February has really gone by so fast, time flies when you are having fun, am I right? I have had a really long day at work, super busy, which is fun and also a challenge. Just how I like it! If only we could have a couple more hours in the day to get everything done, that would be great. I am currently sitting on the sofa, extremely tired, waiting for the husband to return from work (he has had an even longer day than me) and trying to force myself to finish packing. Tomorrow we are off to Oslo for a lovely long weekend and a very special event happening on Saturday. Can't wait!
I have always wanted to travel to Marrakech and finally, in January, we went to Morrocco for the first time. I have to honestly say that I was a bit apprehensive as they have a very different culture to what I am used to, would it be hectic and scary to walk around in the Medina with our limited knowledge of French and no knowledge of Arabic? In short, yes. The taxi drive from the airport made me feel very stressed and a bit worried about our 5 day stay. I am generally not the biggest fan of change, and new environments. It takes me a little while to get used to the new place and then start to love it, and that's what happened with Marrakech.
The first day I felt totally out of my comfort zone and then I slowly started to feel more at home and enjoy myself. The absolute chaos of motorbikes, donkeys, cars, bicycles and people crowding the streets started to feel less intimidating and more normal. I started to enjoy watching the crowds from cafes on crowded squares and I got used to the chaos of the souks and how to say no to all the wares on offer in a firm but polite way.
We had loads of lovely food in beautiful restaurants, we went to a hammam together which was a definitely a new experience, and we wandered the streets and souks to just take in the atmosphere. We got lost, twice, in the Medina in one day and I was not happy, it is very difficult to find your way when all the streets look similar and there are no street signs. We also went on a mini shopping trip in the souks, but both the husband and I are very bad at haggling and we ended up with a lovely bowl, that we paid way too much for. Oh well, better luck next time.
I ended up really loving the city and the busy feel and I would love to go back, maybe next year.
Happy New Year! I'm so excited for this year and I think it's going to be a good one, not sure why I think so but I do like new beginnings (new lists, a new week, a new month, a blank notebook) and the start of a year is the ultimate new beginning. So yes, it's going to be a good one.
I don't have any resolutions this year, mostly because I break them every year. I might manage a month of something, but 12 months is just a bit of a serious commitment for me. Long term I am only committed to my relationship, family, friends and career. I should add health and fitness to that one, but that is a work in progress. Actually, on that note I have decided to try out intermittent fasting to curb my excessive snacking habits and eat healthier. Let's see how that goes.
I have been away from this blog for a while, mostly because December is busy and I have fallen a bit out of the habit of blogging since my career change last year. I went from working from home quite a lot to a traditional 9-5.30 job with a commute. Turns out normal jobs can make you tired in the evenings. I do have my weekends back and 2017 is the year we start to make the most out of our weekends together. The husband and I have spent several years working all of the time and the few days we had off were not together and I am very excited that we are changing that. Walks in the park is always nicer with a partner, and I don't like weekend brunching and lunching on my own!
I am planning to continue blogging here, but even more as a hobby, so I think 90% off my posts will be with iPhone pictures from our London adventures and meals. And 10% will be random stuff and Happy Sunday posts. Just a heads up if you decide to stop by.
This weekend we spent all day yesterday fixing things around the flat, and we also took a long trip to Battersea Dogs Home because we are very seriously thinking about getting a dog. Rather, we will get a dog, we are just not sure how or when just yet. That's one of the reasons I think 2017 will be a great year. I am also planning on starting a course that will help me move further into my new field of work.
So with that, I am calling it a night, although it is still early (5.30pm but so dark outside and the rain has been pouring for a while, it feels like 9pm already!), and I am off to hoover the flat and check on the chicken I have roasting in the oven, make loads of lunches for next week and eat some popcorn (all food can't be healthy all the time!).
It's become a thing that I clean, bake and do laundry on a Sunday, and today was no different. Laundry has been done, biscotti are in the works and the flat is clean. I have also painted a bit, which is something I like doing every now and then, although it takes me forever and Ia m just so bloody impatient. Working on that.
Yesterday was bonfire night which is when we remember that the Gunpowder plot failed and King James didn't die by sending up loads of fireworks. We have never really celebrated (can you say that??) the 5th November before but this year we decided to go see some fireworks. Battersea Park is supposedly one of the best displays in London so we bought tickets and thought very little of it. Yesterday we were in Kensington and left 2 hours before we had to be at the park. We barely made it, yes really. The traffic was insane and I had to go to the bathroom so badly my mood soured considerably as time went by. Luckily the husbands office is close to the park so we parked there, I sprinted to the bathroom and then we ran to the park and made it in basically right before they closed the entrance. I would have been so disappointed had we not made it! The fireworks were about 25 minutes and it was fun to experience bonfire night, although I'm not sure I'm going to rush to buy tickets next year.
