To celebrate/commiserate turning a quarter of a century old, I headed North to God’s own country. I had this striped Topshop number stashed away at the back of my wardrobe and decided an evening of teppanyaki with my nearest and dearest was the perfect occasion to give it its first airing!
August 29, 2014
August 11, 2014
We headed East from Moncarapacho to Tavira, a charming town exuding Portuguese authenticity. We crossed the old Roman bridge, passing the fishermen clamming in the shallow waters and navigated the vast maze of cobblestoned streets, each seemingly diverging to yet another temple or church, until we reached the hilltop castle where we scaled the castle walls, admired the view and bathed in the sweet shaded relief of the orange blossoms.
Worn: Top from ASOS, skirt from Zara and, much to my boyfriend’s horror, my trusted Birkenstocks.
July 22, 2014
It feels like, and probably has been, forever since I last posted here, but life has that annoying habit of getting in the way sometimes. But, here, some pictures of our first days in Portugal. We rented a villa out in the sticks, on the outskirts of Moncarapacho, and spent the first few days unwinding by the pool, enthusiastically ignoring that ‘no diving’ sign.
We started out so well, full of good intentions – fresh fruit in the mornings, fresh fish in the evenings – but the Portuguese love for all things sweet proved to be infectious and those pastelerias proved impossible to pass by, and soon we were tucking into one of these deliciously flaky and creamy pastel de natas on most afternoons.
On some evenings, we ventured into Moncarapacho, or the further away Faro, for a bite to eat, but by far my favourite evenings were spent by the barbecue, grilling the fresh fish or meat bought from the market hall in Olhão or Moncarapacho earlier in the day.
Wearing: a jumpsuit from Zara, and some Birkenstocks (I know, I know…)
May 19, 2014
1 train caught to Brighton, to enjoy the rare UK sunshine by the beach.
1 perfect opportunity to wear this beautiful and beautifully light Great Plains garden print skirt.
2 scoops of Cloud 9 ice cream demolished.
2 ginormous rabbits seen, on leads, being taken for a walk by their owners. As you do.
3 naps I managed to sneak in during the day. Those sunglasses really do come in handy…
Idea taken from the lovely Cider with Rosie, as my brain seems to be a little too frazzled to write in paragraphs this morning!
May 7, 2014
Houseboats bob along the endless canals. Cyclists rule supreme as the undisputed kings of the road. Locals drag their sofas and breakfast tables onto the pavement, turning the city’s famous cobbles into their own private living room. It’s impossible not to fall for Amsterdam’s old world charm. And fall hard we did…
Despite landing in Amsterdam with a heavily dog eared Lonely Planet and a to-do list the length of my arm, my very favourite thing to do was just to walk aimlessly, getting lost amongst the city’s beautiful side streets and stopping only for coffee, pancakes and blister plasters.
Having said that, we did manage to tick off a few of Amsterdam’s must-sees such as the Van Gogh museum (I’m not art aficionado but couldn’t help but try to somehow reconcile his work’s evolution from dark and sombre to vivid and colourful with his personal struggles with mental health), the Anne Frank Huis (words really are not enough – poignant details such as a height chart pencilled onto the peeling walls serving as a sobering reminder of her life) and some light relief in the form of the Heineken Experience.
One recommendation which cropped up time and time again was Pancakes! The pancakes here are the size of generous pizzas, so we decided to share one savoury and one sweet pancake between us. Oh my…I would head back to Amsterdam in a heartbeat for one of those goats cheese concoctions alone. Other treats included twice cooked chips from Chipsy King and fluffy miniature pancakes known as poffertjes. Being Germans, we also pounced on the white asparagus like, well, like German on white asparagus.
To be honest, I was sold on this apartment as soon as I read the words ‘house cat’ but it really did surpass all my expectations. Relaxing in the garden and cooking in the kitchen in the evening was just as much part of the experience as weaving the canals during the day. We were able to live in amongst the locals, just bordering the Jordaan area and the apartment’s lovely owner gave us tips which we would never have found in a guide book.
Thanks for having us Amsterdam, you’ve been good to us!
April 22, 2014
Dress: Lavish Alice
I spent the long weekend in Amsterdam and landed to the bumpy reality of a suitcase full of dirty laundry and a dead houseplant. In a bid to avoid the worst of the bank holiday night blues, I overdressed for a wander around Greenwich in this gorgeous sky-blue Lavish Alice dress (which I’d been saving and saving for the next sunny day but turns out looks just as pretty in rain and hail…).
Hope you all has a lovely Easter weekend! And chins up, it’s only a four day week!
April 16, 2014
Palmiers, elephant ears, Schweineohren, cœur de France…whatever you call them, these sugar laced puff pastry bites make for the perfect mid-afternoon treat. Sweet and crisp on the outside, soft and buttery on the inside. And best of all? They’re surprisingly easy to make! I’ve made my own puff pastry here, but you could just as easily use ready rolled pastry…no one need ever know!
You will need:
250 g plain four, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 175 g butter
1. Sift plain flour and salt into a bowl. Rub in 60 g of the butter until the mix resembles breadcrumbs. 2. Add 100 ml of water and bring the mixture together to form a soft and elastic dough. Chill in fridge for 15 mins. 3. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it forms a large rectangular shape. 4. Dot the rest of your butter over two thirds of the dough, then fold over the unbuttered side.
5. Fold the dough over again, turn the dough over and roll over again. Chill in fridge for a further 15 mins. 6. Repeat the rolling and folding process three more times, chilling in fridge in between each turn. 7. Roll the ends of the rectangular sheet until they meet in the middle. 8. Cut into thin slices, sprinkle generously with sugar and bake at 180 c until golden.