It is cold, it is wet, so I think we all need something life affirming round about now. In those first few quiet days of 2017 before we all went back to work I watched What We Did on Our Holiday, which has to be the best, the funniest, and the film that made me happiest to be alive in ages. It has a great cast (David Tennant, Billy Connolly, Rosamund Pike, and a load of kids who would give the Outnumbered cast a run for their money), and not to give too much away, they all pitch up for a family reunion, trying to keep the secret that the parents are getting divorced. Family tragedy strikes, and the kids decide to deal with it themselves in the most imaginative (and to grown ups amusing!) way possible. If the weather is getting you down, rent or stream a copy of this and I promise you it will put you right and loving life in no time!
1. The first feta-loaded egg pot and Skinny Bunny smoothie of the year at The Skinny Kitchen in Canterbury. | 2. Snacking on some Whitworths Shots (they're 3 for £1 in Tesco right now!) on my daily (weather allowing!) country walks. #ad | 3. Filling the house with dazzlingly bright blooms to make up for the cold and the rain. | 4. A lovely bottle of Chateaubeuf-du-Pape by the fire at The Compasses Inn in Crundale. | 5. Pretty pastel doors, running errands in Deal. | 6. Hunting out some more unusual vegetables at the Garden of England greengrocers in Canterbury.
- Lucy's photos from Santorini have me hankering (again) after a Greek holiday!
- Here are 5 mistakes to avoid if you're working with puff pastry.
- Glossier have now made the rich version of my all time favourite moisturiser. Can they now hurry up and follow through with that promised UK shipping?
- What to pack if you're going to spend a month living out of a backpack while travelling. Also, here are all the bathroom and beauty items you need that can fit in a carry on.
- Food 52 has some great tips for perfecting the art of the sheet pan supper.
- I'm not a massive Sunday roast fan, but the one at the Quality Chop House looks epic.
- The latest edition of the Brighthouse Food Journal is now online, featuring loads of delicious new recipes, including something from yours truly.
- Mani has taken some more stunning pictures in Japan's Hitachi Seaside Park.
- Fashionista has a great piece on the rise of the micro-Instagram influencer.
- This family now eats dinner for breakfast before school and I'm super jealous.
- More from my mission to perfect the freezing of cookie dough: this is how you do it.
- 10 Essential Things You Should Know About Your Chef's Knife.
- How to cold weather your favourite summer cocktails with fresh woody herbs. And, here is how to pour the perfect amount of wine into any shaped or sized wine glass.
- Here are all of the things you need to know about baking with coconut oil.
- PUNCH has published a thought-provoking long read on how French wine might well save French cuisine, and the world's romanticised view of France.
7. Instant henna for my first ever Pakistani wedding. | 8. Creating a beast of a semi-naked mint chocolate celebration cake from Jamie Magazine for New Years Eve. Hands up who wants me to scale this recipe down to something more manageable than a serves 20? | 9. Cooking up an army of homemade sausage rolls for the party. | 10. Melt-in-the-mouth crab cannelloni at The Compasses In. | 11. Brilliant bright clementines on the market stalls. | 12. Plotting Chinese New Year with some of our family favourites: Chicken and Rice, Chinatown Kitchen, Ching's Fast Food, China Modern, Chinese Food Made Easy and Ching's Chinese Food in Minutes.
- Anthony Bourdain, on what makes the perfect burger. He also sits down with Eater for an interview about all things Trump in America, and about the politics behind Parts Unknown. Oh, and his Eater Upsell podcast appearance is also well worth a listen.
- The New Potato has put the 60 best, insider recommended restaurants in Paris in one list.
- I really want to try this easy trick to make fluffier pancakes.
- On why sometimes following the recipe is where you're going wrong.
- Olivia has arrived in Sydney, and her photos make the most of the beautiful light. Her 48 hour city guide also confirms my suspicions that if I ever make it over to Australia I am going to fall as head over in heels in love with it as I have with Southern California.
- Saff and Ade have eaten all the way up and down Southern California, and these are their recommendations (including some of mine, TART and Lemonade in Los Angeles.)
- I'm not usually one of those people who spend time looking at other peoples wedding photos, but the first batch of snaps from Carrie's Portugal wedding basically show the perfect day.
- Also, she's put together a list of 10 totally sensible things she learnt getting married.
- Claire has me hankering over a mini break in St Ives with her beautiful snaps.
- There are some total gems in Kristabel's January podcast roundup.
- The Kitchn looks at how our breakfast habits are changing. They've also done some digging into if breakfast is actually the most important meal of the day, and if skipping it will harm us.
- While I'm too much of a wine geek to give up drinking, I still took a lot away from Lucy's post about why she's giving up alcohol and how she hopes it will help with her anxiety.
What have you been enjoying this week, and what do you have planned for the weekend? For more like this, be sure to sign up to my monthly newsletter, which goes out on the first Sunday of every month and is packed full of seasonal eats, delicious recipes, and other updates.