Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Summer promotion at some Topshop branches

Topshop is to hold a number of summer-holiday-themed instore promotions throughout the month of June. The promotions will take place in the Oxford Circus, Manchester Armdale, Dublin Stephen’s Green and Liverpool stores.

The activities will include a 'Create Your Own Postcard' pop-up and a frozen yoghurt stand from Frae in selected stores. Dazed Digital will be also be hosting 'Fashion Photography in the Digital Age' workshops.

Visitors to the four stores during the promotional period will be able to create their own 'Wish You Were At Topshop' postcard. Following a complimentary styling session and make-up touch-up, a photo will be taken with an iPad 2 against a summer-holiday-themed backdrop, with the option to choose one of several Instagram filters to change the look and feel of the image.

Once the perfect image is captured on camera, customers can then upload their image straight onto their Facebook page and Topshop's own gallery, allowing them to share the photo with friends. There will also be the option to print out the postcard to keep. Plus, customers will be able to ‘LIKE’ Topshop on Facebook, where they’ll then have the opportunity to enter a competition to win a £1000/$1000 summer spree.

Customers can enjoy a snack from organic frozen yoghurt brand Frae, who will be popping up for a limited period in each of the four stores.

For the fashion photography fan, Dazed Digital will host four workshops on 'Fashion Photography in the Digital Age' in stores. Each workshop will focus on how fashion photography has evolved from a professional art form to the democratisation of social photo sharing and image manipulation, and the effect this has had on fashion shoots and brand campaigns.

A spokesman said: "Topshop is proud to be the first in the industry to work with Instagram, giving customers a fun instore experience and a postcard they can keep forever."

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Topshop announces first ever 'Secret Store'

Topshop has announced launch of its first ever pop-up Secret Store concept space in both the Oxford Circus and New York stores, featuring a premium and directional selection of Topshop Boutique and designer collaboration pieces to treasure.

This new concept, the first of its kind in a high street store, will give visitors the chance to purchase something truly unique and personal. Contributing designers have produced pieces that they wouldn't have the chance to produce as part of their main line.

Madelaine Evans, head of buying at Topshop commented: "We're thrilled to be the first high street store to introduce a pop-up concept space of this nature. It's an exciting project for Topshop and I hope it will surprise and delight customers both old and new. It's a great opportunity for the designers we collaborate with to produce something unusual that they've not done before, and also a chance for our in-house design team to let their imaginations run riot."

The Secret Store will feature a number of Designers for Topshop, including Meadham Kirchhoff, Nasir Mazhar, Maria Francesca Pepe, Emma Cook, Ann-Sofie Back, Michael Van Der Ham and Pamela Love.

Topshop Boutique in-house team have also produced a collection of bags and clothing especially for the Secret Store, which will be available alongside some other secret surprises.

Additionally, four iconic pieces from Unique collections of yesteryear will be available to buy again, some of which have never been produced despite huge demand. This is an amazing opportunity to buy collectable Unique pieces, including a blouse SS09, a Peter Pan collar dress from AW09 and two Surfboard maxi dresses from SS10.

The Secret Store is a temporary feature in the Oxford Circus and New York flagship stores, for two weeks only, from today, 26th May.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Study in Style - stylish training designed for women

Study in Style, the comprehensive Image Consultant Complete Foundation Course has launched. It's described as a flexible, affordable, distance learning package that could bring you a new career as an Image Consultant, Personal Stylist or Personal Shopper closer.

The Complete Foundation Course costs £2,400 (a payment plan is available, just ask them for the details ) with separate modules offered from just £450.

The Study in Style course provides a modular DVD-based course which can be studied at your own pace, in your own time: so making it ideal for Mums at home looking for training that will fit around their busy family life; people seeking a new skill-set; or those looking for a whoe new career.

Course modules include: Personal Shopping; Women’s Style Analysis; Men’s Style Analysis; Colour Analysis; Makeup Application; and Presentation Skills. The Study in Style Complete Foundation Course also includes a total of 12 month’s free mentoring from image industry expert Gail Morgan.

Gail Morgan, the creator of Study in Style says: “This course has been designed for women who are interested in clothes and fashion but who don’t necessarily want to become fashionistas!

