The little things…

I have an amazing family and miss them terribly when I’m working hard in the big city. This is why I jumped for joy when my lovely Dad rang me up to ask me out for lunch on a cold Wednesday in February. After being picked up from work in my Dad’s o so glamourous car (which my brother and I named as the “pope mobile”) we drove around for a bit before stopping for some much needed pub grub.

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There isn’t much in Earlsfield… It’s not like being in the city centre where there is a Pret on every corner! But in some ways I quite like it! It means that you can get some excellent food in some random little places that you may never have set foot in otherwise. This is where The Wandle comes in. It’s become a firm favourite for it’s lunch time specials and amazing chips. Proper big chips which means in the end you have probably eaten about 5 potatoes.

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I managed to impress my Dad with The Wandle’s home made fish finger sandwich so big and delicious that it’s bound to send anyone into a food comma for the rest of the afternoon. It really is these little things in life that put a smile on your face for the rest of the afternoon. Lovely company and lovely food, what more could you ask for!

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Chocoholic’s come to town

When you suddenly realise you have a lot of friends about to visit who are all avid chocoholics what do you do? Simple, you turn to google and ask it… “chocolate inspired sweet treat in a hurry”. This is where I came across a quick and easy recipe for chocolate brownies kindly named “slutty brownies”. Why you may ask? Well because they are quick, easy and ever so slutty! The recipe came from here and I’m o so happy to have found them.

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I don’t cheat much in cooking apart from pastry (no one has time to make pastry!) so I did feel a prang of guilt as I stood in Tesco selling my soul to Betty Crocker. I figured no one will ever find out… I guess now they will. So recipe… so easy. Firstly follow the instructions and make the chocolate chip cookie mix, this is the first slutty layer.

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Top with Oreo cookies, which is by far the best idea ever! Then make the brownie mixture and smother those Oreos till you have a lovely chocolate goo. Follow some more instructions by placing it in the oven for about 25 mins and let the smell of amazingness fill your kitchen.

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Let the mixture cool and chop into squares. I couldn’t get a picture of the finished product because they all got eaten to fast. So there you have it, slutty brownies to be enjoyed by all!

London Cupcakes – Buttercup Cake Shop

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The adventure continues to the Buttercup Cake Shop. With 3 London locations you don’t have to venture far for a fix of Buttercup Cake Shop cupcakes which is good because they are really delicious!

I visited the store in Kensington and was delighted to see such a beautiful store. It was stylish and modern with a fantastic display of cupcakes that looked amazing and I knew that my cupcake of choice was going to be a difficult choice to make.

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I settled for The Elvis Presley. I thought that if a cupcake was given a name like that then it would have to be the king of cupcakes! I also was interested in its banana cake bottom with peanut butter icing all topped off with more peanuts. A daring choice for someone who would normally go for the chocolate cupcake but I decided it was time for a risk…

It was worth the risk! The sponge was light and well spongy obviously and the peanut butter icing gave the whole thing that salty sweet combination which works so perfectly.

I would give this cupcake top marks – 9/10. The decoration was edible which is always a plus and wasn’t fussy! The icing to cake ratio was pretty spot on and the interesting combination of flavours have made this cupcake rate quite highly in my challenge. You can find all the information about Buttercup Cake Shop here. They conveniently have stores in both Westfield shopping Malls which makes for a very convenient snack when all that shopping has made your blood sugar levels run low!

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London Cupcakes – The Little Cupcake Company

 

 

 

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Valentine’s Day comes and goes every year and it’s always one of those days when you wonder if something exciting is going be delivered through your door. This year I was very happy to receive a big box of delicious cupcakes. The box arrived to my desk with a big pink bow and a little note to say “love you lots”.

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The cupcakes filled the room with that amazing cake shop smell as soon as the box was opened and everyone seemed pretty jealous before I quickly mentioned that I would of course be sharing my box of 9. They were simply decorated with Valentine’s themed hearts and glitter; perfect for the occasion. The sponge was a good firmness but was still light and spongy. Icing was quiet hard but tasted amazing. I prefer a bit more icing but that is because I have slight icing addiction. They were presented well, not to much fussy decorating and were not damaged at all during delivery.

Overall I would give these cupcakes a solid 8/10 on the cakeometer, plus extra points for making me smile on Valentine’s Day. It gets particular points for the box it came with and the shiny pink ribbon to make it even more exciting.

The Little Cupcake Company delivers cupcakes ordered online across the whole of the UK. They have a store in Grand Arcade in Cambridge so technically not a London cupcake but I ate it in London so I think that counts? A box of 9 normal sized cupcakes is £25.00 (they also do little cupcakes). All their information can be found here.

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Embarking on a new challenge

I like to set myself challenges, whether it’s trying to diet for more than 24 hours or running for more than 10 minuets without feeling like my lungs are going to collapse, I think it’s good to have goals. This latest challenge is one that I know I will have no trouble completing and no trouble finding willing volunteers to help. I have a lot of experience in the field and believe I will do my utter best to bring in the results.

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So here starts the challenge of all challenges… To find London’s best cupcake.

