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The People Alchemist Blog

By The Alchemist About Town 06 Nov, 2017
Hello,  I am  Laura Mariani, Founder of The People Alchemist Ltd .

The Alchemist About Town is an extension of the People Alchemist ; this a blog to help entrepreneurs , business owners and career minded people to achieve their goals and to provide business /lifestyle editing -  after all business life is a part of a business owner’s life.

My is motto is “Ignite your People, Transform your Company” ; I strongly believe in empowering and strengthening businesses through a healthy work and personal life - the power of people, places and things to do.   A successful entrepreneur/business owner/career person will achieve their goals through a healthy personal life; as a result, the blog showcases and reviews both business topics, lifestyle, food , travel and culture .

The blog was born after I found limited  blogs for the modern day business owner/entrepreneur/career persons wanting all things food, fashion and lifestyle that tie in with their unique lifestyle, whilst showcasing the very best of British and beyond.

The blog also showcases advice & insight in matters of employment, the latest employment law cases to be aware of, new legislation and implications for employers , book reviews and  career coaching 

Please do bear in mind that a little knowledge can be very dangerous so please do seek advice before putting anything into practice.

By The Alchemist About Town 21 Aug, 2017

It is week 4 of my interviews series #Smashthatceiling #womeninspiringwomen providing women in business  visible leadership role models and this week I have the pleasure of bringing to you  Emmajane Taylor- Moran , partner and Head of Employment Law at Gelbergs Solicitors , a well-established firm in Islington providing a range of legal services to businesses and individuals.

I met Emmajane at one of the networking events organised by the Islington Chamber of Commerce where we both are members and then ended up working together at the Chamber ( Emmajane is the Chair of the ICC and I'm Vice Chair)

She very similar to Jackie Smithen (and Jackie Kennedy) in the leadership style: friendly, understated but not to be messed with, an underlying steel determination and professionalism. Emmajane also volunteers at various legal surgeries, is a regular speaker and provides training workshops and seminars to employers on various legal topics ( no legalise involved but a very digestible, interesting and interactive way of delivering complicated topics).

She is in a though and demanding job .....


1.   When you were a child what was your dream job and why?

When I was a little girl, my first career inclinations were towards literature and teaching, as I loved books with a passion. I learned to read before I went to school and would read everything I could get hold of. I remember my mum telling me that I would make a good lawyer because I could argue for England! Now, as I am indeed a lawyer (thanks mum!) I can combine my interest in documents and my persuasive arguing skills!

2.   Can you tell me the time that you started to consider yourself successful?

For me, it was a real pinnacle of my career to be invited to be a Partner at Gelbergs. I felt that the Partners trusted in me and my abilities to not only be a good lawyer but also a good leader and a good business person. In terms of “ considering myself successful”, that is an ongoing objective – in my industry you are only as good as your last case/client/billing month, so I am constantly on my toes, challenging myself to do better.

 

3.   I’m sure like every business/business person you have faced adversity: how do you motivate yourself and force through the worst times?

The best job is the one that you love so much that you get up every day and it doesn’t feel like “work ”, and where your colleagues are your support network and you all pull together to keep each other motivated, sane and happy. I am incredibly lucky in both of these respects, and that is really motivating.

4.   What are the best things about your job?

Without a doubt the best thing about my job is the people I work with – both my clients and my colleagues. I also have a competitive streak and love winning, so when I get a good outcome for a client, whether it is negotiating a good deal to settle their case, or succeeding in tribunal, than that gives me great satisfaction in a job well done .

5.   As Tony Robbins says, “Success leaves clues” : what are you daily/weekly habits?  

I try and look after myself – my biggest weakness is getting so lost in work that I don’t take a break or hydrate properly throughout the day. So I recognize this and try and rectify it. I also have a lot going on in my head at one time, juggling lots of cases and clients, so to avoid getting overwhelmed and forgetting things, I make daily to-do lists . It frees up the RAM in my head from too much mental clutter, so I can focus on doing one thing at a time, and doing it well.

6.   What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?  

The feminist in my head wants to say that it is the patriarchal society that we have inherited, where we still have such a long way to go to achieve real equality. But I think as well as that, it is us ourselves . As women, we often don’t do enough to put ourselves forward, and to build the confidence we should have in our skills. We too often accept that we must sacrifice our careers for our families because our partners are not expected to. This is why I mentor young professional mothers through the CityParents scheme, because I am passionate about breaking down barriers, both in society and within ourselves

7.   What women inspire you and why?  

It sounds corny, but my mum is my biggest inspiration. She is a strong-willed, funny and independent woman who is also the kindest most generous person I know. Also, we are lucky that on the global stage we have plenty of inspiring women leaders right now – Nicola Sturgeon, Michelle Obama and Angela Merkel are my current favourites.  

8.   What advice would you give to your 16year old self?  

Don’t ever forget to look after yourself . Otherwise you will be no good to anyone else either. Remember the airplane safety code: put your own oxygen mask on before seeing to others who rely on you.  

9.   Your instant mindfulness fix…

5-minute meditation videos on YouTube – a great way to relax, refresh and restart when you are feeling stressed or tired.  

10.  And finally something frivolous: best thing about being woman…  

I don’t know, it just feels right to me; women are amazing. Men are great too, but I would never want to have been born a man!

 

Top Takeaways from Emmajane:

·    Build your confidence

·    Put yourself forward, don’t be constrained by barriers:

          Break down the barriers both external AND internal

·    Being successful is an ongoing objective- is not just achieving it, is maintaining it.

·    Being successful is also satisfaction in a job well done

·    Love what you do so it doesn’t feel like work

·    Have a good support work around you – the people you work with are important

·    Meditation- a great way to relax, refresh and restart

 

#SMASHTHATCEILING #TheWomanAlchemist #WomenInspiring 

 

Alla settimana prossima, baci x

 

By The Alchemist About Town 14 Aug, 2017

The obstacle to achieving greatness — or anything that you want — isn’t any external factor, but a person’s own fears and attitude. In this series of interviews #Smashthatceiling #womeninspiringwomen, I want to provide examples of women in business and visible leadership shows that it is possible, that it is indeed happening out there, right now., #TheWomanAlchemist as I call them. 

Jackie Smithen is a Senior HR Director at GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK)  , a science-led global healthcare company – with three world-leading businesses – that researches, develops and manufactures innovative pharmaceutical medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare products.

I met Jackie Smithen when I worked at GSK on a project. For me she represents a quiet type of leadership, similar to Jackie Kennedy ( click here to read Jackie Kennedy: quiet leadership ) ; subtle, understated, unbelievably competent but totally not to be messed with. I observed her leading her team with trust, respect , nurturing her talent and dealing with her client groups with great professionalism. She is respected, loved and I was impressed, a definite role model.

