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Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Interview With Kirk Norcross



Did somebody say "Luxury Lifestyle Blog"... Ok, so today I'm going a little off scale.

Kirk Norcross got our attention as the cheeky Essex boy from TOWIE in 2010, but now he has broken away from the TOWIE machine to.. well, try out reality TV in another dimension. As it's Wednesday (with Kirk being on the current series of Ex On The Beach.. aired tonight at 10pm), I thought it would be very fitting to upload an interview I did with him for a magazine a few months back.

I have also been SERIOUSLY busy with The Blogger Agent and so simply copying and pasting an old write-up to ultimately give new content for you was something of serious appeal. Guilty....


Hi Kirk, please can you explain your new role at Sugar Hut?

My dad bought Sugar Hut when I was eighteen and we knew nothing about clubbing. It was a new adventure for us. For the first two years I took advantage of the situation and used it as a normal eighteen year old would, not really understanding the business side of it. I then started promoting for Sugar Hut on a Thursday night and it wasn’t really for me. I’d say that now I’m the promotions and marketing manager. Sugar Hut being on The Only Way Is Essex is brilliant because it brings in a lot of customers from up north. We’ve lost all of our locals, though. My role is to get them back. I’ve just come up with the idea of re-introducing the member’s room. I’ve made up some membership cards, and I’m going to give them to every local for free. They, plus two people, can come to Sugar Hut whenever they like, for free, without the queuing, alongside a free drink.

I think that’s a really good idea. What inspired you to do this?

I just want to know exactly what the locals want. Hopefully they’ll be reading this and they can write to me or tweet me, telling me exactly what they want! Seeing some of my friends from Brentwood coming to the club less inspired me to do this. They go all of the way to London for one night out. I mean, most clubs have a three to five year cycle, and then you need to shake it up and refresh it. Just not seeing many locals made me think. Our locals should be our regulars; I don’t want them to ever have to wait for ages to get into the club.

Have you given out the membership cards?

Not yet, we started organizing them yesterday. They’re all ordered. I’m going to give 50 to everyone in the office. They can give them out to people who they think will come in the club, that are locals.

What is it like working with your dad?

I wouldn’t change it, but it’s terrible! I will do ten things that are good, and then the one thing I slip up on – that’s it. If he’s having a bad day he’ll take it out on me, but I learn so much from him. Being around him in the office, his presence and the way he talks to people has taught me so much. He is a nightmare, though. He’ll probably say the same about me! I know that every time he is moaning at me, it is to teach me. He is a successful man, he’s only trying to guide me in the same direction that he went.

You have two younger siblings, don’t you? Would you advise them to work within the clubbing industry when they grow up?

Definitely not. I’d rather run the club. When you run a club you don’t just have to be there during the day, you also have to be there in the nights. People underestimate how much work goes into it. I mean, this is the life that I am in now, but it isn’t particularly what I wanted to do. My brother is thirty years old with a two-year-old son and a wife. During the weekend’s he is working in the club until late. It doesn’t just involve sticking flyers onto a car window. It is hard work. You have to be so ahead; we are already planning what we want to happen in Sugar Hut next summer and next New Years Eve!

Do you feel like you can relax and get away with a lot by working with your Dad?

Oh no! You can’t get away with a thing! Nothing! I live next door to my Dad so it takes two minutes to get there, if I say I’ll be there at 10am, he’ll ring me at 9.30am asking why I haven’t left the house yet! It is brilliant though because it means he is constantly on the ball. It’s tough love, he loves to shout at me but he does it in a loving way.

Who has been your favorite Sugar Hut guest?

Most guests that we have welcomed have been so humble. My favorites are probably Dappy from N-Dubz and Danny Dyer. I’ll bring them to Sugar Hut for a night out, and they will be so friendly to everyone. They’re always so grateful; all of the week afterwards they’ll be texting to say thank you. Though, if it weren’t a celebrity thing I would say the best people are the locals. I love watching them enjoy their night out.

What guest do you look at welcoming during the rest of 2015?

We often have reality TV stars, and I do like them. I mean, I’m one of them myself, but I want to get some mainstream DJ’s here to perform. I want to try and get every Radio 1 and Kiss 100 DJ into the club. The responses are always brilliant for them. I really want to get Mike Tyson. You’d never see him in a club so I really want him here!

Do you have anything in particular you'd love to accomplish this year?

