Saturday, 31 January 2015

ATE AT: The Riding House Cafe, Great Titchfield Street


The lovely Sophie recommended this little gem to me and I cannot thank her enough! Unfortunately, I didn't have a big enough stomach to try the pancakes as well as everything else Emily and I ordered.


Having heard such good things from numerous people about The Riding House Cafe, we were very excited to arrive.

We had an early morning reservation so meandered over and had the perfect setting for breakfast - fairly quiet and PLENTY of time to check out the lovely menu. Perfect for the indecisive who take ages to pick when a menu is good - and also trying to avoid food envy from the surrounding tables!


 I absolutely love the bare brick, the shared tables and the general feel of the place.

We were seated in the private tables to the left, with our table lit by the huge lightshades above us - transporting me back to my childhood and the similar one my grandparents had in their living room!


We were given the menus - excited and completely undecided about which way to turn! One thing for certain - two PB&J smoothies. Peanut butter (always!), banana, strawberry and apple juice smoothies. Too good to resist and our favourite things all in one drink!


Served up in milk bottles, a brilliant touch, and absolutely delicious!


TOO GOOD!


I decided on chorizo hash, poached eggs with a sautéed mushroom and raw spinach.


We had the nicest bircher muesli, to share.


And Ems decided on the veggie breakfast - scrambled egg, grilled tomato, halloumi, quinoa, tomato, wilted spinach and baked beans.


The food was SO good. And, despite the crazy amount of food we ordered - we were little troopers and devoured it all!

Reasons I love Emily - food buddy always! Can always rely on her to be as excited about food as me.

I would 100% recommend a trip to the Riding House Cafe. Beautiful breakfast, lovely staff, a great location and an ideal setting for a relaxed breakfast but not lacking in atmosphere!

We definitely needed that walk around Camden after all of that...



xo

Friday, 30 January 2015

FIVE FOR FRIDAY #13

Did you see my post about the wonderful The Wild Flower Company? Click here for a cheeky 20% off your first order - they've beautiful!

This week has been BRILLIANT. Genuinely, really really good!

I've had great news at work and this year is set to get really exciting. As well as that I've managed a 12k and a 7k plus a yoga class, which I am really pleased with!

This week's FFF

Fare Healthy and a Weekend in London - last weekend I had SUCH a fun weekend with my right hand lady Emily. We went to Fare Healthy and got our sass on in a Dance Like Beyonce class as well as learning all sorts from the wonderful Ella of Deliciously Ella. We also had a lot of fun in Camden, catching up with friends, shopping at the market and had set ourselves up with a GORGEOUS breakfast!

The Riding House Café - part of our time in London was spent having a huge breakfast. We really went to town with the most amazing smoothies, bircher muesli to share and a breakfast each! A wonderful recommendation from Sophie and one I would pass on to anybody wanting a delicious breakfast in London.

Health and Fitness Progress - this week I feel has been a real turning point for me. I've managed a 7k and a 12k and felt so full of energy. I've been making sure I eat well - avocado and rye or granola and yoghurt for breakfast, a smoothie in my nutribulet, healthy snacks and nuts during the day and plenty of leafy greens, quinoa and good protein in the evenings. As well as that I've carried on with my 2 litres+ of water each day and been getting at least 7 hours sleep. It's crazy what a difference it's making. But let me make this clear - I have still be having the occasional biscuit and become seriously obsessed with Lindt dark chocolate with a hint of sea salt.

General Happy Vibes - I don't know whether it's the exercise, the diet (note: not diet 'diet' - lifestyle diet) or the fact I've just had a positive week but I am on top form. It's so refreshing to feel this positive!

Spending time with my bestie - Caitlin has been my friend since we were 3 and no matter how often we see each other, it's never any different when we are together - whether it's been a week or a month, we always have loads to chat about. Today was especially nice as she had nursing work to do and I was working from home so we were full on geeks and sat drinking green tea in my kitchen, with our macs all day. A LOT OF LOVE HERE <3

I hope you've all had a wonderful week and are looking forward to the weekend!

xo

Thursday, 29 January 2015

LOVING: The Wild Flower Company


I'm a big believer that flowers truly can make a day so much better. They can turn a bad mood into a much better one, tears into smiles (or happier tears...) and are a lovely gift for your nearest and dearest, or even as a little treat for yourself.

