Beautiful roses at the Covent Garden Academy. The service is wonderful and the gorgeous selection of flowers are surprisingly reasonably-priced.
We Brits have a tendency to complain about the weather here, in which case we should either shut up about it or up-sticks to warmer climes such as The Costa del Sol a la Eldorado (cheesy 90s soap in case you’ve not had the privilege!)
But as soon as the sun comes out, nothing else matters and according to my oh-so-trusty diary, today is the official start to Spring so what better way to celebrate than with a bloomin’ marvelous flower-displaying idea?
Diptyque is my favourite brand of candle, especially the fig fragrance (hint for anyone who fancies treating me!) I always have an abundance of the used glass candle holders and never know what to do with them. I came up with the idea of giving them a good clean with hot water and soap then using them as little vases. My lovely friends Marcus and Charlie have finally been put out of their misery since they’ve been intrigued by my ridiculous need to hoard the used holders. Daffodils look lovely with the chic French labels for an easy Springtime decorating idea. If you don’t have Dyptique holders, any other glass containers will do the trick.
Do you have any quick decorating ideas? Share them on here!
Over the last few months I’ve learned that if you live with a Yorkshireman, don’t expect to find it easy to take on the Atkins, South Beach, Cabbage Soup, Zone or any other silly fad diet. Instead, it’s all about a delicious roast chicken dinner with homemade Yorkshire puddings every Sunday. The carb-hating cast of The Hills may be shocked and horrified at the mere thought of this but I’m not complaining. Plus, the leftovers for lunch the following day are the perfect medicine to help banish the Monday blues.
But alas, what to do with the rest of a whole roast chicken for just 2 people? There’s only so much stodgy comfort food one can take so i’ve tried out a fresh and yummy recipe that works well for Monday evening supper and uses up the roast chicken - the American classic Cobb Salad.
This takes me back to my NYC days as an intern where my friend Sarah and I would frequent the local Skylight Diner for a giant and filling salad to make sure we don’t get scurvy whilst being away from home. http://www.skylightdinernyc.com/ Sarah still lives in the Big Apple so we try and make a nostalgic trip there whenever I’m visiting. The prices have gone up but it’s worth it for the ridiculously huge portions and ample choice of dishes – not good for the indecisive!
I love this salad due to the freshness of the lettuce, plentiful protein and it also includes avocado and strong cheese - 2 of my favourite things in the world. I’ve not included quantities because it just depends on how big you’d like the salad and how strong you’d like the dressing.
Lettuce – mixture of Iceberg, Romaine and Little Gem
Avocados – they MUST be ripe!
Roquefort or Blue Cheese – MUST be crumbly
Red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, crushed
Salt and pepper
1. Fry the bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels, and when cool enough to handle, crumble and set aside.
2. Arrange a bed of lettuce on the serving plates. Arrange the eggs, bacon, chicken, avocados, tomatoes, and Roquefort cheese in straight rows on top of the lettuce, covering the surface completely.
3. In a bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil whisking constantly to form the dressing. Drizzle the dressing evenly over the salad, and serve immediately.
Whether it’s Wales narrowly losing to France in last year’s World Cup (that tackle SO didn’t deserve a red card) to wearing a terribly unflattering daffodil outfit to a ‘countries’ themed costume party, it’s safe to say that I’m a Londoner who’s proud to be Welsh.
I get rather excited about St. David’s Day so this year I took the opportunity to try making some Welsh Cakes. These buttery morsels are such a yummy treat but aren’t that readily available in London. Another excuse to do some baking! Smaller than average, my mini versions turned out to be delicious. Try making your own and serve with butter or jam.
Pice ar y Maen (Welsh Cakes)
(250g) 8oz self-raising flour
(75g) 3 oz butter
(1/4 tsp) pinch of salt
(75g) 3 oz currants
(75g) 3oz caster sugar
little milk (to mix)
extra caster sugar (to sprinkle)
¼ tsp of spice
(Taken from: http://www.welshgriddles.co.uk/)
Rub the fat into the flour.
Add the dry ingredients, then the egg the milk.
Mix into a stiff paste.
Roll out, cut into rounds and bake on a griddle over medium heat
When cold, sprinkle with extra caster sugar and serve or wrap up as a gift!
Have you tried baking something new recently? Share your baking stories on here!
(Bernard Butler in the dressing room)
So word is on the street that although people are loving my blogging malarkey, they have made a good point that it has yet to embrace the promised ‘rock’ element.
Moving from my beloved grimy Camden down to leafy cosy Wimbledon for domestic bliss has suited me really well, however I have lost a bit of my edginess and spontaneity (yes big sis and lil sis, I have taken note of your advice and am intent on putting it into practice.)
