Thursday, 10 April 2014

London Sunday - Afternoon Tea

Bean and I getting excited for the Van Gogh action!

We jumped on the tube from the Brick Lane Market and headed over to Trafalgar Square.  I had seen online that the National Gallery has borrowed one of the Van Gogh Sunflower paintings from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and as a big fan of Van Gogh I was super excited to pop in to get a glimpse.  I was't however quite expecting the 40 min queue! Not so fun!

Anyway, we managed to get in and see them for about a minute before we had to head over to the Haymarket Hotel.  

Very Snazzy!  We sat down for afternoon tea and I was definitely impressed.  The interior is very funky and there was a nice atmosphere.  We had a selection of scones, sandwiches and cakes accompanied by tea and champagne.

It was so nice to catch up with everyone and have a girly afternoon out.  Last time we were all together was a year ago at the spa for my Hen Do, so it brought back some lovely memories.

I miss spending time with the girls, and nothing beats spending time with people you've known forever.

Here's to the summer when, fingers crossed, there are a few occasions where we will all be together.

National Gallery

Family Selfie!

Horrendous queue to see the Van Goghs

Afternoon Tea at the Haymarket

Tasty collection of cakes and sanwiches

Gorgeous Wedgewood crockery at the Haymarket

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

London Sunday - The Markets

On Sunday I headed up to London for my Maid of Honor's birthday.  Mum, Bean and I decided to head to London early so that we could spend a few hours together, wandering, and looking at the sites.

On Saturday I had a look online on Time Out London to see what sort of things we could do for a few hours before we had to meet Lydia and her mum at 3pm for Afternoon Tea at the Haymarket Hotel.

The first place we headed was Columbia Road in Shoreditch for the flower market.  There were loads of fantastic shops and the street had been transformed into an oasis full of flowers and plants; everything from gorgeous, freshly cut flowers to fruit trees and cacti.

We wandered through Columbia Road, popped into a gorgeous perfume shop, some cool antique shops and found a cute little square where a guy was playing his guitar and people were sitting about drinking coffee and eating bagels, all with their flowers and plants in tow.

From here we wandered around to Brick Lane where, of course, another fabulous Sunday market was happening.

These are really the bits of London that are real that show the diversity of the city.

Cake Hole - wikid antique crockery shop and tea room

Cake Hole - with its Easter inspired decorations

Cake Hole - the whole place is colour coordinated

Mum and Bean checking out the flowers

Gorgeous tulips at Columbia Road

Such an array of colours and scents

Cool Guitar Man

Funky Square off Columbia Road with cool shop fronts

COS Scarf, Zara Blazer, Aubin and Wills Top, Dorothy Perkins Jeans, Next Boots

Grabbing a lunch wrap at Brick Lane

Winter Coat

So this is the result of when I ask mum to take the picture for the blog...blurry!  Oh well.  

I was so pleased with this outfit the other weekend when we went for dinner with both sets of parents.  We decided to meet mum and dad before they flew off on Holiday, and as G's parents live close to Gatwick we all went out for a lovely Sunday night dinner to Jai Ho in Horley.  Very tasty dinner and lovely to see everyone.

I am slightly disappointed that I had just got back into wearing this gorgeous coat from Aubin and Wills that I bought a couple of years back and now the weather is really a bit warm to be wearing a wool coat.

Not that I'm complaining though as the sun is more than welcome!

Are you sad to see the winter wardrobe go or do you love you summer wardrobe more?

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Fresh Produce

I am so super excited that the Garden Centre up the road from us has just opened a fantastic new farm shop.  There is a huge section of fresh fruit and veg, a deli counter, and a gorgeous array of freshly baked bread.

On Saturday G and I popped up there to pick up some lunch.  We picked yummy flat field mushrooms, a tasty multi grain loaf and a goose egg each!  It was such a yummy lunch.  Goose eggs equal about 3 hens eggs so it was very filling but they were so yellow and rich!

I think this will definitely be a weekly weekend visit place to nab some tasty fresh produce.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Elegant Sausage, Mash and Homemade Beans

I love having enough time to spend making bits of the dinner that are homemade.  On Friday night I got home from work in plenty of time so decided to make the beans from scratch.  I have made homemade beans before but couldn't remember which recipe I used, so on Friday I started again with my search and found a brill recipe on Great British Chefs.  I found this recipe which was fantastic to accompany the sausages and mash.

The beans do take a while as you have to boil down the liquid so that they are all thick, rather than being runny, but it was certainly worth it.

Having started watching the new series of Masterchef last week I though that it might be nice to try a new way of presenting every day dishes, so tarted up my mash with some greenery and popped the beans in a voila!  Elegant Sausage, Mash and Beans.

The recipe made enough for 4 so I popped them in the fridge and had them the next night with some pie.

Have you ever tried to make homemade beans?  What recipe did you use?  Did they work out ok?