Here some insights from Jackie ( Smithen not Kennedy ;-))

1. When you were a child what was your dream job and why?

As a small child I wanted to be a teacher but I think that was largely because it was the job I came into contact with most. As a teenager I wanted to be a translator as I had found a love of language and thought it was really cool to be able to connect two parties who couldn’t communicate.

2. Can you tell me the time that you started to consider yourself successful?

Probably about 8 years into my career. I had started on a graduate training programme and for the early part of my career I didn’t recognise the potential that others saw in me. It was only when I found myself in a role where I was leading a team and influencing others in the Business that I started to recognise the impact I was having which made me feel successful. 

3. I’m sure like every business/business person you have faced adversity: how do you motivate yourself and force through the worst times?

You’ve got to enjoy what you are doing day to day otherwise no amount of motivation really helps! I look for small successes and little triumphs on a daily basis – not every day is full of monumental achievements and sometimes it’s the small things and short conversations which help you to nudge things in the right direction.

4.  What are the best things about your job?

Flexibility – that works both ways for me and the Company

Variety – I love spinning plates even if it means that sometimes I end up picking up the pieces!

Autonomy – the freedom to choose what I work on next and how I approach things is energizing.

  5. As Tony Robbins says, “Success leaves clues” : what are you daily/weekly habits? 

I try to work one day a week away from the office and use that time to work on different tasks (usually things which need me to really concentrate). I am an extrovert so love the interactions that being in the office offers, but recognize that sometimes I need to step away from the hubbub and just allow myself time to think!

6. What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

Self-doubt. Personally I often think about whether I am the right person for a task or whether someone else might be better suited and it has taken me a while to accept good coaching advice that “I am more than enough as I am”.

7. What women inspire you and why?

It may be clichéd but my mum was definitely a big inspiration for me. She worked hard all her life but managed to put her family first. She also had a great ability to connect with people from all walks of life, and was comfortable in her own skin.

8.   What advice would you give to your 16year old self?

Worry less about what you will be and where you will end up. I didn’t appreciate at 16 what it meant to be opportunistic and thought everything needed to be planned and mapped out. My working life has shown me the opposite is true!

9.   Your instant mindfulness fix…

If you find yourself writing reams of notes when you are with someone – stop! Chances are you are not really present in the conversation.

10.  And finally something frivolous: best thing about being woman…

 The shopping gene – luckily for me my daughter has also inherited it J

 

Top Take Aways from Jackie:

- You are more than enough as you are

- Enjoy what you are doing day by day

- Look for small successes and little triumphs daily - celebrate

- Allow yourself time to think

- Be present in the moment


#TheWomanAlchemist #smashthatceiling #womeninspiringwomen #rolemodel #hustle 

See you next week for the next inspirational interview x


 

 

 

 

By The Alchemist About Town 07 Aug, 2017

Some recent research carried out at the BI Norwegian Business School by Professor Øyvind L. Martinsen and Professor Lars Glasø  "discovered" that women are better suited at leadership than men based on 5 measurable traits for effective leadership -   quelle surprise!!!

So what is stopping us then?

The fact that there is a lack of positive and visible females in leadership in traditional industries is an obstacle in the sense that women are missing examples that it IS indeed possible and in that organisational culture starts from the top . Plus there are still conscious and unconscious bias against women in leadership, especially strong women.

  “ (Emerging) leaders need mentor to guide them, but they also need a network of peers, to reassure them that they are not on the path alone”. – Alyse Nelson – President and CEO, Vital Voices. .

  “ If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results” – Tony Robbins.

Looking at practical examples can shortcut your way to success together with a point of reference. There are many role models  out there,  #WomenAlchemists as I call them,  turning their 'metal into gold' everyday - women inspiring women. I believe in women empowering women so here it is, the second interview in the series #smashthatceiling with Rachel Dipper.

Rachel Dipper is the  VP Marketing & Partnerships at OneDome , a property tech start up,  previously Head of Residential Marketing at the global property firm Knight Frank. Rachel could see that the Residential property industry was changing and wanted to be at the cutting edge with a company that would change the way people buy and sell property in the UK. Remember what I said before ? You need to Jump

And that exactly what Rachel did, took a leap and left a firm that had been established 120 years to go and work for a start up.  Remember, if you want to change the world you need a seat at the table, and Knight Frank was never going to give her that opportunity so she went out there and Grabbed it!!


1.   When you were a child what was your dream job and why?

This is going to sound really odd, but I always wanted to work in a big shiny office block. In my imagination, I would walk in and everyone would know me and say good morning.

 I must have watched the film “Working Girl” with Melanie Griffiths at least 20 times when I was growing up, which probably had an impact. It is very 80s but I think that unfortunately, some of the challenges that Griffiths’ character faces in the film can still be found in workplaces today.  

2.   Can you tell me the time that you started to consider yourself successful?

My previous role was for a global property partnership and, even though I only worked on residential, senior people from other areas of the business started greeting me around the building and commenting on my work. I really wanted to say, “how do you even know who I am?”, but I thought it best just to roll with it.  

3.   I’m sure like every business/business person you have faced adversity: how do you motivate yourself and force through the worst times?

My husband and son are a great support. My husband in particular is very good at pointing out the side of an issue that I haven’t seen. It aggravates me intensely at the time, but he helps me get some perspective. My son is only six, so he just offers a big hug!

Ultimately though, I’ve always had an “I’ll show them!” attitude to work, and will not be beaten by professional challenges – or challengers. Some people call it being bloody minded.

  4.   What are the best things about your job?

Some nights I can’t sleep for the excitement about what I will do the next day.

Working in property, I have seen so many people looking sideways and copying their competition. Now OneDome is changing the way that people buy and sell property in the UK, our marketing needs to do things differently as well. I work very collaboratively with the team and no idea is off the table at this stage.  

5.   As Tony Robbins says, “Success leaves clues” : what are you daily/weekly habits?

I always listen to something motivational on the way to the office. I have a 20 minute walk from Bank so it is either a podcast that will inspire me in my work, or some cheesy pop that gets me pumped up for the day ahead. At the moment, one of my favourite podcasts is to Masters Of Scale with Reid Hoffman. 

6.   What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

 I believe a lot of it is down to recruitment. I don’t think that there is an inherent sexism - most people say that they would like to hire more women if they are the best candidates. However, I think people are often subconsciously biased towards people that are like themselves, and so the problem perpetuates.  

7.   What women inspire you and why?

  Of course everyone loves Sheryl Sandberg – she has done amazing things at Facebook, and to promote women in business. I also really respect Roisin Donnelly – the former Brand Director at Procter & Gamble. I heard her speak at a WACL (Women in Advertising & Communications, London) event and thought she was amazing. She left P&G last year and is now at Non-Executive Director for a number of companies. If she is reading this, I would love to take her to lunch.

