Knitting! I can't stop knitting lately and this is my 5th hat so far. I am also planning a black version and a grey one. Maybe some crystals as well, who knows?
Shoes! For Christmas I was given a pair of black Nike shoes, they weren't wrapped under the tree as I had some other presents to take back to London, so I was in charge of getting them myself. Which is why they only made it in to my closet today.
Vintage & Popcorn! A huge vintage "sugar" bowl is now acting as my new popcorn bowl (make the popcorn with truffle oil, and thank me later. This bad boy should be on your to do list). I found this bowl in Notting Hill last Friday at the market, I generally prefer to go on weekdays as there are less people out and about.
Reading! Work hard, play hard. Isn't that what they say? I need a bit of downtime as well, and I read pretty much anything, even Grazia.
Do I have to tell you how much I love breakfast or do you feel like I have talked about it enough? Ok, I get it, let's have that talk another day. But I love it, and I regret that none of my 2013 New Years resolutions involve eating more breakfast. Next year. A little while back I found myself walking in Notting Hill in the snow and walked past Mike's Cafe, took one more step, stopped, turned around and went back. Why? I spotted a breakfast menu, and those are hard for me to walk past. Which is why on my birthday (where is that present you said you would send?!?) I went through that door, sat down and smiled. Breakfast was on it's way!
I don't know why, but ever since I broke up with sugar on January first I have been craving pancakes/waffles/french toast, and I gave myself permission to go all out on my birthday, so I had french toast. If you were wondering, that is bacon, banana and maple syrup on my plate. I even fitted in some dessert at the end of the day, but in general sugar doesn't really do it for me any more Croissants with jam on the other hand, those are dangerous.
Mike's is famous for their breakfasts, which is evident when you see how busy they are on a Friday morning. There was a constant flow of people, both for sit down breakfasts and take away, and many of them seemed like they had been before and enjoyed the food. My crew (family) went for the more traditional choices of an omelet and a full English, which went down well. We were all happy, and very full.
As an obsessive reader of crime books I rarely venture out of my reading-comfort zone. I have found my niche and I will stick with it no matter what you guys say, much like old men in hats and men of any age wearing socks and sandals. That doesn’t mean that I NEVER read other books, just almost never, and the reason is that there are too many good books and too little time. And I usually feel terrible after reading something that is not crime related. For some reason most “other” books I read are quite serious. And you can judge me a much as you want to, while I sit here with my brainless books, but I can’t take one more book like “Me before You” by Jojo Moyes.
I can’t stay up till 2.30 am, desperate to finish the book, when I need to go to work the following day. I can’t spend at least the last hour of reading in tears, because the book is so moving, and I can’t start the next day, again in tears, because I can’t get over the book I just read. I can’t come to work with swollen, red eyes, and get questions from my colleagues asking if everything is ok at home. I can’t, after a couple of days, still feel like crying when the book comes to mind. Was it a terrible book? No, it was probably the best book I have ever read. Extremely well written, funny at times and very sad most of the time. I did honestly cry far too much while reading this book, and if you are, in any way, a bit down, I don’t think this is the book for you right now. But there are some brainless books with pink covers out there that would suit that state of mind just fine. But if you are feeling up to a good read, maybe you are home alone and don’t mind crying and crying while reading I would tell you to go to your nearest library/bookshop and get your hands on this book. Just don’t read the second half on the tube. Things could get awkward.
Sometimes it's too easy to just go back to those restaurants you know you like, but have tried several times before. Especially when hunger strikes, which it does quite often. Which is why I found myself back at Black & Blue last week, an order of king prawns on the way. They are just that good. It was one of those days when only beef would do, maybe some fries, a little sauce, a lot of wine. I am never disappointed at these restaurants I can't say they are the best places in the world, and they aren't making culinary history, but the atmosphere and the food will make you satisfied with your choice.
