Burgers, Bloggers and Brioche


To celebrate the festive season my lovely pal Pippa organised a little get together with a few local bloggers. The venue was to be the Brioche pop-up at15 Exeter Street and she invited along 20-girls from various corners of the Internet for dinner, fun and frolics.
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Haunt London



A lazy Saturday brunch is quite often all that’s needed to solve a few weeks of late nights, too much drink and general Christmas tomfoolery. To remedy the dark circles, off we went to Haunt, a new restaurant opened in the heart of Stokey.
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'All but the kitchen sink' Turmeric Soup


I’ve recently become vegetarian; there are numerous reasons why I’ve made this choice (right now I’m not sure if it’s forever), but one thing becoming veggie has done is make me step up and get more creative in the kitchen again. I made this cockle warming soup one Sunday afternoon; all my friends were sending me pictures of their roasts and I didn’t have much in, but I wanted something wholesome and hearty.
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Afternoon Tea at Sketch


Sketch is somewhere we’ve all seen spread across the Internet. The plump pink chairs, dainty treats and endless tea are something I’ve pined for ever since moving to London. A few weeks ago I took my mum for her birthday (which was in July, but we won’t talk about that), and it was as total perfection as I expected. There needs be many words here, just photos of the same old we’ve all seen!
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November 2015: Love Want Need

A walk in the woods

A few weeks ago my friends and I drove out of London and headed for the woods (- a little link to a video I filmed that day). Whilst the morning wasn’t all that peaceful, it really reminded me of one of my favourite poems. Heading out from the industrial crowds towards the peace and calm of the countryside.

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Lazy Oaf x Casper

Sometimes a brand makes a collection so flawless and personable that you just have to own every piece. When my pal invited me as her plus one to the Lazy Oaf x Casper launch I knew all my dreams had come true.
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October 2015: Love Want Need

Dear Internet


I wrote this a few nights ago when I was feeling sad. I don’t know if I ever intended it for here but what the heck! I don’t know about you but the Internet sometimes sends me in full downward spirals. A little more about what’s going on with me – That Super Moon!! Did you see it!? Man, I’ve always love astronomy but that was something special. Also, I’m house hunting at the moment so I hope to keep up on here and YouTube but, if it all quietens down, it’s only for a brief moment I promise. Anyway, here is my letter to the Internet, written by the green-eyed monster within:

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Guinness 2.0


Now, I’ve made this cake before. I’ve even posted about it before but I’ll be honest, I couldn’t get the photos right. It was a funny time of the year, dark shadows creeping, clouds blocking out the sun’s modest rays – my kitchen is only bright enough to photograph in at certain times of day and, I was probably too lazy to try harder.

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Tides of Change


So I write this at a time of change. I’m about to overhaul this little space, big style - for some of you, the changes might have even be made by the time you read this. I’ve decided I’m tired of it, the whole blog, because it feels tired. Don’t get me wrong my content will remain the same slap dash ramblings you’ve come to know so well , but it just needs some oomph… some spunk, a little spicing up! Really, this all comes at a time of change for me in various guises; I’m moving soon (only across London, no where really exciting) and I’m just looking for some more adventure. Along with the real life stuff, my online life took a real leap forward recently with the addition of a YouTube channel to my portfolio.
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Awesome ANZAC

 At work, a few ladies decided to organise an ‘Unofficial International Food Day’. I, of course, went big and initially had massive thoughts of making three cakes, biscuits and something savoury. It quickly dawned on me however, that the practicality of carrying all these items on the tube was truly unreasonable and i'd have to limit myself slightly.

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September 2015: Love Want Need

Summering in Sicily


Whilst i've been away, i've been a busy bee. This post is dedicated solely to a week of total, unadulterated bliss. About a month or so ago I took my summer holiday with two of my best gal pals. We toyed with Greece, Sardinia, Turkey and all those places, but eventually settled on Sicily after finding the perfect house on air bnb.

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Whilst I've been away


Hello! Long time no speak I know! Now, this is just me filling you in; I’ve had a few people tweet and message me asking if I’ve given up (by a few, I genuinely mean like six people but I figured that six might represent some kind of majority… in a really hopeful way), I haven’t. I’m just having a little break. I didn’t really like the idea of posting some kind of ‘I’m off on a break’ message because that’s presumptuous and assumes anyone actually cares. After being asked what was up though, I figured I should let you know what’s going on.
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Oslo - Things to eat


Scandinavian countries are pretty excellent at international cuisine. I remember thinking the same when I was in Helsinki last year– Oslo was no exception. We ate crepes, tacos, noodles, curry, tarts and loads of sweeties, all in four days.

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Oslo - Things to do


Here it is, the long awaited (ahem!) first post about my recent trip to Oslo. Scandinavia on the whole is easily one of my very favourite regions to visit. There is something about everywhere I’ve been over there that’s very ‘me’. Every time I’m there I exclaim loudly ‘OH GOD I COULD JUST LIVE HERE’ about 13 times a day, approximately.