8.   What advice would you give to your 16year old self?

  Don’t wait for anything to come to you – go out and get it. Whether it’s a new circle of friends, a great body or a career; nothing worth doing is easy.

  9.   Your instant mindfulness fix…

Being near water. I live in the Docklands so I’m lucky enough to have the Thames on my doorstep. I have been known to go down onto the riverbed when the tide is out – it is extraordinarily peaceful. People think that London is busy and crowded, but there are some real havens if you know where to look.

10.   And finally, something frivolous: best thing about being a woman…

Drinking wine with my girlfriends. There is a very strict ‘no judgement’ rule amongst my friends who have children. Understanding other people’s challenges rather than leaping to judge them has changed my whole perspective on life.

Top Takeaways from Rachel:

- Don't be beaten by challenges - You Can!

- Don't wait for anything to come to you - Go and Get It!

- Listen to something motivational before your day starts - Get pumped for the day ahead - whatever works for you.

- Find a peaceful haven

- Understanding other's challenges can change your whole prospective.


#TheWomanAlchemist indeed !!! 

Tune in next week for the next inspirational story - #smashthatceiling - women inspiring women.



By The Alchemist About Town 31 Jul, 2017

  Interview with Natasha Makhijani Founder & Group CEO, The  Oliver Sanderson  Group PLC.

If you want to be the best, you need to learn from the best – I have not invented this phrase – you can hear it from the lips of the most successful entrepreneurs, CEOs, billionaires out there. And that is the point.

You need someone who has been there, seen it, done it and got the t-shirt so to speak and you can emulate exactly what he or she have done and shortcut your way to success.

 “ If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results” – Tony Robbins.

In January I started a feature monthly blog covering Women in Business who have inspired me in the past and in the present. These women were and are my personal choice, I have looked up to them as examples, beacons of what is possible to achieve if you are really determined; they are not perfect women by any means, but I am who I am today because of them. 

They are examples that the only thing standing between you and your goals are the stories you tell yourself as to why you can't achieve them. They were true 'Alchemists' turning their 'metal into gold' , the hand they were given into what they wanted.

There are many women alchemists out there, either working in senior positions/at the top of a corporate environment , or founders/CEO of their own successful biz and I wanted to bring these  "flesh and blood women" to you in a series of interviews to inspire you to #smashthatceiling - women inspiring women.

The interviews are about their personal journey rather than the companies they work in and what these companies are doing for Women in Leadership.

You may ask why is that? Surely Big (or small) Organisations should do more to promote women in leadership positions and/or women on board’s blah blah blah…

Yes sure. I am however a great believer in personal responsibility and most importantly that mindset is everything.

I met Natasha Makhijani quite a few years ago when I was still climbing the corporate ladder and she was working for a well-known global recruiting agency and she placed me within an organisation as Head of HR. We had an immediate rapport and I realised then she was one to watch…..  

Natasha eventually left and founded her own company, Oliver Sanderson , a Search & Selection agency across different disciplines and industries and has taken the company to Group/Plc. status.  She was nominated for the Diversity Champion of the Year Award, Women in Logistics two years in a row.

This is a woman who gets noticed and kicks ***.  

So, without further ado…

  1.   When you were a child what was your dream job and why?

My dream job was always to open my own business but not in recruitment but in the Asian Bridal Industry, as I am a very creative person. My dream was to open a shop east meets west in Chelsea or Knights bridge and cater for the one stop shop for the bridal industry from the dress, to make up to the Jewelry for the Asian, English, Arabic bride and so forth.

2.   Can you tell me the time that you started to consider yourself successful?

From a young age I was always hardworking, confident and ambitious. I believe if you work hard and have faith you will succeed . The road may not be easy there will be ups and downs but continue and your path will change its course to success.  

3.   I’m sure like every business/business person you have faced adversity: how do you motivate yourself and force through the worst times?  

My belief, my values, my family and my passion for life. The fact that if I have struggled and seen the worst times which believe me I have, I pick myself up, smile and continue as I know it is a passing phase and there is sunshine at the end of the tunnel.

4.   What are the best things about your job?  

My business is a people led industry, I have fun and do what I do best: change people’s lives. Working with clients and candidates and making them happy, building a relationship with them there is nothing more rewarding than this.  

5.   As Tony Robbins says, “Success leaves clues” : what are you daily/weekly habits?  

I am very focused and disciplined . I train three times a week at the gym and practice yoga, eat healthy, work long hours and always deliver to my clients and candidates. I would say to run your own business you need to be disciplined and focus. It means sacrifice in certain areas of your life. Success comes with hard work and confidence and to never give up. It will not be handed to anyone on a plate.  

6.   What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

The most significant barrier to female leadership is that the boardroom is still very male led although several businesses have now become very diverse. The barrier to entry is that women must balance being a business leader, a wife, a mother and manage the house. There are some amazing women out there that have achieved all of this and some that have had to sacrifice certain aspects of their life to reach the top. Industry has opened these doors for women but I still feel a lot more support can be given. Look at how many women are lost to the world of work once they become mothers. Industry and the work place needs to make this easier for those women who would like to pursue both avenues. The Female leader should not be lost and when she reaches the top feel guilty as she cannot fulfil all her duties as a woman. She should be given support in all areas. Society is changing but we still have a long way to go.  

7.   What women inspire you and why?  

·    Susie Robinson – VP of HR EMEA - DHL

·    Tanith Dodge – Group HRD Value Retail and ex M & S Group

·    Sharon Doherty - Vodafone Global Organisation & People Development Director 

These three women are an inspiration to me now and as a young woman from my earlier career. I have watched and followed how they have managed to balance and achieve great things in their careers, professionally, personally and be successful in the board room. A real inspiration to women across the globe. These three women are shining examples that there is nothing you cannot achieve.

8.   What advice would you give to your 16year old self?  

Believe in yourself, You can.  

9.   Your instant mindfulness fix…  

Yoga, peace and to smile.  

10.  And finally, something frivolous: best thing about being woman…  

Handbags and Shoes. But most of all being able to have my hair and nails done every week. You don’t need make up but if your hair looks good, nails are done and eyebrows are shaped you are ready to face the world and conquer all.  

  

Top Takeaways from Natasha:

·    Believe in yourself, You Can.

·    Work hard and have faith.

·    In difficult times pick yourself up, smile and continue (it will pass): there is sunshine at the end of the tunnel.

·    Love what you do and have fun with it.

·    Be focused and disciplined – success comes with hard work; nobody is going to hand it over to you on a plate.

 

See you next week folks….

#SMASHTHATCEILING #TheWomanAlchemist #WomenInspiring 

 

 

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By The Alchemist About Town 23 Nov, 2017
There is nothing better than relaxing with a spot of lunch or dinner after some shopping and perhaps before the theatre ( I knoooow, so much lady who lunches...). Well if you are in Islington and enjoying the antique market and boutique shopping or are in to see a show,perhaps at the Almeida , then La Petite Auberge is for you.