This weekend was my first time in Islington, to visit the market in Camden Passage. It can get a bit confusing that there is a passage called Camden, when you aren't in Camden. But you soon get over it when you spend some time in the small market. It's less crowded than several other markets around London on a Saturday, which is good, the passage is quite narrow and wouldn't fit too many people. If you want breakfast before market stall shopping there is a branch of The Breakfast Club and a local, very trendy, coffee shop that I can't remember the name of. I was the only person who was hungry out of our group, which was probably best. There was a pretty long queue for the Breakfast Club. The coffee and baguette from the local coffee place though was very good, just difficult to balance a cup, baguette, camera, iPhone and handbag with only 2 hands. But I did my best. If you want to see a different part of London, this is a great place to start off, and then head to Camden, like we did. We wanted to go to York & Albany, Gordon Ramsey's pub, but bookings are required here, so get booking, not cooking!
What a whirlwind of a weekend! It feels like 2 weeks have gone by since Wednesday, mostly because I have been so busy doing only fun stuff. The family is visiting London and we are trying our best to eat our way through London. I can't remember what hunger feels like and I am contemplating if next week should be dedicated to more of a fasting diet. Haven't made up my mind yet.
Yesterday was my birthday and I turned (gasp!!!) 27. It's true. 3 years until 30. Parts of my family came to London on Wednesday to stay the weekend and to celebrate my birthday. I have had so many restaurant meals these past days, it's all blurring together in to one large meal. A very good one at that! If I counted how many food pictures I have taken, I think we are talking around 43. But who is counting, really?
Every year I have the blessing/curse of adding one more year to my age 1 month after Christmas. And while this might sound like fun to some people, it can actually be hard to find something to wish for. The boyfriend went above and beyond with the Christmas presents and I was left speechless and wish-less after the gift bonanza. But fear not, there is always something to wish for, we are just entering an area of my constant wishlist that could be categorized as "expensive stuff you don't really need, but want". Don't judge, I am sure you have one of these lists too, you just don't want to admit it. On my list this year is an eclectic mix, the only thing really connecting these things is that they are all expensive! To the boyfriend: Read and weep!
Balenciaga coin pouch, Movado Museum watch and Areaware piggybank.
I am wholly embracing whatever I can get my hands on that will a.keep me from getting a cold (warm clothes and vitamin C) and b.get rid of the cold when I haven't been good at keeping up with point a. While studying in Switzerland I was introduced to a hot "drink" that would help get rid of colds. It had a fake lemon flavour and was wholly disgusting, I could gag just thinking about it, but it might have worked. Then again, it might not have worked, who can really remember these things? All I know is that all us international students swore by it, like a life prolonging elixir we couldn't leave alone. Did the Swiss people drink it? I'm not sure, maybe they didn't get colds. This drink found it's match a couple of months ago with the UK equivalent, in both a blackberry and lemon flavour. It still tastes really, really bad, but people believe in these things and. A colleague of mine managed to gulp down one of the hot drinks and then proceeded to swallow a couple of cold and flu pills of the same brand. When she said she felt a little different, kind of drugged and then went on to say she felt a little bit high. Turns out they contain paracetamol and caffeine, and one should never have the pills at the same time as the hot drink. What did I learn from her story? They come in PILLS???? Why have I been drinking this disgusting cold and flu drink when I could have taken PILLS?!?! Now I am embracing this new discovery, which offer pills for day and night use (hoping the night ones might be sans caffeine though) and promise to get me fit and rid of my cold in no time at all. So I bought the pills. And we lived happily ever after.
After the last post the boyfriend asked: Where are we having breakfast? I looked out the window, at the snow, and almost, just almost, answered that today's breakfast would be porridge. Made with water. Yum, right? Of course he wouldn't have agreed, maybe he would even have moved out, breakfast is an important meal, as I am sure you all know. So instead we bundled up and headed out the door to find food. We have been to The Diner before (chronicled here), and one of their restaurants aren't too far from where we call home, perfect spot for breakfast.
We also made it to Notting Hill after breakfast/brunch/lunch, where we stumbled upon a pop up gallery on Westbourne Grove. As usual galleries aren't that happy about their art being photographed, but I snapped a photo of the entrance. The art was crazy and expensive, but it's always fun to have a look.
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