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July 2015: Love Want Need

Rhodes at Rockefeller Music Hall


So today I’m in Oslo! Another little break way to another corner of the Europe I’ve never visited before. We’re here until Sunday but I wanted to tell you about our brilliant Thursday night.
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Dinerama


Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to the newest Street Feast extravaganza - Dinerama, by the lovely people at Foodism. Obviously never one to turn down the invite of a free dinner I went along for food*, fun and frolics.
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June 2015: Love Want Need

The Great Escape to Brighton

The Great Escape 2015 21 Brighton is easily one of my favourite places in England. Whenever I’m there I exclaim loudly that I’m going to move there as my next home after London, when that’ll happen I’m not sure, but one day! A girl can dream.
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Interrailing: Absolutely Amazing Amsterdam

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Getting the train to Amsterdam was pretty sad. There had been a point around 9 days in (Vienna-ish) when I’d be a little ‘Right, I’m done being on my own!’; this feeling it had gone full circle and by the time I was stepping on my last train in Frankfurt I’d returned to ‘OHHH I NEVER WANNA GO HOMEEEEE’.

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Interrailing: German goodness

Interrailing Germany 1

So after Budapest I got a night train to Germany… not an experience I’d like to relive. The beds on the German trains are perpendicular to the direction of travel meaning any time the train put it’s breaks on (which strangely happens a lot between 9pm and 5am..) you were close to being thrown off the bunk! Arriving in Frankfurt at 5am definitely made for a difficult day!

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Interrailing - My house in Budapest

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1000 miles from home, eight days and seven trains later I made it to Budapest, the furthest point from home and probably my very favourite part of my trip. There aren’t many European cities that I’ve been to that felt quite as homely as Budapest did. The big long main streets juxtaposed with the narrow cut throughs and alleyways of the eighth district really brought together my favourite parts of some of my other top cities.

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Interrailing - Very Vienna


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I left Salzburg on an early train to head over to Vienna with a green smoothie in hand (days of rye bread and cold meats were getting somewhat repetitive!) and a spring in my step. What I arrived to though was a thoroughly depressing, hot and humid city – not what I was expecting after a few days of sea air and mountain breezes.
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Interrailing - The hills are alive with the sound of music

Untitled Next stop on my trip was Austria. Now, I'd never been to anywhere in Austria before so I went for the two big hitters -Salzburg and Vienna. One thing I made sure to do before I left was not plan too much; with travelling alone I made sure to have my trains and hostels booked, for safety more than anything, but the rest I left to fate. Helpfully though, my wonderful pal put little guides together for me (lord knows how she still has the patience to do stuff like this for me after nearly 13 years!). These had a few polite phrases in and some of the more off the wall things to do. For me Austria was a blank canvass with plenty of excitement to be had.

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Interrailing - My Italian Adventure

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Well finally! Here at last – what is essentially going to be loads of posts of my holiday photos! What you should know is that these posts will vary between being ‘guides’ (by guide I mean, here are the good places I went to that if you happen to be near you should take a look at) and mainly photos.
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May 2015: Love Want Need

'My Chocolate' workshop

My Chocolate workshop 1I think it's safe to say, I like chocolate. From the best quality, luxury, dark chocolate to white chocolate pick'n'mix mice (which I sadly learnt weren't chocolate at all...), I don't discriminate. So when LDNmeet organised #MyChocBloggers, a chocolate making course, I was of course obliged to sign up. I rallied the troops (...my good pal Pippa from Ballpoints and Biscuits) and we agreed that on the Sunday of my return from Europe we'd ambled over East for the My Chocolate chocolate making course.

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Internet Friends

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Hello pals! Sorry it’s been a while – if any of you have been following my recent trip on Instagram you’ll have seen I’ve been travelling around Europe for the last two weeks. As usual, I was meant to get some posts scheduled, do some prep… you know, what good bloggers do. I know however you’ve all come to expect less than this from me, so thanks!

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Pals & Pizza at Craft & Dough

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Well hasn’t this last month been a blur! I guess at my end it’s all been time spent celebrating my birthday (a two week long affair of course), going home for a perfect Easter break – introducing my beloved flatmate to my home town finally, and prepping for my big trip away. When this post is published I’m assuming I’ll be staring wide eyed at the departures board in an Italian train station to start the first leg of Interrailing.
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April 2015: Love Want Need

Because I'm happy

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Today is international happiness day. Now, I wasn’t very happy this morning - it was the cloudiest morning ever and all I wanted to do was see the solar eclipse. It has quite honestly been in my diary for over a month but, I guess you win some, you lose some! Instead of being negative though I thought I’d end the day with some refection on what’s been making me happy recently...
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My oh my, Macarons

I don't know how often I flex it on here, but I can bake. Really well! The problem is that my kitchen is so small and the lighting so variable it's never worth shooting anything for here because the images are pretty mediocre. I'm a champion office baker, spent hours of my life at university cooking up a storm with my pals and am not one to be shy about my abilities (if you can't already tell!), but there is one thing I have never, ever been able to bake - Macarons.

An old friend and I have been on the quest for the perfect macaron recipe for what is literally years! After numerous attempts - together and solo, we thought we would never perfect the art of that crispy shell, chewy inner and sweet delicious filling. Until now. We've always made the French version as neither of us own a sugar thermometer and have often followed hugely complex recipe books that have simply failed. This time we went to our old friend the internet and found a recipe that the author found in a 200 year old book passed down from their mother.