I must admit I do have a penchant for french food which my previous reviews of La Ferme , Salut , Robuchon and Le Boudin Blanc   confirm. This is more of a rustic French resto but bang in the middle of Upper Street rather than in the French countryside . The place is traditional French exactly as the English would image it to be.

I love dining here - and often do.  The food is always good and very homely with generous portions and follows the French tradition of locally sourced, seasonal ingredients ( sample menu ). My super favourites are Cuisses de Grenouilles   (e.g. frog legs cooked in Calvados & cream) and the  Jarret d’agneau rôti  (roasted lamb shank cooked in Port,honey, balsamic vinegar & button onions, I normally skip the mash potato).
And to finish off a  Cafe Gourmand  after the  Selection de Fromages.  Happy days :-).

If you like, they also have an extensive Crêpe menu  with a selection of sweet, savoury and vegetarian crepes all freshly made.

You always feel so very welcome here and you can take your time, have long conversations - a little piece of France.
The staff is extremely friendly . It is particularly good for pre/post theatre as the Almeida is jut across the road. 

I love it here and it is definitely #MyBestMealIslington - Upper Street for November , a #mustgoto.
You're welcome ;-)

Laura xxx

OPENING HOURS

Mon to Thurs: 11.30 - 23.00
Fri to Sat: 11.30 - 23.30
Sun: 11.30 - 22.30

By The Alchemist About Town 20 Nov, 2017

The International Women' Day pledge for 2017 was #BeBoldFor Change to create a more gender inclusive world, blah blah blah...... In 2016 it was # PledgeForParity to help women achieve their ambitions, blah blah blah........and 2018 will be #PressForProgress ,a call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity. Blah blah blah...

"S TOP IT! It is all in your head"

Has anything actually changed?

We cannot deny that boardroom diversity is increasing although women still remain under-represented: if you are looking at top global companies  women in leadership represent  12% of total (depending on what research you are looking at).

Who does it better?

The highest percentages of women on boards can be found in the old continent with Norway ( 46.7% ), France ( 34.0% ), and Sweden ( 33.6% ) leading the way - source  Credit Suisse -  (in Europe equality between women and men was ingrained in the Treaty of Rome as one of the European Union's essential values over sixty years ago).

The percentage of women in FTSE 100 boardrooms rose to 26.1% in 2016  but the UK is still seventh across the main international stock markets.

According to recent research carried out at the BI Norwegian Business School by Professor Øyvind L. Martinsen and Professor Lars Glasø , women are better suited at leadership than men based on 5 personality traits, which can be measured for effective leadership ( after surveying more than 2,900 managers to ascertain leadership personality traits).

Women scored higher in:

  • Initiative and clear communication;
  • Openness and ability to innovate;
  • Sociability and supportiveness; and
  • Methodical management and goal setting.

 So, if women possess most of the qualities necessary to be a leader, what is stopping them? What are the barriers?

Cultural, religious and family paradigms have and are playing a part; sexism, misogyny and patriarchy and attitudes exist many times intertwined with other social and political aspects and ways of thinking (and by patriarchy I mean a system of power relationship between men and women where both men and women are complicit, benefiting specific kinds of gender and sexual identities over others).

Of course for women wishing to have children, there are also added barriers...

What is a "woman's place" then?

What a "woman's place"  is or seen to be has changed dramatically throughout history; women had and lost power at different times ( insert the cultural, religious subtext here).

You know what? It is time to STOP IT! Stop giving power to external forces and let them control your life.

Smash that ceiling and I mean the ceiling in your head, the only thing that is truly stopping you to achieve what you really really want. Time to adopt airlines' guidance - put on your own oxygen mask first and  #SmashYourCeiling!.


This is blog is an extract from my book "S TOP IT! It is all in your head" Part I: Blah, Blah, Blah.  To see how the book was developed/written : " What is the best way to write a book in 30 days"



By The Alchemist About Town 16 Nov, 2017
You must have noticed by now that I am a foodie:
I'm always looking for new places offering amazing food and you can see my escapades around Islington (#MyBestMealIslington Monthly Feature series with my latest blog covering Niche ) and London (#MyBestMealLondon series with reviews of Il Portico   in Kensington, Le Boudin Blanc in Mayfair and Joel Robuchon in Covent Garden to name a few.)
This month is the turn of  Outlaw at the Capital , a Michelin Star Restaurant focusing on wonderfully fresh seafood sourced from around the coast of Cornwall based at the Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge.

The Hotel was one of the first boutique hotels in London, often described as a  grand hotel in miniature , just a few steps away from the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum , perfect for a quick pre-Xmas London visit, for some shopping and of course some shows at the Royal Albert Hall.

Hotel intro apart, it is lovely but, I'm interested in the food .
All the menus are created by Nathan Outlaw and Head Chef Andrew Sawyer,  they are short and sweet featuring the bestest and freshest British fish (I know, I made one word up).
Dishes are constantly changing with the seasons .

The venue is small and very intimate , the staff is very friendly, efficient (I would dare impeccable  actually) and not pretentious at all and this is applicable to both the dining room and the dishes (I know it is Knightsbridge but there is no need to feel intimidated at all).

I love fish but I'm crap at cooking it except smoked salmon ( and let's face , you don't really cook that) so when I find a nice place with fabulous fish I'm sold. 

I have been twice (greedy I know) and I went both times for set menus. The first time in the evening with the superb tasting menu and the second time the lunch set menu  ,both absolutely excellent. 

In the tasting menu I loved the Octopus and the Bass courses and the wine pairing really enhanced the flavours/taste. 
The lunch menu is a vey reasonable £ 29 for two course or £ 33 for three ( if you compare to some pretend posh gastro pubs in London, you know what I mean...).

I had, of course the 3 courses, and the gorgeous Cornish soup, followed by the Hake and then the British Cheese Plate.
The portions are Michelin Star's e.g. you are going to come out fully satisfied and full but definitely not stuffed ( as it should be).

I love this place, perfect for an after shopping trip - did I say it is a few minutes away from Harrods ?
It doesn't get better than that.... ;-)

Outlaw at the Capital is definitely #MyBestMealLondon for November - try it, you'll thank me for it.

PS: the New Year's Eve menu looks scrumptious :-p






By The Alchemist About Town 13 Nov, 2017
Have you ever dreamt of writing and publishing a book? Have you always thought this was impossible or really difficult?Then, read on, it is not as hard as you imagine.

I'm not an authority (yet) on writing books but I have just written and self-published (with Amazon CreateSpace ) a book which is doing quite well on Amazon (e.g. is selling and with nice reviews). So, how I did I do it?

I looked for people who have written books before in a short period of time and here I am.
Why a short period of time?

