Thursday, 6 December 2012

The Breakfast Club

Breakfast at 'The Club'

So we may have been a bit slow on the uptake when it came to The Breakfast Club, but we had been meaning to go for ages. In the end we made it happen on Sunday - a full fat fry up followed by a browse around Spitalfields, a sneaky Hummingbird cupcake stop off and then a tube ride down to Oxford Street Topshop.

Luckily, we arrived early(ish) and so missed the half-past-11-last-minute-rush. Although thankfully for these cold little souls, waiters bought out shots of hot coffee at regular intervals...

We did have to queue for a little bit though, which gave me the perfect opportunity to get snap happy with the decor

B (for Breakfast Club if you were wondering)
The Weird and Wonderful?!

Jenna - not part of the decor but beautifully eye-catching all the same!

 We were soon warmed up with teas coffees and made our naughty selections. Senorita Annie opted for the Chorizo fry up, Jenna the All American pancake and syrup special and I went to town with the good old fashioned Full Monty. The table descended into silence...

Bigger sausages than Annie is used to - but they went down a treat!
Nowhere near enough syrup on those pancakes yet Jenna
Embarrassingly I managed to polish of the lot!
To wash it all down

Breakfast was cooked perfectly - juicy sausages, runny eggs, crispy bacon, delicious pancakes and all the trimmings... including a gigantic mushroom!

Feeling extremely full, and very happy with ourselves, we rolled out of our seats and off to Spitalfields.We looked around the market which had stalls filled with perfect Christmas presents and great little stocking fillers. MAC and Barbour were close by too, and so after trying on most of the wax jackets in the store, (and making mental notes of what was going on the Christmas list), we'd worked up a small appetite for something sweet... and very quickly nipped into the Hummingbird Bakery before making our way to Topshop!

The Breakfast Club on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Christmas Yule Log

Christmas Yule Log

So this week I have decided to start trying out a few Christmas recipes in time to perfect them in time for our flurry of guests throughout the coming month.

First on the list was my personal favourite festive treat; The Chocolate Yule Log. Needless to say it went down a storm with Nick and the in-laws, and Bella even sat still long enough to watch me from her high chair (enjoying a rusk)... which goes to show how quick and easy it is.

You will need
  • 3 eggs
  • 75g Caster Sugar
  • 75g Self Raising Flour
  • 200g Icing Sugar
  • 35g Green and Blacks Cocoa ( you can use any cocoa but G&B's is the best!!)
  • 200g Softened butter
  • 1 tablespoon Cocoa
  • 1 tsp milk

Preheat oven to 200 C

Line a long thin baking tray with baking parchment and grease around the outside also.

Whisk together your sugar and butter in a large bowl using an electric whisk.

Sieve in your flour and fold in to the mixture.  Then do the same with your cocoa.

Spread over your baking parchment and bake for 10 mins.

Remove from oven, allow sponge to cool and tip out onto a tea towel on your kitchen surface. Trim off any crispy edges.

Next prepare your butter-cream icing by mixing together your butter, icing sugar and milk together in a bowl until smooth. If you want the inside of your yule log to be chocolatey, add the tablespoon of cocoa powder too.

Spread a very thin layer of your butter-cream icing over the sponge and simply roll over until you make your log shape.

Using a pallet knife, cover the log in the remaining butter-cream (if you left the cocoa powder out above, you can add it in here) and once the whole thing is covered, flick the topping up with a fork to add some hedgehog spikes and then dust a small amount of icing sugar over the top using a sieve.

Et Voila... Tempting and chocolatey and ready for you to decorate with holly, berries and fluffy Christmas robins!

Friday, 30 November 2012

Spice Market

Spice Market @ W Hotel, London

Today I have woken up wishing I had asked for a doggy bag of the food we were far too full to finish last night. Instead I'll spend the day picking at Digestives and Kettle Chips.

Some of the reviews I had read about Spice Market didn't fill me with confidence, but perhaps those critics visited on a bad day, or the restaurant has improved as I couldn't fault the service, food or ambiance!

To start the night, I met my dear friend Kate in the W Hotel bar. You get to the bar via the main hotel entrance - perhaps the only hotel where you'll have to line up and be checked off of a guest list before you're let in... I wasn't sure if I was queuing for a hotel or a nightclub!

Kate was waiting for me upstairs in the bar; to my delight with a glass of champagne (apologies for dark photos - I seem to make a habit of going to places with no lights and just an iPhone!!).

Catching up on each others news took over, and I naughtily forgot to take more pictures of the bar, so here are a few from the W Hotel to give you an idea, its very lovely!!

After a couple of drinks, we headed back downstairs to the restaurant - Spice Market. Surprisingly, for a Thursday night it was not overloaded with diners, and we were very happy with our little table right in front of the chefs.

After a two pronged attack at the menu, we made our decisions

To start with, we had the Crispy Pork Belly, Tamarind Nuoc Cham and the Crab Dumplings that came with Sugar Snap Peas and aromatic spices. They didn't disappoint - both were absolutely delicious.

For mains we opted for Steamed Sea Bass with Shiitake Mushrooms, Ginger Spring Onion and Tarragon, Red Curried Duck with Pineapple Sambal, Chicken Pad Thai with Tofu, Peanuts and Bean Sprouts and some sticky jasmine rice. We were in food heaven!

We were so full that we couldn't get through everything, but the spices and flavours were amazing. We had a delicious bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and finished the evening on a sneaky glass of Champagne before making our way home in the bitter cold weather. Winter has definitely arrived!

