On my shelf in the drawing room (we've run out of room in the kitchen) I have 34 cookbooks. Two years ago I had 3. There are 10 more cookbooks in my Amazon wish list, and my wish list is not a list of books I would like to buy, they are books I am going to buy next time I go on a cookbook binge, someone gives me gift vouchers or people ask me what I want for Christmas or birthdays. This is nothing compared to my mother, on our kitchen shelf she has an impressive 139. No one has the time or the energy to go and count all of the food magazines she's also saved for recipes which I sort of count as seasonal cookbooks, too.
Wednesday, 30 July 2014
Monday, 28 July 2014
Sometimes where I like to eat does not have as much to do with the food that is on offer, but the atmosphere and location. Recently when I was on the hunt for somewhere to have a quick lunch meeting (which also doubled as a catch up with an old school friend) in Bayswater, I settled on Urban Meadow Cafe, just off Hyde Park and with a lovely outdoor terrace where I could sit with some work and a nice glass of rosé beforehand.
Friday, 25 July 2014
Can it stop being too hot already? I've been bouncing back and forth between Kent (where I can at least open all the doors to try and tempt in some of the non-existant breeze) and London for meetings (where I can't.) Now is the moment where I become the next blogger to wax lyrical about Uber. I've had it for about a year, but it was not until a horrific Central Line trip on Tuesday evening did I decide that enough was enough and I was boycotting TFL until it cooled down a bit. Honestly, I was really impressed. You can request and track your driver on your phone, and they send you the number, photo and registration of who is picking you up. It is all paid direct from your account too. I had two lovely drivers on Wednesday, with air conditioning, and I was happily surprised at how reasonably it was priced. I'm working on getting a custom code for the blog, but if you don't use it yet and you use the code lt8pc when you sign up, you'll get £10 off of your first ride. Enjoy!
1. Playing around with Rosie Ramsden's new book The Recipe Wheel. A full post about it to follow next week, but I can promise you it is full of lovely recipes around a really neat concept. | 2. Griddling spring onions/ salad onions on the barbecue is my new favourite thing. | 3. Outdoor late breakfast with avocado, fresh bread, fresh lime, sea salt, black pepper, olive oil and Waitrose Kitchen. | 4. Lunch at Urban Meadow Cafe in Bayswater. Full review to follow soon. | 5. Another review to follow soon, I had a late night in London on Tuesday night, so I stayed in this awesome little bolt-hole at the citizenM on Bankside. You could change the colour of your room with the in room tablet that also did the blinds, temperature and television. | 6. A screening of the 80's classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Pops Champagne ice lollies as the sun went down on the roof of Queen of Hoxton. More on that in a moment, but I may or may not have had 2 of these within the space of 12 hours when I was knocking around the Selfridges #destinationchristmas press preview the next day with Bess.
- UC Berkeley are looking to preserve West Coast cocktail culture in this fascinating project.
- Also from PUNCH, Regan Hoffman has written a fascinating piece on the language of drinking.
- And another from PUNCH, this history of Texas Ice Houses is fascinating. I like to learn something new every day, especially about Southern American culture which is so alien to me.
- Yep. I spend way too much time reading PUNCH. However, after learning about the Icelandic prohabition during my trip there last month, I found this read about cocktail discovery interesting.
- Great British Chefs has a preview of Great British Bake Off, which starts August 6th!
- Saveur has out together a guide to the lesser known avocado varieties.
- The Kitchn has put together 7 essential tips for storing homemade ice cream. They also school us on the difference between salt and sodium.
- Londoners? You need to head over the the Moet & Chandon rooftop terrace in Piccadilly.
- Carrie takes us on a behind the scenes tour of the Lush factory. Also, I'm still swooning over Carrie's second instalment of her amazing hidden London guide.
- Refinery 29 has put together a round up of the best hotel pools to cool off in in Los Angeles.
- Tamara Mellon chats to Into The Gloss about her skincare routine and founding Jimmy Choo.
- The TIG does the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia.
- My friend Nicole wrote me a fantastically long email about her fantastic trip to Bali a few months ago, and she's now shared the story along with her (as usual) stunning photos over on Popover. Also, she shows us Larchmont, Los Angeles, where I need to visit next time I'm in town.
- Bess has written a great piece called Dear Bloggers, love from a PR that I think every blogger needs to take heed of. I know I need to tighten up on some of these things, and up organisation.
On Tuesday night the wonderful team at Frexienet invited me up onto the top of Queen Of Hoxton for delicious Spanish tapas, wine tasting, one too many bellinis and the premier of their #littlethings campaign video, followed by a screening of the 80's classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off, which believe it or not I'd never seen. Obviously it was the food that really caught my attention, and I wish to proclaim that all food, from now until the end of the Summer should be eaten on sticks, on rooftops. I'd never actually heard of Frexienet before I was invited, but I was pleasantly surprised by the sheer flavour range of their Spanish Cava's - bottles to look out for. Head over to their Youtube channel to check out the short videos (that is totally me at the petrol pump!), and to Milly's (it was lovely to see you again!) Twitter page, where she also captured some great photos at the event, including of the really pretty garden party cocktails we also enjoyed, and the divine churros, strawberries and marshmallows I gorged myself on!