In the 4 Hour Work Week Tim Ferris talks about Pareto Law ( the 80/20 rule) and the Parkinson's Law - “A task will swell in (perceived) importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion.” These two laws are synergistic: only do the 20% to shorten time, and shorten time so you focus on the 20%.

So with this principles in mind I looked amongst people who have done it before, but closer to home so to speak, real examples with real people and I liked Simon Coulson ( I have met him at The Business Show and been to one of his training workshop) who researched and wrote his first book in 60 hours ( around 2 weeks) and Matt Lloyd ( MOBE ).
I particularly like 2 examples from Matt on how he produced his first information product and then how he wrote his book Limitless ( his podcast about procrastination and holding yourself accountable is brilliant); so what did he do?

He declared to the world and put out for sale a 7 days webinar , with dates, but wait.... without having written a slide. The webinar started selling like crazy and he found himself writing the slides for the first day 1 hour before the webinar was meant to go live ( Parkinson's law in action) and the same happened each night. At the end of the 7 days, voila , he had his first information product ready.

Even better, when he wanted to write his book, he booked himself in an hotel for a weekend, asked for NO WiFi, and wrote for 30 hours straight in 1 hour batches and that's how Limitless was born.

I found that I operate the same: when deadlines are looming that's where I produce my best and effortless work.
If I have more time I'm bored.
The Law of Attraction says that when inspiration strikes you need to follow it and I did; I booked a weekend in an hotel in London and doing "a Matt".
Sounds crazy as I live in London but, you know how it is, at home there are endless interruptions, distractions and coffee after coffee the day has gone by and you have written NOTHING.

Day 1:
I'm the Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes Hotel starting my diary and feeling very much like a writer ( don't laugh...) and will continue and record this journey of writing and publishing my first book up to launch day .I have never written a diary in my life but yesterday I announced on Instagram ( and Facebook) that I am finally getting on with writing THAT book that has been in my mind so long but I have procrastinated long enough that it now feels like War & Peace ( in my mind, I do have a fertile imagination). I didn't just declare I am going to write a book but I also released the publishing date (22 September 2017)... now if I don't do it I am going to look like a p****.
What possessed me to make such a public declaration? To quote Steve Harvey " I got tired of being sick and tired....."

What is the book all about then?

As you might have seen from the interview series #TheWomanAlchemist #smashthatceiling, I am very passionate about inspiring and empowering women to overcome obstacles they are facing on their way to the top leadership jobs, starting form themselves, and providing visible leadership role models with my interviews.
Well, the book I want to write  is all about taking ownership of your own career, your life and define your own rules. This is a no-nonsense practical guide on how to achieve those coveted positions, if that's what you really want - it will tell you what you need to hear, not necessarily what you;d like to hear.
It's all in you head - Smash Your Ceiling to Smash That Ceiling!

The title : "STOP IT! It is all in your head" .

Day 2:  
It is the end of my writing "away' weekend: so did it work? Was I able to writing a full book like Matt Lloyd and his Limitless in 30 hours? Mmmmhhh, non...

I was however able to write a full outline of the book and turn my outline into a blueprint AND , even better, was able to free-write many chapters. I have definitely realised though that I'm far more productive and creative when writing away from home so, although spending each and everyone of my weekends in hotels is not realistic , I can definitely find some coffee shops where I can park my self so to speak and get the juices going.

Day 3:
There is nothing better for beating procrastination than public accountability: since starting writing the diary I made sure I recorded some real progress for the book everyday, writing and editing when instead it would be so easy to just let life get in the way. The fact that I have to tell people is a great keep-on-track-tool. I made a journo request on Twitter a few weeks ago for women in business/entrepreneurs to share their stories with the world and I had a marvellous response.
I published 3 of these interviews already and will be publishing another 4 here on my blog up to the book release ( 22 September ) but most of all these interviews make great material for the book.

So today was all about writing introductions and including them in the book and, of course, making sure everyone is more than happy to appear in the book. Plus I'm feeling very happy as I can see the book growing and starting to look the part :-)

Day 4 :
We, me included, are conditioned into the 9-5 culture/working pattern and tend to adopt the same schedule whether or not it is a suitable and/or proficient one for us, irrespectively of profession (entrepreneurs/self-employed / bloggers and/or writers).
I found myself feeling like "I had to" start working and put my butt in the chair in the morning - like there is a written in stone working day/time - even though I'm much better at night and the words just don't flow...
So on day 4 I said sod it.... I read and watched television ( actually re-watched Games of Thrones previous series) and started free writing in the afternoon and sooner than I knew I had written pages.

Day 5:
Creativity in action, this time visual : designing  front and back cover of the book.
So many things to take into consideration like personal branding, book message and branding, what colours are more representative of the message and what are the most popular colours for books- fascinating work!!
plus, of course some writing...

I have to say I found the process of recording my progress in a public diary useful to keep me on track and a way to look back and patting myself on the back as I'm moving the book along . I don't think people spend enough time celebrating the small daily victories, I certainly didn't use to, and I'm loving it.

Day 6:
Bored, bored, bored: no glamours activities or writing but chasing the people I've interviewed , lots of  chasing, lots of people you see... plus recording and editing the interviews  involving spreadsheet work and that is all I have to say..... riveting....

Day 7:
Editing day -  both the interviews for the book ( doing the work in batches ) and the free writing.
Free-writing is liberating and allows no censorship, just pouring all your ideas on paper (incidentally I have tried both free writing on computer and on paper and I definitely prefer freehand), no checking of grammar, puntuaction and so on but I suppose if I want people to be able to read the book and remotely understand what I'm trying to say, some structure in the sentences is necessary ... ;-p

And on the weekend will be experimenting with a social media detox - meaning no blogging, no Twitter, no Instagram and so on. Still accountable of course, but most of all to myself: I owe to myself to be the best I can be and to live up to my dreams and expectations . I believe though that spending even one day (or more if you can) aways from social media can be one of the best things to do as a mindfulness fix - to support good and positive mental health - and so on...

Day 10:
Taking time off from social media (and from working to be fair) and just enjoying a full weekend doing whatever I felt the inspiration taking me was amazing. That coupled with the fact that I didn't have to remember to take pictures or tweet, retweet and so on was liberating... I highly recommend it :-).
Switching off and having fun is actually fun ( pardon the pun).

So what about my writing? After all I started this diary to keep me accountable and ensure I would write everyday....
And I did - I carried a notebook with me and every time I had an idea and felt the impulse I wrote, and wrote, and wrote.... pages of unadulterated freewriting .
I think I'm going to continue carry a notebook with me for this purpose. And on Day 10 I edited it all ( it took me sometime to be fair , I needed to decipher my handwriting ) and inserted in the appropriate chapter/s of the book - so happy day/s:-)

Day 11:
This is the first time in my life that I kept a diary/journal; I have always avoided this, tried once or twice previously but always gave up...
So what did I do today writing-wise ( I'm sure you don't want to know about my endless cups of coffee and Instagram posts)? Well, Day 11 was a lot of research - after all the free writing at the weekend  I needed to double check some dates, facts and figures and make sure that all the information is credited where it needs be.
Yes, ensuring that credit is given when due and there is no copyrights infringements is paramount.

