As we approach the New Year, I know for one that I am starting to gravitate towards fresher, lighter dishes, but still with a touch of celebration in them as we say goodbye to 2015. Here, I've got another salad that would be great for you to serve up on New Years Day as part of a spread (it serves about 10 people alongside 3 or 4 other sides), or scaled down for a simple supper after a heavy lunch. I took the inspiration and a few of the components from Waitrose Christmas Harvest Cookbook - I love these little free recipe booklets you can pick up at the check out while you're waiting to pay full of seasonal recipe ideas.
Wednesday, 30 December 2015
Monday, 28 December 2015
As I explained last year when I shared how I make my cranberry sauce, I marked down the first chapter of Nigella Lawson's Feast as my go-to bible for festive feasting. Along with where I have adapted my cranberry sauce recipe from, and where I get my recipe for Cherry & Clove Glazed Ham in Cherry Coke (which I plan to share my tweaks of next year), it is where I have taken my slightly adulterated New Years Day Trifle from.
Thursday, 24 December 2015
Welcome to my final 'Weekly Love' of 2015. I'm not going to ramble on too much about the year that has past just yet (I've got my usual bumper round up of the year post coming up that I've been putting together for January 1st), so really I think that all that remains at this point is to wish you all, wherever you are a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Enjoy tomorrow, be sure to eat way too much stuffing and turkey, and to have a wonderful time with the people you love. I'll see you all for some New Years ideas next week.
1. A My Name Is Yeh inspired Israeli Savoury Breakfast Salad, with a side of the Times' Dish magazine. 2. Finally getting the Christmas tree up - our hallway is now super festive, and full of copper paper wrapped presents! | 3. I had excellent fun helping to judge the first ever Canterbury Christmas Window competition - here is one of my favourite windows in the City, our Gold Award winner Queen Bee Home. | 4. Twinkly Christmas lights down Burgate in Canterbury. | 5. Recovering from the madness that is Christmas shopping two days before the big day with a family lunch at Little Joe's Deli. | 6. Knarly local carrots on Canterbury High Street.
Monday, 21 December 2015
Mulled Wine is all very well if you're catering for a crowd, but this Christmas I've added a brand new festive warmer to our family repertoire for the chilly afternoons and evenings when there is just one or more of you: my mulled apple juice, cognac (or brandy, whichever you've got really) and cinnamon vodka laced hot toddy. Curl up with a good book in front of the fire, mug in hand, or knock together a plate of festive nibbles (hello our family Classic Cheese Straws recipe) and get set in to a good present wrapping session.
Wednesday, 16 December 2015
When it comes to Christmas, some people are all about the peppermint. Other people like to sprinkle cinnamon on absolutely everything, and I try to make practically every single baked good under the sun in a ginger and pomegranate version. So, when I stumbled across a recipe for Gingerbread Dutch Baby baked pancake in one of my favourite cookbooks, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, I knew it was the perfect recipe to a) break my Dutch Baby pancake virginity (why had I never made one of these before?!), and b) adapt to suit British ingredients and pile on the fresh pomegranate seeds and molasses.
Monday, 14 December 2015
One afternoon, I wanted to make ice cream. I had cream and milk in the fridge, but I could not really be bothered to go to the supermarket for additional ingredients. I had not the supplies to make my Mint Aero Ice Cream, Eton Mess Ice Cream or Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Ice Cream. However, inspired by the last option I did have brown sugar, and my mother suggested I add a dash of Grand Marnier from the dusty bottle we have stashed in the back of the dinning room cupboard. Thus, my new favourite ice cream flavour was born.
Thursday, 10 December 2015
These 100% from scratch cured salmon, crème fraîche and dill bilinis look super professional and super complicated, right? Well, no actually. These take no special kitchen skill, specialist ingredients or equipment. They only take a little bit of time and patience, and are the perfect make ahead then assemble canapé for holiday gatherings. And stepping aside from these nibbles, if you just want to stick to the salmon, who doesn't want a piled plate of salmon you've impressively cured yourself stashed in the fridge over Christmas week?
Monday, 7 December 2015
On Saturday afternoon, after steaming cups of tea, coffee and hot chocolate at Refectory Kitchen, I and a group of other local judges set out for a walk around the city with the team from Canterbury BID to judge the first of what promises to be a cracking annual Christmas window competition, with shops, businesses and restaurants all over the city getting into the holiday spirit with some rather creative window displays.
Friday, 4 December 2015
Happy December everyone! 'Tis officially the season for mulled wine, pine trees and brightly coloured wrapping paper. While this year I've been doing my best to get into the festive spirit with all manner of treats, decorations and hopefully music (once I get my Michael Bublé Christmas playlist sorted, that is), I don't blame those of you who are not totally into the festive spirit yet. So, if you check out the first half of links in this edition of Weekly Love, you'll find some of my favourite tips, recipes and DIY's for the season, while in the second half I've kept it casual with usual programming and the like. Enjoy!
1. Salt Beef Bagels and Steak Rainbow Wraps at Little Joe's Deli in Canterbury. | 2. Picking out a Christmas tree snuggled up in my brand new, super warm and uber soft Joules oversized blanket scarf. | 3. Tucking into Pieminster's 'Three Kings' Turkey, Bacon & Parsnip pie which basically tastes like Christmas. | 4. Winter veg outside the greengrocers. | 5. Stunning ruby red pomegranates, again outside the greengrocers, this time on Deal High Street. | 6. A steaming mug of Spiced Apple Tea and my favourite White Company 'Winter' candle in a hot bubble bath.