Our face to face courses are very popular but we had numerous requests for a home study course. I knew that using just books and photographs wouldn’t be enough, so I transferred the training experience into DVD and created this distance learning programme, so that wherever you are, you will have the opportunity to run your own style business.

“Following your training you will have the knowledge and appreciate the importance of tact and empathy necessary to help your clients find clothes that suit them, their lifestyle, personality and budget. You will be able to start your own business, doing a fun, interesting job that gives you the flexibility to work around your family commitments.”

Designed to provide all the information and equipment you would require to launch your own business as an Image Consultant, Fashion Advisor, Personal Stylist or Personal Shopper, the Study in Style course is accredited and audited by The Federation of Image Consultants (TFIC).

All training content, equipment and materials are audited by TFIC and the Study in Style Foundation Course meets the standards set by the TFIC/City & Guilds of London, Masters Award in Image Consultancy.

Victoria Lochhead from Newbury in Berkshire is a mum of two. She reports: “I’m in my early 30s and found it hard to shop as I always felt there wasn’t a lot on offer for my age group in the High Street – it all seemed too young or too frumpy.

“One day I was in my usual baggy t-shirt and jeans and just felt I had to do something about it! With Study in Style I could study at my own pace in manageable stages. What’s great is that you can build up a business as you go through the course. Study in Style is a great investment, the course is rich in detail and offers brilliant value for money. I now have new skills I’ll always be able to use.”

Karen Cross, 42, from Solihull near Birmingham in the Midlands points out: “I’d always had an interest in fashion and decided to do the Study In Style course last year. The course gave me the opportunity to train at my own pace, in the time I have available. I really enjoyed the distance learning which was very easy to fit into my busy home life. For each module of the course I read the manual then watched the DVDs which I found was the best way to do it – and I’ve always got the manuals as handy reference points.

“I found it a tactile, flexible and interactive course and am delighted that I’m working with new clients already. I set up Style Your Image and I’ve been doing clients properly since Christmas 2010 and am really seeing growing demand for my unique service.”

Hairdresser Sue Nurser, 53, adds: “Especially when you’re colouring hair, I’ve always asked people if they knew their colours and have always found it interesting to work out what people are and what would suit them best.

“With my hairdressing business I can’t commit specific days for studying and I’m a ‘watcher and doer’ learner so watching the Study in Style DVD and reinforcing that by reading the manual at my own pace was ideal. My hairdressing business has built up over the years but offering a Colour Analysis service is already making a real difference to my income.”

Study in Style is the training arm of The Image House, the image consultancy business founded by Gail Morgan in 1992. The distance learning Study in Style courses were created to help women set up and up run their own successful businesses in a fantastic and fulfilling industry.

All training content, equipment and materials are audited by The Federation of Image Consultants and the Study in Style Foundation Course meets the standards set by the TFIC/City & Guilds of London, Masters Award in Image Consultancy. For more details please visit www.studyinstyletraining.com

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Dorothy Perkins reveals its new Floradita collection, as it closes many High Street branches

Dorothy Perkins has announced this summer's launch of Floradita, a sophisticated, boutique-inspired floral collection. But there is a catch.

Floradita has a hint of the 1950s plus a touch of modern day romance, creating a capsule collection of fabrics in simple feminine shapes.

Whether it's a traditional wedding in the country, a refined garden party or just a stroll in the sunshine, Floradita has plenty to offer for everyone for every occasion.

From prim, full-skirted sundresses and floaty floral maxis, to delicately embroidered cropped jackets and peter-pan collar lace tops, this new range has a unique feel to it and is perfect for the summer months ahead.

Many of the items in the collection have a retro or vintage look, with floral patterns being a strong theme throughout. This is featured boldly on skirts and summer dresses, and used more subtly on lace detailed tops.

A limited edition range of Floradita jewellery will also be available, complementing the clothing. A chunky gold chain necklace with bold flower charms adds a quirky touch, while rose printed cameos create a more quintessentially English look, found on stud earrings, a statement ring and a pendent necklace.

The range also includes accessories, like floral print summer wedges, bright coloured clutch bags and oversized sunglasses.

Floradita is available in selected stores nationwide and online on the Dorothy Perkins website from the beginning of June 2011.

