actually sweet. I couldn't taste the sour bit and although it did taste good, I couldn't finish it on my own because of its sweetness which was majorly dominated by the chunks of pineapple in the dish. I love pineapple but in the end the sweetness got too much overwhelming for me that I decided to skip the dessert.
I also tried the Chi Kitchen special fried rice (£9.95) that consisted of both chicken and prawns and had been stir-fried with peas. I prefer this one over the normal steamed jasmine rice so it was quite a winner for me.
Then came a Malaysian dish called Nasi Lemak (£14.95) and I was extremely full by that time so I just tasted a couple of spoons of it and the gravy tasted somewhat similar to an Indian curry, I think somewhat like a chicken handi. Nasi was served with a boiled egg and coconut rice. Most of this dish was cleaned by my husband so I just got to taste it. There was also an additional sauce with the chicken curry, in case you need some more spice but for the taste of the curry itself was pretty flavoursome.



That was the last thing I tried. No dessert this time, which is something REALLY extraordinary because desserts are always my favourite but we were extremely full so there was totally no room for them. I did decide to get a bubble tea in the end though and I was introduced to it when I was in Malaysia and I really became a fan of it. However, this one wasn't similar to the ones I had there as the shiro balls inside it were different, the ones that pop in the mouth and not the ones you chew.

End Notes:

Overall, the dining experience at Chi Kitchen in Birmingham was pleasant and the staff was friendly and efficient. The restaurant serves full Halal menu but they do serve alcohol. You can check out the menu of Chi Kitchen here and don't worry if you're not in Birmingham, but if you're looking for Pan Asian cuisine at the Oxford Street in LondonChi Kitchen is there too.

Rating: 7/10

If you had to choose one - Thai, Malaysian and Chinese cuisine - which one would you choose for your meal?


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Disclaimer: I was invited to the restaurant to sample the food, but this is an honest review and all the opinions are my own.


Kid's Clothing Range for Boys & Girls Launched by Boohoo

Boohoo, a known clothing brand has recently launched their kids range. Previously, they used to focus only on their range for men and women but now the kid's line of clothing and accessories has also been added, both for boys and girls aged 4-12 years. Their line of clothing also include the 'mini-me' versions of adult trends and they also have clothing with cheeky slogans, party dresses for girls and smart shirts and chinos for the boys. If you log onto their website, you can check out their clothing range for children and the best thing is that they also have a sale going on at the moment.

When I was going to order clothes, it took some time for me to decide and to settle with what I finally wanted. That's because Boohoo has a decent variety of kid's range due to which it took time for me to decide. However, I observed that the girl's range had more variety than the boy's clothing.

It was also simple placing the order online, and it hardly took minutes but the only thing that took time was to decide what to choose. Finally, I ended up ordering 2 jackets which you can see in the photos. Both are perfect for the colder season and perfect to keep BabyN' warm in winters. There is still time for him to turn 4, but I mostly buy bigger clothes for him and stock them up so I can simply take them out from his cupboard and put them on.




These jackets were £22 each, but luckily, I had received a 25% off code that I used while making the purchase so I got a good discount on the total price. If you subscribe to Boohoo, they send you newsletters and emails with codes and latest offers from time to time. Also, they give 15% off on your first order if you download their app. 

Besides that, they do charge a delivery fee and I tried to research if they offer free delivery on a certain amount but didn't come across anything like that. Eventually, I decided to pay the delivery fee. You can pay either by PayPal or through a credit card. I used the latter. 

Since Boohoo has different options for delivery, it's up to you which one to choose. I choose the first option that charged £3.99 with 3-5 days of delivery time. The package was delivered through Hermes and I was sent the order number immediately after the order was placed that facilitated tracking. 

They also have an £1 delivery offer, but for that, a code needs to be entered. I could not use that because I was already using a code and you can use just one code at a time.

