Hot on the Highstreet Week 264 : Sodashi

sodashi set

Before even opening the packaging I knew it was my Sodashi treats inside… the natural fragrance of these products was already flavouring the air.

The word Sodashi translates to mean wholeness, purity and radiance, qualities that this brand represents whole-heartedly. Hailing from Australia, Sodashi is an intelligent company with firm morals. All of the products are chemical-free, using therapeutic-grade, ethically-sourced essential oils and plant actives to effectively heal and nurture the skin.

I was lucky enough to experience the luxurious Sodashi facial at Akasha Spa a few weeks ago and fell instantly in love with the healthy and effective products. My face felt and looked radiant for days after the treatment. Ever since this revelatory spa session I have been enamoured with the Sodashi brand, so I was delighted to receive a range of their finest products to trial and try.

As a blogger I travel frequently and often find myself using cheap products whilst staying away from home. The Sodashi ‘Calm Skin Care Kit’ solves all travel beauty dilemmas. A chic grey wash bag contains six miniatures, ready to use wherever you are. Each bottle is 50ml or less so is within hand luggage liquid restrictions. It is a complete skincare pack to calm and revitalise sensitive skin. Individually the products begin to regenerate and revitalise the skin, but it is when they are used together in a dedicated routine that they work wonders and ensure visible changes to the skin. The kit includes a cleanser with sandalwood to clean make-up and dirt from the skin, a Calming Concentrate made from plant essences to exfoliate the skin. The Calming Rose Face Mist then tones and balances the skin before the Calming Skin Boost firms and tones. Finally you add moisture with the Calming Face and Neck Moisteruriser and the Eye and Lip Smoother, both which smell delicious and feel luxurious on the skin.

sodashi clay mask

When your face is really in need of an extra boost, the Gentle Repair White Clay Mask is the perfect product. The White Clay and Neroli stimulate cell renewal while Chamomile and Rose calm the skin. I found it was a lovely Sunday evening treatment, smoothed evenly over my face and left for 15 minutes it relieved tightness and left my face feeling fresh and looking bright. Another occasional product worth investing in is the Enzyme Face Polish which exfoliates and cleanses the skin and gently polishes with finely ground rice. It is best to use twice a week as part of a Sodashi skincare routine.

sodashi polish

I am not one to boast and brag about organic products, but I found the Sodashi range to be truly remarkable, and most importantly effective. The results for my skin have been noticeable on both look and feel, and I can’t wait to try the rest of the range.

More information on the Sodashi brand here.

You can purchase the Sodashi products from Akasha Spa, Piccadilly.

Joia, Milan

The Michelin star is the highest accolade and recognition of culinary excellence and expertise. Michelin meals are usually rich, meaty and indulgent. At Joia I experienced something utterly different and refreshingly unique.

Head Chef and owner Pietro Leemann is on a mission to create and share his love of nature and fresh, vibrant, natural foods. With Joia, he presents a fine menu of vegetarian creations exploring fruit and vegetables from an inquisitive and innovative perspective. Amazingly he can easily cater for gluten-free and vegan diners too. The food is the opposite of my previous Michelin experience – light, fresh, balanced and (best of all) beautifully bright.

After a brief introduction to the calm and collected Pietro, we agreed to his selecting the dishes, an array of his most popular and promising recipes. The meal was untraditional in its fluency – instead of courses, small dishes were presented to us in succession.

Blueberry risotto was bizarre yet oddly tasty… a bowl of blue rice with bell peppers, sword beans and eggplant; the eggplant and peppers giving weight to the dish while the blueberries offered colour and sweetness. ‘For Gavinda’ was arty and interesting, a pasta pile of buckwheat layered with zucchini doubloons was prettily presented with two sauces on the side; peas with lemon zest and potatoes with Lombard curry was a great combination of flavours and textures but it was a shame that it came lukewarm rather than hot.

‘Beneath a colourful blanket’ was a magical and experimental dish. A soft, foamy, thick soup covers a bed of vegetables… with each spoonful you discover a new flavour or new ingredient. Aside from the fun factor, this recipe is wonderfully balanced and seasoned perfectly. Cheeses are available for those who wish but we went straight to desserts.

Both puddings required persistence; they certainly aren’t your average fine-dining sweets. ‘Five Minutes’ is a terrine of chocolate and raspberries, raw-food water-based chocolate mousse, coconut truffle melon and lemon balm en brochette, a strong and particular palette of tastes. Aspects were delicious though I couldn’t help thinking it could do with a dollop of thick cream! ‘To your health!’ is the ultimate fruit feast, a sugar-free cake with a plum and almond base, figs and cashew pastry, with peach and rosemary sorbet… it was an explosion of colour and vitality, and was certainly the healthiest dessert I have ever tried.

This unusual and rare restaurant is bold and brave in its concept and immaculate in its execution. Pietro Leemann makes Michelin star dining accessible to all and encourages healthy and informed eating along the way. In a country so fond of its carbohydrates and long heavy meals, Joia is paving the way for a new kind of Italian fine dining.

More information here: www.joia.it