Monday, February 28, 2011

Paper Faces On Display

Lethal Cocktails. Deadly.

Forgive me. Normally I try and post on a Sunday. Yesterday I was unable to do this and the above photo pretty much sums up why. Dirty filthy hangover.

 On Saturday, my cousin celebrating turning 21 by holiding a super brill-pants party.

Biffday boy 

Above handsome fellow is my aforementioned 21 year old cousin. The theme of the party was a Masquerade Ball, hence the face gear. He doesn't just dress that way for fun you know. Or maybe he does. I didn't ask.

The best bit of all parties - CAKE

There was lots of yummy food, and yummy cake. And quite a lot of alcohol. 

 Yeah, don't be fooled. She's drunk as a skunk!

Seriously, a LOT of alcohol. At one point my mother (above) was even doing tequila shots. Ha! I love her.

 Also don't be fooled. I probably fell down right after this was taken.

Oh to be 21 again! I had a similar big family/friends party for my 21st, and it was so much fun. I love my family get togethers, everyone gets very very merry and laughs a lot. Sometimes we even dance. And there is a 99% chance that bacon sandwiches are served the following morning so really, life doesn't get much better.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Brunchfast Club: Ludo Lounge

Cake. Is there anything finer?

This weekend I've been visiting my parents in my hometown of Bournemouth. Not for any particular reason (apart from I'm quite attached to my hairdresser there, and my roots needed doing!) but being quite family orientated I like to go back and visit as often as I can.

Whenever I go back and visit we like to do at least one thing altogether as a family, whether it's watching a DVD or going to the cinema, eating a nice home-cooked meal together or, as we did today, going to brunch.

Decisions decisions

Ludo Lounge is a fairly new addition to our local area. It opened in March last year, and quickly became a firm favourite amongst locals. Honestly for the first six months after it opened you couldn't talk to anyone without someone shoehorning it with a sledgehammer into the conversation. "So, er, I've got these really bad bunions..." "Oh my god, you know what you should do? You should totally check out that Ludo Lounge place, they do this amazing eggy bread stack. Bunions SCHMUNIONS!"

It became a bit of a standing joke.

Vintage lampshades and b&w photos

But I think it spoke volumes that simply having a decent, independent eaterie open in the area was the talk of the town. It is something that sadly, all too often (with a couple of notable exceptions), is few and far between in Bournemouth, and something that the town is crying out for. People are bored with the same old chain restaurants that fall distinctly short in terms of atmosphere, quality and service. People want somewhere interesting, unique to relax in with good quality, tasty food and simple, good customer service. I don't think it's much to ask for, and I think the tide is slowly starting to turn. And about time too.

Eggs benedict with smoked salmon

We spent a great couple of hours this afternoon enjoying a lazy brunch, pondering over the papers, chatting and debating (read: arguing - but thats just how we roll) - laughing and eating. The food is really nice - there are daily seasonal specials as well as old standards and, brilliantly, an all day brunch menu. My obsession with brunch is well documented, and so of course, I heartily approve of this. I had the eggs benedict today with a side of wholemeal toast, perfect for dipping into the runny poached eggs... mmmm.

Gosh, my mouth just filled up with saliva. 

 My brother's standard order

Of course, if you're not in the mood for brunchfast food - burgers are also an option. Which is great news for the likes of my brother who I don't think I've ever seen refuse a burger. And that includes our family holidays to France where they make them out of actual horses.

So, in summary, basically yay for independent eateries - everybody vote with your stomachs and wallets - and your life will be improved approximately 73%.*

*Actual percentage not known.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Birthday Pavlova

Meringu-erang!! (as in Bang-er-rang!!... Anyone? No?)

Well, it took one failed attempt (Note to self: don't add the sugar too quickly because you're in a rush.. slowly does it, or the egg whites collapse and then you tear your hair out - It's 'Not Worth It'), but I finally got there! My very first meringue! Woohoo!

 Refrain from drooling, your keyboard will thank you

Pavlova's normally strike me as a summer pudding, but I have made this one to celebrate Holly's birthday today. It was the perfect alternative to a birthday cake, as she was being whisked off this afternoon for a chocolate afternoon tea, so I thought she wouldn't want anything too heavy after gorging herself silly on scones and petit fours.

I used a Delia Smith recipe, which was very straightforward and easy to follow. As I've already mentioned, my first attempt did go completely wrong, but that is because I was worried I was overwhisking the egg whites and so tipped in the sugar way too much at a time. Start adding sugar when the peaks start to stiffen, take it a tablespoonful at a time, and whisk for 10 seconds between additions and you will be left with a sexy glossy stiff mixture. Boom ting.

Berry berry good

So I'm now absolutely knackered after a busy weekend of birthday festivities, on Friday we had dinner at Pizza East and then boogalooed til we puked at The Book Club. (Not ACTUALLY!) I might might have got a little bit boozy and may may not have been able to move until 2pm on Saturday. But this is merely rumour and has not yet been confirmed as fact. So don't believe everything you read folks!

Right time to tuck into that palava pavlova before I get overcome and start rubbing my face in it. 

Wait, what? No.. I would never do that. 


Sunday, February 06, 2011

Going Back

I can't believe this was taken just over 3 years ago. It blows my mind.

I'm so excited. You may have guessed why. I'm going baaackkk! 

Sadly, not forever. Just a holiday, after Easter. But it'll be my first time back in NYC since I left in September 08, and therefore likely to be quite emotional. 

But I don't want to spend my whole time there blubbering like a big girl - I'm also SUPER excited about visiting some of my old favourite places: Bubbies, Brooklyn Bridge (♥), Guggenheim, Central Park in the springtime, cannoli in Little Italy, maybe a little Magnolia visit for old times sake and then a stroll along Bleeker, Banana Republic/J Crew/Sephora at non-redonculous prices, a show or two on Broadway, Cafe Wha?: MY GOD the list is endless!


But I also have a huge long list of things that I want to do that I haven't done yet. Balthazar, Abraco, Momofuko, and the recently re-opened for brunch (BRUNCH - only my most favouritist thing!) Minetta Tavern are just a few of the places I want to eat my way through. And of course since I left, there's Topshop NYC to check out (and laugh at the extortionate prices), and I'm desperate to see the High Line Gardens.

Miracle on 34th St

Basically I have way too much stuff to do and not enough time to do it. Some editing will be needed.

But it's going to be magical, amazing and beautiful. I can't frigging wait.