After the fireworks we rushed to a restaurant close to our flat where we ate so much pizza and fried courgette. Sourdough pizza is the best. When we finally made it back to our flat, the neighbors were doing a firework display so we joined them in cheering before going through our front door and immediately put the kettle on to fire up a hot water bottle. What a day!
When my mum came to visit last, about a month ago, she came from Paris on the train and meeting at St Pancras seemed like a good idea. Funnily enough, just a couple of days before we had talked about the German Gymnasium at work, and when I saw that it was in Kings Cross I just couldn't get it out of my mind.
German food isn't generally high up on my radar, although I do love schnitzel and I sauerkraut intrigues me. We went with a very safe choice of chicken schnitzel sandwich that was served with crisps. I had a headache so didn't enjoy it as much as I would if it was a normal day, which means I have to get back there soon to try out something else on the menu.
Happy weekend! I have had the BEST day today, just doing laundry, little bits around the house and spent loads of time watching How To Get Away with Murder on Netflix. Quite entertaining I have to say, disturbing, but I would highly recommend it if you are looking for something new to watch.
I'm off to make dinner and ice a cake that I am taking to work tomorrow, then I'm having a bath and reading some magazines that have been awaiting my attention for weeks. I never really manage to sit down and just read if I am at home, there is just so much else for me to do in the apartment. Do you know the feeling?
Have a great evening!
I'm sure I have blogged about this place before as it isn't the first time we have had a meal there, but it always impresses so it's worth another mention. Prix Fixe is in Soho and it is one of those restaurants it's easy to forget about in the Soho jungle of new openings and places you have to queue to get into. There are a lot of those... I'm not sure I have mentioned this before, but I HATE queuing for a table.
Prix Fixe is easy, good prices, GREAT food and serious portions. We never really have much space for dessert as the menu is just too full of amazing starters and mains we want to have instead. On this occasion I went for crab and avocado toast to start and I almost didn't have space for my main. The crab mixture was delicious on the crispy sourdough bread and I just couldn't stop eating until my plate was empty.
For main I just couldn't resist the steak and fries. Honestly it was just the perfectly cooked piece of meat with crispy, delicious fries and drenched in garlic butter. I was so happy with my choice! My mum had a delicious piece of pork belly and the husband went for fish. Everything was delicious, as usual. I just can't fault this place and I know we will be back before long. Perfect for a casual date night, for a meal with friends or just any night really.
I have had the best weekend! I got so much done, including laundry (really, I do other things too...), cleaning the house, an hour reading a book in a cafe, booked plane tickets for Christmas (Oslo, yay!) and even was a bit creative. The creative bits happened mostly today, as yesterday I went to central London to get a birthday present and then just lost 5 hours of my life. I came back to the flat in the late afternoon and just had to have a nap and a coffee.
So my creative streak this weekend came in the form of a chocolate guinness cake and then the husband and I spent 15 minutes in the store contemplating which chocolates to buy for decoration. I have to say, I decorated it so nicely I am actually so proud of my work (must have picked up some things while working in the cake shop for years...), I had to send a picture to everyone back home, just to have proof it actually happened. The cake is for a fun occasion for tomorrow btw, so I am really looking forward to that.
I also made some scented candles this afternoon, while making the chocolate frosting for the cake. I'm all about multitasking. I was thinking that homemade candles would be this years Christmas present, so I had to test it out, seeing as I have never made any before. It seemed pretty straight forward, and I think I have managed pretty well with my essential oil mixing and pouring of wax into different containers. Watch this space, this might be my new thing.
I'm really looking forward to this week, we have some fun plans and I am even doing some interesting things at work, it's all looking up.
I have always loved Burberry and spent a lot of time obsessing over their trench coats, and many years back I saved up and bought one, and it is still going strong. Cost per wear is probably in pennies as I wear it every year during spring and autumn. Probably the best thing I ever bought myself. So when there was a chance to see a bit more of the brand, I obviously couldn't say no, and rushed to get to Burberry at Makers House for the creative display they put on for fashion week.
I think the reason they set up the exhibition at Makers House was to showcase craftsmen and inspiration for the current collection. Burberry showed they SS17 collection during fashion week and right after the whole collection was put on show for the public and Makers House was open.