The catch is, however, that many Dorothy Perkins shoppers will lose out, as a large number of Dorothy Perkins branches throughout Britain are to close next month. Ironically at the same time as the new Floradita range is being launched.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Littlewoods Europe has announced launch of its biggest range of swimwear and shapewear, ever.

The new range is part of the Littlewoods Europe summer shop range, and includes a stylish collection of bikinis, tankinis, swimsuits, sports swimwear and beachwear accessories. There are over 200 lines of swimwear and shapewear, with many of them included in a special 3 for the price of 2 promotion.

There are a number of styles and designs for you to choose from, there are lots of mix and match styles ranging from sizes 8 to 26 and up to a bust size of 44f. The new range also features a line of shapewear swimwear, which include tummy control panels, high waist briefs, wider straps and bust underwire, which are all designed to give the swimwear a more flattering fit.

A spokesperson for Littlewoods Europe said: "Women's swimwear shopping can be tricky. If like most of us you're not the same size on the top and bottom or you want more coverage without compromising on style the options can be limited. This year with our widest ever swimwear range there is something to suit all shapes. With over 40 mix and match styles and 3 for 2 offers, it will suit your budget as well."

The new swimwear collection includes items from brands such as Adidas, French Connection, Freya, Coleen, Roxy and Speedo.

The Littlewoods Europe website makes it easier for the customer to search for the swimwear they are looking for by allowing them to search by colour, brand, price range, category, current offers and previous customer ratings. It also allows the customer to sort them by best sellers and items which have recently been added to the collection.


Debenhams spots spike in fake tan sales after Royal Wedding

Debenhams Beauty Hall has revealed the 'glowing' example of the Middletons at the Royal Wedding has caused a sales spike of fake tan with British women aiming to look just as bronzed during this year's wedding season.

The afternoon of the Royal Wedding Day saw fake tan flying off the shelves with sales up 219 per cent compared to the same day last year. The following day was almost as successful as shoppers, inspired by the wedding highlights on TV, boosted sales by 200 per cent.

Rumours are abound as to how the Middletons achieved their sun-kissed looks, from Kate's natural glow to Pippa's golden tone, with professionally applied artificial self tan thought to be the most likely solution.

Sara Stern, beauty director at Debenhams said: "You simply can't underestimate the impact that Kate and Pippa will have on the beauty industry.

"Already streams of wannabe princesses have been flooding into our stores looking to achieve their healthy, groomed look.

"In particular, Kate's more subtle shade of tan is perfect for big occasions like weddings. A light tan to complement your skin tone is more appropriate than the deeper, more noticeable shades used on a night out".

Debenhams' in-store tanning experts have been inundated with phone calls and in store queries about tan-etiquette - how to look your very best at a wedding without over-shadowing the bride or scaring off the best man.

Stern advised: "Skin prep is vital to avoiding those tell-tale tide marks. Exfoliate and moisturise well in advance and apply slowly and steadily. Choose a shade that is not too distant from your skintone and use different products for face and body.

"Take inspiration from the new Duchess of Cambridge and embrace bronzing powder and highlighters to create definition and enhancement - a look that will dazzle from Westminster Abbey to Gretna Green".

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Cannelle Notices That More Young Clients Are Opting For The Natural Look

Cannelle beauty salons are noticing that young girls are not only keener than ever to learn the secrets to looking naturally gorgeous but to actually understanding good skin care. Over the last three years Cannelle (www.cannellebeaute.co.uk) has seen a 54% increase in the number of teenagers visiting their salons with the majority opting for manicures, waxing and eyebrow shaping treatments.

"Recent years have seen an overwhelming pressure for young girls to ply on heavy amounts of make-up but now we are seeing more girls who are being brought to the salon by their mother's to learn how to look after their skin and to learn how to put on make-up for a natural look. We also find this generation is far more savvy about sun exposure," says France Baudet the owner of the renowned French beauty salon.

Cannelle offers a wide range of suitable treatments including Décleor facials for spot prone skin which use 100% pure essential oils with natural plant extracts. For teenagers Aroma Purify is great for oily skin or Aroma Radiance for duller skin.

