I often try various things locally; from gyms and hairdressers to restaurants.
For the past two months, I have been enjoying food from a local company called Cookaria. I initially came across it at our local wonderful butcher Kent & Sons. I have now eaten my way through most of their menu; everything of theirs that Kent & Sons have in their shop, and many dishes that I have ordered through their website. Recently, I met with Mr Cookaria himself as he came to deliver my food. He is a trained chef, works as a private chef for several families as well as cooks for Cookaria, he lives locally, has a 15-month-old son and is passionate about cooking, nutrition and eating healthily.
His food is absolutely delicious and it tastes exactly as if I had cooked it myself (only much better!). He makes the orders when he gets them so it is all made completely fresh. It is so yummy, the instructions are clear, it is quick and easy, and I can’t recommend Cookaria enough. Do try him!
Having children is busy and life is a constant juggle. I am sure I speak for us all when I say that we want to have a clean house. Regardless of the state of your house, if you have someone cleaning it for you, you want to know not only that they are good, but that you can trust them. This is where Quintessenza comes into the picture. Think of them as your own personal 5-star hotel cleaning team.
From the lovely gesture of a bouquet of flowers to leaving me with choosing a scent for my house at the end of the clean were very special touches that leave a lasting impression and also really make Quintessenza stand out. Even the day after they had been at mine, I walked around my house and could still smell the scent they left me with which not only made me think of them, but also brought a warmth to my heart.
The two cleaners Kal and Altansooj were punctual. They immediately put me at ease by their friendly, welcoming and warm personalities. I felt special right from the start and like I were in a high end hotel. They bring their own equipment apart from a mop and a hoover which you have to provide.
Having two young children and a husband who works very long hours (and is not good at going through his post or throw things away), I always worry about being judged that my house is messy. However, Kal and Altansooj immediately put me at ease and they made me feel more relaxed.
I had actually not tidied up before they arrived, because I wanted it to be the way it normally is (and I had been rushing around town all day anyway so even if I had wanted to tidy up, I didn’t have time for it); if it’s in the morning, we have usually just run out the door to make it to school on time and if it’s later in the day, I mostly have several children and nannies at home playing. My house is very often busy with people coming and going which is what I want my home to be like – an open and welcoming place, but it can also mean that it is not always so tidy till after the children are in bed for the night.
Kal and Altansooj got on with it after I showed them around. They were super efficient without feeling impersonal nor did it feel to me that they were ‘just doing a job’. They were professional yet warm and personable. They were lovely with my children too which is a big plus!
I had asked them not to touch my husband’s side of the bed (he has a pile of stuff that is chaotic to say the least – it drives me bonkers) and they left that alone which was great. Altansooj gave me some great tips on ironing and I ordered some things that will be very useful to have in the future.
My friend and her daughter arrived just as they were finishing up, and my friend was impressed not just with their uniform and pleasant personalities, but also with their 101 checklist. My husband came home from work that evening and commented on how lovely it smelled, and I know that is the White Company room scent they left me with that he could smell.
Quintessenza has to be experienced and even a long description like this doesn’t fully do them justice. I am delighted that they are offering NW8-mums a 10% discount on their first cleaning by using the code NW8GUESTS.
Due to a family emergency, NW8-mum Emily Ainsworth was able to take my place and here are her thoughts.
The West End Lane hair salon Rush came into being in February this year, its opening coinciding with the birth of my baby boy. In the nine months that he’s been around I haven’t, like so many new mums, made the time for a trim. To be more candid, in the nine months since my son has been on the scene, my hair has become so neglected, that on some days, even a Tangle Tease struggles to do the job. The only style that I have had time to cultivate is ‘pulled-through-a-hedge-backwards’ and when I’m out in the park, I’m concerned that local wildlife are considering nesting opportunities.
And so I needed a chop. But whilst some people are afraid of dentists, trips to the hairdressers have always thrown me in a loop. I’m painfully aware of the sly subtext when I’m asked when I last had a cut, or what conditioner I use: all subtle hints that I am far from being the ‘because I’m worth it’ hair swishing client that they are used to. I was interested to see if Rush would be any different.
With this in mind, I was delighted that Liliana, the stylist who took on the challenge of redeeming my hair, quickly and kindly put me at my ease. For those who haven’t tried Rush, it’s worth thinking of it as an alternative to Toni & Guys: their service is professional and slick, but you don’t need to worry that they will attempt an ‘edgy’ look to meet their style quota, sending you off to the streets with an undercut. Liliana took the time to listen carefully, to make sure I had the time to discuss the cut I wanted, and that I would have time to style it. It was great to know that I was in such considerate hands when I wanted to try something new and meant that I was more experimental than usual. The blow dry was quick, and highly professional. What’s more, it held when I stepped out into the wettest day this autumn.
The experience was a world apart from some salons, where techo is blasted over the sound of dryers. I’ve been living the clichéd combination of life at 100mph with two small boys to look after, and so I’m never less than frazzled. The combination of a head massage, and complementary Lindor made the trip feel more luxurious than routine maintenance.
The range of Rush salons can be found across London, and their management makes the effort to ensure that the quality of their cuts and styles is reliable. What’s more, the number of deals that the salons put on is impressive: colour Tuesdays; Brazilian blow dry Wednesdays, and regular discounts and promotions through out the year. Perfect for anyone feeling the squeeze on maternity leave.