Tuesday, 1 December 2015
Okay, so I may have shamelessly ripped the idea for this recipe from the Christmas section of the M&S Food Hall this year, but who can think of anything better than slightly rosemary scented balls of sage and onion sausage stuffing, wrapped in bacon and topped off with a tart cranberry cooked alongside your Christmas turkey? In our family Christmas stuffing is not Christmas stuffing if it is not made with a certain sausage meat in a certain way, so I thought re-creating these little bites would be the perfect excuse to share our recipe.
Friday, 27 November 2015
How many of you have sat down in a restaurant in a capital city after work over the past two weeks and really thought about where you were? When I lived in London I was eating out at least a couple of times a week in the packed city centre, enjoying myself with friends, and I still grab a bite and a couple of drinks after work when I can in the city. If you've thought twice about making dinner plans in the fortnight since the simply horrific attacks in Paris where ordinary people were murdered out enjoying a Friday night out with friends, don't. How better to honour their memory than to keep on enjoying the things that are a part of our way of life that they are no longer able to, and that the people who killed them seek to eradicate?
Wednesday, 25 November 2015
I thought today I’d scribble down a few thoughts on full time blogging. I read a study last year that over 90% of women under the age of 24 who start a fashion or lifestyle blog now do it with the dream of it becoming a full time job. Some of you may remember when I wrote this post back in May last year when I finished university and I announced that I would be blogging full time I was so excited by the prospect. However, a year and a half since I wrote that post, and a couple of months into my new part time job, I thought I’d share why I found that living the blogging dream was not necessarily all it was cracked up to be.
Monday, 23 November 2015
Living in Los Angeles, I picked up a love for Korean food, but due to the availability of ingredients (though I have managed to make do with some approximations) and the prevalence of very good, but not quite authentic Korean restaurants over here, I've found it hard to get my fix. One of the biggest road blocks was that up until this month, it has been impossible to buy Gochujang (Korean chilli sauce) in a British supermarket. However, some stores have risen to the challenge, so in collaboration with Yogiyo! (a Dragon's Den start up who have brought mild Gochujang, medium Gochujang for cooking and Galbi Fruity Soy Marinade to Sainsbury's stores) I thought I'd share with you a simple, bright and delicious recipe using Gochujang.
Friday, 20 November 2015
Cooking for the season is just as much about using Autumnal colours as Autumnal flavours. This month in my Borough Market column I've charted my adventures in making no-knead pizza dough (if you've made no-knead bread before, no it is not as easy as it sounds) in order to make this No-Knead Wild Mushroom, Caramelised Onion and Ricotta (my new pizza and toast topping obsession) Pizza. It is made in a sharing size, and is perfect topped off with an indulgent drizzle of truffle oil. Yes, I'm the person who has turned up at someones home as a guest with a little bottle of white truffle oil as a gift for my host, rather than a bottle of wine.
1. A steaming mug of Spiced Apple Tea in this adorable mug the team at Joules popped over to me, featuring Peggy the Hen. | 2. A sort of Full English breakfast featuring homemade hash browns, and whatever I happened to have in the fridge. | 3. Autumn leaves falling thick and fast on the trees. | 4. Shooting something of an Asian persuasion for the blog next week. | 5. Crisp and crunchy Kentish apples outside the greengrocers on Deal High Street. | 6. Editing photos with a pineapple and sage mojito in hand at No. 11 Pimlico Road.
Wednesday, 18 November 2015
Now it really is time to start thinking about Christmas shopping, I thought I'd do something a little different with my Christmas gift guides this year. Instead of posting separate guides for different types of people, I thought I'd put together guides by price. Everything costs £50 or under, and I've put together a guide for gifts £10 and under (great for stocking fillers), gifts £25 and under (perfect for friends) and £50 and under (perfect for family and loved ones), as well as a guys gift guide at the bottom (because they are always the hardest to shop for!) I hope you find these helpful shopping for the people in your life this holiday season!
Joules Peggy Hen Porcelain Mug: £9.95 | Hotel Chocolat 12 Portly Penguins: £7 | Paperchase Set of 2 Christmas Sprout Bottle Stoppers: £8 | Emma Bridgewater Prestat House Truffle Stocking Tree Decoration: £7.95 | L'Occitane Charm Keyring: £10 | Liberty of London Cherries in Kirch: £9.95 | Lush The Magic of Christmas Reusable Bubble Bar: £5.95 | Biscuiteers Christmas Tree Biscuit Card: £9 | L'Occitane Cherry Blossom Lip Balm: £8.50 | Joules Current Leaf Hand Cream: £7.95
Monday, 16 November 2015
I've been holding out on you with the last post from my trip to Los Angeles this Spring. However, I wanted to keep this post to tie in with my theme of festive gifting this week (stay tuned for my Bumper Christmas Gift Guide online on Wednesday!) and share with you a little look around probably my favourite store in Los Angeles: Urbanic Paper Boutique, located on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. If you happen to be stateside (or shopping online) for your festive gifts anytime in the next month or so, Urbanic is where it's at. I also had the chance to sit down with the store owner, Audrey Woollen, to chat about the store and its neighbourhood.