Spice Market on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Babies First List for Santa

Babies Christmas Gift List

For The Little Loved Ones In Your Life...

With Bella's first Christmas soon approaching I've had several friends and family asking for her Christmas Wish List, so this afternoon we sat down together with warm milk and cookies (okay... rusks) to get in the festive spirit and browse all that Santa has to offer. This is what we came up with...

The Fisher Price Jumperoo Zoo has to be the ultimate baby activity centre and an amazing Christmas gift from a very special Grandparent or Auntie

Miffy played a large part in my childhood and so I absolutely loved finding all these retro bunny gifts.... Lovely Brightly coloured stacking rings are sure to catch your little ones eye and this little Limited Edition Christmas Miffy is a cute keepsake.

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!! Unfortunately as teeth are on their way we wont be able to go without a dribble bib but these ones feels festive at least....

The sleeping bag is definitely a baby must have, it eliminates the risk of suffocation with blankets and keeps your sleeping beauty uber cozy. This is a lovely festive choice and a really practical baby gift for someone and can also be personalised for extra brownie points.

Also comes in this beautiful gift box complimentary of My 1st Years.

On the subject of personalised gifts, these personalised books are a great idea, there's something special about books from your childhood and they will be treasured forever. Bella absolutely LOVES Peppa Pig so this particular story of Peppa going to her Christmas Party is bound to be a hit!!

Bathtime and Bubbles are big in our house so Bathtime bubbles are pure genius!!

And not forgetting the perfect outfit for the Big Day itself...Nothing says Christmas like a little lady in red! We love these dresses that are cosy and Christmassy whilst not breaking the bank...

This cute red pinny can be matched with most basics Bella has in her wardrobe and at £11 it's a great buy

For the lover of bows, this pretty dress comes with a pair of stripy tights to keep little legs warm when... (Baby) it's Cold Outside

Team with a Next red cardigan - one can never have enough Christmas bows (£10)

And lastly, a red party dress, for the ultimate Christmas Princess. Baby Gap (£20)

Friday, 23 November 2012

The Glamorous Christmas List

The Glamorous Christmas Gift List


Our 20 Best Buys 

With Christmas just around the corner, time is running out to load your loved ones with pressies. Have a look at some of our amazing gifts below and get shopping before Santa beats you to it!


An Extra Special Treat for Mum

Spoil her with this little gem and you'll definitely get extra roast potatoes at the Christmas dinner table!
Anya Hindmarch Bag Belvedere Small


Perfect for the Best Friend, Sister or Sneaky Treat for Yourself

Okay, it's a bit pricey but we absolutely love this Miquella Bracelet



For a Less Extravagant Best-Buddy-Buy

This Personalised Mini Gem And Star Bracelet by Lisa Angel is great for any occasion. You can customise with a hand-stamped initial and it comes in a variety of colours with a choice of silver or gold stars

For the Wine Lover 

This Drink O'Clock Cushion Cover means its wine o'clock at every hour!

The Patriotic One

A Victoria Eggs English Dinner Tea Towel sums up all things British about food! Also comes in Scottish 'Haggis and Neeps' version too!


Finding the Chef in the Family 

Includes 2 beef fillet steaks, 2 lamb noisette steaks, 2 picanha roasting steaks, 4 pork escalopes, 4 flat iron steaks, 2 porterhouse steaks, and 2 pork T Bone steaks, this Steak Lover's Hamper is the perfect luxe gift!

For the Sports Fanatic

Why not get them a permanent reminder of their favourite football match, rugby game or tennis tournament with this Personalised Sporting Event Print

A Smart Gift for your City Slicker

Protect his pride and joy in a sophisticated Brown Leather Ipad Case


Match it with Some Wrist Bling

These Paul Smith Spider Cufflinks also come in a buzzing wasp design if the below are a bit too creepy crawly for you...


Make Dad Beam

If Mum's getting the Anya Hindmarch, then treat Dad with this 'There's Nothing My Dad Can't Fix' Print perfect for a present to Dad from a little one

And if Dad's not the 'fixing type' 

This Personalised Dad's Wooden Bottle Box should do the trick! Personalise it with a selection of Dad's favourite pastimes.

The Chatterbox

The J.Crew printed back-up battery for their iPhone will have you on their Christmas Card list forever! Comes in a variety of prints- match it to their personality.

Personalised Message Biscuits  - do they need any explanation?


The 'Kevin and Perry' Nephew

He doesn't even need to grunt a response with this say-no-more 'Not Awake' T Shirt


Keeping the Kids Happy

Perfect for little fingers... Chocolate Do It Yourself Funny Faces

Buying for Babies

What Christmas is all about! How irresistible is the new Elephant Collection from The White Company? From nursery goods to PJs have a look and take your pick!
Prices start at £18

Almost Too Pretty to Eat

A gift for granny, or a ballet fanatic? We don't care who you buy them for, but they're too pretty to ignore!

A Pressie for the Tree

A forever keepsake in this truly British Tinker Tailor Hanging Union Jack Crown

For the Guy or Gal that has Everything

Artisan du Chocolat is definitely in the running for my fave chocolate company. Their couture boxes of individual chocolates vary from 4 pieces at £4.50 or 99 pieces for £70 and they are absolutely melt-in-your-mouth delicious! Not only do they taste amazing but each individual chocolate is adorned with its own piece of artwork. 
Starting at £4.50

The Most Important Member of the Family

Make sure the mutt is in his Sunday Best for the big day with Emily Bond's Dog Neckerchiefs