France continues: "The teenagers who come to our salon are made to feel as comfortable as possible and learn a lot from our experienced beauty therapists. With exam time and then end of year balls coming up we are expecting to see even more girls coming in for a treat, to reduce the effects that stress has had on their skin and to relax."

Cannelle delivers a fusion of beauty treatments all of which are tailored to meet their clients' special requirements. Baudet has divulged some top beauty tips for teenagers.

Teen beauty tips from Cannelle:
1. Cleanse, tone AND MOISTURISE! - Even if you have oily skin! Many girls avoid moisturisers because they believe they contain oils which promote spots. In fact if you choose a moisturiser that contains 'purifying oils' you will reap the benefits of well-nourished skin without spot problems. I recommend Décleor Aroma Purete for combination skin or Décleor Hydra Floral for normal skin.

2. Make up remover wipes are handy, particularly for girls on the go! So take them on sleepovers for quick, mess-free make up removal but avoid using them for prolonged periods. Wipes do not replace a proper skin care regime...think mouth wash as an alternative to brushing teeth. Exactly, you wouldn't!

3. Lip gloss compliments young, fresh skin perfectly. Don't be tempted to try dark or bright red matt lipsticks...you did that when you played dressing up as mum ten years ago...you don't want the same effect now! Vaseline has the same light reflecting instant plumping effect for even the thinnest lips so keep a travel size handy and reapply, reapply, reapply!

4. UV rays are a big no! Your generation is far more savvy about UV rays and burning. Sun exposure causes premature ageing and wrinkles can develop even in the early 20s with too much sun. Thankfully pale, pasty skin is a thing of the past for teens now the shelves are bursting with easy-to-use, skin nourishing creams and daily moisturisers containing hints of tanning colour that allow a safe, healthy glow to develop with continual use.

5. If you are particularly sensitive about the size of your nose, summer is the best time of the year for you! Trendy sunglasses and large brimmed hats look fabulous (teamed with skinny jeans and flip flops) and will dramatically reduce appearance of a larger nose. Uber stylish, uber clever!

6. Sparse lashes? Zig-zag your mascara brush! Whatever brand of mascara you choose it's the application that gives thicker longer looking lashes. Start at the base of the lashes (brush under not over lashes) and keeping the brush in contact with lashes at all times, zig-zag from side to side as you move up the lash. This movement separates and coats each lash at the same time, for maximum coverage and instantly thicker, bolder lashes.

7. Everyone has sad skin days. The moment you notice an obvious spot, cover with a medicated concealer and re-style your hair! Our attention usually goes straight to what's new, so all focus will be on your hair not on your blemish! Alternatively MAC, Couleur Caramel and STILA have great concealers.


Saturday, 14 May 2011

Debenhams has revealed that embarrassment is causing 85% of the female population to wear the wrong sized bra

Despite Debenhams carrying out over one million bra fits a year, the majority of women would rather spare their own blushes than go and get measured for a bra that does the job.

The findings came from a survey by Debenhams, which showed that going topless, feeling uncomfortable and being made to feel embarrassed came out as reasons women felt reluctant to go for a professional bra fitting - all three are completely false.

Debenhams head of lingerie buying and design Sharon Webb commented: "The results of our survey were shocking - it's astounding how many myths there are surrounding how a bra fit works.

"What's more a woman can go from a 36B to a shapely 32D in a matter of minutes by getting a good bra fit - no drastic surgery required."

Britain's first lady of lingerie, designer Aliza Reger added: "Fit is of paramount importance, a great fitting bra makes you look good on the outside and feel fantastic on the inside. 

"It really is staggering how many women get it totally wrong.  There really is nothing worse than an unsupported bust or spilling over the top of an ill-fitting bra."

Until the 22nd May 2011, the hundreds of expertly trained lingerie fitters at Debenhams are fitting as many women as possible, to raise awareness of the importance of wearing the right sized bra and the dramatic difference it can make to a woman's figure.

Women can take advantage of the free bra fitting service in all Debenhams stores, and those who do so during May will receive £5 off bras when they are fitted.

