Can’t quite get my head around it being a new year tomorrow, but I have been deep in moving house/ being preggo land.
So… keeping it simple in 2018:
Try not to sweat the small stuff. I think it’s going to be a pretty hectic, life changing year, so one of my resolutions is to try not to get too bogged down in small things. In the grand scheme of things it won’t matter if we’re not totally on top of keeping our home tidy, or my nail varnish is chipped.
Healthy without pressure. In all senses. We’re expecting at the end of February and we have moved house, so the chances of me signing up to a gym membership tomorrow are slim, but I miss being active (pelvis pain currently hindering even the shortest of walks) so I am looking forward to short walks out with our new little one. And I’ve heard being new parent is knackering, so trying to fuel myself in a vaguely sensible way will probably help (plus cake in moderation of course!).
Are you making resolutions for the new year? If so, do share!
When I was out shopping for the ingredients, I could not for the life of my find desicated coconut in Tescos… What’s up with that?! So I skipped it and added an extra 25 grams of flour. I also accidentally added all of the lemon juice into the mix, as I misread it. I would definitely make that change again, as it turn out deliciously moist. (Although I do hate the word moist)
The extra lemon juice meant I had to bake by eye, as it needed longer than stated and I did I few skewer checks. To stop it from burning on the top, once the top had a nice colour I wrapped both my loaves with foil.
If you like Lemon Drizzle Cake, and you like mint and blueberrys, this is definitely worth a go. It was scrumptious.
What are your favourite recipes to bake? Any recipe recommendations would be very welcome!
Earlier this month we headed up to outer London in search of some winter magic. I have wanted to visit the Warner Brothers Studio Tour for ages and ages. Having set my heart on visit which it’s decked out for Christmas I finally remembered to book tickets back in August.
I had read of some reviews that it can be busier in the afternoon, so booked a morning tour. The wait was still fairly long, around 40 minutes. Deceptively, it was split into waiting outside, waiting inside and then waiting in some sort of strange viewing/holding room.
The great hall set up was amazing, with the tables laden with food and the Christmas trees decorated for each school house.
I posted the photo above on my Instagram account and got mixed reactions because ‘we didn’t enjoy butter beer’. I wanted to like it. I tried, ok? It wasn’t for me. It doesn’t mean you won’t like it.
I loved it all. Can you tell? I am a pretty big HP fan, I can’t help it, I grew up with it, read and re read all the books, loved the films. Not necessarily cool for a 29 year old but you gotta do you.
Autumn. I bloomin’ love it. I know I’ve mentioned that before.
I love the changing leaves. Apparently I love travelling into central London to see some changing of the leaves. Because last Monday that’s what we did, and it was such a lovely afternoon, wandering around Kew gardens.
The Hive was pretty cool. I imagine it is at it’s best when the meadow flowers are in bloom.
Some things to note:
Take the free map, you will need it, it’s a big old space, with lots of different areas to explore.
The amazing Evolution House is currently closed for a massive restoration project and will remain closed until 2018. It is the largest surviving victorian glasshouse and the restoration project (if completed on time) will take five years in total. It was a shame not be able to look around this awesome building but I guess we will just have to go back.
You can picnic here. You do not need to buy lunch on site. We didn’t plan ahead and spent over £20 on some sandwich and drinks. Learn from my mistake folks.
I’d love to visit again in spring to see the blooms start. If you get the chance I’d totally recommend a wander around, there are loads of details about how, when, where and how much on the Kew website.
Do you have any recommendation for UK spots I should check out? Are you a garden wanderer or a national trust fan?
So on Sunday we took our very first trip to the Duke of York picturehouse, which in case you are interested currently (according to wikipedia) “lays claim to being the oldest cinema in continuous use in Britain.”
I’ll just skip quickly past the awkward moments when several different people thought I worked there and asked me to check the tickets as I waited for Jack to buy a coffee, and get right to the film.
Yes, I did read the book. Devoured it. I was totally gripped!
Spoiler: I also enjoyed the film.
I don’t want to ruin the plot, because I do think you should go and watch it for yourself. I’ve heard others say they didn’t like the flow, or that it was set in the USA and on the USA point I still agree, I think I would’ve enjoyed it more if it was in the same setting as it was in my mind, i.e. the UK.
There were bits when the entire sold-out audience were noticeably on edge. There were collective gasps and shudders, which I think is testament to it being a good watch.
Shortest least informative review over. Go and watch it. If you want.