7. If you head over to Great British Chef's you'll find my recipe for Lemon & Thyme Madeleines. | 8. My Skinny Sticky Storecupboard Barbecue Chicken griddling away for dinner. | 9. Working on upcoming projects outside Urban Meadow Cafe before my lunch meeting with a nice cold glass of rose. | 10. A delicious Chicken Liver Salad at The Red Lion in Stodmarsh, just outside of Canterbury for Sunday lunch. A whole group of us had a fantastic meal, though I think they need to work on making the portions a little smaller if they want people to be able to sample both starters and desserts! | 11. Slow cook roast, halved and topped with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, thyme and bashed garlic cloves for a couple of hours for a simple yet stunning Summer side dish. | 12. The sheer teamwork that was Kathryn, Edward, Elle and I made for these simply divine White Chocolate and Raspberry (that we picked) soufflés for Sunday night dessert. The recipe was a bit of a mash up, but it will follow once we've figured it out a bit better! Also, big love to Kathryn and Elle for your amazing Shepherds Pie, and to Eddie our wonderful sous chef! We really need to all cook together more.
- If you follow Lucky's EIC Eva Chen on Instagram you'll know that she is always jetting off everywhere. So, like me you'll be glad to see she sat down with Fashionista to share her packing tips. I'm a pretty pro packer myself, but I learnt a thing or two from this post!
- IFB has broken down 5 reasons why they click on Refinery 29's Facebook posts, and in this they have taught us some very important lessons about sharing content on social media.
- Speaking of Refinery 29, they've put together a round up of the 10 best tacos in NYC.
- My favourite restaurant critic, Giles Coren, sits down with Flavour First to talk his life in food.
- Every month Pinch Of Yum publish a report featuring how much money they've made and how. I find it an educational read. This month I've learnt about advertising quarters.
- Claire has reviewed the one place I want to eat at in London more than any other this Summer, Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack (Exmouth or Fitzrovia, I'm not fussed!)
- Camille Styles sits down with travel writer Stirling Kelso to talk about her freelance career.
- Birchbox has opened its first brick and mortar location in New York.
- The reason why shopping at Whole Foods, especially in California is so expensive.
- Jessica's video diary from 2013 she's posted is such an amazing view of the world.
- Catherine has written a thought provoking piece on if brands should be paying bloggers to write product reviews that has made me rethink my own policies somewhat. (via Amy Elizabeth)
- 14 stores in Los Angeles to buy awesome home accessories. I can personally recommend Huset on Abbot Kinney and Maison Midi on South La Brea.
- I loved this piece on how to get a verified Twitter account.
- This is for me: Networking For Introverts.
Finally, can we take a moment to talk about liketoknow.it? For those of you who don't know, liketoknow.it is a special Instagram plug in for website publishers like me to let you guys know where to buy the things I feature in my Instagrams, run by my affiliate network RewardStyle. I know I mostly post plates of food, but when I get a moment (and teach everyone around me to be better iPhone photographers!) I'm going to try and throw up a few outfit posts and a few more lifestyle snapshots on there. Just because I don't write about fashion and makeup here, doesn't mean that I'm still not totally into all of that stuff, (hey, just look at my Pinterest!) and I like making pretty pictures. Now, liketoknow.it have just updated their publisher app so for the first time I can see how many of my Instagram followers use liketoknow.it to get emails with shopping links sent to them whenever they like a shop-able picture in their feed. I was shocked to find that while over 1,300 of you amazing people follow me on Instagram, only 13 of you are signed up! So, if you'd like to receive updates from me, and some of the other awesome people you no doubt follow, step this way!
What have you been enjoying this week, and what do you have planned for the weekend? I'm in London this evening to help celebrate one of my best friends birthdays, then I'm off to Waitrose Cookery School tomorrow morning, which I'm rather excited about!
Wednesday, 23 July 2014
So, I promised everyone sitting around the dinner table on Saturday night, a fair few of our friends who'd seen the photos on social media, plus a fair few of you online that I'd share the recipe for the Pissaladière onion and anchovy tart I served up as the main event at my Provincial themed dinner party. I was stupidly proud of it and happy with the way the recipe turned out at practically every stage of the cooking on Saturday morning, so luckily I snapped a few more snaps of it while it was a work in progress, and just before everyone arrived for pre-dinner pink bubbles and a bit of catch up gossip before descending on the dinner table.