Bottoms Up! Best exercise tips for your rear

Following all the attention surrounding Pippa Middleton’s bottom as well as the upcoming Rear of the Year 2011, Pure Gym has put together a collection of tips to suit every body type (whether ‘apple’, ‘pear’, ‘hourglass’ or ‘tube’) – on how to get your bum in rear of the year shape!

Body Shape= Apple ( Generally rounder shape but slightly bigger top half )
Exercises; Walking, Running, ( Leg press, squats, deadlifts )
TIPS- Concentrate on lower body. Strength exercises keep the resistance and the reps low.

Body Shape= Pear ( Larger lower body smaller upper body )
Exercises ; Skipping, cycling, xtrainer, walking ( Push ups, dips, shoulder press )
TIPS- Pick aerobic exercises that work the lower body and strength exercises for the upper body. Light reps high repetitions.

Body Shape= Hour Glass ( Well proportioned upper and lower with a narrower waist )
Exercises ; slow jogging, jumping jacks, swimming, stationary bike. ( Bicep curls, shoulder press, squats )
TIPS – Vary your repetitions and keep resistance light so as not to build too much muscle mass

Body Shape= Ruler / Tube ( slim, not much difference between hips, waist and shoulders )
Exercises ; Spinning, Step classes, (sit ups, squats)
TIPS- Can do pretty much anything. Do resistance training. Try do all muscle groups to get body symmetrical.

Survey results reveal the biggest barriers to joining a gym are high membership fees (72%), fixed contracts (40%) and lack of time (55%). Removing industry stereotypes such as inflexible contracts, limited opening hours and high cost memberships, Pure Gym offers low cost membership including ‘Price for life’, 24 hour opening and no contract. The concept is already proving a big hit with a quarter (25%) of their members having never joined a gym before.

Pure Gym was founded in 2009 and currently has 14 sites in Aberdeen, Warrington, Sheffield, Manchester, two in Edinburgh, Leeds, Wolverhampton, Glasgow, Leicester, Southampton, Belfast and two in Birmingham. In addition, a further 4 gyms are in development, including 2 in London. Current expansion plans hope to achieve 100,000 members by the end of 2011.

• No contract Low monthly cost 24 hour opening
• Free classes Free initial exercise induction Dedicated members website
• Money back guarantee Personal trainers available Price for Life
• Showers & changing rooms

Each Pure Gym has state-of-the-art equipment that is available to use 24/7 including cardio vascular training equipment, strength training equipment, multi-station strength training equipment and bodycore training platforms.

Each gym is also equipped with treadmills, indoor bicycles, elliptical trainer, rowing machines and steppers. All of the gyms are also equipped with a free weights area, containing a full set of dumbbells weighing up to 36kg, a smith machine and kettlebells.

The Company also offers a Price for Life guarantee – the price you join at is the price you will always pay. Pre-join a gym before opening and if you are not happy with it, there is a money-back guarantee. For more information visit www.puregym.co.uk

Monday, 9 May 2011

Fushi Wellbeing Providing Optimum Health And Wellbeing Naturally And Organically

Fushi Wellbeing has achieved The Vegan Society stamp of approval, with 98% of its products declared suitable for vegans.

What a lot of people might not be aware of is that The Vegan Society was launched in 1944. This hard-working charity is active in its work against all forms of exploitation of and cruelty to animals.

According to the Society, the ethics of consuming animal products, in this instance dairy produce, was debated by The Vegetarian Society as long ago as 1909.

What has long dogged a vegan lifestyle, however, is the question of just how healthy is a vegan diet. The truth is that we know so much more about the role of vitamins, proteins, minerals, and the various enzymes and phyto-nutrients and their importance not only for general health but also anti-aging and cellular activity, But, we also know so much more about the sources of these vital nutrients and how to avoid animal produce and instead look to Mother Nature for everything we need.

Now as well as vegans, Fushi's slew of high quality, results-driven supplements, tinctures and herbal drinks, as well as its prestige beauty and haircare ranges are all suitable for vegetarians for optimal health and wellbeing - which makes them best for everyone! Vegan or not.

Wild Flower Bee Pollen - £12.20

Individually Accredited Vegan by the vegan society
Bee pollen is a highly concentrated source of essential elements and the most complete food in nature. It contains all water-soluble vitamins, especially high in B and C, 22 amino acids, 27 minerals including calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper and iron.