I buy myself flowers fortnightly and, quite often, for my Mum and Grandma too; but what I really like is something a little bit different from your generic store bought bouquet.
 
 
Meet The Wild Flower Company.

When I heard about who they are, what they do....I needed to share it with you all...

As a part of The British Flower Collective, the Wild Flower Company began because of their disappointment at the lack of seasonality of flowers that were on offer, both online and offline, by florists across the UK. They struck up the idea to offer seasonal, British, farm-grown flower arrangements to UK customers – put together so beautifully, showing just how much passion they have for their vision.

Based in Kentish Town, the flowers are sold online only and they propose a flower arrangement sent to you weekly, fortnightly or monthly – so for those of you that love buying weekly or fortnightly flowers as a little treat to brighten up your home (and your day!), this regular arrangement is perfect.

Their values really are something to draw attention to – TWFC are as passionate about their work as British flower growers and not only providing seasonal flowers but local, high-quality flowers that benefit not only the British farmers but also the environment and, in turn, the customer.

A little about the subscription for regular arrangements:

TWFC offer an open-ended subscription (with no end date – you send them an email of any amendments or cancellations you want to make!)

As I said before, you can have these beautiful flowers delivered to your home weekly, fortnightly or monthly, with prices starting from £24, which includes delivery. If you wanted, fixed term subscriptions are available so you could give their service a whirl for 3 months and see what they're all about. I also think this service is a BEAUTIFUL gift for mums-to-be. You could send them a monthly arrangement during their pregnancy as a little something to put a smile on their faces.

My personal favourite is the 'Each Season' service – a different arrangement sent to you every three months for a year. If you're like me, there is so much beauty to be seen as we enter each new season. With TWFC offering seasonal flowers, this will mean high-quality and a bouquet looking its absolute best.

Do you need anymore reason to get yourself this subscription?
 
 
 
These flowers look like nothing you will see in your local supermarket, nothing you can mail order from the internet and probably nothing like you'll see in your local florist. The idea they've created really is innovative and I am so pleased to discover them.
 
 
Their flowers aren't ones that travel for days and days by mail – they're cut the day before they are shipped; not frozen, not heated but arriving perfectly fresh. The best bit? If you take care of them, they last for a long time – giving them a little cut, changing their way – it really does keep them looking healthy and freshly arranged.

For those of you that know me or have read my blog for a while now, you'll know I like things a little bit different. Well these arrangements are definitely that – kind to the environment with no air mileage (unlike 90% of the flowers in the market today that are imported from the likes of the Netherlands and Israel, amongst many others)

I'm a big believer in buying British – I think it's a terrible shame that in instances like this, we rely of imports. But buying from The Wild Flower Company, wel that means the revival of local farmers growing British flowers, an environment-friendly service that not only benefits the growers but also the customers.
 
 
 
 

A little about the pricing:

For the quality you get, I truly believe these reasonable prices reflect the high standards delivered direct to your door:

A three posies per week package costs £24 (p/w)
Weekly packages - £28 (p/w)
Monthly packages - £32 p/m
Seasonal packages (4 bunches per year) - £128 (p/y
Pregnancy packages (6 seasonal bunches over 6 months) - £168 (p/a)

These subscriptions can be a one off or time specified (for that generous, thoughtful gift) or an open-ended thing for you to amend or cancel at any point.
 
 
 
 
Seasonal, British, locally grown flowers of high-quality that scream diverse, passion and DIFFERENT. And that's the best thing, they're that little bit different!
 
http://wildflowers.company/
 
 
I also have a discount code for you guys - 20% off any order when you enter the code UNCH20
 
How could you turn that down?
 
Click their logo above and get your 20% off today!
 

*Disclaimer: these flowers were generously sent to me to review their subscription service but views are COMPLETELY my own – because, well, the flowers speak for themselves – they are beautiful and have been going strong for two weeks now!*

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

TRAVEL: My 2014 Backpacking Adventure


At the end of summer 2013 left the UK to embark on what would be the biggest adventure of my life so far. 


I've always had a big love of travel and been to some incredible places all over the world thanks to my travel bug Mum and my agreeing Dad.