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Now you may be thinking that I’m giving myself an easy task here but think about how popular cupcakes are these days and just how many cupcake shops there are in London. There are the famous ones like The Hummingbird Bakery and Primrose Hill Bakery but there are also the cute little tea rooms on the street corner who may just be serving the worlds best cupcake! The humble cupcake has seriously evolved, we all remember making fairy cakes when we were younger but now the cupcake is a work of art.

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However for me it is still all about the taste. If the icing to sponge ratio is off then my whole cupcake experience is ruined. I’m not going to get technical about the challenge, I’m simply going to eat as many cupcakes as needed until I find my cupcake soulmate. Wish me luck and if you have any suggestions please send them my way!

Pancake Day

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Pancake Day comes and goes every year and every year I alway say to myself “why don’t I have pancakes for breakfast everyday!” This year I went out for pancakes in London. I wanted to find somewhere classically American which I knew would serve the best pancakes in town. So I settled for The Diner. The Diner is a great place dotted in a few locations around the city. I went to one in Covent Garden.

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We had to queue for about half an hour but it was worth it! I probably ate the most random meal but it all fitted together quite nicely. Pancakes were of course on the agenda but after a hard day in the office something else was needed to fill the gap. So we settled for Mac and Cheese with fries as a main to start. Possibly the best Mac and Cheese EVER and the fries were the perfect amount of crunch.

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Next came the pancakes. I had classic buttery pancakes with maple syrup and a side of bacon. I have always thought that was a slightly weird combination but it was surprisingly amazing! The pancakes were fluffy and the bacon was crispy. A perfect end to a strange but delightful meal. My friend had banana and Nutella which looked delicious!

The Diner challenged Londoners to wolf down a 5,000 calorie stack of pancakes in an eating challenge for Pancake Day. Hungry competitors had to eat their way through 15 pancakes covered in toppings which stood 10 inches high. It came topped with bacon, raspberries, peanut butter and whipped cream. If you eat it under 30 minutes then you get it for free – if you can’t eat it then you have to fork out twenty quid.

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Of course I considered it but It couldn’t even finish my own stack of 3 pancakes so I don’t think I would have been a very good competitor.
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Overall good pancakes, shame about the queue but that’s London on Pancake Day for you! Friendly service and not a bad price tag.

A final goodbye..

 

 

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So my best friend is off to India for an adventure and of course this called for a party. We put on our best party dresses and relaxed into a night of drinking and Indian themed nibbles (thank you M&S)

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With the snacks in full flow and the deadly punch also being drank far to quickly we chatted, ate and drank until It was time to put on our heals and hit the club.

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I will miss this little one very much when she goes off to enjoy the wonders of the world. She will come back with an incredible tan which I am very jealous of! So have an amazing time you little monkey and I will miss you lots and lots! xxx

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Ladies who lunch – Bond & Brook

I was happy to leave the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street to meet some friends for afternoon tea on Saturday. We went to a new favourite of mine called Bond & Brook. It’s a lovely fashionable little restaurant tucked amongst the ladies wear department of Fenwicks on Bond Street. It’s by far the perfect place to escape from the mass of Saturday afternoon shoppers to enjoy a tranquil nibble and a good catch up with friends.

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We started with some traditional English breakfast tea which felt very unadventurous after seeing such an extensive tea list but my friends and I were delighted to see beautiful tea pots with tea strainers. None of this PG tips business. We teamed our tea with a tower of goodies. Delicate sandwiches in an array of varieties and mini scones with jam and cream were just the start. There were also french fancies, little mango cakes and something lemony which was delicious.

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There was certainly enough for three people. The staff were polite and friendly and the restaurant was buzzing with atmosphere. Bond & Brook is open every day for breakfast and lunch except Sunday. They pride themselves on a selection of dishes they call The Collection. Such an excellent idea having a “collection” of small dishes as a main course. Perfect for people like me who can never make up their minds when ordering.

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Friday nights are for burgers

The weekend finally arrived and what better way to celebrate than a cheeky trip to GBK (Gormet Burger Kitchen). Even though this is a chain restaurant and lacks individuality it makes up for it in burgers. It’s all they do and they certainly know how to do it right. My date for the night and I were off to finally see Les Mis so we know we wanted something quick, easy and amazingly delicious, luckily GBK filled all of those boxes. We started out burger extravaganza with some monkey nuts and olives, it was Friday so why not go all out!

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Next came the main event, a grilled chicken burger with avocado and crispy bacon with a delicious relish. It was incredible as I knew it would be and is one I would 100% recommend.

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We teamed our amazing burgers with some very skinny fries and left GBK very full and satisfied. We then stuffed our faces with pop corn and pick a mix and I haven’t been hungry since!

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Happy Birthday!

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It was my brother’s birthday last week and he turned the big 18! I bought him a really grown up present of Grey Goose and chocolate. What more could you ask for on your birthday? So I travelled all the way back to Winchester and enjoyed drinks and home cooked food with my wonderful family.

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We ate roast lamb and plenty of hearty green veggies all topped off with mini magnums and of course the amazing birthday cake! It was a great evening and I’m glad I travelled home for it. Sometimes those homely comforts are exactly what you need!

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Love you lil bro!

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