I must have also been emanating the right vibrations because everywhere I turned I heard and saw inspirations for the book and other related products and follow ups. Like attracts like, you get what you focus on :-)

Day 12:
Review , formatting and some editing.
The idea that a book magically appears and you, the writer, only have to be creative is BS..
It is all about creative control and ownership though, Love it...

Day 13:
It was a funny day... thankfully it wasn't Friday 13th ;-)....

Around midnight, and all through the night, the fire alarm kept going off in my building - no fire - but it kept going off regularly every half hour, then every hour and so on, aaaaaall night, yes, that's right.
The fire brigade would not come to silence the alarm, and the out-of-hour engineer was a few hours away and couldn't fix it anyway so that was my night. You can imagine how awake I was in the morning : my first instincts was to go to sleep however I was due to go out for a meeting and was expecting phone calls for my business so that option was out. I tried gallons of coffee (a tad more than my usual) but I just couldn't concentrate writing so I chilled and watched TV, did my calls and the meeting .

I was determined to write something though so I put some time on free handwriting for at least an hour,  determined to finish and publish this book for 22 September and so it will be.

Day 14:
Day 14 was a lot of fun planning the book party/launch  with my event organiser/manager: the theme, venue, order of the day , marketing, discounts and guest speakers.
Buzzzzzzing.....

There was not much writing I have to say but I have a plan, a campaign and agreed dates for the book pre-sale with list of things that need doing and I was very happy with how everything is progressing so far . Happy days :-)

Day 15: 
More than halfway through and planning to put the book on pre-sale - soooo excited by the possibilities ...

Day 16:
A very productive day , managing to insert all the interviews I have done for the book  plus choosing all the pictures that will appear in the book AND some free writing for a couple of chapters.

Mindset is everything - is amazing what each and everyone of us is capable of doing once we finally decide that we can.
'Believe in yourself, You can"

Day 17:
Book almost finished and now is all about formatting , editing and some research to double check some facts.

Day 18:
An intense day finishing off and approving the design for the book cover and happy plus registering/filling in documentation for the appropriate taxation - as an UK author I need to make sure I don't end up double paying my taxes worldwide - I mean I need to do my civic duty but double paying seems too much...

Day 19 & 20
Oops , didn't keep the diary yesterday...
So, what did I do?

I can definitely say that I am very prolific when I do my writing on any location but the house .In the house there are too many distractions and other stuff that needs doing.
Outside the house (I am a coffee shop connessuer now) it is just me, the laptop and a A4 Pad of paper and pens and that's it, I don't even connect to the wifi, which means uninterrupted writing/re-writing and so on....
I need to remember to keep ordering drinks (it is easy to get absorbed and forget which means little hydration but also slightly irritated baristas.... they run a business after all not a free office ).

Today no writing as I had quite a few meetings, happy nevertheless as I've managed to fix the date and venue for the book launch party which makes me even more determined, if that is possible .

Day 24:

 I didn't write ( the diary) for now 4 days.
Yes, life got in the way together with my day-to-day business/meetings etc.etc. but , I need to be honest here as we are talking about accountability, I simply didn't fancy it.
And that is ok too..
Too many times we are so hard on ourselves on why we haven't done something ( guilt and beating yourself up don't help at all) and we lose prospective of the bigger goal/purpose of it all - for me is to finish and then publish my book ( incidentally I did write and progress the book even though I didn't keep the diary...).
So here I am, at my desk and today I have been writing like crazy and I am super delighted with the result.

Day 25- 27:
I didn't keep a diary for the last two days - for a reason though.... I focused on the book and, you know what?
I have finished it !!!! :-)

The book is now out for proof-reading and editing and will be ready soon to be on PRE-SALE! That's right....
So happy with myself that I have actually written a book in less than 30 days :-)

Now is the publishing bit to do, mmmmm....

Day 28-33
I have been naughty again and not kept THE diary , I do have good news though:
the proof-reading was done and I did put the book on pre-order on Kindle whilst waiting to receive a physical copy of the book to double check it before release the book for sale on paperback.

Day 34
Whilst waiting for my proof copy of the paperback and with the kindle edition out on pre-order , now it was the time to focus on the book launch and tour - how exciting is that?

Day 35-37
With the book ready and available on pre-order on Kindle edition it was now time for all the marketing & social media related activities.

For the official release date I chose 22 September to celebrate International Business Women Day (US) - I thought it would be a fitting tribute as the book is all about helping women overcome obstacles they are facing on their way to the top leadership jobs and taking ownership of own career, life and defining own rules, in a no-nonsense practical guide format.
It's all in you head - Smash Your Ceiling to Smash That Ceiling!

Day 38-39
As you can see, keeping a diary was never my forte....
Soo happy  I received the proof copy of the paperback which looked absolutely fabulous: just a couple of things to correct but overall super happy with the result.
The social media/ marketing is looking like a lot more work than the actual writing of the book, or at least that's how it felt... I wish I started it earlier.
 
D-Day
I managed to published my book both on paperback and on Kindle edition just in time for Business Women's Day , my pre-set deadline.

STOP IT! It's all in your head is my labour of love and my way to encourage, inspire and empower women to achieve what they want professionally and not be confined by societal, religious, family paradigms of what " women should do/are like" and, most importantly, the restrictions in their head.
If that is being CEO of a Global Company or a stay-at-mum or Director of Paperclip ( whatever grabs your fancy) so be it.

Writing this book was also a personal challenge ( the 30 days thingy) which confirmed to me once and for all that you can really do whatever you set your mind to, if you really want to that is.

Couple of tips for writing a book from me:
  • Write about what you are passionate about, you know more than you think.
  • Free-write about the parts/chapters in the book you like the most and you are most interested in first - that will give you a great boost at the beginning - you can edit and add the boring bits later - by then most of the book will be almost there
  • Keep your own voice - write as you speak so to speak ( people do need to understand you though..)
  • Keep an open mind, ideas will flow into you mid-way through the project
  • A deadline and going public is good to beat procrastination ( but if that stresses you out too much don't do it) - the deadline certainly helped me.
  • Start with your marketing/social media plan ahead or at least in parallel

I'm so excited about this book and I genuinely hope you will like it - I hope to meet you soon, in person or through the pages of my book.

Believe in Yourself, You Can Do, Be and Have Anything You Want

Laura x



By The Alchemist About Town 12 Nov, 2017
By The Alchemist About Town 11 Nov, 2017
Armistice Day is on 11 November and is also known as Remembrance Day. It marks the day World War One ended, at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, back in 1918. 