Friday, 13 November 2015
People are always asking me for restaurant recommendations near Victoria station. Until now I've never been forthcoming as I'd never found anywhere good, but today I want to introduce you to a great spot only 7 minutes walk away from the station: No. 11 Pimlico Road. It is one of those great, airy restaurants that has an impressive looking breakfast and brunch menu, a good selection of bigger dishes for lunches and evenings, and a great spread of smaller bites to pair with their mouthwatering cocktail list. Perfect any time of the day.
Wednesday, 11 November 2015
As a fan of quick pasta dishes, avocados and the internet, it was only a matter of time before I shared a recipe for avocado spaghetti with you all. Let us be honest there; it's Autumn. Not quite Winter yet, but there are still evenings when all you want to do is snuggle up in a blanket with a nice big bowl of pasta to watch Grey's Anatomy without feeling heavy afterwards (I'm a real pasta fan, but courgetti would work too!)
Monday, 9 November 2015
While we all know that my favourite social media platform is Pinterest, my love for pinning all things pretty is only marginally greater than my ever growing love for Instagram. I think before Instagram was a platform where the sorts of people I wanted to follow online (other than my friends, other bloggers) posted snapshots of their day to day in order to promote their own websites. However, I love that Instagram has now become a place people put as much thought into original and engaging content for. So, I thought it would be a good time to share with you 10 of my favourite accounts; a mix of snapshots from people who create pretty pictures elsewhere online, and a few Instagrams that are fantastic stand alone sites in their own right.
Friday, 6 November 2015
In Korean-American food and drink culture the idea is to keep on eating until you feel full and then keep on going. I read somewhere once that if you're still either hungry or sober at the end of an evening in Koreatown you're doing it wrong. Well, while day drinking by yourself in 28 degree heat is rarely a good idea, with a day to kill while I was staying in Koreatown until I met a friend for drinks at a Venice wine bar, I decided that the eating part of this food philosophy sounded perfectly good to me; it was time to discover some of the other food in Los Angeles' Koreatown outside of my favourite Korean barbecue joints.
Wednesday, 4 November 2015
As regular readers will know, I'm a massive fan of infusing my own gin at home. I'm working on perfecting a damson gin recipe, and one of the most important tasks of my year is making batches of sloe gin from the berries that live here on the farm. However, I'm aware that for those of you who don't live in the countryside like me have difficulties getting hold of ingredients such as sloes and damsons for your gin making. So, I want to introduce you to a recipe I came across a few months ago for how to make your own raspberry gin.
Monday, 2 November 2015
When I ran into Sam Deeson (the guy behind one of my favourite Canterbury restaurants Deeson's, and everyone's favourite local shopfront and street food outfit Pork & Co.) at the Canterbury Food Festival a few weeks ago he told me that he'd taken over the shop front next to the Cathedral gates that used to be Hawkins Bazaar, and that he'd be selling pies, mash, grilled cheese and some other New York style deli items out of it.
Friday, 30 October 2015
While I may not be out brunching at London's hottest spots each weekend now I no longer live in the big city, that does not mean that I don't still brunch at the weekends. Over on the Borough Market blog this month (as well as sharing my recipe for Beetroot and Potato Fritters with Poached Duck Eggs) I've run through a few of my tips for quick and easy brunches to make at home. You can find my tips here.
1. Having lunch for the first time at the brand new Little Joe's Deli in Canterbury - full review to follow next week! | 2. Autumn leaves blowing across Canterbury High Street. | 3. 5 o'Clock refreshment courtesy of Greenwich's Meantime Brewery. | 4. Toasting to the last Sunday in october with a | 5. Harvesting sloes for this years batch of Sloe Gin - I can't wait for it to be ready in January !| 6. Gorging on a veritable mountain of chicken at Elsie Mo's Diner in Canterbury.
Wednesday, 28 October 2015
At least a couple of years ago now I promised my friends and fellow Japanese food/ green tea ice cream lover Eddie that the first sushi restaurant I was invited to review, I would invite him along as well. So, Saturday lunch time found us both sitting down to cocktails, a veritable feast of sushi and other Japanese delights at Murakami in Covent Garden. Incidentally, it has taken me this long to get over the trauma of testing out different supermarket sushi sets for The Debrief to actually want to eat sushi again for my lunch.
Monday, 26 October 2015
It probably comes as no surprise that someone who was as obsessed as I was with Harry Potter as a kid (okay, I pretty much still am) absolutely loves Halloween. While Halloween does fall on a Saturday this year, I've still got a fair bit of work to do. So, to make up for that my colleagues and I have been gorging on these fun, Halloween coloured party rings I've been baking and brining into the office over the past week or so.
Friday, 23 October 2015
Lunches in London usually fall into two distinct categories for me now that I'm no longer actually living in the city. Either I'm after somewhere for a long, leisurely meal with lots of good food, wine and cocktails with friends (see most recently my new favourite Sunday spot, John Doe in Westbourne Park) or somewhere with good, quick food that you can share over conversation with good soft drinks, that work for lunch meetings. The girls at Hope & Glory PR let me choose where we'd eat for our meeting the other week, and I think we ended up stumbling across a working lunch gem: KIN on Leather Lane in Clerkenwell.