Yes. I’ve always wanted to partake in some acting and singing. I jump into it, and then I jump back out of it. I really want to stick to this without getting side tracked. Sugar Hut is our day-to-day thing, it’s our life, but I also really want to stick to the singing and acting.

So this time next year it could be you performing at Sugar Hut.
That would be brilliant wouldn’t it! I don’t think my Dad would like my fee, though!

If you could fast-forward ten years, where would you see yourself?

I would love to see myself being called a British actor. Have a song in the top ten charts, and having a lovely wife and two kids.

Not much then! If you could switch lives with one person for one day, who would it be?

My dad. He does go through a lot. I know he has stressful days, and I would like to experience them myself so that I can understand him.




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Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Interview With TOWIE Star Lydia






Evening all - if you're a follower of my social media sites, you'll notice that I recently interviewed Lydia Bright. The response so far has been great, and so I thought it would be ludicrous not to share it with you. Lydia Bright is touted as one of Essex’s most-loved reality stars. Last month, I sat down with Lydia to speak of her upcoming charity event on 2nd August, alongside her charity trek to Machu Picchu in September. The bash at Kings Oak in High Beech, Essex, is being held together with Ferne McCann for CoppaFeel, a charity on a mission to stamp out late detection of breast cancer.


Entertainment will be provided by the likes of James Argent and The Dreamboys. A DJ set will then follow into the evening. Bright said: “It is a huge honor for Ferne and I to organize a fundraising ball for CoppaFeel. We are in a day and age where breast cancer can be treated, but often it is left too late. CoppaFeel do amazing work in educating and encouraging women to regularly check their breasts.”

“I hope that we can raise between £8,000-£10,000 at the ball and encourage others to get involved. The event will be fun for the family (but not children, as The Dreamboys are performing). There will be music all night with a bistro and barbeque”.

CoppaFeel target young people in their natural habitat, be it at a festival or at their university campuses, to integrate a life saving message. They offer free and easy reminder services such as a monthly text message, the iCoppaFeel! App, or maybe as extreme as a friendly Boob-O-Gram to your place of work. CoppaFeel believe that too many women, and men, die of breast cancer due to late detection. Currently over 2000 cases are diagnosed at stage 4 each year – there is no stage 5. This is unnecessary.

Lydia goes on to say that the inspiration behind the fundraising event is that both her aunt and grandmother were victims of breast cancer – “there is cancer in most families”, making the event close to many peoples hearts.

“I did a charity event in January which raised £15,000, and then another a couple of years ago for Great Ormond Street, raising £30,000. Treks are so effective and these charities have a lot of meaning to me”. 

Organising a charity ball can be a daunting prospect, but with due care and consideration any fears will give way to great satisfaction and rewards. Lydia warmly talks about the event, exemplifying in her tone of voice how fulfilling raising money for charities can be.

Did you get any inspiration for the ball from the Wright wedding?

They had amazing ideas but a completely different budget! Because ours is for charity we have been extremely lucky to have much of the event – such as the venue and our drinks – provided for free. This means that every ticket sold goes straight to charity. Of course, the Wright wedding was amazing but it’s not going to be quite on that scale! We will try and make everything as incredible as possible.

Has Arg been supportive?

Of course! He’s offered to sing at the event which is incredible because he has an amazing voice . At the moment he is in the process of putting together a wedding band so we are really looking forward to them perhaps making their debut. It’s a lot to take on organization-wise, especially alongside Bella Sorella, and filming. I have been really busy - he’s been really good.

Talking of Arg putting together a wedding band.. Has he got any ideas?

I think it’ll definitely be on the cards at some point in the future but there is no rush at the moment.

Are you going to be wearing something from Bella Sorella to the ball?

Yes, definitely. I’m going to be wearing something from my own collection to the event but I’m sure lots of people will be wearing Bella Sorella because they are purchasing the tickets in store and then picking their outfits!

Will the TOWIE producers be filming the ball?

No because we have actually organised the charity ball just after filming wraps. There will be lots of press, celebrities and TOWIE cast members attending!




Tickets are £30 per person, available to purchase from Bella Sorella, Kings Oak, and Charlies Deli.

A glass of prosecco and canapés will be presented to you upon arrival.

For readers unable to make the event, you can sponsor Ferne and Lydia’s treck via their sponsorship page.