The anniversary is used to remember all the people who have died in wars, not just World War One.The first two minute silence in Britain was held on 11 November 1919, when King George V asked the public to observe a silence at 11am. He made the request so "the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead". The poppy has a long association with Remembrance Day.


The significance of the poppy as a lasting memorial symbol to the fallen was realised by the Canadian surgeon John McCrae in his poem In Flanders Fields. The poppy came to represent the immeasurable sacrifice made by his comrades and quickly became a lasting memorial to those who died in World War One and later conflicts. Scarlet corn poppies grow naturally in conditions of disturbed earth throughout Western Europe. The destruction brought by the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th Century transformed bare land into fields of blood red poppies, growing around the bodies of the fallen soldiers. In late 1914, the fields of Northern France and Flanders were once again ripped open as World War One raged through Europe's heart. Once the conflict was over the poppy was one of the only plants to grow on the otherwise barren battlefields.

I do know that many people object to war and do not wish to "wear a poppy" for this reason.

To be fair, who likes war?

I strongly doubt the millions of soldiers in battlefields today or in the past or the fallen soldiers "liked" war; they are doing and did their duty and sacrifice/d their lives so that we can have today a democratic debate about it.

If you disagree with war, sign a petition, protest, march, let your voice known to your government .

Do not disrespect these courageous men and women who died for us. They only deserve our thanks.

By The Alchemist About Town 06 Nov, 2017
Hello,  I am  Laura Mariani, Founder of The People Alchemist Ltd .

The Alchemist About Town is an extension of the People Alchemist ; this a blog to help entrepreneurs , business owners and career minded people to achieve their goals and to provide business /lifestyle editing -  after all business life is a part of a business owner’s life.

My is motto is “Ignite your People, Transform your Company” ; I strongly believe in empowering and strengthening businesses through a healthy work and personal life - the power of people, places and things to do.   A successful entrepreneur/business owner/career person will achieve their goals through a healthy personal life; as a result, the blog showcases and reviews both business topics, lifestyle, food , travel and culture .

The blog was born after I found limited  blogs for the modern day business owner/entrepreneur/career persons wanting all things food, fashion and lifestyle that tie in with their unique lifestyle, whilst showcasing the very best of British and beyond.

The blog also showcases advice & insight in matters of employment, the latest employment law cases to be aware of, new legislation and implications for employers , book reviews and  career coaching 

Please do bear in mind that a little knowledge can be very dangerous so please do seek advice before putting anything into practice.

By The Alchemist About Town 31 Oct, 2017
".... and may the odds be ever in your favour....." , Ha ha ha.....
By The Alchemist About Town 30 Oct, 2017
My monthly feature #MyBestMealIslington choice was driven by personal inclination/preference: if you have followed my previous blogs e.g.   I Quit Sugar and I Quit Sugar for Life? you would know that I am now mainly gluten and grain free and this little gem right next to the Sadler's Well theatre is absolutely perfect.

" Niche " is an independently owned, casual and very intimate little restaurant, the 'niche' being  that everything on the menu is 100% gluten-free (London's first Coeliac UK accredited) aiming primarily to the pre/post theatre crowd, residents and passers by ( Angel Tube is just five minutes away and so is Exmouth Market /Clerkenwell) .

​To keep with the arty/theatre vibe the restaurant promotes the photographic work of London photographer, Matthew Burlem on their walls .

" Niche " has a very friendly and cosy vibe ( the place is tiny) and the service is quick to cater for the theatre-goers but warm and relaxed enough not to feel rushed.
It is definitely worth going to if you have a gluten intolerance,  I like to go normally on a Saturday or Sunday for brunch and my favourite is their FODMAP All Day Breakfast or, before theatre, the slow cooked pork belly ( yum yum) or the steamed mussels  , both excellent.

This is definitely #MyBestMealIslington  - Sadler's Wells -  October and one to try irrespectively if you follow a gluten free lifestyle or not (if it wasn't spelled out about everywhere, you wouldn't even notice they are gluten free).

Bon appétit 
Laura xxx

Menus
Opening Hours:
Mon to Thurs: 11.00 - 21.45
​​Fri & Sat:           11.00 - 22.15
​Sunday:             11.00 - 15.30   (last orders)

NOTE: If there is a performance on at Sadler's Wells on Sunday night then they are open!
By The Alchemist About Town 22 Sep, 2017
I am so utterly delighted that my book is now out, available to order both on paperback and on Kindle edition just in time for Business Women's Day - YES!!!!!! :-) 

STOP IT! It's all in your head   is my labour of love and my way to encourage, inspire and empower women to achieve what they want professionally and not be confined by societal, religious, family paradigms of what " women should do/are like" and, most importantly, the restrictions in their head.
If that is being CEO of a Global Company or a stay-at-mum or Director of Paperclip ( whatever grabs your fancy) so be it.

Writing this book was also a personal challenge ( the 30 days thingy) which confirmed to me once and for all that you can really do whatever you set your mind to, if you really want to that is.

Couple of tips for writing a book from me:
  • write about what you are passionate about, you know more than you think.
  • free-write about the parts/chapters in the book you like the most and you are most interested in first - that will give you a great boost at the beginning - you can edit and add the boring bits later - by then most of the book will be almost there
  • keep your own voice - write as you speak so to speak ( people do need to understand you though..)
  • keep an open mind, ideas will flow into you mid-way through the project
  • a deadline and going public is good to beat procrastination ( but if that stresses you out too much don't do it) - the deadline certainly helped me.
You can do it too!!!

If anyone would like to be part of the book launch, the event is live on Eventbrite and you can buy an Early Bird ticket now:
SMASH YOUR CEILING - #STOPITBookLaunch 
Thursday 12 October at 18.30
Business Design Centre
Islington
London

To pre- e-meet other super fab women in business attending the event, please use the following hashtags:
#SMASHYOURCEILING
#STOPITBookLaunch
#BDCWorks

I'm so excited about this book and I genuinely hope you will like it- I hope to meet you soon, in person or through the pages of my book.

Laura x


#Hustle #GirlBoss #SmashThatCeiling
  #SmashYourCeiling
STOP IT! It's all in your head 
#dreambig #believe #youcan



By The Alchemist About Town 19 Sep, 2017
The time is getting closer and closer to the release of   STOP IT, It's all in your head   my new book ( 22 September for Business Women's Day - US) .

I have now  received the proof copy of the paperback which looks absolutely fabulous: a couple of things to correct but overall I am super happy with the result.
A lot of marketing to do now between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ ( which is PS: looking like more work than the actual writing of the book).

