We have this group of friends here in London that we always end up going to quite fancy restaurants with. We all studied hospitality management together so I guess we are a bit more interested in food and drink than the average person. Last time we gathered our strengths and drank several bottles of wine was at Quaglino's which is close to Green Park. The restaurant has recently re-opened after a serious re-furbish. Two of the people joining us for dinner actually used to work at Quaglino's about 7 years ago. Can you imagine? So when they opened again, what better place to check out?
We visited on a quiet night, so the place wasn't that busy, but the atmosphere is pretty good and the new decor is sexy and a little bit dark. Perfect for a date night I think. We got started with some wine and I had a lobster bisque to start which was light and had a really great flavor. For mains they do some shared options, and I was actually the only one around the table that went for my own main (pork belly), sharing food is not always my thing. And that fish that's looking at you while you serve yourself? No thanks. So there were two shared mains and my pork belly, several bottles of wine and loads of laughter.
See what I mean about that fish? Not for me. But this amazing dessert, that was mine. It is a ball of raspberry flavored meringue with whipped cream inside and I ate the whole thing all on my own really fast. Inhaled it I guess we can say, before we struggled to get out of the chairs (they were very comfortable) and head towards the exit as some of us had work the next day.
Picture from Unsplash
A little out of sync this, but last week I just felt like crawling under the duvet and not getting out of bed, at all. But for most of us, life just isn't that way and it goes on, no matter how you feel. So when you are down in the dumps and skies are grey, I have to admit that the motivation to blog is less than zero. The only thing I wanted to do was watch animated Disney movies and forget that I am an adult. So I did watch Tangled, went hunting for Frozen (have heard so many great things about this one) but did not find it on Netflix and decided I wasn't that bothered, so I went on to surf the net instead. And here we are:
No way. I want to be a mermaid and now you can too (sort of)!
Instant home update: these box lights are perfect for anywhere, like above the couch. Instantly on the Christmas wish list.
I would love to entertain a bit more at home and I could use some more cocktail recipes in my repertoire.
To cape or not to cape? Perfect for the "in between" season we are currently experiencing here in London.
Is it ok to want to buy this outfit even though we don’t have a child and no plans of getting one any time soon?
Detox baths, sounds like something that needs to be on my to do list.
This outfit is everything. And a bit more if only I could channel Carrie Bradshaw in everyday life. You know, just on the daily commute, at the coffee shop, chatting to colleagues at work. Maybe next year.
Have you heard me rant about how much I hate restaurants that don't take reservations? Probably. But life is life and I don't make the rules, so sometimes, I find myself queuing for dinner. There are some things I don't mind that much to queue for and ramen is one of those things. Misunderstand me right, in these no-reservations restaurants we always try to go early, around 6pm for dinner, just so we never have to queue much more than 15-20 minutes, so the wait for a hot bow of ramen was not long. Last week the queue was outside Bone Daddies in Soho, and it was well worth the wait. For me ramen is very much an autumn/winter type of dish. I love the flavors, the different textures, the tender meat, the noodles and the egg. I even love the egg. I should really learn how to make this dish at home, it would be perfect on one of those windy evenings when the only thing to do is wrap up, light the fire (imaginary for me, although a fire place is on my continuous wish list), make something good to eat and find a friendly film to watch.
Current status: drinking blood orange San Pellegrino (oh my it's so good), typing this blog post and watching CSI Miami. Not a bad end to the weekend I think.Work has as usual been a challenge, but a fun one, and my body is feeling tired and ready for sleep soon. Since the time change technically it's way past my bed time but it's jsut past 10pm here in London so I think it's ok to finish this episode of CSI before I crawl into bed and get ready for another week. Monday, here we come.
Yep, we just had to go to the Elle Bookclub again. I love books and food, so when they put on a book club with Ruby from last years Great British Bakeoff, the promise of drinks and a copy of her new book, how can you not buy a ticket? The evening itself was so so, the venue was just too warm and they only served Baileys and some scary looking sweet canapes, which is not a favorite of mine. But I do like the book! It's a book with a lot of useful information and really nice recipes as well. You really feel like you learn something while you flip through the pages, and there are several things I would love to make. Most of all the lemon curd rolled "pavlova". It looks like a dream come true.
