4th of July

Well 4th of July has come & gone and i’m feeling a little worse for wear…

After a full and very successful day shopping in Barneys & Bergdorf Goodman for dresses (and suits for Brian) we returned to the apartment to get ready for the party!

The party was at a friend of ours’ apartment, with the most amazing view over the Hudson – perfect for viewing the fireworks! 

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I couldn’t resist snapping this adorable couple – patriotism at it’s best!!

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Windswept is so in right now… Julie, Me & Alexis.

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Brian and I looking suitably red, white & blue!

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As the sun set, we assumed our firework watching positions on the balcony – shorties at the front! 

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Ooohhh…

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Aahhhh…

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Beer, hot dogs & patriotic baked goods all round! 

After perhaps a few too many drinks we stumbled into a taxi, which I successfully jumped into the street & hailed – serious New Yorker points, we made our way back to the apartment to fall into a sugar coma that i’m not sure i’ll ever shake…

Happy 4th! x

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Cafe Lalo – NYC

Cafe Lalo is a place that most people will recognise instantly – famed for it’s appearance in Nora Ephron’s ‘You’ve got Mail’ – it has all the charm you’d expect from a rom-com worthy hang out. Brian took me for dessert the other evening (because he really does know me so well) and I couldn’t resist heading back the next morning for breakfast with a friend so I could take some pictures & blog it! 

Even through the rainy weather Cafe Lalo shines out with the picturesque light wrapped trees out front. Located on the Upper West Side – W 83rd Btw Broadway & Amsterdam Ave, you can’t miss it!

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When Brian took me, we had dessert – they are known for their incredible pies! I had peanut butter chocolate pie (naturally) and Brian had Apple crumble pie. Both were just fantastic & not one person in the whole cafe was skipping dessert! So make sure you leave room if you have dinner there too! 

The next morning I opted for the ‘Parisian breakfast’ (or the PAIR-EE-ZION as the waitress pronounced it!) which was a steal at just $5. I had Earl Grey tea with my Croissant which made me really home sick, which I did not expect! I haven’t been away from London that long!

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I settled down with my book while I waited for my friend to join me. The cafe is covered in old posters, has floor to ceiling french windows and charm oozing from every corner – except from the waitress’. Both times I’ve visited trying to get their attention was like pulling teeth – considering there were only three other tables for breakfast you wouldn’t think I’d have to practically jump up and down just to ask for milk for my tea! I’m usually rather easy going about that sort of thing, but they are stood 3ft from my table – leaning on the counter & chatting! A real shame as it ruins an other wise wonderful experience. 

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Image If you visit Cafe Lalo i’m sure you will be instantly charmed as they play soft jazz which adds perfectly to the ambiance. Be prepared to deal with terrible service – but the wonderful desserts are definitely worth it! And hey, you can always re-enact Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan’s scene in the cafe, because… why not!? 

Valentine’s Borough Market

Well Valentine’s Day has been & gone while you may be heaving a great sigh of relief – I had an absolutely lovely day in London! I’ll try and hold back on the soppy/cheesy stuff, so here goes… We started the day with freshly baked croissants and cuddles with the puppy before heading out to Borough Market! Borough Market is next to London Bridge station & is simply the best London has to offer when it comes to fresh produce. Bread, coffee, cheese, fish, cakes, vegan, gluten-free. If you want it – they’ll have the finest of it! It’s one of those places that is always on ‘Top 10 Places to go in London’ lists, and with good reason!

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I was then steered over to my favourite Florist, Chez Michelle to pick up a beautiful bouquet that would result in me getting jealous glares everywhere we went for the rest of the day!

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I am quite picky when it comes to flowers & I’m really not a fan of a dozen red roses, so he (cleverly) got me a stunning English Country Garden style bouquet – which is much more ‘me’. Then onto lunch…

I had Pulled Pork from a hole-in-the-wall place that was wonderful, if highly un-romantic and messy… but hey, a girl wants what a girl wants!

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If you need a quick, cheap and delicious lunch, there is plenty on offer! Don’t except to find a seat though – grab a wall to lean on or a curb and enjoy! My date had a Fish Finger Sandwich & Chips from Fish Kitchen – they have a restaurant in Borough Market too! He said the fish was incredible but the chips weren’t the best he’s had in London.

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Grab a cool drink, a corner or side to lean on & enjoy! Check the picture below for opening times…

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And don’t forget to look up…

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SuperBowl Sunday Corn Bread Recipe

Well SuperBowl Sunday is finally here! The perfect excuse to eat way too much food & marvel at Beyonce performing live at the half time show! It won’t all kick off until 11pm here due to the time difference, but that’s not stopping us!

In the mean time I thought i’d make my home-made Corn Bread that is always a hit! I searched for ages for a great recipe that is authentic yet not too sickly sweet like most American recipes are. After trying out loads (what a horrible job!), I adapted one & it always comes out perfectly.

This recipe is for a small loaf that could easily serve 3-4 people. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.

