You've got it all in this edition of Weekly Love: London, Kent and France. A lot has happened over the past two weeks. France was a lovely break, and I got to cook things for my own, non blog or work projects for a change which was lovely, as well as being able to just relax and spend time with my family. I've spent hours talking about food in England and America over delicious Rabbit Ragu and Cronuts (see the end of this post) at one of my new favourite London haunts Whyte & Brown, I've watched some incredible chefs I've respected for a long time cook up close, written many, many essays and made my debut (and while it went really well, probably my only) appearance at my university debate society proposing the motion.
1. Tea break from Christmas shopping in Canterbury with my Mummy at Carluccio's. Alongside our lovely cups of Peppermint Tea we shared a Plum Tart and a simply mouthwatering Lemon Tart. | 2. A heart shaped apple growing on the tree outside The Miller at Pilgrims Nook Holiday Cottages. | 3. The best thing about this time of year in French supermarkets? The Christmas chocolates! | 4. Daddy daughter cooking session in the French kitchen. We're making my favourite of my Dad's recipes, Hot King Prawns In Garlic Butter. | 5. After our shopping trip there was also a Mummy daughter baking session where we made traditionally orange flavoured and glazed French Madeleines, the first time making them for either of us. I'm rather proud of how they looked, and tasted in the end to be honest! The recipe came from my favourite book of the moment, Sweet Paris by Michael Paul which couples stunning photography, brilliant recipes for patisserie classics and some fantastic history of practically every sweet you can indulge in in the City of Lights. | 6. Testing a recipe for a French twist on a classic bread and butter pudding with leftover croissants, inspired by something I saw in Waitrose Magazine in the French kitchen. I think I still want to make a few more tweaks before sharing the recipe, though!
- Suzy shows us that there is more to Ibiza than just partying.
- The Savvy Girls Guide To Wine Pairing During The Holidays.
- Kathryn has posted her recipe for the Butterscotch pudding at Gjelina in Los Angeles. I can't wait to make it; it actually doubled as my 20th birthday cake! (You can read my review here!)
- Diane's photos from San Francisco are simply amazing. Also, San Fran? After seeing Diane's post about it, I think you ought to all go brunch at Central Kitchen on Sunday.
- I love Gem's honeymoon shots from Venice.
- The Thanksgiving spread on my favourite LA food blog Spoon Fork Bacon. No words.
- Los Angeles? Oldfields Liquor Room is a bar you need to hit up.
- Orla Kiely has collaborated with Target. Swoon.
- Copenhagen photo diary. Need I say more?
- Carin, who writes one of my favourite blogs for photography, Paris In Four Months, is in Rome at the moment and she has been eating the most amazing lobster.
- These photos make me simply crave a lazy weekend.
- Gala went to a seance in Brooklyn.
- Ever wondered what happens to Hermes products that have even the tiniest flaws?
- One of my favourite writers Anthony Bourdain has written an essay on why he loves Detroit.
- The Everygirl interviews with Jenna Witt Gibson, Political Producer for CBS This Morning about her career path.
7. My laptop charger blew up so I had to go to the Apple store for a new one. My closest Apple store is Westfield so obviously the day turned into a shopping trip. This wonderful little Topshop number came home with me, and no doubt it will be doing the Christmas drinks party circuit with me soon enough! | 8. Stocking up in the French supermarket. | 9. The rising sun catching the beautifully coloured Autumn leaves out of my bedroom window in Kent. | 10. The team at Hotel Chocolat were kind enough to treat me to their beautifully boxed Christmas collection. Simply divine! | 11. Lunch on the go at St. Pancras. Whenever you're passing through the Moroccan Spiced Couscous Salad by Ginger's Kitchen from Sourced Market is a very, very good call. | 12. Fantastic cocktails at Fifteen (seriously, the barmen there have skills) with the JamieOliver.com team and some of my fellow foodies after a simply wonderful evening in the Fifteen teaching kitchen. Stay tuned next week for some ideas of what to do with pheasant from Fifteen's head chef Jon Rotheram, Fifteen Cornwall's head chef Andy Appleton and the amazing Gennaro Contaldo, who needs no introduction really!
- While I was not a massive fan of the city when I visited, Tania's photo diaries (2) from Barcelona have given me a serious case of Wanderlust. Carries photos have also done Barcelona justice.
- When I finally make it back to San Francisco again, I feel I need to pay Tartine a visit.
- If, like me you think candy corn is horrible, the comments section on this post is for you.
- Londoners? I feel our new weekend haunt needs to be Broadway Market.
- Carin Olson's favourite sweets in Paris.
- Gemma took some beautiful photos on her Honeymoon in Rome.
- Speaking of Honeymoons, Suzi went to LA and managed to capture the city I adore perfectly.
- Dinnr: the London startup that delivers ingredients and recipes to your door. Need to know.
- I have so much love for Harpers Bazaar for shooting a fashion editorial in In-N-Out Burger.
- Kate's amazing photos she was not supposed to have taken inside St. Paul's Cathedral.
- Business caps on: How Much Is A Pin (on Pinterest) Really Worth?
- I'm an Everygirl, and I was arrested for a DUI.
- Confessions Of A Former Vegetarian.
- Frozen Muscat Grapes are the easiest and most impressive looking dinner party dessert ever.
- Nigel Slaters Short And Charming 5 Essentials For The Home Cook. Also, a (very hectic) week in the life of Nigel Slater.
A little extra for this weeks Weekly Love, as I mentioned the other day I was back at one of my new favourite London spots Whyte & Brown. I was lunching with their Creative Director Fiona to sample their new Autumn menu, chatting about things to come and some of the foodie things I discovered in Los Angeles. I want to thank Fiona for a fantastic lunch, and I thought this might be a good place to share a few snapshots from my meal here with you, a few little recommendations if you will, if you're planning on heading over there (you really should) over the next few weeks as a welcome rest from Christmas shopping on Regents Street.
This was the Chicken & Rabbit Ragu. It was delicious, and I apologise for the slightly out of focus photo, but I was distracted by a) the food, and b) talking. Anyone who knows me or has ever even eaten a meal with me once can tell you that I talk way too much, and this is amped up whenever I'm talking about something I'm passionate about, essentially politics, or in this case food. The pasta was perfectly cooked and the dish well balanced. I think this would make a great Winter warmer lunch or dinner, and a great entry dish into the world of rabbit. Personally, I love all game meat but I know when some people might be more inclined to try something like pheasant or partridge as as birds, they have a similar resemblance to things like chicken we eat all the time, rabbit, when done well is delicious. Go on, test the waters.
For dessert after I exactly spied it on the menu we shared Whyte & Browns Cronut. Now, I've never had a Cronut before, because the concept of a doughnut made with croissant dough and covered with sickly icing did not really sound like my idea of fun. Luckily, Fiona felt the same way I did, so when Whyte & Brown's Cronut was developed it was made small, light, topped with spiced and served warm, alongside a good dollop of vanilla ice cream. The end result makes the perfect pastry to round of any meal, or just to enjoy with a cup of tea or a coffee in passing. I think I need to eat another of these sometime soon.
What have you been doing this week, and what do you have planned for the weekend? I'm off on another girl date for a special festive afternoon tea with Sherin tomorrow (more about that on Monday), after a morning knife skills and fish preparation masterclass I'm attending - the perfect Saturday plan! Shame my Sunday is pretty much one big essay writing fest.