Find the original recipe here, we added in an extra step, drawing on previous experience so I'll write the full recipe below too. They were nothing short of a masterpiece! I'd go for more than a success; we genuinely kept saying over and over that this was the best day of our lives. Which in hindsight may have been a little over zealous but nonetheless - a triumph.

Do any of you have failsafe macaron recipes? If so tweet me them. The confidence from this batch has left me feeling pretty invincible!

The rest of the weekend was a dream, the weather was one of those perfect spring days where we could walk Chester and skip trough the meadows. We didn't skip through any meadows though...

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Vanilla and Raspberry Macarons
Ingredients


4 large egg whites (or 5 small)
1/3 cup or 70g caster sugar
1 1/2 cups or 230g icing sugar
1 cup or 120g ground almonds
Salt (tiny pinch)
Gel food colouring (optional)

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C (145 fan assisted)

Beat the egg whites and caster sugar to stiff peaks, they would be shiny and stiff enough to turn the bowl upside down without pouring out! – At this stage you’d add your gel or powdered food colouring and beat until combined.

Sift the ground almonds and icing sugar twice, disguarding any bits too big to fall through the sieve.

Fold into the egg white mixture – the recipe calls for 30 to 50 folds (fold not stir! You don’t want to knock too much air out of the mixture). I actually counted 45 and it was perfect! Over-mix and your macarons will be flat and have no foot, under mix and they will not be smooth on top.

Pipe with a wide nozzle onto a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper.

Rap the tray, hard, on the counter top. You want to be rid of air bubbles that could cause cracking.

Leave on the surface uncovered for 30-45 minutes. They will produce a nice skin – we found the ones we left out for longest came out best despite some wobbly piping.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Then leave to cool and fill with the fillings of your choice – we went for buttercream and jam. Then ate the lot.

Make sure you check out the link to the original recipe above for an awesome troubleshooting video.

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In the lonely hours of Midnight - Tor Miller

I find it's very easy to fall into clichés when writing about music. Right now there is a sea of incredibly talented musicians whom I love; on their own they are niche and exciting, but when lumped together seem to fall into a 'modern bluesy old time crooner' category (although crooner maybe sounds a little 1950s...). It can be hard to not just iterate the same words over and over - so don't hate me too much if you think you've heard it all before, trust me it's worth it.

When I wrote 'my year in music' last December it was inevitable that the tides would change pretty quickly and since then I have a real gem for you all - Tor Miller. There is true soul to Tor's tone and unlike many other of my favourites, we have a piano in place of the usual guitar. I went all the way to Dalston to see Tor last week, and it was nothing short of brilliant; smooth and evocative, his voice has a real Jeff Buckley quality to it - especially in terms of his range.

My favourite song 'Midnight', is arranged in such a special way, the song builds and lifts with real ease as the percussion and strings set in. Sparse to magnificent in all of three minutes. There is a real hymnal, poignant tone to his music that denotes so much passion and fervour it's hard to believe he's still so young. He also stopped for a quick chat after his set and I can say with ease not only is he super talented but genuinely lovely to boot. I should also mention, because it's not hard to notice, he's pretty easy on the eye too!

As always, I could go on and on but instead watch the video below and listen for yourself. Make sure you let me know what you think! Tor is also on Huw Stephens' Piano Sessions tomorrow night on Radio 1 at 11pm.

One more thing, his EP 'Headlights' was out last month - buy it now and say you were first on the bandwagon.

Tor Miller Servant Jazz Quaters

March 2015: Love Want Need

Listen to the Man

Last Friday we went on a little jaunt to Brixton for a night of food and good music. My flatmate use to live in Brixton so had all the low down on the what’s and where’s to eat. We ended up at Senzala in Brixton Village and my two friends, who both lived in France for a year, both agreed that the crepes were probably the most brilliant we’ve ever had. Oozing with cheese, faultlessly balanced flavours and eggs cooked to perfection. It was the perfect way to start an evening of singing and dancing at Brixton Academy.

We were off to see my pal and yours, George Ezra. I won’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen him live since this time last year (it’s edging closer and closer to ten…) but as usual, his show was flawless. It seems like an eternity since I reviewed his first headline tour but honestly, he is still as good now with full production and a band as he was on his own in a room of 50. To make it even better, the gig also really got me ready for my summer of festivals, fun and holidays. Are any of you gong to anything exciting this summer?

I’m back in my old university town this weekend, a weekend out of London is just what the doctor ordered; we’re off out tonight for a slightly more refined evening than the night we would have had five year ago. All hurtling towards our mid twenties, none of us can do it anymore – dinner, drinks and good company is all that's on the cards for tonight. Have a brilliant weekend Internet pals!

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Brixton Market 1 Brixton Market 6 Brixton Market 7 Brixton Market 8 Brixton Market 10 Brixton Market 11George Ezra Feb 1 George Ezra Feb 2 George Ezra Feb 5 George Ezra Feb 3 George Ezra Feb 6 George Ezra Feb 8 George Ezra Feb 7