I loved seeing the inspiration, all the materials and colours and the craft on show from the craftsmen. The embroidery on show was insane. And I loved the wall of scissors.
Watching this guy slowly and painstakingly creating a sculpture was incredible. And the screen printing below was beautiful.
The real reason for it all was of course the new collection from Burberry and I watched the whole show online (watch it, the live music made me super emotional, it was just beautiful, definitely worth it!) so I was really excited to see it all in real life and not on a screen. I was most excited about the tassels!
I loved seeing all the clothes and felt so super inspired to care more about how I dress (small victories!), I also loved being able to share it with my mum who was visiting. After ohhhing and ahhhing over all the tassels and chunky plastic chains on the bags and the tassel coat (!!!) it was time for a small snack. I went for cake and coffee and my mum went for tea and crudités with a seriously delicious bean dip. The Thomas cafe did not disappoint.
i think what was most impressive was the incredible atmosphere and music. The whole space just felt like entering a magical garden where anything could happen. All in the middle of busy Soho. I honestly really loved it all and I wish it was still open so I could tell you all to go, and go again myself!
If there is one thing I never do, that we never do, it's to go to the cinema. For some reason, I am just not so into it. Don't get me wrong, I can go to the cinema, however I am just as happy doing laundry while having a Netflix gem on in the background. You know what I mean? No?
So yeah, cinema trips are never high on my to-do list. But then Backyard Cinema came along and I was sold. If you send me an email and ask if I want to book tickets to watch the Jungle Book in a fake jungle, yeah, I'll be there. Fun story, when I was little I LOVED the jungle book sooooo much (we watched a Norwegian version of the musical about 3 times when I was 4 years old) and asked if maybe I could change my name to Mowgli. Sadly that didn't happen, but one of my brothers still call me Mowgli when he wants to wind me up. And my other brother calls me Tarzan when he wants to wind me up. Family, am I right?
All this led to the husband and I getting into the car last weekend and driving to Elephant & Castle to find this fancy jungle cinema. As usual we were a bit hangry (maybe just me, but sometimes you just NEED food) and rushed to find the nearest place serving food. Funnily enough we stumbled upon this large food market and only after eating a delicious burger and inhaling some fries, did we realize that the jungle cinema was actually in the same space. Funny coincidence, and super convenient.
I loved the yellow tables (plenty of them, not difficult to find a space to sit), the flowers in red plastic crates, salad grown in beds around the property and that industrial metal structure along the wall. Not sure why that was there, but I liked it. Almost as much as I liked my burger. We ordered from Brew Tap Burger and their burger was exactly what I needed, a good size for me (tad bit small for the husband, and he even had a bite of mine) and it tasted so good. Mine had some sort of miso something on it, and it was all kinds of right.
The fries were also just right. It might have been just that I was very hungry by that point, but they had a very delicious seasoning on them that just made me want to order several portions and munch my way through.
Part of the food market is also an actual shop where you can buy cheese, meats, drinks and basically everything else you want to buy at a deli. Anything you buy you can also eat at any of the tables provided in the rest of the space, if the actual food stalls don't tickle your fancy.
After food and an ice cream that was just that bit too big (but delicious, so I ate it all!), we made our way to the cinema. To get in we had to climb through a hold in the wall and suddenly we were in the jungle and had to find our way out.
How amazing is that? it was so well done, and to get out of the jungle you had to jump off a cliff and into a pit of boulders where you had to navigate your way out carefully. Quite difficult in heeled ankle boots if I say so myself.
Also, those weren't really boulders, but I guess you got that already?
When we finally made it out of the jungle we were in a lovely room decorated like the jungle complete with a rain forest soundtrack. The cinema chairs were beanbags, how fun! We gratefully sunk into ours after the ordeal of navigating the jungle and were lulled into almost sleep while we waited for the film to start. I don't think I have been that relaxed in a cinema, ever.
I am not so great at film reviews, and I'm not going to start improving right now. But I will say that I really enjoyed the film, even shed some tears at times, and I still think it is a magical story. I was a bit sad that there were not more songs as that is what I was OBSESSED with as a child (although it was the Norwegian version, in theater, that I fell so madly in love with) but the film was still so beautifully made. So yeah, watch it.
I'm Christine and I currently live in London with my husband where I do my best to go to as many restaurants as possible, bake, DIY and occasionally let my hair down and go to a museum. x