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Friday, 28 February 2014

Guest Post: The Six Pound Pear

Today's guest post was written by the hugely talented Chris Berrow. It was his take on our lunch from a couple of weeks ago, which I first wrote about here

Let me tell you the story of the six pound pear.

It was a warm (by English standards) weekend afternoon in Grantchester Meadows, and a group of us decided it might be a good idea to have a pub lunch at the Red Lion.

(Or surely the Pink Lion?)

Because us Brits are accustomed to a cheeky rain barbecue, AND the sun was technincally “out”, we optimistically decided to brave the cold and sit in the garden area.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Barcelona Part 4: The Serrated Mountains

For once our flight times were kind to us and our flight back to London wasn't until 8pm. Not wanting to miss out on anything, we therefore decided to spend the last day going to Montserrat.

Montserrat is a tiny village built at 1200m on the most unimaginably steep mountainside. Montserrat means literally 'serrated mountain'. It's not hard to understand why when you see the odd shaped mountainside...

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Barcelona Part 3: The Beach

With skies like this, there could only be one destination for today - the beach.

We started our second day by walking to Montjuïc Park, where there are some of the best views of Barcelona to be had. Here I enjoyed using the panorama setting on the camera.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Barcelona Part 2: Barcelona Beginnings

We woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed having had the best night's sleep in Charles' apartment.

Eager to see what the day would entail, we rushed out after our breakfast of fresh croissants on the roof terrace.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Barcelona Part 1: The Luxury Attic

We've just returned to London after a very busy day sightseeing in Monserrat, Spain, but I just have to add the first part of my Barcelona blog posts.

This first post is about our accommodation which was trusty old Airbnb again. I swear I'll never be able to go to a hotel again - Airbnb is just too good.

We stayed in Charles' apartment which was a three minute walk from Parallel metro and only ten minutes from the main strip called La Rambla.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Gordon Ramsay's Maze

Not one to miss out on a good offer, M and I decided to celebrate the first day of our holiday by going for the special early bird set menu at Gordon Ramsay's Maze.

The offer, in more detail, includes four courses and a peach bellini. Maze offers a selection of small dishes. The set menu allows you to pick any four in any combination, for example you could have two desserts if you really wanted to.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Grantchester (+ Ginger Pig Dauphinois Potato recipe)

We escaped the foul weather in London to a beautiful weekend visiting Caz in Cambridge.

An awesome picture hanging up in Caz's house - she's a vet 
She spoiled us rotten. Starting with sausage casserole at lunch, followed by a homemade lemon drizzle cake, before moving onto roast chicken with all the trimmings for dinner. She has turned into such a domestic goddess. I should probably just start calling her Nigella...

Friday, 14 February 2014

The Anti-Valentine's Day

Don't get me wrong, I love M lots, but ever since I entered my twenties I've more than fallen out of love with Valentine's day. Call me cynical but I just think everything's so overpriced these days.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Best Carrot Cake Recipe

I do not tell a lie. This really is the BEST carrot cake recipe I've ever come across. I was never a huge carrot cake fan, but it's M's favourite cake and now I'm a total convert. I love the texture and slight spice the cinnamon conveys, and coupled with the zingy cream cheese icing, it's a total winner.

This recipe was lent to me by my chinese friend, Yeewen. Her mum emailed it across especially for our baking afternoon. I've had to convert all the american measurements to english ones, but having tested the recipe, I have to admit that it's extremely good. I don't like adding nuts and sultanas etc to carrot cake, in my opinion carrot cakes should be pure, unadulterated carrot. You will need a 25cm spring form cake tin or a brownie square tin.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Brunch: Le Pain Quotidien

I met my fellow teacher friend Laura for brunch. If you've read this post, you'll know how much I adore Le Pain Quotidien, namely due to the amazing array of spreads and jams which you can liberally help yourself to. Yes, I know it's a chain and although I love really do love more independent places like The Breakfast Club, the queues tend to be enormous and you never feel like you can sit there for ages enjoying your food because you're conscious of waiting customers. I would go to The Breakfast Club when I'm only interested in the food e.g. with M (no offence!), but I probably wouldn't pick it for a girly catch up.

Coffee in the right hand, croissant in the left. Happy days!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Restaurant Review: The Dairy, Clapham

Today we went out for lunch with Andy and Fi. Fi is a lawyer and excitingly is working in Paris currently, but unfortunately it means we don't get to see her very often. When she returned to London this weekend, we took this opportunity to visit The Dairy, which is just around the corner from us in Clapham. I walk past it all the time on the way to the tube so it was great to have an excuse to visit.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Restaurant review: Layla Restaurant

Lebanese is one of my favourite cuisines, mainly because of the wondrous invention of mezze. I'm a real sucker for anything small and varied - antipasti, cheese boards and tapas are all hugely enjoyable. Although I love Italian food, and I really do, I find it rather repetitive at times. Case in point, pasta. However stunning a pasta dish is, after about three mouthfuls I'm done, bored, and ready to try something else.

Mezze is therefore a concept I love, particular due to the health factor too. Chickpeas full of protein, check, herby salads check check.

Sunday, 2 February 2014


I went to visit my best friend Anna this weekend. I've known Anna for the longest out of all my friends and although we went to different unis, we've still managed to remain the best of friends. Unfortunately with her living in Durham and me in London we don't get to see each other any where near as much as I would like, but it's always great when one of us makes the effort to do the 6 hour round journey.

Anna gave me a pretty comprehensive tour of Durham the last time I visited, so this time a visit to Newcastle was in order.

For once the weather was beautiful and we took the opportunity to stroll by the river and look at the famous bridges.