Wednesday, 29 January 2014

elephant's breath

Ever since I was about twelve I've loved the idea of being the person who comes up with names of paints. Odd I know, but when my mum introduced me to the wonderfully named 'Elephant's Breath' I just thought it was excellent and I wanted to be that person who came up with the obscure and wonderful. There's 'Blackened', which isn't even remotely black, it's a sort of pinky white, 'Cabbage White' and then of course, 'Elephant's Breath'; a superb shade of, let's face it, grey. Nonetheless it has provided the perfect basis for many a kitchen, sitting room and probably, even, the downstairs loo. 

At this time of year, when it's cold and wet and generally miserable outside, I always find myself flicking through interior magazines, pinning things on my Pinterest board and adding cool home furnishings to my virtual basket. I don't have a house, not even a little flat to call my own, so I have no idea where all these things are intended for. Nonetheless it always excites me, if not reminds me I will need deep pockets, for when I have my own place to furnish, just as I want. 

Here are a few things which are tickling my fancy right now. 


I absolutely love this. I wouldn't normally consider painting my pantry yellow but this looks great. And makes finding things so easy! More of this please! 




I love Scandinavian design and this is a lovely example of a cosy studio flat, making the most of the small space. 


I've been totally obsessed with the colour lime green for a few years now. It's fresh and zingy and it adds a perfect new dimension to a room when teamed with a neutral, like Elephant's Breath. 


And here's the baby itself. Taadaaaa! Nothing overly special about it but I will always love seeing it. And will probably paint my entire house in it, when the time comes. 


Monday, 27 January 2014

borough market

As promised here is a little post about Borough Market.

On our way through to the financial district, Sarah and I had a meander through Borough Market. I felt a bit like Bridget Jones walking under the tunnels (who am I kidding, I always feel like Bridget) and felt I should have gone on home to make blue soup and watch my two men fight over me in the streets.

I digress. 

Anyway, this was a super cool stumble-upon because I didn't, in fact, know where the market was before now. I have always been aware of this great little pop up market but never knew where and when it took place. FYI, Fridays and Saturdays and it's right by London Bridge. Ladies if you're lucky you can probably bump into your dream Suit on your way round. Meet him by the organic vegetables and get him to whip up a kitchen supper for you later that night. Who knows, it might actually happen. 

Here are a few photos of the market by street light. I loved it and will go back there again soon and have a proper sample of all the samples. 




This was pretty cool. I found this light installment under one of the arches. Lights explode like a firework, high above your head. The shoddy photograph doesn't do it justice. 




Artisan breads. Nothing better. 


This charming chap 'forced' me to eat some salted caramel fudge after taking the photo. I guess it's a tough price I'm just going to have to pay. 



A whistle stop tour of a foody's heaven. Go, visit and gorge. 



Saturday, 25 January 2014


The exeat has arrived and, despite only being at work for 3 weeks, I'm already totally exhausted and in need of a break. At the strike of 2pm Sarah and I ran to London. Having read a review of a pop up restaurant in St. Paul's we decided we'd treat ourselves to late lunch and drinks. 

B.O.Bs lobster is situated up above The Rising Sun pub on Carter Lane, just behind St. Paul's. When we got there we didn't realise they stop serving food at 3pm before reopening at 6. However, the owner must have taken pity on us as he let us stay and have the whole restaurant to ourselves! Perfect. 



We came for lobster rolls and we got lobster rolls. And boy were they delish! 




Big and fat and juicy pieces of lobster meat in incredible sweet and smokey brioche buns. Crispy fries still in their skins and some sort of wonder lobster sauce stuff accompanied it and the biggest pickeled cucumber I've ever seen. 

As you can imagine, this was a pretty cool place with pretty cool interior features and eating implements. Fingers all the way for us and even Sarah's wine came in a super alternative tumbler. She was baffled to say the least. 


From here we felt like a bit of culture. Crossing the horribly bouncy bridge we entered Tate Modern and had an amble around the permanent collection. Some was odd, some was great. But mostly we felt it was odd. 



I liked these though. 



Sarah was meeting her boyfriend over at the shard so we ambled through Borough Market (separate post to follow- totally loved this place) had a sniff and drool over the salted caramel ice cream, huge meringues and spicy seafood. We were meeting him in the delightfully sounding 'Balls Brothers' bar, situated at Hays Galleria. It was full of suits so I was content. I had my own suit to entertain me though. My old university friend, Joe, met us too and then we were later joined by a string of others. 

Dinner ensued then more drinks. I was staying with my lovely university housemate, Miranda, so we headed back to Clapham for tea and sleep. 

This morning we, along with Callum and Paddy from uni, who also crashed at Mimi's, headed to The Breakfast Club for brunch. I've heard about this place before and was keen to try it out. The queue was long but I didn't care. The enticing yellow and blue front was drawing us in for our fill. Stupidly I didn't take any photos but I guess that just means I'll have to go back again and tell you about it another time. Tough life. 

Here's a sneak peak though. *drooling*


This has been a lovely evening and morning in London. It's also how I imagine my weekends will be spent when I move later this year... Not very realistic but one can only hope, right! 