Directions : 1.5 gm. a day taken on an empty stomach preferably first thing in the morning

Fushi Beauty Totale - (£14.95)

Packed with 24 of the most essential nutrients for skin, hair and nails. The potent ingredients include vitamin A, a crucial antioxidant for skin DNA at a cellular level, it helps repair and regenerate; zinc is known to for its benefits for skin complaints such as acne; silica contributes to collagen formation and is good for strong nails; vitamin C is important in the production of collagen; essential amino acids support elastin and collagen production; beta-carotene and vitamin E help the skin's natural defences against free radicals.

All these ingredients are bio available, which means the nutrients are in the most absorbable form.
Directions: 1-2 capsules daily with breakfast and dinner.

Fushi Organic Spirulina Capsules - £10.16
Spirulina is used for rejuvenation, weight reduction and is considered an excellent blood and colon cleanser. Extremely rich in protein, Spirulina contains a massive 26 times the calcium of milk, as well as potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, phosphorous and iron. In addition to these beneficial minerals, you can get your B-complex A and E vitamins from Spirulina.

Directions: 1-3 capsules daily.

Total Repair Herbal Shampoo £15.26 for 250 ml

This nourishing shampoo is specially formulated to treat normal to dry, and damaged hair types. It's generously medicated with the soothing and healing properties of calendula and the tonifying and rejuvenating action of frankincense and neroli essential oils. Combined with the nourishing attributes of sandalwood and vitamin and protein-rich avocado oil, dull and damaged hair is lifted, healthy and glossy and smells refreshed with orange essential oil.

Total Repair & Soothe Herbal Conditioner £18.32 for 250ml
This dual functioning conditioner is packed with 88% herbal ingredients. Calendula with its soothing and healing action, combines with the invigorating properties of frankinscense and ceroli, shine-inducing, vitamin and protein-rich avocado oil and sandalwood nourish, soothe and repair damage to the scalp and hair shaft.

Antioxidants are key to helping protect against the aging effects of UV
exposure and pollution, mopping up damaging free radical activity - literally the metabolic waste disposal of the body's cells. And, of course, if you have overdosed on uv exposure, antioxidants are critical to help support the body and reduce longer term damage.

Fushi's Superfoods from £10.16
The big dilemma about the superfoods - so-called because of the optimum beauty, health and wellbeing benefits they provide - is which one to choose.

Says Rick Hay, Fushi's own nutritionist: "Superfoods are incredibly high in protein and all the vital phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals the body needs, but in the same way that we all have talents, so each superfood has a role in overall health that it does best and which can work either to support the body in any deficiencies, but also to "turbo-charge" even the healthiest diet for optimum results."

The List: Acai has an extremely high ORAC value, which measures its antioxidant levels - great for general health and boosting immunity, it's an excellent anti-ager and also good for weightloss. Wheatgrass is extremely chlorophyll rich, the lifeblood of the plant, and is an extremely good energy booster and for use when detoxing. Chlorella, again rich in chlorophyll, is a powerful cleanser for the digestive system and for stimulating elimination, but it also has alkalizing properties so it reduces inflammation. Alfalfa, is a good digestive tonic.

So according to Fushi, vegetarian, vegan, health freak, or just in need of a good overhaul, Fushi Wellbeing is the one-stop shop for all your optimum health needs.

Fushi's body care products are free from Parabens, Petrochemicals, SLS, PEGs and synthetics.

Fushi is available from:
* Via the website www.fushi.co.uk, or Mail-order by calling 0845 330 1880
* Follow Fushi on Facebook

The Product Range:
* Herbal Remedies
* Nutriceuticals
* Hair care, Body and bath care
* Aromatherapy & Massage oils

Fushi believes the body shouldn't be overexposed to chemicals and unnatural elements and uses natural and organic ingredients wherever possible. Fushi supports Fair Trade, only buying products from suppliers that do not exploit indigenous populations around the globe. Fushi is a Member if the Ethical Company Organisation and the Good Shopping Guide.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Come dine with Chillicake

www.chillicake.com Chillicake is a new service ldesigned to bring people together who love dinner parties, socialising, meeting new people and who may even be looking for romance.

