No prizes for guessing the theme!
I recently visited the famous Dominique Ansel bakery in London with a friend, which is famous for the Cronut, as well as a lot of other baked delicacies. We got a little over-excited and ordered a bunch of treats, all of which we had fun tasting – the cookie shot (a cup made of cookie filled with milk), the peanut-butter creamy cake, the Frozen S’more (a marshmallow-ice cream combination), mini Madeleines fresh and hot from the oven and a yummy hot chocolate with a marshmallow flower which opened up from the heat of the drink.
As I’m sure you can imagine, we were stuffed after all of this, and had to walk around the streets to burn it off a little, but it was worth it! If you’re around the area, I’d recommend this place to sit and try (although it can get very busy so there may be some waiting time!), and it’s not super-cheap (although not overly-expensive either) – sometime to try at least once!
My sister and I recently went to a pop-up gallery – made of sweets! Sweet Manufacturers Maynard-Bassetts (the Jelly Baby and Wine Gum people) held an art show that we managed to get tickets for, featuring their ‘sweet’ takes on different types of art.
The first one we saw when we walked in was the ‘Mona goes Pop’ art below – a Mona Lisa piece made entirely of square liquorice sweets – I think this was one of the best pieces we saw too!
There were art pieces dotted all around the room – such as the poster art with sweet wrappers, the various emojis made of sweets, and the very cool Underground Tube map made of sweets.
The venue was a really relaxed place to walk around – thankfully we missed the crowd by going at lunchtime before it all got busy!
We also got a chance to be a little creative with the sweets at the DIY table, where there were lots of sweet-animals and sweet-people – I loved all the different things people were making!
We also saw various cute pieces of art scattered around the room – I think my sister and both loved the pink mouse best!
The pop-up gallery also gave every guest a chance to take a bag of sweets from the Pick’n’Mix section home (most of them weren’t halal, so I gave them to my work colleagues, who were ecstatic!) and also had a machine to try and grab a free bag of sweets too!
It was a really fun art show, and a very generous one on the part of the Maynard-Bassetts company, who organised the event and gave out sweets and drinks for free. I’ll be looking out for more events like this in the summer, and will post them as I attend : )
A friend and I recently took a visit to the very beautiful Wallace Collection, which is a museum in the middle of London, in a luxurious town-house, displaying hundreds of French 18th-century painting, furniture and porcelain, as well as armoury and older paintings.
While it might make bring to mind the slightly more touristy National Portrait Gallery, this Collection is a lot more visually appealing – the rooms are each beautifully displayed with grandeur aplenty, and there’s plenty of things to see.
I loved how all the rooms have their own character, with a separate vivid colour theme for each room so that the furniture, artwork and small trinkets all went together well. Each painting had something to look at, and the beautifully ornate furniture looked amazing – like something from of a historical period-film!
One of the things I also enjoyed was that the museum is relatively quiet – there’s plenty of time to walk around at your own pace, you get to explore the house (although you still can’t touch!), and best of all, you’re allowed to take photos (which a lot of other places don’t allow) – and entry is free too.
At the end of the tour, when you’re done, there’s a charming little restaurant outside to have some tea and relax. I didn’t manage to get a chance to visit the restaurant this time, but I will do the next time I come here to browse (and daydream about being a princess in 17th Century France).
If you’re around central London, I’d recommend a visit, whether it’s just ten minutes or a couple of hours, it’s a visual delight for anyone : )
One of the things I’ve always struggled with (or enjoyed, depends which way you look at it) is my sweet tooth. I am a complete sucker for all things chocolate (except dark chocolate, not a fan!) and can easily finish a ‘family’ bar of chocolate by myself. One of my favourite things to do on a quiet weekend, or on a Friday after work is to run to the local sweet-shop, buy a bag of junk and curl up with a good book or two, a good movie, or just a little while messing around on computer games.
As much as I’ve enjoyed doing this since I was a teenager though, I don’t get to do it as much any more – one, because there’s always something to do in the house (don’t we all know it!) and two, because my fast-burning metabolism has finally caught up with me, and I can’t just eat any crap anymore.
I’m one of those people who either has to have lots of chocolate, or none at all – I really can’t do inbetween. Really, it’s a sign of being greedy and lack of control, which is something which probably started as a young age. My sisters and I often agree that it always felt like we didn’t get enough chocolate as kids – my mum used to ration them out to us each week and we always looked longingly at what we called the ‘sweets cupboard’. I guess as a result, now that we can buy our own, we go a little overboard.