I really love Sunday nights, it's like the last moments of the weekend and you can do whatever you want without any guilt. Sounds good? I might have just had some chocolate cake, browsed eBay for random stuff and read some blogs. I'm even thinking of going to bed very very soon, although I like staying up as late as possible so that I don't miss out on any guilt free time. Tomorrow it's back to real life and real to do lists.
This week was.... long? Working from home is always a challenge, as motivating yourself is really something that is hard to do. Or is that just me? Little breaks must be had and the gym should be the first place I go, but local cafes and B&Q (I know, weird) are much more inviting, isn't that always so. At least there was time for the internet, a good friend.
Feel like finding out your typing speed? Check out this site.
This song. On repeat.
Mmmmm, fattoush salad is so good, maybe dinner on Sunday? And these for dessert. Why don't they sell them everywhere??
Ideally, I would like to get one of these prints for our hallway, but I think the $1000 price tag makes that pretty much a dream that won't come true. I also need to get myself to this doughnut shop as soon as possible.
This store is like a girls dream come true. Confetti? Always.
Autumn is definitely one of my favorite times of year and thinking about how much I like autumn made me think of what I love most right now and being a list-lover, I wrote it all down, as you do. So, what is making me happy?
Clean sheets, is it just me or is that clean sheets feeling pure bliss? Falling into a newly made up bed makes me sleep so much better. If I didn't find it so boring to change our sheets I would do it every day.
Hot chocolate, the drink of cold evenings and days filled with rain. At lest it should be. I am trying to cut down on dairy so I am currently drinking hot chocolate made with almond milk and yeah, it's not the same as the normal kind, but its not bad either.
Creative baking and cooking
Knitted sweaters and wool socks
Pictures of cute animals
The other part of New Orleans that was recommended to us was the Garden District, and going there ment taking a street car (yeee). Very different from The French Quarter, the Garden District is known for it's big houses and also for the cemetery. There were tour guides outside the cemetery, ready to guide you through the graves but we passed on that one.
We were desperately unlucky with the weather and 15 minutes after we got off the streetcar it started pouring down and we had to seek refuge in the first place we found, which was a bar. Where we sat for at least 30 minutes, decided we wanted to get going, went out into the rain, regretted it, and went into the first cafe we saw. Great start to the day really. At least everywhere had free wifi and we read the news and chatted while we drank our coffees.
And then hunger got to us and the rain started to subside so we went in search of vegetables. And instead we found Mexican. Now, I think this is my favourite cuisine, so I was happy. Have you ever been to a restaurant and it depresses you that you can't order the whole menu? That's how I felt at the Rum Shack. But we got some pulled pork nachos and a section of tacos and ate until we could not eat more. Portion size in the south are a challenge.
Deciding we had to walk off the nachos we went in a search for the streetcar again to get back to the French Quarter so we could walk really slowly by the river, but it was of course too warm and humid so we ended up in a shopping mall where we got started on the Christmas present shopping.
On our second day in New Orleans we decided it was appropriate to explore the French Quarter with a DIY walking tour. The lovely people in the tourist information (where we walked in to cool down in their air con for a couple of minutes) suggested we took a walk in the area and followed a map that outlied the sights. So we did. Although I would recommend doing this, be aware that you are just going to walk for hours to look at houses. They are beautiful and interesting, but it's still mostly houses.
After completing most of the walking tour we headed to the French Market, to see if there was anything we desperately needed to experience or purchase. It's the perfect place to try dee fried alligator if that is on your to do list.
Walking the market made us a bit hungry but I just couldn't stomach some of the local cuisine so we went to Johnny's Po'boys which is essentially a sandwich shop where you can also sit down. This place came highly rated on the internet and that warranted a meal there. Po'boys are "poor boys" and it is a sandwich that comes with one filling of your choice and if you want to you can also have it "dressed" with lettuce, tomato and mayo. Johnny's also serve up a lot of deep fried dishes and gumbo, you know, when I. New Orleans. We tried 2 different sandwiches and gumbo, and I have to say that the sandwich bread, although it did not look promising, was great! Crunchy crust, soft inside, filled with deep fried shrimp (I thought they were only fried as I spied the staff pan frying shrimp when ordering but no, of course they were deep fried) and "dressed". As always portions were quite big for us Europeans, but there was an option of wrapping up the leftovers to take with you for those who are so inclined. Which is also something we are unfamiliar with in Europe. The day I am asked if I want the rest of my dinner to go in a restaurant in London will be a very weird day indeed.