Chillicake founder Victoria Temple explained that with the huge popularity of TV’s Come Dine With Me and celebrity chef shows, together with the growth of internet dating makes this the perfect time to bring these elements together in a new blend.

Registering with Chillicake introduces you to like-minded people in your area and gives you the choice of hosting or attending a dinner party, choosing the types of people you want to meet, maybe with similar interests, of the opposite or same sex. You decide between you who will host the dinner or you can opt to dine together at a designated Chillicake table at a restaurant with other members.

Victoria said: “There is no question that people are appreciating and experimenting with food like never before, at the same time as being drawn to meet new people to share the dining experience with. If you have to rely on your existing circle of friends, conversation and food can become a bit samey and difficult to organise regularly. Also, singles in the city complain of finding it hard to establish groups like this outside the world of conventional dating, where they often feel under pressure. There are of course, a whole group of more mature adults looking to meet new people and this offers a civilised alternative to blind dates in public houses!

“Chillicake takes the heat out of this and enables members to meet up and share a dining experience as frequently as they wish, with no strings. It’s easier to enjoy conversation over a good meal and some nice drinks in a convivial group of like-minded people without feeling under a personal spotlight and needing to commit to or reject a dating scenario with one other stranger. If any of the Chillicake diners hit it off and pair up for romance after one of our dinners, that’s great, but that’s not the sole focus of this offering. Although, the Chillicake setting would doubtless make the dating game a whole lot easier and less fraught.”
Chillicake.com went live on Friday 29th April 2011 (Congratulations William and Kate!) Everyone who hosts a party by the end of May will enter into our monthly prize draw to win £50 of Grocery vouchers.

Chillicake membership works like this:

• It’s free to all members for 3 months after which time it costs £9.50 per month or £99 for a full year.
• Members can host and attend as many dinners as they like during their membership.
• Membership is on a monthly basis and can be cancelled at any time.
• As a member you can go to any dinner you wish, providing the host has a matching profile that allows you to join them. For example, some profiles may specify ladies only, so gents would be unable to attend. Similarly, a diner may have stated they wish to attend only vegetarian dinners and so it will be up to matching the right meal availability in that instance (providing the host lets you!)
• The host sets the parameters for dinner and the site then matches location and preferences of registered Chillicake dinner guests.
• As a guide, members should ideally match up an equal number of male and female guests, but essentially hosts have the choice - they can state number of attendees (minimum of 3- there is no option for there to be just 2 people) and the balance - they may go for a table of 6 and make it 4 ladies, 2 men. Equally, couples may wish to go to a dinner party together. Chillicake accommodates this preference too, so long as the host is willing.
• Members can provide all food and drink at their dinner party or, using PayPal the host can request invited diners to make a £ per head contribution to food and drink. Chillicake does not take a cut of this; all these contributions end up on the table to provide your evening’s food and drink.
• The host can post the dinner menu on the event in advance. Special dietary requirements (vegetarian, vegan, nut or gluten allergies etc.) will be known by the host as you include these in your online registration profile. You can also email the host once you receive their menu, if it features something that you really don’t like and would prefer an alternative.
• With your first 3 month’s free membership, if after registering you find there are no dinner parties happening in your neighbourhood or that you are able to easily travel to, Chillicake will not charge you. Social circles take time to build.
• Why is this better than Internet dating? – Because you have the opportunity to meet a group of people in a relaxed environment that gives you time to get to know them without the pressure of one-on-one relationship expectations.
• For would-be hosts struggling to dream up an ideal dinner party menu, the Chillicake site provides a range of basic recipes. Remember, you don’t have to be a gourmet chef – this is about sharing the enjoyment of home cooking, entertaining and meeting new people, or dining out together in a restaurant, if you prefer.
• Common sense safety warnings to members include: don’t drink and drive, ensure you know the times of public transport for your return journey or have arranged for a friend/family member or pre-booked licensed taxi to take you home at the end of the evening, ensure family or friends know in advance where you are going on a Chillicake dinner date and there is a 3-strike rule. If a guest is reported 3 times for inappropriate behaviour Chillicake reserve the right to cancel membership – more serious breaches may result in instant and permanent withdrawal of their membership.