Sunday, 30 November 2014

winter wandering

So far there has been no escape from Christmas. John Lewis launched their heart meltingly delicious advert at the beginning of the month (I've watched it countless times and been to JL to see Monty in person) and the Coco Cola advert has been whistling through our screens for weeks. It's official; Christmas has arrived! 

After a particularly exhausting week at work, the American and I decided a weekend of doing absolutely nothing was in order. Unfortunately we both get itchy feet and feel something should be done and achieved. Plus we were in the Christmas mood so this meant only one thing- Winter Wonderland. 






I've never been before so this was quite something. It was crisp and fresh, the perfect weather to wander stalls and take in the excitement of the rides. 


One thing I underestimated was the size of the wonderland. It's huuuuge! Thankfully he had been before so dragged me around, gawking at the lights and drooling at the smells. 



Festive cabins selling all kinds of treats- baubles, wooden ornaments, sweets, pottery, everything. 





These chappies were my favourite though. We could hear the ompahpah in the distance and followed our ears. In the heart of the Bavarian village is the music stand with a jazz band belting out all your favourites. You soon forget you're in the middle of London- it really does feel like an authentic German market place. 





Rather stupidly we didn't have any cash on us so if you do go, and you really must, bring cash- and lots of it! Mulled wine flows like water and it would be rude not to have a glass or few to get in the festive mood...



Saturday, 8 November 2014

sam smith

Back in April we bought the tickets, however Christina and I have memories like fish and completely forgot about them until about a week ago. In true fashion one of us couldn't actually make it so it was my task to find a replacement. I knew exactly who to take. His love for Leona will never fade and his dance moves just seem to go from strength to strength. Joe was my man to join me in watching Sam Smith at the Hammesmith Apollo. 




It's fair to say Sam was amazing and the buzz in the Apollo was electric, performing on home turf seems to really do it for artists.


Yes his songs might be pouring over with heartache and emotion but he performed them like someone who has fallen in love for the first time. Joe and I particularly liked his sassy backing singers doing their best bump and grinding. 



Sorry for the quality of the photographs, I'm very short and could reach high enough, nor was the lighting favourable. 

I forget how much I enjoy live music events and Sam certainly didn't fail to impress. I now have a list the length of my arm of artists I want to go and see. Banks is number one and I'm kicking myself I didn't get tickets to see her next week in Brixton. I'm also planning on going to a carol service, my vocal chords need warming up again. 

Have a happy week.


Sunday, 2 November 2014

a gourmand's cave

Harrods. A London institution, but one I'm not really a fan of.

I like understated things- fresh cut flowers in vases, a homemade pie, kisses on my forehead and a spontaneous day out. Harrods is the king of flash, shouting from the roof tops; the diamond amongst the crown- it's not really me. However, the food hall, now I'm a fan of that. Split into sections, from meats and cheeses to sweets and groceries this is a little slice of culinary heaven. I can't imagine anyone actually does their weekly shop here but I'd like the think that maybe, just maybe, it could happen one day. 

Let's start with fish. 



For some unbeknown reason I love fish counters. I certainly don't like the smell but there's something about those glossy critters that get me really excited, like a child in a sweet shop.




Caviar, anyone? 


Being a farmer's daughter I always have to check out the meat counter. Yep. All looks delicious to me. Wagyu beef, anyone? 




Moving from the glossy rows of meat, I found the confectionery counters. What girl doesn't like something a little bit sweet? Buy a box of hand picked truffles and I'm a happy little bunny. 


These sweet delights are beautiful, and let's just assume delicious also. 


Completing the tour of the food halls, is the delicatessen. I love these counters the most. Bowls of olives and tomatoes, artichoke hearts and anchovies, they glisten and shine and scream out to be bought for a winter's day feast in the kitchen. 




Cheeeese, Gromit?



The best part about visits to food halls is that they always seem to inspire me for my next recipe. These little apple tarts were whipped up at home after my trip, perhaps next time i'll try an almond croissant. 

Last night I watched the wonderful Sam Smith at Hammersmith Apollo. Keep your eyes glued for another post over the course of the weekend. Until then, stay dry and hunker down with a warming soup and loved one.