Friday, 21 June 2013

The Providores

On a rainy summer's day and feeling more than a little grumpy about the weather, several text messages started flying across London. It was miserable outside. A walk in the park was off and something that was instantaneously healthy, perhaps a little naughty yet indoors was in order... The Providores

Popped on Marylebone high street, the Providores is a very fun low key tapas bar that does brrrilliant brunches and feels like everyone's local.
It's a favorite among my friends and a go to on a rainy morning. Believe it or not, among many of the young London crowd too. I've just come back from there after another belly rubbing, mouth watering, energising feel good brunch.

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Be sure to book, it does get busy and beware the bustling downstairs section is no booking, but once your in sit down and pick your health kick. Spirulina smoothie. Baboa blueberry soy. Brown rice porridge. Or turkish eggs. Odd - I know - but trust me.
Perenially popular and buzzing away, go to this South Pacific inspired hangout - although beware, its hard to leave...

My last meal cost me £18 and that was a smoothie, a coffee and big bowl of miso porridge AND a cheese scone.

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Friday, 14 June 2013

Lemon Drizzle cake

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My dad loves to bake. And his favorite cake to bake is Lemon drizzle cake. This I suspect is because he is french. This zesty sponge has its roots from France and is a french tea time classic.

While at home, dad moaned that there were no cakes in the cupboard nor did he have time to rustle one up himself (the lawn just had to be done). So, glancing at the fruit bowl, eyeing the lemons and grabbing some eggs from the egg basket I popped on a pinny and quickly made a very drizzly lemon drizle cake up.

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It's very easy to make and with its crunchy drizzle on top, a few flowers scattered at its base and placed on a rustic bread board, it can be a perfect tea time statement.

It starts with a basic sponge:

6 oz flour
6 oz sugar
6 oz butter
3 eggs


3tbsp milk
zest of two lemons

And for the drizzle
150g icing sugar
juice of one lemon

  1. Set your oven to 180 degrees celcius. Simply add all your cake ingredients together and form a cake batter 
  2. Place in a lined loaf tin and pop into the oven for 20-30 minutes
  3. When the cake is ready, turn it out onto a cooling shelf. Set to work immediately on the drizzle, heating the sugar and lemon juice on a low heat until it forms a syrup
  4. Pour over your still warm cake and keep spooning the syrup all over the top untill it begins to cool and form that lovely crunchy layer

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Wednesday, 12 June 2013


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The perrenial biscuit - dunked in tea, crumbled, scoffed or squashed into lunch boxes. It's a tough life being a biscuit!
Imagine, wrapped in a packet you spend half your life squashed up on a supermarket shelf, before being emptied out and plunged into darkness to the bottom of a biscuit tin. If you are lucky you're picked out, only for a short lived gasp of sunlight before being plunged into a big mug of tea and eaten.
Thank goodness for Biscuiteers!
Biscuiteers bring the bride back into being a biscuit! Opening in 2007 these busy bakers make the most decadent and thoughtfully iced biscuits for every occasion. Seaside images to tea cups, racing cars to ballerinas. 

They've recently opened a cute new shop in Notting Hill. As a biscuit fanatic (literally my family hide the biscuit tin when I'm home) there was little I could do to help myself enter their biscuit emporium one sunny afternoon.

Imagine your dream childhood nursery decorated in biscuits. Floor to ceiling, tiny biscuits stood  proud and tall. Straight from the oven and icing parlour, gingerbread men and shortbreads adorned the shop.

Grabbing more than my waist line could cope with I picked up a selection of proud little biscuits before heading home for a cup of tea.

PR's - cupcakes are out, biscuits are in.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Cheats Kedgeree

A lazy breakfast with friends or a healthy lunch often calls for kedgeree! A breakfast classic, this is a cheats version that is simple to whip up and more than delicious.
To be truthful, I like it perhaps once or twice a year, ideally with friends, but occasionally it's great to cook for lunch and take to work. It's strong flavors, blend of spices and heavy weight to the dish from the rice means it will fill you up for hours.

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One packet of smoked mackerel
4 eggs
2 mugs of rice (wholegrain or white)
a large handful of peas
A bunch of fresh parsley and coriander
1 onion
2tsp of curry powder
1tsp of tumeric

  1. Boil 2 mugs of rice in 4 mugs of water (it will take around 10-20 minutes)
  2. Place your eggs onto boil and cook untill hard boiled
  3. While your rice is cooking, fry an onion in a large knob of butter and add in a large packet of smoked mackerel (around 6 slices). Cook for a minute or so.
  4. Add your spices (I like to play with the amount so add a little more a little less to taste) and allow the fish and onion to absorb in the spice
  5. With your rice cooked, strain and then add into the pan with your fish and onions. Stir through and add in your parsley and coriander.
  6. Peel the hard boiled eggs and add to the kedgeree. Serve.
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Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The Windsor Castle

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Coming home pale and tired after a couple of days in Brighton, Sam took one look and decided that an afternoon in a sunny beer garden was in order!

The Windsor Castle is a fav pub in London and has been a favorite for many a generation. I  know that my mum and her friends used to regularly go there back in the day...

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A traditional old boozer tucked just off quintessential Kensington Church Street, this old joint offers fine ales and delicious pub grub. Dark oak paneled interiors and a Victorian walled garden, the Windsor Castle is a popular place on a sunny day - an easy buzz with the garden full of couples on dates, one to one catch up with friends or big social groups. You'll find plenty of fresh herbs, fresh bread, good beer and big healthy salads!

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and of course the occasional fury friend...

... like this guy here...

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I can honestly say that if you ever need a sunny afternoon in a central london beer Garden just off buzzing Notting Hill, this watering hole is an unpretentious traditional lovely english pub, there's no other way of putting it.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Brighton - sea, sand, and girl time

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Over the weekend I packed my bag, grabbed some sunnies and met with my best girlfriends post work at London Bridge Station. As we were off to Brighton!

An hour out of London lies the quintessential British seaside town Brighton. It's a place for sun, sea, fun fairs and plenty of parties (mainly hen or stag doos if we're honest). Fish and chips, Mr Whippy ice creams and candy floss are in abundance (what could be better?).

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Dragging our suitcases we arrived at our tiny quintessential seaside Hotel, The Merridina.

Heads down on pillows after late night chats, a big Italian meal and plenty of wine we woke up the next day to see this....

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... Brighton Pier in all its glory. The pier has been around since 1889 and a famous seaside town landmark, loved my many over the years. It's Victorian architecture stands out on a fine days, whisking you back to an era of pantyhose and bathing suits.

A wander round the town and there is plenty to see... from tiny tea shops in the Brighton lanes to musicians busking in the sun...

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Pebbled beaches, rolling up trousers and paddling in icey water is a must...

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and of course Brighton's VIP night life...

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...So after all this, with our heads sore from the previous nights excesses there was one thing for it... to find matching sunglasses, kick back in the sun

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and while away the afternoon. Afterall as a town famous for fish and chips and Smirnoff ice on tap, it was good excuse to grab a plate and a bottle to hand. When in rome eh?

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