End January with a Cocktail Hour


cocktail hour

1. the interval before the evening meal during which cocktails and other alcoholic beverages are often served.
I think we need to bring back cocktail hour this January. As a month, it is always miserable, containing the most miserable day of the year. This particular January has been cold, cold enough to want to stay in and hibernate until at least mid March. So what better way to brighten up the month than by bringing back the most glamorous hour of the day, one which tastes delicious, and can, if you so wish, be attended in your pjs. Let’s bring back cocktail hour.
I have only one hard and fast rule about cocktail hour, and that is the glasses you use should be fit for the purpose. Last year I had a couple of pretty fabulous cocktails, including a rather divine Pornstar Martini, but the whole drink was totally spoiled by the fact it was served in a plastic glass – NO! NO! and Just NO! There is really no need to do this. House of Fraser is just one of the stores that have a fabulous selection of cocktail glasses and glassware that will make your cocktail hour stay the right side of classy.
Whether you want to mix the perfect Martini, fancy an iced Margarita, or actually fancy yourself as a bit of a mixologist and are intent in putting together your own concoction, by serving it in a proper glass, you literally ensure it will taste better than it would in a wine glass or tumbler. You can chose if you want to go for the classic Waterford Crystal design, or something more sleek and streamlined.
 LSA Lulu Champagne/Cocktail Glass Clear Assorted x 4 £40 Click to visit House of Fraser

LSA Lulu Champagne/Cocktail Glass Clear Assorted x 4

 Linea Margarita set of 4 glasses now £17.50 Click to visit House of Fraser

Linea Margarita set of 4 glasses
now £17.50 

 Waterford Clarendon ruby martini glass, set of 2 £|155 Click to visit House of Fraser

Waterford Clarendon ruby martini glass, set of 2

 Galway Clarity martini glasses set of 6 £24.95 Click to visit House of Fraser

Galway Clarity martini glasses set of 6

January may be cold and pretty horrible, but if you face it with a cocktail in hand, you may just about survive until February.
I’ll leave the final word to the patron saint of cocktail drinkers everywhere – Carrie Bradshaw.

Penhaligans Launch Juniper Sling in true 1920s style.

Stephen Tennant

Image via Wikipedia

The last few weeks have been full of fabulous launches, and one of the most enjoyable was the launch of the gorgeous Juniper Sling at the Penhaligon’s Covent Garden store. This was a special bloggers event with a real ‘Bright Young things’ feel. Flappers, the Charleston, roaring twenties news-stories about the likes of Stephen Tennant and Brenda Dean Paul and a bar serving an arresting array of Gin Cocktails made this a launch party to remember.

The launch was to celebrate the newest addition to the iconic Penhaligon’s fragrance family. ‘Juniper Sling’,  as the name may suggest, has been inspired by London Dry Gin. A heady, intoxicating scent that has a freshness that makes it the perfect unisex fragrance, ‘Juniper Sling’ has been created for Penhaligon’s by the master perfumer,  Olivier Cresp. The smell is totally addictive, in Penhaligon’s own words, which frankly can’t be bettered;- “For enigmatic boys and girls, Juniper Sling is a crisp cocktail shot of gin with the freshness of juniper, cool measures of angelica and brandy and a beating libertine heart of black pepper, cardamom, soft leather and orris. A gourmand base of brown sugar, black cherry and amber add sensuality to the scent.”

With all this in mind, Penhaligon’s planned a launch party that made the most of the spirit of the 1920s. Knockout cocktails containing Gin, cranberry and black pepper (yes..strange, but totally lush!) were on offer, whilst a pair of dancers spirited from 1926 showed guests some simple Charleston steps. The beautiful decor of Penhaligon’s echoed to the sounds of the Bright Young Things, whilst guests were also treated to special lessons in the art of fragrance layering, a way of making your fragrance last all day long. The air was alive with the beautiful fragrance of Penhaligons scents,  as testers of every single fragrance was available for guests to experience, whilst the knowledgable staff were able to suggest new fragrances based on your past choices. I was introduced to some new florals based on my previous  love of Bluebell.


Everyone had a fabulous night and left with a special handbag size atomiser of Juniper Sling, along with some 1920s style advertising postcards.  A wonderful way to experience the English treasure trove that is Penhaligon’s – a vintage style apothecary in the heart of the 21st Century!

Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling Eau de Toilette 50ml £78


Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling Eau de Toilette 100ml £110