Monday, 21 July 2014
On Saturday night I turned my conservatory into a Provence for my annual dinner party I throw for my best school friends. Basically, you have to have either sat with us for lunch or dinner in the school dining room, or be dating someone who did in order to get an invite! Every year I like to throw it with a theme (two years ago Southern California, last year Ottolenghi) and I was in the mood for a whole load of food that goes perfectly with a nice chilled glass of rose. Or four. It was a great excuse to get sunflowers for the table, too!
Friday, 18 July 2014
So, I thought I'd kick off my trio of posts about my Iceland trip with my absolute highlight; bathing in the famous Blue Lagoon, one of the best experiences of my life. Quite close to the airport, approximately a 40 minute drive through the etherial lava fields where they practiced for the moon landings, away from the capitol of Reykjavik, sits the most beautiful body of silica and sulphur rich water. What was originally a man made waste water pool from the next door geothermal energy plant has been turned into one of the most awesome natural (recreational, medicinal and research) health spas in the world.
Wednesday, 16 July 2014
I've noticed something of a foodie insurgence in Canterbury over the past year. I think this has a lot to do with the high speed train link and how people are quickly discovering it. You can get from Canterbury West to St. Pancras in under an hour, and, as well as becoming more of a student city with the two universities expanding (I have mixed feelings about this), it is now a viable commuter destination. When before the only non-chain restaurants I'd recommend for good, fresh, local food (we do still have a good moroccan in Cafe Mauresque) were The Goods Shed and Deeson's, there are now so many options I'm still only just trying them. Honestly, if you're looking for a day trip out of London to see a beautiful cathedral and eat lovely food, we're your answer!
Monday, 14 July 2014
While the title of this post suggests that all of the photos from the second half of my Norway trip last month (this time to the costal town of Ålesund and its surrounding islands) was sample the local food, but I did get the chance to check out some rather pretty landscapes, too. Ålesund is pretty famous because it burnt down in January 1904, and was completely rebuilt in the art deco style. It is a really unique city, and a great base from which to explore all of the different little islands around it which are connected by underwater tunnels.
Friday, 11 July 2014
Hello again everyone! On Sunday I got back from my trip around Norway, Iceland and to Orkney, and after a few days getting everything back on track I've picked up the pace on some of the exciting projects I've been working on and I hope to bring you guys soon. In other news, both my iPhoto and my camera are still full of photos from my adventures I can't wait to share, and I'll be rolling out over the next few weeks as I work my way through them. Though I can tell you for sure, next week stay tuned for the second half of my Norway photos, including some stunning panoramas, Norwegian fish soup and one of the best cakes I've ever tasted.
1. Looking out over the town of Ålesund in Norway. | 2. Enjoying a traditional Icelandic lunch of smoked trout on rye baked in the ground using geothermal energy in Reykjavik. | 3. Bathing in Iceland's famous Blue Lagoon was one of the best experiences of my life. More to follow in a full blog post soon! | 4. Kicking off my Summer holiday (before we headed North and it got a fair bit colder!) with some tropical cocktails. | 5. In contrast to the cocktails, starting off my post holiday healthy eating kick with a prawn and mango salad wrap! | 6. Visiting the wonderful Balfour Castle in the Orkney islands. Full blog post on that to follow, too!
- The Kitchn takes us to Vietnam and shows us how fish sauce is made. They also school us with a (very interesting full of things I did not know) history of rum.
- Refinery 29 has put together a roundup of the best doughnuts in Los Angeles. Also, Food 52 brings us the history of doughnuts in America.
- Nouvelle Daily has put together a great piece on saying no to University. While I am grateful that it gave me the chance to live in L.A., and London twice, deep down I still know that it was not really the best decision for me to go, and I wish I'd been given more alternative guidance. They have also put together a great guide to buying flowers on a budget.
- Lucy reviews a simply stunning looking meal at Jamie's Italian in Stratford.
- PUNCH looks at what California's bartenders are doing about the drought in the state.
- Julia has written a very interesting piece on if the blogging industry is generational.
- Hayden schools us in the (very interesting) history of ice cream and sorbet.
- Thanks to Amy, when I finally get around to checking out the Leeds food scene, Shears Yard is going to be pretty near the top of my list. The food looks amazing!
- Emily shows us how to do some fantastic, and really simple Faux Calligraphy. Also, she has some really great tips to make entertaining at home as easy as possible.
- Megan Markle, the actress who plays one of my favourite dressed characters on TV, Rachel Zane on Suits, shows us how to get her characters flawless makeup look. She also interviews Jolie Andreatta, the shows costume designer on each characters individual style.
- Camille Styles sits down with to interview the father daughter duo behind my favourite food website, What To Cook Tonight. They have also put together a great 'Grilling 101' post.