So a perfect example of this ‘rock n roll spontaneity combo’ was when lil sis’s other half kindly put me on the guest list for the final gig of the current Kaiser Chiefs tour at Hammersmith Apollo. Slippers, fluffy robe, hot water bottle and dinner in the oven, or an evening in the company of Leeds’ finest? No-brainer especially since I was so disappointed with the recent Brit Awards (apart from Blur and Adele of course.) The last brilliant Brits I can remember was 1997. Give me the Manics winning Best British Group and Ginger Spice in a Union Jack dress any day.
I’ll admit that i’m not as much of an avid fan as I used to be, back in the days of queuing for hours before the doors even opened in order to get right to the front of the crowd at the risk of crushing my ribs. Nonetheless Ricky Wilson and the lads were on top form in a high-energy performance. I was pleased with the allocated seats, squinting at the moshpit from a safe distance.
I shan’t go into boring aftershow party details but shall divulge that music legend Bernard Butler popped into the dressing room for a natter. As a Suede fan, I was ever so slightly giddy but managed to hold it together. Yeah I know rock ‘n’ roll to the max.
What gigs have you been to see recently? Any good music stories to share?
Playing Mermaids and Baywatch in the country club swimming pool as kids, to questionable nights out in our hometown of Newport (yes, the same Newport that has spawned the likes of Goldie Lookin’ Chain and a certain Jay Z/Alicia Keys spoof,) the lil sis and I go back a long way and have always been close. So upon realising that we’ve not hung out together since ‘gasp’ 2011, cocktails and canapés at Whisky Mist was the perfect setting for an overdue catch up. Of course, I won’t bore you with the gossip but I will share some delicious cocktail combinations that received the thumbs up and are so simple - try them out the next time you’re entertaining at home!
Guava juice, strawberry juice, mint & vodka
Ginger ale, ginger beer & vodka
What are your favourite cocktail recipes?
Yesterday the annual tradition of batter-based feasting was upon us to celebrate Shrove Tuesday, when all thoughts of post-Christmas dieting went unashamedly out of the window and we willingly fell into a daze of indecision with what to fill our delicate paper-thin pancakes - then greedily stuff our faces! As a youngster, the oldie but goodie option of lemon and sugar was utter perfection and I would devour the treats with relish. Nowadays the options are far more adventurous almost to the point of vulgar - but not quite because they’re still delicious!
A few months ago, Sir Rock Flower and I were wandering around Chelsea, eyewateringly famished when we stumbled upon My Old Dutch Pancake House. The cosy no-frills establishment offered a mouthwatering menu of savoury and sweet pancake options so we split one of each - which was more than enough due to the generous portions.
The visit was inspiration for my chosen fillings:
Ham, Cheese & Spinach (for the protein and iron fix – and to feed my melted cheese obsession)
Empty a 250g bag spinach into a colander. Pour over a kettleful of boiling water and allow to stand for a few minutes to wilt and cool. Squeeze out excess water, then roughly chop. Put 4 pancakes on a board. Divide 4 large slices ham, 200g grated mature cheese and the spinach between them, then fold each pancake in half. Fry the pancakes in a non-stick frying pan for 2 mins on each side or until golden and crispy with a melting middle.
Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter & Banana (because – well do I need a reason?)
Prepare pancakes.Mix peanut butter with icing sugar, milk and chocolate chips. Spread the choc-chip mix over pancakes. Top with banana. Fold up and sprinkle with a few chopped peanuts, if you like.
We also ate some lemon & sugar babies for good measure.
What are your favourite pancake recipes? Share your recipe tips on here!
It’s that time of year when the fashion world comes out to brave the February cold for London Fashion Week.
During my years of working in fashion, I tended to be too busy and in a zombified haze of caffeine to enjoy the shows and would mostly shun the parties that guaranteed to make me feel like an unglamorous midget!
However this year I wanted to pop Sir Rock Flower’s Fashion Week cherry so we headed to Somerset House to ‘hang with the fashion it-crowd’ for Eudon Choi’s AW12 show. Produced by the Wapping Project’s Jules Wright, the captivating black and white backdrop of cracking glass and the models’ use of prop binoculars indicated the designer’s inspiration from Captain Scott’s infamous polar expedition.
The collection showcased a delicious array of cocoon coats, structured pencil skirts and dresses in leather, suede, fur and shearling in muted tones of grey, white and navy. I was left drooling for more - well done Eudon!
Check out his previous collections here. www.eudonchoi.com
A couple of Eudon Choi-inspired pieces for my wish-list!
Grey Coated Raincoat, £120.00 by Boutique from Topshop
Slim-fit orange pencil skirt, £24.99 from H&M (I have this in black)
What do you think of this season’s shows, and which are your favourite catwalk trends?