So I read the book and wanted to see the film and my lovely sister took me on Saturday. I didn’t have massive expectations as the ads I’d seen for the film looked a lot more chic-flicky than I would’ve liked.
It’s odd seeing a film that deals with the subject of assisted suicide being marketed as an alternative rom-com. The film itself as you may already know is based on the novel by Jojo Moyes, and is told from the point of view of Louisa Clark, who is in need of a job to help support her family, and replies to a job ad seeking someone to help care for a disabled young man.
I was gripped by the book, but as a romantic tale, it read a little odd, similarly in the film, there isn’t really a clear underlying connection between the two lead characters, it seems to simply help the plot along. I have also more recently been reading about some public reaction regarding the idea that a disabled life isn’t worth living. To my recollection this subject is discussed in more detail in the book, that Will has considered his options regarding his health, but in the film is is very brushed over. It seems to be a be a bit of a foregone conclusion that he will be going ahead with his plans for assisted suicide.
When I read the book I didn’t consider what Jojo Moyes’ personal experiences or research into disability might have been – I think that is perhaps the case with many able-bodied readers. I can now see why many are frustrated that such a tale has become popular. Though I personally feel that it’s a good platform for discussion about assisted suicide, using an able bodied actor was perhaps not the best option, and I certainly don’t hold the view the a disabled life isn’t worth living.
In terms of the film, I did cry, I was moved. But I don’t think that was because it was necessarily a good film. I personally was moved because the idea that someone would wish to end their life, in spite of all the good that surrounded the lead character is very upsetting.
Have you seen the film, or read the book? If so, what did you think?
This weather lately… I’ve been loving it. We have been able to nip out for some gorgeous wanders nearly every weekend for the last month (keeping the biscuit/walking balance right).
So where have we been? Let me tell you.
In and around Horsted Keynes
So I’m biased, because this is where Jack and I are from but there are so many lovely, and easy walks around our “home town” village. And I would thoroughly recommend you have a nosey at them. You can do a massive loop and then end up back on the village green, for a delish pub lunch at one of the two pubs. The Green Man is my favourite. Though if you are us, which you’re not, you could go for a sneaky *free* Sunday roast at your in-laws.
Lewes to Glynde and back
This was a longer walk, with a lunch stop in the middle at the Trevor Arms. It was I think around 4 hours of walking in total, and quite up hill and down dale ( is that the right word?). It was so beautiful, but I actually didn’t take any photos as I totally forgot to take a charged camera with me. The pub you can get to via train if you don’t fancy the long walk, and it was an amazing veggie roast – I want to go again! Also Glynde might be one of the prettiest places I have been recently!
The South Downs
I wouldn’t even know where to to start with the South Downs – there are so many amazing walks you can go on round them, along them, up and down. We, when feeling lazy, like to drive up to Devil’s Dyke and walk along the top. Before we had a car, we took advantage of the bus route that heads out there – I think there is even an open top one if you are feeling brave or it’s glorious weather.
I’ll start with an apology. I arrived so late to meet Charlotte, I failed at trains, and I am sorry Charlotte!
There was a bit of a queue to get in the building initially, as you have to pass through security, a bag scanner and body scanner.
Now on to the restaurant (and the building). When I arrived I was quickly shown to our table and offered a drink. Yes, I did take part in some lunchtime drinking with a couple of glasses of prosecco.
We skipped straight to mains, I had the tomato and basil gnocchi (with a side of fries! Yum!), which was delicious, and stuffed. I don’t think I’ve come across stuffed gnocchi before, but I’d like to again. Charlotte, being a meat eater, had the chopped chicken and avocado salad and reported it to be good.
Then dessert, of course we had dessert. It is the whole reason for eating out. That and seeing my lovely friend of course. I opted for the chocolate bar with raspberry sorbet and Charlotte had the prettiest rhubarb swiss roll I have ever seen. They were both delicious.
Whilst we were there the clouds broke and the view was pretty spectacular. I didn’t take any pictures of the restaurant, you’ll have to snoop at tripadvisor for those. It’s decor was great, didn’t feel too upmarket that it wasn’t suitable for lunch but we both said it would be an amazing place to go for a special occasion dinner in the evening. The dress code in the evening is a little stricter according to their website.
You can only book a month in advance, and they do take card details in case of a last minute cancellation (which you’d be charged £25 per person for) but I would throughly recommend a visit. Once you are in, you can also take in the view out, and snoop around the sky garden (which you also have to book to visit. No popping up if you happened to be passing).
Have you been to the Sky Garden? Or have any other restaurants you’d recommend I try?