Ingredients

115g Fine Cornmeal
190g Flour
1 Egg
55g Butter
55g Sugar
240ml Milk
1/2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Baking Powder

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This really is the easiest recipe ever, just chuck it all in the food processor or into a large bowl & mix until it becomes a smooth batter.

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Once mixed add it to a greased loaf tin and tap it on the counter till it’s even & flat. Pop it in the oven for 25 minutes on the middle shelf. Don’t be tempted to open the oven door until the very last minute as it will sink & leave a rather disappointing loaf! Check that it’s cooked through with a skewer, if not put it back in for another 5 or until cooked through & springy.

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Turn the loaf out & allow to cool on a rack before slicing up!

ImageServe with a cool glass of Dr.Pepper, some BBQ pulled pork or a home-made burger & fries. For minimal effort you have an authentic southern american side-dish to serve while you cheer on Beyonce your favourite team!

Enjoy! xoxo

Brockley Market

While our studio is always busy at the weekends, we had our first client in at 1pm today, so managed to sneak out to Brockley Market this morning for a few treats before all the hard work began!

Brockley Market is a great little food market in the Lewisham College car park every Saturday with some of the best food stalls in the country! Many of the van’s & stalls are run by the most incredible chefs that can be found in some of London’s top restaurants come evening! But by day they are all serving up their specialities to eager queues, with the best ingredients London has to offer.

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Lot’s of people say, London can be quite a difficult place to find a sense of community in as everyones rushing around avoiding eye-contact at all costs. But not here, everywhere you look are happy families & friends meeting to catch up on the weeks events & try some of whats on offer each week.

This week I tried Fleisch Mob serving up ‘Austrian street food, London style’ all by Mark Edwards. Having spent a little of my childhood in Munich, any Bavarian food is a hit with me!

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Naturally, I went right for the Schnitzel! It’s served in Rye Sourdough with a homemade berry compote & rocket. Yum. I haven’t had Schnitzel since I was about 10 years old, so it had an awful lot to live up to! Every order is made fresh for you while you wait, and while you do, you can have a little look round at what else is on offer. Don’t forget to bring a little extra cash, as unless you have the willpower of a saint, there is no way you are walking past some of these stalls without taking it all home! Image

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That last shot is of Kooky Bakes, all i’m saying (for now) is they sell Smores Whoopie Pies… No seriously. I think we all know what my blog will be about next week!

Anyway… Back to the schnitzel! Once cooked it is assembled beautifully onto the Rye & wrapped in Brown Paper, then cut in two! By this point it all smells so delicious I can’t wait.

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The sandwich was perfectly balanced, the berry compote added a lovely sweetness and with the Schnitzel cooked to perfection, what more could you want? If you want to know more about Fleisch Mob or any of the other things on the menu then you can check out http://www.fleischmob.co.uk or follow them at @FleischMob!
ImageOther favourites of mine & John’s are Mother Flipper Burgers (which John get’s every time we go)! I honestly don’t think I’ve ever had a better burger in my life. Definitely one to try when you visit. You can follow them on Twitter @MotherFlipperUK

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 We also tried Fish Dogs bite size Cinnamon ‘Dog-Nuts’, which were light as air & served with a salted caramel sauce! Absolutely delish! Fish Dogs usually serve posh Fish Finger sandwiches/dogs, something to try definitely! You can follow them on Twitter @Fish_Dogs

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Brockley Market is a lovely place to spend your Saturday morning with friends & definitely worth a little trip across the river if you aren’t local! It’s open 10am-2pm every weekend, but getting there early is always recommended as some of the more popular food stalls tend to run out in the last hour! You can also check on Twitter which of the food stalls are going to be there in advance if you are eager to catch one i’ve mentioned @BrockleyMarket.

February 1st… You know what that means…

February 1st if often met with great sigh’s of relief that at last we are free of January’s dull days spent waiting for pay-day & attempting to stick at all those well meaning new year’s resolutions. But it also means one thing is approaching… Valentines Day. Whether you are newly loved up, in a long-term relationship or looking for that person to sweep you off your feet this February 14th, we are all feeling more than a little stressed over this glorified Hallmark holiday!

If you are in a state of panic & frantically googling ‘Top 10 Things to Do on Valentine’s Day in London’ then here’s a little restaurant recommendation that might help you start to feel a little less stressed about the dreaded day!

Last year we decided to go to the beautiful and romantic Bob Bob Ricard in Soho. They serve ‘a luxury English and Russian menu to its eclectic clientele’, says the website. And it certainly does. You sit in these gorgeous booths surrounded by gold plated…well, everything! The service is incredible & the menu is to die for. After being greeted at our table by, one of the Bob’s and given a Rhubarb G&T on the house (Tweeting where you are isn’t always a bad idea!) we were set up for a beautiful evening of great food & lovely company. And hey, any place with a ‘Press for Champagne’ button, is alright by me!

You can find out more about Bob Bob Ricard at http://www.bobbobricard.com & you can follow them on Twitter @BobBobRicard

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This year, i’m hoping for a quiet night in with some beautiful food & just enjoying each others company. And maybe a lovely hand-tied bouquet wouldn’t go a miss… xoxo

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