The best places to buy houseplants


Since I've moved out I've been on a mission to turn my home into a mini jungle and I'm slowly getting there. My houseplant collection is building up slowly but surely and I've even managed to keep them alive. Lets just not talk about when I killed a cactus within my first few months of being in my new home. I've got so much better! But I've discovered not all house plants are created equal and some companies will try and make you take out a bank loan in order to afford to buy them. So here are a few good-value places I've discovered along my quest.

IKEA
This Swedish giant is so much more than just flat-packed furniture. It also boasts a killer house plant selection. They aren't the cheapest I've found but they're definitely not the most expensive. The plants on offer always look really lush and well looked after. I picked up my Aloe Vera plant for just £3 which was a completely bargain considering how huge it is. It's getting so big to that I'm going to have to re-pot it soon.

Lidl
Lidl change their houseplant selection around quite frequently so once you see one you like, you have to buy it straight away. It might not be there next time you visit! The selection isn't massive so its a place you have to have patience with. Keep popping back until they have one you like. My beloved cheese plant is from here and it's gone from strength to strength. Not bad for around £4!

Bloombox Club*
I did a piece on houseplant subscriptions at work and as a result I got to try out Bloombox Club. My comped subscription has now come to an end but I loved it. After we've paid for Vegas in the New Year, I'm going to sign up for it again. You can choose to sign up for every month or for a maximum of three months and Bloombox will send you a plant. It costs £17 for one without a ceramic pot and £35 for one with a pot. I have loved all three plants I've received and the pots have been great too. All so different from the last one.


Homebase
It almost becomes the law that once you move out you start to spend all your weekends in Homebase. It was during one of these many trips that I became obsessed with the house plant selection. They have so many to choose from and again they don't cost the earth. This is probably one of my favourite places for the sheer number of different species.

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Restaurant review: Blanchette, Soho, central London


Blanchette is a French bistro offering small, tapas-style dining in the heart of Soho, tucked behind the manic Oxford Street. I'd heard of it before but it wasn't really on my radar so when one of my friends suggested it for a Sunday night dinner I was game.

The waitress explained that we should order 2-3 dishes each which I feel is standard for many small plates restaurants. There were three of us so we opted for a few snacks along side a couple of meat dishes and sides. So what did we order? To start we had a bowl of olives and a brown bag of crusty bread with salted butter,  quickly followed by crispy Longhorn beef with a creamy parsnip puree and a favourite truffle honey drizzle. That dish was probably my favourite of the bunch. The other meat dish was a tender braised lamb shoulder with anchovy, rosemary and a soubise sauce - a buttery onion sauce. For the sides we had delicious spiced Moroccan spiced peppers on top of a grilled chewy flatbread with a perfectly poached egg. Next up was a green bean salad with aged comté cheese and a walnut and shallot dressing. This was incredibly moreish. Of course no French meal is complete with cheese to finish. I opted for a generous plate of aged comté again as I couldn't get enough. It came with plenty of crisp breads and a mound of chutney. Just what was needed to finish off the meal!





We had a two hour slot but they very kindly allowed us to stay for 2.5 hours which was so lovely. Quite often in London they can be very strict, sometimes rushing you along with still 20 minutes to go, so it was a nice touch that they were pretty laid back. The waitress was very attentive and knowledgeable which always makes a dining experience so much better. Blanchette isn't cheap and it can work out very expensive if you are quite greedy - as I always am. But the quality of the food is very high and the presentation looks great, so I do really think it is worth it. I don't very often opt for French cuisine when I eat out so it made a really lovely change.
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How to include snippets of memories in your home


One of my favourite things to do in the world is to travel and I love to have little memories of my trips around the house to remind me of the places I've been. It could be a trinket from a place far away, a Polaroid picture from a city we've been to or a guide book I've poured over as I extensively researched where exactly we're going to eat. Always the most important thing when visiting somewhere new!

Long before we moved out I started to collect prints for a gallery wall. It's been years in progress and I don't get them for every single place, just the cities that have had the biggest impact on me. Sometimes I buy them overseas but sometimes I buy them online here in the U.K. I don't always have time to trawl through shops whilst I'm on holiday!

Desenio got in touch with me to see if I wanted to add to it with some of their own prints and frames. I went straight to their Maps and Cities and came across some gems. 



First up is this Barcelona travel poster of the famous Sagrada Familia. Sometimes you can take beautiful architecture for granted and it starts to all look the same. One European old town tends to blend into another sometimes doesn't it? But the first time I saw this cathedral it took my breath away. I don't think I've ever seen such a stunning building, I was in awe. I'm still gutted we got our times confused and missed our time slot to go inside. One day!

Next up is this Berlin 69 poster. The cool retro design really caught my eye and I thought it summed up the German city perfectly. Berlin was the city that kickstarted my travel bug and it has a very special place in my heart. It's just so unbelievably cool and filled with incredible history and the best food. I'm a sucker for hipster cities!


Finally, this Washington DC skyline poster was my final choice. Washington DC was one of those cities that I am so glad I visited but I'm not sure I would ever visit again. It has a strange vibe that I just can't put my finger on. But I loved seeing the White House in person and the Lincoln memorial. It felt like I was in Forest Gump and was a real pinch me moment. 


The code “ASTORYOFAGIRL” gives 25% off posters* on all of our sites between October 23rd and 25th. 
*Except for frames and handpicked-/collaboration posters

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A Essex based lifestyle blogger who lives a champagne life on a lemonade purse!

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sophie.warner89@yahoo.co.uk.

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