Saturday, 30 April 2016

Exploring Oyster Beds & Eating Fruits de Mer in Cancale, Brittany

For the final instalment from my trip to Brittany last week, we're heading to the coast to one of my favourite places in the world to go for shellfish: Cancale. Cancale is world famous for its oysters, so obviously as this was my first trip to Brittany since discovering that I actually really, really love oysters in Glasgow last Autumn, the thing I most wanted to do was head to the coast for a massive Fruits de Mer platter. 
Market Oysters in Cancale, Brittany | @rachelphipps

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Market Day & Cherry Blossoms in Combourg, Brittany

While lounging around the house reading, going on a few country walks and doing a bit of hard landscaping was all very well for the majority of our week in France, for my Dad's birthday we decided to venture out into Combourg (the nearest town to our rural idil) for lunch at one of his favourite restaurants. Happily, we arrived on market day, so we could prepare ourselves for the meal by looking at all of the local produce on offer on the way to the restaurant. Nothing builds the appetite like the sights and smells of a good French market. 
Sausisson at Combourg Market, Brittany | @rachelphipps

Monday, 25 April 2016

French Photo Diary #8: Springtime In Rural Brittany

I thought I'd kick off the week with a few snapshots from my week in France, the general shots from around the house, on our walks through the forest, and around the very rural landscape we fell in love with when we purchased our falling down (no, really) stone barn and attached farmhouse that we have been slowly renovating almost a decade ago. Stay tuned for photos from market day in Combourg (our nearest town), Cancale (world famous for their oysters), and for another easy recipe from our French kitchen. 
Brittany Cows, France | @rachelphipps

Friday, 22 April 2016

Weekly Love: Week 171

Can someone please explain to me why it took me over 9 months after starting my job to take a holiday? After a couple of days at home in Kent and in London, I headed off to my parents stone barn in rural Brittany for a few days relaxation, trips into the local town for galettes, to the harbour for the freshest French seafood, and to mix cement for the patio we've lain around the side of the house to drink our aperitifs on (as you do!) I had no idea how much I needed the break until I was actually there. Note to self: if you're going to pretty much always be pulling 7 day weeks, take some time to unwind every few weeks or so!
Weekly Love 21.04.16
1. Kicking off my 10 days holiday Daddy Daughter lunching at Hutong on the 32nd floor of The Shard. | 2. Strolling along the harbour looking out at the oyster beds in Cancale, Brittany after demolishing an absolutely epic Fruits de Mer platter - full blog post to follow, I promise! | 3. Greeting the local sheep on our way out for a long Sunday morning walk through the Kentish countryside. | 4. Monday night, after work essentials. | 5. Beautiful blooms outside Canterbury West railway station. | 6. Some Friday night steak action for the first barbecue of the season.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Places To Eat In London: Hutong at The Shard

To kick of a whole 9 days off from work (okay, from politics work. While I'm currently in France without a working phone or internet, I won't be able to help myself shooting images for upcoming posts!) I took my Dad to London (somewhere he is practically allergic to) for lunch and a turn around Selfridges (useful in real life browsing for an avid online shopper). While usually it is impossible to entice him into the city, when he heard the words 'lunch', 'Chinese food' and 'The Shard' he volunteered to accompany me in an instant. 
Cocktails at Hutong, the Shard | @rachelphipps

Monday, 11 April 2016

The Prince's Countryside Fund Raceday at Ascot with Appletiser

Early last Sunday morning, Kathryn and I bundled into her Mini to head up to Berkshire to help the guys at Appletiser celebrate their 50th birthday in style at The Prince's Countryside Fund Raceday in Appletiser's box at Ascot, where they are the official soft drink sponsor. A new experience for the both of us, as neither of us had ever been to Ascot, as our version of going to the races usually means wrapping up in our Barbours and wellies and watching Point to Point (which we sadly missed this year) in a (hopefully not too muddy) field!
The Prince's Countryside Fund Raceday, Ascot | @rachelphipps

Friday, 8 April 2016

Weekly Love: Week 170

I'm long overdue for a holiday, and thankfully I'm off on one next week. So, I've been gathering up all the books I'm looking for reading over a whole week without phones or internet (don't worry - I am taking my camera!) As we all know I'm into my Californian food, so I've ordered Sunset Magazine's latest book, Eating Up The West Coast, which basically shares stories and recipes up and down the whole of the West Coast. I've also been sent the debut cookbook from teen blogger Alessandra Peters, The Foodie Teen, which looks delicious and I can't wait to try. Oh, and me being me I'll be taking two fat political numbers with me (Cameron at No. 10: The Inside Story - which is brilliant so far - and the latter half of Parliament: The Biography, volume I).
Weekly Love 8.04.16[1]
1. Spring daffodils out in full force. | 2. Colour coordinating my cookbook shelf, because I'm one of those people. (A few of my favourites: One: A Cook and her Cupboard by Florence Knight, Mr Todiwala's Bombay by Cyrus Todiwala, The Art of Eating Well by Jasmine & Melissa Hemsley, Skinny Weeks & Weekend Feasts by Gizzi Erskine, Honey & Co.: Food from the Middle East by Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich, Homemade Memories by Kate Doran, A Bird In The Hand by Diana Henry, A Change of Appetite by Diana Henry, Jamie's Comfort Food by Jamie Oliver and Ministry of Food by Jamie Oliver. | 3. Kicking off Princes' Trust Race Day at Ascot with cocktails in the Ascot box. Full post to follow next week, but for those of you who have been asking, my dress I found in a Hobbs outlet store, and my jacket is this one from Jigsaw. | 4. Rounding off my month long #MyVita collaboration with Ryvita with avocado and sunblush tomato topped salt and pepper Ryvita for a light lunch. #ad | 5. Celebrating the launch of Cath Kidston's new Gnorris the Gnome print by taking Gnorris for a Bank Holiday country walk. | 6. Beating my family at Monopoly on Bank Holiday Monday.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Places To Eat In Deal: Paramour Pie Club Pie Hub [Now Closed]

On Saturday afternoon I headed over to Deal to celebrate the launch of Paramour Pie Club's new Pop Up Pie Hub at the back of The Jolly Gardener pub on Golf Road. Do you remember all of those beautiful, intricate and imaginative pies at the Walmer Food and Drink Festival? They now have a permanent home Thursday to Saturday where you can go and buy (and eat in and enjoy a cup of tea if you'd like) pies (and they're launching sides soon), talk about custom orders, attend pie workshops and enjoy one off supper clubs. 
Pork Pies at Paramour Pie Club, Deal | @rachelphipps