One of the things I’m really enjoying about Ramadan is the idea of not eating more than we need to – there’s so much junk I am not eating because I am focussing on simple, clean, healthy meals which is enough to satisfy my hunger. Plus, there’s limited stomach space, and you don’t want to waste it by filling it with sugar! Usually it’s a huge struggle for me to go cold turkey and cut out chocolate completely (I won’t lie, many a time I have ended up overindulging instead!) but this month I’m keeping it simple, and the usual craving for chocolates has really not hit me.
Must be doing something right, hey?
Feeling a little exhausted today – can the weekend come quicker, please?! Thought I’d post this pretty shot of a row of flowers at a flower stall from above that I took today – Chelsea Flower Show who?
I can’t believe it’s been nearly a week of Ramadan – it’s felt like it’s gone by quicker than I realised. I’m trying to do something a little different this Ramadan and try something new everyday – a new food recipe, a new place to try out, or just a different way to make the most of my prayers in Ramadan. I tried making chapli kebab for the first time today, and was quite happy with the results (although it was spicy as heck), so will be posting a recipe for that soon!
I also have a few plans for this weekend to make the most of the sunny weather (plus I have some new sunglasses I’d like to dazzle everyone with) – what are you plans for this weekend?
I recently met up with a very old friend for brunch, after a very long time (ten years!) and celebrated at the beautiful restaurant Bourne & Hollingsworth. They don’t have a halal menu unfortunately, but there’s plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, and I really enjoyed my order at this restaurant.
One of the things I loved about this B&H was the floral vibe it had going on – it really reminded me of Rudyard Kiplings stories which I used to read when I was younger, which gave a really lovely atmosphere. I also loved the fact that the company’s business cards are basically a sketch of the restaurant, such a cute idea!
There’s also outdoor seating too, it was a little chilly for us so we opted for the indoors, but it’s opposite a park and feels very peaceful and quiet to sit outside too.
So let’s get to the food, I ordered a poached eggs hollandaise, while my friend ordered the savoury courgette pancake. I LOVED my meal, it was light, fluffy and the sauce was amazing, while my friend’s pancakes were pretty tasty and full of flavour.
And of course, we couldn’t leave without dessert – we both opted for chocolatey brownies in hot sauce, which finished off the meal nicely.
The restaurant gets pretty busy (which we found when we had to book to reserve a table!) but the atmosphere is quite chilled out, and I love that there’s small details everywhere in the decor to create the look of the restaurant – a piano for the front desk, a vintage bathtub in the bathrooms, tiles walls in the private dining area – there’s something appealing for your eyes most places you look.
I really enjoyed having brunch at this restaurant, and would love to come back again. I can imagine that it’s perfect for a light meal, and somewhere to sit and feel like you’ve been transported to another era.
HALAL : NO
VEGETARIAN & VEGAN OPTIONS AVAILABLE: YES
PRICE : £7 UPWARDS FOR BRUNCH, £15-18 FOR LUNCH
RATING OUT OF 10: 7
LOCATION: 42 Northampton Rd, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0HU
Was that too many ‘sweets’ in the title? Well it’s probably enough to describe how many sweets I have this weekend, courtesy of this lovely halal and vegetarian-friendly sweet hamper by The Sweet Path.
I’ve been curled up all weekend with a good book (or three) and munching away slowly at these – don’t they look pretty?
My sister and I made the most of the 25° scorching sun yesterday and took a trip to the local park (it was packed, so clearly we weren’t the only one with this idea), and both of us being photography enthusiasts, took the opportunity to take pictures of the beautiful scenes. I managed to get a few pretty photos (some of them were a bit bright from the sun!) and also took a good walk around to soak up the scenery.
It was a pretty lovely afternoon out, the park we went to is a pretty huge one with plenty of gardens with flowers, a lake with boats, a play ground area, and also leads to the local mansion if you walk far enough!
We also found some small hidden areas sectioned around the lake which looked beautiful, especially when we were walking through them which had a very private, ethereal feel to them.
One of the things I love seeing in spring are blossoms, it feels like they all fall off too quickly! I’ve been seeing lots of these this spring, thankfully, and love how pretty they look.
We also saw lots of people hiring boats to paddle on the lake, which looked pretty fun, and made for a nice adventure for a lot of the families – I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of this over summer, especially if the weather stays this nice!
All in all, it was a really lovely day out to the park, finished off with yummy cold slushies. I even managed to wear my pretty floral dressed which I had tailored for summer – perfect for matching with blossom trees!