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Monday, 22 June 2015

Scallops with Pea Purée Recipe



Oh look - a recipe on claudiarosablog.com! With yesterday being Father's day, and me completely stressing about packing for tomorrows getaway (eek), I thought I'd share this seriously quick recipe. Whenever I'm looking to make fast and easy snacks I turn to seafood. It cooks up in a flash and takes on flavours so well. This scallop dish is perfect for demonstrating that you don't need a lot of ingredients to get a lot of flavour. Something I love about this starter/snack is that you've got your usual suspects: salt, pepper, oil, butter etc, and so the cost and simplicity is just as appetising as it looks.

INGREDIENTS TO SERVE 6 (STARTER).

- 6 Scallops (www.mcbseafoods.com)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Knob of butter
- 1 Lemon
- Salt
- Black Pepper
- 20g of finely diced shallots
- 1 tbsp of oil
- 400g of frozen garden peas
- 4g of salt
- 200ml of milk

Pea Purée


  1. Sweat the shallots in the oil until soft but not coloured. Add the garden peas, salt and milk and simmer for 8 minutes. 
  2. Drain the milk into a jug and pour the peas into a blender (I used my NutriBullet - which worked amazingly). Continue blending until it is a smooth consistency, adding enough of the milk to make a thickish puree. After blending, cool straight away as the colour will begin to fade. 

Scallops


  1. Heat a non-stick pan over a medium flame. When the pan is hot, pour in a spoon of olive oil, add the scallops until golden on one side. After 3 minutes turn over, add a knob of butter, season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. 
Presentation

  1. Spoon some pea puree into the middle of the bowl. Add a cooked scallop and place pea shoots above. 

Well, how easy was that?












Image credits`: http://stayhungree.com
Recipe credits: http://www.greatbritishchefs.com/recipes/scallops-recipe-pea-puree-shoots-cumin-foam







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Saturday, 6 June 2015

WHAT'S IN MY CELINE PHANTOM HANDBAG ?


It's (almost) obligatory to do a 'what's in my bag' post when a new handbag has been purchased. It's the law dontcha know? I love these kinds of posts so I wasted no time emptying the contents of my new Suede Celine Phantom bag onto my bed...

First up, let's talk about Cynthia the Celine.. (yes, I've named 'her' - if you were living on baked beans for the rest of the month due to the extortionate price tag, I'm sure you would too). For those of you that know me, you'll know that I love simplicity. I love my handbag to be minimal, organised and tidy and after recently reading that every handbag has up to 10,000 bacteria per square inch (eww) I'm keen to keep it that way... Despite a variety of my other handbags resembling a bank of receipts.

As for the essentials, I'm rarely without one of my beloved magazine monthlies and this week's choice is Executive PA..


Similarly, my iPhone and iPad do not leave me, they are either sleeping in my handbag, or in my hand. I recently bought a power bank which I swear by - now when I am hitting the dreaded post 20% red zone, I just plug this into my iPad or iPhone (or both! Yes, it charges two devices at once) and boost the power. There are tons on Amazon...it's where I got mine!


Then you have another bargain to contrast with the ever-so luxurious handbag - my new Celine-esque sunnies that I have briefly mentioned on social media sites over the previous weeks - guess where from? Ebay.. £13! Wherever I go you will catch me in a pair of sunglasses (any time of day, any location, and any season) Accordingly I purchased two pairs..


Narciso by Narciso Rodriguez is one of my favourite perfumes, so I was over the freakin' moon to be sent this cute 30ml bottle by Fragrance Direct - its the ultimate handbag essential.


That's pretty much all there is to it (apart from the cliche keys and money.. snooze), a swift roundup of some of my most-loved possessions. What do you carry in your bag?






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Sunday, 24 May 2015

The Limetree Kitchen - Lewes - Sussex



The Limetree Kitchen: 14 Station Street, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2DA
Contact: 01273 478636
Price: Two courses with wine: about £40 ahead.
Suppliers: Local - meat sourced by a local Sussex farm - fish sourced by MCB Seafood's, also local - situated in the heart of Newhaven (www.mcbseafoods.com).

Visiting Lewes is always a pleasure, because it's like stepping back in time - this small town in Sussex exudes a distinctly laid-back, old fashioned charm. When we walk into The Limetree (situated within the midst of the town), the restaurant is empty - a cue for your standard British diner to sprint screaming to the nearest takeaway. But chef Alex Von Riebech kindly finds us a cosy corner where we don't feel too awkward. At roughly £7 for a starter, and mains hovering around the £17 mark, eating here is going to cost decidedly more than cheesy chips on the beach.. Evidently the food here is above the 'cheesy chips' standard, however. The wine list is reasonable, though, with decent bottles available for under £30.

