Monday, March 30, 2009

Where She Only Needed To Add The Treacle

Fork off... it's mine..

On Saturday, I bought two important additions to the house. One of these was a flan dish, and the other was a rolling pin. 

Now, I thought, this is brilliant. Not only can I make nice tarts and things, but I can also chase my unruly housemates around when they misbehave, in a comedy fifties housewife fashion.

Plate courtesy of Holly Patton's GreenGate collection

No, let's be serious. The rolling pin was so that I could make my very first attempt at pastry from scratch! None of this shop manufactured malarky! Actual, old-fashioned flour, butter and eggs pastry. And what better to do with it than to make a nice, lovely, gorgeous, sticky and sweet treacle tart? 

Don't you just want to rub your face in your screen right now? No? Just me?

With cream. Yes, lashings and lashings of gorgeous cream. 

Oh, in other news, I joined the gym today.

These two events are unrelated.

Monday, March 23, 2009

"After listening to you guys for five minutes, I know I'm still drunk..."

History matters... It's only Natural..

Yesterday was Mother's Day here in the UK.  Last year I made my thoughts on the subject perfectly clear.  

This year, I was once again, nowhere near my mummy, but I did send her a lovely rose bush and a lovely biscuit card from these guys.  She loved both, it is reported.  Never fear, I will be seeing her at Easter, so I am not neglecting Mummy Lj.

Nevertheless, I and two other rogue housemates were set adrift on Sunday with not a lot else to do after the rounds of maternal-based phone calls.

So we decided to take a trip to the Natural History Museum.

I've been to the Natural History Museum many times when I was younger. And I always had the best time. I love that it hasn't changed an awful lot even since the first time I went, and yet the exhibits are still as enthralling as the first time I saw them as a kid. An odd mix of the wonderfully familiar and the excitingly new. 

And it's educational, you can't beat that. 


I love that my mum remembers going as a girl and being in awe at the huge dinosaur skeleton exhibit in the entrance hall, and that I have the exact same memory from some 25 years later. As do thousands of people up and down the country.

I love the beautiful architecture of the building, and the many buttons there are to press!

And as much as I love love love New York, their Museum of Natural History is a stark disappointment and falls far short of the London version. 

One of the other benefits of going to the Natural History Museum, is that you are not far at all from another amazing place, The Hummingbird Bakery.

What would life be like without cupcakes? Let's all hope and pray we never have to find out..

We chowed down on a couple of these bad boys and headed home.  We talked rubbish on the train (standard), and were actually entertaining (or odd, you decide) enough for one fellow passenger to actually turn off his music and listen to our conversation as his preferred source of in-train entertainment.

Everybody seemed to be in a good mood, and the sun was shining.

Good times.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sprung has Spring

Sprung has totally spring, yeah?

Oh yeah, sprung has totally spring...

Blossom: courtesy of the many trees I am passing on my walk to work at the moment. Bliss.

Birthday flowers: courtesy of Holly Anne Patton.

Thank you!! xoxo

Also, big thanks to Jules of Candy Hearts who has given me my first ever award, y'all:

Ooh, award, shiny award.

Apparently, or so the story goes, these awards are doled out to blogs that are deemed to invest and believe in Proximity - nearness in space, time and relationships. Blogs that are exceedingly charming. To bloggers that aim to find and be friends (can't argue with that).
I am supposed to go on and tag bloggers that I think are the embodiment of the above. So (Hm, decisions decisions...) I am tagging:

♥ Of course, Helen from Little Doll Face (someone who is as lovely in person as she is in blog)

♥ Carrie from WishWishWish (even though she's super popular she still manages to make time to comment over here!)

♥ Amber from Code For Something (she remembered to wish me happy birthday and always writes amazing content!)

♥ And finally, Deana from Dooder City (she's fabulous and from Williamsburg therefore she's for the win!)

Spread the blog love this spring, dudes...


Monday, March 16, 2009

The Wombles of Wimbledon Common Are We

I got down in the grass to take this. Like a womble. Except I didn't pick up any litter.

Sunday was amazing. Sunday was the day that Spring Sprung Forth into My Life. And with gusto no less! 

We woke up, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping. I opened the window and could smell the soft sweet fragrant smell of the blossom from the trees outside. Clearly it was not a day to be spent indoors.

Holly, Laura and I (we're housemates, but I like to think of us musketeers. Because there are three of us. Original? No. True? Actual? Why, yes, yes it is.) took a lovely little crazy tram ride to Wimbledon.  

Wimbledon, for those who are not schooled in such things, is a suburb of London, and it's on the tube network, yet far enough outside to feel like a little village of it's own.  And of course, every June, something happens with some tennis.

However, we went there, to potter in the shops, womble on the common, and eat delicious cakes.

Ok so, clearly, this post is going to involve a hell of a lot of drool, at least from me... So feel free to let rip..

Ah yes, the cakes. We went to the Wimbledon branch of Paul's.  Paul's specialises in yummy, French fayre. Les sandwiches! Les tartes! Les tasses du the! And, something that very much amuses my bouche... 

Thats chocolate and vanil...*droooooooooooolll*

Les macaroons!! Les yummy! OH oh, but of course, let us not forget les pieces de resistance...

Wow. My gosh. I mean, seriously, my mouth has just filled with saliva...

LES ECLAIRS....!!! This one had chocolate cream on the inside. Oh yes it did. I kid ye not. Bon appetite indeed. 

After chowing down on all these amazingly rich treats, we had to work it out. Work it off. Work it down. You know, balance the inputs with the outputs yeah? We needed to take a wee walk around the common. 

Aw, old couple in the background. Aw.

And by wee walk, clearly I meant find the nearest bench and stalk old people with my camera.


Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Brunchfast Club: Smith's of Smithfield

Beef, Benedict, Bloody Mary = BRUNCH

Now it's no secret that I am a fan of brunch. Oh who am I kidding? I am possibly the worlds biggest fan of brunch. If I could eat only one other meal, it would be brunch. All the way. Brunch. Remember that..

Smiths of Smithfield = SOS; Clever, no?

So when my friend Isabel suggested brunch on a lovely, early-spring, London Saturday, well lets just say she didn't exactly have to twist my arm. 

We decided to go to Smith's of Smithfield. Run by John Torode, of MasterChef fame, I'd previously been before in the evening when it transforms into a popular post-work City drinking hole, however on weekend mornings it promised to offer a pretty satisfying brunch menu. So we decided to check it out.

Smile kids, you're on the internet!

As you can see, the interior has this heavy industrial feel which compliments its location right across from the Smithfield market perfectly.  However as there is so much light in the space it doesn't feel at all cold or dingy.  

But to more important matters. Food. Ahh, yes, the food.  I ordered (and this is no word of a lie) pancakes & maple syrup, and then the second breakfast option of bacon, eggs and toast.  I then proceeded to amalgamate the two dishes onto the same plate and pouring the (sadly, limited) portion of maple syrup over the whole sexy lot. This attracted stares from fellow diners, but you know what? I didn't even care that sweet and savoury brunch items on the same plate are somewhat of a culinary faux-pas in the UK. I ate every single bite with relish and I bloody loved it!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

When All At Once, I Saw a Crowd...

Daffodils are jolly, daffodils are happy, daffodils are positively upbeat y'all...

Daffodils are fun, daffodils are pretty, daffodils bring the sunshine in...

But most of all, daffodils mean hope, daffodils mean dreams...

And daffodils mean spring is finally here...