Wednesday, 21 October 2015
After you all took so much interest in the posts I wrote in 2013 and 2014 about how I make money blogging, I thought it was about time again that I sat down to have a look at where exactly my income is coming from, especially now once some of the dust has settled from some of the bigger changes that have come to how bloggers bring in revenue this year. For example, Pinterest's changes which made it harder to monetize the platform with affiliate and pay per click links from platforms such as rewardStyle and Shopstyle.
Monday, 19 October 2015
Over the Summer I heard whispers that not one, but two American style diners were set to open in Canterbury this Autumn. Obviously, now I no longer live in London so I can no longer hang out at The Diner at weekends, this news got me rather excited. Now one of these diners is rather pedestrian (Ed's Diner in Whitefriars), but the other was a complete unknown: enter the brightly coloured, all American Elsie Mo's Diner on Burgate.
Friday, 16 October 2015
I'm officially in hunt of all things snuggly. On Monday I somehow managed to get absolutely frozen to the bone, and it took forever to get warm again. As a result, since I've been seeking fuzzy bed socks, big bowls of roasted vegetable soup and I've dug out my UCLA Alumni sweatshirt which is only just too big for me to be super comfortable to throw over my pyjamas in the evening. I've also switched to my thicker, Winter duvet. Please tell me that I'm not the only one who has different duvets for Summer and Winter?
1. Stomping around the farm in my favourite purple Hunter wellingtons. | 2. Planning my upcoming Autumn/ Winter blog posts in my Bloggers Planner. They are customisable, and my favourite features so far are the pages where I can plan out my posts and make sure I have not forgotten to put them on social media, my stats tracker I fill in at the end of every month, and the fact you can choose which month of the year you can start it on. | 3. Crisp Autumn afternoon walks through the Kentish countryside. | 4. Baking party rings from James Morton's How Baking Works - they went down a storm in the office! | 5. Pumpkins stacked up on Deal High Street. | 6. Sunday morning brunching on Chilaquiles made from Mexican leftovers - we'd had fajitas the night before!
- Tess has some great tips for throwing a stress free dinner party.
- I really need to try these delicious looking ceviche sushi hand roll hybrids.
- Carrie has written the perfect mini guide to Brussels. Liv was traveling with her, and has also posted her own guide, which is equally as awesome.
- Bloglovin's '5 Reasons Why No One's Reading Your Blog' contains some blogging advice that in the current over-saturation of 'how to' blogging post, you still might not have read yet.
- Amy has made chocolate rum truffles with coconut milk. Enough said.
- Rose's photos from Little Viet Kitchen in Islington make me want all the Vietnamese food.
- Also on Rose's blog, she partakes in one of my favourite Autumn weekend activities, picking blackberries for crumble and sloes to make sloe gin (you can find my recipe here).
- This Apple & Thyme Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream is the ultimate Autumn showstopper. Bookmarked in my 'to bake' file, for sure!
- For those of you who don't work in politics and therefore don't get to go inside some of the simply stunning buildings we use as offices in Westminster, Jacintha took some stunning photos inside the gorgeous Foreign & Commonwealth office at Open Houses London.
- The Kitchn schools us on how to fold wonton dumplings.
- If you're ever in Sydney in October, you need to hit up Night Noodle Markets.
- Healthy Caramel Apples? Yes, Tieghan made it happen.
7. A delicious working lunch at KIN in Clerkenwell (full review to follow next week!) | 8. Yet more beautiful Autumn, Kentish countryside light. | 9. Maple Pecan Rolls with Homemade Maple Caramel from this months Waitrose Food magazine. | 10. On Wednesday I previewed all of the goodies Marks & Spencer will have in store this Christmas, and I'm now super excited. These beautiful pearls are actually salmon mousse - perfect for a festive starter. They'll cost £6 for two. | 11. Roaring fire in my local pub. | 12. Obligatory boot/ floor selfie on the beautiful tiles at Enoteca Rabezzana in Barbican.
- Coddled eggs on top of silky smooth mashed potato for brunch anyone?
- I picked up these snuggly new pyjama bottoms in Marks & Spencers over my lunch break last week, and they're my new favourite thing to change into when I get home. Only £16, too!
- Ashlae has put together a great guide to Stockholm.
- Massive love to Amy for including me along with an awesome line up in her '8 British Food Bloggers You Should Be Following' post.
- How have I only just realised that the Emma Bridgewater website has an 'Outlet' section? Also, if you have never ordered with them online before and you use this link, you'll get £10 off!
- Former prisoners watch Orange Is The New Black. (via Amy)
- Style Me Pretty goes behind the scenes of a food blog I adore: A Couple Cooks.
- I'm more than just a little bit obsessed with these Saucy Chicken Sandwiches with Pomegranate Barbecue Sauce (!) and Crunchy Apple Slaw.
- 10 ways to use up a leftover can of coconut milk.
- Joy schools us on how to make fruit sugars.
- I'd like this beautiful white country kitchen please. Thank you.
- I think this Tomato & Mozzarella Pasta Pie is pure genius.
- Because we need a new and exciting pumpkin soup recipe every Autumn: Thai Pumpkin Laksa with Crunchy Fried Chickpeas.