Until the next exeat.



Tuesday, 21 January 2014

travel bug


It's cold and bleak and I feel I have not a lot to look forward to. There is only so much hunkering down under blankets, slurping on soup and cuddling of loved ones that you can do during this month (I've literally done none of this, except eat and whine). I'm craving some heat and my body is crying out for some vitamin D, so I have decided to compile a list of 5 places I want to visit this year. 

Number 1. Take me somewhere hot! Marrakech. 


I have been a little obsessed with visiting this city for a while now. Almost every year I beg a group of friends to come with me but it's never happened. This year will be different. In fact, as I'm writing this, Mel is searching for deals. Hurrah! 




The architecture is amazing, food incredible and let's face it, it's quite a cool place to hop over to on a long weekend with the girls. I also really want to visit the Yves Saint Laurent garden. It's this incredible garden attached to Laurent's summer house. I remember studying the garden and the bright blue arches for my art gcse and being completely amazed by it. 

Number 2. Stockholm. 


My beautiful friend from university, Ana, is living in Stockholm this year and I have promised her that I will be visiting before she leaves. When she first got there I received a flurry of snapchats of all the cool streets, food markets and buildings she was surrounded by. By the sound of it too, she's also met some really lovely people so I can't help but feel Stockholm would be super welcoming one weekend. I need to simply bite the bullet and book my flights, wrap up warm and experience a Scandinavian weekend. 



Number 3. Edinburgh. 


I have never been to Scotland. And that is quite shocking I think. I live in Britain and I can safely say I've only been to England and Wales and the furthest north I've ever been is Durham. And that probably isn't something to be proud of. The closest i've been to this city is through reading 'One Day'. I have a Scottish surname, Scottish blood and if pushed can produce a semi excellent Scottish accent (it's appalling actually...) so I really have no excuse as to why I've never visited this highly regarded city. 



Friends have 'done' the Fringe (how edgy of them), others have found love there. I have done neither. 

I want to see the much talked about 'Arthur's Seat', visit the old town and sample some of its many many independent cafes and delis. Maybe I'll even check out the newly reinvented Leith Shore? 


Number 4. Croatia.


Much like Marrakech, I've banged on about Croatia for seemingly years now. Yacht Week is, in my eyes, one of the coolest and most exciting things to do whilst you're young. Basically you and a group of friends have a yacht and skipper for a week and travel down, or up, the coast of Croatia, sailing from one party bay to another. In fact, Yacht Week isn't just in Croatia, it's also in the British Virgin Isles and Greece. Good luck making that tough choice.



The seas are complelety translucent, bays clean and idyllic and the whole coastline is steeped in history. Plus you're on a boat. Did I mention that?! 

And finally, number 5.

Brazil. Because, well why not?! 


All of these (un)planned adventures require playmates. I don't take much looking after, am short enough to probably fit in your suitcase and am very sensible when it comes to sun cream application. There, the perfect travelling buddy! 

See you at the airport lounge.


Saturday, 11 January 2014

granola goodness

Like many people, the beginning of the new year marks the beginning of a new fitness and health freak regime. I am certainly one of those who, amongst making the new year resolutions of falling in love and learning better Italian, vows to get fitter and healthier during the month of January. I am almost certainly a cliche. 


Thus, to kick start this healthy period, here is a delicious and highly nutricious (possibly..depending on your steady hand) recipe for a granola flapjack, packed full of cranberries, almonds, apricots and a good measure of pure dark chocolate. 

These are so easy to make and you can pretty much put any assortment of dried fruit, nuts, seeds, whatever into it. The crunchier and naturally sweeter the better. Great to have with a coffee as a sweet treat. Or, in my case, a herbal tea... I'm currently trying to cut my coffee intake down to just one small one a day. Not just to kick the caffeine habit but also to keep my gnashers shiny and white. 

If you feel good, you look good. Simple. 

I don't tend to work with exact measurements and this is definitely the case with the flapjacks. In a pan I poured almost a whole jar of clear honey with a smattering of soft brown sugar. Heat until the sugar has dissolved and you're left with a rich dark syrup. Whilst this is happening chop up your fruit and nuts. I also added hazelnuts and some pumpkin seeds for added crunch and texture.



Next add your oats. Now there are a lot of oats to choose from. Big, flat ones, gluten free ones, rolled ones (have no idea what these are...) I just added oats oats and hoped for the best. Give the oatiness a good mix until glistening with honey. Now add your fruit and nut mix. Stir again and pour into a baking tray.

Pop in the over for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. I hate nothing more than hard flapjack, so taking them out now will allow for the mixture to stay soft and gooey. 

Finally, melt some good quality (the highest percentage you can muster) chocolate and drizzle across the cooled flapjacks. 




Et voilĂ ! Semi healthy, full of fibre and just a little bit naughty (ish) granola bites, which will almost definitely keep you going until lunch or supper. A superfood if you will. 




Enjoy responsibly and good luck with all your fitness regimes. 

I am yet to start the squat challenge...