I began 2014 in Sydney. Beautiful, beautiful Sydney. Looking back, Sydney was certainly my favourite place to have lived (between there and Melbourne - which I know is controversial to many with it being voted the most liveable place several years running) but not the centre, the North, Manly, the stunning beaches. I flew to Sydney just before New Year to move in with a friend I lived with at Uni, later to be joined by another of the girls we lived with. Sydney is a city with SO much to do, not just centrally but in the outer suburbs too. The girls and I did one of the best things I've ever done - a skydive over Wollongong. I will never forget the experience and it is 100% something I want to do again! A great trip is to Port Stevens; a day of sandboarding and dolphin watching. It's such a stunning place and so easily accessible if you drive there yourself. I'm reminiscing big time now - drinks at the Opera House, nights out in Kings Cross, the Blue Mountains, surfing on Bondi, tanning days at Coogee. There are so many amazing places to visit!


February was the best month for me - three weeks, three friends, one campervan and the East Coast. That's right, driving around 2500km (plus MANY detours) up one of the most beautiful and most famous coasts in the world. The experience was completely unforgetful and absolutely incredible. We had an amazing time in that sweaty little campervan and no two days were the same! Byron Bay and Noosa were without a doubt my favourite places - I love the chilled out, hippy vibe that can be found there and would happily have spent the rest of my days there surfing, eating sushi rolls and soaking up the sun!

The end of February involved a week spent in Cairns and a trip up to Cape Tribulation and The Daintree Rainforest, marking the end of our trip up the coast. I had been toying with the idea of doing my regional work but after umming and ahhing for several months, decided it wasn't what I wanted; if it was, the decision would've been apparent from the start. Regional work allows you an extra years working visa in return for 3 months spent working (quite often unpaid with food and board as payment!) on fruit farms, as a farm hand or something...regional. It shows you are willing to give back to the country and are willing to work really hard to stay there! Cape Trib and The Daintree are beautiful places - so quiet, nothing around for miles and you really do feel 'at one with nature' - kayaking, treks through the rainforest and, my favourite, trying out their infamous ice creams!

March saw me fly back to Melbourne to return to the cafe job I had acquired in November when I first got to Australia - which was A LOT of fun. They were brilliant people to work for, letting me come and go from the cafe several times and giving me full time hours every time. Absolute godsends and I still cannot thank them enough for them looking after me. I spent a lot of March making the most of the warm weather as it would soon get a little bit colder (still warm for us English but cold for somebody that hadn't seen cold weather in months and months!)


April was another fun month (lets face it - they were all FUN!); my parents flew over to spend three weeks with me and see my for my birthday. My Mum has wanted to visit Australia since she was tiny so this was an absolute dream for her. Having our family friends over here and her godson made the trip as well made the trip feel even more necessary. We had a brilliant trip - a whistle stop tour of Cairns, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne - seeing all of the touristy delights there are on offer. 


I was really sad to see them leave but it meant I was on to my next destination - New Zealand. I must admit, I didn't do New Zealand as I wanted to. I had flown over to spend just over three weeks with some friends I had made during my time in Sydney and whilst in the campervan. I wanted to do a hell of a lot more travel, see South Island and do a bungee jump but time and money seem to dwindle very quickly. Plus, I had my Australian working holiday visa and vowed NZ would be a separate trip, all about the travel and less about the work (which I 100% would have needed to do at that point to see the rest of the country). I suppose that is the reality of a working holiday - the money will dip at some point and you'll have to get back to work! New Zealand is such a stunning place and I would definitely recommend heading over there. We managed a trip up to Piha and the black sand beaches which is a lovely day out!

Mid-May meant returning to Australia. Back to work, back to a lovely set of friends and to the city of Melbourne, one that really stole my heart during my trip. I spent my days on bike rides from St Kilda to Brighton Beach, eating at the wonderful Lentil As Anything (which you NEED to try if you're ever in Melbourne!) and just taking in the city life - a city that definitely proved itself worthy of winning the title of most liveable city three years running!

I had already been toying with the idea of returning home in July to get back for the British summer and to reassess, recharge and save, save save, ready for the next big trip. I didn't miss home particularly, just the fact I would have loved to share aspects of my trip with my nearest and dearest back in England but I felt ready to leave Australia and see a little more of the world.