What have you been enjoying this weekend, and what do you have planned for the weekend? Aside from my usual kitchen experiments, I've got a work thing this evening that means dressing up, which I'm actually rather looking forward to - I genuinely don't think that I've worn a formal dress in over a year, and I have these snazzy new heels from Boden I've been waiting to give an outing to.
Wednesday, 14 October 2015
Okay, so I may have been sitting on a few Los Angeles posts for you all while I wrote about my travels over the Summer. For my last meal out in Los Angeles this past trip, there was only one restaurant I was ever going to consider. Ever since it first opened back when I was living in the city, Trois Mec headed up by the chef that all people who really know about food have heard of, Ludo Lefebvre has been probably the one restaurant I wanted to eat in the most. Okay, so while I still did not manage to get a ticket for dinner, they've opened up a little bistro next door. Still one of the hardest places to get into in Los Angeles, a small, no reservations eatery in Hollywood is just about doable if you've got enough patience and you don't mind waiting around a bit.
Monday, 12 October 2015
Before kale and coconut oil became all the rage, and we all went out to buy the Hemsley + Hemsley book, I lived in Southern California. This essentially means that a big glass of something green and on a semi-regular basis is not just a health statement for me, but something I crave. While it is not really possible to create cold pressed juices at home, smoothies (especially at breakfast time before I go to work or at the weekend to keep me going until supper time after a big brunch) are a totally different matter.
Friday, 9 October 2015
If you're after something different to do this weekend, hop on the tube to London Bridge to check out The Icelandic Pantry at Borough Market. Today and tomorrow the enclosed section of the market next to the street food is playing host to a whole spectrum of suppliers and artisan producers from Iceland, bringing the unique and historical flavours of the North I so fell in love with when I visited Iceland to London.
Wednesday, 7 October 2015
After a mad morning at work reviewing the local papers last week I dashed off just before lunch to Canterbury in order to sit down with a couple of other local journalists to try Dev Biswal's exciting new Autumn tasting menu at The Ambrette (my favourite place to go for modern Indian in East Kent), which is geared towards using ingredients that don't only taste delicious, but are designed to boost your immune system to stave off the cold and flu as we move into the final few, slightly colder and wetter months of the year.
Monday, 5 October 2015
While I'm sometimes pressed for time meeting deadlines, I now find that as I'm working several days a week I'm enjoying cooking and planning my meals a bit more on the days when I am at home in a way that I haven't since I lived in London. I'm pretty sure this chalks up to where I buy my ingredients. When I was living in London, as a Borough Market columnist I was there all the time, as well as picking up the odd bits of pieces at other stores I came to love around the city, such as Daylesford Organic in Notting Hill. Unfortunately, a lot to do with convenience, moving out of the city I became more and more reliant on supermarkets.
Friday, 2 October 2015
Happy Autumn everyone! Welcome to the season for cashmere jumpers that can be worn without a coat, cozy scarves, cute ankle boots and big glasses of red wine. While the leaves are still on the trees they're starting to turn beautiful auburn shades in patches, and golden ruby light has been streaming through my bedroom windows from the blood red sunrise as I get ready for the work in the mornings. It is also the season for long and luxurious hot baths, preferably on a Sunday afternoon with Lush's Floating Island bath melt (white so it does not stain my cream bathroom carpet), which leaves me so relaxed my limbs are like jelly.
1. Perfect Pomegranate White Iced Tea on Deal seafront from Hope & Lane. | 2. Weekend bath time with white chocolate Kinder Bueno (#ad) and my current candle, Freesia by Diptyque. I've been especially enjoying this beautiful floral scent because it only cost me £15, as I had a £25 voucher from my Liberty loyalty card to spend. It is free to sign up and there is a great return, so I'd really recommend it! | 3. Shooting ahead of the harvest at Barnsole Vineyard at Staple, near Canterbury. I can't wait for their new website to launch next Spring along with their first English sparkling wine - I've done all of their promotional photography! | 4. A perfect Neapolitan from That's Amore Pizza Co. at Canterbury Food Festival. | 5. Perfect avocado and bacon toast at KITCH in Canterbury, flipping through a few healthy eating cookbooks I don't have on my shelves. | 6. A Sweet Potato Dumpling with a Pomegranate, Mango and Ginger Extract as part of The Ambrette's immune boosting Autumn tasting menu, a full review to follow later this month.
- Why did I not go to this first night at Hogwarts themed supper club?
- Speaking of supper clubs, Refinery 29 has put together a round up of London's best - I can totally endorse Uyen Luu's supper club, amazing food and atmosphere.
- Kate has some great tips for tidying up your computer. My Macbook may or may not have crashed the other week because I'd let the hard disk get totally full.
- Kate also takes us to Scandinavia - I want to go shopping in Copenhagen now! (Part 2)
- Yet more from Kate, she has some great tips on styling shelves in your home.
- Tania's photos of the end of a French Summer really capture the spirit of the whole thing.
- Food 52 have put together a great guide to Iceland. I can totally endorse it as a destination!
- Also, Food 52 tested 5 of the internets most popular 'magic' recipes.
- Into The Gloss sits down with Deborah Lippmann to talk about how she got started in nails, how Cher chose her nail polish bottle and about her everyday beauty routine.
- Anthony Bourdain's 8 surefire tips to cure a hangover (he'd know!)
- I'm particularly in love with this totally classy Autumn outfit from Classy Girls Wear Pearls.