The book event/launch/talk is live on Eventbrite and you can buy an Early Bird ticket now:
SMASH YOUR CEILING - #STOPITBookLaunch 
Thursday 12 October at 18.30
Business Design Centre
Islington
London

To pre- e-meet other super fab women in business attending the event, please use the following hashtags:
#SMASHYOURCEILING
#STOPITBookLaunch
#BDCWorks

I'm so excited about this book and I genuinely hope you will like it.

Laura x


#Hustle #GirlBoss #SmashThatCeiling
  #SmashYourCeiling
STOP IT! It's all in your head 
#dreambig #believe #youcan



By The Alchemist About Town 18 Sep, 2017
In January I started a  feature monthly blog covering Women in Business who have inspired me in the past and in the present. These  women were and are my personal choice,  I have looked up to them as examples, beacons of what is possible to achieve if you are really determined; they are not perfect women by any means, but I am who I am today because of them:
Coco Chanel: a Business Woman ahead of her time ,
Anna Wintour: a fashion pioneer
Jackie Kennedy: quiet leadership
Margaret Thatcher: love or hate her , you cannot forget her
In a world full of Kim Kardshians, Be an Audrey
Josephine Baker: did the Banana skirt start it all?

This was the beginning of my journey into finding real women alchemist and helping+empowering women everywhere to Smash their own ceiling - the one in their head. 

"You have to be open to using your gift/s, to embrace the opportunities and change your life" - Steve Harvey - Act Like A Success, Think Like A Success.

I was lucky during this journey to meet and interview many women alchemist out there, you might have read some of them already via my business blog ( Natasha Makhijani , Rachel Dipper , Jackie Smithen , Emmajane Taylor-Moran ,   Karen Green , Liz Ward , Ela Slutski & Galit Bauer ) . 
I'm passionate about inspiring/empowering/helping women in making the most of their circumstances with the tools they have available and grabbing the opportunities that life presents - without using excuses of why they can't.

This journey led and culminated into the writing of a book  ( I have documented each day in my " How to write and publish a book in 30 days ) containing the already published 7 interviews and many more ( to read the others you will need to buy the book ;-p ).

" STOP IT! It's all in your head" is now available on  pre-order (Kindle edition) and will be officially released on 22 September to celebrate International Business Women Day.

I genuinely hope you like it, and most importantly, I hope you find it useful and it spurs you into taking action.
With love 

Laura xxx


#SMASHYOURCEILING  #womeninspiringwomen #hustle



By The Alchemist About Town 17 Sep, 2017
OK, the book is ready and available on pre-order ( Kindle edition) :  STOP IT, It's all in your head.  

For the official release date I chose 22 September to celebrate International Business Women Day (US) - I thought it would be a fitting tribute as the book is all about helping women overcome obstacles they are facing  on their way to the top leadership jobs and taking ownership of own career, life and defining own rules, in a  no-nonsense practical guide format.
It's all in you head - Smash Your Ceiling to Smash That Ceiling!

Also the organisation of the book event/launch/talk is in full swing and you can now buy a ticket on Eventbrite:
SMASH YOUR CEILING - #STOPITBookLaunch 
Thursday 12 October at 18.30
Business Design Centre
Islington
London

To pre- e-meet other super fab women in business attending the event, please use the following hashtags:
#SMASHYOURCEILING
#STOPITBookLaunch
#BDCWorks

Now it is all about marketing/social media and talking to people about the book. Please share, like, comment, follow...

Ask me questions about the book, the writing process, women in leadership and I answer them all.
Promise x


#Hustle #GirlBoss #SmashThatCeiling
  #SmashYourCeiling
STOP IT! It's all in your head 
#dreambig #believe #youcan



By The Alchemist About Town 17 Sep, 2017
I love exploring London, all the little alleyways , the unknown galleries but most of all, finding  new and fabulous places to eat. That's why my #MyBestMealIslington monthly feature blog started, to showcase the best places to eat in my beloved Islington , followed by #MyBestMealLondon' ( I do get out Islington sometime, believe it or not ;-)).

I was recently in High Street Kensington for an event I attended and I had time to spare and I stumbled what as been once described as “Kensington’s best kept secret" , once covered by AA Gills article on the perfect Italian restaurant piece in the Sunday Times - Il Portico.
This cosy Italian restaurant is one of the oldest family run in London,spanning 6 decades and 3 generations and, most importantly for me, delivers authentic, good-value for money cooking,  super delicious without being fussy, freshly made and gutsy. When you walk in, and throughout the meal, you feel like you are being looked after by your own family - plenty of "very lively italian"interactions between staff and customers ( the restaurant is situated far down Kensington High Street, with less passing by trade and is clearly a favourite amongst locals).

Il Portico Restaurant was opened in 1960s by Pino Chaiavarini delivering regional Italian specialities  ( click here for sample menu )from his  home region of Emilia Romagna and beyond.
I love it with its perfect balance of comfort, authentic cucina and the very best of Italian ingredients & affordable wines, you can't go wrong.
My starter was ' Fior di Zucca'  (fried zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta & anchovy, balsamic reduction), unusual but yummy and delicate at the same time followed by the ' Saltimbocca alla Romana' which were delightful perfection. 
This is a perfect little place for watching the world go by, a simple meal and a nice glass of wine  - perfezione totale .

There is plenty to do and see in Kensington so, if you are out and about - either for business or for pleasure, why don't give it a go?

This a #musttry #MyBestMealLondon
Buon Appetito! x
By The Alchemist About Town 14 Sep, 2017

STOP IT, It's all in your head.  is out on pre-order on Kindle ebooks.

Quick reminder about the book:
How can women overcome obstacles they are facing  on their way to the top leadership jobs?
It starts from taking ownership of own career, life and defining own rules. 

STOP IT! It's all in your head is a no-nonsense practical guide on how to achieve those coveted positions, if that's what you really want - it will tell you what you need to hear, not necessarily what you;d like to hear.
It's all in you head - Smash Your Ceiling to Smash That Ceiling!

Whilst waiting for my proof copy of the paperback and with the kindle edition out  on pre-order , now it is the time to focus on the book launch and tour - how exciting is that?

Well , another drum roll...............

SMASH YOUR CEILING - #STOPITBookLaunch  (now live on Eventbrite )
Thursday 12 October at 18.30
Business Design Centre
Islington
London

A fun and interactive evening where I will read some of my  favourite passages from the book, answer questions before an interactive Q&As panel with some of the women interviewed for the book.

There will be, of course, some sparkling beverages and snacks served.
Dress code: fabulous 
To pre- e-meet other super fab women in business attending the event, please use the following hashtags:
#SMASHYOURCEILING
#STOPITBookLaunch
#BDCWorks

#Hustle #GirlBoss #SmashThatCeiling
  #SmashYourCeiling
STOP IT! It's all in your head 
#dreambig #believe #youcan

Follow me, comment, like, share, thank you :-)

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