While there is still a little elderflower around, if you head over to the Borough Market blog you'll find my recipe for a super cheap, super easy and super delicious Elderflower Granita. All you need is a saucepan, plastic tub and a fork! I actually received my degree on Wednesday (I'm now a proud graduate of the University of London with Upper Second Class Honours in English Literature!) so I'm no longer a student, so my student column for Borough Market has come to an end. However, I'll be back writing a new column that is just being finalised for the market in the Autumn, so keep your eye out for that! (I have a new column with student food starting on an exciting new website at the end of the month, and I'll be sure to keep you updated.) For now, you can find all of the recipes I have written since the beginning of the year for Borough Market here.
7. Gathering fresh produce from the vegetable gardens. | 8. A little preview of Monday's blog post, totally delicious Fiskesuppe (Norwegian fish soup) in Ålesund. | 9. Prepping some red peppers to roast for a little bit of soup action. | 10. The conservatory at Balfour Castle. I want this when I grow up! | 11. Throwing together some local strawberries, leftover whipped cream and homemade meringues for an impromptu dessert having family over. | 12. Some of my Barbecue Chicken, Bacon & Honey Mustard Skewers sizzling away on the barbecue.
- Do you know what Shrub Syrup is? (Hint: it is not made from bushes, is awesome for cocktails!)
- Sophie's blog, yet again, makes me want to go and eat my way around Sydney. Another one added to my list once I finally make it to Sydney, lunch at Four Ate Five. And The Grounds.
- Speaking of future destinations, Rose has me convinced that I need to add Lake Como to the list.
- Claire dines at the new Polpo in Notting Hill, which is right at the top of my list.
- Cosmopolitan shows us how to get more likes on Instagram. Will Instgram kill off fashion blogs? Also, 7 essentials for marketing your blog on Instagram.
- I always love Kristabel's monthly food diaries and her stunning photos.
- Julia has put together a lovely little guide to San Francisco.
- I love the styling for Blogshop in Atlanta.
- Food 52 has put together a great guide to using gelatine.
- This natural pink lake in Australia is incredible.
- Sarah has done a simply stunning patio makeover. Her house is turning out to be incredible!
- My fellow Borough Market blogger Ed Smith has profiled KERB for Flavour First.
- The Joint's luscious looking burgers are yet another reason to visit Brixton Village Market.
- I really need to try Amy Elizabeth's Soy & Chilli Seeds, just like the ones in my Graze Box!
- Emiko Davies gives us a rundown on the classic Caprese Salad.
- Jacintha has taken some photos inside the Islington Ottolenghi store that are simply amazing, I mistook them for the photos from the cookbook at first glance!
- Nicole has put together a fantastic looking Portland city guide.
- America? Love & Lemons has put together a great guide to Summer wine and food pairings.
What have you been doing this week, and what do you have planned for the weekend?
Wednesday, 9 July 2014
I love England, I'm proud to be British and there is so much about me that is very, very European. However, my favourite place in the world is actually on another continent. My favourite place in the world is California. (Venice, Los Angeles, if we're being specific.) I know I mention how much I loved my time living in L.A. in practically every other post, so I hope you'll keep with me for an entire post dedicated to the Golden State. If it makes you feel any better, there is a bit of Orange County, Lake Tahoe and San Francisco in here too!
Monday, 7 July 2014
I’ve been so incredibly lucky that in my life before I was even 20 I’d been to so many amazing places. I’ve been all over the Mediterranean and all around the Baltic states. I’ve lived in America, and I was lucky enough to be able to visit the Middle East before it became such an area of contention once again. However, nothing could have prepared me for the sheer breathtaking natural beauty of some of the things I have seen over the past two weeks. Not so much in Scotland, but the one thing that really stays with me from Norway and Iceland is how many brilliant shades of blue you can find in ice and water. Words and pictures can only be pale imitations.
Thursday, 3 July 2014
The first restaurant review I wrote in Los Angeles was of what became one of my favourite haunts in my favourite neighbourhood: Local 1205 on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. On return trips the main draw for me was the fantastic baguettes (which, unlike the offerings from my usually beloved Trader Joe's across the street from my apartment actually tasted like real bread), and the delicious cold pressed juice (which is something I'm pretty obsessed with anyway!) that came, instead of in a basic plastic bottle, in a mason jar.
Tuesday, 1 July 2014
Did you know how stupidly easy it is to make fresh pasta from scratch? If you can bake bread, you can make pasta, and vice versa. When I'm bouncing around ideas for my Borough Market column each month I usually send about six recipes with different themes attached off to the market, but when I was pitching the first part of June apparently my sheer enthusiasm for showing people how to make fresh pasta won my editor over instantly. This month I'm showing you all over on the Borough Market Blog how to make a super simple (but impressive looking) light and seasonal supper for friends. Fresh Pasta (usually boring, but it has dinner party kudos when you've made it yourself) with Courgette and Lemon, followed by a refreshing Elderflower Granita.