I don't know what really is wrong but my postman never rings the bell (I've never heard him ring) so I need to keep an eye on the window and my ears attentive especially when it's the time for the postman to arrive. I don't know what's wrong with them, then don't even wait for a minute, which is extremely annoying because sometimes if I am attending to BabyN's needs, it becomes impossible to do other things. In that case, I miss the post man and then my husband has to do the run to collect the parcels.




I am glad that I had been emailed the morning before my Boohoo parcel was to arrive so I knew and was also aware of the time the delivery guy would arrive (thanks to the tracking number). 

The parcel arrived well and I really liked the quality of the clothes I had ordered. The colours were perfect and I do not have any complain. Boohoo also has a return policy in case you change your mind. Simply log on to your account and click returns. Follow their guide and all you'll need is the order number, that you can find at the top of the page. Since I was happy with the clothes I ordered from Boohoo's kids clothing range, I did not use this service.



What is your favourite brand for shopping for kids?


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Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post, but this is an honest review and all the opinions are my own.


Prestige Luxury Flowers Review + Giveaway


If you regularly read my blog, I'm sure you would know how much I love fresh flowers. The beauty and the freshness just cheers me up and fills the place with the aroma of their mesmerizing smell. However, I must admit that I do feel sad seeing the fresh flowers die a few weeks later.

I remember writing in one of my Instagram posts mentioning that every time I go to a store, I make sure to go to the aisle that has a display of fresh flowers only to adore their beauty. I believe that flowers are perfect for just any occasion and now since the holiday season is approaching, why not send these luxury Christmas flowers to your loved ones, and the best part is that they have even reduced the prices nowadays. 


Prestige flowers sells a luxury range of beautiful real flower bouquets, not just for celebrations but for every occasion. I absolutely love my Tikal bouquet (£35.99) and totally fell in love with it ever since I peeped inside the box from a small opening on the top of the package.

My Prestige luxury flower bouquet came with a complimentary card, a 48g box of handmade British truffles, premium flower feed and a luxury collection bag. Come on now, what else would be better? Also, there's a little flower care brochure with tips to take care of your bouquet and how to make it stay fresh for long. Besides that, you can also opt for add-ons such as a lovely glass flower vase (£5.99), a cuddly bear (£5.99) or balloons (£4.99). Although these come with an added cost, they would definitely bring a smile to your loved one's face. 


I have placed the bouquet on my dining table so I can admire it every time I pass by. It looks gorgeous and I love how it has been arranged with rare mango orange callas and roses with complementary blooms, thistles and aspidistra. The bouquet is available for UK next day delivery and is delivered through a trackable courier. 


Flower Care Recommendations:

I would recommend keeping the bouquet away from direct sunlight but now since we have the heating system on, make sure to keep it away from your heaters too. Change the water every day. Yes, change! Do not just keep filling in, but throw the water, rinse the vase and add fresh room temperature water. Lastly, adore your bouquet and tell it 'you're beautiful' (Am I joking? Not)

I have the bouquet with me since a week now and even today, it seems as fresh as it arrived 7 days ago. Normally the fresh flower bouquets last for 3 weeks but I will update this post when I feel the bouquet no more stays fresh so you would know about how long my Prestige luxury flower bouquet lasted.




Giveaway:

It's BabyN's birthday month and you may now know that I try to bring for you guys, a giveaway, for all the occasions that are special to me. Therefore, in collaboration with Prestige Flowers, I want to give one of you lucky readers the very exotic Tikal bouquet as an appreciation for following my blog and for reading this post.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

What is your favourite flower, and if you win, will you keep the bouquet or will you give it to a loved one?


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All the images are the property of Blogs by FA.
Please do not use without permission.
Disclaimer: The bouquet was sent to me by Prestige Flowers, but this is an honest review and all the opinions are my own.
This is a collaborative post and the competition prize is sponsored by Prestige Flowers. All responsibility for the competition in terms of the prize is on them. The prize is a Tikal Flower Bouquet. Giveaway is open to UK residents only.