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

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Abel and Cole

Doorstep Drop Off

A few months ago, thanks to a very, very dear friend I discovered what is now quite possibly one of my favourite companies on the planet... Abel and Cole.

As soon as I logged on to their website I was converted, and every Monday I am now the extremely delighted recipient of a delicious variety of seasonal, organic veg. And who wouldn't find Monday mornings more bearable when you wake up to a great big cardboard box full of goodies sitting in the porch!

One of the winning factors for me is the ease of use of their website. It is so fool proof that even I manage to select my likes and dislikes, choose the dates I'll be on holiday (and so won't need a delivery), flick through the endless recipes and add bits and bobs onto the back of my main order.

We have the small veg box which is £9 and plenty for the two of us. The weekly boxes are always varied which gives me the perfect excuse to try out new recipes (not always successful... as Robbie will vouch for) and it also makes sure we're eating more of our 5 a day!

You can log into the site in advance and change your order if there's something you don't like, or you know you need something extra. And it's not just veggies! There's a whole range of food and drink - all fresh and organic.

This was yesterday's delivery (and yes some of the items do arrive looking like they've just been pulled out of the ground, but this is to keep them fresh and to try and prevent any transit-bruising):

If there's ever a vegetable that someone might not be as familiar with using as they are with the good ole' carrots or broccoli, they even pop in a handy little guide like they did for this little aubergine...

We got an extra present for free (sometimes the nice people at Abel and Cole do that) - a mini mince pie. Unfortunately I scoffed it before I remembered to get my phone out and take a snap. My first mince pie of the season!

In keeping with the Christmas spirit, they'd included a Christmas booklet. As well as showcasing the wines and foods they sell online, there were some great Christmas recipe ideas too...

As well as fulfilling my vegetable dreams, Abel and Cole are also very particular when it comes to being eco-friendly. Not only can you leave your empty boxes on the porch each week for collection (they use them again), but they also have some very 'cool' cooler-bag ideas too...

This week I'd found their Chilli Crab Spaghetti recipe online, and ordered a few extra bits to make it. I'll post it up once its cooked. This is the crab meat that arrived in the above cool bag, nice and... cool :-)