- Style Me Pretty Living has some great tips for cozying up your home for Autumn.
- America? Here is a great visual guide to the seven different types of tinned tomato that you can buy in the grocery store.
7. A pitch perfect Pear Tart Tatine with Elderflower Custard at The Compasses Inn at Crundale, near Canterbury. | 8. Afternoon walks through the countryside in the Autumn sunshine. | 9. Infused waters in the Boohoo Lounge at The Apartment where I stopped in for meetings during London Fashion Week. | 10. A platter full of post-work starters at Thai Time in Sandwich. | 11. This is just one of the two wheelbarrows of squashes we've grown to gorge on this Autumn. Recipe suggestions would be much appreciated! | 12. Roast Octopus, Chickpeas and Aioli to start at John Doe in Westbourne Grove.
- Brisbane? This is where you need to go for your pulled pork rolls and cider.
- Cupcakes & Cashmere has a great primer for the first time ceviche maker.
- Molly's bonfire eggs baked inside potatoes are the best new idea ever.
- Okay, so who is going to make me this Kentucky Mudslide Cake?
- I've been more than a little bit in love with these Autumn J.Crew boots since I found them on Pinterest. I'd have ordered them already if I did not already have a similar pair!
- Also on the shopping front, what do you all think of this duvet cover from Emma Bridgewater?
- Refinery 29 had a law student fact check How To Get Away With Murder. It's a fun read, though I think she forgets that the show is supposed to be entertainment!
- Olivia has posted a great mini guide to Margate.
- I find it really interesting to read the yearly reports from A Beautiful Mess on the state of their business. I'm also super excited for their new iPhone app.
- Now it is October, I've started adding to my 'Fright Night' Pinterest board prepping for Halloween. Also, I'm slightly in love with some of the images I've been curating for my 'Autumn Style File' board that Farfetch have been kind enough to sponsor.
- I really want to make Tess' Thai Green Curry with Sweet Potato.
What have you been enjoying this week, and what do you have planned for the weekend? I'm going to be cooking up a storm this weekend for a very exciting project I've just started work on. Hopefully the weather will hold so I'll manage to fit in a good number of country walks too!
Wednesday, 30 September 2015
Approximately a month after I returned from Glasgow I was back at London City Airport, this time off to spend the weekend in Edinburgh and in the Scottish Borders with the guys from Scotch Beef & Scotch Lamb. I'm glad I got to see both of Scotland's two main cities within the same span of a few weeks, as it really gave me a feel for a part of England I'd never really discovered before. While Glasgow is all about the new, Edinburgh smacks more of Scotland's rich history and I think makes the perfect place for a food and exploration filled city break.
Monday, 28 September 2015
On our first evening in Edinburgh we all got dressed up and headed for dinner in the beautifully appointed private room at Timberyard, somewhere I'd wholeheartedly recommend if you're in the city for a special occasion. The restaurant is a beautiful space with lots of hidden corners, a wonderful herb garden and a wonderful atmosphere once the lights are dimmed and the candles are lit to flicker against the walls.
Friday, 25 September 2015
The other weekend over a sunny Saturday lunchtime my friend Edward and I were invited along to have lunch at John Doe in Westbourne Park. Not a part of town either of us know very well, we wandered around the weekend market for a bit before sitting down for a lovely bottle of Portuguese white wine and a three course meal cooked without gas; the chefs at John Doe cook everything using the heat from either wood or charcoal, going back to traditional cooking techniques, but taking inspiration from world cuisine.
Tuesday, 22 September 2015
One of the greater impediments to perfectly replicating my favourite bar and restaurant cocktails at home is my lack of proper glassware. We have many different types of wine glasses (yes, we are one of those households who have different glasses for red wine and for white wine), sherry glasses, champagne flutes and martini glasses. Then a load of functional, but not really photographically inspiring tumblers. Up on my props shelf I have two more prettier champagne flutes, two small tumblers and two larger blue tinted glasses. And thats it. No coupes and most definitely no pretty copper mule mugs.
Sunday, 20 September 2015
In case you had not caught it when I mentioned it in passing here on the blog, or on social media I'm not actually blogging full time anymore. I made the decision for a variety of different reasons, but I'm really happy with what I'm doing now. I'm still running my blog as a business and freelancing, but I'm now also working for an MP. I was probably kidding myself when I kept on saying I was not going to seek a political job after university, because I'm loving every minute of it. On that vein, I thought this would be a great opportunity to take stock and share with you a few of my work essentials you'll usually find around my desk space.
Friday, 18 September 2015
Does anyone know how exactly we're supposed to dress for this weather? I leave the house in a coat in the pouring rain, and by lunchtime I'm walking into town for a bite to eat having discarded the jacket and donning my sunglasses. I'm wearing jumpers to the office, and sometimes I'm too warm, and other times I'm wrapping myself in my scarf because I'm chilly. If any of you have any foolproof transitional dressing tips, I'm all ears!
1. Divine Orange & Poppyseed Gelato at Mary's Milk Bar in Edinburgh. | 2. Kate Doran's Homemade Memories and Lindt's new Orange Lindor Truffles. | 3. Saturday afternoons in Edinburgh. | 4. Scotch beef charcuterie on a farm in the Scottish Borders. | 5. Aberdeen Angus in the fields in the Scottish Borders. | 6. Simply divine gluten free vegetable quiche from the Pop Up Cafe on Deal High Street.