To begin, they present us with complementary gazpacho ice with marinated buffalo mozzarella (devine). Ordered for my main was organic, locally sourced lamb: meaty and supremely tender, served over a crunchy potato square, garnished with a few slim runner beans wrapped in spring onion, laying on a light jus. It was one of the best things I've eaten in ages. All of this happens in a tiny, minimal seated area with a funky music-note coated wall. The feeling is relaxed; you almost feel like you're eating in someone's home. The service is relaxed, too, but it's super attentive. The pacing is perfect.

So yes, dessert arrives exactly when we are ready for it; I don't usually love hazelnuts, or coffee, but I could spend the rest of my life with the trembly coffee jelly topped panna cotta, accompanied with toasted hazelnut nibbles. This is a restaurant that is truly extraordinary.







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Saturday, 23 May 2015

10 OFFICE OUTFIT IDEAS - What Do I Wear To Work!?



'If you wake up hating Monday... Change your career'. I love my career, but lets be honest - Monday's are the best of times, but also the worst of times. Or maybe just the latter if you're to pay any attention to all of the Twitter and Instagram hatred quotes going around. Despite this, not all is lost on a Monday morning, because as well as the weekend blues and the weekend hangover, we get to play with fashion and take style to work. Yippee.

How many of you really wake up and start singing with joy because it's Monday, and then use the spare hour prior to work to try on outfits with a smile on your face, only to finally, in an even happier state of mind, pick a colour combination to resemble your Monday happiness? Thought so. If the preceding scream 'you', then this post isn't for you.

If however, for at least 2 of 5 times a week you catch yourself behind schedule, running later than usual, buried in items of clothing that have the potential to make incredible outfits, but to you they are all crap that introduce the fashion monster inside you, conclusively leading to standing in your underwear staring at this muddled mess of fabric thinking 'I have NOTHING to wear', then this post IS for you.

The everyday question of what to wear to work? appears from Monday to Friday, so let's take a breather and attempt to put our creative fashion minds at work. Here are 10 office outfit idea's to last 2 working weeks.. 2 working weeks of stress free mornings (hopefully). As my blog now focusses on 'Luxury Lifestyle' - the items you'll soon see come with a 'luxury' (extortionate) price tag. I'm thinking of doing a 'get the look', thus making the outfits affordable for the majority. I'd love to know what you think!


























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Thursday, 14 May 2015

Wivenhoe House - Hotel Review



In hopes of a much-needed vacation during a seriously hectic month, I headed over to Essex for a few days and stayed at Wivenhoe House. Having stayed here before, I had a pretty good idea about the high calibre of service and incredible attentions to detail that await me. Of course it goes without saying that Essex as a county walks the thin line of tacky and ultra-luxury, but I appreciated the tasteful elegance that echoed throughout this property. It’s quite rare that I have almost nothing negative to say about a hotel, even the best of the best… You’d be overawed if you saw the most recent TripAdvisor review I published.. But between the gorgeous melange of light and dark and the gleaming chic features, I was truly hard-pressed to find fault during my three-night stay.

Upon arriving at Wivenhoe House, I was kindly upgraded to (in my opinion) the nicest available room within the property (thank you very much to Melissa, and the team for this), as you can see from the above image, my room also had a lovely view of the hotel’s garden; a setting I can only see as pure delight during the warmer summer months. The room also contained an iMac – Jesus Christ was this handy – why don’t all hotel rooms have this option?!

From a seamless check-in to the exquisite room-service, I walked away feeling refreshed, and content – exactly what I had hoped for. Not even the three-hour drive home could have dimmed the glory of my relaxing getaway. The endless amount of work that I endured during my stay was made congenially tranquil due to my sleek and minimalistic room.

Also to add, the bed was one of the comfiest bed’s that I have slept in before and I had a really peaceful night’s sleep in preparation for my hectic days of painful, excruciating work. On site Wivenhoe House boasts a Brasserie to relish some tasty food and drink, which has a comfortable and modern lounge setting.

In total Wivenhoe House’s contemporary garden wing hosts 24 bedrooms and is South East Anglia’s ‘hidden gem’. So, if you are looking for a bit of luxury – and lets face it, we all need it from time to time – then Wivenhoe House could be the perfect location that you are looking for. For more details or to book your stay you can visit the Wivenhoe House website here.









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