Wednesday, 24 May 2017

the quarter century club

I'm a spring baby and last week was my 25th birthday. 25 years is an awfully long time to be around for, let's face it. The years fly by faster the older you get and whilst I still feel like a spring baby it must be very strange for my parents and granny to see me reach a quarter century. No wonder they say they feel even older. 

On Saturday we headed out west for a long weekend at home. Having taken Friday off (my actual birthday), I was already feeling relaxed, excited to spend some time with mum and dad and belatedly celebrate my brother's birthday, which was only a few weeks ago too. 

Saturday mum drove us over to Stratford for a little shopping. The American visited Stratford a very long time ago so it proved a nice opportunity to explore. We snooped antique shops, interior dens and enjoyed lunch at a favorite of ours; Huffkins.

Mum decided to take us the scenic route home which ended up with us getting lost but seeing a lot of lovely countryside. I love how Warwickshire spills over into the Cotswolds so easily, it really is such a small area. My brother joined us for dinner at The Bell in Eckington, another family favourite.  

Sunday was a quieter day, with walks in the sunshine (it was a beautiful day) and a visit into town to see some school friends for tea, cake an a gossip. On our way back to the carpark we popped over to my school to have a snoop of the old place. Evensong had just finished and the choristers were out on the green playing whilst mothers chatted away in the golden light. Coming back to school 7 years later really made me appreciate what a beautiful place i spent so much of my life. It's funny how time does that for you. 

Monday - isn't it just the best feeling knowing you don't have to go into work on a Monday?! - I drove us over to Cirencester as the American has been dying to visit for as long as I can remember. The weather was less pleasant but we still managed to find some antique shops to rustle in, a wonderful stationery and art shop and the sweetest coffee shops around. Cirencester is currently top of our lists for towns to move to after our London days are over. 

The drive home was bittersweet; relaxed and happy after our day away from desks but with a sense of impending doom as we realized we'd be back in the smoke by bedtime. It's getting harder to leave home after a weekend away now but we love London and would miss all it's glory should we move out now.

Perhaps in another 5 years time we'll be ex Londoners and fully-fledges Cotswold dwellers. One can only dream.


Thursday, 18 May 2017

breddos tacos x som saa

At the end of April I visited my first pop-up of the year – Breddos Tacos x Som Saa at the Breddos Tacos HQ on the Goswell Road. Having tried neither before but knowing that I love a) tacos and b) Thai food, I knew this shouldn’t be an opportunity to miss. Together with Sam, Matt and Nick (The American was still lost in the books.. when will it end?!) we headed over to Barbican to spend our Sunday afternoon sampling all kinds of dishes.

We started with margaritas and beer before ordering pretty much the entire menu. Each plate was beautifully presented and offered a cornucopia of flavours.

Red curry short rib taco – melt in your mouth with a hint of sweetness from blackened pineapple

Curried cauliflower taco – unbelievably spicy which I wasn’t expecting but still delicious. Also pictured above. 

Northern Thai spiced larp taco - fiery as hell. 

Scallop tiradito tostada – perhaps the most Instagrammed dish of the day! And can you blame us?!

Mexi-thai fruit vegetable & herb salad – refreshing, crunchy and flavoursome. I could eat this every day.

Midnight fried chicken ^^

Mekong whiskey carne asada – a real showstopper, the meat was tender and brilliantly flavoured. Probably the highlight of the menu.

Leche fritta – a very unnecessary pudding but too delicious to resist (a fritter of condense milk with coconut).

The other weekend The American and I joined Sam and Matt again to sample another pop up – Division 194 at The King and Co. in Clapham to sample some of the best Po Boys around and celebrate Sammy’s birthday in style. I think pop-up season has officially opened and I am ready to sample as many as possible!


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

the quince tree at clifton nurseries

And we suddenly find ourselves on the week of my 25th birthday – the past month has been a blur of werk werk werk werk werk however I have been harbouring tales to share so fear not! I am back aboard the blogging express!

A few weeks back Sophie and I spent Saturday in a floral haven right in the centre of London. With The American busy revising for exams (they are over for now so we can recommence exploring together!) we took the opportunity to soak up the spring sun and enjoy a lunch date. Clifton Nurseries is in the heart of Warwick Avenue and is a superb garden centre with an even better café, perfect for lunch and a good old fashioned gossip.

Whilst waiting for our table to become available (we recommend you book in advance, this is clearly a popular place amongst the W London set!) we roamed the flowers, dipped in the orangery (we have both decided one cannot live without an orangery attached to one’s house) and had a good rustle in the shrubbery. 

I have been to many garden centres (here and here, to name but a few!) but this one is particularly magical. Antique urns, columns and troughs over flow with creeping vines, English blooms and dripping wisteria. We were in heaven. Plus they have a house (or should that be garden?) cat who purrs his way amongst the undergrowth. Heaven! 

Taking our seats we enjoyed a leisurely lunch with ice cold rose, a grilled peach, bacon and endive salad for me and bruschetta with roasted fig and ricotta for Sophie. Plus we couldn’t resist the cakes so opted for tarte tatin and carrot cake which obviously meant coffees were required too. An indulgent morning if I have ever heard of one!

I’m not sure I will ever tire of discovering new places to enjoy with my nearest and dearest nor will I ever tire of spending time with Sophie.