- Lucy's photos make me think I need to go back to my teenage haunt of Camden Locks.
- Rose takes a turn around Castries Market in St. Lucia. Also, she went exploring the Lot Valley in France with her family, reminding me that I need to try and make it out to the French house sometime this year - I have not visited yet in 2015!
- Kristabel shares her Instagram secrets: this is the blog post that taught me how to use Snapseed.
- Into The Gloss sits down with Amber Venz-Box, the founder of rewardStyle about her career progression, which serves as a great history behind the company (this is basically a summary of a really great speech I heard her give at a conference a few years ago!)
- Men's Journal goes on location with Anthony Bourdain while he films Parts Unknown.
- America? The Kitchn has tried and tested 7 different hummus brands so that you don't have to.
- I'm curious about this salad where you drink the dressing, rather than drizzle it.
- If you're visiting Stockholm any time soon, Story hotel looks like a lovely and elegant option.
- You know those lace up ballet flats everyone is wearing? This is how you DIY them.
- Learn how to use cocktail ratios, which will help you mix any drink off the top of your head.
- Anne-Sophie takes us on a tour of Portmeirion in Wales. I had no idea anywhere in Britain looked like this - one to visit for a bit of a stay-cation, I think.
- This is why Paris is so beautiful.
- Also in Paris, David Lebovitz has found a fantastic Southern style barbecue joint, and his review also highlights some of the challenges of making authentic barbecue in Paris.
7. Pretty blue doorways in Edinburgh. | 8. Country walks to the postbox in my little corner of East Kent. | 9. Brunching on homemade baked beans baked with eggs and orange juice with the Sunday papers. | 10. Walking along the sea at Sandwich Bay. | 11. A simply divine Saturday lunchtime at The Compasses Inn at Crundale, near Canterbury. | 12. Making a pilgrimage to The Elephant House, the cafe in Edinburgh where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone.
- Kate's bathroom makeover is more than just a little bit impressive.
- A Couple Cooks has some great tips for cooking without a recipe.
- Downton Abbey fans? Jacintha visits Highclere Castle.
- 'My Mother, the Child Bride' is a fascinating read.
- Design Love Fest now sell a load of iPhone cases by different illustrators, and they are amazing. Can they please start making laptop cases too?
- Important need to know for all iPhone users: what is new in iOS 9.
- Nutritionist Mikaela Reuben schools us on what we're supposed to eat to not get sick.
- Joy explores what makes a great cookbook.
- Amy has a great quick and easy pasta dish for one that is basically a love letter to yourself.
- The Glitter Guide has some great tips on keeping your skin clear in a big, polluted city. I could have done with this when I was living in Los Angeles!
- This Food 52 article will help out if you've always been confused why Americans call some apple juice cider, cider hard cider, and the difference between real cider. (Confused yet?)
- Also on Food 52, Sarah asks if there is still a place for a microwave in a modern kitchen.
- This is how you make No-Knead Challah. I've not even tried it yet and I'm already on board.
- I will never tire of reading blog posts about peoples trips to Borough Market. (via Harriet)
- While I do think my friend Izy has gone mad, this is what happens when a dessert blogger and cookbook author gives up added sugar for two months.
What have you been enjoying this week, and what do you have planned for the weekend? I'm up to London tomorrow to do a restaurant review for you all and to swing by the LFW The Apartment (be sure to come and say hi if you see me there!), and then a quiet day at home on Sunday getting everything ready for the week.
Wednesday, 16 September 2015
Aside from getting to learn all sorts of things about Scotch meat I did not know before, and getting to discover a new city, one of the things I enjoyed the most about my recent trip to Edinburgh with Scotch Beef and Lamb was the opportunity to try a couple of restaurants that are Edinburgh institutions. Stay tuned for a review of Timberyard and a full post from the trip with lots of pictures of the city and Aberdeen Angus cows. But first, let me take you to dinner at The Scran and Scallie, the more relaxed sibling to Tom Kitchin's famous Kitchin.
Monday, 14 September 2015
Cookbook Corner: A Change Of Appetite by Diana Henry + Boozy Gin & Tonic Jellies with Fresh Blueberries
Something we always like to have after supper each night, but never seem to put enough thought into is dessert. Yes, there is the occasional crumble if there is a particular glut of home grown raspberries, rhubarb or plums, but aside from that more often than not it is homemade ice cream or a Magnum from the freezer. But really, there are desserts that look impressive, but don't actually require that much effort with some forward planning. Today I wanted to share with you a dessert we've been enjoying here after supper a couple of times over the past few weeks (but would be equally suited to a dinner party), and a cookbook I received for Christmas and I've been rather enjoying over the past 8 months.
Friday, 11 September 2015
Last week I stretched my Bank Holiday out a little by heading up to London for a totally work free day on the Tuesday. I'd had tickets to see the Oresteia at The Globe Theatre since the box office opened, so to make our little Mummy/ daughter theatre trip complete, I decided to book us in for lunch at Wright Brothers Oyster & Porter House just by Borough Market after a turn around some of the stalls. As it is only a 10 minute walk from the market to the theatre, it is the perfect spot of pre or post-theatre eats.
