Monday, 28 July 2014

Monday Review - Richmond

Sister and Nieces are staying with us this week; I always try to think of different places for us to visit. Two work friends suggested Richmond, we went to Kew in 2007 and Richmond is just one stop further on The Tube.

When we arrived at the station we went straight to the tourist information and a very helpful man gave us a map, highlighting the areas we should visit, including David Attenborough's house!

Our first stop was to walk along the river to Ham House a National Trust property.  We walked around the gardens and then round the house and had lunch at The Orangery.

We walked back along the river and walked up Richmond Hill for beautiful views of London.

We had a wander around the shops, including Whole Foods - I need one closer to me!  We then had coffee at Paul - Sister and I shared a yummy strawberry tart.

Having had a nice sit down we headed to the original site of Richmond Palace and back along the river.   We sat outside on the grass listening to a busker - who was very good.

There were lots of restaurants to choose from for dinner but we chose Revolution which was right next to where we had been sitting.   We had a lovely booth to sit in and dinner was really good, I had the Vodka Burger which was yummy.  For afters, Sister and I had the Mousse Shots - mini white chocolate mojito, white chocolate and strawberry and chocolate and blueberry mousse - they were amazing!  Niece1 had the Chocolate Mess Sundae and Minibakebakegirl and Niece2 had the sharing salted caramel chocolate fondue - all the deserts were excellent. 

Hope to see you next week,

Today's top three Spotify songs:

1. Push For The Stride - Ward Thomas
2. Funky Town - Lipps Inc
3. Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes

Monday, 21 July 2014

Monday Review - London

On Saturday while Minibakebakegirl was at a sleepover, Hubby and I had a night away in London.  

We shopped along Oxford Street in the afternoon.   It was very hot and sunny so we cooled down with a beer and a Pimms.

I always like the windows of Selfridges, but it was so busy I didn't get many photos. The meringue window was for The Meringue Girls,  such pretty pastel colours.   

That evening we had dinner in The Winter Garden of the Landmark Hotel.   The surroundings were lovely with the palm trees - our hotel room overlooked the glass roofed atrium.

Dinner was lovely: 
A bellini to start
Citrus Cured Salmon with smoked baby beetroots, wasabi mayonnaise and dandelion leaves.
Pan Roasted Atlantic Cod with olive and pine nut crust, salt cod potato, grilled baby artichokes and lemon.
Lemon Meringue with all butter shortbread and lemon thyme.

Hubby had cheesecake which was delicious as was my lemon meringue.  The petit fours rounded off our meal perfectly:  a fruit jelly, a marshmallow, a salted caramel chocolate and a rum chocolate each - phew!

On Sunday on the way back to the station, with my cappuccino there was a side of smarties!

Hope to see you next week,

Today's top three Spotify songs:

1. The Sun Always Shines on TV - a-ha
2. Aquarius/Let The Sunshine in - 5th Dimension
3. Sunny Afternoon - The Kinks

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Monday Bake - Mini Banana Loaves

It was such a lovely evening tonight, Minibakebakegirl and I went to the allotment with Hubby.  I hadn't been down this year so Hubby gave me a tour, lots of yummy veg to look forward to.

I bought some mini loaf cases months ago for a recipe I saw in a magazine.  I can't find the recipe nor remember what it was - something coconutty I think.....but on the back of the loaf cases packet was a recipe for mini banana loaves so I decided to make these to use up some sad looking bananas.  

250g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch salt
115g butter
115g dark brown soft sugar
2 eggs - beaten
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
500g mashed banana

Preheat the oven to 180c/Fan 170c/GM4.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, bicarb, cinnamon and salt.  In a separate bowl, ceeam together the butter and brown sugar.  Stir in the eggs and mashed banana. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture, stir until just combined.  Pour into the loaf cases - about halfway up.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of each loaf comes out clean. Leave to cool.

These are perfect to pack in a picnic or lunchbox.

Hope to see you next week,

Today's top three Ipod songs:
1. Shape - Sugababes
2. Message In A Bottle - The Police
3. Walking On The Moon - The Police

Monday, 7 July 2014

Monday Bake - Quatre-Quarts Aux Agrumes (Citrus Fruit Cake)

Having not long finished all 4 series of Spiral / Engrenages on Netflix and watching the Third Stage of the Tour De France in Cambridge today, I appear to have gone all french! 

It was a gorgeous day - I was standing in full sun for a couple of hours watching the caravan go past - they really do get the crowd cheering and waving - the time did go quite quickly and the wait was worth it to see the cyclists ride by - they weren't racing till they left the city centre.

I love the bunting round the town - some of it is knitted.   The last picture shows my watching spot - completely deserted when I walked back to the station....

So continuing the french theme I made cake from Rachel Khoo's book yesterday.  You can find a similar recipe on Nigella's website - the Rachel one has added lemon and orange zest.  I think I might try the Nigella one another time as the measurements are slightly less than Rachel's - mine did try and escape over the top of the tin and has little ears!  This is a lovely light buttery cake - I had never made a cake by folding in meringue before.

Thanks for visiting,

Today's top three Spotify songs:

1. Joe Le Taxi - Vanessa Paradis
2. Ca Plane Pour Moi - Plastic Bertrand
3. Can't Speak French - Girls Aloud