I love Australia; it truly is a beautiful country with lovely people and my experiences were ones I will cherish forever. One day I hope to go back to see more of the West Coast and head up to Uluru, something I really regret not doing.

I would encourage ALL OF YOU to backpack or go on an extended holiday at some point. It teaches you so much, not only about yourself but about the world, different cultures and just what there is out there! If you're a backpacking beginner, there is SO much information available not only on my travel section but also all over the internet!

But what's next? Good question! I want to do EVERYTHING. I want to see this big, beautiful world we live in. I think what's next for this year is a long awaited trip to Morocco (somewhere I have been dying to go for almost 8 years now), a delayed trip to Amsterdam to explore and catch up with an old school friend (who has an incredible travel blog, if you haven't already checked it out!) I've got some seriously exciting opportunities coming up with work that may allow me to travel - not just Europe but America and China too. 

Life isn't meant to be lived in one place. The world is BIG and BEAUTIFUL - get out there and see it. Make each moment count!

xo

*DISCLAIMER: This post was written as part of a competition with Love Holidays*

Monday, 26 January 2015

ATE AT: Smack Lobster, Binney Street

 
 
I have had a thing about lobster for a while now.
 
So when I heard the word on the street that Smack Lobster was THE place in London to go for a bloody lovely lobster roll, I was there as soon as I could get.
 
I stepped in, amazed by the prices. A whole lobster for £12?!

 
The places is rather minimalist with the added quirk of graffiti style windows and lettering around the walls. I love these kind of lights as well - one day I want something like this in my future kitchen with wooden benches.

 
The three times I've been, I've been boring and ordered the same thing...which I know, as a self proclaimed foodie, is not really exciting but the California Roll is so good.

 
Lettuce, tomato, cucumber, avocado mayo with chilli and lime...and delicious lobster, of course.
 
 
The bread is absolutely perfect - crunchy, sweet...just *insert noise here*
 
 
If you are ever around Oxford or Regent Street, head over and grab yourself one of these babies - the even do take out!
 
Just find Selfridges and Binney Street is pretty much opposite...calling your name!

 
Also, there's LOADS of seating - not just upstairs and outside. They open fairly late too so you could even pop by for a casual evening meal.
 
 

Saturday, 24 January 2015

VISITED: London - A Weekend of Theatre and LOTS of Food


Weekends in London really are the best way to spend weekends. I love exploring the side streets, trying new restaurants, wandering the parks and generally feeling like a temporary Londoner for a couple of days. Last weekend was no different.

I didn't end up heading down until the afternoon but had a few hours to kill before my friend was back at home so I went out in search of one thing, and one thing only...


Lobster rolls at Smack Lobster. I had been DYING to try these and they did not disappoint. I'll be doing a little post about them next week, so stay tuned for that.

This weekend was my Christmas present weekend. I WAS SO EXCITED and it was SO. MUCH. FUN!

I got tickets to see the musical I had been desperate to see for so long...



It truly was amazing...to the point that I was almost in tears when Defying Gravity was sung. I felt every word of it. Cringeworthy but true! I got so wrapped up in it! PLEASE go and see it if you get chance!

After that, the Christmas presents did not end...


A late night trip to Honest (we arrived 20 minutes before closing and they were lovely enough to still serve us!) The food at Honest really is delicious and, those chips! Oh boyyyy!

The following day meant more food, of course...


I had never been to The Breakfast Club (I know, what the hell have I been doing for my life!?)


We didn't have to wait too long, so I took a quick snap and we were seated to our table...


Those of you that have been to The Breakfast Club will know the menu is CRAZY?! Those that haven't, well, you can see below. Seriously, how are us food bloggers meant to make a decision with THIS MANY CHOICES?! It was very tricky...


But I decided on Eggs Florentine...


And a side of fruit...


And it was a full English for D...


I can honestly say that this is THE BEST Eggs Florentine I've EVER had...


The hollandaise was absolutely beautiful, the eggs were poached to perfection...definitely recommended!

We had a little wander around a few shops before I hopped on the train, with enough time to spare to grab a hot chocolate...soy with hazelnut and marshmallows, naturally!


What a weekend! So much food, so much fun!

And a beautiful train journey home...


xo