Tuesday, 8 September 2015
Cookbook Corner: River Cottage Light & Easy and One Pot Roast Chicken Thighs with Lentils and Rosemary
The first 'Autumnal' recipe I made for dinner this year was this simply fantastic recipe for chicken thighs, roasted in a big casserole dish with red lentils and onions until the lentils became crispy around the edges and soft like mashed potato in the middle which I became obsessed with making from the River Cottage Light & Easy book last Autumn. While the dish is still from a 'light' cookbook (we have so many of those these days) you still get the crisp chicken skins where they have been exposed during cooking, and that comforting feeling you want on a wet and stormy evening without that heavy feeling afterwards.
Friday, 4 September 2015
Hello September! I know this seems funny to hear this from a sun-chaser such as myself, but I've actually been quite looking forward to Autumn this year, for all the cozy cooking, Winter boots and cashmere jumpers. So, what have I been up to? Flying the flag for my little corner of the world, over at Buzzfeed I've written another local food guide: 31 Things You Must Eat In East Kent. As you'll probably see from the post my new favourite places for food are Deal and Walmer, as they're within walking distance from my office, so you should probably expect some blog posts from there popping up over the next few months. Also, I'm off to Edinburgh this weekend, so be sure to follow me on Instagram for foodie updates!
1. Walking home along Southbank after a performance of the Oresteia at the Globe Theatre. It was a pretty great performance, and they still have some tickets left if you have a free afternoon or evening you're looking to fill. | 2. Sunday night bubble baths with rose petals, my newest scented candle (Freesia from Diptyque) and my favourite new (super great value) lavender and lily cream baths from M&S. | 3. French patisserie on display at Borough Market. | 4. Walking past one of my favourite houses I discovered during the election in Walmer, which is always beautifully in bloom. | 5. English rhubarb, Victoria plums, courgettes, tomatoes, green beans and spring onions from the vegetable plot. | 6. Plump Kent strawberries for sale on Deal High Street.
- I wrote about my encounter with urban bees in Glasgow for Great British Chefs.
- Also, over at The Debrief, I've reviewed 5 packs of supermarket sushi, so you don't have to (no, really. I don't think I can look at a piece of sushi the same way ever again!)
- I know it needs no introduction, but Giulia's brunch photos from Granger & Co. in Clerkenwell are still required viewing. I apologise in advance for how hungry they'll make you.
- Kate has found a great new product if you have come back from your holiday with a tan, but you don't want to have to buy a totally new shade of makeup. Also, Kate's pictures from Croatia highlight why you need to follow her on Instagram, stat.
- Izy shows us how to make homemade chocolate hobnob biscuits at home.
- How to get lipstick stains out of practically any item of clothing.
- Lea has some great tips on how to be a good house guest.
- Am I the only one who has really wanting to make some sort of roast chicken with grapes recently since the weather has started to get colder?
- PUNCH schools us on the history (and future) of sangria.
- Also from PUNCH, their fascinating essay on the decline of 'singles bars' in America also doubles as an interesting history of T.G.I Friday's and how air hostesses influenced bar culture.
- What you need to know about the beauty product grey market.
- 5 Mistakes To Avoid When Making Brownies.
- How To Write A Condolence Note.
7. A lunch of the creamiest buffalo milk mozzarella, home grown tomatoes, pea shoots and lots of extra virgin olive oil, fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper. | 8. Kent Victoria plums, again for sale outside the greengrocers on Deal High Street. | 9. Setting up to shoot my recipe for Korean Barbecue-style Steak Tacos. | 10. Griddling home grown tomatoes and spring onions to use in a barbecue steak sauce - it adds such a wonderful smokey flavour. | 11. French pate and bread from No Name Shop in Sandwich, paired with French olives, home grown tomatoes and French wine for weekend lunch on the patio. | 12. Lemon, Poppyseed and Olive Oil muffins from James Morton's How Baking Works - recipe and book review coming soon!
- South East London? There is a new food market you need to check out: Druid Street Market.
- Mojito Margaritas. Just think about that for a moment.
- Molly went to Israel, and I'm hungry already. (part 2)
- Ana has some great tips on how to tell if the makeup you've purchased online is fake.
- You know that new YSL compact I'm excited about? Into The Gloss have already reviewed it.
- Does Putting Cheap Vodka Through a Water Filter Make it Better?
- Stephanie has posted 10 things you need to know when working with brands as a food blog.
- A Beautiful Mess schools us on how to make your own rose water face mist.
- America? Here is a comprehensive list of where you can actually return opened beauty products if they're the wrong shade, or give you an allergic reaction etc.
- Spotlighting another part of Kent I don't spend much time in, Kristabel has put together a great guide how to spend a day in Margate.
- I now want to make a Basil Mascarpone Buttercream Frosted Chocolate Cake.
- New York? David Lebovitz has found your new favourite ice cream parlour.
- Refinery 29 schools us on the history of the burrito.
- Rose experiences a St Lucia Friday Fish Fry.
- What To Cook Tonight hosted a whiskey and marshmallow toasting party.
- Jacintha has hunted down all the best Swedish cafes in London for us.
What have you been enjoying this week, and what do you have planned for the weekend? I'm heading North of the border with a whole group of other blogger girls, so as well as following me on Instagram, be sure to follow Kristabel, Lucy, Kim, Lucie, Lisette, Sarah-Louise and Kate to stay updated with our trip.